The Friday Five: February 28, 2014

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:

“The Symphony (feat. The Juice Crew)” by Marley Marl (from Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials, Volume 1 (1979-1991), 2005)

Listen closely, so your attention’s undivided, many in the past have tried to do what I did…

This is Hip-Hop 101! For the uninitated, The Juice Crew is Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Kool G. Rap and Masta Ace. “The Symphony” is the easily one of the greatest ‘Golden Age’ posse cuts. Think of it as the grandady to Tribe’s “Scenario,” with four super hype MC’s grabbing the rock and taking it higher and higher over Marley Marl’s cut up of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.”

“La La Means I Love You (remix 1990)” by The Jets (from The Best of The Jets, 1990)

For as many times as this tune has been covered, no one—not even His Royal Badness—can touch The Delfonics original take. The Minneapolis nonet does an earnest version, not straying very far from the melodies that make the song so memorable in the first place.

“Eye Know (The Know It All mix)” by De La Soul (from 3 Feet High and Rising (disc 2: bonus disc), 2001)

Now, i don’t want to jinx it, but this is shaping up to be one of my favorite Friday Fives, ever. How can you not vibe to a laid back groove that spins Steely Dan’s “Peg” (a perennial favorite ’round these parts) on it’s proverbial head, while plugs one and two spit mad game to a tender Jenny. Ya’ll grabbed this joint when De La gave it away for free a couple of weeks back, right?

“I Thought It Was You (feat. Jake Shears)” by Andy Bell (from Electric Blue, 2005)

Okay, one more song to redeem this less-than-great-but-not-awful one. To be fair, I’ve not really listened to this record. I picked it up as a fan of Bell’s voice, but never got around to devling into it.

“Wasted” by Séan McCann (from Lullabies for Bloodshot Eyes, 2010)

Shit. Well, there goes that… Mr. McCann was never my favorite member of Great Big Sea and his solo records have only amplified the specifc things that I dislike about his GBS contributions. His departure from the group probably will hasten the end of the band, but (frankly) I’d be okay with an Alan/Bob show.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • drxl

    Los Jardines Humanos: “Suka (como un árbol)”
    For the last couple of days, my iTunes playlist has been “Never Played”, i.e., songs that I uploaded to my music library, but have not listened yet. So these all songs will be new to me. We start with this really nice pop tune from this Chilenan band. A slow tune with a nice melody and great delivery. I am starting to like this. The whole album can be downloaded for free here:

    Sibot: “Magnet Jam”
    From Mad Decent’s net label Jeffrey’s, of “Harlem Shake” fame, comes this electronic bass track. Like a lot of what comes out from Jeffrey’s, this does not fit easily into any of the usual electronic genres, even though it could be called “trap”, “bass”, “electro” or even “abstract hip hop”. It sits comfortably right in the line between “music for dancing” and “music for listening”. Good tune as well.

    Yamantaka//Sonic Titan: “Lamia”
    So, yeah, Metal is cool again, right? Now that all the people are packing the sludge and doom festivals, I feel like I am jumping on some bandwagon by listening (and really enjoying) bands like this. Sorry if my hipster credentials are revoked, but this is great.

    Forgive Durden feat. Max Bemis: “The Spider and the Lamps”
    An Emo Musical! From the annals of bad ideas comes “Razia’s Shadow: A Musical”. Emo’s melodrama has always been just inches away from Broadway’s melodrama, yet this is ridiculous. I mean, some of the songs are good, including this one, but there is a reason why “Tommy” the concept album is miles away from “Tommy” the musical. That’s a line I, for one, do not want to cross.

    Eceptycons feat. Zaeg: “Solo es el Rap”
    Villhermosa represent. This is supposed to be our own Mexican backpacker hip hop, but not experimental enough for my tastes. I mean, Mexican hip hop has evolved a lot in the last couple of decades, but I still find much of it lacking, specially in experimenting with new beats and bases.

