It’s Friday, and I haven’t done this for a long time; so here we go. I fired up iTunes, set it to Shuffle Play, and awaited with baited breath for what came out. See how this stuff compares to Mark’s list today:
1. My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade (from The Black Parade). OK, I admit it. I engineered this list so that MCR would be first on the list before the randomness follows. This album deserves it. I just got this CD a few days ago, and it hasn’t left my car or the top of my playlist. MCR takes punk, glam, Goth, and sprinkles in a touch of Queen here and there like seasoning to produce an irresistable, sometimes over-the-top, album full of theatricality and bombast. (I mean “bombast” in a good way!) Not only that, but it’s a concept album about a character called The Patient facing death. It even includes a song about cancer chemotherapy. Heck, it even includes guest vocals by Liza Minelli. I kid you not. This album ought to to for MCR what American Idiot did for Green Day: Make people take them seriously.
2. David Bowie, Kingdom Come (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)). Great classic Bowie. ‘Nuff said.
3. Dean Martin, Everybody Loves Somebody (from Dino: The Essential Dean Martin). Well, that was a jarring transition, wasn’t it? Still, Dino sounds good. Not as good as Sinatra. But plenty enjoyable.
4. Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Raggedy Raggedy (from Precious Friend). I’ve always had a soft spot for folkies. It must be my mother’s influence.
5. Sufjan Stevens, Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois (from: Illinois). A fine song from Sufjan Steven’s best album, period (although his best song on the album was Chicago). The album’s so strange that it even includes a creepy yet beautiful ballad about John Wayne Gacy.
6. Johnny Cash, Going to Memphis (from Love, God, Murder). Johnny’s among the very few country performers that I’ve ever really liked.
7. Simon & Garfunkel, Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall (from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme). An often overlooked and gorgeous little song from one of my favorite singing duos of all time.
8. The Decemberists, 16 Military Wives (from Picaresque). One of the best songs off of my favorite Decemberists album thus far (although their latest is growing on me).
9. The Boomtown Rats, Like Clockwork (from A Tonic for the Troops). A better song about the drudgery of life I can’t recall.
10. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra La La Band With Choir, Sow Some Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers Bloom (from “This Is Our Punk-Rock,” Thee Rusted Satellites Gather+Sing). If you really want way out there post-rock, these guys are the bomb. Still, I really wish they’d get back together with the other members of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and put out a new album. It’s been four years since Yanqui U.X.O.