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674573 Posts in 27223 Topics by 4010 Members - Latest Member: angleofreason May 23, 2022, 07:24:16 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan Berry's Original Music Scores Being Published on: May 18, 2022, 07:45:18 PM
While outside of my realm of expertise, congratulations, Mark! Definitely a worthwhile endeavour!
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: She & Him (Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward): BW Tribute Tour on: May 18, 2022, 07:43:14 PM
Hey, that's cool. Too bad it's not a double album!
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: An old story of mine I posted over on Hoffman on: May 13, 2022, 09:18:08 PM
Very cool story! Nice song, I agree with your 10-year old self's assessment that it sounds like Rubber Soul era Beatles, melodically.

Kind of puts Big Star's relative success in perspective - so many bands never even made it as far as they did.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Heroes & Villains The Sound Of Los Angeles 1965-1968 on: May 11, 2022, 08:39:21 PM
Over the past couple of years I've been delving into these Grapefruit Records boxed sets - mostly focused on specific years or genres of British music in the ever-fruitful mid-60s to early-70s... I see that they are now branching across the pond for a "Where the Action Is"-style look at The Beach Boys' backyard. I figured it might be of interest to some people here. I haven't done a side-by-side to see how much will be new to me but I'll probably pick it up regardless, as the are bound to be a few gems.

 https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/heroes-villains-the-sound-of-los-angeles-1965-1968-3cd-box-set/

Note that Do You Like Worms is the Beach Boys' cut.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Here's a little web-series about some Feel Flows era tunes on: November 29, 2021, 09:59:12 PM
Thank you, Joshilyn!

This is an odd song for me. I've never really dug it, and with the two Bruce songs on either side it's kind of a lull in the album for me. Each song has its own merits of course, but this is probably my least-favourite on the album (I'm not generally a fan of songs about music/being a musician, even if that's not necessarily the case here). The Feel Flows set has some new insights like the fantastic drumming, and the main riff is pretty solid. Thanks for highlighting the way the chords play against it and doing the comparison with the straightforward approach. I may need rethink a song I recently recorded...
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Brian music this Friday ? on: November 19, 2021, 10:29:23 PM
I listened once on Spotify, and will probably get a copy! Thanks for the thoughtful review above, Theydon Bois... I'm glad it has a more homespun feel than it could have had (sounds kind of like some of my rudimentary 4-track recordings of my household upright many years ago, or, more interestingly, like some of the Smiley Smile piano backing tracks). Good Vibrations sparkles in comparison to some others, it's definitely the most elaborate one.

Kind of like the backing vocal montages, I wish the Smile section went on forever.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Here's a little web-series about some Feel Flows era tunes on: October 27, 2021, 09:17:00 PM
Took me a while to get around to watching the latest. I appreciate the compare/contrast examples, so thanks again!

One thing about 'Deirdre' is that it's a perfect example of what I guess I would call Sesame Street Soft Pop. I recall some users of the old Smile Shop boards being into the Joe Raposo sound, and I get that vibe from this song. The flutes, especially.  In a similar vein, I also get a kind of "Shaft"/soundtrack vibe. So it's dated to its era but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Here's a little web-series about some Feel Flows era tunes on: October 07, 2021, 06:34:13 PM
Thanks again for another insightful piece. I like that you compare/contrast with alternative approaches to show what a more conventional structure might have. Also, I'm glad you gave specific mention to Mike's exuberant bass vocal part.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 25, 2021, 06:25:53 PM
I just want to mention Pop Symphony No. 1 as a sort of rebuttal to the notion that Jan lacked ambition or artistic "merit". But I say that as someone who loves Meet Batman, so take that for what it's worth.

I do think the comparison with girl groups is apt, as both seem to have fallen out of favour in the mid-60s.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 15, 2021, 08:50:25 PM
Not to get too much into the "debate" but I'm pretty sure that the bad singing on Folk 'n Roll was at least partially intentional - they were sending up the genre.

