Posted: 22 Aug 2008 06:55 AM CDT
Nice interview. It's one where you go, "Oh, so that must be close to what he's like when he's comfortable." He can still be a pretty lucid, relatively articulate guy. I have no doubt when I see interviews like that that Brian is capable of expressing his wishes and is not as "trapped" as some people might imply.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 06:52 AM CDT
You know, I was surprised when I watched that DVD from the early days of the BW band and Scott was standing there just singing. I doubt that his multi-instrumentalism wasn't known, considering that he worked on the Imagination album, right? And he probably would have mentioned it in passing anyway or been seen noodling around on a piano somewhere. Or are we going to find out down the road that Taylor also plays a killer guitar but just hasn't had the opportunity to mention it to anyone?
As far as Scott's/Brian's roles on TLOS, I like the TLOS material so much better than I like the Taylor Mills material, which Scott also worked on. And the Scott solo stuff I've heard is good, but not my favorite. So either Scott is really versatile in his writing, or Brian or Darian had a huge role in the TLOS material. Regardless, Scott is enormously talented, and I think we're all really fortunate that he doesn't have a bigger ego, or he'd have been off to pursue his own career (to a larger extent than he already has) a long time ago, and TLOS never would have happened. All the members of the BW band seem interested in doing solo/non-BW material, but are content to do it as a sideline.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 05:51 AM CDT
(I hope this is on-topic enough, but hey, the Bri, Bruce and Curt are singing background on one track!) -
I bought this gem of an LP in 1980 or therebouts. Superb surf compilation, with Dave Edmunds, and a lot of genuine surf troupes, AND Jan and Dean doing a Coca-Cola commercial.
Now: a couple of years ago I saw a CD titled 'Pebbles Vol. IV', but it had a different sleeve, and seemingly a truncated track listing. I can very well imagine that the original had things on it that were beyond legality (said commercial, for instance).
Is it worthwhile to go hunting for that CD? And, um, is my LP collectible?
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 05:22 AM CDT
What I love (listening to a stream) is that there enough differences on this to make it a whole different listen to the demos. Worth getting hold of...
if only I knew which version came with the gold-plated, engraved, limited edition, signed Blue-Ray disc containing all the tracks, bonus tracks and Brian's complete unreleased back catalogue, available only between 2pm and 2.05pm at Toys R Us in Sydney, Oz on second-week Tuesdays in months that have a "P" in them. Or something...
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 05:19 AM CDT
Hmmm... odd topic. I think that the Beach Boys shouldn't have tried punk. It's against their nature. Also, I can't really imagine 'oldsters' in 1977 (Brian being 35 then) suddenly singing 'Anarchy In The U.S.', really.
That said: I am (was) both a huge BBs and punk/new wave aficionado. That is less counterintuïtive than you might think. I love 'Marquee Moon' by Television, and a lot by Talking Heads; I was a big Ramones fan, but that enthusiasm has waned over the years. Also: XTC (the group); Blondie (notably 'Plastic Letters' and much less 'Parallel Lines'); early Costello; PiL; and so on.
With my own getting older I discarded labels like 'traditional' and 'punk' altogether, to be honest. What counts is the musical invention. That is why the historical significance of the Sex Pistols will diminish (not so their sociological importance) - they were/are a very mediocre hardrock troupe, which still does its decennial comeback (sans new material) on the festival circuit.
And to conclude: I love Pere Ubu. And Pere Ubu loves the Beach Boys. The circle is round.
(PS: try to get hold of the Geffen Ubu Box 'Datapanik In The Year Zero'; it's probably deleted by now. When it was released it was laughably cheap, around $ 35-40 for 5 CDs, remastered, rarities, the lot. I have it, snigger, snigger...)
