oscar run i: helvetica (gary hustwit, 2007)
oscar run ii: no end in sight (charles ferguson, 2007)

friday random ten, 2007 edition

We made it! 52 weeks, 52 Random Tens, one per year. The first song was the Farmer Boys from 1956 with "Charming Betsy." Since then we've hit every year, adding a cross-posting to MOG along the way that has become slightly popular there. I've been doing some version of the Random Ten for several years, and I suppose I'll do it again in 2008. The only question for now is whether I should continue the year-by-year thingie for another 52 weeks. If you've got a vote, well, that's what the comments are for. Meanwhile, on to 2007 ... most of these songs weren't even released yet when we started back in January.

1. Amy Winehouse, "Rehab." OK, this one's from 2006, but it feels like it tells the story of 2007, and it made lots of 2007 lists, so here it is. I could have left it off, but no, no, no.

2. Arcade Fire, "Keep the Car Running." You know Bruce Springsteen likes you when he invites you on stage for a song. You know he REALLY likes you when he wants to play one of your songs.

3. M.I.A., "Boyz." On Xmas Eve, I was talking about M.I.A. with my kids, who were over for the holiday. They reminded me that when their generation hears the name "MAY-uh," they think of that singer who did "Lady Marmalade" with a bunch of other pop divas. Well, move over, honey, there's a new MAY-uh in town, if a person with two albums can be called new.

4. The Harlem Experiment, "Reefer Man." The third in a series that tries to offer various elements of a community through music, with the first two focusing on Philly and Detroit. On this track, Taj Mahal meets Cab Calloway. Some interesting folks drop by for the video.

5. Gogol Bordello, "Wonderlust King." My favorite find of 2007, although it's proof of how out of touch I am that they've been releasing albums for several years now. Here, they turn up on Letterman ... the video fixes itself momentarily, don't give up.

6. Britney Spears, "Piece of Me." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 2007: Britney sings her version of how the life of "Britney Spears" feels from her perspective, but not before she lets someone else write the song. Which doesn't make it any less "real." And, as is often the case with Britney, no matter what else you think of her, the singles are usually terrific.

7. Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)." The oddball pairing of the year made perfect sense the minute the record was released. They'll win a shitload of Grammies, not that Alison needed any help in that area ... she already has more Grammys than any female artist in history.

8. Samuel L. Jackson, "Stack-O-Lee." There will never be a definitive version of this classic, but Sam Jackson, good goddamn, you come close! "I put nine of my bullets in his muthafuckin' chest!"

9. Dylan Hears a Who, "Green Eggs & Ham/Tombstone Blues." This was all the rage for 15 seconds, before the estate of Dr. Seuss and who knows who else shut it down. You want to hear it, try Google.

10. Tino Sanchez, "I Didn't Know." When we were in high school, the #1 soul man was a classmate named Tino Sanchez who sang lead for bands who played a lot of high-school dances. That was four decades ago, and we've all moved on. We reconnected with Tino in the last year or so, and reminded him of how much pleasure his singing brought us back in the day. When his father passed away, Tino went in the studio and cut a lovely track about his dad, which he was kind enough to send to me. Hearing his voice again after all these years was one of my favorite musical moments of 2007.



Damn straight we need another 52 weeks. The commentary is the thing, and there are plenty of other songs worthy of erudite discussion. The video links are slso a lazy person's dream.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)