"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Brain Random Surgery 

I missed posting last week's Friday Random Ten, being as I was at Dinotown and all. You'll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that I was listening to some hella cool jams - unlike the crap I usually post here.

Anyway, since I feel like I owe you one, I'm going to do something a little special today: Following the lead of Happy Furry Puppy Story Time's Norbizness - a man among men, known almost as much for his perspicacity as for his clever use of charming traditional Texas idioms ("do what now?") - I will just this once engage in the Random Ten Coolness Self-Audit, in which I assign an arbitrary coolness score to each selection on a 1-10 scale and then pathetically try to explain myself. Also, Norby often expands the list to 12 songs for reasons which are not at all clear (although today he stopped at ten, in a futile effort to avoid admitting that "Dance the Night Away" is a truly great Van Halen song), and since I could not bring myself to stop at 10 today (for reasons which will become abundantly clear in the fullness of time), you will be graced with two additional selections. Lucky you.
1. "The Ballad of Peter Pumkinhead" (XTC): Tim Russert's theme song! Big-beat drums, punky harmonica stylings, a delightfully unsubtle political allegory, and a hook a mile wide. We're off to a good start. 8/10.

2. "Send In the Clowns" (Judy Collins): Oh, shut up! Look, it was written by Stephen Sondheim, who's like a successful professional composer or something; it has an oboe in it; and anyway, I used to have a crush on Judy Collins (for reasons such as this). Collectively, these factors add at least two basis points. 3/10.

3. "Get Rhythm" (Johnny Cash): That's more like it. 10/10.

4. "Sleepwalker" (The Kinks): Not their best, not by a wide margin, but even when Ray Davies phones it in, he's still Ray Davies. 5/10.

5. "Romeo's Tune" (Steve Forbert): This is Forbert's best song; in fact, you couldn't prove by me that he ever wrote anything else. It's either quaint and charming, or insufferably twee, and (as Lou Reed once said) I don't have to choose, so I won't. 6/10.

6. "Fight For Your Right" (Beastie Boys): I have several brilliant Beastie Boys tracks in my library, but this ain't one of them. Still, it's catchy, I guess. The very definition of a 5/10 selection. 5/10.

7. "Talk of the Town" (Pretenders): I think this song is absolutely gorgeous, and it reminds me of those innocent days in my youth when I thought working as a dishwasher at the Old Spaghetti Factory and staying up 'till dawn getting as polluted as the Cuyahoga River was romantic. 8/10.

8. "Takin' Retards to the Zoo" (Dead Milkmen): This song seems to show up with alarming frequency on Friday mornings. Love it or hate it, it's only 48 seconds long, so deal with it. Personally, I think it rawks. 7/10.

9. "King of the Road" (Roger Miller): Ain't that America. 9/10.

10. "Easy Come, Easy Go" (Bobby Sherman): Okay, now do you understand why I couldn't stop at ten? It could have been worse, I suppose - if it had been "Julie, Do Ya Love Me?", I would have had to assign a negative value. 0/10.

11. "Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)" (Q-Feel): I like it. So sue me. 4/10.

12. "Powerline" (Hüsker Dü): An obscure gem from one of my top 5 albums of all time (New Day Rising). Buy it now, or die unhappy. 9/10.

Which averages out to - let's see; carry the two... - a spectacularly mediocre 6.2/10! If you think you can do better, well, that's what the comments are for. Have at it, my pretties.

 

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