The B-sides of Surfer Rob

Well, I said it and the Daily Post prompt has now demanded it. I’ve never been freshly pressed, but those guys – I swear they’re reading my thoughts and it’s about time I broke out the tinfoil hat. The prompt goes like this:

I’ve made a new friend, and I make them a mixtape or playlist that tells them who I am.

Done, done, and done again now.

For the first installment you could read my Twisted Mixtape Tuesday post, and
For the second chapter you might read yesterday’s Saturday Jams.
I’ll draw up a playlist after the fun jump.

For my new friend I want to say “hey, my name is Rob Ross. I grew up in the 1980’s and the 1990’s of Earth history and this music pretty much explains who I am.” Hands over a gigantic audio cassette, labeled “TDK HC-5000”. What music have I filled it with?


Collective Soul’s December was a huge radio hit, but between this and The World I Know I found such beautiful resonance. I remember thinking how funny it was when the lyrics “as I walk upon high | and I step to the edge | to see my world below” closely aligned with me in Columbus as I would walk up High street to a club called the Edge, which was on the basement level of the building it was in – you had to descend stairs in the pavement to its door. But December was a song that I heard a lot, played a lot, tried to get friends to play it with me, but I was always out of luck with stuff like that. . . this particular friend was big into Mike Patton and Mr. Bungle and I just didn’t get it.


Third Eye Blind’s Semi-Charmed Life. Can you imagine another song that makes you bop more than this? Because I can’t. I learned all the words and I’m singing it as I type because yes, I am musically talented, people. I music in my sleep and I focus while I type. Now, by including this song I’m not saying I am or ever was a meth-head. I’ve never knowingly been within a mile of the stuff, though surely I am, being in the midwestern United States. But don’t you ever feel like you’ve got something you use to escape reality? When it’s there the temptation is too great; I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to live through that and want to escape the reality of unreality. Note that this video has been befouled by editing out the word “meth” and that whole stanza we lost on the radio, too – the one that starts “Feel myself, head made out of ground | I’m scared, I’m not coming down. . . ” Why, people? Why? It’s a work of art, you don’t cut off the Mona Lisa’s smile!


Even more fun: Smashmouth’s Walkin’ on the Sun – it’s a song about being genuine and disregarding commercial alliances; the fall of the 1960’s counterculture, the then-current generation that treated the aforementioned counterculture’s memes as a fashion statement, the realities of real life that’s happening the whole time. And it’s very groovy so you may as well just dig it now.


Fastball had this big radio hit called The Way. I loved it, but I swear anyone I mentioned it to thought it was a silly song. I don’t get it, because the album it came from was actually a masterpiece, each song one of those unappreciated gems you never hear on the radio.


Here’s the last video for today: Banditos by The Refreshments. I just loved rolling down the window and singing it loud. This is a song for an adventure mixtape, just for the record.


The playlist:

  • Danny Elfman & Oingo Boingo – Happy
  • Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly
  • They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in your Soul
  • Son Volt – Drown
  • Spin Doctors – Two Princes
  • Sponge – Plowed
  • Spin Doctors – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong
  • Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
  • Spacehog – In the Meantime
  • Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger
  • Monster Magnet – Space Lord
  • Collective Soul – December
  • Collective Soul – The World I Know
  • Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life
  • Smashmouth – Walkin’ on the Sun
  • Fastball – The Way
  • The Refreshments – Banditos
  • The Gin Blossoms – Hey Jealousy
  • The Gandharvas – First Day of Spring
  • Better Than Ezra – Good
  • Beck – Loser
  • Beck – Tropicalia
  • Blind Melon – No Rain
  • Soundgarden – Fell on Black Days
  • Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta
  • Monty Python – The Galaxy Song
  • Incubus – Summer Romance (Anti-gravity Love Song)
  • The Decemberists – Don’t Carry it All
  • Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
  • Gogol Bordello – Wanderlust King
  • The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
  • The Beatles – Octopus’ Garden
  • The Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
  • Aloha Screwdriver – Eating, Drinking, and Killing
  • Dishwalla – Counting Blue Cars

This list is not all-inclusive, and may be added to at any time at my discretion. Cheers!


This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.

11 thoughts on “The B-sides of Surfer Rob”

  1. Great playlists 🙂 Now I have bits and pieces snipping about in my head …. sheesh! Sound! Sound! turn off the sound! Lol … actually, I prefer the sound to the naggingly annoying brain chatter … so, yeah, bring it out!

          1. now that you mention it … it *is* ringing a very faint at the back of the grey sticky matter bell …. but I haven’t heard the term in a veryyyyyy long time …. heh – I suddenly feel quite *dated* – snort chuckle chuckle 😉

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