Sunday, September 16, 2007

One dead link + three live ones and Brian Wilson!

About a week ago, jefitoblog.com went offline. The reason? Jeff's web hosting provider, Jatol, went under and unfortunately, the blog itself wasn't backed up locally. Whether jefitoblog will return is unclear at this point.

In the meantime, I've got three new blog links here to help fill jefito's huge void:

  • JasonHare.com, the home of the always entertaining Chart Attack and Mellow Gold, was actually designed by jefito's Grab Bag Design company. So the look and feel is very familiar to jefito fans. Jason posts probably about as often as I do, which means it's easier to keep up with.

  • Isorski's Musings is based in Portland and comments on a lot of live music happenings, such as the recently announced Led Zeppelin reunion (I'm snoring at that news, which I should probably elaborate on in a separate post). He leans towards hard rock most of the time, and posts fairly regularly with great personality. This is one to get into, for sure.

  • Linear Zap's Blog is one of those awesome, generous music blogs like jefito's was, only with a strict Brian Wilson/Beach Boys focus. Which leads to...

Brian Wilson's recent performances at London's Royal Festival Hall featured the debut of That Lucky Old Sun (A Narrative), which is basically the follow-up to SMiLE. Dare I say Brian has created his third masterpiece (after Pet Sounds and SMiLE)? I think the long-form song cycle is really Brian's thing, much more than 3-minute pop songs. His last batch of pop songs (2004's Gettin' In Over My Head) sounded great, though they were bankrupt lyrically. He sounds truly inspired on That Lucky Old Sun, weaving the title song (yes, that same oft-covered Frankie Lane pop hit you know so well) throughout in variations, much in the way that fans had speculated Brian would do with his "Heroes And Villains" theme on a finished SMiLE. He draws on his rock n' roll roots by way of that plodding, idiosyncratic style he put forth on '70s tunes like "Let Us Go On This Way" in the part titled "Going Home," some of the camp of SMiLE in "California Role," the emotional intensity of Pet Sounds in "Midnight's Another Day," and pays tribute to his brothers in the closing section. There are little melodies throughout the piece that can be placed back to some of Brian's own work (like "Rio Grande," for instance) and, in "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl," he even nicks a riff from Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me Not To Come." And of course, Brian's patented harmonies he developed with the Beach Boys are present throughout, rendered lovingly by his backing band.

I'm placing my bets on a big Brian Wilson U.S. tour sometime next year to promote a new studio album. This will be the one that proves he's still vital, and not simply making his living by raising old ghosts. In a sense, this is even bigger than SMiLE, but we don't really know it yet, and probably won't for another 30 years...

3 comments:

Linear Zap said...

Hey!

Thanks for the link! "TLOS" actually includes quite a few parts from old songs...

There are parts of "Walkin'" and "Mama Yama Glory Hallelujah" (both yet-to-be-released-officially songs), a part of "Rio Grande", a part of "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car", a part of an unreleased Brian version of "Proud Mary", and obviously "Can't Wait Too Long". But I couldn't care less if nothing was new - it's just great. I especially like "Going Home" and "Midnight's Another Day"!

~LZ

Kely said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
harmolodic said...

I definitely caught the bit of "Rio Grande," but the rest flew right by me (I actually haven't heard the first two songs you mentioned). That's cool though, BW's not afraid to recycle old stuff that maybe wasn't just right in the first place in order to make something better. And it's certainly not the first time he's done it. It's half the fun of picking his music apart!

"Midnight's Another Day" is one of my favorites too.