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630623 Posts in 25255 Topics by 3594 Members - Latest Member: WonderBill April 20, 2018, 05:06:09 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: Today at 06:45:35 AM
I'll really miss Nelson not just for his undoubted skills but also for his enthusiasm and for his public relations talents. Nelson was always ready to meet with the fans.

I sincerely hope it ISN'T about another reunion. I would find that awful rather than funny! After the last time, funny peculiar rather than amusing.

Yeah, to be even more explicitly clear, my reunion reference was most definitely a joke.

Don't get me wrong, while I appreciate Nelson's work, I would absolutely sacrifice his participation if it meant a true, harmonious, and fruitful BB reunion along the lines of 2012. But I don't think any of that is something that's even on the table at this point.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed on: Today at 06:44:02 AM
L&M *succeeded* in major part by *not* trying to run through all those in-between years. Watch "Summer Dreams", that's what happens when you try to cram too much chronology in (and that film really only ran to about 1984). Same with "An American Family", which really only ran to 1974/76 and took over three hours of screen time.

L&M isn't a history of the BBs. It's not even a history of BW. It's a character study about a couple of key points in his life. It's not even really a "Biopic", though it gets categorized as that for lack of something else to call it beyond simply a "Drama", etc.

The movie conveys Brian's personal hell. It helps you understand maybe a little bit of why he is the way he is. I'm gonna crib once again from Howie Edelson, who in his review of the film said (I'm slightly paraphrasing) that this film helps show you that Brian Wilson is the guy who wrote "This Whole World" for people he'll never meet or know. Just think about that. To me, *that's* what's profound. For his own sake, he probably should have given up music long ago. I think he has sacrificed some happiness to continue to make music. He may even do it as much for himself as for us. But we've reaped the benefits, and it is at the cost (whether we want it or not) of Brian's sanity.

I also think that while I'd probably say Dano's segment is better than Cusack's, Cusack's is still strong as well. Case in point: The hamburger scene. As Billy mentioned, this scene is really just beyond sad. It may be the emotional low point of the movie. It's a situational sort of thing that I think some people truly understand in terms of how awful it is. And you know what? This scene is surely *FAR LESS* awful than stuff that *actually* went down. It reminds me of watching one of those bonus features for "The Dark Knight" where they discuss the CGI effects for Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Quick primer: He loses half of his face in a fire, and they did some very realistic CGI effects on his face and then decided they had to actually purposely make the effect *less realistic*, because the realistic version was too jarring. I think especially the Cusack/Landy stuff in L&M is similar. They actually walked back the truly awful, awful stuff because I think it would have just been too dark and depressing and awful.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: Today at 06:30:35 AM
Are we to assume the percussionist change is permanent?

I'm kind of surprised they felt the need to replace Nelson Bragg. Not that he's not a great drummer/percussionist, and not that having that extra percussion isn't cool. But I would think they might have just had Matt Jardine resume his old percussionist role as he did in the old days with the BBs. But maybe they need Matt more up front (and he does play some key guitar parts in the band now), and certainly Matt hasn't usually don't elaborate percussion the way D'Amico or Bragg have done in the past.

It's funny that personnel changes in Brian's band seem kind of more jarring because he's had less (proportionate) turnover in his band compared to a lot of touring bands including in some cases the actual BBs.

The big question: Did John Stamos audition to be Bragg's replacement?  LOL

I'm gonna just go ahead and assume this is step one of merging Brian and Mike's band back together for another reunion tour, as I would doubt Mike would want to play with Bragg again after he besmirched the name of Stamos.....  LOL
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Alternate Reality: Al, Mike, and Brian as The Beach Boys on: Today at 06:26:43 AM
If it had been simply Brian, Mike, and Al as the band starting in 1978, the whole thing would have imploded faster.

If we're literally talking about Carl and Dennis quitting during/after "MIU", then the first thing that probably would have happened is the BBs would have either lost their CBS contract immediately upon not being able to deliver what would become the "LA (Light Album)", since they were only able to cobble that together with plenty of input from Carl and Dennis. Or, the album would have been cobbled from either more questionable scraps and seen an even worse fate.

