The Friday Five: May 31, 2013

The Friday Five

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:

“Inside Out” by Phil Collins (from No Jacket Required, 1985)

Not altogether awful, but an ultimately forgettable album track from Mr. Collins which begs the question: if “Sussudio” is his attempt to rewrite Prince’s “1999,” what is this supposed to be? Truthfully, this could just as easily have been on Invisible Touch, save for the awful guitar work.

“Baby I’m for Real” by The Originals (from Motown: The Complete No. 1’s (disc 3), 2008)

Much more accessible than The Complete Motown Singles collection, this was my gateway drug to the larger world of Motown. Sure, I knew all the essential tunes, and a smattering of album cuts; this took my Motown game up to a whole other level.

“Martha” by Rufus Wainwright (from All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, 2010)

I don’t recall listening to this before, though iTunes tells me different. I feel like I would remember this. Disappointment reigns.

“Bellissima” by DJ Quicksilver (from Top of the Pops 1997, 2008)


Holy generic mid ’90s techno, Batman. I can’t say that I know a single thing about this tune, save for the fact that it was clearly a big hit in the UK. I listened to approximately as much of this track as it took for me to type out this blurb. I type pretty damn fast.

“Dreamboat Annie (Reprise)” by Heart (from The Essential Heart (disc 1), 2002)

Matt Wardlaw, cover your ears.

Toss Heart on the pile of vaunted acts that just do nothing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the shit out Nancy Wilson as a guitar player, and Ann has an ungodly good voice. That said, save for the big ’80s hits, I just don’t bother listening to the sisters Wilson. This is not for a lack of effort on my part, either. I have sat through countless Heart records in an attempt to find the connection that many of you have, and every time I come up short. Eh, c’est la vie.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    Caedmon’s Call – “Climb On (A Back That’s String)” (40 Acres, 1999)
    It seems the new version of iTunes has a special affinity for Caedmon’s Call. This time the selection is from the band’s second major-label album, which saw them moving toward a more polished sound, even on the Derek Webb-penned songs which tend to retain the group’s folkier acoustic leanings. This particular track is a cover of a Shawn Colvin number which has a stronger country singer-songwriter vibe than Caedmon’s glossy pop rendition. That being said, I usually like any Caedmon’s Call tune that features Danielle Young’s beautiful voice as the lead vocal.

    Extreme – “When I’m President” (Pornografffitti, 1990)
    I have always loved Extreme’s use of vocal harmonies and the incorporation of funky grooves into their brand of rock. And while I like Gary Cherone’s voice and Nuno’s guitar playing (when he’s not just wanking away), some of their material just has not aged well. The “rap” intro and opening verse on this one are absolutely cringeworthy. I guess it’s a good thing the remainder of the song (somewhat) redeems it.

    Cheap Trick – “Takin’ Me Back” (Heaven Tonight, 1978)
    Hey, it’s Cheap Trick. There’s not much more to say or to complain about, is there?

    Cheap Trick – “How Are You” (Budokan II, 1994)
    Back-to-back Cheap Trick. No complaints here.

    Saosin – “Bury Your Head (Acoustic)” (Saosin EP, 2005)
    Not necessarily the way I would have wanted to end this Five. Saosin has recorded at least three different versions of “Bury Your Head,” this acoustic one and two alt-rock emo/screamo versions, one being the opening track on this EP and a different version that appears on a self-titled full studio album a year later. The lead singer’s voice is more well-suited for the rockier versions as he seems to strain quite a bit on this acoustic interpretation.

  • Michael Parr

    There isn’t enough time in the day for me to sing the praises of Extreme, and particularly Nuno Bettencourt. Eddie Van Halen might have been the one to make me pick up the guitar, but it was Nuno that drove me to be better.

  • Phil

    And both of them make we want to put mine down.

  • aryl watson

    Happy Friday! Leaving early today = Even better

    1. Heart Throb – Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward
    Fun garage band – one and done album wise.

    2. Middle Cyclone – Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
    I really love Neko Case’s voice, but could never get into her stuff – unless it was in the New Pornographers. With them, I can’t get enough.

