Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: Middle-Aged Symphonies Towards God: The Beach Boys’ Brother Years

Yes indeed, it goes without saying that Brian Wilson and his familial band full of brothers, cousins and friends have enjoyed a career quite unlike any other across the cuckoo annals of show business.

Scoring a local hit in 1961 straight off the mark with their very first little indie single, then soon after placing a sophomore release into no less than the hallowed Billboard Hot 100 – and all at a time when the majority of the band still had to be home in time to attend class the next morning – The Beach Boys, it could be argued, really started their marathon run at the very tip-top, suicidally crash-dove towards oblivion a few short years later, and only then slowly but surely began their struggle up the ladder of ever-lasting fame, fortune and, ultimately, all-American glory …and just finished touring the globe promoting a new (!!) hit album, need I remind anyone. 

Categories
Features

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)

Categories
Features

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.

Categories
Features

Hangin’ out pre-show with Vancouver’s Bend Sinister

Fun, electrifying and upbeat all the way, Bend Sinister, blasted its big, bodacious sound at this year’s Pop Montreal festival. The Vancouver-based band, whose name was acquired from a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, is made up of Dan Moxon (lead vocalist and keys), Joel Myers (bass), Joseph Blood (guitar) and Jason Dana (drummer) and is currently on a cross-Canada tour. I met up with one of the West Coast rockers, Joseph, right before the band’s show at Les 3 Minots. Here’s what happened…

Q: Sorry I’m a little flustered, my bike got two flat tires and I had to hop on one of those rental bikes to make it here on time…

A: Oh, that sucks! Yeah, I saw those rental bikes around – that’s kind of cool.

Categories
Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Strangefinger “Into the Blue”

intotheblue_600_200x200Strangefinger…strange name, but fantastic disc. “Into the Blue”, the latest offering from SideBMusic, arrives just in time as the new soundtrack to summer. Since it comes from SideBMusic, you know it has to be good…and after I heard Chris Manning (Jellyfish) had a hand producing and mixing the record, I was waiting outside by the mailbox with eager anticipation for its arrival.

Strangefinger is pure power pop bliss – band leader and main songwriter, Freddie Lemke, has gone through hell and high water to get this record, which was recorded and mixed in 2005, to finally see the light of day. Persistence has paid off and Strangefinger’s “Into the Blue” is destined to be a classic in the genre.

Maybe it is the album title or cover art, or song titles with “Ocean” and “Sunshine” in them, or maybe it is the sunny melodies, bright instrumentation, or positive vibe, or perhaps the heavy Brian Wilson influence in many of the songs, but numerous reviews have already remarked how appropriate “Into the Blue” is for the beach. And while these comments make perfect sense, I’d like to add for clarification that Strangefinger does not sing about the surf and sand; rather, the lyrics are much more interesting, rewarding the listener with something more substantial and contemplative.