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675256 Posts in 27255 Topics by 4016 Members - Latest Member: J.krefetz July 03, 2022, 05:25:27 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love You and MIU promotion on: June 30, 2022, 04:27:16 AM
Well, M.I.U. of course had the TV special, as did Keepin' The Summer Alive.

I remember the M.I.U. one was "Our Team" and the KTSA one was called "Goin' Platinum" or something.

I will say it doesn't seem like The Beach Boys were very well promoted from Smiley Smile through Holland. The labels just didn't seem to be doing it. However with everything from 15 Big Ones through That's Why God Made The Radio, every album outside of Love You got quite the push. I mean, any group that got a TV special, especially in the '70s and early '80s when there just weren't a ton of choices on the TV, you had to be happy.

Now, why Love You didn't get that push might've come down to the their new contract with CBS at the time, which I'm sure didn't make Warners very happy. And while I consider Love You a top Brian Wilson / Beach Boys album, I'm just not sure I can see a world where that thing ever sells a bunch, even with expert promotion.

Well, maybe one other album didn't get a ton of promotion, but I really can't speak on it. L.A. (Light Album)? I know they definitely did some personal publicity with personal signings and what not, but how heavily was it promoted? I mean, as their first record for CBS I'd assume they put a lot into it, but I honestly don't know / can't remember.

My impression at the time was that L.A. got a pretty extensive push. There was quite a lot of presence in record stores with end caps and such. The two singles got a substantial amount of airplay in my rural upstate New York market.

KTSA on the other hand barely broke a wave. I heard the title track on a local AOR station once (and loved it), that was it. Plus Goin' Platinum, I did see that.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #10 (Beach Boys' Christmas Album) is up! on: June 02, 2022, 05:04:24 AM
What this all points up (to me at least...) is just how insane the schedule really was for bands like the Beach Boys once they'd "made it." Clearly Brian was driven to create--one reason why he worked as many angles as he could to get off the road--but he must have rolled his eyes at the prospect of a Christmas album on top of what else he was doing in '64. It's no wonder he took some short cuts and angled to get Dick Reynolds involved in a large chunk of the project...

Very solid work as always, and really looking forward to an episode about BEACH BOYS TODAY!. Hoping all of your circumstances will work out so that it won't be too terribly long in coming our way...

Yeah, and that's something I keep trying to cycle back to. I don't really *blame* Brian, as I said above, just having analyzed a lot of his stuff up to the point I really was kind of shocked. It reminded me of when I charted out the vocals to "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Do It Again" back to back. The former was clearly done by someone reaching for the stars...Mozart level stuff...and then DIA just two years later you can see the ambition crash. They're both great songs. It's more about the process and seeing it from that perspective.

I'm planning to do a couple of standalone episode around TODAY and one of them is going to talk about Brian's Breakdown in the context of all that was going on in '64. We do get a bit caught up in the drugs and the mental illness but those likely were exacerbated, if not downright brought on, by the insane level of pressure Brian was under. It's easy to lose track of the fact that even a very psychically robust individual would have probably cracked under his workload.

The viewership of the show has fallen off quite a bit so it's just becoming a problem of slotting it in against the time I need to find paying work in a new country.  I'm planning to do a Patreon drive but even that's fallen by the wayside as I get other things together. It will happen, question is when. Thanks for watching!
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #10 (Beach Boys' Christmas Album) is up! on: May 31, 2022, 08:17:08 AM
I'm a bit critical of parts of this album but I do zero in on Mike's singing as a highlight, just as you say here.

I totally get where you're coming from on Brian phoning it in on parts of this album, and agree completely. But there was something kind of funny when you're talking about Merry Christmas, Baby, and you're like, this song...they're really just phoning it in. Sure, it's got a nice verse melody. And Mike Love really sells the lead vocal. And yea, it's got a nice driving rhythm and a deceptively cool intro that looks forward to Smile.... but just phoning it in! It's a little like the "what have the Romans ever done for us" Monty Python sketch Smiley Just goes to show what a great band this was, even when they weren't 100% on the ball!

Yeah, true. I mean it's not the worst song ever written. I was just kind of appalled at the chorus when I was reviewing the album. From a songwriting perspective, Brian couldn't possibly have been lazier and still filled the requisite 16 bars. Repeat the (not very original) 3-word chorus phrase three times over not very interesting generic chord progression and then...finish by modulating up a whole step to the 5 chord, the most generic of all songwriting moves. That's the kind of chorus you write when you just need to crank out a song as fast as possible and you don't care. Not that I blame Brian for that really. Just given the ingenuity he'd displayed up to this point, even on fairly minor tracks, I found it a bit shocking.

