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516951 Posts in 17465 Topics by 3145 Members - Latest Member: Marty Castillo May 30, 2015, 03:23:07 PM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson Cut Frank Ocean From His Album on: April 01, 2015, 05:05:15 PM
I can.

I think this is going well. The internet is great.
52  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson Cut Frank Ocean From His Album on: April 01, 2015, 05:36:36 AM
Music can be about lifting mood, but it certainly doesn't have to be. Art has many uses. No need to limit it.
53  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Guess we know where us US members are buying our copies of NO PIER PRESSURE on: March 31, 2015, 06:33:49 PM
I live in Target's home state (Minn.) where they donated to the aforementioned right-wing gubernatorial campaign, which was Tom Emmer in 2010. He lost. Mark Dayton (of Dayton's, the department store chain that actually owned Target...anyone else find that funny?) won. Then he won again. Anyone interested in a Sandbox or PM discussion on that whole fucking topic, I'm in.

But I do still shop at Target. Because seriously, what are the options? (Again, I'm open to a serious discussion of that elsewhere. No name-calling. I'm nice.)

You are officially recognized here as a nice guy.

I'm also tall and punctual. These are my skills.  Grin
54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Guess we know where us US members are buying our copies of NO PIER PRESSURE on: March 31, 2015, 06:17:18 PM
I live in Target's home state (Minn.) where they donated to the aforementioned right-wing gubernatorial campaign, which was Tom Emmer in 2010. He lost. Mark Dayton (of Dayton's, the department store chain that actually owned Target...anyone else find that funny?) won. Then he won again. Anyone interested in a Sandbox or PM discussion on that whole fucking topic, I'm in.

But I do still shop at Target. Because seriously, what are the options? (Again, I'm open to a serious discussion of that elsewhere. No name-calling. I'm nice.)
55  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Another new Brian album? on: March 30, 2015, 04:00:44 PM
Or f*** albums, just release a single every month!

I think I'm on record for a solid decade thinking along these lines. OK, not one a month (unless he happens to have that many ideas and that much energy), but everyone has long commented how the quality of the release is always proportionate to Brian's engagement. Further, it's often described how quickly he gets sick of things. My dream scenario would be for him to take advantage of our modern era and just write-record-release as the muse dictates. One song, four songs, eight songs, 12 songs. Whatever. If it's done in a day, put it on iTunes that night. Once enough are done, sure, put out physical product for those people who care about that.

Just seems to me that it would be great for him. No "make a great album" pressure, less boredom with the project, more immediate results, potentially a bigger piece of the profits.
56  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: L.A. (Light Album) Radio review/discussion on: March 30, 2015, 12:04:51 PM
ESQ's David Beard joined me on today's "The Vintage Rock & Pop Shop" to discuss the group's 1979 "L.A. Light Album". Here is that interview/discussion..minus the songs, naturally:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPyPZkorjw

Just listened to this and wanted to say I enjoyed it tremendously. Nice work to you and David.
57  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I'm Feeling Sad on: March 30, 2015, 10:52:49 AM
Okay, so it's been made quite clear to me that I'm an annoying "cheerleader" here.  If you don't like my posts, you don't have to read them - feel free to skip.  I guess I find "cheerleading" preferable to feeling obligated to make snarky comments - or at least finding some piddling bit to bitch about in anything and everything.  All done so I won't be "uncool" here. I post under my real name so that I don't make comments that I wouldn't say to someone's face, in public.  I don't say I like or love things that I don't.  Post however you wish (and lot's of your comments are truly hilarious, so thanks).  

And, everyone's opinions are all fine - like NPP, don't like it - buy it, don't buy it.  Just don't steal it. (Oh good, I annoyed someone there, I'm sure).  Like Rab, CD, and many others not posting, I'm celebrating that Brian is still giving us these gifts while doing what he wants.  That's been made quite clear about this album by everyone involved.  I have always loved hearing Brian when he's doing what he wants.  This song makes me really, really un-sad.  It's great, and relaxing in a wound-tight world.  What a great next few months with NPP as the soundtrack.  Rah, RAH, sis-boom-bah...

