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5 Slightly Obscure 90’s Tracks

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If you can remember the 90s you’re probably already self medicating with a steady stream of Nirvana, 2Pac and Wilson Phillips. But a lot of the best music of that era perhaps never made it to your soon-to-be-replaced Sony Discman. Say no more; here’s 5 Slightly Obscure 90’s Tracks that will dress you in plaid and buzz a goatee onto your chin. Sorry, ladies.

 

Funky Shit – Prodigy, 1997

In the 90’s you couldn’t cruise the bully without blasting some Prodigy, Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers or The Crystal Method. At least I couldn’t. Hell, I even found myself moshing with the rest of the pseudo-punks at a Prodigy show at the now defunct Roseland. Funky Shit samples Root Down from Beastie Boys, a song released just three years before.


High 5 (Rock the Catskills) – Beck, 1996

Beck released Odelay in 1996, and if you were afraid that tracks like New Pollution and Where It’s At were too commercial, the inclusion of High 5 on the record reminded you of that twisted wunderkind who released Mellow Gold.


6 Underground  – Sneaker Pimps, 1996

This sexy Sneaker Pimps track made a dent on the airwaves, especially in the UK, but only reached 45 on the US charts. The live version rules my world and I can watch Kelli Ali stare me down with that rag-doll hair and those dangerous fangs on repeat forever. The most relaxed singer this side of trip-hop Perry Como.


Missing Link – Dinosaur Jr. & Del the Funky Homosapien, 1993

Rap-Rock broke through when Aerosmith and Run DMC released Walk this Way in 1985,  but it reached new creative heights on the much ignored Judgement Night soundtrack in 1993. Some trippy combos made beautiful music together, the likes of which have never been repeated until a similar experiment with the Spawn soundtrack years later. Some great pairings on this record. I’m talking Teenage Fanclub with De La Soul, Sonic Youth with Cypress Hill, Mudhoney with Sir Mix-A-Lot. Pick this album up if you don’t already own it. Here Dinosaur Jr. and Del the Funky Homosapien find perfection with Missing Link.

 

Dr. Rock – Ween, 1991

In 1991 Ween released The Pod, a drug fueled exercise in low-fi DIY whatsit. It’s more punk than Punk, and less noisy than Noise-Rock. It’s somewhere in the middle and probably best experienced post-nitrous oxide, although I like it just fine without. Gene and Dean Ween were music machines and made the polar opposite of what you’d hear on the radio. Listen as they giggle and cough their way through this anarchistic track. The Pod has some psychotic and magical musical moments, perhaps best exemplified by Pollo Asado, a fever dream of racial and stoner stereotypes ordering Mexican food from a mathematically challenged cashier. Long live the Boognish!

 

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Recording as Electronic Device, Brooklyn artist and writer Eric Curran released his debut record "Two Dull Boys" in 2021.

Music

Janita – Three Songs She’d Love to Have Written

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Janita’s newest album Here Be Dragons is another in a progression of finely crafted hymns for the empowered. Whether by love, as in the silky “I Do,” or by subverting expectations, in the Beatlesesque “Not What You’re Used To,” Janita draws on lessons learned during a positively unique career that spans decades and continents. We caught up with Janita on the heels of her latest single “When It’s All Up To You” to find out three songs she’d love to have written.

Elliott Smith — “L.A.” 

This is one of my favorite songs by Elliott Smith. I listened to the full album Figure 8 a lot while I was writing the songs on my new album, and it was a huge influence on me both melodically and lyrically. This song in particular has also informed some of the production choices we made later, like the heavier guitars you hear on my song “Not What You’re Used To.”

“L.A.” is incredibly melodic, but there’s an elusive, haunting quality to it. It feels like you’re always trying to reach it, catch up to it somehow. The backing vocals accentuate that feeling. In my mind, the song paints such a vivid picture of the ephemeral, fickle nature of L.A., and the similarly transient nature of the main character. Elliott Smith himself? I don’t know exactly how he does (did) it, but I’m certainly in awe of it.

