Thursday, March 31, 2011

90's jams revision

(+3) Pinback "Loro" (1999)
(+3) LL Cool J "Around The Way Girl" (1990)
(+3) The Chemical Brothers "Let Forever Be" (1999)
(bonus) Jay-Z feat. Foxy Brown "Ain't No Nigga" (1996)
(bonus) Hum "If You Are To Bloom" (1998)

#95 Neutral Milk Hotel "Holland, 1945" (1998)
#94 Smashing Pumpkins "Disarm" (1993)
#93 Mobb Deep "Shook Ones Part 2" (1995)
#92 Radiohead "Black Star" (1995)
#91 Pete Rock & CL Smooth "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" (1992)

#90 No Doubt "New" (1999)
#89 Depeche Mode "I Feel You" (1992)
#88 Local H "Bound For The Floor" (1996)
#87 Cat Power "Cross Bones Style" (1998)
#86 The Cardigans "Erase/Rewind" (1999)
#85 The Chemical Brothers "Setting Sun" (1996)
#84 Teenage Fanclub "Alcoholiday" (1991)
#83 My Bloody Valentine "Loomer" (1991)
#82 Add N To (X) "Metal Fingers In My Body" (1999)
#81 The Notorious B.I.G. "Everyday Struggle" (1994)

#80 Dinosaur Jr "The Wagon" (1990)
#79 The Posies "Dream All Day" (1993)
#78 Blur "Sing" (1991)
#77 Beck "Asshole" (1994)
#76 Superchunk "Slack Motherfucker" (1990)
#75 The Jesus Lizard "Puss" (1992)
#74 Green Day "When I Come Around" (1994)
#73 Fiona Apple "Criminal" (1996)
#72 The Breeders "Divine Hammer" (1993)
#71 Underworld "Dirty Epic" (1993)

#70 Modest Mouse "Whenever You Breathe Out, I Breathe In (Positive/Negative)" (1996)
#69 The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Ma$e "Mo Money Mo Problems" (1997)
#68 Elliott Smith "Angeles" (1996)
#67 Fiona Apple "On The Bound" (1999)
#66 The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony" (1997)
#65 Yo La Tengo "Sugarcube" (1997)
#64 Green Day "J.A.R." (1995)
#63 Portishead "Sour Times" (1994)
#62 Beck "Diamond Bollocks" (1998)
#61 Screaming Trees "Nearly Lost You" (1992)

#60 My Bloody Valentine "Only Shallow" (1991)
#59 Smashing Pumpkins "Cupid De Locke" (1995)
#58 Pearl Jam "State Of Love And Trust" (1992)
#57 A Tribe Called Quest "Bonita Applebum" (1990)
#56 Janet Jackson "That's The Way Love Goes" (1993)
#55 The Notorious B.I.G. "Juicy" (1994)
#54 Nirvana "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" (1993)
#53 The Cure "End" (1992)
#52 Jimmy Eat World "Lucky Denver Mint" (1999)
#51 Pixies "Velouria" (1990)

#50 Weezer "El Scorcho" (1996)
#49 Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy" (1992)
#48 Wu-Tang Clan "C.R.E.A.M." (1993)
#47 Blur "Coffee + TV" (1999)
#46 Jawbox "Savory" (1994)
#45 Dr. Octagon "Blue Flowers" (1996)
#44 Beastie Boys "Sabotage" (1994)
#43 Depeche Mode "Personal Jesus" (1990)
#42 Wu-Tang Clan "Triumph" (1997)
#41 Nirvana "Lithium" (1991)

#40 Megadeth "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" (1990)
#39 Genius/GZA "Liquid Swords" (1995)
#38 Eric B & Rakim "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em" (1990)
#37 Smashing Pumpkins "Cherub Rock" (1993)
#36 Ginuwine "Pony" (1996)
#35 Ice Cube "It Was A Good Day" (1992)
#34 Deee-Lite "Groove Is In The Heart" (1990)
#33 Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991)
#32 Built To Spill "I Would Hurt A Fly" (1997)
#31 Pavement "Cut Your Hair" (1994)

#30 Dr. Dre "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" (1992)
#29 Smashing Pumpkins "1979" (1995)
#28 LL Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out" (1990)
#27 Raekwon "Ice Cream" (1995)
#26 Weezer "Falling For You" (1996)
#25 Jeff Buckley "Last Goodbye" (1994)
#24 Nas "The World Is Yours" (1994)
#23 Radiohead "Airbag" (1997)
#22 Nirvana "Scentless Apprentice" (1993)
#21 Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want" (1992)


The Sun joined her in the studio near her home in Orange County, California, as she began recording her next track - text-messaging themed anthem "LOL." New song "LOL" is in a similar vein, with the chorus, "BFF you make me LOL", meaning best friend forever you make me laugh out loud.


