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659581 Posts in 26428 Topics by 3756 Members - Latest Member: My Smile Solution July 13, 2020, 07:20:16 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 10, 2020, 03:05:54 PM
I kind of danced around that aspect of this in my last post, but I felt the same way. If it's just a case of "we'll show this virus!" or some other machismo driven attempt to show how much of a hard worker Mike is regarding playing these gigs, that's one thing, and a pretty absurd thing at that if that's a factor. But if there is a political element on top of even *that*, then I'd say it's just plain nuts to try to grandstand politics using a Beach Boys gig during a virus outbreak when literally 99.9% of artists are not playing at all. There is a big difference between local shops wanting to open under the set guidelines and a band traveling this far with a crew and staff to play a half-capacity one-off gig. Freakin' nuts.

And again, asking HeyJude specifically who is in tune with more of the details, what if anything would the benefit be in terms of the finances and budget? The cost of everything involved in traveling to this gig to play for what I'm guessing would be 2,500 or less (if that) in the audience doesn't seem to make it worth the effort and risk at all. And I'm not trying to shine the light solely on Mike though he does call the shots, but this is the same Mike who made it a point in his book to talk about "losing money" as a reason why he didn't wish to do more C50 gigs. Is it worth traveling this far to play a one-time gig for less than 3,000 people, not to mention the risk to all involved?

I just don't get it.

Here's the Ticketmaster page for the show:

https://www.ticketmaster.com/the-beach-boys/event/0600583730B1DD50

Now, normally the greyed-out seats would indicate tickets already sold (or otherwise allocated).

In this case, I don't know that we know how many of those greyed-out seats are sold versus roped off due to social distancing. Probably a mixture of both?

If the number of blue (available) seats is correct, then there aren't a ton of tickets left for sale.

What's also strange is that typically the way it has been described that places like concert venues and movie theaters will do things is that they will only allocate blocks of seating for sale. If you're buying as part of a group (or "pod" as one attempted show called them a month or two ago), you can all sit together (though this of course allows those not taking social distancing seriously to sit directly next to people they aren't living with, a whole other ball of wax). Otherwise, each individual going alone, as well as those "pods", are supposed to have enough *empty* seating around them to allow for social distancing.

This map doesn't really tell us what's going on. There are huge blocks of seating available, and I don't know what happens if you, say, buy *one* ticket in the middle of a big open group of seats. Do they then eliminate each seat around that seat?

As far as finances, I'd assume Mike would know this wouldn't net a ton of money. However good or bad the intentions are, this would be more about just "getting out there."

In theory, in a situation where it's safer to do so, I'd *applaud* a band leader/owner doing something like this, to do a show just to get out there, and to start the ball rolling. But it's just too early. So early that we still don't even know for sure that this show is taking place! And we don't know what other shows in mere *weeks* will be canceled or attempted.

I had assumed a *Nebraska* show was first to potentially take place because middle-of-the-country states like that would have lower COVID rates. But, while numbers can be interpreted many ways, the current numbers indicate Nebraska's numbers aren't too great right now:

https://time.com/5800901/coronavirus-map/

Nebraska appears to have the *second highest* rate of cases-per-100,000 people west of Louisiana.

The governor of Nebraska also appears to be anti-mandatory-mask. This article from June warns that he was threatening to withhold coronavirus relief funds from counties in Nebraska that require masks:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nebraska-governor-pete-ricketts-withhold-coronavirus-relief-funds-face-masks/

So yeah, unfortunately, it's difficult to not wonder if the idea of starting to do concerts *now* (or soon) would involve politics. Ugghh....
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 10, 2020, 12:55:40 PM
The governor of Nebraska could also decide not to reopen performing venues by August. I'm going mostly by what we're experiencing in Georgia, not sure what it's like for NE.

Many if not most states and counties and local governments are changing plans by the day, and in some cases local vs. county vs. state regulations are contradicting each other leading to confusion. This is *another* reason why things like concerts are being postponed/rescheduled. Some types of business are getting a go-ahead and then it's walked back a few days or weeks later.

