Amoeblog

New Moon: Elliott Smith Rises Again

Posted by Miss Ess, May 19, 2007 12:24pm | Post a Comment
I listened to Elliott Smith almost constantly for a number of years, in particular during myelliott smith lucky three jem cohen collegiate hermit era.  His music has meant a lot to me, so this week's release of New Moon was sad and happy at the same time for me.  I think that's how his music always is too, rolling opposites into one, simultaneously delicate and strong.  It's one of the best things about his songs and no small part of what makes them classics.

New Moon is a double cd length collection of songs that for various reasons never made it to full length albums. Elliott always wanted to put out a double album a la The White Album, and it's hard that this posthumous collection is as close as he got. The tracks are all from the years 1994-1997, arguably his best period.  Some of them are from singles and some are never before released.  Being a big ol' fan, I had heard pretty much all of  them before (Thanks Charlie!), but that doesn't lessen the impact of hearing them again for the first time in years and having them all together collected.  I have to say since Elliott's death in 2003 I had virtually stopped listening to his records.  I feel strange hearing his voice again on New Moon and I keep listening to it over and over and over.

The great thing about the release, aside from the amazing songs, is that it was put together by people who were really close to Elliott and who knew his aesthetic and how important it is to maintain his vision.  None of the tracks are overdubbed or messed with; they are presented in the form they were recorded, and they are as spare as any of his early releases. 
elliott smith
His songs are so unbelievably rich and evocative.  I think the detail in every aspect of every song is nearly unparalleled.  His songs are fantastic top to bottom, from the lyrics to the chords to the melody.  Even the covers he chose over the years are flawless.  One of my favorites, "Thirteen" by Alex Chilton, is included here at last.  I feel like my meager writing can't do the tracks any justice, so i don't have too much to say except that I am sad that he's not around any more and I am hopeful that more and more people will find his music.  And that you should listen to "Angel in the Snow" cause it's one of the best songs he ever wrote.  It is so funny and also telling that Elliott's throwaways are usually better than what 90% of people putting out music ever write.  He must have been very hard on himself.

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White Stripes Style Alert! In This Edition: Jack Attempts the Duck Tail & A History In Photos

Posted by Miss Ess, May 18, 2007 11:50pm | Post a Comment
That feeling's in the air:  it's almost time for a new White Stripes record!  This one's gonna be called Icky Thump and it comes out June 19.  Part of the excitement of a new White Stripes record is always seeing what their new style will be.  I would even go so far as to say they are Beatles-esque-- between each record they disappear for a bit and come back with a totally different look.  So here's what we have this time:

white stripes nylon magazine
 

Woo hoo!  I gotta get me a pi....I mean, a copy of that magazine!

Despite not really being all that concerned with fashion, per se, myself, I have to give Jack White (we all know he is the mastermind of the group) credit for being such a fashion forward kind of guy.  He is always off on his own trip, whether its music or style or anything and I respect that....even if I dont always love the look!  Let's take a moment to ponder the many looks of the White Stripes, shall we?  For a band that only limits itself to dressing in three colors (red, black & white, in case you hadn't heard), they sure go crazy! 

Exhibit A, The Early Years:

white stripes

This is when they were going for that childlike thing, circa 1998.

Exhibit B, The Uber Arty Years:

Bo Diddley Hospitalized

Posted by Miss Ess, May 17, 2007 02:10pm | Post a Comment
I guess Bo Diddley had a stroke Sunday.

bo diddley

The guy has to be pretty old.  I read that the stroke happened after a concert.  It's incredible and awesome that he is still out there on the road! 

The article also said that, sadly, the stroke had affected his speech. 

We keep Bo in our Oldies section here at Amoeba.  My favorite record of his is Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger

bo diddley is a gunslinger

The man clearly kicks ass.  Hopefully he will recover soon.

The Boss Is Still the Boss

Posted by Miss Ess, May 17, 2007 01:18pm | Post a Comment
born in the usa bruce springsteen

Much to my boyfriend's dismay, I am once again obsessed with that little slice of Americana that is Born in the USA.

I have a car, and my car has a tape deck.  For most music fanatics, this would seem like aborn in the usa bruce springsteen nightmare, but I quite enjoy it.  I see the tape deck as a challenge and a chance to listen to things I normally would have forgotten all about.  I actually really love having the deck.  There's nothing like going through your parents' old tapes to find Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye, or my early childhood Holy Grail: Born In the USA.

Bruce Springsteen, my mother always taught me as a child of the early 80s, was the hardest working man in show business. (Tina Turner was her hardest working woman selection.)  She would explain to me in all seriousness how he gave his all at his live shows and how hard he worked the crowd each and every night.  This woman has never actually gone to a Boss concert, mind you, but hey, she's never been short on opinions! (I had to get it from sombruce springsteen the bossewhere, right?) Guess Mom musta watched that Dancing in the Dark video a few too many times!  Anyway, Born in the USA was something we could all listen to together, my energy loving mom, my construction working dad, my annoying brother, and ME.

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The Employee Interview Part IV: Obsolete

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2007 05:35pm | Post a Comment
Obsolete
9 years of employment
Visual Merchandiser

The Moody Blues,  In Search of the Lost Chord
Q:  What's the first music you remember hearing as a kid?

O: The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord.

What is the first album that made you super into music?

It was probably that Moody Blues album.  When disco rolled around I was hooked.  I was 7 years old and hooked on disco.  the village peopleI loved Donna Summer and The Village People.  I was so into The Village People.  I thought they were a real representative of people in society getting together, getting along and making disco music, that The Village represented America and in this "land of the free", a cop, a sailor, a construction worker, an indian, and a leather daddy could get together and rock!

Pretty deep thoughts for a 7 year old.  Impressive.  What was your first live show?

Unfortunately General Public.  My mom dropped me off with my friend at the Universalgeneral public Ampitheater at Universal Studios, California!  It was the only place I was allowed to see my first concert, being 15.

When did you start creating music and why?

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