Maybe they would have still called Bruce in in 1978, but it would have been even schlockier work on Bruce's part had he had no Carl or Dennis material to work with.

I get the sense Carl was part of what spurred KTSA to happen, so who knows, assuming they could have held onto the CBS contract, that KTSA would have even happened.

Brian would have gone off the deep end by the early 80s just as quickly if not more quickly.

We would have probably seen the BBs shed everybody but Mike and Bruce, just in like 1983 or something instead of 1998. So the would have been a Lou Christie-style lounge act in the mid 80s.

Maybe Carl and Al would have been more motivated to try to kickstart their own careers had they left (or been forced out) in the early-mid 80s.

And then we probably would have seen everybody go broke and do a reunion tour, only it would have happened in like 1987 or something.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Don't Worry Baby (Bonus Track) from Gettin' In Over My Head on: Today at 06:20:51 AM
There are a couple of old threads regarding this track. Someone undoubtedly has the track I'm sure.

I think part of the reason it's strangely extra obscure and hard to find is that it was an iTunes exclusive in an era (2004) where, let's be honest, BB fans skew somewhat older and less of those older fans at that point 14 years ago had adopted digital downloads. Indeed, I recall complaints back in 2004 from old school fans about digital-exclusive downloads (such as the "Smile" backing tracks, etc.). I obviously did and still do prefer physical releases, which is indeed why I hauled my carcass down to (probably) a Best Buy and bought GIOMH in 2004 and skipped the iTunes track (which, of course, was not able to be purchased on its own and required purchase of the full album).

But yeah, someone's gotta have this track buried somewhere in their collection.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Caribou Ranch (1975) fanmix on: Yesterday at 02:03:11 PM
Why is Shortenin Bread an important part of Beach Boys' history?  It was recorded during a downturn for the group, and helped to drag down the L.A. Light album.

"Important part of the band's history" as in *everything* that was released and occurred is important, and certainly "Shortenin' Bread" has some extra infamy involved due to Brian's obsession with it and its variants.

"Important" doesn't mean good.

The "Here Comes the Night" disco track is important to understanding their history too. Even "Looking Back With Love."

Some bits are obviously more "footnote" status than others. But "Shortenin' Bread" is of more import to the history/story than, say, "Chasin' the Sky" or something, even if I like listening to the latter much more.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: Yesterday at 09:51:34 AM
Brian's people posted on Facebook that Vicar St, Dublin has been added for August 21 and 22. Tickets on sale April 26th at 10.am. http://thethinair.net/2018/04/brian-wilson-set-for-dublin-return/

BTW Brian is also playing on August 18th at Doncaster - not shown yet on page 1 of this thread.

I think I listed the Doncaster show a few days back. It's under the "Greatest Hits" section of gigs. I also added the Dublin gigs earlier this morning. They apparently will also be GH shows.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Caribou Ranch (1975) fanmix on: Yesterday at 06:48:32 AM
"Shortenin' Bread" is obviously an important part of BB history and of Brian and the band's historical narrative. Same could be said for other similar stuff, including even "Rollin' Up to Heaven."

That doesn't mean they should have ever been on albums. First of all, "Shortenin' Bread" was a more fully-formed song, whereas "Rollin' Up to Heaven" sounds more like a tedious well-formed jam with nonsense "lyrics." I've never understood why anybody thinks anything about the song would have made it worthy of release on a studio album in the 70s. "Hee-hee, it kinda sounds like they Beach Boys are singing "tit"!" Really?

Don't get me wrong, dump all of this and everything like it ("Drip Drop", etc.) on an archival collection. I'll eat it up all day. But the band would have been rightly taken to task by critics and fans for putting "Rollin' Up to Heaven" on album in 1975 or at any other time.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: Yesterday at 06:40:24 AM
I'm not sure the setlist is 100% accurate, but one has been posted at setlist.fm and indicates Blondie was there.

It also lists "Cool Cool Water", though in the past people have listed that song when it's actually "California Saga: California."

