Mix Six: Mid 90s Manna

Listen to Mix Six: Mid 90s Manna HERE

Welcome to another edition of the unpredictable Mix Six. Last week, Jefito introduced us to overlooked song/artists/albums that we really ought to check out (my personal favorite was David Mead). This week, it’s back to the Mix Six by yours truly and I wanted to feature some songs from a time in my life that was marked by a lot of change. The mid 90s was a time when J and I moved across the country to live in Philadelphia so I could attend grad school. The mid 90s was a time when our daughter was born and that luxury known as “sleep” evaporated for about 2-4 years. The mid 90s was a time when we moved back to California because we were so homesick. And the mid 90s was a time when a lot of alt rock music became melodic again. Sure, there were still dissonant chords a-plenty to be found, but it seemed there were quite a few artists who were using those darker tones in the subtext of songs that were full of ear pleasing hooks.

First up!

“Your Little Secret” Melissa Etheridge Not alt rock by any stretch of the imagination, but this song sure kicks ass!
“Everlong” Foo Fighters One of those rare rock-n-roll moments where a drummer shows he’s actually more than a guy who hangs out with musicians. πŸ˜‰ (you can get more drummer jokes HERE). Anyway, this song has so much passion and raw power that it’s very hard not to like it. I remember when David Letterman came back to host his show after undergoing heart surgery, he invited the Foo Fighters on the show to sing “Everlong”– which he said was one of his favorite songs.

“Stupid Girl” Garbage Love the drum sample from The Clash’s “Train in Vain” at the beginning. Garbage has some very talented musicians, but they seemed to run out of good ideas for songs after their second CD. However, this one had the right amount of pop flavors to make it a welcome addition to the rock soundtrack of the mid 90s — for me, anyway.

“Trippin’ On a Hole in a Paper Heart” Stone Temple Pilots There was this small CD shop in the bowels of the student union at UPenn when I was a grad student in the American Civilization program. One day, while perusing the stacks, I bought this CD on a whim. I was never a big STP fan, but this album surprised me with it’s pop/rock goodness.

“Black Steel” Tricky A cover of a Public Enemy song that sounds nothing like PE (and that’s why it’s so great!) My brother Steve gave me this CD because he thought I would like it — and he was right. It took me a while to get into it, but after I did, I became a big fan of Tricky’s work.

“Down By The Water” PJ Harvey Another impulse buy at that CD shop at UPenn, and one that took me by surprise (again). Much of this record was very difficult for me to connect with, but the more spins I gave it, the more the songs drew me in. This one is probably the most accessible songs on the CD — probably because it’s the most melodic.

And thus ends our mid 90s flashback. Have a great weekend kids!

–PK

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