For all the fondness and pride I have when I look back at my college radio years, I’m also amused by all the instances when my alma mater station proved to be far from prescient. Given the span of years when I happily toiled as an undergrad in the poster-laden studios, I’d love to be able to report that we were truly among the first to play the bands that would eventually become a sacred part of the indie firmament. But I don’t actually remember us giving a whole lot of airtime to, say, Bleach before Nevermind. For a college station, we were solidly middle-of-the-road, far more likely to given saturation airplay to the new U2 than some upstarts called My Bloody Valentine (who names themselves after a evil miner slasher film anyway?). Nowhere did our shortcomings in gauging what was truly cutting edge and the sound of future come through than when it came to hip hop. Our deejays were largely baffled by Paul’s Boutique and I think it’s very possible that 3 Feet High and Rising never actually landed on one of our turntables (even the follow up, De La Soul is Dead, released well after the group’s bona fides were established, went largely unloved at my station). But we were All In on the Canadian duo Dream Warriors.
In our belated defense, we were hardly the only college radio station that succumbed to the grooving charms of Dream Warriors. During the spring and summer of 1991, the CMJ “Top Cuts” chart was strewn with tracks off their debut album, And Now the Legacy Begins. The single “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style” was the one that was ubiquitous, but it seemed like some new deep cut was discovered and celebrated by the flannel-clad tastemakers every few weeks. The same was true at our station, where out of the blue a song that had been previously ignored was all over the airwaves. Technically, “Wash Your Face in My Sink” was the lead single, but I remember it bubbling to life after “Boombastic” had established itself as one of the songs of summer. I could be wrong: the Dream Warriors trip is a swirl of happy, zippy rhythms in my memory.
As implied, if selecting songs for our playlists was a bet on the future, then we pushed a lot of chips onto the wrong square with Dream Warriors. There were three more albums from the band, none of them making much of an impact. The last, the hopefully and sadly titled The Legacy Continues…, was released in 2002, only in their home country. As far as I can tell, all of the various members–the original duo and the couple extra warriors they picked up along the way–simply faded into obscurity after that. At least those scruffy kids in central Wisconsin over twenty years ago believed that there actually was a legacy getting underway. That’s something, I guess.
Listen or download –> Dream Warriors, “Wash Your Face in My Sink”
(Disclaimer: As the hyperlink above indicates, we’ve been through this once before. I do believe that And the Legacy Begins and the later “Greatest Hits” release that also contains this song are both entirely out of print as physical objects, of the sort that one could procure from one’s favorite local, independently-owned records store in a manner that duly compensation both the proprietor of said store and the original artist. The song is shared here with the understanding that doing so impedes no worthwhile commerce. Still, I will gladly remove the song if asked to do so by any person or entity with due authority to make such a request making such a request. As a bonus, I’ll even removed the earlier song I posted from the same album: a two-for-one special, in keeping with Black Friday sales mania.)