Oasis

Orefield, Pennsylvania, 1995. You feel bad about yourself and your place in the world almost every moment of every day, but every choice you make is linked to supreme confidence in this one truth, that things will be better, that, on the other side of this is vindication, and you order everything, the way you look, the way you dress, the way you refuse to sleep, you order everything from there.  You are too young, really, to read Sherwood Anderson without feeling worse. You want to be Jay Gatsby but you’re not even Jimmy Gatz. You look into the mirror darkly 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.”  That the words on chewed on and spit out, 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. Oasis.

4 Great 90’s Songwriters Not Named Kurt (or Billy)

90s rock was always bigger than Seattle and Chicago.

A few years ago, Billy Corgan said he and Kurt Cobain were “the top two scribes [of the scene] and everyone else was a distant third.”  I think it’s funny that someone talking about being a great songwriter would refer to himself as a scribe, but Billy Corgan.

Here are four other great 90’s alt-rock songwriters not named Kurt (Billy).

1. Glen Philips.  The lead singer and primary songwriter for Toad the Wet Sprocket. I got to see the reunited Toad this past summer, and they were excellent.  Pick up their compilation of re-recorded greatest hits, All You Want, and be happy: it will be one of the best music purchases you make this year.

2. Jeff Mangum.  While the Smashing Pumpkins gave us The Aeroplane Flies High in 1996, Mangum’s Neutral Milk Hotel gave us In The Aeroplane Over the Sea and invented indie rock as we know it.

3. Stuart Murdoch.  The leader of Belle & Sebastian.  Pick up Push Barman to Open Old Wounds (which Blender called “25 charming tales of shy girls dabbling in photography and bookish boys dabbling in shy girls“) for an exquisite collection of Murdoch’s mid-to-late 90s oeuvre.

4. Noel Gallagher.  Oasis’ two finest, awesomest, greatest albums where recorded right in the middle of the epic mid-90s.  Sure, he borrowed a riff from T-Rex and a melody from a classic 70s Coke commercial, but the strongest songs, of which there are many, are all him.

 

 

Lars Ulrich and Felix White on Oasis

Ulrich and White hit the same vibe, because Oasis hit, cultivated, and empowered a certain nerve.  Like I’ve said before, they sneered the abyss all the way back to hell.  They changed my life, too.

via Oasis: the band that changed our lives – by Lars Ulrich and Felix White | Music | theguardian.com.

Rainn Wilson Catches Me Off-Guard

Last night, someone said “Wonderwall is 17 years old.  Doesn’t that make you feel old?”

Nah. I was so much older then.  It turns out you’re never as old as you think, and years are way shorter than you’re able to see.

And then Rainn Wilson had to go and screw it all up.

For some reason, 1996 is one of my all-time favorite years.  Just something about it.