Monday, April 8, 2013

Playlist #2: Songs to Be An Angsty 90s Kid To

A friend on facebook brought up the band Stabbing Westward.  Those guys were pretty big for a minute or two.  Then they kinda sputtered out by 2001.  They hit me pretty hard though, when i was in my 10s.  Singer Chris Hall was one of the defining figures in my childhood when it came to singers i aspired to be.  And they're not even that brilliant of a band.

That's the funny thing.  I think everyone has at least one band they love that, while they would admit they're not the best, most original, or even most popular, somehow stuck with them in a way they can't explain to anyone.

One of my friends thinks everything by the Violent Femmes was brilliant.  Not to say they don't have great songs.  But everything?  They were a a cooky rock band of above-average songwriting ability.

But the same could be said for Stabbing Westward.  They were an average angsty industrial/rock band with an above-average singer.

But i still love 'em.  And it makes me wanna be and all angsty and bitter, and jaded, and 9 again.

So here's today's playlist.
((And remember i'm not always gonna play the hits, or the bands that would be the obvious pick for any given playlist.  My aim here is to maybe introduce you to a couple new tunes.  And if that's not enough of a reason: they're MY playlists and i'll put what i want on them!  So there!))

NOTE: I've decided to post a V or A next to a song name so you know whether it's a song you can listen to while you do other things, or a video you may want to watch.  If the audio of a video is crap, then i'll just post the audio, cos no one wants to listen to shit quality music.

--PLAYLIST #2: Songs to Be An Angry 90s Kid To--

1.) Stabbing Westward - Television (2001) A
Last song, last album.  And what an ending.  One of the most darkly beautiful songs i've ever heard.  It (and the rest of the album) have a much more alterna-rock feel than their heavily industrialized/electronic predecessors.  But, man, what a brilliant album closer, which makes it a well ironic playlist opener.

2.) Tracy Bonham - Mother Mother (1996) V
Well this is a nice change, unlike the last playlist, this one isn't about genre, but more about being an angry kid in the 90s (insert: Nick Cage "You Don't Say?" meme).  This chick's brilliant.  She can rock the hell out of a cutesy little pop song about calling your mom and complaining about your life while trying to sound tough and self-sufficient.  Witty, aggressive and adorable all at once.

3.) Veruca Salt - Volcano Girls (1997) V
Well shit, now i want to hear more girls rock.  Two girls, two guys in this band.  And this song has riffs out the ass.  They're in the same vein as Hole, a little hipper, a little cuter, and a whole lot less psycho.  You'll be singing this song for days.

4.) VAST - Pretty When You Cry (1998) V
WATCH THIS VIDEO.  But not if you plan on sleeping tonight.  Seriously terrifying song and video. Jon Crosby was an unsung hero of dark hard rock in the 90s and beyond.  A hidden gem, a forgotten treasure, and one of my favourite songwriters of all-time.  I cannot praise this band enough.  Their ability to brood is perfect.

5.) Filter - Captain Bligh (1999) A
Another record that i discovered when I was about 10 and haven't stopped playing all these years later.  Richard Patrick (ex-NIN guitarist, brother of, seriously.)'s ability to mix sing-song melodies with a low end this heavy was truly inspirational to me.  One of the best produced records ever, in my opinion.  Still sounds  great today, especially through some good headphones.

6.) Days of the New - Enemy (1999) V
Another severely underrated 90s band.  Days of the New (Travis Meeks + a revolving door of members) mixes a sound I lovingly refer to as electro-acoustic.  Their first album (and best selling) was more straight forward, acoustic guitars, bass and drums.  Post-grunge with a country/folk edge.  Their next two albums added things like electronic drums (this song) and electronic guitars (their third and, so far, last album).

7.) Cardiacs - Belleye (1995) A
And Now for a band that didn't chart anywhere, is really actually quite obscure, but has dozens of albums and a huge influence on lots of important and popular artists.  They hate that some people call their music pronk (prog/punk), but it is a generally fair assessment.  I'm starting you guys off with a much more "easy" tune from these guys.  You kinda love 'em or hate 'em.  Personally, i think this band is full of musical mad scientists.

8.) Megadeth - Almost Honest (1997) A
The first Megadeth song I ever heard (on the local rock radio station), I immediately ran out and bought the album.  They're still my favourite metal band (tied with Judas Priest).  I love Mustaine's chorus (and choice of harmonies therein) on this one.  Still a favourite record of mine.

9.) 2wo - Stutter Kiss (1998)
I saw Rob Halford on VH1's where are they now, in 1998.  It was the moment i was introduced both to Judas Priest (went out, bought British Steel and never looked back) and Rob Halford's at that time new project 2wo, with John 5 and Trent Reznor (NIN) behind the boards.  Nothing like Judas Priest but just as awesome to an 11 year old who loved NIN and Filter and Stabbing Westward.

10.) Fishbone - Sunless Saturday (1991)
As Monty Python would say: And now for something completely different.  A band I only discovered in recent years, and too bad, too, cos they're killer.  Heavy Metal, Funk, Ska, Punk, Hip Hop all thrown into one.  And this a poignant tune about humanity sucking at its job of not being dicks to everything and everything.  Also closes the album.  Thus saving me from opening my playlist with a closing tune; by having an even BETTER closing tune.  Trumpet Solo anyone?

Well there ya have it kids, loud angry, diverse music from the 90s.

It seems that 10 songs is a pretty hearty sum.  I can do more if you guys really want, but this does take a while.  If you want longer playlists, you might get them less often, but I'll work my ass off to give you awesome playlists.  Or i can knock out one in a couple hours and give you one almost every day.  Thoughts?

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