It's up to wave-riding moviegoers to determine whether Jack Johnson and Chris Malloy's 2004 documentary surf film A Broke Down Melody is its generation's Endless Summer; but one thing's for certain: nobody makes cooler, more chilled-out surf records than Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records.
A Broke Down Melody tours the world's coasts and collects accessible tunes that could technically fit in a bunch of genres, whether folk, world, indie rock, or reggae. The thing is, they all adhere to a vibe: Johnson might as well be leading listeners by the hand into his own private village, one where friends make music all around and all it takes to get a sampling is a soft knock on the next grass-hut door.
Standouts include the Johnson originals, but it's easy to fall leash-over-longboard in love with some of the lesser-known artists - Johnny Osbourne's "We Need Love" is Bob Marley bright, Matt Costa's two contributions single him out as a major talent, and "Know How," a jaunty little groove by Kings of Convenience, is enlivened by an appearance by the indie darling Feist. Also making contributions here are Eddie Vedder, The Beta Band, Doug Martsch, M. Ward, Astor Piazzolla and the Culver City Dub Collective.