The Mystery MP3

KIDS, you may not be aware of this unless you read my zine, The Inner Swine, with more than the usual attention. Said usual attention generally being a quick glance and then a toss into the nearest garbage can. Still, it’s a story so dull, so pointless, it has to be told. Again, and then again.

Back in the pre-history days, we didn’t have MP3s or streaming music. We had the radio, and CDs, and cassettes. My god. Just thinking back to that horrible time depresses the shit out of me. Anyways, since liking a random song on the radio meant you either taped it onto a cassette, complete with commercials and DJ stepping all over the intro, or shelling out $10 for the entire CD, which more than likely contained no other songs you liked. Feh. being a cheap bastard, I taped a lot of songs off the radio. I used to keep a blank tape in the stereo so I could just jab the record button whenever something even threatened to be interesting.

So, one day back in the mid-1990s I taped a song. I have no idea when, off of what station, or where I was at the time. I scrawled one word on the tape cover: “milky?“. Record-keeping, obviously, was never one of my strong suits.

And for the next 20 years, I wondered who the hell sang that song. It plagued me. I liked it well enough to wish for a better copy – a crisp MP3, a CD track, whatever. I did Google searches on the lyrics, on “milky”, on anything else I could think of. Nothing worked.

I even posted the MP3 I’d made from the cassette on my web site and put a plea in an issue of The Inner Swine for folks to crowd source this bastard and tell me what it was. Here’s the MP3 I posted. I got plenty of responses, mostly in the vein of hey I like that song too, let me know who it is when you find out. But no one knew what it was. Apparently I’d taped it the one and only time it ever got played on the radio. Lucky me. I began to feel vaguely ridiculous putting so much effort into discovering the heritage of a mediocre grunge-lite rock song.

Then, last week, old friend Ken West sent me an email:

from: Ken West

subject: LOOK WHAT I FOUND

Click on the speaker for “Milky”
Holy shit, mystery solved. Band: Cell. Album: Living Room. My life: A little more over.

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