(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Audacy)

Nick Hexum birthday celebraish? It’s officially on. Let’s get irie with some choice 311 joints to mark the singer’s date of birth.


This morning, at 7:34, I received a text from my pal B-Real. It read: “Nick Hexum 6-Pack in celebration of his birthday today, buddy boy.” Buddy, I was already planning on it.


What’s more, I was also planning on dedicating the piece to B-Real. He’s the biggest 311 fan I know. Even bigger than my buddy Chris, who blind-bought Grassroots back in ’94.


That was Chris’ move back in the day. We’d go CD shopping (yes, CD shopping. It was the ’90s) at Strawberries or Newbury Comics. Both just a mile from each other on Rt. 1 in Saugus. Represent.


We’d pick up the latest albums from the bands we loved. And Chris would always grab something he didn’t know, but that had compelling artwork. Such was the case with Grassroots.


Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez on stage at KROQ's Inland Invasion Tour

(Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Nick Hexum Birthday 6-Pack: Funky Fun for the 311 Frontman

When we started our senior year in September of ’94, “8:16 a.m.” became our official “we’re skipping school today” theme song. For the record, Chris skipped MUCH more often than I did.


But I joined him plenty. And 311 was in the mix plenty, too. That’s the thing about their music: it’s carefree. It’s light and airy. It’s funky and fun, just like I said in the title above.


My pal Fred likes to bust on the band for being from Omaha and using a fake patois. Fair play. But they’re one of the few bands that made it out of the ’90s alt-rock boom with their fan base intact.


And if you’re reading this, you’re likely one of those fans. So I hope you approve of my selection of personal fave 311 tunes to soundtrack this Nick Hexum birthday party. Nice performer, even nicer guy. Chill!

  • "Do You Right"

    A few years after I got into 311, I met another uber-fan, Kelly. She’s the one who really turned me on to the band’s debut album, Music. “Do You Right” was her fave, and it became one of mine, too.

  • "8:16 a.m."

    You knew this one was making the list. The soundtrack of skipping school, cobbling together something that would pass for breakfast at MobilMart, and going wherever the day takes you. Which is usually the movies.

  • "Don't Stay Home"

    311’s self-titled third album was their breakthrough. Multiple radio singles, multiple music videos. This was always my favorite of the bunch. The drum intro into when the guitar kicks in? Peak mid-90’s alt rock.

  • "Transistor"

    The title-track from the band’s 1997 release. This one always reminds me of my days interning for WFNX Music Director Laurie Gail. I had a little dance I’d do when the song came on. She would laugh. Good times.

  • "Flowing"

    The late ’90s were a weird time in alternative rock. Nu metal and rap rock were prevalent. 311 found a way to exist alongside both subgenres, yet maintain their distinctive sound. This song is a prime example of that.

  • "You Wouldn't Believe"

    Sure, “Amber” is the big hit from 2001’s From Chaos. But this was the leadoff single. And it crushes.

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