Released on August 22nd, 1994 and laid out before me some time later, this monument to perfection eventually became the soundtrack to endless solo rounds playing Doom via Windows 3.1 and continues to shape, to this day, what I think of when picturing depressive weekends spent cruising back-country roads or parked beneath unforgiving gas station florescent.
We have this local independent radio station ’round here that has been blowing minds since before my parents even met. At some point in what I believe was early 1995, a weeknight DJ threw on Wandering Star while I just so happened to be capturing the broadcast on cassette. Back then, I’d record when I could, when I could; hoping to capture something notable, something interesting…just something.
In the end, that broadcast, that cassette recording, that song, changed so much for me. I’m reluctant to delve too far into the back-in-my-day box, but that was how we…or at least I…did it. If I wanted to remember something, I taped it. Now days, one can attend anything and know that someone else is assuredly recording it. Back then, I was one of the only AV nerds I knew and now everyone’s got their dang phone up in the air. It’s calming in a way. Takes the pressure off. If I miss something, it’s somewhere out there.
I was turned onto what would endure as one of THE favorite albums of my high school experience with that one evening’s recording. That ONE song…that ONE album. Even tonight, I push play and feel as moved as I did so many years ago. Nostalgia aside, this music remains as good now as it was then.
There are those obvious moments we look forward to and take note of as they pass. then there are other moments; those surprise tracks just fuck us up and change our lives forever. I look forward to the next one.
Until then, there’s Portishead’s Dummy.