    3.World Shut Your Mouth – Death Cab for Cutie – Julian Cope Cover
    OK cover from an OK band

    4. Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games – Of Montreal – The Sunlandic Twins
    One of my favorite bands – frenetic, crazy, head scratching music – and this album is one of my favorites

    5. Dance Wiv Me – Calvin Harris – Ready for the Weekend
    This is Dizzee Rascal’s song – released first on his album. I love Calvin Harris’s sound and most of his tracks – this is no exception. The problem is: I don’t like Dizzee Rascal’s verses. I’ve just never been able to get into British rap. Love British movies, TV and music – just not rap.

    Just missed Destroyer – Foam Hands.

    Have a great weekend!

  • aryl watson

    First song I learned to play was “More Than Words.” I didn’t really like the song, but was enamored with the strum pattern. I think I’ll go dig out ‘He Man Woman Haters Club’ and ‘Get the Funk Out’ just for fun.

  • Michael Parr

    I found a bunch of old Guitar: for the Practicing Musician magazines recently, one of which featured the transcription for “Decadence Dance.” I’ve been woodshedding that tune ever since.

  • Michael Parr

    British Hip-Hop has it’s own thing, doesn’t it? I will completely ignore the Death Cab for Cutie slight.

  • Keith

    I think Extreme was on the Dropkick Murphys/Aerosmith benefit bill last night — is the whole lineup back together?

  • Michael Parr

    I believe it is 3/4 of Extreme. I don’t believe their drummer came back into the fold when Gary and Nuno decided to get back together.

  • Keith

    One of my best 5’s of the year:

    KASPER BJORKE (feat THE PIERCES) “Doesn’t Matter” — the Alabama sister act lays heavenly vocals over this trippy dance remix. I changed the album info in my iTunes and made it a bonus track on the Pierces’ “You & I” (my top album of 2011).

    SHOUT OUT LOUDS “Blue Ice” — A glorious, symphonic piano-based alt rock song in the vein of David Gray. I need to Google them to learn more.

    SIMPLY RED “It’s Only Love” — bottom feeder of the year 2000? Was this a hit? Coulda, shoulda been.

    PRINCE “God is Alive” — a very weird but entertaining NPG workout. Sounds Diamonds and Pearls/Love Sign album era.

    DELTA SPIRIT — “House Built For Two” — the band responsible for my top rock album of 2012 (their self-titled third record) drops this lovely piano ballad (from the album Ode to Sunshine) that perfectly caps this 5.

  • jhallCORE

    1) Ryan Bingham — “Dollar A Day” (Mescalito, 2007).
    2) Arcade Fire — “Cold Wind” (Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends, 2005).
    3) Abbey Lincoln — “Being Me” (A Turtle’s Dream, 1994).
    4) Branford Marsalis — “Beat’s Remark” (The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, 1991).
    5) Meshell Ndegeocello — “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” (Plantation Lullabies, 1993).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • Michael Parr

    “God is Alive” is a Lovesexy-era vault track. Depending on the date of the recording that may, or may not, be the legendary Mavis Staples singing backup vocals.

    Also, I love that Simply Red track.

  • Michael Parr

    Ooh, now I’m going to have to go find my copy of Plantation Lullabies.

  • nathan_az

    “No Flow for the Ho’s” – Black Tea (Winners of theWorld’s Worst Rap Competition, 1998) No idea how I ended up with this. This cut is, indeed, woefully bad.

    “Hand In Hand” – Dire Straits (Making Movies, 1980) So beautiful, yet so, so sad.

    “Year of the Knife” – Tears for Fears (The Seeds of Love, 1989) I’ve never understood what the deal is with the sample of crowd noise at the beginning. Pretty epic tune in any case. Must listen to their Live @ Public Hall, Cleveland 1990 bootleg as soon as I’m done with this 5.

    “Amplifier” – Red Planet (Revolution 33, 2000) Perfectly serviceable power pop from the turn of the century.

    “Great Expectations” (Acoustic) – The Gaslight Anthem (The ’59 Sound Acoustic
    Sessions [bootleg], 2008) Interesting, if inessential.

