around town and out of control with lawrence bray

LAST WEEK, I RE­CEIVED AN EMAIL from a young mu­si­cian that I had never heard of. (No big deal there: my ig­no­rance of mu­si­cians young or old of the past few decades might cause you to tit­ter in won­der at the im­men­sity of it.) His name was Lawrence Bray, which set off no alarms of mem­ory in my ag­ing brain. I did re­mark to my­self (al­though not aloud—I may be ag­ing but I’m not that old yet) that Bray was not a com­mon sur­name. In fact, the only Bray I know is a wee town in Berk­shire County, Eng­land. And the… Con­tinue Read­ing around town and out of con­trol with lawrence bray

a discography and price guide to the kinks' arthur album and related singles

THE KINKS' ARTHUR al­bum of 1969 was a smash­ing suc­cess with the crit­ics and the few fans that the once pop­u­lar group still had at the time. It sold bet­ter than any Kinks al­bum had in re­cent mem­ory, but barely graced the best-selling charts. ARTHUR has grown in pres­tige through the years and now both orig­i­nal press­ings and even reis­sues are sought af­ter by col­lec­tors. There were three sin­gles pulled from the al­bum ses­sions; none were ma­jor hits in the UK or the US. All are rather dif­fi­cult to find—especially in top con­di­tion. This ar­ti­cle is a discog­ra­phy of those sin­gles that… Con­tinue Read­ing a discog­ra­phy and price guide to the kinks' arthur al­bum and re­lated sin­gles

the kinks on arthur and finding shangri-la

AS WE BE­GIN OUR STORY some time in late 1970, the Kinks were in a bit of a bad way. De­spite be­ing one of the pre­mier groups of the British In­va­sion of 1964, they had not reached the Top 40 in the US since mid 1966. Even in their homeland—their own Vil­lage Green, filled with Arthur and mil­lions like him—it had been more than a year since they'd had a hit! Not that they were mak­ing out as new-fangled "al­bum artists": their LP sales had plum­meted and that they were banned from per­form­ing in the US, hence in­come had be­come an is­sue. Some­thing was… Con­tinue Read­ing the kinks on arthur and find­ing shangri-la

wild dandelion stomping with bamboogie injections

THIS AR­TI­CLE is an in­tro­duc­tion to Bam­boo­gie In­jec­tions, a con­tem­po­rary Rus­sian surf band, with a look at their first al­bum, Wild Dan­de­lion Stomp­ing. It is also a very brief look at the Rus­sian surf mu­sic scene of the past—something few of us who grew up in the '60s were aware ex­isted. We did know that deca­dent West­ern rock & roll was ab­solutely for­bid­den in the USSR and Soviet-bloc coun­tries, but ap­par­ently some of the mu­sic pen­e­trated the Iron Cur­tain. There was a hot mar­ket for smug­gled records and tapes from ra­dio broad­casts. Sup­pos­edly, there were bootleg records of Elvis, Beat­les, Stones, and oth­ers pressed… Con­tinue Read­ing wild dan­de­lion stomp­ing with bam­boo­gie in­jec­tions

on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 1)

WAS THE LEG­ENDARY "SMiLE" AL­BUM based on Brian Wilson's ex­pe­ri­ences with LSD? Did Brian con­sciously or un­con­sciously in­cor­po­rate as­pects of Zen Bud­dhism into SMiLE? Who was Arthur Koestler and what did he have to do with SMiLE? What the hell is 'biso­ci­a­tion' and why is it a part of a con­ver­sa­tion on Six­ties rock mu­sic? Did the other Beach Boys re­ally hate his new mu­sic of Brian's, or just Mike Love? Read "Con­vo­luted Con­ver­sa­tion Part 1" on Brian Wilson and SMiLE and learn. This ar­ti­cle was com­piled from a se­ries of con­ver­sa­tions be­tween William To­bel­man and me. It was sup­posed to be about Bill's… Con­tinue Read­ing on brian wilson and SMiLE (a con­vo­luted con­ver­sa­tion part 1)

on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 2)

THIS AR­TI­CLE AD­DRESSES BRIAN WILSON and the in­spi­ra­tion for his leg­endary SMiLE al­bum. It bears the un­wieldy ti­tle of "On Brian Wilson And SMiLE (A Con­vo­luted Con­ver­sa­tion Part 2)," be­cause it is the sec­ond of a three-part ar­ti­cle. Please find Part 1, which is an in­tro­duc­tion to Arthur Koestler, and read it be­fore con­tin­u­ing with this ar­ti­cle.   This is the cover for Capi­tol DT-2580, the Beach Boys SMILE. It was sched­uled or re­lease in Au­gust or Sep­tem­ber 1966. Not only was the al­bum not ready for re­lease at that time, but the fea­tured sin­gle Good Vi­bra­tions wasn't ready!… Con­tinue Read­ing on brian wilson and SMiLE (a con­vo­luted con­ver­sa­tion part 2)

the history of rock & roll in a nutshell (300 words or less)

THE NUT­SHELL IS THIS: Rock & roll has had two golden eras, both times when the artists took con­trol of the mu­sic and its di­rec­tion and led the way. But that's not the norm for pop­u­lar mu­sic: the norm is for busi­ness­men in the form of own­ers, Artists & Reper­toire (A&R) men, and other "bean-counters" to say what's so. In the be­gin­ning, a bunch of old white men in the A&R de­part­ments of the ma­jor record com­pa­nies dic­tated what was recorded and what was played on the ra­dio based on their idea of what middle-aged white women wanted to hear. The ma­jor com­pa­nies (Columbia and RCA Vic­tor were the… Con­tinue Read­ing the his­tory of rock & roll in a nut­shell (300 words or less)