From The Desk Of GospelbeacH: “Thirteen” Steps To Getting Off The Bandwagon

Brent Rademaker would like to think that GospelbeacH’s Pacific Surf Line is a celebration of our country’s two left coasts—though maybe he would’ve preferred a bit more Old Florida charm to counter the L.A. swagger. “I really wanted to make this album sound like the kinds of music I listened to growing up in the ’70s,” says Rademaker, a native of the Gulf Coast. By and large, though, Pacific Surf Line celebrates Rademaker’s return to Southern California. For a collective effort, the LP is surprisingly lean, with more refined nods to the Flying Burrito Brothers twang that informed Rademaker’s former group, Beachwood Sparks. GospelbeacH—Rademaker, Neal Casal, Jason Soda, Kip Boardman and Tom Sanford—isn’t afraid to broach the breezy accessibility of yacht-rock mainstays like the Eagles and Loggins & Messina, either. The band will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on them.


Rademaker: Recently, the free world celebrated the 25th anniversary of Teenage Fanclub‘s Bandwagonesque album. Spin magazine’s album of the year, 1991. At the time, it was a very big deal. It beat out a little record called Nevermind by a group from Aberdeen. Oh well, whatever …

What about the less successful follow-up record? It couldn’t have been a “sophomore jinx,” because what followed was TFC’s third full length. A gloriously understated album that had very little to do with Big Star and more reflected the four members of the group’s tastes and personalities. I am of course talking about my favorite TFC LP, Thirteen: the one with the soccer ball on the cover.

This won’t be a track-by-track breakdown, just a gentle nudge that if you think you didn’t “get” that record, maybe you should try again. It’s the last record that features drummer Brendan O’Hare. He actually brought some of the more light-hearted rock ‘n’ roll vibes to the group (which I liked).

You’re gonna get your classic Norman Blake infectious choruses. It’s chock full of Gerry Love’s love of all things Byrds (there’s even a song called “Gene Clark”). Guitarist Raymond McGuinley wrote one of the all-time indie tearjerkers in “Tears Are Cool.” And you can tell the band cut the record live: There are no frills, no tricks and no Big Star! Just a cool bunch of Scottish dudes making a record because they had to. Check out or revisit Thirteen by Teenage Fanclub and get off the Bandwagonesque.