One Last Wish

    Quicksand and Spotlights last night in Buffalo

    264 days down. My song-a-day playlist on Apple Music:…

    What a show! Run the Jewels and Rage finally happened and it was glorious.

    First Concert: Kenny G

    Last Concert: Bon Iver

    Best Concert: Fugazi

    Worst Concert: Kenny G

    Loudest Concert: The Pixies or Sleater-Kinney

    Seen the most: Despair

    Most Surprising: Idlewild

    Next Concert: RATM/RTJ

    Wish I could’ve seen: the Clash

    H/t to @aspleenic

    Bon Iver and Bonny Light Horseman were amazing last night. I’ve seen hundreds of bands and it was a top 5 performance.

    Retired the original vinyl storage unit with a larger 2x2 unit. Was kind of shocked how big the collection has grown in the last couple years. The overflow was in a few various locations, so this was the first time seeing it all in one spot!

    IDLES Full Set | From The Basement - YouTube

    An absolutely brilliant performance. Sound is so good.

    I went to my first hardcore show in a while last night: Snapcase, Earth Crisis, Strife, One Step Closer, and Be Well. Here’s Strife playing “Lift” off their 1994 album, One Truth.

    Read my Ode to Hardcore from earlier in the month for more on what the music means to me.

    A good week for new music

    Some really, really good releases out this week:

    Read More →

    1994 - An Ode to Hardcore

    Welcome to issue #11 of One Last Wish – my regular series where I look back at records that changed my life. This issue: 1994. Thanks for reading!

    I spent a good deal of time considering all of my favorite records that came out in 1994. I couldn’t pick one that impacted my life as much as the previous ten issues, but I did notice a theme: hardcore. Collectively, hardcore music definitely did change my life… and 1994 was the year I went all in on the music and scene. Let’s dig in…

    With hardcore music, the shows are a huge part of the scene and experience. Sure, you can own some vinyl or cassettes and get the gist, but seeing those bands live, singing a long, dancing, and stage diving is where it’s at. Some of the bands I saw live that year:

    • Endpoint
    • Outspoken
    • Into Another
    • Snapcase
    • Unbroken
    • Undertow
    • Ricochet
    • Chokehold
    • Copper
    • Shift
    • Falling Forward
    • Empathy
    • Turmoil
    • Jasta 14
    • Green Day
    • Local bands: Against All Hope, IND, Redline, Envy, Fadeaway, Blend, Moment of Truth, and more…

    Most of these shows are memorable for different reasons, but the two bands that absolutely sealed my interest were the Endpoint and Outspoken shows in June. The shows were about two weeks apart at the Icon in downtown Buffalo. Both bands were so powerful live and had a unique sound that really stood out. On top of that, both bands had the best lyrics of all the bands I was familiar with at the time.

    Here’s Outspoken from their 2010 reunion show:

    Outspoken - Sound and Fury set (2010)

    Outspoken - Innocent

    Alone. He doesn’t want to face the prejudice. Afraid. While the fear lies in the ignorant. All love is legitimate. It is hatred that is the enemy. An innocent man portrayed as being guilty. What crime is love between two people. The crime is hatred caused by ignorance of difference. Have to open my eyes to see a wider range. Have to open my mind. I’m the one that need to change.

    And Endpoint from their 2010 reunion:

    Endpoint reunion show in 2010

    Endpoint - Caste

    Hope is the savior, it will be the cure. It fuels them on. Dreams are the only escape from the rich man’s rape. So they still hold on. Equality: lies. Freedom: lies. But their spirit still shines. Justice: lies. Independence: lies. You cannot take their minds. All men are created equal? We’re not even born equal. One nation under God? God doesn’t have enough money.

    Other bands that were crucial to me at the time included Strife, Chokehold, and Unbroken:


    Strife - Gilman Street (2019)


    Chokehold - Philly (2015)



    Beyond the music, the hardcore scene introduced me to new friends and solidified friendships I’ve had since at least second grade. I went on many road trips all over the northeast United States — to festivals in Cleveland and Detroit, tours with both Despair and Union as the roadie/merch guy, and trips to meet Internet friends in Connecticut and Massachusetts when meeting people online meant IRC and Usenet newsgroups — all on an ASCII screen. Most importantly, I even met my wife through hardcore friends! For those things alone, the music has given me so much. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without those experiences.

    Beyond that, the scene is also responsible for discovering and growing my belief system. If you’ve read the One Last Wish issues to date, you’ve probably noticed I’m drawn to lyrics — especially political lyrics – so it’s not a surprise that hardcore is the one genre that has meant the most to me over the years. It led me to vegetarianism, to books by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, and many beliefs that were radical and “far left” in a time of centrism and Bill Clinton. I’m thankful for that – it’s given me compassion, empathy, and critical thinking skills that I couldn’t get from a formal education.

    Finally, the hardcore music scene also got me into making zines and taking photos. I’ve been sharing pictures of mine in each issue, but I also have two Flickr albums that collect many of these pictures in an easy-to-browse format. It’s the entire reason I’m writing these today.

    Thanks for reading.

    The 1994 Playlist

    71 songs released in 1994 — a mix of hardcore, punk, alternative, hip hop and more…


    Totally Digging: New Releases

    • Wet Leg - s/t (Listen)
    • Syd - Broken Hearts Club (Listen)
    • oso oso - sore thumb (Listen)
    • Camp Cope - Running with the Hurricane (Listen)
    • PLOSIVS - s/t (Listen)
    • Drug Church - Hygiene (Listen)
    • Superchunk - Wild Loneliness (Listen)
    • Vince Staples - RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART (Listen)
    • Denzel Curry - Melt My Eyez See Your Future (Listen)
    • Tomberlin - i don’t know who needs to hear this… (Listen)

    Other playlists: Best of 2022 and 2022/365 (my song a day project - also on Spotify)

    Moving Music Pictures

    Kowloon Walled City - Lampblack


    Botch - Transitions from Persona to Object - final show

    Arlo Parks - live on KEXP

    Wet Leg - Too Late Now

    illuminati hotties - live on KEXP

    IDLES - Lollapalooza Brazil

    Nilufer Yanya - Midnight Sun

    Where does tone come from in an electric guitar?

    Los Campesinos! Tiny Desk

    Los Campesinos! Knee Deep in ATP / My Year in Lists


    I had the pleasure of seeing Jawbreaker this month in Philly with my friends Chris and Amy. As I mentioned previously, Jawbreaker is one of my favorite bands of all time and a band I’ve never seen (I did see Jets to Brazil a few times after Jawbreaker broke up…) until this trip.

    It was a dream come true.

    And a video I posted on Instagram.

