The Friday Five: November 30, 2012

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:

“Pulling on a Line” by Great Lake Swimmers (from Lost Channels, 2009)

For all the attention that the likes for Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes received in 2009, I’m surprised that Great Lake Swimmers didn’t gather more moss among the indie folk fan base. I don’t always recommend that my faithful readers go out and listen to any of the tunes that shuffle up in the Friday Five, but I’m going to make an exception here; this is a damn worthy tune, and band. If you dig the your singer/songwriter vibe with a healthy dose of vocal harmonies and bit of Americana mixed in, you’ll likely find something to like here.

“Not Feelin’ the Love” by R. Kelly (from Love Letter, 2010)

Goddammit. I didn’t want to like this tune. It’s R&B balladry by the numbers. It’s almost a pastiche of the very thing Kelly perfected in the ’90s. It almost sounds like Kelly cribbing from acolyte, Ne-Yo. Maybe he’s trying to channel MJ, and just ends up sounding like Ne-Yo. Goddammit, this song is good. I mean, it is instantly stuck in your head, old school, grown folks music good.

“Bonfire” by Childish Gambino (from Camp, 2011)

“Man, why does every black actor gotta rap some?” / I don’t know, all I know is I’m the best one

No joke. If you don’t know, Childish Gambino is the nom de plume of Donald Glover; the funny guy on that show ya’ll love, Community. Having never watched the show, I didn’t make the correlation until I saw his stand up special on Comedy Central. Dude is as funny as he is lethal with the rhymes.

“Kate” by Ben Folds Five (from Whatever and Ever Amen, 1997)

Earlier this year I made waves in the Popdose camp with my unilateral endorsement of the new Ben Folds Five record. You see, I’ve long been on record as rather disliking Mr. Folds and his merry men. I don’t know what it is; his music has never connected with me, and more often than not it’s turned me off. This tune is perfectly pleasant, and utterly forgettable.

“Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts (from Even More Dazed and Confused, 1994)

It’s almost as if the Digging for Gold series wants to linger just a bit longer, eh? I have a very detached affinity for this song. I don’t recall it playing in my parent’s car, or any such nostalgic tie; I just genuinely love the oh-so-gentle rocking.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    Chance – “Us, Stonehenge, and Them” (Unhenged: A Coverville Tribute to Spinal Tap, 2009)

    Indie artist Chance combined Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” with the hilarious lyrics of “Stonehenge” for a Spinal Tap tribute album put together by Brian Ibbott over at the always excellent Coverville podcast. I love a well-done mashup, and Chance did a great job on this one. The entire album is worth a download for any fan of Spinal Tap—the “band” or the movie.

    Neal Morse – “A Whole Nother Trip: a. Bomb That Can’t Explode” (Neal Morse, 1999)

    I’ve been a fan of Neal Morse, his former band Spock’s Beard, and all of his side projects for some time now. Neal is one of the biggest promoters and contributors of the progressive rock revival of the mid- to late-90s. Not only is he a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist, he actually knows how to write a darn good pop song. Being the first of a four-song suite from his first solo album prior to his departure from the Beard a few years later, and weighing in at around 9:00 by itself, this ain’t one of his pop gems (although it does have a lot of pop tendencies). It’s long on prog-ish inclinations, time signature changes, and setting up the musical themes for the rest of the songs. All four songs are great, as is the rest of the album. Check it out if you’re fan of great musicianship and thoughtful songwriting, or if you like Morse’s brand of prog-pop/rock.

    Galactic Cowboys – “Where Are You Now?” (Space in Your Face, 1993)

    Another band with progressive tendencies, Galactic Cowboys has popped up in my Fives a number of times now. Space in Your Face was the band’s second release and the last to feature original guitarist Dane Sonnier and their particular blend of metal, thrash, Beatles-influenced harmonies, crazy distorted bass guitar, and (at times) odd lyrical content that was sure to feature space and cowboys. The next album saw lots of changes for the band—a new guitarist, a new record label, and a shift toward a more straightforward metal approach (at least musically), although they held onto the vocal harmonies and remained a little too intelligent and quirky for most metal audiences. And that’s exactly what I liked about them. “Where Are You Now?” is a slow groove, heavy on the harmonies, with a faster thrashy middle section, and it chronicles bassist Monty Colvin’s unsuccessful attempts to catch up with former high school classmates, complete with fake phone calls during the song’s closing. What’s not to like?

