Friday Five

The Friday Five: May 15, 2009

I find your lack of Shuffle disturbing.

For those who have not joined in the Friday Five here is all you need to know; each Friday 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 more the merrier!

The Five:

Van Halen – “In a Simple Rhyme” (mp3) (from Women and Children First, 1980)

Earlier this week our friends over at Addicted to Vinyl posted an incendiary Van Halen related article that sent me on a listening spree. In the last week I’ve listened to every record from Van Halen I to 1984 and still disagree with the assertion that “Jump” was in any way a stretch (or sell out) and that it was really a part of the natural progression of the band.

PrimusTommy the Cat (mp3) (from Sailing the Seas of Cheese, 1991)

It has been a long time since I’ve heard this tune. Les Claypool is easily one of the funkiest bass players ever. Juxtaposed against the brash beats and dueling vocals with Tom Waits the band picked up the torch dropped by Funkadelic, dropped some Metal on it and moved it along.

Madonna – “Borderline” (from The Immaculate Collection, 1990)

I make no bones about it; I absolutely love nearly everything Madge did prior to the turn of the new millennium. These days it’s all one can do to avoid her pathetic clawing at staying relevant, compounded only by her odd public/private life and her preclusion to much younger men.

Rage Against the MachineFreedom (mp3) (from Rage Against the Machine, 1992)

While I do really like guitarist Tom Morello‘s current project Street Sweeper Social Club, nothing can replace the sound and the fury of the original Rage Against the Machine record. Born of the first Bush presidency, the record captured the angst and social unrest that was brewing just below the surface; that and the hearts and minds of drunken frat boys from coast to coast.

James – “Laid” (from Laid, 1993)

In researching this tune I discovered that this record was produced by the legendary Brian Eno. It does not necessarily surprise me. One of the best parts of doing The Five week after week is spending a little bit of time getting to know the tunes in my collection a little bit better.

So what’s on deck in your shuffle this week?


  • Matt


    Great stuff – I agree that Jump (and the entire album) were indeed a natural progression. I might have been one of the few that really geeked out hearing them play “I’ll Wait” on the reunion tour.

    Five from moi:

    1. Alanis – “Hand In My Pocket” (acoustic) – I was unable to stomach AM’s music through most of the 90’s because of how much we played Jagged Little Pill era material at the radio station. Nearly a decade later I got my hands on the “acoustic” version of this album, and it is consistently one of my favorite listens.

    2. The Smithereens – “Especially for You” (live) – From their live CD “Live in Concert,” a disc that captures quite perfectly the experience of being at a Smithereens show. The setlist is nearly perfect, as perfect as you can get with one CD/79 minutes.

    3. Dream Theater – “The Answer Lies Within” – From the Octavarium CD, which is one of the ones in the DT catalog that it took me a while to get on board with. Gained more of an appreciation after I saw the live show at Radio City (DVD taping) and I fell in love with tracks like this one, “Sacrificed Sons,” the title track, etc.

    4. Dan Baird & Homemade Sin – “Hellzapoppin'” – Dan Baird joins forces with Warner Hodges from Jason & The Scorchers for one of last year’s most underrated albums. Great stuff.

    5. Eric Gales Band – “Piece Of My Soul” – In The 90’s, I loved me some Eric Gales Band. Still do. The two EGB CDs are faves in my collection, for sure.

  • Michael

    “I’ll Wait” has always been a standout for me. I missed the last reunion tour for fear of witnessing an EVH meltdown and being disappointed, which in retrospect was pretty dumb.

  • Gonzo

    Sadly, I can’t contribute this week as I am out of town and sans Zune.

    However, I have some comments:

    -“Jump” was a huge hit, but c’mon, a sellout? In comparison to what? It’s not as if it was a huge departure for the band stylistically. If incorporating a synth = sellout, then sell me straight up the river, boy. “I’ll Wait” is incredible. A friend of mine did this at karaoke recently and it blew me away. I had tickets to see them in Pittsburgh on the reunion, but they canceled! Boooooo

    Michael – I’m with you 100% with your Madonna assessment too.

  • Matt

    Dude, I love the Madonna as well.

    Re: VH. I had every plan to sit out the VH tour because of the lack of Michael Anthony. Only way that I was going, would be via free tickets. So of course, ended up getting free tickets for the opening night of the tour. How can you pass that up? I couldn’t. Hopefully they will end up putting out that supposed live DVD that has been talked about….on the nights that Eddie was on (and I saw a couple of those,) the tour really was magical.

    Gonzo – I think as a Clevelander, I’m supposed to let you know that VH cancelled because it’s Pittsburgh. And Pittsburgh sucks.

    There, I feel like I’ve done my official Cleveland duty 🙂

  • Gonzo


    Ha! I’ll just remind you what team has won the most Super Bowls! 😉

    But I’ve had some good times in Cleveland over the years – a few shows at the CSU Convocation Center (Prince, Bowie) and The Grog Shop (Jucifer).

  • Sheila

    The amazing thing about the Laid album by James is that there is a companion album, Wah Wah. Laid and Wah Wah were recorded at the same time in two different studios. Wah Wah is actually the songs on Laid in their experimental form. It’s a really interesting look into the creative process of James. Brian Eno would just go into the studio flip the record switch and let the band do whatever they wanted. It is all improv, which apparently, is how James recorded all their stuff. They would just go into the studio, jam, go over the tapes and pick out the best ideas. They’ve made some great music over the years and it’s great to have them back.

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