Hard to believe that the last time I did this was way back here.
1. "Time To Kill" [live], the Band
This is the live version off the Watkins Glen artifact of the 1973 concert there. At least, it's presented as such and that's what I've always believed --- but I just conjured up Wikipedia, and its omniscient hive-mind tells a different, more deceptive, story. What the hell? Seriously, what the hell??! I've been listening to studio outtakes with cheap audience sound dubbed in? Now I feel like throwing away this lying disc of lies. Get thee hence, shiny tempter!
2. "Year Of the Cat," Psapp
Psapp is an act that seems to have pioneered "toytronica" --- a sort of twee, childlike electronica created mainly with toy instruments. Here they do a serviceable cover of the Al Stewart classic --- serviceable, that is, until it's totally ruined by totally gay-ass meowing and purring sounds and someone chirping "year of the cat" in a stupid voice that seems to be someone's idea of a cat talking.
3. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," Chuck Berry
Pretty much everything Chuck does is classic, but this is a biggie. Chuck Berry wrote at least thirty songs that belong in any list of the top 100 rock songs ever written, and this is one of the best. Dig that piano boogie! I own covers of this by Johnny Cash and Paul McCartney, but even those giants can't touch the original.
4. "Your Redneck Past," Ben Folds Five
Off the Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhbold Messner album. Everything BFF does falls into three camps for me. One: surprisingly hard-hitting, an emotional punch in the gut, beautifully sad ("Brick," "Don't Change Your Plans"); two: clever, silly and rollicking ("Uncle Walter," "One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces"); and three: too clever to have emotional resonance, but not clever enough to be memorable (this thing, for example).
5. "Cover Me," Bruce Springsteen
I've collected the Boss' albums in a very desultory fashion over the years, to the tune of a whopping four of his albums (out of at least 20), but I do think most everything he does is sonic gold. This song isn't even in the top five best songs on Born In the U.S.A., and it's still the kind of catchy rocker that any musician would sell his soul to be able to write.