When I worked commercial radio, toiling at a “new rock alternative” station in the mid-nineteen-nineties, I desperately appreciated those handful of artists that reminded me of my time in the woolier sonic lands of a student-run part of the FM band. I don’t really mean those major college radio bands that had decisively crossed over by that point, like R.E.M. and U2. Nor am I referring to the bevy of grunge rock bands that were the beneficiaries of Nirvana’s success, those groups that largely made college radio a mere pit stop before going on to massive record sales and monstrously huge live venues. Instead, it was the far scruffier groups that served as my fraying tether to the version of broadcasting that I truly valued. These were the groups that maybe had one or two songs that were played obsessively on college radio for a brief, giving their labels the largely false hope that the breakthrough was one well-marketed release away.
Possum Dixon’s self-titled debut arrived sometime during the year I graduated (I don’t remember if it was during my last semester or during my first semester as a UW-SP alumnus, when I lingered around the station like a guest who’s been oblivious to the wide yawns of the hosts), equipped with the single “Watch The Girl Destroy Me,” the perfect track to catch the attention of twentysomething males who are so very certain that their romantic travails are due to whatever the other person is doing and thinking. It was made for ragged-voiced sing-alongs in a solely occupied broadcast studio. I may have done that once or twice.
I had moved on to that commercial station by the time the band’s sophomore release, Star Maps, was released. In retrospect, I’m not even sure we played it. When I click through the songs, I can’t for the life of my figure out which track would’ve been the single that we’d have slotted in between Oasis and the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s entirely possible that I was just pleased to know it was on premises. That’s how much I missed my old station by my second year at my new one. I may not have ever played “Emergency’s About to End” or any of the other tracks on the album. There may not have been time given the necessity to play Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” for the five-thousandth time. I do know, though, that Possum Dixon was there to remind me there was another way, if it wasn’t readily available to me.
Listen or download –> Possum Dixon, “Emergency’s About to End”
(Disclaimer: It appears to me that Star Maps is out of print as a physical object that can be procured as a new item from your favorite local, independently-owned record store in a manner that compensates the owner of said store and the original owner. If there’s a used CD bin where you shop, there’s a strong likelihood the disc is in there, probably being offered for mere pocket change. It is available for digital purchase and a low enough price that I can’t believe the already faulty practice of providing payment to artist for online commerce is netting the band anything at all. The point is this: I’m offering this song here with the belief that doing so will not unduly impede the artist getting the money they deserve for creating art. Also, I believe Fair Use is still a thing, but that’s a whole ‘nother magilla. Regardless, I will gladly remove this track from my little corner of the online world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)