“If you still have some light in you, then go before it’s gone,” Angel Olsen sings on the harrowing “White Fire,” the slow-burning centerpiece of her stunning new album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Olsen doles out hard-won truths and tragicomic observances in a voice that splits the difference between Emmylou Harris’ sweet coo and Cat Power’s smoky drawl, sometimes coming through just above a whisper, though she can wake the dead when she wishes, reserving her power for choice moments, belting at the core of the Velvetsy “High & Wild.” The former member of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s band seems to have poured every inch of herself into her breakthrough album, going for a full-tilt rock stomp on songs like “Forgiven/Forgotten,” referencing Hank Williams on gleeful ode to loneliness “Hi-Five” and virtually fading into the ether on beautiful songs like “Dance Slow Decades,” begging you to sit closely. Burn Your Fire For No Witness is one of the best albums of the year thus far, an emotional trip that leaves its mark.
When you buy a turntable from any Amoeba store through Tuesday, February 25 you'll score a gift certificate for $25 worth of used vinyl to jumpstart your collection! Plus, you'll receive a free goodie bag with an Amoeba slipmat, record cleaning cloth, 45 adaptor and more.
To help determine which turntable is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself before you purchase and some handy factoids that might help with that decision.
To DJ or Not to DJ
If you want to DJ with your turntable, you need a Direct Drive turntable. This means that you can scratch, mix, cue up your records, and do everything else DJs do without ruining your record player or the stylus.
If you don't plan on using your turntable for DJing, a Belt Drive Turntable will work perfectly well for you.
How Are You Going to Hook Up Your Turntable?
Do you have a component system already? Do you have a receiver? If so, does it have a "phono" input selection? If your receiver doesn't have a phono input (and a lot of them don't these days), you will need a pre-amp.
If you have powered speakers (speakers that have their own power source), you can connect your turntable directly to the speakers if you want (and skip the receiver altogether).
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: February 17, 1962 - "Duke Of Earl" by Gene Chandler (Born Eugene Dixon) hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for five weeks on the same date. Written by Bernice Williams, Eugene Dixon, and Earl Edwards, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist. The song will originate as a vocal warm up exercise in the doo wop group The Dukays, in which Chandler and Edwards were both members. Entering the Hot 100 at #93 on January 13, 1962, it will leap to the top of the chart five weeks later. "Duke Of Earl" will become the first million selling single for Chicago-based independent label Vee-Jay Records. When Chandler performs the song live, he will often appear dressed in a black waist coat and tails with topped off with a matching black cape and top hat. The song will be covered numerous times over the years and will be sampled as the basis of Cypress Hill's "Hand On The Pump" in 1991. "Duke Of Earl" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: February 17, 1966 - The Beach Boys will begin recording the single "Good Vibrations" at United/Western Recorders in Hollywood. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, inspiration for the song will have its origins in a conversation that Brian Wilson has with his mother Audree as a child, who will tell him that dogs will bark at some people and not at others because of the "vibrations" they sense coming from them. the initial recording session will have Wilson working with members of The Wrecking Crew cutting 26 takes of the instrumental track. Seventeen more sessions at three other recording studios will take place over the next six months as the song is refined. The end product will be generate over 90 hours of tape and cost an unprecedented $50,000. At the time of its October 1966 release, it will be the most expensive single ever recorded. First issued as a stand alone single, it is intended to be the cornerstone of the album Smile, which is originally scheduled for release in early 1967. However, Wilson's fragile emotional state, exacerbated by drug use and inner band conflict over the direction of the project will lead to the album being shelved until 2011. The Smile Sessions box set will include an alternate stereo mix of "Good Vibrations."
As it has for the past four weeks, tonight's installment of True Detectives, HBO's new excellent noir murder mystery set in the deep south starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey , will kick off, what is sure to be another nail-bitingly engaging episode, with its eerily moving opening main title theme song "Far From Any Road" by The Handsome Family (Carrot Top Recods). The track, which is available as a download from Amoeba.com, is not just an excellent song by itself but it has the distinction of being one of those perfectly chosen TV show theme songs. That's thanks to the show's music supervisor, musician T-Bone Burnett. For last week's crazy amped-up, adrenaline-fueled show (no spoilers here in case you are a latecomer to this TV series) that followed three slower-paced story-setting episodes, Burnett handpicked more excellent accompanying songs from a wide array of artists from blues to rap and rock, including Slim Harpo, Melvins, Bo Diddley, Boogie Down Productions, Primus, Wu-Tang Clan, and (Nick Cave's) Grinderman (the manic sounding "Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)").
All the things that matter most in this world: the music of Velvet Underground, pizza...well, that about covers it.
By now, it's well-known that Home Alone's Macaulay Culkin has grown up into an adventurous and mature actor, artist, New York man-about-town, and has joined a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band called the Pizza Underground. Yes, they re-write all your favorite VU songs to contain a healthy dose of the 'za: "I'm Waiting for the Delivery Man," "All the Pizza Parties," "Take a Bite of the Wild Slice," just to name a few.
Pizza Underground has been active in the NY anti-folk scene since 2012 with members Matt Colbourn, Phoebe Kreutz, Deenah Vollmer, and Austin Kilham. Culkin joined up sometime last year and recorded the band's live demo at his house. Culkin is credited with percussion, kazoo, and vocals.
But do they deliver? Find our for yourself on Wednesday, March 5th at San Francisco's Neck of the Woods. Amoeba SF favorites Windham Flat and Brooklyn's Toby Goodshank open!