After incessantly listening to Beach Boys’ Smile for two weeks, the Beach Boys have helped me wane off the sunshine and heat as the Indiana landscape slowly turns into an unforgiving frozen tundra. So here are my five songs that are either influenced by the Beach Boys or embody their bright sprit, two things that help me as a slowly drift off into my honey-induced hibernation.
The Beach Boys
The SMiLE Sessions
It has been known as “The Holy Grail of Rock ‘n’ Roll” or the “Most famous album never released”. In 1966 and 1967, at the same time as The Beatles were concocting their career staple Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys were constructing their own magnum opus known as SMiLE, meant as an ambitious follow up to their first masterpiece, Pet Sounds. But the project was rumored to be scrapped near the final stages due to dissension among the band about the project as well as Beach Boys front man and producer Brian Wilson dissolving due to heavy drug use and mental disorders. Many tracks meant for SMiLE including staple Beach Boys songs “Good Vibrations”, “Heroes and Villains”, and “Surf’s Up” ended up landing on subsequent albums, but the album was never released as intended. Also, several of the missing tracks on SMiLE got released in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set but not released in album format or in complete.
I hate Drake. I don’t hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics and has a shitty flow. I hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics, has a shitty flow AND consistently pollutes some of the better beats and potential guest spots in the game merely by his presence. Drake is the President’s Day of Holidays. Drake is the Kia Sedan of automobiles. Drake is the prescription painkillers of illicit narcotics use. In almost all situations, Drake is the milquetoast cousin of what is good and right with the world. He flows like rancid syrup, and sings like he wants to be the soundtrack for a middle-schooler’s first handy (just like the Degrassi-alumni that he will always be). As a further note, Drake refers to himself as Drizzy occasionally. Spoiler alert: This goes over about as poorly as you think it would.
Although I thought it a bit strange, I was very excited when I first heard the news that comedic actor Donald Glover would be crossing-over and launching a rap career under the name Childish Gambino. Angels in the Outfield was certainly a childhood favorite of mine, and who could possibly deny the brilliance of the hilarious buddy picture with Joe Pesci, Gone Fishin’? Sure, the Lethal Weapon series ran a about 3 movies too many, but the first one is not only a comedy/action classic, but also a template for all buddy/cop pictures following in it’s footsteps. Yes, crossing over from acting to rapping is a bit of an iffy move for a 65 year old actor, but why not? He’s black and he is total a badass. With a stage-name like Childish Gambino, I just assumed he must be playing out some sort of Peter Pan syndrome in which he is refusing to grow up, and instead, living out a childhood fantasy of becoming a rap artist. It wasn’t long after the news broke that I actually saw Childish perform at Bonnaroo, and my dreams and expectations were completely shattered.