During one of the wildest scenes in a particularly unhinged episode of Mad Men this past Sunday, Roger Sterling took an acid trip with the assistance of the smooth sounds of the Beach Boys’ “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times.” It was a perfect use of an excellent song, fully encapsulating the strange passing of time, the frivolity of youth, and the melancholy of loneliness.
In 50 years, perhaps a television show that takes place in 2012 will use “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” the just-released Beach Boys’ reunion single. What sort of scene should this new track underscore? Give it a listen below to get your synapses firing.
“That’s Why God Made the Radio” certainly has everything a vintage Beach Boys tune needs: Breezy harmonies, references to cars, and an almost exhausting sense of sweetness. In a lot of ways, despite the fact that it was released 50 years after the scene was to occur, “That’s Why God Made the Radio” could have easily been the soundtrack to Roger Sterling’s dalliance with LSD. After all, Sterling is a character who fetishizes how things used to be, and what better encapsulates that feeling than a song that associates higher power with technology as vintage as the FM dial?
There is something profoundly bizarre about the Beach Boys putting out new music in 2012, especially considering how many artists (especially in the indie world) have exploited the sound they helped invent. Their influence is everywhere, from Bon Iver’s lovely layers to Katy Perry’s beach-friendly youth anthems.
How do those artists feel about having to compete directly with the group they’ve borrowed so much from? It’s like when John Cena and the Miz stole a bunch of stuff from the Rock’s act, and then the Rock returned to reclaim his place.
Of course, “That’s Why God Made the Radio” isn’t nearly as great as “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times.” But hey, it’s better than “Kokomo.”