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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Huey Lewis and the News

Tonight @ M&I Classic Rock Stage, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

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Those that stuck around for the final credits of 2008’s Pineapple Express were rewarded with a wonderful treat – a new Huey Lewis and the News song aptly titled “Pineapple Express.” Apparently, the creative team behind the film—including lead actor Seth Rogen, producer Judd Apatow and director David Gordon Green—were all huge fans of the News, and asked Lewis to lend some of his soundtrack-making mojo to the production. The resulting track matches up nicely to such Huey Lewis and the News soundtrack cuts as “Back and Time” and “The Power of Love,” both made famous in the ’80s classic Back to the Future (1985).

“Pineapple Express” is all hand claps, alto sax and the familiar voice of Lewis himself. And when Lewis gleefully sings the beautifully simple chorus—“How did we get into this mess?/Pineapple Express!”—it is difficult not to smile and be transported back to a time when life was much simpler. At the same time, the track reminds one why Huey Lewis and the News were so ubiquitous during the 1980s: the band was able to write incredibly catchy pop songs. To this day, I still find myself humming such songs as “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” “Heart and Soul,” and “I Want a New Drug.” What is perhaps most remarkable is that all three of these songs were released on the same album, 1983’s Sports, a record that I’m pretty sure every American alive during the 1980s owned a copy of.

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