Polaris – Hey Sandy

The Adventures of Pete & Pete
Year :
Miracle Legion / Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks / Jason Lytle

It has become very fashionable for bands and artists that were long thought to be gone forever to reform and reappear. The results have been as varied as the bands themselves, ranging from jaw-dropping excellence to polite head turning so as to not look directly at an ignoble death, with a wide range of “::shrug::” in the middle. Somewhat overlooked in all of these bigger name reunions has been the return of Mark Mulcahy, former and now occasionally current frontman of Miracle Legion and Polaris. After going through the loss of his wife 5 years ago, Mulcahy has come back with one of the strongest albums of the year and more than a handful of shows in support.

This is excellent news for people who remember 1993.

“Hey Sandy” has the benefit of double (triple? We’ll get to that.) nostalgia. Obviously, this song makes me (and most people born in the early 80s who had Nickelodeon) think of The Adventures of Pete and Pete, one of the best shows from Nick’s golden age oft-embraced weirdness. This in turn makes me think about the early 90s in general, and how great it was, and though I was too young to really be a part of the culture as it happened, I am at least able to recognize that being odd or different was completely acceptable then, and usually looked upon as a good thing. In the simplest way of saying it, the dream of the 90s was alive in The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

Where the third facet of nostalgia comes in is from the vibe of the show itself. You could make the argument that the core concept of the show was to explore how weird and frustrating and great it is to be young. Feuds with school bullies, the arbitrary rules of your parents, first loves, hanging with the local superhero (okay, that last one isn’t exactly universal, but you get the idea), all of these things feel hyper-important at the time, but then one day you realize they weren’t important at all. But here’s the thing, they are all important, just not for the reasons we all thought at the time. It’s part of who you are, who you would become, and the ideas and beliefs that define you are formed by these experiences.

What does all of that have to with “Hey Sandy”? Watch the show, let it sit with you for a few years, and get back to me.

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Matthew Belair (@14Belair42) grew up on the classic rock of his parents and the 90s alt-rock of his older sister before discovering other genres to love, all of which are cool, hip, and in no way embarrassing to admit publicly.

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