Amoeblog

Classical schmassical.

Posted by Job O Brother, November 16, 2009 04:38pm | Post a Comment
musician

Not all classical music is classical music. Classical music, in its true sense, conforms to a particular style and time period – not an exact time, but roughly from 1750 to 1825. Even so, much of what we casually call “classical music” was written before and after that chunk o’ time. So what gives?

Think of it this way: We call a lot of music “rock music” even when it doesn’t conform to the chord progressions and beats of rock & roll. There’s a huge difference between Ike Turner’s "Rocket 88" and The Cardigans’ "Lovefool," yet they both get played on so-called rock music stations.




So, classical music can either refer to the above mentioned period of Western music, or it can be a generic, blanket term for all that stuff you hear on the classical music station, or find when shopping the Classical Music Section at Amoeba Music.

The reason it’s good to know a little about the periods and sub-genres of classical music is it will help you find what you like. For instance, I’m a huge fan of what’s known as the Impressionist style of classical music, so if I find an album of some composer I’ve never heard of – like say, Sir Pooppants McNaughtybits – and he’s described as an Impressionist, there’s a very good chance that I will enjoy his music. In addition, if I see that the compositions on the album are concertos for clarinet (an instrument I love), I know it’s highly likely I’ll love it. (You know what a concerto is because you read my last blog entry.)

THE LEGEND OF BAGGE'S RAND

Posted by Charles Reece, November 15, 2009 11:56pm | Post a Comment
Novelist, scenarist, actress, "objectivist" and basic propagandist for rapacious capitalism Ayn Rand is someone I've always tended to steer clear of. My aversion is due more to her muddy and hypocritical thinking, as well as a writing style that's about as accomplished as a cheap 1930s sci-fi magazine, than any sort of challenge one encounters reading Leo Strauss and other conservative thinkers. But the ironically named Reason Magazine tends to talk about her, and their chief cartoonist, Peter Bagge (of Hate fame) has a new strip about what the mention of her name elicits in the circles he frequents (over-caffeinated Seattleites, I guess). To any of my pals who might have an opinion on her, she's considered something like what American Idol winners are to music, namely for people who don't like philosophy. You know, Alan Greenspan. Since I can't speak for Bagge's choice of friends, I'm only going to take issue with his final (and I note hysterically rendered) panel:

 peter bagge ayn rand reason

...And, this being a movie blog, in particular how it's contradicted by Rand's role in the Hollywood Red-baiting of the late 40s and 50s. In 1944, to combat communist infiltration in Hollywood, Walt Disney and some other conservatives formed The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Some of its most prominent members were John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Ward Bond and Leo McCarey. The organization's statement of principles can be read here. Another associate was Rand, who wrote a manifesto for the group in 1950 titled "Screen Guide for Americans," which was a program for weeding out Red influence from the pictures with enumerated commandments: "Don't smear the free enterprise system," "don't smear industrialists," "don't smear wealth," "don't smear the profit motive," "don't smear success," etc. Her supposed probity against the use of "physical force to impose her ideas" can be read in the document's conclusion:


The principle of free speech requires that we do not use police force to forbid the Communists the expression of their ideas -- which means that we do not pass laws forbidding them to speak. But the principle of free speech does not require that we furnish the Communists with the means to preach their ideas, and does not imply that we owe them jobs and support to advocate our own destruction at our own expense. 

This Week At The New Beverly Nov 15 - 21

Posted by phil blankenship, November 15, 2009 08:48pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full November / December calendar is online!
http://www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Sunday & Monday November 15 & 16

A Sidney Poitier double bill

In the Heat of the Night
1967, USA, 109 minutes
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0061811/
dir. Norman Jewison, starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, James Patterson
Sun: 3:20 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

out today 11/3 & 11/10...mary onettes...nirvana...morrissey...cold cave...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 13, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment
mary onettes
I recently discoved the fantastic Mary Onettes. I find it hard to believe that I had never heard of them until now. Their new album Islands is out November 3rd, but I was suprised to find out that this is their second full length album. I quickly fell in love with this new album before I even knew anything about them-- I only knew they were on Labrador Records and were probably from Sweden. So I decided to do some investigating and found out this was not their first album. I felt kind of embarrassed that I had never heard of them before. How could this band have passed me by? They are exactly the kind of band that I fall in love with. Their first self titled album came out 2 years ago on my birthday, May 1st, 2007. I guess I was too busy listening to the Magic Position by Patrick Wolf and the deluxe reissue of the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, which also came out on the same day. I am also a bit mad at my friends -- how could they have not told me about this band? Maybe they just assumed I knew all about them already. Or maybe they had not heard about them either! I typically love all things from Sweden. Especially if you are a band mary onettes islandsstill musically living in the late 80's and early 90's. Espcially if you are influenced by The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, and Echo and the Bunnymen. This band was sort of made for me. I know I just recently discussed this, but I will discuss it again. I am, of course, in love with this new album, and it was the first time that I heard the Mary Onettes, so it will most likely remain the album with that special place in my heart. I went back last week and discovered their first album for the first time but I didn't like it as much as the new one. I did like it though, and am actually liking it more and more as I listen to it more and more. I know those Mary Onettes fans that have liked them since their first album will probably find this new one not as good but that is just becuase they are hearing this new album years after already falling in love with that first record. It all really depends on when you were introduced to the band.

Discover Our Classical Music Section!

Posted by Amoebite, November 13, 2009 03:37pm | Post a Comment

There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.


 
I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

 
It’s these interactions that led me to create the following “conversion chart.” While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

al green

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