    Queensrÿche – “London” (Live at L’Amours East, 1987)

    Man, I miss the real Queensrÿche. Rage for Order is one of my favorite ‘Rÿche albums, and although “London” isn’t a favorite track, frankly there’s not a stinker on the whole disc. Well maybe the creepy, voyeur/stalker cover of Dalbello’s “Gonna Get Close to You,” even though even it has its charms at times. But I digress. This is live cut of “London” that I have on a bootleg of a 1987 show, although it also pops up on the 2001 live album Live Evolution. I’m not sure what’s up with that, just like I don’t know what’s up with all the Queensÿche drama these days.

    Nirvana – “Something in the Way” (Nevermind, 1991)

    Closing tune from the larger-than-life album that gave us both Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl, popularized a new genre of music (that coincidentally helped kill the Galactic Cowboys’ musical career; long story), sold a million flannel shirts, and helped put Seattle on the musical map forever.

  • Mordalo

    Been off an AFK the last two weeks, and I’ve gotta head out for work in a few seconds. Gonna be quick and dirty this week, kids.

    1) Urban Knights – Sirroco
    Taken from Urban Knights II.

    2) Beach Boys – Barbara Ann
    Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. I love the version they’re doing in the Despicable Me II trailer.

    3) Alonzo Bodden – Black All Over the World
    Amazing comedian. I highly recommend his album “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…”

    4) Glenn Miller and his Orchestra – Pennsylvania 6-5000
    Fun fact: First CD I ever got was a “best of” Glenn Miller. In the mid-eighties, while I was in my teens. Always had to do things a little different…

    5) Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
    Alanis did it better.

  • Rock_dawg

    “Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. I love the version they’re doing in the Despicable Me II trailer.”
    Seconded. I also take this opportunity to mention that I love your avatar. Minions rule!

  • Rock_dawg

    “I Got You (I Feel Good)” – James Brown, Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack

    “Shiver” – Maroon 5, Songs About Jane
    Proof that the band could still be kind of funky and poppy, but still use guitars, which is my biggest problem with their latest. (And yes, I feel kind of dirty calling Maroon 5 funky so close to James Effing Brown. Even after using the qualifier “kind of”!)

    “Heavy Metal” – Sammy Hagar, The Essential Red Collection
    It’s your one way ticket to midnight.

    “War Pigs” – Black Sabbath, Paranoid
    An old coworker once told me that she got her Dad to stop bitching about her choice of music by playing this song with the lyrics printed out for him. She said he listened to the whole thing, looked at her, nodded and never complained about metal again. Respect!

    “Thank You” – Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
    I’m a big fan of Keith Urban’s uptempo stuff. He’s a hell of a guitar player too. But his ballads are just not my taste at all. This one really churns my stomach.

  • jcb7472

    The Doors – The Changeling (from L.A. Woman, 1970) – great song by one of the all time great bands. I love how funked up Jim sounds on this one “Get loose!!”. Seems like a song you could bar hop around the city to…I gotta try that.

    The Libertines – Death on the Stairs (from Up the Bracket, 2002). Damn, why did Pete Doherty have to become a crackhead and break the band up? These guys were really good and this is one of my favorite songs of theirs.

    Phoenix – Armistice (from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, 2009). This whole album is good, from start to finish and this is a great song about stopping a lover’s quarrel for some make-up sex (at least that’s how i interpret it)

    Ryan Adams & the Cardinals – Users (from III/IV, 2010). I’m a huge Ryan Adams fan. This song doesn’t really do anything for me, though.

