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BRITNEY'S BLACKOUT CHANNELS POP'S PAST

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2007 01:53pm | Post a Comment

It's Britney bitch! announces Britney Spears straight out the gate on her brand new album, Blackout, on Jive/Zomba (available at each Amoeba Music store) which was released early on October 30th due to fears of internet leaking. The big surprise is that the album isbritney spears blackout actually pretty darn good -- a tight dance-pop collection on which the heavily processed voice of Brit often lashes out at the mean media -- like in the vocoder-fed song "Piece of Me" -- as heard in the above "non-official" video version that displays the Tabloid Britney that we are all too familiar with -- like it or not. But putting aside all the tabloid self-references and all the other superficial stuff, what really strikes me most about this new Britney Spears album is its production, the music itself and just how expertly its producers (Danja and others such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams) effortlessly channel pop's golden past. Take, for example, "Heaven on Earth" (scroll all the way down for the YouTube clip) is a straight homage (rip-off?) to Donna Summers' 1977 Giorgio Moroder-produced dance masterpiece "I Feel Love." 

Meanwhile, the first 30 seconds of Blackout's track #10 "Ooh Ooh Baby" (streamed below on YouTube) borrows its drum rhythm from Gary Giltter & the Glitter Band's "Rock and Roll (Part II)," the 1972 hit and sports anthem, while Britney's lyrical delivery in the track echoes the melody straight from the Turtlles' 1967 classic "Happy Together." In fact, for a bit of fun I recommend that you play around with hitting the start buttons on the two videos below -- Britney's "Ooh Ooh Baby" with the Turtles (on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) doing "Happy Together" and try and make your own impromptu video mash-up. I suggest starting the Britney song about five seconds before hitting "Play" on the Turtles. And if you go off beat or get bored with one of the two songs, hit the pause button on one video -- especially since you cannot control volumes on YouTube when they're embedded like they are here.

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My soul be lifted and sanctified.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 12, 2007 10:06am | Post a Comment
I look around every day and see people being awful to one another, I see everything from violence to rude. I have to say to anyone who reads this: there is no excuse for it. Not a one. Ever.



For myself, Nina Simone is the high priestess of kicking your ass, among many other talents. My day required this video, and I hope it touched your day as well.


 -The Insomniac

Norman Mailer RIP

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 12, 2007 08:00am | Post a Comment

I remember "borrowing" a copy of a great Marilyn Monroe coffee table book when I was about 12 years old.  Of course it was for the great writings of Mr. Mailer, not the photos, ahem...

Here's a few shots of Norman Mailer's spoken word LP on the short lived Prestige  records subsidiary "Lively Arts"

 

Below is a complete list of the Label output for the Lively Arts series...In the future I'll do a photo essay for the complete series...

Prestige Lively Arts 30000 series (12 inch LP)

  • LA 30001  Billy Dee Williams - Let's Misbehave
  • LA 30002  A Taste Of Hermione Baddeley
  • LA 30003  Roddy McDowall Reads The Horror Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft
  • LA 30004  Burgess Meredith Reads Ray Bradbury
  • LA 30005  Larry Storch Reads Philip Roth's Epstein
  • LA 30006  James Mason Reads The Imp Of The Perverse And Other Stories By Edgar Allen Poe
  • LA 30007  James Mason Reads Herman Melville's Bartleby, The Scrivener
  • LA 30008  Morris Carnovsky Reads Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground
  • LA 30009  Norman Mailer Reads Norman Mailer

Square Dance

Posted by phil blankenship, November 11, 2007 10:21pm | Post a Comment
 


 
Pacific Arts Video PAV673

what came first?...the cover or the cover version...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 11, 2007 05:32pm | Post a Comment
I don't know what it is that gets me about cover songs. But I really do like them. It is always fun to hear one of your favorite bands cover some horrible song that was not really good before they covered it. Or to hear  some band do a sort of tribute to some awesome song you loved in your youth. As I listen to more and  more music I also find out that some of the songs that I loved forever and thought were originals were actually covers of much older songs. I didn't grown in the girl group 60's or the Motown 70's. So many of the songs that I originally heard in the 80's and 90's that I thought were originals, were actually just covers. When I bought the  Siouxsie & The Banshees "Through the Looking Glass" cassette and listened to it for the first time, I had no idea it was all covers. It only took me a couple years to figure it out. I had not heard Television and Iggy Pop yet. I also heard most of the covers on the This Mortal Coil albums for the first time as "This Mortal Coil" songs.  It is weird to grow up hearing one version of a song only to learn later that there is some older original version that actually inspired the version I grew up loving. How would I know that the Soft Cell song "Tainted Love" was actually performed 10 years before I was born by the great Gloria Jones. The song was then covered by Ruth Swan in 1975. After the Soft Cell version that I grew up with in the early 80's, the song has of course been covered countless more times. The song has been performed by Blue Oyster Cult, Coil, Marilyn Manson, and the Pussycat Dolls. Rihanna even sampled the Soft Cell version a couple of years ago for her song "S.O.S."

There have been many entire tribute albums over the years. Some have been great. Most have been pretty bad. The best covers tend to turn up as b-sides and bonus tracks on actual artists albums. Sometimes they work there ways into the live shows and then end up as extra tracks on reissues or singles. They tend to also turn up on soundtracks. The great Cat Power will release her second entire album of covers early next year. The first one was fantastic. There is a great website to search for all your favorite cover songs. You can look at it here. Some of my favorite covers over the years have been covers of new wave and 80's songs by artists in other genres. I absolutely love Johnny Cash's covers of "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode and "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. I don't know why but I really love Rammstein's cover of "Stripped" by Depeche Mode. And even though this song was a bit overplayed, I still have a special place in my heart for Frente's cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. Placebo have a whole bonus disc of cover songs. They do great covers of "Running up that Hill" by Kate Bush and "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths. Xiu Xiu does an amazing cover of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. I also love Low's incredible version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths. These are just some of my favorites. I could go on forever. The band Japancakes do an entire album cover of "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. The original is one of my favorite albums and they really do a great job covering the entire album. But I also love those cover versions that you really only need to hear once. Sometimes I just need to laugh and some covers often do the trick. William Shatner did a brilliant cover of "Common People" by Pulp. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes do a great cover of "Jolene" on the their last country album. There have been many brilliant covers of Jolene over the years. My favorite being Strawberry Switchblade. But it is really about the b-side of "I Will Always Love You" on the recently released single. Whitney Houston already ruined the song for the "Bodyguard" soundtrack. The song was originally by the great Dolly Parton for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." That Whitney Houston song was so overplayed that she almost made me never want to listen to the Dolly version again. Me First sort of make up for it with their version. It is at least meant to be funny.

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