The Beach Boys song “God Only Knows” isn’t just one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, it’s one of the most heartfelt expressions of loss and grief ever recorded. For Bayonne, the song taught him the power of vulnerability and openness and how to embrace it in his own music. As Bayonne says, it allows the listener to get a “crystal clear understanding of things” and while this moment is “fleeting”, it is worthwhile. Bayonne is KUTX’s Artist of the Month for February.
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Songs can serve as musical touchstones that we return to when we want to remind ourselves what we want music to be. For White Denim’s James Petralli, that song is the Grateful Dead’s “That’s It For the Other One,” which helped him realize how he wanted to approach both the guitar and recording. With the song as a starting point, Petralli goes on to explain why drummers are the most important members of the band, why all musical expression is valid and what it was like to record the bands’s new record “Stiff” with Ethan Johns.
Then Bayonne explores how The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” showed him how powerful openness and vulnerability in music could be and explains how he approached his new record “Primitives” with that same openness.
Listen to the songs featured in episode 33 of This Song.