Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Does your Dog Bi-yai-yai-yaiiiite?
It is Summer.
Perhaps there is a certain musk that is released when the air is heated to a certain temperature. As boiling a kettle of water releases a whistling steam to attract one's attention so does the very marrow of the summer air whistle an imperceptible tone that attracts memory. I remember straw colored straw on brown chalky hills behind my house in San Diego when I was but a lad of six; my parents scrubbing the dirt from my knees and scolding me for vanishing from their panoptic windows overlooking our cul-de-sac. Yellow and blue beaches, bare brown feet of girls, dry grass clippings, surreal poolside games. Somehow all of these coagulated during the early ninties all in one place.
Television is not now, nor ever really was, a final destination for overtly creative minds with a penchant for the surreal. In the early Ninties that destination was (and still is) more likely found behind the mask of a foamy headed punching bag dressed to the nines in Mickey Mouse accoutrement or perhaps, if you will allow me to stretch-armstrong a bit, the emerging surrealist pseudo-realities of Gangsta rap ("you are now about to witness [more or less] the strength of street knowledge"). At that time, though, children's programming was entering a surrealist renaissance on a little channel known as Nickelodeon with programs like Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life and, of course my favorite, Pete and Pete.
Whats all this masturbatory faux-academia got to do with music? Well, if you've never seen Pete and Pete, FOR SHAME!! **stage direction for guthrie: accusatory finger pointed skyward atop a clenched fist of epic proportions**, you wouldn't know the R.E.M. sound-a-bit-like band Polaris who magnificently performed the opening credits and various songs throughout the show. Occasionally the writers of the show would warp episodes above and around and through Polaris' music like a klein Bottle, indecipherable.
Polaris - Summerbaby
Exhibit A: an episode of Pete and Pete season one called "Hard Day's Pete" wherein young Pete must search for his favorite song that he hears Polaris, conveniently and splendidly practicing in a garage on the way to school, playing one day. He hears the song only once and attempts to remember the song by snapping together various chords. A fantastic premise, for how many of us have heard amazing songs only once that escape to the darkest dregs of the cortex, drip down our spines and disperse through our nerves as a milky blue dissipating substance. I would not let Pete's song escape me, for it is an amazing example of the show's finger on the pulse of pop-media in its day.
Polaris' frontman, Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion (of whom I will speak in a moment), wrote an incredible gem of a summer song for this exact episode called 'Summerbaby' that I feel is necessary to broadcast across this internets. Unfortunately the music recorded for the show (featuring Mulcahy stuttering the around into an incredibly catchy Arou-hou-hou-hou-hou-nd) was only released on a Cassingle in Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal (I'd give my larynx and my left butt for that thing). However! The re-recorded versions are true-to-form and that form is the catchy, fuzzy side of velcro.
Miracle Legion was Mulcahy's band from the mid-eighties that, yes, also sounded like the jangle-echo of early R.E.M. And whats wrong with that?
The answer is this: nothing.
Their first EP, called The Backyard, is five songs of summery pop-perfection. Would you like it? Yes?
Miracle Legion - The Backyard EP
Now that you have the whole thing you should really really go buy some of their later albums that are more on sale than The Backyard EP.