The Friday Five: December 6, 2013

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Coyotes” by Jason Mraz (from We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things., 2008)

I don’t know, when it comes to Mr. A-Z, the shine has worn off a little bit. I love We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things., but everything since has landed a bit flat on my ears. That said, I still dig the heck out of this tune.

“Escape” by Journey (from Escape, 1981)

If I may make a recommendation: go and watch Don’t Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey. It documents Arnel Pineda’s first year with the band, and is positively fascinating. Also—to no one’s surprise—Neal Schon is kind of a dick.

“Try” by P!nk (from The Truth About Love, 2012)

I like this record a lot more than I did when I first listened to it. This song, in particular, is pretty stellar.

“I Was Wrong” by Social Distortion (from Greatest Hits, 2007)

Three chords and a prayer.

“Young Americans” by David Bowie (from Young Americans, 1975)

I have not listened to this record in far too long, as a matter of fact … I’m going to listen to it now.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • drxl

    Bronski Beat: “Smalltown boy (Full 12” Version). Without a
    doubt one of the most amazing pieces of music ever recorded, this extended
    mix is actually more (melo)dramatic than the original, highlighting the
    vulnerability in Jimmy Sommerville’s voice as he sings about bullying and
    persecution. For a long time I loved this song as ateenager, long before I
    knew of the political agenda behind it, and this song is as powerful in
    itself as part of the gay pride movement it served as anthem during the

    Dispatch: “Not Messin’” from ‘Circles around the Sun’. I
    guess this is some kind of Americana version of raping, right?

    Wreck and Reference: “Absurdities and Echoes”. Post metal. At
    times, it seems like the piece is about to fall into pieces and become
    just a jumble of noises and music; but then suddenly for a few seconds it
    all comes together into something beautiful, scary and glorious.

    Ella tiene dos androides: “Bluebears over the Mountain” from
    ‘Un tributo a Richie Valens’ a tribute to Richie Valens by Mexican bands
    assembled by the website/label NWLA. “NWLA” stands for “New Weird Latin
    America” so you can guess the kind of bands they called for this thing. I
    actually like the naif electronic folk of “Ella tiene dos androides” a
    lot. I got both their CD and CDr a couple of years ago directky from Arlo
    Lowfi (not his real name, I suppose) the head of their label, Molécula. We
    arranged to meet at a subway station. I felt I was buying something
    illegal or on the black market, I dunno.

    Matthew Perryman Jones: “Land of the Living”. When I am not
    in one of my regular cynical moods, I really enjoy this sort of epic
    mellodramatic pop songs. Yes, I also used to be a U2 fan in my teens,
    which would explain a lot.

  • Rock_dawg

    Great set, Michael.
    I’ve had the Journey documentary on my Netflix ‘list’ for a few weeks but haven’t checked it out yet. “Escape” is my favourite Journey song and album, but I’ve added “Don’t Stop Believing” to the list of great songs that I would be content if I never hear again.
    “Try” is indeed an excellent single and reversed my thinking that P!nk was kind of over. (That and Adam Lambert’s “Whadda Ya Want From Me”. I can’t believe she gave that song away!)
    And you made me realize that I haven’t ripped any Social D to iTunes and should rectify that this weekend.

    “Big Thing” – Duran Duran, Big Thing
    Dull and plodding…as is too much of this album. I think the perceived failure of the next album, the under rated Liberty, is just that Big Thing was so forgettable, everybody forgot about DD too.
    “A Taste of Honey” – Vince Guaraldi & Bola Sete, From All Sides
    A pleasant bossa nova take on this old warhorse.
    “Dodo/Lurker” – Genesis, Abacab
    Genesis could be kind of heavy when they wanted to be. Kind of silly too.
    “Inflight Fight” – John Barry, The Living Daylights
    While far from my favourite James Bond movie, The Living Daylights is my favourite score. Something about the way Barry mixed his signature orchestrations with a contemporary-circa-1987 electronic rhythm really works for me, making for a very exciting and dynamic score. And yet, David Arnold’s mixing of Barry-esque sounds with contemporary-circa-late-90’s-early-00’s electronic sounds in the Brosnan era never did for me.
    “Waiting for Love” – Alias, Alias
    Not much to say about this one. A great example of well polished mainstream rock of the late 80’s.

