Orefield, Pennsylvania, 1995. You feel bad about yourself and your place in the world almost every moment of every day, but you’re also utterly convinced that, should you make it to the future, it will be a grand and glorious one. You have no rational basis for this belief. You are too young, really, to read Sherwood Anderson without feeling worse. You want to be Jay Gatsby but you’re not even Jim Gatz. You look into the abyss and want to see Jesus but don’t see anything besides market capitalism and reactionary politics as the only possible ways forward. Then along comes a band that posits a a new kind of radicalism: it is possible, they say, to swagger and sneer the devil all the way back to hell. Everything is shit, but instead of hearing “I hate myself and want to die,” on your local Top 40 you hear, instead, “maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me,” and “you and I are gonna live forever.” The fact that half the words are chewed on and spit out, that the long I’s are, first, acrobatic long E’s that make Sinatra’s Y’s quaint, that they’re working class kids in acrylic sweaters and jeans with the wink/smile but really I mean it bravado of Tupelo Elvis, ’68 Elvis, Aloha Elvis, DEA Elvis, Elvis in sequins and capes, hands clasped behind the back, no dancing, no moving, just the world’s biggest mouth…you have been saved. All three of those albums saved me. That’s Oasis.

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