Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #63: Beaux Arts, Subway Scratching, Slick Rick The Ruler, Homeboy Sandman, Paul Mooney + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2014 07:27am | Post a Comment

Above is what was once the beautiful piece of New York City architecture that was Pennsylvania Station (circa 1918) that was considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style. However this stunning building - once one of Manhattan's architectural along with Grand Central Terminal - was tragically demolished in the 1960s to make way for Madison Square Garden's current structure (the actual railway station is still underground). Tragic as this shortsighted move was, the silver lining to this dark cloud was that the absolutely ridiculous decision to destroy this magnificent building led to the landmarking and protecting of other buildings in New York City so that they would not suffer the same fate. Jackie Kennedy Onassis - a longtime advocate for historic preservation of buildings including a part of the White House - was among those outraged by such demolitions and she was instrumental, some years later, in making sure that the same fate did not happen to Grand Central Terminal - also a Beaux-Arts building - which could have been razed too in the 70's had she and others not stepped in to fight for its preservation.

Slick Rick, whose 1988 album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick was recently reissued on vinyl and is available at each Amoeba store, will be headlining at the Brooklyn Bowl on Friday, January 17th. The album whose fans include Nas (he called it the record, that featured tracks such as “'Children's Story," his favorite album of all time) is a true timeless hip-hop classic that, like Nas' Illmatic, earned the elusive five mics score from The Source magazine upon its release. What looked, at the time, like a very bright future for the artist turned out to be anything but.

100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

Continue reading...

(In which history repeats itself.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 24, 2008 06:10pm | Post a Comment
Jack Ruby Lee Harvey Oswald

It seems like only a year ago that it was November 24. How time flies. Time flies less often than it did, it seems. Probably due to all the crazy “safety” precautions that airports employ now.

You know, they can make sure I don’t carry-on my switchblade, my flame-thrower, or my collection of vintage anthrax samples onto my flight, but they can’t confiscate my NINJA ABILITIES. Think about that one, my friends. My lightening moves don’t fit in no Ziploc baggie.

It was on this day, in 1963, that Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down by man-about-town Jack Ruby, which brings to mind a song I quite like by Camper Van Beethoven, which brings to mind an album I rather fancy by Camper Van Beethoven.

The album is called Key Lime Pie and it takes me back to my high school days; though not actually my high school itself, because I never listened to rad tunes on campus. Only the Peanuts-like drone of adults as they lovelessly forced us to recite Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
Romeo & Juliet
From the scene in which Juliet drinks Romeo's blood while clutching her highly-prized, ball-point pen

It’s a wonder I love The Bard as much as I do considering that nothing was more painful than listening to a classroom full of barely literate teenagers haltingly fumble their way through iambic pentameter. It didn’t help matters that these same teenagers called me faggot to my face and probably f**ked with my locker. (Joke was on them, I never once figured out where my locker was.)