Friday, July 27, 2007

Breathless Friday Random Ten

What's better than a Friday? A Friday that's a payday, that's what.

It's my second-to-last Friday ever as a teacher. Yesterday, I discovered that on Wednesday night, I slept through a violent, very loud thunderstorm. It made me realize that I'm sleeping a lot better, and that I made the right decision about changing careers. And it sure doesn't hurt knowing I've got a job waiting for me when this one ends.

1. Exodus- The Uptown Rulers
2. Today- The Jefferson Airplane
3. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)- Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
4. Midnight Rambler- The Rolling Stones
5. Many Rivers To Cross- Jimmy Cliff
6. Pretty Ballerina- The Left Banke
7. Johnny Sunshine- Liz Phair
8. Rockaway Beach- The Ramones
9. Surfer Girl- The Beach Boys
10. Breathless- Stairwell





Notes:
1. Don't look for this one on Itunes: this was a great ska band from Central Illinois that my friends and I loved in college in the eighties. Me and The Elk digitized their two ep's from vinyl a few years ago.
2. A beautiful tune from Surrealistic Pillow, one of the great albums of all time.
3. I loved hearing this song a couple of times a night on the jukebox at The Oasis, a four o'clock bar down the street from a restaurant I worked at after college. Unfortunately, Michael Bolton's whitebread version of "Dock of the Bay" was also on that jukebox.
4. From Let It Bleed, another one of the great albums of all time.
5. I listed UB40's version of this song as one of the songs to be played at my funeral. I'd also be fine with Jimmy Cliff's original, which is as much gospel as it is reggae.
6. This was The Left Banke's follow-up hit to Walk Away Renee, and yet another reason that 1967, as Samurai Frog has pointed out recently, was maybe the greatest year ever for popular music.
7. When Exile In Guyville came out, I was still single and hanging out in Wicker Park a lot, as Liz Phair claimed to be. All of us guys in that scene wondered who the hell she was and who were all these guys she was pissed at were. None of us dated her. We were busying dating and pissing off other women.
8. My college friend Mary Nadolini loved my comment that the Ramones were "the Beach Boys of the eighties," and would quote me every time she played a Ramones record on her show on our college radio station. As punk as the Ramones were, in the end, they just wanted to go to the beach and meet some girls, like the Beach Boys. This song was evidence of this.

I've mentioned before that when I was in New York City in 1998, I was surprised and delighted to discover that there actually is a Rockaway Beach. With a name that cool, I'd always assumed that the Ramones just made the name up.
9. And of course what should follow the Beach Boys of the Eighties, but the Beach Boys of the Sixties. A shared love of the Beach Boys is a bonding point for my stepdaughter and I.
10. The first time I ever heard this one was while I was in the electronics department at Target-- the video was playing on one of the tv's. I liked the song so much I wrote it down and and downloaded it later. It's pop fluff, full of jangly guitars, and a guy singing in a fake English accent about "the radio is playing the song/That got us all to dance around..." What's there not to love about it?

2 comments:

Splotchy said...

Nice list!

In the liner notes of "Hey! Ho! Let's Go!", the Ramones were talking about writing Blitzkrieg Bop, and saying they wanted to come up with a song like the Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night"(S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night Night!). Also, as you prolly already know, they always talked about how much they loved Phil Spector, and even ended up recording an album with him.

I discovered "Pretty Ballerina" while I was on shuffle in my MP3 player. I like it a bunch, more than "Walk Away Renee", which is the reason I got a Left Banke compilation.

As far as Illinois ska bands go, have you heard the Blue Meanies? I actually am credited as assistant recording engineer on one of their EPs!

Bubs said...

That is a f*cking rocking good list.

You're not the only one who sleeps through thunderstorms. I've gotten the best sleep I've had in a while the last couple of nights that it's rained.