It was 1996. Ska was crossing over and selling out. Mosh pits were full of thrift store bowling shirts, chunky John Fluevog wingtips, and chain wallets. Into this cultural cauldron Goldfinger dropped their insanely catchy, self-titled debut of pop punk dusted with a soupçon of third wave ska. I recall the very 90s video for “Here In Your Bedroom” being on pretty heavy rotation on MTV at the time. Or maybe it was just in heavy rotation in my head as I contemplated the heaviness of college romance filtered through early twenties angst. My Goldfinger cassette was frequently rewound to listen to this song again and again as I cruised around campus in my battered Cavalier. Twenty years later “Here In Your Bedroom” never fails to put a smile on my face and a wistful feeling in my heart.
Found on the Singles soundtrack “State of Love and Trust” is one of my favorite early era Pearl Jam songs. There’s an urgency and ferocity to it that was rarely showcased so succinctly on their debut album Ten. By Pearl Jam standards this is a face-melter. It’s out the door sprinting, heart on fire and soul stricken full of ill defined existential angst. So, you know, a Pearl Jam song. At the time Singles came out I had only heard “State of Love and Trust” on a mixtape being passed around my friends that had a bunch of Pearl Jam b-sides and import only songs. I never could figure out why this wasn’t the lead single from the soundtrack. No offense to Alice In Chains – “Would” is a fantastic song – but “State of Love and Trust” is the obvious winner here. Two decades later it never fails to get my heart rate up and give me a take-on-the-world attitude both of which are cornerstones for a Feelin’ Good Friday tune.
This right here is a 100% all-purpose, fire you up kind of song.
About to do something dangerous involving wheels of any kind? Psyching yourself up for the big game? Sprint song for your running mix?
Do you generally need to get hyped the fuck up?
Well, this little blast of ever-so-slightly polished punk from Rancid circa 1995 has you covered.
Most of the …And Out Come The Wolves album would fit the bill, but “Lock, Step, & Gone” has always stuck with me as the lead song to get me amped for just about any situation requiring elevated adrenaline levels.
“The feeling isn’t fear, It’s just telling you to move. The end isn’t here, But it’s coming real soon.”
This song always takes me back to the summer my family drove all the way from the Dirty Jerz to Disney World. My sister and I sat in the backseat running through a repeated cycle of annoying each other then ignoring each other then playing Boggle then playing the license plate game and then napping. My dad swapped between playing cassettes and surfing through the radio as he drove. It felt like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was always playing on some station and I truly never got tired of hearing it. This song will always make me think of the summers of childhood that seemed so much longer than three months. It holds the pleasantly distorted memories of not just summer, but cinematic summer where everything is moving at half speed drenched in golden hour sunlight. My family is all laughing and smiling and the world is amazing because holyfuckingshit we’re going to Disney World! This distinct vision that I retain decades later is due in no small part to the fact that this song plays at the very end of the movie Real Genius over the infamous popcorn scene which has both slo-mo cavorting and golden hour lighting. Mind you Real Genius is a touchstone film of my childhood for several reasons including but not limited to letting me know there was hope for bespectacled dorks like myself to be cool, establishing Val Kilmer as an inspiration of aforementioned coolness, and setting into motion my lifelong proclivity for nerdy, dark haired, socially awkward girls.
So yeah, if you could distill all the joy and hope of 10 year old me down to 4 minutes and 11 seconds this song is it.
“The Last Time” isn’t a dancefloor stomper by any means with its tight, chill groove, but you can really lean into it and move without a second thought. It straight up makes me do the white man overbite and shake muh ass! CeeLo begs me to take stock of my life and ask the truly deep question: “When, exactly, was the last time I danced?” The answer is probably the last time I was making Friday night pizza with my second 7&7 in hand and my iPod shuffling out some similarly diggable beats. If you burned out on “Crazy” way back when, do yourself a favor and give this deep cut a listen.
I’ve got a playlist on my iPod named “Feelin’ Good” that I turn to when I need a little pep in my step or when I’m already hopped up and want it to keep going. Every Friday I’ll be posting a song from that playlist to help get the weekend started. This inaugural Feelin’ Good Friday post is in honor of recent world events.
The staccato drum roll that kicks off “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” is one of those sonic signatures that was burned into my brain and allows me to confidently identify this song within half a second of hearing it. Peter Buck’s loose-limbed guitar jangle and Mike Mills’ bopping bass has been putting a smile on my face for 3 decades. The inscrutable yet catchy lyrics sung by Michael Stipe with focused abandon are icing on this spastic cake. Really, it just feels good to pogo around the room with this blasting and yell, “Leonard Bernstein!” If this song is any indication, I for one welcome the End Times with open arms. #IFeelFine