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671847 Posts in 27041 Topics by 3971 Members - Latest Member: kindofgreen September 21, 2021, 04:04:33 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: My Ultimate Theory about Smile and the Beach Boys on: May 13, 2016, 04:51:09 PM
Give me FRiends any day.

Right on brother. I'm with you.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: My Ultimate Theory about Smile and the Beach Boys on: May 13, 2016, 04:44:56 PM
This is my genuine belief and final word on the topic.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / My Ultimate Theory about Smile and the Beach Boys on: May 13, 2016, 04:34:51 PM
Hello there fellow travelers. I haven't posted here in a while, but some of you might remember me as "Fishmonk,"

Truth be told I haven't listened to The Beach Boys much in the last 2 or 3 years, been busy with other things. And with blogging on other, more interesting parts of the internet. But recently I was induced to once again take up the topic of band, their successes, their failures etc. Now that I have a little more perspective on the band, and am perhaps able to be objective about them, I feel as if I have reached my Ultimate Fan Theory regarding why Smile didn't work.

Smile sucks. When you get right down to it, it's just not that enjoyable to listen to. The material has never been presented in anything more than a barely adequate way. I have listened to every fragment a million times, and truth be told, most of them aren't really listenable in any meaningful sense. Many of the experiments are utter failures, despite their nigh mythical status.

I feel that Brian's primary aim in creating Smile was to impress some of his friends. The only problem with that: Brian's friends considered him to be a bit of a fool, and listening to many of them today, it's clear they never respected him very much. I've emailed with Loren Schwartz, he's an asshole. And given Van Dyke Parks' later-day ingratitude towards Brian Wilson, it's hard not to catch a whiff of some long-festering resentment about his person. He was always a bit of a mooch, creatively. He associated with many talented musicians and songwriters, but never amounted to particularly much. As bad as Smile is, Song Cycle is much worse, and Van Dyke has struggled to eek out a legacy using it.

Van Dyke is an old Southern aristocrat at heart. One gets the impression that much of his artistic and public persona is stolen from Truman Capote. One often hears that he was a musical prodigy, and that he played violin for Einstein as a child. In his mind, he is the true creative, not Brian. He was the genius, not Brian. Brian wasn't smart enough to be a genius. And I think that's a sentiment that some of Brian's Smile-era friends shared, that Brian was a bit of dunce. It is almost embarrassing how hard Brian tried to impress these people.

Brian's friends during the Smile Sessions were some pretty insufferable people. Brian wasn't hanging out on the Strip, with Buffalo Springfield and Love. He surrounded himself with industry people and wannabes. They were pretentious. I mean, can you imagine wanting to be friends that badly with Curt Boettcher or somebody like that? If you ever listen to the discography of someone like Gary Usher, there's a really weird vibe of sanitized mysticism. It's incredibly lame stuff. There's a novelty factor that makes it enjoyable, sure. But is it 'cool'? No way.

Here's what I really think happened during the Smile era. Brian became enamored of a bunch of hipster-losers, and then he paid them all to be his friends. They all thought he wasn't truly capable of 'getting it,' in the way that they were, and came to deeply resent his influence upon their lives. Brian, with all his might, tried to tune in, or whatever. He tried to 'get it,' he wanted to be hip. But he's just too naive a person, and the whole scene that he wanted to be a part of so badly was simply too cynical in its constitution for him to ever enter very naturally into it.

Really what I'm saying is: these people Brian courted possessed no substantive beliefs other than an affected contempt for everything 'uncool'. Brian wanted to be cool, and they probably thought it was fun to perpetually label everything that he did 'uncool' in order to torment him. With Smile he wanted to make something that appealed to these people, this was his true and core audience. Smile was never made for the world at large, it was made for his immediate circle of dependents. Commercial success was only once factor that Brian thought might impress these people, because they leaned towards being industry types.

The problem came about because Brian really looked to them for help work shopping ideas, and they frankly weren't good at that, despite all being promoters and producers and wannabes.

Consider this: We take other people's words over Brian's. Why is there an Element Suite? I ask you. Because one of Brian's friends intimated that there was. These aren't Brian's ideas, they were often concocted out of discussions. Brian asked them "is this cool? what should I do? what's cool?" and they fed him a constant stream of lame brained ideas. At the end of the day, you can construct anything out of that. It's a fool's errand.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: AV Club primer on the Beach Boys on: October 16, 2014, 11:35:12 AM
Pretty good article although I find it kinda odd they ignored KTSA when it does have some nice songs.

