Archive for Al Jardine

Video Du Jour (Part Deux): Al Jardine & The Beach Boys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on January 24, 2013 by 30daysout

Al Jardine of The Beach Boys released his solo album A Postcard from California in 2011, but it was released as a physical CD last year. And since then, of course, Al went on to tour with the reunited Beach Boys for a 50th anniversary celebration.

And after the tour was over Jardine, along with Brian Wilson and David Marks, was unceremoniously dumped from the group by Mike Love (or came to the end of their contract, depending on who you believe).Al Jardine

Anyhow, Al’s offering up a new video for the song “Don’t Fight The Sea,” which has an interesting history. Jardine wrote the environmentally conscious song years ago, and had begun recording vocals.

He had recordings of the late Beach Boys guitarist/singer Carl Wilson doing the song, and when he started work on his solo album he solicited the surviving Beach Boys to add their vocals to it as well.

“Don’t Fight The Sea” was released in 2011 as a charity single to help victims of the earthquake in Japan that year. This video has stunning photography and has won the Best Video award at The Blue Ocean Film Festival.

Al Jardine official web site

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson: A Real Jokester?

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , on September 19, 2012 by 30daysout

The Beach Boys sign autographs and answer questions on Twitter from Los Angeles on 9/18.

If somebody would have told me 30 years ago that there would be this thing called the internet, and on it would live this other thing called social media, where people could communicate instantly with masses around the world … well, that’s right up there with believing in space aliens and moderate Republicans.

Social media has taken away any sort of false modesty about the world and installed a big, widescreen picture window in our lives. Through that window we can see a topless princess, a starlet’s sweet ass or a football player’s weenie. And if we want to draw a curtain over that picture window to hide something from the world, well, sometimes it’s not so easy.

Which has nothing at all to do with why we’re here today, and that’s to talk about the Beach Boys and Twitter. Think about it – the Beach Boys’ best tunes are like musical tweets from the past, a glimpse into a long-lost world of surf, sand, sun, hot rods and bikinis, all in 140 characters or less.

Certainly you know the Beach Boys – a legacy-rich lineup of Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and David Marks – are touring to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. You probably knew they wrap up this tour next week with two dates in London, then the Mike Love/Bruce Johnston Beach Boys hit the road again in the States. You might have caught them on the road, or even have heard their all-new studio album That’s Why God Made The Radio.

And you probably heard they’re about to release yet another greatest hits set, 50 Big Ones, coming out Oct. 9. Which explains why the Beach Boys found themselves in a room yesterday (Sept. 18) talking to fans over Twitter.

There were a few good questions, and a lot of goofy ones. One Tweeter asked Brian Wilson, “What is your favorite track on Smile?” Wilson (or someone) answered, “Heroes and Villains.”

The Beach Boys sing the national anthem on Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers in April.

Another question elicited more than a single response: “What is your favorite Beach Boy (sic) song or album?” Bruce replied, “Warmth of the Sun and Sunflower.” Marks said “Surfin’ USA for album and hard to say fav song. Probably God Only Knows.” Love chimed in with “Good Vibrations for Song and our live album in Sacramento, CA. It was the excitement that was so great!”

Wilson, who is credited with creating much of the Beach Boys’ music, had an interesting answer: “California Girls for song and 15 Big Ones for album!” Interesting because 15 Big Ones (1976) was the first album that Wilson produced for the Beach Boys since Pet Sounds, 10 years earlier. After doing that 1960s classic,  Wilson had a breakdown caused by mental illness and a lot of drugs and spent the next decade in a haze.

And Wilson wrote or co-wrote only four of the album’s 15 tracks, which were mostly oldies (Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music” was a Top 5 hit). So, an intriguing answer – or maybe a joke?

The reason I say that is because of another Tweet: “Brian, if you could go back and remake one album, which one would it be?” (Full disclosure: that one came from me.) And Brian’s answer? “Endless Summer. I think it could have been better.”