I would wager that at least some of their imperfection is a defense mechanism against the same; if they're not *trying* to be perfect then they can dismiss criticism for it. And for me, they succeed in walking the line between irreverent and competent.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Here's a little web-series about some Feel Flows era tunes on: September 10, 2021, 09:41:53 PM
Seconded! I know next to nothing about music theory but your examples are very easy to follow. Given how busy the song is, you could probably do just as much analysis of each key change...
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Here's a little web-series about some Feel Flows era tunes on: September 08, 2021, 08:54:03 PM
Great to see and hear from you! I'm looking forward to this series and gaining insights into the songwriting on display in the set. Thank you in advance!
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The evolution of the Beach Boys as backing vocalists (As heard on Feel Flows) on: September 03, 2021, 09:10:22 PM
Wonderful insights. Thanks for delving into this, Joshilyn!

I don't know who originated "stack o' vocals" releases but in the Beach Boys' world they're been a true blessing over the years. Life-changing! One thing I've remarked is that you've got all these layers where each part is gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Like, how much depth and musical richness could you ask for in any one track? It's something easily taken for granted. My only complaint is wanting more! (Sunshine Tomorrow 2 is a perfect example to follow)

I've not listened to the Feel Flows set enough to fully appreciate it all but I was particularly impressed with some of the dense, dramatic harmony stacks in certain Dennis tracks.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: August 29, 2021, 09:21:15 PM
I know this is mundane and unimportant but my amazon.ca order for the 5CD finally shipped - so instead of Sept 14, I should get it next weekend. I only say this for the benefit of those who are in a similar boat.

To get back to the music, I have to once again praise Mike for his anchoring bass harmonies, like on the Disney Girls a cappella snippet. I recall reading Stephen Desper's Recording the Beach Boys and him mentioning Mike working the ribbon mic with his limited range/technique; he just nails it.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: August 27, 2021, 08:29:34 PM
Having to make do with Spotify until September 14, apparently.

Just wanted to chime in with the massive thanks and appreciation for all involved in making this release possible from its conception (starting in '69) to finally entering the world.

I love hearing all of the new details in the mixes, and I just wanted to mention that I think one of the approaches taken here was not necessarily to make the best possible "new" version but rather make something for those of us who already have the originals embedded in our brains. I'm reminded about the quote about how the stereo Pet Sounds is not meant to replace the mono; same thing here. Hopefully I'm not wrong about that! But I can only imagine how hard it would be to devise so many satisfying new mixes given the wealth (or dearth, in some cases) of material available.

Happy listening, everyone!
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: FEEL FLOWS - Chapter One. . . on: August 19, 2021, 06:43:22 AM
Thank you, looking forward to delving into all of the materials the next few weeks (months?  Smiley) will bring!
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian and a move towards an authentic pop musical vocabulary on: August 08, 2021, 08:03:54 PM
I was glad Guitarfool had agreed with me (I'm currently watching a show from 2007 that doesn't seem to be particularly 'dated' - though the attitudes and behaviours are), but your assertive rejection of my suggestion has me rethinking things a little (and I certainly defer to someone who actually interacts with people, especially students, as they are less set in their ways). The rise of social media and smartphones has created a new "innovative" space that has informed the general culture in ways I'm definitely less aware, if not completely oblivious. Good point on athleisure, too. It will be interesting to see how future generations view the superficial cultural touchstones of the present and recent past.

Don was trying to tie the discussion back to the premise of the thread... What I was thinking along the same lines is that throwbacks (be it fashion or music) are inherently creative dead-ends and it's increasingly harder to overcome the weight of our cultural consciousness (I'm definitely just making stuff up at this point). Something something postmodernism.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian and a move towards an authentic pop musical vocabulary on: August 07, 2021, 07:49:50 PM
Fascinating thread!

I don't have much to add but a couple of things came to mind when reading it...

- the fact that the music/media discussed is still "relevant" and available in its original recording/performance; Guitarfool touched on this a little, but it's an interesting discussion in its own right. It has certainly made it easier for recent generations to cling to their pasts, or for new generations to access it.

- further to the above, the impact of the internet can't be overlooked (or maybe it's just the same continuum of impact as print, radio, and TV). That said, I feel like culture has largely stagnated since the late 90s/early-2000s (except for technology) - consider how images of people in previous decades are very obvious of being of an era but it's less pronounced now. There are still new trends but there's more old stuff, too (This is my own observation, no academic credentials, sorry! This could also be a product of my own aging and general checking out of modern culture)

- on the instrumentation, the electro-theremin is an example of wanting a specific sound/instrument (just to contrast with MIDI session musicians)


Sorry to ramble off topic; hopefully these thoughts spark something useful for you, Joshilyn!

