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Rest In Peace George Michael [Christmas Day 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, December 25, 2016 11:11pm | Post a Comment

Earlier today, Christmas Day, pop star George Michael was reportedly found dead at his Oxfordshire home in England. He was only 53 years of age. According to the Hollywood Reporter, who quoted the singer's manager Michael Lippman, the former member of Wham! and solo singing superstar died of a heart attack at his Goring-on-Thames home in the early afternoon. Meanwhile Michael's publicist Connie Filippello issued a statement today that read, “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”


George Michael first came to fame along with Andrew Ridgeley as part of the dance pop duo Wham! that formed in 1981. An outgrowth of a little known, short-lived (1979 - 1980) ska quartet called The Executive, the pared down duo of Wham! scored a string of hits in their five years together in which they sold 25 million records around the world. Their hit singles (more in the UK than in the US) included "Young Guns (Go For It)," "Wham Rap," "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Freedom," "Last Christmas," and "I'm Your Man." Following the breakup of Wham! in 1986, Michael first collaborated (thanks to Clive Davis) with one of his heroes, Aretha Franklin, on the duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)." Then he threw himself fully into writing and recording what would be a more mature sound than Wham! and a an even more successful solo career (selling 80 million records!) beginning with his 1987 landmark debut solo album Faith. However it should be noted that back in 1984, while still a member of Wham!, he released his first solo single: the hit "Careless Whisper" which is sometimes also credited to Wham! as it appears on the group's 1984 album Make It Big.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Death Angel

Posted by Amoebite, November 1, 2016 11:26am | Post a Comment

Death Angel What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Death Angel frontman Mark Osegueda can tell a good story. In fact, he tells a lot of great stories in this "What's In My Bag?" episode, including his very first concert experience.

"My very first concert was KISS 1979 at the Cow Palace on the Dynasty tour. I was 10. Four fifths of the original Death Angel, we all went together...I knew 10 minutes into the show, that's what I want to be when I grow up."

The legendary thrash metal band recently performed at Amoeba San Francisco to celebrate the release of their eighth full-length album, The Evil Divide. A passionate music fan, Mark took us on an anecdote-filled journey through the artists who most impacted his life, including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Nick Cave, and Elton John.

Death Angel formed in 1982 and quickly became one of the key bands in the Bay Area thrash scene. Their 1985 Kill As One demo was produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett and caught the attention of Enigma Records, leading to the release of the band's first full-length, The Ultra-Violence, two years later. In 1988, the band released their sophomore LP, Frolic Through the Park, and embarked on their first worldwide tour. Act III followed in 1990, its two singles, "Seemingly Endless Time" and "A Room with a View" both receiving regular airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball.

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Happy Birthday Alan Aldridge -- The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 1, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
English artist Alan Aldridge

Today is the 69th birthday of English artist, graphic designer and illustrator, Alan Aldridge (click here to visit his site). His distinct airbrush work adorned numerous books and albums in the 1960s and '70s and helped define the aesthetic of the era -- equal parts whimsy and menace.
Alan Aldridge Painting Finale

Aldridge appeals to me, in part, due to the way he draws upon older artists from very different traditions. The grotesque, fantastical characters echo the febrile visions of Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. The invasive, sometimes threatening vegetation reminds me of the vegetable portraits of Italian Mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The soft, velvety folds and textures of clothing remind me of French Neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's almost single-minded focus on mastering the technique of depicting textiles.
 
As a young child, when I was first exposed to Aldridge, I hadn't yet heard of any of those artists. I don't remember ever even asking who Alan Aldridge was, but it was clear even that his particular synthesis of influences and ability to simultaneously captivate and repulse was immediately recognizable as the work of one artist, whatever work it adorned.

Trip Down Memory Lane Via Rock Album Billboards of the 70's Along Sunset Blvd

Posted by Billyjam, February 29, 2012 09:51am | Post a Comment

Of interest to anyone into rock albums from the seventies and of particular interest to folks in LA into recent era history is the excellent collection of Billboards on Sunset Blvd 1974-5 flickr page by Larry The Frog that features photos of billboards shot in those two years of the mid 1970's along Sunset Blvd. in the  vicinity of the Hollywood Amoeba store.  The majority of these shots are ones advertising new album releases or concert dates from such acts as Poco, Loggins & Messina, Barbi Benton, Donovan, The Who, War, Joni Mitchell, Billy Preston, Neil Sedaka, Greg Allman, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mahogeny Rush, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The 5th Dimension, Steppenwolf, Rick Derringer, and many more.

These great shots were all photographed by Larry The Frog when he lived a block off the Sunset Strip back in the 70's.and were recently lovingly restored by the photographer utilizing photoshopping from scanned 35mm slides and negatives. There are over a hundred shots in this engaging collection that, like rummaging through the old 70's album dollar bins at Amoeba, will unveil a whole bygone era - only better than merely album cover art since they also capture the time and place so well. View the full collection here

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Why We Love Those Sad Songs So Much: Because It Feels So Good To Hurt So Bad!

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2011 01:20pm | Post a Comment
 

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Today"

Why do we love those sad songs so much? What is It with songs that help us wallow in our misery? Those post break up anthems, or songs about loss and depression that just seep of sadness yet draw us like a moth to a flame. Why do people love Morrissey and the Smiths' sad songs about been miserable? Because - like hot tea on a hot day that fights fire with fire - so too do sad songs quell the sadness in our collective hearts. Some say that we like sad songs of others' tales of despair because we can indulge in their suffering from a safe distance. Like in the comic strip above we love/hate those sad songs so much we have to hit replay. "Please Mr Please" don't play B 17. I don't ever want to hear that song again," sang Olivia Newton John on the weepy Bruce Welch & John Rostill penned 1975 international hit - but you know she secretly indulged in hearing B17 again despite the sadness it aroused in her tortured soul.  Of all the pop hits over the past several decades Elton John's Bernie Taupin penned hit "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" sums up our need for sad songs: "It's times like these when we all need to hear the radio.`Cause from the lips of some old singer we can share the troubles we already know. Turn them on, turn them on. Turn on those sad songs when all hope is gone!" and the song's clincher line, "it feels so good to hurt so bad"

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