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.
Editor’s Note: I’m packing up and heading out early this morning to head to Hershey to see Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews Band tonight. In my absence Matt from Addicted to Vinyl has agreed to fill-in… see ya’ll next week!
I want to start off this edition of the Five by paying tribute to one of Michael’s picks last week – “So Little Kindness” by Huey Lewis & The News. That sucker is proof positive that Huey and the boys still are, and will always be, the coolest. You’ll find that one on Time Flies….The Best of Huey Lewis & The News, if you missed it, but you can also find it on Plan B, their latest studio album to date, and one that comes highly recommended by yours truly.
On with this week’s Five!
Elizabeth and the Catapult – “The Hang Up” (from Taller Children, 2009)
We’ve got a venue here in Cleveland called The Winchester that is a wonderful place to see live music, and a place that you can always count on seeing someone cool in addition to whoever you came out to see. For those that love discovering music, (and isn’t that why we’re all here?) The Winchester is a godsend. I was out for the evening to see Greg Laswell, and also Elizabeth and the Catapult who were on the bill in the opening slot. I had heard the name, definitely was curious to see the band, and instantly became very happy that I had made an effort to get there early. I hope that Verve/Forecast has the horsepower to get this band some exposure, because with the right promotion, I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about Elizabeth and the Catapult in the next year.
Greg Laswell – “High and Low” (from Through Toledo, 2006)
Prior to this week’s show, I didn’t own any of Greg Laswell’s stuff, something that very quickly changed after the show. “High and Low” was one of those songs that I instantly remembered liking from when I saw Laswell earlier this year. As someone that really loves sad and dreary songs, “High and Low” is one of the better sad songs I’ve heard in a long time.
Go-Go’s – “Beneath The Blue Sky” (from Talk Show, 1984)
I’ve been talking lots about The Go-Go’s and Jane Wiedlin in the past week with a good friend of mine, who apparently loves The Go-Go’s just a little bit more than I do – as demonstrated by her Go-Go’s inspired email address. Talk Show is arguably the best known album in the Go-Go’s catalog, and yet it is one of the only ones that is out of print. What’s up with that? It’s been on CD at least twice – the original issue, and a mid-90s reissue that quickly went out of print. Insert massive amounts of music fan regret here – I had the reissue, and sold it at some point when I needed money for a car repair job. Little did I know that they were planning to yank it from the store shelves. This is one of my favorite albums from the 80s, although truthfully, I’m more of a Bangles fan.
Rick Springfield – “Oblivious” (from Venus in Overdrive, 2008)
Snicker all that you want, but Rick Springfield has put out some great albums over the years – Living in Oz is probably my favorite from back in the day, and towards the end of the 80s, he dropped Rock of Life, another classic that not enough people heard. The good news is that he’s still making albums that are worth hearing, as recently as last year’s Venus in Overdrive. I never got around to writing about this one for my own site, but I really enjoyed the album a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it, and this one caught me by surprise on shuffle. Springfield has written some wonderfully dark songs that capture the essence of the inner romantic turmoil that one often faces. This is probably one of his best recent songs in that category. On a side note, I haven’t heard Springfield’s newest release, My Precious Little One. I guess I’m not quite ready to hear Rick singing kid tunes. Maybe next week? We’ll see.
Def Leppard – “Stand Up (Kick Love In Motion” (from Adrenalize, 1992)
While reading a Def Leppard show review earlier this week, I had to snicker at the following comment from one of the readers:
Onto Poison, I don’t like that they had to hold back as to not upstage Def. How could you not let Bret out on the catwalk to do Every Rose?
Answer: They’re probably worried that he’ll hurt himself. I like the Poison hits (which I grew up with) as much as anyone else, but the thought of those serious musicians in Poison “holding back” is comical. By the way, I’ve heard from several people (and it’s mentioned in the review above) that Bret’s voice is pretty roached this summer. That’s kind of a bummer, because Poison do put on a fun show normally, and it sounds like the shows this summer have been average at best.
Speaking of average, I’ve always been a big Def Leppard fan and it bums me out that Joe Elliott just can’t cut it live these days vocally. Sure, he was never the greatest singer, but you could always count on a great live show from Def Lep, and that’s unfortunately no longer the case. I did see them live in 2002 on the X tour, and they kicked ass. On that tour, they were opening most nights with the entire first side of High n’ Dry, which was just as awesome as it sounds like it would be. After that, I saw them a couple more times, including a tour with Journey, who with newly recruited lead singer Jeff Scott Soto, blew the Leps off the stage on a nightly basis.
Adrenalize is the last Def Leppard album that I really enjoyed, and it still gets a good amount of play even now in my world. On a related note, I do highly recommend the new deluxe edition of Pyromania, which has a kick ass second disc featuring a full live show from ’83. And as one that has had that live show on boot for years, it is a classic, let me tell you!
What’s on your shuffle? Thanks to Michael and Pete for the opportunity to guest here today on the Five!