The Friday Five: January 17, 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:

“On the Chin” by Kings of Leon (from Mechanical Bull, 2013)

Unfortunately, I believe that the law of diminishing returns is starting to kick in where the Followill clan is concerned. Their latest record, Mechanical Bull, treads on the same worn road that their previous record did better, which the one before that … well, you get the point. While I happen to dig their particular brand of 21st-century-Bon-Jovi rock, I worry that they have gotten far too comfortable in their shoes.

“Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) (12″ mix)” by Chic (from Nile Rodgers Presents: The Chic Organization Box Set, Volume 1 / Savoir Faire (disc 1), 2010)

I’m almost certain that this track has shuffled up before (this is where I kick myself for not maintaining a spreadsheet of my Friday Five throughout the years.) The current renaissance that Nile Rodgers is experiencing fills my disco-loving heart with all sorts of glee.

“Lovers’ Eyes” by Mumford & Sons (from Babel, 2012)

Holy shit, speaking of diminishing returns! Mumford & Sons—possibly through no fault of their own—became an absolute parody of themselves within the course of 12 months. I don’t know, Bable just doesn’t hit my ears with the same urgency—nay, hunger—as Sigh No More . I honestly couldn’t wait for this song to be over.

“I Love You” by Mary J. Blige (from My Life, 1994)

This record is nearly 20 years old. Let that sink in for a moment. I know, I know … Purple Rain, Born in the U.S.A., Reckless, High ‘n’ Dry, and The Unforgettable Fire are all turning 30 this year, but some of those records don’t sound quite as dated as this does.

“In My Dreams” by Alan Wilkis (from Babies Dream Big, 2008)

Anyone who has paid attention to the Five over the years knows Mr. Wilkis (who even, at one point, filled in with a “guest” Friday Five.) These days he is part of the duo, Big Data, who released a really cool music video last year, for their tune Dangerous.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    Tesla – “We’re No Good Together” (Mechanical Resonance, 1986)
    Ah, a good ol’ tender jam to start things off today. I normally skip right over this one, forgetting how good it is in a cheesy, schmaltzy ’80s ballad kind of way. Such a good debut, and to think I picked it up at a record store (remember those?!) along with Anthrax’s Among the Living without ever having previously heard a single note of either album.

    The Cult – “Aphrodisiac Jacket” (Electric, 1987)
    A good friend of mine and fellow musical misfit–we were the oddball metalheads in our very small Mississippi Delta private school, though I definitely didn’t look or act the part–very nearly burned me out on this album after its release. There was a point in the late ’80s and early ’90s that I couldn’t even listen to it, familiarity breeding contempt and all that. I still alternate between cringing and loving it when a track from this album pops up.

    Atomic Opera – “Fade” (Penquin Dust, 1997)
    Speaking of oddball, Atomic Opera is one of those bands that elicit strange looks when I bring them up (I mean, Atomic Opera, what the hell kind of name is that?! Then again, what about Foo Fighters or Toad the Wet Sprocket? Not exactly marketing-friendly, either. Just ask Dave. But I digress). Then I mention their pedigree as being part of Sam Taylor’s “Houston” triumvirate along with King’s X and Galactic Cowboys (funny since none of them originally hail from Houston) and their Christian leanings and spiritual themes. Then the litany of non-rock instruments–many of them run through distortion or other effects–the band incorporates into its heavy, chuggy, detuned low-end groove: cello, organ, recorder, basouki, dulcimer, jembe, ocarina, mandoin, and Chapman stick, just to name a few. You get the picture. Anyway, decent tune from a great album. That is if you are into weird, rule-breaking rock bands with a spiritual message.

    AC/DC – “Back in Black” (Back in Black, 1980)
    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? One of the greatest “comeback” albums of all time. Who would have thought AC/DC could have bounced back from Bon’s death like this?

    KISS – “Strutter” (Alive, 1975)
    One of my favorite KISS songs ever. “You wanted the best, and you got the best!” If only that were still true.

  • Michael Parr

    “You wanted the best, the is the best we have to offer!”

  • Phil

    Ha! Good one!

  • Rock_dawg

    “Sentimental Lady” – Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees
    The solo remake that Bob Welch did a few years later is a little more polished (with a better thought out backing vocal part for Christine McVie), but this original version has plenty of charm and is the version that I initially fell in love with.
    “Walk With Me” – The Tea Party, The Edges of Twilight
    While some scoffed at them for being a Doors-meets-Zeppelin clone, the Tea Party were pretty huge in Canada (and Australia too) in the 90’s. And if the comparisons bothered the band, you’d never know it from this epic closer from their second album.
    “Jungle Gardenia” – Mike Oldfield, Crises [Deluxe Edition]
    An instrumental B-side to one of his poppier 80’s numbers, “Jungle Gardenia” could fit in to Ommadawn somewhere pretty nicely.
    “Oh Shelia! (12″ Mix)” – Ready For The World, Popdose Weeknight 80’s Dance Party
    Back when I had fewer mp3s (and more free time), I used to put together more day-to-day playlists. This reminds me of an old mantra I had when putting those together: Mondays can be mellow, but Fridays are for Funk!
    “The Rising Tide” – The Killers, Battle Born
    The last couple of Killers albums didn’t do much for me, but Battle Born is really solid and reignited my enthusiasm for the band.

