Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Musical Confessions (Part 1)

This occasional series will be about coming clean. Let's admit that we hate a certain album that we are supposed to love. Better yet, go all the way and concede that you've never even taken the time to listen to said record. How about letting the world know you are enamored with a song you have no business enjoying. C'mon, get it off your chest. You'll feel better. I'll start.

I used to like "Gilmore Girls," a dramedy from the WB network clearly aimed at females in their teens. As a male in my 30s during its heyday in the early part of the last decade, this isn't a proud moment. Here's how it went down. Mrs. Linear Tracking Lives! would watch it while I was doing dishes or catching up on work. I was half listening one night during an episode early in the first season when this line was uttered by a friend of Rory:

LANE: He likes Nick Drake and Liz Phair and the Sugarplastic and he's deathly allergic to walnuts.

"What did she just say," I yelled to my wife. "Did I just hear her say the Sugarplastic?" This was years before we had a DVR, but I was pretty damn sure one of my favorite power-pop bands, and an obscure one at that, was just mentioned on national television. As the season progressed, although I still wasn't sitting down in front of it, I found myself paying more attention to the program, looking and listening for more musical references. There were songs by the likes of Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, the Cure, Beck, Black Box Recorder, Bjork, the Jayhawks, Jesus and Mary Chain, Grandaddy, Komeda, the Shins, Madness, Pavement, Pixies, the Clash and the Mighty Lemon Drops, to name but a few.

Then there was the time when Lane waved a copy of XTC's 'Apple Venus Volume II,' and the gals proceeded to dance to "The Man Who Murdered Love." In another episode, the same character dumped a pile of CDs on a table after a day at the record store. One of the purchases was from Young Marble Giants. YMG on my American TV! Had that really just happened? Another week, since she wanted to hide her music obsession from her conservative mother, Lane wanted Rory to pick up the latest from Belle and Sebastian on the day it was released. By season two, I had the dishes done in time to tune in. Yes, the dialogue was overwritten. Nobody talks like that, but I found the pop-culture references fascinating. I couldn't wait to hear what the producers would come up with next.

There. Secret No. 1 is out. If you like, unburden yourself below. Here are a couple from the Sugarplastic. I have written about them a few times before, but readers seem to avoid these posts like the plague. Tough. I love these guys. So, I'm going to keep pushing. Oh, and the show released a soundtrack in 2002 that's still in print. Now let me get back to playing with my dolls.

The Sugarplastic - Radio Jejune (mp3) (1995)
The Sugarplastic - Sheep (mp3) (1996)


Someone Said said...

What I loved about that show were the Sam Phillips bumpers.

Brian said...

Absolutely, Someone Said. Her music was the show's glue. I should have mentioned that.

Anonymous said...

The Sugarplastic were an awesome XTC-like band. Is the band still around?

Brian said...

Hey Anonymous. I think they perform live every once in a while... usually at Spaceland. It has been many years since they released an album, but every LP has been excellent. I liked the TallBoy Records singles subscription series they did too.