Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New acquisition: Beach Boys new vinyl

Howdy all.

It's been more than a month since my last post. Sorry about that. Between work, a week of vacation and a general malaise, I haven't been too inspired to hop on and blog about music. Hope everyone can understand that, as I'm sure we've all been there.

On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, when shopping becomes insane and people camp out in front of stores to take advantage of sales in preparation for Christmas), there was a Record Store Day event. I didn't go to this event, as I was visiting family at the time.

When I got back into town on Monday night, I stopped by the local indie music store to see if any goodies were left. As luck would have it, there were two great pieces still waiting to be picked up. One was a "Hallelujah" 45, with the A-Side as the original Leonard Cohen recording and the B-Side featuring Jeff Buckley's cover. Both versions are amazing, and having it as a new 45 RPM record is pretty groovy.

The other piece I picked up was actually the one I was most interested in (Rolling Stones, White Stripes, Bob Dylan and many others were very enticing ... but they'd already sold out). I was able to buy a copy of The Beach Boys' vinyl release of "Surfin' Safari" / "409" / "Isn't It Time" (the single version, not the album version) / "From There to Back Again."

It's pretty awesome! I thought I'd share my good fortune with you folks, as those of you who'd find this blog entry can appreciate my pleasure at snagging this item (and the "Hallelujah" piece, too).

OK, that's all I have for now. Hope to be back in the blogging swing, soon. I hope everyone out there is doing OK, and that your lives / health / jobs are all going well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spending some time with The Band

The Band ... Wow. Now THAT is a band. (Now is the time for a collective groan.)

I've been listening to The Band a lot lately. It's been time well spent!

I came to the group years ago (like, oh, around 2000) through the usual path ... I was getting into Bob Dylan, and I kept reading about The Basement Tapes and the group that Bob recorded them with. There were no Lennons or McCartneys in this group. No George Harrison, no Ringo Starr. No Clapton. No superstars.

The Band were musicians. Veterans of the road. Rhythm and blues, country and western, rockabilly, rock and roll, gospel ... Throw that in a blender, add some Walt Whitman, some Bach, some Canadian winter and a dash of Arkansas moonshine -- out comes The Band.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Album review: Giving Bob Dylan's "Tempest" a spin

Some artists seem forever chained to their pasts, no matter their efforts. Sure, there are revivals. There are periods of renaissance. There are reinventions. But all of those phases seem to go back to an original idea of what an artist is, or represents.

Bob Dylan is one such artist. His name is forever tied to folk and the folk tradition, roots music, the songs of the past. And with a new album out, called "Tempest," much of his history is being discussed by rock critics and fans ... and non-fans, too. And some of that history is seemingly embraced, as Bob performs material that evokes "old-time" music from long-gone eras when wax and radio were magic and spiritual and life-affirming and scary ... Music wasn't just streamed, picked and chosen, praised for hooks or breasts or being bizarre.

Dylan "Tempest" post is coming

Hi all,

I've got almost half of a blog entry finished on Bob Dylan's new "Tempest" album.

I've got my preamble written. All that's left is giving the album a listen and giving my thoughts in the comments area, as I've done with my past "live blogging" entries.

It's my hope to get that done tonight!

I'm definitely looking forward to giving the album a listen in its entirety. Should be very cool!

See you then.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unwell, unproductive

Greetings, all you fantastic blog readers and friends o' mine.

For the life of me, I just haven't been able to get back into a regular groove here. I'm sure you all can understand how it is, though ... I'm sure doctors don't want to be diagnosing patients on days off. Police don't want to handle disturbances on their days off. And me? Well, my job keeps me in front of computers for 10-12 hour bursts each day, so it is sometimes just difficult to get the energy to sit down during my free time to write.

But I love writing. And I love writing about music. And I appreciate each and every read and comment that my stuff gets. I don't take that lightly. Thanks to all of you who stop in, and those of you who share thoughts are doubly appreciated.

Let's see, let's take a moment to do an update here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sock it to me, wild honey!

