For the week of 8/20/2012…

“Creepy Jackalope Eye” by the Supersuckers

My first exposure to the Supersuckers was during either my freshman or sophomore year of high school, which is when I picked up a compilation called Sleepless in Seattle:  The Birth of Grunge.  I had begun my dive into exploring the wealth of rock music produced during the grunge era of the late ’80s and early ’90s, devouring albums by the obvious bands (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains).  I was ready to investigate the many other participants in the Seattle scene, and so I picked up SiS, which was the first grunge compilation I ever owned (indeed preceding my purchase of the Singles soundtrack and Sub Pop 200).  SiS eschewed the “Big Four” in favor of worthy and prolific but lesser-known bands like the Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Love Battery, Tad, etc.; all told, twenty bands were featured.  This compilation played a big role in growing my deep interest in music and the history of rock music in particular.  With grunge, I attained something close to an intimate knowledge of a musical genre for the first time.

The twentieth and final song on the SiS compilation was a Supersuckers song called “Creepy Jackalope Eye,” taken from their 1994 album La Mano Cornuda.  When I first heard the song (no doubt as I listened to the CD on my Walkman), I was confused as to why it was on a grunge compilation.  The Supersuckers, it turns out, were indeed on the Sub Pop label until the late ’90s.  Nevertheless, they don’t fit in particularly well with the grunge scene.  While they weren’t the only band on the compilation better described as simply a punk band — Seaweed, too, fits the bill — they didn’t really share the downbeat ethos of the Seattle sound (nor did they share a geographic location, hailing as they did from Tucson, Arizona).  That’s not to stay they were performing happy music necessarily, just that their hard-charging brand of punk rock was far more preoccupied with positive accounts of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll than with wallowing in angst and misery.  But let’s remember, this is a band with a penchant for power chords and calling themselves things like Eddie Spaghetti (singer/bassist) and Dancing Eagle (drummer).  It should be no surprise that they drew more upon Cheap Trick and Motorhead than upon Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.  To each his own, man.

So, here’s the music video for “Creepy Jackalope Eye,” which I suppose serves as a counterpoint to the idea that the ’90s sucked most/all of the fun out of music videos; after all, Eddie Spaghetti and the boys certainly seem to be having plenty of fun rocking out in the desert.

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