23 Songs For Today

August 26th, 2016

1. Dancing On the Sun   – Bahari
2. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)    -The Beach Boys
3. For No One    -The Beatles
4. Skylark    -Bob Dylan
5. Atomic Number   – case/lang/veirs
6. Supermoon    -case/lang/veirs
7. Why Do We Fight    -case/lang/veirs
8. How Can You Find Someone To Love    -Citizen Helene
9. Women of Ireland    -Dexys
10. How Do I Live    -Dexys
11. The Town I Loved So Well   – Dexys
12. New York Is My Home   – Dion & Paul Simon
13. Together    -The Explorers Club
14. California’s Callin’ Ya    -The Explorers Club
15. Gold Winds    -The Explorers Club
16. No Strings Attached    -The Explorers Club
17. Before I’m Gone    -The Explorers Club
18. See the Sky About to Rain    -Neil Young
19. L.A.    -Neil Young
20. Love In Mind   – Neil Young
21. Tired Eyes    -Neil Young
22. New Dawn (Synth Layout for Cut Scene)   – Scott Walker
23. She Makes Me Laugh    -The Monkees

For The Young Ones

August 20th, 2016

After a short midsummer break, the 50th anniversary Pet Sounds continues into an intense phase of countrywide USA dates plus a few excursions into Europe (yes, England is still in Europe…). And if you think this is just a nostalgia trip, have a look at this article. And yes, the rock and roll album is still in the works…

Was 1966 The Best Year In Music?

August 14th, 2016

The quick answer to the question in the blog title is yes, it was the year of Pet Sounds. But it’s worth considering what else came out in that pivotal year – we had the classic 60s trilogy of Revolver, Aftermath and Blonde On Blonde, all pivotal albums by three of the key artists of the 60s. 1966 saw Eight Miles High from the Byrds while  Buffalo Springfield recorded For What It’s Worth (actual release was in the early days of 1967. Bacharach wrote and recorded Alfie, and the Walker Brothers released the classic The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.  And I’m sure we can go on.

Proving the best year music would take a lot effort in both statistical analysis and justifying one’s own personal taste. But 1966 can certainly make a strong case, without going into the detail.

 

All Over The World

August 9th, 2016

With final dates in London and Paris now added, the 50th anniversary Pet Sounds tour has now moved onto a 90 date marathon -the busiest year in Brian’s solo touring history, and busier than the Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour. Put another way, somewhere in the world, one in every four days in 2016 will see a Brian show.

50 Years Of The Beatles Weapon

August 5th, 2016

Revolver.jpgToday marks the 50th anniversary of the UK release of Revolver, the 7th Beatles album. Back in 1966 , it may have seemed something of a natural progression that could be seen in all the Beatles albums since Please Please Me, with a little help from Messers Wilson and Dylan. Looking back, it actually feels like a more innovative record than Sgt. Pepper and a landmark in rock innovation, as the basic guitar and drums pop rock evolved into psychedelia (I’m Only Sleeping), harder rock (She Said, She Said and others) , balladry (Here, There And Everywhere), soul (Got To Get You Into My Life) and even into songs eschewing anything conventional in rock with the classical (Eleanor Rigby) , Indian (Love You To) and experimental (Tomorrow Never Knows). George even gets three songs for the first and only time on a single Beatle record, and yet, even in all experimentation, there remains a commitment to melody and meaning. No-one may be able to definitely say which is the best Beatles record, but in retrospect, this was the biggest step forward musically for them , and for rock music.

Let’s Be Friends

July 30th, 2016

Brian Wilson & Friends A new Brian Wilson CD has snuck out while I wasn’t looking – not an album of material, but a CD and DVD of the live show used to promote the No Pier Pressure album. Of special interest is the fact that ex-Beach Boy/Flame/Rutle Ricky Fataar is part of the show, and the DVD includes the fabulous, underrated Hold On, Dear Brother. You can get it here, or on ITunes. 

Touring Man

July 24th, 2016

Brian Wilson’s long tour is getting even longer -an additional date has been added at the Chicago Theatre on 1 October.  Meanwhile, at the same city on July 16, at the Pitchfork festival, Brian was joined on stage by John Cusack, Joan Cusack and Paul Hipp. Finally, with the Midwestern flavor of the moment, here is a review from the show in St. Charles, Missouri.

A Lot Of People Being Shot….

July 13th, 2016

Hollywood bowl and sign.jpgBrian’s homecoming of the 50th Pet Sounds anniversary concerts was at the very appropriate venue of the Hollywood Bowl, a venue that I have had the privilege of visiting four years ago, when the Beach Boys played there at their 50th anniversary.  Brian’s 50th anniversary show seems to have been just as special,including a very relevant wording change to Love And Mercy as evidenced in this great review from the LA Times.

Back On The Road

July 10th, 2016

Brian Wilson spent American Independence Day in Canada, performing at the Massey Hall in Toronto (ironically, he was in Las Vegas three days earlier on Canada Day..). His Canadian visit came with a bit of recognition, receiving the Spirit Award from the Montreal Jazz Festival. And Brian still seems to be spreading good vibrations in a troubled time wherever he goes.

 

Another Dexy Record Show

July 7th, 2016

Dexy’s records have been about as rare as…competent politicians, shall we say. It’s now 5 official albums in 36 years, but the good news is that their new record Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish And Country Soul, comes only four years after their last. As the title may indicate, this is a covers album -a project that seemed to have started with traditional Irish music, but expanded into covering some pop standards, and even the more modern How Do I Live.

If the covers concept may seem a bit of a cop-out, the attraction of the album is that the soulful, passionate nature of Dexy’s music is very much intact, and works well in the context of traditional music and classic pop. If the title may seem a bit confusing, mixing country, soul and Irish, let the record show that the soul is what stands out. And bar the occasional overwrought vocal, this is a record that may seem very out of time, but in it’s retro, nostalgic way, very much needed in these times.