Jason Bentley — local LA radio station KCRW‘s music director and the DJ on the station’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” show — has been on a bit of a Lush kick lately. He’s played tracks from the long defunct British indie pop / shoegazer band on a few of his recent shows … odd to me because Lush broke up over a decade ago following the suicide of drummer and founding member Chris Acland. Maybe it’s because 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the band’s appearance on the legendarily debauched second Lollapalooza tour, or because the band’s breakthrough album, Spooky also turned 20 last year.
Anyhow, I’m a huge Lush fan from way back. I own every album, every single, bootlegs, weird 7″ vinyl Uzbekistani live recordings, etc., etc., etc. So, Bentley’s song choices really brought back a flood of happy memories. I’m glad he dug those songs out of the crate.
I had a huge crush on lead signer Miki Berenyi late in high school and throughout college, mostly because of the video for the song “De-Luxe” (from “Mad Love” their second EP). I even had a chance to meet her once, in the summer of ’94, upstairs at the Fillmore in San Francisco. She walked past while I and my friends were hanging out in between opening bands, and I was the only person in the crowd to recognize her. I remember shyly asking for an autograph, at which point people nearby caught on and surrounded her. She just gave me a grin and said, “Now look what you’ve started.” I hope I never forget that moment.
Incidentally, one of opening bands that night: Weezer. The Blue Album had just come out, but they’d yet to break through (“The Sweater Song” was just starting to get some airplay on local alternative stations). Rivers Cuomo, the singer / songwriter, was perched out front of the theater after the show, handing out big blue “Weezer” stickers. He handed me one, and kindly autographed that too, walking with my friends and I as we headed toward our car to go home. Super friendly, really personable guy. I’ll never forget that moment, either — as a result, no matter what I’ve thought of Weezer’s music since then, I’ve always wished them well. You want the nice guys to win, you know?
Anyhow, the video for “De-Luxe”:
That ultra-fake dyed red hair, man … I don’t know what it was about that, but the combo of hair + emerging from the water + the really excellent song = teenage me’s head going “kaboom.” When I met my wife 7+ years ago, her hair was dyed bright red too. Not quite the same shade, but just enough to catch my eye from across a room and compel me to introduce myself to her. In the back of my brain, teenage me was yelling, “I think we just met our Miki!”