Is this a response to me? If not, ignore anything else you'd like of this. If so, I'm a little surprised. It's not like I shat on the song or criticized BW. I made fun of myself for being bothered by such a small little thing. I said I don't enjoy this particular track as some people seem to--in that some people seem to be rating this one best of all. (I'd put it maybe 5th or 6th of those released.) "Neither do I dislike it, by any means," I said. I've been pretty consistent in my positivity about this album, in fact, from what I've heard of it. (See my thoughts in the "rank the tracks" thread, if you want.) I don't think anything here was snarky at all, and neither do I think my previous comments on this album's material were snarky--except toward myself as an unimportant, single listener.
 
I have nothing against your posts whatsoever. I enjoy them.

My name is Luther. Many people here know this. It's irrelevant. I could say it's John Martin. Or Bob Papanikolau. Or Dejan Bodiroga (which would be great, since he's my favorite basketball player ever). Since I don't matter, it doesn't matter. I say here what I'd say in person; I don't change names constantly or try to hide behind anonymity. I'm consistent. I'm honest. I prefer not to use my full name as an avatar to preserve a certain miniscule amount of privacy in this online world. (I am posting on a Beach Boys message board during work hours right now, after all...)
 

My post had nothing to do with you Luther.

OK, good to know. Then I hope you took the option of ignoring the rest! (The proximity and a few points within made me wonder. Or maybe I'm just that self-centered.)
58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I'm Feeling Sad on: March 30, 2015, 09:10:55 AM
I'd add a third thing to those, Wirestone: simple similarities based on the common forms of pop music. A chord progression, a groove, a rhythm. Neither true recycling of existing (but often unreleased) material nor a conscious quotation, but just fans used to paying really close attention to such things, looking for examples of the two things you mentioned when they aren't necessarily there, other than by the fact that even when it's as innovative as BW's has been, pop music has constraints. (Predominance of I-IV-V or I-ii-V, or I-vi-IV-V, or particular bass lines, etc.)

Because we can, say, sing one song over another, I believe people are quick to jump to the false conclusion that it's recycling or quoting.
59  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: LISTEN TO THE LAST SONG, ON THE ISLAND, & I'M FEELING SAD!! BBC RADIO on: March 30, 2015, 08:36:50 AM
So we've now heard over half the record, correct? I'm really enjoying everything I've heard.

Seconded.

Absolutely.  This is an incredibly good album.

I think NPP is shaping up to be my favorite of the solo albums, with the strange and complicated exception of BWPS. But even outside of that, I really liked--loved?--TLOS, for example, and I think this is turning out to be stronger overall. And just for my personal tastes, as I've said before on this topic, I loves me some non-concept, just-songs albums. ("Just." What a condescending word.) So far, this is a diverse, polished, tuneful, even delightful group of songs.
60  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 'Bad' lyrics that are actually awesome on: March 30, 2015, 08:27:35 AM
I have a hard time thinking something is bad if I (or other people) like it. Because especially in an artistic environment, I think good and bad aren't objective, anyway, other than by technical criteria which are themselves only determined to be good or bad based on subjective decisions. (So for example, hitting a note accurately as a singer has been considered good in a classical context because over time that's what people have decided is good; yet scooping into notes is good in other kinds of music. So even the objective, technically measurable part of the artistic performance is based on subjectivity.)

Nobody gives a sh*t about any of what I just said. I have bored myself.

