Posted: 14 Sep 2008 06:44 AM CDT
Wilson's remembrance of good old days forgettable
Brian Wilson's 'Lucky Old Sun' long on nostalgia, short on inspiration
Wilson overreaches with beach opera
But while Wilson's new opus, "That Lucky Old Sun," has high points, it's another instance where fans will give him far more credit for past triumphs than what he's delivered now.
So says Brian Wilson’s PR. The new album tells a different story – a pop pastiche of past glories packed with lazy rhyme and little reason. In trying to recreate his California youth, Wilson has slipped into parody.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Wilson wants to convey his jubilant vision of the City of Angels. What he gives us, though, is a shiny, shiny, oddly naive tourist’s guide to the Greater Los Angeles Area. Despite their awesome efforts to uplift, Wilson’s songs here — unlike so many of his past best — never become greater than the sum of their parts. They remain queasy melanges of blues and mariachi and barbershop quartet, all with vocal arrangements that sound like truck drivers doing the Beach Boys. L.A. never escapes Wilson’s no doubt fascinating mind.
Technical difficulties marred the first-ever complete live performance of Wilson's latest record, "That Lucky Old Sun," held in the U.S. That was a shame, especially since "Sun" ranks as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's finest solo offerings to date. The biggest disappointment of the night, however, was told by the amazing number of empty seats in the house.
The former Beach Boy, a man who is responsible for so many of pop music's best-loved songs, was only able to sell some 500 seats at the 3,000-plus capacity venue. Promoters didn't even open the balcony and the main floor was about as crowded as a "McCain for president" rally would be in downtown Berkeley.
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 06:38 AM CDT
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 06:26 AM CDT
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 06:19 AM CDT
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 04:03 AM CDT
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 03:34 AM CDT
(above) Midnight's Another Day....very nice
(below) Going Home. I said all along I preferred the live rendition. Maybe this is why?
You have to be careful with these sorts of comparisons of course, as these two images show: 1) Going Home full, 2) Going home but only the first few bars or so.
Some songs just don't have much in the way of dynamics, and some have more than diagrams such as these suggest!
Posted: 14 Sep 2008 03:05 AM CDT
Bruce was really positive about BWPS, but then in the run up to that release he was convalessing after his heart bypass operation...so he had time on his hands! I remember Bruce saying he'd bought a copy for Mike, who said he was too busy to listen!
I would have imagined Bruce would have more to say about TLOS.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 11:51 PM CDT
I met Brian briefly in a post show meet n greet after the Cleveland Smile show (he signed the '88 cd booklet in my avatar). Can't say we really connected, although he was kind enough to shake my hand and sign. I then was asked by another party to sit next to him for a photo (which I've never received btw), and I stupidly spoke animatedly concerning the upcoming Vancouver Smile show - in his deaf ear. No wonder he never said a word It was a brief meeting and whattheheck, I can say I 'met' Brian Wilson.
I'd like to however relate a great story from a friend of mine in Portland - the original guitarist for the Kingsmen, Mike Mitchell. I related the meeting on the Shut Down board, but I thought I'd rewind and share it all for those who haven't heard...
I've recently moved down to Portland Oregon. Last Sunday I was having a cigar at a cigar shop on the SE side of town, where I couldn't help but overhear a conversation between a couple of guys at an adjoining table. There was lots of talk about 'we opened for them...we opened for those guys...toured Europe, et al'
A couple nights later I run into the guy working behind the counter at the shop. I mentioned that I overheard his conversation and that I'm a musician as well. He introduces himself as 'Mike Mitchell - guitarist for the Kingsmen.' Great guy, (and unfortunately a Yankees fan ). We had a quick exchange about NW garage punk - the old Sonics, Wailers, et al and he seemed pleased that a Cleveland guy would know about that stuff.
On Friday night, I'm sitting there in the lounge buzzing over the Indians victory and he stops in and sits down. I decide that I'm going to talk to him about the old,old days - and he mentions to me that the Kingsmen opened for the BB's on their '64 summer tour...21 guys jammed in a Greyhound. Then the reminiscing kicks in; his memories of all the guys.
Turns out that he lived in LA at the time, and formed a lifelong friendship with Carl, hung out with Dennis and even visited Brian after he put in the sandbox in the living room. He went on with tales about Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine, and hanging out with Terry Melcher and the Raiders (the Raiders being Portland guys as well).
This will knock you out - - when I asked him for his memories of Brian, he told an amazing story from the tour bus. Apparently in the middle of the tour, in the middle of the night, Brian wakes up and announces that he had just conceived two songs in his sleep and just HAD to teach everyone the vocal parts. The rest of the guys were not into it, and wanted to get back to sleep asap but Brian was adamant that everyone try out these new vocal parts for his new composition - Wendy. Dude wrote it in his sleep and the vocal parts were prearranged in his head when he woke. For the life of Mike, he could not recall the second tune, but he swears it was another well known classic.
