They Might Be Giants, "Whirlpool"
A b-side on the "Why Does The Sun Shine" single, I've always loved this song. I don't think they've put it on anything else, so this counts as a little bit of a rarity.
Green Day, "409 In Your Coffee Maker"
A very early song from Green Day, this originally appeared on the "Slappy" EP, and was later included on 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, the compilation that combined the LP 39/Smooth with "Slappy" and another EP, "1,000 Hours". It's a solid collection of songs, one that really showed the potential for the band that later turned into massive stars.
Melvins, "Exact Paperbacks"
The Melvins are almost kind of stepping away from their typical Sabbath-y doom sludge and into something with almost punk tempo here. This comes to us from Gluey Porch Treatments, their debut full-length, and a genius album title.
Coheed & Cambria, "The Velorium Camper II: Backend Of Forever"
Is there any better indicator of pretension for a rock band than a colon in a song title? I submit to you that there is not. Note that I don't necessarily always hate pretension in my rock, mind you. It can be fun sometimes, as long as you don't overdo it.
Gaunt, "Greatest Days"
Gaunt is exactly the type of band that I wanted to try and highlight with this project. But why highlight a random 90s punk band out of Columbus, Ohio. There have been thousands of punk bands! But it's worth digging deeper. Jerry Wick, the guitarist/singer, wrote incredibly sharp songs. It's sometimes a little hard to notice in the murk of their early recordings, but there are no wasted moves here. It's all focus and energy, with everything barrelling forward perfectly. Anybody who loves someone like the Japandroids owes it to themselves to check out Gaunt. All four of their albums are great, with Kryptonite being my favorite of the bunch. And they don't deserve to be forgotten.
Alas, Gaunt's story does not have a happy ending. Jerry Wick was killed in 2001 while riding his bike when a car blew an intersection. There are some deaths in music that hit me hard, Wick's being one of them. Not just because the world was deprived of a great artist in his prime, but because I can't help thinking about it at least a little whenever I think of Megan on her bike. Stay safe out there! Cars are awful!