What is Carolina Beach Music?
Like other regional Oldies/Soul sub-genres, think Lowrider Oldies or Northern Soul, Carolina Beach Music (or just plain Beach Music if you're in Carolina, nothin' could be finer) developed from various musical styles of the 40's, 50's, and 60's that became closely associated with a fancy, footwork-heavy style of dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag (which, fun fact, is also the official state dance of both North and South Carolina).
Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, white youth in the Jim Crow South could not easily access the compelling music of primarily black R&B artists in their home towns and, in some communities, this remained in effect even after racial integration was implemented in the region. But the kids, as kids are always wont to do, found ways of flocking to the bars and band shells of the Carolina beaches where the shag was the fad and R&B ruled the jukeboxes and R&B artists sometimes performed live (see: Bo Diddley's Live Beach Party Album, recorded live in concert in July 1963 at the Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). Those college students and vacationing teenagers of Beach Music's early years went on to ween their young'uns and their young'uns young'uns on the The Tams, The Embers, The Drifters, The Tymes, The Platters, Ernie K-Doe, Bob & Earl, General Johnson & The Chairmen of the Board, and Major Lance just to name a few.
In other words: Beach Music is a guaranteed party, people! So get to fixin' this Wednesday, July 11, by hittin' up your local S'leven, secure your Slurps and come on up to Amoeba Music SF from 6-9pm for Hold Back The Night 2012: a proper Beach Music get down spun by two genuine Carolina Girls, I suwannee!
SO! If you're in San Francisco and you want to celebrate America's birthday splash into independence in style this July 4th get on down to the Elbo Room and be there by 9m if you wanna catch the album release show of SF's own sludge-rockin' skull-crushing trio Prizehog. $8 at the door --- when was the last time the promise of hard partyin' patriotism presented itself at cost far below the price of a severed limb?
Plus, they always play "A National Acrobat" which is not only the greatest song Sabbath ever birthed but a song held high in the ranks of contenders for the inter-continental championship title for greatest song ever!
I shot this little vid a couple of Hallowe'ens ago at Bobb Saggeth's debut show. I'd apologize for the footage being muggy and more than slightly unstable composition-wise but those atmospheric aspects really only attest to how great a rock show these five put on:
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave, so gallantly streaming the June rainbow flags wave! This month we celebrate all the gifted, marvelous people who have made and continue to make America a land worth defending and yet have never really held their own rights to living open and free in the homeland.
I would hope that we could finally see a close to the racial, sexual, and social divides that plague the Union within our lifetime. Every June we look back in remembrance with a mind to looking ahead for progress -- I say we keep them love lights burning all year long!
And if anything gets in your way, follow the example found on Magic Hour, the Scissor Sister's latest record, and have yourselves a right proper kiki. What on Earth is a kiki? The Videodrome Discotheque presentation that follows, featuring the Scissor Sisters' "Let's Have A Kiki", is stacked front to back with instructive ideas for your next kiki super-sesh whether it be your first kiki or your final frontier. Be on the lookout for examples sampled from some of the best camp 'n vamp cult classics!
Given all the attention paid to happenings in sky of late (Venus in transit and eclipses 'n things) it seems only fitting that SF wundergirl trio Grass Widow would take the magic of their melodic, DIY post-punk harmonies to the final frontier in their new video for "Goldilocks Zone" from their new album Internal Logic (out on Grass Widow's own HLR label) Directed once again by Grass Widos bassist, vocalist and visionary auteur Hannah Lew the video's aesthetic channels low-budget sci-fi flicks of yore with a fondness reminiscent of some of Mystery Science Theater 3000's better space jams (this one in particular).
If you're a Grass Widow completist, like me, contact your local Amoeba Music to check out our range of new and previously played Grass Widow offerings and don't forget that you can request a mail order via Amoeba.com to shop our selections from any corner of the globe. Every bit of everything these ladies have recorded makes for bomb-ass home listening, especially when playing friends. If you need to get your Grass Widow fix ASAP here's a parade of marvelous music videos to get your motor runnin'.