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.


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