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 05:16 AM CDT
As a writer myself I know I get caught up in revising my work over and over. I have a few questions for you regarding that. I know the germ of the book was born in 1976 and it came out 10 years later. How long did the process once it became a definitive book take you? Also what are you proudest of in the book, and what would you most like to change? Any input from any Beach Boy after it came out.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 05:12 AM CDT
Hmm now brianc made me want to rank it. I will only do released solo work. LOS is easily the best collection of new(ish) songs Brian has presented solo.
Not to single out your posting, more sort of a general comment... but it does amaze me somehow how fans can make "easily the best album of new stuff from Brian in thirty years" sound like faint praise. :-)
(Forty years if you don't rate Love You...)
Well I make no bones about the fact that everything Brian did before 1975 is better to me. Mainly because of his voice, but it's also a bit more consistent. Still I think this is a great album by most standards, and do my best not to let the imposing shadow of his earlier stuff get in the way of me liking it. Funny that I mention consistency because this (outside of Smile) is the most consistent LP he has worked on since Holland. So actually my praise isn't faint, just slightly measured because he was beyond good to me at one time.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 03:49 AM CDT
Me too, but about twenty times a year, either in emails or on message boards, I get asked about it, hence the entry on the webpage. In quotes, yet. (Actually, that's the whole point of 10452 - instead of explaining, I can just say "it's on my website - next").
Landlocked is even worse. It was the working title for Surf's Up for, oh, all of maybe a week. That's all. How the title got stapled to the tape labelled "2nd Brother Records album" is possibly the perfect example of an overactive imagination putting a 2 in close proximity with another 2 and emerging with something of the order of 43.
Still it's remarkable that after all these years, we still all call that recording "Landlocked". Mention that name and the average fan knows what we're talking about (and the more than average fan knows the right song-order, and the real freaks know exactly where that sound-dip in Big sur can be found).
But when you think of it, it's pretty reasonable. "Landlocked" sounds much better in my ears than "2nd Brother Records album". It's a great title for aa BB-record anyway IMO.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 03:48 AM CDT
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 03:46 AM CDT
By the way, the details of the incident you're referring to varyI tried to stay within the details of Miles 'corrected' version of the story. I think that Miles qualified 1) that this was basically a good natured interaction (friends, foes, and inanimate objects alike were referred to as MFer's by Miles) 2) Monk (a large but good natured man) could have kicked Davis's butt in short order if so inclined.
- But he really did want Thelonius to lay out.
there are recordings of the session under "Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants." And Monk being Monk, he lays out, all right ... during his own solo, barely playing and being obviously obtuse. Miles tries to rescue it by suddenly coming in to solo himself--you can hear him moving toward a mic to do it, with the change in tone as he approaches it. And right when Miles begins to play, BOOM, Monk finally goes into a true solo. It's pretty funny.
I think I have that in the 'Legendary Prestige Sessions' box I'll have to go listen for the incident. Do you recall the song?
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 03:25 AM CDT
Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old Sun Review
I bought That Lucky Old Sun on vinyl on the day of release because I couldn't wait for the cd release on Sept 2. And even though I already have a great turntable I splurged on a new USB record player so I could make a cd of it and put some high quality 320 KBPS mp3s on my ipod, and enjoy listening to this album in a multitude of formats everywhere I go.
The album cover looks great (it was a joy to see on the shelves, and an easy find on the morning of Aug 19) and is on beautiful thick 180 gram vinyl. The back picture of Brian in black and white shadow with sunlight up above is classy and dignified (where I found all of the pictures of Brian of GIOMH to be less than tasteful). Nice to have the lyrics and album credits on the inner sleeve too.
I have listened to the album more than ten times (complete from start to finish) and I think it is (excepting Brian Wilson Presents Smile) Brian's most cohesive solo release so far. Some incredible moments; it rocks in places, soothes in others, and has moments of heartbreaking beauty. There may be some other songs of Brian's solo career that I may feel are perhaps stronger or better songs, but this album functions so well as one complete thought, I feel it is also his most consistent album as a solo artist.
