After I happened upon a gem of a pop song by Béisbol via a Rontoms email, I was immediately curious of both the group's influences and its guilty pleasures. The pair's rhythmic pop is decidedly more sunshiny than Portland's typical weather. Luckily the brothers Jeff and Ryan Burian who make up the up-and-coming duo granted half of my wish by providing us with two tracks each that have previously been locked in their musical closet of guilty pleasures.
"I Don't Wanna Dance" - Eddy Grant
It's unfortunate a lot of Eddy Grant's work has been overshadowed in the US by "Electric Avenue." This '82 single, featured on the same album as "Electric Avenue," is a personal favorite. The production is a little wacky and dated, but Grant's arrangement and delivery really sell it. For me, 2011 has been a year of feel-good jams, and this one feel's great. Blasting some Eddy Grant is an awesome way to let everybody know you're having a better time than they are.
"Magic" - Pilot
Everything about this 1974 Pilot jam is 70's pop rock gold. A couple of these dudes jammed with Bay City Rollers back when, and you can hear it. The clap tracks, big horns, and sweet falsetto all over the track might be a little too bubblegum for some kids, but I can't get enough. I'm also a sucker for Queen-style multi-track guitar solos. Music is totally a part of my seize-the-day routine, and this is one of those songs that makes the sun shine a little brighter.
"Ocean Man" - Ween
This song has got to be one of my all time favorite "cruising in sunny California" jams. Jeff was actually the first one to show it to me, unless you count hearing it in the Spongebob movie. Either way, it was on a mix Jeff had made and it came on while cruising in my dads lifted F-150. The pitch shifted vocals are amazing and the song was ideal for two dudes mobing around in Southern California.
"Tuff Enuff" - Shit Robot
The first time I heard this song was in my old house in California. I remember it was early in the morning and my room mate was listening to it and yelled, "Shit Robot!" from the hall. I stepped into his room and instantly feeling compelled to get down right wild. I also remember the first time we came to Portland we blasted this song loud. The beat is so minimal, but the vocals get me pumped. I still scream "Shit Robot!" when any of his tunes come on.