I had no earthly clue what to recommend last week during our unofficial Ska series, AKA Skalopnik week. The only song I have any vague recollection of that might be ska at all — I don’t really know — is that one song by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get,” which played in the Digimon movie. If you were alive in the late ‘90s, then you know the one.
It seems ska is that one genre everyone was into around the time that cars would lose the optimism of the ‘90s and give in to the malaise of the new millennium. Clean and simple lines started to be replaced by zig-zagging aggression. Well, every thing comes and goes; it’s phases, is all. I guess you could call everyone’s ska phase a deep cut I wasn’t in on. So, here’s a deep cut off another album that was playing everywhere around the same time period.
You might recognize Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American because it featured “The Middle,” that hugely popular single with the video where everybody had to strip down to their underwear except for the band, apparently. And except for those two young people who decide they’re fine fully clothed. Prudes.
“The Middle” is a lot of fun to listen to, but the real standout song from Bleed American is actually “Hear You Me.” And as the deep cut it truly is, the song was incorrectly labeled as “May Angels Lead You In” on my Winamp player for as long as I can remember. Middle school me had no respect for metadata.
Y’all remember Winamp? Good times.
I finally learned the song’s correct title at some point in the last few years while rebuilding my old Winamp playlists, ripping honest-to-goodness CDs. “Hear You Me” came on unexpectedly as Bleed American played, the nostalgia flooding my brain with dopamine that traveled light years to reach me.
This is probably Jimmy Eat World’s best song to play late into the night on a drive. Or the band’s best song for a road trip so long you have to beat the sun to it early in the morning, setting out in the dark of day when you’re exhausted and yet restless. Sleepless roads, as singer Jim Adkins called them.