    Thanks for reading this issue of One Last Wish! Next issue we’ll see you in 1995.

    – Jason

    Two more album of the year candidates for me:

    First up is Tomberlin with i don’t know who needs to hear this… (Listen)

    One of her singles “happy accident” (Watch):

    Next up is the ultra-hyped Wet Leg with their self-titled debut (Listen)

    “Too Late Now” off the album (Watch):

    This month I created a Shortcut to help with my 2022/365 playlist - my song-a-day project. The shortcut grabs all of the songs I listened to in the last 36 hours, puts them into a list, and adds my selection to the playlist. Simple, yet effective!

    Some recent vinyl pickups: Guilt, Endpoint, Small Brown Bike, Sunny Day Real Estate, Modest Mouse, Karate, Nilufer Yanya, and Ian Sweet.

    Thanks to the suggestion from @alans, I now have a sync setup on Spotify to copy over my Apple Music song-a-day project. There are now two options: Spotify and Apple Music. Enjoy!

    One thing I’ve been doing this year, that I absolutely love, is adding one song to a playlist every day. We’ve listened on a few road trips and it sparks so many good memories. It’s pretty amazing. Follow along if you are interested!

    Two new favorite recent releases: the self-titled album by Plosivs (Listen) (ex Pinback, Drive Like Jehu, and Against Me) and sore thumb by Oso Oso (Listen).

    I hope you find your niche someday soon

    1993 was another good year for music, with Nirvana’s In Utero, Radiohead’s Pablo Honey, The Smashing Pumpkin’s Siamese Dream, and A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Fugazi’s In on the Kill Taker, Digable Planets' Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space), The Breeders' Last Splash, Dinosaur Jr.’s' Where You Been, Sepultura’s Chaos A.D., Archers of Loaf’s Icky Mettle, Swervedriver’s Mezcal Head, Quicksand’s Slip, Bad Religion’s Recipe for Hate, and The Posies' Frosting on the Beater – and I’m sure there are more I am missing!

    All of these albums had a big impact on my musical taste, interests, and listening habits – though I’ll have to go with Fugazi and Quicksand as my selections to focus on this month. Just like last issue, I’ll include some brief words on a few other important albums – some of these are just too good to pass over completely.

    Fugazi’s In on the Kill Taker (Listen) and Quicksand’s Slip (Listen) are both post-hardcore masterpieces. Both records acted as gateways into the world of hardcore for me – charting the course for some of the biggest changes in my life. (Even more on that in future issues!)

    Fugazi led to their back catalog and all of the Dischord record label, while Quicksand led to Gorilla Biscuits, NY hardcore, and Revelation Records. To say that was life changing is an understatement.

    Slip by Quicksand

    Quicksand formed in 1990 with Walter Schreifels on guitar and vocals, Tom Capone on guitar, Sergio Vega on bass, and Alan Cage on drums. Schreifels was also in Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today, two of the biggest hardcore bands of the period. Capone spent time in Beyond and Bold. Cage played with Burn and Beyond. Vega played with Collapse and Absolution. A hardcore super group, no doubt.

    Quicksand put out a 4-song EP on Revelation Records that year, which included three songs that would later appear on their first full length, Slip. That full length was released three years later on Polydor - a major label - which at the time was generally a controversial subject in underground music.

    The album itself is amazing from start to finish. Every single song is good. Heavy, groove based riffs and a top notch bass/drum combo – the musicianship and song writing helped set Quicksand apart from the very beginning. Lyrically, Quicksand tends to focus on the personal: conflict, relationships, and identity. In many ways, it was a more refined and mature approach to classic hardcore song topics.

    Let’s dive into some of my favorite songs on the album…


    What a way to start the album with drums kicking into a heavy groove. It immediately grabs your attention.

    The lyrics of this song spoke to me because I felt out of place and awkward as a teenager - like most young people that find hardcore, punk, or some alternative means or outlet for creativity and expression. We’re looking for someplace to fit in and find others in a similar place.

    Needing to find something
    Is everything ok
    I hope you find your niche, someday soon
    Easy to change your phase
    To move from where you stand
    But you got to keep that face
    Each change you plan
    Is everything ok
    The problem is hesitation

    And as an introvert, “the problem is hesitation” rang completely true and that led to a lot of second guessing.

    Dine Alone

    For me this song is about knowing and believing yourself – rejecting the societal pressure to fit in.

    It's a cinch
    To, pass the time with you
    But hard to pass the time alone
    Can you take it
    And it's true
    True, the couple next to you think you look strange
    Alone, what are your aims
    Or do you have any

    Even this line: “No, I always go out eating with my best friends.” - can mean both knowing who your friends are and feeling comfortable with yourself - so even when you are alone, you are with a friend.


    This is my favorite song on the album. Lyrically the entire song focuses on disappointment and regret:

    Things you love but did not get
    And all the times you've been upset by
    Unfulfilled dreams and visions
    And the guilt for your wrong decisions

    But Walter ends it with some great advice:

    Time to reach out for what's real,
    It's easy to miss, insist,
    That you shouldn't always follow the first thing you feel.

    The first thing you feel when you miss out on something or make the wrong choice is always disappointment. What you do after that is always the most important.


    This song is about the stories we tell ourselves to avoid pain and sadness – to the point of not even recognizing yourself.

    I, said
    Why do I always have to spell it out for you?
    Our story is always changing
    We change it to hide the pain
    And when the truth rears
    Its ugly head, it's all too late
    Too late for the omission
    That you kept inside and wished it wasn't you

    More from Quicksand

    I’ve seen Quicksand probably five times and they’ve always been an amazing live band. Here’s a set from 2017 after they re-united as a 3-piece:

    In on the Kill Taker by Fugazi

    Fugazi is my all-time favorite band and I have this album to thank. Steady Diet of Nothing was actually my first introduction to the band, but I just couldn’t get into it at the time – it sounded almost industrial to my ears. (I like it now, by the way!)

    In on the Kill Taker was the album that broke Fugazi into the “mainstream” in a sense that it hit at the same time bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and others were redefining alternative music and creating fans all over the world.

    Fugazi was formed in 1986 by Ian MacKaye (guitar, vocal - who was also in Minor Threat and Embrace), Joe Lally (bass), and Colin Sears (drums - who was also in Dag Nasty). Shortly after forming, Sears left to return to Dag Nasty and Brandan Canty (a member of Rites of Spring) replaced him on drums in 1987. Guy Picciotto (guitar, vocals - member of Rites of Spring and One Last Wish) would initially sing with them at early shows before officially joining the band in 1988.