In 1967, The Beach Boys were having some bad luck. After the critical acclaim "Pet Sounds" received and the chart success enjoyed by "Good Vibrations," fans and observers alike were primed for the massive payoff that was promised with the "SMiLE" project.

But "SMiLE" didn't happen, and "Smiley Smile" was issued in its place. A bunt instead of a grand slam? Perhaps. Carl Wilson described it that way, and it seems appropriate.

New review(s) a-comin'!

Hi all,

I have Tuesday (today) off from work, and most of my housework stuff has been done ...

So that means I should have time for a new music review! Woo! It's been so long ... will I remember how to write? Did I ever know how to write? Is writing still hip? We'll find this, and more, later!


Sorry that it's taken so long for me to get cracking. I didn't think it'd be worth writing more "hey, work has been busy and there's a lot going on in my life" entries. I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove of doing what I love most:


Join me, won't you?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Like lint on a record, stuff keeps popping up

Hi all,

I know, you keep hearing this stuff from me. I've been busy. Surprise, surprise. Bit of a broken record, eh?

Even on my days off, I've found plenty to occupy my time. I'm not done with the blog, I promise, but I've just been overwhelmed with the day-to-day shenanigans of my work life.

Bear with me. I promise, more music is on the way.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sorry I've been out of touch

Howdy, all.

As my last post made clear, I was on vacation for a couple weeks. Honestly, as much as I should have logged on to post a couple things ... I was kind of enjoying being away from the computer. My real-life job is computer-intensive, so it was nice not looking at a screen too often during my break away.

Anyway, I had a great vacation and got some rest and spiritual healing. And during my drives, I listened to a lot of music that stirred some ideas in me. The Styx album "Brave New World," Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy" and Queen's "Queen II" might get some love on my blog here soon, if I get some time to sit down and tackle them properly!

I hope you're all well, and I'll chat with you again soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Going on a vacation

Woo hoo! Soon I'll be enjoying two weeks away from work. I haven't had any real vacation time away from work since I got married back in October. I'm crispy around the edges and totally looking forward to some rest, some good times, some fun and some whatever-I-feel-like-doing goodness.

I hope that'll mean a couple blog posts, too.

I've been staying pretty busy with work and everything else. By the time I get home, or even during lulls at work, I find myself pretty much tired of staring at computer screens ... so my blogging has suffered. I offer you my most sincere apologies.

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's my birthday

Howdy, all.

Today marks another anniversary of my continued existence on this planet. Yay!

I don't have much to say, except that it's been an interesting ride so far!

Um ... so, here's some Beatles music:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July Fourth

Based in the United States as I am, I have the good fortune for a lot of things.

A lot of liberties, freedoms and opportunities come my way because of where I live ... and I don't take that situation lightly. It's easy to take things for granted, but I know so many in the world lack the ability to do things because of government rules, poorer economies, geographic situations, etc.

July Fourth is Independence Day for the United States, and I wish everyone in the U.S. a fun (and safe) holiday. Bust out some great music, hang out with friends and family and have yourselves a memorable time!

For readers who live outside the United States, I wish you all a happy July Fourth as well ... and I hope your days are pleasant, happy and fulfilling (and also full of music).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Beach Boys at No. 23 on Billboard

"That's Why God Made the Radio" continues to do well! Three weeks in, and it is selling enough to still be in the Top 30! In this modern age, when many artists (not just classic ones) slide right off the Top 200 after a week or two, the No. 23 placing is pretty fantastic! (Want proof that they're at No. 23? You can see it HERE [Click Words].)

The album debuted and peaked at No. 3, then went to No. 14, then No. 23. A fantastic showing for a fantastic album by a fantastic group. It's pretty fantastic, in case you couldn't tell.

Congrats Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blogging: Ups and downs

My blog celebrates its first birthday/anniversary later next month (around the middle of July), and it's been pretty dang successful. I define success in, "Wow, a lot of people are visiting my blog and I didn't expect that."

