The Friday Five: September 28, 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:

“Too Dramatic” by Ra Ra Riot (from The Orchard, 2010)

Two years on and this release still makes me weak in the knees.

“Sweet and Tender Hooligan” by The Smiths (from Louder Than Bombs, 1987)

Etcetera … etcetera … etcetera!

“Dark Eyes” by Bob Dylan (from Empire Burlesque, 1985)

Mm, I’m not sure I can sit through this. You see, I don’t dislike Mr. Zimmerman, but he is something that I enjoy in small, thoughtful doses. What I’m saying is: I don’t take well to shuffled up Dylan.

“Why Should You Come When I Call” by Counting Crows (from Hard Candy, 2002)

By my account, Hard Candy is likely the most ignored Counting Crows record in their discography. I’m guilty of this myself! When “American Girls” hit the airwaves it was far to bland and pedestrian to pique my interest, and seemed a far cry from the prior albums. I do go back to this record, now and again, and still fail to find that spark that ignites when I listen to just about any other record in the band’s collection.

“5 More Minutes” by Meaghan Smith (from The Cricket’s Orchestra, 2009)

Back before the arrival of my newborn son, my wife and I would burn the midnight oil on the weekend; often saying up well past the final act of Saturday Night Live, past LXTV, and still be bleary-eyed, but awake, for TALK STOOP. If this seems like a decidedly odd non sequitur, don’t worry … we’re getting there. At any rate, on occasion host Cat Greenleaf would feature musical acts, ranging from Paul Simon to The Roots. One night, this whisp of a chanteuse with a guitar joined Greenleaf on her stoop in Brooklyn, and I was hooked. She’s quirky and oh-so twee, which makes her pretty much right up my alley.

“I’ve Known Rivers” by Gary Bartz (from Living in the Streets, Volume 3: Busting Out of the Ghetto, 2002)

Beware: deep grooves ahead!

Kind of a hit or miss shuffle this week.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    For what it’s worth, it’s some of the deeper cuts on Hard Candy that draws me to the album—songs like “Good Time,” “Carriage,” and “Black and Blue.” The rest of it is just sugar-sweet pop tunes as the tin suggests.

    Anyway here’s my Five:

    Kansas – “Mysteries and Mayhem” (Masque, 1975)
    I’m not super familiar with this particular Kansas album—I went back and sampled the entire disc, and this was one of only three tracks that I immediately recognized, the other two being “It’s You” and “Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel”—but I like Kansas’ flavor of boogie-pop-prog. This sounds much more polished than their previous two albums, bearing more resemblance to its followup Leftoverture, one of my favorite Kansas albums despite my overexposure to “Carry On Wayward Son” and the pretentious “Magnum Opus” concept suite. I mean, if you’re gonna do a concept album, do a real concept album. But I have no gripes with “Mysteries and Mayhem.”

    The Beatles – “You Like Me Too Much” (Help! UK Release, 1965)
    “You Like Me Too Much” is a Harrison-penned tune that was rejected for the Help! movie, and as a result didn’t appear on the US release. Too bad, as it’s a nice little ditty with great vocal harmonies. Not much else to say. It’s the Beatles—either you like ‘em or you don’t.

    King’s X – “Summerland” (Live at Cardi’s, Houston bootleg, 1987)
    “Summerland” is one of my favorite King’s X songs of all time. This version comes from the same soundboard bootleg in my Five from a couple of weeks ago, the biggest differences from its final album version being a slower tempo and Ty singing the verses rather than Doug’s soulful Gretchen Goes to Nebraska vocals. I’ve linked the album version for those that may have never heard it.

    Cheap Trick – “Cry, Cry” (Cheap Trick, 1977)
    I’m not sure why I don’t listen to Cheap Trick’s debut more often. It has some great tunes on it. This one starts a little slow—although the tempo and the space allows you to hear Tom Petersson’s great bass tone—before it hits the catchy “Don’tcha call me on the phone” chorus section.

    Pearl Jam – “Garden” (Ten, 1991)
    I was infatuated with Ten for awhile after it was released. Then Vedder started mumbling and rambling like a complete idiot once Pearl Jam hit superstardom, and the band seemed to spiral off my radar. Fortunately the 2011 documentary Pearl Jam Twenty by Cameron Crowe redeemed them in my eyes. Some of the songs on Ten haven’t aged well, partly due to MTV and radio playing them into the ground, but “Garden” still seems to hold up.

  • Jack Feerick

    I’ve spent this morning playtesting a
    custom mixtape of sad songs — because, y’know, sometimes you need
    that kind of thing — and maybe it’s the rain outisde, but man, I
    kind of need a break. So this is most welcome

    Suzanne Vega, “Edith Wharton’s
    Figurine,” from BEAUTY AND CRIME. Funny, I was just thinking about
    this record, having heard “Frank & Ava” on the radio last
    night. Love Suzanne. BEAUTY AND CRIME is a slow grower. Which is
    okay: If you’re going to make the audience wait eight years between
    records, it’s best to give ‘em one that take a while to digest.

