“Jaded” by The Crystal Method (from Vegas, 1997)
While some EDM of the ’90s—it was EDM back then, don’t kid yourself—has aged incredibly well (I’m looking at you, …Endtroducing), most has suffered the gross misfortune of either being too closely aligned with the industrial music of the era, or being so simplistic that a teenager with Fruity Loops could replicate it in an afternoon. The Crystal Method, unfortunately, failed to avoid both of these pitfalls. This does, however, fire all the nostalgia neurons in the back of my head, reminding me of my club DJing days.
“Cry All Day” by Ndidi Onukwulu (from The Contradictor, 2008)
There is a bounty of “Country” music that exists in our neighbors to the north that (sadly) never crosses the borders. There was a time when I was really keyed into the scene.
“Stranded” by Alien Ant Farm (from ANThology, 2001)
I don’t know that Alien Ant Farm got a fair shake. Like the Extreme of their time, they were lumped in with the Hoobastank, Lost Prophets, and Papa Roach’s of the post-grunge world, though perhaps undeservedly. While I’m not necessarily flying the flag for these guys, I can certainly bear listening to a tune or two before reaching for the “skip” button, unlike the other bands I’ve mentioned, which get a reflexive “NEXT!”
“Blibberin’ Blabbin’ Blues” by Gino Parks (from The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 1: 1959-1961 (disc 3), 2005)
Yes, it’s the ever-confounding The Complete Motown Singles! I know positively nothing about Gino Parks. I know that this tune is a killer bit of rockabilly blues. I could see spinning this up behind “I Ain’t Got No Home,” by The Band.
“Black” by Pearl Jam (from Black and White, 1992)
Black and White is a KTS (that’s Kiss the Stone for the unknowing) bootleg of Pearl Jam’s MTV Unplugged appearance. This got tons of play throughout the years. “Black” is easily in my top 5 Pearl Jam tunes, period. When Eddie loses himself in the play out, vocalizing—nay, emoting—the “we belong together” part… goosebumps, to this day.
Possibly my one of my favorite lyrics: “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a sun, in somebody else’s sky, but why can’t it be mine?” ’90s-me would have killed to write lyrics that good (and not for a lack of trying.)
BONUS! The next song to play was U2’s “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World,” which also was a constant in my world during this time. “…and a woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle.” Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but damn if I don’t love these tunes. So tell me…
What’s on your shuffle today?