Posted: 19 Sep 2008 05:20 AM CDT
Jim McShane, if you're still here...
For vinyl, i use my parents' old 1970s Sony HMK-55 (£300 in 1970s money, so it was expensive at the time), with the big speakers it came with. It's one of those old beasts that came with a cassette deck on the side, and looks designed to fit in with then-contemporary furniture.
I was wondering if you wouldn't mind giving your opinion on this system, compared to the kind of things you deal in these days?
Posted: 19 Sep 2008 02:25 AM CDT
I was just wondering the extent to which Brian was into his astronomy. I know from published facts that he was interested in telescopes when he was younger and wanted to open a 24-hour telescope shop at one stage in the late 60s. The universe has also crept into a few songs -notably Solar System and There's So Many, and maybe even the lyrics of Till I Die. Out of Brian's lyrics these are some of my favorite. Other than Brian May, it's an odd pursuit for a rock star, like going to public libraries.
Another aspect is to what extent Brian is rational - I understand that he had an astrologer. Was he interested in astrology or astronomy, or both? I usually thought the two were incompatible, with astronomers angrily denouncing the other. As this vague mysticism seems to form the basis of loony accusations against the Beach Boys I thought it would be interesting if anyone knows what the truth of this is.
As for Brian nowadays, I guess he doesn't do either scientific inquiry or astrology any more?
Posted: 19 Sep 2008 02:04 AM CDT
Features rare Brian photos. Also, I took the 80s demo of "Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel" and did a slight remix of it.
Posted: 19 Sep 2008 12:49 AM CDT
Posted: 19 Sep 2008 12:34 AM CDT
I wonder who the other backups are. Brian's buried way in the mix, but vocally he sounds whiny as hell and honestly doesn't sound anything like Brian . If he did the mid-range back ups too, then he already sounds like his 15 BO self minus the heavy rasp.
Sure enough, Brian's doing both the high and mid range "Help Me Rhonda" part during the chorus.
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 11:14 PM CDT
Aformentioned (hilarious) hand-slapping edit aside, at least the four mentioned DVDs keep the focus on the band and the performance(s). Compare to the recent few Paul McCartney live DVDs for example and the endless cutaways to singing-along audience members. I want to see Brian and the band performing the music and all four of the DVDs do a good job of it, really it's not a big deal that they chose the best performance of each song.
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 11:10 PM CDT
...and Brian and band spent the whole concert changing clothes too!Also on the SMiLE video I believe Van Dyke is dressed differently when seated at the end of the performance from when he is called up on stage.
Seriously, I don't think it is uncommon. Paul McCartney wasn't at the first show in London of SMiLE. Not that you would know it from the DVD.
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 11:09 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 11:08 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 10:33 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 10:30 PM CDT
While we're on the subject of Johnny Rivers...Brian's voice isn't as great on this as I was led to believe. Of course, he's barely audible, but you can definitely hear a huge decline in his falsetto.Isn't that from 1975? So why would you think Brian's falsetto was any good?
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 10:15 PM CDT
While we're on the subject of Johnny Rivers...Brian's voice isn't as great on this as I was led to believe. Of course, he's barely audible, but you can definitely hear a huge decline in his falsetto.
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 10:01 PM CDT
Isn't there a story of BW signing an autograph and writing "Thanks for the great..." and crossing out "great" and writing in "good songs."
Who was that?
Whoever it was, that has always been one of my favorite Brian stories!
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 10:00 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:50 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:38 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:34 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:29 PM CDT
You guys might find this interesting reading.
Metallica's Death Magnetic might have debuted atop the Billboard charts, but to many disgruntled fans, it's something of a bottom feeder. Metalheads and audiophiles alike have expressed displeasure with the record's overall audio quality, claiming that it sounds overly distorted.
According to Mastering Engineer Ian Shepherd, they're hardly tone deaf. In response to fan outcry, he compared the audio of the retail CD and the version appearing in Activision's Guitar Hero III, finding that the latter indeed featured far superior sound quality.
"As you can see, the CD version on the bottom has been heavily compressed, limited and/or clipped, and sounds massively distorted as a result," he said, referencing a chart depicting waveforms of both versions.
The problem stems from extreme compression intended to boost the "loudness" of the music in the CD release. The music industry's use of the technique, which is commonly used to make television commercials annoyingly sound louder than television shows, has sparked an ongoing debate dubbed the "Loudness War."
In the case of Death Magnetic, the boost is both significant and troublesome. Shepherd's analysis shows that the CD release is a whopping 10 decibels louder than the Guitar Hero version, which translates to sounding about twice as loud to the human ear.
Metallica's label, Universal Music Group, has yet to respond to the matter. Or perhaps they're just not listening.
Metallica is not my cup of tea anyway, but here you are...
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:28 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:25 PM CDT
Here's a couple... I'm still working to catch up, though.
When I first owned this album (a time during which, admittedly, I never got around to playing it before I pawned it off), it was in a 2-LP set with "Smiley Smile." Though the liner notes went through the trouble of saying how similar the two were, I couldn't disagree more; this album is more in the homespun vein of 'Wild Honey,' though not as raw. I also didn't like this album as much, because too many songs just struck me as far too mellow and cheesy. "When A Man Needs A Woman" suffers most from the cheesiness factor, sounding like a lame Seventies pop song. "Transcendental Meditation" is also far too lame for its own good, with its high, nasal vocals being particularly irritating. The group's newfound interest in transcendental meditation can also be detected in the lyrics of "Anna Lee, The Healer," which is considerably more entertaining than "Meditation" but again just sounds a bit too silly, this time resembling a cross between a corny TV theme song and Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry." (Come on, you know that piano part sounds familiar!) You know, the more I think of it, the more I realize how much I just didn't like this album. I just keep finding additional things I didn't care for; like "Diamond Head," which is just too strange and disjointed for its own good; and "Passing By," which ends side one on a weak, repetitive instrumental. I do, however, feel the need to pick a couple notable songs out of the bunch, so I'll pick "Friends" and "Be Still." "Friends," the topic of which is obvious from the title, grabbed my ear with its relatable lyrics; and the short-but-sweet "Be Still" from Dennis was dim and creepy, sounding surprisingly like an attempt at rewriting "In Heaven" from the film 'Eraserhead.' (I know that's a particularly bizarre comparison, but I honestly do hear a similarity between the two - though of course, "Be Still" came first.) Oh well, I suppose that I expected better after 'Wild Honey.' It's not that it's a terrible album, it's just a bit too happy and poppy for my picky tastes. The cheeriness of everything just comes off sounding forced.
MY SCORE: 5.5/10
Probably the most out-of-the-ordinary album in the Beach Boys' standard catalogue, this album consisted entirely of the instrumental tracks of songs from other albums; and despite what one might think, given the elaborate nature of Brian's melodies, this really isn't an interesting album. While there are some good parts, it just comes off as very uneven, with some of the tracks being just plain boring. "Surfer Girl" is completely pointless without vocals, because it soon becomes apparent that the song suffers from the problem that plagues many of the Beach Boys' early tunes - it sounds very generic. (Listen to it alongside the instrumental version of "In My Room" - you'll quickly realize that you can damn near sing one over the other.) "Wild Honey" is another track that manages to be especially boring, because as one might've expected, it's just that same theremin riff ("WEEEEEE-OOOOOO! WEEEEEEE-OOOOOOO!") over and over. However, its close companion "Darlin'" actually works without the vocals, revealing a stand-out bassline that was buried under the harmonies of the original version. Not surprisingly, the highlights of this album are mostly the backing tracks of "Pet Sounds" tunes, thanks to their crystal clear stereo mixes and impossibly elaborate arrangements. Out of the three tracks culled from that album, "Sloop John B" is the best of the trio, being absolutely shimmering and beautiful even without its famously layered vocals. Outside of the 'PS' tracks, "Little Honda" is surprisingly listenable (exploding impressively into stereo after a mono intro), sounding like it belongs as the incidental music over a thrilling cinematic race scene. "Do It Again" isn't bad either, being awfully catchy despite being heard here FIRST, sans vocals, months before its full debut on the '20/20' album. In the end, 'Stack-O-Tracks' isn't that great of an album, with only a handful of tracks being listenable; hardcore fans might like to check it out once, but one listen will probably be enough. What good is a song known for its harmonies if the harmonies have all been wiped away?
MY SCORE: 5/10
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 09:13 PM CDT
I only know when Brian or Dennis was absent when a reviewer mentions it. Not every show was reviewed and I don't have every review that was done. Also not every reviewer gave that much detail. So I can't really say with accuracy every show that Dennis and Brian played or didn't-so just a rough guide to that. One troubling thing- I do have a long review of the 83 Syracuse show and the reviewer states that Dennis was recovering from a recent surgery and wasn't there. Other (important in BB circles) people, however, swear that this was Dennis's last regular show -so I guess the reviewer was wrong...
Yes, there was a review (an apparently more accurate one) in ESQ some years back by a fan who was at that show, and a picture the fan took was published, with Dennis clearly in it. From what I've heard, Denny was in rehab in upstate New York at the time, and was allowed to play with the band at this show.
