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Al Forsyth

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The Phil Lambert edited book (hard cover) arrived today.  Can't wait to pour into this.

Part One Musical Commentaries
Chapter 1 "Brian Comes Alive": Celebrity, Performance and the Limitations of Biography in Lyric Reading
Chapter 2 Pet Sound Effects
Chapter 3 Brian Wilson's Harmonic Language (Philip Lambert)

Part Two Historical Inquiries
Chapter 4 Summer of 64
Chapter 5 When I Grow Up: The Beach Boys' Early Music
Chapter 6 Into the Mystic - The Undergrounding of Brian Wilson 1964-1967
Chapter 7 Good Reverberations (Philip Lambert)

Part Three Smile
Chapter 8 Fandom and Ontology In Smile
Chapter 9 A Listener's Smile

The preface sets this all up.

The reading is 262 pages.

New book to catch up with. 

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Gentizzy

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Reply with quote  #2 
I read the first chapter yesterday and will be re-reading it.

Kirk Curnutt, the author, made some interesting points. Certain Brian penned songs are considered to be "autobiographical."
Don't Back Down was supposedly Brian's grit your teeth, do your best to deal with the pressure number. However, Mike Love wrote the lyrics (although did he write all, part, a phrase or two? Anyone know?) So maybe it was just another "surf song" after all.

Brian wanted Summer's Gone, begun in the late 90s, to be the final track on the last Beach Boys album, which was also to be named Summer's Gone. However, although the song was included, Brian decided to change the name of the 2012 album to That's Why God Made the Radio, in the hope that The Beach Boys would record together some more.

There was a comparison of In My Room and John Lennon's There's a Place. Some critics consider Lennon's song better, I guess because it's more, hmm, "sophisticated?"
I see the songs differently. On a spiritual level, Lennon's song is more "Carmelite" while Brians is more "Ignatian." I had posted a lengthy explanation of this but thought you all probably aren't interested in religious stuff so deleted it. And Johns song is focused on one person while Brian's is focused on general life events.
Anyway, I love both of those songs.

There was discussion on how the songs "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" and "Wouldn't it Be Nice" were used in pop culture (Mad Men; Doonesbury)

There was a comparison of Brians performances in 2012 at the New Orleans JazzFest, then shortly thereafter at the Beacon in New York, how much better the latter show was. This might not be common knowledge, but Brian apparently tripped and had a bad fall the morning of that JazzFest show (think he fell on his face) so that could perhaps explain why he was subdued?
He writes about how although Brians voice isn't what it was so many years ago, he still sings the songs in ways that move people, with different perspectives from when they were originally recorded/performed.

The author writes about "auteur theory" the idea that an artist will put more of him/herself in songs they wrote, particularly "autobiographical" songs.. However, there are instances where Brian really gets into a song that he didn't write. The article mentions how well he sang California Dreaming at one particular show. And I've always noticed how enthused he was singing Papa Oom Mow Mow back in the day.

Finally, looking at the Notes section at the end of the chapter, there's mention of 2006 show where Brian seemed to be in a "blind panic" as he was singing the second verse of Break Away (voices in my head etc). Just wondering, did Murry know about Brian having auditory hallucinations when he wrote those lyrics?


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Billy C

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Reply with quote  #3 
Never even heard of this until just now!
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Al Forsyth

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Gentizzy - nice perspective. I'm going to go right to the Philip Lambert chapters first.

Billy, it just came out.

The Kirk chapter is the first.

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Lee Marshall

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I'll have to order this one too Al.  With all of the 'hype' regarding this fall's 2 principle renderings...well just like our pal Billy...I missed 'it'.

I used to think about the similarity of theme between 'In My Room' and 'There's a Place'.  Obviously I preferred Brian's to John's as it always struck me as being more sincere and personal while Lennon's seemed to be more generalized and less important.  Then there are the melodies, the Beach Boys harmony and the lead vocal performances which paint two distinctly and entirely different pictures.  I could relate to Brian's.  John's?  Well...not at all really.

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Wholly Hannah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just went to amazon Canada.  It co$t$ anywhere from $74.40 on up to $102.94.  I'll wait awhile before I order this one.  Anyone know anything about the Lora Greene book? 

The Good Vibrations of Brian Wilson: The Unofficial Biography of Brian Wilson

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Gentizzy

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yes the book is expensive. Got the ebook, which is still pretty dear.

Of the two songs I prefer Brian's. But I also like John's as it has a melancholy to it (thanks to the harmonica).

On chapter 2. Am getting an education on the car songs that I've quite frankly overlooked. Didn't realize how good a song Custom Machine is.
The author of the chapter is attempting to show the worth of those talking items at the ends of the first albums. But will have to do a lot of convincing for me to see any good in, say, "Bull Session..."
Noticed one mistake. The guy said that Mike sang lead on Please Let Me Wonder. Think that was the original plan, but, well, no. It's one of Brian's very finest.

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bugs

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Noticed one mistake. The guy said that Mike sang lead on Please Let Me Wonder. Think that was the original plan, but, well, no. It's one of Brian's very finest.     

THAT is a serious mistake - one that, for that price, should raise a flag.  'Please Let Me Wonder' would not be close to the song it is with ML on lead. 
I assumed Phillip Lambert was the sole author of this book - now I'm 'wondering' if this is truly worth the $$ with Lambert only writing two chapters. 

Thanks Gentizzy, and please keep us updated with your thoughts on your reading - we appreciate it.

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Gentizzy

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Reply with quote  #8 
The only other goof I've noticed so far was in the first article - Dan Aykroyd's name was misspelled.
In this day and age, everyone associated with the media/entertainment field should know how to spell that.

I really liked the first article. Am a bit underwhelmed so far with the second but am only partway through it.

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