I don’t remember when I first heard The Lemonheads. I just remember trying to fill my Columbia House order (remember them?), and saw the It’s A Shame About Ray album and thought I would give it a try because at least I’ve heard of The Lemonheads. I instantly fell in love with The Lemonheads. Juliana Hatfield played bass and backing vocals on It’s A Shame About Ray, and I fell in love with her too. I introduced my college roommate to The Lemonheads and he loved them too, along with Juliana Hatfield. I started getting into The Lemonheads back catalog, and really loved their old stuff too. They were more of a punk band in the late 80s and I loved it. Then in 1993 Come On Feel The Lemonheads came out and everybody knew who they were.
A year ago today my favorite band, Motion City Soundtrack, announced their breakup. It’s been a weird spring. Most springs in the past I’ve been looking forward to seeing where MCS was touring. They were a hard working band and were constantly touring. It was great. I was able to see them fourteen times, and I’m still kicking myself for missing a few other shows that I could have seen. It was also the main reason of their demise. For smaller bands to make it these days they have to be constantly touring. As you get older you just want to be home. I totally get it.
I don’t think a day has gone by since last 3.11 that I haven’t listened to some MCS. I’ve been reading their Reddit page and every week someone posts a song to discuss. That always leads me down the rabbit hole of all the amazing MCS YouTube videos. From old live performances, acoustic performances, to even some ukulele covers. All of them are so great because the songs are so great.
Whenever I try to listen to some new music I’m always like, “This is good, but not MCS good. Why don’t I just listen to MCS.” You would think I would get sick of MCS, but I don’t.
Currently the lead singer, Justin Pierre, is working on a solo album. I’m looking forward to that, and if he does any local Minneapolis shows, that would be great. Someday down the road I sure hope there is a reunion show. I will be right there in the front row, just like I have many time in the past.
I remember watching Alternative Nation on MTV at my buddies house when the “Somebody to Shove” video came on. I instantly fell in love with Soul Asylum. It was crazy that they didn’t break out until their sixth album. Grave Dancers Union is a great album from start to finish, but “Runaway Train” got too overplayed. To this day, I alway skip that song when I listen to this album. “Black Gold” always reminds me of my senior year of high school. Soul Asylum is definitely my second favorite Minnesota band. Motion City Soundtrack being my favorite, obviously. Sorry to The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, and yeah Prince; not much of a fan.
Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend came out in 1991. I didn’t discover it until my college roommate introduced me to it in 1993. I don’t know if 1991 me would have liked Matthew Sweet, but 1993 me loved him. Girlfriend has always been a good road tripping album for me. To this day if I’m ever road tripping by myself I will crank this album up.
Towards the end of my senior year of high school I discovered Lookout! Records. I bought almost every album I could find off the label. I loved so many of the albums Lookout! was putting out those days. The albums weren’t all that well produced, the songs were just stupid simple punk rock songs, but damn were they good. Kerplunk! was probably my favorite off of Lookout!. I still listen to it a couple times a year. Green Day has come of long way and I have loved everything they have done. In fact I think their latest is one of their best. But sometimes I just love the rougher, simpler, older Green Day songs. Plus I have so many memories attached to these songs. From “Christie Road”, “80”, “Android”, all such good songs. Then there was “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”. I had to look up who Holden Caulfield was and ended up reading The Catcher in the Rye. That was the beginning of reading for leisure for me.
This weeks revisit of albums from my teens is Blood Sugar Sex Magik from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Shortly after discovering Nirvana’s Nevermind I discovered this album. It was actually released the same day as Nevermind. I loved it because many of the songs were almost rap songs, and at the time I was still a fan of some rap music. One of my biggest memories from this album is listening to “Under The Bridge” on a band trip to Chicago. It’s weird how this is one of my few memories from that trip to Chicago. Hearing the album now for the first time in at least 15 years really brings back the memories.
Last Monday I blogged about my 18 favorite albums from my teen years. I’m going to revisit each album every Monday to help get my mind off of politics, and help be remember better times.
I’m starting with a big one, Nirvana’s Nevermind. I’m listening to it now for the first time in years. It’s so good. This album totally changed my taste in music. Before Nevermind I was listening to a few hair metal bands like Warrant and Poison, and a lot of rap like Run-DMC and Public Enemy. Nirvana was my gateway band to the lesser known bands in the indie and punk scene.
I still remember the first time I heard a Nirvana song. It was my sophomore year of high school. We were having some sort of talent show. I don’t remember exactly what for, but a few of my classmate played air guitar to “Territorial Pissings”. It was amazing, but most people didn’t understand, so they lost. That evening I went and bought Nevermind on cassette. Shortly after that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” blew up on MTV and the rest is history.