Truth be told, when I started this li'l blog, I figured I'd be lucky to get a handful of visits a month. Maybe a hundred visits in a year. Something like that. And honestly, traffic wasn't the point. But everyone has an ego, and I did have that hope that others would find my words worthwhile.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Washing away that work vibe

I'm working today, and I doubt I'll get much time to do a proper blog entry.

But that got me thinking ... Listening to music at work isn't rare, by any stretch. Some folks hear it over the intercom at some stores. Others get radios at their desks. Some do the headphones thing. CDs. YouTube. MP3 players. Those iPhones and iPods. Music is more portable and present than ever.

I figure that's a good thing. I certainly rely on music a lot to keep me balanced and get me through the days.

If you listen to music at work, how do you do it? Does your place of business allow it? I'm curious just how permissive different fields are, and different countries are, with the practice of listening to music while working.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just for fun: 70 for Brian Wilson's 70th

It struck me that it might be fun to assemble a list of 70 songs that Brian Wilson wrote/sang and share this list as a possible fan's guide to Brian Wilson. Since he's 70 years old today, 70 songs seems like a good number. 

No such thing as "free music"

I was reading some stuff online and came across an article that I think addresses music downloads (and those who choose to download "free" music rather than pay for it) pretty well.

I would ask everyone who visits my blog (especially those who are looking for download links) to read it, as it is AT THE VERY LEAST food for thought. Check out the rest of this post to read it.

Happy 70th birthday, Brian Wilson!

Brian Wilson's 70th birthday is today, two days after Sir Paul McCartney's own 70th. What a week for popular music, right?

Brian is on tour with The Beach Boys as they continue their reunion run. The latest Beach Boys album "That's Why God Made the Radio" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts. Critics and fans alike have applauded both the album and the tour.

So, basically, Brian's 70th comes at a time when he's doing well professionally and is seeing the fruits of his labors being loved at sold-out venues. Not too shabby!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almost a week and no post? Sorry!

Hey all,

I'll be back to posting soon, I've just been preoccupied lately. I've been listening a lot to the new Beach Boys album, but I figure I've posted quite a bit on that lately. Unless there's some big breaking news (an expanded edition, it hitting No. 1 on the charts, a new single with video, etc.), I'll probably lay off doing more "That's Why God Made the Radio" posts for a bit.

Got a few reviews started (none are very far along yet). Sharon Van Etten's "Tramp" is one, as is Paul and Linda McCartney's "Ram" (a review of the 2-disc deluxe edition). I enjoy both albums a lot, but haven't been struck by the "gotta write this NOW" bug for them. If something grabs me more forcefully in the near future, those may get knocked aside for a bit.

Hope you're all doing well!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Worst reviews? Could be!

Some friends of mine uncovered this gem of a link, and I wanted to share it with you folks.

This isn't any of my own work, and I give full credit to the compiler (apparently, a writer going by the username of schmidtt).

I give you: Rolling Stone's 500 Worst Reviews (click the words).

There's a lot of brilliance, analysis and bile there. It's a great read! You can pick it up and put it down, come back later, read a few at a time ... But it's worthy of perusal!

Let me know what you think!

Proof: Beach Boys No. 3 on Billboard 200

Here it is!

Congratulations, Beach Boys!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer far from gone: Beach Boys hit No. 3 on Billboard

The new Beach Boys album "That's Why God Made the Radio" has debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart!

How huge is this? It's HUGE.

From Billboard's article (which you can read HERE):

At No. 3, the Beach Boys notch its highest charting album since 1974 as "That's Why God Made the Radio" debuts with 61,000. It's the group's highest-debut ever, and best rank since 1974's "Endless Summer" greatest hits set hit No. 1. In terms of studio albums, "That's Why God Made the Radio" is its highest-ranked since 1965's "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)" reached No. 2. "That's Why God Made the Radio" is the group's 14th top 10 album overall, and first since 1976's "Big Ones" (No. 8).

