Thursday, August 11, 2011
"We used to dream / But now we worry about dyin'
We used to dream / But now we worry about dyin'
But I don't wanna worry about dyin'
I just wanna worry about those sunshine girls....."
There's something in that small couplet that captures completely and ineffably the cusp, the point between (invincible) youth and (damaged) adulthood. The Japandroids are a couple of children in their early/mid-20s from Vancouver who make this music. Some of their music reminds me of that old forgotten band, Eddie & The Hotrods, a precursor to British punk who had a major hit in 1977 with "Do Anything You Wanna Do." (And I'm so fucking old, I actually remember how much I loved that song as a child). I don't know much of the Japandroids' discography but the songs I've heard so far are about this precise turning point between being young and being old, suffused with a dollop of nostalgia, an unfortunate awareness what they're experiencing is totally fleeting, it's here and it's gone, and then all that's left is nothing.
I heard this song "Young Hearts Spark Fire" (from their album Post-Nothing) a million times in 2009. I would jog with it all the time, blasting it through my headphones. This is a live-in-the-studio version of "Young Hearts Spark Fire." Incredibly, the actual recorded version rocks much harder.
Here is a subsequent Japandroids single from 2010, a little bit like 1980s power pop a la the Replacements. A song predictably called "Younger Us":
"Gimme that naked new skin rush / Gimme younger us
Gimme that you and me to the grave trust / Give me younger us
Gimme that girls love running wild and free / Give me younger us
Gimme that boys out swimming through the streets / Give me younger us
Gimme that night you were already in bed
Said 'fuck it' got up to drink with me instead."