20 Essential Songs From the Late Lookout! Records
A listen back to the label that documented the scraggly, playfully defiant East Bay pop-punk scene, from Operation Ivy to Crimpshrine to Mr. T Experience
8. The Hi-Fives “Humping Away” (from Welcome to My Mind, 1995)
Impossible to choose a best track from the near-perfect garage-punk-pop masterpiece Welcome to My Mind, but this is on the list because, well, with an opening like, “I was born in the USA / I wear a tank top cuz you like it that way,” it’s simply got to be a good jam. The shortest (1:53) epic rock song ever recorded. F.P.
7. Green Day “Dry Ice” (from 1,000 Hours EP, 1989)
The 1980s were an awful, awful time for music, so when I first saw a crowd of scruffy youths and their parents and guardians explode into an ecstatic frenzy to songs like this, my reaction was, “Wow, so people still like good music after all.” That’s still my reaction. F.P.
6. Pansy Division “Fem in a Black Leather Jacket” (from Undressed, 1993)
Pansy Division’s outrageous novelty-parody titles probably attracted the most attention, but in my view, you just can’t beat a simple, sincere song of love and obsession, gay or otherwise. And this is a gay one. F.P.
5. Screeching Weasel “Peter Brady” (from Anthem for a New Tomorrow, 1993)
I’m a big fan of songs that take a seemingly trivial pop-culture conceit and turn it into something bigger than you’d ever expect, and this is a great example. There really is a Peter Brady inside of you, you know. F.P.