The Only Place
Remember back in the late 50’s/60′s when life was simple? Just grabbin’ a burger at the stand by the beach, then paddling out in to the chilly blue water on your long board while the warming sun beats down on your shoulders and shimmers off the water. Then you catch that tubular wave into the sandy beach, grab your babe by the hip, hop in the ‘vette, and blast some Beach Boys on your way to catch a flick at the nearest drive-in … yea, I don’t remember that either. Instead I was born in 1986 in the state of Indiana. However, every once in a while I felt like I can relate to the feeling of the beach lifestyle via the music I am listening too. Beach Boys for example, Dick Dale, Jan and Dean, and for a post-1960’s example, Best Coast … ‘s first album.
Port of Morrow
In the early 2000’s, Albuquerque’s own The Shins caught the hearts and the ears of the music world, with their quirky and charismatic indie pop tunes. Then in 2007, following their disappointing third LP Wincing the Night Away, the band disbanded for their own projects. Lead man James Mercer went on to put out a pretty good collaboration album with super producer Danger Mouse in Broken Bells, before deciding to give the Shins one more try late last year. However, this time around, rather than corralling the original crew, Mercer would recruit a whole new band, creating a completely different outfit. Newly formed, the Shins are hitting the road this year and hitting it hard behind their new album Port of Morrow including dates at some of the most premier festivals including Leeds Festival and Reading Festival. Port of Morrow, the band’s fourth album and first in five years, has some signature Shins sound but for the most part, reinvents the band almost as a sort of James Mercer solo project, bringing forth some more straightforward, somewhat sappy pop tunes without much bite, leading to some mixed results.
Young & Old
Yesterday, Wes discussed the duo of indie rockers Sleigh Bells releasing their sophomore album, Reign of Terror. Well, last Tuesday (notable for being Valentine’s Day) another indie duo and a married couple, known as Tennis, also released their own sophomore effort, Young & Old. The lo-fi somewhat-surf-rockers did well last year, releasing their debut album Cape Dory on the notably awesome indie label Fat Possum Records. The album was subtle, but great, and received fairly positive reviews, but was still a bit underrated IMHO. Something tells me that this album on the whole will be received in a fairly similar fashion.
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.
Getting nice and cozy
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.
SMiLE, the mighty chalice of rock history