Music on Sunday: The Beach Boys
I've been listening to The Beach Boys quite a bit over the best week, so I thought I'd share with all of you.

For those who think the Beach Boys were just a silly AM pop band, in the mold of various other sixties band like "Paul Revere and the Raiders" or "Merman's Hermit's" or "Gary and the Playboys" nothing could be further from the truth. True, they started out as a fun-in-the-sun surf band, but thinks to the incredible genius of Brian Wilson, they created some of the most amazing (and forward thinking) music of all time. The multi-tracking, and layering that Brian used was beyond what anyone else had attempted at that time and even now, the richness of it just amazing. Couple that with the Beach Boys exquisite harmonies and you have music for the ages.

Here are five of my favorite songs with commentaries:

Good Vibrations. This might very well be the greatest pop song of all time. The video shows a "live performance" but in reality the song was recorded over a period of six weeks. If you listen closely you can hear cellos. The weird woo sound is a theramin.

Surf's Up. IMO, one of the most beautiful and haunting songs ever recorded. This version is from "The Smile Sessions" with Brian on lead vocals. The version on the album of the same name has Carl Wilson singing lead. The ending always sends shivers down my spine.

G-d Only Knows. That's Carl doing the lead vocals. Brian is singing the high parts at the end. The song was recorded with a full 23 piece orchestra, highly unusual for those days.

I Get Around. I can't imagine any group did harmony vocals better or more imaginatively than The Beach Boys as this song highlights. And if you listen closely, you can see even in those early days, the music was already interesting and different.

For number 5 - well, truthfully, I could easily list 20 great somgs. But I will close out with Sail On, Sailor. I've always liked that one.

If you're looking for a Beach Boys collection, I recommend "Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys". It contains 30 classic songs.

Open On Sunday: Market
I have been working crazy long hours all week (including all last weekend), so I am super pleased I thought of this. Aside from the fact that I like it.

Ats Season 1

Marketing 101

Angel did a double take as he walked in the office.

“Are those women...underdressed?”

“Oh yeah, “ Doyle sighed.

Cordelia rolled her eyes. “They're here for the Angel Investigations ad.”

“That's not what I had in mind.”

“Get a clue, old guy. Sex sells. It's marketing 101. Just because you can't get any, doesn't mean it's not a good strategy.”

“I can get,” Angel muttered indignantly. “Ladies, there's been a mistake. You'll have to leave.”

Crossing her arms, Cordelia glared. “Just don't blame me when we don't get any paying customers.”

Open On Sunday: Solid
After Halloween, season 2

Buffy, Willow

Better Off Dead

“So what was it like being a ghost?”

“Horrible. I was there, but not there.”

Buffy made an appropriately sympathetic noise.

Willow had no idea why she had just lied. After the initial shock had worn off, it had been wonderful.

She had startled Giles. She had rescued Cordelia and Buffy. She had been the leader and had saved the day. Shy, mousy, scaredy cat Willow had died and the ghost that had risen had been the complete opposite.

Being a ghost had given her power. She was going to find some way to feel that way again.

Zachary News - He's a Superstar!
So the ever delightful Doodle is now in his second semester of his junior college year (hard for me to believe!). Last semester for his Typography 3 class, he had to design a magazine from scratch. Zachary's magazine was called "WONK", a weekly magazine geared toward the Washington DC crowd. It was a combination of lifestyle and politics.

He was only supposed to put together a few sample pages, but he created over 50 pages ( you can see some of them here. While creating this massive project, he realized that magazine design and layout was what he wanted to do once he graduated.

He applied for an internship at New Republic magazine (a liberal political magazine, if you don't know). He just found out he has the internship!

But that's not all.

New York magazine might offer him an internship. If he gets that one, he'll take that instead.

But that's not all either!

GQ Magazine, which does not hire interns, told him to stop by to meet the staff and bring his portfolio.

I am just so happy for him. I am thrilled that others see his talent.

Now the only problem will be that magazines are based in NYC and internships don't pay. He really does not want to live at home, so hopefully he can find some place cheap in an outer borough while he sublets his Baltimore apartment.

Music on Sunday: The Letter Q
This week, I thought I'd do something a little different - post about every album I own that is by a group/person that starts with the letter Q. Even I do not own that much Q stuff (although I certainly own more that the average person, lol). But even in my fairly meager Q collection there are all the hallmarks of my much bigger collection - a wide range of genres and stuff that ranges from the widely popular to the really obscure. So, let's dive in!

Q-Tip - The Renaissance
Genre - alternative rap
rating 5/5

I suspect most non rap fans will have no idea who this is. He was head of the group "A Tribe Called Quest" which combined jazz with rap. The song I've chosen, "Gettin Up" is a smooth dance beat with a jazzy undertone. The vid I chosen shows the lyrics, since that's an important part of understanding/enjoying rap music.

Quasi - Featuring "Birds"
Genre - alternative pop/rock
rating 5/5

Most likely the album that no one will have heard of.This group is comprised of Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney and Sam Coomes from Built to Spill. two groups with fairly good aized followings. I have no idea about the rest of Quasi's output, but this album is comprised of great pop and who needs more than that? Not me, certainly. Below is the opening track "Our Happiness is Guaranteed" The lyrics are completely at odd with the chipper music, which makes it even better.