I'm sure much thought went into the sequencing of this album, and that is why after a couple of listens on vinyl, using my USB turntable I didn't rip up the album into separate tracks, instead I spliced side 2 right after side 1 and now TLOS is a one track cd in my car and one mp3 track on my ipod. Just listening to one track or putting it on shuffle doesn't seem right.
Track By Track review:
That Lucky Old Sun
Like much of the album, Brian's leads are single tracked and he sounds great. Some of Brian's previous leads have gotten a bit muddy through overdubbing and generous use of reverb but that doesn't happen on this record. In fact I might even say that the cd could use a bit more reverb or echo on the vocals (as is the Beach Boys and Brian's norm). But I enjoy the vocals on this whole album, Brian's articulates and emotes very well. A bit of a different sound, but very natural, bare and emotional. The backing vocals and strings sound full and give the listener a strong into to the cd. The maumamayama segue, like many of the between segments really make the album seamless and contributes to the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
This song rocks! Great performance from everyone and wonderful production. Tremendous groove. Love the backing vocals and Brian sounds like he is happy to deliver a bit of rock n' roll here. An extra verse added to this song from the live show and demo good stuff. The production touches i.e. - gently strummed guitars and voices humming are great. The clip clop percussion is great too! The full rock stops after "I'll listen" at the end are a highlight for me.
Room With A View-
I have heard that some are not a big fan of the narratives. Fair enough, different strokes for different folks. But I like them a quite a bit. First off the music underneath them is great and they remind me of the Mount Vernon and Fairway. I also love the wordplay of Van Dyke Parks. Brian sounds really good reading them but I think it may have been nice to let Van Dyke do the narration. I love the way he talks. The words further explore the LA theme. They fit very well with Scott's lyrics and I feel the album benefits from having both Scott and Van Dyke's lyrical presence.
Good Kind Of Love-
Nice strings. Love the female vocal presence here. I could have used a bit more Taylor in the final mix but it still sounds great. One fussy complaint is that on a few places on the album I would have liked to hear the backing vocals louder in the mix. The Beach Boys used to have the harmonies just or almost as loud as the leads and there are times on Brian's solo material when I wish Brian's leads and the backing vocals were similarly blended. Love the piano playing. Very much a Brian Wilson signature plunky sound (regardless of who is playing them). Soothing instrumental break. The album notes say this is a Brian Wilson solo composition. Great song.
Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl-
Simple but "so sweet" a song. This is much improved from the demo (which I quite liked to start with). Love the arppegiated guitar part that comes in on the second verse, a pleasant surprise. I love the bridge on this song so sweet indeed.
This is my favorite of the narrative sections. The words are very evocative. For anyone who has been there don't these words really evoke the spirit of Venice beach? They certainly remind me of the place I have been several times. Venice beach is a pretty crazy place and to this day is still is "poppin' like live shrimp dropped on a hot wok" and those "hucksters, hustlers and hawkers" are still there. I can picture Dennis Wilson fitting right in when he lived on Venice Beach.
Live Let Live-
I have heard some like the other set of lyrics that are on the Arctic Tale soundtrack but though I enjoy both sets of lyrics I prefer these ones. Apparently they are both Van Dyke's lyrics. The performance of this song on the final album is much, much better than the demo version. Brian, Scott, Darian, Paul and the fantastic band did a great job of fleshing out the demos and making them sparkle in finished form. I love Brian's vocal on this song. Great strings on the outro.
Not my favorite song the record by any means but I like the spirit on this recording. From the clapping, creative percussion, mariachi horns, Spanish guitar (fits better here than it did on the songs on the imagination cd), character voices who hoot and howl and laugh; the band really nail the Mexican vibe. Scott does the Spanish part well but I miss Brian's go at it as heard on the live versions.
Cinco De Mayo-
Once again the narrative section makes the transition from one song to another so smooth it is hard to tell when the song actually ends. The words ease us from Mexican topics into movie roles.
