As our new “6” lord and savior Drake tells us, what a time it is to be alive in Toronto.
If you’re that one oddball person that hasn’t heard, the Toronto Blue Jays are in the playoffs for the first time since the heyday of Degrassi on TV. I can’t blame anyone in our sporting success-starved city for being excited; I lived through the World Series years as a wide-eyed, rambunctious twentysomething, and fondly remember what a good time it was to root, root, root for the home team.
I was raised a diehard Jays fan – My folks would get $2 vouchers from Dominion to use at Exhibition Stadium, AKA “The Mistake by the Lake”. When the team made the move to SkyDome, our family was fortunate enough to know people with access to tickets, so the LeBlancs feel we were a big part of those 4 million-plus fans attendance records. By the time I started university however, I found myself going to less and less baseball games and more and more concerts.
Just as our bluebirds were priming themselves for their first championship run in 1992 following heartbreaking disappointments in previous seasons, I was heading the opposite way on Highway 400 to experience some newfangled event called Lollapalooza. Whereas I used to stay up late listening to West Coast road trips on static-y AM radio, this new Gilles couldn’t get enough of Seattle grunge and anything rebranded stations such as 102.1 The Edge labelled as “alternative”. I’m sure it didn’t also hurt that York U. had an on-campus record store with an extensive, overpriced selection of bootlegged import CDs, hence the unbridled ROCKthusiasm towards Britpop/shoegaze, and indie-before-anyone-knew-what-indie-was.
To celebrate the Jays’ return to prominence, I thought I would revisit some of the burrowing earworms that soundtracked the glorious period of late-1991 to 1993, as well as provide a window to what it was like growing up with attention-vying artists competing head-to-head against my love for the game. Since I can no longer find the cassette mixtape version of this playlist, Spotify will have to do. It’s probably somewhere at my parents’ house, next to all the newspaper clippings I said would be framed and mounted in the mancave I’m still envisioning will come to fruition one day…
Sorry kids, even if everyone and their mother was inexplicably chanting “whoomp, there it is” after Joe Carter touched ’em all to win back-to-back titles, I can’t bring myself to include Tag Team. Not then, not ever. Classic Beasties, Cypress Hill and a little of Ice-T’s Body Count will have to do.
I will definitely be cheering on the Blue Jays this week from the confined, quiet comfort of my workplace desk. (BTW, what’s up with the afternoon start times MLB?)
Whether or not I’ll actually be able to stream video, I do know I intend to relive – and enjoy – the awe-inspiring music that helped define the person I’ve become, and I hope you do too.