Even if the venue/promoter/Mike&band didn't care about anybody's health, this would still be a potentially misguided decision to attempt this concert simply based on logistics.

I think one thing going on is that venues/promoters/artists that would try something like this are hoping that it goes off successfully and smoothly, and they can then use it as evidence that everything's fine with doing concerts. I think many businesses/business sectors have been and are continuing to try at something like this, to "reopen" to build enough momentum to stay open. The risk is that it makes things worse and we end up with more lockdowns (I know, I'm stating all very obvious things everybody has been saying for months).

Also, while I'll try to avoid directly dipping into this political minefield, I think it's not out of line to wonder if Mike's *admitted* political positions/affiliations/preferences are part of why he would go back out doing shows so early.

Not surprisingly, nearly every person I've seen on Facebook who thinks this Mike show is a *great* idea end up being, upon inspection, of very clear political leanings. Their pages tend to be full of support for the current administration, and/or a bunch of anti-science/anti-mask mumbo jumbo, if not full-on conspiracy theory garbage.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 10, 2020, 12:44:39 PM
In this case Mike’s judgement should be called in to question. If fans bought tickets months ago (many of those also in high risk categories)  and now no longer want to go, could they be refused refunds? Seems like a real catch 22.

Refunds are being offered, though that probably has more to do with America dropping out of the double billing. So the upside is that people can get refunds.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 09, 2020, 05:00:10 PM
It does seem reckless considering that almost the entire live entertainment industry has written off the summer concert season (and some even the Fall/Holiday season) at an impossibly high cost to all employed in and around the industry, and here is Mike planning a single, random live concert?  I wonder how many people are that starved for entertainment that they'd attend, and also what kind of venue would even bother booking a show when (I assume) they are limited to half-capacity or less as most places are.

Very, very odd, this one...

This is rather a unique time for the industry so I do wonder if it is Mike or the promoter who calls the shots here? Does America have a better ‘Out’ clause in their contract meaning they can waive away a gig easier? Personally I think a promoter who is insistent that a gig go ahead Is mad and should have the book thrown at them if a artist or attendees come to any harm.

The article above certainly seems to indicate that the venue and/or promoter have been in contact with Mike and his management and that they are working together on the details to make this show at least legally plausible.

It doesn't appear that the promoter or venue is forcing Mike to do this show.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 09, 2020, 04:58:42 PM
It does seem reckless considering that almost the entire live entertainment industry has written off the summer concert season (and some even the Fall/Holiday season) at an impossibly high cost to all employed in and around the industry, and here is Mike planning a single, random live concert?  I wonder how many people are that starved for entertainment that they'd attend, and also what kind of venue would even bother booking a show when (I assume) they are limited to half-capacity or less as most places are.

Very, very odd, this one...

The article indicates that the capacity at this venue will be reduced from 4,800 to 2,970.  But it also indicates that not all tickets have been sold and they are unsure how many of those 2,970 seats will be sold.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 09, 2020, 04:56:45 PM
Right now, M&B have dates on the books taking place right after the Pinewood show. If enough of those dates get cancelled/postponed by their venues, we may likely see this date be cancelled or rescheduled as well, given the routing logistics of hauling gear and people to shows.

The article I linked above at least seems to imply that the venue and Mike and/or his management have worked together on the details to make this show happen. This would seem to imply that Mike would be aware that this would be a one off show or one of very few shows.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 09, 2020, 10:14:20 AM
I called this months ago, that Mike would get back on the road not when it's actually safe, but at the first moment it's technically/legally possible.

Here's an article about it:

https://journalstar.com/entertainment/music/beach-boys-to-play-pinewood-bowl-in-august-in-lincolns-first-big-concert-in-months/article_72c66745-9e6e-541b-b1ab-30b48aef024a.html

The article leaves some details out. Masks are "required", but they're also serving food and drinks (but no outside food or drinks still!), meaning this show is going to have the same problems movie theaters will, which is that you're allowed to take your mask off to eat and drink. So if your nurse your beer and nachos all night, you don't have to wear a mask that entire time.

