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The Friday Five: March 12, 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:

“Comin’ Home” by City and Colour (from Sometimes, 2005)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the songs that find you at the just the right moment in your life; this is another one of those songs. In the mid-aught’s my job had me shuttling back and forth to Toronto, Ontario on a monthly basis. On one hand, I got to know my host city in intimate detail, finding favorite restaurants, pubs — P.J. O’Brien, just in case you are curious — and hidden corners of Canada’s largest city. I was lucky enough to have my wife join me on more than one trip, but more often than not, I was alone and far from home. Around the same time, I discovered singer/songwriter Dallas Green’s City and Colour. I vividly recall listening to the album on one of many flights home and this song coming on, sealing it forever in that time and place.

Well I’ve been down to Georgia
I’ve seen the streets in the West
I’ve driven down the 90, hell I’ve seen America’s best
I’ve been through the Rockies, well I’ve seen Saskatoon
I’ve driven down the highway 1 just hopin’ that I’d see you soon

Cause I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ home

“We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles (from Mono Masters, 2009)

If you had asked 13-year old me what my favorite Beatles tune was I surely would have responded with “We Can Work It Out.” These days I find myself gravitating to other, deep catalog tracks to find my favorite, but always come back to this as a great example of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting style. Listening to it now does reaffirm it as one of my Top 10 Beatles songs.

“Misunderstanding” by Genesis (from Turn It On Again: The Hits, 1999)

Somehow I had never put this together, but if you listen to “Misunderstanding” and follow it up with Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” — which you call may recall is my favorite Zeppelin tune — you’ll notice certain similarities. Not just in its rhythmic swing feel, but lyrically it covers the same ground. Originally written by Phil Collins for his solo debut, Face Value, the track was a real departure from the rest of Duke. It is also one of my favorite Genesis tunes, which is probably somehow related to the whole “Fool in the Rain” thing, odd how that happens.

“Fragile Tension” by Depeche Mode (from Sounds of the Universe, 2009)

Why this is still on my iPod, I am not sure. As much as I dig Depeche Mode, this album was just awful.

“Misery Business” by Paramore (from RIOT!, 2007)

The little subtle things in this song are what make it so damned awesome. Sure, it is an arena-ready rock anthem, on par with some of the greats. The little things, like the half-time drums that build the tension in the second half of the chorus show attention to detail that is rare in a band so young.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Published inFriday Five

5 Comments

  1. Bill C Bill C

    Ok, it is Saturday, so I will make this my Saturday six, because I can.

    Tracy Chapman-Times They are a Changing. This is probably the only song by Tracy Chapman I own, and probably the only one I even remotely like. Not off to a good start!

    Jackson Brown-Bright Baby Blues. Some redemption. One of his better songs, and he has many.

    Johnny Cash-Balshazzar, from Love, God, Money. Now we are talking. This song sizzles.

    Allison Krausse-Baby, Now That I have Found You. A beautiful song, beautifully sung.

    Gregg Allman-Catfish Blues. Eh.

    Paul Kelly-Dumb Things. What a great way to end. I love this song.

  2. Anne Anne

    1. “You Are Not Alone” – Michael Jackson. Right after he died, I was hosting a party at my house and decided that I needed to play a lot of MJ for the occasion. This is one of the songs I downloaded and honestly, I have not listened to this particular song much since then.

    2. “Me In You” — Kings of Convenience, Declaration of Everything. I really enjoy this group. Very sweet and mellow. I think I might need to get more from them soon.

    3. “The End of Everything” — Chris Isaak, Forever Blue. If you know Isaak, you know that this album was a very depressing album. He was clearly heartbroken while writing the music for this album. I have embraced this album and avoided it at times for that very reason.

    4. “Only You” — Upstairs at Eric’s. This song will always make me think of college.

    5. “Prison Girls” — Neko Case, Middle Cyclone. Love Neko, love the album. There are songs I like more from the album but this is a beautiful song. Great way to end the shuffle.