Endless Summer? That 1974 album was a greatest hits set, a collection of singles from the period before Pet Sounds. Even though the original double LP didn’t contain the group’s biggest hit single (“Good Vibrations,” from 1967) it did monster business back in the day. Wilson did oversee the compilation at the time, but you wonder – why would he want to go back and re-do a collection of singles?

As I said, maybe he’s just pulling my leg. Or maybe that damn Mike Love slipped in and answered when nobody was looking!

No matter; this version of the Beach Boys is about to fade away into history, maybe never to return. “Summer’s Gone,” as the final song on the new album says. Thanks Boys – it sure was fun, fun, fun.

You can read a transcript of the entire Beach Boys Twitter exchange here.

The Beach Boys official web site

YouTube: “Good Vibrations” live in NYC, 5/8/12

Beach Boys’ Summer Wave Continues With DVD, Reissues & Greatest Hits Sets

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by 30daysout

The Beach Boys, rakin’ it in this summer.

The Beach Boys’ celebration of their 50th anniversary this year has been a wild success, as they sold out concert venues across the country. The current band lineup with Brian Wilson will wrap up their tour next month in London, but the Beach Boys won’t disappear after that.

A new DVD, The Beach Boys: Doin’ It Again, will be released August 28 (in DVD and Blu-ray formats) will feature live performances from this year’s tour, unseen footage from the 1966 “Good Vibrations” recording sessions, tributes to founding members Carl and Dennis Wilson and behind-the-scenes footage from the recording sessions for their new That’s Why God Made The Radio CD.

The Beach Boys; Doin’ It Again should be available at the usual outlets, including Amazon.

Capitol/EMI has also announced it will  release two new commemorative hits collections on Sept. 24 outside of North America and on October 9 in North America. One will be a single disc collection, with 20 of the band’s most popular songs, including “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Kokomo”  and their single from this year, “That’s Why God Made The Radio.”

A deluxe, career-spanning 2CD box and digital collection titled Greatest Hits: 50 Big Ones will also be released, featuring 50 Beach Boys favorites, including two songs from the band’s new album — the title track “That’s Why God Made The Radio” and a new single version of “Isn’t It Time,” which will be serviced to radio in September. The 2CD lift-top box package also includes an expanded booklet with newly written liner notes by Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild and seven postcards.

If that’s not enough, Capitol is also releasing 12 remastered Beach Boys studio albums on September 24 outside of North America and on September 25 in North America.

The 12 Beach Boys studio albums have been digitally remastered by Mark Linett and will be released on CD and digitally, most featuring mono and stereo mixes. The albums are: Surfin’ U.S.A.; Surfer Girl; Little Deuce Coupe; Shut Down, Volume 2; All Summer Long; The Beach Boys Today!; Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!); Beach Boys Party!; Pet Sounds; Smiley Smile; Sunflower (stereo mix only); and Surf’s Up (stereo mix only).

These releases mark the stereo debut of Smiley Smile and Beach Boys Party!, while The Beach Boys Today! and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) are being released in stereo for the first time in their entirety. The new releases include the first-ever stereo mixes of several key Beach Boys classics, including “Good Vibrations,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “I Get Around,” and “409,” among others.

On Sept. 18, The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles will launch a special Beach Boys 50th Anniversary exhibit with “An Evening With The Beach Boys,” a public event featuring a Q&A and acoustic performance by Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks.

A career-spanning Beach Boys 50th Anniversary box set is planned for release later this year by Capitol/EMI. Details about the special commemorative release will be announced soon.

YouTube: The Beach Boys: Doin’ It Again trailer (sorry, we can’t embed it)

The Beach Boys official web site

Video Du Jour: The Beach Boys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on June 24, 2012 by 30daysout

Summer’s started officially, and pretty much everybody is sweating out some hot weather (sorry, Australia). Hopefully this will help, no matter where you are.

It’s “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” the first single from the Beach Boys’ new album of the same name. The Boys have reunited for a 50th anniversary tour, and in mid-July they’ll wrap up the U.S. leg of the tour and head to Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. Will they come back in October for another run through the United States? Not quite sure yet.

