Amoeblog

R.I.P. HECTOR ZAZOU

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2008 01:12pm | Post a Comment

The musically eclectic arranger, composer, and producer Hector Zazou, widely known for his collaborative work with such artists as Brian Eno, Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux, Peter Gabriel, Mark Isham, Nico, John Cale, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and David Sylvian of Japan, died this week.

He was just 60 years old. Cause of death has not yet been made public, although it was reported by NME magazine that he had "fallen seriously ill" earlier this year. The French artist effortlessly cross-pollinated musical boundaries from electronic to rock, pop & folk, and into a myriad of different world music and classical styles. 

Zazou leaves behind a deep back catalog of recordings that include the soon to be  released album In the House of Mirrors (Crammed), an electronic tinged classical Asian composition that showcased the Indian-Uzbekestani four-piece Swara. Other releases by Zazou during his prolific career include 1979's La Perversita and 1994's atmospheric & eclectic Songs from the Cold Seas (titled in his native France as Chansons des mers froides) that epitomized the artist's knack for melding various artists and their respective divergent sensibilities -- somehow making it all sound like it was meant to go together in the first place.

Below are a couple of videos of the artist's music, including "The Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary" from the CD Lights In The Dark and "IS" by Hector Zazou featuring British born singer Katiejane Garside, who is featured on the Hector Zazou's last released album, Corps électriques, which came out in January this year.

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SONIC YOUTH'S NEXT ALBUM ON MATADOR RECORDS

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2008 03:00pm | Post a Comment
          

Following much speculation, Matador Records has confirmed that they will be releasing the next brand new Sonic Youth album next year. The new studio album from Sonic Youth, the band's sixteenth, follows the legendary rock group's fulfilling their contractual obligations to the Universal Music Group.

According to the press statement by Matador, the New York label says it values "the opportunity to work in partnership with a group who've made such a profound impact on our roster/hometown/collective consciousness was one to jump at. Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley will commence recording the new Sonic Youth LP/CD this autumn and we look forward to sharing further details in the very near future."

For more information about the 31-year old group, including their traveling museum exhibition and their recently self-released CD (pictured left), check SonicYouth.com and also Matador Records' site.

PLAYING WITH YOUR FOOD: VEGGIES AS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2008 12:20pm | Post a Comment
Don't play with your food...unless you are playing a song. I never knew that veggies could be so much fun, musical fun that is, until I was turned onto Japanese vegetable musician Helta3's YouTube account that showcased a wide variety of his homemade & played veggie wind instruments.

Helta3 is the man when it comes to making veggies into instruments, as a recent YouTube search of "vegetable instruments" proved. Some of these videos are below, including the very first of the five, which is a general introduction to handmade veggie musical instruments by Helta3. In it he demonstrates playing such veggies as asparagus, cucumber, paprika, broccoli, and carrots -- which he plays as both an ocarina and as a panpipe.

Check out Helta3's YouTube page to see him make and/or play other veggie instruments such as a radish and a cabbage, also as an ocarina (who would have thunk?). By the way, the exact definition of an ocarina, as per the Webster dictionary, is "a simple wind instrument typically having an oval body with finger holes and a projecting mouthpiece." The other veggie musical instruments videos below include a vegetable orchestra, two funny guys playing veggies, musical foods, and a how-to guide to make your own carrot ocarina.



                 INTRO TO HANDMADE VEGETABLE INSTRUMENTS



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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 09:06:08

Posted by Billyjam, September 6, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment
young jeezy
Amoeba Music San Francisco Top FIve 09:06:08


1) Young Jeezy The Recession (Def Jam)

2) The Game LAX (Geffen/Interscope)

3) eLZhi Preface (Fat Beats)

4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots (Million Dollar Dream)

5) Arabian Prince Innovative Life: The Anthology: 1984 - 1989 (Stones Throw)

Thanks to Luis in the hip-hop section at Amoeba Music, San Francisco for this week's Top Five chart. The top slot belongs to the brand new release from Young Jeezy, The Recession, which hit Amoeba shelves on Tuesday this week. This is the third Jeezy album, following 2005's Lets Get It: Thug Motivation 101 and 2006's The Inspiration. Although the title The Recession might imply that the record would be all about the US economy (interest rates/foreclosures etc.), it only very, very briefly tackles the US economy at large. Instead, it concentrates more specifically on hood economics, i.e., drug dealing. Hence, The Recession, over some great beats, is brimming with (yawn) street tales of making cash and selling 'caine and the glorified day-to-day trials and tribulations of a gangsta. 

"All I got to my name is two bricks and one felony," raps Atlanta native Jeezy in his famous husky voiced, dirty south flow on the track "Crazy World" -- one of many detailing the struggles of the hustler lifestyle which, personally, I find tired and played out at this stage in the game. I mean is Young Jeezy keeping really real and rapping about his life as it really, or is he just trying to sell the most CDs? Does Jeezy really have to slang drugs on the corner after all his success in the rap music biz? Or is he just fronting by making up these played-out, over-romanticized drug dealing tales, geared for the target gullible white rap consumer? This is music manufactured for the wallet more than from the heart. With that said, I did enjoy most of the production, athe game LAXnd also the album's few guests, including NaS, who upstaged his host here. I guess it's not so much the topic of gangsta but more in how an artist retells a story we've heard a million times already.

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THE 100 GAYEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME

Posted by Billyjam, September 6, 2008 12:44am | Post a Comment
 
1. David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
 (1972)
 2. The Smiths - The Smiths
  (1984)
 3. Tracy Chapman - Tracy    Chapman (1988)
 4. Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
  (1989)
 5. Judy Garland - Judy At   Carnegie Hall (1961)
 6. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead (1986)
 7. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
 8. Madonna - The Immaculate Collection (1973)
 9. Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983)
10. Antony & The Johnsons -
 I Am A Bird Now (2005)

According to a wide spectrum of gay music experts quizzed by Out Magazine, these are the top 100 gayest albums of all time.  To compile this Top 100 Gayest Albums of All Time, Out Magazine polled more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives. Out writes in this new report that "After receiving responses from Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Cyndi Lauper, the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, Candis Cayne, Perez Hilton, Nate Berkus, Jake Shears, John Cameron Mitchell, Wilson Cruz, Justin Bond, Darren Hayes, Junior Vasquez, Bruce Vilanch, Janis Ian, the Cliks, Ari Gold, Holly Johnson, and a slew of others, we tallied the results to determine our top-100 list." 

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