Remembrances of Block Rockin Beats Past

Blindsided by the nostalgia bomb delivered by The Chemical Brothers

Several weeks ago, I was feeling down, and an emergency trip to Anaheim wasn’t helping. On the drive back home, I decided to listen to The Chemical Brothers’ album Dig Your Own Hole from start to finish, something I haven’t done since the early 2000s, most likely.

I was completely surprised by how much of a cozy, warm, weighted-blanket comfort record that had become for me. It instantly took me back to the days of working on Monkey 3, going to see The Saint1Forgettable movie, incredible soundtrack at a screening, and weeks of driving around Marin County listening to “Setting Sun” and freaking out. It was such a surprisingly good memory of such a specific time, before reality started creeping in, and I could just be overjoyed with where I’d found myself in life.

And I was surprised that it’d be Dig Your Hole that became such a comforting2Or, since it’s British, homely record, since at the time, I just imagined it was music for wild, drug-fueled raves held in converted ruins and ancient-dungeons-turned-nightclubs all over the UK. The band’s marketing sure leaned into that image, with everything looking like a TV series where Prodigy was in charge of MI6, until I’m assuming they’d sold enough records to be able to take control over their own image, and hire people like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze to make their videos.

I’ve never been to a drug-fueled rave, UK or otherwise, so the images it conjures for me are of Fairfax and San Anselmo, CA, going to lunch at wacky Thai or Casa Mañana, the theater in Corte Madera, Tightwad Tuesday at the theater in Novato, taking the long way to work that went through redwoods, watching The X-Files at my best friends’ apartment, and getting that first spectacular view of San Francisco as you come through what is now called the Robin Williams tunnel. I was very happy to get all those memories back, and I was singing and car-dancing like a maniac all the way up I-5.

There’s just one unanswered question from those days that still haunts me, though: who is this doin this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin’?

  • 1
    Forgettable movie, incredible soundtrack
  • 2
    Or, since it’s British, homely