Radiohead — “There There”

So hypnotic. So badass. Could the production possibly be any cooler? The melody is intricate and beautiful, and I can relate to the lyric from every which angle: as the singer, as the one being sung to, and whether in love relationships, friendships, or with total strangers. The subject matter simply comes up in life in so many ways all the time… I recently tried to express similar notions as I was writing a song, only to remember that it was already done here perfectly. Goddammit.

Punch Brothers — “Julep”

This song is simply magical to me. It’s made me bawl my eyes out at a Punch Brothers concert two separate times. It’s like that viral video that was circulating some years ago of a baby moved to tears when her mom sings a sad tune. I’m that baby when it comes to this song. It simply hits some sort of primal button in me and keeps pressing it until the very end.

While you’re at it, check out Janita’s video for “Digging in the Dirt,” a funky and faithful rendition of the Peter Gabriel classic.

Recording as Electronic Device, Brooklyn artist and writer Eric Curran released his debut record "Two Dull Boys" in 2021.

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New Music – Bachelor

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Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner join forces as Bachelor – a musical powerhouse whose new record Doomin’ Sun drops May 28th on Polyvinyl.

Kemper and Duterter recorded the album during two weeks of mutual appreciation in California. Three visceral singles have been released in the lead-up, including the Pixies-flavored “Stay in the Car” and the sprawling “Anything At All.”

Bachelor has also announced the Doomin’ Sun Fest, a one-day livestream featuring Tegan & Sara, Courtney Barnett, Adrianne Lenker, Jeff Tweedy, Japanese Breakfast, Julien Baker, and more.

Doomin Sun Fest

Recording as Electronic Device, Brooklyn artist and writer Eric Curran released his debut record "Two Dull Boys" in 2021.

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Self-Serving Interview with Electronic Device Does Little to Advance Musician’s Career

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Two men that look suspiciously alike meet outside a fictitious Brooklyn hot-spot – six feet apart.

MC Krispy E: Very nice to meet you. (squints) Have we met before?

Electronic Device: Maybe?

MC Krispy E: Is the rest of the band joining us?

Electronic Device: (pause) I am the rest of the band.

MC Krispy E: You are Electronic Device? What’s that about?

Electronic Device: Uhm, yeah, it’s like a pen name. You know what that is, right?

MC Krispy E: I have some idea.

Electronic Device: It was actually the name of one of my dad’s companies back in the day before…

MC Krispy E: (looking at his watch) Wonderful. So… it says here you have a new single called “All Things Come to an End” inspired by the death of your brother.

Electronic Device: Yeah, after my brother died I recorded songs as a form of therapy in his old bedroom in Staten Island.

MC Krispy E: And now I read that you have cancer. Am I supposed to feel extra sorry for you?

Electronic Device: Uhm…

MC Krispy E: It sounds like this album is going to be super depressing.

Electronic Device: It’s not, I swear. I was looking for some happiness while recording these songs, there’s not much of an agenda beyond that.

MC Krispy E: What kind of music is it?

Electronic Device: I wasn’t really thinking about influences while recording, but listening back I hear some Concrete Blonde, some Cracker.

MC Krispy: So bands no one is interested in?

Electronic Device: What the hell, man?

MC Krispy: Sorry, it’s almost like I can’t help it.  What’s the single about?

Electronic Device: I hate saying what a song is about because everything is up for interpretation.

MC Krispy E: Humor us.

Electronic Device: I can say that “All Things Come to an End” has multiple narrators, some of which are unreliable.

MC Krispy E: (stares)

Electronic Device: And that one day I was at my Dad’s house and when I turned the corner into the hallway my Dad thought I was my brother for a moment, which was super sad because of course I couldn’t be.

MC Krispy E: And then you wrote a whole song about that.

Electronic Device: I guess so. When you put it that way…

MC Krispy E: (yawning) Tell us when the single come out.

Electronic Device: The single is out now. The album comes out in 2021.

MC Krispy E: Well, good for you. And good luck with that cancer thing.

Electronic Device: Yeah, you too.

MC Krispy E: Thanks. What?

Recording as Electronic Device, Brooklyn artist and writer Eric Curran released his debut record "Two Dull Boys" in 2021.

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