Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Start a Ri-ot

Back in 1996, it may surprise some who know me now to learn, I was a Grade A, card-carrying prude. I certainly would have cried had my dog run away, I had no bills to pay, and the idea of my mom smoking pot was too laughably ludicrous to even consider (still is). In 2010, I quite often rise up to the street early in the morning, cigarette lit and shoes strapped on, pondering possible reasons my money's all gone; I'd love a dalmation, and on certain rough days probably could use a little getting high (I cannot, however, play the guitar like a motherfucking anything). But one thing that has not changed for me in the intermediate fourteen years is my enjoyment of a certain big mid-nineties hit by the great band of yore, Sublime.

"What I Got"
(Gasoline Alley, 1996)

Trivia: The story behind the breezy, cheerful, realistically optimistic mood-brightener that is "What I Got" is actually quite a downbeat one. One month before the Long Beach ska-punk band's third album and major label debut was released, Sublime's lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose at age 28 after a gig in Petaluma, CA. Originally intended to be titled Killin' It (wisely changed following Nowell's untimely death), Sublime nearly did not see release, but on July 30, 1996 the retitled album debuted and eventually went 5x platinum, and singles "What I Got," "Santeria" and "Wrong Way" became legitimate mainstream successes. Like Nirvana had done two years earlier after the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain, Sublime disbanded following Nowell's death. To leave you on a lighter note, however, the canine mentioned in "What I Got" did actually exist, in the form of Lou Dog, Nowell's dalmation that served as the band's mascot.

Get Sublime's thoroughly enjoyable self-titled third and final album.

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