The rest of the song is...okay.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #10 (Beach Boys' Christmas Album) is up! on: May 30, 2022, 01:45:18 AM
I'm a little busy right now, but I will definitely watch this! There is so much great content to be found. Especially the Beach Boys' incredible ability to sing even complex "grown-up" arrangements. These kind of thngs were'nt heard of from a Rock and Roll band. Especially Mike shines on this album imo. Not only on the mentioned "grown-up" tracks but also on the originals. He is almost channeling Ronnie Spector on a track like "Merry Christmas, Baby". And it shows that when it comes to singing lead he was way ahead of all the other guys which gets very clear if you compare with Brian's and Al's lead vocals. Mike puts in more character and swagger. At this point in time the other guys were just not able to do this in such a convincing way. They would be soon, but here Mike is the de facto lead singer. I always pont to this album when I talk about how good Mike's singing was.

I'm looking forward to watching the video. Hope I'll get around to do so soon.

I'm a bit critical of parts of this album but I do zero in on Mike's singing as a highlight, just as you say here.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pet Squares #10 (Beach Boys' Christmas Album) is up! on: May 19, 2022, 07:25:42 AM
You heard it here first: the latest episode of PET SQUARES: A GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE BEACH BOYS is up and we're doing are usually ridiculously wonky and detailed dive into The Beach Boys' Christmas Album, another highly overlooked entry into the band's discography. You can view it here:

Also, I've been reluctant to talk about this but, I'm starting to have a battle of time between making the PET SQUARES, ADAM WALKS AROUND and music videos for the channel and doing the things I need to do to put food on the table. I want to keep these videos coming on a pretty regular basis and not have to cut back, so I'm doing another push for patrons for the channel over the next month.

For those that want to pitch in, check the first comment under the video for the Patreon and PayPal links.
Thanks all for watching.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why was Carl not replaced? on: May 17, 2022, 09:53:22 AM
You can believe it or not, and recollections are indeed notoriously unreliable, but everything you are saying was within my understanding in early 1984. I was a fan of the band. I knew what I was seeing and why it was improbable and strange. That's the precise reason it struck me then and sticks in my memory now. I remember thinking "huh, is this random dude supposed to be replacing Dennis?"

I'm not saying there isn't another explanation - there may well be - but what I describe happened, and it looked like what it looked like. Misrecollection might account for it being something other than what it appeared to me, but not for forming that impression at the time.

Whoever this person was, I never saw him before or since. But he was male and considerably younger than the other guys. I'm quite clear on that.

It's not particularly surprising that such a video, whatever it was, would have occurred and gone down the rabbit hole. It was just a short clip that probably only aired once or twice in the days where not everything in the world was taped and thrown on youTube.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why was Carl not replaced? on: May 14, 2022, 02:06:48 AM
Just so we're clear, since it may have been misunderstood: I'm not saying I saw a news report that the Beach Boys were considering adding a replacement for Dennis.

I'm saying I saw an interview with the band *where they were together with an unknown implied sixth member* in early 1984. It was only one interview, and only that one time. I indeed never saw it again or heard of it mentioned again, so it's no surprise that no one seems to know about it. But it happened. I took note of it at the time as being extremely weird and thinking who the hell is that young guy. I can understand why people would be inclined to disbelieve this recollection, but the implications were clear to me at the time and that's why I remember it.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why was Carl not replaced? on: May 11, 2022, 05:49:33 AM
That all may well be, but I still remember seeing the clip in early '84. It may have been on MTV.

I'd normally chalk it up to bad recollection, but I was already a BBs fan at the time and the implications of what I was seeing struck me immediately. That's the only reason I remember the clip.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why was Carl not replaced? on: May 09, 2022, 08:22:49 PM
So after Dennis drowned it didn't take the remaining Beach Boys long to announce that they would continue as a band, and they replaced him with various drummers.

Whenever Brian was absent he was replaced by other musicians, like Ed Carter or Jeff Foskett.

However, when Carl died he wasn't replaced. Why not?

By the 70s and 80s, when the band was already using supplemental musicians, they were no longer “replacing” members who were permanently out of the band. That member’s role would simply be assumed by one or several backing musicians. The band was clearly no longer interested in taking on like “real/core” full members of the group by the 80s.