The Beach Boys official website

Live: The Beach Boys, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by 30daysout

The Beach Boys, in their 50th year: from left, Al Jardine, David Marks, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston.

UPDATE: Listen to about an hour of The Beach Boys in concert, courtesy of NPR Music

It’s really rather astonishing to realize that the reunited Beach Boys are currently touring the country to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary with a pace that could make younger performers wilt. Each of the core band members may be hovering around 70 years old but the group’s music is as timeless and fresh as ever.

We caught the Boys Friday night for their show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion just outside of Houston, and about a week removed from their triumphant sellout gig at the Hollywood Bowl near their hometown. As the band kicked in to “Do It Again” to start the show, it was amazing to hear the unique harmony of voices that seemed to have diminished very little over the course of time.

The band, consisting of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Alan Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston, along with members of Wilson’s and Love’s touring bands, ripped through 47 songs over a three-hour period with one intermission (a nap break?) and rocked a nearly sellout crowd of about 16,000. The set list was a nice mix of fast and slow, familiar hits and deep cuts arranged in a way to spotlight each member.

Wilson, the composer of many of these songs, sounded in weakest voice, particularly on the songs at the early point of the concert. He pulled off his solo vocal turn in “Surfer Girl” all right, but sounded rough on “Marcella” and, later in the show, his voice wavered on “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” from the classic album Pet Sounds. Although he’s also lost a bit of range, Love still sounded great on “Be True To Your School” and the rapid-fire barrage of car songs that ended the first half of the set: “Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “Shut Down” and “I Get Around.”

Brian Wilson on bass, just like the old days.

The night’s vocal MVP award has to be shared, though: Jardine sounded straight from the 1960s with his vocal spotlights on Leadbelly’s “Cotton Fields,” “Sloop John B,” his own “California Saga” and of course, “Help Me Rhonda.” The other MVP was Jeffrey Foskett of Brian Wilson’s backing band the Wondermints – Foskett held down the high vocal parts in place of original Beach Boy Carl Wilson, who died in 1998. When the Boys played two songs from their newest album That’s Why God Made The Radio (“Isn’t It Time?” and the title song) Foskett tracked Wilson’s vocal so closely that it almost seemed like they were singing along to a pre-recorded track.

The choice of non-hit, deep cuts was interesting to say the least: “This Whole World” from the 1970s, “Kiss Me, Baby” from the early days, the car song “Ballad of Ole Betsy,” and most regrettably, “All This Is That” from the equally regrettable Carl and the Passions album.

We had seen the Beach Boys a handful of times in the 1970s but we’d never experienced “Marcella,” “This Whole World,” “It’s OK” and “Add Some Music To Your Day” as well as “Sail On, Sailor” and “California Saga.” We felt privileged to have them Friday night.

Then there were covers of 1950s-1960s oldies: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, “Then I Kissed Her,” reworked from the Crystals, and Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music.” But there was always a hit on deck, and the concert went into the home stretch with Bobby Freeman cover “Do You Want To Dance?” (which was a Beach Boys hit, too) and “Surfin’ U.S.A.” (swiped in part from Chuck Berry).

They came back for an encore with “Kokomo” then Wilson stepped out from behind his piano and strapped on a bass for “Barbara Ann” and “Fun,Fun,Fun.”

At a few points Love shamelessly hawked the band’s merchandise and the new album, explaining that they wanted to sell as many copies as possible so they could claim No. 1 on the Billboard album charts next week. That’s Why God Made The Radio was released last Tuesday, and when sales figures are released this Wednesday it is expected to be in the top three at least, making this the Beach Boys’ highest charting album in 37 years.

Observing that they are competing for that top spot with the likes of Alan Jackson and Adele, Love urged concertgoers to take advantage of a special offer: the CDs were marked down to five bucks apiece at the merch tables. As further incentive, each of the five core members of the Beach Boys autographed about 50 CDs, which were interspersed with the stacks of discs on sale.

