Flashback! I haven’t written one of these for a looong time but they were a weekly staple in the early years of The Burning Ear. It doesn’t matter because they are all timeless gold!

«Flashback« Soul Coughing – Rolling / Circles

Soul Coughing

i’m gonna get into the batter so the mix might glow

♫ Soul Coughing – Rolling / 1998

Soul Coughing grabbed attention in 1996 with “Super Bon Bon” but despite the song’s fresh approach, it is a bit grating and annoying. 1998 saw the  band come back with El Oso, an collection of tracks that blended M. Doughty’s sing/rap/talk vocals with everything from drum n’ bass beats to typical indie guitar and percussion. El Oso is one of my favorite albums of that era and listening to it now I can’t help but feel that (unlike a lot of the jams in this column) it would sound just as fresh today. “Rolling” is one of the best songs ever for driving through the city at night, while “Circles” is better suited for a stroll through the park or a summer BBQ. But whatever, do what you want while you listen to these jams. I don’t care. Just get the album if you don’t have it. Solid business.

♫ Soul Coughing – Circles / 1998

I’ve heard that frontman Mike Doughty made a bit of a solo career for himself after Soul Coughing’s 2000 demise but I never heard his jams so I can’t speak on it. Someone wanna holler in the comments?

Oso right at a fansite /// Buy cheap!

«Flashback« Wyclef Jean – Gone Till November

wyclef_carnival

i had to flip nuttin’ and turn it into somethin’

♫ Wyclef Jean – Gone Till November / 1997

Yeah, I know it’s a cheap move to feature this on in November but just deal with it. It’s pertinent. Wyclef’s solo debut, The Carnival, was my jam back in the day. I haven’t heard it in years and perusing the tracklist I can barely remember it. I stayed with ‘Clef through his follow-up, The Ecleftic, but lost him after that. Apparently he has a new album that dropped last week. Anyone heard it? Quality?

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Five Iron Frenzy – ’79 Blue Comb

FIF Upbeats

something that was thrown out that window was the last great symbol of my youth

♫ Five Iron Frenzy – ’79 Blue Comb / 1998

This one might be kind of obscure for those of you not into the Christian Ska/Punk scene in the 90s, a category that would not normally include me but I got into this one off the Ska compilation, Cheap Ska. Five Iron Frenzy’s debut, Upbeats and Beatdowns, doesn’t have “’79 Blue Comb” on it, nor did anything else on the LP stick with me. If you are really interested in the band there here is their Wikipedia. I’ll be chilling here, content with this fantastic ska jam and the tale of a boy and his comb. Lost innocence has ever been so fun. I never had siblings close enough in age to fuck with my stuff so I can only imagine, but I’m sure some of you have similar memories.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap: Cheap Ska / Upbeats & Beatdowns

«Flashback« Remy Zero – Prophecy

Remy Zero

you want this world so you can own it

♫ Remy Zero – Prophecy / 1998

Remy Zero was my jam back in the day. First this track ripped through the radio and then I got into the full album. I seem to remember their 2001 follow up, The Golden Hum, to be a disappointment but this album was solid. Or at least it was last time I listened… 10 years ago. Anyway, “Prophecy” still gets a few replays around TBE HQ. Remy Zero disbanded in 2003 but there were always some interesting tidbits behind the band. 1) They were discovered when Radiohead heard their demos and brought them on their The Bends tour. 2) The singer, Cinjin Tate, was married to and divorced from Alyssa Milano the year after this album came out. 3) Villa Elaine was named after the Hollywood apartment building the band lived in while recording it. 4) Former Remy Zero member, Cedric Lemoyne, is now in O + S, a band I am not into. There. Bored yet? Yeah, me too. Sorry.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« NOFX – Whatever Didi Wants

nofx_heavy_petting_zootell me what you need, i’ll try not to forget it

♫ NOFX – Whatever Didi Wants / 1996

This song will never cease to be epic. Although I discovered this jam on the same Punk-O-Rama 2 compilation that turned me on to Millencolin I just never got into NOFX at the time. Years later I got this album, and a few others, but NOFX just never lived up to my love for “Didi” (brilliant lyrics here). It is a pretty fantastic album cover and the alternately titled vinyl version is not to be ignored either. Yikes. In other news, NOFX’s frontman, Fat Mike, runs the label Fat Wreck Chords, who just promised that all their albums will sell for under $10, and most under $8. NOFX’s 2009 LP, Coaster, was the first under the very cool and smart new pricing policy (which you can read more about here).

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Spin Doctors – Two Princes

Spin Doctors

‘aint got no future or a family tree but i know what a prince and lover ought to be

♫ Spin Docotors – Two Princes / 1991

As if it wasn’t enough that I was eating a delicious breakfast this morning, this jam came on the TV-radio and it was just sublime. Yes, sublime, that’s what I said now. Doing a little wikipeding (wikipediaing?) on the Spin Doctors I discovered that John Popper, of Blues Traveler fame, was in an early incarnation of the band. I guess that makes sense. Also turns out that the Spin Doctors are still active. That makes less sense.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Cowboy Mouth – Jenny Says

Cowboy Mouth

there ain’t no looking for an answer when the question’s come and gone

♫ Cowboy Mouth – Love Of My Life / 1996

Cowboy Mouth never really blew and it’s too bad cause this is a great track. I was lucky enough to discover the New Orleans based quartet on a trip to the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta. (How’s that for a one-two punch of awesomeness?) Anyway, “Love Of My Life” jumped out from the radio pretty strongly and “Jenny Says” soon became another favorite. Listening to the album now I think its more nostalgia than anything, although there are definitely some gems, and that guys voice is so unique and great. I have heard that their live shows are epic so I would definitely check that out. They are even still alive and jamming out records, although I haven’t a note off anything but this album. Anyone know if I am missing out?

Bury your face in MySpace /// eMusic too /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Rancid – Ruby Soho/Time Bomb

rancid_-_and_out_come_the_wolves_-_frontall i got is this blank stare and that don’t carry no clout at all

♫ Rancid – Ruby Soho / 1995

Looking at that artwork, 14 years after the fact, it’s kinda funny to think ow how important this alum was to me. The truth is that it’s one of the first to pop in my head when I think of albums to be stranded on a desert island with. But then again, I am pragmatic as hell and 19 tracks is nothing to scoff at. I’ve never been remotely “punk” in my life (let alone at 13) but something about this collection of raspy guitar anthems just got me. It’s no surprise that …And Out Come The Wolves is Rancid’s most successful album to date (finally going platinum after 9 years), as it perfectly straddled that punk angst with upbeat ska-tinged fun. “Ruby Soho” and “Time Bomb” (along with “Roots Radical”) were the albums three singles but the truth is that all 19 tracks are solid.

♫ Rancid – Time Bomb / 1995

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap