Long Live Indie Music
Life Moves in Mysterious Ways: The Music of Phil Madeira

That Lucky Old Sun: A New Work By Brian Wilson

Brian3When I heard a couple months ago that Brian Wilson would be previewing a brand new orginal work in a series of concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in London, I wanted to go. . . badly. But, of course, one doesn't just hop across the Atlantic for a concert! Nevertheless, I snagged some great seats for a show and figured that if I could combine it with business I would go, and if not, well there's always Ebay right? As it turns out, I do have business in Europe that I was able to work around this concert, and so my business partner and I are going!

Here's what the official press release says about the new work:

In September 2007 legendary writer, producer, arranger and performer of some of the most unforgettable and inspirational music in rock history, Brian Wilson, returns to the Royal Festival Hall, his “spiritual home away from home” for six nights. The concert repertoire will include the world premiere of a brand-new work. Commissioned by Southbank Centre as part of its opening season, Wilson reveals that the piece “is called That Lucky Old Sun (a Narrative)”, and as he describes it, “will consist of five ‘rounds’ with interspersed spoken word.”

Last summer Brian Wilson found himself singing the 1949 classic song That Lucky Old Sun, which then became the inspiration for a completely new narrative. He went to Tower Records and bought the Louis Armstrong version of the track and was inspired. The new work will have different parts, including the original music of That Lucky Old Sun, a spoken-word narration as well as newly composed songs. One of the new songs, Midnight’s Another Day, has been described by Mojo Magazine as “glorious.”

Brian Wilson teamed with Van Dyke Parks, his old ‘sidekick’ and lyricist behind Smile, over the past year on the narratives for a new album. The piece features ten songs and five narratives which will be interrupted by That Lucky Old Sun, the narrator telling the story. The five narratives are cameos on life and the heartbeat of Los Angeles.

OK, so that's intriguing. Spoken word? I'll admit, I'm unsure what to think about that, but as I enjoy poetry I'll give it a chance. Brian's last solo album, Gettin' In Over My Head, was a bit disappointing, with mostly reworked and unreleased material from some Eighties sessions and a number of superstar appearances (like Elton John and Paul McCartney) that did not save the record.

For this reason, I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of the new songs recently released on his website, entitled "Midnight's Another Day." It's the best original work from Brian (and lyricist Van Dyke Parks) since 1998's Imagination. Give it a listen here. Also, here are the lyrics (which you will not find on the website:

Midnight's Another Day

Lost my way
The sun grew dim
Stepped over grace
And stood in sin

Brian_4Took the dive but couldn't swim
A flag without the wind

When there's no morning
Without you
There's only darkness
The whole day through

Took the diamond from my soul
And turned it back into coal

All these voices
All these memories
Made me feel like stone

BAll these people
Made me feel so alone

Lost in the dark
No shades of gray
Until I found
Midnight's another day

Swept away
In a brainstorm
Chapters missing
Pages torn

Waited too long
To feel the warmth
I had to chase the sun

Brian5All these voices
All these memories
Made me feel like stone

All these people
Made me feel so alone

Lost in the dark
No shades of gray
Until I found
Midnight's another day

Ah, it reminds me the melancholy of "Til I Die," off the Surf's Up album. And isn't that an interesting line: "Stepped over grace/ And stood in sin?" I'm looking forward to hearing the whole work and, subsequently, the album.

Well, enjoy the song. And if you'd be interested in two tickets for the show on September 15th, email me soon.