    Beyond their music, Fugazi was also famous for their business practices – releasing their own music, $5 shows, $10 albums, no other merchandise like t-shirts, and a staunch DIY work ethic. In reality, much of that came from the punk and hardcore scenes – they just were the face of a whole world that mainstream music fans weren’t aware of at the time.

    The combination of this DIY work ethic and the political/social justice messaging in their lyrics won me over as a fan. Behind that, the angular guitar riffs, the reggae/dub influenced bass, and one of the best rock drummers of all time combined to make some of the most unique and creative punk music ever.

    Let’s dive into some highlights from my favorite songs on the album…

    Facet Squared

    This song is about ugly nationalism – like patriotism used by default to cover for not even considering the impact of our country’s past/present actions or having a real solution to a present problem.

    Pride no longer has definition  
    Everybody wears it, it always fits  
    A state invoked for the lack of position

    Or this ending section, which I could read as either being so invested in the patriotism that we blindly follow along OR potentially the business investment in building a false image of our country that keeps us divided. Either one fits.

    It's not worth, it's the investment
    That keeps us tied up in all these strings
    We draw lines and stand behind them
    That's why flags are such ugly things
    They should never
    Touch the ground

    Public Witness Program

    This song takes on special importance in 2022, with the horrible laws passed in states like Texas, Idaho, Florida and others that encourage people to turn in already marginalized people in the LGBTQ+ community.

    The eyes have it and the eyes always will  
    The eyes have it and they're watching you still  
    You'll see, you'll see tonight  
    I'll be watching cause I want you tonight  
    All right

    I have a feeling the song was originally about undercover cops and other law enforcement agents that have historically infiltrated activist groups in the past.

    Returning the Screw

    This song seems to be about backstabbing someone and then hiding behind “humor”. The chorus seems to contemplate revenge. The phrase “turn the screw” generally refers to doing something to someone in order to force them into action – “re-turning the screw” would be reversing that back on the orginal party.

    Fine disservice
    Intended, too
    Check for the sender
    Sender was you
    The point has been recorded
    The malice has been revealed
    When I stripped away the humour
    From the arrow that it concealed

    Smallpox Champion

    This song is clearly about the U.S. government’s actions to spread disease amongst the Native American tribes as we expanded our footprint on the continent.

    Smallpox Champion U S of A  
    Give natives some blankets warm like the grave  
    This is the pattern cut from the cloth  
    This is the pattern designed to take you right out  
    Right out, right out, right out, right out, right out  
    Right out, right out, right out, right out, right out, right out


    Bury your heart U S of A
    History rears up to spit in your face
    You saw what you wanted, you took what you saw
    We know how you got it, your method equals wipe out
    Wipe out, wipe out, wipe out, wipe out, wipe out
    Wipe out, wipe out, wipe out, wipe out, wipe out, wipe out

    23 Beats Off

    There are a number of theories about the subject of this song, but I am in the camp of it being about Magic Johnson and HIV. Let’s look at the lyrics:

    A name  
    I recognise that name  
    It was at the center  
    Of some ticker tape parade

    Championship teams have ticker tape parades (the Lakers won in 1987 and 1988 - just 3 years prior to Magic’s announcement and Magic was on the 1992 Olympic team that won a gold medal - after his announcement) and Magic was certainly a household name:

    A name
    I recognise that name
    It was at the center
    Of some magnifying glass

    A classic sports trope/cliche is “going to war” and “battling” the other team:

    He used to pretend
    He was fighting some war somewhere
    Now everything depends
    On fighting some war

    And finally:

    He never thought he'd be an
    Exclamation point
    A demonstration of his disease
    A punctuation mark
    A household name with HIV


    Fugazi’s homage to Cassavetes is basically related to the directors' DIY ethics, something the band always fully embraced – not only as a band, but for the record label their founder created, Dischord. Similarly, Cassavetes also formed a distribution company for his movies, Faces International. via

    In the lyrics:

    Complete control, for Cassavetes
    If it's not for sale you can't buy it - buy it
    Sad-eyed mogul reaching for your wallet
    Like hand to holster why don't you try it - try it

    Great Cop

    A song about betrayal and distrust:

    Got a lot of questions for me
    You got a lot of questions for me
    Got your finger pointing at me
    I look for wires when I'm talking to you
    I look for wires when I'm talking to...
    You'd make a great cop
    Said you'd make a great cop
    Said you'd make a great cop, you pig

    Other Quick Highlights from 1993

    Digable Planets' Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (Listen) and A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders (Listen)

    Musically not too far apart with jazz and bebop based beats and loops. Digable Planets had the added layer of jazz influenced lyrics and style, which ATCQ were master storytellers and lyricists. These two albums were the soundtrack to my time on the high school track team. They were top notch to listen to while running. Both groups are still very high on my list of favorite hip hop artists.

    The Posies' Frosting on the Beater (Listen) and The Smashing Pumpkin’s Siamese Dream (Listen)

    I wore these two tapes out on a family trip out west in the summer of 1993 – in fact I bought the Siamese Dream tape in Bozeman, Montana before we headed south to Yellowstone National Park.

    I was exposed to The Posies through listening to a great Canadian alternative radio station (102.1 CFNY-FM), particularly Alan Cross' radio show “The Ongoing History of New Music” and George Strombo. That station was my introduction to Sloan, Tragically Hip, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Doughboys, and many other alt-rock bands I would quickly love. I also honed my ‘quickly hit record on the tape deck’ skills listening to this station!

    Totally Digging

    Here are some new(ish) releases I’ve been listening to and enjoying:

    (This issue took so long, some of these are actually older now!)

    And some older releases that have made it (back) into regular rotation:

    Follow me on to see more.

    I also have two 2022 playlists up on Apple Music:

    • Best of 2022 (newly released songs I’m digging)
    • 2022/365 (which is a song-a-day project I’m doing this year)


    Musical Moving Pictures

    Cuffed Up - Live on KEXP Militarie Gun - Live in Chicago Wet Leg - Tiny Desk Concert Olivia Rodrigo - Tiny Desk Concert Mannequin Pussy - Live in Philly Farside - Into the Studio - documentary on the making of The Monroe Doctrine Weakened Friends - Live in Allston, MA One Step Closer - album release show Turnstile - Glow On record release show Cordae - Tiny Desk Concert


    Thanks for reading this issue of One Last Wish! Next issue we’ll see you in 1994.

    – Jason

    Foxing and Manchester Orchestra tonight in Buffalo. Such a good show.

    Early album of the year contenders - early March edition

    Two of my favorite releases from 2022 (so far) have been released in the past couple weeks. The albums are so opposite in style and substance – and I’ve been flipping back and forth – it’s keeping me sane in many ways.

