Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's Never Clear It's Pantomime

I don't like the radio. Stations never play what I want to hear. If Good Charlotte comes blasting through my car stereo one more time I may just quietly pull over to the side of the road and shoot myself. I feel that strongly about the quality of radio here in San Diego. It sucks. However, once in a while there are exceptions. Today proved to be one of those days. Driving back from lunch I accidentally hit the FM/AM switch instead of CD. I'm glad I did. 94.9, one of the last true independent stations in town was playing a block of The Cars. Now, if you're an obsessive pop music fan like myself, you are aware of how indebted most of today's bands are to them. Without The Cars there would be no Weezer. No Doubt? No way. There would be no Fountains Of Wayne. No Pixies. And certainly no Hole. And not just because Ric Ocasek produced albums for half of them either. While they were more commercially oriented than their New York peers, the Cars were nevertheless inspired by proto-punk, garage rock, and bubblegum pop. The difference was in packaging. Where their peers were as equally inspired by art as music, the Cars were strictly a rock & roll band, and while their music occasionally sounded clipped and distant, they had enough attitude to cross over to album rock radio, which is where they made their name. Nevertheless, the Cars remained a new wave band, and to me, that's what makes them classic. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

The Cars: My Best Friends Girl

The Cars: Just What I Needed

The Cars: Let The Good Times Roll

The Cars: I'm Not The One

The Cars: Drive

The Cars: Heartbeat City

The Cars: Since You're Gone


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, I love the pop, and there's no doubt of Weezer's or Fountains of Wayne's debts to the Cars. I just don't hear any relationship to the Pixies. Certainly not the polished production, not the synths, not even the vocal style. Where do you see the influence? No disrespect intended, of course. I just think of the Pixies as coming from a completely different place.


9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

94.9 portrays itself as an independent radio station, on the cutting edge, but have you noticed that they completley copy the playlist of LA'sIndie 103? They never play new stuff, they wait and wait like KROQ. Indie 103 takes risk, has Jonesey Jukebox, and is always playing great music. 94.9 drives me crazy, becuase they could be great, but they remain ordinary.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Jesse a.k.a. The Vicar said...

Listen to Here Comes Your Man and tell me there aren't inclings of The Cars. It may be a stretch, but somewhere in the mix its there.

9:47 PM  

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