Music News

Throwback Thursday: Harvey Danger

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where we revisit the overplayed, over (and under)rated, and the one-hit and multi-hit wonders of yesteryear.

Today's tidbit of information that will make you feel old: Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" is 15-years-old. Even if the title doesn't ring a bell, its chorus is probably still rattling around your head: "I'm not sick, but I'm not well."

This song embraces the essence of the late '90s for angsty suburban teenagers. It was "piss-your-parents-off rock" -- start a zine, pierce your tongue, and "rage against the machine." The song was a catchy hit, appealing to discontented suburban teens who flipped as Sean Nelson sang about masturbation or schizophrenia or something.

Looking back, Harvey Danger was totally a part of the whole "geek is chic" thing. Nelson's glasses are rad and his suit is super snazzy, maybe that's why the goths and ravers couldn't stand him (and by the way -- thank goodness that Dr. Seuss hat fad died out.)

As bad ass as "Flagpole Sitta" is, the rest of Harvey Danger's material sounds completely different. The band released two albums after Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? that sounded like Ben Folds' shy alternative rock cousin. The band went on hiatus for a few years and reunited for its ten year anniversary. They miraculously stayed together until 2009, and now are (supposedly) done for good.

Where are they now? Sean Nelson is an associate editor emeritus for The Stranger, a Seattle alt-weekly. He co-owns Barsuk Records, which has launched acts like Death Cab For Cutie and is home to former buzz-bin rockers Nada Surf.

Plus, a bunch of CollegeHumor, Vimeo, and Busted Tees employees got bored and made a rad one shot "lip dub" of the song.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum