Way to go Beach Boys! . . . . Isaac, ma and I were out and about last night for his birthday and listened to some of the new Beach Boys songs from their reunion album "That's Why God Made The Radio" . . . . I was quite pleasantly surprised and impressed! Including the title track there are some really great songs here.
Usually, it seems to be a sad affair when the surviving members of a classic group get together to do a re-do . . . and especially in this case where there has been so much estrangement and absence (re Brian Wilson, the musical genius) . . . but wow. This album is a very nice, sincere, well crafted, well written and performed collection of tunes, which I think stands up to some of their best work. The childlike summer melancholy . . . is there . . . the awareness of fleeting life, the good times gone but still holding on to some meaning . . . reminiscing . . . . the simple, blunt descriptives of everyday life . . . nature . . . the sun, waves, beach, sky . . . . All there and not in a phony recreated way, but with the same genuine sense of awe and observation and recounting that Brian and the guys were so good at . . . .
I didn't hear any of the cynicism . . . or hipster retro posing . . . or satire . . . or over-doing that is so common among artists these post-modern/post-ironic days . . . but just plain, good, heartfelt musical artistry, as if it were 1967 again and Brian was dealing with his first loves, family losses, awareness of passing time . . . for the first time . . . .
No perverted innuendo or "required" modern day themes either did I notice . . . . All I could think, knowing a bit about the band's struggles individually and as a group over the years . . . was, "way to go guys! Nice job! A breath of fresh air in these worrisome, hackneyed, cynical and foreboding times . . . . !"
A musical compadre of mine, Jerod S., with whom I've collaborated off and on for 13 or so years now is the fella who really turned me on to the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson's musical genius. Jerod is a huge fan and student of Brian Wilson . . . . Jerod himself is a fine song craftsman whose talent I quite respect and have had a lot of fun with . . . and there was a period there for a couple years where I devoured nearly every Beach Boy production I could find, analyzing and enjoying the harmonies, song structure and production, as well as the life stories of the Wilsons and others involved. Our whole family, indeed got into them at that time and I am glad my boys are excited and interested in the fact that a new Beach Boys album is out--Isaac is the one who got it for us to listen to.
Meanwhile, another band--one of my long time most favorite, Three Dog Night, we saw a couple of years ago, are still touring and producing some new music as well, which also I have been pleasantly impressed with. A couple of their new songs, "Prayer For the Children" and "Overground" are as good as anything they have every done. I love seeing the old geezers still out there, working, performing, creating . . . . Most of them have been through the ringer of life and come out with God--Jesus specifically--and with family values, and as healthy, tough, decent folk . . . despite their early rock'n'roll excesses and lifestyle mayhem . . . .
An odd thing happened, though, driving home . . . the three of us . . . as it was getting dark . . . . Lindsay spotted a couple of strange reddish-orange lights in the sky above and ahead of us . . . not too high in the air, below the clouds . . . above the houses and a park we were approaching . . . . The lights disappeared . . . . Then one reappeared, and I could see it . . . and so pulled the car over . . . . We got out . . . and wow, this thing was strange. Our first guess was that it was a drone, and I suspect it was . . . although it was very odd and the lights didn't look like what I'd expect drone lights to look like. I appeared to be about as big as a barbecue grill . . . though we couldn't see the shape in the dark . . . except to say it was compact... not long or skinny . . . . It was not a helicopter . . . . It made no sound . . . hovering almost directly above us . . . . But what was weird was that it "flared" up . . . like it had fire . . . in it? . . . propelling it? . . . the light would surge, flicker, orange-ish-red . . . then it moved slowly away going south . . . then the light poofed out . . . but we could still see its black shape floating in the sky . . . it hovered away, slightly bobbing and rocking . . . then gradually descended . . . blocks away . . . seeming to disappear down into what would be a neighborhood . . . . . Strange and cool sight for Isaac's b.day. He loves stuff like that--strange skyborn anomalies . . . .
Anyway, here's the B.Boys and 3DN for summer fun's sake . . . .