1993 saw the World Trade Center bombing, the super-sad killing of toddler James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys in Liverpool, England, a massive blizzard which paralyzed parts of the eastern U.S., the deaths of GG Allin and André the Giant, and of River Phoenix and his possible supplier (in a roundabout way), Pablo Escobar, the bizarre 51-day stand-off/raid at a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, the even more bizarre Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt partial penis fiasco and its influence on a generation of stand-up comedians and rappers, and too many unfortunate natural disasters and senseless massacres to mention.
There were loads of less-shocking events too: the first time Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in some name or form, was observed in every state in the United States. The "Velvet Divorce" between the Czech Republic and Slovakia finally happened, as did the "Velour Divorce" between Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced us to the real "beautiful sport." Man, sorry to backtrack but can you believe Bonet and Kravitz are no longer together? That truly is catastrophic. I'm still in mourning. They had an unbreakable bond, with a passion and a love that was timeless, haunting and beautiful, like, a thousand storybook romances in one. Sigh... 1993 also saw the first blush of Beck's recording career. And Bush's (the band). The Fresh Prince still recorded music, as his "Boom! Shake the Room" told the story of a young man and his struggle to shake the room with his boom-boom. America caught the "Cyrus virus" and the Spin Doctors gave frat boys the chance to soundtrack their GHB-fueled gang-bang keggers with the sound of pockets full of kryptonite. Ah, them be simpler times.
Alright, I'll give the nonsense a break for once (I can't believe I just quickly glossed over the serious and catastrophic events above in favor of pop-culturing the shit out of this story like mentioning the Bonet/Kravitz divorce, twice!). Nah, for many of our lovely, loyal readers, 1993 marks the year gods Erik Claridge, John McEntire, Sam Prekop, and Archer Prewitt came together to form their "side-project" The Sea and Cake. Separately, all four members keep busy enough to make Van Gogh seem about as productive as 'Dude' from The Big Lebowski, but together, as The Sea and Cake, they have made us wait for new material longer than we would normally consider acceptable. We may be a trifle too eager, but since 2003, we have had to make do with repeated listens to the group's six wonderfully blissful indie-rock albums while surfing their website in hopes of updates other than reports of a "new kelly-green tee" and a forum that has forever been "coming soon." That just ain't frequent enough for us Ritalin kids! After a year or two's worth of new record whispers and rumors, we can confirm that the seventh Sea and Cake album will be out May 8, contains 10 Brian Paulson-produced songs, is being put out by Thrill Jockey, and is called Chinese Democ, um, Everybody. Make 2007 a year to remember because of The Sea and Cake. And only because of The Sea and Cake.