WOWEE ZOWEE (6)
February 7, 2018
One in a series of enthusiastic posts, contributed by HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the subject of our favorite albums of the Nineties (1994–2003). A new installment in this series will appear each Wednesday during 2018.
THANK YOU | ROYAL TRUX | 1995
I might have bought my copy of Thank You in late 1995, or it might have been early 1996. It was sometime during my first year in grad school. I’d packed up an apartment in Boston that was (and still is) the place I’d lived the longest, and moved to Philadelphia. I was shedding so much of myself. I’d made a lot of weird art in that Boston apartment, had a lot of bad jobs, practiced in the basement with my eight-girl rock band. I’d skulked around at Mass Art and Harrison Ave and over by North Station… it was a louche and scruffy sort of life, and now it was all over. I didn’t think I would ever fit in with the whiz kids at the linguistics department.
On the back cover, Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema walk through an aquarium-green airport. The sticker says I paid $5.98 for it at the Philadelphia Record Exchange. Browsing the bins there was one of the ways I acclimated to my new city: a reminder that they are, in a sense, all one American city, and I would find my people.
On the sleeve, Jennifer and Neil and the rest of the band smoke cigarettes in a diner. Listening to this record was like hanging out with them in their practice space. It was immersive, like a crush, and it kept me company. The songs were like a really fun friendship — like art projects and jams and bad ideas and great ideas. Neil’s bluesy guitar spoke of dark experience to me then, but now it sounds improbably sunny. And Jennifer, that string-bean Brigitte Bardot with her fun fur and her belt buckle, sounds like a scrappy tomboy. I love when she and Neil sing side by side in their twin-language. A lot of things happen out on the open sea. Running over the grass with a couple of jerks. Gotta build your rock on a Ray O Vac. Yeah, I still love it.
WOWEE ZOWEE: Stephanie Burt on UNISEX | Anindita Basu Sempere on UNDER THE PINK | Mark Kingwell on DUMMY | Bill Nericcio on AMOR PROHIBIDO | Sherri Wasserman on HIPS AND MAKERS | Mimi Lipson on THANK YOU | John Overholt on BEN FOLDS FIVE | Jordan Ellenberg on GET LOST | Chelsey Johnson on PERSONAL BEST | Marilyn Snell on MAXINQUAYE | Dan Fox on DIFFERENT CLASS | Devin McKinney on IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER | Alice Boone on MTV UNPLUGGED (ALICE IN CHAINS) | Rob Wringham on SPICE | Joe Alterio on BEATS, RHYMES AND LIFE | Jason Loeffler on SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS | Rick Pinchera on EITHER/OR | Greg Rowland on OK COMPUTER | Jennifer Krasinski on SUPA DUPA FLY | Sara Ryan on DIG ME OUT | Molly Wright Steenson on I CAN HEAR THE HEART BEATING AS ONE | Luc Sante on MEZZANINE | Libi Rose on AQUEMINI | Michael Grasso on MUSIC HAS THE RIGHT TO CHILDREN | Franklin Bruno on ENGLAND MADE ME | JC Gabel on DESERTER’S SONGS | Michael Campochiaro on IS THIS DESIRE? | Adrienne Crew on CALIFORNICATION | Drew Daniel on I SEE A DARKNESS | Veda Hille on THE SOFT BULLETIN | Vanessa Berry on TEENAGE SNUFF FILM | Tom Kipp on GET SKINTIGHT | John Hilgart on YORK BLVD. | Deborah Wassertzug on JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT | Adam McGovern on INVINCIBLE SUMMER | David Hirmes on DOPETHRONE | Jen Collins on HURRAH | Flourish Klink on THE TEACHES OF PEACHES | Brian Berger on TIRED SOUNDS OF… | Jenny Davidson on TIME (THE REVELATOR) | Jason Cohen on IS THIS IT | Matthew De Abaitua on THE RAINBOW CHILDREN | Lauren Oliver on SOUND-DUST | Judith Zissman on TALLAHASSEE | Dallas Penn on GOD’S SON | Carl Wilson on TEMPTING | Jessamyn West on ALL HAIL WEST TEXAS | Kaleb Horton on STREETCORE | Tom Nealon on BAZOOKA TOOTH | Erik Davis on DOPESMOKER | David Levine on FEVER TO TELL | Deb Chachra on MASS ROMANTIC.
WOWEE ZOWEE (2018 weekly): UNISEX | UNDER THE PINK | DUMMY | AMOR PROHIBIDO | HIPS AND MAKERS | & dozens of other Nineties (1994–2003) albums. KLUTE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2017): THE KILLERS | BANDE À PART (BAND OF OUTSIDERS) | ALPHAVILLE | HARPER | BLOW-UP | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) neo-noir movies. #SQUADGOALS (2017 weekly): THE WILD BUNCH | BOWIE’S BAND | THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP | THE HONG KONG CAVALIERS | VI ÄR BÄST! & dozens of other squads. GROK MY ENTHUSIASM (2016 weekly): THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LUNCH | WEEKEND | MILLION YEAR PICNIC | LA BARONNE EMILE D’ERLANGER | THE SURVIVAL SAMPLER | & dozens more one-off enthusiasms. QUIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2016): “Tainted Love” | “Metal” | “Frankie Teardrop” | “Savoir Faire” | “Broken English” | & 20 other new wave songs. CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2015): DARKER THAN YOU THINK | THE SWORD IN THE STONE | OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET | THIEVES’ HOUSE | QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST | & 20 other fantasy novels from 1934–43. KERN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2014): ALDINE ITALIC | DATA 70 | TORONTO SUBWAY | JOHNSTON’S “HAMLET” | TODD KLONE | & 20 other typefaces. HERC YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2013): “Spoonin’ Rap” | “Rapper’s Delight” | “Rappin’ Blow” | “The Incredible Fulk” | “The Adventures of Super Rhyme” | & 20 other old-school hip-hop songs. KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2012): Justice or vengeance? | Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss | “KHAAAAAN!” | “No kill I” | Kirk browbeats NOMAD | & 20 other Captain Kirk scenes. KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2011): THE ETERNALS | BLACK MAGIC | DEMON | OMAC | CAPTAIN AMERICA | & 20 other Jack Kirby panels.