FIGMO. Yes, Uncle Sam is officially moving me back to Louisiana. I leave the first week of November. We’ve an offer on our house, so if all goes as planned, I should be hitting the road with mini dog for the 1,500 mile drive. In other news, a few weeks ago I got to drop eighteen MK82 inert weapons. Those are 500 pounds each. You can see in the photo that they say “empty,” good for killin’ desert lizards in Utah. We had twenty-seven to drop, but lightning was in our way. Or maybe we were in the way of the lightning. Whatever, here’s a silly photo of me and the mildly (mildly meaning super) handsome pilot while I am pre-flighting them.
5. Beavis and Butthead Do America/Tank Girl (1995)
These two are a toss up at No. five, because they’re pretty similar (released the same year), and it’s like choosing between children… or ice cream. Let’s face it, the stand out tracks are L7’s Shove from Tank Girl and Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks, And Cannibal Girls of White Zombie. Being that White Zombie has a special coven in my heart for the best metal band ever concocted, it just wasn’t enough to beat out the amazing rock ladies featured on the album: Lady Joan Jett, Hole, Veruca Salt, and L7. Battle of the sexes, perhaps? Now, I get it, why shouldn’t all these kickass ladies don’t take the No. spot? No other soundtrack has this much amazing estrogen! Yes, but Beavis & Butthead does have Gwen Stefani working against Tank Girl’s Gavin Rossdale, and the third most underrated band of the 1990s: The Butthole Surfers. Combine that with Rancid’s I Wanna Riot and you have quite a force to be reckoned with. So, DRAW!
4. Singles (1992)
Fun Fact: This album could legally drink this year, and the film celebrates its own official 21st birthday next week. This is a collection that personifies everything, and everyone, the early 1990s had to offer… if this personification includes an extremely soul-crushing drug user with major highs and lows. The album grabs your cassette player’s attention with Alice in Chains Would?, followed by a visit by buddy Mother Love Bone Chris Cornell asking if you have any extra smack in the way of Seasons, an amazing acoustic treasure. Throw in a smattering of our friend from Tank Girl’s soundtrack, Paul Westerberg, and his pop flavored, flannel-clad contributions, and don’t forget to invite the Screaming Trees to the party, who follow closely behind The Spin Doctors (in my humble opinion) as the 1990s most underrated band. The compilation closes with another early decade darling, The Smashing Pumpkins with Drown. Oof da, right in the nostalgia.
3. Party Monster (2003)
All right, branching out with a soundtrack released in the 2000s! …with music from the 80s and 90s. Okay, it’s not every day that you get a well-researched “period piece” come alive about the late 1980s/early 1990s NYC club kid scene. I love this film start to finish, and the soundtrack is even better. Nothing conveys the feeling of sheer batshit insanity of the Michael Alig club scene like a mix of DJ Keoki, Tomcraft, RuPaul, and Nina Hagen. Standout track? Get Happy by Happy Thought Hall. To expand on the soundtrack, it would’ve been nice to see International Twinkie Song by the Fabulous Pop Tarts. That would have been, well, fabulous. Gotta move on, I’m late for my Sanskrit class.
2. Hackers (1995)
I do realize this soundtrack is basically a love letter to The Prodigy, but nobody brought Big Beat to the mainstream like The Prodigy. Add some more underground artists to the mix, like Underworld and Plastico, and you have a stellar outcome. And don’t forget the ladies: Elastica makes an appearance as well with Connection. Punny enough, for a movie about computers, there’s two tracks named after connections, including Stereo MC’s Connected. How is it that no matter who you are, you know that song? Anyway, the standout track, excluding contributions from The Prodigy (because that’s unfair), is Halcyon & On & On, an Orbital remix, clocking in for your extended listening pleasure at 9:26. The album is great for tuning out and one of those you’d listen to start to finish without skipping around too much. In fact, the album was so fantastic, they came out with Hackers 2 with more music from the movie. This would only take you two days to download on your 28k modem…
1. Empire Records (1995)
How can any “best of” sound track compilation list leave out Empire Records? It’s a movie about good music and the downfall (and uncanny simultaneous uprising!) of the independent music store. For heaven’s sake, this film included GWAR (Saddam A Go-Go); it deserves top five in any list of anything, ever! Best of all (like Tank Girl), the ladies were not forgotten in this mix: The Martinis’ Free is a great sing-along, Sonic Youth, the Cranberries and Sybil Vane make an appearance, and the standout track is the Innocence Mission’s Bright As Yellow; all fronted by a female backed by brooding guitars. What is it about the amount of awesome women in alternative bands of the mid-90s? Where did they all go with the onslaught of crappy, hyper masculine nu-metal in 1997? Anyway, from staples like Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms to oddballs thrown in like Money by The Flying Lizards make this an easy list killer at No. ONE.