The Friday Five: November 20, 2009

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Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Foo Fighters – “This Is a Call” (mp3) (from Foo Fighters, 1995)

From the “Fraiser” of spin-off bands, this single was the official death knell for Grunge and the launch of a wave of the radio-friendly post-grunge alternative music that still rules the airwaves today. The thing that gets most often overlooked is the fact that, outside of some small guitar parts by Afghan Whigs mastermind Greg Dulli, the entire record was written and performed by Dave Grohl himself.

Prince – “Temple House Dub (fade)” (from Thieves in the Temple, 1990)

Once upon a time Prince would release singles. These singles would include, at minimum, three to four remixes and alternate versions, not to mention b-sides. The b-sides were often as good (see: “Love or $”, “17 Days”) and oft times better (see: “Erotic City”, “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore”) than the single itself. By the early ‘90s he was swept up with the advent of the ‘CD Maxi Single’ and used the format to its fullest extent creating EP length masterpieces. I miss those singles.

Joan Osbourne – “Midnight Train to Georgia” (from Breakfast in Bed, 2007)

In his last installment of Chart Attack!, Jason Hare exposed the true inspiration behind the Motown classic. I’m a huge fan of the original and had the pleasure of seeing the Indigo Girls perform it with Spearhead and (ironically) Joan Osbourne as guests. This version, however, is far too mellow and feels forced and utterly lacking in the soul that is tied to the very fabric of the tune itself.

Gary Moore – “Still Got the Blues” (mp3) (from Still Got the Blues, 1990)

Okay, listen to this (Ex. 1). Now, listen to this (Ex. 2). Sounds a bit similar, no? I remember learning this song earlier on in my bedroom rock star days and thinking “how the hell did he get away with that?” And in researching the track for this post, it turns out that he didn’t. What’s worse is it wasn’t even Lionel that took him to court, rather an obscure German band who claimed – and won a settlement in 2008 – that their 1974 single “Nordrach” was the track that Moore allegedly plagiarized.

Band of Horses – “Our Swords” (from Everything All the Time, 2006)

As the hordes of decade end lists come pouring in – you can follow the action at largehearted boy – the one omission that I’m most consistently surprised by is the debut record by Band of Horses. Taking elements of country, folk, southern rock and an indie rock ethos the band were darlings of the music blogs in 2006, and their follow up Cease to Begin only cemented them as a band to watch in the coming years. Perhaps their upcoming release will bring them the mainstream success they so richly deserve.

That’s my five, what’s spinning you right ‘round this week?

  • http://twitter.com/tamillama Tammy

    Well howdy-do! Its a busy day at the office, so I’ll have to do this one quick:

    1. Gaslight Anthem – “We Came to Dance”
    – saw them live and loved jamming out to ever song. Glorious.

    2. Woody Herman – “Woodchopper’s Ball”
    – classic “Benny Goodman” feel, really great clarinet boogie. :)

    3. Ani Difranco – “Gravel”
    – bold, string-pickin’, girl angst. LOVE Ani Difranco in every way possible.

    4. Frightened Rabbit – “Floating in the Forth”
    – one of their more melodic tunes. really fabulous accent. i’m a sucker for a brogue.

    5. Tegan and Sara – “Call it Off”
    – cannot WAIT to finally get my hands on their new album. “The Con” is one of the few albums that I can listen to through and through.

    PS – Michael! I’m going to be hanging out with Katie this afternoon in DC. She’s coming to frolic amongst the city-dwellers. :)

  • Kristi

    My Five:

    R.E.M. – Imitation of Life
    U2 – Always
    Cowboy Junkies – Working on a Building
    Pomegranates – Beachcomber
    The Downtown Moneywasters – Rest My Bones

  • Anne

    1. “Gee, Officer Krupke” from the West Side Story movie soundtrack
    2. “Jealous Guy”–John Lennon
    3. “I Hate Everything About You”–Three Days Grace
    4. “Sunny Came Home”–Shawn Colvin
    5. “You Could Write a Book”–Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

  • http://popdose.com/author/rob-smith/ EightE1

    Journey, “Faithfully.” Wow. Starting things off with the greatest “I’m Weary of the Road” rock-star power ballad ever. I think I read once that Jon Cain (who wrote the song) was originally supposed to sing the lead vocal on this. I’ve heard Jon Cain sing; they definitely made a good choice in giving it to Steve Perry.

    Dean Martin, “That’s Amore.” Can never hear this song without thinking of Moonstruck. Dean-o was so smooth, though, wasn’t he?

    LL Cool J, “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Remember when he did this on MTV Unplugged? Remember how he tore that room apart? Why has that never made it to an official Unplugged compilation? Curious aside: I used to do a pretty funny impression of Jimmy Stewart rapping this song.

    Gowan, “Guerilla Soldier.” The guy who replaced Dennis DeYoung in Styx, from a solo live record he did many moons ago. The version of “Moonlight Desires” on this album is killer. This track’s okay.

    Maia Sharp, “Fall Like Margarite.” Sharp is one of my favorite singers. Her voice is thick with something I can’t quite identify, but I love it. Her most recent record, Echo, is fine; this one (Fine Upstanding Citizen) is very good, too.

  • Bill C

    Maggie’s Farm – Dylan. This version comes from a Bootleg live in New Amsterdam in 2003 or so. Great song, great version, great way to start the weekend.
    Splendid Isolation-Warren Zevon. A great song from one of the greatest songwriters in Rock n Roll history. Zevon was a genius who is too often associated with one song.
    Year 1-X- Exene Cervenka on lead vocals. Typical raucous X song, and typically great.
    I Liked it Alot-Charlie Pickett and the Eggs. Charlie was the King of South Florida rock and roll in the early 80′s. A number of artists, including Michael Stipe, cite his influence. This is not one of his better songs, but if you ever get the change to grab the Eggs, do it.
    Mendocello-Cheap Trick. Bad way to end my five. Not a very good song.
    So, since I didn’t want to end on that note-
    Wandering Eye-The Blasters. There are no bad Blaster’s songs.

  • http://ickmusic.com Pete

    Word.

    Richard Swift – Dressed Up For The Letdown
    Public Enemy – Who Stole the Soul?
    XTC – Runaways
    Elvis Presley – Milky White Way
    Linton Kwesi Johnson – If I Woz a Tap Natch Poet