  • 1001Songs

    1. Electric Prunes “Sold to the Highest Bidder” from I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) – a deep cut from a 1967 garage rock classic

    2. ZZ Top “Thug” from Eliminator (1983) The T-word? Pretty offensive to those of us who are fans of Richard Sherman.

    3. Lobo “Don’t Expect Me To Be Your Friend” – a top 10 hit in 1973 for Roland Kent LaVoie who preferred to be known as Lobo

    4. Talking Heads “Love Goes to a Building On Fire” from Attack of the Killer B’s, Vol 1 –this VA compilation from Warner Brothers is a must have if only for Marshall Crenshaw’s “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time”

    5, The The “The Twilight Hour” from Soul Mining. Probably the least interesting cut from the 1983 album featuring “This is the Day” and the ear worm, “Uncertain Smile”.

  • Phil

    “Eye Know (The Know It All mix)” by De La Soul (from 3 Feet High and Rising (disc 2: bonus disc), 2001)
    …Ya’ll grabbed this joint when De La gave it away for free a couple of weeks back, right?

    Yup. And then I read an article (and linked to it from my blog) about why Plugs 1, 2, & 3 might not have been within their legal rights to do so. Fight tha power! Down with tha man! Power to tha people!

    Oh wait, that’s probably another set of rappers…

  • Phil

    Alice In Chains – “Brush Away” (Alice In Chains, 1995)
    We start this Five the same way we ended last week’s—with a spooky sounding AIC tune. On second thought, is there any other kind of AIC tune?!

    Collective Soul – “Skin” (Blender, 2000)
    Say what you will about Ed Roland and Collective Soul, but I used to have a huge crush on this band and tried to get my hands on everything they put out. But things started falling apart, Ross Childress left, the band started running into label issues, and I lost interest. As an aside, I think some of Ed’s solo projects held more interest for me than latter-day Collective Soul, especially his Sweet Tea Project. Anyway, at this point in the game, Collective Soul was experimenting with electronic textures and drum machines, but I still like this.

    Victor – “The Big Dance” (Victor, 1996)
    There’s no way you could convince me that this is Alex Lifeson if I didn’t already know it. Victor is all over the sonic map, some of it really good, some of it not so much. This tune finds Alex and I Mother Earth’s vocalist Edwin channeling their inner Nine Inch Nails. Good for an occasional listen, but not something I would go to often.

    Judas Priest – “(Take These) Chains” (Screaming for Vengeance, 1982)
    One of my all-time favorite Priest songs!

    Scorpions – “Holiday” (Lovedrive, 1979)
    Ditto for this Scorpions tune, and a fine way to end this Five. Have a great weekend, Fivers!

  • jcb7472

    That De La track is one of my favorites by them! Good stuff. Here’s my Five:

    1) Holiday Shores – “Reruns” (Columbus’d the Whim, 2009). I’m not sure if this band is still together, but they were a pretty good indie rock band from the college town of my alma mater (FSU/Tallahassee, FL). This whole album is pretty good. I don’t know why these guys didn’t catch on.

    2) Paul Anka – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Rock Swings, 2005). This song makes me laugh because he’s singing a Nirvana song lounge-singer/Tony Bennett style but it’s interesting and actually done well so it’s worth a listen.

    3) Interpol – “Stella Was a Diver and she was always down” (Turn on the Bright Lights, 2002). I remember when Interpol’s first couple of albums came out. They were so awesome. I saw them live in Orlando around ’03 or ’04 and it was like seeing a new version of Joy Division or something like that. This song is off their outstanding debut. They kind of fell off after their 2nd album IMO and it’s not the same lineup anymore, etc. I want the old Interpol back!

    4) The Meters – “Hey Pocky A-Way” (The Very Best of the Meters, song released 1974). The Meters always make you want to dance and throw a party. This is a perfect Friday song.

    5) Beck – “New Round” (The Information, 2006) Mellowing things out at the end is this very chill song by Beck. His new album “Morning Phase” is excellent by the way if you haven’t heard it. It’s a similar sound to Sea Change if you liked that album, but not as depressing.

  • Rock_dawg

    Kind of lost interest in Great Big Sea a few years ago, but Alan’s songs were always my fav’s and Sean’s often had me reaching for the skip button. Agreed that it’s a shame that this might mean the end of the band, but maybe they could coax Darrell out of retirement?

    For reasons that I’m not even sure of, I’ve gone all classic rock on the iPod this week.