    Painless by Nilüfer Yanya

    Some of the most unique indie songwriting I’ve heard in a while. Every song is good. Her last full length, Miss Universe, was a very good album – this is otherworldly. And, hey, Pitchfork agrees.

    Your Neighbors are Failures by Bitter Branches

    Featuring members of hardcore bands Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, No Escape, Lifetime, Paint it Black, Walleye, and others. It’s everything you’d expect from that group and more. It’s everything I need to get through the insanity that is our world right now.

    I am a lonely one
    But not a sad one
    I am a broken one
    But not a lacking one
    I am proud one
    And I know
    I’m not the only one
    Let’s be broken together
    Let’s be ugly together
    Let’s not talk of weather
    Or speak of things mundane
    Let’s celebrate
    Let’s take pride
    In finding your lane
    Let’s build some regrets
    And wear them like tattoos
    Let’s find
    Some fears
    Carry them like weights

    “Show Me Yours” by Bitter Branches

    Mail day! Dischord’s first six records box set arrived. Worth the wait.

    My favorite albums from 2021

    What a year for music! SO many good albums came out this year – it made it difficult to narrow it down to the finalists (see the playlist below) and then to the final 25. A handful of records could have easily fit in the #1 slot, but there’s one that has remained in heavy rotation for a majority of the year: Ian Sweet’s Show Me How You Disappear. It’s a criminally underrated album that I haven’t seen on any “best of” lists this year and I don’t understand why – so I’m changing that!

    Ian Sweet is the stage name of songwriter Jilian Medford, who had released two albums prior to Show Me How You Disappear: the quirky, angular debut album Shapeshifter (Listen) and the more confident, yet still melodically discordant, Crush Crusher (Listen). The song “#23” off Shapeshifter was my introduction to Ian Sweet back in 2016 and I’ve been a fan ever since – seeing them open for Ted Leo in November of that year:

    Medford has pushed boundaries and her sound with each album and her latest is no different. Released in March on Polyvinyl Records, Show Me How You Disappear is Ian Sweet’s most complete collection of songs to date. This time Medford moves from discordant guitar-based songs on previous albums to dreamy, minimalist beauty. The songs on Show Me How You Disappear flow and swell, build up and fade away, producing an almost dream-like state with Medford’s sweet (and unique) melodies layered on top – it’s a fantastic listening experience.

    Medford’s lyrics have always been heavily personal, but this album took that to a new level after she spent two months in intensive therapy following multiple severe panic attacks in January 2020. The journaling and self reflection process from those therapy sessions are the lyrical foundation of the album.

    From Polyvinyl:

    Mesmeric and kaleidoscopic, shimmering with electrified unease, Show Me How You Disappear is both an exercise in self-forgiveness and an eventual understanding of unresolved trauma. Medford’s third record as IAN SWEET unfolds at an acute juncture in her life, charting from a mental health crisis to an intensive healing process and what comes after. How do you control the thoughts that control you? What does it mean to get better? What does it mean to have a relationship with yourself?

    Medford via Apple Music:

    “I don't think I would have written this kind of record or had the strength to keep writing if I didn't go to treatment,” she says. “I was processing things in real time. It is exactly what was happening in my life—I just made it to these songs.”

    Listen on Apple Music

    Official Videos

    Show Me How You Disappear (Official Short Film) Drink the Lake Sword

    The Top 25 of 2021

    1. Ian Sweet - Show Me How You Disappear (Listen)
    2. Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee (Listen)
    3. IDLES - Crawler (Listen)
    4. Pip Blom - Welcome Break (Listen)
    5. Dinosaur Jr - Sweep it into Space (Listen)
    6. Quicksand - Distant Populations (Listen)
    7. Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks of God (Listen)
    8. Fiddlehead - Between the Richness (Listen)
    9. Turnstile - GLOW ON (Listen)
    10. Snail Mail - Valentine (Listen)
    11. Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams (Listen)
    12. Middle Kids - Today We're the Greatest (Listen)
    13. Shame - Drunk Tank Pink (Listen)
    14. TV Priest - Uppers (Listen)
    15. Topaz Jones - Don't Go Telling Your Momma (Listen)
    16. Porches - All Day Gentle Hold! (Listen)
    17. Jelani Aryah - I’ve Got Some Living to Do (Listen)
    18. FRITZ - Pastel (Listen)
    19. Wiki - Half God (Listen)
    20. Iceage - Seek Shelter (Listen)
    21. Cursetheknife - Thank You for Being Here (Listen)
    22. Tyler, the Creator - CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (Listen)
    23. Rostam - Changephobia (Listen)
    24. Isaiah Rashad - The House is Burning (Listen)
    25. Remember Sports - Like a Stone (Listen)

    Guilty Pleasure of the Year

    1. Olivia Rodrigo - SOUR (Listen)

    Listen to the Finalists

    2021 - Best of - Finalists by Jason Dettbarn

    Best of 2021 - The Songs

    If albums aren’t your thing and you like a little more diversity, here’s a collection of almost 200 songs that I’ve collected over the year. Follow me on to see more of what I’m listening to each week.

    Doing these year-end recaps is a great way to reflect on how important music is to our lives. I’ve really enjoyed focusing on music again through these One Last Wish posts – the intentionality that’s necessary to dig in a little deeper on these albums really makes me appreciate everything about the process of creating music and the power these songs can have on the artist AND the listener. It’s certainly made a huge impact on my life and I’m now seeing that play out as I take my kids to their first shows – seeing them sing along with Beach Bunny in Cleveland or be blown away by Mannequin Pussy in Rochester. It’s amazing to see and I’m thankful to be able to give that experience to them at the same age I experienced those same feelings and excitement for the first time.

    Well, I can only hope 2022 brings more joy to our ears. I’m certain it will and I look forward to every Friday to pour over those new releases to find my next favorite album. In the meantime, next up for One Last Wish is the year 1993. See you in a few weeks!

    So What'Cha Want

    The year was 1992. Half of the year was me finishing 10th grade and the other half, the start of 11th grade. A critical time in any teenager’s life, as you transition to an upperclassman in high school. Music, of course, was still a huge part of my life as I started to branch out into new genres, including punk and hardcore music.

    The new releases that meant the most to me that year (in the moment) were the Beastie Boys' Check Your Head, Smeared by Sloan, Predator by Ice Cube, Sweet Oblivion by Screaming Trees, and Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut. Shortly after, other 1992 releases like Sugar’s Copper Blue, Jawbreaker’s Bivouac, Farside’s Rochambeau, Shudder to Think’s Get Your Goat, and Sonic Youth’s self-titled album would be added to the list. It was certainly a good and diverse/creative year for music.