    Happy Weekend, Fivers!

  • 1001Songs

    1. King Sunny Ade “Sunny Ti de Ariya” from Juju Music (1982) Brilliant major label debut in the US that actually crept into the Billboard Album charts, peaking at #111
    2. Barry Manilow “Can’t Smile With You” from Even Now ( 1978) Barry covers the Carpenters B side and hits #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Wham’s “Last Christmas” sounds a bit too much like it, so there was a lawsuit.
    3. Don McLean “Empty Chairs” from American Pie ( 1972) . Seeing McLean perform this sad song inspired Lori Lieberman to write “Killing Me Softly With His Song”.
    4. Talking Heads “Born Under Punches ( The Heat Goes On)” from Remain in Light (1980) I wonder whether this album opened the door for King Sunny Ade and the whole Afropop scene? The development of Tina Weymouth as a bass player in five short years is pretty surreal.
    5. Aretha Franklin “Running out of Fools” the 1964 title track from Aretha’s Columbia Records period when she was being molded as a Dionne Warwick style lounge singer. Elvis Costello covered this tune on Kojack Variety.

  • jhallCORE

    1) Bonnie Raitt — “Used To Rule The World” (Slipstream, 2012).
    2) Indigo Girls — “You Left It Up To Me” (Strange FIre, 1989).
    3) Prince & The Revolution — “The Ladder” (Around The World In A Day, 1985).
    4) The Black Keys — “Oceans & Streams” (Attack And Release, 2008).
    5) Ben Harper — “Everything” (Diamonds On The Inside, 2003).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • MC_Snocap

    1. “It Must Be Summer” by Fountains of Wayne (1999, Utopia Parkway)
    On its own, this feels simple, goofy, and brash; it’s even better as the final surge of a terrific album.

    2. ” ’93 aka Don’t Stop Me Now” by Lemon Jelly (2005, ’64 – ’95)
    Lemon Jelly is an electronic band that deserves a higher profile. Love falling into in the lush, gradual variations from the song’s basic starting point.

    3. “Albion” by Myon (2008, off Super Trance 2008)
    The default trance comment – “pleasant while playing, forgotten thereafter” – do not apply to this one. The melody is already out of my head, but I recall (1) its proto-dubstep bits, juuuust shy of working the wub-wub-wubs, and (2) the slow-down interlude sounds like a new song, and not just a time marker. Nice job, Myon.

    4. “Slave” by Rolling Stones (1981, Tattoo You)
    A Richards’ riff + Jagger falsettoing “Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! DEW IIIIIIIT!” PLUS Sonny Rollins! Kinda bugs that “Start Me Up” is played into the ground when this isn’t close to being burnt.

    5. “Busting Loose” by Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers (1978, single)
    The classic go-go song, no? Tough sweaty funk that is always welcome.

  • Chad Z.

    A Day to Remember – “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End” (Homesick)
    Especially good song for today, considering it’s Friday and the week is almost over. And it seems prophetic when he screams that “You won’t make it out alive.”

    Kanye West and Jay-Z – “Ni**az in Paris” (Watch the Throne)
    I can’t think of anyone in music that I hate more than Kanye West. If the Grammy’s included a Biggest Douche of the Year award, he’d be a perennial winner. However, despite my contempt for him as a person, it’s undeniable that he’s got some talent. Combine him with Jay-Z, and it’s a hard combination to beat.

    Led Zeppelin – “Traveling Riverside Blues” (BBC Sessions)
    An “underrated” Zeppelin song, considering it doesn’t get the hype or recognition of many of the other Zeppelin classics. However, typical LZ genius is song form.

    One Year Later – “Absolution” (The Sound of a Broken World)
    One of many amazing metal bands from my current location, Lancaster, PA. Saw them perform live with August Burns Red, letlive, Everytime I Die, Code Orange Kids, and The Road to Milestone in December 2013. Amazing performance. Wish they had more than a short set. Can really bring the energy, and it comes through, even in their recordings.

    Carrie Underwood – “Jesus Take the Wheel” (Some Hearts)
    And this is what happens when the poster has an extremely eclectic music collection on his iPod. Full disclosure: country music is one of my guilty pleasures, and Carrie Underwood is probably the Queen of Guilty Pleasure Land for me. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

  • Ernie G

    1. Lady Love – Lou Rawls
    2. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Guaranga – Quintessence
    3. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – Black Uhuru
    4. Scandinavian Girl – Al Stewart
    5. I Don’t Want To Control You – Teenage Fanclub

  • Rock_dawg

    “Slave” is such a nasty, dirty groove! Love it!

  • Hawk

    “You wanted the best… and you got Kiss!”