focus your audio: name

In M|H’s weekend feature, focus your audio, I’ll be looking at some of my favorite songs. Some I haven’t listened to in years, some I keep in regular rotation, but all having in some way informed my life, my taste, and and how I view music.

Goo Goo Dolls – Name

I learned about the Goo Goo Dolls from a sticker on my new classmate Luke’s binder at the beginning of sixth grade. Our last names were close in the alphabet, so we were seated next to each other in nearly every class. Aside from the number 69 doodled all over it, the binder’s most defining feature was a blue oval sticker that just said GOO. I asked him about it, and he told me it was a cool band he heard over the summer called the Goo Goo Dolls. A few weeks later “Name” was released on the radio and everyone knew who they were.

The song is totally 90s (and the video painfully more so), but I still love it. If I’m scanning through the radio and I hear it, I’ll stop. I think it’s the solo and its weirdo tuning – there’s really nothing else that sounds like it. Despite being all over the radio in the late 90s with their material from Dizzy Up the Girl, “Name” is the only song I hear still getting played now – I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard “Iris“, their biggest hit and arguably one of the most popular songs of the 90s.

I saw the Goo Goo Dolls live in the early 2000s, opening for Bon Jovi. Despite being a fan of theirs during the Dizzy Up the Girl era, I expected their set to be eye-rollingly awful but remember being pleasantly surprised and actually having a good time. It didn’t inspire me to get back into their music, but I will vouch that they’re solid performers. Even when you outgrow a band, there’s usually a song or two that sticks. For me it’s “Name”.

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