Amoeblog

EVIDENTLY JOHN COOPER CLARKE - THE BARD OF SALFORD

Posted by Billyjam, May 11, 2009 03:24pm | Post a Comment
In addition to the whole DIY ethic that was instilled, another great gift of both the punk rock movement and the post-punk movement that immediately followed it was how they each helped open people up to embracing a really wide & diverse range of music by artists doing anything from punk derived guitar music to varying styles of electronic, industrial, dub, roots reggae, world, and spoken word, etc. And of the spoken word artists, none matched the brilliant "bard of Salford," punk poet John Cooper Clarke, whose satirical & witty run on rants easily match any of the best hip-hop emcees.

John Cooper Clarke (JCC), who looked a lot like Dylan circa Blonde On Blonde when he first came to fame in the late seventies, hailed from Salford, Greater Manchester, the same area that Joy Division came from -- a group with whom he will forever be associated. As well as opening for such acts as the Sex Pistols, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, and Elvis Costello, JCC also opened for Joy Division. In fact, in one memorable moment from the 2007 Joy Division biopic Control, the artist convincingly recreates, 30 full years later, a performance from a 1977 Joy Division concert where he supported the group. 

Additionally, he can be seen performing his best known poem, "Evidently Chickentown," at the start and end of the video for Joy Division's live performance of "Transmission" (clip below), which features JCC reading the refrain and third verses. And even after Ian Curtis' suicide, when the band morphed into New Order, he continued to open for them, even in 1984 at a Music for Miners benefit at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Truly a poet of the people, his engaging everyman tales, delivered typically as witty, scathing satirical takes on every day, humorously tackled topics such as the British working class's favorite package holiday destination ("Majorca") to people's obsession with health and fitness ("Health Fanatic" + "Bronze Adonis"). "(I Married a) Monster from Outer Space" was as much an absurdist tale as a clever commentary on racism. His poem "The Pest," in which every other word began with the letter P, proved his masterful control of the English language. While he sometimes performed with music accompaniment backing from The Invisible Girls (Pete Shelly was a member), his poetry was at its best when at its rawest: delivered a cappella in a live, rowdy punk club setting. 

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MOTHER: 2PAC, JOHN LENNON, SINEAD O' CONNOR & ROGER WATERS

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"


John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden


Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)


The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:08:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:08:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

2) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent) 

3) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

4) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)

5) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Universal/Motown)

For the third week in a row the Living Legends duo of The Grouch & Eligh are number one at Amoeba Music. The pair's third collaborative album, Say G&E! (Legendary Music), is the number one best selling new hip-hop album this week at Amoeba Berkeley, and has been on top since last week at Amoeba Hollywood and for two weeks already at Amoeba San Francisco (where they also performed last week). And what a diverse hip-hop album it is, with numerous guest contributors including Flying Lotus (who produced "Old Souls"), Mistah F.A.B. (who sounds unlike his usual self on the song "Comin' Up"), Gift of Gab and Pigeon John (who guest on the alt-rock sounding "All In"), and Slug of Atmosphere (who appears on the very Bay sounding, AmpLive-produced riding track "BOOM!").

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WHO NEEDS A DRUMMER WHEN...

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2009 04:27am | Post a Comment



Who needs a drummer in the band when you have a reliable idling tractor that keeps time perfectly? In the recent YouTube posting above from member Fschnell in Hungary, his band features the two cylinder diesel engine percussion sounds, which round out their live rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," the jazz standard/bygone pop tune whose music was written by Ben Bernie & Maceo Pinkard in 1925. File under jazz standards or industrial!

UH UH UH STICK 'EM: THE FAT BOYS REMEMBERED

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2009 12:22pm | Post a Comment
fat boys
Compared to the all too prevalent mean mugging, tough scowling stance of today's typical hip-hop star, the popular 1980's rap group The Fat Boys (Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock-Ski, Buff Love) were polar opposites with their smiling, all-ages friendly personas (not to mention lyrics) and cuddly, good humored personalities. From right when the NYC trio burst onto the still burgeoning hip-hop scene in 1984, they embodied a wholesome, non-threatening image to accompany their instantly engaging beatbox driven rap style. In fact, the late Buff Love, aka The Human Beatbox, was a hip-hop pioneer in beatboxing along Doug E. Fresh, who simultaneously helped popularize the mouth percussion style unique to the genre.

But barely below the surface there was also a somewhat sinister aspect to the Fat Boys-- they were exploited (or allowed themselves to be) by labels and marketing men who went overboard, playing up their obesity and downplaying the seriousness of not eating healthily. Obesity tragically led to the 1995 heart attack death of Buff Love/The Human Beatbox at age 28, by then reportedly weighing 450 lbs. Below are a selection of videos from the 80's that in a way tell the Fat Boys story, displaying the marketing of the group. Included are the videos "Jailhouse Rap" and "Stick Em" from their 1984 self-titled debut on Sutra Records, an album whose cover picture (above) showed them stuffing down pizza and ice cream. This food-gorging image was only further enforced in such videos as "All You Can Eat" from the 1987 film Krush Groove and their appearance on Square One TV eating too many burgers. Also below is the group's cameo in Miami Vice when they were not eating, but instead were portrayed as beatboxing drug dealers.

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