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Here’s an unusual concept that I first heard applied to a Justin Beiber song. In this instance an electronic composer named “birdfeeder” took the incredible theme from Jurassic Park by the brilliant composer John Williams and slowed it 1000%. It’s a moving theme to begin with, but slowing it enhances the emotional impact. It also extends the length considerably to just under an hour.

Jurassic Park Theme (1000% Slower) by birdfeeder

I almost left this article without tie-ins but that wouldn’t be right, and they’re so obvious. For example, there’s the Jurassic Park DVD Trilogy which includes remastered versions of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III with tons of additional features. Then, of course, Jurassic Park: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by John Williams. (You’ll find MP3’s at the link also.) And the Kindle version of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

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The Beach Boys Official Website

Dennis was, but Carl and Brian Wilson weren’t really “beach boys”. In fact their first group, along with cousin Mike Love and family friend Al Jardine, was called The Pendletones. A young man named Russ Regan, who later became a successful record executive, is credited with changing the name, without their knowledge, to “Beach Boys” on a batch of single records that were pressed for their first song titled Surfin’.

Turned out rather well, I’d say.

On December 16, 2011, original members Brian, Mike and Alan, and long time members David Marks and Bruce Johnston, announced a 50th Anniversary reunion tour as well as a new album.

The “surfer sound” became a comfortable niche for the group, and no one did it better. Their close harmonies both in and out of the genre produced 36 top 40’s hits. In 1988 The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The bands ups and downs have been well chronicled, but it’s the life struggles of Brian that have generated the most attention. Painstakingly documented in Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin, and available in paperback and Kindle, the substance abuse and interpersonal conflicts makes a reunion concert with these guys seem the most implausible yet captivating event, literally, in decades.

Here’s a rare live version of their hit song Dance, Dance, Dance from the television show Shindig! circa 1964.

Another great clip features a live version of Good Vibrations and includes all the original band members at a birthday celebration for Brian Wilson in 1976 with a cut-in of an intimate party with Paul and Linda McCartney.

Probably the quickest way to get up-to-speed on The Beach Boys is to get a copy of The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer which contains 30 of their original, remastered hits. They also produced a great, one-of-a-kind Christmas album, Christmas with the Beach Boys.

And then there’s SMiLE. Probably the most anticipated album that Brian Wilson almost never produced. Wilson was considered a great song writer, but it was his obsession with every aspect of development and production that made his approach to music so exceptional. Beyond the tight harmonies of the surfer songs, Brian wrote, sang, mixed, arranged, played, edited and produced music.

The SMiLE Sessions and The SMiLE Sessions Box Set are extraordinary recordings that chronicle the development of his music and showcase the unique talents of one of rock & roll’s most remarkable composers.

When a great band breaks up there are always rumors about a reunion that seldom materialize. Even more obscure is the band that produces new music as good as the music they produced at their peak. In 2011 The Beach Boys announced the release of a 50th Anniversary tour and album with some brief interviews and live clips displaying that great Beach Boys sound.

The Beach Boys released their new album in 2012 and it contains 12 brand new songs. It’s called That’s Why God Made the Radio. Also released in 2012 in both DVD and BlueRay was The Beach Boys Live in Concert: 50th Anniversary. And in 2013 they released the CD/Digital version of their anniversary concert called The Beach Boys Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour which contains 41 live tracks. So take out your best Hawaiian shirt, put on your shades and crank up some Beach Boys magic. I doesn’t matter how cold it is where you are, this will make it feel like summer, I promise.

In 2015 Lions Gate Entertainment released the Brian Wilson biography “Love & Mercy”. A movie starring Paul Dano as a young Brian Wilson and John Cusack as the older entertainer, Love & Mercy is still in theaters as of this writing with a combined Rotten Tomatoes rating of 91%.


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Buddy Rich Official Website

I am a bit of a drum snob in that I don’t know a piece of music that could not be improved with some percussion. Classical music included! As a drummer, however, I am surprisingly not a fan of drum solo’s. There is one exception…Buddy Rich.

He had the most wicked left hand that I have ever seen. I’ve watched his contemporaries as well as some of today’s greats and I still can’t find an equal. He did more with 4 skins than some guys do with 12. He played a single bass, but because he was so fast on his 2 floor toms it often sounded like a double kick.

Rich had a style that kept me, and every other serious drummer, glued to the screen in an attempt to dissect his technique. And as you can see from these two videos, it was quite difficult because he was so fast that film could barely keep up.

The first video starts as a bit of comedy with Jerry Lewis and leads into a very early solo that defined his incredible style.

This second video cuts in on the solo from his West Side Story Medley. There is a spot at about 1:38 where he’s playing the hi-hat with his right hand and both controlling the cymbals and striking them with the left hand. If you’re not a drummer you have probably never seen anything like it.

There are lots of great Buddy Rich tie-ins but the three MP3 Albums that I’ve selected are excellent introductions to Buddy Rich as well pure Big Band/Jazz/Swing classics.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy includes Channel One Suite, a favorite of solo enthusiasts but a great jazz/band classic as well.

Big Swing Face is also classic Buddy. If you just wanted a jazz/big band album, this is the one you should have in your collection.

The Best Of Buddy Rich/The Pacific Jazz Years contains West Side Story Medley, considered the quintessential Buddy Rich tune. If you want unadulterated Buddy Rich, get this one.

Buddy Rich: Up Close is the DVD I wanted as a kid. It includes close up and varied angles so you can get a better look at his drumming genius. I have included a link to the DVD below, but Buddy Rich: Up Close is also available for digital purchase or rent at Amazon.com.

Buddy Rich Live At The 1982 Montreal Jazz Festival is just that, a great concert just a few years before he passed. Now available only through resellers. A rare treasure.

And something very special, Mel Torme’s biography of Buddy Rich called Traps – The Drum Wonder: The Life of Buddy Rich. Mel was a great artist in his own right, but here he writes about “Traps” in a way that could only be accomplished by a life-long friend.

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