Entries tagged with: The Beach Boys
by Andrew Sacher
The Beach Boys are unquestionably one of America's biggest legacy bands, but music nerds of a certain variety know they're also way more than that. They weren't just a fun-in-the-sun band that churned out hits in the early '60s and lived off of them for the rest of their career; they were a challenging pop band who broke boundaries and released music that still sounds vital today. Forget Beatles vs Stones; when it comes to all-time groundbreaking pop, it's Beatles vs Beach Boys.
Pet Sounds is their obvious classic, and it turns 50 this May. The band's mastermind Brian Wilson is playing the album in full on a tour this year that hits Red Bank in NJ, Levitation fest in Austin, Primavera Sound in Spain, and many more spots.
The great and storied (and eventually released) Smile was supposed to follow that, but was aborted after Mike Love's objection to it and the label's demand for a deadline. Brian's mental health also got in the way.
Their power was in more than just those two albums though. There are hardly any Beach Boys albums that don't have at least one worthy song, and as far as this list is concerned, they've got 28 albums. (We're counting Smile and not counting Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, as it's just re-recordings of older songs. No compilations, live albums or strictly-covers albums either.)
Even by The Beatles' breakup, The Beach Boys had released more, and they've currently put out more than The Rolling Stones. They were an unfuckwithable force in pop music into the early '70s, and a few moments of greatness even existed after that. With this list, we attempt to rank the discography of one of pop's greatest bands from worst to best. Let us know how you agree or disagree in the comments, and read on...
The Beach Boys' classic Pet Sounds turns 50 this year. The band's mastermind Brian Wilson already announced that he'd be playing it in full at the Primavera Sound and Levitation festivals, and now he's announced a full tour of it. Brian and his band will be joined by fellow ex-Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. He says these will be the last-ever full performances of the album.
The tour unfortunately does not hit NYC, but there are other Northeast shows in Boston, NJ, DC, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, upstate NY and more. Tickets for the tour go on sale Friday (1/29) with presales starting Wednesday (1/27). All dates are listed below...
Brian, Bruce & friends (photo by @bitchitssammy)
After playing Jones Beach (pictures), Brian Wilson brought his tour to NJ's PNC Bank Arts Center last night (7/1). Like the rest of the tour, he was joined by on stage by fellow Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, but this particular stop included another special guest: Jersey hero Bruce Springsteen. The Boss joined the boys in the encore for "Barbara Ann" and "Surfin' USA." That's them pictured above, and you can watch a video of Bruce's appearance below (via NJ.com).
photos by Greg Cristman
Brian Wilson / Al Jardine / Rodriguez
Beach Boy Brian Wilson brought his tour to Jones Beach last night (6/30) for his first of two NYC-area shows this week. The tour's in support of his new solo record, No Pier Pressure, and he did play a few off that, but mostly he filled the set with Beach Boys faves. For this tour, his band includes former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, and Brian gives them a chance to take lead on some songs too. They opened with "Our Prayer" into "Heroes and Villains," played a bunch of earlier highlights like "In My Room" and "Surfer Girl," '70s fave "Sail On, Sailor," a couple more off Smile and of course a few from Pet Sounds too. Brian's full setlist is below.
Storied folk singer Rodriguez opened with a solo set that included a handful of his songs, and covers of Jefferson Airplane, The Flamingos, Vic Damone and Little Willie John. The venue never really filled up for either set, but neither Brian nor Rodriguez seemed to let that bother them and both sounded great. They do it again near NYC at PNC Bank Arts Center tonight (7/1) (tickets). Pictures of Jones Beach are in this post.
In other news, in celebration of the new Brian Wilson biopic, Love & Mercy, Brian re-recorded the film's title track "with local public school students who benefit from Little Kids Rock's free Modern Band music program." You may remember two years ago, he played the LIttle Kids Rock benefit in NYC.
Video of the "Love & Mercy" performance, with more pictures and setlists from Jones Beach, below...
photo: Brian Wilson at Wellmont Theatre in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Beach Boy Brian Wilson was already scheduled to perform at NJ's State Theatre 2015 Benefit Gala in May, and he's now revealed a full tour to take place in the following months. It kicks off in California, brings him back to the NYC-area for a couple shows, and ends back on the West Coast in Seattle. The band for this run includes former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. And in what should be a great double bill, storied singer Rodriguez will open on almost all dates (except Toronto).
The NYC-area shows happen June 30 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and July 1 at PNC Bank Arts Center. Tickets for those shows go on sale April 17 at noon.
Brian's new solo album, No Pier Pressure, is due out April 7 via Capitol, and the new biopic on his life will screen this month at SXSW. All dates are listed, with the lyric video for "The Right Time" from the new album, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Brian Wilson at Wellmont Theater in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Beach Boy Brian Wilson is releasing his new solo album, No Pier Pressure, on April 7 via Capitol, and he's now put out a new single from it, "The Right Time." The song features his former bandmates Al Jardine and David Marks (with Al singing lead), and if nothing else, it's got plenty of those trademark Beach Boys harmonies in the chorus. Watch the lyric video, which includes studio footage of Brian and his pals, below. You can get an instant download of the song if you pre-order the album on iTunes.
Brian doesn't have a tour announced yet, but he is playing the State Theatre 2015 Benefit Gala on May 16 in NJ. Tickets are currently on presale for State Theatre Benefactor Donors, and they go on sale to the general public on Friday (2/20) at 10 AM.
photo: Brian Wilson at Wellmont Theatre in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
A lot of people are calling Brian Wilson a liar for his false reports on the Iraq War. Though unless the former Beach Boy has a secret history as a news anchor that we're not aware of, chances are they mean NBC's Brian Williams (of BriTunes fame!), who was suspended for 6 months after admitting to those exact same accusations.
It may have seemed, however, that Brian Wilson was a liar for saying Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey would be on his upcoming solo album. Though one of his reps has since told Pitchfork that he did intend for them to be on it, but scheduling issues wouldn't allow it.
Brian also spoke this week in a new video for Hollywood Reporter about the upcoming biopic on his life, Love & Mercy, which will screen at SXSW. You can watch a three-minute video of him and members of the cast speaking about it, below.
Meanwhile, Brian still hasn't announced a tour in support of his new album, but he did announce he'll be performing at New Brunswick, NJ's State Theatre 2015 Benefit Gala concert on May 16. Tickets go on sale Friday, 2/20 at 10 AM with a presale starting Thursday, 2/19 at 10 AM. Gala tickets are $700, but concert-only tickets range from $55-$150.
by Andrew Sacher
Beach Boy Brian Wilson has revealed details for his eleventh solo album, No Pier Pressure, which will be out on April 7 via Capitol Records. The album features his former Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin; members of his touring band (including band leader Darian Sahanaja, who helped arrange the 2004 release of Smile); and a handful of collaborations with modern musicians including Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward, fun.'s Nate Ruess, Kacey Musgraves and Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian.
At the risk of bumming Brian out even more (he's already negatively reacted to backlash against these collaborations), I have to say it would've been nice to see him working with musicians who do the sound he created justice, like maybe Robin Pecknold, Panda Bear or even Rivers Cuomo, but it's also not too surprising that he went with a more mainstream cast.
The record was produced by Joe Thomas, who also co-produced the Beach Boys' 2012 reunion album, That's Why God Made the Radio, with Brian. You can check out the tracklist below...
Brian Wilson, the mastermind behind The Beach Boys, turns 72 today (happy birthday Brian!), so it's good timing for a Beach Boys cover, which we've gotten from Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming's Diane Coffee project. One might argue there there are about 300 better options, but he has taken on "Kokomo," the 1988 hit that Brian actually had no part of (but certainly sounded like it was trying to recreate his style). Shaun said of picking this song, "Kokomo has always been one of my favorite summer songs. For as long as I can remember I've played it in my head as a slightly darker tropical tune."
