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I'm old enough to remember when JFK was shot. Soon after, nightclub owner Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

This YouTube video is a panel-by-panel copy of Jack Kirby's 3-page comic which appeared in Esquire.*

Jack Kirby's comic story on Jack Ruby

* I was inspired to find this by Heidi MacDonald's 2/16/22 article in comicsbeat.com.

I'm reading a history of the Taiping Rebellion and the name of an influential nineteenth-century American physician and diplomat came up:

Peter Parker.

You are invited to attend the online launch of Live Nude Aliens and Other Stories, Saturday March 12 at 6:00 pm EST* on Twitch.

The collection features eleven stories, previously published and new. aliens and alienated humans! The launch, hosted by Brain Lag's Catherine Fitzsimmons, will include a Q&A and a reading.

You may watch, but I encourage you to create a Twitch account so you can log in and participate. It's free and only takes a moment.

I hope I see you there!

JD DeLuzio

*Complications! This is the Daylight Savings version of EST. Check local time! To complicate it further, sometime Sunday morning, local time, we switch back to regular EST.

Publishers Weekly Advance Review

I gather that Sunflower is a nautical company name. 

It's also the national flower of Ukraine.

russia ukraine war sunflower becomes symbol of solidarity peace

The Baron said:

I was thinking about the Japanese ferry company.  I was unaware of the Ukrainian link.

Richard Willis said:

I gather that Sunflower is a nautical company name. 

It's also the national flower of Ukraine.

russia ukraine war sunflower becomes symbol of solidarity peace

The Baron said:

It's also a Beach Boys album.

I never understood or liked the Beach Boys as a lad. I even listened to my older sister's 45 "Heroes and Villains" a lot, and didn't understand why I should care about it.

As an adult, I downloaded Pet Sounds, because I'd heard all my life how it prompted The Beatles to get better, because it was so damn good. And Pet Sounds keeps showing up in Top 100 lists, from Rolling Stone to IMDb.com. 

But it wasn't very good to me, to my ear, for decades. I tried, but I just didn't get it.

But now I do. And just this year. I have suddenly understood Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys, and most importantly, "Good Vibrations," a song that Brian Wilson finally created after a couple of years of effort. He was playing around with the tools that made "Good Vibrations" while creating Pet Sounds.

Pet Sounds had some good songs, but mostly a bunch of bad songs. But what's important is that Wilson was playing around with using the studio to do stuff you couldn't do on stage: multiple vocal overlays, studio instrumets, etc. Paul McCartney twigged to this immediately, and was alarmed, because he was doing that, too, but Brian Wilson was ahead of him.

And now I get all that. Now I see the progression.

Wilson meant for "Good Vibrations" to be the radio single from Smile, the follow-up album to Pet Sounds. But it took too long, and the Beach Boys had a contractual requirement for a Christmas-timed LP. A deadline they didn't make, and ended up released Smiley Smile, with bits and pieces of what Wilson meant for Smile.

"Good Vibrations" didn't get done in time, and was releases as a 45 after Smiley Smile.

So now, finally, I get the Beach Boys. "Good Vibrations" created a new space where the studio was an instrument. The Beatles took that idea so far it's easy to forget where it started.

And "Heroes and Villains," which was Brian Wilson's follow-up to "Good Vibrations," wasn't very good. And Revolver blew everybody away so adios Beach Boys.

To this day, I don't really care for Pet Sounds. But now I understand where it fits in music history, and why it's important in the progression of the sort of music The Beatles excelled at, and that I love. And now I listen to Pet Sounds, and say things like "ah, I see how that lead to this song or that song on Revolver."

Pet Sounds still isn't, to me, very good. But now I understand why music critics swoon over it.

And yes, to this day, "Good Vibrations" remains such a complex, beautiful song that not many other songs touch it.

CAP--

I am going to resist the temptation to belabor the importance of Pet Sounds because you obviously get it, although you don't like it. Your post has also saved me the time of placing the planned follow-up, Smile (as opposed to the un-planned follow-up, Smiley-Smile) in context of the Beach Boys' own music. What you didn't say was whether or not you have heard the completed Smile. If not, I highly recommend it. It immediately became one of my favorite albums and has remained so. (I remember Culture Vulture and I discussing it in depth on the old board at the time of its release.)

One Monday morning shortly after its release, I heard on the radio a review of the show in which he and his band had played the entire album the night before in Grand Prairie (right next to Arlington, which is where we live). I hadn't even heard of this concert until the next day! I went on line and learned they were set to play the same show the next Friday in Phoenix, where some friends of ours lived (Queen Creek, actually). We bought tickets (for the show), flew standby and saw the show in Arizona after we missed it in Texas. You spoke of "playing around with using the studio to do stuff you couldn't do on stage." The Beach Boys certainly could not have done it (on stage; most of the album is available in fragments), but Wilson's "band" was actually a 40-piece orchestra. 

Listen to Smile!

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