I like ‘em well enough. Their last couple of albums off the Barsuk label, Let Go and The Weight Is a Gift, are good standard alt-rock fair. But, the name Nada Surf. Dumb. Other dumb names they could have had – No Straw Hat, Zip Tacos, No Way Jose Tea Cozy.
You must listen to 69 Love Songs. Magnetic Fields’ (aka Stephen Merritt’s) album that is at the zenith of the Magnetic Fields’ creative energies. Three CDs, chock full of swell pop songs with oodles of goofy lyrics, different styles and with a multitude of different themes based on l’amour. I told my granny, as I drove her to bingo in my Daewoo last Thursday, that the music we were listening to in the car was called “69 Love Songs.” She slapped me and said, “Filthy trash!” I love her, sure, but the slanderous comments she’s made throughout my young life have hurt. I mention to her, from time to time, that seniors commit suicide more than any other age group, minus teens, but she keeps playing bingo.
A tenor sax great, Yusef Lateef (born William Huddleston in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1920) has played with the best, including Milt Jackson, Paul Chambers and Dizzy Gillespie. He found Islam in the 1950s and changed his name. A note, now, from the White House: He’s a terrorist! Watch out America! Fear him! His name is Yusef! He’s Islamic! YIKES! His sax is probably booby trapped with explosives. He’s Islamic! He’s a menace to the great world order. His name is Yusef! Do you know any Yusef’s that aren’t bloodthirsty demons?!
From East Sussex in the UK they started as a cover band. They played Oasis, U2 and Beatles songs. U2, okay. They’re pretty good. “LEMON!” Oh yeah, U2’s sweet, and sour (“LEMON!”). The Beatles? Well, they’re icons, dude. “Eleanor Rigby” – I dare you to find a finer song. But singing Oasis covers? Ummm…Not good, Keane boys. Oasis is comprised of mental deficients who happened to have found a beat. My respect for you is lost, Keane. Lost forever.
The Jack Johnson who sang the “Curious George” soundtrack, the Jack Johnson who was a professional surfer before picking up the guitar to great success, the Jack Johnson who recorded “Brushfire Fairytales” is NOT the same Jack Johnson who was the first African-American to be a world heavyweight champion boxer. I looked like a complete idiot at Trivia Night this weekend at Shooter’s Bar & Grilll, a complete idiot! So, yeah, I guess this guitar playing guy isn’t black either.
They know how to rock, our Icelandic brothers and sisters. Bjork, of course. But Sigur Rios?Awesome. And Emiliana Torrini? Neato! And the rap group Quarashi? Honestly, tell me a better Icelandic rap group. Seriously. Come on! You can’t even think of one. That’s because Quarashi is the end all and be all of Icelandic rap. God bless them. God bless them all!
He sang “Rock Around the Clock.” When that song was popular Elvis had yet to chart nationally, Chuck Berry’s first single had barely been recorded, and Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly didn’t even have contracts. Haley was at the time, in other words, the only white rock ‘n’ roll star in the world. Now there are all sorts of white rock ‘n’ roll stars, like Nelson. Without Bill Haley, there might not be “(I Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection” and we’d all be the worse for it. Thanks Bill Haley. Thanks Matthew. Thanks Gunnar.