The point was going to be that I really really really love "I'll Bet He's Nice." A lot. I think it was mentioned somewhere earlier as being bad but loved. To me it's just a great, great song. Absolutely beautiful.
61  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I'm Feeling Sad on: March 30, 2015, 08:13:03 AM
Okay, so it's been made quite clear to me that I'm an annoying "cheerleader" here.  If you don't like my posts, you don't have to read them - feel free to skip.  I guess I find "cheerleading" preferable to feeling obligated to make snarky comments - or at least finding some piddling bit to bitch about in anything and everything.  All done so I won't be "uncool" here. I post under my real name so that I don't make comments that I wouldn't say to someone's face, in public.  I don't say I like or love things that I don't.  Post however you wish (and lot's of your comments are truly hilarious, so thanks).  

And, everyone's opinions are all fine - like NPP, don't like it - buy it, don't buy it.  Just don't steal it. (Oh good, I annoyed someone there, I'm sure).  Like Rab, CD, and many others not posting, I'm celebrating that Brian is still giving us these gifts while doing what he wants.  That's been made quite clear about this album by everyone involved.  I have always loved hearing Brian when he's doing what he wants.  This song makes me really, really un-sad.  It's great, and relaxing in a wound-tight world.  What a great next few months with NPP as the soundtrack.  Rah, RAH, sis-boom-bah...

Is this a response to me? If not, ignore anything else you'd like of this. If so, I'm a little surprised. It's not like I shat on the song or criticized BW. I made fun of myself for being bothered by such a small little thing. I said I don't enjoy this particular track as some people seem to--in that some people seem to be rating this one best of all. (I'd put it maybe 5th or 6th of those released.) "Neither do I dislike it, by any means," I said. I've been pretty consistent in my positivity about this album, in fact, from what I've heard of it. (See my thoughts in the "rank the tracks" thread, if you want.) I don't think anything here was snarky at all, and neither do I think my previous comments on this album's material were snarky--except toward myself as an unimportant, single listener.
 
I have nothing against your posts whatsoever. I enjoy them.

My name is Luther. Many people here know this. It's irrelevant. I could say it's John Martin. Or Bob Papanikolau. Or Dejan Bodiroga (which would be great, since he's my favorite basketball player ever). Since I don't matter, it doesn't matter. I say here what I'd say in person; I don't change names constantly or try to hide behind anonymity. I'm consistent. I'm honest. I prefer not to use my full name as an avatar to preserve a certain miniscule amount of privacy in this online world. (I am posting on a Beach Boys message board during work hours right now, after all...)



 
62  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I'm Feeling Sad on: March 30, 2015, 07:44:38 AM
I'm not enjoying this one as much as some of the others. (Neither do I dislike it, by any means.) I think the thing I like least is Brian's own ascending "bop baba doo wah" part in the middle section. I don't like how he scoops up into the wah. I wish someone else had done that line. Kind of a ridiculous thing to stick in my craw, but what the hell. I checked my craw and that's what I found stuck there. (This was an amazing accomplishment on my part, since I don't know what a craw is.)

63  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: LISTEN TO THE LAST SONG & ON THE ISLAND!! BBC RADIO on: March 29, 2015, 04:29:37 PM
it's a bit more Bruce Johnston than Brian Wilson (or Dennis Wilson).

While I certainly understand what's meant by this, the thing is, it's not. Because it's all Brian (maybe with cowriters) and no Bruce. So really it's maybe just that it's not what some people want out of Brian. (What's new...) But it is Brian. That's who's responsible.
64  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rank the released NPP songs on: March 29, 2015, 09:10:19 AM
Just so history has some almost first impressions (or at least early ones) to laugh at later.

1. Saturday Night.
Nate Ruess's clear, bright voice is exactly why I want modern-day Wilson albums to include other singers. It's not that I don't believe Wilson himself can sing anymore--certainly he can--but even in his prime, one of the Beach Boys' main charms was the diversity of vocals, the right voice at the right time in the right part. With all due respect to the man, I think Wilson would sound pretty bad on this lead. He's just not punchy enough. Al would be better, but still not quite vigorous enough. (I'd have taken Darian here, though. Happily.) Besides the lead, I just think this is a really good song, something I think might have been a hit once. '70s, maybe.

