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PIGSHIT: Endless Winter

With the Brian Wilson: Songwriter DVD still lodged firmly within the ol’ Pig Player, I pause to conduct a virtual poll in order to ascertain, on behalf of R n’ R Reporters everywhere, that traditional Yule-rock question… “WHY WOULD YOU REALLY RATHER BE LISTENING TO THE BEACH BOYS THIS DECEMBER 25th?”

“Because I live in Syracuse, and it’s gonna fucking snow until July. I’d rather be surfing!”
(Carl Cafarelli, This Is Rock n Roll Radio)

“Because two of my favorite bands, The Dukes of Stratosphear and The Pretty Things, have absorbed Beach Boy influences into their music.”
(Tina Max, Noise Magazine)

“Because KISS didn’t use any sleigh bells on their new release.”
(Pat Meusel, Sony Music Nashville)

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Ten reasons why “Brian Wilson: Songwriter, 1962-1969” should be the last Beach Boys documentary you need ever watch

1.  Veteran SoCal socio-musical historian Domenic Priore, sitting alongside a tiki totem beneath a strategically placed orange branch, more than ably launches our story over a wealth of Eastmancolor’d freeway and beach footage, drawing, as only he can, that all-important connection from Gidget to Dick Dale all the way to teenage Brian’s Hawthorne, California music room.

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Tommy James and Shondells’ reissues on Collector’s Choice prove 60’s band more than just bubble gum act

Tommy James
– Travelin’
– My Head, My Bed, My Red Guitar
– I Think We’re Alone Now
– Gettin’ Together

Hand it to the folks at Collector’s Choice Records for once again finding some obscure musical treasures and bringing them back into the light in such a way as to not only generate notice for a forgotten artist, but also to probably lead rock historians to use the releases as the basis for meaningful re-evaluation of an artists’ career. In this case, rocker Tommy James and his band The Shondells get the reissue treatment as Collector’s Choice has recently reissued a handful of the band’s albums and a James solo album as well. While most modern music listeners probably do not recognize the name, it is safe to say James (and his band) were one of the most successful hit machines ever to grace the latter half of the ’60’s. The band scored first with the garage rocker Hanky Panky, moved on to such oft-covered hits such as I Think We’re Alone Now, Mony Mony, and Crimson and Clover, among many other songs which hit the charts during the end of the decade. The band split up in the beginning of the ’70’s and James went on to have a succesful solo career, scoring several hit singles throughout the rest of the decade.

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Some great new Choices from Collector’s Choice!!

One of my fave reissue labels, Collector’s Choice, has recently gotten their music-loving mitts on the whole Cameo-Parkway vault and plans to re-release a bunch of long-forgotten albums by the bands and artists who made the label the success it was in the ’60’s. This batch comprises the first wave of releases from the Cameo-Parkway vaults and those who were into music around that time will no doubt feel the wonderful wave of nostalgia as these albums get put on CD for the first time ever and those new to the music will have a chance to experience some of the finest pop from the early ’60’s.

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You may know him from Rooney, but now Taylor Locke reveals his alter ego that rocks out with The Roughs

You may know him as the guitarist and vocalist from power pop / rock band Rooney, but Taylor Locke has also just released “Grain and Grape”; a solo project featuring his own backing band, The Roughs.  The Rock and Roll Report recently had the opportunity to ask Taylor a few questions:

Q:  Most people have their hands full being in just one band, but you manage to succeed being in two! What is it like to live this “double-life” as a musician?

A: It’s quite fun and interesting to live this double-life, as you say.  My roles in each band are quite different from one another. Also, one group has lots of history and a loyal following, while the other is just beginning on a grass roots level. As far as making time, I just look at the calendar and fill in the holes.

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PIGSHIT: “The greatest rock movie you’ve never seen,” according to Steven Van Zandt

Attention music fans and pop culture connoisseurs everywhere!

Your assignment for today is to gather one dozen of the world’s most popular entertainers into a medium-sized concert facility, for one evening only. Age, style, size, corporate affiliation and musical pigeonhole is to be strictly of no concern whatsoever. Each act just has to have had a heck of a lot of their songs downloaded, perhaps maybe even sold, over the past calendar year or so.

Then, with a bare minimum of rehearsal or directorial guidelines of any sort – and an equally bare-boned budget to boot – a two-hour concert has to sequenced, scored, choreographed, and executed upon a single stage utilizing all these chosen singers, dancers and accompanists. AND, the entire proceedings have to be filmed live, music and vocals, without re-takes. Finally, the resulting  miles of tape then have to be edited, printed, promoted, and distributed for public viewing to theaters.

Oh! And there’s one more catch: This all has to be completed within a mere fourteen days, from show-date to release-date.

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‘Family of the Year’ now charm crowds everywhere they go, but it all started with a chance encounter outside an LA bar

l_67e134b9652c41548beae4df18be9a90It’s not often you come across a band that has, yes, six members. On top of that two are dating, two are brothers, and it still all manages to work out wonderfully. Sound impossible? Not for California’s Family of the Year who are one such band. The self-professed indie-rock-folk-Americana songsters have just released their debut album, Songbook, and seem to be charming their way onto everyone’s iPod. If you haven’t heard them yet, SPIN Magazine recommends that you do – and so does The Rock and Roll Report.

The band consists of: Vanessa Jeanne Long (vocals), Joe Beaulieu Keefe (Vocals & Guitar), Sebastian Keefe (Drums & Guitar), James Buckey (Keys), Christina Schroeter (Keys) and Brent Freaney (Bass). Vanessa recently phoned in for a chat about Rock Band’s (yes, the videogame) pivotal role in their formation, impossible to remember band names and actually living and feeling like a family.

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Reviews and Suggestions

Some Like It Hot!!! The Flame Gets Reissued

the flameThe Flame – self titled
Fallout Records

Those who love the late, lamented, oft-troubled band known as Badfinger are hereby put on notice to check out Fallout Record’s 2006 reissue of the eponymously titled Stateside debut album of South African pop-rock band The Flame. Originally released by the band in 1970, the album has been a much-sought-after collector’s item for those into power pop and classic rock. Produced by Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys but not sounding at all like that band, the album is sure to turn the heads of many music fans who hate the suckery of today’s modern rock and wish it sounded like it used to when it used to…um….rock.

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PIGSHIT by Gary Pig Gold 20 BIG ONES: GARY PIG GOLD’S ALL-TIME FAVORITE BEACH BOY RECORDS

20bigonesWith another endless summer again approaching, and with it the latest in a long long LONG line of repackaged compilation discs (the quite suspiciously titled “Summer Love Songs”), I hearby take it upon myself to compile a Rock and Roll Reporter’s Guide of sorts to the sort of sounds every discriminating listener, both old and new, should first consider sampling when delving into the vast, sonically daunting Beach Boys audio catalog.

Ready?
Then let’s…..

Catch A Wave (1963)
A wet, wild and totally wonderful Call To Arms for the barefooted legions of West Coast beach trash, both real and imagined: This is one of the band’s first, and best, signposts towards the fabled, mythical Land of California (“Four Seasons, you BETTER believe it!”)

The Warmth Of The Sun (1964)
A rich, evocative B. Wilson melody swirling beneath lyrics of loss, pain and remorse (composed in the wake of the JFK assassination): One of an absolute wealth of Beach Boy recordings which continue to grow and mature ever so gracefully with age.

I Get Around b/w Don’t Worry Baby (1964 single)
This was the very first Beach Boys record I ever owned: Not a bad way to start off one’s collection, no?