The Beach Boys; Summer Fun!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

When Mike Love helped write the words for ‘Wouldn’t It be Nice’, the opening track on The Beach Boys’ 1966 album ‘Pet Sounds‘ – you have to wonder if almost fifty years later, he would have known his words would ring so true …

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Does it really matter?

For everyone in attendance at The Beach Boys’ show at Maddie’s Place Saturday night  – it did not. Young, younger, old and older – witnessed something special. Songs that are timeless. Tunes which posses  a label that is tossed about too easily. In the case of The Beach Boys, timeless is correct and they – along with The Beatles; wrote the book themselves.

America‘s Band’ are not just America’s band because they came from America. They did not receive the majestic title because they wrote and sang about the stars and stripes. At one point – before Vietnam, before Watergate and before the word started to get around of the ‘true’ American way, The Beach Boys represented what America sold itself as through propaganda. A country built on innocence. Structured by apple pie, baseball, muscle cars, beach, sun, sand and pretty girls. A society Utopian as a painting and The Beach Boys Utopian as the paintbrush.

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American was unmasked. The Beach Boys were eventually unmasked. Their songs; masked to this day. A musical form of The Lone Ranger. Heroic anthems that can save the day. Innocent lyrics about innocent times. Innocent music for anytime …

Saturday, many in attendance on the South Shore of Montreal were not born when “Help Me Rhonda‘, ‘California Girls‘, ‘Surfer Girl‘ and ‘In My Room’ were invading the airwaves. Saturday, many in attendance were alive, well and cruising the roads in their T-Birds, Corvettes and Corvairs. Heading to the beach to catch rays, girls, guys and the sweet harmonies of The Beach Boys.

mike7Listening to ‘Little Deuce Coupe‘, ‘ Surfin’ Safari’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice‘ and ‘Barbara Anne’ in 2013; a time trip back. A reverse slide into a pool of nostalgia. A tub of fun awaiting even the most cynical of souls. Old men with glints in their eyes as their memories take a trip down Route 66 or Highway 401. Middle aged women, once more; wrinkle -free and looking for Mr. Right as the glistening sun highlights their virgin breasts.

Kids and teenagers. Pupils of  iPods, iPhones and MTV. Hearing many of the songs for the first time. ‘God only Knows’, ‘Fun,Fun,Fun’, ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ – piercing their innocent ears with delight and escalating quickly to desire. Witnessing what was – at one point; commonplace. Beach balls flying around a concert hall. Smiles launching the inflatable orbs from hand to hand and sometimes foot. Real Beach balls – not the hallucinogenic type of the Hendrix crowd. Real Beach balls – not the digitally – enhanced ones invented by over zealous record companies anxious to make a buck.

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The Beach Boys are no longer The Beach Boys. Mike Love ( on Saturday night) – the only original member on stage. Their last ‘hit’ as a group; the charming and timeless Kokomo from 1988. Over the years – the group have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Saturday night – it did not matter …

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn’t it be nice

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The Beach Boys; What to Expect …

The Beach Boys are in Montreal Aug.10th at Maddie’s Place in Kanawake, Qc. as part of their never-ending 50th Anniversary tour. This stop is one of two in Quebec as the band continues on to Rouyn Noranda on Sunday the 11th of August.

This incarnation of the band – will be performing a two hour plus set containing a lot of their best loved songs. It also coincides with an upcoming box set that is by far the most accurate account of the band’s legacy. The set; ‘ Made in California’ – will also contain sixty previous unreleased songs by the singing group which started a whole generation of harmonies.

Says Mike Love, one of the original Beach Boys; “This box set captures the evolution of a dream which started with a family singing Everly Brothers songs around a piano, to creating the harmonies that fans would carry in their hearts for a lifetime. Seeing these photos and rediscovering some of this music, I’m reminded of the immense love I feel for Brian, Dennis, Carl, Bruce, Al, and David. I’m still floored that our stories continue to inspire new generations to catch a wave and ride it is long as it lasts.”

