Next week Smith Westerns will release their third album, Soft Will, a fine evolution for the still-pretty-young trio from Chicago. An excellent summer LP, it swims in clean guitar sounds, dreams wistful dreams and melts like ice cream/hearts. Offering a little sideways insight, lead singer Cullen Omori has selected five YouTube favorites—all of them delights—and explained why he likes them.
Faith No More, “Epic” (Live at the MTV Video Music Awards, 1990)
My dad used to pick me up from school and would be listening to this. Was very much into it. Recently it became one of our locker jams prior to showtime. Kinda ridiculous to think of them recording the song and singing the “what is it” part during the call and response part.
Jane’s Addiction, “Jane Says” (Live at Hammerstein Ballroom, 1997)
Was never a big Jane’s Addictions fan and even now mainly only like this song, but it’s ace. During the recording of Soft Will, I would wake up and listen to “Jane Says” most days. Don’t think there’s a huge influence on the record, but it was a good way to start your day. This live video is particularly sick, the whole get up and everything is great. Feel like there’s this need with indie/alternative bands to dress casual now but this is truly a “show.”
Guns N’ Roses, “Don’t Cry” (Live in Tokyo, 1992)
I saw Guns N’ Roses in 2011 at the All State Arena and I was blown away. Despite all the shit you hear talked about Axl Rose, he still has his voice and still puts on an entertaining performance. This video obviously is from when they were in their prime and its incredible. Super rocker vibes. From the hot pants, the shirtless bros, and Axl Rose hamming it up, truly a classic!!
The Smashing Pumpkins, “Blew Away” (Live in Japan, 2000)
Always been a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, especially growing up in Chicago. Some of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs were the ones that were written by James Iha; with this one in particular being my favorite.
Supergrass, “Pumping on Your Studio”
Every morning before school (pretty much 4th grade onwards) I would wake up and watch MTV or VH1 Countdown or whatever. This is one of the videos that left the most lasting impact. It’s harmless but at the same kinda gross and disturbing. I’ve forever wanted to recreate the video somehow in a Smith Westerns video but so far haven’t :(.