Go! Bobby-O!

NAME & DATE:

September 29, 1998

THE COVER:

IMG_6549

THE TRACKS:

SIDE A:

  • Paranoid Android – Radiohead
  • Royal Oil – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • Santa Monica – Everclear
  • On Your Own – Blur
  • Jump, Jive an’ Wail – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • Mankind – Pearl Jam
  • Laid – James
  • Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) – Digable Planets
  • All I Want to Do is Rock (live) – Travis
  • Rock in the Rain – Money Mark
  • Go! – Letters to Cleo
  • Hoodoo Voodoo – Billy Bragg & Wilco
  • Tears – The Stone Roses

SIDE B:

  • She’s a Good Girl – Sleeper
  • Here in Your Bedroom – Goldfinger
  • For Those of Y’all Who Wear Fannie Packs – Ben Fold Five
  • Hey Dude – Kula Shaker
  • So Much to Say – Dave Matthews Band
  • Late in the Day – Supergrass
  • The Choice is Yours (Revisited) – Black Sheep
  • Knot in It – Buffalo Tom
  • Go Daddy-O – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Call Me – Throwing Muses
  • History of a Boring Town – Less Than Jake
  • Over Our Bodies – Longpigs

THE LINER NOTES:

Life gets better.
The shitty summer of 1998 actually turned out pretty well, as this tape has reminded me. And all it took was one song.

 

Melissa had left me, and I was lost. Though I was back in my hometown, I wasn’t reconnecting with anyone. Either they had moved away, or I wasn’t finding the time. My evenings were spent manning a Blockbuster Video, and my nights had me hoping not to be robbed or murdered while working graveyard at a convenience store/gas station.

But then I met a girl. Well, I didn’t actually meet her. I knew her from high school, though we didn’t hang in the same circles then. Trisha would stop in the convenience store late at night after her shift at the movie theater. At first it was polite hellos, and then polite conversations. I can’t remember what officially broke the ice, but we got to talking and became friends. She’d stay and chat into the wee hours. I got to see Out Of Sight in an empty theater. She got free soda. We talked music and traded tapes. And she introduced me to Money Mark. She made me a tape of his album Push The Button which became my summer soundtrack.

She might have had a crush on me. I know I did on her. But we never became anything more than good friends. It was all I needed. She sparked something in me. No longer was I wallowing in the what-could-have-beens. I started living a life that was of that moment, and that shitty summer got turned around. Having been locked into Melissa for so long– and happily so– it was just nice to know I had the capability to  attract other women. It’s a screwed up concept, but it’s how my mind worked.

Slowly I was getting my energy back. I hooked up with an old friend and tossed around ideas for a sketch comedy show we could put together. I made friends with the sexiest Blockbuster Video employee that has ever lived (another Melissa, if you can believe it). And I ventured to Boston for one long weekend in hopes of finding a new place to live. My old college roommate Tim and I were going to search for an apartment together. Getting back to Boston became the mission, and that weekend with Tim foreshadowed the sitcom years we had ahead of us.

Tim’s current apartment needed to get fumigated or sprayed or detoxed or something while I was there, so neither of us felt comfortable sleeping there that night. Our plan– pull an all-nighter on the streets of Boston. It was a terrible plan. We started out strong at Charlie Flynn’s (or was it The Tam?), but soon realized we weren’t going to make it very long. Still, we drank and conversated and soon found ourselves flirting with some very kind women who invite us to spend the night at their place. In lieu of making out, we cracked some jokes and in lieu of hooking up, fell asleep on their couch the moment we hit their apartment. In the morning, they cautiously fed us breakfast and released us into the wild. Tim and I ventured into the daylight to catch an early showing of Armageddon.  I slept through it.

We eventually found the place we would share,  and in the fall of 1998 I moved back to Boston. It was a basement apartment, so I was right at home. I made this tape within the first few weeks of living there. “Knot In It” is from Buffalo Tom’s Smitten, which was released September 29. My first “back in Boston” tape. Money Mark found a slot, of course.

So after a false start in Los Angeles, and a short detour back home, my post-college life was about to begin. Again.

And Trisha moved to Boston, too.

THAT’S GREAT, BUT HOW’S THE MIX?

I love this mix. I don’t examine the playlist before throwing the mix into my tape deck. (I’m listening to these in my car, if I haven’t mentioned it). So I really don’t know what to expect on these older tapes. This one had a pleasant surprise with every new track. These aren’t songs that were overplayed in the past (except, maybe, for “Santa Monica”) or that I’m still playing a lot now. And the shifts of genre from track to track are great. “Jump Jive an’ Wail” to “Mankind” to “Laid” to “Rebirth of Slick.” There’s no getting bored with too many same sounding songs in a row.

Compared to the other three tapes I’ve reviewed so far with this series, Go! Bobby-O! is by far the best. There’s more variety due to the fact that I’ve had time to pick up some more albums. But there’s also a new purpose. The previous mixtapes were collections for the sake of collecting. An Oasis mix, a British themed mix and a hodgepodge of what I had in the cupboards. But now I’m in Boston and I’m walking the streets and riding the T with headphones on and eyes up. I was soundtracking my travels to work and play and I was consciously picking tracks and sequencing things for what could be the best possible outcome– even when that outcome could never be known. I didn’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing when track 3 of Side B came up, but I was going to be damn sure to pick something worth listening to in that moment.

And that’s the kind of thing that guides every song choice on the tapes going forward. Will it get me through my wanderings today? Will this find a moment in my day, in my week, where it simply had to play because no other song would have fit? I used these mixtapes to get lost in my head, to make my day to day existence more than a commute.

This tape did that then, and it was doing it all this week.

PLEASED TO MEET YOU:

Buffalo Tom had five albums and a following before releasing Smitten. And having lived in Boston through college, I know I had heard their songs prior to this album, but I never registered the band. Remember, my musical awakening came late in life. So for me, Smitten was my official introduction to this fantastic band. And this is the first of their songs I put on tape.

http://grooveshark.com/s/Buffalo+Tom+Smitten+03+Knot+In+It/4Hkecv?src=5

I SHOULD BE A DJ:

Something that I think makes this mix work so well is its symmetry. Each side has a counterpart (of varying degrees) on the other side. British bands open and close each side, with the closers both being over six minutes. There’s a live track on each side. A hip-hop song on each. Female led bands on side A and B. Swing bands are represented on both, and so on and so on. It’s not a perfect symmetry entirely throughout, but the balance that is there keeps the variety cohesive.

WAIT. WHAT? WHY?:

There is one misstep here, and it’s from a band I love. “Late in the Day” by Supergrass is a great song by a great band. But the balladry of this track, even with it’s bouncy chorus, breaks the flow of a nice string of tracks on Side B. On it’s own, I really dig this song. But it flops as included here.

And I wrote “bouncy” before being reminded of the pogos in the video.

THE SUPER ULTRA MEGA SONG:

This wasn’t easy. There are a lot of my favorite tracks here. “Fanny Packs” is an absolute blast, and the live take of “All I Want to Do is Rock” features Noel Gallagher with some playful solos. “Go!” is a great Letters to Cleo song, and it’s hard to deny the awesomeness of “Paranoid Android.” But since I have to make a choice, I’m going with a simple, stone-cold classic.

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Go! Bobby-O!

  1. Pingback: Stephanie Was Here | Super Ultra Mega Mix

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