  • Keith

    If Prince decided to remaster his entire Vault, he could run his very own iTunes. Why wait for all these tracks to be tacked onto reissues after he dies. I would think nothing of dropping $500 ($0.99/per track) for pristine versions of these songs.

  • MB

    Dan Fogelberg – Illinois (Souvenirs, 1974)

    Doobie Brothers – I Cheat The Hangman (Stampede, 1975)

    Janis Joplin – Move Over (Pearl, 1971)

    Dillards – Last Morning (Roots And Branches, 1972)

    Jesse Colin Young – Light Shine (Light Shine, 1974)

  • Keith

    Dire Straits “Making Movies” is such a perfect platter.

  • jhallCORE

    Meshell’s Plantation Lullabies may be my favorite album from the 90s. The late Abbey Lincoln’s A Turtle’s Dream is in my top ten albums from that decade as well.

  • Michael Parr

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t jive with Jehovah’s plan; what with all those profane tunes about sex!

  • Michael Parr

    Somehow I have completely missed The Gaslight Anthem performing unplugged, and now I have to fix that!

  • Rock_dawg

    Vacation’s almost over, chilling out with iTunes Genius’ “Power Pop” mix, so I figured I might as well drop in with a Five!
    “I Can’t Explain” – The Who, Live at Leeds
    What can I say? One of my favorite Who songs cranked up to 11!
    “Mystery Hours” – The New Pornographers, Mass Romantic
    Don’t know why I never bought more New Pornographers albums after this one. No excuses. I should remedy that.
    “When Love Lets Go I’m Falling” – Matthew Sweet, Modern Art
    His last few albums have been really disappointing. Especially this lifeless one. The bonus disc of demos that came with my pre-order were more compelling.
    “Pressing Lips” – The Pursuit of Happiness, The Downward Road
    One of the sweetest TPOH songs: “What could mean more than a kiss right now?/If you need a grand gesture/Close your eyes I’ll show you how.”
    “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” – Electric Light Orchestra, Playlist: The Very Best of…
    These last three haven’t been very powerful, now have they? A classic nonetheless.
    Have a great weekend, Fivers!

  • Michael Parr

    Me’shell is such a huge talent, it really is a pity that she’s not been more widely appreciated as such.

  • Michael Parr

    I know not of this The Pursuit of Happiness, but I dig those lyrics.

  • BRock

    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Change of Heart” (Long After Dark)
    Petty’s latest tour looks interesting. Not the greatest hits cash-grab you’d expect, but an all over the map covers and deep cuts jaunt. The way it should be at this late stage of his career.
    Blitzen Trapper – “Love and Hate” (Destroyer of the Void)
    Dismissed this upon first listen, this nice track may cause a rethink.
    The Black Crowes – “Medicated Goo” (London 3-29-13)
    The Crowes seem rejuvenated on their latest trek. Like Petty, they’ve sprinkled their setlists with obscure chestnuts like this Traffic cover.
    Prince – “Take Me With U” (Purple Rain)
    One of my faves from his Royal Badass!
    Talking Heads – “Warning Sign” (More Songs About Buildings and Food)
    The debate at the poker table lately has been which Heads’ album was best. This one has been the consensus choice, but like ranking Beatles’ records, it could change by the minute.

  • Keith

    This is why I can never listen to Graham Central Station — if it wasn’t for Larry Graham, Prince would still be into thong underwear, fishnets and chicken grease (before anyone gets offended, this is a lyrical reference to several of his songs).

  • Rock_dawg

    Allow me to introduce them a little more, ’cause they are a band worth checking out!
    TPOH were a Toronto based band from the 80’s-90’s. Led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Moe Berg, they had a power pop/indie rock sound with distinct minor key background vocals by guitarist Kris Abbott and a revolving door of backup singers. I believe they had a “college rock” following in the US with their debut album Love Junk (produced by Todd Rundgren) and the single “I’m An Adult Now”. A later single “Cigarette Dangles” even made it onto Beavis & Butthead.