May 2, 2009

How Do We Get Back to the Beach?

Maybe it is growing up in a beach town, maybe California, maybe the United States (as my non-Californio friends contend), but there is really something about singing along with Sublime that makes me feel good. As my relationship to music has progressed, I have at various times come back to Sublime to appreciate some other element previously gone unseen. The thing that continues to get me is how effectively they innovated in the spaces between hip-hop and reggae. The scratches and break beats meld contentedly into the island vibes. My favorite, a lyrically complex reggae diversion, continues to awe me with its simple image of the ocean involved in sharing a bed:

Badfish - Sublime, 40 oz to Freedom (1992).

Along with that increased understanding and enthusiasm comes the recurring and impossible nostalgia associated with any dead artist. Bradley Nowell died taking Sublime's effusive quality with him. Any of those coming of musical age at the moment of Sublime's graceful collapse and simultaneous skyrocketing looked immediately to the Long Beach Dub All Stars ("Sunny Hours" for example is a neurotic breach of "What I Got" from a post-Sublime unconscious). The fact was, however, the quality was missing. The pure carefree sound that came from a day's annoyances and struggles, the sound that remedied the impossibility of putting one's life together because the ocean is really fucking big.

I think though, that thanks to the Tunawax homies at djnodj, we have a track that provides hope. Suffice it to say that with this song by The Snugs (really really check them out) we can get at that sublime quality. That is my contention.

Trying ft. Little Hannah Collins - The Snugs (2009)

No comments:

Post a Comment