Zoot Suit Riot Essay, Research Paper
Analysis of Zoot Suit Riot
For my analysis paper I chose to analyze the song Zoot Suit Riot, one of the swinging hits of the Cherry Poppin Daddies. There music consists of swing and ska tunes. Zoot Suit Riot is a part swing and part rock song that made them famous. This song comes from the Daddies fourth released album named for their hit song. This album is a compilation of the rockin swing tunes on their last three albums plus a few new big band hits. However, Zoot Suit Riot is a swing with punk rock intensity.
There is a lot of great musical talent in the group so here is a quick introduction to the groups musicians. On lead vocals and guitar is Steve Perry, Jason Moss on guitar, Daniel Schmid on bass, Tim Donahue on drums, Dana heitman on trumpet and back up vocals, Sean Flannery on tenor saxophone, Ian Early on baritone and alto saxophones and finally Johnny Goetchius on key boards. All of the band members graduated from Berkley School of music in Boston. However I received this information from someone that I was talking to at one of the concerts.
Zoot Suit Riot constitutes influence from Cab Calloway to Dean Martin, along with all of the Daddies has the elements of modern rock along with the spirit of swing. With the mixture of music that they play, and their popular hit Zoot Suit Riot, the Cherry Poppin Daddies are very popular. Song writers like Jerry Lewis and Jack Kerouac have had the most impact on the music according to Steve Perry ( the lead singer of the Cherry Poppin Daddies). There first two albums Ferociously Stoned and Rapid City Muscle Car seemed to favor more of the jazz and punk more than Zoot Suit Riot, which had more of jazz and rock The Cherry Poppin Daddies weren t at all popular until their hit Zoot Suit Riot. This really took America under surprise bringing back swing to the peoples radios. However this band wasn t the first. Another band that started this new scene was the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This band really gets the credit, but The Cherry Poppin Daddies took over the scene very quickly. In 1997 when the album compilation Zoot Suit Riot was released, within no time it sold over one million copies and went platinum. The song that the album was named after, Zoot Suit Riot, was at the top of the billboard charts for a few weeks after being released.
Zoot Suit Riot seems to have been written about a time in the forty s because that s when they had zoot suits. Who s that whisperin in the trees its two sailors and there on leave, pipes and chains and swinging hands I believe that they are talking about a time in the early forty s when jazz and swing clubs were open, sailors would come from there duty to clubs, get drunk, and fight. A stray cat frontin up an eight piece band, cut me Sammy and you ll understand, in my veins hot music ran In this set of lyrics he says that hot music ran throughout his veins and was able to take control of things. Finally he tells the sailors now you sailors know where your women come for love, you re in a zoot suit riot, throw back a bottle of beer you re in a zoot suit riot pulla comb through you re cold black hair .
This piece, Zoot Suit Riot, runs in a straight 4/4 time with a swing / punk rock feel. Most of there other songs are the same way except song six which is come back to me. This song is in a cut time form, very fast. Some other good tunes from the album are Ding-Dong Daddy of the D-Car Line, When I Change Your Mind, Here Comes The Snake (what s funny about this song is, on stage when Steve Perry is singing, takes his belt out and uses it for a prop for you know what), Mister White Keys, Brown Derby Jump, Dr. Bones, Pink Elephant, Master and Slave, Drunk Daddy, No Mercy For Swine, Cherry Poppin Daddy Strut, and finally Shake Your Lovemaker.
The Cherry Poppin Daddies have really taken America under surprise with there new age swing tunes. They started out in California and made there way over here to the east coast. The first time that I saw or even heard of them was at the Vans Warped Tour. Until now, this tour was mostly metal and hard rock, but now there was swing, this really took the Warped Tours crowd under surprise. Even though the Cherry Poppin Daddies weren t the first band to bring back swing, I think that they did the best job in perfecting it, especially with the song Zoot Suit Riot.