pick six: 90’s songs you don’t know but should

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Sunday, May 24th, 2009

pick six: 90’s songs you don’t know but should

as you might be able to tell, i’m a fan of recurring blog series. for example, “music you should know”, “what’s in my [proverbial] 6-disc changer” and so on. as you also might be able to tell, i don’t always follow through very well on these series. my good intentions and good ideas tend to fizzle out.

well, with all that said, i think i’m going to start another one. in this case, it’s called “pick six.” in this series, i’ll make a list composed of 6 things that could range from music (like this one), books, movies, theological matters or any random thing that would make for a good list of six. why 6? why not?
so, let’s get this crackin’.
i was listening to an old ipod on which i had a playlist of a bunch of 90’s songs. many of these songs were your standard 90’s songs that you hear anywhere. many, though, were songs i really like from the 90’s, but aren’t really popular or well known songs. as you may well know, i’m a fan of all things 90’s and i’m certainly a fan of all those standard 90’s playlist songs (i.e. semisonic’s closing time, o.m.c.’s how bizarre & del amitri’s roll to me). but, i also enjoy the lesser know songs that are often much better.
i decided to compile a list of those lesser known songs. at first, i began compiling a list of somewhat obscure, indie-type artists, but then i thought the list might be more interesting if i picked very well known artists but picked songs by them that you may not know.
here’s what i came up with (and these are in no particular order):
1. switchfoot. amy’s song. (a new way to be human. 1999.) the switchfoot you know on the radio now is not the switchfoot that i knew and loved in the late 90’s. this album is great and this song is particularly beautiful.

2. fleetwood mac. bleed to love her. (the dance. 1997.) oddly, i feel more or less indifferent about fleetwood mac in general, but i’m a big fan of their live reunion album the dance. obviously, a lot of people know fleetwod mac and certainly, a lot of people know this song, but it certainly wasn’t a single or a hit from this album.

3. barenaked ladies. brian wilson. (disc one: all their greatest hits. 2001. [song is from 1990].) certainly, a lot of people first met the barenaked ladies with their 1997 hit one week (you know, “the chickety china, the chinese chicken…”), but they were on the scene much longer before that with songs that were very, very different than one week. i love brian wilson. it’s a great song with a great story.

4. squirrel nut zippers. the ghost of stephen foster. (perennial favorites. 1998.) some people might possibly know the zippers’ 1996 semi-hit hell—which is a great song in its own right—but even that is a somewhat obscure reference for the masses. even more obscure—but even a more amazing song—is the ghost of stephen foster with its haunting lead and frenetic lyrics.

5. sheryl crow. the book. (sheryl crow. 1996.) everybody knows sheryl crow. further, everybody knows several tracks from her incredible (and, by far, best) self-titled album. but, beyond loyal fans, few people probably know this haunting and mysterious track. while crow’s singles are great, if you want to find the real gems, look deeper into her albums and you’ll find more tracks like the book.

6. everclear. why i don’t believe in god. (so much for the afterglow. 1997.) there’s a good chance you know i will buy you a new life or father of mine, but there’s an even better chance you don’t know this track explaining why art alexakis is an atheist. it’s catchy track about a chilling childhood that leaves alexakis with an inability to believe in something higher.

so there ya go. there’s my first pick six. i hope you have enjoyed it. hopefully i’ll be back soon with another 6 for you.