You can listen to his darker (and sax-less) take on the song in this post, below...
French artist David Redon has taken on a new project, "Ads Libitum," where he takes vintage American ads and posters, but applies themes of modern pop culture (mostly music), as Animal New York points out. The project included takes on Kanye West (above), Nirvana, Outkast, Daft Punk, Drake, Beyonce, Jay Z, Breaking Bad, The Beach Boys and more.
This comes not longer after we saw rappers painted as royalty portraits.
Check out all of them here and more below...
Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck @ Beacon Theatre - 10/15/13 (via Evan Agostini)
Beach Boy Brian Wilson and guitar maestro Jeff Beck are on a tour together (that also includes ex-Beach Boys Al Jardine and Dave Marks), and that tour came to NYC for a show at Beacon Theatre last night (10/15). It was doubly special because it featured Blondie Chaplin (who sang lead on the album version of "Sail On Sailor"), but triply special because Brian unexpectedly performed the classic 1966 Beach Boys album Pet Sounds in its entirety! From Rolling Stone's review:
Jeff Beck is along for the ride, too, and is in the middle of recording a new album with Wilson. At first glance the pairing seems completely incongruous, since the 1960s British blues rock scene had little in common with the Surf Wall of Sound that Brian created 5,000 miles away in Los Angeles. But the minute the former Yardbird played the opening notes of "Surf's Up" on the guitar - flawlessly recreating the original vocal melody while Wilson and his bandmates contributed gorgeous backing vocals - the pairing made complete sense. These are artists with a lot of mutual respect, and they've found a way to perfectly compliment each other.Afterwards, Jeff Beck took the stage for his portion of the set, which included Brian joining him for a few Smile classics, "Our Prayer," "Child Is Father of the Man," and "Surf's Up." Check out a couple videos and the full setlist below.
The show began promptly at 8:00 PM with Wilson and his band performing a beautiful a-cappella rendition of "Their Hears Were Full of Spring" by the Four Freshman, a formative influence on Wilson. After getting the crowd on their feet with "California Girls," they brought out Blondie Chaplin - a man whose tenure in the Beach Boys stretches from early 1972 all the way to late 1973. He cut two albums in that time period, and song lead on the classic "Sail on Sailor." Forty years later, he delivered it with pretty stunning vocal power and followed it up with the fan favorite "Wild Honey."
It was at this point that Wilson dropped the bomb: not only were they going to play "Wouldn't It Be Nice" next, but they it would be followed by the rest of Pet Sounds in sequence. It's the first time he's done the album in many years, and the first time he's ever done an album without any prior announcement. The audience was stunned into silence, and didn't seem to even believe it was true until sometime around "That's Not Me." They didn't have the string section from the Pet Sounds tour of 2000 - 2001, but the band was clearly up for the challenge.
Pet Sounds is a very demanding album for Wilson vocally, and although Jeff Foskett handled many of the higher notes, it was clear Wilson gave it everything he had. "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" has rarely been so touching, and "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" was incredibly moving. "Now we're going to play, I think, the best song I ever wrote," he said before "God Only Knows." "And I've written a lot of songs." Nobody can match Carl Wilson's original vocals, but he still did a stellar job and got a huge standing ovation.
The tour continues in NJ tonight (10/16) at Wellmont Theatre, and after that Brian will be hanging around to play the Right to Rock benefit (which honors Darlene Love) on Thursday (10/17) at Cipriani (55 Wall Street) with Elvis Costello, Jake Clemons, Paul Schaffer and many more special guests. There will also be a live and silent charity auction, which features "prizes like dinner with Maureen & Steven Van Zandt, a guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen and a private tour of Carlo's Bakery." $1000 tickets are available, and proceeds benefit Little Kids Rock.
Videos and the setlist below...
