If your song was on MTV in the fall of 1995, I thought it was cool by default. I had just entered sixth grade, and after years of being restricted to VH1 only, my parents were now allowing me to watch the edgier Music Television as well. Thus, my routine upon returning home from school consisted of watching music videos or heading to the basement to practice playing guitar. These activities overlapped. I spent a lot of time trying to learn the alt-rock hits that were in heavy rotation on the Totally Pauly video block, stuff by Bush and Everclear and Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins. One I could never quite figure out was Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name,” which, as I later learned, was in an alternate tuning.
Real Estate figured it out! In a SiriusXM session promoting their new album The Main Thing, the pastoral indie janglers covered “Name,” which is probably one of the best songs ever out of Buffalo and definitely one of the best songs ever about former MTV VJ Kennedy. Martin Courtney’s voice isn’t a perfect fit for Johnny Rzeznik’s more full-bodied melody, but the guitar work here is top-notch — good enough to remind me why I wanted to strum and pluck my way through “Name” in the first place. Maybe I can borrow their tabs?
The Main Thing is out now on Domino. Do you think Johnny Rzeznik listens to Griselda?