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Monday, September 12, 2005

Going to the beach and finding Seaweed

One day when I was 16 I ditched high school with my older 18 year-old girlfriend, Charlene. We drove to Venice beach, walked around, and just had a good time being young, careless, and in love. This was also the day that I discovered Seaweed. A few days earlier I read a small article in Thrasher about this “punk” band from Tacoma, WA. called Seaweed and I was intrigued. So while hanging out in Venice we stopped by Pennylane Records and I bought their newest record, Four, on cassette. I was blown away right from the beginning. It wasn’t like any other punk band that I heard before. Mind you, I was 16 and I didn’t know dick about good music. Seaweed introduced me to a world of punk bands that didn’t play by the numbers punk music. The beat wasn’t moving a hundred miles an hour and best of all they didn’t sound like anything on Fat Wreck Chords. Because of Seaweed I discovered bands like Avail, Samiam, Jawbreaker, and on and on.

They were primarily an early 90’s band who spend much of their time on Sub-Pop Records and were probably best known for covering Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” on the Clerks soundtrack. In 1995 they made the leap of faith to a major label and signed with Hollywood Records releasing Spanaway. The album was okay, but it didn’t come close to the beautiful/ abrasive/ melancholy greatness of previous records. And like all the other good bands that got sucked up in the major label punk rush of the mid-90’s, Seaweed was dropped from the label and left to rot. But after a 3 year break, the band returned in 1998 with a new record and a new indie label, Merge Records. Actions & Indications found a much older and wiser Seaweed doing what they did best, playing catchy heartfelt unpunk rock. The band broke-up soon thereafter and the Seaweed saga was finally laid to rest.

Below is a track from each of their records (absent from this is their incredible album Four because I have yet to get it on CD…which is a damn shame.) You could probably find most of these records in the used bin at your local record shop. Bands like this just don’t come around anymore…

Stargirl mp3

Installing mp3

Shut Up! mp3

Free Drug Zone mp3

What Are We Taking? mp3

Merge Records
Sub Pop


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