Friday Five

The Friday Five: December 9, 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:

Winter Wonderland” by Peggy Lee (from Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails, 1996)

This is a positively swinging take on the holiday classic. A secret Santa dropped this under my Christmas tree last week and it has been in heavy rotation ever since.

Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” by The Ramones (from The Big ’80s Christmas, 2001)

YES!

“What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)” by Meco (from Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album, 1980)

Double YES! This song couldn’t be more awful if it were sung by young Bon Jovi. (For those not in the know, the single “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was, in fact, sung by a teenaged Jon Bon. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.) I was actually listening to this song before I started the Friday Five, and had posed the question on Facebook. My friend responded with “a Flobee.”

Christmas Time Is Here” by Steve Vai (from Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas, 1997)

This sounds exactly like what you would think it does. Imagine “For the Love of God” with a holiday slant. Oh so dramatic! I can see Vai’s contorted “O” face as he laid this down. Damn, I kind of feel dirty now.

White Christmas” by Bing Crosby (from The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas, 1987)

What better to close out this Holiday-themed Friday Five than with a classic from the indisputable King of Holiday croon.

What’s on your shuffle today?

19 Comments

  • dslifton

    “Allentown” – Billy Joel. HI, TED!
    “Werewolves Of London” – Warren Zevon. Wrong holiday.
    “Holloway Jail” – The Kinks. Ray’s take on American folk.
    “Atomic Heels” – The Secret Machines. An eMusic Daily Download from two years ago that I never deleted from my iPod for some reason.
    “You Are Everything” – The Stylistics. Ah, that’s much better…

  • Phil

    Work and life have been kicking my tail big-time lately with deadlines and things to do. I’m still not ready for the all Christmas songs all the time theme, and since I’ve been on a bit of a lyrics kick on my blog anyway, I thought I would do a short-and-sweet lyrics-based Friday Five this week.

    King’s X – “The Train” (live bootleg)
    Step up and step aboard, your seat is to the left

    The Outfield – “Your Love” (Play Deep, 1985)
    Just ’cause you’re right, that don’t mean I’m wrong

    Stone Temple Pilots – “Creep” (Core, 1992)
    Feelin’ uninspired, think I’ll start a fire

    Matthew Sweet – “The Ugly Truth” (Acoustic & Live NoiseTrade Sampler, 2011)
    We want you to act like nothing’s wrong even though you heard a sound

    Dream Theater – “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (live bootleg)
    I’ve been working from seven, seven, seven to eleven every night and it kinda makes my life a drag

  • Chris Holmes

    Tommy Emmanuel, “The Magic of Christmas Time” – From his 2011 Christmas album, a damn fine addition to any holiday catalog.
    Black Sabbath,”Dirty Women” – Last.fm says this is from Technical Ecstasy but this sounds like a live version from one of their reunions. It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly vintage Sabbath is it?
    Toadies, “Possum Kingdom” – Oh hell yes!
    Soundgarden, “My Wave” – One of the lesser songs from the otherwise mind-melting Superunknown album. It’s still good, mind you, but I love the tracks that go for the jugular like “4th of July” or “Let Me Drown.”
    Anthrax, “Indians” – I guess it’s just a metal kind of day. Fine by me.

  • Mike

    Happy Friday, everyone. Here’s my five:

    “Forever is Not Enough” by Syreeta: Probably best known as Billy Preston’s duet partner on the ridiculously mawkish Top 5 hit “With You I’m Born Again,” Syreeta also served as Stevie Wonder’s creative and romantic muse for much of his most artistically fertile period and released a handful of albums for Motown in the Seventies and Eighties. If you get a chance, get your hands on a copy of “Stevie Wonder Presents…Syreeta.” EXCELLENT album. This song (from a different album) comes from the mid-late Eighties. It actually sounds like it belongs on Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” album. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.

