Five Songs I’m Geeking on – May 8, 2012

There is so much music moving in and out of my brain at any given moment, but these are the songs that have grabbed most of my attention RIGHT NOW.  Maybe not yesterday, maybe not tomorrow, but RIGHT NOW.

This edition of “Five Songs” has a strong nostalgic bent.  The songs all take me back to something from my past or, in the case of song number five, actually is from my past.

So, here are the five songs I am geeking on RIGHT NOW!

1.  “San Jose Serenade” by Eddie and The Tide

Eddie and The Tide were Bay Area local legends when I was in high school.  They were always on the cusp of breaking in a big way nationally, but never quite made it.  They recently released a live album from back in the day, but leading off the collection was this newly recorded ode to their musical hometown.  Not since Dionne Warwick couldn’t find it on a map (couldn’t she have just asked her psychic friends for help?)  has San Jose been represented so endearingly in song.  References to cruising El Camino and driving over the hill are perfect.  It sounds like it should be a huge Adult Contemporary hit, though it will likely see no airplay, even locally (which is sad).  But that doesn’t have to stop you from listening to it!

2.  “That’s Why God Made the Radio” by The Beach Boys

Yes, it’s kind of cheesy.  But this is classic Brian Wilson composition and harmony.  It is produces with beautifully lush texture that reminds me exactly of why I loved The Beach Boys in the first place.  Touring together with Wilson for the first time in decades, it’s great to hear this new tune that harkens to a time when the car radio was a magical and elemental part of adolescence.

3.  “I’m Shakin'” by Jack White

Jack White’s new album, Blunderbuss, is fantastic.  I don’t necessarily think this is the best track on it, but this cover of the Rudy Toombs classic reminded me how much I loved the song when The Blasters recorded it in the early 80’s.  This version is really hot.  White delivers a strong, boot stompin’ cooker.  It may not be my favorite track on the album (I lean toward the title track), but this was the one that made me stop and instantly listen again before continuing with the album.

4.  “I’d Rather Count Cormorants With You” by The Corner Laughers

This is three minutes of perfect summer surf pop.  It’s a simple song about all of the things these two can count on, but when it’s all said and done, they’d rather just count cormorants with each other.  And it’s all set to surfer rhythms and melodies.  This would have sounded wonderful if recorded  by The Monkees more than 40 years ago, and I know it’s going to sound perfect in Santa Cruz this summer.

5.  “Pilot of the Airwaves” by Charlie Dore

This is one of those songs that I remember hearing and liking when it came out, then haven’t heard or thought of it since.  I recently stumbled across it, not knowing what it was until I clicked play.  Suddenly, it was 1979 again.  I don’t know much about Charlie Dore, or if she ever had another song on the radio after this, but I remember listening to this as a 12 or 13-year-old and thinking “yeah, I get it!  That’s how I feel when I listen to my favorite DJ’s”!  It’s how I wanted to make people feel when I was on the radio.  And now it’s hard to find anyone on radio with the freedom to create that feeling for people anymore.  The airwaves are all on autopilot these days.  I wish someone was brave enough to bring back some pilots and let them fly free.  This song is more about the sentiment than the craft, but the sentiment left a strong impression back in the day.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on May 8, 2012.

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