Five Songs, 6/1/2017
Should I re-think the policy of putting in Bandcamp links instead of the Youtube videos? It occurs to me that maybe I should put in both? I dunno. Feel free to let me know down below or on Twitter. Or email, because frankly, anybody reading this probably has my email. Today's tunes are here, by the way.
Mudhoney, "Inside Out Over You"
Mudhoney was grunge. Nirvana might have been the band that everybody knew, but it was Mudhoney that really laid down the template for the scene. Fuzzed out and beer soaked, they combined elements of punk, metal, and garage rock to form the sound that would come to define Seattle music in the early 90s, and indeed much of rock music. Not only that, but the extended Mudhoney family tree includes other huge Pacific Northwest bands - Mark Arm and Steve Turner were in Green River with Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), and Matt Lukin was in the Melvins, to choose two examples.
What I'm not sure people realize is that Mudhoney never stopped making records. The band never really broke through into the mainstream, and after being dropped by Reprise records, they returned to Sub Pop and continued putting out good music. This song comes from 2008's The Lucky Ones, a fine record that continues in the Mudhoney tradition. As an aside, I enjoyed this little profile of a middle-aged Mark Arm, working as a warehouse manager for Sub Pop.
Sun Kil Moon, "Truck Driver"
Mark Kozelek's band playing sad-ass acoustic songs, Sun Kil Moon is the sort of band that is perfect in certain moods, and intolerable in most others. Still, Kozelek often writes gorgeous songs around interesting stories, and I really do like many of his records.
Grenadine, "I Only Have Eyes For You"
In the early 90s, there was a somewhat brief scene that was reviving Burt Bacharach-esque baroque pop. Grenadine came out of that scene, as a side project of members of Tsunami, Unrest, and Eggs, all indie-pop acts that were already in adjacent territory. Mostly, Grenadine was pretty slight, but had some pretty songs.
The Golden Harmoneers, "Precious Memories"
This song comes from the early days of Motown, appearing on the first volume of the Motown comps, covering the years 1959-1961, before Motown became the force it later would be.
KC Bowman, "Taipans Love You"
OK, are you ready for one of the most obscure records I own? Here we go. Lawsuit was a ska-ish band playing in Davis, California, which my friend Bill encountered as he went to school down there. I love the records I have from them, they're fantastic, but they were pretty much strictly a local band other than the weird cluster of fans they had in Seattle due to Bill sending me albums. Lawsuit broke up, possibly due to the suicide of the lead singer (I read a news report on his death much after the fact), and KC Bowman, who was one of the guitarists and songwriters for the band, continued making music. This comes from one of his solo records, Fresher Tin Villages, and it's a charming record full of kind of skewed pop. Surprising nobody, I had to upload this myself. This song is just the intro to the album, though, and merges into the next song seamlessly. But, alas, that's not what shuffle gave us.