As I mentioned elsewhere, we should look into whether VIP packages are being offered that include post-show graveside visits.

I also wonder whether all members of Mike's band, as well as the road crew, on a private/personal level, all are legitimately totally 100% down with this show, or if any of them have grudgingly agreed to do it for fear that they may lose their jobs (beyond this show) if they were to protest and balk. I find a bit difficult to believe that every single one of them would consistently, robotically just be perfectly A-OK with it. does anyone realistically think that Mike kindly reached out to everybody personally and gave them every chance to opt out with no repercussions? Maybe I'm wrong, but I tend to doubt it.

Let's face it, this is a political move, Mike is trying to be some sort of a hero and gain points for being a "heroic" risk taker. It is very irresponsible, especially at nearly 80. It's not just his life, there are so many people whose health potentially hangs in the balance for this. All of the "promises" for it being safe cannot guarantee safety beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Just look at how much virus spreading has been happening due to recent rallies by Mike's buddy.

This is just a terrible idea. Even that dummy Vanilla Ice recently backed out of a show. But Vanilla Mike thinks he's invincible.

I'm truly not trying to judge the backing band members, but as far as I can recall, I've never heard a report or anecdote of a member of Mike's band protesting or otherwise refusing to do a gig against Mike's wishes. The guys all did the trophy hunting gig.

Again, folks gotta do what they gotta do. I'm not judging.

This current situation is obviously somewhat unique. Whereas typically an absence would be due to a medical or family leave sort of reason, and then any other reason would just be personal beliefs (e.g. the trophy hunting gig, or playing Sun City decades ago, etc.), where the former is not only tolerated but has to be legally allowed while the latter is basically impossible if someone wants to keep their job, the current virus situation is literally smack dab between these two scenarios. It's absolutely a health/medical issue at play, but one that's less tangible and subject to the wide disparity between how different city/county/state guidelines are playing out.

I'm sure Mike and the venue and everybody would and will maintain they're taking all needed precautions. Many experts would disagree, and suggest the best precaution is to *not* have shows right now.

It's hilarious, shows right before and after this Nebraska show, including shows in nearby regions, are being rescheduled to a YEAR LATER. You'd think that would highlight the insanity of doing this gig. I'm sure *every* venue could and would implement the *very basic* procedures this Nebraska venue is. It's basic stuff; an impotent mask "requirement", spaced out seating, sanitizer, etc. I think some might think this Nebraska show is happening only because of those implementations, but it's obviously more complicated and stupidly political than that.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: July 09, 2020, 08:19:37 AM
I called this months ago, that Mike would get back on the road not when it's actually safe, but at the first moment it's technically/legally possible.

Here's an article about it:

https://journalstar.com/entertainment/music/beach-boys-to-play-pinewood-bowl-in-august-in-lincolns-first-big-concert-in-months/article_72c66745-9e6e-541b-b1ab-30b48aef024a.html

The article leaves some details out. Masks are "required", but they're also serving food and drinks (but no outside food or drinks still!), meaning this show is going to have the same problems movie theaters will, which is that you're allowed to take your mask off to eat and drink. So if your nurse your beer and nachos all night, you don't have to wear a mask that entire time.

As I mentioned elsewhere, we should look into whether VIP packages are being offered that include post-show graveside visits.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: This week in BB History on: July 01, 2020, 02:32:25 PM
While Carl's comments about the 1981 band are 100% correct and he was being diplomatic by not being more critical, it's funny that he mentioned a paying audience considering the July 4th DC shows were free, and I think the Queen Mary show from 7/5/81 was also free, right?

