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Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, August 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment
Ben Chasny is the man, the myth from Drag City guitar fest Six Organs of Admittance. Sounds like the making of his latest record, Luminous Light, out August 18, was some seriously risky business, what with the Turkish prison-style atmosphere and all! Check out our correspondance below:

ben chasny

Miss Ess: What music did you hear in your house when you were growing up, before you had a choice? Do you think this music had any influence on you?
rolling stones tattoo you
Ben Chasny: The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You. Well, I have a crazy tribal backplate, so yes.

ME: When did you pick up the guitar?

BC: When I realized it was a lot easier to play like that than when it was lying on the ground (waa waaaa).

ME: When and how did you start writing songs?

BC: When I was 3. I wrote a song called "The Futility of the Rattle" inspired by Sartre. I've tried to simplify things since then.

ME: How has living in Seattle as opposed to the Bay Area influenced your latest batch of songs?

BC: Well, I can still look California here but feel Minnesota. Or is it thsix organs luminous lighte other way around?

ME: What made you ready to move away from a mostly guitar-based sound for this album?

Continue reading...

The evolution of the music video, part II (1950s - 1960s)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 6, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment
As persuasively and incontestably argued in The evolution of the music video, part I  (1890s - 1940s), the music video began not in the '80s, as is often wrongly assumed, but the '90s... the 1890s (if we accept the basic concept of videos being one stand-alone work of one song/one visual). From the humble sound experiments at the dawn of the celluloid age through the artistic flowering of Soundies, many musical promos were created of high historical and artistic importance. In the 1950s and '60s, videos moved from bars and clubs to the living room, as television became the new venue for music promotion.

Cineboxes, Scopitones and Color-Sonics
According to the Quixotic Internet Accuracy Project, the term "music video" was coined by DJ (VJ?) J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson in 1959. That year, the Cinebox hit the scene, essentially following in the footsteps of Soundies by manufacturing videos for what was essentially a jukebox with a visual component. In 1965, the Cinebox was re-branded the Colorama in the US. The following year it was again re-branded, this time as the Cinejukebox.

Cinebox Brochure  Frankie Avalon and a Cinebox Cinebox highlights

WHITE STRIPES, CHARLES NELSON REILLY PARODIED BY "WEIRD AL"

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2009 08:21am | Post a Comment



Playing the roles of both Jack and Meg White, the prolific king of music parodies, “Weird Al” Yankovic, channels the White Stripes and their song  “Icky Thump” in his latest song/video “CNR,” his tribute to the late Charles Nelson Reilly. The video, posted to YouTube, premiered a couple of days ago on JibJab.com where those interested have an opportunity to do their own basic remix of the "Weird Al" Yankovic video. 

Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

Posted by Whitmore, August 6, 2009 08:15am | Post a Comment
Penderecki
Taking third prize at the prestigious Grzegorz Fitelberg Composers' Competition in 1960, Krzysztof Penderecki burst onto the international scene with Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, scored for 52 string instruments. One of the most harrowing pieces of music ever conceived, Threnody is unforgiving and brutal, horrifying and captivating, solemn and catastrophic.
 
Its atmospheric dissonance engulfs the listener with tone clusters that are piercing and shrieking at an orchestra’s highest register. Originally entitled 8'37”, Threnody’s score is unorthodox and mostly symbol-based, directing the musicians to play at various vague points on their instruments or to focus on textural effects and extended techniques, like playing on the wrong side of the bridge or slapping the instrument percussively. The piece includes an invisible canon in 36 voices and an overall musical texture that is more important than any individual note. Penderecki sought to heighten the dissonant element of the piece by composing in quarter tones -- hypertonality -- creating a greater reaching elegiac mood than could be found in traditional tonality.

BACK WHEN A POETRY READING SOLD OUT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2009 07:56pm | Post a Comment


Thanks to Tom McQuown at Amoeba Music Berkeley for schooling me on the historic night the above clip featuring the late Allen GInsberg is taken from. It was a June 11, 1965 performance at London's Royal Albert Hall and the large venue sold out all of its 7000 seats-- an amazing accomplishment for a spoken word/poetry event. In addition to Ginsberg, the performance, which was billed as the International Poetry Incarnation, attracted a wide variety of important figures at the time, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William Burroughs, Michael Horovitz, Tom McGrath and Adrian Mitchell. The performance was recorded by Peter Whitehead, who documented the event on film and released it as Wholly Communion, which is where the above video clip came from. Two years ago the film was released on DVD in the UK under the title Wholly Communion and & The Endless Reinvention of the 1960's, which also includes Whitehead's 1967 documentary Benefit of the Doubt.

As Amoeba's McQuown related, what was most amazing about the night was how it became such a happening, bringing together all these people in London in 1965 who never saw themselves as a collective up til this point. "It was a time when a lot of people who didn't necessarily know each other showed up at this poetry event but they started to recognize each other. They might have seen each other at other art or poetry happenings or at an early Pink Floyd show. But this night kind of solidifed things and people started to realize that they were all connected and all part of a scene," said McQuown. Not surprisingly, a copious amount of mind altering drugs, not to mention a lot of booze, was consumed that evening by those in the audience and on stage and hence some of the performances were a little sloppy. But none of that mattered for the "wholly communion" that took place that night 44 years ago.
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