Streaming music is a luxury I take for granted all of the time. It's really amazing just to be able to call up whatever I want to hear at a particular moment. At the same time, it can't do what radio does. A really good radio station will introduce you to something you never knew existed, and it will become your new favorite.
Every morning I listen to WFMU in the car on my drive to the train station. It's only about a six minute trip, but in a given week I will hear at least one song that gets added to one of my playlists. Last week that song was "Sunspots" by Julian Cope.
I always associated him with what I thought of as "alternative" music in that very specific period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I would stay up late on Sunday night and watch 120 minutes, and instead of loud guitars I mostly heard Madchester beats and catchy melodies from the likes of the Sugarcubes and The Sundays. (At that time it seemed like all the alternative music came from the British Isles.) That's when I first heard Julian Cope, who I didn't dislike, but also didn't rate that much.
However, hearing "Sunspots" on my car radio on a gorgeous spring morning electrified me. I've been singing it to myself since. I also can't get over how its guitar sound seems to be lifted from one of my favorite Stones psychedelic songs ("Citadel") while the two note synth riff seems to come from one of my all time favorite songs (Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric.") Evidently mister Cope and I share the same tastes.
As I mentioned last week, the month of May is made for psychedelia. Life comes bursting out of the ground and walking around will get you high on flowers, pollen, and sunshine. The beat of this song is perfect for a spring walk, which I have taken many of these past two weeks. If you're taking your own spring walk, give this song a spin.