Saturday, May 25, 2013
I also did not previous mention the Winter 2012 issue, which was a tribute to Carl and Dennis comprised of clippings from previous ESQ issues. A wonderful tribute, and I didn't have all of the back issues from which they pulled clippings, but a bit disappointing to get a sort of "best of" issue with little new content. Still worth picking up, especially if your subscription to ESQ has been spotty over the years and you don't have all the back issues.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
It is a bit odd that Joe Thomas was apparently quite involved in this release. I say this because outside of his work with Brian and the group, his main apparent work in the last couple decades has seemed to be live music production, including the PBS "Soundstage" show. I've seen several episodes of that show, and the sound always at least seems to be pretty "un-futzed" with and sounds just fine. So it's kind of strange that this Beach Boys release sounds so, "altered", to put it nicely.
So I would still say the release is worthwhile, and unfortunately as “live” as we’re going to get from an official release. I would still offer a qualified, very tentative recommendation for the set. For me, this isn’t quite up to the level of “boycott” status. I would surely enjoy an unedited, 61-song release with more “honest” sounding performances, but I just don’t know if we’ll ever get such an article.
Monday, May 13, 2013
A recent extremely short promotional story for Mike and Bruce's "Beach Boys" show in Las Vegas (found here: http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/music/have-fun-fun-fun-beach-boys ) recycles a quote from Bruce from last year that apparently some of us missed:
“The band that’s going to win the noncompetition, no offense to Brian, is whoever’s called the Beach Boys,” Johnston said last year. “I just kind of stuck with what I know. I just hung in there. Mike got the license to be the Beach Boys, and he’s kind of the front guy. I thought, ‘Well he’s my friend, I’ll just kind of hang in this world.’ ”
And, let it not be forgotten, “We built a huge, huge business out of it. Huge.”
You can all just stew on Bruce's quote above for awhile. I'm sure I can editorialize on that at length at any time without much trouble.......
Matt Jardine apparently popped up for a few numbers during Mike and Bruce's "Beach Boys" concert on Sunday, May 12 in Arizona, singing "Darlin'" and "Help Me Rhonda."
What does this mean? Nothing, most likely. It's a good sign that there is not any ill will considering the distant past of the late 90's. For those that don't recall, there was an awkward but short period of time in 1998 when Matt Jardine was still the "falsetto guy" in Mike's "Beach Boys" after Al Jardine's departure. It didn't last long, but Matt's departure probably was not completely unrelated to Al's.
In any event, it seems relations in the Beach Boys world are relatively calm compared to previous years and decades. In other words, there are no pending lawsuits at least.
I still cannot completly dismiss the irony that Matt Jardine can appear at a "Beach Boys" concert while Al Jardine for all we know could be sitting at home with nothing to do. I'm not suggesting Al simply joining Mike's "Beach Boys" would be ideal, but Al's amazingly intact voice should be heard somewhere, either with Brian's tour, or Mike's, or ideally with a reunited five-man Beach Boys lineup.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
It looks like UK-based Eagle Vision is finally bringing this DVD release to North America after having previously issued it in the UK nearly a decade ago.
For those unfamiliar with this DVD, it is a re-titled release of the band's 1976 NBC TV Special, sometimes also titled "It's OK."
We'll have to wait and see what this ends up looking and sounding like, but it most likely will be identical to the previous UK release. That release featured acceptable video quality, but the whole thing was a pretty barebones affair. No real extras, middling at best video quality (it was marginally better than the best old VHS dubs floating around among collectors), and a 5.1 soundtrack most likely fabricated from mono sound elements.
But it's certainly a unique article in the band's history, well worth a release.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Issued last year in a couple of variations, I offer a quick look at the 45rpm vinyl single for "That's Why God Made the Radio", backed with an instrumental version of the same.
The single was issued on its own, and then later in the year it strangely appeared in a small boxed set exclusively at Target stores, offered in a box along with a "Beach Boys 50" t-shirt.
The main draw here in the otherwise-unavailable instrumental mix of the song. It's about what you would expect: it's the song with the vocals stripped away. Interestingly, it is also missing a few other overdubs, most notably the saxophone. I love hearing alternate items like this, even in cases like this where no Beach Boys are even on the backing track with the possible exception of Brian.
I only wish this would have seen a digital or physical CD release as well, as while I'm enjoying spinning vinyl, it's still kind of a pain compared to popping a CD in.
It seems doubtful the instrumental track will see release elsewhere, so this is a fun curiosity to seek out. The sleeve artwork, while not terribly exciting, is arguably what should have been used for the actual album artwork.
Hopefully a review of the album itself is forthcoming soon; I think it would be instructive to look back on the album a year later.......