Also worth noting about the Queen Mary '81 show: While the performance was dreadful, the live mix that went out to radio and TV didn't do it any favors. I say this because in more recent years some sort of European re-airing of the Queen Mary show popped up on YouTube, with a much better mix that actually smooths out some of the rough spots of the concert.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Mike Love single on: June 30, 2020, 03:30:47 PM
Eleven posts? More like eleven or so years. I get it, the guy's done some pretty lousy things over the years. But it's gotten to the point where people think so little of him that they go out of their way to badmouth him. The last few posts are a good example. It's not enough to hate him for what he has done, so everybody has to draw their own conclusions to fit their narrative.

I was obviously referring to the recent activity that elicited your response. There has been VERY LITTLE discussion of this Mike track in the last month on this thread. It was dormant for a month or so (and was not a huge thread to begin with), and then a few people picked it back up and then something at that point seemed to elicit your "Mike Love Hate Club" comment.

The commentary about Mike as of late has been pretty light. The last big ruckus was the *100% SELF-INFLICTED* wound back in February when Mike did that trophy hunting gig. The COVID situation coming up in March actually ended up probably prematurely burying that PR debacle that Mike caused.

After over a decade on this board, to pick *this moment* to re-litigate how "anti-Mike" this board is just seems odd to me. There have certainly been moments where things sway more or less critical of Mike (and the justified nature of that varies as well), but aside from the trophy hunting gig, things haven't been excessively negative about Mike on the board as far as I can tell. *And*, if one has felt for "eleven or so years" that the board feels this way to them, then why continue to post thousands of times? Why would someone be a member for over a decade and post thousands of times to a place they feel should be called "The Mike Love Hate Club?"
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Kokomo have sounded better in a minor key? on: June 29, 2020, 03:28:34 PM
Last night on BBG I heard Lesley Price's  brilliant and  hilarious remix track called "Celebrations ft. Mike Love." It had an ultra catchy, anthemic hook, a funky danceable groove and sections that were omg funny. The Kokomo thing, above, was 8th grade funny. Lesley is the bomb.

Humour is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.  Although to be fair most of the major / minor swap stuff is of value not for its humour (the Smells Like Teen Spirit one usually makes me sob), but because of the harmonic lessons it can teach.

It's okay to find this stuff interesting and funny, and sometimes just moderately so. YouTube has a million tracks like this. Some people do stuff that I find to be useless and dumb ("Never Wanna Give You Up", but every third beat is erased and replaced with a cow mooing!", or "Love Me Do, but with every word rearranged alphabetically!"), while stuff sounds dumb but is at least moderately interesting while not deserving of an award or anything. Here's one example:

The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby (but all notes are E and F)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMXdJhac6LQ

Also, while I don't want to go a big rabbit hole of BB fandom internecine stuff, the Beach Boys and "humor" have a long, very weird history both within the band and within fandom. Brian's cold, awkward, analytical Smile-era forays into "humor" aren't even 1% humorous to me, and I've generally said while the guys in the band may be quite funny in real life/personally, they have very rarely been *purposely* funny, with most hilarious BB moments being unintentional.

Similarly, I've found BB fans have weird demographics. Some fans are older and still find John McCain's "Bomb, bomb Iran!" Barbara Ann thing to be *hilarious!*, while other fans skew into much more sardonic, dry but still BB-flavored humor which I tend to find funny, such as Elora's videos on YouTube.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Kokomo have sounded better in a minor key? on: June 29, 2020, 03:21:27 PM
Last night on BBG I heard Lesley Price's  brilliant and  hilarious remix track called "Celebrations ft. Mike Love." It had an ultra catchy, anthemic hook, a funky danceable groove and sections that were omg funny. The Kokomo thing, above, was 8th grade funny. Lesley is the bomb.

As others have said, in many if not most cases (especially when the person doing them put work into making the harmonics and chords work), doing the "in a minor key" thing to a major key song isn't about humor. It's a demonstration, even to musical a musical layperson, of how different that shift can make a song.

There's a guy on YouTube that does big, melodramatic, sort of "emo" minor key versions of famous songs, and they are both well done (even if I don't like the songs), interesting, and kind of hilarious. A few examples include a minor key version of "All I Want for Christmas is You" and the "Friends" theme song.