"That's Why God Made the Radio" is the band's 29th studio album and was released as part of the group's 50th anniversary celebration. Its 61,000 sales start also includes nearly 20,000 copies that were pre-ordered during the band's concert appearance on the QVC shopping network on May 16.

It's quite a time for Beach Boys fans. From "The SMiLE Sessions" to the reunion, from the concert tour to the late-night television appearances, from the new album and the great songs ... It's been a long time coming, and fans worldwide have every reason to celebrate. "From There to Back Again" indeed!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Billboard: Beach Boys album and the charts

Kind of interesting:

The Beach Boys' new "That's Why God Made the Radio" will perhaps give the legendary act its highest debut ever and first top 10 album since 1976. The album is on course for a start in the range of 60,000 to 65,000 and should easily become the group's first top 10 since 1976's "15 Big Ones" hit No. 8.

You can view the rest of the article HERE (click words).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

RIP, Bob Welch of Fleetwood Mac

Saw this come across a news feed, and it's some sad news.

I am not what you'd call a big fan of Fleetwood Mac (I like plenty of their songs, but I only own a couple of the big albums and a greatest hits ... that's all I've ever needed). I don't know really any of their stuff from before Buckingham and Nicks joined the group (I know some Peter Green stuff, but not a lot of it).

I know Fleetwood Mac was a good blues group before they became the big group of the Seventies. And I knew they had a lot of great guitarists throughout the years. But that was about the extent of my knowledge on their lineup.

I'd come across Bob Welch vinyl in the past, but I didn't recognize the name and never gave the stuff a chance. I'm sure it was good content, it just wasn't anything I'd had brought to my attention by family or friends or peers. I mean this man no disrespect, and I'm certain his artistry and skill were impressive ... And I hope his passing has brought him peace.

The circumstances of his death are unfortunate, and his family and friends have my genuine sympathies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Video: A Google interview with The Beach Boys

Strap in for 40 minutes of awesomeness!

Humor, involvement with all 5 guys and some good insights ... It's worth the watch!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Beach Boys post: Buying the new album

I've bought a handful of copies of the new album at Target. Today, they were $7.99 each. Pretty great! I'll be sharing them with friends and family and hoping they enjoy the music as much as I do.

I looked at other retailers to see if there were competitive sales. Walmart and Best Buy also had the album on sale ($9.99 each). So, for big box stores, Target won.

Add in my other orders (vinyl, etc.) and the digital downloads, and I think I've been doing my part to promote and support the group and "That's Why God Made the Radio."

Want to listen to the album before you buy it? AOL is streaming the entire album. You can listen to that stream HERE (click these words).

I really hope The Beach Boys enjoy some commercial and critical success with this new album. It deserves it, and so do they. They manage to sound classic and fresh at the same time, and that isn't easy to do.

Have you folks bought the album yet? Downloaded it from Amazon or iTunes? What are your thoughts?

(I'll be trying to get some reviews on material that IS NOT Beach Boys soon. Sorry, but you'll have to bear with me. I loves me some Beach Boys, and a new studio album is a big deal to me!)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Summer's Gone" by The Beach Boys

YouTube has seen a lot of entries in the last several days as the new Beach Boys album "That's Why God Made the Radio" has started to make its way to fans (either through legitimate orders and early deliveries, or through leaks).

A lot of these have been taken down fairly quickly, and I'm sure this one will too ... Since this post is strictly about the YouTube video, I'll remove this post if I see the video was taken down.

So enjoy it while you can: The final song from the new album, "Summer's Gone."

That's some good music (that whole suite that caps the album, those final three songs ... whew).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Album review: Beach Boys, "That's Why God Made the Radio"

In 1985, The Beach Boys released a self-titled album. It was the first new record the group released since the drowning death of drummer and founding member Dennis Wilson.

It also was the last group album of new studio material to feature Brian Wilson in any sort of dominant fashion.

There came an album of odds and ends, called "Still Cruisin'." Then there was the studio disc (sans Brian) called "Summer in Paradise." Following that was the lamentable "Stars and Stripes Vol. 1" album that featured country stars singing the lead vocals, with backing vocals from The Beach Boys.