2a. The Last Song.
I was concerned this was going to be underwhelming with the various mentions made of it in the past year or so. After all, I found what I consider its TWGMTR soulmate, "Summer's Gone," by far the least interesting or rewarding of the album-ending trilogy. But I think this is a great pop ballad. The arrangement is really nice, actually. Really nice. I'm guessing there is major credit to Mr. Mertens, here, but whoever did the strings, kudos. The bass has its moments, the organ is subtly nice. The harmonies, the background voices, well, it's a Brian Wilson song, isn't it? Beautiful. Whatever cheese there is, I'm more than willing to accept on its own terms. And I'm a sucker for la-la-las. And you know what else? Performance and arrangements aside, I think it's just a really well written song.

2b. I Guess You Had to Be There.
Let me be clear, I am a huge fan of Kacey Musgraves. I think she's one of the very best songwriters on planet Earth right now. She's an absolutely delightful lyricist--the kind of winking wit that makes for the best country music--and a solid harmonic crafts(wo)man. "Follow Your Arrow," "Dandelions," It Is What It Is," her new "Biscuits" … for someone with one album and a few singles, her catalogue is already impressive. So it's a little ironic that for the most part I'm not in love with these lyrics. Granted, nostalgia in general turns me off. But as simple as the song's construction is, I think it's really well done. I think the refrain is great with its interplay between leads, harmonies, and background harmonies. For a song that sounds to be just I-V-IV-V throughout, there is a lot going on.

4. Sail Away.
Yeah, I mentioned not being a nostalgic kind of person. It's not easy being me. This one is the most overtly, self-consciously "Brian Wilson." I don't think it's "Kona Coast" or anything, but it's definitely dancing along a line I prefer not to approach so closely. But a couple paragraphs ago I mentioned accepting cheese on its own terms, so I have to do the same with nostalgic near-self pastiche, right? And to be fair, maybe pastiche (even near pastiche) isn't fair. Whatever "Sail Away" is, it is a good job of it. It was well sung. It sounds great. The vocal interplay is great: I'd like to hear an a cappella mix.

5. The Right Time.
When I first heard it, the word "inoffensive" kept coming to mind. That doesn't seem like a glowing review (and I guess it's not). The other word was "professional." Again, negative connotations, I suppose. But increasingly I just think it sounds like a nice album track. (Yes, that's odd for a leadoff single.) I enjoy it well enough, especially the refrain.

6. I'm Feeling Sad.
I'm not sure exactly where I'll end up on this one--or anything else, really. My opinions change over time all the time, and that's fine by me. I'm not running for office, I can flip-flop.  Grin I enjoy this song, for the most part. Historically I've always enjoyed the simple, slice-of-life BW tunes more than the polished ones, but for whatever reason this time around I seem to be feeling exactly opposite. (Maybe I'm old enough to relate to adult contemporary!) I could have gone for some of the background singers doing the ascending middle BW vocal in one spot. It's a weird thing to think, but it's really what stands out to me when I listen to this one. For some unknown reason, this is also the first one to make me think I can't wait to have and listen to the whole album whenever I want, no more of this revisiting radio streams and hearing DJs and watching Youtube. Is this relevant at all? Is my opinion beginning to be shaded by that increasingly frustrating experience? ("Frustrating experience" being a first-world problem: having to listen to pre-release songs by your favorite songwriter in a just barely less than ideal format.)

7. Runaway Dancer.
If only that sax were gone… Maybe it's that I grew up in the sax-laden '80s, maybe it's that I played sax in school. Maybe it's that sax should be left in jazz or as a background harmony instrument in 1950s rock n roll or R n B. I really like this song and recording more and more, except that damn thing. If it were a synth, maybe, especially if there were some kind of contrapuntal part over it. Then we'd have something. And Brian Wilson really wants my approval on this sort of decision.

