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A San Fernando Valley Playlist

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 23, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment
So the bad news is that I missed out on CicLAvia — The Valley. Cream Soda (my bicycle) was in the shop (nothing serious) and I was dog-sitting on the Eastside. I thought about bringing and walking the dog there but they’re not allowed on Metro buses or trains and there were further complications too that I won’t get into... so I ended up having breakfast at Din Tai Fung and exploring the trails of Ascot Hills Park

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's water color map of the San Fernando Valley
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's water color and oil paint map of the Valley


I am glad that so many people went and enjoyed it (hopefully getting some use out of my guide to the event) and that so many people seem to have discovered that the Valley, like everywhere else, is much more enjoyable when not seen from behind the wheel of a car. I also decided to capitalize on Valley Fever by making a Valley playlist. Although in general I don’t like to waste my energy arguing with people who base their ancient stereotypes of Los Angeles and Orange counties on the lyrics of 30-year-old pop songs or Hollywood films but I feel a word of explanation of the songs is here warranted. 

Postcard of the Valley in the 1970s
Postcard of the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s

The songs on this playlist cover the 1940s to the 1980s, which are good bookends for the Valley's period when it was a largely Anglo collection of suburbs and Cold War industry. The Valley today is much more urban and much more (predominantly even) Latino. It's also diverse, with large populations of residents with ancestral origins in Armenia, China, El Salvador, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Palestine, Persia, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and elsewhere. I welcome any suggestions but it would be especially great to have some that reflect the Valley identity of the last 25 years. Let me have them in the comments!

'Turn Up the Radio' Features L.A. Rock on Film at The Egyptian

Posted by Billy Gil, August 8, 2014 03:30pm | Post a Comment
james brown the t.a.m.i. show
James Brown performs in The T.A.M.I. Show

 

Amoeba is sponsoring The American Cinematheque’s film series Turn Up the Radio, which covers the intersection of music and media, rock and pop in Los Angeles during the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, from 1956 to 1972. The shows run Aug. 13-17, and you can get tickets here. General admission tickets are $11.

The films in the series cast a light on L.A. as a cultural zeitgeist during a time of great upheaval in pop culture, in concordance with one of the programmers Harvey Kubernik’s new book, Turn Up the Radio!, covering such iconic artists as The Doors, The Seeds and Frank Zappa. Kubernik will be signing his book in the lobby of the Egyptian at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. The series is co-sponsored by Santa Monica Press.

the doorsWednesday Aug. 13 sees The Doors: Live at the Bowl ’68, covering the band’s triumphant Hollywood Bowl show on July 5, 1968, just as their classic album Waiting for the Sun was released, playing such classics as “Light My Fire,” “Hello, I Love You” and “The End.” The film is directed by Doors organist Ray Manzarek and has been restored and remixed by the band’s longtime engineer, Bruce Botnick. The show starts at 7:30 with a slide show by rock photographer Henry Diltz, followed by the film at 8. Watch a remastered clip of the band performing "Light My Fire" at the Bowl in '68 here.

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Music History Monday: March 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 3, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 3, 1972Music of My Mind, the fourteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil, it is recorded Media Sound Studios and Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Crystal Industries in Los Angeles from mid 1971 - early 1972. After recording for Motown since the age of 12, Stevie Wonder's contract with the label expires when he turns 21 years old on May 13, 1971. In spite of millions in record sales and earnings generated, he will find that there is only $1 million held in trust for him. Instead of renewing his contract with Motown, he'll move to New York and begin working with Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band who will assist him in taking his music to the next level. Experimenting with synthesizers, Wonder will block book studio time and record for several months before re-emerging with a new sound and career direction. Having fielded several offers from rival record companies, he will re-sign with Motown Records but strictly on his own terms. He will negotiate a deal that gives him complete artistic control, his own music publishing company, and one of the highest royalty rates in the music business. Released as the first album under his new deal, Music of My Mind will be a major turning point for Stevie Wonder, beginning an era that will produce some of his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work. Spinning off two singles including "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" (#13 R&B, #33 Pop), and "Keep On Running" (#36 R&B, #90 Pop), Music Of My Mind will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #21 on the Top 200.
 

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Record Store Day Countdown: 45s

Posted by Amoebite, April 18, 2013 06:59pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day is almost here! Check out these mouth-watering limited, exclusive 45s... remastered Zappa single available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years; Pink Floyd on pink wax; an amazing David Bowie "Drive-In Saturday" picture disc; and the Rolling Stones 5x5 EP, re-pressed for the first time since 1964! You're gonna have to line up early for these. See you on Saturday for RSD13!

Download our menu (.pdf) of exclusive Record Store Day titles available on April 20, 2013.

See our list of events and happenings at all three stores on RSD.

Record Store Day 45s

 

Celebrate Record Store Day at Amoeba

Music History Monday: November 19

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 19, 2012 11:34am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: November 19, 1966 - "Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #28 on the Hot 100 on December 10th. Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper, It will be the biggest hit for Alabama-born soul singer. The song is actually recorded in the Summer of 1965 (with Booker T. & The MG's, Isaac Hayes on piano, and The Mar-Keys' horn section), but is held back from release by Stax Records president Jim Stewart when he believes that it is too similar to Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour." The record will actually experience resistance from radio upon its release, failing to receive any airplay initially. Stax Records' head Al Bell will hit upon the idea of Floyd performing live in an area where he has a strong fanbase. Washington DC will be city that is chosen. The ploy will work, with the single breaking on radio stations in the DC and Baltimore area. From there, the record will go national. Over the years, "Knock On Wood" will be covered by a number of artists Ike & Tina Turner, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. Singer Amii Stewart's disco rendering of the song will become a worldwide hit, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1979.
 

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