The Friday Five: March 30, 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:

“Every Day I Have the Blues” by Count Basie (from Verve Jazz Masters 2, 1994)

You know, despite the title, this number swings like mad. I’m not sure I’d swing so hard if I had the blues everyday. Memphis Slim sure didn’t write it this way.

“Got Me Under Pressure” by ZZ Top (from Greatest Hits, 1992)

Driving beat; thumping bass line; Berry-esque boogie–yep, it’s a by-the-numbers ZZ Top hit.

“Hot Thing (dub version)” by Prince (from 12″ Archive 2.0, 2001)

Makes me long for the days when Prince would put out singles stuffed to the gills with b-sides and remixes.

“Kit (What’s the Scoop)” by Slick Rick (from The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, 1988)

Rick the Ruler! I wore out at least two copies of this cassette back in the day.

“Dancing Nancies” Dave Matthews Band (from 1995-02-25: DMBLive: Lafayette College-Allan Kirby Field House, Easton, PA, 2010)

This is a pretty subdued version of the DMB live staple.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: March 9, 2012

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:

“Drown” by The Smashing Pumpkins (from Singles, 1992)

By virtue of its inclusion on the Singles soundtrack this could be my favorite Smashing Pumpkins track. On second thought, that right probably belongs to the the album cut “Mayonnaise” from Siamese Dream, but I’d still place “Drown” at a close second.

“Mishale” by Andru Donalds (from Andru Donalds, 1994)

Okay, raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Andru Donalds. I’m not going to lie, I’m astounded to find that this tune actually charted in Billboard’s Hot 100.

“The Monster’s Heart” by The Damnwells (2009)

During the recording of No One Listens to the Band Anymore, Alex Dezen opened the studio doors and gave the fans that pledged to fund the record access to the demos, outtakes and sketches from the proceedings. This is the early bones of “The Monster,” and is just as powerful in its quiet acoustic take.

“I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” by ZZ Top (from Greatest Hits, 1992)

Do you think that for a moment the boys in ZZ Top considered for a moment while writing all these blues infused tunes they’d serve as the soundtrack for shilling everything from automobiles to beer?

“The Magic Number” by De La Soul (from The Best Of. 2003)

Ending on a funky note, nice!

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: July 22, 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:

“Rewrite” by Paul Simon (from So Beautiful or So What, 2011)

There aren’t enough hours in the day to listen to Simon’s latest record as much as I’d like. “Rewrite” is just one of the many reasons why.

“Another Lonely Christmas” by Prince & The Revolution (from 12″ Archive 2.0, 2001)

Christmas in July? With temperatures across the country reaching well into the triple digits, I’d bet everyone could stand a little holiday cheer to remind them that snow and sub-zero temperatures that’ll be here in just six short months. There’s not much cheer to be found here, though.

“Legs (dance-enhancing version)” by ZZ Top (from Greatest Hits, 1992)

I know, I know … what is “Legs” without the video, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EXXZVdUJ98&w=600&h=480
That’s better, right?

“The Scientist” by Johnette Napolitano & Danny Lohner (from Wicker Park, 2004)

Take the already haunting Coldplay cut, amp it up with the incomparable vocals of Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano, and you’ve got yourself a perfect cover.

“[silence]” by Nine Inch Nails (from Broken, 1992)

They say silence is golden. I swear, this is the next track that shuffled up, though I feel like I might be cheating you guys. Maybe I should elucidate on just how … oh, forget it. I used the word elucidate and I want to kick my own ass right now.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: September 18, 2009

http://ickmusic.com/pics/FridayFive01.png

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 Smashing Pumpkins – “1949 (vocal mix)” (from Rarities and B-Sides, 2005)

It seems like a lifetime ago when Billy Corgan was actually relevant. Despite his ongoing attempts to further bury his Smashing Pumpkins into the ground I will hold the bands early work near and dear to my heart. While clearly ego-driven, the ambitious Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness to this day stands as one of my favorite records of the mid 90’s. This particular track was part of a remix single featuring remixes by Roli Mosimann and Moby.

Counting Crows – “Goodnight Elisabeth” (from Recovering the Satellites, 1996)

Easily one of my favorite songs in Counting Crows repertoire, “Goodnight Elisabeth” is a perfect example of the band’s strength and moreover Adam Duritz’s ability to craft the most lovelorn tale and wrap it up in a beautiful package. The lyric “If your the Queen of California I am the King of the rain…” continues in the tradition of the storyteller tying back to his past tales.

OutKast – “B.O.B.” (from Big Boi and Dre Present…Outkast, 2001)

This track is – in a word – relentless. At a frenetic 155 BPM it is the definition of banging and was the first OutKast single that really caught my attention. I was familiar with the group prior and loved the track “Elevators (Me & You)” but had not connected with the southern hip-hop duo outside that. That all changed with this track.

Paul Davis – “’65 Love Affair” (from Sweet Life: His Greatest Hit Singles, 1999)

This track just takes me back to days without a care, riding bicycles and running around during the summer. For that simple fact I cherish this track.

