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The Friday Five: December 4, 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:

Great Lake Swimmers – “Unison Falling Into Harmony” (from Lost Channels, 2009)

Largely overlooked in favor of the indie folk-pop of Fleet Foxes, Canada’s Great Lake Swimmers released one of the most lush, yet intimate folk-rock records of the past year.

U.S.A. for Africa – “We Are the World” (from We Are the World: U.S.A. for Africa, 1985)

I’m fairly certain I could fill an entire page writing about “We Are the World”, what hearing  it again reminded me of was the time in which Michael Jackson could do no wrong and how, even at eleven, I was in awe of his considerable talent.

Miles Davis – “All Blues” (from Kind of Blue, 1959)

To say Miles is a force in my life and my musical DNA would be an understatement, I even named my son after him. Part of Davis’ magnum opus, “All Blues” is eleven and a half minutes of pure bliss.

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Sky’s the Limit” (feat. 112) (from Life After Death, 1997)

I never connected with the tunes on Life After Death nearly as much as I did Ready to Die.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention – “Happy Together” (from Fillmore East, June 1971, 1971)

It occurred to me as this track started – and it is a brilliantly crass take on The Turtles classic – that only one of the artists featured on the Five this week is still with us. Not the thought I want to leave you with on a Friday, so I highly suggest hitting play on the track above and regaling in the joy. Baa-Ba-Ba…

Okay, so who’s next!

Published inFriday Five

15 Comments

  1. Carl Cafarelli Carl Cafarelli

    1. Bubblegum Lemonade: “Tyler”
    2. Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans: “The Bells Of St. Mary’s”
    3. Simple Minds: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
    4. Weird Al Yankovic: “Yoda”
    5. The Knack (’60s group, not the “My Sharona” band): “Time Waits For No One”

  2. Sorry Mike – didn’t have my Zune with me today at the office. So here goes!

    1. Spank Rock/Benny Blanco – Bitch

    The Bangers & Cash EP isn’t quite as excellent as YoYoYoYoYo, but it’s still pretty dope.

    2. Black Star-Thieves in the Night

    This remains one of my favorite hip hop albums, probably in my all time top 5.

    3. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – But What of the Strangers

    A nice little indie pop record from this year. Admittedly this song is one of my top picks. Bit of a downer.

    4. Jay-Z – Moment of Clarity

    Hell yes. I love when this comes up on shuffle during a long run.

    5. Hot Hot Heat – Soldier in a Box

    This album (Elevator) really grew on me after a few listens. Make Up the Breakdown is far better though. And the album after Elevator just plain sucks.

  3. Just got done watching Mamma Mia! Great film!

    Here’s what i just pulled up…

    1. “Delirious” – Prince & the Revolution – from a 1984 rehearsal for the Purple Rain tour. A magic era.

    2. “Across the Avenue” – Freedy Johnston – gotta admit, I bought the Freedy record for one song: “Bad Reputation”, which is song #1 on the album. So honestly, I may have heard this tune only 1 or 2 times. Nice though.

    3. “Run Me Down” – Notting Hillbillies – One of Mark Knopfler’s side projects from way back when. This is a live show from 1993 called ‘Swan Hunter Shipyard’, which features an awesome calypso take on “So Far Away”.

    4. “What I Need” – Jon and Roy – Laid back acoustic guitar based music from these Vancouver-based boys. One of my favorite discoveries over the last few years.

    5. “Swinging a Star” – Harry Connick, Jr. – forgot I had this. Always time for this tune.

  4. @Pete & Gonzo – Hey, what are you guys listening to?!?

      • As a hog in shit… By the way, that Black Star record is also in my top 5. Every Hip-Hop fan should know this record intimately.

  5. Anne Anne

    @ Tammy–wow, except for the New Radicals, that could have been my shuffle!

    Now for my actual shuffle–

    1. “With a Little Help from My Friends” The Beatles–“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” 1967.
    2. “Blue Christmas” Johnny Cash.
    3. “Wednesday (Contra La Puerta)” Mike Doughty–“Golden Delicious” 2008. A great song on a so-so album.
    4. “Jack & Diane” John Mellencamp (although he was still Cougar on this album)–“American Fool” 1982.
    5. “My Only Offer” Mates of State–“Re-arrange Us” 2008.

  6. Anna Nalick, “Breathe (2AM).” One of my son’s favorite songs from a few years back. I was very happy that he got into music, and remains into it. This is a decent song, though I’m not sure he listens to it any more.

    Public Enemy, “Fight the Power.” Awesome. Hard to remember how much these guys used to frighten white folks. This was LOOOOONG before “Flavor of Love.”

    Drake Bell, “Makes Me Happy.” Another song my son dug. The first Nickelodeon show he was into was “Drake and Josh,” and this one was prominently featured. I’m hoping something I enjoy comes up next.

    Judas Priest, “Breaking the Law.” Much more like it. I prefer “Living After Midnight,” but when compared to Anna Nalick and Drake Bell, this is pure molten ROCK.

    Billy Joel, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Great song for drinking, which I’m doing right now. My Popdose colleague Jason Hare performed this at his wedding reception, with the band he and his wife hired. It’s an awesome version; go to youtube and check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIZIFnUZEFc

    • “Flavor of Love” is more frightening to me than anything PE ever put out.

  7. Tammy-

    I haven’t heard Erin McKeown’s latest, but I highly recommend Distillantion and Grand – both great albums.

    Also, on youtube recently I stumbled upon an clip from Good Morning America (or some other silly show), interviewing Zappa not long before his death. The interviewer clearly knew nothing about his music – you get the feeling the producers said “This rock guy is going to die soon – go get an interview.” Anyhow, it was kind of heartbreaking, but his spirit in that final interview is admirable.

  8. Does it surprise you that I’m next? Because it shouldn’t. 🙂

    1. New Radicals – “Mother, We Just Can’t Get Enough”
    — This is my classic “omg i need to belt my heart out” song. Gritty vocals, repetative guitar, fluttery piano…honestly, I think this song fixes everything. Ever.

    2. Incubus – “Aqueous Transmission”
    — Something about this song is just that perfect mix of unique instruments, simple beats, and sulty Brandon Boyd. Plus, I was once told that a friend of mine lost his virginity to this song and I now forever associate this song with sex. Not really that far off with how I felt prior to the tale. 🙂

    3. Erin McKeown – “The Lions”
    — This is my new favorite album. Its like Feist meets Lily Allen and had a threesome with Regina Spectrum. Plus, she’s a new voice for the Righteous Babe Records label – established by the woman who could very possibly be my favorite artist ever.

    4. Ray LaMontagne – “Shelter”
    — I feel like he has already shown up in my 5s, but this song warrents another appearance. I could listen to this man sing for days and days. There’s just something genuine and sincere in his simplicity.

    5. Sia – “Death By Chocolate”
    — This lady has such a unique voice. This song I think is awesome just for its lyrical content, but I like her style in general. Also, the album cover for “Some People Have Real Problems” is so amazing – I hope she really had to have the crayola markers drawn across her face for the shot.

    • Thanks for always being first! Ani has fantastic taste so I’m going to have to check Erin McKeown out.

  9. And Zappa passed on this day in 1993. Eeerieee.

    • It seems like a lifetime ago.

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