Welcome to my newest music series, Quick Hits! I once again return to my trusty ol’ iPod (that’s still alive and kicking…for now) for a monthly peek into my musical past. Each new post will cover five shuffled songs. My musings per song may be voluminous or sparse, depending on what memories they spark. So, let’s not waste any more time and get on with the music!
“California Dreamin'” – The Mamas and the Papas
As there was a distinct time when my parents weren’t much for music made after the 19th century, I think the first time I actually heard “California Dreamin'” was on one of those Time Life commercials for the “Sounds of the [insert decade]” musical compilations. In this case, it would have been the sounds of the 1960s, since the song was released in 1965. I have it here thanks to the Forrest Gump soundtrack, but a long, long time ago, I had a Mamas and the Papas greatest hits album in tape. That was during high school when I developed a deep adoration for anything having to do with the counterculture of the 1960s, the sounds of which, some would say, were kicked off by this song.
“Shut Up” – The Bloodhound Gang
One Fierce Beer Coaster was the first Bloodhound Gang album I ever bought, which, for me, was powered mostly by the plus-Vanilla-Ice-aka-Rob-Van-Winkle song “Boom.” However, “Shut Up” is about as Bloodhound Gang as it gets. The song is catchy, funny, and unapologetically crass with a sweet up yours flair. Love them or hate them, Bloodhound gang were one of a kind.
“Anchor” – Peter Black
Collaborations was released by the Jill Scott in 2007. While the iPod suggests that the album contains two discs, it is, in fact, just one disc that’s accompanied by a sampler, which is what Peter Black’s “Anchor” is on. I actually didn’t realize I had gotten the two-disc version of Collaborations until I opened up the case, but it was a nice surprise. The sampler CD (officially titled “Hidden Beach”) has some good stuff on it. This does lie in stark contract to, for example, The Bloodhound Gang, but let’s just say my music interests span far and wide.
“No Substance” – Bad Religion
Well, well, well…if it isn’t more Bad Religion. This is, of course, always welcome, even if No Substance ranks among my least favorite BR albums, and “No Substance” is far from a favorite song. It’s…okay. Skewering American life and the “American Dream” is part of Bad Religion’s repertoire, but for whatever reason, it feels like they aimed for the lowest hanging fruit with this album, rather than shooting for the stars in previous outings. It almost feels like they resented having to put out another album and just threw together whatever. That’s hard for me to say as a fan, and it’s not utterly terrible album, but you can’t win ’em all.
“Failure” – Lagwagon
I didn’t actually realize Lagwagon was still around and performing until I went to go look for this song on YouTube. Good for them! If you’re in the gaming sphere, you might recognize them as one of the bands from the soundtrack for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. I can’t remember if I happened to see them that one time I caught the Warped Tour back in the day, but still, hearing “Failure” brings back some pretty good early 00s memories. That was such a good time as far as punk’s revival went.