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/brian-wilson/2018/pikes-peak-center-colorado-springs-co-63ecdedb.html

It has been changed to "California Saga: California."

That's what I suspected. Not sure why that mistake gets made so often at setlist.fm. One would think that anybody that is nerdy and detail-oriented enough to post something on setlist.fm would also be detail-oriented enough to either be familiar with the artist's catalog or look up any song they're not familiar with. This is a good reminder of the occasional downside of setlist.fm.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: Yesterday at 06:36:21 AM
Interesting. Either way, they dropped in Feel Flows, Let Him Run Wild, and Susie Cincinnati...which are all great deep cuts for the show in my book. Sure, they've been done recently but they don't have a storied legacy with the live show by any stretch and I've never heard them live before! I'd be more than happy if they stuck around for the Kennedy Center concert!

If I had to guess, once the PS set is dropped in, you'd be more likely to see "Feel Flows" and "Susie Cincinnati" survive, as those were performed during last year's PS shows. I think "Let Him Run Wild" is one of those "alternates" that isn't regularly in the setlist. I figure at least a few of the songs in last night's setlist would have to be dropped to accommodate nine more PS songs.

As far as the setlist last night in general, it looks fine and it's about what I would expect. This and the next show are essentially one-offs prior to the tour ramping up in a few weeks, and one-off type shows usually don't have epically weird setlists.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 18, 2018, 11:09:13 PM
I'm not sure the setlist is 100% accurate, but one has been posted at setlist.fm and indicates Blondie was there.

It also lists "Cool Cool Water", though in the past people have listed that song when it's actually "California Saga: California."

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/brian-wilson/2018/pikes-peak-center-colorado-springs-co-63ecdedb.html
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed on: April 18, 2018, 06:42:03 AM
Ultimately, the thing is Brian's story, so that explains why other band members were not prominently featured. I also think that, just logistically, they did the right thing by largely avoiding a potential political minefield by prominently characterizing the other members. They obviously had to feature them, especially key points concerning Mike. (And the film's brevity in that regard led to Mike getting probably a fairer depiction than he deserved).

Ironically, they would have had more leeway in depictions of Dennis and Carl, as one can't be sued for defaming/slandering/libeling deceased individuals. Obviously, I would imagine Brian had no interest in any depiction that would raise the ire of his family members anyway.

I think how the rest of the band played into the Landy saga in the 80s and early 90s is a *very* interesting topic, but it's probably true that to even begin to adequately address that aspect to the story would require another hour of screen time. It would be the *perfect* solution to address it in a long-form documentary on the group.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Caribou Ranch (1975) fanmix on: April 18, 2018, 06:36:28 AM
I can't imagine anyone thinking, then or now, that "Rollin' Up to Heaven" would be a justifiable album track, even with different "lyrics." Yes, I know one could argue they did something generally kind of similar with "Ding Dang", but that track on "Love You" is so short that it almost feels more like a "link track" than a "proper" song.

I guess I could envision like a 30-second "Rollin'...." as a link track. Not that I'd advocate for it, but that seems like the only plausible form I could see that track getting a contemporary 70s release on a "new" album.

I obviously don't see the track as anywhere near album-worthy. It's obviously interesting in a Beach Boys-themed archeological dig sort of way. But I've never pulled out "Rollin' Up To Heaven" and thought "Wow, that's a good *song*." 
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 18, 2018, 06:31:18 AM
Anybody going to the Colorado Springs tour opener tonight?

It looks like they're doing the two April shows and then they're off again until early May. So my guess would be these first two shows aren't going to have like a mind-blowingly different setlist.

But definitely curious to see where things are after six months off.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 17, 2018, 01:37:02 PM
I really doubt Blondie is putting a dent in the tour budget. The man plays 3-5 songs depending on how often he staggers out half-stoned with a tambourine in his hand.

