Newer Miserable Experience

One summer when I was in high school, before I had a driver’s license, I had tickets to see Cracker at Jones Beach. Actually it was Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors, and Cracker headlining. My friend Marji bailed at the last minute and my mom forced my sister to take me (which is funny if you know my sister — she stopped listening to new music when Rick Astley stopped putting out cassingles.) Curiously, Olympic jumper turned Sting protégé Vinx was the night’s MC. Throughout the night, he seemed particularly underwhelmed by the Wantagh crowd’s enthusiasm.

Recently I’ve learned that all these musicians are still active and courting Gen-Xers via MySpace! They have new albums even. (I was so sure Gin Blossoms called it quits for good, and Chris Barron’s vocal cords were paralyzed in a freak gardening accident.)

  • Nineties power-pop memory Gin Blossoms are streaming, “Learning The Hard Way,” a song from their new album Major Lodge Victory at MySpace. It’s so-so, but the page’s also got a tune from the Big Star tribute and that song from Empire Records, which we’ve all watched too many times. The fourth song streaming, “Found Out About You,” sounds really good 14 years later.

  • Neo-hippies Spin Doctors share two songs from their year-old album Nice Talking To Me. I didn’t like these guys much then, and I don’t now, but the curious can stream the title track and “Margarita” at MySpace.

  • Fortunately, Cracker never really went away. David Lowery’s done a number of interesting projects over the years (check out the Leftover Salmon collab) and toured with Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker simultaneously. You can stream the newish “Gimme One More Chance” (from Greenland) at MySpace, but I recommend more the two just-added MP3 downloads:
    Cracker – “sidi Ifni”.
    Cracker – “I Need Better Friends”
    (Yes, they have “Low” too.)

  • In the interest in comprehensiveness, here is Vinx’s MySpace. Four cool neo-soul cuts to download.

    Fun fact about the Spin Doctors: they released the worst sophomore album in the history of sophomore albums. No? Who did?