THE LINER NOTES:
I refer to the summer of 1999 as “My Summer of Love.”
Because that sounds better than “My Summer of Making Out With A Lot of Women.”
The summer started with giddy infatuation. While still getting back into the rhythm of my life again, my pining for Kirsten lingered. We had been writing and calling each other after filming ended, and I think we both wanted to hold on to the fun and flirtation of our road trip crushes. We set a date for me to visit her in the great state of Illinois. But as the trip neared, our connection started to wane. The calls were fewer, and the letters I wrote were never sent. Staying in touch in 1999 wasn’t as simple as logging on to Facebook and “liking” a Buzzfeed quiz that determined which Bradford sibling she was from Eight Is Enough. (Easy. Nancy. She’d be Nancy.)
But instead of allowing the long distance relationship to fade away naturally, I took that trip to Bloomington-Normal to try and recapture the summer magic. And it worked! For that one, long weekend. That long, hazy, hot incredible weekend. It’s all a blur now, but I recall a lot of alcohol, a lot of sweating, The Sixth Sense, alcohol, being awake for nearly 24 hours, alcohol, Chris Rock, the Simpsons, man nipples and alcohol.
“We are young, we run green, keep our teeth nice and clean. See our friends, see the sights, feel alright.”
That weekend spilled over into a week or two of feeling like we might be able to actually turn this into something. But it was wishful thinking. Long distance relationships simply do not work. I had been with Melissa for years, and long distance destroyed us. A couple months on and off with Kirsten was in no way going to defy the odds. And as she planned a trip to Europe towards the end of the summer, there was no talk of a short layover in Boston for a quick visit. That was a pretty clear sign.
But hooking up with Kirsten was a definite confidence builder. And returning to Boston a movie star in the eyes of your friends and coworkers doesn’t hurt much either. I flirted my ass off with every woman with a pair of shoulders. Friday nights meant hitting The Purple Shamrock or (insert the name of one of 100 other Boston bars here) with the Fidelity crew. This meant hanging out with Daniele. (Remember Daniele? The gorgeous coworker destined to spell my doom?) There were also parties in our basement apartment almost every week, where I’d hook up with a stranger or two here, an old high school classmate there.
It was a blast. The last summer of my carefree youth, and I was taking full advantage.
THAT’S GREAT, BUT HOW’S THE MIX?:
And through it all, there was always music. I couldn’t stand going very long without music playing. I’d hijack the jukebox at whatever bar we found ourselves. Tim and I traded stereo time at our parties. And my Walkman and mixtapes were ever present on my commute. Uh-huh Oh-yeh was another collection of British bands that I favored through much of the summer of 1999, even if it was just an excuse to load up on some Gomez.
- “Here Comes the Breeze” – Gomez
- “The Line is Fine” – Travis
- “Go Away” – Echobelly
- “Creep (acoustic)” – Radiohead
- “Train In Vain (Stand By Me)” – The Clash
- “Alright” – Supergrass
- “Whippin’ Piccadilly” – Gomez
- “Far” – Longpigs
- “Hello Goodbye” – The Beatles
- “Shower Your Love” – Kula Shaker
- “All Mod Cons” – The Jame
- “Statuesque” – Sleeper
- “Old School Shirt” – Gomez
- “Just” – Radiohead
- “Is It Me?” – Dodgy
Gomez easily became my favorite band at this time. They’re debut album, Bring It On, was a ramshackle combination of indie Britpop blues rock, with some sampling thrown in for good measure. Their songs grooved and meandered, usually ending a million miles from where they began. Three singers traded vocal duties, often within the same song. Their tunes were the perfect companions for my summer shenanigans. I mean, listen to this B-side, “Old School Shirt.” It’s basically the musical manifestation of a hot, drunk Friday night.
As much as I was getting into this new band, I was continuing to fill my collection with the bands that inspired them. And that’s represented here with The Jam. As I’ve written before, Oasis gave me my late-blooming musical awakening. And from there I found The Stone Roses, the La’s, Ocean Colour Scene and, pretty much every other Britpop act there is. I had never heard of Paul Weller or The Jam until combing through the liner notes of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. I’m better for having done so.
Overall, this is a great mixtape. One I haven’t tired of for two months I’ve been listening to it since my last post. My favorite Brit bands of the era are all highlighted (Travis, Radiohead, Supergrass, Sleeper, etc) and the godfathers are also given their due (The Beatles, The Clash, The Jam).
I got no complaints.
PLEASED TO MEET YOU:
This tape’s Pleased To Meet You comes on Side B, so you’ll need to wait until the next posting to see who that is. And I’m sure that next posting will come sometime before the end of the year.
WAIT. WHAT? WHY?:
Again– no complaints.
THE SUPER ULTRA MEGA SONG:
Oh, there’s a lot of candidates on this mix. Looking at Side A alone there’s “Train in Vain,” an acoustic version of “Creep,” and Supergrass’ hit “Alright.” But none of these could top this entry’s Mega Song… which you’ll find on Side B.
Which I’ll post sooner rather than later. I absolutely promise!