    “Questions 67 & 68″ – Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority
    What exactly are those questions? I don’t know. Wikipedia couldn’t tell me and I got tired of reading posts to the effect of “I love Chicago and this song’s awesome” on Songfacts.
    “Misty Mountain Hop” – Led Zeppelin, Box Set
    I loved this track long before Almost Famous came out (and became one of my most beloved movies), but now I can’t hear it without picturing Stillwater and William rolling into NYC. “We showed you America. We did everything but get you laid.”
    “The Wind Cries Mary” – Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced?
    Probably my favourite Hendrix song: love the intro, love the melody, love the way his playing moves between rhythm and lead, love the solo. While I don’t believe that everything Jimi did was brilliant, when he was at his best – especially on this first album – he truly lived up to the hype.
    “Refugee” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Damn The Torpedoes
    This track still packs a helluva punch when it blasts out of your speakers.
    “Tush” – ZZ Top, Fandango
    If you’re looking for a good time boogie rock, you can’t do much better than this.

    Happy weekend, Fivers!

  • Michael Parr

    Oh, it was definitely a thumb of the nose at the record companies who own the recordings, and likely completely illegal. I can’t blame them, really.

    Taking that thought one step further: what if their former record label decided to sue them for illegally sharing their own material? Can you even fathom the far-reaching legal implications?

    The mind boggles.

  • Rock_dawg

    Paul Anka’s version of “…Teen Spirit” sounds intriguing, but Pat Boone’s In A Metal Mood scarred me for life!

  • Michael Parr

    I’m with you; Alan was always the draw. I didn’t even consider that they could potentially get Darrell back on board. Hmm…

    Questions 67 & 68 are the two that lead to question 69, silly!

  • Rock_dawg

    Collective Soul always seemed unappreciated, but they put out some really solid stuff. But, yeah, I lost track of them after Youth.

  • Phil

    Better still, what of the PR crap-storm that Warner Bros. would entangle themselves in?

    Here’s a link to that article for enquiring minds:

  • Michael Parr

    I don’t know, I tend to lump Collective Soul in with the other ’90s acts that all started to sound the same by ’97 category (see also: Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty.)

  • Phil

    “Misty Mountain Hop” – Led Zeppelin

    I can’t hear this without seeing visions of dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard. Still can’t suss out what the real lyrics of hippies, drugs, and the police have to do with that, though.

  • Rock_dawg

    While “December” and “The World I Know” would fit into a playlist with stuff like “Name”, “Iris”, “Push” and “If You’re Gone” (yes, I am far too familiar with their discographies), Collective Soul had a far better Rock : Wussy Ballad ratio.

  • Rock_dawg

    Didn’t know much about Lord of the Rings when I got into Zeppelin, but nowadays I do love how Plant would just stick a random Tolkien reference into his lyrics.

  • Phil


  • MC_Snocap

    I missed out on De La’s v-day giveaway. How was the sound quality of the mp3’s? Ones I’ve burned from the cd’s are seriously muted.

    1. “Que Pasa / Me No Pop I” by Coati Mundi (1981, off Mutant Disco)
    Another exuberant ZE cut. May be the friendliest tune ever to threaten the listener with castration.

    2. “Bad Situation” by 5 Spiritual Tones (early 70s?, off Good God! A Gospel-Funk Hymnal).
    An earthmover, Temptations-style.

    3. “I Should Have Known Better” by The Beatles (1964, A Hard Day’s Night)
    Lyrically more egregious than the mocked “She Loves You”; guess that’s one advantage to being a B-side. But who’s going to argue with romantic bliss?

    4. “Harlem Shuffle” by Bob & Earl (1963, off Groove’n’Grind)
    Heard this decades after the Stones remake, which is probably the best order to like them both. The terrific opening horn blast was already familiar from Fatboy Slim and House of Pain nicking it.

    5. “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum (1992, single)
    This song got a lot of sneers back in the day, either for its mawkishness or its popularity, both verboten to grunge kids. Is it cool to admit you like this yet? I’m, um, asking for a friend.

  • Michael Parr

    I only nabbed the bonus disc to Three Feet…, the rarities stuff, and AOI:Bionix, but both were in 320 and sound good.

  • MC_Snocap

    Dagnabbit! Happy you got it though, MP.