Friday Fives – another cop out edition

Ok reader, I don’t have anything good for this week.  So, I will do what I always do in this situation.  I will put my music on full random and tell you my relationship with the first 5 or so songs that come up.  Once I did this last year, and I killed Amy Winehouse.

Smashing Pumpkins – in the arms of sleep > Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Basically, this song is filler.  For filler, it is quite good.  This album is a landmark in rock, and a landmark for me.  It was the growing up and maturing of both Billy and myself.  I have had an amazing relationship with this band.  if you know me, you already know that.  For years, my goal was to meet Billy in person and thank him for Siamese Dream.  I finally got to do that when he was touring with this terrible book of poetry.  Still, I love him, and all the Pumpkins music.

Pearl Jam – Bee Girl – unreleased

This is a bootleg that has circulated for some time.  It’s a cool story, too.  The song was in improvised ditty by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready doing an appearance at a radio station.  Ed was knee deep is his “I don’t want to be famous anymore” phase.  This song is a cautionary tale told to the girl who danced in the Blind Melon video for ‘No Rain’.  The band finally released it on their ‘Lost Dogs’ double disc, but I am not counting that.  This song, if legend is to be believed, was recorded at the same radio station as ‘Yellow Ledbetter’.  Ledbetter is one of the most iconic songs of the band, and it never had an official studio version.  it still doesn’t, yet it has become one of their biggest songs that ends nearly every show.  Pearl Jam was very cool to allow taping and trading of live show. So, we all knew about this song ten years before it was ever acknowledged by modern radio.

Bonus silliness > absolutely no one can tell what Ed is singing in this song.  This is because he changes the lyrics often to suit his mood.  Since there is no official version of the song, there are no printed lyrics.  There are, however, lots of misheard lyrics.  Enjoy!

Bad Brains – She’s Calling You – I against I

Bad Brains are amazing, and incredibly unique.  They are a group of black rastafarians who sing speed metal… with a reggae feel thrown in.  It’s too strange and wonderful to explain, so click here for a clip.  Their heydey was in the 80’s, but they are still together.  They have never crossed over to radio play, but I don’t blame ‘the man’ for that.  I blame their lead singer.  HR is legendarily self destructive and just an all around asshole.  He even attacked a fan at a show with a mike stand… the bottom of one.  Ended him up in jail again, which forced Madonna to drop them from her label.

However, interesting story about HR and jail.  Their song ‘Sacred Love’ was reportedly recorded over a prison phone during one of HRs MANY stints in jail.  It is a powerful and beautiful vocal.  I think the modern era knows Bad Brains due to the Beastie Boys.  The Beasties were raised on the sounds of Bad Brains.  So, when the Beasties hit is really big with ‘Ill Communication’, they took Bad Brains on tour with them.  This was Beastie’s touring on Sabotage at the top of their game.  However, that was a terrible era for Bad Brains.  HR decided he only wanted to play trumpet and do reggae.  So, while they had a chance of re-conquering a new generation, HR blew it again.

Also, I hate to sound like a hipster douche by saying I knew about them long before then, but I did.  We can credit Ezra for that.  Before we would go out and party in high school, we would spool up ‘I Against I’ and pound cans of Keystone to get us ready for our epic adventures.

The Story – Brandi Carlile – live a Benaroya

Brandi Carlile is awesome, and this is her signature song in every sense.  I can’t say enough good things about this song.  So, just go here and dig it.  Also, she has an album by the same title.  Buy it now, I am cereal!  Watch the passion and the fire in that performance linked above.  it is SICK.  I had the good fortune to see her live, and it was incredibly impressive.  In fact, all of the bands mentioned on this page I have seen live.  A lot.  Probably seen the Pumpkins 10 times, Pearl Jam 10 times, Bad Brains 4 times, and Brandi one, and the Allmans’ probably about 20 times.

Allman Brorthers – Old Before My Time – Hitting the Note

This is a recent album, at least by the standards of the Allmans.  This album is really really good.  I see no reason not to call this their best album ever.  Interesting to note, this album is all Warren Haynes.  He sings a few songs, but he wrote them all.  Here is what is weird.  I am a lifelong Allmans’ fan, having seen them every year since high school.  I still can’t tell when I am listening if I am hearing Greg or Warren.  It’s also important to note that Warren is the hardest working guy in music.  He works fulltime for the Allman Brothers, the Dead, Govt Mule, and the Warren Haynes band.  Back about ten years ago, I saw the Allmans’ open for the Dead at the Gorge.  Both bands are well known for their long sets.  Warren was out there for nearly 6 hours playing for both bands.

* now, lets see you do the same.  Grab your phone, hit full random, and tell me about the first few that pop up… and (most importantly) why.