And they sold a lot of them, as well – at one point someone announced the CDs were “sold out.” Making the whole evening a triumph for good old American capitalism, rock music and values. No better way to celebrate than with the Beach Boys; certainly it felt like the Fourth of July came a month early.

Sorry, we took the night off from taking photos to enjoy the music from up on the hill. Be sure and catch the Beach Boys live if you get a chance!

The Beach Boys setlist from June 8, Houston show

The Beach Boys official website

YouTube: Video clips from The Beach Boys’ show in Houston 6/8

Gettin’ Ready for the Summer

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by 30daysout

We've used this photo before - hope you don't mind if we use it again.

This week, in our hometown of Houston, Texas, we have had a great stretch of lovely, sunny weather. The TV nerds are telling us about temperatures in coming days that will flirt with the 90s, and there’s not a cloud in sight.

So let me be the first to welcome you to pre-summer, that short window of time before the heat is here and the time is right … to suspend all critical judgment and good taste when it comes to entertainment. This week the newly reunited Beach Boys start their 50th anniversary tour and next week the first of the big blockbuster movies (The Avengers) will be unleashed. But you don’t have to sell out just yet – there are some new music releases of actual quality out now, to help you get in the mood for the long, hot summer.

Best of Kokua Festival by Jack Johnson & Friends – Recorded live over six years of Kokua Festivals in Hawaii, this sunny sampler is anchored by Jack Johnson, who is the current generation’s Jimmy Buffett and Beach Boys rolled into one. There’s a healthy sampling of Jack Johnson tunes (“Mudfootball,” “Better Together”) but the best stuff comes from the guest stars, who include Ziggy and Damian Marley, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Taj Mahal, Eddie Vedder and good ol’ Willie Nelson. A mellow time is had by all. Highlights: “A Pirate Looks At Forty” (Jimmy Buffett cover) by Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews; “Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain,” by Willie Nelson w/Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Best reason to buy it: 100 percent of the proceeds go to charity.

The Grifter’s Hymnal by Ray Wylie Hubbard – The associate dean of Texas songwriters (second only to Guy Clark), Ray Wylie Hubbard has released what many are calling his best album. I kinda thought his last one, A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is No C), was his best, but no – The Grifter’s Hymnal is packed with gritty, hard-earned truth set to some sizzling electric guitar work. If you buy only this album all year, you will still be light years ahead of the pack. Highlights: “Mother Blues,” “South of the River,” “Coochy Coochy” (featuring Ringo Starr!) Best reason to buy it: It’s a great soundtrack for an outdoor barbecue.

What Kind of World by Brendan Benson – Probably best known for performing as part of the Raconteurs with Jack White, Brendan Benson is a solid songwriter and excellent guitarist who effortlessly combines power pop and melodic guitar rock with a roots music sensibility. Perhaps influenced by his move to Nashville, Benson deftly deploys a country side that balances this listenable album nearly perfectly. Highlights: “Light of Day,” “What Kind of World” and “On The Fence (a duet with Ashley Monroe of the Pistol Annies). Best reason to buy it: Paired with Jack White’s new Blunderbuss, it makes a good one-two party shot.

Sacred Fire (EP) by Jimmy Cliff – While I was excited to get new music from the associate dean of reggae music (second only to Bob Marley), I was bummed by this five-song EP’s short run time. But what’s here is great: Jimmy covers the Clash, Bob Dylan and punk rockers Rancid (the latter’s lead singer Tim Armstrong is producer), and offers a couple originals that set up well alongside his classics. Cliff promises an upcoming full-length album, which will apparently include the tunes from this EP. Highlights: “The Guns of Brixton,” “Ship Is Sailing.” Best reason to buy it: Get the vinyl LP, which has an extra track, “World Upside Down.”

