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Vol. XII No.15 - Sunday July 28 - Saturday August 10, 2013


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Arts - Entertainment & It
 

Life at 33 1/3: The “Rubber Soul” of the Beach Boys

The Beach Boys: Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (Capitol)

By Carl Meyer

“Summer Days (And Summer Nights!)” was overshadowed by both its predecessor, “The Beach Boys Today!” and its successor “Pet Sounds”, (“Beach Boys’ Party!” doesn’t count).

This was very strange as the album delivered two of the group’s strongest single B-sides, “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (what other song captures the bittersweet teenage memories of a summer vacation love?) and “You’re So Good To Me” (Brian Wilson in superb voice). There was also the glorious, cascading British 1967 stop-gap single (while waiting for “Heroes And Villains”) “Then I Kissed Her” (a Phil Spector cover that beats Spector in his own game), the single version of “Help Me, Rhonda “(Al Jardine’s big moment), the lush, delightful instrumental “Summer Means New Love “(would fit “ Pet Sounds “ like a glove) and wonders of all wonders, the totally unpretentious and girl happy slice of cheerful California-pop, “California Girls “.

There’s not many albums in the world with that many winners on it. The remaining six songs are not exactly slow burners either, with the exception of Brian’s attack on his father, Murray Wilson, “I’m Bugged At My Ol ‘Man” (but that one is so hilarious you wouldn’t lose it for the world).

The reason the album was received with slight disappointment is probably because it was perceived as a resignation, a step backwards to 1964. Capitol was not very happy with the turn the group took on “The Beach Boys Today”. They wanted more normal “Beach Boys music” about girls and cars and life on the Californian beaches. Brian Wilson apparently obeyed. The lyrics are lighthearted, there’s loads of beautiful girls and everything seems to be hunky dory, even in Salt Lake City.

But the music tells a completely different story, it’s neither smooth or easy. The arrangements are bold and build soundscapes that are as related to “Pet Sounds” as The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” is to “Revolver”. There’s more here than meets the eye - or ear. Take the intro to “California Girls”, a seemingly uncomplicated little pop song, it’s complicated, it’s beautiful, it creates expectations which gives the song an extra boost when it finally takes off and turns to gold.

If you tell me that this is your favorite Beach Boys-LP, I will shake your hand and say: Respect!

Released: July 1965

(All songs written and composed by Brian Wilson/Mike Love, except where noted).

Side One

1. “The Girl from New York City” 1:54

2. “Amusement Parks U.S.A.” 2:29

3. “Then I Kissed Her” (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry) 2:15

4. “Salt Lake City” 2:00

5. “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (B. Wilson) 2:19

6. “Help Me, Rhonda” 2:46

Side Two

1. “California Girls” 2:38

2. “Let Him Run Wild” 2:20

3. “You’re So Good to Me” 2:14

4. “Summer Means New Love” (B. Wilson) 1:59

5. “I’m Bugged at My Ol’ Man” (B. Wilson) 2:17

6. “And Your Dream Comes True” 1:04

Produced by: Brian Wilson

Personnel:

Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals; electric rhythm guitar; hand claps.

Bruce Johnston – harmony and backing vocals; acoustic grand piano, hammond organ, celeste; hand claps.

Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals; hand claps.

Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; bass guitar; acoustic upright piano; hammond organ; hand claps, timpani.

Carl Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; lead, rhythm, acoustic and twelve-string guitar; hand claps.

Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals; drums, tambourine, hand claps.
 


Achira Assawadecharit in Concert

By Jai Pee
Achira, better known perhaps as Ken, Chiang Mai’s wonderful ‘own’ pianist, who is temporarily on loan on a full music scholarship to the Yong Siew Toh Academy of Music in the National University of Singapore, presented a good-sized audience on July 20th with his usual flair and artistry.

Achira “Ken” Assawadecharit performed in his hometown of Chiang Mai to a delighted audience on July 20, 2013 at Payap University.

There are always fireworks when Ken plays – he chooses works that are challenging and often very difficult to perform, yet he tackles them all with a true dutiful sense of mature professionalism – made all the more amazing considering that his twentieth birthday was just a month ago. The program ranged from the Baroque to the Modern with works by J.S Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovitch. The Bach Prelude and Fugue in C minor was played with careful precision and with a free-flowing style in the fugue. But the real fireworks began with the delightfully energetic and tuneful Mozart Piano Sonata K332 in F major which was written when the composer himself was just 2 years older than Ken! The sonata belongs to a set of 4 written, it is assumed, after 2 earth-shattering events – firstly Mozart, journeying to Paris in 1778 met and fell in love with the 16 year-old soprano Aloysia Weber (he was later to marry her elder sister Constanza) and secondly his mother who was accompanying him was to die suddenly in Paris. Yet this sonata is brimming with joy and happiness, similar to the K296 sonata for piano and violin – and Ken lit the blue touch-paper from the first bar and gave us an electrifying performance, especially in the final rondo-like movement which is actually in strict sonata form: the fast scampering melody and helter-skelter arpeggios fairly resonated in the CRK Hall showing that Ken has a real feel for Mozart – maybe it is the similarity in age which breeds empathetic feelings – as he brings out the exuberance and high spirits of the work admirably. It was a wonderful performance of this showpiece sonata and handled with complete control, from the tenderness and lyricism of the middle movement to the fire and brimstone of the development sections in the two outer movements. Many performers play Mozart poorly – they often rush up the ascending arpeggios and then slow down on the descending ones, contrary to the score and markings; Ken did neither – his balance was perfect and the result was a decisive and sincere interpretation. Ken then repeated two pieces he had performed the previous week in a concert – works by Ravel and Chopin, both played with expertise and care.
In the second half Ken was joined by another great local character and performer – Remi Namthep – she acted as accompanist to his solo part in an arrangement of the very lovely second movement of the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto. I had heard Ken perform this work a month earlier in Bangkok with a small orchestra – then and now his performance was charming, capturing the very essence of this remarkably beautiful work with a directness and persuasiveness of a much more mature and experienced performer. The players reversed roles for the final piece – the exciting and dramatic Concertino for two pianos by Shostakovitch. Once again the firework display was electrifying as this scampering, frantic piece echoed around the hall with the performers in perfect co-ordination.
It is rare to have a fireworks display alongside a piano recital. But with this astonishing and dedicated young man at the keyboard that is what we get. Add a touch of Remi on second piano and the sky lights up in a blaze of glorious colour – and that is just how this delightful and varied evening ended – rockets galore!


Sangdee showcase

Sangdee Gallery had three talented acts performing live on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Featuring a guitar/vocal duo of two talented young women and two solo acts the evening saw original music and unique covers that kept the full house entertained. A Sangdee Talent Showcase CD was produced from the event in a bid to help young local talent achieve recognition and exposure. Sangdee Gallery is located on Sirimangkalajarn soi 5.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Life at 33 1/3: The “Rubber Soul” of the Beach Boys

Achira Assawadecharit in Concert

Sangdee showcase

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