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658396 Posts in 26358 Topics by 3742 Members - Latest Member: Soulful Old Man River May 26, 2020, 02:33:47 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: December 29, 2019, 01:00:36 PM
IF a box set is forthcoming, fingers crossed, I really, really, REALLY hope that some of those Stephen Desper mixes that he shared with us in those study videos will be part of it. I remember listening to a mix of Cool, Cool Water that blew my mind. (Only heard it once) It would be the perfect opportunity to get his versions out to a wider audience.
2  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / 'Help Me Santa' - original Christmas song on: December 20, 2019, 03:32:40 AM
If anyone feels like hearing a christmas song with a heavy Beach Boys vibe, you can freely download & stream 'Help Me Santa' by the Surf School Dropouts here:

It's a song we wrote, recorded and put out years ago, but one where we were never truly satisfied with the mix. Fast forward 9 years and we've added new parts, remixed and remastered it and I think the outcome is so much better than the original version. Hope you'll take a listen! :-)
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Murry Wilson And Snow on: December 11, 2019, 07:36:03 AM
Nice to see these recordings coming out. I brought up the subject 6(!) years ago!  LOL

Follow this link to an earlier thread to read Rick Henn's recollections about Snow:,15348.0.html
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love You on: June 15, 2019, 05:17:52 AM
Bumping this Love You thread for the sake of making people aware of this fun little EP with a Love You-connection:

"Surf School Dropouts pay homage to the iconic synth sounds of the classic 1977 'Love You' album by the Beach Boys. The EP features four Surf School Dropouts originals rearranged and partly re-recorded for a 'Love You' feel."

5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Who Sounds Like The Beach Boys? on: April 30, 2018, 03:24:17 PM

Montage made by isolated harmony vocals off second album, 'Second Nature':

6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Songs Inspired by The Beach Boys on: February 27, 2018, 04:07:26 AM
Basically all songs off both albums by Danish group Surf School Dropouts; started out harmonizing Beach Boys songs, then evolved into writing original songs with a tip of the hat to Brian & the Boys...

Probyn Gregory guests with a mean surf guitar solo on the second album! (Coastline Cruisin')

7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: was sunshine pop a musical dead end? on: October 15, 2017, 11:11:37 AM
I'd like to ask the original poster which songs come to mind when talking about Sunshine Pop? For one thing, as far as I know, the term was never used in the 60s but only added to certain type of songs later on among collectors.

Personally, I would normally use the term for the more bouncy and sunny harmony pop of the 60s; Good Vibrations, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Little Girl I Once Knew by the boys, 'Happy Together' by the Turtles, 'I Could be so Good to You' by Don & the Goodtimes, 'My World Fell Down' by Sagittarius, 'It Could be We're in Love' by the Cryan' Shames, 'Just my Style' by Gary Lewis & the Playboys, 'Happiness Is' by The Association etc.... you get the picture  Cheesy ....and there are many examples to choose from. If that's the definition of sunshine pop we're talking about then I would argue that a lot of what made those songs work - good harmonies, great hooks, a bouncy, jubilent feel - lived on in bubblegum music and other sub-genres with rougher production values.

Some have much broader definitions of sunshine pop which is just fine. Everything is open to discussion. I know that some collectors include much more psychadelic stuff or music that's very close to be termed muzak or easy listening by others. The term 'soft pop' at the very least seems to be much broader.... And if THAT'S what we're discussing here, then, yes, as others have mentioned, you could point to a shitload of artists from the 70s and onwards who took their cue from the sunnier and softer sides of 60s pop,... the Carpenters, case in point. America could be another example.

Fun topic to discuss. Anyone interested in all this should check of Domenic Priore's and Brian Chidester's way cool book 'Pop Surf Culture' which came out in the late 00s. It is a great write-up on the Beach Boys and similar acts and how their harmony sound went into the melting pot with surf culture and the California way of life and gave way to an aesthetic that can be found popping up in lots of areas.

On Pinterest I compiled a mood board years ago with images and music videoes that could readily fit the sunshine pop and soft pop genres, however you'd go about discussing them. Some here might dig it:

8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Stephen J. McParland on: August 15, 2017, 04:12:35 AM
Stephen fills his book with more information than maybe is necessary and sometimes it comes off like an encyclopaedia.

I must mention as I feel he doesn't get the credit he deserves. He does actually interview the people and if he uses others people's interviews he fully credits them as his source. Much of his Inception book was used in James Murphy's book with virtually no credit as to how much of Stephen's work was actually in that book. I must stress that both books are must haves as there is plenty of information in James' book as well. There have been more recent books on PF Sloan, Bobby Fuller and Beach Party Movies. Stephen published his books on these subjects years before and again very little credit or none given to the work of Stephen used in those books.

