23 Songs For Today

September 24th, 2018
  1. ) Why I’m Like This- The Autumn Defense
  2. ) Kind Woman -Buffalo Springfield
  3. ) Here Without You -The Byrds
  4. ) Hickory Wind -The Byrds
  5. ) Nothing Was Delivered -The Byrds
  6. ) Lady Friend -The Byrds
  7. ) Say Oh Say -Courtney Jaye
  8. ) New Day -Courtney Jaye
  9. ) Southbound Train -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  10. ) Wasted On The Way -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  11. ) Landslide -Dixie Chicks
  12. ) Hot Burrito #1 -The Flying Burrito Brothers
  13. ) She’s The Kind Of Girl -Gene Clark
  14. ) Photographs And Memories -Jim Croce
  15. ) I Got A Name -Jim Croce
  16. ) Crying In My Sleep -Jimmy Webb
  17. )  Land’s End/Asleep On The Wind -Jimmy Webb
  18. ) If I Knew Then -Lady Antebellum
  19. ) Drinkin’ Problem-Midland
  20. ) Burn Out -Midland
  21. ) Getaway Driver -Miranda Lambert
  22. ) Things That Break -Miranda Lambert
  23. ) Southern Man -Neil Young

Everything But The Brian IV: Heaven

September 21st, 2018

If there was any doubt that there were three musically talented Wilson brother, Exhibit A is this song by Carl Wilson. Released in 1980 on Carl’s first solo album, this song showed that the ability to write emotionally resonant songs was not restricted to Brian and Dennis. One of Carl’s songwriting strengths was songs showing the power and solace of true love, and this is probably the best example.

Weller Country

September 18th, 2018

Late 1967 and 1968 saw many artists move in a simpler, more pastoral direction (think Friends, John Wesley Harding, Sweetheart of the Rodeo). 50 years later, Paul Weller has also moved in this direction with True Meanings. Weller, who has just turned 60, has been prolific , with six albums in the last 10 years, including last year’s A Kind Revolution. All of these recent records have been well-received, with Weller’s willingness to experiment and innovate earning favor with the critics and the public.

True Meanings may be something of a musical retreat to an acoustic, lightly orchestrated sound, but in the mayhem in 2018, this is no bad thing, especially when there are such gorgeous melodies among the fourteen tracks. All of the songs are well-crafted, but standouts include Aspects, Books and What Would He Say?

Macca Station

September 11th, 2018

Macca is back with his new album Egypt Station –and back in the public consciousness especially on the back of the Carpool Karaoke video with James Corden. The new album, as with the previous New album, sees McCartney trying to modernise his sound for a new generation, especially on the rather gimmicky Fuh You –however his strength remains the modular pop songs like Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link and especially Despite Repeated Warnings, which subtly but obviously digs at the current US Presidents environmental policies. The other strength is the traditional McCartney ballads such I Don’t Know and Do It Now. Overall, it may not in the upper echelons of McCartney’s work, but it shows that he is still a creative force to be reckoned with.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXV: Spring Vacation

September 6th, 2018

Spring is coming to the southern hemisphere, even although most readers will be thinking of autumn. So it’s time to return to our hidden beauties, and with the recent Sirius XM “reunion”, remind ourselves of the brief unity within the Beach Boys in 2012.

This track has taken a bit of flack for the possibly less than poetic lyrics and the possibly cynical phrase “easy money.” Indeed, this may have been one of the tracks that one could have dreaded, having seen the tracklist.

But never judge a book by the cover, or a song by the title. Spring Vacation is a great pop tune, and an instant singalong, and the lyrical theme of unity in strength is hardly controversial.

Ultimately, pop music isn’t about the the lyrics alone, but the way the combination of melody, rhythm and lyrics makes you feel. And with the simple joys expressed by this song, it’s a singular success.

 

An Important Trip To The Country

August 30th, 2018

Today another important album turns 50 – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo was a commercial failure with a mixed critical reception, but is now regarded as the first country-rock album and a major milestone in the ever-expanding palate of pop and rock in 1968.

The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Byrds were a very different group to the band that popularized folk rock and took Mr. Tambourine Man to number one. Only Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman remained from the original band, while the iconic Gram Parsons was an important addition to the band.

The two Dylan songs were a link to the past, but these were two unheard Dylan songs from the Basement Tapes sessions, done in traditional country style alongside two Parsons originals plus seven older and newer country standards. While Dylan’s You Ain’t Going Nowhere and Parsons Hickory Wind are probably the standouts, especially in terms of the original music, it is the overall countrified sound across all the songs that makes the album an important listen throughout.

On release, the album managed to alienate both rock fans, who didn’t like the traditional country and possibly even the traditional values espoused by The Christian Life and some other songs, as well as country fans who didn’t like the idea of the long-haired hippies doing their music. 50 years later, the union of rock and country has inspired many an artist, and showed us that building bridges across differences is a lot better than building walls.

 

Summer’s Going…

August 25th, 2018

Brian Wilson’s summer touring finishes tonight in Windsor, after a few dates in the Middle East and Europe. This sector included two dates in Dublin, Ireland which seem to have been very well received. He now has a break of just over two months before he commences a busy November and December schedule  including a mixture of Pet Sounds, Greatest Hits and Christmas shows.

Reflections

August 19th, 2018

It’s a time for reflection – as the world mourns the great loss of Aretha Franklin, at a personal level, the 15th August marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of my mother.

On Thursday night, Brian played a show in Berlin, a city that I visited recently. While not conventionally attractive like many European cities, it is a place of reflection, where the greatest evil of the last century was centered, but also of hope and rising above a past. It looks like Brian’s show was well-attended and successful as this review attests. (in German, but can easily be translated online).

Italian Smiles

August 13th, 2018

On Saturday night, Brian performed Pet Sounds at the historic Ancient Theater of Taormina  in Sicily -he is certainly looking relaxed in the Italian sun in the photo attached.

 

Tales From Tel Aviv

August 9th, 2018

Israel may be a slightly controversial, and not obvious place for Brian to perform in, but his show there  on Tuesday has been well received by fans and the media. The Jerusalem Post review is quite detailed, and includes some live clips , even although it does note Brian’s physical limitations.