Amoeblog

MEL CHEREN, THE GODFATHER OF DISCO, DIES

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2007 07:14pm | Post a Comment

As reported by the Daily Swarm, longtime entertainment figure and major player in the disco movement Mel Cheren, who co-founded West End Records and was the man behind launching the Paradise Garage club, recently died of complications to HIV/AIDS. According to reports Cheren learned suddenly and years too late that he had HIV and that  it was too late to treat it. 

Cheren leaves behind quite a legacy, as outlined in the following bio care of the Daily Swarm and other sources including West End Records' Mel's World website page. In 1959 he began his career in the music business at ABC-Paramount Records. As head of production for Scepter Records, Cheren forged new territory. He was instrumental in creating the first 12” single for DJs, in forming the first record pool (The New York Record Pool-- later to become For The Record Record Pool) and the first to release an instrumental mix on a 12” B-side (“We’re On The Right Track” by Ultra High Frequency). This innovation earned Cheren and Scepter a Billboard Trendsetter Award and soon set the standard for an industry-wide practice. In 1976, Mel co-founded West End Records and soon after signed Karen Young, whose single “Hot Shot” sold 800,000 copies, making it one of the biggest selling 12s” in history. And if you forgot what that song sounds like check out the video of Karen Young below in a live performance from 1978.

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The Sentinel

Posted by phil blankenship, December 11, 2007 12:08pm | Post a Comment
 



MCA Universal Home Video 45011

Marxist Tales, Part 1: The Lives of Stars

Posted by Charles Reece, December 11, 2007 02:00am | Post a Comment
The celebrity, the spectacular representation of a living human being, embodies this banality [pseudo-individualism by way of what you want to buy – think of a hippie rebelling by driving a VW] by embodying the image of a possible role. Being a star means specializing in the seemingly lived; the star is the object of identification with the shallow seeming life that has to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations which are actually lived. Celebrities exist to act out various styles of living and viewing society unfettered, free to express themselves globally. They embody the inaccessible result of social labor by dramatizing its by-products magically projected above it as its goal: power and vacations, decision and consumption, which are the beginning and end of an undiscussed process. – Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle #60

I’m always left slightly annoyed every time I hear some star kvetching about how he or she is stalked by the paparazzi.  It’s as if a piston suddenly started to resent its function within the engine.  More often than not, a star is designed, by luck of genetics, familial ties, or modern surgical techniques for fitness to Hollywood’s nature – pop culture's own form of eugenics.  It’s rarely based on a meritocracy.  Not that there’s no inherent talent, or craft, involved, but similar to choosing a good dentist on a friend’s recommendation or insurance coverage, some other beautiful guy would’ve been People’s most eligible bachelor had the astrological rules played out a bit differently.  When stars start complaining about being photographed or gossiped about, it’s because they’ve bought into the myth of the spectacle (image as consumable reality), believing that their position in popular culture is one of true individualism, rather than a simulation of individualism.  They’re assuming control of their image, rather than their image being a mediation between an individual and reality.  It’s the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, confusing the map with the mapped.  Their image is there to be consumed like every other product in the market; the shinier and newer it appears, the more likely it’ll be desired.  The trick of the publicity machine is to perpetually churn out novel-seeming stories about stars that don’t fundamentally alter our desire for the star.  Stardom isn’t sustained by the films in which the actor is in, but by our interest in the stories being told about that actor that keep us returning to his or her films, regardless of what kind of shit they’re getting paid to be in.  The star represents who we’re supposed to want to be.  And with exceeding frequency in our media-saturated culture, we do want to be that star.  Hell, even the celebrities desire their star-images.  As Debord pointed out, it’s a dream of pseudo-power, the ultimate ability to consume without any real control over what the caviling star mistakenly assumes is his or her image of selfhood.  Ultimately, the star is nothing but the photograph to the culture industry’s camera, a postcard of a place where we’re all supposed to want to visit.

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out today 12/11...bonnie prince billy...radiohead...silent night deadly night...lost...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 10, 2007 11:37pm | Post a Comment
December is usually sort of a slow period for new releases. Usually by this point if it has not come out yet, it's not coming out until next year. But this year seems a bit ridiculous. I know it seems like this is what I have been talking about for the last couple weeks. I guess that is what I have been talking about. But its true. A couple more live albums. A couple useless boxsets and a couple hip hop and R & B albums. But we can always count on Bonnie Prince Billy to offer up some new type of album for us. He has probably released about 10 albums or singles or EPs this year. He also starred in an amazing Kanye West Video with Zach Galifianakis for the song "Can't Tell Me Nothing." It seriously made me so happy the first time I watched it and if you ever feel a bit sad you should just watch it...


 

Bonnie Prince Billy's new little album is called "Wai Notes." It is basically the demo versions of songs that made up the "Letting Go" album.  He sent songs back and forth with the lady from the Faun Fables to create what ended up being the last album. These are basically those raw songs before they were made all nice and album like. There is also a new album by The Wu-Tang Clan called "8 Diagrams" and a new album by Bow Wow and Omarion called "Face Off." I am not really sure what they are facing off about but I really hope it has something to do with that horrible movie starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. You know the one where one of them gets a face transplant of the other one to infiltrate his crime organization. I am glad that it is now 10 years after this movie and medical technology has still not gone as far as they thought it would in this movie. Maybe its not far off. But I don't really want anybody to be able to switch faces with each other. Even for the good of solving a crime. Maybe Bow Wow and Omarion are just going to be covering each others songs and seeing who can do them better. Or it might just be their secret tribute to the Barbra Streisand movie "The Mirror Has Two Faces." They just gave it a more tough sounding name so nobody would know that they were secret Streisand fans.

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TIME FOR SOME ACTION AT OAKLAND DANCE STUDIO

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2007 04:25pm | Post a Comment

"Dancing helps you heal"

                     - Corey Action

In North Oakland's Rockridge district, on a stretch of College Avenue nearby Diesel Books, Pegasus Books, George & Walt's, not far from new hip clothing store Dapper and scores of other mom & pops; in the 5400 block sandwiched in between The Rockrigde Masonic Center and the new eclectic Atomic Garden is the vibrant New Style Motherlode Dance Studio where, for the past seven years, Corey Action and his stable of able dance instructors have been teaching various forms of hip-hop based dance (including a Bay Area Style class) along with a healthy, positive outlook on life.

"Time For Some Action" boldly reads one poster in the window at 5451 College Ave. Inside, on one recent early evening, the place was packed with many urging the call to take action: dancing bodies, brimming with energy, all vibing to the pulsating music's groove that fused it all together. Owner, instructor, and recording artist Corey Action recently took time out to talk to AMOEBLOG about his studio and his passion, dance.

AMOEBLOG: Seven years for any small business, especially a teaching facility located in an expensive high rent area like you are in, means you have beaten the odds. To what do you attribute your success?

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