Friday 90s Focus: One Headlight

It has been a long week for me (projects, more projects, deadlines and general panic), so it’s only a quick update on F9F this week.  I’m going with a song that was everywhere and yet never really got old: “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers.

Quick confession: I’m not overly fond of Bob Dylan’s voice, so it’s refreshing to hear it (sort of) in a younger, smoother guise with Mr. Dylan’s son.  Enjoy the video, and try to enjoy the weekend!

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Friday 90s Focus: Everlong

Partially in honor of the newest Foo Fighters record (Wasting Light which comes out on Tuesday), we have a Foo-themed look into the 90s.  But this wouldn’t appear if this song were useless on its own.  Indeed, “Everlong” is probably the single greatest Foo song, and one of the best compositions of the 90s.

The emotional core of the track is undeniable and quite moving.  I am always shocked by how much weight a song like this carries.  Normally I’d classify the sound as hard/grunge rock and get right into something about alienation.  But here Dave Grohl’s nuanced vocal delivery shows flashes of desire, desperation and regret.  Add this all to a well-constructed guitar part and you’ve got a brilliant song.  It’s one part fun loud song, two parts meaningful vocals and lyrics, and held together by the clean intro guitar part that slowly ushers you into the experience.  “Everlong” is Grohl’s crowning post-Nirvana achievement.

Friday 90s Focus: “Brian Wilson”

We’re introducing a new trial-feature today called Friday 90s Focus.  Hopefully this becomes a normal thing.  It involves highlighting a song or record from the 1990s.  The inspiration for this feature comes from an NPR All Songs Considered feature.

I guess I’m a loser – I had never heard this song until a few days ago.  My friends were discussing it and their jaws dropped when I admitted my non-encounters with “Brian Wilson” by Barenaked Ladies.  So they quickly fixed that problem and got me attached to this video.

And now I’m wondering how I missed this in the first place. The song has the typical BNL qualities – strong melody, amazing vocal work and harmonies, and insane catchiness.  But what pushes this over the top is lyrical and emotional weight.  Steven Page spins a great tale about a man living a life like the titular Beach Boy.  The song has aged brilliantly since 1992 (I’ve only just heard this and it sounds fresh and exciting) and is the first entry in our Friday 90s Focus.  Give it a whirl and get drawn in.