Wasn't there a hot minute where there was an official replacement considered for Dennis (possibly Scott Matthews?). I swear just after Dennis' death I saw a brief interview with the band and they had a younger guy with them, new member by implication. It wasn't just a thing backstage where someone might have drifted in, it was clearly someone that was supposed to represent as "in the group" though he wasn't introduced.

I never saw the clip again or saw it mentioned again but I distinctly remember being surprised by it at the time. When I saw Scott mention he was asked to join the band at one point, I figured it must have been him (It was no one familiar to me).
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Carl's relationship with Brian before his death on: May 05, 2022, 08:23:23 AM
This is pure speculation but aside from family stuff and Landy I wouldn't be surprised if Brian had mixed feelings about the way that Carl continued the band's work as their new de-facto leader both in the studio and live after Brian really stepped back from the role of leader around 20/20 or Surf's Up; and it wouldn't surprise me either if Carl, despite being in awe of his brother's musical brilliance, had a hard time living in the shadow of Brian's work despite his own efforts during some of the band's most difficult times. Brian was the genius (and we all know he really was!) but Carl had to be always reliable and I'm sure he had to neglect his own feelings more than once in the process. This kind of stuff makes human relationships incredibly complex, especially if there's a family history of bad communication too. In any case it's nice to read stories of the brothers getting back together despite their earlier estrangement(s).

One of the most surprising things that's become clear to me doing the PET SQUARES shows and doing/being exposed to deep research about the band is that Carl was the true band leader for most of the band's history, but in a very subtle way. Brian was indeed fully in charge up in studio until 1968, but Carl was almost always at Brian's side and had the most integral role *as a musician* (as opposed to songwriter/arranger) of any person in the band live and in studio, including even Brian. Onstage, Carl certainly was in charge from 1965 on and given the "Carl Wilson and four musicians" contract that dates back to the bands earliest days, plus Brian's frequent absences from the road, Carl was probably the default live band leader (even though Brian certainly was in charge when he was there and as producer) from almost day one.

The reason this isn't that obvious - though it was impossible to completely ignore, particularly during the early '70s - is Carl wanted it that way. He kept the focus off his own contributions for most of the band's history, deferring to Brian and Mike publicly.  If you think about Carl's role as band mediator, and how this would have evolved from the earliest days figuring out how to make things work with Brian and Murry pulling in different directions but Carl being the point guy to make sure it happened, you can see exactly why he would have evolved such a low profile, almost shadow leadership style...which served him well at various other periods where the other guys, particularly Mike and Dennis, asserted themselves. Had Carl been a more prolific or talented songwriter, with his first rate vocal chops and solid all-round musicianship and production skills he might have dominated the band outright, whether he wanted to or not. It had started to move that way in the '80s until "Kokomo" happened and reshuffled the deck.

Given Carl's actual vital contributions, though, there had to have been tension at various periods where Brian tried to reassert his leadership and it probably wasn't up to the standard that Carl could get behind (however we all might feel about Brian's work as fans). You can see how complicated that would have been...Carl clearly wanting Brian back in the fold so the band could excel, but likely not being happy with the level of playing/singing/writing that was produced when they tried it. And you can also imagine Carl at some point becoming tired of not being recognized not just for his incredible voice but for essentially keeping the band going for nearly the whole of its existence, while his brothers and cousin gained more notoriety. It's even easier to see how Carl's position could have rankled Brian's sensitivities at various points along the way.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #9 Beach Boys Concert Part 2 is up! on: March 06, 2022, 03:21:45 AM
You're welcome Bob!

Shamelessly off topic but I'm going to seize the moment anyway: for anyone that might be a fan of the other main show on the KarmaFrog1 channel, the travel/exploration show ADAM WALKS AROUND, it just returned from a long hiatus, with three more shows already shot during a central Indonesian road trip and another three planned over the summer...

And of course PET SQUARES will be back too, but want to let everyone digest the two eps I just dropped first!

12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #9 Beach Boys Concert Part 2 is up! on: March 01, 2022, 08:07:51 PM
Hi Adam - quick question...
On part 1 you flashed a pic of the Live in Sacramento album cover, mentioning it contained the unaltered (truly live) versions of the "In Concert" tracks.
Do I have that right?  I see that download out there on Amazon and would love to hear the "warts and all" versions.  So no post-production on Live in Sacramento?
I've totally enjoyed your Pet Squares videos - great job!!!

Sort of. My understanding is that it's the "warts and all" recording of both August 1, 1964 shows. A bunch of IN CONCERT came from the earlier show in December 1963 which as far as I know has never been made available in its original form.

