F--k Yeah!

Album: Topless at the Arco Arena (2009)


  • Tim Quirk and Jay Blumenfield of Wonderlick have a lot going on: when Topless at the Arco Arena was released, Tim was VP, Programming of Rhapsody and Jay was a TV producer and video director. Writes Quirk: "Many of us were in bands, and before the dot-com explosion had spent most of our time writing, playing or watching music being made. But the tech boom had brought us out of the world of nightclubs and concert halls and into the land of cubicles, and our adventures there proved just as heady, about as brief, and equally packed with contradictions.... It's possible to be complicit in your own exploitation, and it's easy not to mind."

    Tim singles this out as a song with special meaning to him. He told us: "Most every song on Topless revolves around the way we use music, or it uses us. We'd recorded 22 of 'em and the project still felt incomplete, but halfway through 'F--k Yeah!' I knew we'd be done once that song was finished. It was originally very pretentiously titled 'How Cruise and Seger Got it Wrong.' The lyric was an attempt to explain why that famous scene in Risky Business is such a f--king lie – the whole point of dancing around alone in your underwear is that it doesn't matter what you look like, the feeling that makes you do that is the exact opposite of giving a s--t what anyone thinks. So having Tom Cruise do it, and having him look cool, having him look like something you want to emulate, is just the antithesis of the abandon the scene is supposed to capture. And having him do it to that particular f--king song, which celebrates the past rather than the present, just compounds the lie, you know?
    Anyway, that's what the lyric was trying to be about, but Jay took this unwieldy philosophical thesis and made it real, by not asking what the hell the lyrics were supposed to mean, and just picking out the one or two that made some kind of sense to him and, well, meaning them when he sang. Almost every Wonderlick session is fun, but this was by far the most enjoyable. His vocal was so good, I was jumping around in the studio shouting, 'F--k yeah!' while he was belting it out – which led to a quick title change and a new resolution to the chorus, which I scribbled hastily and passed to him in the vocal booth, and he sang it even more beautifully than the rest." (Learn more at wonderlick.com.)


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