Friday, August 15, 2008

The 40 greatest grunge songs (15-11)

(Click here for the whole list.)

15. Hum - Stars

This starts out underwhelming, and then it blows you away.

14. Alice in Chains - No Excuses

Vocal harmonies have been largely neglected in rock music from the '90s onward, so it's nice to hear this kind of arrangement. The result doesn't really fit into "grunge" or any other category I can think of. It's just plain good music. (From their excellent acoustic EP Jar of Flies.)

13. Pearl Jam - Even Flow

The rockingest portrait of homelessness I've ever heard.

Freezin', rests his head on a pillow made of concrete...

12. Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song)

Perfect nerd rock.

Watch out for the dogs!

If you want to destroy my sweater, hold this thread as I walk away...

11. The Breeders - Cannonball

How to make a great rock recording by stringing together one gimmick after another.

The album this is from, Last Splash, and their debut album, Pod, are both essential items in the music library of anyone who's into good '90s music.

Check, check, check, ah-ooooohhh-ooh...

>>> Go to #10-6 >>>


Ann Althouse said...

Well, I went over to check out the "Even Flow" video, and I can see why the disable embedding: for the ad income.

There's not only a KMart ad superimposed on the video (which I guess would show up in the embed), but there was also a KMart ad in a square next to the video.

BTW, I think you could easily replicate Eddie Vedder's "Even Flow" outfit by shopping at KMart, so it was a good ad buy for KMart. You can buy Evenflo products there too.

But I agree with you that videos are more watched if they can be embedded. This is more important to the more obscure bands than to Pearl Jam.

Alice in Chains should allow embedding though. They're not that immensely huge. But I remember "No Excuses." I'm glad you put it high on your list.

Hum... can't remember them at all. These folks really need to allow embedding. They should even come over and participate in the comments. Hi, Hum!

Jeff Vaca said...

John, did you just use "rational" and "record companies" in the same sentence?

I've been waiting decades for the record companies to take their heads out of their nether regions and develop a new business model. It isn't going to happen. Ever.

Nihimon said...

I'd never heard of Hum or Stars, and can't say it really gets me today, but the rest were all staples back in the day, and I still have Last Splash on my MP3 player.

Vocal harmonies with Alice in Chains and Varuca Salt are the main reasons those were two of my favorite bands at the time (also still have American Thighs on my player). Whale and Wasp from Jar of Flies was my favorite though... Maybe I need to get them too :)

Anonymous said...

I really hope that Pearl Jam is one of your "choice exceptions." I need to see them in the top 3. (Alive is my nomination, but I'm open to others.)

Great call on Hum/Stars, though. I haven't thought of that song in years, but it brings me back to 1997

nomadologist said...

I just stumbled upon this blog at random, and it's gotten me all nostalgic.

Hum--one of my favorite bands of all time. Arguably, Nirvana and My Bloody Valentine are two of the most influential bands of the 1990s, and Hum melds the loud/soft dynamic of Nirvana and the woozy guitars and disaffected vocals of My Bloody Valentine. Just a perfect band who put out two perfect records on a major label and never really got the respect they deserved. "Stars" has two of the baddest riffs I've ever heard.