I relied heavily on an earlier Pet Sounds post that attempted to piece together what parts are from what shows, and I confess I didn't check that individual's research. I did get my hands on the LIS tracks but I only auditioned a few of them to answer some questions I myself had. If I had to do the video over again I would probably take a closer listen to "Graduation Day" to totally confirm that that *isn't* live, since it's the one song that appears to have live flaws on the vocal track (e.g. the microphone being bumped). But that original poster said the vocals had been replaced and I took his word for it.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #8 Beach Boys Concert Pt. 1 is up! on: February 28, 2022, 05:59:03 PM
Thanks for the heads-up! I'm looking forward to watching this. The BBs as a live group during the striped shirt years are very interesting to me and I'm always astonished how well their live renditions stand up to the studio recordings.
Hope to get around watching this soon, but right now I'm too focused on what is happening in Ukraine, so I probably won't be watching a lot of other things.

Very understandable. Well, it's there when you need a break from geopolitics.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pet Squares #9 Beach Boys Concert Part 2 is up! on: February 28, 2022, 05:58:28 PM
Hi all, I did promise it wouldn't be long before I released part 2 of PET SQUARES' deep dive into the Beach Boys Concert, and here it is. If you were waiting until you could watch both parts in succession, wait no longer:

This is probably the more information-packed of the two parts, with a very deep dive into Brian's talents as a bass player and a Darian Sahanaja-requested breakdown of the vocals on "I Get Around" which of course everyone can critique at leisure. Smiley Plus lots more fun adventures in Photoshop. Enjoy!!!

15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pet Squares #8 Beach Boys Concert Pt. 1 is up! on: February 26, 2022, 06:21:58 AM
Hi y'all!

The new PET SQUARES: A GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE BEACH BOYS is up. This is a two-parter that takes a deep, deep dive into the 1964 BEACH BOYS CONCERT album, with lots of discussion of the Beach Boys' musicianship, side excursions into some of the bands and songs covered on the album, and the usual mixture of wonky commentary and irreverent humour. PET SQUARES #8 encompasses Part One....PET SQUARES #9 will conclude the look into the CONCERT album and will follow in just a few days. Enjoy!

16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #7 All Summer Long is up! on: February 11, 2022, 05:43:18 AM
And much "fun, fun, fun" watching you "get around" to all those filming locations, Adam!

Focusing on the LPs is, of course, the most logical way to organize all this...but when you get to TODAY!, you might consider talking about the songs based on when they were conceived/recorded as opposed to how they appear on the LP itself. This period of time is clearly the point where Brian (somehow manages) to blossom into the creator who held so much of the world in thrall through the end of 1966, upping his game with "When I Grow Up" and "She Knows Me Too Well," clear evolutions from "Don't Worry Baby" and "Girls on the Beach" that strongly mark what will appear on TODAY!

The shows/sessions log from July-December 1964 is certifiably insane--it's no wonder that Brian broke down. But even in the midst of that ongoing turmoil, he was still progressing, with "Kiss Me Baby" before the breakdown, followed by "Please Let Me Wonder" and "In the Back of My Mind" almost immediately after the instigation of the "new arrangement." (Plus all the up-tempo stuff, which isn't as ambitious in terms of texture but still benefits from Brian's evolution as an arranger.)

And the most significant reason why the Wrecking Crew starts to become more prominent on the records in '65 is because Brian's at home all the time, and the guys are on the road, so the personnel shifts because Brian needs the Crew to handle what the band had been doing previously. That suggests the idea that the SUMMER DAYS record might be discussed by focusing on the tracks with the band vs. the tracks that have a more pronounced presence of the Crew...

I'll take this all under advisement. Worthy suggestions. I do agree that once we hit 1965 probably a shift in focus is called for, and 1966-67, a fairly radical one.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pet Squares #7 All Summer Long is up! on: February 01, 2022, 06:18:50 AM
The new PET SQUARES: A GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE BEACH BOYS is up! Ep. 7 takes a deep dive into the fantastic ALL SUMMER LONG album. "I Get Around," "Wendy," "Little Honda," "Girls On The Beach"'s all there. Smiley
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Adam Marsland/Darian Sajanaja/Probyn Gregory "The Big Bear" on: January 23, 2022, 08:38:53 AM
Just-released (Jan. 2022) new video of "The Big Bear", a cello- and harmony-driven bit of Indian-influenced pop, partly filmed in Indonesia. Vocals by Adam Marsland with Darian and Probyn Gregory of Wondermints.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #6 (Shut Down Vol. 2) is now up! on: November 15, 2021, 07:58:19 PM
'Twas worth the wait, Adam! Though I think you set a new record for the most self-corrections in the upper right-hand portion of the screen!!  Grin

Haha. There's so much inaccurate information on the 'net I don't like adding to it. Episode 5 was basically motivated because I decided I had the musician credits in Ep. 4 mostly wrong. But I think this episodes it wasn't so much corrections as additional information. There's only so much you can cram in there.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #6 (Shut Down Vol. 2) is now up! on: November 10, 2021, 09:47:18 PM
Thanks, Adam!

