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New Album Feels "Lucky" To Nada Surf

Of the Oakland Press

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Over the course of 16 years and five albums, Matthew Caws has become happy with the group of players he has together in Nada Surf. But he wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to expand the band a bit on its new album, “Lucky.”

The set features appearances by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, members of the Long Winters, Calexico and Harvey Danger, and British singersongwriter

Ed Harcourt.

Caws, 40, gives credit to “Lucky” producer John Goodmanson

with helping to recruit the guests.

“We would say, ‘Why don’t we do such-and-such to this song,’ and he would say, ‘Hey, do you want this person or that person on it?’” Caws recalls. “And ‘cause we were (recording) in Seattle, people would be coming by to say hi anyway.

“Some of these people are on the same label (Barsuk), too, so there’s this sense of everyone totally willing to help everyone else out. Anyone will sing on anyone else’s record and understand that everyone’s happy to do that. It’s a good feeling. It’s very friendly.”

Nada Surf is best known for its 1996 hit “Popular,” but the group is getting recognition more recently for the “Lucky” track “Weightless,” which appeared in an episode of NBC’s popular “Heroes” and is included on the recently released series soundtrack album — even though Caws says it’s an idea that has floated around for while.

“The line in ‘Weightless’ that goes ‘behind every desire is another one waiting to be liberated’ is, like, 10 years old and was sitting there with that melody, trying to be a whole song,” he says. “I sort of vaguely remembered it and fished around for the tapes and couldn’t find it. Then I found it and just stuck that part into another song I was working on.

“That was satisfying. I felt like I’d done my homework and caught up with myself in a way.”

Nada Surf and the Jealous Girlfriends perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (April 5) at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $15. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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