What should I be doing instead of this?

Tracking the Heavenly Sounds in Brian Wilson’s Head

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 3, 2015
While riding the waves during a recent screening of Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy — the new biopic exploring two significant periods in the life of Brian Wilson, the studio wizard behind the Psychedelic Pop symphonic sound of The Beach Boys — I experienced a subtle yet momentarily surprising disconnect.   

Love Lost, Apple Bitten and Ballsy Lips

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Everyone wants The Beach Boys reunion tour to be an ongoing thing — except singer Mike Love, who wants to return to county fairs and casinos with his glorified tribute version of the band. Also, a Texas sheriff's spokesmen out-weirds Fiona Apple after her recent "drug bust" (tiny amounts of pot and hash were found on her tour bus) and rockers Black Lips have decided now would be a good time to tour Egypt and Iraq.   
by Mike Breen 06.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music Tonight: Beach Boys, Black Belles and More

If the early onset of mugginess hasn't already, Riverbend presents a great concert tonight to get you ready for the summer, as The Beach Boys bring their 50th anniversary tour — featuring Brian Wilson on stage with fellow Boys Mike Love and Al Jardine for the first time in decades — to Cincinnati. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $21.50-$91.50. The band is rounded out by members Bruce Johnston and early guitarist David Marks, as well as several auxiliary players, many from Wilson's flawless solo band. The Boys have been playing shows that have lasted close to three hours (with an intermission), performing songs from throughout their career, including big early hits like "Little Deuce Coupe" and "409," as well as Pet Sounds cuts like "God Only Knows" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," a couple of deeper album cuts (like "California Saga: California," a Jardine song from 1973's Holland album), songs from their new album, That's Why God Made the Radio, and "Kokomo," one of their worst tunes and also one of their biggest. Here's one of Wilson's mini "teenage symphonies for God," "Heroes and Villains," which has also been performed on the tour. Read our interview with Love and Wilson here. • If you like your music a little darker, all-female "Garage Goth" troupe The Black Belles are playing a free show at The Comet in Northside. The band's self-titled debut full-length came out last year on Jack White's Third Man Records and the group even collaborated with Stephen Colbert on his 7-inch single for Third Man, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" (the Belles performed the song with Colbert on his show). Local rockers The Lions Rampant are also on the bill for tonight's free, 10 p.m. show. Here's the video for the Belles' second single off their eponymous debut, "Wishing Well."• Also on the "free, high-quality live music" tip — tonight's "American Roots" concert on Fountain Square. The every-Tuesday events spotlight local partakers of the various strains of Americana and Roots music. Tonight, it's a little bit Country, a little bit Rock & Roll, as local Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups and The Kentucky Struts join forces. They should be comfortable sharing a stage — Thomas and Ky. Struts frontman Todd Lipscomb perform together in the trad Country project, The Tammy WhyNots. The show runs from 7-10 p.m.

The Beach Boys

June 12 • Riverbend Music Center

0 Comments · Monday, June 4, 2012
The Beach Boys have been blessing audience’s ears with happy and fun tunes (with occasional blasts of melancholy) for 50 years. As they embark on a 50th anniversary tour, they are preparing to release their 31st album, titled That’s Why God Made The Radio, which is also the title of the first single. Everyone who listens to music can think a happy thought.   
by Mike Breen 05.02.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Music Video at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

This Date in Music History: May 2

The Beach Boys give up on 'Smile' and Link Ray rumbles into the world

On this date in 1967, Capitol Records officially announced that The Beach Boys' album Smile would not be released. The recording sessions for the album were tense due to Brian Wilson's depression, drug use, paranoia and the pressure he felt, plus the inner turmoil within the group. Wilson was also reportedly creatively stymied after being blown away by the freshly released Beatles single, "Strawberry Fields Forever." He felt the Fab Four had beaten him to the grand-trippy-and-orchestral-Pop-music-statement punch. Less than a month after Smile was shelved, The Beatles released the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The band released Smiley Smile later that year instead. The record included re-recordings of some of the Smile material, a hint at the apparent genius behind the Smile album, which helped its legend grow. But Smiley didn't sell well and critics mostly gave it "thumbs down." The original Smile became the most famous "lost album" in Pop music history … until last year, when The Smile Sessions — featuring the full album and several bonus tracks and outtakes — finally became commercially available (after decades of bootlegs). Wilson recently kicked off his first tour with "The Beach Boys" (Carl and Dennis Wilson are dead, so it's still not really "The Beach Boys") in over 20 years, timed to the group's 50th anniversary. Wilson joins lifelong bandmates Al Jardine and Mike Love on the jaunt; longtime auxiliary Boys David Marks and Bruce Johnston are also a part of the reunion, as are several other hired hands, including strangely consistent Beach Boy (during the non-Brian years) John Stamos. The tour comes to Riverbend this summer. Those attending will get their money's worth — the shows so far have featured over 40 songs per set.Here's some more background on the Smile sessions.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a May 2 birthday include schmaltzy British Pop star Engelbert Humperdinck (1936); the first white dude to have a Reggae hit in Jamaica, British Reggae/Ska musician Judge Dread (1945); American Pop singer ("It's My Party," "You Don't Own Me") Lesley Gore (1946); Country music singer/songwriter Larry Gatlin (1948); sidelined lead singer for ’70s rockers Foreigner, Lou Gramm (1950); singer for Indie rockers Hot Hot Heat, Steven Bays (1978); contemporary British Pop star Lily Allen (1985); and legendary guitarist Link Ray (1929). Ray — who passed away in 2005 — was a crucial Rock & Roll guitar pioneer. His 1958 instrumental smash "Rumble" was the first time many heard distortion and feedback and he's credited with inventing the "power chord" (ask anyone who says they can play "just a little" guitar to play "Smoke on the Water" or "Louie, Louie" — those are power chords). You know you're doing something right sonically when your hit song gets banned — and it doesn't even have any words! "Rumble" was not allowed on the air by some radio programmers because because they feared the title (back then it was slang for "street fighting") would harm society. Listen at your own risk (and check out Ray talking about the tune after):

The Beach Boys

July 30-31 • Grand Victoria Casino

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 27, 2010
When discussing the greatest Rock bands of all time, The Beach Boys are often mistakenly dismissed as a mere vocal group. “There are some bands that have a lead singer and maybe some harmonies that are iffy,” explains Mike Love, The Beach Boys lead singer. “The thing that distinguishes The Beach Boys from any other Rock band is the sophisticated harmonies and arrangements.” They play Friday and Saturday nights at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun.  

CPO Gets Around

Cincinnati Pops take on Beach Boys with hip conductor Matt Catingub

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Matt Catingub is a Jazz pianist/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/arranger whose résumé sports more bullet points than a third-world armory. His unconventional experience and approach make him a perfect fit for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's presentation of 'Endless Summer: The Music of The Beach Boys' on Saturday.