“I Got to Rio” by Tommy Emmanuel (from Center Stage (disc 1), 2008)
“Virtuoso” is putting mildly the level of skill that Tommy Emmanuel embodies. There are moments during this two-disc live set that bordered on rapturous.
“Lucy Can’t Dance” by David Bowie (from Black Tie White Noise (bonus disc), 2003)
This track is a pretty good representation of the conflicted nature of Bowie’s late-period music. It’s indelibly poppy, yet juxtaposed against the industrial-lite fare that post-modern Bowie has favored. The result is entirely listenable, but somehow missing the spark of Bowie’s best.
“Rubina” by Joe Satriani (from Time Machine (disc 2), 1993)
I don’t think I can recall the last time a guitar instrumental shuffled up on the Friday Five, let alone two! Satch plays to the more lyrical / pop side with this tribute to his wife. For all his twiddly, shred tendencies, the real draw where Satch is concerned is his ear for composing real melody. He writes the type of lines that you end up humming for days afterwards. He stands heads and shoulders above his contemporaries (save for, maybe, Paul Gilbert) in my opinion.
“Rock & Roll ‘Er” by Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan (from Retrospect, 2011)
I know positively nothing about Kenneth Pattengale, or Joey Ryan, further than this collection of well-written folk tunes.
“Eep Opp Ork Ah-ah (Means I Love You)” by Violent Femmes (from Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, 1995)
Between this record, and the Schoolhouse Rock Rocks! record, the mid-’90s nostalgia train was strong with the ’60s and ’70s cartoons that we Gen X’ers were weaned on. “Eep Opp Ork Ah-ah (Means I Love You)” is a natural fit for the Femmes brand of brash rockabilly-pop. Man, I might have to listen to that one again.
What’s on your shuffle today?