Sevens (90s One-Hitters) :: For Squirrels/Mighty K.C.

(Sevens, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)

AD is spending the month of May looking at some one-hitters from the 90s; an age rife with overlooked “alternative” gems from the days of 120 Minutes and the just below-the-surface power-pop scene that was bursting with great music. Sevens takes a look at a handful of these singles.

For Squirrels’ album Example was, musically, one of the sadder stories of the 90s. One month prior to the album’s release, the band was returning to Gainesville, Florida from the CMJ music festival in New York when their van blew a tire. The van wrecked and founding members Jack Vigliatura (vocals, guitar) and Bill White (bass) were killed.

The lead single from the album was “Mighty K.C.,” an interesting tribute to the then still recently late Kurt Cobain. The video was even more of a direct homage to both Cobain and the deceased members of the band and gathered decent play on both alt-rock radio and MTV.

For Squirrels sound dabbled all over the alternative rock soundscape but seemed most heavily influenced by the jangle rock of R.E.M. and the abrasive crunch of the post-grunge era. “Mighty K.C.” could have, in a more subdued mode, fit onto Automatic for the People or even nestled snugly amongst Monster‘s odes to the early 90s. It’s a mournful and hopeful song; disturbing images of “hair burned to the back” recall Cobain’s method of suicide, but the chorus still effuses conviction that “things are going to change / in our favor.” Sadly for For Squirrels, that day would never come. words/ j neas

MP3: For Squirrels :: Mighty K.C.

+ Download For Squirrel’s DRM free via eMusic’s 35 free MP3 no risk trial offer

12 thoughts on “Sevens (90s One-Hitters) :: For Squirrels/Mighty K.C.

  1. excellent choice. that album was in very high rotation for me for a while. first club show i ever went to was to see them after their accident when the guitarist took over vox duties. i feel very strongly that for squirrels would have made some truly great albums. “superstar” and “disenchanted” are also really good tracks off that album.

  2. I too was at that concert at the Dish after the accident. I was woken up the night of the accident to go help report the story for the local paper since I was the pop music columnist for Gainesville’s newspaper at the time. They were a lovely bunch of guys who were finally getting some real attention and hope. It’s a damned shame what happened to them and this song (especially in the video form)really breaks my heart when I think about them. In addition to the two band members their tour manager and good friend dies that night as well.

  3. I should explain that the song being about something from 16 years ago doesn’t seem dated at all. Of course, lyrics like “By the grace of God go I into the great unknown” can easily be about just about anyone’s passing. One need not know the circumstances that inspired it in order to get a lot out of it.

  4. The song is really catchy, but I hate who it’s about: Kurt Cobain. The junkie was paid to be a musician and yet he got away with anything he wanted… all of it illegal. The fact he got high before EVERY one of his shows after January 1992 will tell you just how much he cared about his job as musician/frontman. And yeah, I used to be a fan, but upon evaluating everything I’ve discovered about him, I’ve been totally disgusted by him (fun fact: a mere two years before writing “Polly”, his first experience with a girl was forcibly fingering a retarded schoolmate). I’ve read (cover-to-cover) CaYa, HTH, Journals, and looked at every image in Unseen (just try and find that accompanying disc!), so I know what I’m taking about. Cobain was merely a junkie blessed with model looks and a mediocre-to-adequate range of music-skill. Perhaps the most crass thing of his music career was the fact that he made it a point to play beautifully (whilst on heroin that he had MTV interns acquire) for industry insiders at MTV Unplugged, and yet he played like sh*t for actual fans at other venues. Kurt Cobain chose to be a waste of life and talent. At the time of Example’s release, the most people knew about “Mighty” K.C’s tumultuous behavior was that he was a rabid junkie and that blew his head off after ditching rehab, but I still can’t believe For Squirrels would want to honor that, and ultimately, die for that.

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