Download “Ship Is Sailing” for free at Jimmy Cliff’s website

A Postcard from California by Al Jardine – This solo album from a founding member of the Beach Boys actually came out a couple of years ago as a download-only offering; now you can get a brick-and-mortar copy with some extra tunes. Of course, the guy who sang “Help Me Rhonda” will put out a record that sounds exactly like the Beach Boys, even to the point of revisiting some of the Boys’ familiar tunes. This time around he loads up on the guest stars: Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Steve Miller, America, Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Alec Baldwin (yes, the actor) and best of all, the surviving (and one deceased) members of the Beach Boys. Highlights: “Don’t Fight The Sea” with the Beach Boys. Best reason to buy it: The CD back cover has a map of California, in case you get lost while drivin’ up the coast.

Some others out now that are worth mentioning: Marley, a two-CD soundtrack to the documentary on Bob Marley; Slipstream by Bonnie Raitt; Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook by Elvis Costello; Little Broken Hearts by Norah Jones and Blunderbuss by Jack White. Wait for: We Salute You (covers) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, May 1; After Hours by Glenn Frey, May 8; Heroes by Willie Nelson, May 15; Ram (reissue) by Paul & Linda McCartney, May 22; Big Station by Alejandro Escovedo, June 5: and of course That’s Why God Made The Radio by the Beach Boys, also on June 5.

Video Du Jour: The Beach Boys

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by 30daysout

The Beach Boys begin a 50th anniversary tour this week.

The Beach Boys are back! The surviving members of the seminal ’60s surf rock band begin a U.S. tour this week to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks will be backed by Wilson’s crack Wondermints and … well, we already have our tickets!

To help with the celebration, the Beach Boys also plan to release a newly recorded studio album on June 5. The first single is “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” and it has plenty of the trademark harmonies that characterize the Beach Boys’ music. This video features the single, as well as some short comments by the band.

The Beach Boys official website

Video Du Jour: Beach Boys

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by 30daysout

In case you haven’t heard, the surviving members of the Beach Boys are back – with a tour to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, and apparently a new album. Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks (who was originally replaced by Jardine) are hitting the road with Brian Wilson’s crack backing band. Here is the remake of “Do It Again,” the first single off the new album.

The Beach Boys official website

Video Du Jour: The Beach Boys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on January 5, 2012 by 30daysout

With news that the three surviving original Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine) are planning a 50th anniversary tour this year, I thought we could share this video from 1974.

The Boys appeared on “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” along with Chicago that year (they did a cool version of Chicago’s “Wishin’ You Were Here” with backing vocals from the Beach Boys, as on the record). But this one is the Beach Boys only, led by the late Carl Wilson singing “Darlin’.”

The Beach Boys official website

The Beach Boys hit the road to celebrate 50 years

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2011 by 30daysout

The four remaining Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine, are hitting the road this year to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. It all kicks off at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April. No other dates have been announced yet, we just know there are 50.

The band went back into the studio recently to re-do the symbolic “Do It Again,” a great mid-tempo rocker that doesn’t get the recognition of the other hits in the band’s incredible collection. The tune will be part of a new album set to be released next year. There is also a plan to reissue (yet again) the band’s catalogue on CD. This has been done two or three times already. There were the double album discs, then they pulled those off the shelves and just sold the single albums, then they pulled those off the shelves and sold the double albums again. Who the hell knows what is in store this time. One thing you can count on is another “Pet Sounds” package. I already have six copies. Please stop.

I have no idea who will be in the backing band, but I seriously don’t know any other way they can pull this off effectively without Wilson’s crew that includes musical director Darian Sahanaja and guitarist Jeffrey Foskett. The pair have been playing with him for more than a decade and were instrumental in helping him bring Smile to life back in 2004. Wouldn’t it be cool if they did again with the Beach Boys? Crossing my fingers.

Whatever happens it’s great to see these guys put aside their differences and get back together for the sake of the music…and I’m sure a mighty handsome payday.

Beach Boys Official Website

Check out our interview with Taylor Mills, former backup singer in Brian Wilson’s band.