  3. Jay Jay

    1. “1965 Christmas Single” – The Beatles, The Beatles Christmas Album

    2. “Hard to Handle” – Otis Reading, Dreams To Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology

    3. “Prelude To The End Of The Game” – Sting, Brand New Day

    4. “Seven Wonders” – Fleetwood Mac, Tango In The Night

    5. “Blue Spanish Sky” – Chris Issak, Heart Shaped World

  4. Rainy weekend coming up. Hoping this shuffle brightens my evening …

    1) Bee Gees – “Alone.” Good start. This should have been a lot bigger than it was – it’s a terrific pop song, and Robin Gibb’s gargly warble actually works in the dramatic chorus. I saw them perform this “live” on TV twice — once, it was obvious Robin had a backing track standing in for his actual voice on the chorus, while he took the notes about seven or twelve octaves lower (impossible, I know. Maybe it was twenty), and a second performance in which he belted the thing out effortlessly and very live. I will, however, never be able to hear Robin Gibb again without thinking of this past Mellowmas at Popdose.

    2) Robert Palmer – “Some People Can Do What They Like.” Aw, yeah – follow blue-eyed soul with some white boy funk. Title track from his third solo set. I don’t know if Lowell George produced this one, but it has that Little Feat groove all over it. Palmer was so good back then, so different from the “Simply Irresistable”/Power Station stuff that people of my age or younger knew him for. Check out his Best of Both Worlds anthology for a fuller picture of his prowess.

    3) Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Minor Thing.” By the Way is my favorite album of theirs — John Frusciante’s influence is in full effect on every track, yet the hard rock/funk thing the band does so well still pops. There are really some terrific vocals on this album, and on this song — real subtle background harmonies that make the song special. I’m disappointed Frusciante won’t be involved on the next Chilis’ record, but you gotta think there will be considerably more music from him. I’ll miss him, though.

    4) The Stems – “She’s Fine.” Primo garage rock from one of Little Steven’s Coolest Songs in the World compilations. Sixties jangle and echo, with that Ronnettes “Be My Baby” drum thing thrown in for good measure. I know nothing about this band, but when I hear something like this, I think I could listen to nothing but garage rock forever.

    5) Aerosmith – “My Girl.” “My girl, she breathes hellfire / My girl, she feeds my desire.” Pump sounds so much more antiseptic to me now than it did 20 years ago, when I thought it was the coolest thing running. You could tell they were trying, though, which is more that can be said for any record they’ve put out since then. True story: I wrote a review of this record for my college newspaper, totally bombed on the flu medicine I’d mistakenly taken an extra dose of. I compared it favorably to Sgt. Pepper’s. Never quite lived that one down. I’ve gotten a flu shot every year since.

  5. Hmmm…I actually enjoyed “Sounds” more than any DM album since maybe “Ultra”.

    Anyway…

    1) “Sugar Free Jazz” by Soul Coughing-My extreme mancrush on Mike Doughty is a matter of public record (hell, Mike himself is aware of it). Not one of my favorite Soul Coughing songs, though.

    2) “Mandinka” by Sinead O’Connor-The first time I heard of Sinead was on the Grammys in either ’88 or ’89-she had the Public Enemy logo shaved into the side of her head. I was transfixed. I don’t think the people who run the Grammys would even think of having an artist with Sinead’s profile back then appear on the show now. She wasn’t exactly well known at that point.

    3) “Gonna See My Friend” by Pearl Jam: “Backspacer” might have been my favorite album of last year. It was certainly one of the biggest surprises-I’d kinda given up on PJ at this point.

    4) “I Might Have Been Queen” by Tina Turner

    5) “Savior” by Red Hot Chili Peppers: I like RHCP and everything, but is it wrong of me to say that “California”, “By the Way” and “Stadium Arcadium” are essentially the same album?

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