I’m back. There’s a good chance you didn’t even realize I was gone.

I try to keep this blog light, fun, music and pop culture-centric, and maybe make a couple weak attempts at humor along the way…. I just wasn’t feeling like I could do that last week. Social media made me antisocial.

My Facebook and Twitter accounts just seemed to be filled with hate, anger, and bigotry. I came across posts from various acquaintances, friends, and even relatives that saddened me. Even the fan groups of my favorite sports teams weren’t a refuge from the vitriol.

Comments I made in support of athletes taking a stand were met with replies that seemed to think I said something about boiling babies and kittens while burning the American Flag. I didn’t realize that when I was in a theater watching Star Wars movies how many people in the seats around me were rooting for the Empire to defeat the rebel alliance when faced with similar situations in real life. Sad.

I have the self esteem of Eeyore, Schleprock, and Cousin Oliver combined, so in a week where my brain was also telling me how useless I am, and how it feels like the world is ending, I decided to just tap out for awhile and escape into the world of superhero comic books, movies, and TV shows. At least none of them are whining about how they don’t want to wear a mask.

Two songs by the legendary Brian Wilson keep popping into my head while thinking about the current state of out society, and how I don’t feel like I fit in…

1. Love And Mercy– This song was released in 1988 and feels like it was written five minutes ago. It’s scary how dead on the lyrics are.

2. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times– Originally on The Beach Boys seminal 1966 album “Pet Sounds” this confessional masterpiece described how Wilson felt back then, and how I feel now as politics are more important than being decent human beings.

Some days I just want to lie in bed like Brian Wilson did.

By the way, I would like to recommend a couple excellent Brian Wilson related movies, both of which (coincidentally) have the same titles as the songs I mentioned above. They can both also be purchased at The Record Archive.

“Love and Mercy” is the 2014 biopic starring Jon Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Giamatti.

“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” is a 1995 documentary directed by Don Was. Through interviews with Brian and the Wilson family, the film examines the ups and downs of Wilson’s life, including the early years of the Beach Boys, his years of substance abuse, and his long road to recovery. John Cusack says Brian’s mannerisms and speech pattern in this movie here were the basis for his performance in the later film.

As long as I’m recommending things I have a couple under the radar releases for people with musical tastes similar to mine…

– A few weeks ago I wrote about a band I came across called The Gooms, and wondered how come I couldn’t get info about their new album “Laugh”. It had supposedly come out on July 23rd, but really didn’t. I’ll assume they just didn’t want to pull a Kanye West and overshadow Taylor Swift, who’s “Folklore” came out the same day. Here is what I said about The Gooms previous release (and Taylor Swift’s new one) at the end of July  if you need a reminder.

“Laugh” finally came out last week, and it doesn’t disappoint. Basically they took what I liked so much about their earlier work and did it some more. That isn’t a bad thing. Good solid fun from The Gooms.

– People sometimes give me credit for turning them on to new music. This time I’m giving a tip of the cap to my wife Susan, who asked me to check out a band called Chapel Hart… now I’m asking you to do the same. I think they are pretty great.

Chapel Hart is a country/Americana act out of New Orleans made up of three extremely talented women with a sound that is both traditional and new & fresh at the same time. To quote my friend Brian (who is way smarter and more well spoken than me) “They’re onto something and it’s not quite like anybody else’s something.”

Country Paradise”  and “Just Say I Love You”  are a just a couple of the tracks I suggest you sample. Chapel Hart’s music is currently available digitally at the Record Archive webstore, but I’m hoping to get some actual CDs in the store in the future for folks like me that still love actual physical media.

– I’ll leave you with one last observation before I go. I think “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang is the last song to use the word “Yahoo” in its lyrics.

Stay safe and don’t be mean, Billy.
@RadioFreeBillyD on Twitter
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