There were compilation albums, a live disc and an album of live and solo tracks released through Hallmark stores. Then came the wonderful "The SMiLE Sessions" materials.

But modern work, with all the surviving members, contributing actively (whether in songwriting or singing or playing)?

It's been a long time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beach Boys: "Isn't it Time" live video

This isn't my video (sadly, I doubt I'll be able to see The Beach Boys on this reunion tour ... they aren't coming to a venue that's convenient to where I live; the costs to travel to see them are too high to make it practical). I came across it while surfing on YouTube.

First, I love the song. Second, the group sounds great doing it live (yeah, it isn't seamless or perfect ... but Mike Love says this is the first time they've tried it in front of a live audience, so give them some slack). Third, isn't it just great to hear those voices together again in a truly live setting? Fourth, groove to that backing track. Hand claps, foot stomps, the bass line ... Yeah, man, good stuff.


Streaming: 5 new Beach Boys tracks

The Guardian (a UK newspaper / website) is streaming 5 NEW Beach Boys songs IN THEIR ENTIRETY!

You get access to the full tunes of "Isn't It Time," "Spring Vacation," "The Private Life of Bill and Sue," "Shelter" and "From There to Back Again."

Great stuff! I really love "Isn't It Time," "Spring Vacation" and "From There to Back Again." I enjoy "The Private Life of Bill and Sue" and "Shelter," as well.

The link: GUARDIAN STREAM (click the words).

Check it out!

The album comes out Tuesday! It's almost here!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beach Boys, vinyl packages and shelling out

So, as you are all undoubtedly aware after several posts about it, The Beach Boys have a new album coming out in June.

This new album is getting released to vinyl (though that release has been delayed at least twice ... my order on Amazon got pushed back to July, and then to August), which is pretty cool in and of itself.

What I wasn't aware of, however, is that the first single from the album ("That's Why God Made the Radio") has ALSO been pressed to 7" vinyl!

The downside? You have to buy the package.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great article on The Beach Boys' new album

I just read a really good story on The Beach Boys, their reunion and the new album.

I won't poach the whole article, I don't want to deny the website its hits (and advertising revenue). It's one of the better articles I've read in a long time on the group, and I think it deserves getting as much exposure as it can get.

DO check out the great article HERE (click words).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another voice passes: RIP, Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb passed away today. His youngest brother, Andy, passed away in 1988. Maurice passed on in 2003. Barry is the last brother.

Love the Bee Gees, hate the Bee Gees, ignore the Bee Gees, celebrate the Bee Gees ... Different strokes for different folks, but his music (and the music of his family) touched a lot of lives.

The family contributed a lot of music, some of it popular and some of it not ... and some of it surely is dated by its style/production ... A lot of the music had a power, grace and style that still grabs ears and makes fans.

My sympathies to his family and friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Album series: The Beatles Anthology

Sometimes I really enjoy retrospective packages. Listening to original albums is certainly enjoyable, worthwhile and (in some circles) the preferred way to go. And many compilations, especially "greatest hits" and "best of" collections, really tend to leave out the best tracks from an oeuvre.

But some retrospective packages are able to avoid those situations by mining previously unreleased materials. And that's where "The Beatles Anthology" project really shined.

When the Anthology project was first announced, I was HEAVILY into The Beatles. No other group mattered. I was reading everything about The Beatles, listening to everything I could find, buying anything that I could afford. They were my first huge musical passion, and it is fair to say I was obsessed with them. (I still am ... but now I handle it in slightly more civilized fashion.) And when I heard the Anthology project was going to mean new music, and previously unreleased music, in addition to videos and a book? Whew. Man. TOTAL frenzy. This was the first new Beatles music in my lifetime! Being born in 1980, I'd missed out on the glory years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy birthday, "Pet Sounds"

The first post on this blog mentioned a bit about "Pet Sounds." I suggested that I might eventually tackle the album head-on, and do a review.

