Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 81)

81. "Slack Motherfucker"
Artist: Superchunk
Year: 1990

Thanks to Dirk for setting me straight. Yes, the single of "Slack" was released on April 1, 1990, not in 1989, as I read in a few places yesterday. April Fool's Day seems fitting, eh? As so often happens, I came to this band via the cover route. fIREHOSE performed it on their "Live Totem Pole" EP in 1992. For me, it was such a highlight that I immediately ran out and found the original. And so began a love affair with Merge Records, one of the most successful indies out there, but back then Superchunk members Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance probably couldn't imagine what their label would become when they started it in 1989 to get the music of Superchunk (and a few of their friends) out there.

Lyrically, "Slack" is such a simple song, but the lines are so very memorable that it's almost impossible not to scream along: "You haven't moved from that spot all night/since you asked for a light/you little smoke stack/You've wasted my time/I'd like to see you try and give it back" and "I'm working/But I'm not working for you!" sounded awfully good as a student in the early '90s, and it still works now if you want to pretend for a moment you're subversive... even if you have to listen on headphones because of the kids. Man, how did we get here? Give this a listen. Then find a way, no matter how small, to stick it to the man. Go on, you'll feel better. Find this one on the singles comp 'Tossing Seeds.'

You need to give fIREHOSE's take a spin, too.


Scott said...

Really glad this made it in Brian. I saw them live in Glasgow round about 2001 in King Tut's and they literally took the roof off the place.

The Swede said...

I got into Superchunk from the second album 'No Pocky for Kitty' onwards, though I caught up with this tune on 'Tossing Seeds' the following year. I never did go back to that first album come to think of it A glorious racket.

Brian said...

Scott, After a wonderful lunch of fish and chips in the bar area, I had the pleasure of seeing the stairway and sticking my head into the stage area of King Tut's. Now that would be a place to have seen Superchunk. I'll never get over how cozy that place seemed.

Swede, Sounds like you may know more of Superchunk than I do. I'm in awe, but not on the same level as your stats on the Clash and Dylan shows. I like your "glorious racket" description too. May have to steal that one.

The Swede said...

I only listened to them a lot for a 3 or 4 year period in the early 90's, after which they dropped off my radar. Later on, I did pick up a couple of albums by off-shoot band Portastatic though.

Anonymous said...

I do love this song- I've got a Superchunk compilation with it on.
Swiss Adam

Swiss Adam said...

The Superchunk compilation that you mention and provide a link to. Duh.