I tend to get stuck on specific memories occasionally. I’ll call up some image from the past and it becomes a dominant thought for a couple days. I’m never sure if this is a sign, and if it is a sign what it means, or just how my brain works. For example, last fall I went through an extended phase where I kept thinking of the fall of 1994, when my roommate got a Mac and we were discovering the strange world of AOL. (I was so proud the day I learned how to talk trash on Michigan fans in the College Football chat room after Kordell Stewart went all Doug Flutie on them!) This spring, I kept thinking of watching Royals’ games with my grandfather in 1988. For like a week, that was the constant background noise I dealt with.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my favorite shows ever, Ed. The whole Stuckeyville gang – Ed, Carol, Mike, Nancy, etc. – keep popping up. That’s not unusual; every 4-5 months I check in to see if there are any updates on Ed coming to DVD (All reports say to the producers, or whoever is responsible, are working very hard, but they are having issues clearing the rights for all the music they used. They hope to get there, but are not there yet). I think this latest, extended stretch comes from a recent profile I read about Justin “I’m a Mac” Long, who is in the new Die Hard movie. I was a little bummed no one comes up to him and talks about his days as Warren P. Cheswick. As much as I love Macs, I still think of him as Warren first.

As I thought about it more, I decided Ed was definitely one of my five favorite shows ever. Probably #3, behind Cheers and Seinfeld. Part of that is because it was a great, if under-appreciated show. Part is because it was kind of my show – lots of friends watched it, too, but I was one of the first in our circle of friends to start watching and spread the world. S. used Ed as the theme for my 30th birthday party, which solidified that bond. And I’m sure part had to do with the point in my life when Ed came along, when I was advancing out of the entry-level part of my career into actually doing meaningful work, starting a relationship of depth and importance, and taking the final jump to adulthood and benefiting from the boost of confidence that came along with it. I remember a good friend gushed about Friends during its first season, saying the show was “exactly about my life!” Ed felt like that for me. Ironically, in the show’s final year, I didn’t watch much, partially because I was traveling so much, partially because NBC was yanking it around the schedule. But perhaps part of that was also because of how my life had changed with marriage, home ownership, etc. I thought the show ended well, hitting just the right notes in its final episode, if too soon. Sadly, TBS gave up way too quickly on airing reruns in 2004.

Anyway, because of those memories, I’ve been reading through a few Ed forums (They’re still out there, believe it or not), both to get DVD news and remember some of my favorite episodes. That got my brain working and I thought, in honor of my the show and the holiday week, I would put together a mix of some of the great music that was featured during the show’s 3 1/2 year run. It was like Grey’s Anatomy, only not all the songs were for chicks.

So, if you follow the link below, you’ll be able to download a quick and dirty mix of some songs I discovered via the good people at Ed. Hopefully the DVDs will be out before too long.

1 – “I’ll Be Coming Home” – Foo Fighters. The excellent theme song (For seasons 1, 3, and 4. We’ll pretend season two’s intro never happened).
2 – “Someday, Someway” – Marshall Crenshaw. This has become one of my all-time favorite songs thanks to both Ed and a friend who introduced me to Marshall at about the same time.
3 – “Bohemian Like You” – Dandy Warhols. This was in the same episode as “Someday, Someway.” The producers were on a roll that week.
4 – “Dressed Up Like Nebraska” – Josh Rouse. My introduction to an artist who has become one of my favorites, even if he’s left the Midwest behind.
5 – “What A Fool Believes” – The Doobie Brothers. As the show went on, it leaned more towards classic songs like this, but it was still a nice flash-back.
6 – “Dope Nose” – Weezer. When radio was sucking and you couldn’t hear songs like this anywhere, Ed occasionally came through for us.
7 – “I’m Always In Love” – Wilco. Again, ignored by radio, pumped up by Ed.
8 – “Fight Test” – The Flaming Lips. I always thought executive producer David Letterman set the tone for playing music like this, stuff out of the mainstream but worthy of a listen.
9 – “Yellow” – Coldplay. Ubiquitous for awhile, this might have been the first show to feature this song.