Four Fancy Boys Club writers- Matt Drufke, Brandon Andreasen, Michael Grace and Jake Drummond- each chose 16 songs from their first two years of high school that had a profound impact on them. From there, the March Music Madness bracket was born.
From now through Friday, we’ll reveal the songs that made the cut by region and doing our first round. You can vote at our Facebook or our Twitter or at the polls at the bottom of this page.
We wish the best of luck to all the challengers.
Drufke Region: The Songs
It was 1993-1995. A time that I think my other three writers wanted me to talk about as a way to reflect on how much older I am than them. Fuck those guys. But, anyways, that’s when it was.
It was the time of Bill Clinton’s first term. Of the year Spielberg would make Jurassic Park and Schindler’s list in the same year. Seinfeld and ER made Thursday nights truly, television to must see. And it was my first two years of high school.
To my fault, I was not interested in rap or country, and country-rap was yet to be invented. I found my solace in alternative music, which was working on being the alternative to… well, itself. The angry grungers were on their way out, being replaced by more sensitive and much weirder freaks. These were my people. These were my songs.
This is my bracket.
#1. “Loser”- Beck: With a guitar riff that sounded like Beck threw his instrument in a clothes dryer and a vocal style unlike anyone on the radio, Beck strove to be his era’s Kurt Cobain. Where Cobain was giving us lyrics we didn’t understand that reflected anger he had but didn’t understand, Beck would replace the anger with weird self-loathing. The era of freaks would have their founding father and their national anthem. Get crazy with the cheese whiz.
#2. “I Will Always Love You”- Whitney Houston: Look, not even I was immune to one of the biggest songs of all time. And if Whitney’s voice combined with Dolly Parton’s words can’t affect your heart, then I don’t want to look inside of your soul.
#3. “Closer”- Nine Inch Nails: Unlike Houston, Trent Reznor is not interested in always loving you. With a scratched drum loop, grating keyboards and lyrics that made all of our parents angry, “Closer” was never gonna be your high school’s prom theme. But, hey… freaks gotta freak.
#4. Mr. Jones- Counting Crows: With a tale of longing for fame and women, Adam Duritz knew how to put more words into a verse than possibly any writer in the 90’s. With “Mr. Jones”, he gave us the rock song that we could listen to in the car with our parents.
#5. “Wonderwall”- Oasis: The world will always have a place for quarreling messy English malcontents saying that they can save us with their music. Noel Gallagher knew how to sound like every Beatles song at the same time.
#6. Basket Case- Green Day: Hellbent on bringing some more Ramones and Clash into alt-rock, Green Day fired off their major-label single debut with a quick song about being a young man on a mission to find themselves and to do it as fast and fun as possible. If Tre Cool’s first drum fill doesn’t get your heart pumping a little faster, consult your doctor.
#7. “In The Garage”- Weezer: “In the garage, I belong/No one hears me sing my song”. No better words were ever sung, Mr. Cuomo.
#8. “You Oughta Know”- Alanis Morissette: “I want you to know that I’m happy for you” begins this song where Alanis then spends the next four minutes letting you know that the first sentence was kind of a fucking lie. With a style that would have fit in the grunge era had she been a dude, Morissette led the charge of badass women who would define this period.
#9. “Heart-Shaped Box”- Nirvana: The song that could sadly be seen as grunge’s, literal, death rattle. Songs like this felt, at the time, like Cobain had so much more to give us. Sadly, we realize that songs like this show just the opposite.
#10. “Fake Plastic Trees”- Radiohead: One album before becoming paranoid androids, Radiohead were just a bunch of sad humanoids. But, man, could they build a song to a heartbreaking and spiritual swell.
#11. “Insane In The Brain”- Cypress Hill: “Hello, bands. Who is playing with the London Symphony Orchestra? C’mon, people, somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra… possibly while high. Cypress Hill, I’m looking in your direction.”
#12. “She Don’t Use Jelly”- The Flaming Lips: The Peach Pit’s favorite rockers. Girls who put vaseline on their toast and dye their hair with tangerines. Guys who wipe their nose with magazines. I cannot stress enough: These were my people.
#13. “Cotton Eye Joe”- Rednex: There was no way I could make this list and not have a Jock Jam on it. And the most alternative of all the Jock Jams came from these Swedish weirdos.
#14. “Kiss From A Rose”- Seal: This song is just basically making me miss the heyday of badass movie soundtracks. C’mon, Batman… give Nicole Kidman a big ol’ kiss.
#15. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”- Meat Loaf: I was a weird teen.
#16. “Fade Into You”- Mazzy Star: A soaring song that was Taylor Swift before Taylor Swift, Mazzy Star wrote the song that would cause so much canoodling between awkward white kids at dances.
Round 1 Voting!