Friday Five

The Friday Five: March 26, 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: I want to take just a moment to thank Rob Smith for filling in for me last week. I strongly recommend checking out his series Death by Power Ballad, over at Popdose. He is a huge influence on my writing style, and truth be told, I was honored to have him cover for me. Now, onto this week’s five! – Michael

The Five:

“Spoon” by Dave Matthews Band (from Before These Crowded Streets, 1998)

Before These Crowded Streets remains my favorite record by Dave Matthews Band. It has a dynamic that I think that the band has been chasing ever since its release, and has only come close to with their most recent release Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King. “Spoon” is the record’s final cut, and features Alanis Morissette on vocals, Bela Fleck on Banjo. The lyrics find Dave contemplating God himself in a cup of coffee. Alanis delivers the knockout, third verse:

From time to time
Minutes and hours
Some move ahead while
Some lag behind
It’s like the balloon that
Rise and then vanish
This drop of hope
That falls from his eyes

“The Idea of You” by Dave Matthews Band (from 2008-08-26: DMB Live Trax, Volume 14, 2009)

More DMB? I’ll take it! This recording is from the final show saxophonist LeRoi Moore performed with the band before the ATV accident that lead to his death. The tune is an unreleased gem that the band has played multiple incarnations of in the last few years. Matthews’ has mentioned on numerous occasions that the track is about his unrequited crush on a childhood babysitter. I’ve maintained since the first time I heard it in 2006, that if they released this as a single it would be just a big of a “hit” as “Crash (Into Me).” The band shelved this song for the 2009 tour, and it’s uncertain if it will resurface, but here’s hoping it does.

“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles (from A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)

Now that the second – or was it the third – wave of Beatlemania has settled down a bit, I’ve been spending some quality time with each of the remastered records individually. A Hard Day’s Night is the record that I seem to come back to most often, likely driven by my love of the title track and only furthered by its association with the film of the same name. I’ve watch the movie at least three or four times in the last six months, as it seems to pop up on VH1 Classic or Palladia at least once a month.

“Momma’s Boy” by Chromeo (from Fancy Footwork, 2008)

I love Chromeo. That’s it.

“Perfection” by Run D.M.C. (from Raising Hell, 1986)

Back in the day, my friend Ducky and I – yes, we called him Ducky – would learn and recite the rhymes from this record. This one I always rocked a little extra hard, if only for the following:

I got a funky fresh (car) with the funky fresh (bar)
I’m a funky fresh (star) and I’m up to (par)

Now that I’ve embarrassed myself, I think I’ll go ahead and ask the question:

What’s on your shuffle today?


  • Bill C

    Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat-Bob Dylan A great version from one of many Dylan bootlegs I own. Of course, it sounds nothing like the original, but that’s ok.

    Try It Baby-Marvin Gaye. Not sure I had ever heard this song before but I am glad I now have.

    You Can’t Take It With You-Paul Kelly. I think Paul Kelly has been on my Friday Five for about a month in a row, which shows you how much of his music I own. This is such a great tune. I continue to be amazed that he was never more popular here in the states.

    Still Of The Night-Ella Fitzgerald. I have no idea how this came to be on my iPod, but a very nice song. She had a beautiful voice.

    Hope of Deliverance-Paul McCartney. Ending on a bit of a down note. A nice enough song, but nothing spectacular.

  • EightE1

    Sloan Wainwright, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).” Marvin Gaye cover by Rufus’ aunt. Got to chat her up a bit before Rufus’ show in Harrisburg last year. She has a full, thick folkie voice, put to really good use here, particularly on the wordless parts of the song, when she just lets go. She was prety wonderful live, too. This is from an album called Rediscovery, which, if I recall my conversation with her correctly, is comprised of covers of her favorite songs by men. Good stuff.

    Kiss, “Thrills in the Night.” Jarring about-face. My man-crush on Paul Stanley is documented, and he sounds awesome on this track, from Animalize. Talk about thick voices; he sounds like he’s ready to gargle a bit in the bridge. Of course, this being a Kiss track, the chick he’s singing about is a street-walkin’ bimbo, out doing her best Julia-Roberts-in-Pretty-Woman shtick of pimping herself out because she’s got a fire inside her that she can’t put out any other way. Or some such thing. You gotta love those guys in Kiss and their sexual fantasies about street-walkin’ bimbos, particularly ones with day jobs. With that in mind, Gene simmons should probably have sung this, but it actually has, you know, a melody, which is not exactly Genie-Boy’s forte.

    South San Gabriel, “Alabama Crusade.” I know nothing about this band — I got the Dual Hawks download from whence this comes for the Centro-Matic half. This is a good song; the guy sounds parched. I like the accompaniment — picked acoustic guitar, cello, and something else I can’t put my finger on. Something keyboardy. Maybe an accordion? Or a melodica (insert hooter joke here)?

