Monday, September 29, 2008

Songcrush: Silver Lining

Thers put this on a mix CD the other day, and I admit, I'm kinda sorta obsessed with it. This is Beulah doing "Silver Lining" (2001).

What I like about this is the more or less perfect blend of pop and punk, which I take to be the distinguishing characteristic of powerpop. Plus, there are moments, like the tail end of the guitar solo, which could have been written by any number of bitchin' bands, but (I confess) remind me most of Neil Innes writing for the Rutles. And that's just cool.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely adorable. And I love the girl with the maracas doing the frug,,,,

David said...

Peel me a grape! Totally enjoyable power pop, down to the Big Star t-shirt. Not a diss but an observation: It seems like when you keep distilling Beatles-style pop down to its essence, it ends up with a really Caucasian flavor. Are all shiny happy people white?

steve simels said...

Three words:

Little. Red. Corvette.

TMink said...

David, there is something to that. If we take the Beatles as one of the developers of powerpop, we have to acknowledge that they got their blues secondhand. The Byrds grew up right here with the blues, maybe that is whay David Crosby is not much on powerpop.

We here in America have had the priviledge of being more directly influenced by Africa through the delta. And that makes a difference in what we hear and what notes we want to flat and bend I think.

Steve and I are in disagreement about this one, and he makes the better points than I in our discussions (duh!) but a part of me clings to powerpop holding the blues at arm's distance.

Now I love the blues, and of course powerpop, but I see them as wonderfully different and complimentary.


steve simels said...

As Dave said, an observation, not a diss.

But yes, powerpop as a genre doesn't have a lot of blues in it. There are exceptions, of course -- Eddie Cochran, comes to mind - but yeah, it's a pretty white genre.

Or as a friend of mine used to say, I don't think the Beach Boys sold a lot of records above 125th street.

David said...

I'm in the middle of reading Revolution in the Head, which makes you remember just how integral R&B (Smokey Robinson, the Shirelles, Little Richard, Larry Williams etc.) was to the DNA of the early Beatles. I guess bands like Beulah are so far removed from that scene and those influences that the blues-soul-R&B are dispensed with, and the primary focus becomes, in Ian McDonald's juicy phrase, the "gong-like clangour of saturated guitar tone."