90's Jams #21: Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want" (1992)

The word "frustrating" comes to mind when assessing the B-Boys' musical adventures as a whole. On one hand, the stuff that gets played on the radio most often is complete horseshit. On the other, making a mix CD out of their 20 best songs would reveal some outstanding hardcore punkrock and strangely compelling hiphop, although it's difficult for some people to move past the aura of whiny adolescent drunken frat-boys. At least for one album - Check Your Head - they wisely transitioned from beer to weed. Turns out Money Mark was the organ player on "So Whatcha Want," and it somehow ended up being the best thing they ever sampled. And even better, their lyrical flow was at its peak for this album (surpassing the very good but slightly overrated Paul's Boutique). And the hugeness of those drums... This song should be played at every party ever. If the DJ refuses to play this, leave.

P.S. I've been searching for Mike D's New York Knicks shirt for the past 10 years to no avail. Any help on this would be appreciated.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

fucking pearl jam (nostalgia posting)

Normally we try not to date ourselves quite this much, as it does seem kind of lame to write extensively about Pearl Jam while in the midst of a 90's countdown, a list that is NOT (necessarily) based around nostalgia, although readers are probably assuming that it is.. (Maybe if these imaginary "readers" might leave a few comments we would have a better idea..)

Whatever.. Today I was mostly bedsick, and during the waking hours experienced between 10AM and 12PM, I ended up getting nostalgic after reading through today's Pitchfork review of Pearl Jam's 2nd and 3rd albums. When I was Rebecca Black's age, I listened to a LOT of Pearl Jam, especially these 2 records. (I was never much of a Ten fan. Too much reverb.) After waking up at 5PM and feeling better, I drove to get soup from a faraway deli/grocery place and decided to review Vs. and Vitalogy after not hearing them since at least 7 or 8 years ago.

On its release date, Pearl Jam wisely decided to change the title from Five Against One (horrible) to a self-titled album to Vs.. It was the first album I bought on its release date, and I ended up with the self-titled version. In Utero was released 5 weeks earlier, and due to being 13 and misguided, Vs. was still my favorite album of that year, with In Utero coming in 2nd place. I'm not sure how anyone, even while these were both new, could even marginally compare these two records.. SPIN left Vs out of their top 20 albums of 1993, while In Utero came in at #3 (topped by Exile In Guyville and The Chronic).

Also it was supposed to be considered cool that they tried to lessen their celebrity status by refusing to submit promo videos to MTV for three consecutive albums, although they did kick ass performing at the VMA's...

Highlights: "Go" might be the best song on here, and that transition from "Go" into "Animal" is a pretty huge highlight. "Dissident" has always been a favorite, and I was hugely surprised by how frat-boy douchebaggery failed to ruin the goodness of "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town."

Surprises: "Elderly Woman" was the most pleasant surprise, followed by "Daughter." I was kinda surprised by how much I hated "Glorified G" and "Rats," without question the standout lowpoints of this record.

There's a strange energy that's specific to Vs.. little moments that are hard to find elsewhere, and are NOWHERE to be found in current charting albums, such as the faint "are you guys ready?" at the beginning of "Daughter," the drum and guitar outro at the end of "Blood," the sound of thrown drumsticks hitting a wall at the end of "Rearviewmirror," and the general momentum of songs like "Leash" which would be absolutely horrible if performed by any other band, but in this setting end up kicking serious ass. There's a recurring sound of multiple guitars feeding back all at once, a reminder of the low production quality of this record, especially compared to Ten, a huge part of what gives it this specific energy.

Lowpoints: In Pitchfork's review, they specifically mention "Glorified G" as the dopiest and most embarrassing moment. I didn't believe it since I once enjoyed this song to the point where I considered it one of their best. But they're totally correct. Yuck. Gross. Ew. Ugh. Blech. *vomit noise* *stomach ejection noise* HORRIBULL. "Rats" also sucks but it's kinda fun/lulz to sing along with the line "DON'T SHIT WHERE THEYRE NOT SUPPOSED TO" moments after realizing that line exists... Oh by the way, I have the lyrics to this record almost completely memorized.. Also embarrassing.

I think I bought this one the day after its release date, because I was promised a ride to Lechmere (this was pre-Circuit City) by my dad who was amazed that they actually sold CD's for a then unheard low pricetag of $12.99. A year had passed since Vs and Nirvana and Pearl Jam were still by far my two favorite "current" bands, probably more so at this point than a year earlier. A few weeks later, Pearl Jam broadcast their "Self Pollution Radio" thing which at the time was the coolest thing I had ever heard in my fucking life, and I tried to stay up until 3 in the morning to tape the whole thing, but I ended up falling asleep and missing about half of it.. finally heard the whole thing around 2004-ish after buying the 4-CD set from someone on eBay.