I love Scott's vocal on this song. The music and the vocals take us to a bygone Hollywood movie making era. Much of the music on this album is not just typical rock n' roll. So many styles (music hall, classical touches, mariachi, pop etc.), sometimes even changing mid song. Nice ukulele work from Jeff. Great clarinet work from Paul.
I dig the reprise of TLOS here.
The music sounds very Mount Vernon-ish to me (in a good way).
Oxygen To The Brain-
Another song to add to Brian's collection of heath / exercise songs (Poor Old Body To Move, H.E.L.P., Life Is For The Living etc). I like how the song transitions from ballad to up-tempo a couple of times. Great bridge.
Can't Wait Too Long-
Wonderful job of recording this one as it is so faithful to the Beach Boys recording it is tough to tell them apart. Beautiful vocals and track.
Midnight's Another Day-
Gorgeous song and my favorite on the album (and I'm sure many others as well). Thanks Brian and Scott I will be listening to this song for many years to come. Heartbreakingly beautiful piece the melody, subject matter, vocal arrangement, strings everything. I agree with those who have said the demo had a better crescendo moment "make me feel so alone" when the backing vocals explode behind the lead vocal. The demo sounded more desperate and I enjoyed hearing Brian's falsetto behind his own lead. But the final album version still has that haunting moment though it is more restrained. This final version does have many things going for that the demo did not. The string arrangement is stunning (The triplets after the second "make me feel so alone" are so beautiful). The other backing vocals sound smoother with the band being used more. Great churchy organ. I also didn't realize that the line is:
When there's no morning without "u"
I always thought it was:
When there's no morning without "you"
Nice word play Scott! I like that even better!
That Lucky Old Sun reprise-
Nicely ties the work together.
Might be my second favorite on the album (or maybe it is Morning Beat, or Good Kind Of Love, or Southern California).
This song seriously rocks and this recording trumps the demo or any live version by a long shot. It has different backing vocals than the demo (I like them better). Nice bass vocals Brian "Home Home Bee Doo Bee Doo"! This song has a growl and an energy that is infectious. I previously thought the lyric was:
Homesick, the sun shines nowhere else
But I was wrong and I like the actual lyric better:
Homesick, this son shines nowhere else
(Makes me glad I will be seeing him at all 3 shows at the Hollywood Bowl!)
Many people have said how much they enjoy the "At 25 I turned out the light" line and it is great but that is my least favorite part. I can't wait for that part to be done so the band can get back to rockin' out again. There is a funny synth line that is not on the demo or any live versions that I have heard. They could have let Taylor go further with her wailing at the end of the song like they do live but that is a minor concern. Rock on Brian!
I have heard others say that this was one of their favorites but from the demo and live versions I had heard, it was not a favorite of mine. It is now! Brian's lead is much stronger than I have heard on the live versions. The additional verse and bridge (especially the bridge) are stunning both lyrically and musically. I hope when he plays it live he will include the new additions.
The new bridge:
"Oh, it's magical
Living your dreams
Don't want to sleep, you might miss something
Oh, it's magical
I'm glad it happened to me
Nodded off in the band room
Woke up in history"
I'm glad it happened to you too Brian!
The return of the Maumamyama as well as the little bonus Roll Around Heaven snippet is a nice way to end the record.
To sum up,
This album is great. Way better than we should possibly expect from Brian at this stage in his career. But great it is. Nice work Brian! Thanks to Scott, Van Dyke, Darian, Paul and Mark Linett and to Brian's wonderful band for all of their contributions and for making it all sound so good.
What a joy to listen to.
Love you Brian!
Good review, I agree with your overview of the albums importance.
I know this makes me a bad person for raising the issue, but is it really necessary to quote the whole foda post just to say that you agree...?
There. I've said it.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 02:18 AM CDT
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 02:05 AM CDT
What great reads both of those posts were! Does anyone -- beside me, wonder if Brian ever felt he was creating something special here? He certainly seems committed to it in a way I haven't heard in a while. And I agree -- Scott's lyrics are excellent and they seem to make a nice team.
