THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN
(Actually, I have no idea what's coming out here. I loaded my wife's music, some of my obscure titles, stuff I haven't listened to in 15 years -- L7, anyone? -- things I never liked. This should be quite interesting.)
My most incredibly self-absorbed & egocentric post after approximately 600 previous posts not exactly known for a lack of those traits. Yes, indeed . . . the moment has arrived.
But, contrarian that I am, I will not be doing this thing on Friday. No, no, no. Friday is (in theory at least) Movie Day. It's the day that Otto Man and George do their Friday Random Tens. I'm not treading on those toes. No sir. And Wednesday is Random I-Poddery over at Two Glasses, so Toast already has a proprietary interest in the day I'd have chosen. Nope, I'm doin' Thursdays.
And why Eleven, you may ask. Why not the standard ten? Or a clean dozen? Even the baker's dozen Toast tosses out there?
Because. That's why. If it's good enough for Nigel Tufnel, it's good enough for me. Enough with the preliminaries, let's get to it. Ladies & Gents, I present to you a post no one requested, no one wondered about, and in all likelihood, no one wants. Your first Thursday Delicious Dozen . . . Minus One™:
1. "Things We Said Today" -- Beatles.
Pretty solid early Beatles song. Paul sings, but this seems to have John's imprimatur all over it. The bridge doesn't sound like something Paul ever came up with.
Anyhow, not a bad start. No complaints about this one.
2. "Let The Devil In" -- TV On The Radio.
I like this album (Return to Cookie Mountain) a lot, but I haven't listened often enough to get a solid sense of which songs are my favorites. There's a decent variety in the tunes, but they all share a similar sound. This one's all right, but I think it lacks that sublime quality the best ones have.
3. "Oh, Atlanta" -- Little Feat (Live).
Waiting For Columbus is a fantastic live album. Rock solid grooves. Enough creativity to keep things fresh, but it's still tight. Not a lot of noodling & wacking-off. This cut's a good one, but there are far better ones on the album. I've seen these guys (post-Lowell, of course) a few times, and they usually do a good job with this tune.
4. "Changes" -- Sugar.
Copper Blue is one of those albums that gets lost in the huge late-80s/early 90's rock shuffle. So much good music, so many killer albums. So a solid-but-not-amazing effort from the former leader of one of the 80's seminal groups wasn't gonna get the notoriety it deserved. I always liked this album, even if it wasn't quite in the "leave the jewel box on top of the CD player" category.
(And it was better than "Frank Black.")
5. "Strange Loop" -- Liz Phair.
Speaking of early 90's greatness, and "seminal" music. (Pun intended.) The last cut on Exile In Guyville, this one's the cigarette after the action. Good lyrics, as usual. Man, early Liz was great.
(And on the personal front, I
6. "Daniel & The Sacred Harp" -- The Band.
Not one of the songs off the great Music From Big Pink or The Band, this comes off some compilation album. An ok song. It has the Band's standard roots music + mystical lyrics combo, but it lacks that special something the boys had on their first two albums. Levon & Manuel share the singing here, but the latter doesn't have that mournful, soulful quality he had at his best. I love their first two albums (plus The Basement Tapes), but these guys had a long, slow decline over the 7 years following the release of The Band. By the time of their farewell show featured in the somewhat overrated The Last Waltz came out, they just didn't have what made them special earlier on.
(But I guess you can say that about a lot of groups & artists.)
7. "Dos Gardenias" -- Omara Portuondo.
Eh. I love the album this is on: a Cuban music compilation I picked up at a street fair a couple years back. But this one is one of the two or three songs I always skip: slow, not very rhythmical, and a cheesy 80's synth production sound. Boo, the first bad effort of the mix so far, and it comes off a CD with so much good stuff to offer.
(Ahhh, the risks of the Shuffle.)
8. "Rats" -- Pearl Jam
Back in The Neighborhood's early days, I wrote a post that was tenuously based on this album: Vs. Part music review, part travelogue. Check it out if you feel like it.
This song's pretty good. There's a line -- about "The Rats" -- where Vedder says they "lick the dirt of a larger one's feet." Back in the day I thought he said, "Licks the dirt off "Olajuwan's feet."
Hey, I knew the guys in Pearl Jam were huge NBA fans. Shit, their original name was "Mookie Blaylock," and their first album was named "Ten" because it was his number.
Ok, I'm rambling. Next song . . .
9. "State Of Love & Trust" -- Pearl Jam.
Whoa. That's really fucking random (which is the point of a Shuffle, right?). This is off the Singles soundtrack, which contains a number of "Seattle" cuts from the era: Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Alice & Chains. With Andrew Wood & Layne Staley, all it needed was a Nirvana song to complete the "soon-to-be-dead singer triumvirate."
(And speaking of Seattle and the NBA, you may recall Xavier McDaniel's very funny cameo in Singles . . . even though he'd since been traded to the Knicks.)
Anyway, this is a good song; I always liked it, and wondered why it didn't get onto Ten. Strangely enough, I was never a really big Pearl Jam fan. I owned a couple their albums, but that was it. I preferred Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains in that "grunge genre." Whatever.
10. "Walkin' After Midnight" -- Cowboy Junkies.
Yes! The first "sweet cut" of the session. The Trinity Session is one of the true underrated albums of that late 80s/early 90s era. Margo Timmins voice is sooooo alluring. She's confident, and can really swing a song, which is a requirement if you're doing Patsy Cline. Plus she adds a coy . . . not quite vibrato, just a trill. Her voice chimes. Nice. And the harmonica is killer here.
On an album filled with unique covers of great songs, this one really stands out. It's no "Sweet Jane" (which is only one of the two or three best covers ever), but it ain't shabby. Now let's see if we can finish off this inaugural effort on a high note . . .
11. "Hallelujah" -- Django Reinhart.
Ohhhh, Django. As Otto Man says, "That Belgian gypsy could play some guitar." Yes he could. And that Frenchman with the Italian last name could rock the violin a bit too.
Nothing super special about this cut, but nothing wrong either. Grappelli opens it up, as usual, with some violin as Django plays rhythm. Then Django steps in with a tasty solo, before the piano takes over. Finally, Reinhart & Grappelli trade off licks. Hard to decide if Django's leads are actually better than the rhythm. That man could play some guitar.
So there we have it. The first effort in the books. Your comments? Thoughts? Criticisms? Words of censure & derision? Your own Eleven? Let 'er rip, folks.