Certain Songs #1104: Matthew Sweet – “Evangeline”

Album: Girlfriend
Year: 1991

Featuring:
Richard Lloyd – Electric Lead Guitar
Ric Menck – Drums

One of the things that came along with Neil Young’s late-1980s / early 1990s renaissance was a whole slew of younger artists paying tribute to him as the so-called “Godfather of Grunge,” but of course it wasn’t just the grunge acts paying tribute to him, but even artists who at least superficially had nothing in common with him.

Like Matthew Sweet, who slyly acknowledged the influence by making the cover of the the Goodfriend demo companion album a riff on Neil Young’s Zuma, the album of hook-filled songs and guitar freakouts that followed the ditch trilogy.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1103: Matthew Sweet – “Winona”

Album: Girlfriend
Year: 1991

Featuring:
Robert Quine – Electric Lead Guitar
Greg Leisz – Pedal Steel Guitar
Fred Maher – Drums

The first of a small cohort of atmospheric songs I’m writing about called “Winona” — weird how that name was on the minds of Gen-X songwriters in the early 1990s — Matthew Sweet’s song is one of the few songs on Girlfriend bereft of any guitar pyrotechnics, but probably the one the most truly features the sadness that underlies the rest of the record.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1102: Matthew Sweet – “Girlfriend”

Album: Girlfriend
Year: 1991

Featuring:
Robert Quine – Electric Lead Guitar
Greg Leisz – Lap Steel Guitar
Fred Maher – Drums

Along with Steve Wynn and Nicky Hopkins, Robert Quine is one of those guys who is going to show up in more than one artist’s Certain Songs entry.

I’ve already written about his work backing Lou Reed and Lloyd Cole, and will eventually discuss his work with Richard Hell, not to mention his semi-authorized bootlegging of The Velvet Underground.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1101: Matthew Sweet – “Divine Intervention”

Album: Girlfriend
Year: 1991

Featuring:
Richard Lloyd – Electric Lead Guitar
Ric Menck – Drums

Where do you start with Girlfriend? How out of left field it was? The two ace guitarists that Matthew Sweet recruited? The amazing production? The fact that it was a standout even during my all-time favorite not just year, but season of record-buying, the Autumn of 1991, where it was surrounded with Nevermind, Achtung Baby!, Apocalypse 91, the Illusion twins, Weld, Trompe Le Monde and Bandwagonesque?

Maybe, but let’s start with where Girlfriend starts, the falling from heaven of Richard Lloyd’s guitar and Matthew Sweet’s vocals that crash land into a bass-heavy beat that is equal parts Revolver and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1100: Masters of Reality – “Madonna”

Album: Sunrise on the Sufferbus
Year: 1992

Madonna

Madonna

Are you really lonely?

Don’t you believe someone can love you?

Madonna

Madonna

Do you really wanna be

A bad girl after all?

(more…)