Endless Loop: Astronauts in Love

ciaobellaHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Astronauts in Love” by Ciao Bella

My sophomore year of college is kind of a blur now.  A full two decades behind me, it feels like a lifetime ago, a series of events traversed by an individual it can be hard to even think of as me anymore…though it was still totally me.  At 19/20 years old, I moved on a kind of unending energy I would practically kill for these days.  A full load of classes and all of the projects, homework, and study that entails, a job at a movie theater that worked me most nights, and all of the booze and drugs I could ask for, a steady stream of partying without end, the whole era is haze for me, a wonderful, exuberant, frenetic, and stoned haze.  With all of that, I’m kind of amazed I also managed to deejay a radio show at 5AM.

Bleary-eyed, hoarse, and very often kind of drunk, I’d dig through my collection of CDs and LPs to bring along to the station (KVRX 91.7), stroll in about a quarter ‘til 5, and begin to pull more selections from the shelves and shelves of music next to the booth.  And then, I’d sit and spin records, make stupid jokes on air assuming I was playing to a black, empty void, and occasionally put on a 10+ minute jam so I could venture outside for a smoke.  Following the show, I’d grab some breakfast from either a café or fast food joint nearby, or head over to a campus cafeteria.  Then I’d drive home, catch an hour or two of sleep, and then head back to class and work, maybe a six-pack or something more potent waiting for me afterwards.  I’m really not sure how my brain or my body survived.

And man do I miss it.

There was so much music, the radio station providing me another avenue to explore foreign sounds and new aural delights, stoking the fires of a vice that’s always had more power and sway over me than any pint or joint could ever hope to, discovering a new song and that sweet, intoxicating rush that comes with it.

One of the songs I came across one morning was the crunchy, lo-fi, space rock jam “Astronauts in Love,” by a band called Ciao Bella.  From the opening electric and acoustic guitars coming together in a slow and fuzzy dream, the occasional beats from the drums playing in no particular rhythm, it’s the sound of a band warming up before the beat becomes steadier, spacey synth effects lifting the pop song into the atmosphere.  The vocals coo, a kind of Beatles-aping harmony, as the guitars and synths take us higher and higher into the vastness of space, floating away.  Such a wonderful little pop song, and it made its way onto my show with a regularity maybe unmatched by anything else, with the notable exception of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” which I used to begin every show with.

“Astronauts in Love” came from the band’s sole 1997 album 1, and unfortunately that’s the bulk of information I can find on them, which is maybe kind of fitting.  They’re just another bit and piece from the unfocused head stew that was 1998-99 for me.

I wish I still had a radio show.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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