So here we are, for the third year running, with the random music challenge. Sorry. The Random Music Challenge. That's better.
Have a look at what I did in 2008 and 2009 to get an idea of the Challenge. It's really quite simple. Get your iPod or similar digital musical doohickey. Hit the 'shuffle' button. And write about the first five tracks that appear. No cheating - you can't skip the embarrassing ones. So if Steps comes up, you can't pretend it was actually John Coltrane.
1) Crowded House - Not the Girl You Think You Are
I'm a big fan of the Finn brothers as songwriters - they could do a phone ringtone and you'd be tapping your feet to it. This is a break from the stuff most people know from Crowded House - a Beatles-like singalong on first play but with dark undertones on repeated listening. I love a little wonky piano every now and then.
2) Kaiser Chiefs - Modern Way
I remember watching Live Eight on TV in 2005 and seeing Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage as openers at Philadelphia, singing "I Predict a Riot" in front of an estimated 750,000 people. London got the Killers, Brandon Flowers in silver lame and anthemic numbers. Philly got a bloke in a porkpie hat singing about his night out in Leeds.
3) Frank Zappa - Rubber Shirt
Anyone who can have albums entitled "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch", "Lumpy Gravy", "Make A Jazz Noise Here" and "Sheik Yerbouti" (which this one is from) is alright by me. And the track names are even more entertaining. However, this one is a bit of instrumental wibbling, to be honest.
4) Temptations - Papa Was a Rolling Stone
Listen to those strings. Feel that bass. Get that wah-wah guitar going. And here comes the trumpet. Two whole minutes in before the vocals begin. And what vocals! Nerdy fact: Dennis Edwards sings that first line, and his father had actually died on the 3rd September, but it's a complete fluke as the song had been written independently from the group. The producer, on realising this co-incidence, got Edwards to repeat the line again and again in recording just to get the right level of bitterness in his voice. That's soul music. I can't imagine Justin Timberlake doing that, somehow.
5) Boards of Canada - Under the Coke Sign
One-and-a-half minutes of the same three notes slowly repeated again and again over the sound of a highway. I realise I'm not selling it in to you, but it's great, trust me. Boards of Canada produce electronic music using old analogue instruments, distortion effects and samples. Still not selling it in, am I? It's from their EP "Trans Canada Highway" and yes, as you've guessed, they're from, um, Scotland. I can't quite explain how this once long-haired rock-and-roller found himself listening to stuff like this. Variety is the spice of life, you know. OK, if it makes you happy, the sixth track would have been Van Halen.
Now it's your turn. Go off and get your five random tracks, and post them in the comments (or in your own blog, if you have one, with a link in the comments). I've shown you mine, now show me yours.