About Polaris (The Death of Me UK Tour 2020)
Polaris is an independent rock band that was formed as a one-off musical project in the mid-1990s involving members of the New Haven indie rock band Miracle Legion. They were commissioned specifically to produce music for the Nickelodeon television show The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which was later compiled into the group's first and only album. Nearly twenty years after the show was cancelled, Polaris reemerged with its first tour and a cassingle of two new songs.
Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, the show-runners of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, were fans of Miracle Legion and approached the band to write original music for the series. Miracle Legion was at the time suffering from long-running legal issues with their label, Morgan Creek Records, and lead guitarist Ray Neal, disillusioned by the experience and recently married, opted out of the television project.
The remainder of the band - frontman Mark Mulcahy, bassist Dave McCaffrey and drummer Scott Boutier - moved forward with the project under the name Polaris. As the show's "house band", Polaris produced twelve songs over Pete & Pete's three seasons including the theme song, "Hey Sandy." These tracks included occasional guest contributors such as Joyce Raskin, Dennis Kelly, and Buell Thomas.
Describing itself as "that band that lives in your TV," the members of Polaris took on "TV names": Mulcahy was "Muggy", Boutier was "Jersey", and McCaffrey was "Harris Polaris." In addition to appearing in the opening credits of each show, the band featured prominently in the episode "A Hard Day's Pete", in which Little Pete is mesmerized by a garage band's song and forms his own band to keep the tune in his memory.
The group's first release was a 1995 cassette mini-album titled "Happily Deranged" that contained three songs from the television show, including the television show's title song, "Hey Sandy". The other two songs were "Staggering" and "Coronado II". The versions of these songs differed in both running time and mix from the versions later released on their full album. The cassette also contained two additional rare tracks, an introduction and closing comments by the older of the two Pete's from the television show. This cassette was released by Nickelodeon/ Sony Wonder and only available by mail as a promotional tie-in with Frosted Mini Wheats cereal. The offer was heavily promoted during Nickelodeon's SNICK anthology series.
After the show was cancelled in 1996, Miracle Legion produced a final album released by Mulcahy's own label, Mezzotint Records. In 1999, the label released Music from The Adventures of Pete & Pete, containing all twelve of the Polaris tracks and serving as the group's only album.
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