    Ben Harper & Relentless 7, “Faithfully Remain.” This is what Harper does best (except, apparently, fucking Laura Dern): a slow-burn ballad, full of vaguely spiritual undertones, even though it’s probably about fucking Laura Dern. That voice is such a great instrument — at once relaying strength and vulnerability. I understand he wants this record to be considered a band album and not a solo thing. I’d be inclined to do that, were it not for the fact that it sounds just like his solo records. This reminds me that I downloaded Harper and the 7’s recent live EP, and I’ve only listened to the Queen/Bowie cover on it. There are probably other songs on it I’ll like, particularly if they’re about, you know, fucking Laura Dern.

    Robert Plant and Alison Krauss,”Your Long Journey.” Some days, I’m like, “Fuck Robert Plant. Put Zeppelin back together you hoary old fuck, and make us all happy.” Then other days, I’m like, “Way to go, Robert Plant. Follow your muse, you long-haired golden god.” On the former days, I’m probably listening to Physical Grafitti; on the latter, I’m very likely listening to Raising Sand, which I don’t do nearly enough, it occurs to me now. This is such a good record, isn’t it? It has no business being as good as it is, even with the pedigree of performers and producer. But yeah, right now, I’m inclined to pat Robert Plant on the back and congratulate him for sticking to his guns, not going for the easy buck just to placate Page. I probably wouldn’t wash that back-pattin’ hand for a couple days afterward.

  • EightE1

    Oh, and thank you for your kind words, Michael. I’m a lucky sumbitch to have friends like you and the rest of our Popdose brethren and sisteren. Anytime you need a fill-in, you let me know.

  • Mike (Popblerd)

    1) “I’m For Real” by Howard Hewett (1986)-One of modern soul music’s most underrated voices. Smoother than silk.

    2) “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz (1988)-Did these guys ever have a follow-up song? Or an album, for that matter?

    3) “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” by U2 (2005)-It sort of bothers me that this song was probably written expressly in order to be a tearjerker, but it performs that function quite well. I think more people should give “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” props…it’s a solid album.

    4) “Mississippi” by Train (2001)-Their hit singles have silly-ass lyrics, but their low-key, subdued stuff is pretty good.

    5) “Love for Sale” by Talking Heads (1986)-Every once in a while, I wish I was born in 1966 instead of 1976, so I could have gotten the chance to see Talking Heads live. Ah, well…

  • whiteray

    Well, I hit something wrong and lost my comment . . . a clear sign from the universe I need to start over.

    1 “All Along The Watchtower” by Affinity from “Affinity,” 1970. A long – 11:40 – take on Dylan’s song with lots of acidy guitar and groovy organ solos. Fun.

    2. “Country Doctor” by Bruce Hornsby from “Hot House,” 1995. This is an album I haven’t often listened to. It’s okay.

    3. “Song to the Magic Frog (Will You Ever Know)” by Sagittarius from “Present Tense,” 1967. This is one of Curt Boettcher’s confections, I believe. Sweet sticky pop.

    4. “Tangering Girl” by Trubrot from “…Lifun,” 1971. These folks are from somewhere in Scandinavia. Odd pop-rock.

    5. “Lady Day” by Frank Sinatra from “Watertown,” 1969. Sad song from a sombre album written, I believe, by Jake Holmes, who also wrote Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.”

  • KathyB

    Friday Five for the snow, which is just starting,

    1. “Soho” by Bert Jansch & John Renbourn, from “Bert and John,” 1966.

    2. “Detour Ahead” by Jane Monheit, from “Never Never Land,” (2000).

    Starting off pretty good with these two songs, although every time I look at that Jane Monheit cover, I think she’s wrapped with Scotch tape. Especially when seeing it at smaller sizes.

    3. “Born on a Day the Sun Didn’t Rise” by Black Moth Super Rainbow, from “Eating Us” (year unknown). I really don’t like this group and really don’t know why I keep this in my iTunes. At first I thought it was an eMusic free download of the day, but they usually put the year in their tags, so I really don’t know where this came from. (Apologies to any BMSR fans out there. I’m sure they’re great, but they’re just not to my taste.)

    4. “Home as a Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Loves You Always and Forever” by Woodpigeon, from “Songbook,” 2006. They got way too clever with the song title and not clever enough with the song.

    5. “Wave of Mutilation” by Rockabye Baby! from “Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of the Pixies.” Another one that I have no idea why I have. I am not a Pixies fan; although I recognize their significance and influence, I don’t care for them. I don’t even have kids, although I do have a dog. Maybe I kept this around because I need more education on the Pixies?

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