THURSDAY MORNING MESS(IER)
You get the idea. But the idea isn't to philosophize, but to play some goddamn music. To rawk! That's right folks, after a too-long hiatus, after contentious social drama that saw the internets descend into rancor, it's time that I set the universe right again. It's time that I do a Delicious Dozen . . . Minus One. Let's hit it:
1. "Better Version Of Me" -- Fiona Apple (Extraordinary Machine):
Ahh, nice way to begin (although this "version" sounds like crap -- is my I-pod screwy?). Anyway, I like this song. It's not in the class of the incredible title song, but then again, what is?
2. "Throw Back The Little Ones" -- Steely Dan (Katy Lied):
I has myself a Steely Dan phase back about 18 or 19 years ago, but Katy Lied wasn't really one of my favorites. I preferred Royal Scam or Aja. As to the song, it's an instrumental, and it's feels weird waiting for Donald Fagen's distinctive voice to kick in . . . but it never does.
3. "A Spoonful Weighs A Ton" -- The Flaming Lips (The Soft Bulletin):
Neighborhood regular Applesaucer recently lent me a whole bunch of CDs that I loaded up into I-tunes. A rather eclectic mix, and this 'Lips album was among them. This is a pretty odd song (not surprising), but it's also strangely slow, with piano and what sounds like strings. Eh.
4. "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" -- Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin III):
I love this album. In fact, I think III is my favorite Zep effort. I love its eclecticism, its unpredictable sounds. And this song one of the elements of that quality. Other than Plant's voice, there's nothing in this one that sounds like anything they did on their first two albums. In fact, not much that sounds like their subsequent releases either.
And it's not even one of the strongest cuts on III. Anyhow, we're picking up after that two song lull. Let's go, let's go . . .
5. "Shine A Light" -- Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street):
Welcome to classic rock hour at Mike's Neighborhood! And speaking of "eclectic" efforts from otherwise hard-rockin' Brit groups of the late 60s-early 70s. What can I say? Just another of the 19 great songs on an album that needs little commentary. There are probably 10 songs off this album I'd rather hear (and from Exile's "slow song" category, what beats "Sweet Virginia"?), but this leaves little to be desired.
6. "Turd On The Run" -- Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street):
Welcome to weekly I-pod weirdness! Ugh.
Not an "ugh" to the song. See "another of the 19 great songs," above. But when I want random, I want random. And with over 400 albums in the mix, this shouldn't happen. Ugh. This Thursday Mix is crashing in flames.
7. "Memories Of You" -- Ethel Waters (An Introduction To Ethel Waters):
Well, at least we changed up a bit. Ethel Waters was pretty amazing. A wide range of stuff, from early "pop" music, to a sort of proto-jazz vocal style, with a healthy divergence into some very bawdy stuff that would make Big Mama Thornton blush (when Ethel sings about "My Handy Man," let me assure you, he ain't fixing the pipes under the house. He prefers to use a location inside the house).
This song, unfortunately, is a tad less inspiring. Meanwhile, we've got four chances to salvage this growing disaster. C'mon 'Pod, gimme some lovin . . .
8. "Summertime" -- The Sundays (Static & Silence):
Pretty cool. I'll never complain about Harriet Wheeler's sweet voice piping into my ears in the morning. And this is a pretty little ditty from one of The Sunday's late-90's albums. I thought this song'd be a bigger hit than it was, but it never really caught on. After hearing it on some local radio station outside Seattle in the Summer of '97, I ran out to buy the album hoping I'd get something resembling their late-80s gem, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
I didn't. "Summertime" was about as good as it got on this one. But at least that's what we got today, so I can't complain. But I can wish for something grander, something more sublime, something special . . .
9. "Cruising In The Atl (Interlude") -- Outkast (Stankonia):
Hmm, this "song" ended before I finished typing in the name. As I mentioned a few times back, I'm not as big a fan of this album as I'm supposed to be. Whatever. Meanwhile, depression is kicking in . . .
10. "The First Taste" -- Fiona Apple (Tidal):
And what better cure for depression than a cut off Fiona's first album. Jeez. It's a beautiful song, with her sweet, smoky voice. But its pseudo-funky, slowed-down equatorial sound always reminded me of Sade. Of whom I'm not a fan. Oh boy, here we are, one chance to so much as arrive in the zone of salvation. I'm not hopeful, but here goes . . .
11. "Jesus (Closet Mix)" -- Velvet Underground (Peel Slowly And See):
Interesting -- a song I've never heard. Among Applesaucer's bestowal last week was this 5-disc set by VU, on which each "album" is supplemented by alternate takes, demos, songs that didn't make the cut, etc. And, while this one is "interesting," I can see why I didn't make the cut: "I'll Be Your Mirror" or "I'm Waitin' For My Man" it ain't. Nothing wrong with it, but we're talking a different league here, no?
And there you have it. After a long sabbatical, I return with the first full-fledged clunker of the Thursday Random Era. I'm ashamed, I feel chastened, I should probably have my I-pod taken away from me. Let at me.