Coincidence or not, I began buying less music and making fewer tapes in the months after meeting my future wife in 1995 (and if it’s not coincidence, I’d do it all over again, dear). Besides, I was in my early 30s–maybe I was already getting a little long in the tooth for the alternative scene?
1995 was the last year I made mix tapes, too. It’s been a little while since I took a look at a tape, so let’s queue up one of my last gasps at the art form:
Weezer, “My Name Is Jonas”
Not long before I started this blog, I did a short Facebook series on my five favorite Weezer tunes (not that I have an extensive knowledge of their body of work). “My Name Is Jonas” clocked in at #4; if you must know, “The Good Life” was #1.
That Blue Album is a mighty sweet disk, you know?
Sugar, “A Good Idea”
I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to include a song about a dude drowning his girlfriend (I hadn’t paid any attention to the lyrics, no doubt–had just dug the sound). I’m going with the notion that it is a good idea not to link to the vid, though.
The Darling Buds, “Burst”
A #50 hit in the UK toward the end of 1988. It’s track two on Pop Said…, and was perhaps the first indication that the Buds were going to be of great appeal to yours truly.
Adam Schmitt, “Illiterature”
Title song from Schmitt’s second album, which came out in late summer of 1993. Even if it’s louder, darker, and not nearly so winsome as World So Bright, Illiterature definitely has its moments. I think this is one of three songs from it that graced mix tapes; I really love its energy.
Madder Rose, “Car Song”
One of those cases where you buy a CD based on that song you heard on the radio. There are elements of the grunge sound that I like moderately well, like the extra guitar crunch that comes after being fairly quiet, as we get here on the refrain (the female vocals of Mary Lorson are another attractive element). Completely unrelated to the tune of the same name that came later from Elastica. I should go back and give Panic On another listen or two.
The Cocteau Twins, “The Itchy Glowbo Glow”
“Carolyn’s Fingers” was the song that reeled me into the world of the Cocteau Twins, but these days I think this dreamy thing just might be the best cut on Blue Bell Knoll. I want it to go on and on, as it takes me to some other place that I just don’t want to leave.
Emma Anderson wrote the majority of the tracks on 1994’s Split, but it’s Miki Berenyi’s contributions, particularly “Kiss Chase,” “Hypocrite,” and “Undertow,” that stand out to me.
The Call, “The Walls Came Down”
Our first of three trips back to my college days on this tape. I’m forever grateful to Warren for tuning me into these guys. Michael Been looks so young here…
Danielle Brisebois, “What If God Fell from the Sky”
Yes, it’s Stephanie from late-era All in the Family, all grown up and doing that mid-90s music thing. She co-wrote this with Gregg Alexander of recently-reconstituted New Radicals fame (Brisebois was a member of the band, too). I’ve not researched it, but I’ve long wondered if this song was based on personal experience.
Matthew Sweet, “We’re the Same”
100% Fun is my favorite Matthew Sweet album–it’s just solid from end to end. “We’re the Same” was the second single. I must say I’m not convinced of the musical prowess of the band in the video.
Buffalo Tom, “Taillights Fade”
I’ve written about “Taillights Fade” before, and how it reminds me of my first weeks on the job here at Georgetown. I can’t explain how and why it speaks to me, but it sure does.
Blur, “Boys and Girls”
This didn’t sound anything like the Madchester-ish “There’s No Other Way,” their previous hit. (The same applies to “Song 2”–woo-hoo!) Completely loopy, but I still like it.
I was today years old when I learned that Damon Albern inserted a line of German right before “But we haven’t been introduced” (Du bist sehr schön–my wife tells me that’s “You’re very pretty”). I’d always heard it as “Deep obsession,” which I guess makes some sense, too.
Scandal, “Goodbye to You”
I’m strongly inclined to say that mid-1982 to mid-1983 (I’ll leave the exact endpoints vague for now) is now my favorite twelve-month period of 80s music. I think it’s the mainstreaming of new wave sensibilities, morphing into the second British Invasion, that makes the period shine. “Goodbye to You” is a prime example of what makes me think fondly of it all.
Marshall Crenshaw, “Let Her Dance”
And we close out the first half with Marshall doing Bobby Fuller up nicely. I couldn’t not link to this silly but nonetheless cute video set to it. I want to believe these three are siblings, but the height differential between the guy and the twins makes me dubious…
Back with side two soon.