Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Random Ten

Alright, I make no promises. But for today, at least, it's time for a Friday Random Ten.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with all internet traditions, I'm setting the iTunes to random, writing down the first ten songs that come up -- with no backsies! -- and then rating them on a 1-to-10 scale that's about as arbitrary as every other single 1-to-10 scale. (I'm looking at you, Olympic ice dancing judges!)

And. Here. We. Go!

1. A Tribe Called Quest, "Bonita Applebaum [Sir Piers & Si Ashton's Curious House Mix]" -- I think I just used up all my post space with that title. This is from a random CD I grabbed ages ago called New School vs. Old School, Vol. 2, and it's pretty much what the title suggests, a trancy little house remix of some old Tribe. I can't remember the last time I even heard this, but it's not too shabby. Is that Ron Burgundy on the jazz flute? Why yes. Yes it is. 7/10

2. Propellerheads, "Take California" -- If it's a song they once used in ads to hawk the iPod, that's a pretty good sign of the rump-shaking capabilities. (But holy shit, that original iPod looks like a goddamn Betamax. Those things weighed eight pounds, if I remember correctly.) Anyway, solid tune. 9/10

3. Sly and the Family Stone, "Soul Clappin'" -- One of my favorite albums by these folks is the earlier, often overlooked Dance to the Music. This is off that one, but the song itself is not exactly one of my favorites. Still, it's Sly Stone. Who the hell are you? 6/10

4. Gipsyland, "Salaam" -- Apparently, I once owned Buddha Bar V and yes, this sounds like a CD hawked by a hip Parisian bar. Sort of a Middle Eastern version of the Gipsy Kings. Eh. 5/10

5. Beck, "Jack-Ass" -- Ah, this is a nice one. It features a nicely looped sample from Them's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," but puts a nice spin on it while preserving the groove of the original. Even though I always think it's the original when this one comes up at first, this is solid work of classic, pre-Scientology Beck. 8/10

6. The Afghan Whigs, "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road" -- This comes off the Uptown Avondale EP, which is a set of five cover songs. This one never really did much for me, as it's sleepy enough to induce a coma if you're not careful. Elvis and Nick Lowe gave better versions of "True Love," in my opinion, and on this EP, the song is strongly overshadowed by the terrific covers the Whigs do of Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" and the Supremes' "Come See About Me." 3/10

7. Jimmy Castor Bunch, "Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You" -- I'm not sure why Jimmy Castor felt the need to badger Leroy so much in their songs, but I have a sneaking feeling it all ended badly. 6/10

8. Paul Simon, "Born at the Right Time" -- This album, Rhythm of the Saints, was largely forgotten in the wake of the masterpiece of Graceland, but it's pretty damn good all on its own. This is a sweet one, and after "The Obvious Child," the best of the bunch. 7/10

9. Joe Dassin, "Les Champs-Élysées" -- Why, yes, I did purchase the soundtrack for The Darjeeling Limited. Thanks, iTunes, for making the Kinks' "Strangers" unavailable for purchase in any other form. Without that rule, I wouldn't own this apparent tribute to Maurice Chevalier. 2/10

10. Coldplay, "I'll See You Soon" -- Ah, fuck me. This is from a CD some friends made for their wedding. I can't even bring myself to listen to it, so I'm going to take a zero for the team. 0/10

Well, that didn't end well. With those last two stinkers factored in, I'm averaging a stellar 5.3 on the day. Hmm. Maybe this feature should've remained in mothballs.

Alright, feel free to pick apart my songs and ratings in the comments, but better yet, throw out your own random ten.


Mr Furious said...

I'm in! I'll do mine tomorrow, er, today...

Whatever. After I wake up.

peb said...

Good to see the FRT back again. It caught me by surprise though so I don't have my own FRT ready. I'll try to get one done this afternoon. And don't let that mediocre score discourage you from doing more. We all know that the random nature of the game can lead you to having a clunker from time to time.

Otto Man said...

Seriously, if you ever needed proof of the randomicity of this feature, that Coldplay turd is it.

Smitty said...

