Friday, September 23, 2005

now we wanna publish blogs instead of 'zines

This morning I saw an ad in the paper for the Disc Exchange. The ad said that the band Harvey Danger had released their first CD in about five years. I pointed out the ad to Marc & Kim (off air) and mentioned that I really liked the band's one hit from the '90s, "Flagpole Sitta." Marc said that he has worked in Top 40 radio for 15 years and had never heard of the song. Huh? Was this song only a hit on the West Coast? Or only on alternative radio? My teenage son remembered the song when he heard me humming it this afternoon. It was included on Volume 1 of the "Now That's What I Call Music" CD series and got MTV airplay.

I found a couple of articles online that seem to back up my thinking. A 1998 article from Willamette Week had this paragraph:
Harvey Danger released its debut CD on a tiny New York independent label, the Arena Rock Recording Company, in early 1997, garnering positive reviews in the regional rock press. Nelson handed copies of the album to a few DJs at Seattle's KNDD, which like KNRK is owned by the Philadelphia-based Entercom, and they began to spin a variety of tracks from the CD. One song in particular, "Flagpole Sitta," caught on with listeners, who began phoning in requests for it with such regularity that the program director added it to the rotation.
A 1998 article from Seattle Weekly includes the following paragraph:
With "Flagpole Sitta" getting national radio airplay, Harvey Danger became instantly interesting to the majors. "We're not something London [Records] thinks is going to be marketable," Nelson notes. "We're something that's already sold." Subsequent events bear this out: During the week of April 14, KNDD has 32 singles in rotation, with Harvey Danger at no. 1, getting 45 spins a week--above such proven hit-makers as Garbage and Pearl Jam.
Do you remember "Flagpole Sitta"? What are your favorite one-hit wonders from the '90s?
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Blogger jess said...

Yes, I remember Flagpole Sitta... came out when I was living in Eugene, and was huge. I worked with a girl who was friends of a friend with the guy from the band.

favorite OHW from 90s? how about Len, "Steal my Sunshine" or Eve 6, "Inside out"?
(from my Eugene, Oregon period)

hmm... oh, the refreshments, "bandito" (everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people). "Standing a broken phone booth with money in my pocket" (cable guy soundtrack, can't remember artist)...
(from my KROQ intern period)

actually, let me go over to my rubbermaid containers full of CDs and check the 90's bins.
Ah, Geggy Tah, "Whoever you are" (college years).
School of Fish, "3 strange days" (1991 - high school; may be an LA only thing)
Freedy Johnston, "Bad Reputation" (1994 - college years, maybe intern years)
Poe, Trigger Happy Jack
Ruby, Tiny Meat
Sparklehorse, someday I will treat you good.

p.s. how much do you love VH1 classic? It's the channel my cable turns onto. I love the alternative show, and the all request hour. I think I'm going to email them a request for Michael Penn's "No Myth" (possibly also an OHW, but I was a fan, so I had more than the first album, removing him from that category for me personally).

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Thanks Jess! Maybe "Flagpole Sitta" was only a hit on alternative radio. I thought that KIIS and KYSR played it but I could be wrong. Of all the songs you mentioned, I only remember "Steal My Sunshine" (what was the song they sampled?) and "Tiny Meat" (which I have around here somewhere on a CD single).

Blogger jess said...

Steal My Sunshine sampled "More, More, More" by the Andrea True Connection. Andrea True was a porn star, and decided to make a disco song. (There was a lmore detailed version of the story in a dance music VH1 special).

seriously, search your Rhapsody or i-tunes for those songs I mentioned. I think you'll find you do remember them... They still play the freedy on retail store / restaurant satellite channels. And, I believe, the sparklehorse song was featured in "Mulholland Drive" movie (did not see, so can't be certain).


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