Apparently there were lots of high jinx on the tour bus; he recalls numerous shaving cream fights and wild scenes at outta the way desert towns. Apparently Brian purchased a super 8 camera and was filming some guy getting his entire head covered with the cream. Then when the bus stopped, Brian thought it would be funny if the guy went into a convenience store with his head covered with shaving cream and asked the guy for razors - sounds like Brian humor! The clerk got angry and threatened to call the cops - until Brian said 'haven't you heard of Candid Camera? You're on Candid Camera!' The clerk saw Brian's 8mm and thought he was about to be featured in that famous 60's show hosted by Allen Funt. No one told the clerk that it was a put-on...(an in-joke among the lads). Oh and then there was the time that Carl threw his pants out the window of the bus and boarded the plane in his underwear (but that's another story ). Mike told me that the next time he sees Brian he's going to ask him if he still has the vid tape, because he wants a copy of it.
A good guy - he's very happy to hear of Brian's rebirth and the new album doing so well.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 11:38 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 11:37 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 11:09 PM CDT
I always thought that She & Him sounded a lot like the Beach Boys.While M Ward is a pretty obvious Beach Boys fan (his Transistor Radio opens with an instrumental version of "You Still Believe In Me"), I wouldn't say She & Him sounds much like the Beach Boys at all. There are parts that are blatant Spector nods ("I Was Made For You," "Sweet Darlin"), so in a way that's BB-esque, but more a shared influence.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 10:17 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 08:43 PM CDT
Here's another one, same shirt, same day
That second picture...he's wearing the shirt I had been describing. Not the exact picture though.
Nope, not it either.
Damn this elusive picture!
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 08:39 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 07:22 PM CDT
Some band has a song called 'fudge you Mike love' which sadly has a lot of views on youtube.
That band would be Hogpig. "We loves you Brian Wilson, we loves you Dennis Wilson, we loves you Carl Wilson, we loves you Al Jardine. Hell, we even loves you Al Jarreau. But foda you, Mike Love. Foda you."
Yes, you can criticize me all you want, but I'm a fan of that video.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 07:19 PM CDT
Mike may give it a spin after he has read 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and heard BWPS.
i.e. Another lawsuit from the Lovester?? I wouldn't be surprised if it happens, but let's hope to hell that it doesn't.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 06:30 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 06:04 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 05:50 PM CDT
Even then-this wasn't always the way it went. Earl Leaf mentions in his articles about their Nov 1964 tour of Europe that 5 people including then Road manager Don Rice and roadie Ron Swallow were with them. On their April 1965 tour they were accompanied by 8 people (according to an interview in the April 21 Wilmington, DE papers) -including Al's wife Lynda, Ron Swallow and probably new road managers Dick Duryea and Terry Sachen and their cousin Steve Korthof. So-that Tulsa appearance with noone else accompanying them-was the exception not the rule-even in 1965
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 05:30 PM CDT
I'd love VDP stump speeches! And BW doing Q&A with reporters would be great, too. "Brian, can you elaborate on your plan to reduce global climate change?" "Do you have any drugs or sandwiches?" His cabinet would also be pretty great. Melinda, Danny Hutton, the guy he name-checked recently for giving him massages (I forget the name) ... yeah, that would be ok by me.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 05:00 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 04:25 PM CDT
I actually think "Mrs. O'Leary" is considerably better with the "Fall Breaks" vocals. The original BB's version (with no vocals) just seems a tad repetitive and boring without them; Purple Chick's remix had the right idea there. :-)
I agree, although who knows if Brian would have ended up overdubbing vocals onto "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" at some point? Obviously he became intent on destroying it and re-doing the "Fire" section as a candle, but perhaps the reason he brought them back together for BWPS was that he had originally intended to add vocals before he freaked out about it.
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 04:18 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 03:46 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 03:24 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 03:24 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 03:24 PM CDT
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Posted: 13 Sep 2008 02:58 PM CDT
Posted: 13 Sep 2008 02:09 PM CDT
There's the most obvious - the Beatles' "Spiritual Regeneration" (with its 'happy birthday, Mike Love' verse, sung to Mike himself). I find it hilarious that the version that Mike tried to release on his "Mike Love, Not War" album was very obviously just taken from a bootleg, because it has the Wolfman Jack commentary badly spliced out. (Methinks he sourced that from the Beatleg "The Essential Unofficial White LP", disc seven...)
Then there's the Beatles' "Back In The USSR" (allegedly co-written with Mike); and the 'Smile' parodies "Pancreas" (Weird Al) and "Black Sheep" (John C. Reilly). What else... oh, the Beach Bums' awful "Upholstery" in the movie 'Phantom Of The Paradise'.
As for non-musical references... SNL used to have a series of recurring sketches with a group of businessmen talking about their supposedly amazing, now deceased co-worker Bill Brasky. One of their outrageous claims about him, I believe made by Alec Baldwin's character, was "If you dropped a record needle on his nipple, it played the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds!"
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