Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Random Ten

As much as I'm impressed by the expensive Olan Mills photo used by the Crawford family, it's the concept of being aboard "Heaven's Choo-Choo" that really grabbed me.

I'd like to think that this was the inspiration for Reverend Lovejoy's train trek through Baboon County U.S.A. on The Simpsons: "Baboons to the left of me, baboons to the right, the speeding locomotive tore through a sea of inhuman fangs. A pair of great apes rose up at me, but biff! Bam! I sent them flying like two hairy footballs. A third came screaming at me, and that's when I got mad...." Now that's a sermon.

Speaking of spreading the good word, it's time again for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill by now, so let's do this thing.

1. Cut Chemist, "The Garden" -- This is a track off The Audience's Listening, the solo effort by the former Jurassic 5 DJ. Pretty light and airy, with some nice bossanova samples thrown in. It's a keeper. 8/10

2. Rosco P. Coldchain with Pusha-T and Boo-Bonic, "Hot" -- I'll give you a chance to rest after reading that Bataan Death March of an artist listing. Ready? OK, this is a pretty uninspired bit of Neptunes-produced hiphop. I guess they put all their energy into thinking up cute names for the Legion of Awkward Longwindedness. 2/10

3. Dinah Washington, "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? (Rae and Christian Remix)" -- Another tune from the Verve Remixed series. They've given this a little too formulaic a beat, but the original is strong enough to withstand the tinkering. Not too bad. 6/10

4. Stereolab, "The Noise of Carpet" -- Excellent. Last time I saw Stereolab on tour, this was one of the few uptempo songs they did. But it just wasn't the same without former guitarist/vocalist Mary Hansen, who died in a bicycle accident in 2002. I'm not sure if they'll ever recover from her loss, but here's hoping. 9/10

5. Elvis Presley, "That's Alright Mama" -- An early classic by the King. I think I like the original version by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup a little better, but this one still works. But is it cool? Doubt it. 5/10

6. TV on the Radio, "Dry Drunk Emperor" -- A nice tribute to the unmitigated awfulness of the Decider. "All eyes upon dry drunk emperor / gold cross jock skull and bones / mocking smile / he's been naked for a while. / Get him gone, get him gone, get him gone!!! / and bring all his thieves to trial." It's an old one, but I think it's available at the Touch & Go website for free download, if you're interested. 8/10

7. Jerry Reed, "When You're Hot You're Hot" -- Part of me appreciates the weird sensibilities of the man who played the Snowman in the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy. And part of me sees him as a musical version of Larry the Cable Guy. 4/10

8. LL Cool J, "I'm the Type of Guy" -- Never has cuckoldery sounded so damn smooth. There are a lot of reasons why the Ladies Love Cool James, and if you doubt them, he's got a four-knuckle ring coming to your grill right away. 7/10

9. Magnetic Fields, "Strange Powers" -- Last year, Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt was the target of a ridiculous and pathetic smear campaign asserting, among other things, that because he doesn't think much of Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, he is a "cracker racist." This may be the stupidest complaint in the history of music criticism, and that's saying a whole hell of a lot. 8/10

10. War, "Nappy Head (Theme from "Ghetto Man") -- Uh, let's see.... "Nappy Head." The theme from "Ghetto Man." Unless Don Imus is ready to sub in for me today, we're not touching this one. 7/10

Alright, that gives me a whopping 6.4 average in the Coolness Self-Audit. I seem to get something in that range no matter what songs pop up on the old iTunes. To paraphrase George McFly, mediocrity just must be my density.

Well, let's see what you've got this week. Drop your own random ten in the comments below, with or without a heaping side serving of coolness ratings.


peb said...

I'm back from a one-week FRT absence to lay down my righteous tunes again for you. I didn't do an FRT last week because I was on vacation and no, it wasn't on Heaven's Choo-Choo. Although I will consider that for my next vacation.

1. Hüsker Dü, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” – This is off the Hüsker Dü live album The Living End. If you combine one of the songs from ‘70’s punk legends The Ramones with the performance of ‘80’s punk legends Hüsker Dü, it’s hard to give it anything less than an 8/10.