    Picking this issue’s focus was a challenge! I narrowed it down by selecting two “in the moment” albums: Check Your Head and Rage Against the Machine. From the “later” records, I would pick Copper Blue and Rochambeau – maybe even Bivouac. To compromise, I decided to focus on Check Your Head, but I will also comment on the three “later” albums, since they ended up being pretty crucial in the grand scheme of my life.

    The Beasties

    The Beastie Boys are the group that combined the genres that have impacted my life the most: hip hop, punk, and hardcore. (As well as some other genres I came to like: funk, jazz, soul, etc.) In fact, Check Your Head was the first album where they connected all of these styles and influences to create a collection of songs that would ultimately define the group for the remainder of their careers. They played instruments on many songs, weaved in a political/social consciousness, and did it all unapologetically as only the Beastie Boys can do. They proved they could do anything. This album might not get the cult attention of Paul’s Boutique or the massive hits of Ill Communication, but Check Your Head is just as important for this fact alone: you could tell they were finally exactly who they wanted to be as musicians.

    Do what I do professionally.
    To tell the truth I am exactly what I want to be. Mike D on "Pass the Mic"

    Let’s dig in to my highlights!

    Jimmy James

    A funky, upbeat opening to the album (as well as the third single.) The song is a perfect opening to show off what the Beastie Boys were going to unleash with Check Your Head.

    [MCA] This is a type of kinda like a formal dedication
    [MD] Givin' out a shout
    [AD] for much inspiration
    [MD] All I ever really want to do is get nice
    Get loose and goof a little slice of life
    [MCA] Sendin' out love to all corners of the land
    [AD] I jump up on the stage and take the mic in my hand
    [MD] I'm not playin' the role
    [AD] Just being who I am
    [MCA] And if you try to dis me, I couldn't give a damn

    Samples include:

    • “Surrender“ by Cheap Trick, from the album, Cheap Trick at Budokhan
    • “Happy Birthday“ by Jimi Hendrix, from the album, My Best Friend
    • “Foxy Lady" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, from the album, Are You Experienced
    • “I’m Chief Kamanawanalea” by the Turtles, from the album, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands

    Originally an instrumental groove, Jimmy James was said to be a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.

    Funky Boss

    Not much to this song, but to a teenager working their first low paying jobs, some with questionable bosses, it was enough.

    Samples include:

    • “Funky Worm“ by Ohio Players, from the album, Pleasure
    • “Under Mi Sensi“ by Barrington Levy, from the single, "Under Mi Sensi”
    • “Bicentennial Nigger“ by Richard Pryor, from the album, Bicentennial Nigger

    Pass the Mic

    A Beastie Boys classic and the first single off Check Your Head. One of my all-time favorites.

    Well I’m on 'til the crack of dawn
    Mowing down emcees like I’m mowing a lawn
    I go off like nothing can faze me
    You think we'll ever meet Stevie? one of these days, D
    But I can stand my ground and I am down
    To wax an emcee who acts like a clown
    But for now, I’d like to ask you how
    You like the feel of the bass in your face in the crowd?

    Samples include:

    • Ron Carter
    • “The Black Prince Has Arrived“ by Jimmie Walker
    • “Big Take Over“ by Bad Brains, from the album, Bad Brains
    • “So What Cha Sayin’“ by EPMD, from the album, Unfinished Business
    • “Big Sur Suite“ by Johnny "Hammond” Smith
    • “I Walk on Guilded Splinters“ by Dr. John, from the album, Gris-Gris
    • “I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You“ by Funkadelic
    • “Choir” by James Newton, from the album, Axum


    The fourth single off the album with it’s instantly recognizable fuzzed-out bass guitar line. Another of my favorites. Pretty sure I got my wah pedal because of this song too.

    Good times gone, but you feed it
    Hate's grown strong, you feel you need it
    Just one thing, do you know you
    What you think? That the world owes you?
    What's gonna’ set you free
    Look inside and you'll see
    When you've got so much to say
    It's called gratitude, and that's right

    Lighten Up

    Another song the Beasties played live as a band, with it’s funk, soul and African musical influences. Good stuff.

    Finger Lickin' Good

    The group returns to it’s more classic hip hop sound, though the did also play their instruments on the backing track.

    Well they call me Mike D with the mad man style
    I put the mic up to my lips and I can scream for a while
    Created a sound at which many were shocked at
    I’ve got a million ideas that I ain't even rocked yet
    I’ve got the light bulb flashing on the top of my head
    Never wake up on the wrong side of the bed

    Samples include:

    • “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues“ by Bob Dylan, from the album, Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
    • “Breakout“ by Johnny "Hammond” Smith, from the album, Breakout (1971)
    • “Three for the Festival“ by Rashaan Roland Kirk, from the album, We Free Kings (1961)
    • “Dance to the Music“ by Sly & the Family Stone, from the single, "Dance to the Music/Sing a Simple Song” (1979)

    An interesting aside on that Dylan sample:

    Interviewed for a piece in Boston Rock, Mike D shed some light on clearing the Dylan sample: “Seven hundred bucks, but he asked for two thousand dollars. I thought it was kind of fly that he asked for $2000.00, and I bartered Bob Dylan down. That’s my proudest sampling deal.” via

    So What’Cha Want

    Another classic track and the second single off Check Your Head.

    Y'all suckers write me checks and then they bounce
    So I reach into my pocket for the fresh amount
    See, I'm the long leaner Victor the Cleaner
    I'm the illest motherfucker from here to Gardena

    Samples include:

    • “I’ve Been Watching You“ by Southside Movement from their self-titled debut album (1973)
    • “Just Rhymin' with Biz“ by Big Daddy Kane from the album Long Live the Kane (1988)

    Time for Livin'

    The story behind this hardcore influenced track:

    The music is by a really great but unknown, and I believe unreleased, early ‘80s New York hardcore band called Front Line. Yauch was particularly fond of this one song by them and had asked Miles Kelly, Front Line’s guitar player, to show it to him. I kind of remember Yauch would just play it on his bass every now and then when we would be messing around. One day after playing it a bit with Yauch showing me the arrangement, we decided [to] put it on tape. As usual for the time, Mario C. was ready to roll. I think we did a few takes, and then we had it. via

    Something’s Got to Give

    This mellow song has serious dub influences. From Ad Rock:

    “Something’s Got to Give” is one of my all time favorites ‘cause of all the elements inside; mixing live music with samples of our live music, live vocals with samples of our vocals, the lyrics and their sentiment, and the fucked-up bass. Adam Horovitz, 1999, from Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science

    The Maestro

    Some skronk-y funk. Not sure if that’s even a word! I can picture this on a soundtrack for a 70s blaxploitation film.

