Tag Archives: 1990s

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

Heart times soul equals rock and roll.

It’s probably a bit of a cop-out considering Polaris didn’t “really” exist. The band, formed by Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy, Dave McCaffrery, and Scott Boutier, only existed in the context of Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Polaris finally stepped out of the TV set and onto the stage in 2012, leading up to a 2014-15 US tour and a couple of new records. As of this writing, the band has once again separated to concentrate on their own solo careers, but one can hope that–eventually–we’ll get a moment to catch another glimpse into that rock and roll world of Wellsville, USA in our favorite club venue.

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 22: A song that moves your forward

I might be the only person that actually enjoyed the entirety of this album.

This viral hit by UK anarcho-socialist pop punkers Chumbawamba came out during a seminal time of my life. All hell was breaking loose with me personally: I was transitioning to high school, trying to figure out my place in the social hierarchy of teenage politics while attempting to keep my idea of life together as my family fell apart due to divorce. This was the time in my life that I dedicated myself to exploring computers and the burgeoning World Wide Web–fancying myself another “Zero Cool” or “Cereal Killer” from Hackers (The Matrix wouldn’t be released for another two years). This was one of the anthems of my rebellious phase, which might explain why I enjoyed the whole of the album when most folks (at least, around me) were repulsed by the underlying messages of anti-authoritarian, radical progressiveism, and social liberation.

My mother took my sister and me to see Chumbawamba during Atlanta’s inaugural “On The Bricks” concert series. I had only heard the song on the radio at that point, but her fellow “mid-life crisis” mom friends were going and thought it would be a good way for her to “spend time with the kids”. They played a few tracks that I had not heard before, and I was getting into their odd brand of musical anarchy when Alice Nutter, who had disappeared during a set change, came back to the stage dressed in full habit and swigging from a freshly-opened bottle of Jack Daniels for their performance of “Mary, Mary”. It was at that moment that I “got” them. My mother was confused, her friends flustered, my sister blissfully ignorant (she was only 5 at the time), but I was enthralled. I was forbidden to listen to their “trash”, a demand at which I scoffed before turning them up to 11. They weren’t just musicians, they were artists making a statement–a surrealist, absurdist, antiestablishmentarianist statement–and I ate it up!

“Tubthumper”, besides being a super-catchy pub song, embodied the spirit of rebellion and the attitude of irreverence that helped define my personality. This was the song that played loudly when things would come crashing down around me, and when you’re an angsty teenager, even “trivial” inconveniences could seem like world-ending cataclysms. This was also early into my “British Phase” where–in an attempt to flesh out my identity–I embraced all things UK, especially comedies (Monty Python and Red Dwarf among others, thanks to the local PBS affiliate), James Bond, The Beatles, and punk rock. This is when I developed the characteristic “mid-Atlantic” affectation that I still often display, leading to so many people exasperatedly asking “Where are you from, exactly?” and scoffing in disbelief when I answer (I may write further about that in a later number, but it’s probably beyond the scope of this article).

More to the point, this was a song that punctuated some weirdly dark times in my life. This was the song that reminded me that, no matter the odds against you, you can get up again.

You’re never gonna keep me down.

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 21: A song you like with a person’s name in the title

Do it, Rockapella!

Man, that ACME Pocket-sized color television and world band radio would’ve been a sweet prize to win! Too bad I never had a chance to school those other gumshoes on that gigantic map….

The Many Deaths of Barney The Dinosaur: Brnysolo

I found these floating around AOL back in in the mid-1990s, perfect entertainment for a 12-year-old with a chip on his shoulder! If anyone can help me track down the original creator, please let me know!

Hokey songs are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

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Ocean Spray “Sweet Tart” (circa 1993)

“One taste of the Ocean Spray cranberry and people will say just about anything!” BoooowWWWWWhuppaduppadoobadoobaoohoohmowwww….

Does anyone know the name of the song that they used here? Leave me a comment if you know!

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Old National Discount Mall: “Something New” (circa 1992)

Does anyone remember going to the Old National Discount Mall down south of Atlanta? We had the Outlets LTD mall behind Town Center in Kennesaw when I was a kid (now part of KSU), so a trip to the other side of town was out of the question! I do remember these commercials in heavy rotation back in the day, though!

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The Many Deaths of Barney The Dinosaur: Brnd500

I found these floating around AOL back in in the mid-1990s, perfect entertainment for a 12-year-old with a chip on his shoulder! If anyone can help me track down the original creator, please let me know!

Barney the Dinosaur wipes out in a major crash during the Indy 500.

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Law Offices of Paul C. Parker: “Chapter 13” (circa 1992)

Another staple of Atlanta-area daytime television, The Law Offices of Paul C. Parker (later Paul C. Parker and Associates) offered low-priced debt relief and settlement protection through the 1980s and 90s.

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Pearle Vision “30% to 60% Off Sale!” (circa 1992)

A frenetically-paced advert where one woman plays multiple characters to illustrate all the great deals on Pearle Vision glasses.

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The 8-Bit Guy Soundtrack Unbox & Review

The 8-Bit Guy soundtrack is a great collection of electronic tracks in various styles from both amateur and seasoned professional composers! In this video, I’ll go over my first impressions and review a few of my favorite tracks.

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Tech teardowns, repairs, and reviews; sketches; how-to; games; and lots of other interesting geekery. At least one new video per month! Thanks for watching, and be sure to like, share, and subscribe!

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