Just so you don't think that I only listen to techno anymore, here's a song I didn't get from Kompakt, but which I've found myself listening to a lot lately. This is from 1985's terrific Psychocandy album, which also features their better-known “Just Like Candy.” Anyway, “My Little Underground” is a catchy, sweet tune backed by layers of garage guitar and buzzsaw distortion.
My Little Underground
I wasn't in high school in '85 but, despite those haircuts, this album still had some cachet ten years later when I was. Or at least I thought it did. Accordingly, I considered doing up some high school music flashback thing here. The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine – all that 120 Minutes stuff that carried so many of us through adolescence. But then I thought about the unavoidable lameness of the ubiquitous 29-year-old guy romanticizing the shyest, loneliest and most awkward years of his life routine. I've heard that story and read that indie-press comic plenty of times already. I can safely say I've told that story a few times myself. So dull. Disingenuous, what's more (I did, after all, have a Candlebox CD somewhere along the line). What is this alleged transcendent magic of the soundtrack to alienation? How is it that, simply because I discovered some exciting records in the Used bin, I'm supposed to slap some glossy veneer on years I wouldn't relive for all the Sonic Youth bootlegs in Italy?
I mean, sure, I could tell stories of times when, reaching for my geometry book, Melanie would appear - or Jenna, or Tiffany - leaning a shoulder on the unsteady door of my open locker. “That tape you made me is amazing,” she'd say. “I told Diane you could prolly make her one sometime.” “Yeah. OK,” I'd say vaguely, not yet fully awake. “I was telling her about that one Kicking Giant song at cheer practice yesterday,” she'd say. “Do you think you could put that one on it?” “I almost always do,” I'd shrug. “She'll like that,” she'd say, nodding carefully. “Oh, and put 'Is This Real' on too. Michelle spent the night Saturday, and we kept rewinding it and listening to that song over and over. It was so funny. Anyway, I better scoot if I don't wanna be tardy for Chemistry. Are you going anywhere for lunch? Cause we're going to Arby's, and maybe you could tell me about why Richard Hell got kicked outta Television?” “Sure,” I'd say. “Maybe I'll see you then.” And then she'd rock slowly toward Chemistry, clutching her Trapper Keeper closely to her stomach. I'd brush a few long hairs free from a rough edge of the locker door – a smell of peach-scented conditioner as they drifted to the linoleum floor - before tapping it shut and heading off to Math. But I cringe just thinking about those times, and I honestly don't see the point of recounting my boringly average high school trials, wearing like a badge all those years of degrading humiliation. I mean, seriously, who needs that?