I haven't gotten there yet. Why? Because it's one of those albums that has been reviewed thousands of times, and just about everything that can be said about it has been said.

But a big reason that writing about the album is so daunting is because "Pet Sounds" is an album that really has to be experienced. Like Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" and Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" (and many others), the album is a combination of sounds and feelings that present a mood ... This is music to be felt and measured, that needs to be digested. Sure, you can enjoy the songs separately (many know the hits "Sloop John B," "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows" without having heard the album), but it's amazing how powerful the album is in its entirety. 

Have time to get into it? Let's try. Prepare for a lot of rambling!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beach Boys: New album song samples

Yes, yes, I know ... you're probably getting tired of all the posts about The Beach Boys and their new album.

Sorry! Up through June, I'm sure there'll be a majority of my posts that are devoted to the group and their new album. I promise, there'll be more variety worked in as well.

But for now ...

Visit Amazon for short samples of the new songs on the upcoming Beach Boys album!

You can hear them HERE (click these words).

You can also preorder the album on iTunes for $9.99. For those of us who have to have the album ASAP, that's a great option. Helps save on the storage space, too, though I love having physical copies (CD and vinyl are already ordered on my end). If you check out iTunes, they have longer samples of the songs, too.

Some of this new stuff is sounding pretty darn good to my ears! Your thoughts? Please share!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Credits for the new Beach Boys songs

A writer friend doing a feature on the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys, including their upcoming new album, has provided songwriting credits for the songs on the new album!

There are some surprises, but it definitely illustrates how involved Brian Wilson has been with the project. Want to know more? Let's take a look!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Radio surfing lands "Twist and Shout" gold

Some songs, you just have to listen to all the way through.

That is the case with The Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout."

I was driving today and was running through the radio to find something to listen to. Sure, I could have turned on my iPhone (that's what I usually do). 

But I was in the mood to be surprised.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beach Boys on Jimmy Fallon

The Beach Boys appeared on Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (or early Tuesday morning, depending where you were watching).

The group performed "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "In My Room" and "That's Why God Made the Radio."

I thought "In My Room" was the best of the three, and "Radio" was really well done too.

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" is one of my all-time favorite Beach Boys songs ... and the performance wasn't bad. It just really lacked something. I don't know how to explain it. Mike's voice on his part wasn't very strong, and Al took the early lead on it when it was a Brian-led song on "Pet Sounds." Maybe this was a way to give Al some of the spotlight? Not a major grievance, especially as Al took the lead on the song in the past (when Brian wasn't touring with the group).

"In My Room" really hit the heart strings, and there was something sweet and touching to see these guys standing together and singing this song. Really kind of beautiful. This performance brought it home. Sure, Dennis and Carl aren't there ... they can't be there ... but these old men, these survivors, are still there and still singing the old songs. Very cool.

"That's Why God Made the Radio" was pretty cool. It had a good groove. Sure, The Beach Boys really rely on their backing band to fill out that sound and give it some oomph ... but that's OK. I'd rather these guys have a heck of a great song with some help than to have nothing at all! It's a catchy song, with some power. The guys all seem to dig it, lots of swaying and smiling and involvement. Sure, it's the new single and they are trying to sell it ... but they look genuinely pleased.

Anyway, the videos are available on Jimmy Fallon's website. I'll provide the links here.

Link: In My Room performance

Link: That's Why God Made the Radio performance

Link: Wouldn't It Be Nice performance

What do you folks think? Which was your favorite (or least favorite)? Think the group pulled it off?

I think for some 70-year-old guys ... they did great! (Yes, they have a big band behind them, but why slam a good sound?)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Beach Boys ZinePak

As The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary juggernaut marches on, some cool stuff is already coming out.

A few months back, a video was leaked of the group in the studio together and tackling their 1968 hit "Do It Again." A remake? Well, there was definitely mixed feelings about it ... but my overall impression was: "ANYTHING THAT GETS THESE GUYS BACK TOGETHER IN THE STUDIO IS AWESOME."