ZZ Top – “Rough Boy” (from Greatest Hits, 1992)

A few years later and maybe a little less “riding bicycles and running around during the summer” but this holds a similar place in my heart. Growing up just outside of the reach of NYC’s Z100 the Hudson Valley pop radio landscape in the ’80s was dominated by K104.7 WSPK and its Saturday Night all request with Dr. John Barron. It was through these shows that I discovered not just pop, but rock, new wave, AOR and of course the Power Ballad. “Rough Boy” was the third single from ZZ Top’s Afterburner and was their last in the ’80s.

I’ve got my five, what’s coming up in your shuffle today?

Ode to Vinyl

In honor of Vinyl Record Day on Sunday (the 130th anniversary of Thomas Edison‘s invention of the phonograph), JB over at The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ has organized a “blog swarm” of posts dedicated to the once dominant medium of vinyl records. I’m proud to be part of this swarm, so after you check out this post, be sure to click around to JB’s site for the main post, as well as the other great blogs involved (links down below).

Vinyl. LP’s. Records. Time marches on, and the music listening public at large distances themselves from the LP era, which covered the majority of the 20th century. For those of us older than, oh – let’s say 35? – a special little pocket of our music lovin’ hearts will always be reserved for vinyl records. Here are some random ramblings regarding my reverence toward the record.

First LP: As a bona fide music nerd, I can remember the very first album I ever bought. It was ZZ Top’s El Loco, which was released in November 1981. So it must have been about Christmas time when I walked into a Mankato, Minnesota mall and plopped down my hard earned allowance money for the record. The song that captured my fascination at the time, and inspired me to buy the record, was “Tube Snake Boogie”. I was 11 years old at the time, and while I didn’t know firsthand of what they were singing about, I had a pretty good idea. Having two older brothers didn’t hurt either. “I got a girl who lives on the hill, she won’t do it but her sister will.” Straight to the point.

Albums that soon followed were REO Speedwagon’s Hi Infidelity, Foreigner 4, and the Scorpions’ Blackout.

Prince LP Mania: My vinyl collection grew significantly after September 1984, when I morphed into a Prince-loving animal. Many bus rides were taken to downtown Racine’s Mainstream Records to snatch up the latest Prince or Prince-related albums, 12″ singles, and 45’s. They’re still with me today. All of ’em. In protective plastic wrap. I’m just waiting for the day that my daughters get old enough to start thumbing through my Prince records, and they’ll see the Lovesexy album, and turn to me with a quizzical and confused look on their faces (Lovesexy, by the way, is probably the last LP I ever bought new).

Proud Papa: I gotta say though, my daughters will be well versed in all formats of music. My three year old already knows what LP’s, cassettes and CD’s are. And she can fire up a song in iTunes like nobody’s business. I can also play her any Beatles, Springsteen, or Prince song, and 90% of the time she nails it. Strummer or the Clash? She has about a 48% success rate. But we’re working on it. My poor daughters… They have no choice, do they? But I guess there are worse childhoods than spending it immersed in your dad’s music! As long as they’re not singing “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” or “Revolution no. 9” on their first day of kindergarten.

Hardware: My Yamaha turntable, which had served me since 1989, quit on me about a year ago. So by making good use of the Amazon Wish List feature, one of my birthday gifts last weekend was a new USB turntable. I’m back, baby! What’s more, my work buddy Jim up and quit his job and moved back to the east coast. But not before he handed over a couple of crates of vinyl to me.

So here are a handful of tunes ripped straight from vinyl, both from Jim’s collection, and mine. Though I’ve moved on to the digital age, and most of my music is in the form of mp3’s and CD’s (less and less), I’ll always be an album guy.

Vinylove:

  • The feel.
  • The artwork.
  • The inserts.
  • Placing the record on the turntable.
  • Working for and appreciating your music.
  • Flipping to side two.
  • The art of putting the record back into the sleeve.
  • Carefully handling the vinyl.
  • Thumb on the edge, index and middle finger on the label.
  • Appreciating your collection.
  • Showing off your collection.
  • Something to have and to hold…

A smattering of vinyl rips:

Artists United Against ApartheidSun City (mp3) – Little Steven’s 1985 anti-apartheid project.

Dead or AliveBrand New Lover (mp3) – The Dust Monkey’s Love Bubble Mix – thanks Jim for the crate of albums!

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown BandTender Years (mp3) – From the Eddie & The Cruisers – Soundtrack. One of he quality tracks from Boss sound-alike Cafferty.

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown BandOn the Dark Side (mp3) – oh hell, I have to include this too…

Now on to the SWARM!

JB’s Main Post is Here.

The contributors:

AM, Then FM
Bloggerhythms
The “B” Side
Davewillieradio
Echoes in the Wind
Flea Market Funk
Fufu Stew
Funky16Corners
Good Rockin’ Tonight
Got the Fever
In Dangerous Rhythm
It’s Great Shakes
Jefitoblog
Lost in the 80’s
Py Korry
Retro Remixes
The Snack Bar
The Stepfather of Soul
Three-Sixty-Five 45s