For what it's worth, while I only searched for a bit, I can't find one single sign of a "Lesley Price" doing the song mentioned above, nor do I know what "BBG" is. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be "out there" for someone to easily hear.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Mike Love single on: June 29, 2020, 03:11:10 PM
Maybe we should change the name of this board to The Mike Love Hate Club.

11 posts about Mike's single in the last month, a few of which are critical of Mike or his songs, and we're back to "why do people hate Mike Love so much?"

Considering how generally under-productive these guys have been in the studio for years, a new single from a member would typically be relatively big news and be scrutinized.

Mike's "This Too Shall Pass", which every fan I've spoken to agrees is hugely sub-par (to put it politely) while agreeing a charity cause is never a bad thing, has been *very lucky* to have largely flown under the radar. Very lucky considering the paucity of solo studio releases from these guys, to say nothing of large swaths of people having *more* free time at home in recent months to shoot the s**t about stuff like this.

The fact that Mike blows his own horn endlessly about his writing talents yet wrote nearly nothing on his first solo album in 1981 is a pretty interesting piece of information worth discussing I think. In his (sort of) defense, he doesn't seem to be a fan of the album. He seems embarrassed when Brian brings the album up during their "fireside" session in 1989 for the Endless Summer TV show. He has never made any attempt to re-release the album (though I can't be 100% sure he owns it; I believe he owns the "Celebration" material, I'm not sure if owns the LBWL masters outright).
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: ESQ - Sunflower Special Edition on: June 29, 2020, 02:54:45 PM
I still use Chip Madinger and Mark Easter's "Eight Arms to Hold You: A Solo Beatles Compendium", and it stops at the year 2000 and certainly in the last twenty years more things have surfaced.

I think the economics of the publishing business and the willingness of fandom are major issues. I don't think fear of new info coming to light would be a big issue at this point.

Even the Beatles book market, which has a larger base than the BBs, is a struggling market. The harder core the info gets, the harder it is to get published. "101 Zany Beatles Trivia Factoids!" can get published, but Bruce Spizer can't get his multi-book series in print physically again, nor can many other research/reference books.

So I can only imagine it's even harder for the BBs stuff. I'm still waiting for another printing of the Ken Sharp Dennis Wilson book; from everything I've heard it's amazing and should be in every BB student/scholar's collection, but it clearly didn't get much attention. I don't even think it got a huge push in ESQ (someone correct me if I'm wrong and it got more than a regular-size book review).

I think a Madinger/Easter sort of book for the BBs might be a good alternate; that is, to catalog everything "available" as opposed to everything recorded.

Lewisohn's Beatles sessions books are second to none and core collection material, but there's something about reading about recordings you'll never hear that can be frustrating.

A BB book cataloging all available material would ironically be even more susceptible to needing updates of course, as they continue archival releases and new material does pop up.

What we have now that wasn't available 20 years ago are things like Patreon and Kickstarter where a BB sessions book could be properly funded. A huge thick book would probably have to be sold for $100 or maybe even more.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston on virus quarantine, 60th Anniversary rumors and lots more on: June 19, 2020, 05:02:46 PM
I guess it's not surprising, *of course* Bruce during times like this would be of the mind of "I just shut the TV off" to avoid everything. Of course Bruce Johnston would pick a moment like this to not stand up for anything.

Actually he stood up for the Surfrider Foundation which has been sharing and writing about their push for racial equality at the beaches (and racial equality in general).

Sorry,  Bruce's politics are well known and he's pretty open about it.   I'm not saying he's never stood for or supported any good cause. I just found it unfortunate but not surprising that in the current climate his go to answer is to avoid looking at the news presumably to avoid having the feel bad about it.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston on virus quarantine, 60th Anniversary rumors and lots more on: June 19, 2020, 01:48:28 PM
I guess it's not surprising, *of course* Bruce during times like this would be of the mind of "I just shut the TV off" to avoid everything. Of course Bruce Johnston would pick a moment like this to not stand up for anything.

