Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Random Ten - Or, Yet Another Thing To Do When You're Not Doing What You're Supposed To Be Doing

I like long titles.

The Friday Random Ten is something I first discovered at Pandagon, originated at some other blog whose name and URL I don't remember now (and, frankly, I'm too lazy to do any digging), but, to my mind, perfected by Norbizness at Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness. As created by... um, whoever it was, the FRT is exceedingly simple: take your favorite digital media player (stand-alone or on your PC or Mac), load up your entire library of music, put the player on "Shuffle", hit play, and list the first ten songs that come up. Easy, neh?

Norbizness takes it to a new level, making it the Friday Random Eleven Lucky Music Coolness Self-Audit. Same instructions as above, only eleven songs instead of ten (or ten songs and a bonus track that's not included for scoring purposes - Norb's a little inconsistent on this), with the caveat that you must rate the coolness of each song on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being Bell Biv Devoe, 10 being some uber-cool hipster indie band that hasn't even been signed yet, I guess). It can be... "enlightening" is a word for it, but "depressing" is what came to my mind first.

Let me be the first to admit: I'm just not that hip.

Anyway, since I've got me own blog now, I thought I'd post my FRELMCSA here. May whatever magical Sky Fairy you happen to believe in have mercy on me. (You can find Norb's FRELMCSA here)

1. "Transatlanticism", Death Cab for Cutie. Darlings of the indie scene for some time, they've now gone all Major Label with their newest effort, Plans. This, however, is the title track off their last indie effort, a soaring yet simple song about a far-away lover. Really beautiful stuff, and probably one the better songs off a really good album. 8/10.

2. "Nashville", Liz Phair. Way before she made her last-ditch effort at relevance by releasing Avril Levigne-esque songs like "Why Can't I Breathe", Liz was cool, man. Exile in Guyville is without a doubt her best album, but this one (Whip-Smart) ain't half-bad, either. However, this song languishes in a mushy guitar line that Liz can't quite rise above. 6/10.

3. "My Hero", Foo Fighters. Goddammit - Foo Fighters always always always comes up in my Self-Audits. Thought maybe, for my first audit on my very own site, Mr. Grohl and company would be kind enough to not make a showing. I mean, I like the Foos and all - and this just happens to be my favorite song of theirs - but they certainly are not cool. Ah, me. I told you I wasn't hip. However, this gets a 5/10 because it's reportedly about Kurt Cobain. So there.

4. "Not a Job", Elbow. Fairly standard morose English pop-rock from a band noone's heard of. Why, give it a 5/10!

5. "Carrion", Fiona Apple. Dammit. 2/10.

6. "Go On Ahead", Liz Phair. Off whitechocolatespaceegg (one of the weirder and better album titles I've ever seen), typically sparse song about a love gone sour. 6/10.

7. "All Worked Out", Semisonic. Off of Feeling Strangely Fine - the 1998 album which supplied the waaaaaay overplayed "Closing Time". Semisonic isn't really cool. And this song isn't really cool. And I never want to hear "Closing Time" again. 3/10 for you!

8. "I've Been Tired", Pixies. Aaaahhh. There's the cool. I love hearing Black Francis saying "whore with disease", especially at 9 in the morning. 9/10.

9. "Independence Day", Ani DiFranco. More cool. Ani's the poster girl for Do-It-Yourself music, having started her own label at the ripe ol' age of 19 (or was it 20?), and steadfastly resisting signing with a major label, even as her name recognition has steadily increased through the years (thanks mainly to her relentless touring). This is off Little Plastic Castle, her 1998 studio album, and my favorite album of hers - richer and more complex than her earlier efforts, both musically and lyrically, but not before she went off in some weird-ass musical direction with later efforts (Up Up Up Up Up being the weirdest, IMO). And this is my favorite song off the album. 8/10.

10. "Ballad of a Running Man", Catherine Wheel. Oh, I've no idea what to do with this one. The song's okay, with some incongruous harmonica work over the layered guitar work in the middle, but... eh. 4/10.

11. "Derelict", Beck. He may not have the same cachet that he once had, but, you have to admit: Odelay was one of the best albums of the 90s. 7/10.

Which gives me an aggregate score of 5.73/11.

That's about right. Told you I wasn't hip.

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