    The Notorious B.I.G. – Goin’ Back to Cali (from Ready to Die, 1994). Greatest rapper of all-time IMO. Sure he mostly just rapped about partying, money, women, etc and didnt have the depth of a 2pac or other conscious rappers, but the man had lyrical skills like no other. Still sad he’s gone. Hip-hop could really use him.

  • jhallCORE

    1) Digable Planets with Lester Bowie and Wah Wah Watson — “Flyin’ High In The Brooklyn Sky” (Stolen Moments: Red, Hot + Cool, 1994).
    2) Bruce Springsteen — “Cautious Man” (Tunnel Of Love, 1987).
    3) Dave Mathews Band — “Rapunzel” (Before These Crowded Streets, 1998).
    4) Charlie Parker — “Blues For Alice” (Bird’s Best Bop On Verve, 1995).
    5) Miles Davis — “Flamenco Sketches” (Kind Of Blue, 1959).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • Ernie G

    Sundown Mary – Chris Gantry
    Tropical island – Betty Wright
    Askimiz Bitecek – Erkin Koray
    Kimmi in a Rice Field – Twin SisterSandrevan Lullaby – Rodriguez

  • Mordalo

    A Five that starts with James Brown? Can’t go wrong from there!
    And as much as I love Sabbath’s War Pigs, Cake’s cover of it is better.

  • Michael Parr

    I noticed that Keith Urban is going to be at Clapton’s Crossroads festival this year. He really is a phenomenal guitar player. I hope he’ll break away from the pop-country thing one of these days and knock everyone on their asses with a badass blues-rock record.

  • Rock_dawg

    Haven’t heard Cake’s. Knowing them, it’ll be interesting – I’ll have to look that up.
    I think it was Faith No More that released a live cover where he forgets the words and just starts babbling? Used to crack me up.

  • Phil

    And as much as I love Sabbath’s War Pigs, Cake’s cover of it is better.

    I’ll add another vote for Cake’s version. I also like the Faith No More version from The Real Thing, and I have a bluegrass-y version from Hayseed Dixie that’s pretty darn good, too.

  • MC_Snocap

    1. “White Knuckles” by OK Go (2010, off Of the Blue Colour of the Sky)

    OK Go used be a love them (NPR!) or hate them (Pitchfork! That record store manager!) band before they changed it up for this album, which seems to have made both sides less passionate.

    2. “The World’s Made Up of This & That (Fatboy Slim Mix)” by Deeds Plus Thoughts (1997, off On the Floor at the Boutique)

    A good time to plug That Maggie Thrett lift was driving me nuts.

    3. “Moten Swing” by Benny Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra (1932, off Ken Burns’s Jazz)

    When I got my first job with benefits, this collection was my splurge. Much to digest.

    4. “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” by The Beatles (1969, off Abbey Road)

    Feels lonely without the entire LP side.

    5. “I’ll Be on My Way” by Bob & Fred (1960-something, off Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label)

    The YouTube comments for this song are rapturous. The strings appeal to me more than the high-pitched vocals.

  • mc3

    1) Aerosmith – “Kings & Queens” (Greatest Hits 1973-1988, 2004)

    2) The Producers – “Operation” (You Make the Heat, 1982)

    3) James Taylor – “You Make it Easy” (Live, 1993)

    4) Night Ranger – “Sister Christian” (Boogie Nights Soundtrack, 1997)

    5) Counting Crows – “Einstein on the Beach” (For an Eggman) (Films About Ghosts:The Best of, 2003)

  • EightE1

    This weekend’s gonna SUCK. But anyway …

    REM, “At My Most Beautiful.” And at their most Brian Wilson-esque. I think I read somewhere that Stipe didn’t want to do this initially, because he didn’t know all that much about the Beach Boys, and what he did know, he didn’t like. Buck and Mills convinced him otherwise. Good for Buck and Mills.

    Eurythmics, “Miracle of Love.” Damn, Annie Lennox can sing a ballad, even a mock power ballad like this one.

    Marshall Crenshaw, “Girls …” Perfection, like the rest of his debut. “The feeling goes through my head like red wine.” True. True.