8. On the Island.
What little of a song this is, it sounds nice enough. A bit hazy, something that while only a couple minutes long could probably go on a few hours if it were turned down and one were sufficiently intoxicated. I'm not (yet). I kept wanting something else to happen. Nothing else did. (The lead guitar sounds cool. Is that M. Ward, I wonder? Or David? Or someone else?)

9. Our Special Love.
Still some great vocal arranging and wonderful singing. Even a nice song. But still too much like a Christian college a cappella group my mom might like. If only the beat box and bass were replaced. Or the "nothin but nothin." Or the "doesn't matter where we are…" octave lead. I wish there were a nice instrumental track--nothing obtrusive, just a bed--were here instead. And again, Brian really cares what I want. I'm important.
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: No Pier Pressure Links on: March 27, 2015, 05:19:52 PM
This is so absurd. There are good arguments I've heard about the morality and economic effects of illegally downloading music. None have been raised here. It has nothing to do with illegal downloaders' vs. paying customers' equality or fandom-connection to Brian Wilson, that's for fucking sure. And before I rant--which I'm about to--here's the disclaimer where I say I'm no angel on the topic. And I'm only talking below about downloading commercially available music without paying for it when the music's owners are not offering it for free download. I'm not especially sober, so forgive any errors below. Or don't. I don't much care.

Downloading free copies of music from an unauthorized source when that music is available for purchase through standard commercial means can be discussed in several sometimes interrelated ways. This thread matches my experience in that the points being made on all sides tend to skip freely from one way to another.

Three primary ways to view the practice seem to me to be:
-       Legality
-       Morality
-       Economic effects
 
Legality.
Legally, there is no question in the US. Even for personal, noncommercial use, it is illegal per the “No Electronic Theft (NET) Act,” which changed previous relevant law’s (The Copyright Act, I think) requirements to expand the requirement of “financial gain” on the part of the would-be criminal to mean more than just selling bootlegs (for example), but rather to include “receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including … copyrighted works.”
 
A cursory glance online shows that virtually all developed nations, including WTO members (which includes Russia), are signatory to a treaty that requires compliance with other countries’ copyright infringement claims. So while I’m far from an expert, it certainly seems illegal to download or upload copyrighted material even outside the nation where the copyright is held.

If you're uploading or downloading commercially available material outside of a legit commercial transaction with the rights-holder, you're stealing (by law). You can try to rationalize it on moral or economic grounds. But legally, you are stealing.
 
Morality.
Illegal downloading is often defended by the “artists are rich” argument—that has been a constant since Metallica spoke out against Napster, just as Garth Brooks was pilloried for his criticisms of used albums being sold without further royalties to artists in the ‘90s (and various artists and labels complaining about cassettes earlier). The good old Robin Hood argument. You certainly could try to make an argument about the ongoing accumulation of wealth by the wealthy at the expense of the poorer…but that doesn’t really relate to this argument. But really, is it OK to steal if it's from the rich? Is it OK to kill an asshole? Is it OK to rape a jerk? The rightness of an action is not determined by the object of the action.
 
First and most obviously, very, very, very few artists are rich. In fact, very few record label/media companies are all that profitable. The vast majority of musicians (and labels) make little or no money.

But more important is that it’s simply immoral for one party to unilaterally make a decision regarding a 2-party transaction. “Because I said so” only works with a parent and a seven-year-old. For a commercial transaction to be morally legitimate, I’d think both parties to the transaction should be complicit. If I offer something for $10, it isn’t the buyer’s choice to pay less unless I eventually concede to the lower price. No person should be able to unilaterally impose his will on another in this respect

The fact that the sites exist—easily recognizable—from which to download music illegally doesn’t change the morality of what is being done. If it is wrong (and I argue it is), then it’s wrong whether you can achieve it or not. A 20-year-old physically fit man could presumably very easily knock down an old woman. The simplicity of getting away with it doesn’t change the morality of doing it.

