The Beach Boys, Surfer Girl

Posted in The Beach Boys on August 13th, 2012 by Willie

It’s hard to imagine that summer is almost over.  I’m actually on my third summer in a row.  Just when summer ended in 2011, I jetted for Sydney, and spent 5 months there just as Australia’s summer dawned, fully missing America’s cold months.  I returned home in March 2012, just in time for Spring, hence my endless summer.  I can’t think of a better way to mourn the loss of summer then with one of the saddest and my most beautiful Beach Boys songs ever, “Surfer Girl.”  It’s almost hard to believe that “Surfer Girl” was the first song Brian Wilson wrote.  He was 19 years old and the song drifted into his brain on a summer breeze as he drove his car around southern California.  “Surfer Girl,” a romantic pop masterpiece, is no slouchy way to begin a career of legendary pop music.  The song features all the greatest Beach Boy trademarks; a stunningly nostalgic melody, perfectly constructed harmonies, and wonderful lyrics mixing surfing and love.  One last note.  I love the emerging trend in these live performances of the shy Brian taking the lead vocal in a band where the hammy Mike Love, who has nothing to do but sing, is sidelined for his much more talented cousin.  It’s a fantastic live performance all around, so before you head to the beach, give “Surfer Girl” a spin to remember why you are alive and doing such activities in the first place.


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The Beach Boys, In My Room

Posted in The Beach Boys on August 9th, 2012 by Willie

Followers of this site know I have about one billion tributes, breakdowns, and videos of my favorite group ever, the Beatles.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d think I am some sort of pasty, Union Jack waving, North Englander filled with way too much national pride.  The reality is, that while I am pasty, I’m actually an American from Brooklyn, New York, and you couldn’t get more Brooklyn then honoring the Beach Boys, local lads direct from Coney Island!  Just kidding, they are from sunny Hawthorne California, a suburb of Los Angeles.  The Beach Boys crested into the hearts of America on harmonies that no one thought possible from 5 young men with rock and roll addictions.  Songs like “In My Room,” seem as wholesome as songs can get. The Beach Boys look and sound like a gang of elitist preppy choir boys, which to me, makes the band, and their leader, Brian Wilson, all the more subversive.  The Beach Boys projected an image of friendly prettiness, but the beauty of Brian Wilson’s songwriting, which in reality was painstakingly tortured, hinted at something darker and more intimate.  Much like his contemporaries John and Paul, Brian accidentally began to realize that just because you write pop music, you can’t really hide your artistic pain behind the veneer of a two minute song written for teenagers.  Brian’s discovery allowed him to tap further depths of soul that would inform his later masterpieces.  Those masterpieces will be explored later this week as we delve deeper into the wonderful world of Beach Boys music.  Stay tuned.

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