    Yeah, you motherfuckers, I'm all that
    I see you lookin' at me sayin'
    How can he be so skinny and live so phat?
    You know why, cause I'm the maestro

    Groove Holmes


    Richard Arnold “Groove” Holmes was an American organist who performed in the genres of hard bop and soul jazz. His most notable recording is “Misty” (1965). With virtuoso groove and technique evident in “rapid, punctuating, and pulsating basslines,” Holmes’ work is regarded as antecedent of acid jazz. One year following his death, Beastie Boys paid tribute to Holmes on this track.

    Live at PJs

    Another super funky live-band-backed track with Ad Rock on vocals.

    Well! Back to the back to the beat, y'all
    Down with the sound so sweet, y'all
    Just how fresh can you get, y'all?
    Those that are blessed say yes y'all

    Professor Booty

    The fifth single off Check Your Head. Samples include:

    • “Give It Up“ by Kool & the Gang, from the album, Kool & the Gang (1969)
    • “Loose Booty“ by Willie Henderson, from the album, Dance With the Master (1974)
    • “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Babe“ by Jimmy Smith, from the album, Blacksmith (1974)

    Interestingly enough, for being a single the song was only performed live twice.

    In 3s

    An instrumental, but a good one.


    A smooth instrumental with MCA"s poetry over top.

    To my mind I brought the image of light
    And I expanded out of it
    My fear was just a shadow
    And then a voice spoke in my head
    And she said, Dark is not the opposite of light
    It's the absence of light
    And I thought to myself
    She knows what she's talking about
    And for a moment I knew what it was all about

    Listen to the whole record on Apple Music:

    Beyond the music, the Beastie Boys were a big part of my friendship group, including road trips to see them at Lollapalooza in Saratoga in 1994 and later (1998) in Barrie, ON. We played in a very Beasties-like band in college called the Butter Cream Gang (named after we found this movie during a late night trip to Blockbuster) and jammed many times after that with my newly purchased wah pedal. Honestly, after probably Fugazi (more on them in a future issue!) and Run DMC, the Beastie Boys were one of the most influential bands in my life.

    The Others

    'Copper Blue by Sugar (Listen)

    The first album from Sugar and Bob Mould’s first band (non solo work) after Husker Du. It’s an amazing collection of power pop breakup songs that only Bob Mould can write. It was one of those albums I fell in love with the first time I heard it from Chris Fritton on the bus ride to high school. Highlights include: “Changes”, “Hoover Dam”, “Fortune Teller”, and “A Good Idea”.

    Funny enough, Husker Du had an influence on Nirvana, which in turn had an influence on Bob Mould and Sugar:

    The popularity of Nevermind and its grunge sound had a profound impact on Mould. In an interview with NPR, Mould said: "When Nevermind came out, that album changed the way people listen to music. A lot of the songs that I had been writing in 1991 led up to my next group, Sugar — and had it not been for Nevermind, I don't know if Sugar's Copper Blue would have stood a chance in '92.

    Rochambeau by Farside (Listen)

    Farside’s debut full length. At the time, this record broke every assumption of what a “hardcore” band could be with acoustic guitar parts and well sung, emotional and thought provoking lyrics. At the time they were essentially an alternative band with former hardcore band members (even Zach de la Rocha was in the band early on!), which automatically put them in the hardcore scene. For me personally, this made for an excellent gateway into the classic record label, Revelation Records, and an entire music scene. Farside went on to release two more classic albums, Rigged and The Monroe Doctrine – both of which are must listens. They are one of my favorite all time bands, for sure.

    Bivouac by Jawbreaker (Listen)

    This was one of the first albums I bought based on a zine, more specifically Maximum Rock and Roll. I got it on cassette at the mall record store of all places. Jawbreaker is a top 10 band for me and this was the starting place. I started liking Jawbreaker because they were punk as fuck, but they weren’t stereotypical punks. They liked poetry and wrote music that wasn’t regular punk music - it was noisy, fast, aggressive, and poppy. Other releases to check out (all crucial in their own way): Unfun, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, Dear You.


    With this issue’s focus on 1992, I put together a playlist of some great songs from that year. Listen on Apple Music.

    Totally Digging

    Here are some new releases I’ve been listening to and enjoying:

    • True Love by Hovvdy (Listen)
    • Wayfinder by Boy Scouts (Listen)
    • Piecework by Kowloon Walled City (Listen)
    • Half God by Wiki (Listen)
    • Distant Populations by Quicksand (Listen)
    • The Color Blu(e) by Blu (Listen)
    • This Place You Know by One Step Closer (Listen)
    • Where I'm at Now by S. Raekwon (Listen)
    • Puppies Forever by BLACKSTARKIDS (Listen)
    • I Don't Live Here Anymore by The War on Drugs (Listen)
    • Radical by Every Time I Die (Listen)
    • Fun House by Hand Habits (Listen)

    And some older releases that have made it back into regular rotation:

    • American Nervoso by Botch (Listen)
    • We are Romans by Botch (Listen)
    • In Place of Real Insight by Karate (Listen)
    • s/t by Karate (Listen)
    • Like Nirvana by Cub Sport (Listen)
    • Being There by Wilco (Listen)
    • Closer Still by Change (Listen)
    • Mirrorland by Earthgang (Listen)
    • Trial by Verbal Assault (Listen)
    • The Pace is Glacial by Seam (Listen)

    Follow me on to see more.

    Musical Moving Pictures

    Waxahatchee on KEXP
    Fiddlehead - live in Philly
    One Step Closer - live in Chicago
    Did Olivia Rodrigo steal from Paramore? (analysis)
    Bob Mould - What's in my bag?
    "Valentine" by Snail Mail
    Blurred Lines / Rape Me mashup
    Waxahatchee and Lindsey Jordan cover Sheryl Crow
    Verbal Assault - live in 1988


    More live music! This time it was Hop Along at Mohawk Place in Buffalo, NY. The band and crowd were amazing. We need more shows like this so musicians leave our town and encourage others to visit. Too many touring musicians skip over Buffalo for no good reason.

    Hop Along at Mohawk Place (photo by Jason)

    🔗 Michelle Zauner (AKA Japanese Breakfast) on Sable’s Wistful Soundtrack

    In her own words, Michelle Zauner, aka indie-pop artist Japanese Breakfast, didn’t grow up in a household of high culture. She wasn’t shown fine art, foreign directors, or classic literature by her parents in Oregon during the 1990s. What Zauner had was video games, first on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and then on a PlayStation.