Can't argue with the results.
By the way, has anyone else noticed how prominent Taylor's voice is on the album? I love it, especially her singing on Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl. Man, she sounds like an angel on there!
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 02:01 AM CDT
So there ya go . . . You can hear that and more on track 28 of our new Jan Berry / Jan & Dean tribute album.
Mark is there some way we can hear a 30 second preview or something of this track? And how long does that track go for and is the whole track just Brian in the studio with Jan or what? Any details would be much appreciated
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 01:42 AM CDT
It was a long and slow trust-building project, I think.
Scott was just a backing singer when the band started in 99. He stood and swayed with Taylor.
After Joe Thomas departed, the band needed an extra keyboard player. And Scott, to folks' amazement, proved proficient on keyboards and guitar.
When it came time to record Gettin' In Over My Head, Scott worked closely with Brian on the "City Blues" track. The guitar solo Eric Clapton plays on that song is pretty much an exact reproduction of the solo Scott created for the song. And when it came time to give the song an extra verse, Scott added some words. So Scott helped Brian out.
During sessions for the album, an exclamation by Brian over Scott's playing: "There's no wrong notes in heaven!" prompted Scott to write a song with that title. Brian then helped Scott record it a little bit later, adding vocal harmonies. (That song is available on iTunes, and is a catchy little number.)
We come to the summer of 2006. Brian gets the itch to write. By that point, I believe, Darian had a day job for Disney. The band was more or less on hiatus (Brian played only three or four shows that year). So when he wants to write, he calls up someone who is in town, available, and who can play practically any instrument -- voila! It's Scott.
And what's important here is that Brian is actually the dominant force for many of the songs. As I note on anther thread, Brian co-wrote the lyrics for more than half of the TLOS tracks. So Scott's statement in an interview that Brian brought along nearly completed songs for their collaboration seems to have truth to it. Scott wasn't the one forcing Brian to work -- Brian was the one wanting Scott to help him polish up these songs. As they worked together, things shifted and deepened, as they do in collaborations. Scott took a much larger role in shaping "Midnight's Another Day," recasting an up tempo Brian tune into a mournful ballad. Can we argue with the results?
So the two work out nearly 20 songs. There are rumors Brian is recording an album, but that's shot down by other band members; they're just demos.
However, the Royal Festival Hall has commissioned Brian to write a piece. As we go through 2007, Brian considers different approaches to the commission (or ignores it altogether). It's finally decided that because the band and Brian need something new to play, they might as well use the Brian-Scott tracks. Scott, Darian and Brian (supervising from overseas) work out a track list and later bring on Van Dyke Parks to write the connecting bits.
The road has been long -- and if the commission hadn't come along, who knows if we'd be hearing the songs at all.
But Scott has turned out to be a far better collaborator for Brian than I imagined possible. He has a good way with words, and he's a seriously talented musician and songwriter who can help Brian structure the various "feels" he produces. Who knows if they'll work together again -- but it could be great.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 01:17 AM CDT
Like many of us, I've been listening to and digging on the streaming link of TLOS. And like 'some of us' , I also came across access to demos of said material, which has proved fascinating to me as to how it's flowered into something really exciting on this release.
I was thinking about how interesting it is that Scotty ended up collaborating with Brian on this. You think of all the 'mighta couldas' that have attempted a completed work with Brian (Roger Manning / Jellyfish, Andy Paley) only to run into interference of one kind or another. Amongst this nucleus, this freaking musical family that he's so fortunate to have around him, we've never heard of him writing with Probyn, Darian, or even Jeff.
I mean you would think it would've been a natural wouldn't you? Amongst all of these folks - loyal and receptive to the Brian Wilson vibe, I've never heard of any of these songwriters actually writing with Brian, let alone driving an entire body of work. That's pretty interesting to me.
