The Friday Five: September 6, 2013

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:

“Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison (from Poison’s Greatest Hits 1986-1996, 1996)

“Hit it, C.C.” Yes my faithful readers, I’ve got my fair share of skeletons knocking around the library halls. My long-standing love/hate/love relationship with the Pop Metal of the ’80s is just as much a product of my age as my proclivity toward anything with a good hook.

“Braggin & Boastin” by Jungle Brothers (from Straight Out the Jungle, 1988)

That “Impeach the President” sample just blazes (heh, look at that) this straight up stuntin’ track.

“Little Twelvetoes” by Chavez (from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks, 1996)

Between this record and the Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits compilation, we had more than our fill of hip indie bands covering the soundtrack to our childhood. I’ll tell you, between Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly’s take on “Josie and the Pussycats” and Buffalo Tom’s version of “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here,” you’ve got yourself some fine mid-’90s alt-rock.

“Lotus Feet” by Steve Vai (from Real Illusions: Reflections, 2005)

Ah, the seventh tune on a Steve Vai record … you know what that means, time to slow down the tempo and rev up drama. I still contend that he hasn’t topped “For the Love of God” in terms of raw emotion.

“Transformer” by The Smashing Pumpkins (from The Aeroplane Flies High (disc 5: Thirty-Three), 1996)

You would think that with as vocal as I tend to be about my dislike of Billy Corgan that I wouldn’t have much, if any, Smashing Pumpkins in my library. You’d be wrong. Actually, it’s quite the contrary, which brings me to the heart of my issue: I quite love the Corgan / Iha / Wretzky / Chamberlin configuration of the band. So much so that I still harbor ill feelings towards Corgan for messing it all up. Hell, I even bought into the whole Zwan (ironically, featuring Chavez guitarist, Matt Sweeney) mess. I love that record! Again, Corgan can’t get out of his own way and create without all the drama. I don’t know, I tend to subscribe to the “separate the art from the artist” point of view; in Corgan’s case I just can’t.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    Rush – “Lakeside Park” (Caress of Steel, 1975)
    I don’t listen to Caress of Steel often enough.

    Dio – “One Night in the City” (The Last in Line, 1984)
    Huh. I obviously don’t know The Last in Line as well as I thought I did, because I totally don’t recall this song. On listening this time, I can understand why I would dismiss it. There’s nary a dragon or sorceress in sight, nor is there any mention of fire, magic, or witchcraft, although the staccato interplay between Vivian Campbell’s guitar and Claude Schnell’s keyboard is nice.

    At the Drive-In – “Fahrenheit” (This Station Is Non-Operational, 1997)
    Speaking of lyrics, have you ever tried to understand anything Cedric Bixler-Zavala has ever written?! If you’re up for a good laugh, head over to and read the non-ironical interpretations of some the nonsensical stuff Cedric comes up with. Back to the music, this is 2-and-a-half minutes of everything I loved about At the Drive-In. For more fun, check out this 1999 performance of “Fahrenheit.”

    Led Zeppelin – “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin IV, 1971)
    I knew this moment would come at some point in my Friday Five listening. Classic rock radio has so overplayed “Stairway to Heaven” that often I can just barely stand to listen to it, despite its having what I consider one of the greatest guitar solos ever.

    The Wildhearts – “Pissjoy” (Endless, Nameless, 1997)
    Endless, Nameless was The Wildheart’s experimentation with a heavier sound. Rather than capitalize on the band’s moderately successful formula of catchy, poppy tunes, in a classic, self-destructive move, they washed the entire album with layers of noisy distortion, making it almost unlistenable and ultimately polarizing many Wildhearts fans’ opinions of the album. But if you can get past the noise, there’s much to enjoy here. I especially like the gang vocal chorus of kids singing “Piss! Joy! Ah-na-na-na-na!” after Ginger delivers the line “All the children sing.” Nice.

  • Michael Parr

    Seriously, one of the greatest guitar solos, ever:

  • Phil

    I hate Paul Gilbert. Except that I love him.

  • Michael Parr

    I understand completely.

  • Rock_dawg

    Lot’s of keyboards this week:

    “Robot Rock” – Daft Punk, Musique Vol. 1
    For me, most Daft Punk songs are awesome for the first little while but wear out their welcome by the time they hit the 5th, 6th, etc., etc. minute mark. This one fares a little better with it’s heavy riff/keyboard squiggle cycle.
    “Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World” – The Fray, (Ahk-toong Bay-bi) Covered compilation
    Where The Fray manage to turn one of U2’s best 90’s ballads into something as boring as any other song I’ve heard by The Fray.
    “On The Loose” – Saga, Oh What A Feeling compilation
    There’s that very memorable keyboard part in the intro and some nice punch in the chorus, but otherwise there isn’t much that makes this song very special. However, the verse vocal is what I imagine Rush would sound like if Geddy’s voice wasn’t so high.
    “I Want You Back (Extended Mix)” – Simon F.
    I’d never heard this song before I got it off The 80’s Man. Pure mid-decade cheese, this rocker sounds like it was probably played in a school dance scene in a bad movie of the era.
    “Love Me Now” – Gino Vanelli, Storm at Sunup
    I confess to a soft spot for this record and Brother To Brother, despite some of their more over-the-top melodramatic moments. “Love Me Now” segues out of the title track and I believe it’s all 70’s synthesiser instrumentation. There is some nice synth-bass toward the end of the track that is surprisingly as good as what Stevie Wonder was laying down in the same era!

