Saturday, June 4

NOSTALGIA IS THE NEW NUMB (FUN WITH PARENTHESES)

Today's electronic EP features a handful of my favorite tracks -- some of which you may already be familiar with, others which may be new to you. Either way, these never grow old for me and often appear as "usual suspects" on my mix CDs.

1] "On and On (Lodestar)"/Crash Vegas

Crash Vegas is a Canadian band that, to the best of my knowledge, has not released anything since their 1995 LP Aurora. "On and On (Lodestar)" is the second track on that record, and it's one I first heard on a Windsor, Ontario radio station while summering in my native Detroit (all the best people summer there, don't you know). A few years later, while visiting Toronto, I specifically sought out the album and this rather haunting track. For me, this has an autumnal, nostalgic quality to it, and it reminds me somehow of The Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin'."

OnandOn-Lodestar-CrashVegas [left-click]

2] "Lullaby (Weren't We Wild)"/Judybats

Like Crash Vegas, Judybats haven't released much (if anything) since the mid-'90s. This track appeared on their second record, Down in the Shacks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow, in 1991. It is, to be sure, a product of its time -- as R.E.M.-esque jangle-pop was then a very big thing, indeed. This baroque little gem proceeds pleasantly, then ratchets itself into a different stratosphere for the coda. Again: haunting.

Lullaby-Weren'tWeWild-Judybats [left-click]

3] "'74-'75"/The Connells

More jangle-pop, circa 1991. And yes, more nostalgia. This can be found on the album Ring. Apparently, this song was a fairly big hit in Europe in its day. But it's timeless and should play just as swimmingly on other continents.

'74-'75-TheConnells [left-click]

4] "Climbing to the Moon"/Eels

I haven't yet heard Eels' newest, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, but "Climbing to the Moon" is a favorite from way back. Which is to say, from 1998's Electro-Shock Blues. Such a gentle, graceful song. And, as a bit of bonus, Grant Lee Phillips gives an assist.

ClimbingtotheMoon-Eels [left-click]

5] "Street Spirit (Fade Out)"/Radiohead

Radiohead supplanted R.E.M. as my favorite band somewhere around 1995. I liked "Creep," loved "Fake Plastic Trees," but it was this song -- heard first on MTV at three in the morning -- that inspired me to buy The Bends and begin a most joyous journey. Now, a decade later, "Street Spirit" remains one of my favorite Radiohead tracks. (And, is it just me, or does the ghost of Kansas' "Dust in the Wind" lurk somewhere in its shadows?)

StreetSpirit-FadeOut-Radiohead [left-click]

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