"Blondie was one of my favorite singers in the '70s. He blew my mind with 'Sail On, Sailor' and he also sang on a song called 'Funky Pretty' on The Beach Boys' Holland album," Brian Wilson said. "Until two weeks ago, I hadn't seen him since 1974. It was great to see him again. He came into the studio and sang on one of my new tracks called 'He Come Down' - and he sang it great. I'm stoked that he'll be performing at a few of our shows." [Pollstar]As discussed, former Beach Boy Brian Wilson and guitar maestro Jeff Beck are going on a tour together this year. Brian will be joined by fellow ex-Beach Boys Al Jardine and Dave Marks, and it's now been announced that they'll also be joined by past member Blondie Chaplin, who most famously sang lead on "Sail On, Sailor," the opening track on 1973's Holland. (The track was written by Brian and his Smile collaborator Van Dyke Parks, and performed/sung by Brian on The Beach Boys' 2012 tour.)
Blondie will only be joining the tour on a few of the dates, but one of those is the NYC show which happens on October 15 at Beacon Theatre. Tickets for that show are still available (but "not many left"). The tour also hits Wellmont Theatre (10/16) a day later, but Blondie is not currently set to appear at that one (tickets).
All dates are listed, along with a stream of "Sail On, Sailor," below...
Brian Wilson w/ The Beach Boys at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) and Jeff Beck (overall classic rock guitar wizard) are touring together this year, and that tour has just been expanded to include another NYC-area date on October 16 at Wellmont Theatre. Tickets for that show go on sale Thursday (8/29) at 10 AM with Live Nation/Mobile App presales starting Wednesday (8/28) at 10 AM.
Brian and Jeff's tour also hits NYC a day earlier at Beacon Theatre (10/15), and tickets for that show are still available (but "not many left"). Updated dates are listed below.
Brian Wilson w/ The Beach Boys at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Last year, pop genius Brian Wilson reunited with The Beach Boys for a tour, which has since ended, and the Boys have gone back to touring without Brian (or Al Jardine or Dave Marks). Fortunately, Brian has some touring plans of his own. This fall, he'll be heading out with classic rock guitar maestro Jeff Beck for a tour which will include the two musicians performing solo and together.
There's no exact word on what material they'll be performing, but it seems likely that there will be some stuff played from Brian's upcoming new album, which as Consequence of Sound points out, includes appearances from Al Jardine, Dave Marks, and... Jeff Beck. The tour hits NYC on October 15 at Beacon Theatre. TIckets for that show go on sale Friday (8/9) at noon with a Citi Cardmember presale starting Tuesady (8/6) at 10 Am and another presale starting Thursday (8/8) at 10 AM.
Last month, Brian, Al and Dave went on a mini tour that included an Atlantic City show. Check out a 16 minute video from that show, along with a list of all Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck tour dates, below...
Frank Ocean performing at 2013 Grammys
The 2013 Grammys went down last night (2/10), and here's a quick recap of some of the winners and videos of performances.
The big ones: Gotye took home Record of the Year for "Somebody That I Used To Know" (beating The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, fun., Frank Ocean, and Taylor Swift), Mumford & Sons won Album of the Year (beating The Black Keys, fun., Frank Ocean, and Jack White), and fun. took Song of the Year and Best New Artist (totally robbing Miguel's "Adorn" and "Call Me Maybe," and Frank Ocean (!), respectively). Other wins included Skrillex for Best Dance Recording (sorry Al Walser), The Black Keys for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album, Gotye for Best Alternative Music Album (beating Fiona Apple, Bjork, M83, and Tom Waits), Usher's "Climax" for Best R&B Performance, Beyonce's "Love On Top" for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Miguel's "Adorn" for Best R&B Song, Frank Ocean for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Robert Glasper Experiment for Best R&B Album, Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Niggas In Paris" for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and their song, "No Church In The Wild" (feat. Frank Ocean and The-Dream) for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Drake's Take Care for Best Rap Album, Dr. John's Dan Auerbach-produced Locked Down for Best Blues Album, Jimmy Cliff's Tim Armstrong-produced Rebirth for Best Reggae Album, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross' The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo score for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Bjork's Biophilia for Best Recording Package, The Beach Boys' long-awaited The Smile Sessions for Best Historical Album, Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Mumford and Sons' "Big Easy Express" for Best Long Form Music Video. There were many other categories too and you can check out the full list of winners HERE.
