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The Friday Five: May 21, 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:

“Lenny” by Stevie Ray Vaughn (from Texas Flood, 1983)

The story behind “Lenny,” the guitar and a song, is nothing short of beautiful. I’m not sure that I’ve told it before – and if I have, humor me – but it goes like this: Vaughn finds a ’65 Strat in an Austin pawnshop that, despite being refinished and looking every bit its age, he was smitten with. The problem was the $350 price tag was out of reach for the struggling blues man and his wife. With his birthday coming up, Lenora reached out to local friends and gathered the cash for the guitar and presented him with it at a birthday gig. That night he sat down and wrote the instrumental tribute to his wife Lenny on that same guitar, the rest is history.

“Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn (from The Disco Years, Vol. 2: On the Beat, 1990)

I’m a sucker for a great disco tune. Knock it all you like; but there was some solid musicians driving those tunes that still don’t get the respect they deserve. Take Cheryl Lynn’s brilliant “Got to Be Real,” for example; a peek under the covers reveals Toto’s David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, and Ray Parker Jr. performing the Paich/David Foster penned track. Okay, maybe this was a bad example. Either way, I love this tune.

“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 (from Greatest Hits, 1971)

“Aw baby, give me one more chance,” an impassioned far beyond his age Michael Jackson pleads. How the hell he was able to muster up the cojones to sing like that is a mystery.

“Just not Just” by The Guggenheim Grotto (from Happy the Man, 2008)

I’m not going to mince words here, The Guggenheim Grotto just released their new record The Universe is Laughing and you can should purchase it here.

“Almost Paradise” – Mike Reno & Ann Wilson (from Footloose, 1981)

Most of you are aware of my friend and Popdose colleague Jason Hare. If you pay close enough attention you are also aware of his plethora of musical projects, but you may not be aware of his altruistic nature and huge heart. Those two worlds came together last Saturday night, when he played a benefit show to “KICK CANCER’S A**!” to raise money to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Jason, along with his wife Jessica, is running the 2010 NYC Triathlon and raising money in the process – you can learn more, and help here. At any rate, one of the highlights of the show was the Acoustic ‘80s performance of the love theme from Footloose by Jason, along with guest vocalist Jennifer Gembs. The tune has always been a favorite of mine, and I swear I squealed like a tween girl at a Justin Bieber concert when they started playing it.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Published inFriday Five

11 Comments

  1. Nancy Nancy

    I am cracking up. Almost Paradise!! Memory lane back to Prairie high school – shoot probably grade school – days Pete! Love the site. Cheers, Nancy

  2. a little late on the friday bit but here are my five:

    grand archives-witchy park/tomorrow will: 70’s am inspired gold.
    kode 9-time patrol: london after hours paranoia, tough jump by the iTunes elf.
    bonnie ‘prince’ billy-gulf shores: reflective, sad country-inspired tune. timeless.
    neko case-i’m an animal: great album, even better voice.
    mayer hawthorne-shiny & new: neo soul.

  3. Bill C Bill C

    David Knopfler-Heat Comes Down. I think he only had one solo album, but it was quite good. Very much like Dire Straits, whom I love, but without Mark Knopfler’s amazing guitar work.

    The Crow-Steve Martin. This was one of my favorite albums of last year. The man can pick.

    Candle in the Wind-Elton John. Sweet, pretty song.

    Cyclone-Bruce Hornsby and the Range. I love Hornsby’s music. This is a great song.

    Eight: I heard this version of The Ghost of Tom Joad on my ride into work today, and it blew me away.

    Street of Dreams-Frank SInatra. Great way to end the five. Frank was just the coolest ever.

  4. Air Supply, “Keeping the Love Alive.” I feel kinda silly about this one, in light of the drubbing my Popdose colleagues give Da Supply in this month’s podcast. When I was 11, though, this was the shit. To me, at least. For my birthday, I got a box of baseball cards and The One That You Love on cassette. This is one of those Graham takes the verse / Russell takes the chorus tunes. Primo Adult Contemporary cheese; this music has never been hip, in this or any other dimension. I know all the words. Have for nearly — Jesus — 29 years. I’m going to go over in that corner over there and weep quietly for a moment.

    Judas Priest, “Revelations.” Holy jarring juxtapositions, Batman! From Air Supply to a seven-minute Priest number from Nostradamus. This is actually pretty good stuff. When I listen to this album, I must do so in the form of a playlist that removes all the spoken-word horseshit. I haven’t done the math, but I imagine this would have been a pretty tight single CD had they taken out the interludes. “And now this possession becomes my one obsession,” Rob Talford doth sing. It’s intense stuff, musically, even if the lyrics venture at full steam into Spinal Tap territory (“And they called it … Stone ‘hendge …”).

    Love as Laughter, “Crosseyed Beautiful Youngunz.” A couple years back, Austin Scaggs talked up this album (Holy) in his Rolling Stone blog, along with Jessie Baylin’s Firesight. So I got them. Neither were nearly as good as he made them out to be. I do go back to Holy from time to time, to see whether I can hear exactly what he was gushing about. Still dont hear it.