Think of what a balancing act it must have been for it all to come together with Brian and Scott. Or think of yourself (a fan) in Scott's shoes - you want to be supportive, but you want to get your ideas into the mix as well. Do you come on too strong, or not enough? I recall someone posting about how Darian was always careful to respect the boundaries of his role within the band, as opposed to saying 'hey Brian...let's write a whole album together' (thereby running the risk of being accused of riding the gravy train to promote the Mints' career).
I don't have an answer as to why it came together so nicely, but obviously we're all the better for it. And it's interesting how Scotty stepped up and brought it all home. Hell, the co-mixer on the project was a colleague of his as well, so give him points for taking the bull by the horns. We ended up getting a 'clean' record, that still remains faithful to the melodies and those Brian harmonies. When it clicks, it CLICKS.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 12:48 AM CDT
I probably have all of the Super Stocks tracks (there was some Dennis involvement in "Four On The Floor", right?).
Don't think so - it was the Four Speeds.
It's on my website, y'know...
So I'm going to correct myself on re-assembling the Shut Down album- I've apparently got everything except-get this- the Beach Boys tracks, and in one place. Some of you will, too.
I went to check on what I had by the Four Speeds, as opposed to the Super Stocks. At a glance, I see that I have two versions of "Four On The Floor"- by the Four Speeds (Surf & Drag Vol.1), and The Super Stocks (Monster Summer Hits- Drag City)- not to be confused with "Four In The Floor" by The Shutdowns (Surf & Drag Vol.2). The two Usher tracks have a different overall sound, but checking in at 2:26 each, they appear to be the same basic track with a slightly different Usher vocal. "Cheater Slicks" same thing; same two bands, both versions 2:00. If the track is indeed the same, Dennis just joined a new band. So far, I can't find a Super Stocks version of either "R.P.M." or "My Sting Ray", the other two songs Dennis is said to be on (the latter also including a Brian BG vocal).
So- on to Shut Down. Amazingly, every track Dr. Tim listed above for that album turns up on the Capitol 1991 CD compilation Monster Summer Hits- Drag City; Mitchum, Piltdown Men, everything. The sole exception is that "Chicken" is attributed to Bert Convy and The Cheers rather than just the Cheers. The Beach Boys songs are there, too, but are not the overdubbed versions with added effects. Also, I can't seem to confirm the "yuk-yuk" sound effects that Dr. Tim mentions for some songs. So- for completists like me- this album is that close to containing the entire Shut Down album on CD. I'd still like to have it in it's original order, with original mixes, and in its original cover. Yeah, I'm a geek.
Posted: 22 Aug 2008 12:21 AM CDT
Thanks for reposting your comments claymcc. I found them interesting and very much like my own feelings for this disc. I will be writing a full review for my website (it is a university sports site, but I occasionally write music reviews for it), and once it is written I will post a link in case anyone is interested.
Honestly, I love this album. Can't get enough of it.
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 11:59 PM CDT
I'm not sure where to post this.
I saw a google alert with my name and it brought me to this site and I read some of the posts about Brian's autobiography.
So, it's me, and it's no big deal, actually.
I've written a lot of books about different subjects and sometimes they're not popular with fans. I know the book has a lot of factual errors, but none of the substantive material, about Landy or the relationships between the members, etc., is incorrect.
I happen to know that the information regarding the band's financial dealings and contract clauses is accurate.
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 11:54 PM CDT
One of the things I like about the book is the vivid portrayal of the Rovells, and ditto for the Marks family and David Marks in general. Some of the overall tone is off-putting to fans, of course, but the information was fresh for sure, and it covered a lot of different territory with the management and so forth.
Would you be up for having your own thread, as some other guests have, and taking on some questions and discussions?
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 11:25 PM CDT
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 06:59 PM CDT
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 03:05 PM CDT
Posted: 21 Aug 2008 01:03 AM CDT
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