The Friday Five: August 26, 2011

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:

It’s been a long time since the “Home Edition!” banner has flown. As you read this I’ll either be signing checks with too many zeroes, or hauling my families life into a new domicile. Either way, I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to hit shuffle and drop a five for you all this week, so I’m turning the spotlight to Jeff Giles, Editor in Chief of Popdose, Dadnabbit, bourbon drinker, and all around swell guy. I’m sure you’ll be in good hands. – Michael Parr

1. “It,” by Prince (from Sign o’ the Times, 1987)
This is one of probably 75,000 songs in my library that I’ve never listened to. Well, not until now, anyway. I have the Prince library because I know I’m supposed to, but I avoided the little purple wonder when he was at his commercial peak, and I think even his most ardent fans have to admit that the post-symbol years have been pretty bumpy. Anyway, I like this. And given Michael’s intense Princelove (or is that Princelovesexy?), it makes for a fitting leadoff.

2. “Have I Told You Lately,” by Van Morrison (from The Best of Van Morrison, 1990)
Fuck you, MediaMonkey. I mean, yeah, I know it isn’t Van’s fault that Rod Stewart put his greasy fingerprints all over this song a few years later. But still. Fuck you.

3. “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah,” by The Pogues (from Rest of the Best, 1994)
It’s as dumb as a bag of rocks with Paris Hilton’s face painted on it — and it’s also one of my favorite Pogues songs. Every night, a cover band should be playing this in a sweaty, over-crowded bar somewhere. It makes life feel like a montage from The Commitments.

4. “You’re the Only One,” by J. Geils Band (from Monkey Island, 1977)
An understated gem from one of the band’s less-remembered records, “You’re the Only One” blends Magic Dick’s trademark harmonica with a sad, soulful Peter Wolf vocal and some lovely Mellow Gold harmonies. If this had been a hit instead of “Centerfold,” who knows what might have happened?

5. “Naked Girl,” by Jeremy Fisher (from Flood, 2010)
The first time Michael heard this track, he did the IM equivalent of grabbing me by the lapels and screaming in my face, “WHY ISN’T THIS A HIT?!?” I didn’t have any idea then, and I don’t now. Just a perfect pop song, from the impeccably crafted arrangement to the sun-kissed vocals. And really, who hasn’t done something stupid to see a naked girl? That’s universal truth right there.

What’s on your shuffle today?

20 thoughts on “The Friday Five: August 26, 2011

  1. 1. “Just Now”- John Martyn from Bless the Weather (1971)

    My latest favorite Martyn song. For now.

    2. “I Dig a Pony”- the Beatles from Let it Be (1970)

    People overlook this, but I love Lennon’s “gobbledygook” lyrics and the loping guitar/bass/drum mix.

    3. “Explain it”- Wendy Waldman from Wendy Waldman (1975)

    Featuring a lovely piano part straight out of Vince Guaraldi.

    4. “Walk On”- John Hiatt from Walk On

    It’s my opinion that Hiatt was never as good as when he had the Cracker guys backing him up. Terrifying slide guitar work on this moody cut.

    5. “It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way How You Do It”- Little Richard from The King of Rock n’ Roll: The Complete Reprise Recordings (2005)

    I recently happened upon this compilation of Richard’s Reprise Records output, and since I am a total whore for the output coming from the Brothers Warner and Frank’s boutique label in the 70’s, I helped myself. This actually appeared on 1972’s The Second Coming, and is an odd-sounding twangy slide guitar driven thing, not quite what I’d expect from him, which is probably one reason why Warners probably couldn’t buy him a hit with any of his 70’s comeback releases.

  2. 1. “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by Maria Muldaur from “Heart Of Mine (Love Songs Of Bob Dylan),” 2006. I love me some Maria, and this album is about as good as it gets. This version hews a little closer to the one the Byrds in 1968 did than the one that Dylan released on his second greatest hits album in 1972.

    2. “Coney Island” by First Class from “First Class,” 1974. This is one of Tony Burrows’ English studio groups; this one had a hit with “Beach Baby” the same year. This track seems to have some Irish influence, most notably in the vocals and percussion and a little bit in the strings, and it’s actually quite nice and a bit surprising.

    3. “Sunshine (Go Away Today)” by the Isley Brothers from “3+3,” 1973. Ooh, this is a nice, funky cover of Jonathan Edwards’ 1972 hit, “Sunshine,” and it’s got a nice groove.

    4. “Christine” by Spillemændene from “Christiana,” 1976. “Christiana” was – I believe – a tribute album by various Danish artists in support of the famous commune and hippie destination on an island in Copenhagen. My Danish isn’t good enough to understand the words, but it’s decent pop-rock ca. 1976. And I love the sound of the Danish language, anyway.

    5. “Take A Message To Mary” by the Everly Brothers, Cadence single 1364, 1959. The first-person tale of a jailed man sending a message to his fiancee sounds very much like an old folk song and features the Everlys trademark close harmony. The language is sometimes too modern for it to truly be an old folk song, but, damn, it should have been.

  3. Late last night I was thinking about hat I needed to do to get ready for this hurricane that’s on the way, so naturally the first thing I thought was “playlist”.  I set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify (you can play along here http://bit.ly/pArmKD) with storm related words in the title, you know “storm”, “thunder”, “rain” and, of course, “hurricane”.  It took maybe 2 minutes for someone to suggest “Rock You Like A Hurricane”.  Anyway, in the spirit of Friday Five, here’s the first five that came up on my Spotify shuffle:

    1.  “Goodnight Irene” by Brian Wilson from the Folkways: A Vision Shared tribute to Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie tribute (1988).  I swear to God that out of 119 tracks, this came up first.  This collection also has some great covers of “Vigilante Man” and “I AIn’t Got No Home” by Springsteen, and “Jesus Christ” by U2 that they recorded at Sun Studios.

    2. “Southern Rain” by Cowboy Junkies from Black Eyed Man (1992).  Love the Junkies.  This track kicks off their very solid third LP

    3. “Cold Rain and Snow (live at Madison Square Garden 9/16/90) This track added by Luke Harris, AKA @ozzybeef.  I’ve only started exploring the Dead in the past couple of years, so it’s always cool to hear a track I’m not familiar with

    4.  “Texas Flood (Live)” by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble from In Step.  Another track Luke added.  Not too worried about floods up here, more like trees falling on my house and power lines

    5.  “Strike Like Lightning” by Lonnie Mack from Strike Like Lightning.  A master of the flying V. Another blues storm assault.

    There it is.  Now I’ve got to go do real prep.  Hope everyone on the east coast stays safe and at least hears something good while riding the storm out…

  4. “Pride & Joy” – Stevie Ray Vaughan. Sometimes, songs are overplayed because they’re that. fucking. good. 
    “Waiting For Somebody” – And sometimes songs that are that. fucking. good don’t find the audience they should, even though they’re by the guy who was responsible for most of what was played on the radio at the time.
    “Academics” – The XYZ Affair. I bought this after seeing them do a great set opening for Jukebox The Ghost in 2007. One of those bands that seemingly switch genres every four bars are so.
    “This Little Light Of Mine” – Bruce Springsteen (Oslo 10-29-06). Bruce returns to my Friday Five after a surprisingly long absence with a cut from the Sessions Band tour. 
    “The Birth Of The Blues” – Louis Prima & Keely Smith. Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded my favorite version of this, but I still like this a lot.

  5. 1. Ben Harper – “Everything” (Diamonds On The Inside, 2003). Relatively straightforward dedication to a loved one but you can’t help but get caught up in the track’s bounding, infectious enthusiasm.

    2. Buddy Guy – “Anna Lee” (Blues Singer, 2003). Over a spartan procession, Buddy serves up acoustic pickin’ and breathy fixation as he pursues the object of his desire.

    3. Branford Marsalis – “Doctone” (Requiem, 1999). Backed by the busting percussive rhythms of drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts and bassist Eric Revis, and the energetic piano playing of the late Kenny Kirkland (this album was his last recorded work), Marsalis offers limber, expressive reed lines, elegant refrain calls and playful, burly accents.

    4. Lyle Lovett – “She’s No Lady” (Live In Texas, 1999). While Lovett is often referred to as a country artist, he is fairly genre-resistant. With backing horns and jazzy piano flourishes, Lovett invests this otherwise sentimental ode with his trademark humor and a Rat Pack sensibility.

    5. Ambrose Akinmusire – “Henya” (When The Heart Emerges Glistening, 2011). Sterling ballad from an emerging jazz trumpeter. 

