Getting ready for a second week at work in the ‘office’ AKA the dining room at the back of the house, I have now arranged my own office space taking over the table, etc and making myself comfortable for another week of work.
With the CD player already in place from week 1, Monday was kicking off with the sound from Seattle.
I am a huge fan of 90s rock music much of I owe to discovering Nirvana. Prior to that I had a variety of interest in rock music but this new sound from America was interesting. Funny enough I bought Nevermind on sheer impulse intrigued by the hype surrounding them.
Nevermind blew me away and opened up the floodgates to discovering new American bands to listen to. I enjoyed nothing more than hitting the shops in town, Makin Tracks, Golden Discs, Our Price, Virgin, HMV, etc eager to discover new bands.
Instead of going straight to Nevermind, I dug out Incesticide and In Utreo by Nirvana. Incesticide was a compilation album in the wake of the success of Nevermind and was full of brilliant B-sides and other songs. Equally just as good as Nevermind.
In Utero however was a totally different follow up and would be Nirvana’s final LP before the untimely death of Kurt Cobain. I remember the stick I got from my friends for actually liking this album but I stand vindicated as after they heard Unplugged in New York it changed a lot of my friends perceptions about Nirvana.
Next up was Pearl Jam. Instead of going for Ten, I went for their second album, Vs which is my favourite album and to this day Pearl Jam are one of my all time favourite bands. Putting this on was great. It just felt like 1993 all over again.
Alice in Chains were the other band from Seattle that I liked. I have bypassed their first two albums, Facelift and Dirt, for this double EP, Sap/Jar of Flies. A fantastic collection of songs showcasing a more mellower side of the band. Some of these songs are on their MTV Unplugged album which is great too.
Not connected to Seattle but ended up getting lumped in were Smashing Pumpkins. Another band I picked up along the way after listening to Nevermind. Siamese Dream was their second album and what an album to pick up for the first time. I loved it.
Tuesday kind of had the same theme although a wee bit of a mix. Selected for the playlist that day were Screaming Trees, Husker Du, Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Quite a diverse collection there. Screaming Trees continued the Seattle theme from the previous day. Discovered them first on a BBC2 Arena programmed called No Nirvana and then heard Nearly Lost You from the Singles soundtrack. Never actually got to see them live though.
Sonic Youth were considered the band that opened up the mainstream to alternative rock. Again discovering them after Nirvana name checked them. Dirty was their second major label album and my first Sonic Youth CD.
So I am discovering new American bands but the door is opening up even wider as the late 80s is coming in. I would never have heard of Husker Du if it hadn’t of been for Sugar. They will feature one day on this play list. Warehouse: Songs and Stories was the CD of choice that day. We will hear more from them as this lockdown goes on.
Finally rounding up Tuesday was The Jesus and Mary Chain. I picked this one which was a best of CD which is a pretty good introduction to the band.
Changing it up a bit on the Wednesday for a full scale metal assault. You want heavy? You don’t get any heavier than these four! Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica. Billed as the Big 4 of thrash metal. Three of these albums are from the 90s – Anthrax’s Got The Time, Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss and Megadeth’s Rust in Peace. Metallica’s And Justice for All was from 1988.
What is the connection here for me? Well these are the first albums I got into for these bands. Apart from Slayer, I liked the other three more. I only have two Slayer albums. South of Heaven being the other one.
After the metal mayhem from Wednesday I quietened it down a bit by Thursday. Don’t think the neighbours have complained though. So a bit of a theme here with all female acts.
First up was Britpop band Echobelly. Everyone’s Got One was their first album from 1994. Next up was the Breeders with Last Splash. Started listening to them after discovering Pixies. The Breeders were Kim Deal’s side project and Last Splash was a big favourite of mine. Cannonball was my favourite song from that album.
Another American band I loved at the time was Belly. Star is such a great album and they were a great band. Lastly we come to Juliana Hatfield. Again discovered her after listening to the Lemonheads. Great album.
Rounding off the week was a collection of different US styles from the 90s – Buffalo Tom, Pavement, Sonic Youth and Grant Lee Buffalo. All totally different bands but one thing I loved about the 90s was just how diverse alternative rock was.
Buffalo Tom’s 1992 album Let Me Come Over was played today. My first album was Big Red Letter Day.
Sonic Youth needed no introduced, their second album to be played this week. Goo was their major album which got played here.
I can’t remember how I got into Pavement. Think they came as a recommendation from friend and what a good recommendation it was. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain had the song Cut Your Hair on it. Quite appropriate for life in lockdown.
I picked up on Grant Lee Buffalo after hearing one of their songs on an NME CD.
And that ended the working week. Really enjoyed digging through my CDs again. I admit a hint of bias towards early 90s on display here but hopefully as the longer I am working at home during lockdown it will give me a chance to change things up a bit.
More on Music life in lockdown week 3 on the next blog.