Eric’s Trip – Songs About Chris (1993) With our pocket computers running Shazam, Spotify, YouTube and Google, it’s nearly impossible to lose a song due to a lapse in human memory any more. This wasn’t always the case. In the ’90s, my pants pocket often held one very important, folded up piece of paper. This piece of paper, it could have been been a bill or a piece of homework, really deserved a more permanent place on my self, one not so prone to washings, would have been ideal. For on this piece of paper was a list of all of the songs and all of the albums I should look for on my next trip to the record shop. Eric’s Trip “Hurt Song,” was undoubtedly listed at some point, and then washed and forgotten to time.
Even the emergence of Spotify and other streaming services couldn’t help me find my elusive Eric’s Trip song. Either my favorite Eric’s Trip song wasn’t on the albums Love Tara, Forever Again, or Purple Blue, or favorite Eric’s Trip song never really existed. I had to entertain that possibility, too.
Ultimately, it was a combination of luck and stinginess that led to my reunion with “Hurt Song.” Luck, in that I just happened to find a couple old Eric’s Trip 45’s at Hausfrau Records in Cleveland. And more luck, when I decided I needed more Eric’s Trip in my life, but was too stingy to pay top dollar for a used copy of any of their full lengths, and found a used copy of the EP Songs About Chris online, instead. My lost Eric’s Trip song did exist and it was as sweet as I remembered it.
The Oblivians – The Oblivians Play Nine Songs with Mr Quintron (1997) Why I wasn’t particularly impressed by Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark, Jr, or the new Jack White album in 2012.
The Rain Parade – Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1983) This is the Rain Parade album you’re looking for, the defining moment of LA’s Paisley Underground scene of the ’80s, not Chasing Dream. Chasing Dream is the Rain Parade album passed from one record store to the next by record collectors who thought they had found the good Rain Parade album for $5.
Redd Kross – Switchblade Sister 7″ (1995) Chalk another one up to luck. I bought this 45 from a record store in Philadelphia because (A) it was Redd Kross and Redd Kross rules, (B) it was cheap, and (C) the picture sleeve featured tampons on the left half of the cover and a naked woman with a guitar on the right half. That picture sleeve is featured prominently in this stream, as you can probably tell already.
L7 – Smell the Magic (1991) The maniac lead riff on “‘Till the Wheels Come Off” is magic by itself, and worth the price you’ll pay for a copy of this record. But when the four ladies of L7 took this number to the stage, magic doesn’t even begin to explain. This helps. And so does this.
Supersuckers – “Dead Homiez/Poor (Mexi-Mix)” (1993) Believe it or not, not every rap song covered by a white rock band in the ’90s was done in the style of a novelty hit. Really, it’s true. When The Supersucker’s covered Ice Cube’s “Dead Homiez” they piled on the funk, heavy.
Mark Lanegan – The Winding Sheet (1990) I wasn’t joking when I said I’d buy a record of Mark Lanegan singing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” if such a thing existed. My record collection has grown to include five Screaming Trees releases and three Lanegan solo albums. The Winding Sheet, Lanegan’s first solo offering, contains a cover of the Leadbelly track, “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” a song whose guest help you may recognize from a later cover of the same track recorded shortly before said help met his tragic end. Guest vocals and extra guitar on “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” were provided by the late Kurt Cobain.
The Fastbacks – Very, Very Powerful Motor (1990), The Answer is You (1991), Zucker (1993), Gone to the Moon (1993) By now, you should be able to recognize a couple patterns to my record buying during 2012. One, I bought a lot of Seattle music (see above on Mark Lanegan). And, two, I bought a whole lotta Sub Pop from the early ’90s (see Eric’s Trip, Supersuckers, Mark Lanegan, L7). With The Answer is You, Zucker, and Gone to the Moon by the much-loved, but not nearly appreciated enough power pop outfit, The Fastbacks, I hit the double — Seattle and Sub Pop.
The Dictators – Blood Brothers (1978) The Dictators never quite fit in with the punk crowd, or the metal crowd, or the pop crowd, for that matter. Their best tracks, like “Stay With Me,” from this 1978 album hint at all three of those genres and should have had broad appeal. In other words, this should be classic should be a stone cold classic. The fact it isn’t may have something to do with The Dictators’ sense of humor, which some didn’t find especially funny. Joke or not, it’s awfully hard to defend the tracks “Master Race Rock” and “Back to Africa,” from their ’75 debut record in 2012. Or, it could be that old maxim about not pleasing all of the people all of the time. Remember, back in the ’70s punk and metal didn’t cross paths all that often. And to be punk, you had to be really punk. You had to live it and look it. The Dictators did neither. They just rocked, and here’s the proof.
Urge Overkill – Supersonic Storybook (1991) There are some (Steve Albini) from the Chicago rock scene (Steve Albini) from the late ’80s and early ’90s (Steve Albini) who didn’t very much care for Urge Overkill, and those people (Steve Albini) would say things about Urge Overkill like, “We’ll see who’s sucking cock for loose change in the bus station in five years.”
Steve Albini can have his opinions. He has a lot of opinions. I have never met any members of Urge Overkill in person and therefore cannot comment on whether or not their cock sucking skills have indeed improved since the passing of the ’90s, but I do happen to enjoy the sleazy, glam rock groove of “The Candidate,” and the album Supersonic Storybook, in general.
Boogie Down Productions – By All Means Necessary (1988) “Stop the Violence.” Please, America, stop the violence.