Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On my turntable: The Millennium - Begin

Begin by The Millennium
As far back as I can remember, I have been a fan of psychedelic, sunshine-kissed pop. I blame this mostly on Saturday mornings back when I used to sit glued to tv shows like The Monkees, H.R. Pufnstuf, and the Osmonds/J5 cartoons.

As an adult one of my greatest thrills is discovering some bubble-psych masterpiece that had somehow managed to slip past me. For example: In the late 80’s I found the Zombies’ Odessey & Oracle and The Rascals’ Once Upon a Dream. Ten years later I dove into Love’s Forever Changes and The Byrds’ Younger than Yesterday.

Today I experienced The Millennium’s 1968 masterpiece Begin for the first time. It’s records such as this (and the ones mentioned above) that are life-changing. Much in the way that I suspect LSD was for many people in the 1960’s (I’ve never sampled the substance myself), hearing these records can be transformational in that there’s no way of getting back to how life was prior to hearing them.

Not all psychedelic records are transformational in this way. There became a point in 1967-69 where “flower power” had become a brand, seen and heard everywhere as part of popular culture. Sadly, this meant that poser psych bands were a dime a dozen, and the real psych gems often got lost in the shuffle. This is the only explanation I can think of for why I’m just hearing Begin now. No worries, tho. I plan to listen to this record every day for the immediate future. It’s just that lovely.

I kindly suggest you do the same. :)

Brian Wilson does Disney: 10.25.2011

Beating the release of The Beach Boys' Smile Sessions by one week, Brian Wilson's new album, Brian Wilson in the Key of Disney, is scheduled for release on October 25.

01 You've Got a Friend in Me (from Toy Story)
02 Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book)
03 Baby Mine (from Dumbo)
04 Kiss the Girl (from The Little Mermaid)
05 Colors of the Wind (from Pocahontas)
06 Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (from The Lion King)
07 We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3)
08 I Just Can't Wait to Be King (from The Lion King)
09 Stay Awake (from Mary Poppins)
10 Heigh-Ho/Whistle While You Work (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
11 When You Wish Upon a Star (from Pinocchio)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Beach Boys SMiLE Sessions box set: 11.1.2011

Well here she is! The final, absolute honest-to-goodness real deal.

The SMiLE Sessions!

The LP/CD/book/kitchen sink is officially available for pre-order NOW at Amazon.com.

Learn more and/or Pre-order >here<!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Peace, Music, Spirituality and academics

The past seven days have been wicked uber challenging for yours truly. I don't want to rehash all of the details (because I am tired of the details, to be honest), but the short version of the story is that I was scheduled to take the last portion of my written prelim exam last Friday, but at the very last minute was informed that I would be taking a completely different exam from the one for which I'd studied all week.

I know I've written here about my anxiety issues, so you can imagine how this surprise exam scenario could have triggered some mighty unpleasant feelings (which it did). I was quick on my toes, though, and in retrospect I am terribly proud of how I handled myself through the whole debacle. I knew I was right about the department's policy on the exam I was supposed to be taking, but I went ahead and took the exam that I was given instead. I felt pretty good about it afterwards, but the whole experience still managed to render me physically and emotionally bankrupt.

The days that followed required a lot of self-care for me to maintain my sanity and not get physically sick. I ended up with a few consecutive days of diarrhea, which is never pleasant. Still, in thinking about it tonight I realized that my instinctive regimen of self-care consisted of 1) finding some personal peace and down-time, 2) plenty of time spent listening to & shopping for music, and 3) meditation & spiritual reflection. These are three biggies in terms of values in my life, which is why I have representations of each of them as tattoos (see pic).
Peace (1995), Music (2011), Spirituality (1994)
So even though the past week suuuuucked, I learned a thing or two about myself from the process, which is never a bad thing.  Tonight I feel pretty not bad at all.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DD's All You Need Is Now (finally) on VINYL?

Soon in record racks near you!
Two of this year’s most highly anticipated vinyl LPs (in my world) have been, thus far, missing in action: Blondie’s Panic of Girls, and Duran Duran’s All You Need Is Now. The latter has been sold via DD’s website as an exclusively limited edition LP with a bunch of extras for something like $5 billion. I had pretty much given up on having the album (one of Duran’s finest, in my opinion) on vinyl until last nite when I was browsing new releases at amazon.com, where they have AYNIN listed with a release date of 9/13/11.

The record’s available now for pre-order at a nifty price of $16.55. Sure am glad I didn’t take out a second mortgage on our house to buy that deluxe version!

Now if we could just get some good news about Panic of Girls

Friday, August 12, 2011