  6. Happy weekend, and stay safe East Coasters!!

    1. “St. Stephen” – Phil Lesh & Friends with Ryan Adams.  I have a boot called ‘Ryan is Dead’, which is Ryan sitting in with Phil & Friends way back when. As a fan of both Ryan and the Dead, I find it pretty awesome – warts & all.

    2. “You Make Me Feel Brand New” – The Stylistics. A classic. Easily in my all time top 10 love songs list. Sublime.

    3. “All My Dreams” – Prince. An unreleased gem from 1985’s Parade sessions. Filled with all sorts of strange, delightful twists & turns. Wendy and Lisa and Prince’s vocal effects play a large part… “Africa… Captain Crunch… Norma Jean, Sex and Cheerios.”   

    And for crying out loud, Giles, listen to Sign ‘O’ The Times already!

    4. “Once In Your Life” – Tyler Ramsey. Tyler’s the guitar man for Band of Horses. This album came out in 2007, shortly before he joined the band, I believe. It’s a real pretty pop/folk album that I haven’t spent near enough time with. This song has a psychedelic 60’s vibe with some sweet acoustic slide work.

    5.  “Straylin Street” – Pete Droge. From Pete’s great 1994 debut ‘Necktie Second’, an album full of great hooks and melodies.

  7. Velvet Underground, “Rock & Roll.” For those of us who were saved, in one way or another, by the sounds coming out of the radio.

    Husker Du, “Target.” The sound my head has made all week.

    Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime.” This ain’t no party …

    Jimi Hendrix, “Beginnings.” It’s just a wordless blues, shot through with so many tempo changes, you’d think it’s longer than four minutes and change. Pure genius.

    Gang of Four, “Glass.” So restless, talking about this and about that …

  8. 1.  “Five Feet High And Rising” – Johnny Cash – The Essential Johnny Cash     Now it’s just a bit frightening that iTunes shuffles this up first considering that I live in North Carolina and Hurricane Irene is about to call!

    2.  “Oh Well” – Fleetwood Mac – Then Play On     Kind of Zen-like advice.

    3.  “If I Should Fall Behind” – Bruce Springsteen – Lucky Town

    4.  “Toad” – Cream – Fresh Cream – Wheels Of Fire

    5.  “Let The Four Winds Blow” – Fats Domino – Fats Domino Jukebox

    1. > “Five Feet High And Rising”> “Oh Well”
      > “Let The Four Winds Blow”

      I guess that’s one way to look at it.

      Take care of yourself over there!

  9. Iron Maiden – “Moonchild” (Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, 1998)  
    I remember thinking that both Iron Maiden and Judas Priest had sold out when they started using guitar synths. Typical teenage angst I guess, but boy was I wrong. Just listen to Steve Harris’ galloping bass underneath the synth and guitar sheen. Solid song from an album that is probably too often overlooked.

    Joe Satriani – “Belly Dancer” (Strange Beautiful Music, 2002)  
    I bought Flying in a Blue Dream without having heard a single note and then promptly wore the cassette out. Then I fell in love with Surfing with the Alien. The Extremist was next, this time on CD. But somewhere after that I just lost the attraction to Joe. I have since tried to pick up his stuff and listen all the way through, but I’m sad to say that more often than not, I just can’t do it. Strange Beautiful Music did however become the soundtrack for my HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding for a few weeks back in the day.

    The Beatles – “Tell Me What You See” (Help!, 1965)  
    The Beatles catalog is just way too confusing to me, what with the differences between the UK and US releases alone. This particular song was only on the UK release since in the US, the album was a soundtrack album and since the song had already appeared on Beatles VI. Beatles VI?! That’s a real album? Are you sure? Yep, apparently so. As for the song, it doesn’t really do it for me, but it’s The Beatles, so that’s something, right?

    Cheap Trick – “I Want You to Want Me” (Bun E.’s Basement Bootlegs 3 “Beertown ’75” (Disc 2), 1975)  
    I love Cheap Trick, but I’ve never been crazy about this song. OK, that’s not quite true. I was infatuated with the whole of At Budokan back when I acquired the vinyl. This take has a fire and urgency missing in the sappy and admittedly weak, albeit definitive, version everyone is familiar with, but it doesn’t make me like it any better.

    Black Sabbath – “Hole in the Sky” (Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978), 2002)  
    I love the separation of the dual guitar parts you get when you listen to Tony Iommi with headphones on. Heavy, driving Sabbath tune, and I really like the edge in Ozzy’s vocals. I think I see the sky opening up.

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