World War III Radio: The Secret Stars- Genealogies (1998)

The Secret Stars… This one is brand new for me. Don’t recall hearing even the name and I’m pretty sure I never heard any of the songs. Yet it seems that I might have. The feel familiar. Still, no memory of them at all. Just goes to show you, no matter where you’re standing at any given time, there are going to be things that elude you entirely. No matter how on top of things you may feel, you’re never doing more than barely scratching the surface. Your knowledge is insignificant. And this is just pop music, a relatively small universe, a micro-universe even.

The Secret Stars are so 90s, that indie, folk-pop tip… well… the idea there was to come up with some 90s reference. Something symbolic of the decade. Some defining thing. Clever can’t be forced though because then it’s not clever anymore, is it. The Secret Stars are 90s. Provided you were conscious back then you’ll know what I mean when you hear it. And of course they should have that sound. They are a 90s group… act… duo. Listening to them now in 2022 though feels a little strange. I sometimes forget that time. My head was stuck way up my own ass, in a haze of alcohol, depression and raising children. That’s a heady combo, and hey, don’t judge me.

It’s a time I’ve boxed up and stowed on a shelf. I pull out one of the boxes on a semi-regular basis and sort through everything, just trying to make sense of it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It was a mix of all those things, so I wade back in and sift through it, throwing out the broken and useless and neatly repacking the worthwhile. There was plenty of good, for sure. I’m not sure though that I had the ability to handle everything that was happening in my life, and there was a lot happening! I was always easily overwhelmed.

Things are better now, or maybe there is just less happening. Things feel better. I’ve done an awful lot of work though, so things should feel better. I’d hate to get this far and realized the effort had been wasted. Therapy, analysis, 12-steps programs, introspection, meditation, reflection… and change. If you go through all that work and don’t make appropriate changes then you have had to make a serious effort to not change. People do roll that way sometimes. I don’t get it, but it’s not my business. I had the G.O.D. thing happening and I don’t mean religion. It’s Grow Or Die. It had gone that far. There was no reason to keep going on the way I was.

Oh, so yes, given the state I was in during the 90s, it’s easy to see how things were missed. It wasn’t just that the Universe was too vast. It’s that my limitations were too pronounced. My time during that era was pretty much defined by my limitations. It wasn’t just that I wasn’t looking beyond the tips of my fingers. It’s that I was incapable of looking. Had I stretched I would have crumbled to ash and dust. No shit. I was a mess.

Ugh! Bit of a confessional there.

Bit of a tangent. Not that everything that lands in this space isn’t a tangent. None of it is planned. I find a bit of music and then open a page and begin to type. I rarely know what’s going to come out. It’s just a morning dump, really, and probably more toxic than the other waste that leaves my body along the course of my morning routine. We won’t share the details of that.

So The Secret Stars don’t sound dated. I think there is so much going on now and so many retro movements happening simultaneously, that nothing truly sounds dated anymore. Musical moods never disappear anymore. Everything in this torrent of information remains at the forefront. The entire Universe is happening right in our faces at any moment in time. Nothing grows old except for us. Everyone these days is talking about the metaverse and the multiverse, but we already live in both. The year 1998 never stopped happening in the digital multiverse. Everything is current except for us, because we can choose to exist in any number of pasts that aren’t really the past. We can curate our own time here on this rock, at least in the sense of culture and media. Evolution has become passe. There’s no reason for nostalgia, because it’s hard to call it nostalgia when it never stopped happening.

No, The Secret Stars are 1998 and 2022 at the same time. There are bands that sat in studios last night living out this same vibe as if it were new, and it may just be for them.

Yes, the only thing that will grow old and disappear is us, but then again that may change too if they ever sort out exactly what it is that makes each of us who we are, and transfer it to some quantum-computing hard-drive somewhere. I don’t really want to go on forever in any form, but that’s another conversation for another time.


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