INKTOBER, days 21, 22 and 23!
(My theme for Inktober is that I’m drawing the covers to my favorite records.)
So, what do we have here… an all time grunge rock classic, a little heard alt-rock gem from 2003 and a soundtrack to a movie that will lose me all the hard-fought indie cred I’ve acquired all these years.
Let’s start at the top:
Soundgarden - Superunknown - 1994
I owed this on tape. It was actually a birthday present. I had a CD player, but my friend’s mom was cheap or something, so the first time I listened to this, it was on cassette. This is Soundgarden’s best record, hands down. I don’t know of too many people who would argue that fact with me. Not a bad song to be found.
Favorite track: It’s a tie! My Wave & the Day I Tried to Live
Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea - 2003
This is the Smashing Pumpkins. It is. I know that Billy broke up the Pumpkins in 2000, but really, explain to me the difference between Zwan and the Smashing Pumpkins 2.0? (Answer: no difference.) IN FACT, I have it as a Smashing Pumpkins record in iTunes. Billy could have (should have) easily just labeled this “Smashing Pumpkins: Mary Star of the Sea” and people would have loved it… instead…well, it was a flop. The band imploded. BUT, we got this one great record out of it (AND, a lot of great, if not better, Zwan tracks have never seen the light of day… hopefully that changes in the future.) Here’s the thing: if you love the Pumpkins, or even just Siamese Dream, give this a chance. It’s far “happier” than most of Billy’s stuff, but don’t let you stop you… fuzzy guitars and epic solo’s rule this day, so check it out.
Favorite track: ANOTHER TIE! Settle Down & Jesus, I / Mary Star of the Sea (this one gets reallllllly good at the 8 minute mark!)
the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack - 2001
Yep. Here’s where my cred has come to die. Goodbye, cred, I hardly knew thee. Let me say, in both my defense and the defense of this record… it’s a fun listen. Some of the song writers include Adam (Counting Crows!) Duritz, Matthew Sweet (remember that 90’s hit “Girlfriend”?) and Adam (Fountains of Wayne!) Schlesinger… and all the tracks are sung by the fantastic Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo. Clearly, this record doesn’t lack talent. It also doesn’t lack kick ass power-pop tracks. The movie, while not everyone’s cup of tea, is also a lot of fun… plus, how can you deny the cuteness of Rachael Leigh Cook? YOU CAN’T. It’s impossible! So, look, make fun of me if you must, but this record is great and you’re only hurting yourself by ignoring it.
Favorite track: Shapeshifter