While the 1990’s, as with every era, had its share of musical abominations (two decades is still not enough time to absolve Creed and Nickelback), it was in other ways an extremely fertile period of musical creativity, giving us Britpop cheek (Oasis, Blur, Pulp), the mainstreaming of hip-hop (Tupac, Jay-Z), and the rise to mega-stardom of the once-fringe-dwelling likes of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins.
Fronted by singer/guitarist Craig Wedren, STT thrived throughout the decade, signing to Epic Records in ’94, even while Wedren battled Hodgkin’s disease. And by the time of their demise in ’98 (remember when bands used to actually break up?), they had left a lasting influence for so many new bands to draw upon. Oh, and Jeff Buckley, Incubus and Pearl Jam had been counted amongst their fans.
Wedren went on to considerable success as a film and TV composer, penning the scores to Laurel Canyon, Wet Hot American Summer, and countless others. So it comes as little surprise to learn that he’s also adept with a still camera; and a new, limited edition book, My ’90s – Polaroids by Craig Wedren, strikingly bears that out.
In it, he returns to those wild pre-Millennium times, when he documented Shudder to Think’s life on the road with the fellow zeitgeisters of the era, via a Polaroid Spectra. In his charmingly grainy, sometimes even surreal style, he captured members of Fugazi, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, even Rain Phoenix and Karen Elson of socio-political troupe Citizens Band. There’s also a shot of STT’s Nathan Larson recording their contribution to the glam rock film Velvet Goldmine; a Vanity Fair party at Cannes; actress Frances McDormand seated with director Jim Jarmusch also at the exalted South of France film festival; and a several almost hallucinogenic scenery snaps.
Still a busy boy these days, Wedren’s most recent soundtrack projects have included GLOW and the critically acclaimed Aidy Bryant Hulu series Shrill. His excellent 2018 album Adult Desire Expanded includes the single “2Priests” – which he will be playing live July 13 with once-labelmates Jawbox at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles.