That’s My Jam is a series attempting to help real music fans reclaim the phrase from those who treat every new Katy Perry release as a life-changing experience.
My first non-hip-hop Jam selection was introduced to me via mix-tape. Way back in the 1990s, before music was available on the Internet and when no mere mortals had the power to burn CDs, a couple of my pals would send me tapes a couple of times a year during my banishment to the lower Rio Grande Valley, at the time no friend to indie music fans. I would fly through the desert, orange groves and aloe fields, Holland, 1945 and other low-profile rock gems propelling me through the oppressive heat.
If I made a list of my 10 favorite songs of all time – and I may, someday – this would make the cut, no sweat. Jeff Mangum’s unusual lyrics are a draw, and the song rawks in a way indie classics tend not to. But to me, what really elevates Holland, 1945 is the horns. Usually, brass brings with it touches of soul, jazz, reggae, other non-rock sounds. Here, the horns are treated like rock instruments, accenting the sound like a good rhythm guitar part noodles with stealing the lead.