From what I've gathered, Dennis and Brian were both absent from all the June '82 shows, Dennis was absent from all of the Sept. '82 shows until they returned to California, Dennis was present at most of the '83 shows until mid-August, and Brian was absent from most '83 shows except the really "high profile" ones. Also of note, Brian, Dennis and Mike were all absent from the 6/18/83 Cleveland show (but I'd bet my bottom dollar they weren't together...unless Brian was so concerned about Mike's strepp throat that he persuaded his doctor (Landy) to make a house call and take him along, while Dennis and Shawn coincidentally showed up in the hope that a sip from Dennis' jug might cure Mike and he'd be so grateful he'd admit she was his daughter...)
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 08:19 PM CDT
Well, what record is a "faithful reproduction of the sounds originally recorded"?
Certainly a select few classical and jazz records are. But pop records seldom are. And Brian did not produce high-fidelity recordings. The fact that the "California Project" CD was praised on this thread -- as if that CD has any redeeming value other than a drink coaster -- suggests we are leaving certain aesthetic values by the wayside.
I did NOT mention the California Project CD - go back and read the post before you appoint yourself "arbiter of musical taste". I mentioned the LP. Here's the exact verbiage:
"I don't know if you like any classical music but if you listen to some of the Telarc digitally recorded LPs it'll amaze you. In fact, they pressed a vinyl LP by Papa Doo Run Run called "California Project" - it's all BBs tunes played by PDRR but recorded with the care a classical LP would get from Telarc. It's amazing! See if you can find one in good shape and buy it - you'll be glad you did!"
Please show me where I: A. Said anything about the CD, or B. Made any comments OTHER THAN ABOUT SONIC QUALITY about the LP besides identifying the artist and a general description of the content.
Look, I used that LP as an example how how good sonically a digitally recorded LP could be, just in case the poster that asked didn't have any interest in classical LPs. The vast majority of the LPs she was inquiring about were classical, so I mentioned the California Project LP since it might well have been more to her tastes than the Stravinsky Rite of Spring. I don't care if you like it or not, in fact what you think of it is irrelevant and not germane to my reply to Forget Marie after her asking the question.
As far as the wording I chose - I'll choose again:
"The information on the CD has been compressed and/or limited and/or otherwise been altered/changed from the original in-studio perfomances by Brian and the members of his band (and other musicians) in a way that many find to be sonically very unsatisfying."
I can't imagine you didn't know EXACTLY what I meant in my prior posts, the context in which I made the statement was certainly clear. I have no idea what you are trying to prove by playing word police.
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 08:09 PM CDT
There is definitely foreshadowing for Catwoman in the Dark Knight, and there has been speculation that Deep and Phillip S Hoffman are to be signed on for Riddler and Penguin respectively.
To be honest, I'd love to see Jim Carrey given a chance to reprise his role as the Riddler but the more dramatic serious Carrey playing a darker Riddler.
What should have happened the first time around...
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 07:32 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 07:29 PM CDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 07:20 PM CDT
I just saw the Dark Knight this past weekend. Heath Ledger's Joker is PSYCHOTIC!!! It was a pretty suspenseful movie...kept me on the edge of my seat. The only thing I didn't like about it was Christian Bale's Batman voice. The macho tough-guy voice he uses was just plain annoying. I did like Aaron Eckhart's performance, though. I heard some little kids in the theater crying less than halfway through the movie, and some woman was yelling about how "they ruined a movie that's supposed to be for kids". Any halfway intelligent person could tell from the previews that it's not a kid-friendly movie.
I hope to FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) that Robin, Catwoman, the Riddler, and/or the Penguin and Shark Repellent Bat Spray will be in the sequel to The Dark Knight. And hopefully Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara make Batman and Robin "fully deputized agents of the law".
You know, there's just some days when you just can't get rid of a bomb!
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 07:19 PM CDT
"Old Man River"... by Kern/Hammerstein, right?
Another Ray Charles oddity- anyone ever notice he did a song called "Kiss Me Baby"- sometimes given as "Kiss-A Me Baby"? Although it's not the Beach Boys song, the only time I ever found a songwriter credit on it, it was "Wilson" (and I think it was even "B.Wilson"!).
Yep Old Man River is indeed Kern/Hammerstein II
According to All Music Guide, Kiss Me Baby is composed by "Ray Charles": http://www.allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:wbfqx08aldte and http://www.allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:apfuxqlsldhe
But who knows, you may still be right. All Music Guide ain't the most reliable website going around
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 07:15 PM CDT
So anyone else?
Isn't there a story of BW signing an autograph and writing "Thanks for the great..." and crossing out "great" and writing in "good songs."
Who was that?
Apparently it was one of the Eagles according to someone in this thread: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,3410.0.html
There are some great Brian stories in that thread by the way!!
Posted: 18 Sep 2008 02:33 PM CDT
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