Economic Effects.
This one comes up a lot in defense of illegally downloading and sharing music, too. It can in some circumstances even make sense. But I think it’s important to realize that even if one were to concede that there is no economic harm involved, that doesn’t undo the legality or morality of the situation.

So is there economic harm involved? One common defense is, by sharing music illegally, I am helping the artist get exposure and his tours will be more successful in the future if he comes to my area. This is not on its face obviously untrue. But neither is it necessarily true. First and foremost, artists can (and do) share their music online for free use—if not possession—already via radio, Youtube, Spotify, etc. Rather than file-sharing, you could simply point your friends to an online link or a radio station where the tune is in rotation and theoretically have the same effect.

Second, there is the common argument that I didn’t take money from the artist’s pocket because I wasn’t going to buy it: if I hadn’t illegally downloaded it, I would have simply done without. On a case-by-case basis, that might be true. But looking at music sales overall, it obviously isn’t true (unless people simply don’t listen to music as much as they used to). Music sales—including legitimate, online sales—are far, far, far, far (enough fars?) lower than they were before file sharing was convenient.

The reality is, a huge number of people steal music rather than pay for it. Some of that money would have gone to very rich record execs. Some would have gone to very rich artists. Some to middle-class ones. Some to poor ones. Some to associated industries, whether graphic designers or engineers or studio janitors or whatever else.

Concurrently, and somewhat ironically through the same kind of technological explosion that allows online piracy, people have become more able than ever before to make music more cheaply and to make more of the money on their own products that they do sell by going directly to buyers online. No argument there. But even if that is true, it doesn’t justify the practice of taking for free.

Also lumped into the economics portion, the thing about the fact that illegal sources aren't shut down implicitly making it OK. That's idiotic. The truth is, police don't stop everyone who speeds because it is not cost-effective to do that. It doesn't make speeding legal. The US government doesn't focus on every single illegal immigrant, but on those committing violent acts or dealing drugs. College security doesn't focus on underage drinking and weed, but on narcotics and violence. In everything, there are choices based on resources. Artists in the US or Europe can't go chasing every odd small-time downloader of a song. It's not cost-effective. But that doesn't make it morally acceptable or legal for the downloader or uploader of the song. It's still illegal and immoral. Hershey's won't hunt you down for stealing a candy bar; it's still wrong to steal a candy bar, and their decision not to chase you isn't the same as their implied consent on the matter.

Anyway, that’s my little thought-vomit on the subject.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: Valentine's Day ii on: March 14, 2015, 12:23:45 PM
It's roman numerals.
ii equals 2
vii equals 7.

Beautiful song, Captain.

Thank you. And you're correct, it's just a Roman numeral: it's just the second song I did that I called Valentine's Day. (Lower case numeral as kind of a play on the fact that it's a bit sad, with lower-case Roman numerals indicating minor chords in music theory, and minor often indicating sad.)

Nice song Luther.  I wish I could play the piano, I think writing a song on piano would be incredible.

Thank you. I wish I could play piano well. I took a few months of lessons in third grade and had to pass a basic competence test in college to proceed with my music major, but I haven't had the discipline to become a decent player. I'm a bit of a plunker, coincidentally in the style of BW. Mostly just block chords for the architecture of the harmonic structure.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: \ on: March 03, 2015, 05:45:53 PM
Sounds like our winter last year. Brutal cold.

Re the bassline, thanks. I quite liked that part, too. The chords are F# ' F#7 ' / B ' D ' / A ' ' ' / E7 ' ' ' / F# ' ' ' / B7 ' ' ' / E7 ' ' ' / and I really liked that little ascending line, too.

Re the piano, it's real. The beauty of lazy and basic engineering: you get what you get. I have a console piano and just put a pair of mics over it, right and left. If it takes me more than about two minutes to set anything up, I just don't record. So it doesn't take me more than two minutes to set anything up, ever. As long as I'm just fucking around like this and demoing (and endless supply of) sh*t, it doesn't matter anyway. So it's basic setup and first not-abhorrent take everywhere.

