Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday Random Ten

I meant to post this album cover back on Earth Day, but I was busy that weekend gluing those plastic soda-can rings back together. I heard you're supposed to do that for the dolphins or lemurs or something. I'm not sure. I saw it on a nature documentary, but it's all kind of fuzzy now.

Anyway, better late than never. Personally, I'm a little confused about this one. I'm not sure just what kind of music is right for cleaning up stream pollution and, moreover, I'm not sure how you're supposed to get a record player working out there by the streamside. And even if you could, it sort of seems to run against the whole "back-to-nature" vibe.

Oh well, it was a different time. To quote the legendary attorney Harvey Birdman, we all remember the seventies. The clothes. The haircuts. The heartwarming, yet rarely amusing, "Ziggy" cartoons. Let it go, man. Let it go.

In that spirit, it's time for the Friday Random Ten. Here we go:

1. Yo La Tengo, "Here Comes My Baby" -- A nice cover of the Cat Stevens tribute to stalkers. Just like the original, this is a sunny, poppy version that really masks the fundamental creepiness of the lyrics. 6/10

2. Common, "I Used to Love H.E.R." -- I'm normally a big fan of Common's, but this is a fairly mediocre tune. No worries. I saw his performance in the mindless Smokin' Aces recently -- he plays Jeremy Piven's badass righthand man -- and I think we're going to see anothe MosDefian transition to movies here. That'll work. 5/10

3. The Arcade Fire, "Rebellion (Lies)" -- This one starts slow and builds nicely, fitting the pattern for the best Arcade Fire tunes. Very nice. I'm slowly warming to the new album, Neon Bible, though it's even slower and mellower than the past work. Any thoughts? 8/10

4. Jimmy McGriff, "Discotheque USA" -- A scorching soul instrumental, with enough Hammond organ to rebuild New Orleans. Phenomenal stuff. 8/10

5. Scissor Sisters, "Music is the Victim" -- I know some of the cool kids love this band, but it sounds like an uninspired Elton John cover band to me. Sorry, I just don't get it. At all. 1/10

6. The Clash, "Straight to Hell" -- One of their mellower tunes. For some reason, this always tends to come up when I'm driving around at night. Not a bad fit. 8/10

7. Jose Gonzales, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" -- A while back, My Old Kentucky Blog was tracking down songs that had been covered to death, and this Joy Division classic yielded one of the longer lists. Check it out. This one is one of the best, but there are some other winners on the list. 9/10

8. Public Enemy, "Can't Do Nuttin For Ya, Ma" -- There was a reason Chuck D didn't give Flavor Flav the mic that often. Still, you have to admire the courage it takes to make the phrase "Wash Your Butt" one of the ringing elements of the chorus. I'm hoping that's not what he meant by the "Flavor of Love" on VH1. 4/10

9. Muddy Waters, "Gypsy Woman" -- If you have the slightest interest in Muddy Waters, do yourself a favor and get the three-disc Chess Records box set. I'm pretty sure it didn't leave my CD player for the first three months I owned it. Just never gets old, and every song's a keeper. 7/10

10. Modest Mouse, "Florida" -- I have mixed feelings about the new Modest Mouse album. The grown-up in me loves the hearty goodness of the mellow songs, while the kid in me hates the frosted, angry, angsty shouters like this song. Maybe it'll grow on me, but right now I keep skipping this one. 3/10

Damn, I was all over the place today, like a candidate in the Republican primary. Some real stinkers in there, and I'm winding up with a 5.9 average. I normally land a Gentlemen's C on the coolness scale, with the occasional D thrown in there because I keeps it real. But this is a straight-up F. Shit, I hope I don't have to go to coolness summer school.

Alright, let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRTs or musical freestylings in the comments below.


InanimateCarbonRod said...

Ye Gods, Smoking Aces sucked.

Otto Man said...

And yet his previous film "Narc" was pretty damn good. What the hell happened?

Smitty said...

there's a reason Chuck D didn't give Flava Flav the mic that often

An understatement, to be sure. His show with that Amazon chick...whatshername...Dolph Lundgren's ex...I think it only got the ratings it did because it was so creepy.

1) Aaron Copeland: Billy the Kid - Rodeo. Ah, the "'s What's for Dinner" song. An awesome piece of modern ballet ruined by a marketing campaign. 6/10.

2) Sleep Town - The Verve Pipe. I hate the Verve Pipe. Pretentious college pop at its worst. 1/10.

3) Tired of My Tears - Susan Tedeschi. I love her voice, I love her guitar, and this whole CD (Hope and Desire) is full of really cool, seldom-played blues and R&B classics. 8/10.

4) Professor Nutbutter's House Of Treats - Primus. As much as I try, I don't quite get these guys. 6/10, for creativity if nothing else.

5) Rain When I Die - AIC. Off of Dirt, I think it is one of the weaker songs on the CD overall, but still decent writing. 6/10.

6) Drag the Waters - Pantera. You know, their last great CD was Far Beyond Driven. The Great Southrn Trendkill, which this was off of, just felt a little contrived. They tried really hard to be crunchy and awesome, instead of it just happening. I still like it OK, it's just not their best. 6/10.

7) Elegy - As I Lay Dying. I really dig this band. And this song has a riff right in the middle that melted my face off the first time I heard it. 8/10.

8) Davidian - Machine Head. Machine Head always seemed a bit of a Pantera knockoff to me, riding the success of that sound. But they're not a bad thrash band overall. 7/10.

9) Whiskey in the Jar - The Clancy Brothers. Great Irish drinking song. The guy steals some money, takes it home to his wife, who then double-crosses him and has him arrested. Bitch. No wonder he demands whiskey in the jar. 7/10.

10) The Spirit of Radio - Rush. Enough said (if a tad overplayed on the radio itself, in a bit of irony). 8/10.

6.3 average this week. While not a failure, certainly only barely passable.

Mr Furious said...

Was Narc good? It looked like it might be good. I grabbed it at the library recently and never got around to watching it. Maybe I'll give it another crack...

Otto Man said...

I liked "Narc" a lot. Nice methodical, dark cop picture with Ray Liotta and Jason Patric each giving one of their best performances. It's well directed, which makes me wonder what the hell happened to the guy between then and "Smoking Pile of Crap."

Mike said...

I like "9-1-1 Is A Joke," but overall you generally wanted Falv playing off Chuck, not leading the song.

An "8" for Spirit of Radio, Smitty? I think your low balling them. Got something against Canadians?

I'll admit I don't know much about Patric, but he was really good in Friends & Neighbors, Neil LaBute's 2nd film, after In The Company Of Men. Just a mezmerizing performance as a damaged, angry, yet somehow charming, person. Really amazing to watch.

Liotta hasn't done shit since Goodfellas that I can even watch, though I admit I never saw Narc.