Friday Five

The Friday Five: December 2, 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:

Being that it is December, I’m going to start shuffling exclusively through my holiday tunes!

“Rexroth’s Daughter” by Winterbloom (from Winterbloom: Traditions Rearranged, 2009)

I’m not certain how this qualifies as a Holiday record. Winterbloom was a one-off collaboration between singer/songwriters Natalia Zukerman, Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson, and Anne Heaton. Apparently, this is a cover of a Joan Baez tune about poet Kenneth Rexroth’s daughter. Again, I’m not certain how this qualifies as a Holiday record. Next!

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo (Malibu remix)” by Billy May (from Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remixed, 2005)

Did he just say Halle Berry? What is this! I’m going to go out on a limb and say the only reason this is in my library is for the remix of “All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth).”

“White Christmas” by Tommy Emmanuel (from All I Want for Christmas, 2011)

This is the most recent — and most welcome — addition to my Christmas music library.

“White Christmas” by Darlene Love (from A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector, 1963)

It’s a toss up between A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector and A Charlie Brown Christmas for the nod as my favorite Christmas record. I can, and do, listen to either album multiple times over the holiday season without any hesitation. I’d have to say it is a tie!

“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Michael Bublé (from, Christmas, 2011)

Ah, Michael Bublé … the cougar’s Justin Bieber. I’ll cop to having this at my wife’s request. Wait, does that mean my wife is a cougar? Crap.

What’s on your shuffle today?


  • Anonymous

    1) Ahmad Jamal — “Autumn Leaves” (The Essence, Part 1, 1995).
    2) Anita Baker — “Lead Me Into Love” (Giving You The Best That I Got, 1988).
    3) Patty Griffin — “Be Careful” (1000 Kisses, 2002).
    4) Aimee Mann — “Borrowing Time” (@#%&*! Smilers, 2008).
    5) Prince — “Still Would Stand All Time” (Graffiti Bridge, 1990).

    • Michael Parr

      “Still Would Stand All Time” remains one of my favorite Prince tracks. Highly underrated, in my book. Sure, it’s hokey as hell, feels like a forced gospel, and contains some of his least inspired lyrics, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t do something for me. 

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Mike. I’ve always liked that song as well. It does have an uplifting emotional resonance to it. Nice collaboration with the Steeles.

        True confession: Being a big Prince fan back in the day, I actually saw Graffiti Bridge in a theater. I think there were six people for that showing the day the film opened.

  • Phil

    U2 – “Kite” (All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000)
    I was a big fan of this album when it first came out. I don’t know if I overplayed it or what, but it doesn’t seem to stand up well these days to me. That being said, “Kite” is one of the better tunes, and I don’t immediately want to skip it.

    King’s X – “Sometimes” (Out of the Silent Planet, 1988)
    Mid-tempo groove from the Texas trio filled with complicated, twisting, heavy riffs, arpeggiated guitar verse sections, excellent vocal harmonies, and Doug Pinnick’s raspy, soulful lead vocals. Just the usual stuff that the music world wasn’t ready for in 1988.

    Rush – “Bravest Face” (Snakes & Arrows, 2007)
    iTunes is really digging Rush lately, especially this album for some reason. Much of Snakes & Arrows was written on acoustic guitar, and it shows more here than on other tunes. I like this song, but the opening verse almost kills it for me every time, what with Geddy’s uncharacteristic almost-out-of-tune vocals and Alex’s strange acoustic riff—that is until we hit the bridge and the real Rush shows up.

    OSI – “Standy (Looks Like Rain)” (Office of Strategic Influence, 2003)
    Probably the most melodic and laid-back song on the debut album from this supergroup featuring Fates Warning’s Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater members Kevin Moore and Mike Portnoy. And at 2:09, it’s way too short.

    Flight of the Conchords – “Mutha’uckas” (Flight of the Conchords, 2008)
    Seriously, dude, iTunes totally played this tune yesterday when I was shuffling. What gives?! “Too many mutha’uckas ‘uckin’ with my shi’!”

  • Mike Duquette

    I’ll bite: I’ve been adding Christmas music into iTunes since November, and even though it’s only 400 or so songs out of nearly 15,000, I’ll draw from the seasonal sounds from here to the 23rd.

    1. Bing Crosby and David Bowie, “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth”: OK, I’m glad I did this now. I love everything about this one, all the way down to Bowie’s suit in the video. I’ve had good friends try to talk me out of liking this one, but it’s just not possible.

    2. John Williams, “Finale from ‘Home Alone'”: One of the many fringe benefits of Christmas: “Home Alone” and its excellent score by John Williams. There may not be any singing, but it’s essential listening when decorating trees, wrapping presents and the like. One of the Maestro’s most underrated, particularly that swell in the orchestra during the last statement of the theme. (The deluxe reissue of the score, released by La-La Land Records last year, is a must-own if you like Williams like I do.)

    3. Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, “A Green and Red Christmas” (from “A Green and Red Christmas”): just picked this one up the other day – it was recorded in 2006 and reissued to tie into the new movie, naturally. If you love Muppets, you’ll probably find it as cute as I do.
    4. Alison Moyet, “The Coventry Carol” (from “A Very Special Christmas”): one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums, and the hypnotic vocals of Miss Moyet? Yes please.

    5. The Carpenters, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (from “Christmas Portrait”): A pleasant run-through of the standard – nothing terribly special, but this is a great one to listen to for the holidays.

