By Luigi Gianni
There’s this weird thing about music.
If anybody asked you why you like a certain kind of music, specially if it is Alternative Rock, you may find it’s quite a difficult question to answer. One, ‘cause well… You’d classify alternative as everything that isn’t mainstream. So you get a pretty big scope there.
Two, it’s hard to put it in words.
I can’t answer that myself. But I can tell you, for example, the bands that brought me to this other side, so often ignored, of rock. Throw in the bucket Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol, Death Cab for Cutie, The Thrills and a couple of others. But one band stands out.
Nada Surf has been on the rock scene for 20 years now, but it hasn’t been exactly easy for them. They enjoyed a period of great success around 1996, but were dropped by their label in 1999. Until 2002, the band members had to take regular jobs to survive: vocalist Matthew Caws worked at a records store, drummer Ira Elliot did drum and guitar session work to other artists, and bassist Daniel Lorca worked on computer projects. Their “luxury period”, as Caws later referred to.
Their great comeback came with the release of the acclaimed “Let Go”, in 2002. Since then, they’ve released four albums, with the last one coming out last January. “The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy”, as indifferent as they are to wherever they stand nowadays in the rock spectrum. It’s been a rough path for them, but they sound better than ever.
A few years ago, I was exercising my weekly routine of seating back, every Sunday, and just listening to music. It started raining, then Blonde On Blonde, Nada Surf’s song and reference to Bob Dylan’s album, started playing on my stereo. Now, there are these little moments in life, when everything comes together – the music, the environment, everything –, and suddenly it all makes sense. Like Noel Gallagher’s concert Erick told us about yesterday. Like this forgettable Sunday a few years ago.
I got this e-mail from my brother yesterday. Apparently, in the end of April, Nada Surf themselves will be doing a concert in Florianópolis. One of the most ignored Alternative Rock bands in a, well, quite ignored city. I guess you’d go to Florianópolis for the beautiful beaches, not exactly for the music.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I promise you, I’ll be the first guy standing on the line… After all, it can be a tough life sometimes. It’s a rough world. But oh, the little things, these little moments when everything comes together. They make it worth it.
That’s why I love music.
Panda on the Radio
is a platform of different medias designed to offer you, in the simplest way possible, suggestions of the best of what we've seen (and what we'll see) regarding alternative and indie rock.
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