Friday, February 17, 2006


Time once again for the Friday Random Ten - a randomized mix of Choons from the Little White Choon-Box d’Elisson.

This week’s list leads off with a beautifully twisted number from Tom Waits, the paranoiac “What’s He Building?” The live version is especially tasty because Waits interacts with the crowd, playing with the lyrics, carefully constructing a tone poem of incipient madness.

Also noteworthy is the cut by Matisyahu, who appeared at the Tabernacle here in Atlanta last night. I’ve seen Matisyahu perform here - he was at Smith’s Olde Bar almost a year ago - and I’m sorry I did not get out to see this show. Hip-hop Hasidic reggae? You bettah believe it.

I also must mention the tenth song, from Moonraker’s first CD. Some New York and Boston readers may be familiar with this group, named Best New Band at the 2003 Boston Music Awards. I’m especially familiar with ’em, as they’ve stayed at Chez Elisson - and the bass player is none other than Elder Daughter’s main squeeze, Khody.
  1. What’s He Building? (live) - Tom Waits

    What’s he building in there?
    What the hell is he building
    In there?
    He has subscriptions to those
    Magazines... He never
    Waves when he goes by
    He’s hiding something from
    The rest of us... He’s all
    To himself... I think I know
    Why... He took down the
    Tire swing from the Peppertree
    He has no children of his
    Own you see... He has no dog
    And he has no friends and
    His lawn is dying... and
    What about all those packages
    He sends. What’s he building in there?
    With that hook light
    On the stairs. What’s he building
    In there... I’ll tell you one thing
    He’s not building a playhouse for
    The children. What’s he building
    In there?

    Now what’s that sound from under the door?
    He’s pounding nails into a
    Hardwood floor... and I
    Swear to God I heard someone
    Moaning low... and I keep
    Seeing the blue light of a
    T.V. show...
    He has a router
    And a table saw... and you
    Won’t believe what Mr. Sticha saw
    There’s poison underneath the sink
    Of course... But there’s also
    Enough formaldehyde to choke
    A horse... What’s he building
    In there? What the hell is he
    Building in there? I heard he
    Has an ex-wife in some place
    Called Mayors Income, Tennessee
    And he used to have a
    consulting business in Indonesia...
    but what is he building in there?
    What the hell is he building in there?

    He has no friends
    But he gets a lot of mail
    I’ll bet he spent a little
    Time in jail...
    I heard he was up on the
    Roof last night
    Signaling with a flashlight
    And what’s that tune he’s
    Always whistling...
    What’s he building in there?
    What’s he building in there?

    We have a right to know...

  2. Zomby Woof (live) - Frank Zappa
  3. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
  4. Sesame Seeds - Mitch Hedberg
  5. Suo Gan - John Williams, Empire of the Sun
  6. Interlude - Matisyahu
  7. Knights Of The Round Table - Monty Python’s Spamalot
  8. Penny Lane - The Beatles
  9. Wacky Adventures of Abe Lincoln - Laurence Simon
  10. Night With You - Moonraker
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?

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