    Spoon, “Trouble Comes Running.” I think I’ve said it here recently, but I’m surprised at how quietly Transference came and went. I remember discovering Girls Can Tell and thinking I’d just heard the best band in the world. I’ve waxed and waned on them since.

    Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band w/ Tom Morello, “The Ghost of Tom Joad (Live).” Holy fuck, the shit Morello rips at the end of this track is bloody amazing. Just knowing that solo is coming makes the rest of the song that much more tense. Morello’s vocal here is phenomenal, too. I’ve seen Springsteen & Co. play this live, in this manner, but it’s just not the same. If you haven’t heard this version, find it. Like, NOW. You have to hear it.

  5. Kristi Kristi

    I’m watching ‘The Proposal’ at the moment, so gonna share the last 5 I listened to this morning before work…

    1) Cowboy Junkies – You’re Missing
    2) Gin Blossoms – Fool for the Taking
    3) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
    4) Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
    5) Ryan Adams – Like a Virgin

  6. 1) “Get Up Offa That Thing (Release the Pressure)” by James Brown: The Godfather does disco!! There are very few JB songs from the mid sixties to the mid seventies that don’t make your ass involuntarily wiggle.

    2) “Blasphemy” by PM Dawn: I got “Fucked Music” courtesy of the great Robert Cass, and although I haven’t listened to it in full yet, I’ve been impressed with every song that’s popped up randomly on my iPod so far. Prince Be is actually a competent emcee, but he writes amazing pop melodies too. He was blessed with one helluva musical skill set.

    3) “Break Down Ur Door” by Van Hunt: As I mentioned on Facebook, I thought this guy’s first album sucked. I bought his second one on a lark and was blown away by how much better it was. His third album, “Popular”, was only released digitally (I got an advance somehow), but is as good as the album that preceded it. What a talented dude. Very Prince/TTD.

    4) “Dangerously in Love 2” by Beyonce: One of the better songs that Beyonce has allegedly written. I’m not quite sure how this differs from the first “Dangerously in Love” (which appeared on Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” album), but for whatever reason, this is the version I have checked on iTunes.

    5) “Hands Open” by Snow Patrol: These guys should get a little more credit. I think the average music fan either views them as Coldplay clones or as a one-hit (or two-hit?) wonder. This is a pretty decent chugging rocker.

  7. 2) Wheel in the Sky, Journey & Friends (Superjam 2). Ummmm, it’s work-related, I swear.

    3) Heart Songs, Weezer. One of the few songs I can stomach from the Red Album.

    4) Memory Collector, Kelley Stoltz. This guy writes some of the catchiest shit and this is one of the first songs that hooked me. Not in this song, but in general he reminds me of Link Wray playing with the Beatles.

    5) Rock and Roll, Lou Reed. Recorded on 9/23/73 by Dinky Dawson which means the sound isn’t great, but the shows on this tour are so dope it doesn’t bother me. Sounds like Lou just dropped the mic.

    • Bear no shame in playing Journey here!

      I’m trying really hard to pull a sonic picture of Link Wray playing with the Beatles together.

  8. Thanks so much for the shout-out! I didn’t know that you had such a love for “Almost Paradise.” The first time Jen and I performed it, we really hammed it up: we went out into the audience and sang to each other from across the room, climbed over people’s laps, etc. Maybe we shouldn’t have toned it down!

    Truth be told, I’ve been listening to that new Guggenheim Grotto record all morning — but I’ll turn it off and see what comes up here…

    1) Chuck Leavell, “A Lotta Colada.” I can never remember Chuck Leavell’s full varied history as a pianist, but I know he’s played with the Stones and the Dead, and he’s also on the Clapton Unplugged album. I first heard his beautiful work on the Indigo Girls track “Language Or the Kiss” from, and tracked down his solo piano disc Forever Blue a few years ago. It’s great.

    2) 10cc, “I’m Not In Love.” Awwww, yeah. Love this song. Back in maybe ’03, I saw the Jayhawks and the Thorns (Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins) at Irving Plaza, and they attempted to play this song impromptu for an encore. Man, was it awful.

    3) Josh Rouse, “Winter in the Hamptons.” A fantastic track from his best album, Nashville. As I may have said before, the Silver Seas have become the heir to the Josh Rouse pop throne. Rouse is so far gone into his Spanish phase now that he’s lost me completely.

    4) Hem, “The Beautiful Sea.” I have to be in a very specific mood to listen to the gentleness of Hem, but when I am, this is the kind of track that completely stops me in my tracks.

    5) Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, “I’m Your Puppet (live).” Ahh, the classic song sung by the men who wrote it. This is from a live album called Moments From This Theatre that I have listened to millions of times. I had never heard of it or these men, but thanks to a fantastic review from Mr. Giles at Ye Olde Jefitoblog, it’s now one of my favorites.

    Happy Friday, all! Great post as always, Michael.

  9. Why is it every Friday I have been listening to one artist all morning. It was Josh Ritter today.

    I promise one week I will have a mixed bag to share 🙂

  10. I can vouch for that tween squealing on Saturday night.

    1) Cowgirl in the Sand, Live at the Fillmore East.

    …I’ll get back to you after this 16 minutes with the other four.

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