Amoeblog

(In which you might enjoy a fever.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 9, 2009 03:02pm | Post a Comment
American shad
The American shad or Atlantic shad, Alosa sapidissima, is a species of anadromous fish in family Clupeidae of order Clupeiformes.
It is the State Fish of Connecticut, enjoys foreign films and candle-lit dinners for two.


Not that long ago, a customer came into Amoeba Music Hollywood and approached me sheepishly. She uttered that accustomed customer opening line:

“I’m looking for a song… I don’t know the name of it, or who did it…”

If Amoeba Music employees had a dime for every time we heard that sentence, our bosses could dispense with payroll and we’d all live comfortably (hint, hint, Gov. Schwarzenegger).

Oftentimes, we Amoebites will know what the human’s looking for. That’s because we’re mostly socially awkward music geeks who’ve traded in awesome housing and reasonable hair-styles for choice, Italian soundtrack LP’s and an ability to name-that-tune of obscure mouth-harp blues artists.

The song the woman was looking for was “Fever,” which has been covered by many artists, though most famously by the great Peggy Lee


“Fever” was written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell and published in 1956. At first the songwriters had little success with the song, until they decided to re-write it using words and music. These proved to be the magic ingredients, and soon people took interest. It first became a hit for the (unfortunately named) Little Willie John...

(Wherein your neon's flashin & your one-arm-bandits crashin.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 8, 2008 08:47pm | Post a Comment

"Say cheese"

Oh, hey! Fancy writing you here.

Where? Vegas, baby. Yours truly is currently 29 floors above desert level, tucked inside the golden, looming Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on The Strip of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corey, the dude I’m totally in a relationship with, and I left early this morning (if you ask him) or late this morning (if you ask me) and hit the freeway.

His car’s stereo plays MP3’s, and I’m notorious for making gigantic mix CD’s for the slightest road trip. (“Oh, we’re driving to Trader Joe’s? Better burn a ‘Going to Trader Joe’s’ mix!”) Corey, who finds my ravenous appetite for music overwhelming, manages to be patient as I force hundreds of hours of tunes upon him.

A couple weeks ago we were driving back from a romantic getaway in Santa Barbara, listening to the mix I had made for our trip to Disneyland, because we had already listened to the mix for driving to Santa Barbara on the way there (you following?). The mix for driving to Disneyland was mostly chipper, romantic songs – lots of doo-wop, some schmaltzy kitsch, with some Disney songs here and there for good measure. One of the songs was “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Corey smiled and said, “Now this is music!”



What Corey would say, as he’s said to me countless times, is that he “finds an album he likes, then listens to it over and over for weeks – maybe months – until he’s tired of it”. MP3’s containing entire discographies, however, are daunting.

Etch-A-Sketch

Posted by Whitmore, September 29, 2007 05:11pm | Post a Comment

This boggles my mind. The art of George Vlosich III is something astounding, something baffling; I don’t understand why he’s chosen this medium! The artist Paul Klee was once asked about how he draws. He said he simply takes a line for a walk. The line George Vlosich takes for a walk goes on one insanely long nutty jaunt. And when you consider that all it takes is a single inadvertent bump for his art to be toast …

Vlosich uses an Etch-A-Sketch, and yes, it’s the same exact rectangular, red plastic framed model toy many of us had as kids. Each Vlosich Etch-A-Sketch piece takes considerable pre-planning and will typically take between 40 to 60 hours of patience, focus and attention-to-detail to complete. Remember, to draw with an Etch-A-Sketch, there is one line and only one line all the time. There’s little room for error, you can’t erase a mistake.

Probably the best thing I ever drew on one of those things was some pathetically lopsided cat. Vlosich produces refined images and precise portraiture and has since he was a kid. He started drawing when he was about ten years old. By the age of 18 he was being commissioned by the Topps Trading Card Company to produce a series of Etch-A-Sketch drawings as special inserts for their 1998 Topps Baseball trading card collection. He continues working today, still using the Etch-A-Sketch and it’s 5 x 7 screen, but Vlosich has also expanded his art to include painting and illustration, and has set up a design company specializing in advertising and logo design, sports memorabilia and apparel. Plus, he has a line of greeting cards. So next year for Christmas … someone send me one. I’d be damned pleased!

RAP AND ROCK STARS MORE LIKELY TO DIE PREMATURELY

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2007 09:28am | Post a Comment
Rap & Rock Stars More likely to die Prematurely

You ever notice how everytime you open a paper or read this  AMOEBLOG that it seems that yet another famous celebrity you
grew up listening to has passed on? And how it seems like the
ratio of rockers or rappers compared to regular folk
dropping off the face of the earth is much greater? Well, it
doesn't just appear that way. It is that way. According to a
newly published British based study, according to Reuters,
rap and rock music stars -- "already notorious for their
so-called 'crash and burn' lifestyles really are more likely
than other [regular everyday] people to die before reaching old age."

All of this is proven by the study of more than a thousand mainly British and
American jimi hendrixartists, spanning the time from Elvis Presley's era up until two years ago (the years 1956 to 2005) in which the
study found these musician stars were "two to three times more
likely to suffer a premature death than the general population."
 
The study's results showed that between
1956 and two years ago there
were a hundred deaths among the
1,064 musicians examined by researchers
at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool
John Moores University.



Jerry “The Phantom” Lott

Posted by Whitmore, September 4, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment

A decade before the mayhem and lurid madness of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy’s “Paralyzed” there was Jerry Lott, a.k.a. “The Phantom,” recording his own blithering two minute psychotic-billy breakdown. Born near Mobile, Alabama in 1938, Lott played country music as a young teenager until he heard Elvis Presley and rockabilly in 1956. Something obviously went ping!

During the summer of 1958 in Mobile, Lott recorded Whisper Your Love. As he told Derek Glenister in a 1980 interview: "Somebody said, 'what you gonna put on the flip-side' - I hadn't even thought about it. Someone suggested I wrote something like Elvis 'cause he was just a little on the wane and everybody was beginning to turn against rock 'n' roll. They said, 'See if you spark rock 'n' roll a little bit' ... so that's when I put all the fire and fury I could utter into it. I was satisfied with the first take, but everybody said, 'Let's try it one more time.' I didn't yell on the first take, but I yelled on the second, and blew one of the controls off the wall. I'm telling ya," Lott continued, "It was wild. The drummer lost one of his sticks, the piano player screamed and knocked his stool over, the guitar player's glasses were hanging sideways over his eyes."

Love Me was that song, written by Jerry Lott in 10 minutes. Almost 50 years later that track is still startling, especially to the uninitiated. If the screams don’t stagger you at the beginning, perhaps The Phantom’s post-coital exhaustion at track’s end will. Yeah, most great Rockabilly records from the late fifties had more then their share of fire and dementia, but this track is insane … certifiably, wickedly, aberrantly insane! It’s beautiful!

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