  • EightE1

    Jimi Hendrix, “Little Miss Lover.” From the BBC Sessions disc.  Sounds like the whole thing could unravel at any moment, but the band holds it all together.

    Wilco, “Whole Love.” I should probably play this Wilco record a bit more, but it turned me off for some reason.  Listening to Tweedy’s falsetto doesn’t help matters much.

    Lou Reed and Metallica, “Iced Honey.” Oh, wow. I suddenly am having abdominal pains, like an hour or so after I eat a diner burrito. Thank God this thing only goes on for 4:30.

    Chickenfoot, “Last Temptation.” Tha ‘Foot rocks.  That is all.

    Chris Cornell, “Scar on the Sky.” From the Songbook record. This one goes out to #1 Cornell fan, Michael Parr.

  • Chris Holmes

    1 – The Three Suns, “O, Holy Night” (Christmas Party, 1952)
    2 – Bobby Helms, “Jingle Bells” (Jingle Bell Rock, 1957)
    3 – Los Straitjackets, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (‘Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets, 2002)
    4 – Jackie Gleason and Jack Marshall, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas / Baby It’s Cold Outside” (Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails, 1996)
    5 – Perry Como, “Jingle Bells” (All the Songs You Want for Christmas, 2006)

  • Anonymous

    1.  “Simple Things” – The Tedeschi Trucks band – Revelator   “Midnight In Harlem” continues to be my favorite song from this CD, but “Simple Things” is a close second.

    2.  “Dirty Dishes” – Deer Tick – War Elephant

    3.  “St. James Infirmary” – Bobby “Blue” Bland – First Class Blues

    4.  “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers

    5.  “Fat Man In The bathtub” – Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus

  • kshane

    1. Buffalo Springfield – “Broken Arrow” (Live at Bonnaroo)
    2. Keith Monacchio – “She Stumbles Gracefully” (The Long Evening)
    3. Pugwash – “Four Days” (The Olympus Sound)
    4. The Rolling Stones – “Mercy Mercy – Version 1” (2120 South Michigan Avenue)
    5. The Grassroots – “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” (Where Were You When I Needed You)

  • Anonymous

    “Your Good Lovin'” by France Joli from Now! (1981). Sometimes, listening to France Joli just puts me in a good mood. This one is less disco-y than most of her stuff — it’s kind of Teena Marie, Light.

    “Bedtime Story (Orbital Mix)” by Madonna from Bedtime Story Single (1995). This is, hands down, the best remix of this song. 

    “Trick Bag” by Robert Palmer from Riptide (1985). I’ve been on a bit of a Robert Palmer kick lately. It makes me really sad he’s no longer with us.

    “Closing of the Year” by Wendy & Lisa from Toys Soundtrack (1992). I believe I own this soundtrack because it contains two rare, fairly terrible Tori Amos tracks. This Wendy & Lisa song is pretty great, though. Something a little different to add to your Christmas mix.

    “Panic In Detroit” by David Bowie from Aladdin Sane (1973). Ooh, my favorite David Bowie track. Great way to end this Five.

  • Mike

    1. “Me & My Lonely Room” by Marvin Gaye: A vinyl rip, with all the attendant popping and scratching that entails. Very spare track for Sixties Motown, not very much orchestration. Sort of splitting the difference between a 60s Motown groove and a jazzy Nat King Cole flavor.

    2. “Homeless” by Paul Simon: I’ve been a Paul Simon fan all along, but my fan-dom has been ramped up several levels in the past year or so. “Graceland” is a fantastic album. Gotta make sure I re-tag this as featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Hopefully I’ll be done retagging everything in my iTunes library by the time I’m 40.

    3. “Genius Of Love” by Tom Tom Club: Even if I may not actually be dancing right now, I’m doing the robot in my mind.

    4. “Psyche” by Massive Attack: I have to give their most recent album a much more involved listen one day. I’ve got to be in a certain type of head to enjoy these guys, and I’m not in it right now. 

    5. “It’s All True” by Tracey Thorn: A) There seriously needs to be a new Everything But The Girl album released soon, and B) Do you follow her on Twitter? She’s hilarious.

  • Dennis Corrigan

    Not quite ready to go all holiday music yet (although I finally loaded up the iPhone the other night):

    1. “Diamonds and Pearls” by Prince and the New Power Generation from Diamonds and Pearls.  The purple one always plays well here.  He’s probably top of my list of guys I haven’t seen but want to before it’s too late.
    2. “Why God Loves You” by P.M. Dawn from Jesus Wept.  My friend Mike (see just above, aka @Blerdguy:twitter ) sent me a whole mess of P.M. Dawn after a Twitter conversation in which I said I had lost track of them after their first two releases.  He made sure to correct that bit of musical ignorance (1 down, a jillion to go).  I put on Jesus Wept in the car the next morning, and it blew me away.  Once again, thanks, buddy!
    3.  “Sock It To Me – Baby!” by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels from Rev Up: The Best Of.  Apparently my iTunes is in an R&B-ish kind of mood this evening.
    4. “Reggatta De Blanc” by The Police from “Reggatta De Blanc”.  I always associate the Police as the background music to a certain high school girlfriend.  That and Foreigner’s 4, so, um, yeah, let’s just move it along.
    5. “Blue Eyes” by Elton John this one from To Be Continued… speaking of just moving it along.  Once again, the tease of the Friday Five remains alive and well.

    Hope you hear something great this weekend, aside, of course, from Mellowmas…

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