Thursday, July 13, 2006

Do you love me? Do you, Surfer Girl?

Well, I'm finally off work today...and had a day to go riding. So I left the house around 8:15 drove the hour and 15 minutes to get to Pine Hill....just to find that Poker's thrown a shoe. Being the wimpy horse that he is, of course he is lame without his therefore unrideable. grrrrrr. So, I rode Doc, the green horse that I've been working with lately, and drove all of the way back home.

The long drive is really a pain in the neck, but on the other hand, it does give me time for reflection...which is always a good thing. Today, I was listening to a podcast from NPR for the music stories that they have every week, and there was an interview from "Fresh Air" where Terri Gross was interviewing Dave Alvin...he had recently released a cover album of California songs...very eclectic, and a wide range...but the one that I really noticed was when they talked about his cover of Surfer Girl by the Beach Boys. It was very different hearing this deep voiced folk singer vs. the high pitched Brian Wilson...and it was really cool. And, I'm sure like a lot of people, that song just takes me back....

To me, the Beach Boys always mean summer. I remember driving with my parents and one of my friends out to the Poconos a few times every summer. It was always a requirement that the "pirated, 120 minute every song the beach boys ever recorded and ones that no one had ever heard of before, tape from Saudi Arabia" be playing in the car as we drove there and back. Why? because it was summer...we were going to go stay in the mountains and woods...go fishing, water skiing, white water rafting and basically all of the things one thinks of with a trip out to the lake. Yes, this is all true, and what I think of as its significance now, but really.... It was one of the few musical selections that my Dad, Mom, and I could agree on whole heartedly, and we all knew all of the words. Still...I loved those trips, and I loved singing the beach boys in the car, and I miss those wonderful times with my family, and all of the cool things that you get to do when you're young.

Back to the interview....So, as they were discussing why he had covered Surfer Girl he touched on one point that I really liked. Basically it was that there are so many great songs out there from that time period that everyone has heard a million times and know all of the words to, even if they didn't want to, (I'm thinking back on how many times we played "I Get Around" in band, marching band, jazz band, etc. over that 6 year period of Junior high and high school!) ...and basically what he was saying is that people don't really hear the songs any more. It's just there, they can come on the radio and you don't even notice because they are so normal to you because you've heard them so many times! You don't think about them artistically, or what the song means, or the cool harmonics, etc. They're just catchy and familiar. These songs are really great. They are some of the best stuff ever written, yet now, because they're so familiar, you don't really appreciate them any more.

So....listen to those old Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Beatles records etc....and pay attention. This was the music that influenced everyone else...pretty amazing stuff... "and we'll have Fun! Fun! Fun! till her Daddy takes the T-bird away..."

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