Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Place Called 1993

The year was 1993. A foxy young Arkansas Governor had just been sworn in as Prez, and was gearing up to finally overhaul our damnably inequitable, unsustainable healthcare system. The Unabomber was on the loose. John Wayne Bobbitt's member went missing. The Kuwaitis uncovered a plot by Iraqis to kill George W. Bush's daddy, which may or may not have set current events into motion. Gary Coleman won a 1.25 million dollar lawsuit against his parents. And "Indie Rock" was red hot, thanks in part to Caroline, which was making a play to become the majorest of indies by snatching up all up-and-comers within earshot. To wit, the label comp "Stuck On Caroline."

The comp, which I just came across and dumbly threw in, includes bands that I didn't care about then (Jamming James, Hot Rods), bands that I didn't care about then, but a lot of people care about now (David Gray), bands that I sort of cared about then (Action Swingers, Walt Mink, The Auteurs), bands that I really cared about then that currently reside in the "oh well" category (Fudge, St. Johnny), and Idaho, who I loved then and still love now, although I haven't picked up the new record yet. I present tonight two selections from this sampler, one an early masterpiece (possibly their first single?) from sadmospheric soundtrack genius Jeff Martin's Idaho, and the other a really fist-pumping indie-cum-alt rock anthem from Hartford, CT's St. Johnny. Close your eyes and drift back to the previous golden age of indie, just as the wave was cresting, about to crash across the 120 Minutes set, engulfing Kendall or Largent or Pinfield, or whoever was standing there at the time.

Idaho - Skyscrape
St.Johnny - Go To Sleep


  • At 1:31 AM, Blogger fastbacker said…

    Beautiful tracks. I need to commit myself to getting to know Idaho at some point. Which album should I start with?

    "Go To Sleep" reminds me of how much every band used to sound like Dinosaur. Or Pavement. Nice. This also reminds me that I like rock. Thanks St. Johnny!

  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger jbreitling said…

    Three Sheets to the Wind is my favorite Idaho platter. I'd recommend that one. It came a few years later, but golly it is good. I've got it on the flip of a cassette with Acetone's I Guess I Would, which also gets a hearty thumbs up from me.

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Kurtis of Rambis Manor said…

    I tend to go for whatever the newest record is... I'm actually a fan of a lot of the recenter stuff. Alas, Levitate, Hearts of Palm. The piano and keys start to creep in more and more, where the 4-string guitars once held sway...I love these three records equally, and more than the more dirgey, heavy guitars-based early stuff. Apparently the new songs are virtually guitarless.


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