    🔗 The 200 Best Albums of the Last 25 Years, According to Pitchfork Readers

    A pretty solid list and ranking, in fact I own 20 of these on vinyl. A few albums that shockingly aren’t listed: Being There by Wilco, Black on Both Sides by Mos Def, 100 Broken Windows by Idlewild, Relationship of Command by At The Drive-in, Mass Romantic by The New Pornographers, The Argument by Fugazi, Fantastic Damage by El-P, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case for example.

    Thanks for reading this issue of One Last Wish! Next issue we’ll see you in 1993.

    Seeing Wilco for the third time triggered a listening binge. Picked up the deluxe re-issue of Being There today at Revolver Records.

    Wilco Being There

    I went a little crazy with the 1992 playlist in preparation for the next issue of One Last Wish. So many good albums came out that year. 91 songs so far and I don’t think I got everything!

    Yo, microphone check one, two, what is this?

    As mentioned in the last post, 1991 was an amazing year for music. While Nirvana was tops in rock music (and probably music as a whole), A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory was an instant hip-hop classic and the best rap record of 1991.

    Like Nirvana following up Bleach, A Tribe Called Quest took things to another level with their second album. ATCQ’s 1990 debut People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is a classic as well, but The Low End Theory fine tunes everything from their debut and pushes their style to new heights.

    My love for A Tribe Called Quest started with that first album, specifically the songs “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Can I Kick It?”, and “Bonita Applebum” – all of which were in high rotation on MTV and Yo! MTV Raps at the time. ATCQ was a truly groundbreaking group, incorporating jazz and R&B with laid back, conversational lyrics. Between ATCQ, De La Soul, and Disable Planets, I found my favorite hip-hop style – one I still prefer 30 years later.

    Over the next few years I wore my The Low End Theory tape out – it was my go to for almost every situation: skateboarding, playing video games, running track in high school. It was my soundtrack for the very early 90s.

    Let's dig in to each track:


    Excursions sets the stage for the whole album – great lyrics over a jazz/bebop influenced track. A great opening and introduction to ATCQ.

    Back in the days when I was a teenager
    Before I had status and before I had a pager
    You could find the Abstract listenin' to hip-hop
    My pops used to say, it reminded him of Bebop
    I said, "Well, Daddy, don't you know that things go in cycles?
    Way that Bobby Brown is just amping like Michael"

    The beat samples “A Chant for Bu” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

    Buggin' Out

    A great song and Phife Dawg’s coming out party as a world class MC. The video for this track can be seen below with “Jazz (We’ve Got)”.

    What an opening:

    Yo, microphone check one, two, what is this?
    The five foot assassin with the roughneck business
    I float like gravity, never had a cavity
    Got more rhymes than the Winans got family

    The bass is sampled from Jack DeJohnette’s song, “Minya’s the Mooch”. The drums were sampled from Dr. Lonnie Smith’s “Spinning Wheel”.

    Rap Promoter

    Rap Promoter is another track from ATCQ taking issue with the music industry (you’ll sense the theme by the end of the album.)

    If there ain't no dough then there ain't no show
    So take your roly poly fat promoter (ass)
    To the Chemical Bank, and get my cash
    If you wanna see the people scream and laugh
    You best Quest, you ask the Quest, you ask real fast

    From Genius:

    “Rap Promoter,” is a pointed jab at the monetization of rap music in the music industry. Q-Tip warns up-and-coming rappers about venue promoters and their shady tactics of scamming money out of them

    The drums were sampled from The New Birth’s “Keep on Doin' It”. The guitar sample is from Eric Mercury’s “Long Way Down.”


    Phife Dawg takes this track with an autobiographical look at his girl problems:

    1988 senior year at Garvey High
    Where all the guys were corny but the girls were mad fly
    Lounging with the Tipster, cooling with Sha
    Scoping out the honeys—they know who they are
    I was the b-ball playing, fly rhyme saying
    Fly girl getting but never was I sweating

    The drum beat was sampled from Chuck Jackson’s 1968 rendition of “I Like Everything About You.”

    Verses from the Abstract

    Q-Tip takes this one solo (well, Vinia Mojica is featured on the chorus) with a very jazz/funk influenced flow that has since influenced many MCs:

    I'm moving, yes I'm grooving cause my mouth is on the motor
    Use the Coast in the morning to avoid the funky odor
    Can't help being funky, I'm the funky Abstract brother
    Funky in a sense, but I play the undercover
    Once had a fetish, fetish for some booty
    Now I'm getting funky in my rap and that's my duty

    The drums were sampled from Joe Farrell’s 1974 track “Upon This Rock”. The background instrumentation on the hook was sampled from Heatwave’s 1977 song “The Star of a Story”.

    Show Business

    A cautionary tale about the record industry. The song was also the first song on the album to include guest artists/groups. For this one it’s Lord Jamar and Sadat X of Brand Nubian, as well as Diamond D of D.I.T.C..

    Yo, I gotta speak on the cesspool
    It's the rap industry and it ain't that cool
    Only if you're on stage or if you're speaking to your people
    Ain't no-one your equal
    Especially on the industry side
    Don't let the gains just glide
    Right through your fingers, you gotta know the deal
    So Lord Jamar speak, because you're real

    The drums are sampled from Aretha Franklin’s 1971 song “Rock Steady”. The bassline is from The Fatback Band’s 1974 track “Wicki Wacky”. The guitar break is a ssample from Ferrante & Teicher’s 1969 song “Midnight Cowboy”. Other samples were taken from James Brown’s “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” and Gerson King Combo’s “Mandamentos Black.”

    Vibes and Stuff

    Some more great lyrics and flow from Q-Tip and Phife Dawg on this laid back jazzy track.

    Here I am ghetto, full with a lot of steam
    Think I gotta, I think I gotta, I think I gotta scream
    Cause that's how good it feels child
    Let your hair down, so we can get buckwild
    Do your ill dance, don't think about the next man
    We must have unity and think of the bigger plan
    Division we will fall, we must stick together, see
    I'd like to take this time to say what's up to Kool G

    The song samples Grant Green’s 1970 song “Down Here On the Ground”.

    Infamous Date Rape

    1990 was an important year in the discussion of rape, date rape, and rape on college campuses in the United States. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg add their social commentary in this song, along with some casual jokes (maybe too casual for 2021) about sex in general:

    Listen to the rhyme, it's a black-ink fact
    Percentile rate of date rape is fat

    The drum samples are from Jackie Jackson’s 1973 song “Is It Him or Me” and the keyboard sample was taken from Cannonball Adderley’s 1972 song “The Steam Drill”.

