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

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fresh Fruit For Random Vegetables 

Good grief. A busload of elderly folks blows up while attempting to flee from Hurricane Rita, while water is pouring back into the Ninth Ward. Some days it just doesn't pay to look at the news.

So in the interest of mindless distraction, here's this week's Random Ten, fortified with a couple of extra tracks and a painfully honest Coolness Self-Audit (a trademark of Happy Furry Puppy Story Time World Enterprises):
1. "Crosseyed and Painless" (Talking Heads): Perhaps the most successful experiment in the Heads' efforts to blend elements of funk, world music, and skinny-tie pop. We're off to a good start. 8/10.

2. "Television On My Leg" (The Squirrels): This obscure Seattle outfit has been around now for over two decades, and they never get any less weird. Much of their ouvré consists of deranged cover versions (i.e., check out their magnum opus, The Not-So-Bright Side Of the Moon), but their originals are just as twisted. This track features Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (of the Posies) on extraneous dialogue and harsh bong tokes. 9/10.

3. "Slide" (Goo Goo Dolls): Oh, oh. "Slide" is exactly the right word. 3/10.

4. "Roam" (B-52's): Not hip, but I've always loved this song. 6/10.

5. "The Message" (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five): Hip-hop for white boys who want to kick it old school (or whatever it is that the kids say these days). 6/10.

6. "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" (Rick Derringer): I told you I was a white boy! 4/10.

7. "Needles and Pins" (Jackie DeShannon): The original - and best - version of this creepy classic, which has been covered to great effect by everyone from the Searchers to the Ramones. 7/10.

8. "Tenderness On the Block" (Shawn Colvin): I don't want to go all Lilith Fair on your asses, but I have to admire anyone who has the gall to cover this odd little Warren Zevon tune. This is a beautiful reading of the original, and shoulda been a hit. 7/10.

9. "Blue Moon" (The Marcels): Either you like doo-wop or you don't; thus, this is impervious to traditional methods of hipness auditing. Personally, I like it. 6/10.

10. "Unbelieveable" (EMF): Inexcusable. 3/10.

11. "Honky Tonk Woman" (The Pogues): Okay, who thought this was a good idea? It works a lot better in theory than in practice, but still - it's the Pogues. That's worth three points all by itself. 5/10.

12. "Instinction" (Spandau Ballet): Few things are funnier than wimpy '80's synth-pop bands trying to rawk out (see, e.g., Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf"), but this has a jamming bass line. 6/10

Which averages out to a lukewarm 5.3/10. Thus confirming what you all already knew about my hipness, or lack thereof.

 

Comments:

 

I have 5 of those songs. 1 of them on a vinyl 45. I bet you can't guess which one.

That one word review of "Unbelievable" reminds me of my favorite album review, which was published (IIRC) in Musician magazine. It was a review of the band GTR:

"GTR = SHT"
 
I have 5 of those songs.

I'm so very sorry.

1 of them on a vinyl 45. I bet you can't guess which one.

I'll bite. I would guess Grandmaster Flash or Rick Derringer, but I'm prepared to be surprised.

That one word review of "Unbelievable" reminds me of my favorite album review, which was published (IIRC) in Musician magazine. It was a review of the band GTR: "GTR = SHT"

Yes, that was Musician magazine - J.D. Considine, if I'm not mistaken. (He's the guy who once reviewed a Jimmy Hates Jazz record with the line "J.D. hates Jimmy"). Many people I know count the GTR review as the greatest album review of all time.

So ... what are you listening to?
 
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