Friday, November 4, 2011

THE BEACH BOYS - Washington, DC 1981

It's starting to get downright damn chilly and rainy here in L.A., but this week is still all about that bright sunny SMiLE. Yes, as all followers of this and my other blog have surely heard, Mr. Brian Wilson and His Beach Boys' long-dormant album project has finally been officially released after a mere 45-year wait. And while I'm still anxiously awaiting my copy in the mail, my adoration of Brian's monumental 2004 SMiLE recording knows no bounds, so I can only imagine that the remastered, reassembled original will be at least as great. No megabudget Hollywood epic can hold a candle to these mind-movies, baby. (Of the hundreds of reviews online, my favorite is here; as usual, U.K. critics and fans are way ahead of us when it comes to this quintessentially American band. It bears mentioning too that The SMiLE Sessions received an extremely rare 10 rating from those annoying hipster dick-dweebs at Pitchfork.)

Speaking of Mr. Wilson, my main man also happens to have a charming new CD of Disney songs, In the Key of Disney, out now as well. (I played this track for my 14-month-old son many a time today...yes, Wilson Sings Newman!) This on top of last year's deeply wonderful Reimagines Gershwin album, and in addition to regular worldwide touring. Not a bad run of productivity for a senior citizen whom many wags long ago wrote off as a braindead waste-case loony tune.

All of this to say that this is a uniquely exciting time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved B-Boys. In that spirit, I proudly present one of their hugely attended 1980-'85 Independence Day concerts on the National Mall in my hometown of Our Nation's Capital. This one, a complete FM broadcast (from Q107, my fave station as a kid!), was my first Beach Boys concert and I vividly remember watching from atop my dad's shoulders. I believe too that 1981 was the last year that all six members of the band performed live together. As with everything Beach Boys, it contains a lot of joy laced with a little sadness...

The National Mall - Washington, D.C. - July 4, 1981
(FMB @320 kbps)