Last night I listened to Marc Maron’s interview with Lou Barlow, of Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Folk Implosion semi-fame. I love Lou, and have listened to some of the Sebadoh albums almost as often as the classic Dinosaur records.
There was a lot of discussion in the interview about what led to Lou being fired from Dinosaur Jr. in 1988 or 89. After he left, the band continued on and released a great album called Green Mind. And I played the shit outta that thing.
And, for reasons I cannot explain, that particular record has the power to transport me, more than just about any in the massive Surf Report sound library. It only takes two or three notes, and my insides are boiling over with the same bad juju I was experiencing at the time. Good god, it’s powerful.
I was living in Atlanta, on Bonaventure Avenue, in the upstairs/front apartment of an old house. The apartment wasn’t bad, but the neighborhood was a toilet. There were derelicts everywhere, crime was rampant, and you’d better watch yer ass if you walked around that place after dark.
I’d moved down there with my girlfriend, but we broke up. I was, as they say, in a bad place. I was impossible to deal with, and about to come out of my skin.
She had some friends from work, and I refused to give them the time of day. I was impatient and perpetually agitated, and viewed the new friends as both pretentious and ridiculous. They seemed like paint-by-numbers hipsters to me: tolerant of all the right things, outraged by the things they were supposed to be outraged by: oh so correct in every way.
And they ate unusual foods, just so they could brag about it. Or so I believed. I remember we were having dinner there one night and I looked down at my plate of eucalyptus leaves or whatever, and said, “So, do you people ever just have, like, pot roast?”
But mostly I didn’t say anything to them. I was a dick and, of course, it had way more to do with me, than them. Finally, my girlfriend couldn’t put up with my bullshit anymore, and moved out.
After I lost that anchor, it was not pretty. I had a good job at WEA, but was always worried I’d lose it. It was still early days, and I thought they’d soon learn I was a fraud, and send me packing. And when I got off from work, I filled my evenings with great quantities of alcohol, and watching obscure bands play in clubs.
On my way home from my job I’d stop at the liquor store outside the so-called Disco Kroger, and buy a 12-pack of some swill with bottle openers built into the bottom of each bottle. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was cheap rotgut beer. Then I’d go to Tortilla’s and buy a Nerf football-sized “super burrito.” Every day.
Then I’d either drink myself into oblivion, or have a few beers and hit the town. I saw hundreds of shows, four or five or six every week. I also spent an inordinate amount of time at Manuel’s Tavern, one step away from the wacky shack the whole time.
At some point I decided I needed a new girlfriend, and began “dating.” I’d had two long-term relationships at that point, and had never really experienced the dating phenomenon. And it sucked ass.
When it came to asking women out, I had a surprisingly good batting average. But, it was usually a demoralizing affair. I could always tell, within ten minutes, it wasn’t going to work, and went out on a lot of first dates. I’d tell the women I’d call ’em, and throw their numbers away. Again, it was more about me, than them.
It was a year (or so) of great upheaval, and craziness. I probably could’ve benefited from some time on the psychiatrist couch; I was a goddamn mess. I don’t know why, but I was always anxious, and felt ready to explode. Not in violence, just literally an explosion, due to a build-up of pressure in my soul.
And during the whole time, I listened to that Dinosaur Jr. album… It was the soundtrack of that whole dark era. It’s one of my favorite records, yet I hate to hear it.
If you have any similar relationships with an album, or a TV show, or whatever the hell… please tell us about it in the comments section below.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow!
Now playing in the bunker
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No music caused maladies, but some foods are off my lifetime list because the hospital fed them to me during chemo.
I have the first three:
You’re Living All Over Me (1987)
I never got the rest.
Rat Bastard says
Dave Edmunds – “Rockpile”
Reigning Sound – “Time Bomb High School”
Those two albums take me back to a time that should have claimed my life. Similar circumstances to today’s update, except involving a shit ton of drugs on top of the alcohol. When you find out that people are betting on when you will die, it is time to dial it back a bit…
Whenever I hear DSOTM I’m transported back to school in a “lesson” with a teacher who didn’t give a flying fudge.
Swami Bologna says
While watching “The Wizard of Oz”?
I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before on this site but anyway – Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” has forever been tainted for me. For the 6 weeks my father lingered in ICU and I would drive back and forth from the hospital to visit him (an hour each way if there was no traffic), that goddamn song would always come on the radio on my drive back home. By this point, I would be exhausted, devastated and emotional so that first blast of saxophone would be like ice running through my veins. It got to the point where I felt the song was mocking me in my misery. My father died in 2004 so it’s not like this was a new number one song.
The only saving grace was my friend at work. That happened to be her ex-husband’s favorite album so we both had major hatred for the song. And in time, we even got to laugh about it. We would see each other in the halls and yell “Is it woman? Is it man???”
Sun Kil Moon’s “Ghosts of the Great Highway” got me through a rocky stretch a few years ago, and “London Calling” got me through high school.
Poi Dog Pondering, and most of Factory Showroom by TMBG. Both take me back to a bad time of life.
Factory Showroom helped me slide into 50. I still keep it in primary rotation these 17 years later.
Brenda Love says
I hold the standing world record for most consecutive listens to “Where You Been”…..on cassette, even!
John Smith says
NIN Pretty Hate Machine was a good getting-divorced album.
Pink Floyd Wish You were Here was the sound track to Daytona Beach Spring Break in 1983. There was a case of vodka in the trunk, a huge bag of blow in the glove compartment, and my best friend in the passenger seat.
Wisey in Ttown says
I think. I was there…..
The Allman Brothers “Jessica” transports me back in time to when my grandmother died and I drove 7.5 hours from Northern Virginia to the Upstate of South Carolina looping my “Brothers and Sisters” cassette in my CJ7. I still love that song to this day as it brings back bittersweet memories of a very special lady….. They don’t make women or music like that anymore.
“Jessica” is a great song. And here is a great cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buyIDQG0Ig0
The Smiths – Meat is Murder
good music but rough times, I listen to it from time to time with mixed feelings
Booger P and the DTs says
That album (green mind) puts me right back in my first apartment failing school and drinking too much. I love how the album starts with that song “The Wagon” like it’s already half way through the song. No intro, no theatrics, just… (bot a bom) “There’s a way I feel right now…”
I always felt like a bit of a retard for liking this band so much. Nobody I knew liked these guys. As I get older I feel like they were the retards and just didn’t get it.
The Cure-The Head on the Door
Do you listen to Jay Mohr’s podcast? He has some good interviews and always plays a song after. After the Patton Oswalt interview he played Even You by Dinosaur Jr.
I was not familiar but knew it was J Mascis immediately. Good shit.
When I finally plan my trip
I know you’re gonna be there
When it’s time I finally flip
I know you’re gonna be there