“All Apologies” by Nirvana — A weak, maudlin Terry Jacks ripoff that I loved when I was a moody sprout. This was the Unplugged version, so I spent some time considering the life experiences of Pat Smear. He was in the Germs, he was in Nirvana, he was a correspondent on MTV’s “House of Style.” Talk about doing it all.
“Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer — Imagine if that “go to horny jail” meme was a song. Robert Palmer has owned you for being thirsty and for having no chill and he has the receipts. Well, look, this guy had his own issues. He was one of these 60 cigarette a day motherfuckers. At that point you need to start growing your own tobacco.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio — I recall Coolio’s voice being deeper, which made me wonder if terrestrial radio is speeding songs up so they can fit in more commercials. If they did it to Seinfeld they’d do it to Coolio. On the ol’ 1-10 scale I’d rate “Gangsta’s Paradise” a 6. I prefer “Fantastic Voyage.”
“Just a Girl” by No Doubt — No Doubt always sounds like a band that’s being forced to record their music on the floor of a Guitar Center, but they make it work. I know a guy who saw Gwen Stefani at a bar a few years ago. Someone else at this bar cued up a bunch of No Doubt songs on the jukebox and she had a sense of humor about it. Not like when you try to make John Cusack watch Better Off Dead.
“The Kids Aren’t Alright” by the Offspring — What if Bad Religion had written “People Who Died?” It would be corny but you could mosh to it. That might describe the Offspring’s entire career.
“Voodoo” by Godsmack — People love to mercilessly tease Limp Bizkit but let’s not ignore Godsmack, a band from the greater Boston area fronted by a guy named Sully who named themselves after an Alice in Chains song and tried to straight face lyrics like “when I feel the snake bite enter my veins.” Incredibly, when you do a text search on their Wikipedia page for “Wahlberg,” nothing comes up.
“Even Flow” by Pearl Jam — For every one Pearl Jam song they play on the radio they should play three by Lou Rawls.