Amoeblog

Music History Monday: July 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 1, 2013 11:19am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: July 1, 1945 - Singer and songwriter Debbie Harry of Blondie (born Deborah Ann Harry in Miami, FL). Happy 68th Birthday, Debbie!
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1951 - The B-52's lead singer and songwriter Fred Schneider (born Frederick William Schneider III in Newark, NJ). Happy 62nd Birthday, Fred!
 


Born on this day: July 1, 1960 - R&B vocal legend Evelyn "Champagne" King (born in the Bronx, NY). Happy 53rd Birthday, Evelyn! (See pictures from Evelyn's in-store at Amoeba SF!)
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1971 - Singer/rapper/songwriter and producer Missy Elliott (born Melissa Arnette Elliott in Portsmouth, VA). Happy 42nd Birthday, Missy!!
 

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(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

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The Wisdom of Teeth: Part III

Posted by Job O Brother, July 27, 2009 11:54am | Post a Comment

America's Next Top Model

Hello, everybody. Today is my second full day without Vicodin, and my first full week without my bottom two wisdom teeth. (The surgeon decided, after slicing my upper gums, that the teeth there could and should stay put, leading me to ask, what did he see in there that wasn't on the x-ray that changed his mind? Did my upper teeth have protection from the Insane Popes?)

As my legions of readers know, I was excited to realize my life-long dream of being put under general anesthesia; I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed.

I was led into the operating room – a tiny, square space, entirely colored in the lightest shade of grey and almost exactly what I picture when I contemplate what Hell might look like, though without the constant re-looping of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” piped in, which I have decided will be the soundtrack to my eternal damnation.
dentist
I relaxed back into the chair and the surgeon and his nurse went to work prepping the scene. I stared at the fluorescent lighting, noting that sticker tags were still inside the fixtures, which struck me – I imagined that, if I were to have an office building of my very own, I wouldn’t want ugly manufacturing stickers glued willy-nilly over my establishment. Did these practitioners of dental artistry have no pride? Or were they so focused on peering into dark depths of mucosal tissue and alveolar bones that they never thought to cast their gaze upwards into the blinding brilliance of tubes of excited mercury vapor that adorned their ceiling and lit their paths? I mean, you guys – kind of tacky, okay?

Rock Music With The Muppets

Posted by phil blankenship, November 16, 2008 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Rock Music With The Muppets featuring ALice Cooper & Debie Harry  Jim Henson's Muppet Video

Muppet Video Rock Music

Playhouse Video 6763

Playing With the Boys: the Blue Angels are Top Gun

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 16, 2008 02:33pm | Post a Comment
U. S. Navy Blue Angels fly vertical
San Francisco's annual Fleet Week is over, but I'm still reeling in its aftermath. Every year on the last day of the air show I get together with a few good friends, pack a picnic and some drinks and head to a good vantage point to watch a few fly-boys do what they do best; that is, make a spectacle of their exceptional flying skills. Every day, the show is punctuated by an exemplary performance put on by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels who exhibit nothing but aviation at its extreme finest. It seems like everyone in San Francisco has something to say about the Angels, whether its the oft repeated dour expression of dislike or the rare wide-eyed, glowing expression of praise. Perhaps that's because their presence is impossible to ignore -- it's not every day that one hears what sounds like God taking a seam ripper to the sky. (Thankfully, the Fleet Week air shows did not coincide with the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this year, much to the delight of all the music lovers who flocked to Golden Gate Park.) I, for one, enjoy their ear-trembling display of non-normalcy. I understand those who argue that the Angels represent a militaristic waste of tax dollars and non-renewable resources, that they're noisy and scary, and that they exist essentially as a weapon, but just look at what they do! There really is nothing quite like them. No matter what is said against them I stand firmly planted on my ground of wondering what the hell possesses people to push themselves to such limits. Whether what they do is deemed right or wrong in your eyes, chances are what they do is something you can't fathom. It is the stuff of dreams and they, the Blue Angels, are like flying rattlesnakes waking you from your sleepy-head, from a world obsessed with headlines, deadlines and the horrid notion of the possibility of bread lines. 
Goose and Maverick sing You've Lost That Loving Feeling
After the show my friends and I settled in for some pints and pitchers at a local pub. To my surprise there were more than a few sailors and Naval officers among the bar patrons. Like the Angels, their presence could not be ignored: handsome young men, clean cut in crispy white uniforms, shiny shoes and the hats hats hats all piled up on a ledge, I imagine for the purpose of keeping them tidy while they watched football or played air hockey. There was certainly a hat for every serviceman in the joint: starchy white and rounded sailors caps and wide-brimmed and polished officer's hats adorned in gold ornaments and filigree. Put together with the flamboyant aircraft we'd watched all afternoon, this picture of seamen at play reminded me of a movie, hard. This meeting of the real and the fantasy of the days' dealings was noticed by everyone and so when it was declared, in friendly buzzing slurs, that before the end of the night Top Gun must be seen, the decision was unanimous. I hadn't seen the film in quite some time and the thought of having to see it with such friends as those who, like me, so suddenly cultured a need for speed sent me into a frenzy of excitement. 

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