Monday, March 27, 2006

Remember to keep your hair spotlessly clean....

Okay, firstly I'd like to say thanks to everyone who came down on Saturday. The weather sucked and a lot of people had gone home for the holidays, so it was all a bit on the quiet side. Plus, I don't think I was exactly on form, what with being knackered from a night of drinking and a day of teaching prior. So thanks for sticking with me, and I'll try and behave myself a bit better next week

Anyway, this week I thought I'd do (drumroll please)

Forgotten bands of the nineties that are really ownly known for one song but are much better than that so you should check them out week
(snappy eh)

A lot of people associated being in a band with some level of coolness. However, the idea of 'cool' is something that has always been somewhat overrated in my mind. What do the cool people actually do? They're not the ones dancing because that would be un-hip. They're not the ones listenning to records they love. Instead they're listening to records they think they should like to be edgy. And they certainly aren't devoting hours of their time learning an instrument, writing songs and practicing in their garage. Because when you think about it, writing music (or collecting it, or posting about it on the internet) is quite a nerdy thing to be doing

Which is why, perversly, nerd rock is cool. Weezer, Modest Mouse, The Weakerthans, The Getup Kids, Reggie And The Full Effects and todays band, Nada Surf, all embody the idea of nerd-rock. Not for them stylists, hair cuts, flashy videos and choreographed stage antics. Nope, they write songs about strange pointy bits of land (Modest Mouse - Blame It On The Tetons), playing dungeons and dragons in their garage (Weezer - In The Garage) and about silly injokes between their friends (Reggie And The Full Effects - Everything they've ever done). Whilst these things might not be cool, everyone has their own little quirks and interests that they can releate to these bands through. Oh, and they write really good songs too

So Nada Surf then. Their debut album, High/Low is one seems to crop up a lot on the random play setting on my iPod, and everytime a song comes up, I end up digging out the album to listen to it all the way through. It's just an album of great songs, and if you are in any way into nerd-rock/geek-punk then I recommend it thoroughly. Think slowed down Descendants, or punked up Weezer. Only of course you already know Nada Surf, you just can't place the name

Because Popular was their biggest hit. The second single from the debut, it became an underground MTV hit. Written, as the lyrics point out at the end, as the teenage guide to popularity, it is a satire of the american teens reliance on conformity. It struck a chord with the record buyers and it sold pretty well, becoming a staple of the MTV alternative roster. Unfortunatly, it did for Nada Surf what Creep did for a long time with Radiohead in the states. They became known as 'The Popular band' and are considered by many as a one hit-wonder (there is even a record compilation of one-hit wonders featuring them). They have released two other great albums, Let Go and last years The Weight Is A Gift. Again, they are both staples of my listening diet, although they are perhaps a little mellower than the first.

So, to prove that they are not a one trick pony, I'm going to post Popular and something a bit newer

Nada Surf - Popular

Nada Surf - Inside Of Love

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