In honor of Jani Lane and “Cherry Pie,” this Weekend Download Recommendations is a shout out to recent babies named after pulpy substances. It’s a shout out to all youngn’s with blackberry juice on their faces and homeless men scurrying around service berry trees. Fruit is great, even when it’s a mess of mash on the sidewalk. The bands who support fruit are even better. The nineties are over, and gone are the days when fruit references were more of a norm, but fruit and music are always coinciding, if you know where to search.
In my study I found that some bands often do not give fruit enough credit. Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” is all over shit being bananas, but she couldn’t be bothered to give the fruit a title mention. That must be especially annoying for bananas, which are underrepresented in song. Secondly, it’s easy to get in the habit of searching more carefully when you assume a band or artist will have a track about fruit. Seriously Jackson 5, you have a song about ABCs and not fruit? In fact, Michael Jackson may have managed a multiple-decade career without an important fruit reference.
Whether you are fruit by name or fruit by belief, Weekend Download Recommendations isn’t biased. You just gotta get one plump piece of fruit in name or title and you are eligible. The only rules here are that last names don’t count. So we’ll oust Fiona Apple—cause it ain’t like you choose to have a last name named after a fruit—but Peaches would count because her parents clearly loved peaches fucking enough to name their daughter something so ostentatious. Albums or songs naming a specific fruit within a fruit type are also out. If it’s any consolation, Laura Viers, I recommended July Flame last month. Feel free to add any recommendations I missed in the comment section, below.
The Hold Steady “Citrus”
A kickass drinking song, the aforementioned citrus is the type in mixed drinks, made popular when prohibition liquor was a scary drinking source. Two side notes: this song should be played more often in bars. The line “I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere” is probably the best insult I’ve ever heard. Also, kudos to The Hold Steady for discussing the benefits of ginger in a song, not in a stripper-name capacity.
Blind Melon “No Rain”
This is a fruit of the band name variety, and I think it has to be the answer here. “No Rain” is probably in the five best songs created in the nineties, and the fact that the band inspires The California Raisin-type tattoos of melons with legs and blind men’s shades is pretty sweet. Blind Melon is also Cinema Blend’s Mack Rawden’s favorite band. Don’t ask me, you’ll have to contact him about the Shannon Hoon love.
Midnight Movies “Persimmon Tree”
Perhaps a little too dark for the end of summer, “Persimmon Tree” opens up Midnight Movies’ self-titled album. Not as catchy as “Blue Babies” or “Love is a Lesson,” “Persimmon Tree” has a more haunting quality that is perfect for lead singer Gena Olivier’s voice. However, I would suggest grape-oriented alcohol of the wine variety when listening rather than something that tastes like persimmon.
Fats Domino “Blueberry Hill”
I wish I had found my thrills on Blueberry Hill. I know the guys on Happy Days also wish this, because they would sing it to allude to sexual conquests. It’s been covered a million times, but the Fats Domino version is where it’s at (Although the Johnny Cash cover is bizarre). Seriously though, if you don’t own a single or album or mixtape with this song on it, get on it.
Stereo Lab Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Often acclaimed as Stereolab’s most complex album, Emperor Tomato Ketchup gives the avant garde a pop sensibility that is just ear tickling. Though I’m a little more akin to “Percolator” and the first half of the album, it helps the second half of Emperor Tomato Ketchup that its title track bursts forth with a hastening urgency that is both appealing and completely off-putting. Check the album out. I’ll be damned if you don’t get the word “torpedo” stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
Perhaps the better call here would be to toss out Rotten Apples, the band’s greatest hits album that features pretty much any song they ever had that got radio play. Let’s face it: Siamese Dream is a way better time. It’s much shorter than Mellon Collie, which is almost a fruit reference. It’s also much sweeter than Gish and as close to perfect as Billy Corgan has ever gotten. As confusing of a fruit as the pumpkin is, why couldn’t their 1993 album have just been called Starfruit Dream?
The Presidents of the United States of America “Peaches”
I know you probably expected this song, although I didn’t. I just couldn’t embed a video of the Bones’ cast singing Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” after Dr. Vincent Nigel Murray bit the dust. That being said, The Presidents Of The United States Of America’s “Peaches” presents the perfect opportunity to express the biases bands have for that succulent fruit. Joanna Newsom has “Peach Plum Pear.” Idol’s Lauren Alaina is gonna sing about “Georgia Peaches” on her new album. The Moldy Peaches liked their name so much, they released a self-titled album. Even Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” uses peaches as a feminine reference. No one’s gonna deny a good, solid peach, but figuring out ripeness on those things is a challenge. There are better fruits out there, people.
The Apples in Stereo “Strawberryfire” or all of Her Wallpaper Reverie, really.
Lemon Jelly “Come”
Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man”
Cat Power “Red Apples”
Maroon 5 “Kiwi,” but only because they bothered to go after a rarely spoken of fruit.
The Cucumbers Total Vegetility
Pink Floyd “Apples and Oranges”