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my walkman, flying spaghetti, and chicks on drugs.

35 green day
dookie
1994

hit singles: "basket case," "longview," "welcome to paradise," "when i come around"
$0.37 on amazon

before i got my first cd player in 1995, i only had a walkman. it was intimate, i could listen to it as loud as i wanted, and it had auto-reverse, so i didn't even have to take the tape out when it was time to switch to side b!!! i probably wore my walkman out the most when i got my dookie tape at the end of 5th grade. i remember specifically getting really sick right when i got the tape and having to stay home from school for a few days. i listened to this tape over and over again, amazed at how kooky the music sounded and the lyrics were. is he singing about touching himself? gross! cool! rock out! why does he sound like he has a duck stuck in his nose? and as i concentrated on billie joe's voice and listened to the lyrics to "basket case," i remember not knowing what "stoned" or "whore" meant. so i went to my mom's office during one of those sick days, had her listen, and asked her. she didn't answer my queries, so i went to my older brother. he just laughed and bough
t me a green day t-shirt from a hip store in downtown. the other 5th graders were SO jealous. key non-single tracks: burnout, pulling teeth, she

34
stone temple pilots
tiny music...songs from the vatican gift shop
1996

hit singles: "big bang baby," "trippin' on a hole in a paper heart," "lady picture show"
$0.73 on amazon

sure, i also had purple and core, and i thoroughly enjoyed both, but they were both problematic. songs like "dead and bloated" and "creep" on core were delightfully scary and aggressive, but while weiland was in a dark place, i was nine years old and still watching mighty max every morning. and songs like "vaseline" and "interstate love song" on purple may have shown a lighter, more playful side of weiland and co., but i just wasn't having that slide guitar. so here comes tiny music. not only is weiland probably on the most drugs he'd ever been on in his life at this point, but there's finally some variety on this record, balancing between the rebellious and the adult-friendly alt-rock. i will forever remember "big bang baby" as the song that the drax, his little brother, and i filmed ourselves lip-syncing and faux-playing using a cardboard guitar, a guitar with no strings, and the drax jamming out on various tupperwares full of spaghetti. and (oh my god i'm laughing by myself as i type this) then spaghetti flying everywhere when the drax hits one of the containers too hard. because the song is just that awesome!!! key non-single tracks: pop's love suicide, tumble in the rough, art school girl




33 everclear
sparkle and fade
1995

hit singles: "santa monica," "heroin girl," "you make me feel like a whore," "heartspark dollarsign"
$0.01 on amazon

out of all the bands on this list that had other albums that i listened to, i think everclear takes the cake for band whose other albums sucked the most in comparison to its list-worthy album. i can foresee at least one comment being left professing the genus of
so much for the afterglow, but i don't care. that album (along with the albums that followed it) was forgettable radio-ready garbage compared to this album, which ironically had four hit radio singles. sure, in 1995, a band almost had to be "edgy" in order to get noticed in the overflowing realm of alt-rock radio, but i couldn't help it. that's what sold 11-year-old me. overly distorted guitars, an off-putting hard-to-describe snarly accent, and emotional lyrics about getting dumped by chicks on drugs. yeah that's right, everclear were merely emo burnouts with tattoos. "heroin girl" and "you make me feel like a whore" got me interested, but it was the tragic personal stories that soaked through "pale green stars" and "strawberry" that made this album a staple in my collection. alas, soon enough they for some reason thought that their emotional distress didn't have to be backed up by their aesthetic and went for a crisp sheen as long as they could, trying to stay on top of the radio charts, as angsty alt-rock became less and less cool. key non-single tracks: strawberry, the twistinside, pale green stars

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  1. Blogger P. Arty | 11:45 AM |  

    "the other 5th graders were SO jealous."

    I HATE that joke.

    She was a wicked song. So was Heroin Girl. And that STP cd, although it was my least favorite of the three you mentioned. Trippin' on a Hole.... remains one of my favorite Guitar Hero songs ever.

    I also have a very vivid memory of listening to Santa Monica at that music store on the North side of Brookfield Square and singing really loudly because I couldn't hear myself. Brenden Coffey later told me that I looked like a total moron. Not much has changed in the last thirteen years.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:02 PM |  

    Hey, Chris!

    Stop living in the past!

    When are you going to get us prepped for the new fall season? Without your insight, I don't know what to hate..

    I hear Heroes sucks..

    -Sean

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