Yes, as others have mentioned, this is the "ten thumbs up!" Bruce one usually gets during scheduled interviews.

No offense to Bruce when I say that if the band tried another reunion, I'd just be content for him to show up and be on stage, maybe sing "Disney Girls." I'm not sure what else he can add. I guess just make sure to *not* show up again on TMZ mid-tour reminding everybody how old and conservative and stuck in the past he is.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bobby Figueroa on new episode of Surf's Up: A Beach Boys Podcast Safari on: June 19, 2020, 01:28:40 PM
Yes, some of the tiny details in the interview were off. But they were off in a totally understandable way. Figueroa seems to be a fully lucid guy whose memory seems fine. None of these guys, either core BB members or backing band guys, remember many if any individual tour dates. Figueroa probably played between 750 and 1,000 shows with the band between 1974 and 87/88. He seems to remember general details (such as the band playing the Japan Jam in 1979).

Seems easy to mistake the Greek and Universal in LA; the band played both venues during that era.

Then he was asked about one random specific show from June or July or whatever of '79, and he was actually pretty close in thinking that was after Japan. I recall Japan was only a few months later in '79.

Nice interview. I wouldn't say it was super forthcoming. I'm not saying anybody else should dictate what he wants to discuss or not discuss, but I'd use the term "diplomatic" rather than "candid" for many of his descriptions. The band was super dysfunctional during much of the era Bobby was in the band. It wasn't just a "family members fight sometimes" sort of situation.

Bobby sounds like a guy much more comfortable telling fun road stories rather than blabbing about all the epic internecine politics of the band. 

I remember Jon Stebbins mentioning that a lot of the backing band guys (understandably considering the litigious nature of the BB world) tend to tell some more hard-edged stories *off the record*.

18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beatles First Audition Tape at Abbey Road FOUND - Emerick Family Legal Battle on: June 15, 2020, 03:50:58 PM
For 100% certain, vast amounts of info in these recent reports are wrong. First and foremost, they are surely talking about audio tape, not any video/film.

More importantly, I don't think anyone has been able to confirm what is on this tape.

It's interesting that there *have* been rumors for years that the *full* four-song EMI audition tape was/is in the hands of someone somewhere.

What makes no sense is that Emerick wouldn't offer the tape during the "Anthology." Apple was paying a number of parties in the 90s for old tapes, including stuff they never even went on to release. Was Emerick worried it would reflect badly on him if he all of a sudden showed up with the tape? I dunno, George Martin did the very same thing with Song #2 from the audition, finding an acetate of "Love Me Do" in some old cupboard. Was Martin paid, or did he ask? Was Emerick worried he wouldn't be paid for the tape? He was already being well-paid working on the "Anthology" archival sessions, *and* the Jeff Lynne-produced "Threetles" sessions, *and* was still engineering Paul solo sessions as well. Did he need that extra money?

That's not to say Emerick never allegedly engaged in some shenanigans. He did the whole "Sessions" album under EMI's direction in the 80s without telling McCartney, *while* he was also engineering Paul's solo sessions. But presumably they all found out about that later (and "Sessions" got scrubbed), and they kept working with Emerick.

To reiterate, nobody yet has confirmed anything about the nature of the tape. It could be some songs from the audition but not all. It could be something totally different.

While there could well be mitigating circumstances, I would say if this *is* the full tape and Emerick sat on it and never mentioned it, it doesn't exact enhance his legacy.

As for whether Universal can assert ownership, I think that case could well be interesting and not clear cut. What documentation exists regarding orders to destroy that particular tape? It's possible the family can assert physical ownership of the tape, but not be able to *do* anything with it.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love Planning New Vocal Album on: May 22, 2020, 03:15:04 PM
Interesting that Mike isn't particularly interested in actually writing *new* material (his three recent solo albums have, as I recall, around 10% actual possibly newly-written material on them). I don't think anybody involved with the BBs ever needs to do a FULL ALBUM of covers again.