I think fans are fooling themselves thinking that anything post-Love You is really any good.
5  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: March 28, 2014, 12:36:20 AM
6  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: March 24, 2014, 01:08:10 AM
7  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: March 21, 2014, 07:54:01 PM
8  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The horrors of the internet... on: January 02, 2014, 06:41:47 AM
Whenever I read something on Jezebel I automatically root for the person they're telling me I'm supposed to hate, like in this instance my head is telling me that this guy is a piece of sh*t who should be punished, but on the other hand the fact that he pisses Jezebel off so much just instantly makes me like him.
9  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: JFK - 50 years ago on: January 01, 2014, 04:18:26 PM
I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but logic and evidence usually has no effect on conspiracy theorists.

All of History is essentially a sort of conspiracy theory.

The JFK assassination has never seemed like that much of a mystery to me, the information is all out in the open. I sometimes see it asserted that if there were in fact a conspiracy, how could such a massive undertaking with so many participants possibly be covered up? It's hard to keep a secret between two people let alone the number of individuals alleged to be involved with the Kennedy assassination. The thing is though, that's exactly what happened, that's why the conspiracy theories exist at all, because over the years numerous people with connections to the plot have let information about it slip out. Howard Hunt for example, the Watergate burgler who blackmailed the President, made a bunch of comments before his death in which he pretty much spelled out the whole thing. But for every particular piece of evidence in support of either side, there is always some doubt or question of authenticity or motive. The people who don't want to believe a conspiracy find any reason to discredit every instance like Hunt's confession they can, saying that he was old and senile and that his statements were untrustworthy, whatever plausible excuse they can find, and then they continue to say "well if there was such a large conspiracy, how could they keep it a secret."

People who are really obsessed with "finding the truth" either way always strike me as pretty silly, the most ardent debunkers are really just a sort of conspiracy theorists themselves. The general shape and tenor of the whole assassination seems to have been pretty well figured out since the 60s. I think people just allow their prejudices about our leaders and our government get in the way, because they don't want to admit to themselves that high level political figures (including Kennedy) are deeply pathological individuals, and that the modern presidency from LBJ to Obama has been primarily held by some incredibly narcissistic and sociopathic minds. LBJ really was a monster, and I find it pretty easy to believe that he would have seized on existing anti-Kennedy resentment  as an opportunity to make his move. The Bay of Pigs caused Kennedy to open his eyes to the real scope of the entire US intelligence community and how many pots they had their hands in and how they were misleading and manipulating him even to carry out plans that had been in development since WWII. People didn't want him fucking anything else up, like the plan for Vietnam they had already spent a decade ramping up to, and LBJ took advantage of the anxiety.

I don't really know exactly what happened, where every conspirator was every second of every day in the weeks leading up to the assassination, I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of every piece of evidence, it's not really all that interesting to be honest, people end up not being able to see the forest for the trees. Like, I don't even think it's very important knowing who the individual shooters were, they were probably just some low-level guys who didn't even know what they were doing. The Government hasn't kept the assassination a secret, they haven't "covered it up" through silence, they actually did just the opposite, they've created so much disinformation and evidence and papers and reports and testimonies, that it's impossible to "prove" what happened one way or the other, but overall what happened is pretty clear if you don't get too hung up on things.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Wilson is insanely overrated on: December 11, 2013, 06:42:37 AM
Agreed, he's not *that* great. All of the band members deserve their due justice, but I wouldn't give a sh*t about the Beach Boys if it weren't for Brian Wilson, there's no getting around that fact. Embrace the darkness.
11  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: November 26, 2013, 11:00:34 AM
12  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Health Care on: November 15, 2013, 11:40:40 AM
Obamacare has insured -3.9 million people.

13  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: November 01, 2013, 01:18:02 PM
14  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Health Care on: November 01, 2013, 02:27:05 AM
Being an adult means taking care of your neighbours when they need it.

Hail Baal
15  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: October 31, 2013, 11:22:20 PM
Wouldn't you know it...

Turns out she should have been fired all along, she defamed an innocent man and profited (to the tune of $10,000) from the destruction of his reputation, and now Red Lobster is being sued for what she did. She's a liar and fraud. I love how easily social justice saps are taken in by this stuff. She was never the victim, she was the victimizer.
16  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Health Care on: October 31, 2013, 06:34:37 PM
I think when it comes to the tea party, Aaron Sorkin put it best.

Really powerful stuff here Roll Eyes

Regardless of whether they can vote, half the country doesn't vote, so excuse me if I don't feel bad about the poor little black lady who can't vote for Obama. Two-Party Mass Democracy is the American version of the myth of the metals, Obama is a neo-conservative and like the other neo-conservatives he's a political platonist and an enemy of the open society. I find it hilarious that after years and years of bitching and moaning about the big bad neo-cons, as soon as the democrats elected a neo-con of their own, they've switched over to bitching about the big bad tea party.

