Saturday, July 30, 2011

This lucky old son gets to see Brian Wilson again

On Sunday night, I'll have the great fortune of seeing Brian Wilson perform live. It'll be my third concert of his (I saw him in Kansas City for the "SMiLE" tour, and I saw him in Minneapolis on the "That Lucky Old Sun" tour), and I'm just as excited about this concert as I've been for the other two.

I'm going with my fiancee (this will be her second Brian Wilson show), my parents (this will be my dad's second show, my mom's first), my grandmother (her first), my aunt and uncle (their first). It should be a great time, all around.

This concert will parade his hits (the Beach Boys stuff, especially, with some solo stuff sprinkled in), and he may also perform his newest album ("Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin") in its entirety. Pretty cool, right? A Beach Boy on what may be his final tour, at the historic Surf Ballroom (the last place Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens played before they died) in Clear Lake, Iowa, in the summer? Um, yeah, pretty awesome!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nothing wrong with a little pop, now and then

There was a time when I thought "pop" was a bad word, music wise. Really. I just couldn't dig it. (Sure, the Beatles were pop in their day, but I was able to disregard that with the whole "they're classic rock now" notion.)

What was the use of FUN when there were serious things going on? Who needed music you could dance to? I mean, look, I was a teenage male. No girlfriend. Stuck in the middle class, with college (and college bills) looming. What was I going to be? What was I going to do? How was I going to pay for it all?

So I listened to Pink Floyd. Nothing speaks depression like a few tracks from "The Wall." And if I wanted something more current, I had a favorite that was always there for me: Weezer's "Pinkerton."

But you know something? I've grown up (kind of ... sorta), and my views and tastes have grown (not CHANGED, exactly ... because I still feel those things and still like Pink Floyd, but my views have expanded and so has my musical outlook).

Weezer grew, too. That seems to be a bit of a cardinal sin for some Weezer fanatics (a large chunk of the fandom can't tolerate anything after "Pinkerton," or hate everything after "The Green Album," or think the last few albums just suck ... can't make them all happy).

Luckily, for me, my stages of growth and maturity have fit well into Weezer's own, so I've been able to stay a committed fan every step of the way. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll tell you that I'm quite a Weezer booster. I'll no doubt review some of their albums at some point (and part of this entry may read like reviews of some), but for now I want to stay on this topic of pop and Weezer.

Sing it out ... no, really.

I came to My Chemical Romance fairly late. It was probably late 2006 or early 2007, and I was surfing the radio scanner to find something that sounded good / fun / interesting / SOMETHING. What came on was a song called "Teenagers." I loved it. It was like the Ramones, all pithy and pissy and fun. It grabbed my attention, and I started digging in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A death, a reunion, an album

When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, it seemed like Queen's new studio output was basically over. After all, how could you try to move on without a man who was not only a consummate performer and top-tier vocalist, but also was arguably the most important songwriter in the group?

Mercury's passing was undeniably tragic for the band and its fans. Succumbing to bronchopneumonia one day after acknowledging that he had AIDS, Mercury's powerful voice and dramatic musical flair was now silent.

Or so it seemed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Warming up for the real thing ...

I've been writing album reviews for myself for a long time. I used to share them on various forums and through Facebook, but I never really got into the kind of depth I wanted. Nor did I do my reviews as often as I wanted, as I didn't want to spam others.

The logical conclusion was to start my own blog. So here it is, welcome to The Regular Record. Here, I'll regularly review different records. Some of those records might be singles, some might be whole albums. Heck, sometimes I might just get the itch to write about a particular song buried on a record. I'm crazy like that.

I'll try to give you some historical background on the material, some information on the artist and my impressions. While I'll definitely do my best to provide the proper facts, it's more my intent to share feelings about the material and (hopefully) get discussion going. I'd love to see a community develop here, but I sure won't harass people to make it happen.

In most cases, I'll also try to provide at least one video clip, so that you'll have a multimedia experience here. Hey, it's the Internet, that is the least I can do. Happy to provide those creature comforts!

So sit back, relax, give me a read if you have the time ... and don't be afraid to share your thoughts, feelings or insights!

Welcome to The Regular Record.

One of my big musical loves is The Beach Boys. At some point I'll get to reviewing "Pet Sounds." I figured that something from that album would give my blog a fitting start. So here's a YouTube video on the making of "Wouldn't It Be Nice," one of the great songs from that record.

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