Friday, March 01, 2013

Hipwaders See No Need to Hold It

The Hipwaders know it's not nice to be a tease.

Keeping that in mind, they have been (slowly) releasing tracks from their upcoming CD (whatever it's called) on a series of CD singles.

The latest pair arrived this week and they're at turns insightful and delightful. The first, GAIA SHE KNOWS and HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL, exhibits two sides of a coin. According to band founder, songwriter Tito Uquillas, a six-year-old girl named Gaia approached me after a show and wanted to know if the band had recorded any songs about saving the Earth and/or not using pesticides. "Apparently, she had just attended a school assembly for Earth Day and was interested in the topic," Tito said. "The idea of a young girl named Gaia, which means Earth Goddess wanting to save the planet was too good of an idea to pass up."

The resulting song has a soft, southern rock influence (is that a steel pedal guitar or slide guitar I hear?) instead of what could have been expected from a San Francisco-based troupe. There's also a self-explanatory extended version.

The "B" side is a faithful recording of PETER COTTONTAIL, one of the most popular Easter tunes for more than 50 years. Wikipedia reports that songwriters Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins asked Gene Autry to record the song after the success of Autry's Christmas music. The tune peaked at number five on the pop charts in 1950. The Hipwaders play it straight and there's nothing wrong with a new version of any holiday song that can be played outside of December.

The second disc features two more originals,YOU GOTTA HOLD IT and JUST NOT ME. These are behavioral songs, instructing kids on what is going to be expected of them in the real world. YOU GOTTA HOLD IT talks about bathroom etiquette. Simply put, if you're on a long road trip or somewhere with unsanitary conditions, listen to what the man is singing:

Thoughts of school bring distrust,
Bathroom stalls you dare not touch.
One kid in was never seen again, 
Word to the wise, you better listen my friend,
You gotta hold it.

JUST NOT ME serves as a warning to parents that you can only push a kid so far. The protagonist can be dressed and fed and dragged anywhere, but don't expect him to be happy about it. In fact, as the song states, "I won't go kissing aunts or grandmas, that's just how it is."

I have yet to hear a Hipwaders song that I didn't either approve of the message or didn't immediately feel like singing along with. During the almost-two-year gap since their last CD, THE GOLDEN STATE, many bands have tried to fill that niche of upbeat power pop. Luckily, the Hipwaders are back to show them how it's done, even if it's only a few songs at a time.

The Hipwaders new CD singles are available at their Website, Amazon, iTunes, and CDBABY.

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