    Have a great weekend, fellow Fivers.

  • Phil

    “On The Loose” – Saga, Oh What A Feeling compilation

    Funny, just yesterday I ran across this YouTube video of a live performance of “On the Loose” from Saga’s 20/20 European tour and upcoming DVD Spin it Again: Live in Munich. Worth a watch even if you only halfway like the song.

  • jhallCORE

    1) MeShell Ndegeocello (featuring Herbie Hancock) – “Nocturnal Sunshine” (Stolen Moments: Red, Hot and Cool compilation, 1994).
    2) Nirvana – “Been A Son” (From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah, 1996).
    3) Patty Griffin – “Highway Song” (American Kid, 2013).
    4) Keb’ Mo’ – “Lullaby Baby Blues” (Just Like You, 1996).
    5) Lyle Lovett – “I’m Going To The Place” (My Baby Don’t Tolerate, 2003).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • Michael Parr

    “Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World” – The Fray, (Ahk-toong Bay-bi) Covered compilation
    Where The Fray manage to turn one of U2’s best 90’s ballads into something as boring as any other song I’ve heard by The Fray.

    Seriously, I reacted violently to this cover.

  • gthradecky

    1) “Superman Lover” Johnny Guitar Watson
    2) “My Love” Petula Clark – What can I say? I like the nagging near moronic chorus
    3) “Don’t Get Me Wrong” The Pretenders – Everytime I think the 80’s sucked I hear a Pretenders song
    4) “Amie” Pure Prarie League – Musical comfort food from my youth
    5) “How Can I Be Sure” Rascals – Mid 60’s pop from that short time in NYC

  • gthradecky

    “On The Loose” Saga – Was the first video I saw on MTV – Still love the song to this day – Occasionally ‘On The Loose’ or ‘Wind Him Up’ will play at random and I always turn it up

  • nathan_az

    “We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives” – Los Campesinos! (Sticking Fingers Into Sockets, 2007)
 I always enjoy a song or two by Los Campesinos. An entire album=diminishing returns. This track’s as
    good a representation of what they’re about as anything.

    “The Bottle Let Me Down” – Cracker (Countrysides, 2003)
 One of Merle Haggard’s Merlest moments gets all Loweryed up. Nice work if you can get it.

    “Acrobat” – Glasvegas (AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered, 2011)
 What are the odds two tracks from this compilation popping up this Friday? My least favorite song on U2’s album is my favorite on this compilation. I’ve never heard anything else from Glasvegas.

    “Shine Like It Does” – INXS (Listen Like Thieves,1985)
 You know that moment when everything finally comes together? INXS knew that moment. They were there in 1985. Too bad they couldn’t stay there.

    “OK Pal” – M83 (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011)
 Get a load of this French guy Anthony Gonzalez. He thinks people want to hear this Howard Jones aerobics class music. He’s correct.

  • aryl watson

    Happy to be back after work took two weeks of my life away.

    1. Naive – Lily Allen – LDN (Import version)
    Brit Pop covering Brit pop! Ms. Allen appears to be the queen of cute acoustic covers. She has a great cover of Womanizer floating around too. I’d appreciate it if she would take a break from having a Chemical Brother’s kids & put out some new stuff.

    2. Suburban Knights – Hard Fi – Once Upon a Time in the West
    More Brit pop. Nice. No idea if anything else they did was good.

    3. Boogaloo Down Broadway – The Fantastic Johnny C – Boogaloo Down Broadway 7″
    I like it.

    3. Crazy In Love (Beyonce Cover) – The Puppini Sisters – Rise And Fall Of Ruby Woo
    I imagine flappers doing the Charleston to this song. Lyrics work too.

    4. Last Ride – Lee Fields & The Expressions – My World
    Cool guitar sound and smooth horns. Very nice

    5. Miss You (12” Version)-The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones Singles Collection Disc 11
    My favorite Rolling Stones song of all time. 8.5 minutes of greatness & a situation all guys can relate to: I know my buddies are always calling & saying ‘We gonna coming around at 12 with some Puerto Rican girls just dying to meet you!’ In fact, there’s the phone now.

    Have a great weekend!

  • aryl watson

    That Chavez song is my favorite on that great compilation. I remember being surprised how solid that disc was front to back. It’s enjoyable even if you were deprived of Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings.

  • aryl watson

    Completely agree on Los Campesinos – First song: Hell Yeah!, 4th song: My head hurts…

  • Ernie G

    1. “Apeman” – The Kinks
    2. “Psychedelic Trip” – A Cuddly Pair
    3. “Ace of Spades” – Motorhead
    4. “Pentangling” – Pentangle
    5. “He’s Got A Way With Women” – Hank Thompson
    And without wishing to be needlessly controversial, the real stand-out track on “Schoolhouse Rock Rocks” is Skee-lo’s “Tale of Mr Morton”.

  • Michael Parr

    I might love Mrs. Cooper’s (decidedly not a Chemical Brother’s wife) version of “Naïve” more than The Kooks’ version.

  • aryl watson

    Mr. Parr, I kind of agree. I go back to her version more often. And, thanks for the update – it appears Lily moved on from Ed many years ago. I must read British tabloids more often. I missed the whole Mr. Cooper thing – which makes me like Lily Allen even more.