I'm imagining that Pearl Jam specifically pictured someone like myself - then 14-years-old - as their target audience for this show, since "Self Pollution Radio" was the first time I ever heard "Teenage Riot" by Sonic Youth, or anything by Daniel Johnston, The Descendants, Wesley Willis, Outkast (they played "Ain't No Thang" at one point) and dozens of others.

As for Vitalogy, I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it, as there were no lowpoints quite as low "Glorified G" or "Rats."

Highlights: "Corduroy" is without contest the highpoint between either album. "Last Exit" going into "Spin The Black Circle" is yet another strong energetic opening, although not as good as the one on Vs. I've never disliked "Nothingman." "Satan's Bed" wasn't as "guilty pleasure worthy" as I thought it would be. Straight up rock goodness.

Surprises: So many of them... I expected many moments to be way more boring, such as the mysterious creeping kinda texture on "Tremor Christ," or the refrain of "Whipping," or the instrumental "Aye Davanita," or the slow-burner "Immortality." All of these are great songs. The biggest surprise was probably "Bugs" which I assumed I would hate, but I found myself genuinely REALLY enjoying. Pitchfork compared it to Captain Beefhart. There's far FAR more embarrassing moments of 90's rock than the weirdest moments on Vitalogy.

This is yet another huge surprise, but I can't really say that I actively dislike any specific moments on this record. I ended up skipping through "Not For You" because when I was 15 I had to sing it in my high school band at the Monroe Teen Center - our first official show - to a room of about 100 people who were all awkwardly and silently staring at me.. However singing the "FUCK YOU" really loudly, considering their "no swearing" policy, was kinda fun.

Lowpoints: Well I guess I'd have to go with the annoyingly overplayed "Better Man" even though it's not that bad of a song.. My issue with "Better Man" is this lame "legend" people tell where Pearl Jam didn't want to include it on Vs. because it was too accessible or something.. I'm sure the band would never admit it, but I'd bet the delay of "Better Man" was partially due to a record label suggestion, since it enabled them to stretch out the more radio-friendly songs over 2 albums. And if it really was Pearl Jam's idea entirely, I'm sure their label was happy as fuck about it.

Between the 2 albums, I was expecting to consider Vs. the superior record, but really they're pretty equally good... I'll give solid 8 out of 10 for both. Today's Pitchfork review referred to the "legacy" edition, which packages these 2 albums together along with some bonus tracks and a live disc, which makes sense as a package since most of these 2 albums were written concurrently.

EDIT (4/1/11): A second reading through this reveals a long, boring and terrible post.. we promise to avoid this in the future.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

90's Jams #22: Nirvana "Scentless Apprentice" (1993)

Grohl delivers The Monster: The most giant drum-intro pretty much ever. Although "When The Levee Breaks" comes very close, "Scentless Apprentice" enters Godzilla-territory thanks to whoever it was that recorded this (whether it was Albini or that other guy) sounding like some kind of mutant-strength creature banging with police batons on a gigantic custom built drumkit. Upon In Utero's release, this was considered noteworthy as the only track with the songwriting credit of Cobain/Novoselic/Grohl, with Cobain hinting that he enjoyed the process and likely would have used it more. As for the screamed lyrics, they were written about a novel called Perfume that Cobain was feelin' at the time. Apparently it was the type of book that became far less hipster-friendly after he admitted it was among his favorites. Without any knowledge of Perfume, the lyrics just seem fucked up and typical brilliant Nirvana, hugely accentuated by the band's cathartic spazziness.

90's Jams #23: Radiohead "Airbag" (1997)

Cars are global. We trust the shit out of cars. Although not everyone does.. The fucked up story of Marc Bolan's life is that he wrote and recorded dozens of songs in T.Rex that glamorized driving and cars, while never actually owning any type of driver's license. A few years later while someone was driving him somewhere, he ironically died in a car crash. Gary Numan had some dope insight regarding cars. Then in the 90's, Radiohead started releasing songs with titles such as "Stupid Car" and "Killer Cars." Thom Yorke's collaboration with UNKLE featured a video where some crazy ass dude gets violently hit by a car 6 or 7 times. And then of course there's the "Karma Police" video. This was all topped by "Airbag," the pinnacle of Radiohead's car-influenced paranoia, an ode to a device designed to save lives, which very well could just as easily break someone's neck. (In some cases, they've been known to spontaneously activate.) The asskicking DJ Shadow-esq drum sampling is highlighted by excellent usage of Radiohead's "secret weapon" - the dope-as-fuck bass grooves of Colin Greenwood - hinted at previously in tracks such as "Talk Show Host" and "Planet Telex."

