Stuck in ‘93

AThis, I will say, is the face of sadness. Me? I’m a glass half empty kind of guy; always have been, likely always will be. So when the mood strikes, 1993 comes up. (Cut to three hours later…) Been stuck in ’93 today… Slapstick, The Smashing Pumpkins, Propagandhi… So, the daily pedestal need not be vacant for long. In other words, make it happen sooner, rather than later, or, like, whatever, man. Also, tomorrow is Punk Rock BBQ at Liquid Kitty, so, the Groove will like, you know, see you fools there!

Freewheelin’ on a Tuesday

TuesdayEvery once in a while on a gloomy Tuesday in Southern California, the mood for pop punk/emo strikes. It’s not often, but when those emotionally overcast skies offer no inspiration, it’s nice to know Tuesday is there to offer their slow-rolling brand of catchy, youthful memory inspiring groove music.

Perhaps known best for being the band Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio played in before joining Alkaline Trio, Tuesday existed for little over a year and produced only one EP, Early Summer and one full length, Freewheelin’.

Releasing their entire catalog in 1997, Tuesday showcases the upbeat and darker side of Midwestern life, and shouldn’t be incorrectly lumped in with 2000-era, “cutting yourself for attention” Emo. Emo in the mid/late 90s held a completely different connotation than it does today. We called Fugazi Emo, if that gives you any idea of how deformed and self-righteous the term has become.

Tuesday is here but one day a week. Embrace the negatives of this world once in a while. You’ll gain a much more clear perspective on how great your life really is… that, or you’ll jumpstart that downward spiral you’ve been trying to avoid for nearly 15 years. Either way, Tuesday is there when you need them.

Playing Cards, and Drinking Lemonade… the Sun Was Shining in the Month of May

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 9.53.40 AMUnderstanding that a groove is relevant only to a record and does not, in any case pertain to the spools of a cassette tape, I, via ways of inadvertent and very magic-like slight of hand, attempt to fool your senses in discussing a nostalgically important glimmer of rural mid-western indie-pop music… before the term indie was, well, indie. (How’s that for the recommended number of commas for those comma-touting liberals? #sniff) Cassettes need love too, so today The Prudent Groove will temporarily change its name to The Prudent Spool.

Illinois to Wisconsin is like Republicans to Democrats… or Democrats to Republicans, depending on where you align your morals. (The Prudent Spool doesn’t, as of yet, publicize its political alliances.) There was a batch of amazing music emerging from both states during the early 1990’s. The Smashing Pumpkins; remember them? They recorded their debut album, Gish (produced by Butch Vig), at Madison, Wisconsin’s Smart Studios. The mid-90’s brought Milwaukee’s The Promise Ring and their absolutely perfect debut, 30° Everywhere.

While south of the line that divides the cheese heads from the FISH, bands like Braid, Lard, Slapstick and the alternative (again, before the term was branded and incorporated) and very groove-heavy 7-track cassette (the name of which I’ve never known) by the locally infamous cats, Vacuum Scam. The Scam sounded like an amped-up, pop-punk version of early Pearl Jam if you know, Pearl Jam were ever any good. To say they were crunchy guitar driven is to ignore their brilliant ability to create melodies so painfully catchy, yet with the ability to sound fresh with each new listen. They were a SOLID unit, and to this day I’m scouring the earth, emailing the band, convincing my High School friends to search their junk drawers for the original 7-track cassette. It’s been 17 years and my search has turned up nothing.

Adrian, or DJ Mr. Brown as he is internationally known, introduced me to these 7, anxiety-ridden-jam tracks. You see, back in the day, cassettes were the thing. You could, well, I guess what 2013 would call the loathingly media-heavy adjective, “pirate,” tracks onto a “mix tape” that personally represented the “recent break-up mood” mix, the “my folks don’t let me go out on Friday nights and I’m fuggin’ pissed about it” mix, or even your “big bro says this is necessary listening material” mix. A mixed CD before mp3s, for those of you who remember what it was like before the internet. I dubbed these 7 tracked from someone who dubbed them from someone else who had the original tape. I’ve always been thankful that Adrian introduced me to the Scam (and endless other essential music). I managed to burn the cassette to CD before returning his dubbed copy, so I’m still able to enjoy the memories of my Senior year of high school anytime I choose.

Not much can be found on Vacuum Scam these days. They have a myspace page, but only 424 plays on last.fm. It’s a shame considering about a third of those plays are by me.Prudent Groove Spool Logo New