Back to the 60’s: The Beatles and Wooden Shjips


The weekend is the perfect time to relax and for this particular Saturday, a great time to feel nostalgic. Today I’m feeling like a lot of 1960’s energy is coming my way, despite the cold weather. First, a literal trek back in time with the release of ‘On Air: Live at the BBC Vol. 2,’ a compilation of tracks recorded when The Beatles were just getting their start, working the publicity circuit to promote themselves as an up and coming rock group. Next, a new album by Wooden Shjips that takes heavy guitars to the airwaves in a Velvet Underground-tinged ambiance.


Another Saturday is upon us – hail to the end of week activities which include everything and, well, nothing. If your workweek demands that by the 6th day you put your feet up, order takeout and never, ever consider leaving your abode before 1 pm, then so be it. It’s the perfect time to catch up on your Internets – the GIFS that wouldn’t load right away, that article you bookmarked, the online video service original series starring Kevin Spacey that sure, maybe you’ve watched 2 times already, but third time is the charm. This weekend, I’m catching up on what’s going on in the music world and how to fill your Saturdays with sound.


What year is this, 1962? Perhaps, if you’ve decided to be awesome and revisit The Beatles. The guys on NPR “All Songs Considered” in their swift, authoritative yet suspiciously pretent-chill manner said “aHA! Did you think ‘haven’t we heard everything by The Beatles already?'” In many ways, I agree, how many different ways can you hear a band that’s been in the cultural sphere for some lifetimes? But what we’re losing in music is the “lost tapes,” the idea that somewhere in that dusty back room that janitorial staff and interns have long abandoned to mildew and storage, there’s that tape. The reason studio sessions are so special to music nerds and fans, especially those recorded by the likes of legends, is the intimacy. Even in the news-drenched setting of the BBC, there’s an unguarded, relaxed feeling to these recordings that give the listener a look at how the band works and how they work together. It’s a cool peek into the past and worth looking into.

homepage_large.f86d27dbIf you follow me on my Facebook page (SHAMLESS LINK), you’ve heard this recording of “These Shadows” before. I was introduced to Wooden Shjips by their inverted, distorted color scheme washing over the Golden Gate Bridge on ‘West.’ It was one of those albums that was way too good to be so short-lived, like a mini cupcake. Say what you will about California 60’s psychedelia influencing bands of today, but there’s no need to knock it. My generation is one saturated in nostalgia because we want the carefree lives of our parents to feel like more of a reality. “These Shadows” is melancholic, beautiful, and laid-back, but this is one song that rings softer than the rest of the album. “Everybody Knows” begins with a heavy fuzz-laden guitar riff but gets mixed with soft, spacey vocals. It’s an interesting light-meets-dark” exploration of 60’s rock.


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