My second semester in the Pentagon dorms was a drag, with the guy directly below me and the guy directly above me having a contest to see who could be the most annoying. The one below me was also the RA, so I wasn’t going to get any help there. As a result, in January of 1990 I returned to LSU but was now residing in my very first own apartment. It was an efficiency in the Library Apartments in Tigerland, on a street named after some football player. There’s not a street, building, or water fountain in Baton Rouge named for Robert Penn Warren, but there’s a whole subdivision devoted to football players.
It was very cool having my own apartment, small as it was. Among my neighbors were Ingolf (a/k/a “Wolf”), who was a really nice guy, and Corey, who was in a lot of my writing classes. I was now an English major and was doing a lot of writing, though ultimately very little of it proved to be remotely worthwhile.
Kelley and I were still together, despite the long-distance relationship. It was a strain — she was pretty much the only person I knew in Natchitoches, and she lived in a dorm, so when I went there to visit her, there was nothing to do and nowhere for me to stay, but in a Motel 6. Eventually I ended up driving up there on Friday, picking her up, driving back that evening, and then returning her on Sunday (when she didn’t just drive down herself). That’s 16 hours of the weekend in a car. Also around this time I began driving for Domino’s Pizza, so I was working as well. It was getting harder and harder to maintain the relationship.
With this tape I broke the 90-minute barrier. Originally it was a 90 minute tape, but almost immediately afterwards I bought two albums that demanded to have representative songs on it. I decided to give the newish 100-minute tapes a try, inserting a new song onto each side. Despite horror stories from well-meaning friends, I never had a single tape break on me.
Although a lot of my usual type of stuff can be found here, you can definitely see Kelley’s influence in the “crunchier” music that is also seeping in.
- The Mighty Lemon Drops – At Midnight
- R.E.M. – Get Up
- The Pursuit Of Happiness – She’s So Young
- The Feelies – Away
- The Replacements – Achin’ To Be
- Deacon Blue – Real Gone Kid
- The Smiths – Stretch Out And Wait
- The Stone Roses – Elephant Stone
- The House of Love – Shine On
- The Jesus and Mary Chain – Blues from a Gun
- Depeche Mode – Policy Of Truth
- Shriekback – Shark Walk
- Spacemen 3 – So Hot (Wash Away All Of My Tears)
These are just more of the same from before. The sheer number of them shows that I’m going into a rut here that will continue a bit on the next mix. That Shriekback song is really scraping the bottom of the Go Bang! barrel. “Shine On” only sounds like the most pretentious song ever because you haven’t yet heard the one on the next mix. I really gave those guys far too much credit. On the flip side, that Spacemen 3 track is a lovely, lovely song.
- James McMurtry – I’m Not From Here
Son of Larry, the writer. Sound Woohoo (Warehouse) had little listening kiosks now where you could slip on some headphones and try out some new stuff, and it usually featured lesser-known artists. I sampled this album, Too Long in the Wasteland and even though it was a lot more country/folksy/not-having-synthesizers than I usually went for, something about it grabbed me. Probably the fact that it’s a really well-done album with some great songs on it.
- Uncle Green – Vulnerability
Back when I worked at KRVS, Ben and I had a policy that any albums which came in and were on clear vinyl got played. Thus, “Chemical Way” by Uncle Green got played on the show, but that was the last I heard of these guys until I stumbled across their You CD and recognized the name. This is another great album that remains a favorite. I like this song, but the track that is far and away my favorite got saved for the next mix, and I’m not sure why.
- Michelle Shocked – On the Greener Side
Michelle’s new album, Captain Swing, took a while to grow on me, but eventually it did. I remember cleaning my apartment one day and listening to both Michelle Shocked and the Indigo Girls. “It’s lesbians with guitars day over here!” I told someone who called. I later found out that Michelle Shocked is not, in fact, a lesbian, but I don’t think she’d mind the error.
- The Sundays – Here’s Where The Story Ends
- The Lightning Seeds – Pure
These are the two tracks that forced me to go to 100 minutes. The Sundays’ first album is a thing of beauty and “Pure” is just a dazzling, gorgeous song.
- Sinéad O’Connor – Jump In The River
Sinead’s back! It’s a shame that now she’s only known for being a kook because she tore up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live to protest sexual abuse in the Catholic church. It’s a shame both because it took attention away from the fact that she is tremendously talented and because you know what? She was right.
- Kate Bush – Love and Anger
This is a strange one because I don’t own this album and never did. I don’t really know where I heard it or who I borrowed it from to put it on the tape. It is a Kate Bush mystery! But I do like the song!
- The Cure – Pictures Of You
This song clocks in at seven and a half minutes and almost didn’t make the cut. I was wary of putting anything that long on a tape, since I only had so much room to work with. But it stayed on and became the longest song at the time to get featured on one of these tapes.
- The Beloved – Hello
This was a band that the British mags were liking. I bought the album and liked this track okay, but the rest of it was a bit too disco for me and I didn’t keep it for long.
- The Lilac Time – American Eyes
I can’t tell you much about this album, apart from the two songs that made it onto my tapes. I don’t have it anymore, so it must not have had much of an effect on me. Still, this is a great little song. The bit around the break, “…and never quite goes,” gets me every time.
- Nine Inch Nails – Head Like a Hole
And then there’s this. Back on Gene Pool of the Damned I mentioned seeing the Jesus and Mary Chain at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, with another band opening. This was that other band, which none of us had ever heard of before. And I have to say, they blew the crowd away. I don’t know how many people were at that show, but I’m pretty sure every one of them bought a copy of Pretty Hate Machine the next day.
Honestly, I have no idea where this title came from. I know it was something I’d say from time to time, but I’ve no idea what was so memorable about the phrase that became the title of one of the tapes. It’s such a lame title that when I was working on making covers, it gave me almost nothing to go on, so I just went with a sort of 50s retro theme.
Click on the player below to listen to this mix!
(xspf player courtesy Lacy Morrow and Fabricio Zuardi.)