[We are five days away from 100 Songs for 2016! Between now and then, we're taking a look at some great songs that just missed the cut.]
As the philosopher George Santayana famously put it, those who fail to remember the nineties are doomed to repeat them. As the bands of my youth start celebrating twenty year anniversaries, some are still making fresh, challenging music, and some are making a living playing county fairs and cruise ships. Either way, I feel old.
(1) PJ Harvey - "The Wheel"
I've never gotten into PJ Harvey, and I'm sure the problem is on my end. She seems like one of the coolest people in the world. Definitely does not belong on this list because her music is still critically acclaimed and not nostalgia-driven at all. So, with that out of the way ...
(2) Garbage - "Empty"
A big year for Bon Iver, but I think the rankings for Wisconsin bands still go:
I think that might be the full list of all Wisconsin bands who have ever existed.
(3) Zack de la Rocha - "Digging for Windows"
In 2003, Zack and DJ Shadow released a singled called "March of Death." It is objectively awesome and has been on every running mix I have ever made. I was ready for a decade of "Is Zack the best rapper alive?" contrarian hot takes. Instead, he disappeared for more than a decade. He was great on that Run the Jewels song, so he can still do it, but this one doesn't quite get there.
(4) Weezer - "L.A. Girlz"
Hey, I liked "Suzanne" the first time, too. Why not keep recording it?
(5) Green Day - "Revolution Radio"
I can't really deal with new Green Day because you can just tell that they started with a list of catchphrases that would look good on shirts and bumper stickers and the kinda wrote the songs as an afterthought.
(6) Third Eye Blind - "Company of Strangers"
Saw 3EB at Outside Lands this year, and I was amazed by the response they got from the kids. Millennials love Third Eye Blind. Back then I wouldn't have picked them as the nineties representative for the next generation, but, to be honest, I'm totally on board now. Their ten best songs stack up with just about anyone.
Okay, I was just going to type that sentence and move on, but I can't. The ten best Third Eye Blind songs are:
- "Semi-Charmed Life"
- "Deep Inside of You"
- "Losing a Whole Year"
- "10 Days Late"
- "How's It Gonna Be"
- "Motorcycle Drive-By"
- "Never Let You Go"
(7) Jimmy Eat World - "Sure and Certain"
For reasons I can't really explain, this song reminds me of every Christian rock band I used to listen to in high school. It's just so earnest.
(8) Nada Surf - "Believe You're Mine"
They'll always be known for "Popular," and for good reason, but they spent the better part of two decades making what is probably best described as "Music from The O.C.-rock." 2002's Let Go was great, check out "Blizzard of '77."
(9) Sister Hazel - "We Got It All Tonight"
Urban Meyer's favorite band in the entire world. Like, still. Today. Just think about that.
(At this point, I'm just typing the names of nineties bands into Spotify, and a shocking number of them released new music in 2016.)
(10) Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Dark Necessities"
Okay, this is just an objectively bad song, but I wanted to get to ten. Made Rolling Stone's Top 50 for 2016, which absolutely invalidates the rest of their list.