Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.

laaaa

Beach Boys
38
49%
Velvet Underground
40
51%
 
Total votes: 78

User avatar
brotherlouie
AKA Number 16 Bus Shelter
Posts: 23132
Joined: 03 Oct 2004, 18:24
Location: In a library, probly.
Contact:

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby brotherlouie » 29 Mar 2011, 18:30

Snarfyguy wrote:I'm with Bro Louie.


Who wouldn't be?

User avatar
quix
Posts: 6365
Joined: 11 Apr 2007, 13:49
Location: La la land

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby quix » 29 Mar 2011, 18:58

i'm going with the beach boys because wouldn't it be nice was one of the first songs i ever fell in love with.

i'm very loyal like that.

User avatar
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes
Posts: 17247
Joined: 17 Oct 2010, 14:10
Location: The Nether World

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 29 Mar 2011, 19:06

quix wrote:i'm going with the beach boys because wouldn't it be nice was one of the first songs i ever fell in love with.

i'm very loyal like that.


Yup. It was used as a soundtrack on the BBC's breakfast show (well, the first 30 seconds or so) recently, and I completely lost my sense of space and time. It's that special to me.
The invisible and the non-existing very much look alike.

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45785
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Quaco » 29 Mar 2011, 21:48

I love The Beach Boys as much as anybody, it's well-documented, but is "Don't Worry Baby" really so great? It's talked about because it was Brian's ultimate "Be My Baby"-type song, and I prefer it to "Be My Baby", but it seems sort of lazy cited as one of the five best songs of all time, or the apex of one aspect of The Beach Boys, or something. There are a lot of early Beach Boys songs that move me as much or more. It's their "In My Life", the song that people love to throw hyperbole at.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Piggly Wiggly

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 29 Mar 2011, 21:52

Quaco wrote:I love The Beach Boys as much as anybody, it's well-documented, but is "Don't Worry Baby" really so great? It's talked about because it was Brian's ultimate "Be My Baby"-type song, and I prefer it to "Be My Baby", but it seems sort of lazy cited as one of the five best songs of all time, or the apex of one aspect of The Beach Boys, or something. There are a lot of early Beach Boys songs that move me as much or more. It's their "In My Life", the song that people love to throw hyperbole at.


Yeah, it's fine, but not top 20 for me.

User avatar
Brian Wilson
Posts: 2437
Joined: 18 Jan 2004, 15:40
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Brian Wilson » 29 Mar 2011, 22:06

"Don't Worry Baby" is usually cited as one of Brian's best lead vocals. It's also cited as being the inspiration for the instrumental track of "Mr Tamborine Man" by the Byrds. No Wrecking Crew members on the track.

It's one of Brian's best, but I'd put "God Only Knows", "Good Vibrations", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "I Get Around", "California Girls" and several others above it.
Last edited by Brian Wilson on 29 Mar 2011, 22:07, edited 1 time in total.
"I earned my famous name." - Brian Wilson

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45785
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Quaco » 29 Mar 2011, 22:07

John San Juan wrote:
Quaco wrote:I love The Beach Boys as much as anybody, it's well-documented, but is "Don't Worry Baby" really so great? It's talked about because it was Brian's ultimate "Be My Baby"-type song, and I prefer it to "Be My Baby", but it seems sort of lazy cited as one of the five best songs of all time, or the apex of one aspect of The Beach Boys, or something. There are a lot of early Beach Boys songs that move me as much or more. It's their "In My Life", the song that people love to throw hyperbole at.

Yeah, it's fine, but not top 20 for me.

That's quite reassuring to me to hear that, actually. I don't know why. I guess it sort of seems like "standard wisdom" that it's a top fiver, and that sort of thing often grates.

Jason: It is one of Brian's best vocals, I tend to agree with that.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Piggly Wiggly

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 29 Mar 2011, 22:14

Quaco wrote:
John San Juan wrote:
Quaco wrote:I love The Beach Boys as much as anybody, it's well-documented, but is "Don't Worry Baby" really so great? It's talked about because it was Brian's ultimate "Be My Baby"-type song, and I prefer it to "Be My Baby", but it seems sort of lazy cited as one of the five best songs of all time, or the apex of one aspect of The Beach Boys, or something. There are a lot of early Beach Boys songs that move me as much or more. It's their "In My Life", the song that people love to throw hyperbole at.

Yeah, it's fine, but not top 20 for me.

That's quite reassuring to me to hear that, actually. I don't know why. I guess it sort of seems like "standard wisdom" that it's a top fiver, and that sort of thing often grates.

Jason: It is one of Brian's best vocals, I tend to agree with that.


I think the title and chorus hook are so archetypal "soothing, calming, warm, reassuring, mother's milk, womb like Brian WILSON in 'musical hug' mode" that people respond to that.

