By March, 2004, when this disc was made, we had settled in pretty well in Massachusetts. Becky was busy with her new job, but getting to know her colleagues and become friends with them. For me, who was now working from home, it seemed that making friends would be more difficult, but I was wrong.
I had placed ads up in various game stores and forums looking for a new D&D group. (Actually, I was hoping to play something other than D&D, as I was pretty tired of it by this point.) Soon I got in touch with two people. TJ had an RPG group that I was welcome to join, and Dan was looking for someone to game with, though he was more into boardgames. I ended up becoming fast friends with both of them and other folks through them, and before long I was doing just fine.
Before all this it was just the two of us, however, and we spent a lot of time learning the area, as well as entertaining ourselves with card games and the PS2. It felt a lot like those early days back in Champaign when we were first married.
Speaking of which, we’d also had our tenth anniversary, and the gift we gave ourselves was a trip to London. We’d been out of the country before (twice to Austria to see Becky’s sister) but this was the first time we’d done so completely on our own, and we had a great time.
If it seems like not a lot was going on, remember that we moved here in July, and the next few months were spent settling in. Then the New England winter hit, in which we mostly stayed indoors, cocooned. By the time I made this mix, I’d just started venturing outdoors again.
(This mix is posted about on my blog here.)
Working from home, I didn’t get much opportunity to hear new stuff through the radio or other people, so I turned to the Internet instead, finding out about new bands by reading about them online.
- The Polyphonic Spree – Section 9 (Light & Day/Reach for the Sun)
This isn’t the first song I tracked down because I heard it in a Volkswagen commercial.
- The Apples in Stereo – That’s Something I Do
- Weezer – Photograph
- Rooney – Blueside
- Dressy Bessy – Georgie Blue
- The Minders – Right as Rain
- Foo Fighters – Times Like These
- Jimmy Eat World – A Praise Chorus
- Hooverphonic – Renaissance Affair
Less album mining than last time. At this point I was starting to focus more on songs than albums, and it’s only going to get more pronounced as we go on.
- Superchic – Big Star Machine
I think John first played this for me. I remember some debate about whether or not the band’s name has a “k” on it.
- The Raveonettes – That Great Love Sound
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Stop
Two bands showed up suddenly, both sounding a lot like the Jesus and Mary Chain. (That’s okay, the JAMC wasn’t using that sound anymore anyway.) Naturally, I was interested. The Raveonettes were a touch more interesting than the BRMC, since they were also hitting a sort of Phil Spector sound.
- Blue Man Group + Tracey Bonham – Up to the Roof
- Smile Empty Soul – This is War
Shasradio tunes are still drifting in here, even though the site itself was defunct by this point.
- Nada Surf – The Way You Wear Your Head
Remember Nada Surf and “Popular”? Most people had written them off as one hit wonders by this point, but Dan pointed us towards their album Let Go, which is really, really good and got a lot of play from us. I recommend it.
- R.E.M. – Bad Day
This is, to date, the last R.E.M. song to make it on to one of my mixes, and it’s pretty much an obvious b-side remake of “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”. I think it was on one of the many greatest hits compilations, but it’s neither particularly great nor a hit. Around the Sun would be released later in the year and would pretty much indicate that I was utterly done with R.E.M. Considering what was going on politically in the country at the time, to hear a band that had previously so proudly worn its lefty heart on its sleeve bleating out direct-to-adult-contemporary fluff was absurd.
- Wilco – Box Full of Letters
After being wowed by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot we visited the earlier Wilco catalog. It’s not bad, but this is not a band I would have otherwise fallen for, as I was kind of done with this kind of stuff by now.
- No Doubt – It’s My Life
Oh god, I am so…so…sorry.
- Tatu – All the Things She Said
But I’m NOT apologizing for this! (Actually, it was just included as a joke for Dan, but I don’t remember the details of the joke.)
- Grandaddy – El Caminos In The West
Not sure where I first heard of these guys, but I really fell for Sumday hard.
- Erin McKeown – An Innocent Fiction
Erin’s a local gal, and we saw her play at Pearl Street up in Northampton. This is from her album Grand, which I really recommend, even if it doesn’t include her cover of “Rhode Island is Famous for You” by Blossom Dearie. If you have a chance to see Erin play, do so. You won’t be disappointed.
- Fountains Of Wayne – All Kinds Of Time
I could not care less about sports in general or football in particular but this song is absolutely amazing, perfectly capturing a single golden moment of satori.
- Phantom Planet – Hey Now Girl
I’m a big Wes Anderson movie fan, and loved Rushmore, so there was no question I’d check out that band that Jason Schwartzman is in. I wasn’t wowed, but I dig this song.
- The New Pornographers – The Laws Have Changed
I tried to stick with Neko Case through her transition from bluegrass to chanteuse but nothing really grabbed me. On the way, though, I found her stuff with the New Pornographers and came to really like Electric Version.
- Thievery Corporation – The Mirror Conspiracy
Pretty sure this came from the same message board thread where I got The Minders (the album this is from came out in 2000). We discovered a great used CD store in Northampton (Turn It Up) and bought The Mirror Conspiracy there, and I totally dig it.
- Air – Surfing On A Rocket
This one confuses me because I associate it with something that I’ll talk about more on the next mix. If I didn’t get it from there, then I’m not sure where I got it.
- Prince of Persia – Time Only Knows
Yeah, I played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on the PS2 and yeah, I liked the end credits song and yeah I found it online and yeah I put it on a mix CD. Your point?
- They Might Be Giants – Bed Bed Bed
TMBG finally cut out the middleman and went straight to kids for this album. In some ways it’s more interesting than their “adult” music at the time.
A fortune I got from a fortune cookie:
Note that I got this in the year 2004. So the plan is:
Step One: Make it to next century.
Step Two: Live on the moon! (maybe)
The cover art is some pixel art I found online.
Click on the player below to listen to this mix!
(xspf player courtesy Lacy Morrow and Fabricio Zuardi.)