Friday, November 13, 2009

Under The Influence

Last month we told you about many of the great and not so great bands influenced by Joy Division. This month we are looking at the Beach Boys, who have arguably inspired the very best bands making music today. If you're under the impression that the Beach Boys was just a poppy, corny surf-rock band, you're in serious need of upgrading your outlook (that's what Wikipedia is for). All I'll say is that while half of the Beach Boys were busy hanging out with Charles Manson, Brian Wilson was sitting around, doing acid, unleashing his schizophrenia and dreaming up the album, Pet Sounds, which is probably one of the top 5 most important albums ever made. Here are the bands that they have left in their wake, no pun intended.

Broken Social Scene
Listen to a song like "7/4 (Shoreline)" from about the 3 minute mark on and then check out the Beach Boys doing just about anything on Pet Sounds. Notice the similar 'walls of sound' that are so indecipherable you can't tell what instrument is making what noise, not to mention all the horns.

Animal Collective
It's hard not to think that had the Beach Boys came into existence 40 years later they would've sounded exactly like this. Animal Collective has found the noises in the nether regions of Brian Wilson's brain and recorded them for us to enjoy.

Grizzly Bear
If "California Girls" had actually been about artsy Williamsburgh boys wandering around the foggy coasts of some wind-blown beach town in Maine, it probably would've sounded like this.

Fleet Foxes
This is the sound of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young getting together with the Beach Boys and building a snowman.

The Besnard Lakes
Ever wonder what would happen if Brian Wilson had a love-child with Queen's Freddy Mercury? No, probably not. But now that I've planted the seed, here's the answer:

Dios (Malos)
These Californians come off like broken-hearted Beach Boys who've just eaten an entire pan of pot brownies (because they probably have).

Mates of State
The Lawrence, Kansas' sugary-sweet husband and wife duo can leave you with a candy high or toothache depending on the song, but at their best, the harmonies are inspired and inspired by you know who.

Olivia Tremor Control
This Elephant 6 Collective band is the best psychedelic surf-rock band from Athens, Georgia. It's like a Brian Wilson acid trip gone horribly awry and awesome.

Panda Bear
The solo effort from this Animal Collective member is a contemporary version of Brian Wilson's Smile. Like a mantra, Noah Lennox repeats over and over, "Try to remember to always have a good time," yet something ominous haunts the outer ambient edges of these songs.

Le Loup
A little Brian Eno, a little Brian Wilson, a dash of banjo and whole lotta harmonies.

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