Monday, April 15, 2024

Daily Jam - Novocaine for the Soul

There is a big part of me that is beyond thankful that I came of age during the internet’s infancy. I was pretty shy when I was growing up (and still am to a degree) and was basically a nerd (comic books and good grades and whatnot). And in not having an online community of fellow and likeminded nerds to confide in and retreat to, I was forced to venture out into the real world and meet actual people…to make actual friends. Sure, we were still dorks and outcasts doing dork and outcast things, seeking out alcohol (usually unsuccessfully), smoking cigarettes in the park, watching cult films, pining away about sex and the lack thereof, or just telling jokes and hanging out, but we did it together with other human beings.

As a music obsessive, one of the things I would have my little group do on a Friday or Saturday night, was venture out to hunt for CD’s. Living in a smaller city in the 90’s (Midland, Texas had around 90,000 people residing there at the time), we weren’t really overflowing with options. By then, local record stores had all but been swallowed up by the larger chains who were then also on the outs, victims of the big box stores. Thus, visits to our local Best Buy became a weekly occurrence once my driver’s license had been procured.

The Best Buys of the 90’s were significantly different from the Best Buys currently occupying space in shopping centers around the country. At the time, the CD section of the store was very large, the sales thereof providing a relatively inexpensive source of revenue for the chain. Of course MP3’s and streaming killed all that, but as a teen in the 90’s with a modest disposable income to burn, and with the store able to offer the discs at a lower price than anybody else, I amassed quite a collection of 1990’s alt-rock (just the good stuff, I swear).

Does any of this have anything to do with “Novocaine for the Soul,” the 1996 hit from Eels’ debut album Beautiful Freak? No, not really. But I did buy the album at a Best Buy for like 7 dollars or something when I was in high school. So there’s that. Listen to the song and watch the Mark Romanek directed video below… …Before I sputter out.

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