Yeah. I really mean it. ;)

Then the first single for the new album had its video released (and the track itself is now available for download on iTunes). "That's Why God Made the Radio" is a good track, I enjoy it a lot. I can't wait for the June release of their new album!

Then, this last week, the group released a ZinePak through Walmart.

George Harrison flick, CD delivers

This last week, I saw the George Harrison biopic "Living in the Material World" for the first time.

I was impressed, to say the least. Just the way it starts, with the flowers ... and George's face as he ducks behind them ... Damn. Seriously, from the beginning, the movie forces you to pay attention.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Goodbye, Beastie Boy

Adam Rauch died. Age 47. Cancer.

The Beastie Boys member who went by the name MCA announced in 2009 that he had cancer. He had treatment. I thought things were doing better. Heck, they even released a new album last year.

Sad news. ...

I first really became aware of The Beastie Boys in my early teens. I remember seeing the video for "Sabotage" and it grabbed my attention. It was so ... 1970s cop TV drama-esque. It was propulsive, a beat that kicked ass and vocal performances as rocking and undeniable as anything they'd done. Not as much rap as rock, perhaps, but they always were good at getting the right sounds for things ...

My best wishes to his family, and to the other guys in the band.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Track list for new Beach Boys album

Amazon has the tracklisting provided for the new Beach Boys album, "That's Why God Made the Radio." It's a summer album, and The Beach Boys are already touring to celebrate their 50th anniversary. What a year for Beach Boys fans (and last year was quite a good 'un too, with "The SMiLE Sessions").

The songs for the new album, per Amazon:

1. Think About The Days
2. That's Why God Made The Radio
3. Isn't It Time
4. Spring Vacation
5. The Private Life Of Bill And Sue
6. Shelter
7. Daybreak Over The Ocean
8. Beaches In Mind
9. Strange World
10. From There To Back Again
11. Pacific Coast Highway
12. Summer's Gone 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pre-order the new Beach Boys album

user posted image

That's Why God Made the Radio 
The Beach Boys | Format: Audio CD 
Price: $17.78 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. 
Deal Price: 
Special Offers Available 
Pre-order Price Guarantee. 
This title will be released on June 5, 2012.
Pre-order now!

Clink the link below:

Amazon Preorder

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Added to the collection: Jack White's "Blunderbuss"

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I just bought (literally just bought ... about 30 minutes ago) the new Jack White solo album, "Blunderbuss."

I'm a big fan of Jack White. The White Stripes and The Dead Weather are among the discs I spin the most often when I'm wearing headphones at work (I don't listen to The Raconteurs as much ... I like them fine, but I don't love them). What will I think of Jack's solo work? Hmm.

Beach Boys' new song getting me through

Work and real life continue to be very hectic. I am not abandoning the blog, I just haven't been able to make it a priority lately. This month will be atypical, I promise. More music posts will come.

As the slog continues, music continues to be my biggest source of calm and joy. And one of my favorite groups, The Beach Boys, are topping my playlist this week.

The newest Beach Boys song to hit the Internet and (soon) the radio is "That's Why God Made the Radio."

It's a damn good song. A lot of people are already complaining about it, saying it is too safe or too sanitized or too bland or too processed. Whatever. It sounds good, and it is balm for the soul.

Brian's voice is strong, the lyrics aren't bad (there are a couple cringers, but nothing awful) and the rest of the group and the support singers (Jeff Foskett, etc.) really create a wonderful blend. The harmonies are cool, and the arrangement is punchy. The sound may be a little, well, unadventurous. There's certainly nothing "SMiLE" about it. There's nothing as dynamic as "Wouldn't It Be Nice," for sure. But it's a nice group exercise, and certainly meets (if not exceeds) the quality of many latter-day Beach Boys efforts.