    “Gold Digger” by EPMD: We almost lost Erick Sermon and Heavy D. in the same week. 16 year old me would have been sad as shit. Hell, 35 year old me was pretty bummed. For my money, this “Gold Digger” > Kanye’s “Gold Digger”…although both of ’em rock pretty hard.

    “I Keep Callin'” by Babyface: This is from the “Face 2 Face” album, when Babyface grew dreads and started to work with The Neptunes in a bid to shake his image up a little bit. That album is intermittently solid, and this is actually one of the better songs. Somewhat ironically (considering the previous song I played,) this song was produced by…Heavy D. It’s got sort of a modern Curtis Mayfield vibe to it.

    “Runaway” by Bon Jovi: The way they played this one in the New York area (for years if not decades after it’s release) you’d have thought it was a #1 hit on the level of “Livin’ On A Prayer.” It’s a testament to my Friday morning fuzziness that it took me a good 30 seconds before I figured out what song was playing when it came on just now.

    “Lifeline” by Parental Advisory: With a little prodding from my Popblerd partner Jesse, I wound up finally buying the “CB4” soundtrack on CD (and now to add the DVD to my Amazon wish list…) This is one of the more incidental/less funny tracks on it. I’ll be unchecking this one, sadly.

  • Mike Duquette

    Woo! Christmas shuffle time!

    1. Bing Crosby, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”: I’m most used to the Johnny Mathis version from, I think, the mid-’80s, but Bing’s vocal delivery (not to mention the backing vocals) seals the deal on this one. My only quibble is the sort-of abrupt ending, which Mathis’ doesn’t do.

    2. James Brown, “Believers Shall Enjoy (Non-Believers Shall Suffer)”: My first Christmas in college, I bought a JB Christmas compilation and it totally altered my holiday music tendencies. Last year, Hip-O Select released a 2-CD set of all of James’ Christmas stuff, which I highly recommend. This song, aside from being a rather wrathfully-titled holiday song, is actually just a brief, typically-funky jam. (The version that came up is listed as a “single version,” and I think has some extra or alternate overdubs.)

    3. John Williams, “Duncan’s Toy Store”: from the score to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, a film I actively dislike but still own all the music to. This piece uses one of the best holiday works Williams ever wrote, a jaunty carol called “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.”

    4. Andy Williams, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: a bona fide classic, even if I don’t know anyone who toasts marshmallows or tells scary ghost stories ’round this time of year.

    5. Frank Sinatra, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”: a perfect closer for this Five from a gorgeous voice.

  • EightE1

    Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, “I’m Not Gonna Cry.” How’d my iPod know how much I needed to hear something with a shit-ton of soul, right this very minute?

    Jimi Hendrix, “Machine Gun.” Band of Gypsys, people.  How’d my iPod know how much I needed to hear pure molten psychedelic/funk/soul/rock, right this very minute?

    Monotonix, “Give Me More.”  From Not Yet, one of my Top Ten Albums at the year (head over to Popdose to read ’em all).

    Waterboys, “Before the World Was Made.” Lyrics based on W.B. Yeats’ poems. Mike Scott duets with Katie Kim. It’s short, but potent.  Much respect.

    Florence + the Machine, “Only If for a Night.” Am I the only one who hears a lot of Grace Slick in Florence Welch?  This record is growing on me.

  • Anonymous

    1) Joe Lovano and Greg Osby — “The Wild East” (Friendly Fire, 1999). Cool collaboration between the jazz saxophonists.
    2) Carey Bell — “Easy” (Deep Down, 1995). An underappreciated late blues harmonica great.
    3) Anita Baker — “Giving You The Best That I Got” (Giving You The Best That I Got, 1988). Baker’s best in my opinion. Strong lyrics, sterling piano accompaniment and Baker’s stellar vocals. Great songcraft here. Surprised it is not a more popular wedding day number.
    4) Prince — “Shockadelica” (The Hits/The B-Sides, originally released in 1987). A little humorous tease of former Time sideman Jesse Johnson resulted in one of Prince’s more amusing and fun B-sides.
    5) Indigo Girls — “Ghost Of The Gang” (Poseidon And The Bitter Bug, 2009). Great tune about staying connected with old friends.