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Gang Fight!" / "Me And My Puppy"

It's Friday Friday fuck shit up on Friday.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Thursday, March 24, 2011


We keep thinking it's almost over, but it's not...

Also notably, teen internet sensation Rebecca Black enters the Hot 100 at No. 72 with "Friday."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

90's Jams #24: Nas "The World Is Yours" (1994)

"The World Is Yours" is not normally the choice track for most fans of Illmatic (afterall "It Ain't Hard To Tell" has possibly the best Michael Jackson sample ever) so hear us out:

You know those godawful turds from the 80's like "Dreams" by Van Halen, or the themesong to Perfect Strangers, where the lyrics start preaching bullshit like "Put your mind to it! Don't give up! You can do anything!" But even worse were those old motivational dudes at high school assemblies wearing leather jackets trying to be cooler than The Fonz. You can't just put on a pair of shades like it's a Halloween costume and turn on the "badass." And "hope" is not an easy message to express effortlessly. Even before hearing any of the lyrics to "The World Is Yours," something about Pete Rock's drum and jazz samples just convey empowerment and comfort. By the way, between Pete Rock, DJ Premiere AND Large Professor, Illmatic was without question the best sounding hiphop record of the 90's, and Nas perfectly flows within each of these songs exuding both confident street toughness and human vulnerability. The outro of this especially is just a natural antidepressant, hearing Nas shout out all the boroughs.. "To everybody in Queens, The world is yours.. Long Island.. Staten Island.. South Bronx, the world is yours.."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Get Away"

Yeah I don't get it... This band's whole appeal is that they're supposed to be WAY into the 90's, but I really don't hear anything that distinguishes them as being any more 90's than most other current straight-up rock bands. I just don't get it.

Nardwuar vs. Odd Future

A+ interview.

if only this happened last week

I probably would have attended...

EDIT: Turns out this was a hoax.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

i just paid for music

I've been doing this weird thing lately where I'm actually paying for music.. on vinyl.. Because vinyl and mp3's are the only 2 formats that make any sense at all. And mp3's are free. And I wanted to purchase "Goblin" because Tyler fucking deserves it. And I wanted to own the Ringo Deathstarr album (out on Tuesday) because they fucking deserve it. No regrets here.

P.S. Record Store Day is in a month or so.. They're re-releasing Hormoaning, which is something I probably would not buy unless it was like $6 (which is only fair.. 1 dollar per song... unless there's bonus tracks I guess..) And it will def be like $15 so fuck that.

Foo Fighters and Deftones are both releasing albums called "Covers" with all or most of their studio covers.. which would be a much better idea for a Nirvana release than re-releasing Hormoaning. I do feel bad for the kids in like October of 1992 who were like "holy fucking shit, Nirvana covered DEVO??" and then spent like $50 to hear a song that they could have heard on Incesticide for $12 only 2 months later.

classic mtv aphex twin interview

We totally love how despite TV interviews and 20+ years of releasing music and Richard James is STILL one of the most mysterious dudes out there...

90's Jams #25: Jeff Buckley "Last Goodbye" (1994)

Jeff Buckley's 2nd record was posthumously collected demos that saw him branching into far more angular and "indie-rock" oriented weirdness, which hinted that his songwriting could potentially have surpassed "Last Goodbye" and the best moments on Grace. But as it stands, the legacy of Grace continues to inspire male-vocalist-fronted adult-alternative guys like Rufus Wainwright (although Jeff Buckley was far less gay than Rufus), and stuff like Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees." Most of Pitchfork's reviews of Jeff Buckley's frustratingly small catalog (mostly containing covers) refer to him as a "diva," a word with somewhat negative connotations, normally not applied to dudes who can pull together some serious ass songcraft. I mean, yes, the dude could sing his ass off, but let's give credit where it's due...

90's Jams #26: Weezer "Falling For You" (1996)

This is Rivers Cuomo's songwriting at both its most unorthodox and most powerful. Likely as no huge coincidence, it's yet another song about turning his back on rock stardom, combined with a lyrical overtone regarding a chick who's unintentionally stabbing him in the heart repeatedly due to his own insecurities. Drivin em fuckin craaazy, to the point where it effects self-worth: "I can't believe how bad I suck, it's true / What could you possibly see in little old three-chord-me?" "Falling For You" expresses every ounce of his celebrity-influenced anxiety with some of the most overly dramatic key-changes and gun-to-the-head screams of guitar feedback ever recorded for a studio album. This is the sound of a genius going batshit insane. So yeah, Pinkerton actually WAS the Pet Sounds of the 90's afterall. This goes beyond the average "emo" that Weezer ended up influencing over the next ten years.. Musically speaking, none of that stuff ever matched the emotional extremes presented here. In the video we found, a slightly stripped down (referring to less overdubs) live performance from late '96, Rivers appears to be anything but comfortable... Luckily Matt, Brian and Pat were there to help keep him in check and kick some major ass.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