Queen - Greatest Hits
Genre - glam rock; hard rock
rating 5/5

Who doesn't like Queen? It's hard not to sing along with their endless stream of hummable anthems. It was pretty hard to just choose one, but I admit to having a crazy love for "Another One Bites the Dust" so that's what's below.

Queen Latifah - All Hail the Queen
Genre - rap
rating 4/5

One of the first female rap stars. I really like her positive message which "Ladies First" embodies.

Queen Latifah - The Dana Owens Album
- Trav'lin' Light
- Persona
Genre - jazz; r&b
rating (in order) 5/5, 4/5, 3/5

As if being a rap superstar wasn't enough, it turns out Dana Owens (Queen Latifah's real name) is a powerhouse singer. Here she is from the Dana Owens album doing a fantastic version of The Mamas and The Papas classic, "California Dreamin'".

Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R
- Songs for the Deaf
Genre - alternative metal
rating (in order) 5/5, 5/5

A metal band unlike most metal bands. In general, I don't like metal, but QotSA are damn catchy. Here's "No One Knows" from "Songs for the Deaf". Love that bass line. (And I am planning to get their latest album ...Like Clockwork.)

So, know any other "Q" albums I should own? Please mention them! And tell me what you think of these. I'd be surprised if someone likes all of this, it's pretty far ranging!

of adorable bunnies. Seriously.

Open On Sunday: Bottle
Future fic

Angel/Buffy, Spike/Buffy

Reality Bites

“So, she's getting married.”

“Yeah.” A muscle in Angel's jaw twitched but there was no other movement.

“Seems like a right bloke.”

“He is. Teacher. Does charity work in his spare time. He's not put off by the slaying gig.”

Spike lifted an eyebrow. “You stalked him?”

Angel shrugged, not bothering to deny anything.

“Good for her. She deserved better than the likes of us.”

Angel turned on his heel, stalked over to his liquor cabinet and grabbed two bottles of Jameson's. “Shut up, Spike,” he growled. “Just shut up and drink.”

Man, this literally took me 5 minutes to write. I saw the topic and boom! Sometimes, an idea hits instantly.

Music on Sundays: It Was 50 Years Ago Today (more or less), Daft Punk Ear Worm
You may have noticed there has been a renewed interest in The Beatles lately. Everywhere you go, there are articles and TV specials about them.

A little over 50 years on February 9, 1964 The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan and changed the world forever. Youth culture started that night in living rooms all over America. I've written in the past about their impact on me. I wouldn't be writing about music on Sundays for one thing, if they hadn't rocked my world that night.

One Beatles item that appeared this year was a new CD - "On Air - Live At the BBC - Volume 2". Early in their career, they would appear on BBC radio, sing a short set and banter a bit. They were on dozens of times and this album collects both performances and interviews. Nowadays, "live" performances are often sweetened in the studio, everyone is auto tuned to within an inch of their life. Even live, many acts are actually lip syncing to pre-recorded vocals.

Not so with this. This were recorded in one take. And they were awesome. In addition to everything else, they were a great live band. Particularly fun to hear are their versions of other people's songs that never made it onto an album. So, here are three. Enjoy.

First up, Paul doing Little Richard's "Lucille". Great guitar work and I love it when Paul rocks out.

Next John doing Chuck Berry's classic "Memphis, Tennessee". Likely the first rock song ever written about child custody issues. (as an aside, I own at least four versions of this song. Great number.)

Finally George doing Carl Perkin's "Glad All Over".

Now, let's jump from the past to the present. I also recently obtained Daft Punk's newest album "Random Access Memories". I love the album, but one of the songs has become a total ear worm for me! So, I am passing it one to you, so you can be infected also. (warning - do not get the album based on this song. The rest is very, very different.)

So, here's Stephen Colbert geeking out to "Get Lucky". And by the by, that fantastic bass line is courtesy of Niles Rodgers, one of the greats of all time.

Get Lucky

Sleepy Hollow Season 1 Finale - It's a Star Wars/Walking Dead Crossover Event!
Yeah, this is very, very late. But general exhaustion meant that I just finished watching this. So right this way to a ride on the crazy trainCollapse )

Music On Sundays: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is a song that's so iconic, I'd be shocked if someone doesn't know it. Elvis Presley said it was the saddest song he'd ever heard and it's certainly in the top 5.

Hank Williams wrote and recorded the song in 1949. His straightforward singing, poetic lyrics and hummable tune made the song an instant classic. You can really hear the pain in his voice.

(By the by, if you have any interest in country music at all, I highly recommend a Hank Williams greatest hits album. I personally like 40 Greatest Hits.)

This song has gone on to be covered by hundreds of singers with many different interpretations. As it so happens, I own quite a few different versions.

In 1973 Al Green did a smooth soul version included on his seminal album "Call Me." I love what he does with the song here.

The Cowboy Junkies did a version on their 1988 Trinity Sessions album. By far, the slowest version. Very haunting. This album also includes a cover of Lou Reed's Sweet Jane, another song done by a multitude of singers.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore is an alternative country singer. His 1993 version is the closest to the original, although the guitar work is very different. From the album Spinning Around the Sun.

Cassandra Wilson's jazz inflected version is included on her '95 New Moon Daughter album.

And finally, Johnny Cash dueting with Nick Cave on American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). I highly recommend the entire American series. Impeccable song selections and Cash's interpretations are outstanding.

So, six very different versions. There are hundreds more, but these are the ones I own. If you own a different take, post it below.

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