Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With The Dismemberment Plan

Posted by Amoebite, September 17, 2014 12:45pm | Post a Comment

The Dismemberment Plan

Taking their name from a phrase in the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day, The Dismemberment Plan are one of indie rock's defining bands. The band hails from Washington D.C., a city rich in music history, including birthing punk bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Fugazi, soul legends like Marvin Gaye and Roberta Flackand one of the most prominent jazz musicians to ever tickle the ivory, Duke Ellington. Needless to say, D-Plan have been influenced by an array of great artists and it definitely shows up in their songs. On stage they employ high energy performances with a little punk angst to get mosh pits swirling. The D-Plan also give way to synth-pop nuances that show their dance music influences. Who can blame them? Washington D.C. is where Go-Go music came from! A little bit of funk, a little bit of punk anda dash of soul lives in the DNA of The Dismemberment Plan.

After a decade of recording and touring, The Dismemberment Plan broke up in 2003, but reunited for a few charity shows in 2007. Theyreturned in 2013 to release a new album, Uncanney Valley (Partisan Records). The new record is packed with 10 cuts that give fans some of what they already love about The D-Plan and showcase the growth that has occured in the span of over a decade. 

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New York State Of Mind Amoeblog #97 of 100

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2014 06:47am | Post a Comment

Among the numerous music related events ongoing in New York City this week is the photo exhibit Grooving Years: The Photography of Josh Cheuse that opens Friday (Sep 19th) at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in SoHo. The mostly black and white photography exhibit by the New York City born and raised music photographer includes shots of The Clash (including the photo of the late great Joe Strummer above), Run DMC, Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Beastie Boys, Oasis, and The Black Crowes.  An avid photographer since age sixteen Cheuse, who has worked as art director at SONY Music for the past two decades, formed a lasting relationship with the Clash from early on in his career - a relationship that began back in 1981 as a teen when he famously used the payphone at his NYC high school to call The Clash at Electric Ladyland Studios in Manhattan and asked permission to photograph the band. To his surprise they happily complied with his wish. This introduction was instrumental in kick starting his career that included photographing the Clash, the band's Mick Jones' spinoff band Big Audio Dynamite, as well as  Joe Strummer solo on several occasions. And following Strummer’s sudden 2002 death Cheuse also directed a video tribute for the Strummer's version of Bob Marley's “Redemption Song.” Photo exhibit takes place at the Morrison Hotel Gallery located on the second floor at 106 Prince Street. All ages. Free admission. More info. And tomorrow (September 18th) in advance of the opening the photographer will be at the nearby SoHo Apple store (103 Prince Street) from 7pm to 8pm discussing his photo exhibit - free all ages event.

As if to make the point that, like vinyl records, books are still very much alive and well the annual Brooklyn Book Festival takes place this weekend at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza for what will be its biggest ever event in its nine year history. Taking place on Sunday September 21st from 10am to 6pm the outdoor (rain or shine) festival will boast over one hundred panel discussions, readings, and other literary activities with authors to appear including Salman Rushdie, Lev Grossman, and Naomi Klein. In addition to novelists and non-fiction writers the festival will also include numerous poets, and also many graphic novelists including Paul Pope, Roz Chast and Julia Wertz. A free event, thanks to sponsorship by a phone company, the stated goal of the annual event is "spreading literacy and the joy of reading across the five boroughs and beyond." Just across from lower Manhattan the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza (reachable by numerous trains) is located at 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201. Sept 21 10am to 6pm. All ages. Free event. More info.

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The 50 Best Scottish Bands of All Time

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 16, 2014 03:12pm | Post a Comment
Scottish Flag


By now you and I have heard the arguments for and against Scottish independence from the UK but as someone who has naturally bristled like a thistle when diasporic people argue passionately and ill-informedly about another country's political situations (which they are thankfully powerless to effect) I'll keep my political opinions to myself. What I will do instead is far more frivolous purposes -- that is list the best Scottish bands of all time.


*****
 

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Scotland

Given its small population, Scotland has produced a fairly shocking amount of great music. Sure, there have been occasional English bands of note -- almost always from the north -- but I've always taken Anglophiles' preference for all things (assumed to be) English over English language pop from anywhere else as proof of a terminal subcultural defect. It's not really fair to blame England for Anglophiles any more than it is to blame Nirvana for Puddle of Mudd but I suppose it's because so many of the helmet-haired horde mistakenly think that I am one of them that they so vex me. How could I not be an Anglophile when I drink more tea than the average North African, enjoy curry in all of its Asian forms, and my favorite writer is Irish

Album Picks: My Brightest Diamond, Allah-Las, Lia Ices, Beach Beach, Dream Boat, GRMLN

Posted by Billy Gil, September 16, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment

My Brightest Diamond - This Is My Hand (LP, CD, Download)

my brightest diamond this is my hand lpOnetime Sufjan Stevens collaborator and now a formidable art-pop songstress in her own right, My Brightest Diamond (aka Shara Worden) pushes her songs further into accessibility with This Is My Hand. The sound of the record finds Worden singing over playful orchestrations, wielding her operatically trained voice slowly like a great and powerful weapon. “Pressure” begins with a drumline cadence and marching band horns, drawing soul out of her sometimes austere vocals and layering them over the song’s sexy strut “Before the Words’” huge, propulsive drum beat and jazzy bassline pair nicely with her hauntingly cooed vocals. Though she mines gold at playing the witchy vamp, it’s great, too, when she climbs out of her shell. “I am a lover and a killer” she sings with growing ferocity over a muscular groove on “Lover Killer,” finding inspiration in Prince and kinship in St. Vincent. “This is what love feels like!” she sings before unleashing a desperate wolf cry in “I Am Not the Bad Guy,” with a throbbing menace reminiscent of Radiohead, or a more friskier version of Third-era Portishead. Tracks with more open space, like “Looking at the Sun,” offer a chance for her divaesque vocals to come through beautifully, even as her words are foreboding (“wrestling with a double mine like two horses pulling both sides,” she sings creepily over Disney-level orchestration). “You never know minute to minute where I’m going” she sings tantalizingly on “Shape.” True. But that’s what makes listening to This Is My Hand so thrilling.

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Top Ten List From When Bruce Willis Had Hair - by Azeem (Band of Broken Puppets)

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2014 08:08am | Post a Comment

Upon hearing the excellent new Band of Broken Puppets track "When Bruce Willis Had Hair" and viewing its accompanying video (see below) - both published last week - I invited Azeem, who along with Ancient Astronauts makes up the Band of Broken Puppets, to draw up an Amoeblog Top Ten List From When Bruce Willis Had Hair. The talented NJ born, NY based, former Oakland resident poet/emcee happily complied with the top ten list below, several items of which cross reference the song's engaging lyrics that take a look back at the not too distant yet very different decade - a seemingly simpler time in retrospect.

When asked how and when the song came about, Azeem answered, "When a subconscious burst of clarity lands like a cement block and announces itself as a superior truth from beyond, one must be prepared. This was no ordinary moment. I burst into the barbershop and asked for a pen then ripped off a piece of an old tattered New York Post and wrote When Bruce Willis Had Hair, the world made A LOT more sense. I knew I was onto something." Below are ten examples by the consistently socially and politically conscious emcee followed by the video for the song that can be downloaded for free here.

Azeem's Top 10 From When Bruce Willis Had Hair


#10
- Most albums were by groups. These groups inspired people and showed a coolness in unity.They worked hard and paid their dues while the world watched them make mistakes and grow. Today the mainstream is filled by only solo artist media manipulations serving as temporary stars and idols.

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