68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New: \ on: March 03, 2015, 03:53:50 PM
Thanks, feelsflow, for the nice compliments.

Actually in Minneapolis, it hasn't been that bad a winter. (Ducks to avoid snowballs the rest of the nation throws.) Less snow than usual, not as cold as usual. Last year, we kept getting cold and some snow into May, so it's not as if we usually have it good. But this year, not bad. It's just that we finally got cold beginning in the second week of February, and it has been persistent since then. So after a mild winter, to suddenly see the days lengthen but the cold deepen, that has been rough on the spirit.

As for what inspired the song, though? Mostly just the matter-of-fact first couple lines--I just didn't feel like going to work, so I didn't--and the "oh oh oh" thing that was in my head. The rest was just tossed together around it, typical luther slop.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / New: "Cardamom Coffee" on: February 28, 2015, 09:52:17 AM
If you're so inclined, have a listen to "Cardamom Coffee" at https://soundcloud.com/the-beau-mondes/cardamom-coffee
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / New: Valentine's Day ii on: February 14, 2015, 02:22:19 PM
The morning's work writing and recording.

https://soundcloud.com/the-beau-mondes/valentines-day-ii
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 23, 2015, 05:34:37 AM
It has been a slow road with Rubio! The injury occurred on Nov 7, I think. But in addition to bad sprain, Flip said he tore some things in there. He's finally in full practices now and will be back when there's no pain or swelling. I'd guess 1-2 more weeks minimum.

The other side of it is, they just signed him to that $55 mil extension. They're not going to risk further damage now in an already lost season.
72  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 04:51:34 PM
My work here is done. (For now, anyway.)
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 22, 2015, 04:22:49 PM
It was nice to have him back. 14 and 4, I think, in a limited bench role. We'll be much better with him, and with Martin (who could be back any day). To have your backups go from the likes of Raduljica, Budinger, and LaVine to Dieng, Muhammad, and Mo Williams? Yes please.
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 04:15:32 PM
Nobody here, or anywhere else for that matter, needs me to list out albums from the '80s that hit everyone's best of all time. We all have access to those lists. Maybe that is what Bubbly wants--that or at least recommendations. I'm not sure I want to give a recommendation. Instead I reminisced a little bit about that decade and how I thought about music then. Of what I loved at the time, barely of any of it remains in high esteem (by me, I mean). Graceland and Prince's stuff are probably the only things that were beloved then and now. Other things, like Waits's stuff, I came to well after the fact.

But f*** all that. Here's something else. Here's Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry.
...............
In 1980s rural Minnesota, the almost literal witch hunt for satanism in rock music felt like an obsession. For those of us listening to that purportedly satanic rock music, it was terrifying.

A prepubescent, newly fascinated connoisseur of hard rock and metal struggled in a very conservative Christian household. Songs with curse words were to be played quietly--contrary to every instinct--or through headphones. Album covers with scantily clad women had to be kept out of sight. Most of all, anything looking or sounding satanic had to be disavowed entirely. "I listen to hard rock, mom," the kid would say, "but I don't like that satanic stuff."

The problem in the American influenced by Tipper Gore, the Peters Brothers, and television journalists ready to jump on the dream story of teenage suicides inspired by satanic cults--and yes, they seemed insistent these things existed--was that "satanic" meant damn near everything more risqué than Stryper or Petra. Long hair, torn or tight clothes, men in makeup, obviously any religious imagery whatsoever, anything more reasonably categorized as fantasy (e.g., elves, wizards and the like), any sentiment questioning the merits of a Reagan-era American dream: satanic. Or at least under heavy suspicion.