They pay Blondie something to go out on tour (probably more than anyone but Al), and a second "Special Guest" adds something to the selling value of the show. So again, not a big deal at all and hardly even worth a discussion given the paucity of inside info we have, but I'm guessing a "Pet Sounds Anniversary" show with two ex-Beach Boys as "Special Guests" costs a little more (both on the artist side in terms of overheard as well as what price the show commands) than a "Greatest Hits Live" show (read: "Regular" show) with, in some cases, only one ex-Beach Boy as "Special Guest."

And especially in terms of overhead costs, it costs them the same whether Blondie sings 3 songs or 30. It costs X amount in travel and lodging costs for each person. Which is the reason I've been surprised they haven't utilized Blondie at least a little bit more considering they're going to the trouble of paying him and bringing him out there.

16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 17, 2018, 06:21:32 AM
Another reason the "Greatest Hits Live" dates might be a bit cheaper for promoters is that it appears only Al *may* be appearing with Brian. Blondie isn't listed on the little poster/advertisement for the "Hits" shows. I'm guessing it's quite possible Blondie might still appear at some if not most or all of those shows, especially where "Hits" shows are mixed in during a string of PS shows. But if there are some non-Blondie shows, those might be a bit cheaper.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 16, 2018, 08:29:23 AM
I doubt the price varies. The cost of show is identical. Honestly, I think anything labeled "Greatest Hits" is a greater draw with the general public.
This is a good point. I would be pretty surprised if Brian was touring an M&B style hits show. I would have to guess that a Greatest Hits show is more like the setlists we've seen from Brian outside of the album-centric tours.

"Greatest Hits Live" I'm sure is a moniker that's meant solely to mean "not a Pet Sounds show" and is being used only because PS has been the norm for two years now.

But I think precise guarantees from promoters from show to show can vary, and it's possible PS shows cost more because it's more of a prestige event and tickets to the type of venues that typically book a PS show skew more expensive. All generalities to be sure.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: April 16, 2018, 08:04:55 AM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.

Walk Hard is one of the best comedies of the millennium IMO.   

As for music biopics, I'm not sure if I have a favorite.   Love and Mercy was very good.   For all of it's flaws, I think Oliver Stone's The Doors is also very good. 

The Walk Hard psychedelic sequences are actually a better representation of Brian and the Smile period than Love & Mercy!!

where was the tone off?  Brian came off as way more insecure and unsure of himself than he was, as demonstrated by the session tapes.  I only saw it once but Dano's hesitant unsure and halting performance did not represent the "confident" Brian which he was most of the time during PS and even Smile, until the very end. I remember one scene where he is outside the studio looking bewildered and downbeat and one of the Wrecking Crew (Hal)? tells him how what he's doing is great and somehow that suddenly validates everything for him.  Corny and not accurate.

Brian "in the studio" in 1966 may have been relatively (if not quite) different from Brian outside the studio. You can't use session tapes and examples of Brian on the talkback as examples of how you think he would have interacted in real life.

Unrelentingly confident is not really a term I would use to characterize Brian at *any time* (and I'm not saying anybody used that precise term). It was never that simple. He obviously had a stretch where he was most confident in the studio and in his musical realm. But the mixed reaction to his music from everyone, from the band to the label and so on, most definitely shook the confidence.

I have no idea if he literally had a conversation with Hal Blaine or something looking for in-the-moment positive reinforcement for what he was doing. But seriously, how would you expect the often mundane, clipped, spoken-in-shorthand studio back-and-forth conversations to be translated into a movie narrative?

The studio musicians thought Brian was a talented guy, and by apparent accounts were kind enough to relate that to Brian. That it may have happened in a more mundane way or setting rather than a one-on-one heart-to-heart outside the studio door is kind of beside the point as far as a movie is concerned.

Again, if you want documentary material, you *have* the session tapes. NOBODY wants a movie filled with session tape transcripts. NO film can exist by using solely documented, verbatim transcripts of known conversations. That is, unless you simply want an on-screen reenactment of what's already on session tapes and interview tapes.

