Trans World Entertainment #0617
Trans World Entertainment #0617
Considered the seminal group of the Athens music scene (later groups included B-52's who cited Pylon as influences and R.E.M. who later covered the Pylon song "Crazy"), Pylon formed in 1978 when all four members (Bewley & Hay -- then Brisco, bassist Michael Lachowski, & drummer Curtis Crowy) met up while attending the University of Georgia. A year later they released their debut and continued recording and performing up until 1983 when they temporarily disbanded. While they reformed in 1989 for two years and once again more recently five years ago, their most important years remain 1979-1983.
When R.E.M. was chosen by Rolling Stone as "America's Best Rock And Roll Band" in 1987, R.E.M.'s drummer Bill Berry dismissed it famously, saying at the time, "We're not the best rock'n'roll band in America," and insisting that Pylon, who had been broken up for four years at that point, was much more deserving of the honor than his own group.
Not a Mardi Gras goes by uncelebrated at Amoeba Music SF, where locals of all ages gather to party, parade and laissez les bons temps rouler! This year's Fat Tuesday festivities included a low-country cooking, swamp-tastic feast of jambalaya, spicy salad and cornbread to die for provided by San Francisco's famous Cajun Pacific restaurant; traditional Mardi Gras King Cake procured especially for the fête; a parade and costume contest featuring a whole mess of masquerading merry-makers from the Boys & Girls Club dressed in their best Mardi Gras flair; very "Big Easy" 'centric DJ sets by the incomparable DJ Shona's Dad and DJ Vinnie spinning from Dixieland to Zydeco and all sounds in between; and last, but not least, at the helm of it all was Amoeba's Mardi Gras 2009 master of ceremonies and parade marshal Queen Crab Cake.
Mardi Gras always seems to land on one of those crisp yet gloriously sunny days between the usual February rains that distinguish the "Northern California winter months" from the rest of the year and this year was, thankfully, no different from those of the past in spite of the conflicting, wet-blanket weather predictions. Not that a little rain would have made that much of a difference, I imagine. Seeing the amount of enthusiasm that swells the celebratory cup to the point of overflowing during Amoeba's Mardi Gras party each year is but one joy of many shared by both those who came to join the fun and those who find themselves suddenly caught in the revelry. For all the soulful sounds, sizzling rhythms, sugar and spices, sequins and feathers, and the traffic-stopping dance moves of DJ Shona's Dad (a kindred spirit) and the general gaiety, it cannot be said that Amoeba Music SF doesn't do Fat Tuesday any which way but vraiment bien.
ANDY WARHOL + BRIGID BERLIN ON WHO ACTUALLY DID WARHOL'S ART
This post is inspired by the upcoming 3rd Annual Amoeba Art Show + Factory Party in conjunction with the East Bay Express next Friday, March 6th (6-11PM), which is bound to be hella fun -- like all Amoeba events and the East Bay Express' Best of the East Bay event at the Oakland Museum a few months ago which Amoeba was also a part of. And the art show is free too! Anyway, above is an excerpt from the interviews in which Andy Warhol (sans glasses) credits Brigid Berlin (also in the clip) for contributing to the creation of many of his paintings, resulting in folks becoming highly skeptical of "his" work and whether or not "his" work should be rightfully credited to him or someone else.
What I love most about this open admission by Warhol is his pure honesty, his unbridled don't-give-a-fuck attitude as to what people (serious art critics) may think, and the fact that even by not doing all of his own art or by outsourcing it, that he was in effect still creating a new style of art -- one that is so influential that even the "Photo Booth" program in the Mac I am working on comes complete with a Warhol derived "Pop Art" feature.
Rapper C-BO has long been known for his no-holds-barred, shock-filled, self-described "killer style" of gangsta rap. Ever since his debut album Gas Chamber sixteen years ago, the Sacramento rapper has been consistently satisfying his dedicated legions of hardcore rap fans with both controversy and countless releases. In addition to a string of solo albums, he has also collaborated on songs or albums with the likes of first cousin E40, 2Pac, Yukmouth, Killa Tay, Spice-1, Master P, Brotha Lynch Hung, as well as his crew Mob Figaz, to name but a few.
Unlike so many self-described "gangsta" rappers, Shawn "C-BO" Thomas is genuinely 'gangsta'. Growing up in the notorious gang-filled Garden Block of Sacramento, the artist became a member of the Crips while barely into his teens, and openly admits his past involvement in drug dealing and other gang related crimes before he became a full time recording artist. His rap name stands for Cowboy: "I got the name cowboy from being around guns all the time," he told me in a 1997 interview.
Not surprisingly, that lifestyle resulted in C-BO's spending several periods of his life incarcerated from his teens onwards. It was in jail in 1993 that he first met Killa Tay, who he would later collaborate with. And it was also during a separate stint in the Sacramento County Jail that he collaborated with fellow inmate X-Raided on writing some music. In fact, it was X-Raided who wrote the song "Deadly Game" for C-BO, a song that later landed C-BO back in jail and caused a national controversy -- drawing attention and outrage amongst freedom of speech advocates while simultaneously only further fueling C-BO's notorious reputation amongst hardcore rap fans.