1) Descending - Lamb of God
2) Rust In Peace...Polaris - Megadeth
3) Too Fast - Leo Kottke
4) We Got Love - Ryan Shaw
5) The Royal Boogie - Joe Krown Trio
6) Twentysomething - Jamie Cullum
7) What Is and What Should Never Be - Led Zepplin
8) Symphony 41 in D, K551 [Jupiter], Molto Allegro - W A Mozart
9) Dangerous Mood - Keb' Mo'
10) Nobody's Business But My Own - Taj Mahal

Wow. All over the place today. The transition between Megadeth and Leo Kottke was nearly enough to melt my skull. Also, Keb Mo and Taj Mahal live are both spectacular. They have each played at a huge garden outside of Grand Rapids Michigan called Meijer Garden. Awesome venue, awesome music!

Otto Man said...

Wow, that place looks like a phenomenal site for a show.

peb said...

Well, I expected more people to be chiming in throughout the day, but I guess the word needs to get out that FRT is back. Here's mine.

1. Lush - "Etheriel" - I always thought Lush was underrated in terms of being lumped in with the other lamer shoegazer bands of their era. They weren't My Bloody Valentine or Ride, but they were pretty good. Plus, the lead singer was superfine. That adds bonus points to a pretty average song. 7/10

2. Grandpaboy - "Lush and Green" - Grandpaboy is a pseudonym for Paul Westerberg, legendary lead singer for the legendary rock band The Replacements. This song suffers from the acoustic melancholy that plagues most of Westerberg's solo career. It makes me wonder if the main function of the other guys in The Replacements was to keep Westerberg in a good mood. 6/10

3. Bombay the Hard Way - "Ganges A Go-Go" - I think this is Dan the Automator setting some old Bollywood soundtracks against hip-hop beats. It works surprisingly well although it seems like he's barely touched this song. Therefore, I can't give it the cred that the other songs on the album have. 6/10

4. The Beatles - "All You Need Is Love" - It's hard for me to rank songs like this because I've heard it so many times that I'm kind of numb to it. It's certainly a good song, but this strikes me as the Beatles at their most hippie-ish which, since now I'm a bald old man who pays a lot of taxes, annoys me. 7/10

5. Pavement - "Rain Ammunition" - This is an outtake from Slanted & Enchanted which is precisely what it should be because it's not nearly as good as any of the songs on that outstanding album. Pavement certainly could be a great band at times, but when they were off, which it sounds like they were here, it's hard for me to listen. 4/10

6. Yo La Tengo - "The Lie and How We Told It" - This is off I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One which is a great album and maybe even their best, but this song is pretty nondescript. It foreshadows their later evolution into a band that plays slower, softer songs which coincidentally is pretty much the same time I lost interest in Yo La Tengo. 5/10

7. Granddaddy - "So You'll Aim Toward the Sky" - Simply an OUTSTANDING song, this is the last song off Granddaddy's best album The Sophtware Slump. There are a lot of great songs on this album, but I would recommend that if you don't have it, go buy it just to listen to this song. It's that good. 10/10

8. The Clash - "Broadway" - I love The Clash, but man, they wrote some dreck. You can find most of this dreck on the triple-album (yes, triple) Sandinista! which, not surprisingly, is where this song comes from. They recorded this album in New York and as you can tell from the title, this is one of the songs that the New York influence did not rub off so well. 4/10

9. AC/DC - "Big Balls" - This is probably my least favorite double-entendre song by AC/DC. Of course, the only other one I can think of is the far superior "The Jack". Still, it's AC/DC with Bon Scott and I don't think I can rank that any lower than a 7/10.

10. The Boo Radleys - "Losing It (Song For Abigail)" - Whenever I think of The Boo Radleys, I think back to when I saw them in Chapel Hill opening up for Sugar way back. Otto was there wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Alice the maid from the Brady Bunch on it. Apparently, Otto got to go backstage after the show and the singer of The Boo Radleys saw it and said "Fuck the bleeding Brady Bunch!" or something else very loudly and English to register his displeasure. Anyway, I spent all the time that the song was playing concentrating on writing that anecdote that I don't remember what it sounds like now. But it probably can't be worse than a 7/10.

That's a 6.3 average on the return to action. I hope we see more of the FRT in the future and I hope the rest of your blog brethren wake up and contribute to it as well.

Otto Man said...

Jesus Christ, I'd completely forgotten that.

You'd think a guy from a band named the Boo Radleys would have a keener understanding of kitsch.

Thrillhous said...

I'm not sure I can continue to contribute to a blog that doesn't give it's deepthroated support to Coldplay. I'll think about it.

No list, since I haven't opened a media player in about 6 months, but I expect it would be something like this: Zeppelin, Ozzy, Floyd, Yes, Rush, Men at Work, Pantera, Prong. Mars, bitches!