President's Day '90s Played-Out Playlist And Tough-Ass Trivia!

Being that it's President's Day and all, what better band to begin our Played-Out Playlist than the Presidents of the United States of America?  After all, it was their nonsensical radio hit "Peaches" that received bushels and bushels of airplay in 1996 and helped this writer perfect his lightning-quick reflexes when it came to changing radio stations in the car.

Today's first Tough-Ass Trivia Question (answers at the end of this article):

Q: What '80s song did the band cover for the B-side of the 7" vinyl single release of "Peaches"?

Ah, who can forget those halcyon days when Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins was often seen prancing around the stage like a punch-drunk and power mad Freddie Mercury, minus the vocal coordination?  While it cannot be officially confirmed, experts believe that Jenkins was the inspiration for using the word "douche" in a derogatory manner.

How did Jenkins earn such a nickname in the midst of a decade that already included Fred Durst and Kid Rock, you ask?  During the band's label-shopping days, Jenkins met with Epic Records A&R exec David Massey an suggested that if Epic truly wanted to show they were serious in signing the band, Massey would help them procure the opening slot for Oasis when the band's tour hit San Francisco.  Massey pulled the necessary strings, the band opened for Oasis, and Jenkins went on to sign to Elektra Records, with whom he'd already agreed to terms before meeting with Massey.

All douche moves aside, "Semi-Charmed Life" remains one of the catchiest things to hit America since small pox.

Q; What was the name of the fictional band Jenkins' character was lead vocalist for in the movie "Rock Star"?

While the rest of the world may forever know him as the man who wrote "Closing Time", Dan Wilson will always be known to this writer as the guy whose previous band Trip Shakespeare released four criminally underrated albums before breaking up in a cloud of obscurity in 1992.

After the release of their debut album, The Great Divide, in 1996, it looked like the same fate would befall his new band, Semisonic, but their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine, changed all that on the strength of "Closing Time, which went Top 10 in the US, and "Secret Smile", which went Top 20 in the UK.

While there remains many a bar that can't help play the song to signal last call, the song was actually written about Wilson's impending fatherhood, wherein he equated birth to being kicked out of a bar by a surly bouncer.

Q: What 2011 rom-com features a scene where a flash mob breaks out dancing to "Closing Time"?

On their third album, Urban Hymns, The Verve not only lived up to the potential hinted at on previous efforts, they created an album that could quite possibly make them the next U2 as far as worldwide popularity went.  They already had the charismatic frontman in Richard Ashcroft, but now they also had THE SONG.

That song was "Bittersweet Symphony", whose opening symphonic salvo was based on a sample from Andrew Loog Oldham's cover of the Stones' song "The Last Time".  The band procured the necessary license to use the sample, but after the song blew up at radio and MTV, Allen Klein, who owned the copyright to the Stones recording, threatened to sue the band for "using too much of the sample".  The band immediately buckled, giving Jagger-Richards writing credit and 100% ownership of the song.

Q: What band did Richard Ashcroft perform "Bittersweet Symphony" with at the Live 8 festival in 2005?


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