The air is thick and the static’s crackling. Coded messages and tapped lines, there is danger in the jungle. The choir voice of The Peoples weaves in between the trees, through the hanging vines and into the radio waves. They like baseball and they have lots of friends, but they wish you could be there. … Continue reading The Midnight Caller, Episode 4
Any bluesman will tell you it’s a game of sleight of hand. They all employ little tricks that confound and surprise you, which is essential for keeping music that is based on simple structures and patterns exciting. The second album from Portland, Oregon’s The Resolectrics is a study in sleight of hand. One of my … Continue reading The Resolectrics – Open Seas
Fifty years is not ancient history. And yet mysteries are still possible. Earlier this week everybody celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the release of two groundbreaking albums: the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. Both of them are masterpieces but only one of them was released on May 16, 1966. Why … Continue reading When was Blonde on Blonde released? Nobody knows.
A few evenings ago I watched the documentary Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile by filmmaker David Leaf on Showtime. Although the backdrops for the talking heads—ranging from Elvis Costello to Roger Daltry, from Jeff Bridges to a bunch of people who were with Wilson in the early days—were distracting and annoying, … Continue reading Surf’s Flat
“Surf’s Up” is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. Back when I first heard it I was struck by the beauty of the music, but I thought the lyrics — written by Van Dyke Parks — were just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. On the “Inside Pop” television special in 1967, Leonard Bernstein described … Continue reading Brian Wilson’s annotated Surf’s Up lyrics
I can’t believe this is really happening. Finally. I’ve been a Smile enthusiast for a little less than 10 years, but there are people who have been waiting for this album since 1966. The short version of the story is that the album was never finished. Following up Pet Sounds and the “Good Vibrations” single … Continue reading Beach Boys Smile Sessions Really Coming: November 1
A work of fiction inspired by a mix of Southern California classics.
The Beach Boys freak out in 1971 and justify Nixon’s paranoia that the country’s going to hell.
Another photo feature from GLONO’s UK headquarters. This time, we catch legendary Brian Wilson at the Gateshead Sage.
Video: Rivers Cuomo – “Don’t Worry Baby” Hadn’t seen this before. The Weezer frontman performs the classic Beach Boys song for Stereogum’s video series of stripped down, acoustic sessions. You can also find his solo cover of this song on Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. Rivers Cuomo: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.