This! As someone who has corresponded with Stephen through the years about his books and have ordered several of them in print form before he began selling them as PDFs, I have been really impressed by his work. He's always been receptive to input and easy-going to write with and the wealth of information in his books is astounding. All the info can be overwhelming, yes, but a reason for this is also that he takes pride in doublechecking sources and finding additional information that can either confirm or disprove some of the stories told to him.

I've worked professionally with music history myself in a museum context and oral history of the type Stephen has conducted is very, very tricky. More so than many people realise. You're often told a lot of stories that don't add up - not necesarrily out of malice but because the interviewees are so far removed from the events they're telling about or because they subconsciously allow their feelings of what they wish would have happened to skew their telling of what happened. So I really appreciate the fact that Stephen goes out of his way to get the facts straight - his fabolous book on PF Sloan has a lot of examples of that which makes it the much better read over Sloan's own rambling, weird autobiography that came out years later.

AGD, Jon Stebbins, Brad Elliott etc are usually mentioned as Beach Boys experts of note but I agree with others in this thread, - if you look at Stephen's body of work, his expertise and interviews are hard to macth.

I wholeheartedly recommend his books to others here! Dirt cheap when you think about al the info you get at the click of a button.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: A music video....... on: July 18, 2017, 02:44:18 PM
Has anyone brought up the fact that the official Beach Boys page on Facebook posted the video three hours ago? What to make of that? I don't really follow the page that closely, but.... did the same thing happen when Brian premiered videos for songs off No Pier Pressure or when Al released his album? Just curious...
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: A music video....... on: July 18, 2017, 02:39:58 PM
Is it just me or does even Stamos seem totally sidelined by the heinous McGrath?  Watch at around 1:28 and you can almost see him thinking "Jesus, I'm not getting ANY screen time with this idiot jumping around".

I swear,... there are times in that video where it looks as if even STAMOS is embarresed by being in this travesty. And yeah, Mike finally succeeded in finding someone even more annoying than he is in the from of McGrath. I'll have nightmares tonight of his botoxed face screaming 'do it' at me!

Time to put on Sunshine Tomorrow again and forget all this ever happened...
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: PF Sloan on: February 17, 2017, 01:01:06 PM
As a longtime, die-hard Sloan fan, who cherish both his solo material and his songwriting for others with Steve Barri, I was incredibly dissapointed by his memoir.

So many stories in there are clearly inflated or made-up which really does a disservice to his story, - one that would easily have made for very interesting reading without all the embellishments. What a wasted opportunity.

If you want a more balanced look at his career - one that also dared to question his claims and often-told stories - you should seek out Stephen McParland's lenghty and loving tome 'Travelling Barefoot on a Rocky Road.' A much more satisfying read in my opinion...
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread on: February 17, 2017, 12:52:32 PM
For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

13  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The new Explorers Club album 'Together' is out! on: June 25, 2016, 01:40:31 PM
It's a wonderful album which I find is only held Down a little bit by two or three songs that aren't that interesting. I agree about the mix - could have been better, punchier. But still, up to their usual high standards. Great band!

Here's a personal review posted on my blog:
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Did Brian actually produce records with Phil Spector? on: June 06, 2016, 01:09:05 AM
Bumping this old topic as I've recently spoken with a very reliable source about this. The person in question claims that he has heard a version of 'Don't Hurt my Little Sister' with Darlene Love singing lead - not 'Things are Changing' but 'Don't Hurt my Little Sister.'

As far as I've understood, the recording my source heard featured Darlene during vocal takes and you can hear Brian in the studio chatting with her between takes. Apparently, at one point he asks her 'Is that a wig?' and then what the cost is. Upon hearing her response, naming some amount, he's said to answer 'Gee!' Very innocently and in typical Brian fashion. Cheesy

Given the source, who I won't reveal but trust - it's someone in the know - I'm pretty sure that a Spector or Riopelle-produced recording of 'Don't Hurt my Little Sister' exists with somwhat direct involvement from Brian. Whether or not the track was fully produced I don't know but I would guess so if Darlene was brought in to lay down actual lead vocals. Based on previously leaked vocal session Spector tracks where you get to sort of be a fly on the wall, I'd say the backing track would have been completed, only lacking possible strings and back-up vocals.

