The Friday Five: January 6, 2012

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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:

Dreams” by Van Halen (from 5150, 1986)

This tune brings to mind two thoughts. First, how fucking thrilled is everyone to hear the new Van Halen tune? By the time you are all reading this, I’m certain that the internet will be flush with eye-witness reports from Thursday night’s gig at Cafe Wha?, which will only serve to fan the excitement. Second, how excited I was to listen to the new Chickenfoot record after reading the feature about it in this month’s Guitar Player. Satch and Michael Anthony talk a good game, but that record still bored me to (AOR)tears.

Sara Smile” by The Bird and the Bee (from Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates, 2010)

Oh, Inara George, how I love your unaffected gaze. How I long to curl up in your voice and sleep for awhile. Singing the songs that I grew up loving, with only the slightest trace of irony; just let me … oh, sorry everyone. I digress.

With or Without You” by U2 (from The Joshua Tree, 1987)

This takes me squarely back to my early, angst ridden, teenaged years. Was there ever a song more wrought with the type of heartbroken melisma that Bono delivers at the close of the song; ripe for use as the theme song for the adolescent heart?

Wasted Years” by Iron Maiden (from Somewhere Back in Time – The Best of: 1980 – 1989, 2008)

I’d submit that this was the exact moment that Maiden lost millions of hardcore metalhead fans, and gained that many, and many more, hard rock fans. Listen to that chorus! That is straight out of the AOR handbook. Someone must have slipped Steve Harris a copy before he sat down to write ’86s Somewhere in Time.

Top of the World” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

Bookend Van Halen tunes? I’d venture that my trusty iPod is trying to send a message. Okay, show of hands: how many of you know where the riff that kicks “Top of the World” quotes? Okay, now those of you that didn’t Google it just now, keep your hands up. Do you have your hands down? Good, use them to start up Van Halen’s “Jump.” Listen to the majesty of those keyboards! Revel in the jubilant chorus! When you get to the end, pay specific attention to the guitar and you’ll find your answer.

Oh, the rest of you can put your hands down now.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: September 16, 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:

“Class Act” by James Hunter (from The Hard Way, 2008)

Whoa! Where the hell has this been hiding? I’ve had this on my hard drive for a few weeks—courtesy of Jeff Giles—but hadn’t had the chance to listen to it. I’m going to have to go back after the Five is done and listen to the rest of this.

Mixed Nuts” by DJ Krush (from Krush, 1995)

This is the second week that a musical segue showed up in the second slot. Boo!

Runaround” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

Now this is more like it! I remember burning out not one, but two copies of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge when it initially came out. For me, this track is the closest that Van Hagar got to sounding like Van Halen, with the breakdown recalling the tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo of “Panama,” and the infectious main riff recalling any one of Eddie’s early rockers. Shit, I’m hitting repeat on this one.

Best Friend” by The Drums (from The Drums, 2010)

I’m calling this one a ‘jaunty, feel good tune!’

True Love Ways” by Peter & Gordon (from Top of the Pops 1965, 2007)

What an odd way to finish off the Five. With that, onto the weekend!

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: May 20, 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:

“Touch of Madness” by Night Ranger (from Midnight Madness, 1987)

Discussion around the Popdose water cooler has been buzzing about Night Ranger’s upcoming release, Somewhere in California, touting the return of “classic Night Ranger.” Perhaps predictably, Matt Wardlaw and Dave Steed are in a tizzy and Jeff Giles (Y’all) has to replace his monitor.

Oh, and will you look at that; Matt even wrote about it!

“Dance the Night Away” by Van Halen (from Best Of, Volume 1, 1996)

Since we’re all doomed in the next 48 hours, I might as well go ahead and let you all know that this is, hands down, without a doubt or question, my favorite Van Halen song. It’s the perfect example of the band’s ability to balance pop perfection and hard rock hooks.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles (from A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)

I’m debating listening to Abbey Road, Let it Be and Purple Rain all day Saturday. I’m not buying into this rapture bullshit, but if something is going down, I might as well go ahead and listen to my favorite records, right?

“Porch” by Pearl Jam (from Ten, 1991)

“What the fuck is this world running to?” Okay, enough of this end of the world crap.

“The Best of My Love” by The Eagles (from The Very Best of The Eagles, 2003)

When I heard the first strum, I was reminded of a story I read once. You should go and read it, but make sure you come back and leave your five!

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: March 11, 2011

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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:

“Wings and Feathers” by The Guggenheim Grotto (from The Universe Is Laughing, 2010)

A bit ironic that this week’s Friday Five would begin with my favorite Irish singer/songwriter duo, as I’m headed to NYC to see them later this evening. While not my favorite track from their most recent release, it’s one I could see coming to love, in the live setting.

“Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

As Jeff Giles’ (y’all) has pointed out, there simply is no better Friday record than Van Halen’s seminal, 1984. For me, “Hot for Teacher” was every bit the hit single as “Jump” or “Panama.” I mean, come on … that intro? I remember spending hours upon hours trying—in vain—to master the two-hand tapped figure.

“Babylon” by David Gray (from Draw the Line, 2009)

This is a live version of Gray’s big hit single. It’s a xerox performance, save for the crowd’s insistence to sing the tune themselves. As much as I love the original, I can’t sit through 6 and a half minutes of it.

“The Way Young Lovers Do” by Van Morrison (from Astral Weeks, 1968)

Sorry Mr. Gray … I’d much rather listen to the real deal.

“Airplanes, Part 2 (feat. Hayley Williams & Eminem)” by B.o.B. (from B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, 2010)

I can honestly say that I haven’t cared for much of Eminem’s output of the last few years, save for a verse here and there. His appearance on “Airplanes” is one of those exceptions.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: May 28, 2010

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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:

“Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp (from The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988, 1997)

Now there is nothing wrong with kicking the Friday Five off with a little kick in the ass. This is especially true when it comes to the particular brand of ass kicking that Mr. Mellencamp circa 1984 was dealing out. Despite having a kick ass video, I still associate this tune with the visual of Lori Singer and Sarah Jessica Parker getting down at the cowboy bar in Footloose.

“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson (from Bad, 1987)

Why anyone doubted that this man had a ton of game is beyond me. Case in point: “The Way You Make Me Feel,” which finds Jackson singing the praises of his lady friend’s physical attributes with that same bravado that I mentioned last week — the difference here being nearly 20 years.

“Without You” by The Doobie Brothers (from The Captain and Me, 1973)

While this soundly fits in the ass kicking, rock ‘n’ roll mood set by the first tune in the five; I’m more of a fan of the Michael McDonald chapter in the Doobies history. That said, this definitely kicks some ass.

“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon (from Excitable Boy, 1978)

I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here, so if you are fan of Kid Rock, you may want to skip to the next track. I’ll be damned if this isn’t the first time that I’ve heard Zevon’s calling card since that lazy, half-assed, poor excuse for a rock star, Kid Rock, went and appropriated it for his own use. I swear, the first time I heard his co-opting of “Werewolves” and Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama” I let a string of obscenities fly that would make George Carlin blush.

“Dance the Night Away” by Van Halen (from Van Halen II, 1979)

Being a “drooling fanatic” when it comes to Van Halen, I could talk until I’m blue in the face about Eddie’s influence alone. But this song is my hands down, all time, without a doubt favorite Van Halen song. Oh, and it kicks ass.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: May 14, 2010

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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:

“Get It Together” by Beastie Boys (from Anthology: The Sounds of Science, 1999)

One-Two, One-Two, Keep it on!

“Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)” by Mark Ronson (from Version, 2007)

Realizing this came out in 2007 stings a little. Hopefully we will hear from Amy again.

“Eruption” by Van Halen (from Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

Perhaps the most recognizable guitar cadenza known to man.

“Anotherloverholenyohead” by Prince & The Revolution (from Parade, 1986)

A classic, 4 sure! I much prefer the guitar heavy version he was playing in the late ’00s.

“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” by Frank Zappa (from Apostrophe (‘), 1974)

Sage advice.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: April 2, 2010

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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:

This week, I’m letting the music do the talking!

“You Really Got Me” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds, 2004)

“When I Come Around” by Green Day (from Dookie, 1994)

Apparently Prince doesn’t want anyone to hear this next tune. Probably a good thing, I’m just sayin’…

“Home” by Bria Valente (from Elixer, 2009)

“No Ordinary Love” by Sade (from The Best of Sade, 2001)

“Heard It on the Radio” by The Bird and the Bee (from Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates, 2010)

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: March 19, 2010

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks, this week Rob Smith takes the wheel!

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.

Editor’s Note: It doesn’t happen often, but I’m actually going to be away from all forms of internet today so I’ve asked my Popdose cohort, Rob Smith, to watch the shop for me today. I’m sure you will all make him feel right at home, and I’ll be back next week! – Michael

The Five:

Huh?  Wha?  You want me to do what?  Lead off this week?  Sure, dude.  Absolutely.  Anytime.

Here goes:

Gowan, “Moonlight Desires.”  Cool live version, solo piano.  I like this a lot better than the original studio version, with Jon Anderson on guest vocals.  Gowan, of course, has been the new Dennis DeYoung in Styx for the last 11 or so years.  I know a few Styx fans who can’t stand Gowan, but it’s not like he won a Rock Star: Styx competition to get the gig or anything. He had a solid, though unspectacular career prior to joining the band.  I recommend this live record (called Solo Live: No Kilt Tonight) for Gowan’s voice and chops, certainly, but also his humor (he performs a 30-second snippet of Monty Python’s “Lumberjack Song”) and this most excellent ballad.

