Amoeblog

The Beach Boys Song "Darlin'" Gets Newfound Attention Thanks to The Big Bang Theory

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2015 09:51am | Post a Comment


The Beach Boys
song "Darlin'" has garnered overnight newfound attention after being featured in last evening's  broadcast of The Big Bang Theory.  The Sheldon character (Jim Parsons), who rarely takes an interest in music, hums the melody of the unknown song throughout the latest episode entitled The Earworm Reverberation of TBBT, until finally figuring out that it is a song by The Beach Boys. "Darlin'" was originally a 1967 single (b-side "Here Today") taken from The Beach Boys album Wild Honey  of that same year. It has since been included on such collections as The Very Best of The Beach Boys: Sounds of Summer and The Very Best of The Beach Boys.   [Spoiler Alert!] The Beach Boys song acted the main story arc in the ongoing on-off relationship of Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik).

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Gary Numan, GZA, The Orb, ODESZA, Mad Professor, Sun Ra Arkestra & Laurie Anderson Among Announced Acts At Moogfest 2016

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2015 09:26pm | Post a Comment

The lineup for Moogfest 2016 (May 19 - 22) -- the annual tribute to Dr. Robert Moog that brings together music, art, and technology -- promises be a richly diverse one with performers including Gary Numan (whose first three albums are being reissued on vinyl this week) GZA, Mad Professor, and The Orb. Just announced in the video below by synth-loving comedic entertainer (and fest participant) Reggie Watts, Moogfest 2016's lineup of over one hundred musical acts will include ODESZA, Laurie Anderson, Oneohtrix Point Never, Daniel LanoisBlood Orange, Sun Ra Arkestra, DJ Harvey, Explosions in the Sky, sunn O)))Simian Mobile Disco, Ben Frost, Kode9, Lunice, Ryan Hemsworth, and YACHT. In addition to musical performances, Moogfest includes workshops, lectures, and masterclasses such as Reggae Hacker Soundsystem and Radio and the Radiophonic. Meanwhile, speakers and presenters will include former Hollywood Amoebite DJ Lance Rock (reppin' Yo Gabba Gabba!) and author Dave Tompkins (who discussed his book on the evolution of vocoders with the Amoeblog). There will also be art installations and a mini film festival. Moogfest 2016's keynote speakers will be virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier and "transhumanist activist/pharma tycoon" Dr. Martine Rothblatt.

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Mad Skillz Picks Favorite 2015 Hip-Hop Albums & Discusses His Popular Annual Year-End "Rap Up" Series

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2015 10:25pm | Post a Comment
Mad Skillz' Top Three Favorite Hip-Hop Albums of 2015


1) J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Roc Nation) (avail also in vinyl)
  
J. Cole's still quite popular 2014 Forest Hills Drive is titled after the address in Fayetteville that the North Carolina hip-hop artist born Jermaine Lamarr Cole spent the happiest years growing up in, not the year 2014. However technically 2014 was the release of this 13 track full-length (avail in both CD and LP formats) which was released exactly one year ago on December 9th, 2014 via Jay Z's Roc Nation label. But like most popular albums released at year's end, whose sales continue far into the following calendar year, it is considered by many as a 2015 release. Widely lauded as one of contemporary hip-hop's most engaging storytellers, it is not surprising that emcee Mad Skillz would chose this album as his top pick of the past year.
   


2) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)
 
Executive produced by Dr. Dre and released via his Aftermath label, To Pimp A Butterfly is universally popular Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album and follow up to 2012's breakthrough second full-length good kid, m.A.A.d city, Upon its mid March 2015 release Amoeba.com wrote that the album, "doubles down on the idiosyncracies of good kid, eschewing club-friendly tracks in favor of those that cast a light on Lamar’s pure skills as a rapper and wordsmith—always celebrated, yet perhaps distracted by stellar production and good kid’s concept-album style—as well as his ability to put together a layered and compelling album."

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Imagine No Guns: John Lennon & All The Talented Artists Senselessly Shot & Killed Might Still Be With Us Making Great Music

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2015 04:09pm | Post a Comment
"Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace"

New York City: By 9am this morning when I passed by Strawberry Fields on the west side of Central Park, already a substantial size crowd had gathered to pay tribute to John Lennon who was murdered 35 years ago on this date.  One guy with eyes closed intently strummed "Imagine" on his acoustic guitar as the solemn crowd around him gently sang along. Dedicated to Lennon's memory, the landscaped section of the vast city park is across the street from the famed Dakota Building. It was outside that NYC landmark on December 8th, 1980 that the beloved Beatle was fatally gunned down and killed by a deranged "fan." 

If Lennon's murder had occurred today undoubtedly there would be politically motivated, second amendment advocates, rushing to defend the use of firearms. I'd bet that they'd reason (as was the case in aftermath of San Bernadino last week) that if John Lennon had been carrying a concealed weapon that he could have defended himself.  Even back in 1980  Lennon's assassination brought forth to public discussion the issue of gun control in America. But even the cold blooded murder of the 40 year old John Lennon did not affect US gun laws, or sales of guns. In fact the sales of deadly firearms has multiplied in the years since; bringing with them the toll of human suffering. This morning Yoko Ono tweeted the image above with the disturbing statistic that in the years since the murder of her late husband that over one million people have died by gun violence. 

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Happy 46th Birthday Jay Z + "December 4th" The Grey Album vs. The Black Album versions

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2015 09:09am | Post a Comment

Certain dates just stick in your head: birthdays, anniversaries, favorite album release dates, and songs about specific dates. "December 4th" by Jay Z is a good example for me. Titled after the rapper-turned-super-successful-entrepreneur's 1969 birth date (Happy 46th birthday, Hov!) today's date, December 4th,  for me is forever intertwined with that Jay Z song.  But it is not the original version of "December 4th" off the artist's 2003 release, The Black Album (avail in CD and LP, formats) that comes to mind. That track, which was understandably overshadowed by such other album cuts as "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," and "Change Clothes (feat. Pharrell)," is totally eclipsed by the far superior remix of the song that Danger Mouse unleashed the following year off his bootleg hit album The Grey Album. 

As you may recall, that universally popular 2004 album expertly melded Jay Z's Black Album A-Capella version with sampled and looped portions of The Beatles 1969 self-titled double LP commonly known as The White Album. The Grey Album, although never legal because of all the unauthorized samples, would win fans the world over and go on to top countless critics' year-end best album lists for 2004. Indeed the album was a game changer for both the (until then) virtually unknown hip-hop producer as well as for the mash-up genre itself. Danger Mouse accomplished what some of Jay Z's own producers could not in bringing out the very best in the emcee's lyrics and rhyme flow. The Just Blaze-produced "December 4th" was a perfect example. Danger Mouse's totally different production of the song, while simpler and musically much sparser, elevated it from a throwaway, forgettable track to immediately commanding one. It made listeners want to hang onto every word uttered by Jay Z (and his mom who is featured talking in the song) in the engaging autobiographical tale.

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