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B.D. Ponce IV

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Reply with quote  #31 
Orange Crate Art ... Love it still. Yes indeed as soon as  I opened the packaging.  I could tell right away by the smell of the ink with which  the booklet was printed that there could be  something really New here.  I have the orange c.d. and yes I also bought another and gave it to a friend.

- It makes me laugh that other people have also zoomed  in on the lyric about Ramona in the title track. I haved mused to myself about this many times  replacing the line with, " Back when Bob Dylan could  ...,!   I mean before, you know - when he was called Zimmerman!"
 So yeah this is obviously a modern/Beat record. A jazzy nod to Brian's California roots among other things. The album mentions Grapes of Wrath, North Carolina, San Francisco... the silver screen and so forth. It has a poetic soul!
I might try to call it super-humanist-organical-americana! 

 - I love every cut here. Obviously the songs are written from many different perspectives which may not have much to do with Brian; that we can understand (or can we?)  Brian, (along with Van Dyke) is also a great interpreter of other peoples work (case in point Gershwin).  I mean these guys know and trust  each other to such a degree that I suppose for instance Van Dyke could think about the idea of Brian Wilson digging  Wild Mountain Thyme and then write a song about it. Van Dyke would get all the songwriting credits and Brian could get paid and all would be cool. Not to mention us fans who would be like a collective consciousness acknowledging that there is something very authentic sounding going on here! 

      And Look! Another fine song called Sail Away!  
Of course it has a hedonistic escape theme with a tropical band arrangement. If paintings were music I bet this would be one. Love the steel peddle. Begs the question... What about touring some of this music??!!
Me and My Hobo Heart is the most Steely Dan sounding here from what I can tell. 
Don't listen too much to them - but do I recognise the Peg harmony/voicing here? - Just a guess. 
Very well stated theme. I can certainly relate on different levels to what this may be all about.

Wings of a Dove
-Great escapism to the rhythm of the rain -I love the allegory - encouragement - (perhaps Parks to Wilson) something like - I may be in tribulation - but just get cooking in the vocal booth and sing your heart out ! You don't have to mind the War... at the control board... since I'v been signed to War(onk)ners longer than you anyways, so now your free to  do your own kind of'Sail Away' thing !!! A decent vocal range is required to sing this one well.
Brian specializes in delivering this kind of pathos in a love song.  

Palm Tree and Moon - I wonder if this could be an outake or something inspired from Van Dyke's Tokyo Rose album?
sounds like a sister song to either Out Of Love or White Chrysanthemum maybe. I think this song could even be taken higher by these guys. Hal Said:
Quote:
 A huge standout for me is the song 'Palm Tree and Moon' - beautiful chord changes, lovely composition/arrangement, and great lyrics. Van Dyke and Brian need to collaborate more often.
 
 
...and yes I definitely agree!

Summer in Monterey - Love the loose romantic/comedic swing here - the band sounds very lively and free.  This song contains a  theme that is still being explored through their music. That is - wanting to hold onto a particular moment for the sake of its sensuality or aesthetic  -Ie. * This Beautiful Day- from NPP

San Francisco
 - A fun - and mostly lighthearted tribute. Effective Vocal introduction. The lyric is rich with Van Dykeisms - A cascading chromatic cycle is heard and you are taken on a jaunty ride - that guitar its funky and cocky! Great job all around!  it's quite a quirky and theatrical song! Brian digs in a bit more vocally as the plot and landscape takes you on a history lesson of a kind. Reminds me of Rio Grande a bit. Even though I'm not sure I completely get this song. I still find it  very entertaining. Would it be wrong to say that this wouldn't be too out of place on Smile! I can sort of hear that. 

Hold Back Time(/Warners) & My Jeanine - Sweet music and descriptions of relationships which complement each other well. I would guess it wasn't easy to produce this record. There are only a few places.. (Hold Back Time maybe )where it( the mix might sound overcompressed - I need a vinyl copy don't I!?) slightly uneven in the intro(and I am really searching for a fault line). Hold Back Time illustrates how complex some of this music really is and how much detail the songs and arrangements contain. I also want to say(tonally) it sounds like Brian isn't comfortable in the chorus of Hold Back Time and yet  maybe he is trying to convey a feeling or aspect (to do with what this song is about) which may not be a comfortable one (of course I could be totally wrong). These are two very cool songs I think, they kind of sound different every time I listen. I find them overall to be aethetically pleasing.

      My Jeanine
 - Top shelf - really dig it endlessly Great writing! It would be interesting to hear what wisdom Van Dyke Parks has to offer about clichés. Also, all along I am trying to hear Danny Hutton since I was never really a big Three Dog Night fan(Not really my bag) Yet I loved his performance on Trade War from Van Dyke Parks -Tokyo Rose.
   In Movies is Magic - I see Disney fireworks in my head when the chorus plays ! This is a Great recording! The close up of the vocal dew sound really works nicely. Again love the Rom/Com aspect it's classic!
    That said, I wonder who the lyric "Sacramento river-rat knocking on her door..." could be referencing ? 
I'm just curious. I love the emphasis of certain lyrics in the arrangements with all the vocals and instrumental accents. 
    See!? OCA  is still "spinning diamonds like rain...."
This Town Goes Down At Sunset - it is like the realism of California - a screen door is interchangeable with a snare drum. Everybody, adults and children alike, get hyper as a reaction to growing tired - so they get out out of hand. The hills start turning red... saying  stop ; go off to bed.   

   Brian Wilson really adds something special by his careful delivery. It is something that really stands him apart from the rest..
And as for Van Dyke Parks; can anybody give him enough credit for how hard he works as a composer/arranger not just on his own behalf but for others as well. OCA is a shining example of this. 
IMHO. 

   So overall I still enjoy the performances, production and feeling of Orange Crate Art very much... It is crisp in texture and also lush. For the most part it is unhampered, soaring and alot of fun!
                 Not to mention it has some excellent players on it!
Shouldn't  I mention that Tommy Morgan is listed in the credits.
 
* In his book Time Must Have a Stop , Aldous Huxely talks about The Habit of Sensuality and Pure Aesthetism as a process of God -Proofing . He says to INDULGE in it is to become like a spiritual macintosh , sheilding a little courner of time of which one is the center - from the least drop of eternal reality! If you didn`t idolitrously take the manifest for the principal - if you avoided spiritual glutonny and realized that these country ectasies were an invitation to move on to something else - then it was perfectly alright to to wander lonely as a cloud and even confide that fact to paper. 

...

  






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Gretchen

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Reply with quote  #32 

Wow, just catching up on all the great commentary! Love the detailed post about the magazine experience, guitar fool...

The tip to check out Moonlighting...

The earlier posted clip of BW and VDP singing, from the documentary...

The song-by-song perspectives!

And, the affirmation that OCA was completely post-Landy and free of that bad vibe business there... 

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