    Have a great weekend, fellow Fivers.

  • jcb7472

    -Sondre Lerche: “Almighty Moon” (Heartbeat Radio, 2009). A pleasant pop/rock song. Not something I would go back to often, but a nice listen.

    -Beastie Boys: “Remote Control” (Hello Nasty, 1998). A good Beastie Boys song. They always brought the energy in their music. Makes me want to go run and/or jump on top of something.

    -Thievery Corporation: “The Supreme Illusion” (The Cosmic Game, 2005). Instrumental trip-hop with middle eastern sounds, but with a relaxed, chill tempo that Thievery Corporation always has.

    -The Twilight Singers: “Esta Noche” (Blackberry Belle, 2003). I didn’t know what this was when it shuffled up. Did not recognize the name, but I immediately recognized it as sounding like the Afghan Whigs. Then after a minute I knew it was the singer from Afghan Whigs. Looked it up – this is his side project band. Sound very similar to his main group, which is not a bad thing.

    -Neil Young: “Tonight’s the Night” (1975) – opening track to the classic album. I just recently started listening to more Neil Young, after ignoring his music for so long. For me his music is too slow and prodding for me at times and takes some getting used to, but this is pretty good stuff.

    Happy Friday from 79 degrees & sunny South Florida!

  • Mordalo

    What the heck.

    1) Louis Prima – Embrace You/I’ve Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good.
    I love Louis Prima! Any Five starting off with him has to be good. With Keely Smith on vocals (as it should be), it’s a slow start, but isn’t that the way Friday usually goes?

    2) Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years
    Is my Five trying to tell me something? Does it know something I don’t know?

    3) Duran Duran – The Reflex
    One of Duran-squared’s tunes I’ve never been overly fond of, but when play roulette with the playlist, one never knows what’s going to pop up.

    4) George Carlin – Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television
    Class Clown. One of the best comedy albums ever. You can’t say (most) of those on television, but you sure as shit can say ‘em in a blog post, tits motherfucker (unless someone reports me).

    5) Ink Spots – I’ll Get By (as Long as I Have You)
    The Ink Spots were so underrated. Amazing vocals, great range and just amazing talent. Nice way to end the Five for this week.

    Keep warm if you’re cold and keep cool if you’re warm!

  • Phil

    I guess a late Five is better than never, right?

    Ace Frehley – “Too Many Faces” (Anomoly (Bonus Track Version), 2009)
    Decent-ish track from Ace’s “comeback” album that turned out to be much better than I expected. I still think it’s better than most of what KISS has put out in years.

    Ozzy Osbourne – “Tonight” (Diary of a Madman, 1981)
    Repeat from my October 25, 2013 Five. Can’t say I’ve changed my mind much.

    Queens of the Stone Age – “A Song for the Dead” (Songs for the Deaf, 2002)
    Songs for the Deaf was my introduction to QOTSA, and despite their hits since then (and quite a few misses) and how weird I thought the album was at the time of its release, I don’t think they will ever top this album as a whole. I love the groove on this one, and Dave Grohl’s drumming is impeccable. If you haven’t heard the isolated drum track, you’re in for a treat. Sometimes I think there’s no way Dave Grohl is human.

    Chris Cornell – “Follow My Way” (Euphoria Morning, 1999)
    I love Cornell’s voice, but I usually skip this one. Just too samey and repetitive and goes nowhere until the last minute of the outro. I actually dig that part.

    Hüsker Dü – “Sorry Somehow” (Candy Apple Grey, 1986)
    Written and sung by Grant Hart, “Sorry Somehow” was the first single from the Dü’s major label debut. It’s not bad, but I much prefer the second single “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely,” also by Hart.