    Kelly Buchanan, “Easy Pickins.” I’ve heard recently that she’s nearly recovered from the brain injury she sustained nearly five years ago, and is playing with a band not far from here. This is good news on many levels. God, I wish she could’ve toured behind this record; it really was special.

    Metallica, “Enter Sandman.” What more can be said? All rise …

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Up is the one late R.E.M. record that’s gotten better with time for me

  • DwDunphy

    I’ll vouch for the Cowboys too, but I wish they hadn’t changed up so much with Machine Fish and afterward.

    As for the Ryche, I’m tentatively hoping the new singer Todd LaTorre will bring some life back. And heck, I even wish Geoff Tate’s version well, even though the guitarist just bailed (Glenn Drover, previously Megadeth).

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Michael’s right about that Great Lakes Swimmers record. Very, very good.They should get more recognition. That said, let’s see what we can’t shuffle up here on the night before Mellowmas:

    1. “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” by The Shangri-Las from Best of the Girl Groups, Volume 1. Not your typical girl group, as they had a kind of bad, tough girl image.

    2. “New York” by U2 from All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Saw them on this tour, and that’s when I fell out of love with them

    3. “Hard Luck Woman” by KISS originally from Rock and Roll Over, this one from the Box set. A blatant, unapologetic Rod Stewart knock off

    4. “Wrecking Ball” by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band from Hartford 10-25-2012. As befitting the border town of the New York/Boston sports rivalry, it got a 50/50 mix of cheers/boos on the Giants line. This show will always be special to me, and I still owe @Popblerd a write up about it.

    5. “Extreme Ways” by Moby from 18. I honestly have no memory of adding this to my library. Maybe after a Bourne movie?

    Hope you hear something great this weekend!

  • Phil

    3. “Hard Luck Woman” by KISS originally from Rock and Roll Over, this one from the Box set. A blatant, unapologetic Rod Stewart knock off

    Actually, if memory serves, “Hard Luck Woman” was originally written for Rod Stewart, and then KISS decided to keep it for themselves.

  • Eric S.

    This may be the first Producers reference I’ve seen in the Friday Five. Loved those guys. I can listen to almost anything on those first two records over and over. It’s a double shame that they never got the credit they deserved and it’s really tough to find their music these days. My “Producers/You Make The Heat” double CD is one of my prize possessions.

  • Phil

    I’ll vouch for the Cowboys too, but I wish they hadn’t changed up so much with Machine Fish and afterward.

    I didn’t mind the change in direction so much as I minded that no one seemed to give a crap about the band. Geffen jerked them around waiting for first Nirvana and then Guns N’ Roses to release albums before they finally dropped them. They always seemed to play second-fiddle to King’s X, another criminally underrated band. And despite scoring tours with bands like Anthrax, they were always just a little too weird and a little too quirky for most metalheads, much less for a general music fan.

    I have ranted and raved about this at length on my blog if anyone is interested. Suffice it to say that the apathy just wore the band down to the point that they didn’t care much either. That apathy from music-buyers (and downloaders) spilled over into Monty’s solo career with his band Crunchy to the point that he’s no longer interested in making music, which is a shame, because the guy is a great songwriter. But by his own admission, he’s just a little too weird for folks to get. Didn’t seem to hurt Zappa too much, though.

    I even wish Geoff Tate’s version well, even though the guitarist just bailed (Glenn Drover, previously Megadeth).

    Yeah, I was surprised that he was even named as the guitarist, but the way his exit went down was just a little strange. I haven’t verified it myself, mostly because at this point I just don’t care, but the music sites are all saying that Tate has removed Drover’s name from original press releases and removed his photo from the website. Weird, just plain weird. I wonder where Tate’s head is these days.

  • Michael Parr

    I just noticed that Drover wasn’t in the recent press photos.

  • Phil

    Looks like we were on the same wavelength at the same time.

  • Mordalo

    How does one goes from Digable Planets to Miles Davis? I am impressed.

  • MC_Snocap

    My favorite tough girl group is the Whyte Boots. Check out their song “Nightmare” – it starts off with incitement to bullying, and gets more dark and twisted from there!