Friday Five

The Friday Five: April 29, 2011

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:

“Manifest Destiny” by Jamiroquai (from The Return of the Space Cowboy, 1994)

If only every plonker that bought Travelling Without Moving for “Virtual Insanity” had reached back one release, they’d find the acid jazz informed soul-funk of Return, and be all the better for it.

“The Body That Loves You” by Janet Jackson (from janet., 1993)

One hundred percent throwaway track from an otherwise awesome record. At this point, though, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis could do no wrong. Must be something in the waters of Lake Minnetonka that removes local artists ability to edit themselves.

“One Mic” by Nas (from Stillmatic, 2001)

I’ll be damned if I know anything about reppin’ this or any hood, but I know there are few that can challenge Nasir Jones in this moment. Built on a sliver of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” the track maintains the stark intensity of the original, bubbling over as Jones’ frustration manifests in increasingly tense verses and resolves with the request for a more simple life.

“Again” by Lenny Kravitz (from Greatest Hits, 2000)

I’m just going to go ahead and say it … what the fuck ever happened to Lenny Kravitz? The featured new tune on his greatest hits package, this tune is plain lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I dig it, but it is late ‘90s power balladry 101. Where’s the “dig my heart out of my chest with this rusty spoon” emotion of a tune like “It Ain’t Over, Till’ It’s Over”? Further than that, this came out over ten years ago! Paging Mr. Kravitz … I’m doing something I don’t often do, and hitting the “skip forward” button.

“Knockin’ Da Boots” by H-Town (from  MTV Party to Go, Volume 5, 1994)

Aww yeah! That, boys, is the sound of some panties dropping.

What’s on your shuffle today?


  • Anonymous

    “Turpentine” by the Rainmakers from 25 On

    I always liked Bob Walkenhorst and the boys in the late 80’s, but like so many of those type bands then they fell off the map (has anyone seen Jimmer Podrasky and the Rave-Ups lately?). They actually released an album this year, last month to be precise, and though I’ve only heard 3 cuts (thanks Joe Berry!), they sound as good as the best tracks from The Rainmakers and Tornado. Good to know that happens sometimes. This one’s kinda funky-gospelly, with great lyrics that equivocate mineral spirits with drinking spirits and holy spirits.

    “You’re Insane” by Rod Stewart from Footloose and Fancy Free

    Footloose is generally regarded, by those who still care, where the Rod Train went off the rails for good, replacing heartfelt Faces-style Stonesy rock and country with slick, trashy, superficiality performed by whatever session pros happened to wander by or his highly anonymous road band studio rock product. That said, this album does have its moments in a degraded way, and this has a nice stutter-step beat but also sports direly misogynistic lyrics. Can’t win ’em all, I guess. I got in the mood to hear this for the first time in a decade at least, don’t hold that against me.

    “There For Her” by Lloyd Cole from Don’t Get Weird on Me, Babe

    The best Jimmy Webb tribute I’ve ever heard, from an album which elbowed its way into my personal top ten. I once stood next to Cole at a bar in Nashville, but didn’t have any idea what to say to him (sure as hell didn’t want to gush) so I just let the moment pass.

    “Caryatid Easy” by Son Volt from Straightaways

    Somewhat repetitious cut from Farrar & Co.’s second album, but you know that already I’m sure. I keep listening to this album, hoping it will kick in, but I don’t think it’s ever going to. Not that I listen to it all that often, mind you.

    “The Avengers (Superbad)” by T.Rex from Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow

    Zinc is a lackluster record, no two ways about it, especially just two years removed from Electric Warrior and The Slider…but it does have its moments, though it’s got a terribly tinny sound and Gloria Jones’ shrill soul wailing grates. This cut has a nice section in which Gloria & friends chant “Get this” as Bolan plays a backwards-masked guitar solo, so it gets a pass from me.

  • jefito

    1. New Order, “Here to Stay”
    2. Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, “Broken Record”
    3. Big Country, “Message of Love”
    4. Crowded House, “Love This Life”
    5. Bob Schneider, “Flowerparts”

  • dslifton

    1. “Before They Make Me Run” – Steve Earle and The Supersuckers. Earle’s covered the Stones a lot, but has there ever been a song by them that’s better suited for him?

    2. “As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone” – Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty. I almost wrote “Conway Twitter,” which would have made Michael give me a good ol’ fashioned #liftonfail if I hadn’t caught it in time.

    3. “Cruel To Be Kind” – Nick Lowe (Live At St. Luke’s). Pure pop perfection, even when performed with just an acoustic.

    4. “Never Let Me Go” – Aretha Franklin. I love how she turns every word into a separate thought.

    5. “Run, Run, Run” – The Gestures. A deep cut from the first Nuggets box.

  • Anonymous

    “This Must Be It” by Röyksopp from Junior (2009) Featuring the vocals of Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife, Fever Ray), this is one of my favorite tracks from this fantastic album. It’s impossible for me to be in a bad mood when I listen to this record.