And of course, during the Awards Ceremony a number of artists gave performances, which you can watch videos of below. You can see Miguel and Wiz Khalifa doing "Adorn," Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z doing "Suit and Tie" and then JT doing "Pusher Love Girl," The Black Keys, Dr. John, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band doing "Lonely Boy," Jack White doing "Freedom At 21" with his all-guy band (he also played "Love Interruption" with his all-girl band but no video of that at the moment), Frank Ocean doing "Forrest Gump" with a thematically appropriate visual backdrop, a big tribute to Levon Helm with Elton John, Mavis Staples, members of Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes, and others, and finally, LL Cool J, Chuck D, Z-Trip, Tom Morello, and Travis Barker doing "Whaddup" with a small piece of Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn."
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
" The band has a treasure trove of outright classics, and they performed what felt like all of them during their Sunday afternoon set. "Surfer Girl," "Barbara Ann," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Sloop John B," "Surfin' Safari," even "Kokomo" -- you name it, they probably played it. While that wasn't inherently surprising, what came as a bit of a shock was how fresh the band sounded -- even if its elder members didn't look the part -- both on their classics and on tunes from their recently released reunion LP, "That's Why God Made the Radio." Brian Wilson's presence is what makes this reunion so successful, but onstage he looked like the Queen of England, sitting idly behind a grand piano and taking the occasional vocal lead; Mike Love, meanwhile, seemed to be the main Beach Boy behind the wheel. Taken together with the afternoon's balmy weather and the day-in-the-park vibe of festivalgoers knocking around beach balls and splaying out on towels, the group's sublime set was just the thing for a lazy, hungover Sunday." [Rolling Stone / CNN]The reunited Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks), on a tour that also brought them to Chicago and NYC's Beeacon Theater recently, played Bonnaroo on Sunday (6/10). Our pictures from their 3pm Tennesee set are in this post (with the rest of our Sunday Bonnaroo pics coming shortly. Saturday can be seen HERE.)
If you're curious what the band sound like live, listen to some tour highlights at NPR. If you're curious what their new album cover looks like, head to their Facebook where you can also change the colors if they're not to your liking. If you're curious what the new album sounds like, you can listen to the whole thing below.
If you're in NYC and can't wait to see the band live at PNC Bank Arts Center or Jones Beach, don't forget you can catch them EARLY FRIDAY MORNING in Central Park courtesy of Good Morning America (free and also being televised).
More pictures from Bonnaroo, their 31 song setlist, and the new album stream, below...
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced transcendental meditation to the West and gained fame in the 1960s as the spiritual guru to the Beatles, died Tuesday at his home and headquarters in Vlodrop, the Netherlands. He is believed to have been in his 90s. Steven Yellin, a spokesman for the organization, confirmed the Maharishi's death but did not give a cause....The Beatles/Maharishi thing was recently spoofed in the movie Walk Hard. Actual video footage below...
....The visibility and popularity of the organization can largely be attributed to the Beatles. In 1968, the band, with great publicity, began studying with the Maharishi at his Himalayan retreat, or ashram, in Rishikesh, in northern India. They went with their wives, the folk singer Donovan, the singer Mike Love, of the Beach Boys, the actress Mia Farrow and Ms. Farrow's sister Prudence....
...In the last years of his life he rarely met with anyone, even his ministers, face-to-face, preferring to speak with followers almost exclusively by closed-circuit television.
DOWNLOAD: Brian Wilson - Heroes and Villains (MP3)
Fleisher, Scorcese, Diana Ross, Brian Wilson, Steve Martin & Bushs