2. The Rolling Stones, “100 Years Ago” – This is off Goats Head Soup which is probably the most underrated Stones record just because it came out right after the super awesome Exile On Main Street. There are a lot of good songs on this album that get overlooked and this song is one of them. But then again, this does sound like an outtake from Exile. 8/10

3. The Flaming Lips, “Jesus Shooting Heroin” – This tastefully named song was done by the Lips way back in their early career so it’s actually pretty straightforward which is unusual for the Lips. This might have been back before they were taking acid. 7/10

4. Guided By Voices, “Watch Me Jumpstart” – Off probably my 3rd favorite GBV album (Alien Lanes, slightly following Bee Thousand and Propeller), this is a pretty driving guitar riff. Add that to the standard beautiful melody and you've got a classic GBV song. 8/10

5. Galaxie 500, “Temperature’s Rising” – If you’ve heard one Galaxie 500 song, you’ve heard this one. I don’t mean you’ve heard this one specifically. You probably heard a different song that sounds exactly like this one. Fortunately, I like their one song so it works out well for me. 7/10

6. The Rolling Stones, “Let’s Spend The Night Together” – You know, Mick Jagger can get away with a pickup line this bland and lame, but let me tell you, it does not work that well in real life. At least Mick can admit this doesn’t happen to him everyday, oh no. 9/10

7. Truth Hurts, “Addictive” – This is one of those hip-hop songs that came out right after Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” that prominently featured Indian music. Luckily, I think this one was produced by Dr. Dre so it’s actually pretty good. 8/10

8. Isaac Hayes, “Walk On By” – Yessss. If you want a surefire way to seduce the ladies, try putting this song on. You would be very successful. At least, I think you would. I haven’t actually scored with it yet but I expect to soon. 10/10

9. Jimi Hendrix, “Let The Gods Sing” – Allegedly this is from an album that Jimi recorded in New York before he left the States for England and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. But apparently there’s some confusion if this is even Hendrix playing on this song. I’ll let the experts fight it out. It sounds authentic enough to me. 8/10

10. Angels of Epistemology, “He’s Back” – AOE were a band from around these parts (Raleigh, I believe). They had some good songs and they had some noisy clattering messes. I think this tends towards the latter. 5/10

Well, the Angels of Epistemology dud knocked me down a little bit, but I still ended up with a 7.8 average. Not bad for the first week back. Hopefully, my iPod can keep it up.

Mike said...

Is it Crawford as in the town in Texas? We could only hope that train was heaven-bound.

Or hell. I'm easy that way.

Otto Man said...

Isaac Hayes' version of "Walk on By" might even merit an 11/10.

Dr. Milton von F├╝nkdoctorspock said...

Long time non parlez-vous, people. Apologies. Since the Doc last FRTed, his 60 GBer died, he bought an 80 GBer (Best Buy has a $60 3-year warranty, which seems like a bad biz decisions), and went to Coachella. That last nugget is of import because he initially filled the newbie w/ only Coachella artists and Coachella party mixes, and hasn’t added much since so he’d like to think a FRT PB is in store.

1. The National - “Track 14” from Alligator

For some reason the track names didn’t register, and this album only lists 13 tracks so Milty’s confused, but not confused about The National’s greatness. Their new LP Boxer has averaged at least 1.5 spins/day for 2 weeks. Get it while the gettin’ is gravy. 7/10

2. Smokey Johnson - “I Can’t Help It,” from Saturday Night Fish Fry: New Orleans

Top 2 party mix album ever. Highest rec. New Orleans funky soul. 7/10

3. Kanye West - “Bring Me Down,” from Late Registration

The good doc’s Coachella party mix was 1.2 days long. Kanye brings it. You do the math as we stay on the solid-but-the-album-has-better-cuts 7 train. 7/10

4. Wilco – “Shot in the Arm,” from Kicking Television

This live album is so good Milt feels guilty when he hears it because it’s a download. Just got tix to see them in the impossibly small Warsaw in Brooklyn. Bound to be a nipple-hardening affair. 9/10

5. “The Late Late Show,” from TV Themes

So some TV themes made the party mix. But not this one. 3/10

6. “The Saint,” from TV Themes

So some TV themes made the party mix. But not this one. Holy fuck, Operation PB officially derailed! Jinx in effect. 3/10

7. “Gigantor,” from TV Themes

This is just goddamn silly. 30% of these here 80 GB are not TV themes. Make an effort, ‘Pod. This one’s kind of funny, though. 5/10

8. The New Pornographers – “Chump Change,” from Electric Version

And 8 tracks in Coachella brings it. 3 solid albums. The doc senses a trend. He will buy their 4th this summer. A.C. Newman was the best stage banterist these eyes had ever seen until Jarvis Cocker brought it proper to Indio. Chatter between every song and it was all hilarity, all the time. 8/10

9. “Clarissa Explains it All,” from TV Themes

You have to be fucking kidding Milt. 4/10

10. The Walkmen – “Mucho Mongo,” from Pussy Cats

Rerecording an entire Harry Nilsson album. Genius. 7/10

60. Unbelievable. WWJD? Delete all those godforsaken TV themes.

Otto Man said...

Milty! Good to have you back.