    “Rocket” by Goldfrapp from Head First (2010) I don’t think this album has left my MP3 player since I got it. Dance pop perfection.

    “Frozen Stuff” by The Gentlemen Thieves from MaDonna Summer (2009) This is a mash-up of Madonna’s “Frozen” and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff.” It’s fun. Whatever.

    “Day Dreams” by Raphael Saadiq from Stone Rollin’ (2011) This will definitely make my list of best albums of 2011.

    “I’m In Love with A Girl” by Jill Sobule and John Doe from A Day at the Pass (2011) If you can get your hands on this album, do so. It’s really excellent. I’m a big fan of Jill and John and hope I get to see them live some time soon.

  • Mike Duquette

    1. The Beatles, “All You Need is Love” – Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, but was this the first time a pop band referenced themselves in a tongue-in-cheek manner? The “She Loves You” quote always makes me smile.

    2. Cyndi Lauper, “Sisters of Avalon” – there’s no denying Cyndi’s got a capital-V Voice, but I’ll take anything from “She’s So Unusual” over most of her ’90s stuff any day. That insistent guitar figure in my left headphone is pretty catchy, in a “Mysterious Ways” sort of way.

    3. Billy Joel, “Roberta” – from the underrated, well-written “Streetlife Serenade” album. Maybe it’s because I’m so heavily exposed to Phil Ramone-era stuff, but sometimes Billy’s early stuff doesn’t entirely sound like him. This is, I think, an exception.

    4. John Williams, “Map/Out of Fuel” from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” – one of many interesting cues dug up when Concord expanded the three Indy soundtracks in 2008. It wasn’t a complete set – especially in the case of “Temple” – but it’s still a fun listen.

    5. Daryl Hall & John Oates, “Crime Pays” – An interesting groove from the “H2O” album that only goes so far over four and a half minutes.

  • de10ero

    The Beatles-Ticket To Ride

    Uh oh, ominous way to start the day

    The Silver Seas-What’s The Drawback?

    Cool ELO vibe running through this one

    Darden Smith-Clatter And Roll

    A heavyweight song off a lightweight album

    The Beach Boys-Do It Again

    Almost impossible not to sing along…”I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout…”

    Paul Kelly-Pretty Place

    Brilliant stuff off his latest masterpiece, The A-Z Recordings

  • Anonymous

    1. “Hey Nineteen” – Steely Dan
    2. “Living In America” – James Brown
    3. “Travelling Riverside Blues” – Led Zeppelin
    4. “Take Me To The River” – Al Green
    4. “Down On The Farm” – Little Feat

  • Pete

    1. “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin'” – Reverend Horton Heat
    2. “If You Don’t Like It” – Cinderella
    3. “7” – Prince – live in Vegas, 2006 (Dance 2 the Desert Groove)
    4. “Guyute” – Phish
    5. “Howaya Girls” – Young Dubliners

  • Chris Holmes

    1. Rush, “Tom Sawyer” (from a 1983 Signals tour show) – What else can be said about this song? The fact that it’s not old for me at this stage of the game speaks volumes.

    2. Chris Kenner, “I Like It Like That” – Not a fan of Kenner’s flat vocal delivery but the hook is strong.

    3. Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Some Things You Never Get Used To” – OK, so maybe they don’t have a ton of soul, but dammit I loves me some Supremes.

    4. White Rabbits, “I Used to Complain Now I Don’t (live)” – Man I hope their next album is better than their 2nd release.

    5. Mötley Crüe, “Looks That Kill” – Awwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!! Fuckin’ glam metal for the win!

  • BillC

    Gimme Some Truth-Jakob Dylan from the Instant Karma collection. I am not a huge fan of these tribute CDs but this is a great version of a great song.
    Down to My Soul-Paul Kelly from A-Z. I saw someone else posted a song from this amazing collection today on their five. Considering only 2,000 copies of this were sold in the U.S. that is pretty cool.
    Your Own Sweet Way-Notting Hillbillies from Missing… Presumed Having a Good Time. I always love it when this pops up on the shuffle.
    Jeweler’s and Bums-Joe Strummer from Earthquake Weather. Very nice.
    Freedom-McCartney from Driving Rain. Oh well. Four out of Five isn’t bad. Not that this is a bad song. It isn’t. But like much of Mac’s material it is fairly nondescript.

  • Mike

    I’m always torn between whether to just submit my list and STFU, or whether to debate some parts of your list. This time I’ll do both.

    “The Body That Loves You” has actually held up well over the years. It’s never been my favorite track on “janet.”, but it’s never been a skip-button candidate. I know people are quick to give the credit for JJ’s best work solely to Jimmy and Terry, but “janet.” and “Velvet Rope” really speak to the three as a true collaborative team. Jam and Lewis have never made anything that sounds like those two albums before or since.

    What happened to Lenny Kravitz? “Again” turned into the biggest hit of his career, and he decided he was going to remake it…again…and again…and again. In between remaking “Fly Away”. “It is Time for a Love Revolution” was actually his best album in a decade, but I’m not holding out much hope for the new one.