Socialism is the worship of "Society":

"You bear a name and need no proof of your existence, you find faith and do no miracles to earn it, you get honor and have neither concept nor feeling thereof. We know that there is no idol in the world. Neither are you human, yet you must be a human image which superstition has made a god. You lack nor eyes nor ears, which nonetheless do not see, do not hear; and the artificial eye you form, the artificial ear you plant, is like your own, blind and deaf. You must know everything, and you learn nothing; you must judge everything, and you understand nothing, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; you are talking, or you are pursuing, you are on a journey, or peradventure you sleep, while your priests lift up their voice, and you answer them and their mockery with fire. Offerings are offered you every day, which others consume at your expense, in order that, on the grounds of your hearty meals, your existence seem probable. For all your fastidiousness, you nonetheless welcome all, if only they do not appear before you empty." - Georg Hamann's dedication to "The Public", from "Socratic Memorabilia", 1759
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: MiC Sales Report on: October 06, 2013, 07:16:00 AM
Can't say I'm particularly surprised.
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: October 01, 2013, 04:24:36 AM
Social justice is a joke.
19  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Not wanting to dredge up the topic but want to give facebook warning. on: September 26, 2013, 03:00:43 AM
Her people?


... Mind Gangsters?
20  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Smiley Smile Net Official Member Picture Thread on: September 25, 2013, 12:34:42 AM


I wish you were my dad Billy.
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: September 21, 2013, 03:03:59 AM
I'm very skeptical of instances of things like this in the current climate. It seems like every time there's social justice outrage a'brewing it turns out to be a hoax perpetrated by some histrionic or unstable woman or individual.

There was the girl at a university here in the states who was "targeted" by rape threats on a public facebook page that she posted herself and then tried to parlay into a bunch of creepy, Reichstag Building Fire hysteria.

There was the recent Oberlin "incident" of some horrible racists running around campus writing the word "n*****" on things. Classes were shut down. A crying female student being interviewed claimed to have seen an individual in KKK dress. People went crazy. Turned out it was all a hoax perpetrated by liberal students. The person girded in KKK garb was a total fabrication, and others who had been with her corrected her account explaining it had been a student wrapped in a blanket. Worst of all, the whole time Oberlin was cancelling classes, holding forums and love-ins and what not, the whole time, they knew it was a hoax. They knew it was a hoax and they didn't tell the student body it was all a big lie because they wanted to drum up support among the student body for draconian social justice policies they wished to implement.

Just the other day I read about a recent case of a female doctor claiming she had been raped twice inside the hospital. It was a lie.

There have been multiple cases in the last few years I can recall of women ransacking their own homes and injuring themselves for attention from an estranged lover.

Point is, I don't really believe any of this bullshit anymore. Could have happened sure, but I'll reserve judgement thank you very much. Question everything. Social Justice and PCism is a cultural disease and one that's lapsing quickly into full blown Fascism. It's pretty disgusting stuff.
22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Red Lobster waitress who shared picture of receipt with racial slur suspended on: September 21, 2013, 02:54:17 AM
50/50 chance she didn't get a tip and wrote in the 'n*****' herself as payback.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: You've Lost 'You've Lost That Loving Feelin's's Loving Feelin' on: September 03, 2013, 12:58:03 AM
So, taking the seemingly straightforward topic at hand here of reverb -- itís not so much the use of reverb itself, but the absurd amount of it, instances where the ďroom sizeĒ sounds gigantic, where the sound is bigger than whatís on the original recording. Put aside YLTLF for a minute. Thereís this idea in recent years of presenting certain Beach Boys recordings as much bigger sounding than they actually were. The 2009 stereo mix of Donít Worry Baby is just so over the top. And i hate to sound like a stodgy purist, but that is undeniably an all time classic thatís being tampered with there, unlike say, a previously unreleased Spector cover that never went anywhere (which still doesnít make what they did to it excusable, in my opinion). I donít think iím alone in thinking of this as sacrilegious. I thought this idea of offering an alternative perspective is in the fact alone that these recordings were originally mixed in mono and are now presented in stereo. Why is there a ridiculous amount of reverb on the stereo Please Let Me Wonder? Is it being now in stereo not enough of a new take on the song? Is the idea not simply to separate the elements so as to get a better look at what was there all along? How does loads of extra reverb factor into that?

