16 Years

February 22nd, 2020

Just over 16 years ago, on 20 February 2004, the first SMiLE concert happened.  The post-SMiLE era is still a lot shorter than the wait to hear the completed long-lost album but 16 years is starting to recede in the deeper past, even although the experience of being there still feels quite recent. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime -being part of popular music history.

Still Cruisin’

February 12th, 2020

Brian’s tour took to the seas, with a performance on the Cayamo Cruise on the high seas. There are some pictures on the main page of Brian’s website as well on his Instagram page.There is just one more show in Brian’s Winter/Cruising Tour on February 15 in New Orleans, but the website does say watch out for more dates…

Trophy Division

February 4th, 2020

Since the 2012 reunion tour, there has been a  split between the band touring with the band name Beach Boys (Mike Love and Bruce Johnston) and Brian Wilson’s tour which has been featuring Al Jardine on a pretty permanent basis in the last few years. This split has now taken an even more permanent and ideological turn after Brian and Al have slammed the touring Beach Boys for performing at a convention supporting trophy hunting.  Given who one of the convention participants is, this division is clearly not just a family feud, but part of the ideological divide in America. Don’t expect another Beach Boys reunion anytime soon…or probably forever.

Been Around And Very Much Back

January 25th, 2020

My first album review of the new decade is very likely to cover one of my favorite albums of the new ’20s. A Girl Called Eddy is back with her second full length album, more than 15 years after the first,  although she was very much part of 2018 collaboration with Mehdi Zannad on The Last Detail. The album starts with a poignant spoken “girl, where you been” on the title track, a brilliantly produced song showcasing all that is great about pop music. The video is also worth many repeated views.

What follows is another 10 brilliant pop songs that will grow on you, worm into your ears and the top of your playlists. While I am still digesting of all the brilliance a week after the release, Big Mouth, the poignant Charity Shop Window, Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart and Two Hearts are all clearly remarkable songs. Produced by Daniel Tashian , who produced Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy winning Golden Hour, the album exudes a classic pop sound which hearkens back to the best of Brian Wilson, Bacharach and Jimmy Webb. Musically, it’s a brilliant start to the new decade from a brilliant artist.

Goodbye To A Flame

January 21st, 2020

Internet access issues have delayed this post, but on Saturday, the sad news came in that Steve Fataar had passed away. An integral part of the Flames, who as a mixed-race South African group who defied apartheid became an important part of the white Californian Beach Boys, he was one who stayed at home in South Africa. While Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar joined the Beach Boys for a while and became internationally renowned musicians, Steve remained a vital part of the local music scene. Poignantly, he passed away just after performing a gig at his favorite spot. As a South African, the Flames and Beach Boys connection, is one of fascination and pride. Sadly, now, we have lost a part of that connection. As we say in South Africa, Hamba Kahle, Steve Fataar.

Fourth Decade of Touring

January 17th, 2020

Tonight, Brian Wilson’s resurrected touring career will enter it’s fourth decade -having started his solo tours in 1999, his 2020 program will kick off with show in Miami with The Cowsills as special guests. A short but interesting January/February program will include a cruise ship on the Cayamo cruise.

Hello 20s, Goodbye Neil

January 9th, 2020

I’m late on both counts, but my first blogpost for the new decade is to both welcome the new decade as well say farewell to Neil Innes, who passed away two days before the end of the ’10s. Innes, known as the “seventh member” of Monty Python, one of the Rutles as well as part of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band, may not have been a household name, but was part of a lot of great music and comedy. What struck me from the various tributes was how nice a person he seemed to be. Another big loss from the last decade -but wishing all my readers a wonderful decade full of great music.

A Late Present

December 27th, 2019

On the 14th, I posted that it looked like we weren’t getting any copyright extension presents this year.  Well, we didn’t get anything for Christmas, but two days later, we’ve got what seems to be a teaser single for possibly greater riches next year. With a strong Dennis focus, 1969: I’m Going Your Way features the title track and an instrumental only Slip On Through, both Dennis Wilson songs, as well as Carnival (Over The Waves). 

Remembering

December 21st, 2019

December is the month of remembrance and reflection for everyone, but especially Beach Boys fans. Today would have been Carl Wilson’s 73rd birthday, but sadly it is almost 22 years since he passed away. It’s also the month we remember Dennis Wilson’s birth and passing, as well as the tragic assassination of John Lennon. And maybe less famously, but no less poignantly, the tragic death of Kirsty MacColl, who died on December 18, 2000, far too early.

No Presents This Christmas?

December 14th, 2019

For most of this decade, the Beach Boys have given us a Christmas present -an archival (copyright extension) release of often previously unknown material. Last year, we had the excellent Wake The World: The Friends Sessions and I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions  as a double Christmas bonus. However, with us now well past the dates where the previous releases came out, it seems that we won’t get a decade-ending present. Of course, the only 1969 album, 20/20, was already covered in last year’s release and Sunflower only came out in 1970. So we may have to wait another year -there have been some rumors around extensive box set coverage of the much-loved but poor-selling 1970 album that started a tough decade for the Beach Boys on such a promising note.