Okay, I actually remembered to do another Flashback Friday.
This week we’ll revisit one of my all-time favorite bands, New Haven CT’s Miracle Legion. Even before I started working for them and their manager in 1989 they were one of my favorites. I loved their first release, The Backyard EP, and they even played the pub at my college (Hofstra University, Long Island NY) when they were on tour with another great band, Wire Train.
Originally the band consited of Mark Mulcahy, Ray Neal, Jeff Wiederschall, and Joel Potocsky. Later Steve West replaced Potosky. After West and Wiederschall left the band Mulcahy and Neal released the beautifully sublime acoustic duo album Me & Mr Ray in 1989. That album yielded the single “You’re The One Lee.” Here’s the video for that track, directed by the brilliant Jem Cohen. He would go on to direct a number of Miracle Legion videos.
Dave McCaffrey and “Spot” Boutier would later replace West and Wiederschall. They would end up being the band’s longest lasting rhythm section until they became the rhythm section for Frank Black & The Catholics. In 1992 this line-up recorded the album Drenched with producer John Porter (The Smiths). Here’s the Jem Cohen directed video for the single “Snacks And Candy” (See if you can spot a young Michael Imperioli, many years before he became Christopher on “The Sopranos.”)
The label that released Drenched, Morgan Creek (financed by the film company of the same name), quickly went bankrupt leaving the future of the band and even their name in limbo. But children of the early-mid 1990’s got to witness the brilliance of Miracle Legion on a weekly basis (even if they didn’t know it at the time) as Mulcahy would become the primary composer for the Nickelodeon television show “The Adventures Of Pete & Pete.” The band featured in the show’s opening sequence, dubbed Polaris, was actually Mulcahy, McCaffrey and Boutier. In the final episode of Season 1, “Hard Day’s Pete,” (in my opinion 30 minutes of the finest television ever created) Neal would reappear with the others as an imaginary (Maybe? Maybe not?) garage band.
Mulcahy has released several solo albums and a Miracle Legion album on his own label Mezzotint. He’s also scored a number of New music-theatre pieces with Ben Katchor. And after a family tragedy a tribute to the songs of Mark Mulcahy and Miracle Legion called Ciao My Shining Star was released featuring contributions from Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe, Frank Black, Dinosaur Jr., Vic Chestnut, Ben Kweller, David Berkeley, Juliana Hatfield and many others.