the beach boys

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The Broken Heartbreakers: The Broken Heartbreakers (Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Broken Heartbreakers: The Broken Heartbreakers (Rhythmethod) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a sound which draws equally on the Left Banke, the Everly Brothers, Brian Wilson, Beatles, alt.country harmonies and the Anglofolk tradition, this Auckland group can hardly fail. In songwriter John Guy Howell they also have someone with a genuine gift, and the arrangements here -- minimal guitars, a lovely drone quality in Angels,...

The Magnetic Fields: Distortion (Nonesuch)

The Magnetic Fields: Distortion (Nonesuch)

Okay, this is wilful on the part of Magnetic Fields' mainman Stephin Merritt and myself. On his part because here the wunderkind of US pop-rock saturates everything in feedback and distortion (hence the album title) -- and on my part because this album won't be easy to find in New Zealand (if you wanted to, that is). But I include it here...

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)

It was a tragic irony that Dennis Wilson, the only genuine surf-rat in the Beach Boys, should have drowned. But by 1983 when he died in the waters of Marina Del Rey, he was a spent force who had succumbed to alcohol, depression and cocaine -- and he'd only recorded one solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977. That was also a tragedy because...

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)

In what sounds like another step in his on-going recovery programme, this album from the former Beach Boy doesn't much change that well-established formula of layered vocal harmonies, uplifting or reflective melodies, and classy orchestrations.What makes this of interest though isn't that it is a kind of song-cyle about his beloved California...

THE BEACH BOYS' MIKE LOVE INTERVIEWED (2007, and concert review): Hang on to Your Ego

THE BEACH BOYS' MIKE LOVE INTERVIEWED (2007, and concert review): Hang on to Your Ego

It is a rare individual who can claim that the Beatles sang “happy birthday” to him. But then Mike Love -- the Beach Boy who keeps their early surf songs alive today -- is a rare man indeed. Now 66, Love can reflect on a life in popular music that began with 60s pop capturing the breezy vibe of southern California, but which...

The Aliens: Luna (Pet Rock)

The Aliens: Luna (Pet Rock)

Back in the late Ninenties the Beta Band from Britain were, for some of us at least, the most exciting and promising thing around. They released three charming folkadelic EPs -- packaged on CD as, you guessed it, The Three EPs -- and they were heard at the best barbecues. They were pastoral, trippy, sort of hip-hop if you only had acoustic...

Jim Noir: Jim Noir (My Dad)

Jim Noir: Jim Noir (My Dad)

Some six months ago the English magazine Q hailed this quirky, poppy and delightfully cheerful album as "the surprise soundtrack of summer 2008" -- which means that for us in the other hemisphere it is now we should be tuning in. Jim Noir (known to his family as Alan Roberts) from near Manchester is far from noir and in fact there...

Sagittarius: My World Fell Down (1966)

Sagittarius: My World Fell Down (1966)

Elsewhere doesn't go much for conspiracy theories -- although I've been to the Texas Book Depository in Dallas and, hmmm. But here's one that might be of interest. LA musician/producer Gary Usher was working on the single My World Fell Down with a bunch of session musicians at the same time as Brian Wilson was meticulously crafting Good...

The Coral: Butterfly House (Shock)

The Coral: Butterfly House (Shock)

Sometimes sounding like an odd collision in the studio of early Echo and the Bunnymen and America, Liverpool's the Coral here deliver their big songs (big on melody, choruses, drama and references) with enjoyable passion but never quite approach that frisson they had on their thrilling self-titled debut album of '02. However these...

The Beach Boys: In the Back of My Mind (1965)

The Beach Boys: In the Back of My Mind (1965)

In the very interesting DVD doco Brian Wilson; Songwriter 1962 - 1969,  Bruce Johnston -- who replaced Brian in the touring line-up of the Beach Boys in the mid Sixties -- identifies this song as anticipating the classic BB album Pet Sounds. It appeared on the album The Beach Boys Today!, a record which largely went past many people who...

BRIAN WILSON; SONGWRITER 1962 - 1969 (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

BRIAN WILSON; SONGWRITER 1962 - 1969 (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

Although this three hour, double DVD set comes with the disclaimer "not authorised by Brian Wilson, his record company or management" it features contributions from significant players in the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys story during this crucial decade. Here Bruce Johnston -- who replaced Brian in the touring band in '65 -- and BB...

THE BEACH BOYS: GOOD VIBRATIONS IN A BOX

THE BEACH BOYS: GOOD VIBRATIONS IN A BOX

As with any great and long-running band, the Beach Boys were capable of the sublime, the superfluous and the downright stupid. Were. The use of the past tense is quite deliberate. Nobody – except perhaps organisers of those weird American commemoration days where the remnants of the band made their tedious appearances for...

THE BEACH BOYS' BRIAN WILSON INTERVIEWED (2004): Heroes and Villains

THE BEACH BOYS' BRIAN WILSON INTERVIEWED (2004): Heroes and Villains

The city is melting by mid-morning. One of the newspapers - under the thumping headline "Blast Furnace" - says the Met Office is predicting the hottest day of the month: a withering 42C.  Summer is scorching its way to town, so Sydney responds with shirts off and shorts on. And by coincidence the soundtrack beneath the hiss of...

THE T.A.M.I. AWARDS, a concert film by STEVE BINDER

THE T.A.M.I. AWARDS, a concert film by STEVE BINDER

Widely considered one of the best rock films ever made, this long-overdue DVD release might throw you back to 1964 ( to the Teenage Awards Music International) but from the hysteria with which the acts are greeted, and the non-stop stage action (no fluffing about) you barely have a chance to catch your breath. So this might be a period piece...

The Goldebriars: Sing Out Terry O'Day (1964)

The Goldebriars: Sing Out Terry O'Day (1964)

One of the pleasures of digging around through old vinyl for Elsewhere's pages From the Vaults is in discovering the occasional overlooked classic, the rare or the just plain peculiar. Rummaging through discount bins takes time but there are often cheap rewards, in this case very cheap. What attracted me to this $3 album wasn't just the fact...

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