June 20, 2012

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The Beach Boys - that American institution synonymous with Summer.


Since Summer officially arrived a few hours ago, what more fitting tribute to the inclinations of baking in the sun, goofing off, staying up late and wearing as little as possible than playing something by The Beach Boys?

Okay, Summer means different things to different people. Those of us on the West Coast don't really have Summer until some time in October, when parts of Los Angeles have been known to burn down every few years. Until then, we weather through June Gloom and days where it barely breaks out of the 70's, unless of course you're in the Valley, where it is casually known as a "suburb of Hell" until December.

But the Beach Boys, at least on the West Coast, have always meant Summer to a certain degree, or at least an idealized version of it. Probably less now than a generation or two ago, when it was mandatory to have at least one Beach Boys album in your collection, and preferably all the singles.

Tonight it's one of the less instantly hummable Beach Boys songs. The Warmth Of The Sun was written, ironically, as a reflection on the Kennedy Assassination (as legend has it ) and goes under the heading of one of the more introspective of Brian Wilson's songs. Nonetheless, like a lot of their music from the early period (all the way up to Pet Sounds), it offers an aspect of a band that cranked out more than Surf tunes and were, in fact, capable of having something relevant to say.

In the meantime, get ready for insanely long days.

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