The Cool New Music Chronicles: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That



The strain on my relationship with Kelley grew even more, and this is the point when I started cheating on her. I’m not proud of this, and I won’t try to defend it, but it happened. Jill and I fooled around a little, and Jill also introduced me to a friend of hers name Denise that I slept with. In addition there was a girl in my English class named Cherie who was also in a long-distance relationship. She and I spent an evening rolling around on my floor, but we both chickened out before we got too far. I don’t know what it was that all of a sudden I had all these women around me.

I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to break up with Kelley, but for a lot of reasons, it didn’t seem that easy. We had gotten somewhat serious before all this, so stepping back would be tough. And there were issues that it’s not my place to talk about here that also made things difficult. But it would have to be done.

On a more positive note, there was a woman that I met who I wasn’t cheating on Kelley with named Anna. We met in my Astronomy class and later had a Creative Writing class together. Her boyfriend Kurt came to LSU not long afterwards and we all became really good friends. In fact, Jill was working at the snack bar in the LSU Student Union and when Kurt first came in, she remarked to him that he looked a lot like someone else she knew. She didn’t know we had already met. People felt Kurt and I looked alike, like brothers or something, but if that was ever true, I think it’s less true now. Anna and Kurt are the first two people in this history that I’ve consistently stayed in touch with since meeting them.

By this time Baton Rouge was becoming a home to me, not just the place I went to school. I had real friends there, a job (I was driving for Domino’s Pizza, which was actually a lot of fun), and an apartment. I was going back to New Orleans less often, since there wasn’t much left for me in that city. In fact, I hardly spoke to anyone there. I also started getting into the BBS scene in Baton Rouge, which wasn’t nearly as fun as it had been in New Orleans, but still introduced me to a few cool people.

  1. The Lightning Seeds – All I Want
  2. The Cure – Like Cockatoos
  3. Ultra Vivid Scene – Special One
  4. The Sundays – Hideous Towns
  5. Bob Mould – It’s Too Late
  6. The Lilac Time – The Girl Who Waves At Trains
  7. Sinéad O’Connor – Black Boys On Mopeds
  8. Indigo Girls – Hammer and a Nail
  9. World Party – Way Down Now
  10. Syd Straw – Future 40’s (String Of Pearls)
  11. Everything But The Girl – Driving
  12. James McMurtry – Shining Eyes
  13. Steve Wynn – Carolyn
  1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Her Way of Praying
  2. The Stone Roses – Bye Bye Badman
  3. Uncle Green – Time To Make Demands
  4. The Replacements – Nobody
  5. R.E.M. – The Flowers Of Guatemala
  6. They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul
  7. Michelle Shocked – Silent Ways
  8. House of Love – Beatles and the Stones
  9. The Smiths – This Night Has Opened My Eyes
  10. Shriekback – Underwaterboys
  11. Depeche Mode – Halo
  12. Nine Inch Nails – Sin
  13. Spacemen 3 – Lord Can You Hear Me

  • The Lightning Seeds – All I Want
  • The Sundays – Hideous Towns
  • The Lilac Time – The Girl Who Waves At Trains
  • Sinéad O’Connor – Black Boys On Mopeds
  • Indigo Girls – Hammer and a Nail
  • Everything But The Girl – Driving
  • James McMurtry – Shining Eyes
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain – Her Way of Praying
  • The Stone Roses – Bye Bye Badman
  • The Replacements – Nobody
  • R.E.M. – The Flowers Of Guatemala
  • Michelle Shocked – Silent Ways
  • House of Love – Beatles and the Stones
  • The Smiths – This Night Has Opened My Eyes
  • Shriekback – Underwaterboys
  • Depeche Mode – Halo
  • Nine Inch Nails – Sin
  • Spacemen 3 – Lord Can You Hear Me

That’s a LOT of retreads there, and it’s pretty indicative that this is a fairly dull mix. There’s nothing particularly bad here (except maybe that House of Love track; fortunately, we’re saying goodbye to them) but nothing that would be a first choice for anyone. Not a whole lot of thought went into this. (This is the end of the road for The Smiths, by the way. And Shriekback is going to take a little break after this.)

  • The Cure – Like Cockatoos

Another retread, but this one has a story behind it. Before I got my job at Domino’s, I briefly tried out for a political action group. This involved going door-to-door looking for donations and petition signatures. It was miserable, and not only because I was terrible at it. To keep myself in any kind of positive spirits, I would sing this song to myself over and over. I don’t know why it worked (it’s not a particularly happy song), but it did.

  • Ultra Vivid Scene – Special One

This is the brightest spot here. Sound Woohoo briefly had a free magazine they distributed, which would spotlight new music. Their description of this band sounded interesting, so I tried out the album (Joy: 1969-1990). I loved it and to this day I love it. It’s one of my all-time favorite albums, and I love this song as well.

  • Bob Mould – It’s Too Late

I know this is heresy, but I never got into Husker Du. I tried, I really did, but it just didn’t grab me. This solo album of Bob Mould’s did, however, even if it is a bit bombastic and obvious in places (This is Black Sheets of Rain. His previous solo album, Workbook, is much more subtle.)

  • World Party – Way Down Now

This was one I got into through Kelley. She heard this song on the radio or something and liked it, so I ended up buying the CD.

  • Syd Straw – Future 40’s (String Of Pearls)

No idea how I first heard this Syd Straw album, but it’s a lot of fun. And yeah, that’s Michael Stipe doing guest vocals.

  • Steve Wynn – Carolyn

Another one from the Sound Woohoo preview kiosk. I like this song a fair amount, but the rest of the album didn’t grab me. In fact, for the longest time it was hard to find this track as an mp3 — I guess I wasn’t the only one who didn’t dig on this album too hard. I have an impression that this version is different from the original CD track I had, but I can’t tell you why that might be.

  • Uncle Green – Time To Make Demands

This is a track that would be someone’s first choice. Much as I like “Vulnerability” from the previous tape, this song is just so much rockin’ fun.

  • They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul

Hard to say who introduced me to these guys. There’s a term among TMBG fans: “Floodite”. It is a (derisive, naturally) word for fans who came on board with the release of Flood. I would be one of those fans. Jill, Kurt, and Kyle all were listening to Flood as well, so I don’t know where I heard it first. I had heard the band previously (I had the “Don’t Let’s Start” single) but hadn’t really “gotten” them until this point. (And even then it took me a while to really warm to some of their more oddball tracks.) Flood for me is such a double-edged sword, though. It’s a great album, no doubt, but because it has some humor on it and was so popular, it pigeonholed them as a “funny” band, as though they’re in the same league as Weird Al Yankovic or something. And the fact that they’re so popular among geeks, who can’t help but quote lyrics from them a la Monty Python doesn’t help either.

I got into a discussion on a forum one time about the band and said, “It’s strange to me that a band whose lyrics are constantly about paranoia and dread would get tagged so much as a joke band.” Someone said, “Which songs of theirs mention paranoia or dread?” and all I could reply with was, “Well, just for a start, ALL OF THEM.” Which is only a slight exaggeration.

They just don’t come much blander than this title, do they? Maybe the title prejudices me against thinking this tape is interesting. I’ve no idea what prompted such a dull title, though I do recall my friend Ben from Lafayette using this phrase when asked what he’d been doing lately. I do like what I came up with for the cover, however.

Click on the player below to listen to this mix!

(xspf player courtesy Lacy Morrow and Fabricio Zuardi.)

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