Escape Club, “Wild Wild West.” Jesus freakin’ Christ, I have Escape Club on my iTunes?  Damn that Like, Omigod box set.  On the rare occasions I hear this song, I think about doing radio in college, freshman and sophomore years.  We had a Top 40 show I’d DJ on occasion, and this one was in the stacks and played pretty much constantly [I also think of Information Society’s “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” when I hear this, cuz both tracks were more or less ubiquitous].  We could play Escape Club once an hour with no complaints from management, but when I tried to squeeze in Thomas Dolby’s “Airhead,” I got in trouble.  I did win once, though — I was the first to play Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy,” got yelled at, but was eventually vindicated when it became, oh I don’t know, the Number One song in the country. I had fucking EARS back then, man!  But I hate Escape Club.  Shit.  Next?

Van Halen, “Unchained.” That’s more like it.  My fave Van Halen song, whether performed by Roth, Hagar (on the ’04 tour — fucking awesome), or Cherone.  I just think the riff is tops — one of the simplest and best Eddie VH ever conjured. Big fail, though — having Wolfie do the “C’mon Dave, give me a break” line on the most recent tour. Roth could eat that kid alive, and on occasion did. You’d think Ed would want to protect his only child from wiseacres like Roth. Perhaps ye olde parental instinct got burned out during one or another evening with the Schlitz Malt Liquor tallboys.

Jonatha Brooke, “Because I Told You.” The gods smile upon me. I love Brooke’s music, particularly the stuff from the Story through maybe ’95 or ’96.  This is from her first live record, and it’s a gem. A track from Ten-Cent Wings, arguably her best solo record, the melody gives me chills every time I hear it (only other song to do so consistently: Springsteen’s “Bobbie Jean.” Man, when that sax solo kicks in at the end …).  The sorta/kinda middle-eight is particularly beautiful: “You take the wheel for now / I’m too tired to drive this one home anyhow, for now.” Find this if you’ve never heard it — studio version or live.  You’re welcome.

John Denver, “Rocky Mountain High.” Fuck you if you think this is wimpy. Just … I don’t want to hear it. It takes a man — a real man, one not afraid to mow his lawn in the nude — to come up with a chorus like this one. “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky?” Are you kidding me?  Fucking great image.  I also like the AM radio vibe on this; it doesn’t matter what I hear this song on — computer, earbuds, boombox, or multi-component stereo system — it still sounds like I’m listening to it in my dad’s old Chrysler.  The one with the manual transmission, shift on the column.  But I don’t want to hear that it’s crap, or wussified pap, or unfit for man or Muppet. Great song. “Friends around the campfire and everybody’s high?”  I could go for being around that campfire right about now.

So anyway, now that I’ve defended John Denver by telling you all to fuck yourselves, I suppose that I should ask forgiveness.  But really, all I want to know is this: What’s on YOUR shuffle?

The Friday Five: January 29, 2010

On the sixth day of every week, Michael Parr shuffles through his library to bring you five random tracks.

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?

The Friday Five: October 9, 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:

Editor’s Note: With barely time to listen to five tracks today I’m presenting an abbreviated shuffle. Once a few of you chime in I’ll add your content to the post… that’s right we’re crowd-sourcing this week’s five!! – Michael

Wesley Willis Fiasco – “Girls on Film” (from The Duran Duran Tribute Album, 1997)

Van Halen – “Runaround” (from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, 1991)

Prince – “Te Amo Corazón” (from 3121, 2006)

Beastie Boys – “Body Movin’” (from Hello Nasty, 1998)

Dog Eat Dog – “Games (feat. Ronnie James Dio)” (from Play Games, 1996)

Who’s got the next Five?

Matt from Addicted to Vinyl:

Elton John – “Can I Put You On” (from 11-17-70)
Bruce Hornsby – “Dreamland”
Caroline’s Spine – “Deep In Your Wake”
Eddie Vedder – “No Ceiling”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Yer So Bad”

Bill C

Kelly Willis – “Fading Fast”

Kelly Willis is one of the country’s best country singers. If you are not familiar with her, I highly recommend you do so.
Steve Earle – “She’s a Mover”

I am not a big Steve Earle fan (I always felt I should like him more than I do) but this is a great cover.
Beatles – “I Am Happy Just to Dance With You”

Enough said.
Marshall Tucker Band – “Can’t You See” (Live)

OK, I admit it. I love MTB, and a host of other southern rock bands from the ’70s. This is a great version of a great song.
The Yardbirds – “Certain Girl”

Yes, the same song that Warren Zevon later made famous. Great song.

Keep em coming!