Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On the Beach

Brand new Fastball video -- "Love Comes in Waves."

I've always liked these guys -- their 1998 hit "The Way"... a perennial iPod shuffle fave. I mean, anybody who can get a record on the alternative charts by cribbing the verse melody from "Besame Mucho" is okay by fricking me.

But I am embarrassed to admit that I was hitherto unaware that they were still plying their trade.

In any case, although the video may not wear well, both it and the song get better as they go along, and on balance I find the whole thing quite infectious.

[h/t Tyler Esposito]


Anonymous said...

"The Way" is "The Shit." Don't know about the new song, though.

Saw Fastball on their first album tour pre "The Way" in the mid 1990's. They were the opener for Matthew Sweet (who had both Susanna Hoffs and Chris Robinson guest on different tunes that night) at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. I knew nothing about them, but they were a solid band and I bought their CD at the show and talked to Miles and Tony. I bought the next two CD's but don't remember much about the third.

The second, "All the Pain That Money Can Buy," had the hit and a few others. Probably their best album though it's been a while since I played any of their stuff.

A few months back I was eating with my daughter at Red Robin and "The Way" came on through the piped in music. I instantly knew it was Fastball but forgot the name of the tune (even photographic brains get rusty). My daughter used a song identifying app on her smart phone and voila - "The Way.".

They have side and solo projects. Miles was in the Small Stars a very enjoyable campy club act which did two albums. Saw them at The Mint a few times with the Hacienda Brothers and the Mother Truckers. Miles called himself Guy Fantasy for the project. The other main guy was a saxophonist with an unusual hairdo named Buddy Llamas.

Other members of the Small Stars were Brick Masterson, Richard (Dick) Steele, and Godfrey McCambridge.:-) They had a music hall cabaret style and with songs like "Everything's Keno In Reno", they obviously had tongue planted firmly in cheek.

They had some great songs like "That's What God Made Whiskey For," "Otra Vez," and "Bombarderos Y Pistoleros," a song I can really relate to given my past.

What's left of their apparently abandoned website is at: .

I loved them live and the records are worth a spin too. If you can find them used they're probably really cheap.

The Small Stars albums are both on spotify. Worth checking out. None of the studio shit is on youtube. Just lots of iffy sounding and looking live gigs. Like this:

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

"The Way" is "The Hook."

Here's the Letterman appearance:

Vickie Rock

cthulhu said...

The Way got "the tired of" pretty quickly for me, but the follow up to that, Fire Escape, hooked me - jangly guitars, gorgeous V-IV usage on the chorus, great harmonies...what's not to like?

steve simels said...

cthulhu -- You got that right.

wayne fraizer said...

They nicked Delilah by Tom Jones for some of the melody of The Way

Anonymous said...

I also agree on "The Way" becoming tiresome on frequent plays. But it grabs you first time you hear it. It's like a great tasting gum that loses it's flavor pretty fast. But if you haven't heard it in a while, it's like an old friend.

"Fire Escape" is wonderful and shows the clear difference between Zuniga and Scalzo as writers. I like Small Stars because of Zuniga's involvement. "Tijuana Dreams" is a good album for a few spins.

Vickie Rock

Mark said...

ALL THE PAIN MONEY CAN BUY and KEEP YOUR WIG ON are two very nice albums: tight arrangements, cleverer-than-most lyrics, and tight song constructions. Sort of like my beloved THE ODDS, each of whose albums are is wonderful.

What is it about such bands -- ones with eyes open to commerce, ears attuned to hooks, and writing geared to wit and ideas -- that permit them to have longer-than-others careers, and makes it possible for listeners like me to enjoy their albums long after they've been released?

Is it that they look at recording and performance as jobs? Are they just more grounded? Huh?

cthulhu said...

Mark, gotta second you on the Odds. My intro to them was in 1992, in a dive in Dallas' Deep Ellum district, opening for and then backing up Warren Zevon. Terrific opening show; I remember being most impressed by the vocal harmonies. Then they were a most simpatico band for Zevon; only time I saw him with a band, unfortunately. And my car made it through the whole show without being broken into! Terrific evening...

Anonymous said...

If I had to choose, I'd go with the Odds. Nice song craft.

Vickie Rock

Mark said...


The Odds backing Warren Zevon! Amazing.

I saw The Odds but once in 1998 at The Mercury Lounge in NYC as the middle act of three poppish bands (Marcy Playground, then unknown, opened), and I can't recall the headliners. I came for The Odds, and if lights existed to be blown out, The Odds blew them out. Not only were they good and tight, but THEY were having a great time as well.