No question, a VAST, LENGTHY documentary on the scale of "The Beatles Anthology" needs to be made about the band. "Love & Mercy" is an entirely different thing, and again, as FILM, is very successful.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: April 16, 2018, 07:19:55 AM
I am not a fan of this movie - the Cusack parts are well done but the 60s parts are written poorly, acted poorly, and are filled with errors of fact and tone.  I kept thinking how corny and overwrought most of the scenes were.

In what way was the tone off? More importantly, what are you using as a baseline for comparison?

I'd say the 60s stuff with Dano was the better portrayal of both character, look, and tone compared to the 80s stuff. I think Cusack did fine, but he didn't seem to attempt to look or sound much like Brian.

But this film was a small miracle. I don't think there were any severe lapses in facts. A small amount of conflation took place for the sake of brevity. But just about every BB fan I've run into who *doesn't* like the film (a small group to be sure)  doesn't get that this is a *film* first and foremost, not Beach Boys fan service. If you want the dry facts (which you already know anyway, right?), there are docs and books for that. This is a film, and considering the other stuff on the market in terms of BB and other bands/artists ("An American Family", "Summer Dreams", "Dead Man's Curve", "Birth of the Beatles", "Backbeat", "John and Yoko: A Love Story", etc.), "Love & Mercy" was, again, a small miracle and actual true *art.*

Not saying anybody is going into such minutiae, but anyone who is annoyed because Hal Blaine's sideburns are a half inch too short are missing the entire point of the film. 
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Coming in June? on: April 13, 2018, 02:14:46 PM
I've genuinely been curious for years if multi-tracks for SIP are still extant, which would be required if God forbid they tried to use, say, the title track on an album like this.

Did they make DAT backups? Or are the multitracks rotting away on an old Macintosh Quadra hard drive?
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: April 13, 2018, 02:08:06 PM
It looks like this OGWT YouTube channel is pretty new. Hopefully it will survive and not have bunch of takedowns from copyright holders/publishers.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2018 Tour Thread on: April 13, 2018, 02:07:08 PM
I've seen M&B at racecourses a few times (York and Epsom) and I'd say it's definitely more their thing than Brian's (a higher chance of Hawaiian shirts and beach balls).

Regardless this is the closest to home I've seen a BBs-related concert (due to the cancelled arena tour of 2015) so I'll be there. I'm hoping it won't be a PS show, as mentioned it's not the best environment for it and after seeing the band do PS in 2016 and 2017 I'm pretty content and hope to hear something different.

It's worth noting, though, that the "Greatest Hits" shows might bend up being shorter than the full PS shows. I'm not so sure if they're going to backfill the setlist with 13 songs to fully replace the PS songs. They'll probably do the classic three tracks from PS, but maybe not add another ten to replace the rest.

I think, Brian's lack of enthusiasm on recent PS tours notwithstanding, they're striking a decent balance in booking shows this year. Clearly, PS-themed shows still get bookings and demand, but they're also mixing it in with some other themed setlists.

I'm curious if they just offer both shows to promoters at two different costs.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Coming in June? on: April 13, 2018, 02:03:49 PM
What if they did the entire Sunflower album?

I think the deal with these symphonic overdubs albums is that they're for the masses and are filled with largely recognizable song titles. I would expect a tracklisting that resembles a truncated "Sounds of Summer", with perhaps a few variations or odd selections here and there.

Truth be told, if they are indeed giving the BBs the Orbison treatment, the tracklisting might resemble Johnston's "Symphonic Sounds" album from 1998 (weirdly released during one of the more turbulent eras for the band).

I'd rather see a remix of "Sunflower", along with a boxed set with outtakes, etc., than orchestral overdubs on the songs.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: April 13, 2018, 11:45:27 AM
Also just recently posted is an episode with an interview with "American Spring":

https://youtu.be/wT05UTBUmKQ?t=15m1s
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / "Mess of Help" - 1972 Old Grey Whistle Test Raw Footage on: April 13, 2018, 11:42:36 AM
This previous was around, I believe, in pretty abysmal quality. But it appears the Old Grey Whistle Test Archive has posted a nice run of raw footage of the Beach Boys running through "You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone" in 1972. Great stuff...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTVc5mIVFq0
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