And, while the singers Mike works with now are absolutely solid and professional, they're extremely anonymous-sounding. It's very much like the competent but uber-bland backing vocals on "Looking Back with Love."

I guess if he tosses this project into Totten's lap and Totten does most of the actual work doing new vocal arrangements, then it might be a step above straight covers. But Mike's description of this idea is pretty nebulous to begin with. What he's describing doesn't actually sound any different from what he already does. He has Totten (or whatever producer) layer knock-off BB harmonies behind either old Mike outtakes, an occasional new Mike song, a BB cover, or a cover of something else. Unless Mike's talking about a "a cappella" album, then what he's describing is more of the same.
I would describe most of the material on disc 1 of Unleash the Love as new original material - never mind that the project had started many years before, it had never been properly released.
I don't have any hope, though, that this album focused on vocals will evoke Smiley Smile.  Afro

I was speaking more about Mike's current drive or ability (or lack thereof) to write new material. Out of the 25 tracks on "Unleash the Love", 13 are BB covers, and almost all of the remaining 12 "original" songs come from either the 1978 "First Love" era, or his early 2000s solo sessions (and in many cases both, as the early 2000s project was the same deal with reusing the '78 stuff). At least three of the 12 "originals" had literally already been released, as in, the exact same recordings (and possibly mixes).

Now, of course as we all know, the BBs mining old projects for new albums is nothing new, both group and solo. But when we're talking about writing new material, Mike seems to not have the drive or ability. When it *is* presumably new, we get something like "This Too Shall Pass" that is musically heavily derivative, and has cringe-worthy lyrics.

I'd be fine with Mike using old material if it was material we hadn't heard before and/or was material that hadn't already been released.

I tend to cut these guys plenty of slack. *None* of them are as prolific or driven as they were 50/40/30 years ago. Al has his own studio for 40+ years and can only muster *one* solo album. Brian's albums have often reused old material, and/or had plenty of guidance from collaborators.

Mike doing another covers album reminds me of news several years back when Tom Scholz released his once-per-decade Boston album, and it used tracks from the *previous* Boston album that even diehard fans largely seemed to hate.

I remember Al a few years back saying he wanted to re-record "Runaway!" Nooo!

All these guys should just let an engineer go through and pick and album's worth of outtakes we've never heard, then polish them up, and put that out. I know Brian and Al have *tons* of material they could put out. I'd wager even Mike does too.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Animated cartoon BBs in Happy Endings music video (RIP Little Richard) on: May 22, 2020, 11:50:29 AM
If the circulating version of the video don't have the typical VH1 or MTV chyron, it's probably because I can't imagine this was played much if at all, even back in the mid-80s, even when other BB stuff, even pre-Kokomo, was occasionally getting played.

"Happy Endings" was a similar deal to "East Meets West"; a collaboration between artists that nobody cared about anymore (as far as hearing new music). And both singles tanked, often with respective fanbases not even having heard of the tracks.

And yes, "Happy Endings" isn't a great track; it's like C-list Bruce material.

The band did stuff like "Happy Endings" because, apparently, Terry Melcher was good at getting the guys gigs for soundtracks, which was and is a very lucrative endeavor even when the movie and/or song bomb.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love Planning New Vocal Album on: May 22, 2020, 11:45:33 AM
Interesting that Mike isn't particularly interested in actually writing *new* material (his three recent solo albums have, as I recall, around 10% actual possibly newly-written material on them). I don't think anybody involved with the BBs ever needs to do a FULL ALBUM of covers again.

And, while the singers Mike works with now are absolutely solid and professional, they're extremely anonymous-sounding. It's very much like the competent but uber-bland backing vocals on "Looking Back with Love."

