50 Foot Wave is a power-pop trio that sort of uses Los Angeles as its base. The core of the band is singer/guitarist Kristin Hersh and Bernard Georges, who has been the bassist in Hersh’s Throwing Muses for a long time. 50 Foot Wave is nothing like the indie rock of Throwing Muses, and it’s even further away from Hersh’s folk-oriented, mostly acoustic solo stuff. Fifty Foot Wave is much harder, sweatier, and bloodier.
You can read all the details about Hersh and the Muses and even 50 Foot Wave in my previous posts. The Muses are my favorite band, and while it’s natural for me to also like the KH solo stuff, I have to admit that if 50 Foot Wave wasn’t a KH project, I might not like it.
The Muses have a brand new record called Purgatory/Paradise coming out this autumn — their first since 2003. Of course I’ll be posting about that later.
Tonight’s song comes from the only proper album that Fippy has released in their 10-year existence. Most of the time, I’ll write about why certain songs tickle my fancy. Tonight, this is more about something else. Backstory, sort of. I guess.
On Monday night, I discovered that Dick Van Dyke is still alive. I assumed that he’s been dead for a few years, but just the other day as the 87-year old actor was driving on a California highway in his Jaguar, his car burst into flames. He escaped unharmed and even had time to joke about it. According to reports, he made a Vine video and even before his 40-year old wife came to get him, he tweeted (what?) “Used Jag for sale. Real Cheap”.
After that, I decided to go on a Dick Van Dyke Show binge. Everyone who knows me knows that I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the Mary Tyler Moore of that era. I used to famously say that she was “the hottest woman on teevee”. I Although the MTM show Mary was still hot, it was the “Laura Petrie” that I was really talking about. That has nothing to do with anything.
So I went on a Dick Van Dyke Show binge. Remember that Dick Van Dyke played a teevee comedy show writer named Rob Petrie. The show was never supposed to be about his home life. It was supposed to be (and season one actually is) mostly about his interactions with his coworkers. Amongst all the zingers and witty one-liners, I noticed the title of episode 1.13. “Sally is a Girl”.
In this episode, Rob’s wife Laura (MTM) is concerned that Rob (DVD) and his male co-writer treat their female co-writer Sally (magnificently played by Rose Marie) like “one of the boys”. Laura thinks that they even forget that Sally is a girl and that Sally herself even forgets that she’s a girl. Rob overcompensates. Hilarity ensues.
I knew right away that I recognized “Sally is a Girl” as the title of a 50 Foot Wave Song, but I wasn’t sure if it was one of those things where the song is inspired by but not necessarily about the show episode.
Here’s the song, anyway…
“Sally is a Girl” by 50 Foot Wave
This song actually is more Muses-like than most Fippy songs. Still a little more raw, a little dirtier, but it has moments where the melody comes through.
As it turns out, the song isn’t exactly about the episode. Most songs written by Kristin Hersh aren’t exactly about anything. But it does make specific reference to it in the last verse:
I’m dripping wet, I’m walking sweat
The sun shines at an angle, oh
I’m Rose Marie
But Sally is a girl, oh
Sally is a girl, oh
Sally is a girl
You can download a “free”, abridged version of Golden Ocean from the 50 Foot Wave page at Cash Music. Through the Creative Commons, all of the Fippy stuff is available at the “name your price”. You can and should also order physical copies, which you can do here.