Ickmusic’s Friday Five: November 14, 2008

If you are a minority of one, the shuffle is the shuffle.

Ah Friday it’s time to relax and you know what that means a glass of wine, your favorite easy chair and of course the Friday Five shuffling on your home stereo. So go on indulge yourself, that’s right, kick off your shoes, put your feet up, lean back and just enjoy the melodies. After all, music soothes even the savage beast….

For those who have not joined in the Five, here’s how it works: … I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five with a bit of insight for each track.

Then it’s your turn! Just share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments and see what your fellow readers are listening to as well.

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. Effcee – Purple Rain (from Electro Goth Tribute to Prince)

Imagine Garbage covering Prince with a less adept lead singer (Shirley Manson is amazing) and that is about the sum of this. To illustrate just how bad this collection is, Rebecca Romijn (yes, that one) performs “Darling Nikki”. For a much more fitting (and listenable) tribute head over to Psychotic Leisure Music and check out Dump‘s That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice, it’s well worth the time.

2. Diana Ross & Lionel Richie – Endless Love (from 80s Gold)

I’m not sure what frightens me more, the fact that I have no less than 4 instances of this song in my iTunes library or the fact that I actually genuinely, in my heart of hearts, like this song.

3. Ra Ra Riot – Too Too Too Fast (from The Rhumb Line)

A record that is sure to place highly on my year end list, The Rhumb Line by indie pop darlings Ra Ra Riot delivers 10 undeniably catchy and sprite tunes. If you don’t have this record yet, you should.

4. JellyfishThe Ghost at Number One (mp3) (from Socrates, Pathos, and Plato)

This is the demo of the tune from the bands power pop opus Spilt Milk. I’ve been revisiting my power pop past lately and this is always at the top of the list. The quality is not all that great but this one absolutely deserves to be played on 11.

5. The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back (from Greatest Hits)

This is the first bass line that I ever tried to learn. So damn funky!

What’s kicking you into the weekend?

A Faces Reunion

Beware. I found this cool feature in WordPress that lets me instantly blog any article I come across on the web. I’ll keep it music related, don’t worry. For the most part. Sort of.

Now this is something… I read Ronnie Wood’s autobiography a few months ago, and towards the end, he hinted that a Faces reunion was drawing near. At least that was his hope. And it appears that it will happen. Ronnie, Rod Stewart and the original lineup (minus Ronnie Lane, who passed away in 1997) will convene for some jamming next week. Here’s hoping a U.S. tour ensues, with a stop through Phoenix.

Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood to reform Faces – Yahoo! News.

Jenny Lewis

So Jenny Lewis has been doing her thing for a while now – solo, with the Watson Twins, and with her band Rilo Kiley. She’s also a former child actor who moved on to the righteous musical path.

But it took me until last week to finally discover her.

It all started when I stumbled across the video of “Rise Up With Fists”, a song from her 2006 debut solo album ‘Rabbit Fur Coat‘ (with the Watson Twins). The video is a parody of the old C&W variety show Hee Haw, and also features Sarah Silverman. I’m not sure if it’s from Sarah’s show or if it’s a music video of its own.  But suffice it to say that I’ve watched this video about 50 times over the past week or so.

A couple days ago, I was watching it, and looked behind me to see my kindergarten age daughter transfixed as well. She now proudly states that her three favorite artists are “Gogol Bordello, Led Zeppelin, and Jenny Lewis”.  Never mind the fact she thinks Led Zeppelin is Jack Black, because “The Immigrant Song” was in ‘School of Rock’. But that’s quite a top three for a girl about to turn 5.

But back to Jenny Lewis. I love the folksy/indie/country vibe she exudes. I love her stage presence (watch her recent Letterman performance below). I love the effortlessness and clean quality of her singing voice. And face it, she’s pretty easy on the eyes too.

Here’s “Rise Up With Fists”…

And here’s Jenny and her band with Elvis Costello, from last Monday’s Late Show with David Letterman. The song is “Carpetbaggers”, from her most recent album, ‘Acid Tongue‘, which came out a couple months back. This is a country-rock barnburner. I love this tune. And like I said, the presence she exudes…. Great stuff.

Me gusto Jenny Lewis!

Jenny Lewis.com | MySpace

A Promising Week

Well, on Tuesday morning I said I’d see you on the other side. And here we are. And you know what? The other side is a good place! On January 20th, Barack Obama will be sworn in as 44th president of the United States.

Granted, this country is in a mess, and our new president has an enormous series of tasks in front of him, but to know that we’ll have an intelligent, coherent, rational, calm presence in the White House is so refreshing to me.

And to think also that this nation – a country that still has a looong way to go with its race issues – elected an African American to the highest office in the land… I find it profoundly encouraging. And so does most of the country and the world. I can’t understand how anyone can fail to be deeply moved (in a very positive way) by the events of the last week. But everyone sees different things in different ways. Hopefully Obama will help ease the doubts, fears, and in a lot of cases, the hatred and the venom among his detractors.

