Fugazi, "Break-In (version)"
Fugazi released First Demo in 2014, putting out a session from just a year or so into their existence. The songs here would appear on several of their proper releases in a different (and more polished) form. But as a Fugazi obsessive, it's great to hear how these songs first started shaping up.
New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, "Nelson Mandela"
One of the great questions being debated by Five Songs scholars everywhere is whether I am, in fact, qualified to talk about the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. It's well-established in canon that I'm not qualified to talk about jazz, of course. But half jazz? The pro camp: clearly I know some shit about ska, right? The con camp: I'm demonstrably a terminal dipshit.
Einstürzende Neubauten, "Sag mir wo die Blumen sind"
This is part of the most recent Neubauten album, Lament, a piece designed to be performed only live, and even then as part of a large installation. It's a concept piece about the end of World War I, reportedly, although I of course don't really understand the lyrics. It's still a hell of a thing.
The Twilight Singers, "I'm Ready"
We haven't had the Afghan Whigs around here yet, which is a surprise. We'll catch them at some point when I'll drop an absolutely thermonuclear take on y'all. In the meantime, lead Whig Greg Dulli had a follow-up band, the Twilight Singers. It more or less picks up where the Whigs left off, although it's not as emotionally raw as the Whigs were. They also never quite matched the same peak. Still, with Dulli involved, it's solid stuff.
Mr. T Experience, "Who Needs Happiness (I'd Rather Have You)"
Is bubblegum punk a thing? I think it might be a thing. Anyway, I don't even think Dr. Frank would be upset with that term, so we'll go with it for now.