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The Friday Five: January 29, 2010

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then 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 your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“So Into You” by Shudder to Think (from Pony Express Record, 1994)

Bringing post-hardcore though pop colored glasses, Shudder to Think brought something different to the oversaturated, grunge-fueled alternative scene in ’94. A cover of the 1977 hit by Atlanta Rhythm Section, the track is angular and tense; singer Craig Wedren croons in a devilish falsetto taking the track in a darker direction than the original.

“Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen (from 1984, 1984)

Like many burgeoning guitarists of the day, I spent months dissecting the legato tapped intro of this classic. I was convinced that somehow, Eddie Van Halen was in possession of extra digits on each of his hands to be able to play the impressive passage. All this before the tune even kicks off into its school-boy crush inspired shuffle. While many will point to his signature cadenza, “Eruption,” as his finest moment, I have to point to this track as the defining track of the David Lee Roth era.

“Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin (from In Through the Out Door, 1979)

I may have mentioned it here before; I am not a huge Led Zeppelin fan. This is immediately apparent when I say that “Fool in the Rain” — possibly the least “Zeppelin” tune in the band’s oeuvre — is my favorite tune by the band. From the slow shuffle, building up to the samba breakdown and Jimmy Page’s super-processed octave guitar solo, the song has long been on my “desert island” list.

“Pink Cashmere” by Prince (from The Hits/The B-Sides, 1993)

His Purple Badness shows up for a second week in the number four slot. “Pink Cashmere” was one of three ‘new’ tracks included on The Hits/The B-Sides, and by far the most solid of the bunch. Recorded during around the time of Lovesexy, the song bears only a passing resemblance to the other tracks recorded during that cycle. As the story goes, Prince wrote this track for his special woman of the moment, to whom he presented with a rather expensive custom pink cashmere and black mink coat.

“If 6 Was 9” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (from Axis: Bold as Love, 1968)

The shuffle has hit the trifecta this week. Starting with Eddie, followed by Prince, and closing with Jimi; three of my favorite guitarists turn in appearances on this week’s Friday Five. The psychedelic blues-rock jam of “If 6 Was 9” is a truly a headphone masterpiece. If you doubt this, grab your favorite set of cans — and those earbuds do not count — and click on the little blue arrow above.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Published inFriday Five

14 Comments

  1. Here’s my five (done Saturday evening, but so it goes):

    “He Was A Friend Of Mine” by Bob Dylan, CBS Studios, New York City, 1961 (From The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3). Bob’s not trying to sound like an old Okie here, and it works real well.

    “Beautiful Noise” by Neil Diamond, from “Beautiful Noise,” 1976. Produced by Robbie Robertson. Not Neil’s best, but not – by far – his worst, either.

    “O Apito No Samba” by Lalo Schifrin from “Bossa Nova Groove,” 1962. This came out in the midst of the bossa nova craze started at least in part by “The Girl from Ipanema.” Some nice piano here.

    “Sassy” by Jesse Winchester from “A Touch On The Rainy Side,” 1978. This is a little closer to pop than Winchester usually runs.

    “Change My Ways” by Canned Heat from “Hallelujah,” 1968. Al Wilson’s thin voice sounds better every year, as I absorb the blues tradition he reveled in.

    By the way, I have a new link: http://echoesinthewind.net — thanks.

  2. Laila Laila

    Keep on Runnin’ – Cat Power: People call her “the female Dylan”. Not that comparisons aren’t subjective but I only understood it when I heard this album.

    Girl Disappearing – Tori Amos: I love the snaking piano line. Every time I hear this track, I always slip into disillusionment and end up thinking that I’m listening to her album “To Venus And Back”…it’s so delicate.

    Night Of The Living Baseheads – Public Enemy: This album was a major force in defining my childhood. Period.

    Make It Right – Tim Buckley: Sad that I only discovered him through his son. I have Jeff’s entire discography ingrained in my cerebellum, nothing loses touch and only exponentially multiplies in the effect it has on me. Tim has been on replay a lot recently.

    Fifty-Fifty Clown– Cocteau Twins: You don’t listen to them for a lyrical transcendence, because I never understood a word said the first hundered times I listened to their songs, although it does happen, the transcendence part…
    Elizabeth Fraser’s voice is like a conveyer belt on a really stunning rollercoaster ride.

  3. Kristi Kristi

    1) The Black Crowes – Wiser Time
    2) Peter Gabriel – Red Rain
    3) Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away
    4) U2 – Running to Stand Still
    5) Jenny Owens Young – Fuck Was I

  4. Anne Anne

    1. “The Same Fire” from Bishop Allen, June EP, 2006.
    2. “Rock Lobster” The B-52’s, 1979. 🙂
    3. “Our House” Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deja Vu, 1975. Horrible transition from the last song to this one.
    4. “Commerce, TX” Ben Kweller, Sha Sha, 2002. I have a fair amount of Ben Kweller in my library. I am only so-so on him and that bothers me because I know that I should like him more than I do.
    5. “Dare”, Gorillaz, Demon Days, 2005. Very excited to hear their new album.

    • A-ring-ding-ding-dinga-dingady-ding

      And now that will be lodged in my head for the next few hours. Such a classic riff.

  5. Hall & Oates, “Out of Touch.” Hard to imagine being any hotter than these guys were at the time Big Bam Boom came out in 1984. When I hear this song in my head, though, why do I hear the 12″ remix and not this album version? I think the video had the remix, or at least an extended portion at the “Waaaaooooow!” exclamation before the last choruses. I’ll have to check it out on YouTube; my memory sucks. “Soul really matters to me.” Good line.

    Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, “Here Comes My Girl.” Petty cover from the second Under the covers album. I liked Vol. 1 better, for some reason; I certainly didn’t listen to Vol. 2 nearly as much. I like the chorus of Susannas “ooh”-ing. I don’t dig Sweet’s take on Petty’s rap. It sounds like he’s trying really hard to be menacing; it just ain’t him, particularly when his vocal is at least double-tracked (possibly quadruple-tracked — where are my headphones?).

    Maia Sharp, “A Home.” Her version of her own song, made more popular by the Dixie Chicks. Sharp and Natalie Maines have such different voices, but each version of the song sounds definitive, if that makes sense. That is the strength of the song, I suppose — to be able to hold together and retain its magic, regardless of who is giving voice to it.

    Phish, “Split Open and Melt.” Slinky white-boy funk from a 1995 show. Fifteen minutes of it. You know, I had a buddy in college who tried desperately to convince me of how awesome Phish were. I could not be convinced they were even listenable. He lent me bootleg tapes. He lent me official albums (they didn’t have many at that point). No avail. I can’t recall the moment I was finally convinced, but it was long after graduation. I got hooked. I hope my old friend is well, wherever he is. This version seems propelled by forces outside the band — God knows each member take turns trying to derail the song during the jam segments. It kinda gets turned inside out after about nine or ten minutes, then miraculously reassembled toward the end. When you think about it, that’s quite a feat, performed by musicians that absolutely MUST be in tune with one another.

    Andy Gibb, “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” Incongruity is the best part of these Friday lists. Phish into Andy Gibb. Funny as hell. I’m all but certain Barry Gibb wrote this. My Popdose colleague Jason Hare will, with very little prompting, go off on hilarious rants about what a freeloading bastard Andy Gibb was. So, in Jason’s absence, I will say those three words that end each and every one of his rants: “Fuck Andy Gibb.”

    • I swear Rob, I think I look forward to your Five every week as much as I look forward to writing up my own.

      I’ve come to liken Phish to a modern day version of the Zappa bands from Zoot Allures through Baby Snakes — sans Frank. They can play nearly anything, and while you might not like it all, you certainly have to respect the level of talent, commitment and musicianship that they posses to be able to improvise the way they do.

      “Fuck Andy Gibb”

  6. 1. Vengaboys – All Night Passion

    This is one of those albums I always think about selling but can’t quite bring myself to it.

    2. Federation – Go Dumb

    From the Hyphy Hitz compilation. Awesome comp from a few years back.

    3. Motorhead – Overkill

    I watched season 2 of Metalocalypse this week, so this is fitting.

    4. Public Enemy – Leave this Off Your Fu*kin Charts

    Fear of a Black Planet isn’t my favorite PE album, but the one to which I have the strongest personal connection. First hip hop album I ever bought.

    5. Billy Idol – Catch My Fall

    Would not be my first choice of a Billy Idol track by any means.

  7. KathyB KathyB

    I’d like to make this the Friday Six, as my sixth song is one of my favorites, but this is supposed to be random, not hand-picked.

    1. “Vaudeville Chase; Stirring Soup; A Strange Thing” from “Elephant Steps,” a very weird musical/opera by Stanley Silverman and Richard Foreman. First performed in either 1968 or 1970, depending on what source you go by. A friend sent me this score. I like it, although I have no idea what it’s about. And did I mention it’s weird?

    2. “Donegan’s Gone” by Mark Knopfler from “One Take Radio Sessions.” I have no idea where this came from or even that I had it. But I’ve apparently had it since 2005. Wonder what it sounds like.

    3. “Marchin’ to the City (Unreleased version #2, Time out of Mind outtake)” by Bob Dylan from “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8.”

    4. “In the River” by The Call from “Into The Woods” (1987). No relation to the Sondheim musical, which I also have in my iTunes. I think the Call is one of the underrated bands of the late ’80s/early ’90s.

    5. “Hummingbird” by Wilco from Night 1 at the Riviera Theatre, February 15, 2008. Yes, I’m a fanatic and have all five of these concerts.

    I stand behind Bill 100% on Kasey Chambers and Paul Kelly.

  8. Bill C Bill C

    Believe it or not a song from Rattlin’ Bones came up on my shuffle right afterwards. It is a great CD.

    The man who defends himself has a fool for an attorney.

  9. Bill C Bill C

    Pete: Like you, I am not a Zep fan. However, Fool in the Rain is a great song. I might just need to buy it from iTunes, as I don’t have any Zeppelin albums and don’t plan on buying any. Here’s my five:

    Hollywood-Kase Chambers. Kasey Chambers is an amazing Australian singer. If she were from Nashville, she would be a superstar.

    I Get Around, The Beach Boys (live)-Man with all the talk about how bad rock music is now, this is so refreshing. Great tune.

    At the First Fall of Snow-Hank Williams. Not one of Hank’s better known song, but like most of his music, the voice is chilling and sparse. Beautiful.

    Gathering Storm-Paul Kelly. I have said before, if you don’t have any Paul Kelly albums, you should. He is one of the best singer songwriters ever. And this is one of his best songs.

    This Old House-Brian Setzer Orchestra. Exactly what you expect. No more, but no less.

    A World Apart-Pat DiNizio. I love the Smithereens, and Pat’s voice is one of the main reasons why. The fact that few people have heard of Pat Dinizio and everyone knows Lady Gaga is tragic.

    i just realized this is six songs. So sue me.

    • I love Zep Bill!
      Michael writes the Friday 5, my friend!
      And if I sue you, does that mean you’ll defend yourself?

    • If there is one Led Zeppelin tune that everyone should own, it’s “Fool in the Rain.”

      Do you have the record that Kasey did with Shane Nicholson, Rattlin’ Bones? It came out in 2008 and I can highly recommend it.

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