Instructional Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 28, 2009 11:59pm | Post a Comment
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The world of the instructional record is really quite fascinating. From sincere DIY teachings to crass bandwagoning & fad jumping, the instructional record was a force unto itself in the 60's & 70's. The endless barrage of salesman related "you can do it" LPs from that era rival the male enhancement ad fads of today and reveal a similar, sinister undercurrent of predatory schemes that feed on the insecurity of many a male ego. It's entertainment all the way around! You'd be hard pressed to find more timely LPs than Strategy At the Bridge Table or either of the dance related records below.
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I always find it funny that the three most important classes I took in High School were one semester electives-- guitar, speech and typing. Guitar was the beginning of the dymistification process between music and I. It also gave me much needed entertainment as I watched the jock meatheads fumble through "Lovesong" by the Cure in preparation for a lame attempt at buttering up some ditz over at the girls school. Speech was SO important, as it gave me an opportunity to get over performance anxiety by forcing me to give contrarian speeches to the same hamfisted types I mentioned in the guitar bit, within the safety net of the classroom. The teacher always wore suits and had a small mustache, traits that may have settled into my subconcious. He was asked to leave by the end of the semester because his affair with a jr. over at the girls school had been discovered, a trait I don't think I've picked up. The third class prepared me for the internet age. Not that I 'm a great typist, but whenever I watch a two fingered wonder pecking away, I'm always glad I took the class. Anyhow, this rant was brought on by the plethora of typing related LPs that I've seen over the years, a few of which are featured below.  
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Looking North to the Future. It’ll be good.

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2009 10:30am | Post a Comment

I have a recollection, probably faulty, of some TV character, dressed as a beatnik, on a mid seventies sitcom reciting a beat poem. And the poem went something like, “little puppy with your nose pressed up against the pet store window, there is no puppy food for you today ... only death.” I found it hysterical.
As some people know, I’m a modern poetry fan, and I’m even a bigger fan of beat poetry, even with all its occasionally preposterous immoderations. But what I really live for is faux beat poetry. Years ago an old friend of mine read a pumpkin pie recipe as a beat poem; it was the most illuminating piece of prose I have ever heard ... until now. Here is Sarah Palin’s farewell speech read by the ultimate hepcat, William Shatner.

Li'l Bit #9

Posted by Job O Brother, July 28, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment
Hoo, boy. Who didn't see this coming?

Happy Birthday Marcel Duchamp

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2009 09:25am | Post a Comment

Composed by John Cage in 1947 for prepared piano, Music For Marcel Duchamp was originally created for Duchamp’s segment in Hans Richter's surrealist film Dreams that money can buy. Other collaborators in Richter's movie included Max Ernst, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Darius Milhaud and Fernand Léger. The film, with a budget of $25,000, won the Award for the Best Original Contribution to the Progress of Cinematography at the 1947 Venice Film Festival. Duchamps' segment is entitled "Discs" and consists mostly of his rotoreliefs; flat cardboard circles with painted designs spinning on a turntable. Later, in 1999, Music For Marcel Duchamp was choreographed by the late, great Merce Cunningham.
The composition evokes timbres and harmonies of Asian music, as well as the music of Erik Satie: static, meditative and timeless. Using just a few tones, muted by weather stripping (seven pieces), and a piece of rubber and one metal bolt, the soft materials create a less metallic sound and avoid disruptive fluctuations in resonance. The rhythmic structure is eleven times eleven (extended); 2-1-1-3-1-2-1. One of the new ideas Cage worked on in this piece was the concept of silence used systematically. This can be heard, or not heard, in the last part of the work, where seven times 2 bars of music are followed by 2 bars of silence. This repetition creates tension as the work mostly builds on a single melodic line.
Joyeux Anniversaire Monsieur Duchamp!

Metal Monday Amoeblog: The Iron Maidens Interview

Posted by Billyjam, July 27, 2009 08:52pm | Post a Comment
Iron Maidens

Los Angeles, CA hard rock band The Iron Maidens are, as they fairly claim, "the world's only female tribute band to Iron Maiden." But they are also most proficient and accomplished musicians, who not only do justice to their heavy metal heroes, but also add a new lease on life to the veteran UK metal band whose music they've been avidly honoring since they formed eight years ago.

They've even recently recorded and released a kick-ass CD/DVD set of Iron Maiden songs. titled Route 666 (a nod to Flight 666). The original Iron Maiden-esque cover art of a female monster is done by iron maidensDerek Riggs, creator of Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie, and numerous signature Iron Maiden album covers familiar to any Maiden fan.

The five member group, comprised of women with diversified musical backgrounds ranging from orchestral and musical theater to blues and rock, is comprised of Linda “Nikki McBURRain” McDonald on drums, Sara “MiniMurray” Marsh and Courtney “Adriana Smith” Cox on guitars, Kirsten “Bruce Chickinson” Rosenberg on vocals, and Wanda "Steph Harris" Ortiz on bass.

Hard rocking and hard working, the band's busy upcoming schedule includes playing an all ages show at the Trevi Entertainment Center in Lake Elsinore, CA tomorrow, Second Wind in Santee, CA on Thursday,  The Key Club in Hollywood on August 12th, the The VooDoo Lounge in San Jose on August 14th, and Annie's Social Club on Folsom in SF on August 15th. Fresh back from a Saturday night gig in Kansas, I caught up with the band yesterday to talk about, among other things, Iron Maiden's music, the difference between a tribute and a cover band, and being women in a male dominated field. The interview, which the band members collectively answered in true democratic fashion as a unit, follows below the video clip of the band performing "Revelations" at Cane's in San Diego last month. For more info on the Iron Maidens visit their official website or their MySpace.

Amoeblog: Whose idea was it to form the Iron Maidens and how did it initially all come about?
Iron Maidens: It was a mutual love of Iron Maiden. We knew each other from here and there and with down time from other bands we were in, we got together just to have fun and jam some Maiden songs. From the start the response was phenomenal, with guys fighting to look in the rehearsal door window to see who was playing these great songs. Then we thought, 'Hey, let's do 1 show for a goof and see how it iron maidensgoes.' It sold out and we haven't looked back since.

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