90's Jams #27: Raekwon "Ice Cream" (1995)

One of RZA's most hauntingly dark and sinister samples of course had to be used for backing Wu-Tang's official glorious ode to misogyny, almost suggesting "I got my eye on you" to all the lovely ladies of the world, almost the exact opposite of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" from 10 years earlier. Raekwon, Ghostface, Cappadonna and Method Man take turns comparing different shades of ladies to their favorite flavors of ice cream in a very non-PC manner... And the 90's was the decade of political correctness, so in case anyone was wondering, this song defines badass.. By the way, you KNOW Ghostface didn't just namedrop Adina Howard for no reason...

90's Jams #28: LL Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out" (1990)

When LL Cool J starts licking those lips, you know it's on. "Listen to the way I sllaaaayyy!" The momentum picks up, and then picks up some more... There's no fade at the end of this one. You just got knocked da FUG OUT. Here's one of the only landmarks of hiphop with not one, but TWO iconic MTV images, both pumped as fuck and ready for brawl: Baggy-hooded LL in the boxing ring VS the shirtless "Unplugged" version, complete with chunky deodorant pits. Both completely fucking badass. Take your pick:

90's Jams #29: Smashing Pumpkins "1979" (1995)

Wikipedia sez "1979" was the last of 56 songs recorded for the Mellon Collie sessions. Assuming they all ended up on either Mellon Collie or The Aeroplane Flies High, we may safely state that "1979" was the end of SP's most classic era. There's really no actual defined theme to this song.. Simply a handful of vague but familiar images. But "approaching the end of an era (whether or not you realize it)" seems to come closest, perfectly captured in its famously transcendent MTV video... That fucking WEIRD bizarre and strangely exciting all-too-brief period when we're almost not kids anymore.. being of driving-age but still in high school.. Dude, that shit was fucked up. And often very fun, but often very frustrating. It was lots of things.

90's Jams #30: Dr. Dre "Nuthin' But A G Thang" (1992)

After reading into this a bit, it seems like the East Coast/West Coast thing which famously resulted in celebrity rappers actually getting murdered would probably have never happened if the G-Funk Era had never existed, as this was the only time in the history of hiphop when West Coast was winning. It started with "Nuthin' But A G Thing" and ended 2 years later with Biggy's Ready To Die. Dr. Dre took NWA's aggressive anger and morphed it into a huge party with all the 40's and blunts you could want. It just made more sense to introduce the world to Snoop Dogg by slowing it down, inserting a shitload of George Clinton samples and increasing the space. Not long afterwards, the popular kids of Suburban Middle School USA all at once decided to invest in several pairs of absurdly baggy pants, and the rest is history.

The MTV Movie Awards version is now considered among the channel's most legendary moments, but unfortunately not found on Youtube.. So until it can be located, we'll have to settle for classic imagery...


"Judith" & "3 Libras"

Saving stuff for the "00's Jams" (or whatever it's gonna be called) has proven difficult, but it won't be for a while anyway... In the other room from where I'm sitting, a gospel channel is on full-volume-blast, as loud as it can possibly go, for yet another evening... I've heard the Hail Mary screamed at me about 5000 times in the past 2 months, or at least it feels like that many.. And now some guy is preaching about my sins and why I'm not good enough. I think I'm being tortured.

Once upon a time, these were both in my top 100 songs of alltime... "Judith" specifically was in the top 10 right around 2002-ish. Those first 3 Tool records still fuckin' slay like nothing else, but in terms of what constitutes "radio singles," IMO these are the best 2 songs Maynard ever sang on. And to add some nostalgia to the package, I recall it being exciting as fuck when this band first came out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

33 1/3 Series Takes On "Chocolate And Cheese"

We're big fans of Continuum's "33 1/3" series, where one writer (usually a rock critic) writes about one album for an usually around 120 pages or 35,000 words in length.. They're quick good reads. In the past, we've very much enjoyed the editions on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion 1 & 2. Our favorite is probably the book about Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love, which is entirely about the writer trying to understand why he hates Celine Dion so much, and in the first 2 Chapters he ends up citing Gummo and Elliott Smith for comparisons. A lot of people really love the Black Sabbath book, which was written by one of the members of The Mountain Goats from the perspective of a 15-year-old who's being held in a center for psychiatric evaluation shortly after he had all of his music taken away from him. We never got to finish the books on The Who Sell Out and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, but the first few chapters of these are nice.