I guess if he tosses this project into Totten's lap and Totten does most of the actual work doing new vocal arrangements, then it might be a step above straight covers. But Mike's description of this idea is pretty nebulous to begin with. What he's describing doesn't actually sound any different from what he already does. He has Totten (or whatever producer) layer knock-off BB harmonies behind either old Mike outtakes, an occasional new Mike song, a BB cover, or a cover of something else. Unless Mike's talking about a "a cappella" album, then what he's describing is more of the same.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Best Brian Wilson collaborator on: May 21, 2020, 03:08:38 PM
If we're looking at songwriting, and more specifically actual output, then it's mainly Mike and then Parks and Asher. Brian wrote great stuff with a bunch of people, but those are the main partnerships that were an ongoing thing for periods of time.

In two spurts, Joe Thomas has made some good and some sub-par stuff with Brian, but has succeeded where others (Usher, Paley) couldn't by getting his work with Brian *actually released.*

If we're just talking any partnership that produced something good that I would have liked to see a lot more, that one's easy: Jeff Lynne. I think "Let It Shine" is great (and both the song and production are indeed much more Jeff Lynne than Brian), and a full album from those two could have been great. Probably would have done better for Brian's career too if it had happened in the late 80s or early 90s.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Best Brian Wilson collaborator on: May 21, 2020, 03:02:55 PM
From a solo perspective of released stuff I would say Scott Bennett.  I think That Lucky Old Sun is a fantastic record and One Kind of Love is a great song as well.  I always liked the idea of Brian collaborating with Darian, but it never happened.

Some of the TLOS stuff sounds way too "Bennett-y" for me. I was saying this years before the later debacle with Bennett.

Yes, some might say the same of the Paley material, but I think Paley tapped into Brian's sensibilities better. There's stuff that Brian did with Bennett where, even when it sounds very Brian, it has this layer of Bennett stuff on it (some of the non-Brianesque backing vocals) that isn't bad per se, but just doesn't do it for me.

It's the difference between the "nah nah" backing vocals on "Midnight's Another Day" and something like "Message Man." I always have figured there's room for both types of stuff on Brian's records, but I can't deny an album of "Message Man" type stuff, pure unadulterated Brian, would be nice and refreshing.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The trainwreck that is The 50th ann. CD on: May 21, 2020, 02:58:22 PM
Somewhat related but these clips have just been loaded on YouTube allegedly from the Sirius show 19 April 2012 where Melinda had put auto tune on the mics according to Mike.

Good Vibrations

https://youtu.be/LPmjd_abMxE

Car Medley

https://youtu.be/aVEcZu0o1l4

Whatever that complete story actually is, I don't think we got the full story from Mike's book. As we discussed back then, Mike described some sort of physical device attached to the mics, but the general understanding seems to be that autotune is generally done with outboard gear, and/or back at the soundboard or some sort of off-stage interface.

I haven't read this part of Mike's book lately, but the sense I got was that whatever Mike had a beef with, he had it removed before they did any performances.

The sense I have is that they probably did try to put autotune on everyone, Mike balked (we'll just ignore the COPIOUS autotune found on every one of his albums and pre-recorded TV appearances of the last several years at least), and it appears that once the actual tour started, only Brian's mic had some sort of autotune going out live to the PA. Fans noticed this, and it was gone from live shows (to any hugely discernable degree) within a few days or a week or so.

Subsequently, autotune was slathered on to some of the live album; that was presumably all done in post-production.

Mike's apparent position on autotune falls very much in line with how he seems to operate. He doesn't like stuff sometimes when it's someone else's idea or decision. But if it's his idea and/or his decision, then it's okay. Hence all three of his recent albums being drowned by the most overzealous use of autotune we've ever seen on any BB-related product.

Back to the Sirius show; it was fine. I do think everybody was sounding even better a few weeks into the tour. When I saw the band in June during the tour, they were smoking pretty much across the board.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: May 21, 2020, 02:47:50 PM
How ridiculous is that this song has still never been officially released? The amount of hardcore fans that are no longer around to hear it.

Back to topic....that's an excellent version!

I agree. But at least it has circulated in *okay* sound quality for years (and circulates in pristine quality among a select group).
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