Surf Week: Dick Dale and his Del-Tones - Surfers' Choice (1962)

Look outside the window. Now, sure, you're looking out of a different window to me but as far as I'm concerned we're probably looking out at the same thing. Shit. It's at that point right now that isn't quite winter but isn't quite summer, it's still cold as fuck and it even rains more but there's no festivity or anything to make up for it. Goddamn, I hate spring. So, in order to hurry summer along and to have a wonderful time on the way there I have decided that it is SURF WEEK!

Surf Rock is a strange genre of music, it's something everybody knows (trust me, you know surf rock classics like Misirlou and Wipeout) and yet very few people listen to. It's been lost to time, and it's a shame because it's a wonderful style of music that fuses everything from blues to traditional greek music. So, see if you can't borrow your dads car this weekend, because me and the rest of the gang are grabbing our favorite gals and headin' out to the beach to catch some gnarly waves and my car is in the shop, total bummer, huh? So come on dude, hang eight and come on over.

So, in order to start this Surf Week off I figured we should start with THE surf rock album. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the genre (read as: all of you) this will make a great starting point, after all it is the debut album of one of surf rocks greatest practioners: Dirk Dale.

Dirk Dale is a guitar god. His name might not pop up as often as Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page but he is just as talented, and his sound is just as well known. Making full use of his Fender amps "wet" spring reverb (people thought that this setting on the amp made guitars sound like the waves, I don't know why, but don't argue k?) Dale played fast paced instrumental rock that took inspiration from just about everything. After hearing this album a load of kids picked up the guitar and formed their own surf rock bands and so the genre was born.

So come on, listen to the original surf rock album. You'll recognise a bunch of the tracks like Dales' rendition of Sloop John B (a song that would be made famous by The Beach Boys a few years later) and I'm sure a lot of it will be brand new to you.

Give it a listen

Look like a cool cat who listens to everything. Buy a surf rock record to put in your collection, today!


Come - Gently Down The Stream (1998)

Every city has a bunch of skinny white kids, clad in jeans and tshirts, playing noisy, slightly angsty, guitar driven alternative rock.

Now you could argue that Boston had Pixies, or The Breeders, heck you could even argue that The Lemonheads wer-the point is that the hilariously named Come may very well be a better answer.

Sounding like a mix between Seam and Archers of Loaf (and probably a bunch of other 90s american alternative rock bands that you've never heard of) Come recorded four incredible albums in the seven years the were together, no small feat I'm sure you'll agree.

Gently Down The Stream is, in my humble opinion, their finest release. It was the last album they put out and as a result shows the band pulling out all the stops, creating an album that's pretty different to their more slowcore inspired debut (which is also worth a listen if you can find a copy). At times it sounds almost blues rockish, sounding like something The White Stripes could have recorded way back when but at other times this sounds like the angst ridden, soundscapes that Seam threw together.

I don't know what else to write (I feel like I've written these exact same paragraphs for every other 90s indie band I've covered on this blog) but trust me when I say that this is an overlooked classic. There isn't a single bad track, instead each song is memorable and interesting. Sometimes they're unpredicatble, noisy and angry like in Stomp but sometimes they're incredly well thought, almost sorrowful and just plain incredible on tracks like Former Model.

If you're a fan of 90s alternative rock or a fan of good music you need to check this out (you owe it to yourself).

Give it a listen

Maybe if I buy this they'll reform? Hell, it worked for Pavement (anything is possible)

Danny And The Champions Of The Worlds - Streets Of Our Time (2010)

Country music gets a lot of bad rep, and most of it is completely unjust. Don't get me wrong, I understand where all the hate comes from, artists like Tammy Wynette (Stand by your maaaaaaaan) and Billy Ray Cyrus (Mah achey breaky heart) are godawful excuses for musicians. But trust me when I say this, country music can be incredibly beautiful, amazingly sorrowful and sometimes just downright fun.

This here is probably my favorite album to come out this year so far. Sure it's only February and so a comment like that could be taken quite lightly - but don't. This album is fucking excellent, no doubt about it.

Danny And The Champions Of The World are never gonna make it big. I know that's a terribl thing to say but it's true. The fact is that their wonderful mix of Neil Young style vocals, Jayhawks harmonies, Welcome Wagon soul and indie-go-lucky americana is never going to be down with the kids (see: first paragraph). It's a real shame as well, because thier heartfelt songs that hark back to many a fond memory are so easy to relate to (well, they are if you spent many a summer in the country: walking besides streams and rivers and old railway tracks) and immensly enjoyable to listen to.

So they're not going to get popular but that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to them.

Link's fix'd, enjoy!

Give it a listen

Country music is popular and I buy music. Anything is possible in opposite world!

Favorite Tracks: The Flaming Lips - The Captain

The Flaming Lips - The Captain
From "The Soft Bulletin 5.1/Outtakes"
Year: 1999?

If you don't mind, I'm just going to write a paragraph about me and this blog rather than this song.

This is what my blog was originally going to be; me talking about my favorite songs. Somewhere along the way (I think it was after one post) I figured that was a terrible idea and that I should just do what all great blogs do and provide people with links to awesome music. The thing is I alway had the same goal, to talk about music that I dig and (hopefully) get more people listening to some of the artists that don't get enough love. And you know what? That means that I can still do the occassional post about a favorite track. So there.

So what can I tell you about this track? I mean, apart from the fact that it's the best thing The Flaming Lips have recorded ever. I guess I could explain were the hell it came from. So pull up a pew, stick the kettle on and get comfy.

I don't know where this track came from.

I wish I did, but I have no idea when this was written and recorded so it's hard to explain how this amazing track came about. It was probably written during the Zaireeka sessions, when The Flips were experimenting like crazy, trying to change their sound to something completely different. And so we have this.

It starts with some very dramatic (and most likey synth'd) orchestration. Horns blur, strings flood in and chimes, uh, chime. But then it all ends. That great big wall of sound that just built up just fades away into nothingness and we're left with Wayne Coyne singing over some acoustic guitar strumming (and the beautiful piano playing of Mr. Steven Drozd). He's singing something about how things are "really bad" and that "this one here won't make it to the land". None of it makes sense, not that Flaming Lips songs usually do but still. A few more lines are sung before it speeds up a little bit. The lyrics are creating tension as Wayne Coyne begs "The Captain" to make an exception. It's all building up, and then the drums kick in. Something big is coming up, and you know it.

"Instead of being bold about it..."

And then the organ wails like a banshee.

"The Captain's being cooooooooold!!"

That wall of sound that opened the track is back, and louder, noisier and more beautiful than ever. You've got this incredibly awesome, almost shoegazey, vibe going on. The strings sound like they've been taken straight from My Bloody Valentines Touched, and Wayne keeps on singing those same lines.

"Instead of being bold about it..."

Needless to say, by the end of this track I am usually stood up out of my seat, arms raised in the air as I sing along at the top of my voice.

I really wasn't joking when I said it was the best thing The Flaming Lips have ever recorded.


The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told (2003)

I.O.U. - A shitload of album uploads, reviews, music mlarky and blog updates in general. I should find time to do all of the above soon.

In the meantime you can take this as a placeholder, one of the best pop punk albums to come out of...well, ever. I highly recommend it.

I can't believe I posted this IOU without actually posting a link to the upload. HURPA DURPA.

Give it a listen

The Greatest Album Ever Bought