Here's their blog:

We've been waiting for the book about Pinkerton for quite some time now, but some new excitement has been announced recently as they're very soon shipping out the next volume, all about Ween's Chocolate And Cheese...

They're also doing one on Pretty Hate Machine but that's somehow less exciting...

we we we so excited

Thursday, March 17, 2011

90's Jams #31: Pavement "Cut Your Hair" (1994)

"Sell out." High school kids in the early 90's loved throwing around this term with such scornful disdain. You loved a band before they were on MTV, but then suddenly MTV crowns them with a Buzz Clip. It may or may not be the most exciting moment of this band's career, but in your world as a high school kid, that's YOUR band. You loved them and held them close to you, and you didn't want anyone outside of your friends to know about them. And now that they're on daytime MTV, there's a strong chance that the poser who just 2 months ago was wearing Champion sweatshirts 7 days a week is gonna have his mom buy your favorite band's shirt from K-Mart. Cruel betrayal. How could you Rivers? Or fucking Corgan? Don't look so innocent Billie Joe.. I'll fuck you up right the fuck now. How could you do this to me? I look like a fucking asshole now for wearing your shirts and supporting you all these years. Fuckin sell outs... (Sometimes the greater annoyance were the bands who were considered underground weirdos for over a decade, such as The Flaming Lips or Butthole Surfers, who then strangely scored one odd novelty hit...) "Songs mean a lot when songs are bought.."

Pavement never recorded the type of songs that could be considered for this, and "Cut Your Hair" was no exception, as it doesn't even have a chorus. However, it's still somehow their most popular song. Its popularity brings to mind a noteworthy alt-rock phenomena of the mid-90's: An uncharacteristically super-slack or super-grungy single ends up becoming a band's biggest charting song, such as Radiohead's "Creep" or Blur's "Song 2." Malkmus's lack of earnestness was somewhat of an anti-emo unreliable narrator. "Attention and fame's a career! Career! Careuh! KAREA! KOREA! KOREA!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

90's Jams #32: Built To Spill "I Would Hurt A Fly" (1997)

Dirty, lazy, levitating, eyes closed, scream with a whisper... Doug Martsch can't get that sound out of his head. He tries with that first "accidental" guitar chord, mistakenly hitting the strings with the side of his hand, or just strumming nonchalantly on whatever 4 notes just happen to get played (because "fuck it," that's why...), but a few seconds later it morphs into a well-planned and haunting guitar intro. Doug's lyrics tell the story, but the song and its performance project the feeling, with tasteful usage of cello conjuring vague memories of Nirvana Unplugged. Between their 2nd and 4th albums (between '94 and '99 - yet another brilliant 3-album run, nearly as impressive as Radiohead's), they ended up mastering the subdued epic, with this song possibly as the best and most well-crafted example. No noodling. No fuckin' around. Just feeling.

The Darkness end 5 year hiatus

Rumours began to surface in December 2010 that The Darkness would return, and with the confirmation of their performance at Download, this speculation has proven to be correct. In the announcement posted on Download’s website, singer Justin Hawkins said: “The idea of playing Download terrifies us. We played in an early slot on the main stage in 2003 and we were frightened then. It’s reassuring to know that nothing has changed. “On a serious note, it’s the most rockest of festivals and the perfect place for us to begin the next phase of our journey.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

90's Jams #33: Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991)

Well here's an easy one... No review required, since there's already been at least one billion words written about this song... Such extreme extensive dick sucking, every last lip-massage and tip-lick being 100% just as deserved as the one right before it. It was an event. It was a moment.

Best version ever (w/ Flea on trumpet)....

2nd best version ever (with SLTS commentary from Live! Tonight! Sold Out!)...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

90's Jams #34: Deee-Lite "Groove Is In The Heart" (1990)

We're big fans of those rare "Good Vibrations" type of pop singles that have like 12 parts to them, and this one tops all of those within the progressive-techno-disco-pop-house sub-subgenre, stuffed with just the right combination of tasty crazy shit, all in under four minutes. Q-Tip's cameo shines as probably the best moment, which is saying a lot, as there's hardly anything in this song that doesn't sparkle with brilliance. Hugely absurd and exaggerated maximalism, in both song and video... 1990 was that kind of year...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

90's Jams #35: Ice Cube "It Was A Good Day" (1992)

I don't know much about basketball rules, so I had to inquire wikipedia for the definition of a triple-double: A triple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in three of the five categories in a game. The most common way to notch triple-double is through points, rebounds, and assists. Oscar Robertson leads the all-time NBA list with 181.