    Moving on…

    01-“Theme from Dying Young”-Kenny G.

    Fuck. I meant to uncheck this. I swear I did. Not a good start.

    02-“(I’m Looking For) Cracks in the Pavement” by Duran Duran

    One of Simon’s most melodramatic vocals…he just sounds pouty and disturbed on this one.

    03-“Do You Knwo What? (instrumental)” by Sly & the Family Stone

    From the expanded version of “There’s a Riot Goin’ On”. Not sure if the misspelling is intentional on their part or not. Nice simmering funk groove here-reminds me a lot of “Inspiration Information” by Shuggie Otis. Maybe it’s the primitive drum machine.

    04-“Don’t Tread on Me” by Metallica

    My childhood at the mercy of Top 40 radio is probably the reason I like late period Metallica (4 minute songs, catchy hooks) more than early period Metallica. The Black Album was a good midpoint (and was also the album that turned me into a Metallica fan, as I imagine it did to millions of others).

    05-“Dramastically Different” by The Beastie Boys

    You want confirmation that the Beastie Boys are stoners? Listen to “The Mix-Up”. Pot smoke practically comes out of the speakers when this album is playing.

    • Michael Parr

      I welcome it!

      I won’t disagree with you where the collaboration between Janet, Jam and Lewis is concerned. By janet. they were working as a cohesive team. I still think “The Body That Loves You” is filler, especially compared to the rest of the record.

      I didn’t know Lenny had a new record coming out. I suppose I’ll give it a listen when it comes out.

      • Mike

        Last part of the first side of that album-“What’ll I Do” and “Funky Big Band” particularly…both a swing and a miss for me. Rest of the album is at worst solid and at best perfect.

  • EightE1

    Been feeling like shit (physically, mentally, and emotionally) since I got back from the beach Monday. I just KNEW I shoulda stayed down there longer. Let’s see if my Five’ll make me feel better:

    Rainbow, “Stone Cold.” Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow is some pretty cool commercial rock. This sounded really good coming out of my old Yorx all-in-one stereo back in ’82. Pretty sure this was the only Top 40 hit for the band, and it’s a good ‘un.

    Derek & the Dominos, “Layla.” What do you say about “Layla?” Classic all around. Seven minutes of pure passion. You know, when this song is mentioned, it’s usually the guitars that are discussed, but I think Clapton’s voice here is worthy of equal praise — so strong, to hold its own atop that wall of instrumental superiority; so desperate, he can barely get some lines out. It’s probably his best vocal performance, period — he reached for his upper limit, and somehow went beyond it.

    Justin Currie, “What Is Love For.” Speaking of great voices – Del Amitri’s main main gives a heartbreaking dirge here, from his first solo record.

    Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks (Part 1).” I get it — this is classic hip-hop, stuff that paved the way for today’s hip-hop. I just don’t feel this, though.

    Cheap Trick, “The Flame.” If not the Mt. Olympus of power balladry, then certainly a peak of only slightly lesser height, housing gods that, on a good day, could give Zeus a run for his money. Certainly, Robin Zander throws some thunder and lightning, particularly on the chorus. The Number One song in the country the week I turned 18. One of my all-time faves.

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Left them loaded edition:

    1. “Who Needs Sleep?” by Barenaked Ladies from Stunt. Never have totally understood their appeal, but I like smart, catchy pop songs as much as anyone
    2. “Reason To Cry” by Lucinda Williams from Essence – very nice
    3. “Tell The Truth” by Derek & The Dominoes from Layla 20th Anniversary Edition. Another appearance from this record in this week’s Friday Five. Duane Allman, ‘nuf said. Still debating if it’s worth getting the 40th anniversary set, leaning towards no only because it reminds me I’m 20 years older than when I got this.
    4. “You’re All That I Want , You’re All That I Need (Demo)” by Kiss from their box set. Much rawer (and for the better) than the version released on Unmasked. The only time I saw them was on that tour, which I’ve was only in Europe, Australia & New Zealand.
    5. “Shape of My Heart” by Sting from Ten Summoner’s Tales

    There it is, hope you hear something good this weekend

  • My hmphs

    1. “Workin’ In Corners” – Nanci Griffith
    2. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” – Asia
    3. “Skipalong” – Lenka
    4. “Faster” – Janelle Monáe
    5. “Hometown” – Joe Jackson

  • Qnu423bia

    First of all, your friday five produced some really interesting outputs. Surprised Steely Dan didn’t end up in the mix as well. If you really dig back in the stacks Jamiroquai had emergency on planet earth with Too young die being the track in heavy rotation.
    My first five
    Woman no fret -Buju Banton
    Drum In A Grip – F. De Wolf – Wax Doctor – LTJ Bukem
    UDO – Lalah Hathaway (Donny Hathaway’s daughter)
    (Pimp) Strut – Pete Rock (Samples heavy from Butterfly (a herbie hancock instrumental)
    Just a little – Craig T. Cooper

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