    Check the Rhime

    One of my favorite songs on the album and a hip-hop classic. Q-Tip and Phife Dawg use call and response to celebrate their roots and how far they’ve come together:

    Back in the days on the boulevard of Linden
    We used to kick routines and the presence was fittin'
    It was I, The Abstract
    And me, the Five Footer
    I kicks the mad style so step off the frankfurter
    Yo, Phife, you remember that routine
    That we used to make spiffy like Mr. Clean?
    Um… um… a tidbit, um… a smidgen
    I don't get the message so you gots to run the pigeon

    The hook samples Minnie Riperton’s 1975 song “Baby, This Love I Have” and the horn sample comes from Average White Band’s 1976 song “Love Your Life”. The drums were sampled from Grover Washington Jr.’s 1975 song “Hydra” and Dalton & Dubarri’s 1976 song “I’m just a Rock N' Roller”.

    Everything is Fair

    Look at Miss Elaine who runs the fast lane
    Barely knows her name, struck by fame
    She just got a Benz, she rides with her friends
    Gotta keep her beeper in her purse to make ends
    Rollin' down the block, checkin' out the spots
    She winks at the cops, always give her props
    She knows she's the woman, can't nobody touch her
    Hangs with the elite, makes her papes from the gutter


    “Everything Is Fair” is a social commentary about crime and survival in New York City in the early ’90s.

    The hook was sampled from Funkadelic’s 1976 song “Let’s Take It to the People”. The drums were sampled from Willis Jackson’s 1972 song “Ain’t No Sunshine”. The bassline was sampled from Willis Jackson’s 1972 song “Don’t Knock My Love”.

    Jazz (We’ve Got)

    Another one of my favorite jams on this album. The lyrics are top notch.

    Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue
    The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21
    Just like Ringling Brothers, I'll daze and astound
    Captivate the mass, cause the prose was profound
    Do it for the strong, we do it for the meek
    Boom it in your boom it in your boom it in your Jeep
    Or your Honda, or your Bimmer, or your Legend, or your Benz
    The rave of the town to your foes and your friends

    The video combines two songs: “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and “Buggin' Out” from earlier in the album.

    The drums were sampled from Five Stairsteps 1968 song “Don’t Change Your Love”. The keyboard sample twas taken from Jimmy McGriff’s 1972 song “Green Dolphin Street”. On the beat, three samples are manipulated on the turntables from The Dells 1972 song “Segue 2: Funky Breeze/Ghetto Scene”.


    ATCQ’s commentary on the importance of pagers in the early 90s. I know that probably seems crazy to younger people, considering what we have now. But yeah, pagers were a thing well into the 90s.

    Those who don't believe, see you're laid behind
    Got our skypagers on all the time
    Hurry up and get yours cause I got mine
    Especially if you do shows, they come in fine

    The drums were sampled from Sly and The Family Stone’s 1967 song “Advice”. The jazz sample heard in the hook was taken from Eric Dolphy’s 1960 song “17 West,”, featuring jazz bassist Ron Carter.


    A short, uptempo track with many rhetorical questions from Q-Tip.

    From Genius:

    The sparse track entirely consists of a loop of the Paul Humphrey song called “Uncle Willie’s Dream” (1974). The track’s bouncy momentum culminates into a group shout of “What!!” that leads directly into the album’s crown jewel posse cut, “Scenario.”


    Another classic and my favorite ATCQ song. What a way to close out the album. The song was my introduction to Leaders of the New School and Busta Rhymes, who went on to massive success as a solo artist.

    The verses and interplay between everyone involved is simply quite amazing. I could quote all of the lyrics – they are that good – so check out the Genius page to read along.

    The drums on “Scenario” were sampled from The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967 song “Little Miss Lover”. The bassline and other elements heard throughout were taken from Brother Jack McDuff’s 1970 song “Oblighetto”.

    This album is now over 30 (?!?!) years old, which makes me feel very old… but I am very happy that it has stood the test of time. It may not fit with current radio play and trends, but it is truly a classic record that is 100% listenable today. It’s hip-hop, creativity, and lyricism at it’s finest. A true piece of art.


    Since A Tribe Called Quest is this month’s featured artist, we’ll focus on hip hop from 1991. Enjoy! Listen on Apple Music.

    1. Check the Rhime by A Tribe Called Quest
    2. Mistadobalina by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
    3. If My Homie Calls by 2Pac
    4. Mind Playing Tricks on Me by Geto Boys
    5. How I Could Just Kill a Man by Cypress Hill
    6. Check the Technique by Gang Starr
    7. The Choice is Yours by Black Sheep
    8. I Shouldn't Have Done It by Slick Rick
    9. The Creator by CL Smooth and Pete Rock
    10. Case of the PTA by Leaders of the New School
    11. Can't Truss It by Public Enemy
    12. OPP by Naughty by Nature
    13. Live at the Barbecue by Main Source

    Totally Digging

    Here are some new releases I’ve been listening to and enjoying:

    • Sour by Olivia Rodrigo (Listen)
    • Perfect by Mannequin Pussy (Listen)
    • Between the Richness by Fiddlhead (Listen)
    • The Off-Season by J. Cole (Listen)
    • Seek Shelter by Iceage (Listen)
    • Just Until... by Cordae (Listen)
    • Thank You for Being Here by cursedtheknife (Listen)
    • Jubilee by Japanese Breakfast (Listen)
    • Unscrew My Head by Ekulu (Listen)
    • Path of Wellness by Sleater-Kinney (Listen)
    • GLOW ON by Turnstile (Listen)
    • CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST by Tyler, the Creator (Listen)
    • Piecing it Together by Free Throw (Listen)
    • Distant Populations by Quicksand (Listen)

    And some older releases that have made it back into regular rotation:

    • Red Medicine by Fugazi (Listen)
    • Copper Blue / Beaster remastered 2xLP by Sugar (Listen - Copper Blue and Listen - Beaster)
    • Show Me How You Disappear by Ian Sweet (Listen)
    • Crush by The Doughboys (Listen)

    Follow me on to see more!

    Musical Moving Pictures


    LIVE MUSIC?!?! Since the last issue I had the pleasure of attending two concerts: an indoor show with the twin bill of Japanese Breakfast/Mannequin Pussy and an outdoor show with Wilco/Sleater-Kinney/NNAMDI. Both were very good.

    The Japanese Breakfast show was thankfully vaccine + mask required, which definitely helped us relax. It was truly amazing to see live music again. Before the pandemic I definitely took it for granted. I’ve seen hundreds of bands over the years and the thought of standing in a hot sweaty room, packed in with other people was not appealing any longer, in most cases. That show 100% changed my mind. The best part of that show is we took Lu and two of their friends and they were blown away by Mannequin Pussy. Such a great, in person experience to give young kids.

    Jimmy Eat World - Michigan Fest 1997 (photo by me)

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