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On this day in music history: July 28, 1979 - “Good Times” by Chic hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for six weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for one week on August 18, 1979. Written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is the second R&B and pop chart-topper for the seminal New York City-based R&B band led by musician and producers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. Like many of Chic's other hit singles, lyrically they will seem quite ambiguous on the surface, but in truth will often mask a much more profound and deeper meaning within the lyrics. The duo will refer to their songs having a "deep hidden meaning" behind them. Edwards and Rodgers will base "Good Times" conceptually on depression era pop songs like “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “About A Quarter To Nine,” juxtaposing them with the state of the late 70’s economy and the unbridled hedonism of the "Disco Era," making a veiled statement about people’s need to escape and to forget about their troubles. That concept will even extend to the packaging of the accompanying album Risque, which will feature the members of the band posed in a sepia toned black & white photograph depicting that bygone era. Released as a single on June 4, 1979, "Good Times" will be an immediate smash, both on the dance floor and on the radio. It will go on to become one of the most influential records of the late 20th century and beyond when it also becomes a cornerstone of Hip-Hop culture. Its innovative bassline will be used as the basis for the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” as well as spawning numerous songs either directly copying or influenced by it. "Good Times" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
If you haven't already made your way to the ever-popular, Amoeba Music sponsored, excellent exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) which opened three months ago on April 19th (Record Store Day) at the downtown Oakland museum in its Great Hall exhibition area don't fret as you still have some time - well not much, but some - since it is open through tomorrow Sunday July 27th. To mark the end of this wonderful hands on exhibit, that paid homage the joys of analog and vinyl with lots of local Bay Area folks (including many Amoebites) offering their input on the subject, today Saturday July 26th will be the final weekly Talk & Play program of the three month long exhibit in which experts in specific areas of music/records informally chat to a museum audience while dropping the needle on the records that they are referencing in their talk/lecture.
Today - from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Great Hall - the Talk & Play session will be David Katznelson (record producer, and president of Birdman Recording Group) and friends who will be presenting a Talk & Play they call Every Record Has a Story. David's co-hosts will be Steven Baker (former president of Warner Brothers Records), Britt Govea (Folk Yeah Productions founder), and Josh Rosenthal (founder of Tompkins Square Records) - all of whom will share their favorite music/records and tell stories and secrets related to collecting said records. David Katznelson is among the many record collecting musicologists who have curated crates (that museum goers can personally play on provided turntables) at the Vinyl exhibit. For this final fourth installment in the Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Amoeblog series I have included David's crate: The influence and genius of the Velvet Underground, along with those of two other contributors: Sylvie Simmons whose crate is Grrl Power - women in rock from pop to punk, 1960-1980, (she also curated Sylvie Simmons the Americana crate), and the museum's own Rachael Aguirre (Administrative Assistant & OMCA Lab - Curatorial and Experience Development) whose crate is titled Sound track for Dungeons and Dragons: Onyx Discs of Epic Sound: A Dungeons and Dragons Soundtrack. Meanwhile the photos in this blog are either provided by OMCA or James Mak of Joysco Photos who kindly shot this photos on behalf of the Amoeblog (thank-you James!).
The Minneapolis phenom with his third release on Ben Klock's label. The title track is gorgeous, deep melodicism, based around a soulful set of synth chords which come into greater definition over the course of the track's 6 and a half minutes. Each percussive moment feels huge, no snare, just a well-timed 909 clap. That clap reappears on the more minimal but slightly swung "Creeping". "Spying" is late night techno gear, a bright piano figure creates a perfectly illicit vibe
Modern Love Demdike Stare are really taking it there with the Test Pressing series. This might be the most punishing issue yet. "Procrastination" starts like a cantankerous engine, slowly. Eventually, a comically heavy beat and bassline are issued in by a lion's roar. No joke. "Past Majesty" is more of a head-down deathrock thing, interrupted by blasts of noise. The track bears the influence of Albini's gnarly units Big Black and Rapeman.
Roses – “It’s Over” video
L.A. dream-pop trio Roses recently released “It’s Over” as a single from their upcoming Dreamlover EP, out Aug. 5 on Group Tightener (you can preorder it now). Now they’ve got a video for the track, directed by Cassandra Hamilton, that sees the band along with friends in bands like Susan playing in the California countryside with oversized cartoon guitars amid neon butterflies and gorgeous wildflowers. Reminds me of classics like Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today” and Blind Melon’s “No Rain” in its sunny, carefree optimism and casual absurdity. Roses are playing the next Red Bull Sound Select show with Tanlines Aug. 20, curated by Amoeba Hollywood. More info on that coming soon!