Weekend Listening: Light Music for Dying People by Sordid Humor
Listen while you read (volume may be loud):
Album: Light Music for Dying People by Sordid Humor
Released: (posthumously) 1994 by Capricorn Records
Recommended if you like: Early to mid-90s College Rock
Notable Tracks: “Barbarossa”
All right, so – I came to this album in a sort of roundabout way. If you were a teen in the early to mid-90s, there’s a big chance that you spent at least part of your youth obsessed with Counting Crows’ August and Everything After. I played that album so much in my room that I made myself sick of it, no joke.
As I’ve mentioned before, I lived in a super small town during my teen years. I didn’t have access to MTV (y’know, back when they played music [#GetOffMyLawn]) or really any channels other than PBS, NBC, CBS and ABC. I didn’t have access to decent radio (too far out in the boonies to get stations except shit from Canada late at night), so I did a lot of catalog shopping based on reviews I read of albums in NME, Spin, Rolling Stone and various other magazines that I forced my mom to buy me subscriptions to every year.
Oh, and this thing called Rock Video Monthly.
Rock Video Monthly was kind of a Columbia House sort of deal. You got a VHS tape every month with 10 (I think?) videos in whatever genre you preferred. I, being me, chose the Alternative selection. Now, a lot of times, these videos fucking sucked. But then one month I got this tape that had a song called “Barbarossa” on it. I legit paused the tape and rewound.
“Waitaminnit, was that Adam Duritz?!”
Um, yeah, it totally was.
Singing. Backup. For this band called Sordid Humor.
Since this was pre-internet-in-every-home, it took placing a special order at the local snowboard shop before I finally owned Light Music for Dying People in its entirety. And I loved every. single. track.
I don’t know if people appreciate how rare that is, that every single song can make you feel…something. I still sing along with each song and am filled with a sort of joy that can only come from a nearly perfect album.
When I was 18 and making frequent drives from Orange County to San Diego (and back again), Light Music for Dying People was frequently playing. Full blast with the windows rolled down. If you can, you should listen to it that way, too.
How to listen to Light Music for Dying People by Sordid Humor: