Imperial Teen, “You’re One” (1996)
1996 was a weird time for commercial radio. Just before everything was ruined by Clear Channel—IHeartRadio, for you young people—there was this weirdly fertile post-grunge modern rock space where record companies were pumping shitloads of money into literally anything. 16 Horsepower! Geggy Tah! The Primitive Radio Gods! Ashley MacIsaac! And so on. I can’t imagine any other year when a breakout hit would be by a band featuring an openly gay frontman and a band that included women on drums and bass. (Seriously, think about it.) I didn’t actually like this song much until a few years later—it never made a dent on my weekly favorite songs list—but now Seasick is one of my favorite albums of the nineties. The song’s about Kurt Cobain, I guess, but I’m more interested in the “take it like a man, boy/Kiss me like a man, boy” bridge.
(As a side note, singer Will Schwartz is tall and dreamy, and one of only a few famous-ish people that I’ve ever gotten stuttery and shy around as an adult. A friend of mine from college hooked up with him once, telling me later in a very “Oh hey I hooked up with this guy and he’s in a band that I’d never heard of before, maybe you know them?” way. I was furious with the unfairness of the world.)