User avatar
Leg of lamb
Jane Austen enthusiast
Posts: 9466
Joined: 19 Oct 2003, 11:33
Location: Crying in the chapel
Contact:

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Leg of lamb » 29 Mar 2011, 22:23

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote: Is there a Velvets record as awe inspiring and epochal as "Good Vibrations"?

In its own way, I'm Waiting for the Man.

Davey the Fat Boy wrote: Not to my ears.

Right!


Right. Opinions are subjective. Glad somebody reminded us of that. :roll:

Look Snarf - I think "I'm Waiting for the Man" is a wonderful fucking thing. But ultimately it is a really keenly drawn portrait about a subject that doesn't really have any relevance in my life and a guy I don't really relate to. I admire it an awful lot. But it doesn't take me to any of the places "Good Vibrations" does.


Davey, I would never take away your right to relate to 'Good Vibrations' more than 'I'm Waiting for the Man'. But do you see why all of this talk about 'relevance in my life' and guys you 'don't really relate to' makes it weird to bring in (at least quasi-) objective talk of league tables and such? I think that's why people insist on reminding you of the subjectivity of your arguments. Not because these people are in love with stating the obvious, but because the objective/subjective register often seems a little fudged in your value judgements. There's this constant disbelief that people could hold experimental/modernist music in higher affection than pop with classical values. Which could just be subjective jockeying on your part, right? As in 'Geez, how can you really prefer haute cuisine to a good steak?' But there's this undertow, an implication that while people are obviously at liberty to like what the hell they like, there still exists a shadowy league table based on 'universality' that renders their preference a peccadillo.

Quite a few posts on this thread have admitted that there's a real clash of aesthetics here - a basic equality between the two bands. Subjectivity is a red herring, actually, and not what I think Snarfy was after, necessarily. Everyone knows that they're free see this match-up whichever way they like. But there is a more objective point at stake: that 'I'm Waiting for the Man' is a significant work of art that has absolutely no case to make to your preferences.
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22305
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 30 Mar 2011, 08:11

Leg of lamb wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Right. Opinions are subjective. Glad somebody reminded us of that. :roll:

Look Snarf - I think "I'm Waiting for the Man" is a wonderful fucking thing. But ultimately it is a really keenly drawn portrait about a subject that doesn't really have any relevance in my life and a guy I don't really relate to. I admire it an awful lot. But it doesn't take me to any of the places "Good Vibrations" does.


Davey, I would never take away your right to relate to 'Good Vibrations' more than 'I'm Waiting for the Man'. But do you see why all of this talk about 'relevance in my life' and guys you 'don't really relate to' makes it weird to bring in (at least quasi-) objective talk of league tables and such? I think that's why people insist on reminding you of the subjectivity of your arguments. Not because these people are in love with stating the obvious, but because the objective/subjective register often seems a little fudged in your value judgements. There's this constant disbelief that people could hold experimental/modernist music in higher affection than pop with classical values. Which could just be subjective jockeying on your part, right? As in 'Geez, how can you really prefer haute cuisine to a good steak?' But there's this undertow, an implication that while people are obviously at liberty to like what the hell they like, there still exists a shadowy league table based on 'universality' that renders their preference a peccadillo.

Quite a few posts on this thread have admitted that there's a real clash of aesthetics here - a basic equality between the two bands. Subjectivity is a red herring, actually, and not what I think Snarfy was after, necessarily. Everyone knows that they're free see this match-up whichever way they like. But there is a more objective point at stake: that 'I'm Waiting for the Man' is a significant work of art that has absolutely no case to make to your preferences.


The only problem I have with any of that is in the fact that you seem to see the issue of fudging subjectivity and objectivity as simply an issue with me. It is an inherent quality in all of these discussions and almost every participant in this one has indulged in the practice.

So let's break it down:

The objective side of the ledger:

Objectively speaking, Brian Wilson had a greater command of melody, arrangement and production than Lou Reed. Reed was a better lyricist ( I say was, because he is a pretentious twat now) . The best Beach Boys records are simply more inventive than the best Velvets records. For those who care about such things, it can also be said pretty objectively that the Beach Boys had a greater impact on mass culture.

The subjective side of the ledger:

They were both tremendous acts that can easily be favored by anyone depending on stylistic preferences or dismissed based on personal biases,

There you go. Un-fudged.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
Leg of lamb
Jane Austen enthusiast
Posts: 9466
Joined: 19 Oct 2003, 11:33
Location: Crying in the chapel
Contact:

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Leg of lamb » 30 Mar 2011, 09:04

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Leg of lamb wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Right. Opinions are subjective. Glad somebody reminded us of that. :roll:

Look Snarf - I think "I'm Waiting for the Man" is a wonderful fucking thing. But ultimately it is a really keenly drawn portrait about a subject that doesn't really have any relevance in my life and a guy I don't really relate to. I admire it an awful lot. But it doesn't take me to any of the places "Good Vibrations" does.


