It's amazing what one's brain will randomly thrust into the spotlight. Just now I got Edwyn Collins' "A Girl Like You" stuck on repeat in my brain. This song, which sounded like David Bowie singing with Urge Overkill (remember them?) was a favourite of mine in 1995. There's also a good bet that if you are a fan of this song then you're a fan of Empire Records, which it appeared on the soundtrack for.
I tell ya, I love that soundtrack. The 1990s cops a lot of flak from people about being a terrible era for music, but my general theory is that you can make any decade look terrible if you try. Take away Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones and suddenly those eras don't sound too good at all, do they? This sort of post-grunge underground garage rock music has always been one of my favourites. I think they call it "alternative rock" and I guess that is a fitting name for it. It wasn't quite as hard as grunge (another genre whose golden age is well and truly gone) but not as lame and try-hard (yes, I used the phrase "try-hard" on this blog) as what we'd call "alt rock" these days. Female lead singers were dirty and messy but completely sexy, the men weren't the preening beige coats that they are today, bands broke up as quickly as they got together and they all played in dingy bars. It's a shame I was too young to really be a part of of it.
Nowadays the only choice is between Powderfinger or Fallout Boy. Pardon me while I puke. It's part of the reason why The Ocean and the Sun by The Sound of Animals Fighting was one of my favourite albums of 2008.
Upon watching Empire Records for the first time on VHS I immediately wanted to work in a record store, ironically wear flannel and make snarky comments (Hi Robin Tunney!!) to customers while subverting both rebellious and conservative social regimes. Didn't everybody who saw this movie when they were young want to do that? And, hey, it has Renee Zellweger when she was pretty and funny and could pull off sexy without looking like a space freak from Neptune. Look at her now!
Let's erase that image from our minds and relive the Empire Records trailer and the "A Girl Like You" clip, shall we? WE MUST!