In the post-Limewire era, B-sides have become somewhat of a messy affair; gone are the days when you could gamble on the correct file being uploaded to the P2P platform, or even Google the name of the track with “Mediafire” and find a handful of tidily .zipped results. Now, if an unreleased track from your favorite artist isn’t streaming or downloadable directly from the artist on any platform, you’d better hope Discogs has something in your price range.
Yet when bands have been around for as long as garage punks Screaming Females—who formed in New Jersey in 2005—they’ve generally amassed enough loose-change recordings to Megazord a more-than-decent singles comp into existence. Singles Too is the group’s first full-length collection of black-sheep songs (2010’s Singles had a tracklist limited to six titles) spanning their entire career. Earlier today, they shared their contribution to a 2013 split with their punk peers Tenement, the savage “Ancient Civilization,” streaming here, though the release spans everything from their early DIY singles to recent covers of Taylor Swift and Neil Young to a rap-rock remix of “End of My Bloodline” featuring labelmates Sammus and Moor Mother.
In support of the release, vocalist/guitarist Marissa Paternoster and drummer Jarrett Dougherty shared with us a handful of their favorite deep cuts from well-known bands fortunate enough to see the light of day via B-sides comps. Don’t worry about viruses—all the songs are streaming on Spotify and YouTube below.
Singles Too is out this Friday, October 18, via Don Giovanni. You can pre-order it here.
Tiger Trap, “Supreme Nothing”
Marissa Paternoster: “Supreme Nothing” is also on a proper Tiger Trap LP, but the first time I ever heard the band was on the Stars Kill Rock compilation I bought used in high school. After hearing Tiger Trap, I had a brief affair with twee-pop, and listened to a lot of Black Tambourine, Dressy Bessy, and Go Sailor.
Smashing Pumpkins, “Frail & Bedazzled”
MP: Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite band growing up, which is hard to confess in light of Billy Corgan’s questionable politics and lackluster musical output. With that being said, “Frail & Bedazzled” has some of the sickest guitar leads I’ve ever heard in my life. Classic Smashing Pumpkins have an amazing collection of B-sides, way more than Pisces Iscariot has to offer, but I could wax poetic on this collection for hours. The only track I skip is their cover of “Landslide.”
Hole, “Gold Dust Woman”
MP: Obviously “Gold Dust Woman” is a very popular Fleetwood Mac song, and from what I can recall, the Hole cover was pretty popular as well. I didn’t care much for Fleetwood Mac growing up, I thought the Mac was wimpy. Courtney loved Fleetwood Mac, and she was anything but soft (and also my hero at the time), so I gave them a try after hearing the Hole cover. After doing a bit of research, I leaned into Fleetwood Mac, realizing that there are a great multitude of ways to perform heavy music even if the sonic execution itself is rather gentle.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
Jarrett Dougherty: Probably the most powerhouse non-album track of all time. In the ’90s, when a band would release a collections CD they would usually add one new throwaway track. Instead, when Petty released his Greatest Hits collection, he added on maybe his best song.
The Clash, “Bankrobber”
JD: Growing up I had a punk uncle who would talk about going to the Mudd Club. When he heard I had started listening to Rancid he insisted I start listening to The Clash. He got me a copy of The Story of The Clash double CD collection. This is a great non-album track that ends the first disc.
JD: Numero Group really did a great service to the world by compiling their massive Unwound collection releases. I picked up the Rat Conspiracy box because Fake Train and New Plastic Ideas are both amazing records, and I didn’t own either. But I actually found myself listening most often to the third disc consisting of 7-inches, rarities, and live recordings. I love the trombone-heavy Negated 7-inch, but went with a track from the Mkultra 7-inch instead.
Tenement, “Goodnight, Rosendale”
MP: Tenement are a band from Appleton, WI. Screaming Females have been friends with Tenement from as early as I can remember—[bassist Mike Abbate] would jam their first tape release in the van all the time. This recording reminds me of those days, which are really nice days to remember. Some of the members of Tenement are currently in a great band called Dusk, who we’re touring with.
Blitz, “New Age”
JD: First Blitz was an Oi! band, then they were a new wave band. Between these two poles they released the New Age 7-inch. A perfect mix of punk and new wave that really can’t be topped as far as punk singles go.
Pavement, “Box Elder”
MP: “Box Elder” is from my favorite era of Pavement. I bought the Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Redux CD and became super obsessed with Pavement after watching the Slow Century documentary. I was near the end of high school, getting ready to start art school, and Pavement was truly the perfect soundtrack for me during that big life change.
Nirvana, “Aneurysm” (Live)
JD: In the ’90s you couldn’t just look everything up on the internet. So when I got my copy of Incesticide from Columbia House I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Is this a proper album? Why are their four drummers on this? Who cares?! It rocks! The live version of “Aneurysm” from From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah got a lot of airplay, cementing it as a non-album Nirvana hit.
The Ergs!, “Jazz Is the New Coke”
JD: The Ergs! put out maybe a thousand 7-inches. Pretty sure I spent most of my Starbucks tips on singles from The Ergs! and The Measure in the mid-2000s. Even so, it was impossible to get them all, so thank god Dirtnap Records compiled them on the Hindsight Is 20/20, My Friend compilation.
Buzzcocks, “Harmony in My Head”
MP: This has always been my favorite Buzzcocks song. Screaming Females tried to cover it, and I think we got as far as the bridge before giving up…or maybe we performed the entire thing…I can’t recall. I couldn’t really sing the chorus, or remember the words, so I’m sure it was a transcendent performance!