    Joni Mitchell, “River,” from BLUE –
    Speaking of sad songs…

    Not Drowning Waving, “Sitting,”
    from THE COLD AND THE CRACKLE. Slow, melancholy instrumental, led by
    tragic piano. Shit, I’m in trouble here, aren’t I?

    Sting, “Russians,” from THE DREAM
    OF THE BLUE TURTLES. Okay, this is getting ridiculous. No, I mean it;
    this is a ridiculous song, in the way that mid-80s “politically
    engaged” pop often is, and all its hamfisted attempts at gravity (a
    melody copped from Prokofiev! The ominous sound of ticking clocks!)
    make it inadvertently hilarious. The grimmest song Sting ever wrote,
    and it’s the one that cheers me up today. Thanks a bunch,

    Annnnnnd the Virgin Prunes, “Theme
    For Thought,” from the jauntily-titled IF I DIE, I DIE. Artsy
    Dublin post-punks who gave Gavin Friday his start, ten thousand packs
    of smokes ago, back when he sounded like Johnny Rotten rather than
    Marlene Dietrich. Actually, Rotten / Lydon isn’t a bad touchstone.
    Much of IF I DIE, this track in particular, has a vibe not unlike
    PiL’s METAL BOX – anguished, sludgy, intentionally-abrasive. The
    band’s trying their damnedest to be scary here, and I’m pretty
    sure they mean it for reals (although they were no strangers to
    campiness when it suited them), and maybe in a different context it
    would work; but heard back to back with der Stinglehoffer, the angst
    comes off pure theater.

    What a very odd Five.

  • Michael Parr

    Rainy days and “River” always get me down …

  • Jack Feerick

    One of the greatest songs ever written, no word of a lie, but there ain’t no use denying that it is also a stone-cold wristcutter.

  • jcb7472

    The New Pornographers – “Go Places”…album track from Challengers (2007)…an OK song. I always enjoy Neko Case’s voice and there’s a good dose of it here.

    Blitzen Trapper – “Laughing Lover”…another album track, just OK…from Destroyer of the Void (2010)

    Long Beach Dub All Stars – “Fugazi” from Right Back (1999)…I listened to these guys a lot around ’99-’01. This is the band the former members of Sublime started after the late great Bradley Nowell passed away. They put out some pretty good music with the same kind of Sublime sound (beach vibe, rock/reggae). Of course now Sublime has reformed with a new singer.

    Johnny Cash (w/ June Carter) – “Jackson” from Man in Black – the Very Best of Johnny Cash. Since I wasn’t really around when Cash was in his prime, this song reminds me of the “Walk the Line” movie, but of course June Carter’s voice sounds very different from how Reese Witherspoon portrayed it in the movie.

    Jamie Lidell – “This Time” from Multiply (2005)…Jamie Lidell is a very underrated artist…dude has a lot of soul

  • Michael Parr

    Jamie Lidell is high on my “why am I the only person who loves him” list.

  • MC_Snocap

    I remember when the “Bring on the Night” movie had a newspaper ad featuring Sting embracing a moppet above the quotation ” ‘I hope the Russians love their children too’ – Sting”. What is the sound of a shark jumping?

  • Rock_dawg

    “Until The End of Time” – Foreigner, Mr. Moonlight
    Courtesy of the Bottom Feeders, this is one of those songs that I know isn’t very good (sappy, over produced, calculated to recapture the glory of earlier ballad hits), but something about the chorus melody sucks me in and I can’t kick it off my iPod.

    “Alex Chilton” – The Replacements, Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was: The Best of…
    Not really a big fan of the Replacements or even Big Star, but this song just kicks so much ass. (It was also one of my go to songs to play in Rock Band 2.)

    “Sports & Wine” – Ben Folds Five, s/t
    I’m more into sports and beer, and not in that order.

    “Remember” – Bryan Adams, Anthology
    I often think of the South Park movie when Bryan Adams comes on: “Yes, well the Canadian government has apologized for him on several occasions!” I won’t apologize for being a fan (goes with the nationality, I suppose), but I can’t defend everything he’s sung. (“All For Love”? I’m sorry. I’m really, REALLY sorry.) This early poppy rocker is fun because he sounds so young and it’s hard to believe “Cuts Like A Knife” is just a couple of years away.

    “Happy Ever After” – Bee Gees, High Civilization
    Even in mediocre 90’s era Bee Gees, you can still appreciate their songcraft. It helps that this is one of the better songs on an otherwise forgettable album.

  • MC_Snocap

    1) Esquivel – “Poinciana”. Wish the song held up better against the typically zippy production.

