'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'
The Beach Boys
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Friday 22 October 2010
Back on the cusp of the 1970s, a young Elton John was making his American debut at Los Angeles' legendary Troubadour club, where he was thrilled to meet his idol Leon Russell, the saturnine pianist then on the verge of establishing his own solo career after a decade as a sought-after session man.
Sunday 03 October 2010
You can't help but read the valedictory into 72-year- old Lloyd's new album with Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers, bass, and Eric Harland, drums.
Friday 03 September 2010
It's no surprise to find the Great Arranger of his era tackling the Great American Songbook; but sadly, the absence of surprise also applies to the bulk of the treatments here, which err on the side of schmaltz.
Dylan Jones: 'As soon as I got home, I played my CD of Californian ocean sounds with the Beach Boys over the top'
Saturday 28 August 2010
Twenty years ago, almost to the very day, I was in Carmel in California, about to have dinner at Clint Eastwood's restaurant, the Hog's Breath Inn (at the time he was the town's mayor). As I walked down through the centre of town, I passed one of those generic New Age shops, selling everything from Grateful Dead posters to lava lamps. It also sold CDs of ocean sounds, California ocean sounds to boot. And as I have been in love with the idea of the California ocean from the age of about 10, I had to buy one.
Friday 20 August 2010
The Beach Boys started it. Not the falsetto West Coast songsters of "Surfing USA", but the Hawaiian watermen who still act as board caddies and gurus to visiting mid-managers and their families in from Des Moines, trying out the forgiving waves of Waikiki for the first time. Back in the late 1950s they would paddle out to the break and tow the tourists into position. But they needed a way of getting out there with a camera and a cigarette too. So stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, was born. The original beach boys would equip themselves with not just a long, wide board but a wooden paddle, and would then use it to steer around the break, into and out of the waves, remaining upright all or most of the time.
The Barometer: Gorillaz; David Rotheray; Brad Mehldau; Robyn; Grinderman; Bombay Bicycle Club; Julian Marley; The Beach Boys
Friday 30 July 2010
What's hot on our playlist
Sunday 18 July 2010
Former NYU room-mates Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus began life as a muck-about band who, inspired by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks' Smile, locked themselves into an expensive studio they could barely operate.
Friday 02 July 2010
Larsen B are a trio from the Hertfordshire town of Wheathampstead, which they choose to refer to by its Domesday name of Watamestede, signal whimsy.
Friday 11 June 2010
Longer but less potent and focused than last year's seven-track "Black River Killer" EP, Destroyer of the Void finds Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper vacillating between the chamber-folk Americana of songs like "Below the Hurricane" and "The Man Who Would Speak True" and the more complex psych-rock of "Laughing Lover", whose serpentine melody and enigmatic lyric recalls Portland close neighbours The Shins.
Tuesday 27 April 2010
The Besnard Lakes, a quartet fronted by a husband-and-wife songwriting duo, hail from the same musically fertile land of Montreal in Canada as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, The Dears, and Stars. Like their peers, they boast an experimental and artful slant to their rock music. This is the last show in a short tour to promote their latest, third album, The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night, an intoxicating shoegazey set of tracks which immerse the listener in a heavy-reverb wall of sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, with the melodious harmonies of The Beach Boys.
Monday 26 April 2010
The Magic Numbers are back. Yes, that four-piece with lots of hair and impressive beards (half of them, anyway), who back in 2005 made people smile with the jangle-guitar and brother-sister harmonies of their eponymous debut.
Tuesday 16 March 2010
Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, broke through in the UK as a solo artist in 2007 with his third album, Person Pitch. Then last year his band Animal Collective performed the same feat with their latest neo-psychedelic LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion. In the meantime, Lennox has become a much in-demand collaborator.
Sunday 24 January 2010
Friday 22 January 2010
Reissued in the wake of Animal Collective's 2009 breakthrough, Campfire Songs dates from a time (2003) when they still had not settled upon that name for the band, but were operating under the sobriquet which eventually became the album title.
Saturday 05 December 2009
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
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- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader