Amoeblog

FEMALE DRUMMERS: AMOEBITE KAITLIN INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2009 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Kaitlin

One of the many highlights of the recent Amoebapalooza North 2009 at the Mezzanine club in San Francisco (August 2nd) was the power-duo-- the $helbyville $helbyvilllains' all too short set in which talented San Francisco Amoebites Josh Pollock (guitar/vocals) and Kaitlin Layher (drums, above) effortlessly channeled the White Stripes. Even more impressive was the fact I later learned: that Kaitlin had only been playing the drums for a relatively short time and that this was the first time that she had ever played drums out in public. I recently caught up with Kaitlin to ask her about her personal Moe Tuckerexperiences as a drummer, as well as about female drummers in general as part of the long running In Celebration of the Drum Amoeblog series.

Amoeblog: Who are among your favorite female drummers and why?

Kaitlin: My favorite female drummer currently drumming is Adrienne Davies of Earth. I love watching her controlled, deliberate movements.  She's hypnotizing. Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground was amazing as well as Karen Carpenter. And, of course, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Meg White of The White Stripes. But you can't forget the all-girl groups, too! The Bangles and The Runaways were simply solid bands with solid drummers.

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COMETBUS ISSUE #52 THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS, ANOTHER GREAT READ

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2009 11:36am | Post a Comment
cometbus
I recently picked up Cometbus #52 (The Spirit of St. Louis) at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store -- one of several fine independent retailers that carry the legendary, decades old, punk-literary series. As with all the previous installments of this Aaron "Cometbus" Elliot- penned slim book, such as last year's Cometbus #51 The Loneliness of the Electric Menorah, ever since I started reading it I can't put it down...which is a problem, in a good way, because I know in no time I will have read the entire engrossing 66 pages of this latest Cometbus. So  I find myself rationing my reading, allowing myself just nine pages, which is three Cometbus chapters, a day.

Cometbus #51 was a sort of history of the subculture of Telegraph Avenue, focusing on its bookstores and record stores. It incorporates into its story Cody's, Moe's, Universal, Rasputin, and (of course) Amoeba Music, as well as such age old Telegraph Avenue characters as Ace Backwards and Julia Vinograd (aka The Bubble Lady), whose poetry was included in that last issue.

For the The Spirit of St. Louis Cometbus, as its title implies, Aaron writes about St. Louis and the close-knit cast of colorful characters (including Brett, Pete Feet, Spike, Wayne Two, Penguin, Jody Lee, & Katie from Haiti) in the local punk scene that he interacted with in a previous time -- he never says exactly when, but, based on the music references, it seems like it is circa early/mid nineties. 

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FIVE THINGS KANYE WEST COULD HAVE SAID INSTEAD AT THE VMA'S

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2009 03:18pm | Post a Comment
Kayne West vs Taylor Swift
Kanye West
's well publicized little outburst at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), in which he bum-rushed the stage during country singing teen Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to grab her mic and offer his uninvited opinion on how unfair he felt it was that Beyonce didn't win in the Best Female Video category, gave the media some fodder complete with a good headline for their report on the otherwise ho-hum awards show. And the fact that there suspiciously was no security whatsoever to stop West from storming the stage merely proved what many have long speculated: that MTV's producers secretly encourage any kind of controversy to spice up and give some edge to their show.

But by now Kanye's attention grabbing stunts are beyond tired. On Sunday night, even Beyonce, whose honor he somehow believed he was defending, wasn't impressed by his rude gesture. Neither was anyone else it seemed. And why should they be? Beyond the disrespectful act itself, it's not like he was sticking up for some totally underrated, slept-on artist. It was Beyonce -- one of the world's biggest stars, who a little bit later on in the same show would be bestowed with the Video Of The Year award. If Kanye is going to bum rush the stage and grab someone's mic, he should use the opportunity to say something of substance or worth.  Here are five suggestions for Kanye of what he could have said instead:

1) Talk about something really important or of social/political relevance like he did four years ago in his infamous post-Katrina "George Bush doesn't care about black people" comment (see video below). Or take Beyoncethe opportunity to comment on the growing thinly veiled tide of racism towards Barack Obama, or question why a FOX News host is getting away with calling the president "a racist." Or how about offering some opinion on health care? Note that even the host of the evening, Russell Brand, addressed this issue. However, like everything else that this English host-with-an-acquired-taste uttered throughout the long evening, it simply didn't register with the VMA audience.

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POET, PUNKER JIM CARROLL (Basketball Diaries) DIES AT AGE 60

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2009 01:13pm | Post a Comment

Jim Carroll "People Who Died" 

At the relatively young age of 60, Jim Carroll, the poet and punk rocker best known for his book adapted into the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring movie The Basketball Diaries, and whose most famous song is "People Who Died" (above), himself died a few days ago from a heart attack in his NYC home.
basketball diaries
A key part of the legendary downtown New York art scene in the 1970s, Carroll was known for associating with the likes of Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Carroll was also known for his drug use/abuse, never keeping it a secret but rather drawing from it extensively in his writing. First he was a poet and then a musician, on the urging of Patti Smith reportedly. His poems effortlessly morphed into songs such as the aforementioned "People Who Died," which was a poem first and then adapted to music on his much revered 1980 album, Catholic Boy.

The Basketball Diaries was Carroll's autobiographical tale of life as a sports star at an elite Manhattan private high school. He attended on a scholarship. Initially it began as the artist's own personal diary but it soon shaped into a book. The finished novel was first published in 1978 and has remained popular ever since. It became even more widely known after the 1995 film adaptation.

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PiL TO BE CHANNELED AT AMOEBAPALOOZA HOLLYWOOD

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2009 07:08am | Post a Comment
   PiL "Careering" + "Poptones" on American Bandstand, May 1980

The Guardian UK announced this week that the recently reformed John Lydon-led Public Image Limited (PiL) will be performing five announced UK only dates in the coming months. For those who can't make the trip over the pond, the short but exciting planned set by Studio 154 at tomorrow night's (September 13th) Amoebapalooza Hollywood '09 should somewhat satisfy the need to hear the music of the post Sex Pistols Lydon band, whose almost surreal performance (as in "performance" art) on American Bandstand from 1980 is excerpted in the video above. 
As in the PiL TV clip above, Studio 154 will also be performing (not lip syncing) the song "Poptones" as well as music by two other bands in their all too brief 10 minute set scheduled for after 11pm. Comprised of Bob Weider on vocals, Bill Tutton on bass, and Amoebites Greg Griffith on guitar and vocals,, Rick Frystak on  guitar & efx, Rick Frystak, and Marc Weinstein on drums, the band's 3 song set will, in addition to PiL, also include the music of Gang of Four ("Not Great Men") and Wire ("Blessed State"). 
"The Wire song is off the 154 album, so, [it's] a play on words with Studio 54," said Weinstein, adding, "We feel as if this era of minimalist post-punk art rock has been generally under-represented at Amoebapalooza in the past."
As for the actual post-punk band PiL, the newly reformed lineup by Lydon, who you'll recall also regrouped the Sex Pistols in years past, will not include original PiL members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. Instead it will be made up of late-1980s PiL members Lu Edmonds and Bruce Smith, in addition to Scott Firth, who has played with various pop/rock acts over the years. Read the Guardian UK article linked above for more insights on this reunion.

Meanwhile, among the other 22 acts scheduled (two more than on the flyer) to perform at Amoebapalooza Hollywood tomorrow night are Ben Ricci, The Sonnets, The Zombie Zombies, and Flathead. Click here for more info on Amoebapalooza Hollywood 09.

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