Edit: meant to add that the big seismic cultural shift in 66/67/68 could be some demarcation (the change to a more casual society - again, part of a greater continuum)
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: German Manson doc. feat. Desper, Stebbins a. o. on: July 06, 2021, 06:40:08 PM
I just came across this on Amazon Prime and decided to watch it after seeing Stephen's name in the credits; I agree with everything posted here (I was also wondering if that was a Pendleton that Stephen is wearing!). I'm glad to see that the subject has been raised here and that Stephen has added his usual fantastic commentary to the thread already.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: June 02, 2021, 02:59:09 PM
Well, this is certainly something. Can't wait! Thanks to everyone for making it a reality!
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: A little video about Guess I'm Dumb on: April 12, 2021, 09:12:54 PM
*puts hand up*

Thanks for that! Guess I'm Dumb is one of those throwaway standouts that exists in the Beach Boys plane, where only the diehards know about it but it's as good as or better than anything else they did at the time (and Glen Campbell really nailed that lead vocal). I appreciate your breakdown of the feels; great idea for a subset of videos for your channel. I may be in a minority but I love hearing stuff like that, like that professor in the IJWMFTT documentary.

Maybe you can comment on this... I know the song is linked with Sherry She Needs Me by virtue of being written with Russ Titleman around the same time, but I also hear a similarity in that I feel like you can sing "Sherry baby, I just can't stand it, it didn't work out the way we planned it" over the instrumental break of Guess I'm Dumb. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, I'm all for more of this in addition to your regular programming!
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: April 01, 2021, 02:47:19 PM
The Kinks' VGPS box set has "remixes" based on incomplete multitracks, too.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: April 01, 2021, 01:27:39 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Stephen! I'm glad to hear that you are looking forward to revisiting that era, as we all are.

Thank you again for all you have provided over the years.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: April 01, 2021, 07:46:53 AM
Yes, there are a few different things at play:
- the original intention/Spatializer mix (3D stereo) reflecting what the band heard in the studio - this was rejected by the label but encoded into...
- the master for the album as we all know it. The first pressing LP is based on the best available LP master tapes (and approved by Carl); subsequent reissues may have used later-generation copies (as happened with many albums of the era) OR, in the case of digital reissues, received different mastering. Any current issue of Sunflower would be based on the original LP MIX but may have a different mastering. The Spatializer would still be able to decode it, but it wouldn't be the exact same as the Carl-approved version unless it was the first pressing LP.
- 5.1 or quad mixes that have been released on various products over the years are not what was originally developed in the studio (enjoyable as they may be)
- any new stereo remix would not be what was originally developed in the studio (enjoyable as they may be). I don't know what will be on the set, but it's likely that there will be alternate or modern remixes of many tracks, if not a "remixed album" (a la Pet Sounds sessions).

I can't speak for Mr. Desper but from what I've seen, I get the impression that his frustration stems from the refusal/reluctance to release the "original intention", while other remixes (5.1, quad) with no Carl involvement have gotten the green light.


In movie terms it would be like:
- original Director's Cut (Spatializer) is unavailable
- theatrical version (original LP) is still available but with different colour timings depending on format/pressing
- various "Special Editions" with modern special effects have been made with no involvement from the original director

This box set represents another opportunity to "right the wrong" and get the "Director's Cut" out there but it seems that it may not be happening (I'm not following too closely).
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: March 31, 2021, 03:26:37 PM
Funnily enough, there are a few examples of Mr. Desper doing that very thing:
- 'Til I Die (alternate mix) - a personal mix later officially issued
- finishing Loop De Loop with Al years later, also officially issued
- study video breakdowns of multitrack minutiae (most notably Cool, Cool Water)

Not to raise negative points but I think the "worst case" scenario we've seen is something like the revisited Sail Plane Song, but at least in that case we still have the "original".

I'm all for tastefully mixed alternative versions, and the sectional track/background vocals/a cappella mixes that came out for the '67 and '68 compilations give me great hope for more of the same!
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