All Die Young by Smith Westerns – There are so many musical genres mashed together in this song (actually in this entire album) that’s difficult to fully comprehend (split inf). This song specifically, begins as an early to mid 90s bleed piece and gradually transitions into something I can only give the overused and simplistic “Beatles-esque” label. Most critical responses to SW describe them as equal parts “garage rock” and “glam rock.” I have to be honest with you, I must not be sure what either of those terms mean. Because when I listen to this album, exactly what I don’t hear is a combination of this:
Regardless, the entire album is a solid but not spectacular effort that I can find myself listening to all day. I never really tire of it. But by close of business, if examined, I would be hard pressed to recall what I had been listening to all day. I think a proper adjective for music like this is “Smithian” as this is the identical reaction I have with I listen to the Smiths. Explain that.
All that finely tuned music criticism aside, I think we all know there was not much more behind my selection of this song than the name of the band singing it. I have most common surname in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The most common surname in the world is Chang. The most common surname in Mongolia is Temuujin. The most common surname in Ireland is not O’Mally, it’s Murphy (for some reason I found this dissapointing almost as much as I was dissapointed that Chin is not the most common surname in China. It’s Wang. Well that makes me feel a little better.).
The name Smith was normally derived from an occupation, blacksmith or whatever (derived from the Anglo-Saxon: smitan: To Strike. Like a blacksmith. That’s kind of unreal, Ted Matthew Smitan.) Wikipedia has four points of interest regarding Smith as a surname. 75% of these are directly applicable to me. (1)During the World Wars, many German Americans Anglicised the common and equivalent German surname Schmidt to Smith to avoid discrimination (as did Herman Schmidt my great great grandfather); (2) During the colonization of North America, some Native Americans took the name Smith for use in dealing with colonists (What up, wife? Do you love the irony of that?); and (3) It is not uncommon (what does “it is not uncommon” mean exactly?) for people in English-speaking countries to adopt the surname Smith in order to maintain a secret identity, when they wish to avoid being found; see also John Smith (I would also say it’s not uncommon for credit card companies and purveyors of Caller ID to use the name John Smith when advertising their products. It is also not uncommon for people to refer to a generic person as John Smith. However, in legal actions and documents (and in overly dramatic Linda Cavanaugh reporting about bodies found in Lake Overholser), that unidentified person is referred to as John Doe or Jane Doe, if believed to be female. (N.B. I have filed suit against a John Doe twice (and just for clarification, 99 times out of 100, a John Doe is named simply because it’s an unidentified person that you have reason to believe exists, not something cool like a body burned beyond recognition.) both times I secretly wanted to name the person John Smith instead of John Doe just for grins. If one (watch it) also has to name an as of yet unknown corporation, XYZ Corporation is named. However, I always wanted to use Haliburton.)) Enjoy