Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Travel Tunes - Week 13

Continuing our theme of Wine and Beer, this week's Travel Tune is one of my favorite Beach Boys tunes...if not my all time favorite.  A tale of a Caribbean cruise gone bad from a night of binging and drinking, it still makes me want to catch the next plane down to Jamaica or Aruba.

The Beach Boys tend to be underrated, a lot of people thinking they're just bubble-gum pop and surf songs.  Under the surface is a musical Van Gogh...Brian Wilson...who has fought a lot of demons, starting with some truly epic confrontations with his dad over the direction of their music.  The entire group had to fight through a lot of obstacles along the way...their dad, Charles Manson hanging around, the death of Dennis Wilson, Brian's mental sickness...that usually don't show up in their music. Though he didn't write this one, I have to think that it was kind of a slap back saying he'd do things his own way.

Sloop John Bis a traditional West Indies folk song about a notorious boat whose crew would make very merry in each port they visited.  Al Jardine brought the song to Brian Wilson's attention, who didn't care for it at first, but after putting in a new arrangement, recorded a classic with Wilson and Mike Love handling the lead vocals on their Pet Soundsalbum.  Catchy tune, great lyrics that are subtly haunting ("I feel so broke up, I want to go home"), and evoking of that Caribbean vibe.  Here's the Beach Boys with their version of Sloop John B


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