So it sounds like some serious ass skill is involved, but I suppose it's not entirely implausible for Ice Cube, who by the way is 5'9, if that makes any difference. Moving on, about half of this song might as well be Ice Cube's own version of "My Favorite Things" (or the "interests" section of his Facebook info) including The Drop Top, LA Lakers, Yo! MTV Raps, dominoes, ladies, 40s, chronic, Fat Burger. Good list. And the rest of his good day is all about avoiding some wack bullshit, such as "lookin' in my mirror, not a jacker in sight.." "plus nobody I know got killed in South Central LA," and of course "today I didn't even have to use my AK." I've really been trying hard to make these entries shorter, but a few quick necessary comments:

#1 I vividly recall the phrase "it was a good day" being hugely ubiquitous to the point where it was used as a punchline on pretty much every black comedy show I watched at the time: Martin, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, In Living Color, that show with Tootie from The Facts Of Life and Queen Latifah, etc...
#2 Probably the only rap single I memorized entirely without trying.
#3 And how many 90's Jams can say they have their own flow chart?

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

90's Jams #36: Ginuwine "Pony" (1996)

Big ups to Timbo for learning to burp on-pitch so accurately. The production and lyrics of this one (especially the lyrics in the chorus) somewhat surpass mere absurdity due in no small part to the massiveness of its sound, and its Prince-influenced 7- or 8-part vocal harmonies. This isn't R.Kelly slow-jam absurdity... This is what plays when the Greek God Zeus fucks his bitches. And what classic 90's Timbaland joint would be complete without its endless subtleties: the hi-hat nuances, the short little panting breaths, the quiet key-part playing the counter-melody during the chorus, and plenty more that only really show up when listening in the car or with the headphones cranked.

Edit: I'm pretty sure this was my first time seeing this video.. Fucking amazing..

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Roll To Me" / "Criminal"

I saw this one the other day and thought that, like Elastica's "Connection" (posted about a month ago) this might have been another case where the song was short enough that they watched the entire video...

And then I remembered in the last episode that they actually did watch full 4-5 minute videos by Marilyn Manson & Fiona Apple... For whatever reason, the jokes were far less funny than average, possibly due to Mike Judge's exhaustion with having to come up with so much crap for them to say. I'm also expecting the humor in the new episodes to be similarly bland...

a few things... (lame editorial)

Yuck doesn't really sound like they're from the 90's at all, despite 2 separate nearly identical claims from Pitchfork (#1 and #2). They could just as easily be from the 80's or the 00's. I ended up listening to the album with a skewed starting point thanks to being told ahead of time that I should enjoy them because they sound 90's even though they totally fucking don't at all.

I didn't really get to complain about this yet, but the whole thing about how they're bringing back Beavis & Butthead just to have them do the same thing The Soup and Tosh.0 are already doing is probably the single greatest buzzkill of 2011... I was completely psyched and happy as fuck to hear B&B commentary on weird new videos that might have only been seen otherwise on Subterranean or Headbangers Ball... But instead they'll be commenting on Keyboard Cat and Pauly D. Because it's more marketable to children that way. And I'm so upset about this that I may never watch MTV again for the rest of my life, and I'll probably try my best to make people feel bad for watching MTV... So the next person who asks me if I saw last night's Jersey Shore, or if I caught some moment on the VMA's, you won't be happy with what I have to say. It's gonna get personal. I'm at that point of frustration.

Last night, Spike TV aired a fucking awful computer animated special about Charlie Sheen.. I didn't get to see most of it, but I was distracted by the audio being played very loudly while trying to read in the other room... It annoyed me to the point where I now can no longer stand hearing about the issue. I know media over-saturation is supposed to be a common marketing strategy to help really stupid people make money, and I'm also entitled to be annoyed by it. They didn't even cancel Two And A Half Men. If he had succeeded in at least getting an awful TV show cancelled, something positive might have come from this.

And finally, it's recently come to our attention that readership for Taste My Kids is at an alltime low. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's at zero. I'm not sure why this makes any difference, we will still continue the 90's Jams until we get to #1, and time willing, we'll have some bonus extras after that point as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

90's Jams #37: Smashing Pumpkins "Cherub Rock" (1993)

1993 was the first official year of mall-ternative culture, the year AFTER the year punk broke. (By the way, 1991: The Year Punk Broke didn't come out until '92.) In '93, some hints of embarrassment started to arrive such as "grunge fashion" and Ugly Kid Joe's cover of "Cats In The Cradle," but it wasn't all horrible.. Post-grunge culture also made room the super-melodrama of Siamese Dream, which turned out to be (musically) triumphant enough that it didn't take long to be considered one of the greatest albums of alltime. With its enormously dense wall of sound and Corgan quietly and sincerely pleading "Let me out," "Cherub Rock" remains the moment that defines this record, combining the pop structure (barely under 5 minutes) with the intricate arrangements heard throughout the remainder of the record (including those stabbing high-pitched harmonic screams in the guitar solo).

Is this video embarrassing? That's the big question of the moment...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

90's Jams #38: Eric B & Rakim "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em" (1990)

The Canon of First Wave 80's Hiphop normally neglects EB&R's 3rd and 4th albums, which is somewhat understandable since they're from the 90's and all... But unfortunately this resulted in "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em" becoming their most grossly overlooked single (almost as overlooked as "No Omega"). Eric B's mysterious guitar and key samples sound like James Brown guest-hosting an especially creepy episode of Unsolved Mysterious, or possibly some funky dudes on the prowl, like a hiphop version of CHiPs. Rakim's flow never quits. There's a good reason why everyone's favorite DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince moment is "Summertime..." It's because Will Smith bit the shit out of those first 3 EB&R records.

90's Jams #39: Genius/GZA "Liquid Swords" (1995)

OMG that intro... (pulled from the film Shogun Assassin according to wikipedia), which just might go down as the creepiest Kung-Fu sample of alltime. "People said his brain was INFECTED BY DEVILS!..." The organ sample in the actual "song" section of "Liquid Swords" obliges the creepiness, sounding like the funk-version of some 50's horror movie, crawling under 2 of GZA's most memorable verses. So many classic lines: "I don't waste ink, nigga, I think / I drop megaton bombs more faster than you blink." Or how about "I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper / Child educator plus head amputator.." I imagine RZA laying on the couch next to his mixing board after a long recording session at 2AM and on the verge of dozing off from a combination of exhaustion and excessive THC consumption, barely able to get out the last syllable of GZA's lyrics... "coCAaaine... Act inSAaane! ... ...uh- PAaain!... brAaain!... .. uh- ssshhhhhhhh...." Oh fun fan fic... Shit never gets old.

Here's a fan-video someone made with the intro. And here's the MTV video sans intro...

Monday, March 7, 2011

90's Jams #40: Megadeth "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" (1990)

Before Metalocalypse increased the lul-factor of the term "brutal," and before alt-metal, prog-metal and black-metal began consuming the genre's own integrity, thrash was the one metal-era where the best bands were able to contain their self-indulgence to the point where song-structure mattered just as much as chops. Personality-wise, Megadeth may have actually pressed the template for asshole-metal bands.. or maybe that was just Dave Mustaine. Not much is known of guitarist Marty Friedman's personality, other than it helped him persevere and excel in the field of writing some of the sickest guitar solos ever.

Here's the part where we have to make excuses as to why there's only one metal track in this entire list: The swan songs of classic thrash were released in 1990, which were Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" and the first two tracks from Megadeth's Rust In Peace LP, "Hanger 18" and "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due." While "Abyss" and "Hanger 18" barely missed out on the 90's Jams, the perfection of "Holy Wars" could not be ignored. It's not the "token metal" track of this list, as much as it's without question the single track that set the bar for metal throughout the entire rest of the decade. (And no, we didn't forget all the alt-metal like Pantera and Tool which still reached outstanding heights, but could never quite match those set by thrash.)

Douchebag Mustaine may have knowingly placed that Arabian riffage 2 minutes into the song just to piss off people looking for something to be annoyed by.. which was totally ripped off by Metallica a year later in the song "Whenever I May Roam." But in "Holy Wars," it doesn't sound out of place, just as amazing as the rest of the song, and it totally prepares the listener for the monster riff heard in the middle section.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

90's Jams #41: Nirvana "Lithium" (1991)

Probably the best song ever written about bi-polar disorder, "Lithium" was the third of Nirvana's four retardedly fucking huge Nevermind singles that ended up all famously adhering to a soft/loud/soft/loud format and first achieved nationwide infamy after a live MTV performance in September 1992 that more or less defined the term "classic" - the Beatles-on-Ed-Sullivan moment of the 90's - the singular live TV performance that sparked a million junior high grunge bands. Considering the immense chaos surrounding their lives at the time, (with "immense chaos" being somewhat of an understatement), Nirvana completely owned the FUCK out of this moment. The contradictory lyrics and gentle simplicity of Kurt's vocal melody were all intact as well, but it wasn't immediately obvious considering the "Rape Me" intro, the bass toss, Grohl's "Hi Axl" outro, the stage diving, the awkwardly glorious guitar throwing and drumkit stumbling... Huge MTV moments are rarely this compelling. For five perfect minutes, the world was completely theirs.