For this white American dude, his African-American bride (born in Kenya, raised in Seychelles), and our two gorgeous girls, this week was like a burst of sun through the clouds.

Bob Marley & the WailersComing in From the Cold (mp3)


SHORPY – An Amazing Web Site

If you’re a history buff like me, you will love this site. Dave regularly posts high resolution photographs from times long gone, which offer vivid, often breathtaking views into the past.

Here are a few examples. Click them to see the high res versions… Seriously, look at the high res images. Stunning.

1914. "White House tent in Rose Garden." A view of the executive mansion from over the West Wing looking east past the Treasury and along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.
March 4, 1913. Inaugural ceremony, East Front of Capitol. Woodrow Wilson being sworn in as 28th president of the United States.
March 4, 1913. "Inaugural ceremony, East Front of Capitol." Woodrow Wilson being sworn in as 28th president of the United States.
Spring 1943. Romeroville, near Chacon, New Mexico. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by John Collier for the Office of War Information.
Spring 1943. "Romeroville, near Chacon, New Mexico." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by John Collier for the Office of War Information.

Visit Shorpy: History in HD

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: November 7, 2008

This shuffle attracts Those We Do Not Speak Of. You must bury it.

A quickie this week…

For those who have not joined in the Five, here’s how it works: … I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five with a bit of insight for each track.

Then it’s your turn! Just share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments and see what your fellow readers are listening to as well.

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. U2 – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (from Achtung Baby)

Apparently a young bikini-clad lady is the current answer.

2. Ani DiFranco – Providence (feat. Prince) (from To the Teeth)

I know that it’s a stretch, but listen to Ani‘s “You Had Time” (from Out of Range) and then Prince‘s “Eye Love U, but Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore” (from Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, which Ani provides guitar work) and then this track and tell me that it does not form an unholy trinity of a single story arc about relationships gone sour and the unhealthy way we handle them. One of the most demure and restrained Prince guest performances I have ever heard.

3. Jay-Z – Can I Get A… (feat. Amil of Major Coins and Ja Rule) (from Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life)


4. Mike Reno and Ann Wilson – Almost Paradise (Love Theme From Footloose) (from Footloose)

So do you think that they’ll get David Cook and Carrie Underwood to perform this tune for the upcoming remake of the film? Cheese factor be damned, I like this song a whole lot.

5. Trivium – Dying in Your Arms (from Ascendancy)

I could do without the cookie monster vocal during the breakdown, but outside of that this song is rather kick-ass.

Tag, you’re it!

Election Day is Here – so is a new Boss tune

And so here we are. The day I’ve been looking forward to since Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004, when John Kerry conceded to George W. Bush. Tomorrow, my country will elect a new president.

My vote was mailed in early. There will be no long lines for me. I am feeling cautiously optimistic that Barack Obama will be our new president – my caution firmly rooted in the fact that I live in a country that re-elected Bush.

We all have our opinions, but the important thing is that if you’re eligible to vote in these United States, that you get out and vote tomorrow. If you don’t, you’re a turd.

Yesterday at an Obama rally in Ohio, the Boss brought his wife Patty up on stage and debuted a new tune: “Working on a Dream”. Check it out here, and I’ll see you on the other side!

100 Words on Change

This Is Not Your Father's Change.Countless words have been cast regarding the precipice that we as Americans (and under no uncertain terms, the world) stand upon at this moment. Yes, a change is a comin’ one way or another and it’s my sincere hope that once that course is set that the opposite sides can abide by one another, accept it for what it is and embrace it as we move forward in history. And while I won’t ask you to vote for “that one” or the other guy I do implore all of our readers who can to please do your part and vote.

For information about where to vote: Google
For information on the other races and resolutions in your area: Ballotpedia

Tom Jones – 24 Hours

On his new album due out November 25th (the 17th in the UK), Tom Jones covers “The Hitter”, one of my favorites off Springsteen’s Devils and Dust record. So I went to Tom’s web site to track it down. It’s not available yet, but I was quite taken with the title track, “24 Hours” – a very dark, somber track. It brings to mind a couple of tracks dealing with life’s finality from the perspective of Death Row – Bruce’s “Dead Man Walking”, and Steve Earle’s “Ellis Unit One“.

I’m not positive that the subject of “24 Hours” is a death row prisoner, but it sure seems that way: ‘I’ve got one more minute, 24 hours to go..”

Great song, and now I can see exactly how “The Hitter” will fit into the album, and how I’m confident that Tom Jones will do it some serious justice.

Check it out…

Tom Jones.com

Here’s Bruce’s “Dead Man Walking” for good measure.. Oops, embedding disabled (!), gonna have to travel to the YouTube to see it.