    2) Lyrics Born – “Differences”. Lyrics Born often hits for me like no other musician. Everything seems to come from his heart, and over and over he’s nailed my thoughts and feelings so resonantly that it half-feels like I’ve got a cool, charismatic older brother with funk and flow out there. (Seriously, after some of the songs on his last album, I considered writing a letter to ask if he was doing okay.) All that said, he’s uneven, and though I like this song’s sound and internal rhymes, the “women are from Venus” observations come off piffling – and it’s hard not to wince at the refrain “I’m a dude! / I’m a dude! / I’m a dude!” Maybe it works in concert – he’s great there. Any case, I love LB, but today’s shuffle gods do not.

    3) Stfg & Colein – “Lean on Me”. What’s the opposite of Friday 5 whiplash, when a slow song becomes a momentum black hole? Quicksand? This shoulda come last.

    4) The Police – “Message in a Bottle” (live). I’m Stinged out today.

    5) Robbie Williams – “Forever Texas”. Williams in “you WILL be dazzled” mode.

  • jhallCORE

    1) Ryan Bingham — “Dollar A Day” (Mescalito, 2007).

    2) Sting — “Come Down In Time” (Two Rooms: Celebrating The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin, 1991).

    3) Vijay Iyer Trio — “The Star Of A Story” (Accelerando, 2012).

    4) The Black Keys — “Set You Free” (thickfreakness, 2003).

    5) Branford Marsalis Trio — “Blutain” (The Dark Keys, 1996).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • Phil

    “Alex Chilton” – The Replacements

    Love this song. I scored an alternate version from the Pleased to Meet Me expanded edition somewhere (probably from my rock ‘n’ roll snob friend as he is a huge ‘Mats and Big Star fan). The guitars are fuzzier, and there’s not as much spit and polish (or reverb) as the version everyone knows. I tend to like this one a bit better, but I definitely miss the Ooh‘s from the album version.

  • nathan_az

    “Magdalena” – Thrashing Doves (Bedrock Vice, 1987)
    “Thunderpeel” – Beck (Odelay [Deluxe Edition], orig. released 1996)
    “World (The Price of Love) [Live in Dallas, 1993]” – New Order (Retro, 2002)
    “Half a Canyon” – Pavement (Wowee Zowee, 1995)
    “Float Away (All of the Streets are Lonely)” – Marah (Float Away with the Friday Night Gods, 2002)

  • jamesballenger

    I’ve never played Rock Band but if it has Alex Chilton on it, I may have to find a copy for just that reason. My poor wife will hate me.

  • Rock_dawg

    The original “Come Down In Time” is probably my favourite Elton John song, but Stings voice fits so well that I don’t really care that his cover doesn’t really bring anything new to it.

  • Rock_dawg

    I think I may have sampled that once because the thought of a rawer version rings a bell, but at the time I was probably just after the known version. I’ll have to look it up again.

  • Phil

    It’s on Spotify here, but if you’re interested, I might be able to share it with you some place. Of course I wouldn’t actually do that, because that would just be wrong.

  • Michael Parr

    One of my accomplishments as a parent is hearing my 14-year old humming “Alex Chilton” in his room when he didn’t know I could hear him.

  • Phil

    Unfortunately my 12-year-old is too enamored with the rap. Granted 99% of it is Christian rap, so there’s no drugs, bitches, money, and hos, other than the encouragement to avoid such things. But still…

  • Ernie G

    1. Miceala (Reggaeton Remix) – Bimbo
    2. Ugly Truth – Lucinda Williams
    3. Baby I Need You – The Curiousity Shoppe
    4. Schooldays Over – Mary Black
    5. Mrs & Mrs – Patrik Fitzgerald

  • MB

    Rolling Stones – Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (Sticky Fingers – 1971)
    Amy Winehouse – Just Friends (Back To Black – 2006)
    Gettin’ Funky ‘Round Here -Black Nasty (Compete Stax/Volt Soul Singles 1972-1975)
    Neil Young – My My Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) (Rust Never Sleeps – 1979)
    Santana – All The Love Of The Universe (Caravanserai – 1972)

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Don’t mind me, just having Bruce withdrawals, but here’s my Five for this week:

    1. “Tennessee Waltz” by Otis Redding from Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul. My favorite classic R&B/Soul album

    2. “You Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry” by the Caravelles from The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume 2. Some classic soul and some girl groups? yes sir!

    3. “Be Thou My Vision” by Van Morrison from Hymns to the Silence. I played the hell out of this (double) album when it was first released.
    4. “Darling” by Girls from Album. The two Girls records are some of my favorite releases of the past few years. I’m looking forward to whatever Christopher Owens does next

    5. “The Mary Martin Show” by the New Pornographers from Mass Romantic

    Hope you hear something great this weekend!