  • Ken Shane

    Afghan Whigs – “When We Two Parted”
    Maxine Brown – “One In A Million”
    Ben Folds – “Time” (alternate version)
    Ryan Adams – “I Wanna Be Your Dog”
    Eddie Hinton – “Letters From Mississippi”

  • Anonymous

    1.  “Tell The Truth” – Derek & The Dominoes – L.A.O.A.L.S.
    2.  “Give A Little Bit” – Supertramp – The Very Best Of Supertramp
    3.  “Keep A-Knockin'” – Little Richard – 18 Greatest Hits
    4.  “Stop Breakin’ Down” – The Jeff Healy Band- Cover To Cover
    5.  “Three Little Green Candles” – Chris Rea – The Best Of Chris Rea

  • Pete

    My 5.. 
    1. “Jump On It” – Sir Mixalot / “what’s up Phoenix what’s up?!… what’s up Phoenix what’s up?!… Phoenix! jump on it jump on it jump on it!!”

    2. “Old Flames Never Die” – Full Force / Old school Friday! This is my favorite Full Force tune too. Random factoid: Full Force sang backing vocals on Bob Dylan’s “Death Is Not The End.”

    3. “Amalucada Vida” – Manu Chao / “Crazy Life” in Portugese. I looked it up. 

    4. “Down, Down, Down” – Tom Waits / There’s also (almost) never a bad time for Tom Waits.

    5. “Laughing” – The Guess Who / I’m liking the path my iTunes is on this morning. This shuffle continues….

    Happy weekend… May those of you who haven’t started your Christmas shopping take comfort in the fact that I won’t start until next weekend…

  • Bill C

    Fourth of July-Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men-  Ok, again the wrong holiday.  But this is a scorching version of a great song.
    Reconsider Me-Warren Zevon.  Like someone else said, almost never a wrong time for Zevon.  What a song.
    Nobody’s Fault but Mine-Willie Nelson.  I am always reminded of Austin Powers. A great big Willie-Willie Nelson.
    Hearts of Stone-Bruce.  Wow. Not a bad song yet.
    You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice-Lovin Spoonful.  And the trend continues.

  • Dennis Corrigan

    OK, I’m going holiday, too:

    1. “Frosty the Snowman” by the Ventures from Ultra Lounge – Christmas Cocktails part 2.  From this version we learn Frosty likes to surf
    2. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” by The Chipmunks & Canned Heat.  This might be more annoying than the original
    3. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Elvis Presley from the Elvis Christmas Album – one of everyone’s must have Christmas records
    4. “We Need A Little Christmas” by Percy Faith from Christmas Is … Percy Faith.  Apparently my iTunes thinks Ike and JFK are still in office
    5. “All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) by Nat King Cole from Ultra Lounge – Christmas Cocktails part 2.  OK, good thing I shook up a martini before this Five

    Hope you hear something great while knocking out some holiday shopping!

  • Anonymous

    OK, I will play these reindeer games. Holiday mix it is! And I’m a little embarrassed at just how much holiday music I actually own.

    “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Diana Krall from Christmas Songs (2005). I like this album. It’s not a cutesy holiday album, which I appreciate.
    “Suzy Snowflake” by Rosemary Clooney from Christmas with Rosemary Clooney (2005). No Christmas collection is complete without lots of Rosemary Clooney.
    “Cold December Nights” by Boyz II Men from Ultimate Soul Christmas (1993). Baby-making Christmas music!
    “Christmas Rappin'” by Kurtis Blow from The Best of Kurtis Blow (2003). One of the best Christmas songs ever, am I right? (I am).
    “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson 5 from A Motown Christmas (1992). My favorite moment in a Christmas song is Michael shouting, “I did! I really did see Mommy kissing Santa Claus. And I’m gonna tell my Dad!”

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