"The Soldiering Life" by the Decemberists, from Her Majesty 6/10 - A solid song--my big issue with the Decemberists is that it occasionally feels like they write show-offy literate songs that lack anything behind them--unlike most musicians, they write fiction that seems so unconnected with either their life or mine that it hardly matters. This song is cool enough to overcome that.
Mr. Siegal, by Tom Waits, from Heartattack and Vine 7/10 - Unlike the Decemberists, Tom Waits always seems to be speaking directly from his own life, even when he's obviously not. He can sell his stories better than most any other songwriter out there. And it's hard to fault a song with the line, "How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porchlight on?"
The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side, by The Magnetic Fields, from 69 Love Songs 7/10 - It's apparently story-teller day on the Friday Random Ten. A winning song about an ugly guy who's only redeeming quality is that he has a car that the girl he loves wants to ride in. A great song for any guy who feels like he's just tricking girls to stay with him.
It Don't Mean Nothing, by Quasi, from Field Studies 5/10 - Wow. I ripped this song off of a CD less than an hour ago, and it's already coming up in the Random 10. It's okay. Quasi is basically the Mates of State after a nasty divorce, writing songs about their relationship. Maybe it'll rise as I get to know them better.
Mother and Child Reunion, by Paul Simon, from Paul Simon 7/10 - I've got a weakness for Paul Simon. That's the only excuse I offer.
Devil's Haircut, by Beck, from Odelay 7/10 - Solid wackiness from Beck. For a couple minutes, shut up, turn it up, and enjoy the groove.
Say Yes, by Elliott Smith, from Either/Or 9/10 - Fuck yes. This is good bared soul time. I've had a line bouncing around in my head for a month from this song--"I'm damaged bad, at best." A great song about a guy waiting for a girl to make up her mind, having no real say in the matter, but begging her to say yes to him.
Skeleton, by Bloc Party, from Silent Alarm Remixed Bonus Disc 6/10 - Silent Alarm surprised me with how much I liked it. The bonus disc for the remixed edition of the album had a half-dozen songs that easily could have been slipped onto the original...sure they kind of all sound the same, but they're upbeat and you can do data entry to it.
Dead, by the Pixies, from 4/13/04 concert 8/10 - This would be about a 4 or a 5 if it weren't for that amazing guitar/bass bit about a minute and a half into the song. For about 20 seconds, Frank Black just stops singing, and for a couple measures, the song elevates to something orders of magnitude better than it was previously.
How 'Bout You, by Brendan Benson, from One Mississippi 5/10 - I started listening to Brendan Benson because Rich recommended him. So it's appropriate he'd show up in a Random 10.