Friday Five

The Friday Five: March 19, 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.

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?


  • KathyB

    I am going to defend John Denver with my life. That’s our state song, for crying out loud! My feeling has always been that anybody who thinks that song is about being on drugs has never spent any time in our state, particularly the mountains.

    Anyway, my five for Friday morning:

    1. “Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings. Speaking of bringing people back–my father used to play this all the time on the stereo in the basement, REALLY LOUD, because that was the only way to listen to “real country.” I grew up on Waylon and Willie.

    2. “Scene” from the March 2, 1994 City Center Encores! performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Allegro.” I don’t know exactly which “scene” this is, as there are a number of them interspersed with the songs. I’m not sure I could tell by listening to it either, as I’m still fairly unfamiliar with this musical, which isn’t produced very often. It’s toward the beginning of the first act.

    3. “When I Went Home,” conducted by Grant Gershon, from “An Awfully Big Adventure, The Best of Peter Pan.” I swear I don’t have a thing for Peter Pan, but for some reason, songs from this recording have a way of always showing up in my Friday Five.

    4. “Harmonica Man” by Stevie Wonder. I have no idea what album this is from, as someone sent it to me as part of a mix they put together featuring cowbell music. I do know it’s from the “Little Stevie Wonder” phase of his career.

    5. “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” by Patty Griffin, from “Love from My Lips,” disc 3. Woo-hoo! I may have gotten this from Popdose, or I may have gotten it before and relabeled it correctly after the series appeared on Popdose. I had about 2/3 of the songs from this set earlier, but they were kind of a disorganized mess. I’ve loved Patty Griffin ever since “Living with Ghosts” was released.

  • Bill C

    One Too Many Mornings-Bob Dylan. Nice way to start. This is a great song that brings back wonderful memories.

    Please Call Home-Allman Brothers Band. Two for two. I love ABB and this is a classic song. Gritty vocals, great blues riff. ABB at their best.

    See You in Paradise-Paul Kelly and the Dots. This is one of PK’s earliest recordings. The Dots were the name on the American releases of albums by PK and The Coloured Girls. You can imagine the desire to change the name for U.S. release. This is a great song, that sounds more like the Clash than Paul Kelly.

    Cinnamon Girl-Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs. Yeah, I know that the Under the Covers CDs were universally panned, but I loved them, and I love this version of the Neil Young classic song.

    Change My Way of Living-Dickey Betts and Great Southern. One of many commercial Dickey Betts bootlegs. He actually sells them on his website. A great song, but it loses a little bit in this live version. As I get older I grow less tolerant of long jams.

    Oh, and Kathy B: Luckenbach, Texas is one of the best Country Western songs ever. I used to sit at one of my favorite bars in Miami many, many years ago (probably before I was old enough to even go to bars) and this song came up nearly nightly.

    • Bill C

      Oh man. Foolin’ Around by Patsy Cline just came on. As I have said before, Patsy is America’s greatest songstress IMHO. Her voice is like silk.

  • Anne

    1. “Is this how love’s supposed to feel?” Ben Lee
    2. “Prayer for the Dying” Seal
    3. “La Cienga Just Smiled” Ryan Adams
    4. “Long Gone” Victoria George
    5. “Confessions” City and Colour

  • whiteray

    Well, it’s still Friday, so here goes:

    1. “The Only One” by Roy Orbison from “Mystery Girl,” 1989. One of the great voices on his last album. Nice.

    2. “Cryin’ Won’t Help You Babe” by B.B. King, David Gilmour & Paul Carrack from “Deuces Wild,” 1997. Gilmour and Carrack do okay on this bluesy tune, but the real star, of course, is King’s liquid fills and solo.

    3. “Them Changes” by King Curtis from “Live at Fillmore West,” 1971. A great cover of Buddy Miles’ funk standard.

    4. “Bossa Jo” by Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited from “Jo Sifert: Live Fast Die Young,” 2005. Not sure where I got this, but it’s spacey lounge music, and it’s kinda cool.

    5. “I Forgive You” by Maria McKee from “You Gotta Sin To Get Saved,” 1993. A little over-wrought. Maria’s done better, most notably with Lone Justice and on her self-titled debut album.

    Wow! Five different decades and nothing from the 1960s!

  • Jay

    1. “Big Emough” Keith Richards – Talk is Cheap
    2. “The Neighborhood” Los Lobos – The Neighborhood
    3. “Surf City” -Jan & Dean
    4. “Doreen” – The Tractors
    5. “Ten Dollar Man” – ZZ Top – Tejas

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