For a group of guys in their late 60s and 70s, this is pretty damn tasty. It's not old codger music (though the radio as a topic kind of dates it ... unless people are talking satellite radio, I don't think AM/FM is gonna relate to younger listeners). It should please the already established fan base. It's fresh, pleasant and just has an overall sense of joy and reassurance that one gets from some of the best Beach Boys songs.

I'm tickled, and I look forward to the album (due out in June).

What do you folks think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

An iPhone full of music

About a month ago, I got my first iPhone.

My old cell phone was a reliable Samsung that was about 7 years old. I decided to retire it after I had to start recharging the phone twice a day. I needed something more reliable.

With the purchase of the iPhone, it also allowed me to demote my iPod nano (about 5 years old) to backup status. The nano has been a heck of a great asset, providing many long drives and late nights with music that kept me awake / sane / functional.

One of the big perks was an upgrade of space for music ... I went from 4 gigs to 16 gigs. Know what that meant? Lots and lots of music added.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Investing in a little Roy

Roy Orbison's talent often gets overlooked in the great assessment of American music.

Despite being an influence and inspiration, or an object of amazement, to such talents as Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bono, k.d. lang, and countless others, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of listeners under the age of 35 probably only know Roy for "Oh, Pretty Woman" and maybe "You Got It," since that was a radio hit in the late 1980s.

Well, maybe "In Dreams" too ... if you've ever seen David Lynch's film "Blue Velvet," it's hard to miss "In Dreams." Anyway, the dude has done some great music and deserves to be heard. So let's talk a little about his stuff.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm not ignoring you, I promise

It's been a busy several weeks at work, and the last two weeks in particular have seen a whole lot of hours being invested in making transitions at work go more smoothly.

I promise, there will be more posts very soon. I've got a couple that have been started, with one or two close to completion! Once I stop getting slammed so heavily at the job, I'll be able to relax into the awesomeness of music! Yay!

Please give me your patience, and we'll be back in touch again very soon!

Thanks, friends.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A shorty: Revved up like a deuce

So I was listening to the radio, and a song came on that I always enjoy: Manfred Mann's cover of "Blinded by the Light."

Just goes to show, sometimes regular FM radio really CAN come through for you (hey, I can't afford satellite radio ... so it's radio or iPod for me).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's sure good enough for me


I've been listening to some of Mr. Springsteen's material of late. And a particular song has been keeping my interest.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Don't Stop Me Now" is Queen perfection

I've discussed on this blog just how hard I find it to name favorites. Favorite groups, favorite albums, favorite songs ... It all depends on mood, situation, memories attached, all of that stuff.

But one favorite I keep coming back to is Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." At this moment, on this day, of this week ... "Don't Stop Me Now" is my favorite Queen song. And they are one of my favorite bands. Look at that, I'm just naming favorites left and right! (I know, you're amazed.)

I probably don't need to hedge my bets much on "Don't Stop Me Now," actually. It's been my favorite Queen song for a few years. Everything about it appeals to me. Feel like discussing it? Yay! Let's get down to it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weezer left many fans seeing red

What a different Weezer we saw in 2008, and how familiar they remained ...

Weezer's third self-titled album, referred by many -- including me -- as their "Red album" because of the dominant color of the cover, follows in the footsteps of "Pinkerton" and "Make Believe" by throwing a handful of gems out into the world, with a lot of tracks that grow in appreciation with more listens.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lifting the needle for a moment

Howdy. Let me interrupt the music for a minute to "get real" with y'all. I've got a few topics running through my head, and I figure I could air them out now. Why not, right? We're all friends here. Pull up a seat.

This is my first post of March. It's already a full week in and I haven't gotten around to finishing up some of the blog entries I've started (I usually try to have one or two in progress at all times). So here I go, in one big writing flurry ...

I know the key to a successful blog is regular updates ... well, more than regular. Constant updates are needed to build and sustain readership. (Well, that and good content ... if you write about something no one else cares about, that won't help things). So, as a blog custodian, I've been pretty lame for about a week now (you could argue I've been lame since the beginning ... and that'd make you witty, and I'd high-five you on it).

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