  • MC_Snocap

    Can’t say this week’s 5 inspires me to write much … though, hey, none of my usual suspects crashed the party this week!

    1. “Little Sally Walker” by Rufus Thomas (1964, off The Complete Stax/Volt Singles)
    2. “Through Being Cool” by Devo (1981, off Greatest Hits)
    3. “L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)” by Mark Ronson feat. Kasabian (2007, off 21 soundtrack)
    4. “Say No Go” by De La Soul (1989, 3 Feet High and Rising)
    5. “Lifter” by Alex Kunnari (2007, off Super Trance 2008)

  • Ernie G

    1. You Don’t Have To Be In The Army (To Fight In The War) – Mungo Jerry
    2. Imitation Of Christ – The Psychedelic Furs
    3. Home Type Thing – Percy Sledge
    4. Bonanza Ska – Carlos Malcolm & His Afro-Jamaican Rhythms
    5. Wild Horses – The Flying Burrito Brothers

  • Phil

    If I may make a recommendation: go and watch Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. It documents Arnel Pineda’s first year with the band, and is positively fascinating.

    That documentary popped up as a recommendation when I finished the Rick Springfield doc An Affair of the Heart, but I wasn’t sure if it would be good. I’ll have to check it out.

  • B-ROCK

    Robert Pollard – “Lips of Joy” (Blazing Gentlemen)
    Another solo Bob, what a treat! Honey Locust Honkey Tonk was solid. Let’s hope Blazing is just that – blazing!
    David & David – “Welcome To The Boomtown” (Boomtown)
    Going to the wayback machine for this one. Spent some time with a girl who absolutely adored this song. Must’ve heard it a gazillion times then, none since. Not bad, really.
    Fleetwood Mac – “Emerald Eyes” (Mystery To Me)
    An uncle laid his record collection on me when he shipped out. This album was one of them. My young fresh ears really took to this.
    The Smithereens – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Tommy)
    Is there a classic album this talented band couldn’t tackle? Are the Stones next on the list? Smithereens Do Exile?
    Sticky Fingers?
    Brendan Benson – “Swallow You Whole” (You Were Right)
    I believe me ITunes is sending me subliminal messages – From Lips of Joy to Swallow You Whole? With Emerald Eyes in the middle? ITunes is going porno.
    Rock me and GO CARDS!

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Cleansing the sound of Mellowmas

    1. “What You Don’t Want To Hear” by Sam Phillips from The Indescribable Wow – Aaahhh, that’s the stuff – some power pop goodness from everyone’s favorite neo nazi terrorist. Her new record, Push Any Button, is pretty terrific

    2. “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John from Madman Across The Water. All together now,”HOLD ME CLOSER” I love that movie and that scene on the bus when singing this brings the band back together is so fab.

    3. “Hungry For You (j’aurais toujours faim de toi) by The Police from Ghost In The Machine. My favorite Police album

    4. “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” by the Rascals from the Rascals Anthology. Love me some Rascals. Saw that show that Little Steven put together on Broadway earlier this year and was damn good. I was also the youngest guy there, which isn’t easy since I’m almost always the oldest guy at most of the shows I go to.

    5. “You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart” by Eurythmics from Greatest Hits (European Version) Haven’t listened to Eurythmics in ages. Good stuff

    Hear something great this weekend!

  • EightE1

    Up on the house-top, nothing will pause
    There’s no such thing as Santa Claus

    Oh! Well, hello, friends! You just caught me performing my usual holiday service of rewriting Christmas classics in ways that ruin their inherent Christmas spirit. But you’re not here to hear me do that, are you? No, let’s talk Friday shuffle. Make yerselves at home. There’s some wassail warming on the stove, or you could just grab a tallboy from the fridge. Have a seat. Let’s see what we got here.

