And the beat went on. My betrayal of Kelley’s trust culminated in me cheating on her with, of all people, Katie. Had she known this at the time she would have gone ballistic, as she hated to hear anything about Katie (which I suppose is understandable, up to a point). In addition, I was trying to make plans for graduate school (I would graduate in December) and Kelley and I both noticed they didn’t include her. So we called it quits. When I think about it, I’m kind of surprised we lasted as long as we did, because we really didn’t have a whole lot in common. Breaking up made a lot more sense than us ever being together, actually.
Predictably, as soon as it was all over and I was free to tango with whomever I want, all the women I’d been cheating on Kelley with disappeared. I even wanted to try to get together with Katie again, but that was a lost cause. I went back to her place once and we were just sitting around talking and suddenly I felt incredibly uncomfortable and realized I hardly knew this person. I bolted first chance I could.
That was the bad stuff. On the other hand, this is possibly one of the best tapes I ever made and has a lot of good memories associated with it. It was summer, I was driving for Domino’s again so I was making some money, I had that weird giddy feeling you get after you break up with someone, and things seemed good, actually. I was hanging out a lot with Anna and Kurt, and also Kyle (who I had met through BBS) and Chris, and we had a really good time. We were playing a lot of role-playing games, like Talislanta and Champions, along with other games like Illuminati! and Talisman. It was a great, fun summer, and Anna and Kurt and I still have a lot of in-jokes from this time.
Towards the end of this period, Kyle’s roommate suddenly lost her mind and moved out, leaving Kyle in the lurch for a roommate. My rent was going up on my smaller place, so I decided to move into Tiger Plaza with him, changing my address to a different street named after a different football player.
This is a great tape with only a few missteps on it.
- DiVinyls – I Touch Myself
I’ll hear nothing bad about this song! Seriously, this song is hilarious; I especially like the part where, in case you doubt her sincerity, she assures you, “I honestly do!”
- Ultra Vivid Scene – Lynn-Marie #2
As soon as I fell in love with Ultra Vivid Scene’s second album, I knew I had to have the first, self-titled one as well. I put in a special order at the indie record shop and soon fell in love with that album as well. Could Kurt Ralske and Co. do anything I didn’t love?
- The Shamen – ProGen
- Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Sheriff Fatman
- Birdland – Sleep With Me
- New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Big
- McCarthy – Get A Knife Between Your Teeth
On some fateful day in 1991 I wandered into Paradise Records (which we called Parasite) and purchased the Melody Maker Indie Top 20, volume 9 (a descendent of the Indie Top 20 Records that had served me so well back in my radio station days.) It was a goldmine of great British music. England was going through its whole “Madchester” scene and a lot of really catchy, fun music was being produced. There are no fewer than five tracks on this tape from this one CD alone. Only one of these bands became one I would stick with, but I loved all these tunes.
One I’m surprised didn’t make the cut was “Monster in the House” by Finitribe. One day we were listening to the Indie Top 20 CD and Anna and I were singing along to this song. Chris asked us to stop because, “I can’t hear the lyrics.” The punchline is: there are only two lines in the song, repeated over and over, so we told him, “The lyrics are ‘A thing like this could warp his mind for life!’ and ‘Just who the hell do you think you are?’ Now you know them.”
- Bob Mould – Stop Your Crying
- Uncle Green – A Word Of Advice
- World Party – Take It Up
- The Replacements – Bent Out of Shape
- Nine Inch Nails – Down in It
- The Jesus and Mary Chain – Here Comes Alice
- The Sundays – I Kicked A Boy
- The Stone Roses – Made of Stone
- The Lightning Seeds – Sweet Dreams
Much fewer holdovers here, and only a couple that have been around for a while. I had definitely gotten out of the rut I was in! It’s the end of the line for The Replacements, though, and probably a bit too late.
- Inspiral Carpets – This is How it Feels
- The La’s – Timeless Melody
- EMF – Unbelievable
- The Charlatans – White Shirt
- Ride – Taste
- The Trash Can Sinatras – Circling the Circumference
Complimenting the sounds from the Melody Maker disc were a bunch of new British bands I had also discovered. Laugh if you will at EMF here, but you know you love that song. This stuff sounds like pure, undistilled summer to me.
- R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
A bit of a downer, sure, but listening to this song, you knew it was going to be huge. And it actually doesn’t completely not work in the context of the rest of the tunes here.
- Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Black and Blue
This one from these folks’ more-or-less ignored second album also works pretty well.
- James McMurtry – Terry
But this one? God knows I love me some James McMurtry but wow, does this song bring the whole party to a crashing halt. It’s a good song but boy, is it out of place. What was I thinking?
- The Lemonheads – Different Drum
My first exposure to this band that would, before too long, blow up huge, was their EP, Favorite Spanish Dishes, which featured this cover (as well as covers of “Step By Step” by New Kids on the Block and “Skulls” by Danzig. It’s well worth finding.) The screams that you hear around the middle were a thing running throughout the EP.
- Material Issue – Diane
And THIS bit of Britpop — ha! Fooled you! They’re from the US, but their British-tinged brand of full-force power pop melds completely with the stuff from this second British invasion.
My beverage of choice at this time was Lemon Nehi, and one day I was cleaning up and discovered a half-drunk bottle that now had a dead fly floating in it. Why did this prompt the title of a tape? I have no idea, but the title is kind of funny. For the cover, I went a bit literal, while the back cover is a character sheet from the Champions RPG, based on my character from those days, Killerwatt, the electrical alien.
Click on the player below to listen to this mix!
(xspf player courtesy Lacy Morrow and Fabricio Zuardi.)