Maybe there's a fully produced Spector version in the vaults that somehow didn't see release? Wouldn't be the first time that happened. Remember; Spector kept glorious tracks like 'This could be the Night' by the MFQ and 'Paradise' by the Ronettes in the can. Perhaps Riopelle dusted off the recording and produced new vocals for 'Things are Changing' using an existing Spector backing track? Or perhaps he just used a former track as a blueprint for his own backing track? Who knows?
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 4th Anniversary of That's Why God Made The Radio on: June 06, 2016, 12:45:11 AM
I don't believe it will happen.  The guys don't even talk (again) anymore.  Mike has his way, Brian has his, and they are too stuck in their ways
and getting too old to compromise. Their focuses are too far apart once again.

Agreed. But it's such a shame.

As much as I enjoy the best parts of NPP, there was something really special about them singing together again. I think the best tracks of NPP could have been fantastic to hear in a Beach Boys setting on a follow-up album to That's Why God Made the Radio.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: CONCERT: National Memorial Day Concert for 2016 with The Beach Boys on: June 01, 2016, 12:49:44 PM
No chance in hell this performance wasn't doctered in some way!
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson 2016 Tour Thread (Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour) on: May 26, 2016, 04:31:39 AM
Just left the venue. Initial thoughts is that Brian was in great mood and it was a fantastic evening!!!

definitely......have never seen Brian so obviously enjoying a show,right from the start.....wonderful

From the sound of it, these shows must really be a hit or miss affair. When I saw Brian Saturday in London he seemed more quiet and less enthusiastic than all other times I've seen him (4) - I went to the show with two friends who've seen him 5 and 8 times before. They felt the same as me.

I guess the span between Brian's good and bad days on the road is just pretty wide. (does this phrase make sende in English? It's not my native language...)
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson 2016 Tour Thread (Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour) on: May 23, 2016, 12:52:22 PM
I'm not trying to be the old cranky internet dude, and I know it's not always easy for newer fans to go back and read 17-year-old fan discussions (or even find them), but some of these are "1999 questions" for lack of a better way to put it. And frankly, some of these issues go back to Brian's 1976 return to the touring band. The last time Brian gave a totally unaffected, not-weird-in-any-possible-way live performance on stage, was probably 1965. Even his brief 1970 Pacific Northwest stint got a few sketchy reviews.
I don't think some questions about Brian's stage demeanor are unwarranted. But really, who buys tickets to a Brian Wilson show not *already knowing* what his deal is? There are a million YouTube videos, numerous official video releases (Brian's stage presence is *never* not at least a little weird, even on the official DVD releases), and so on.

It's like going to a Bob Dylan gig and asking why his voice sounds weird, or asking why McCartney does his "now all the boys, now all the girls" bit during "Hey Jude", or why Mike Love points to his temples or "drives" the mic stand like it's a steering wheel (dunno if he still does that one), or why Bruce claps and points. It's just part of the gig.

Brian has never looked completely relaxed and slick on stage. Ever. I've seen him come surprisingly and pleasantly close on some occasions (when I saw him on the 2000 "Pet Sounds" tour, he didn't touch the piano and just sat on his chair and sang a bunch of the show with his eyes closed, like he was recording in the studio; he sounded good, was in a *great* mood, etc.).

But I can't imagine dropping major coin for a BW show and being surprised by his stage demeanor and performance. He sometimes lacks energy, he hits a sour note once in while, he biffs the lyrics once in awhile. Sometimes some of those things are more on point, sometimes not as much.

The leaving before the last song thing is something Brian has been doing for years. I always assumed, while stilted, he's doing the same thing George Harrison did at the "Concert for Bangla Desh." He's leaving for slight dramatic effect and letting the band play out. Many leaders of bands have done this over the years. Brian's not great on showmanship, so it does kind of have the comical effect of just abruptly leaving. But again, this is all par for the course for Brian.

Go watch TV shows and live shows going back to the 70s. Brian (and the BBs on the whole at varying times over the years) have had moments where casual fans probably asked "Wtf?"

The piano thing is mostly for comfort. Brian does play some, often not. Go watch his late night Dick Clark talk show performance from 1988. *That's* why Brian doesn't just grab a mic and stand and perform!

When Brian first started touring in 1999, I think he probably felt the same as he does now: He mainly wants to just sing at his shows. We know he *can* play piano, but he doesn't want to at live gigs too much. So for early 1999 gigs, someone (whether it was someone else or Brian himself) made the weird and misguided decision that led to him feeling like he needed to keep moving his hands on the keyboard even if he wasn't playing. That *was* fake, obviously so, and was misguided for numerous reasons including that it gave the incorrect impression Brian couldn't play. Thankfully, by later in that same year, and certainly by 2000, he just kept the piano on stage but didn't play it.

Some good points there. Well put.

