Something Is Waiting’s Nada Surf cover, “Popular,” is out now via Learning Curve’s Quarantimes Vol. 2 Compilation. All money raised from the comp will be donated to dosomething.org, A non-for-profit of young people initiating social change.
I’ve re-written the lyrics to this song twice, once in a garage with a friend the summer it came out,” says Eddie Gobo, vocalist. “I was 11. This is a great track from the Golden Age of Alternative Radio. Every city, somewhere around the low 100s on the dial. I would always look for the Alternative radio stations on family road trips every few hours when the closest major city would change.
I found it cool that everywhere, kids were listening to SIMILAR but not the same stations. Now yes, they were often all owned by the same media chain, but it wasn’t like cable TV where everyone was fed the exact same thing. Each city had their own DJs, their own radio-sponsored rock fests, and the programming to an extent had a regional flair to it.
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago I’d get more Local H; in Texas you’d get more Toadies, etc. The songs that were universal, though, were the hits. How could a clever song about the importance of popularity in the superficial mid-’90s not be a hit? I always think of Clueless when I think of this song, and vice versa, even tho the two had nothing to do with each other.