You ever sit down to enjoy the latest web clip and start off thinking, “Hey, the surfing here isn’t terrible.” But then, oh let’s say thirty-seconds into everything, you change your tone. Something’s not quite right. Tilting your head to the side, you raise your eyebrows a bit and say to yourself, “But the music in this video is complete shit.” Fed up, you twist your face into a frown not unlike someone failing to untwist a corkscrew through telekinesis and close your laptop. Reflecting on the somewhat regretful experience you just put yourself through you decide it’s best to just walk away from it all. You then saunter away from your desk a tad more irritable than usual and spend the rest of the day as is. And it’s all because someone has a terrible taste in soundtracks. That ever happen to you? Terrific, same thing happens to me all the time as well.
Seriously, music can make or break surf clips. Take Brendon Gibben’s “Listen Now, Misty Dawn” section(above, it starts at the 17:02 mark) for example. Yes, the same one I’ve now managed to mention on three separate occasions on this site. Now I’m not saying that from a surfing standpoint that section isn’t wholly unremarkable on its own. In fact it’s quite the opposite. What I’m saying is that by adding that extra layer with the Simple Minds track it makes the whole thing, well, something that makes me scream a hearty, “Phoooaaar!” each viewing. How he slides out of that backlit barrel right as that guitar riff starts bellowing? Still can’t believe Kai just went ahead and did that.
Now that I’ve established some context, here are five tunes that really need to find their way into a surf clip. Why take the time to bother with all this? Well, we’ve watched a lot of videos in the past and wondered why their soundtracks are hot garbage. So in a perfect world, here’s what we’d like to hear. And yes this is the same hypothetical, perfect world where paying for licensing rights isn’t necessary. Oh, and my perspective carries a good amount of weight and internet lists aren’t hackneyed things. And before you get mad, look: I don’t have bad opinions. I just don’t have the ability to phrase things in a way that lets people agree with me. Alright here we go:
London Dungeon — Misfits.
Yes, I’m aware every Misfits song sounds like it was sung by an angsty teen who was just told to go pick up his room. But I kinda love the Misfits for that. Plus their sound is so quintessential 90s. Get this playing in the background and you’ll turn any shaky, intentionally-out-of-focus-because-the-surfing-isn’t-all-that-great, grainy clip into something memorable.
Public Image — Public Image Ltd.
Honestly just a head-banging tune. One listen and you’ll want to send your fist through your laptop screen and acid drop off of Golden Gate. When has up-tempo post-punk (new wave?) music not been a great choice for a contemporary surf clips? Never, that’s when. I really need someone either charging Shipsterns or launching tweaked airs on to dry reef to Johnny Rotten. And I needed it on my Vimeo feed yesterday.
Swan Lake Waltz — Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Imagine if John John added this little number to one of his regularly mind-melting edits and dropped it before Snapper? Visualize the ease John eviscerates a wave paired with some Tchaikovsky? It’d be terrifying. I’d imagine all the other CTers would need classical conditioning afterward. It’d be surfing’s Clockwork Orange moment and I’d very much like to see this all happen sooner rather than later.
Roy Keane — Brame & Hamo.
I can very easily see Gabriel Medina picking this song just to prove some sort of point. “John John wouldn’t do this, would he?” Gab’s saying after sifting through multiple pages of Soundcloud. “You don’t see him using a house beat in his edit, huh? No, only classical for John John.” Gabs is the most competitive person on the planet and it often comes off as pure insanity. He’d do anything to win. Would he surf to house music? He’d surf to house music. He’ll surf to a pulsing beat just like all those skaters in those fancy Palace videos. And he’ll do it just to get in everyone else’s head. There goes Gabs, launching air reverses to an 808 drum loop. John looks and listens on in fear. Filipe Toledo taps his feet and watches in awe. “Gab’s the patrao, now,” mutters Filipe. “He can surf to house music. Fuck the lot of us.”
“Livin’ It Up” — Ja Rule.
Despite all the suspect things Ja Rule has done over the past couple years, “Livin It Up” is still amazing. I mean it. This song still properly slaps and forever will. Seriously, civilization will soon collapse and a majority of humanity will perish with it. It will be a grim affair. But a small few will survive the initial blasts. They’ll climb out of the rubble broken, forsaken, but very much alive. And blinking up at the irradiated sky, they’ll reflect. Reflect on how things are different now. How did we get to this point? How was life so simple before?
After a good, long think they’ll realize: “Yes, things aren’t quite the same. However there will always be two constants to ground ourselves on: how good every Dion Agius section was and how amazing “Livin It Up” by Ja Rule is. Fuck, that song is a banger. Such a shame those two never met in a clip before all these pesky bombs destroyed all our RED cameras, editing bays, and Tasmania. Watching Ja Rule and Dion come together would have been a real treat. An ideal marriage of audio and video, I’d say. Oh well, best not to dwell on the past. Guess I should I go off and scavenge for food and find a war tribe to join or something along those lines. Oh, maybe I’ll go surf the locale. Might as well take advantage of that empty lineup while I can.”–James Royce