Summer of 1999, late afternoon, I was sitting in my Thunderbird on my Winn Dixie lunch break, enjoying everything I could--especially my Winn Dixie lunch breaks. I had a cyst on my lower back I had convinced myself was a cancerous tumor. I thought I might croak any day, so I was trying to soak up every minute of life. If you are seventeen and have strange growths in embarrassing places, show your parents, and go to the doctor. Enjoying every moment is cool, but I was living under the impression that I would soon die a hero, as everyone would conclude I lived aware of my impending death for months, but kept it to myself so as not to bother anyone. When the cyst finally burst through my skin in class a few months later, and blood shot all over my pants, I realized I didn't want to spend my final days in embarrassment, and finally showed my parents, which then led to a second realization--you mean, if I would have just gone to the Dr. two years ago, he could have cut this out of me and thrown it in the trash, preventing months of fatalism and agony? But that hadn't happened yet. On this particular afternoon, I was happy and ready for death, jamming out to sweet tunes on KLSU, my local college radio station, and future place of not-dead employment.
Suddenly, strange tones came out of my speakers, and I put down my Dr. Pepper and PBJ, entranced.
"I think this is the best thing I have ever heard," I probably said out loud, but I'm not going to pretend that I remember exactly saying that, nor am I objective enough about my own perceived awesomeness to pretend that I didn't say that. The sure thing is, I had never before heard a song containing so much feeling. I mean, I had, but not something so brand new and so foreign like this particular song. Turns out, it literally was foreign. The sounds were created all the way in Scandinavia--Eskiltuna, Sweden, to be exact. The creator, Kent, a Swedish rock band, was at that time trying to make headway into the U.S. market. I headed to my local Blockbuster Music, or Music Warehouse, or whatever it was before it became FYE to pick up the CD from which the song came, Isola. Apparently, only about 12 other Americans had the same idea, as the album somehow sold horribly in the U.S., and the band never released another disc here. They did, however, go on to become the biggest rock band in Sweden, releasing eight consecutive #1 albums in that country post-Isola. Their latest, Tigerdrottningen, came out only months ago.
GUESS WHAT, LUCKYS! I AM GOING TO REVIEW EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!
Hooray! My awesome cousin bought me their career-spanning boxset, which collects every single album and song Kent ever released. You can thank him for the next month of content! And you'll like it!!
Coming up: Kentober!!
Crap...it's not really October, but none of the summer months sound cool when combined with other words. Kently? It looks like it rhymes with gently! Kentgust? Actually, that sounds pretty cool, like some kind of all-consuming musical storm with really proper manners. But these reviews will span both July and August...so what do I do? Kentlygust? Crap...
NOTE: I might review some other things from other forms of media during Kentlygust, as well. There are a lot of drafts in the old Nicsperiment safe, so Kent haters, do not despair.