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Posts tagged "Brian Wilson"

Not Made for These Times: Looking for Answers in 4 O’Clock Moments

Every winter in the seasonal slump of dismal gray, I find myself turning to the same source of hope—the sunny sound walls of the Beach Boys. Growing up in the millennial generation, I was the only one who considered Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson’s voices to be the harmonies of my childhood. Don’t get me […]

Vulnerability, Judgement and The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds Turns 50!

Half a century is pretty “outta sight” if you ask me. To celebrate, here’s the two main Pet Sounds portions of The Beach Boys essay in Mess of Help. We’ve posted portions before but never all of it. Catch a wave:  Brian Wilson was the original heart-on-your-sleeve auteur. Young men had been vulnerable on record before, but usually in […]

I Still Believe in Love & Mercy (and Brian Wilson)

Saw Love & Mercy last night, and wow. As reviewers have been noting, it is not your average biopic, and certainly not much of a summer film, despite the source material. Which makes sense, I guess, since Brian Wilson is not your average bear. It has more in common with I’m Not There, than, say, […]

Why I Spent Last Year Writing a Book About Pop Music

Thought I’d kick off the new year with the introduction from A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll (minus the footnotes), something of a personal essay and one which spells out a bit of the thinking behind this whole Mockingbird project. It was the kind of question that sticks with […]

It’s Been Building Up In Brian Wilson For Oh I Don’t Know How Long

Now an excerpt from A Mess of Help (which takes its name from one of BW’s songs): There is so much about The Beach Boys that is hard to believe. Toward the bottom of the list (but still on it) is the fact that “Don’t Worry Baby” was originally released as the B-side of “I […]

Goodbye Surfing, Hello God! A Conference Breakout

Maybe beauty is your thing. Maybe family dynamics fascinate you. Or maybe it’s mental illness or addiction or eccentricity. Maybe you’re interested in the intersection of commerce and art, or the rise (and fall) of the American music industry, or simply post-WWII America in general. Maybe irony is your strong suit, or maybe it’s heart-on-your-sleeve […]

June Playlist

  1. Goin’ On – The Beach Boys
  2. Everything Hits At Once – Spoon
  3. Long Promised Road (live) – Carl Wilson
  4. The 1st Mistake I Made – The Bee Gees
  5. Broke Down – Slaid Cleaves
  6. Listening to the Wind That Blows – Wilco & Billy Bragg
  7. Big Sur – Mike Love
  8. Stevie – Saint Etienne
  9. This Summer – Squeeze
  10. If I Can’t Change Your Mind – Sugar
  11. Thou Shalt Not Steal – Glenda Collins [prod. Joe Meek]
  12. How She Boogalooed It – Al Jardine
  13. She Is Still A Mystery – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  14. God Did It – Brian Wilson
  15. Constant Companion – Dennis Wilson
  16. Perfect Man – Rufus Wainwright
  17. Disconnected – Keane
  18. The Scientist – Willie Nelson
  19. Saved By the Bell – Robin Gibb
  20. Do You Know How Much You’ve Been Loved? – John Davis

Beach Boys 101: Peter Bagge’s “In Defense Of (And Praise For) Mike Love”

One rainy day last year I decided to do the Internet a favor and digitize Peter Bagge’s brilliant, contrarian essay, “In Defense Of (And Praise For) Mike Love.” Ever since, I’ve been waiting for the right time to post it, and the 50th anniversary of the band seems like as good an opportunity as any. […]

That Time The Beach Boys Made a Teenage Symphony to God

Many years ago I said that “Music is God’s Voice.” I’ve often felt that I was on a musical mission, to spread the gospel of love through records. – Brian Wilson When Brian Wilson did the unthinkable and revisited/reassembled his long-lost masterpiece SMiLE in 2004, it was touted as a major personal breakthrough. To the […]

March Playlist (plus Brian Wilson)

Pretty heavy on the Britpop this time – be warned! 1. April Fools – Rufus Wainwright 2. Delirious Love – Neil Diamond and Brian Wilson 3. The One You Can’t Have – The Honeys 4. Mine Smell Like Honey – REM 5. Don’t Look Back – Teenage Fanclub 6. You Bowed Down – Roger McGuinn […]

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Beach Boys: The Many Moods of Murry Wilson

Even if you don’t consider The Beach Boys to be the greatest American pop band of all time (and therefore the apex of Protestant expression in the 20th century – kaboom!), hear me out. The well is undeniably deep, and it’s high time we plumbed some of those depths. And while the group’s greatness may […]

Belated June (Summer Reading) Playlist

1. Soulful Old Man Sunshine – The Beach Boys2. Take A Run At The Sun – Dinosaur Jr3. It’s Summertime – The Flaming Lips4. Shooting Star – The Mamas & The Papas5. Walking In The Sun – The Zombies6. Catch The Sun – Doves7. Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here) – Slade8. Almost Summer – […]