I just hate the amount of qualification that goes on around here, that you have to do, out of obligation, so that people won't jump on you. There's just too much "Mark and Alan are great, no offense to them, i really appreciate..." that you have to do in order to make a valid criticism. And even then it's never really enough. Honestly, I've never met either of them, and I'm unlikely ever to do so. Why should I be worried about hurting the feelings of complete strangers like this? I mean, how is it even possible for my comments to be personal about this. I know absolutely nothing about them besides what they've done with The Beach Boys. They've both received what I feel are their dues here since I've been posting, and fans have always been generous with their praise. I doubt either of these guys is so thinned skinned that any of the number of genuinely thoughtful attempts at nuanced feedback that have appeared here in the last week could in any universe be taken personally by them. They're professionals, and that requires an adult detachment on their part from their work. No more sugar coating.

Do some of these mixes, both on TSS on MIC, affect actual listening enjoyment? Yes. Some of these mixes compare unfavourably to much more shoestring ones done by people like seltaeb. Does that mean these mixes are unlistenable? No. I don't enjoy them nearly as much as I'd like though all the same. They're very bright and unpleasant to listen to on headphones, they sound less dynamic, that is the open spaces get crammed with too much reverb and create an unpleasant feeling, they just don't do the songs justice.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: You've Lost 'You've Lost That Loving Feelin's's Loving Feelin' on: September 03, 2013, 12:19:14 AM
Ultimately, I would rather see the compilers take risks and fail occasionally than play it safe and produce a boring product.

Wouldn't that alienate the casual fans who this box was designed for?
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: You've Lost 'You've Lost That Loving Feelin's's Loving Feelin' on: August 30, 2013, 09:23:10 PM
Well, sure. But that was never a choice that was offered to us. And it just seems peculiar to me to talk about how superior an imaginary thing is to the actual thing we have. I mean, of course it is. We can imagine it to be whatever we like!

I don't know if it's that peculiar. This is the core of the argument that keeps repeating itself here over and over. The number of speculative releases that can be imagined is infinite. It includes possibilities like a cassette only commemorative reissue of SIP, or a one hundred cd box set containing "Ding Dang" repeated ten thousand times in succession. Of that infinity of possible releases only one could become actual. If instead of MIC, a deluxe package of Mike Love's solo albums was released instead with a bonus dvd containing video records of his best meditation sessions would you say the same thing? That it doesn't matter how many unambiguously superior releases *could* have been put out for the 50th anniversary, there's still no sense in criticizing "Mike Love Not War: Portrait of an Artistic Genius" considering its what we're stuck with? Wouldn't you be justified in that case to wonder if better decisions couldn't have possibly been made? If there were not perhaps other recordings that should have been given priority over the unessential ones? Wouldn't you perhaps be justified in saying "this isn't worth $130".

A perfect or somehow ideal release will never be possible, but is what should always be aimed for. It's not necessarily that I think there was a better, ideal release *possible* that's causing me to criticize MIC, but rather the fact that the line that stretches from such a release and eventually terminates in MIC takes me somewhere too far beyond the circumference of my expectations. I'm like The Uncle for Goethe's Meister, I collect things, like Beach Boys releases and songs in order that the completest *idea* of the abstract, synthetic whole can emerge from within. Presiding over a well curated collection, filling in the gaps and watching a sharper and sharper image of the whole appear is a joy. And I think I'm not alone, when even you sense that there's a gap of some size or shape a comprehensive rarities box is required to plug, you aren't just idly hoping and letting your imagination carry you over the moon, you're intuiting or grasping a real idea that you've established in your understanding by means of acquiring and ordering the parts that your collection consists in according to a form, not arbitrary, but determined by the innermost nature of the idea itself. To comprehend the infinite fullness of the idea in the conformity of your collection to a law determined by it of necessity, you intuit how to progress nearer towards it, like the artist who feels his way through creation, knowing somehow what's still missing and what simply isn't right, you know what the idea demands to further its fulfilment. These releases have to fulfil a need felt by fans, they have to offer something and possess some value to warrant purchase, and how far they go in satisfying the needs I feel have yet to be dispensed with determines that value for me. MIC simply doesn't have enough value, for the distance it takes me, for the portions of the marble shell it promises to chisel away, it's just not enough for the price.

Sometimes, in limiting an infinite number of possibilities down to one, an inability to strike upon the best among them is excusable, sometimes it is not. Sometimes the whole is so obscure and still so far from being grasped a wider range of potential outcomes can satisfy us. But MIC is a case where there was a clearer sense, a much higher degree of confidence as to how to proceed, where the need was better understood and the way to meet that need fairly obvious. It was a case of painting the sky on the empty portion of the canvas green, where it's not that the criticism is a subtle one about the nuances of what shade of blue happened to be ideal, it's rather one about the fact that green was chosen when any shade of blue would have been better.
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