The Friday Five: February 4, 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:

“Naima” by John Coltrane (from Giant Steps, 1959)

I spent the better part of my 20’s as a full on record store junkie—albeit, a paid one. On the occasions where I found myself opening the store on a Sunday morning, I had only one requirement: Coltrane was to be played for the first three hours of the day. It’s a ritual that I carried for years, and to this day, when I’m up early on a Sunday morning I’ll revisit one of his classic sides.

“P Control” by Prince (from The Gold Experience, 1995)

Oh, Prince … you dirty motherfucker, how I miss you.

“Boy” by Ra Ra Riot (from The Orchard, 2010)

I’m still quite smitten with The Orchard.

“Burning Up” by Madonna (from Celebration, 2009)

I think it was my musical “brother from another mother” Mike Heyliger who started the discussion on Madonna’s lesser appreciated singles a few weeks back. I completely forgot about “Burning Up,” opting instead for “Angel.”

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” by U2 (from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004)

Speaking of under-appreciated singles, this should have been every bit as big a hit as any of the band’s hits of the aughts.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: April 30, 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:

Would you believe I actually forgot it was Friday? I was able to sneak in a quick listening session during a short break between meetings, here’s what I heard:

“Let Me Love You Tonight” by Pure Prairie League (from The Best of Pure Prairie League, 1995)

“A Matter of Trust” by Billy Joel (from The Bridge, 1986)

“Rapture” by Seed (from Ling, 1994)

“Stars Fell on Alabama” by Cannonball Adderly & John Coltrane (from Cannonball & Coltrane, 1960)

“3×5” by John Mayer (from Room for Squares, 2001)

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: January 15, 2010

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, 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.

Editor’s Note: Due to a recent hard drive crash, my library is a bit compromised at the moment. Today’s five comes courtesy of my iPod which, not surprisingly, has some holiday music that was skipped along the way.

The Five:

1. “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel (from Greatest Hits, Volume I & Volume II, 1985)

2. “Twice as Hard” by The Black Crowes (from Shake Your Money Maker, 1990)

3. “Cousin Mary (alternate take)” by John Coltrane (from Giant Steps, 1960)

4. “Sara Smile” by Hall & Oates (from Greatest Hits: Rock ‘n Soul, Part 1, 1983)

5. “Burning Down the House” by Dave Matthews Band (from 2008-08-09: DMB Live Trax, Volume 15: Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI, USA, 2009)

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: October 2, 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:

The Who – “You Better You Bet” (mp3) (from Then and Now (1964-2004), 2007)

While I accept that saying that “You Better You Bet” – originally from The Who’s 1981 album, Face Dances – is my favorite song in the legendary band’s catalog is probably some form of blasphemy, I’m going to say it anyhow. It could be due to the fact that it was an FM radio staple during my formative years. I could be its infectious sing-along quality. Whatever it is, for me, it’s the tops.

Dead Can Dance – “The Carnival Is Over” (from Into the Labyrinth, 1993)

The ethnic fusion of duo of Brendan Perry and vocalist Lisa Gerrard has appeared on the Friday Five a few times over the past (nearly) two years. This track is quite possibly the best representation of the group. Soft beds of strings with contrasting medieval counter-melodies contrast against Perry’s powerful baritone.

Paramore – “Playing God” (from brand new eyes, 2009)

ANGST! The latest from the emo-pop power group Paramore serves up more pent up teenage rage than a sale at Hot Topic and contains some signs of growth and decent songs. Though it is a little difficult to take it seriously when it includes lyrics the like of which are to be had here:

You don’t have to believe me
But the way I, way I see it
Next time you point a finger
I might have to bend it back
Or break it, break it off
Next time you point a finger… I’ll point you to the mirror

GRR!

John Coltrane – “Cousin Mary” (from Giant Steps, 1959)

A master class in improvisation, the entirety of Coltrane’s seminal Giant Steps should be required listening for everyone.

Ambrosia – “You’re The Only Woman” (mp3) (from Anthology, 1997)

Here’s something to consider “You’re The Only Woman” is Ambrosia’s least successful single. Make no mistake, you know this song and it’s quite likely that you like it. For those of us with an unhealthy addiction to the Mellow Gold this is a worthy addition to your collection (but more than likely you have it already.)

Now that’s a fine five, what’s yours look like?

The Friday Five: July 31, 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:

Nickleback – “How You Remind Me” (from Silver Side Up, 2001)

I don’t know that I would say that I am a Nickleback fan. Truthfully, I am not even sure that I would say that I care for them at all, yet looming in my library is not one but three records by the band. Not quite heavy enough to be considered metal, and far too mainstream to be alternative Nickleback found a home on Top 40 radio and became the new millennium’s answer to Def Leppard. Seriously, putting these guys in the studio with Robert John “Mutt” Lange could yield the best selling record since Thriller. Wait… he produced their latest record. Somehow, I don’t own it.

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – “Lush Life” (from John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, 1963)

Coltrane and Hartman’s relationship began in the late 1940s while doing stints in Dizzy Gillespie‘s band. The story behind “Lush Life’ goes like this, Coltrane and Hartman had decided on 10 songs for the album, but en route to the studio they heard Nat King Cole on the radio performing “Lush Life”, and Hartman immediately decided that song had to be included on the record. For me, this record stands as quite possibly one of the most romantic albums in recording history. Hartman’s syrupy baritone… Trane’s tenor vocal delivery… this is the real deal. If you’ve not had the pleasure of hearing this recording I implore to you click the link and pick it up, you’ll be glad you did.

Nice & Smooth – “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” (from Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed, 1991)

The best hip-hop gives you a view into a world that you may otherwise not have access to. As a white kid growing up in upstate New York I was taken by the tales of the struggles of inner-city life. This particular track has always been a favorite, with it’s sample lifted from Tracy Chapman‘s somber “Fast Car” it embodied the hopelessness of dealing with addiction.

Young MC – “Bust a Move” (mp3) (from Stone Cold Rhymin’, 1989)

Okay, you’ve got the tune, here’s the video, commence with the booty shaking… Let’s have some action! Let’s have some asses wigglin’… I want some perfection! Bwaa-ha!

311 – “Love Song” (mp3) (from 50 First Dates, 2004)

Over 36,000 songs in my library… and this is the second time that 311‘s take on The Cure’s classic “Love Song” has made an appearance on The Friday Five in the last six months (no less). Let’s see what I had to say last time it shuffled up

On occasion a cover song reimagines the original to such a point that it becomes its own unique entity (see John Cale’s “Hallelujah” and Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”) and far surpasses the original. This is one of those cases. As much as I love the original, 311’s sun-drenched take on The Cure track captures the essence for me.

Yep, I’d say that again. Oh, wait, I just did! I swear I’m a lazy bastard sometimes… but my guilt is to your benefit as I’m including a bonus track for your evil downloading pleasure! Here is a classic extended remix from a 1989 promo. The Cure – “Love Song (extended remix)” (mp3)

Okay, I’ve shown you mine… you know what to do!