When Pee-Wee's Big Adventure featured a scene that included Twisted Sister filming a video for their "Burn in Hell," I was placed in a very awkward position. Number one, even saying hell outside of the context of church was an issue in my home. One could just as well have said fucking c***. But number two, a song whose refrain threatened that you'd burn in hell, well, that was pure satanism. Simple as that. My mom didn't have to hear anything else. Not "welcome to the abandoned land. Come on in, child, take my hand. Here, there's no work or play. Only one bill to pay. There's just five words to say as you go down, down down."

Just "you're gonna burn in hell," sung by these ugly men garishly dolled up in absurd makeup and feathered or fringed costumes.

I was so f***ed.

See, by this time--1985--I knew Stay Hungry, the 1984 album on which "Burn in Hell" appeared. Like, really well. I owned the cassette several times, wearing it out from overuse. I considered it the greatest album of all time, or at least in a tight competition with Van Halen's 1984. I was 11 years old.

In the same way that KISS would affect me around the same time or soon after, Twisted Sister had the perfect formula for an adolescent boy. These were huge hooks being punched by the cornered, oppressed underdog. And what 11-year-old boy isn't a cornered, oppressed underdog?

"We've got the right to choose it. There ain't no way we'll lose it. This is our life, this is our song … you don't know us, you don't belong. We're not gonna take it. … Oh, you're so condescending. Your goal is never-ending. We don't want nothin'--not a thing--from you."

The guitar solos are familiar to me even today. Right now--right now!--I am listening to "We're Not Gonna Take It" and miming the whammy bar dives, so entirely ingrained into my psyche did they become 30 years ago. The riffs were among the first I ever learned, and they're rock solid examples of hard rock music.

Twisted Sister were not what we've long-since come to know and dismiss as hair metal. This wasn't a band conceived of by the marketing team of a major label, assembled from girlish boys whose parts could be recorded by Rod Morgenstein, Greg Bissonette, Billy Sheenan, Steve Luthaker as long as the "band" wore their tight leather pants with the banana or rolled-up sock inserted just so. Twisted Sister had by this time been working the clubs of New York for 10 years and had released a couple of albums. They weren't apart from the now-hilarious fashions of the day, but they weren't so much in it, either. More gruesome than girly, more monster than manicured.

"Stay Hungry," the leadoff and title track, rocks. Like, really rocks. A.J. Pero and Mark Mendoza drive it hard on drums and bass, respectively, the guitars really just pounding out sustained power chords atop the rushing current of rhythm … at least until the dual-guitar solo. It, and the whole album that follows, is big. Everyone knows the cartoonish mid-tempo anthems, "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." Other songs sped past more akin to "Stay Hungry." There were gothic comics and, yes, a power ballad.

Nobody needs a track-by-track, but I mention these songs excitedly because I haven't heard them in more than 20 years. Stay Hungry went from the greatest album of all time to one of those albums I used to like in a heartbeat, not so much because of Nirvana--I hated Nirvana--but because when contemporary music chased its northwestern nirvana, I dug into the past and obsessed on the guitar gods of the '60s and '70s, then jazz, then whatever else.

But listening again now, this is a great album. Always was, always will be. I probably won't listen to it again for many more years, if ever, because it has nothing to do with me now. The adolescent anger and frustration wore themselves out a long time ago; I'm not backed into a corner and have nobody and nothing to rebel against.

But for what it is, for who needs it, this is a masterpiece.


75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The 1980's Appreciation Lounge on: January 22, 2015, 05:43:34 AM
There is (and was, and ever shall be) great music and bad music and mediocre music. The usually it has seemed that recently passed decades are the least beloved, then the nostalgia or ironic or sincere rediscovery jumpstarts their reputations again. The music, recorded, doesn't seem to notice and just goes on existing as it ever did.

80s music, especially its dance elements, certainly are in vogue again.

I'm at work and so don't have time to get into it all now, but I'll talk some 80s with y'all. I was there, aged 3.5-13.5!
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