    Irene Cara, “Out Here on My Own.” What’s Irene Cara doing these days? Back in 1981, through, I don’t know, 1984 or whenever her last hit came out, I’da invited her to sit on my sofa with some spiked wassail (I did mention the wassail is spiked, didn’t I?) any old time, and I was in my pre-pubescence for a good portion of that period. This song is one of those showstoppers I’m surprised we don’t hear more of anymore. Or maybe we do — I don’t watch American Idol or The Voice or Storage Wars or any of those other showstopper-type melismafests. It could be a top ten hit on those thingers.

    Gang of Four, “Ether.” You know, when my grandpappy was still alive, we’d take an afternoon at some point over the holidays and just play the shit out of Entertainment! and Mission of Burma’s Vs. and the half-dozen or so Husker Du singles Grandpappy would bring to the house. So whenever I hear Jon King sing, I think of those afternoons, pogoing around the living room, knocking over Mom’s Precious Moments dolls. Grandpappy was a hella cool pogo-er.

    Pat Benatar, “Run Between the Raindrops.” I’d have to hide my arena rock records from Grandpappy, cuz he’d make fun of me and call me a poseur if he saw them. And that was particularly hurtful, coming from a man I admired so (I wound up inheriting those Husker sides, so I know he truly loved me). So I’d go down to my room some nights and put on Seven the Hard Way and listen on my headphones. It wasn’t a great record, but it did have this song, which would’ve likely been a great power ballad-like thing, were it not for the martial drum rolls going on pretty much constantly throughout the verses and choruses. It also had “Invincible,” which came from the soundtrack of Legend of Billie Jean, which I thought was gospel back then — after all, fair is indeed fair — but which I find incredibly tacky now as a bitter middle-aged man.

    Paul Stanley, “It’s Alright.” Awesome. Paul Stanley, the album, Side 2, Song 1. I’m pretty sure Stanley’s chest hair got a background vocal credit on this song. And well it should; that man-pelt had a life of its own. But this song is great — woulda sounded great on any of the Raspberries records, too.

    Bob Dylan, “The Levee’s Gonna Break.” I like to listen to Dylan’s last couple records on vinyl, because they sound like they were made to be listened to on technology that’s just a step or three removed from whatever is considered modern. Wax cylinders, piano roll, whatever. Dylan is a walking, wheezing wax cylinder himself these days. I know some people don’t dig the new stuff, and I know some people heap ridiculous praise on the new stuff; I fall somewhere in the middle. These songs seem like a patchwork of other songs — Jazz Age-era tuneage, suburban blues, Appalachian hollers, countrypolitan yodels — filtered through his voice, and played by a band that coulda given the California Ramblers a run for their money back in the Twenties. I suppose that’s timeless, in that it’s difficult to pinpoint the time from which these songs sprung.

    All right, don’t bogart that wassail; ladle me a cup, will ya? Lemme play ya a little something I call “Blitzen’s Revenge.” And a-one, and a-two …

  • Phil

    Paul Stanley, “It’s Alright.” Awesome.

    Indeed, although Paul’s album has always ranked #2 behind Ace’s for me among the KISS “solo” albums. Back in the day, I thought much of it was a bit too sappy, but looking back now, there are quite a few gems on there. I think his album showed off his pop sensibilities, and I think it would have been interesting to see what he and Ace could have come up if Gene weren’t in the picture.

    The details of the album are a bit fuzzy for me, so I peeked at the Wikipedia entry fully expecting to see a whole cast of co-writing credits. To my surprise I found that Paul wrote all but three songs himself, and those with only one person—Michael Japp, who had teamed up with The Babys previously, and who would co-write a couple more tunes for KISS in the early 80s. That said, the album just went up a few notches in the cred category for me.

  • EightE1

    There’s a a lot to like on there. “Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me” is probably my favorite — it’s another song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Raspberries record. Just tuneful rock and roll with attitude to spare. There’s some sap, sure, but it’s a solid effort. Wish he’d-a done more in that vein.