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Dawson’s Crush: Mixtape 1997 at the Rosebud tomorrow

June 3, 2011

1997 was a crazy time to be alive, wasn’t it? Selling propane and propane accessories became an honorable calling in life. Talking to someone’s hand was no longer a sign of craziness.* Britpop came tumbling down like a bunch of Jenga blocks after the release of the gacked out Be Here Now. Steve Jobs retook the throne at Apple after a 12 year hiatus and quashed said company’s stupid insistence that a tablet computer could be profitable. I finally landed a girlfriend at the tender age of 15. It was a truly perplexing achievement when you consider she was into the Spice Girls and I was into Oasis (it speaks volumes about the unifying power of Goldeneye, no?). Perhaps the most important thing that happened in 1997: German porno-grind band Cock and Ball Torture formed, filling a void that only the Anal Cadaver EP could ever hope to fill.

The latest in Nate Rogers’ nostalgia piñata — lovingly known as the Mixtape series — sees him double-dipping back into the ’90s this Saturday. The Facebook event page promises a sacred, unbreakable oath to conjure the spirits of Radiohead, Blur, Prodigy, The Cardigans, Republica, the Spice Girls, Hanson, Foo Fighters, Dandy Warhols, Harvey Danger, Savage Garden, Green Day, Jamiroquai, Pavement, and Luscious Jackson. I can’t confirm the following statement, but according to scuttlebutt on the internets The Verve will be summoned.

Leading this séance are The Royalty/Yankee Power, I Know What You Did Last Somerville (f. Rod and Jason of BrownBoot, the aforementioned Nate Rogers, Aaron Rosenthal of This Blue Heaven, and BBC overlord Ashley Willard), local ukulele queen Davina Yannetty, and — on loan from the evil empire — Jillian Santella (who will be accompanied by Bang Camaro‘s Bryn Bennett).

To prove that I am more than my ability to copy and paste, I sent some questions via e-mail over to my BBC colleague Nate Rogers; questions I wanted answers to.

[This interview has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.]

BBC: It’s fallen upon me to write something up for this Mixtape shindig of yours, and I have questions. First one: would you care to answer questions via e-mail?

NATE: That would be fine.

BBC: Excellent. Excellent. Next question: Why are you doing this to me?

NATE: See, when you sign on to write for BBC, you must first write about the awesome things that other, more senior BBCers do. Like form super-stupor groups that play Savage Garden songs. I mean, maybe play Savage Garden songs.

BBC: Can we expect to hear anything off of U2’s Pop? I don’t care what anyone says. That album was solid.

NATE: I should say straight up that it’s not really my place to play spoiler to people’s song lists, so I have to speak in clever codes and tongues. Like this: “Lemon” (1993) was the last worthwhile U2 song.

BBC: Okay, how about any Bone Thugs?

NATE: I can reveal only that there will be literal bones, thugs, and harmony at the show.

BBC: What kinds of mischief were you getting up to in 1997?

NATE: Now this I can answer. I was fronting a jangly fuzzpop band called Playfair Roland (yeah, I know), performing, among other things, a brand new song called “Sophie.” I dyed my hair blue, got mono, and shaved my head, in that order. My signature look was wearing a pair of red toddler sweatpants as a hat [see inset]. I started my senior year in college, worked in a dining hall making crepes, turned 21, and drank a lot of Killian’s Irish Red. And gallons of Absolut.

Above: Nate Rogers (file photo).

BBC: Name three albums that never left your CD player that year. Which one was your favorite?

NATE: Radiohead OK Computer, The Cardigans First Band on the Moon, Letters to Cleo Go!. But tops was actually a home boombox recording of acoustic demos by a guy named Lizard McGee, frontman of a band called Earwig, out of Columbus, Ohio.

BBC: Reverse question: what groups/albums/songs from that year made you think, “Humanity’s fucked”? For me it was “Barbie Girl.”

NATE: Hands down: “My Heart Will Go On.”

BBC: How many times have you seen Spiceworld?

NATE: I walked out in a rage when I saw that they edited it such that Ginger shot first.

BBC: Last week, someone allegedly hacked the PBS website to reveal Biggie and 2Pac were alive and well and partying in New Zealand. Come clean: will they be making an appearance at the Rosebud this Saturday, and if so, will there be a rousing rendition of “I’ll Be Missing You”?

NATE: Did you know that “Mo Money Mo Problems” knocked “I’ll be Missing You” out of the #1 spot of the Billboard Top 100 in 1997? My answer is cleverly hidden in there.

BBC: Blur or Oasis?

NATE: Blur was clearly superior in 1997. But this weekend your question should be rephrased: I Know What You Did Last Somerville or The Royalty/Yankee Power. And the answer, of course, is Pulp.

BBC: If there’s anything I associate with Scamper — apart from the synchronized dancing, harmonies, Mark Roderick, and pro wrestling —it’s Fleetwood Mac. What did you think about the Mac’s reunion that year on VH1?

NATE: I was completely unaware of it, actually – until someone on the Mixtape bill submitted her setlist. Yep.

BBC: Speaking of, what was the world like before VH1 was a poor man’s E! Network? I don’t remember anymore.

NATE: Remember the really early days, when it was MTV for middle aged people? Adult Top 40, heavy on the Michael Bolton and Donny Osmond. Goddamn those were the days.

BBC: A.D.I.D.A.S.?

NATE: Okay, I’ll break my self-imposed rule and say straight up: No. No Korn. (But if someone had wanted to, I’da let ’em.)

BBC: Last question: will there be a few seconds of silence in remembrance of the 1500 men, women, and children who died when the great ship died?

NATE: That will be at MIXTAPE: 1912.

BBC: My one regret about writing this: I couldn’t seem to fit in a major Paula Cole reference.

NATE: I think Paula Cole was merely a sergeant. HEYO, use that.

Saturday, June 4
The Rosebud

381 Summer Street, Somerville
9pm | 21+ | $7
AOL Keyword: Mixtape

* …Unless you saw The Beautician and the Beast, the Fran Descher rom-com responsible for coining the phrase… you jackass.

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