Amoeblog

August 12, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 12, 2009 10:04pm | Post a Comment
Transformers 2 movie ticket stub


Remembering Lenny Breau

Posted by Whitmore, August 12, 2009 09:56pm | Post a Comment

As far as I am concerned, Lenny Breau is arguably the greatest guitarist that ever strummed a chord on this goddamned sweet earth, and yet outside the guitar playing world his name remains virtually unknown. Several years ago I was gigging in Vancouver B.C., Canada and someone asked me who were my favorite guitarists. I mentioned Lenny Breau. I obviously answered correctly; for the next couple of days I had my pick of booze and food aplenty. Though Breau was born in Auburn, Maine, in 1941, he was raised in Canada. His family settled in Manitoba in 1957 and he always remained very connected to his adopted home country. His parents, Hal "Lone Pine" Breau and Betty Cody, were country & western performers active as both a touring and a recording act from the mid 1940's into the late 1950's. Breau’s first professional gigs were with the family act until he was about 15 or 16, when one night his father slapped him on stage for improvising.
 
Lenny Breau's phenomenal technique was a combination of his close study of his idol Chet Atkins, adapting Atkins' picking style of playing bass lines with a thumb pick and with his other fingers adding melody lines -- he was able to sound like two guitarists playing simultaneously -- and his harmonic sensibilities, predominantly influenced by legendary pianist Bill Evans. Along with significant classical, modal, and flamenco elements, not to mention his extraordinary right hand independence and his unique use of artificial harmonics, no one sounded like Lenny Breau.
 
25 years ago today, Aug. 12, 1984, Lenny Breau was found dead in the rooftop swimming pool of his apartment building in Los Angeles. He was 43 years old. During his lifetime Lenny Breau had a long struggle with drugs, especially with heroin, amphetamines and alcohol, something left over from his days on the Toronto jazz scene, but at the time of his death Breau had reportedly managed to take some control of his addictions. On that Sunday, his wife, Jewel Breau, an occasional singer born Joanne Glasscock, claimed that he had accidentally drowned, but an autopsy determined that he had actually been strangled and then dumped in the pool. The Los Angeles Police Department never had enough evidence to bring charges against her or anyone else, but in a 1999 Canadian documentary, The Genius Of Lenny Breau, directed by Breau’s daughter Emily Hughes, Detective Richard Aldahl states that Jewel Breau was the prime suspect. Jewel Breau, now remarried as Jewel Flowers, was never charged in the homicide because detectives thought that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office couldn’t build a strong enough case to bring her to trial. Ironically, it was Chet Atkins who introduced Lenny Breau to Jewel. Breau's murder remains unsolved.
 
Lenny Breau was buried in an unmarked grave in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Funeral expenses were covered by a memorial benefit at Nashville's Blue Bird Café.



FROM GILMAN TO THE REP, GREEN DAY KEEP IT BERKELEY

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Green Day
Last week the Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced the full cast for its anticipated upcoming premiere of American Idiot, a production based on the popular Green Day album of the same name, that will run at the downtown Berkeley theater from September 4 through October 11, and feature the music of Green Day and the lyrics of the longtime East Bay band's Billie Joe Armstrong. 

Even before the cast was announced, tickets were already selling briskly, fueled in good part by Green Day fans anxious to see how their fave band's 2004 album is being adapted to the stage. American Idiot is being staged by star director Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award in 2007 for his direction of the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening, and who collaborated with Armstrong on the story. 

The stage production of American Idiot is decribed by the Berkeley Rep as one that "follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East. In an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs, they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration."

The music driven production will feature not only every song off of American Idiot, which won two Grammys -- Best Rock Album and Record of the Year -- and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, but also several songs from Green Day's follow up to American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown, which was released a few months ago and done in a similar style to American Idiot. The team that Mayer has assembled to bring the production to the Berkeley stage includes choreographer Steven Hoggett, composer Tom Kitt, and video designer Darrel Maloney.

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The Beatles Pt 1

Posted by Amoebite, August 12, 2009 12:46pm | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration today in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday from now until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! We begin now with Part One of the fabled band's history:

the beatles 1962

“This isn’t show business,” John Lennon said at the height of The Beatles’ success. “This is something else.”

Strictly in show business terms, the quartet from Liverpool, England rewrote the book on rock ‘n’ roll, which prior to the group’s 1962 recording debut was considered nothinbeatles for saleg more than disposable music for idle teens. While The Beatles were initially embraced by throngs of young fans (most of them female) -- in a phenomenon dubbed “Beatlemania” by the press -- with the same fervor previously accorded Frank Sinatra in the ‘40s and Elvis Presley in the ‘50s, the depth of their work quickly transcended their teen-idol genesis.

The songs penned by singer-guitarist Lennon and his collaborator, vocalist-bassist Paul McCartney – and, to a lesser extent, those authored by guitarist-vocalist George Harrison – expanded rock’s expressive capabilities, and broadened the audience for the music beyond its youthful base. Their producer George Martin transmuted The Beatles’ bold imaginative leaps in the studio, bringing theretofore unimaginable musical and technical textures to their recorded music. After sensationally announcing themselves with a string of irresistible hit singles that were greeted with unprecedented sales (which persisted until the end of the group’s existence), The Beatles established the long-playing album as the principal commercial format, and as a forum for artistic expression. And their massive popularity on a global scale inaugurated the era of the stadium concert. In sheer magnitude, their achievement remains unrivaled to this day.

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August 11, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 12, 2009 12:03pm | Post a Comment
District 9 movie ticket stub
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