I like the Shut Down Vol. 2 album very much, even if there indeed are a lot of weaknesses. What I'll never understand though is the dislike of "Louie, Louie". I think it's a great performance (very close to the original). Especially the blasting surf solo by Carl is a highlight.  I also think that they sound very cool on this track, like a real Rock-band and not like the dorks they where (and I say that with great admiration!).
Not too keen on "Pom pom play girl" and "In the parkin' lot", although the intro and outro of the latter is fantastic and reminds me of some of the vocals on "Mt. Vernon and Fairway".

BTW hearing their playing on "Cassius vs. Sonny", I always hoped that there is a complete run-through of their show in the archives. Would be nice to hear that. But then I'm a fan of the Boys' live qualities of this periode.

Thank you for watching, sir! I always appreciate everyone who tunes in.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pet Squares #6 (Shut Down Vol. 2) is now up! on: November 05, 2021, 02:18:18 AM
Sorry for the 3 month wait...had to let the hubbub die down around FEEL FLOWS!

It's the usual thorough and slightly irreverent dissection, this time of SHUT DOWN VOL. 2...treble up, everybody!
22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Many, many harmonies on: October 12, 2021, 02:54:34 AM
I thought I'd share this, as it's got a lot of vocal harmony going on. It's from a new remix of one of my old albums coming out this week.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Who Played on “Holland”? on: September 27, 2021, 07:33:04 PM
Sorry for the thread necromancy here, but I've been listening to the FF box version of Big Sur and comparing it to the Holland version.

Both are lovely, and I am glad that both exist.

The 1970 version is so bright and spritely, buoyant. The 1973 version sounds a lot more world-weary, zen even.

But what I want to know is, do we have musician credits for either of these? In particular the piano on the Holland version. I would guess Carl, just due to probability, but Al had a big hand in the California Trilogy, so maybe it could be him?

Without anyone having reviewed either session tape, it's difficult to say, but it was surmised for now that the 1970 version is probably somewhere along the lines of Brian on Rock-Si-Chord, Bruce on Baldwin organ, Carl on acoustic and electric guitars, and Daryl on bass and vibraphone, with Desper pushing 'go' on the Rhythm King.

Blondie remembered the saga (meaning Big Sur and Beaks) being himself on bass, Ricky on drums and Carl on piano, which is more or less all there is to the track. It may be Al on acoustic guitar or that may have been overdubbed. Ricky played the pedal steel, and the harmonica is anyone's guess.

Any chance that's Brian? It's always been unclear to me what Brian's actual ability on harmonica is, but he seems to have played a bit and the harmonica on this song always struck me as charmingly random and simple (though I never listened closely) so I could imagine Brian just dropping in and doing it in a take or two. You'd think somebody would have mentioned it, but there's so many other things nobody ever bothered to mention that seems important to us observers, so who knows. I suppose on that basis it could just have easily been anyone in the band who'd blown a harp enough to know how to do the basics.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / New PET SQUARES bonus ep: Brian Wilson's late '63 productions on: August 17, 2021, 10:53:25 PM
I've just completed a new bonus episode of PET SQUARES: A GEEK'S GUIDE TO THE BEACH BOYS covering Brian's productions in late 1963, with input from some of the foremost Beach Boys/Jan & Dean authorities out there. The first half is publicly available on youTube to check out:

The previous episode, PET SQUARES #5, is also still up for viewing. It covers the Little Deuce Coupe album with some theories about how it might have been tracked based on some interesting audio evidence. If you enjoy PET SQUARES, consider subscribing to the KarmaFrog1 youTube channel which has a ton of other music and other content, including a new ADAM WALKS AROUND reporting on the current situation in Indonesia.

Here's the last full ep. Enjoy!

25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / How was the LDC album recorded in just two days?!? (new PET SQUARES) on: July 30, 2021, 07:14:51 PM
We tackle this mystery - and provide evidence for a new theory - on the latest episode of PET SQUARES, the wonkiest Beach Boys show on youTube! Check out "Little Deuce Coupe Volume 2, A Detective Story":
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