Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Indie music, pre-Internet

I was a 15-year old camp counselor in the summer of 1994 when I first heard it. Music drifting out of a nearby cabin.

My friends Stephanie and Jen were singing The Gulf War Song by Moxy Frvous and it gave me chills like nothing I had ever heard before or since.

There was no way to buy any of this music. Moxy only had a small demo tape that people bootlegged and passed around. Stephanie had a copy at home but no way to get it to me.

I made them sing me that damn song over and over again for the two weeks we were at camp until I heard it in my dreams.

There were rumors of a studio release coming sometime in the fall.

I went away to school and waited and waited and waited. I used my Usenet access to try and get my own copy of the demo tape to no avail. And then, in early October, the album came out. I biked down to Borders and bought one of the few copies they had and played it until my roomates hated me.

I carried a discman and portable speakers into the bathroom and played it in the shower. I played it in our room whenever there was a break in the Phish vs. Laibach battle Scottie and Ben always had.

I'd heard people in the halls humming The Drinking Song without even realizing they were doing it.

Maybe it was the difficulty in getting it that made it so special.

I found a Canadian girl on Usenet who had a copy of a radio interview with Moxy where they played two live songs. All I had to do was send her a blank tape and money for postage.

I wore that tape out.

It's so different now. I'm 36 and everything is easy.

We saw the Pixies at the Louisville Palace this year. The opening act was amazing but we couldn't remember the name of the guy or any of the names of the songs.

Google Pixies Louisville Palace Opening Act and find out the guy is John Grant.

Google John Grant Louisville Palace Set List and find the complete list of songs he played.

Buy the music on Amazon MP3. Watch videos of him on YouTube.

And it's amazing music. His voice is haunting and beautiful. The way he turns his pain into songs.

But it was too easy to get.