Though there have been many, many editions of “One for Friday” by now, my goal when selecting the weekly song is to stick with artists that haven’t yet been represented in this digital space. On occasion, however, I just wake up on the last day of the traditional work week with a certain band rattling around in my head. As I’m sure anyone who is reading this has already ascertained, that’s exactly what happened today. There are certainly far worse things than waking up with the Feelies jittering through my mind.
I have a special fondness for the Haledon, New Jersey band that extends back to my earliest college radio days. Their exceptional major label bow, Time for a Witness, was still in rotation when I sat down in the air chair for my first ever shift, and my memory (falsely, no doubt) insists that “Away” was the song that I played to kick off that show. It certainly opened many of my other Monday late-night shifts, that long, quietly-building intro ideally suited as a soundbed while reading the weather, introducing the show and even giving the station’s request line.
The Feelies released one more album during my tenure at the station, 1991’s Time for a Witness. Another winner, the album reached back to the titular styling of their famed Crazy Rhythms album, with a slightly leaner sound. I loved it, giving almost excessive airplay to ever track on the record. There was something about it that felt like an ending, not just potentially for the band (which it proved to be, at least until a surprisingly strong reunion effort a couple years ago), but also for a whole ethos of college radio, in which a diversity of sound was welcomed and celebrated. Time for a Witness came out in the spring. By the fall, Nirvana’s Nevermind arrived, effectively changing everything. I’m not actually claiming I was prescient enough to know all that at the time, although there was a relatively newfound tendency in student-run radio to overly embrace flare-up mini-movements (like the Madchester scene) to the detriment of everything else. Grunge was simply the tidal wave version of that oceanographical schedule. Still, as much as any other music I play from that time, now over twenty years past, the material from Time for a Witness sounds like the end of an era.
So, yeah, I’ve written about the Feelies in this space before. Some bands–and albums–are good enough for return visits.
Listen or download –> The Feelies, “Waiting”
(Disclaimer: When I last wrote about Time for a Witness, it was out of print, and it still looks to me like that is the case. I believe all of the other Feelies efforts are available for purchase from your favorite local, independently-owned record store, and every last one of them is recommended. Certainly, no collection is complete without Crazy Rhythms and I’ll stump again for It’s Only Life. You can also get yourself a real boss coffee mug if you’re so inclined. My point is this: there are a lot of ways to get money to the Feelies, but I don’t think buying Time for a Witness is a plausible, effective way to do so. Hence, I feel okay about sharing the track “Waiting” here. That typed, I will gladly and promptly remove it if asked to do so by someone with due authority to make such a request.)