[Nearly forgot that it was a year ago yesterday that I started this here blog. So I thought I'd re-post the five songs that started the ball rolling...]
Crash Vegas is a Canadian band that, to the best of my knowledge, has not released anything since their 1995 LP Aurora. I first heard "On and On (Lodestar)" 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'."
[MP3] Crash Vegas/"On and On (Lodestar)"
Like Crash Vegas, Knoxville, Tennessee's Judybats haven't released 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.
[MP3] Judybats/"Lullaby (Weren't We Wild)"
More jangle-pop, circa 1993. This one can be found on the Connells' album Ring. Apparently, it was a fairly big hit in Europe in its day. I guess grunge must have kept it off the American charts. Too bad; it's a beauty.
[MP3] The Connells/"'74-'75"
Eels, of course, is essentially the one-man show of Mark Oliver Everett. "Climbing to the Moon" remains my favorite track of his - from 1998's Electro-Shock Blues. Such a gentle, graceful song. And, as a bit of bonus, Grant Lee Phillips gives an assist.
[MP3] Eels/"Climbing to the Moon"
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 what has been an intensely satisfying journey. Now, a decade later, "Street Spirit" is still 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? Yeah, okay... probably just me.)
[MP3] Radiohead/"Street Spirit (Fade Out)"