Davey, I would never take away your right to relate to 'Good Vibrations' more than 'I'm Waiting for the Man'. But do you see why all of this talk about 'relevance in my life' and guys you 'don't really relate to' makes it weird to bring in (at least quasi-) objective talk of league tables and such? I think that's why people insist on reminding you of the subjectivity of your arguments. Not because these people are in love with stating the obvious, but because the objective/subjective register often seems a little fudged in your value judgements. There's this constant disbelief that people could hold experimental/modernist music in higher affection than pop with classical values. Which could just be subjective jockeying on your part, right? As in 'Geez, how can you really prefer haute cuisine to a good steak?' But there's this undertow, an implication that while people are obviously at liberty to like what the hell they like, there still exists a shadowy league table based on 'universality' that renders their preference a peccadillo.

Quite a few posts on this thread have admitted that there's a real clash of aesthetics here - a basic equality between the two bands. Subjectivity is a red herring, actually, and not what I think Snarfy was after, necessarily. Everyone knows that they're free see this match-up whichever way they like. But there is a more objective point at stake: that 'I'm Waiting for the Man' is a significant work of art that has absolutely no case to make to your preferences.


The only problem I have with any of that is in the fact that you seem to see the issue of fudging subjectivity and objectivity as simply an issue with me. It is an inherent quality in all of these discussions and almost every participant in this one has indulged in the practice.

So let's break it down:

The objective side of the ledger:

Objectively speaking, Brian Wilson had a greater command of melody, arrangement and production than Lou Reed. Reed was a better lyricist ( I say was, because he is a pretentious twat now) . The best Beach Boys records are simply more inventive than the best Velvets records. For those who care about such things, it can also be said pretty objectively that the Beach Boys had a greater impact on mass culture.

The subjective side of the ledger:

They were both tremendous acts that can easily be favored by anyone depending on stylistic preferences or dismissed based on personal biases,

There you go. Un-fudged.


You see, I think that's a development! Cheers for that analysis. The only beef I have now is that you're underplaying the Velvets' hand on the objective side of the ledger - but at least we can see where the real disagreement lies. Surely it's more than just a lyrical edge that makes 'I'm Waiting for the Man' fresh, inventive, significant? Before it, had anyone more brought the dirty energy of the street into a pop/rock song? Had anyone made such a head-on engagement with the spirit of high modernism? In Dylan, pop had found its Rimbaud - a wordy, ribald, lyrical romantic - but had it found its Gertrude Stein or Kafka? Out of the Velvets you have a small (initially, at least) but very important expansion in pop's constituency. The artist interested more in abstract form than folk expression had a way forward*. Literary culture had had that explosion sometime around the early 20s, but I reckon it took the Velvets to bring it properly into pop. There's a reason why they became a totemic act for so many arty bands.

Sorry for singling you out - a bit cheap.




* I'm really talking about the Cale Velvets here, obviously. They became something more rooted in folk idioms after he left.
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

User avatar
Rated B
Posts: 5209
Joined: 22 Jun 2010, 12:32
Location: Somewhere between Heaven and Hell

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Rated B » 30 Mar 2011, 09:15

I don't really care, tbh. But if you made me choose, it'd probably be the Velvets, because I don't believe I've ever chosen to listen to the Beach Boys.
And if I come in on a donkey, let me go out on a gurney

User avatar
Geezee
Posts: 11803
Joined: 24 Jul 2003, 10:14
Location: Where joy divides into vision

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Geezee » 30 Mar 2011, 09:37

Leg of lamb wrote:You see, I think that's a development! Cheers for that analysis. The only beef I have now is that you're underplaying the Velvets' hand on the objective side of the ledger - but at least we can see where the real disagreement lies. Surely it's more than just a lyrical edge that makes 'I'm Waiting for the Man' fresh, inventive, significant? Before it, had anyone more brought the dirty energy of the street into a pop/rock song? Had anyone made such a head-on engagement with the spirit of high modernism? In Dylan, pop had found its Rimbaud - a wordy, ribald, lyrical romantic - but had it found its Gertrude Stein or Kafka? Out of the Velvets you have a small (initially, at least) but very important expansion in pop's constituency. The artist interested more in abstract form than folk expression had a way forward*. Literary culture had had that explosion sometime around the early 20s, but I reckon it took the Velvets to bring it properly into pop. There's a reason why they became a totemic act for so many arty bands.

Sorry for singling you out - a bit cheap.

* I'm really talking about the Cale Velvets here, obviously. They became something more rooted in folk idioms after he left.



But it's been shown elsewhere that lyrics don't matter, and that ergo Dylan is shit.
Smilies are ON
Flash is OFF
Url is ON

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22305
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 30 Mar 2011, 09:46

Leg of lamb wrote:You see, I think that's a development! Cheers for that analysis. The only beef I have now is that you're underplaying the Velvets' hand on the objective side of the ledger - but at least we can see where the real disagreement lies. Surely it's more than just a lyrical edge that makes 'I'm Waiting for the Man' fresh, inventive, significant? Before it, had anyone more brought the dirty energy of the street into a pop/rock song? Had anyone made such a head-on engagement with the spirit of high modernism?


I don't disagree, but I still fold all of that into the subjective side of the ledger in the sense that both bands can be credited with bringing a different type of energy into pop music than had ever been there before. In fact both can be credited with doing so in multiple ways. So ultimately we are stuck making subjective judgments as to whether we think it is more important to harness the dirty energy of the streets or the American coastal idyll. Do we value it more when voice is given to the urban junkie or the "wounded boy"? Take your pick.

On the other hand, I don't think there is much debate to be had about the points I listed as objective. There is only the question of whether those points carry any weight with us. Personally I think subjective arguments are the ones that matter. That Brian Wilson was clearly a more talented guy than Lou Reed ought to be obvious. But that would not matter to me if he used in talent in ways that were not moving and interesting to me. But since I find his work far more involving and far more evocative than Reed's, I judge this one to be a slam dunk for the Beach Boys.

So given all of the above - what other objective points would you cite in favor of the VU ?
Last edited by Davey the Fat Boy on 03 Nov 2011, 03:52, edited 1 time in total.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
WG Kaspar
Posts: 8351
Joined: 28 Jan 2007, 09:07

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby WG Kaspar » 30 Mar 2011, 10:05

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:So given all of the above - what other objective points would you cite in favor of the VU ?


Well one could argue that even though the Beach Boys used a broad sonic palette (which is very debatable) it was rather based in the convention of the day. On the other other hand the Velvets broke quite a few barriers of how pop music was perceived, and their lead opened up the way for far more adventurous sounds in pop music.
I run out of talent

Bungo the Mungo

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 30 Mar 2011, 10:40

Yeah, yeah, yeah - 'sonic palette', 'pushed boundaries', 'songwriting genius'....



The VU were coooooool.

The Beach Boys? HAH!

User avatar
WG Kaspar
Posts: 8351
Joined: 28 Jan 2007, 09:07

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby WG Kaspar » 30 Mar 2011, 10:44

Sir John Coan wrote:Yeah, yeah, yeah - 'sonic palette', 'pushed boundaries', 'songwriting genius'....



The VU were coooooool.

The Beach Boys? HAH!

:evil:
I run out of talent

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 28255
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 14:35

Sir John Coan wrote:Yeah, yeah, yeah - 'sonic palette', 'pushed boundaries', 'songwriting genius'....



The VU were coooooool.

The Beach Boys? HAH!


The results are still killing you, I see...

User avatar
Snarfyguy
Dominated by the Obscure
Posts: 51932
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:04
Location: New York

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Mar 2011, 15:24

I wonder what all the talk about being "able to relate to" an artist or a work of art means.

Davey can't relate to Lou Reed's protagonist, as they don't have much in common, and indeed why should he have to?

I can't "relate" to Monet's haystacks, although they're sublimely evocative renderings and some of the best, most moving art I've ever seen.

So why do should we have to "relate" to the subject matter?
Jimbo wrote:In some ways, personality-wise, Trump and I are similar.

User avatar
Guy E
Posts: 13301
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 23:11
Location: Antalya, Turkey

Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Guy E » 30 Mar 2011, 15:25

The Champion wrote: Complexity doesn't make them, or indeed anyone else, good. The musical ideas still have to work.

Davey the Fat Boy wrote: Complexity doesn't make them, or indeed anyone else, good. The musical ideas still have to work. However to accuse The Beach Boys of simplicity is so stunningly wide of the mark that one wonders what exactly you are basing it on, I would suspect very little. I mean listen to "Surfs Up" (the song I mean), what is simplistic about it? It is of a sophistication rarely found in pop music.

I think this is the core of what appeals to me about The Beach Boys. At their best and most challenging they never lose sight of the song and its emotional impact. That is a very rare thing; complexity typically descends into jazz-rock or prog math-problems… very few people can keep their eye on the prize and do both.

I haven’t bothered to vote. I love both bands and somehow think of them in complementary terms; tracks from VU 3rd sit comfortably on mixed discs alongside tracks from Pet Sounds. I don’t know if it’s the underlying foundation of (and love for) repetition or what, but part of Brian Wilson’s thinking is cut from the same cloth as Reed’s and Lou shares a love of delicate melody with Brian even if he's more cautious about employing it. I’m sure they share a love for many of the same influences.
["Minnie the Stalker"]The first time that we met I knew I was going to make him mine.