Friday, November 21, 2008

Your Perfect Autumn Music

Like many, my introduction to the Vaselines was Nirvana's cover of Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam. Listening to Kurt Cobain on that song struck a chord with my young, sad slacker heart. Jesus didn't want ME for a sunbeam either! It's a song about sadness but also about knowing whom you are where you stand. This is exactly what autumn is to me – the cold and dark days get me down but give me a chance to reflect and take stock of myself.

The Vaselines have an oeuvre of 19 songs that blended equal parts twee and punk and paved the way for fellow Glaswegians Belle and Sebastian as well as, of course, Nirvana. Their songs of gleeful kissing and social disillusionment never sounded incongruous no matter if they were strumming or shredding. Which makes sense why Cobain, who named his daughter Frances after their co-founder, and his ear for pop song structure couldn't get enough of them.

Luckily you can get their entire body of work on the extremely pleasing The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History, which, for $10, is worth investing in if you're looking for a delightful soundtrack to your autumn.

The Vaselines - Dying For It (mp3)

The Vaselines - Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam (mp3)


Tim said...

LOVE the Vaselines.

And speaking of the Nirvana Unplugged, Meat Puppets II makes a great companion album to Way of the Vaselines. Both still delightful to listen to.

Sometimes it's fun to imagine what would have happened to other 80s-era bands if Nirvana had covered them instead. Beat Happening? Butthole Surfers?

agingsnob said...

Posts like this make me realize what a lucky post-Indie girl I am :)

Bryan said...

Great call with the Meat Puppets, Tim. I wish Cobain was still alive so Nirvana could have become the greatest covers band of all time. They'd certainly top Cat Power's vain attempt.