My two cents in regards to Brian's performance,...

I was at the Saturday show in London and although I enjoyed it I must say Brian's vocals threw me off a bit. Prior to going to the show, I'd read some nice reviews by other fans. As someone who's seen Brian a few times before, starting with the second Smile premiere show in London in 2004, I've heard my fair share of shaky BW live vocals, but to my ears his performance Saturday was the worst I've heard. Not for a lack of effort as such, I'm sure he did his best, but he just seemed to sing more off-key than usual as well as run out of air much quicker than before. That's just my experience of course, others obviously enjoyed it immensily which is great.

During 'Caroline No' he left the stage in a hurry before ther song ended... Has it been so during the other shows? I don't think I've seen him do this in any of the shows I've seen. Maybe I've just been lucky. It did seem a bit odd in a sort of 'get me out of here NOW' way but you could just as well regard it as a bit of BW quirkiness, I guess. ;-)

The band was, as usual, stellar with Matt Jardine doing a surperb job - 'Don't Worry Baby' and 'Wouldn't It be Nice' were the highlights for me. And the Palladium was a beautiful setting...
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson 2016 Tour Thread (Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour) on: May 17, 2016, 11:36:48 AM
I'm going to the Saturday show at the Palladium in London.

I haven't read through the whole thread, so forgive me if I've overlooked something, but will fans meet up before the concert somewhere close to the Palladium? Like in a pub or so? Seems like there was something like that in Bristol recently. Could be cool meeting other fans.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Wrecking Crew DVD... on: August 11, 2015, 12:09:41 PM
I do think Denny Tedesco was remiss in not dedicating more time to Phil Spector and any time at all to Jan & Dean, as those two were pivotal in bringing the WC into prominent use with more popular/rock & roll artists in the early days.

I agree.

I have a con amore project of mine, Cue Castanets!, a blog solely devoted to dissecting the Wall of Sound. I've just posted an interview with Don Randi of the Wrecking Crew specifically focusing on their work with Phil Spector. I think you and others on the board will dig it - and hopefully other posts on the blog. Don briefly mentions his time with Brian in the studio as well:
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: 'I Thank You' music video on: July 27, 2015, 02:18:04 PM
Thanks guys. Yeah, I think both the cover and the video turned out really well.

And feelflows, glad to know you also like some of our own songs.  Grin Regarding 'Glad You Decided to Stay' which closed our first album; have you heard 'Ebb & Flow' which closed our second album? If not, you might also dig this song as it has a similar feel:

22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / 'I Thank You' music video on: July 15, 2015, 12:01:43 PM
Hi guys. Here's something I think you'll dig, it's a recent project by my band, Surf School Dropouts.

We took a cool original song by a fellow Danish band, the Beatophonics, and turned it into something Brian or Phil Spector could have worked up in LA in '66 along with the wrecking crew. Very pleased how this one turned out. The video was filmed in our rehearsal space last week.

If you'd like to compare our version with the original by the Beatophonics, you can see their video here. It's really cool but in a more stripped-down Beatles/Merseybeat vein.
23  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Jeff Lynne on: June 25, 2015, 01:42:44 PM
I think that reputation mostly has to do with the pretty dull and straightforward drum sound he had on the various production Work he did for others after shutting Down ELO. The Tom Petty stuff as well as George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Joe Cocker, 'Free as a Bird' etc. I quite like those productions but I can understand where some of the critics are coming from. It has a certain Lynne sound for sure - but you could say that with Spector, Brian and others as well so I guess it's just a matter of personal taste.

I will add though that I think Jeff Lynne has been massively underrated as a gifted songwriter and producer if you look at his ELO stuff. It's cool to see power pop fans and others in the know starting to give him the respect he deserves. 'Livin' Thing' alone is a work of genius.
24  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Harmonies galore! Vocals montage a la Smile Sessions on: June 22, 2015, 01:10:17 PM
Here's a new video with a montage of harmony vocals from the recent Second Nature album by my band, Surf School Dropouts. The montage was inspired by the similar montage-style Alan Boyd and Mark Linett compiled for the Smile Sessions release.

Lots of interesting things going on in the harmonies. The montage has been added as a free bonus track to the Second Nature album on our bandcamp profile.
25  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Surf School Dropouts on: June 22, 2015, 01:08:15 PM
Bumping in order to post this new video. It has a montage of harmony vocals from the Second Nature album and was inspired by the simalr montage-style Alan Boyd and Mark Linett compiled for the Smile Sessions release.

Lots of interesting things going on in the harmonies. The montage has been added as a free bonus track to the Second Nature album on our bandcamp profile.
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