Monday, May 19, 2008

Bracing for the Facelift

Attention Blogworld:

All apologies for the recent was unavoidable. My car broke down, I had bronchitis, my dog ate it, my grandmother turned 90, and there was a hailstorm/earthquake/locust attack.

Also, writing/rehearsing for the next record. So why you gotta be so demanding? I give and I give....

One extra-rad piece of news: very soon, this blog will look totally different. As will the website and Myspace. The way you interwebinteract with Milam will change forever. It's a brave new world. Jump in.

In the meantime...

...I have realized in the past two weeks that nothing in my life is more certain the domineering perfection of "Do You Wanna Dance," by the Beach Boys. Don't ask what prompted me to revisit this song. I honestly couldn't tell you. I woke up one morning singing it, having forgotten its existence for probably 7 years. I went to listen to the song on my computer, realized I didn't have it. I downloaded the song (legally, I swear, I paid for it, twice!) and rocked out. I said to myself, "That sure was satisfying. Let's do it again."

Fast forward three days later and I'm driving across town listening to a 15-track mix CD, and 12 of the tracks are "Do You Wanna Dance" by the Beach Boys. I'm not even sure what happened, and I think I blacked out at one point.

Seven Reasons This Is Currently the Best Song I've Ever Heard:

1) There are 3 background vocalists that somehow sound like 3500. The harmonies in the chorus (complimented by the drums) sound like a tsunami. I don't know how they did this, but I badly want to learn.

2) It builds into itself. Only 60's pop songs had the cheer arrogance to end every other line with a dramatic buildup...only to play the same thing over again. "Oh...they're hanging on the D...where's it going to go?" Back to the same line you just heard, that's where. Because that line was awesome, so now you're going to hear it again. Deal with it. The Beatles were all about tiny, behind-the-scenes variation from verse to verse, line to line. The Beach Boys (at least early on) simply did not care about this. "We will write something that you can't help but love, and then play it thirty times in a row. And, as a testament to how good we are, you will still love it the 29th time. Brian Wilson might get sick of us, but you never will." They seemed to say.

3) "All" is two syllables. As in, "Hold me, baby, ahh-all through the night."

4) The surfer rock sound of the guitar solo. It might sound standard now, but this is a sonic benchmark that the Beach Boys helped create.

5) When you really only have one thing to say, just say it. The verse asks, "do you wanna dance?" The chorus then asks, "Doyoudoyoudoyoudoyou wanna dance?" This guy just wants to dance. Badly. Like a sorority girl after a break-up.

6) The singer sings normally, and really well. Later Beach Boys is about 90% falsetto. Let's face it, that gets tiresome when you're singing along and realize you've imitated Mickey Mouse for the better part of an hour. This is mid-range vocal glory, razor-sharp, and infectious.

7) Nearly flubbing nonsense lyrics...and not even fooling with a second take. Verse two asks, "Do you wanna dance/under the moonlight/kiss me baby..." Then asks, "Do you wanna dance/under the moonlight/squeeze me, squeeze me..." Great, wonderful. The only problem is the the singer forgets which throwaway lyric comes first, and starts to sing the "squeeze me's" only to remember, "kiss me." So, the lyric is actually, "Do you wanna dance/under the moonlight/skiss me baby..."

"Did you just say 'skiss me?'"
"I'm afraid so."
(Slapping forehead) "We talked about this. It's 'kiss me,' then 'squeeze me, squeeze me.' I wrote these words for a reason, man. This is important stuff. My God, take it seriously."
"I'm sorry. I was feeling the 'squeeze me' but it was the moment for the 'kiss me' and I got mixed up in the feeling of the whole 'squeezing/kissing' thing. It's really a lot to remember, man."
"Jiminy Cricket. First, kissme, then squeezemesqueezeme. What kind of madman would squeezeme first, then kissme? Who are you, Caligula?"
"I feel like it can go either way, depending on the situation and the lady involved."
"You fail to understand this song. Think about it...this guy wants to dance. That's integral to who he is. It is imperative that our protagonist first request a kissme, then a squeezemesqueeze me."
"We could do another take."
"Oh God, no. Let's play volleyball instead."


Skiss me, baby,

1 comment:

ross k. said...

The Beach Boys are glorious. The lyrics are all juvenile, but the VOCALS, my God, the vocals. The arrangements, the harmonies, the production, the effin' reverb...they're special. Melodies everybody remembers and wants to sing, great car music, makes you feel good...I love 'em.

But oddly, I haven't heard that particular song. So thanks for the tip; now it's time for me to check it out.

Went to a dance lookin' for romance, saw Barbara Ann so I thought I'd take a chance...

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