Funny how sometimes your day is a B-side. Occasionally, you find a track that works, perhaps it is a little quirky, different. But other times, it comes across as complete garbage. You think, what on earth was this band doing? I look at the six songs today. I am excited by all the artists. But the songs, for the most part, disappoint. Intentions were good, but the execution just falls flat.
Most of the musicians on this playlist are fairly recognizable, especially if you are 30-something and listen to radio stations that don’t just play top 40 or easy listening. But there are three artists blasting from my college years and it would be hateful to not acknowledge them.
Bonepony. The little band that could. All I know is that one of the members, all from Nashville, is the ex-boyfriend of my best friend’s sister. At the time when he gave me the album, I felt like perhaps I knew someone famous. I coveted it. But 16 years later, I still have to say, it’s a damned fine album. I know all the songs by heart, down to the grunts and the bass tracks. “Feast of Life” is the worst song, in my opinion, on that entire album. But it’s an old friend coming to visit. It’s Farrand Hall, spring of 1996. It’s bunked lofts and a mini fridge and KIMN 100 on the radio. It’s chinook winds and the Flatirons.
Same with Guster, but three years down the line. Friends of friends of friends, I think. I saw them probably 5 times in college. The Fox had them a few times. So did Catacombs. Again, not their best song, but it reminds me of University Avenue. Of Cosmo. Of my three roommates. The four of us jumped out of a plane together and went skydiving–bound for life.
And then the third part of my Colorado life–The Samples. You were nobody in Boulder in the mid-90s if you didn’t have a Samples album in your car or somewhere in your repertoire. In fact, I think it was a requirement to apply to CU. These guys I saw 7 or 8 times throughout college. Again, the boyfriend of a friend in my sorority who went to high school with his ex-girlfriend, or something random like that.
All these connections, all these loose affiliations, all of them are just like B-sides. There’s a story somewhere, there’s a reason they are attached to a larger, greater body of work, but it’s an elusive concept. It can’t quite be nailed down because people forget, bands break up, people move on. Yet I keep them in my collection for some reason. Not sure why. Maybe I need them someday.
I remember the feelings I had at the concerts I saw in Boulder. If I could now, I would tell my 18-year old self to let go, and try not to catch every memory in a bottle, don’t label them as important and then hide them away in the back of a closet. When you open them up so many years later, they come out a little stale.
These B-sides, these days that seem disconnected however, should not be discounted or dismissed. They hold a place, a record, a memory. They serve a purpose. That purpose might not be crystal clear, especially when I attempt deep examination through illogical analysis (ahem, in song form). But as Madeleine Peyroux says, “I’ll know this love I’m dreaming of won’t be the old love I always knew”.
What was so important 15 years ago lives in a rather large music collection. Sometimes, we don’t know or understand why we hold on to little memories from eons ago. Things change, and I change, and so do my memories. I kind of like my B-side day. Perhaps its a departure from the everyday and the expected. Who’s to say I won’t bottle up today’s memories, slap on a “B-Sides” label, and hide them in the back of my closet to revisit 15 years down the line?
Feast of Life–Bonepony
I’ll Look Around–Madeleine Peyroux