Friday Fives

iTunes Five

1. What song do you play the most?

‘All in All’ by Toad the Wet Sprocket.  It’s on ‘in Light Syrup’, and it will change your life.  Funny, it only made the outtake album after they broke up.  It is triumphant. Btw, in case you are a fan or casual listener… they are somewhat back together, and still gig as Toad.  I can’t say enough good things about this band.  They are under-rated, and under the radar.  Some of the best music of the ’90s.

2. What song do you play the least?

Anything by Kiss.  Oh my god do I hate Kiss.  Last year, Brian,  Ginther, and I all swapped hard drives to trade music.  Result?  I have, like, 6 Kiss albums.  I am pissed, and everyone is a suspect.  Even though my iPod is only 1/3rd full, I removed all the Kiss immediately.  Ok, I did keep Beth.  That song is dope, but don’t tell anyone I like it.  It’s like digging ‘Glee’.  Just keep that a secret, broseph!

Listening to Kiss is like taking a Bon Jovi album, and removing what little musicality there is.  Then, make sure it is poorly engineered.  After that, replace every single lyric with an overt reference to sex, as written by a 9 yeawr old.  Then, you have Kiss.  I’d rather listen to dance music, and that just hurt to type.

3. What’s the last song you added?

A lecture from Scott Berkun.  I am reading a really cool book from him right now.  Details over here.  But, that isn’t a song, is it?  So, the real question is what is the last music I bought.  Probably Brandi Carlile’s new disc.  Her album ‘the Story’ is amazing.  Five Stars.

4. What’s your favorite playlist?

* caution > monster tangent alert

I put together an annual Christmas Rock list, but I am really using Pandora for everything now.  I just discovered Pandora two days ago, and it is a game changer. I am not even using my iPod anymore.  I had heard about Pandora for years.  I knew it took your music and gave you similar music you would like.  Well, that idea kinda offended me.  See, I don’t need ANYONE telling me what I would like.  Plus, I have everything… so what can Pandora do for me?   didn’t need Pandora.  I thought it was beneath me as a master musicologist.  I was wrong.

Pandora just got loaded onto my Roku box (through Netflix) so I loaded it.  It asked me what I wanted and I said ‘Jerry Garcia’.  So, now is plays Jerry Garcia bootlegs, bluegrass band music, Grateful Dead (live and studio), Bobby Weir solo, the Allman Brothers, Van Morrison, early Dylan, the Band.  What can I say?  Oh, and it played the Beatles.  How the hell did they get the rights to the Beatles?  Seriously, that shit is better protected than Fort Knox.  I bought three of those Beatles re-master releases this fall, and I don’t think I am technically allowed to listen to them.   Apple records is kind of evil.  ‘All You Need is Love”?  My ass, these guys are more litigious than Scientology. Anyhow… it was 100% correct, and I didn’t have a LOT of this stuff.  It was right, I was wrong.  Go ahead and mark the day and date on that sentence.  You don’t get to see it often.

So, I loaded a Pearl Jam list (those are my two favorite bands, see).  It is possibly even better.  Even though I have everything studio album PJ has, Pandora plays their live cuts.  Remember, for the last ten years, Pearl Jam has released every single concert they have played.  So, there are thousands of soundboard bootlegs out there I could never collect.   Also, it picked similar bands I would like:  Stone Temple Pilots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, and solo Eddie Vedder stuff.   Yeah, they are dead on with those.

Now, what is cool is that my new cell phone (the Palm Pre) also has Pandora on it.  So, at work and in my truck, I used to plug my iPod to listen to music.  No longer.  I plug my cell phone into my computer and truck speakers.  I stream the Pandora wherever I go.  When I get home, I throw Pandora on the home stereo system through the Roku.  This is the really good quality, because it beams it through the whole home theatre system.  Pandora does all this for free, too.  I was so smitten, though, that I bought the upgrade.

I also made some other stations:  Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Metallica, and Bob Dylan.  However, the Jerry and Pearl Jam channels are so good… I haven’t been able to stray.  I listened to the Jerry Garcia channel for 9 hours at my desk yesterday, and did the same with Pearl Jam today.  On the PJ channel, they are even throwing down ‘Temple of the Dog’.  That is some deep catalogue dopeness.  Temple of the Dog is Pearl Jam playing with Soundgarden before either band formally existed.  It is disgusting good, find ‘Hunger Strike’.

5. What kind of iPod (or MP3 player) do you have?

My iPod is pretty new, but is a ‘classic’ design.  It is a 120 gig repository of yumminess.  To be fair, though, I really use my Palm Pre for almost everything.  I loaded about 12 really good albums on the memory card, and I have Pandora for everything else.

* seriously, I do NOT watch Glee.  Anyone who says otherwise gets punched straight in the babymaker.  Got it, buster?  Don’t even joke about that.