Some of the songs previously unreleased include; “Goin’ To The Beach,” “California Feelin’,” “Soul Searchin’,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and “You’re Still A Mystery,” among others. The set also debuts 17 unreleased live recordings, including “Runaway” (1965), “Friends” and “Little Bird” (1968), “Wild Honey” (1972), “It’s About Time” (1973), “Wonderful” and “Vegetables” from The Beach Boys’ legendary 1993 acoustic tour, and a 1995 rendition of “Sail On, Sailor” featuring a soulful lead vocal by the late Carl Wilson. The greatly missed talents of Carl and Dennis Wilson are also celebrated with rare and previously unreleased recordings including Dennis’ “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again,” “Barnyard Blues” and “My Love Lives On,” Carl’s lead vocals on “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Soul Searchin’,” and Carl’s shared lead with Bruce and Brian on “California Feelin’.”

Regardless of anyone’s’ feelings pertaining to the questionable statistics of The Beach Boys being an ‘operative band’ – one thing is sure; The Beach Boys altered the sounds of popular music and have left imprints on souls as have The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

If attending the show tomorrow night – expect to hear the following …

‘Good Vibrations’, ‘California Girls’, ‘I Get Around’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Help Me Rhonda‘, ‘Surfer Girl’, ‘Surfing U.S.A’, ‘Fun,Fun,Fun’, Barbara Anne’ …

and that is just the beginning …

Kokomo anyone?

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http://www.ticketmaster.com/Maddies-Place-tickets-Kahnawake/venue/340328

Please stay tune for my review …

Et Tu Ready for Et Tu Bruce’

Once upon a time …

There were a whole bunch of musical groups who saturated the airwaves with harmony.

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The Byrds, The Zombies, The Beatles and The Beach Boys to name but few …

Once upon a time – music was all about the sweet harmonies. The coming together of voices in an unique blend of scales. Falsetto praised Baritone and Baritone supported Falsetto. A harmonious conjecture in the sounds of life.

Somewhere, with exception, that sound disappeared. Until now …

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Et Tu Bruce’ is a quartet from England. A rock foursome schooled in the sounds of the sixties.

Brian Wilson was a huge influence on me …” Admits singer and guitarist Jamie White. ” Pet Sounds along with The Zombies’ masterpiece Oddesey and Oracle are both magical albums complete with unbelievable harmonies. Definite masterpieces.”

The group, together for three years, are slowly captivating audiences with their inaugural CD – Suburban Sunshine.

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“We are self produced and have our own label. Right now – we are just trying to get exposure. We have gotten airplay here (England) and are looking to branch out to North America.”

Thanks to one of their idols, that dream will come true ..

“We are opening up for The Zombies on March 16th in Austin as part of the Austin Psych Fest.” Says White. ” We are truly looking forward to that!”

The songs on the disc are rare. Unique in the fact that every one of them could be a hit single. ‘It’s All Nothing’ ( Molotov), the rose amongst roses …

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The tune starts off with a bass line and is joined shortly by a percussion defined by a primitive feel. Once the vocals kick in complete with ‘sixties – styled’ lyrics – the listener is hooked. Add some guitar work reminiscent of Mick Taylor’s splendid work on the Stones’ song Heartbreaker, all that is missing are harmonies. Kidding … The harmonies arrive in the form of The Byrds or America. A song sure to grab North America by storm.

‘Stars Fall’ is the band’s current track du jour. A radio – friendly psychedelic ode to a romantic reasoning of the senses. Women will make their men listen and poke them in the ribs. A ‘proposal’ song a la ‘Crash’ by The Dave Mathews Band. Once more – as with most of the tracks , harmony is harmonious.

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The rest of the songs; gems like ‘Never Say Trevor Again’, ‘Never See You Cry’ and ‘This City’, Beatle- esque / ELO masterpieces which will leave the ‘punter’ singing all day long. Sometimes – Lennon can be heard. Sometimes McCartney. All the time – Et Tu Bruce’ is present.

“One of my influences was Jeff Lynne from ELO.” Admits White. ” They wrote such pretty melodies and are a rare band. All the bands with harmonious sounds from the 60’s like The Beach Boys.”

Listen to the album. Over and over again. By choice. By need. By curiosity …

Saturation can be a good thing.

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