Podcasts | Political Beats

Episode 61: Matt Welch / The Beach Boys [Part 2]

Scot Bertram and Jeff Blehar discuss the second part of The Beach Boys’ career with Matt Welch.

Introducing The Band:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@scotbertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) with guest Matt Welch, former editor-in-chief and current editor-at-large of Reason, and co-host and self-described “provost” of “The Fifth Column” podcast. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattWelch and check out The Fifth Column podcast (whose members Political Beats likes so much that we’ve had literally every single one of them on as a guest) here.

Matt’s Music Pick: The Beach Boys
The Summer Spectacular continues as Political Beats wraps up its coverage of The Beach Boys’ career with Part Two: The Beach Boys Get Weird.  Beginning with the legendary 1966 #1 hit single “Good Vibrations” and the equally legendary lost album Smile (now at least somewhat ‘found’ since the 2004 release of Brian Wilson’s solo take on the project and archival Smile Sessions boxed set), the Beach Boys rapidly shift from “fun in the summer sun” to a bizarre, uniquely Southern California morass of bad drug trips, transcendental meditation albums, Manson family hijinks, and the occasional guest appearance by John Stamos.

This was the period of their great commercial collapse, and Brian Wilson’s concurrent mental collapse, but here’s the paradox: both Jeff and Matt believe THIS phase of the band’s career to contain much of their most fascinating and rewarding music. From Smiley Smile and Wild Honey all the way through to Holland and the weirdness of the man-child directness of The Beach Boys Love You, the boys’ later career reveals equally as much amazing music as their earlier, more famous material.

And yes, everyone hates “Kokomo.”

Most Popular


How States Like Virginia Go Blue

So this is what it feels like to live in a lab experiment. As a native Virginian, I’ve watched my state come full circle. The last time Democrats enjoyed the amount of power in the Old Dominion that they won on Tuesday, I was entering middle school in Fairfax County. In 1993 the governor was a Democrat, one ... Read More

Democratic Denial

One point I'd draw out from David Harsanyi's post below: It has been more than thirty years since a Democratic presidential nominee failed to make it to the White House and thought the loss was legitimate. Read More

Religious-Freedom Voters Will Vote Trump

The late Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy wrote, "Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion all have a double aspect — freedom of thought and freedom of action.” To which one should be able to add, freedom of inaction -- meaning that absent a compelling state interest, people should ... Read More
Books, Arts & Manners

Why Study Latin?

Oxford professor Nicola Gardini urges people to read and study Latin. He believes that Latin is the antidote for the modern age, which seems transfixed by the spontaneous, the easy, and the ephemeral. His new book, Long Live Latin: The Pleasures of a Useless Language, argues that Latin combines truth and ... Read More