Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2006 Song Of The Year

Song Of The Year: "Dirty Little Secret" by All American Rejects.

My reasons for choosing "Dirty Little Secret" were many:

1. It had mass appeal, it's popularity gives it a greater chance the message will be heard and thus, the better the potential to have an impact.

2. It has a message that makes you think, pushing the boundaries of traditional pop subject matter.

3. It's irresistably catchy and rocks hard, an ironically joyful sound belies the darkness of it's content. Call it a musical spoonful of sugar, sweetening the raw medicine of it's message.

4. It gets bonus points for a great accompanying video.

The way she feels inside (inside)
Those thoughts I can't deny (deny)
These sleeping dogs won't lie (won't lie)
And all I've tried to hide
It’s eating me apart
Trace this life out

I'll keep you my dirty little secret
(Dirty little secret)
Don't tell anyone or you'll be just another regret
(Just another regret)

Who has to know?
who has to know?

"Dirty Little Secret" addresses difficult subject matter- the hidden character flaws that drive dysfunction, personal crisis and denial- yet became a wildly popular anthem.

It's now a mainstream hit and that's the point. That this song became as popular as it did means people "got it". While your average Joe might not instantly grasp the complexity of the message, there's a chance they may be humming along to it for years to come.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Plimsouls' Million Mile Journey

Peter Case

The Plimsouls took the stage at San Juan Capistrano's Coach House Friday night to the delight of many longtime fans. And a few who weren't even born when the band made it's first record!

You may remember The Plimsouls' early 1980's hit, "A Million Miles Away" from the "Valley Girl" soundtrack. It was a KROQ staple back in the day and helped launch The Plimsouls into the LA New Wave spotlight along side bands like The Go-Go's, X and The Knack.

Since the 80's, lead singer Peter Case has released several folk CDs and toured as a solo act. The Plimsouls released the mostly overlooked "Kool Trash" album in 1998. Their recent reformation is a long hoped for surprise for many early fans of the band.

Despite a harmonica malfunction, a guitar missing a strap and sporadic feedback problems, Case and his band mates stayed loose while forging through energetic versions of Plimsoul staples like "Now", "Oldest Story In The World" and "Everywhere At Once".

Between songs, Case joked that the band had just returned from an East Coast tour. A "28 year East Coast tour!", he said with a smile. Clearly, on stage is where The Plimsouls are in their element. Relaxed almost to the point of nonchalance, they retain the aura of local bar band made good.

A quarter of a century on, the band still features it's original members, with the exception of a new drummer. Case's road tested voice reveals a more gravelly singing tone than in the early days but just as much passion. Guitarist Eddie Munoz displays the bouncy enthusiasm of a kid who just discovered he could play. And bassist David Pahoa's steady rhythm helped get The Coach House crowd on it's feet and moving.

Case and company played a couple of new songs during their set and hinted that they are working on a new album. Then closed the show by giving an appreciative crowd what they came for- The Plimsouls playing a rousing rendition of the song that started their journey several decades and a "million miles" ago.