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Music History Monday: November 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 3, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 3, 1962 - "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Gene Pitney, it is biggest hit for the New York-based girl group. The song is originally written for The Shirelles who will turn it down. Producer Phil Spector will hear the song and immediately want to record it with his group The Crystals. Spector soon discovers that Vikki Carr has already recorded it (with producer Snuff Garrett) and it is about to be released as a single. The Crystals are on tour at the time on the East Coast and are not available. Not wasting any time, Spector has Darlene Love & The Blossoms record it instead, but releases it under The Crystals name. Cut at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood with members of The Wrecking Crew, the single is rush released in late August of 1962. Entering the Hot 100 at #98 on September 8, 1962, The Crystals version will shoot to the top of the chart eight weeks later, while Vikki Carr's bubbles under at #115. Carr will not debut on the Hot 100 until September of 1967 with her breakthrough hit "It Must Be Him" (#3 Pop).
 

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Music History Monday: September 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 1, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 1, 1944 - R&B vocal legend Archie Bell (born Archie Lee Bell in Henderson, TX). Happy 70th Birthday, Archie!
 

 

Born on this day: September 1, 1946 - Singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Barry Gibb (born Barry Alan Crompton Gibb in Douglas, Isle Of Man, UK). Happy 68th Birthday, Barry!
 


On this day in music history: September 1, 1887 - German American inventor Emile Berliner files for a patent with the US Patent Office for the Gramophone, beating Thomas Edison to the punch. Berliner's invention will use flat discs rather than wax cylinders used by Edison's machine. One of the other major issues Edison's phonograph is consistent playback speed. While Berliner is developing the gramophone, he will enlist the help of engineer Eldridge Johnson who will design a low cost, clock-work spring-wound motor that spins the disc at a consistent speed. With a group of investors backing them, Berliner will start the Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895. By 1901, Berliner and Johnson will establish the Victor Talking Machine Company (later known as RCA Victor), marking the beginning of the modern music industry.
 

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Music History Monday: July 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 29, 2013 12:05pm | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: July 29, 1953 - Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib in North York, Ontario, Canada), bassist and lead vocalist of Rush. Happy 60th Birthday, Geddy!
 


On this day in music history: July 29, 1967 - “Light My Fire” by The Doors hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Written by Robby Krieger, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Jim Morrison, it is the biggest hit for the L.A.-based rock band.  Composed mainly by guitarist Krieger, it will be credited to the entire band when he brings the unfinished song into the studio for the other band members to expand upon. The nearly seven-minute-long track is edited down to under three minutes for single release when it receives heavy airplay as an LP cut. The edited mono single version will also present the song at its originally recorded speed. The more commonly heard stereo LP version was mixed at a slightly slower speed due to an error made during the mixing process. Released as the second single from the bands’ self-titled debut album, it will quickly become a radio staple. Entering the Hot 100 at #93 on June 3, 1967, it will reach the top of the chart eight weeks later. “Light My Fire” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Album Picks: Real Estate, Twin Sister, M83

Posted by Billy Gil, October 18, 2011 02:10pm | Post a Comment
Real Estate DaysReal Estate – Days
 
Real Estate have helped usher in a contemporary appreciation of bands with clean guitars and hushed vocals, perfect for a summer day or autumn night. But Real Estate still do it better than anyone, as they prove on Days. From opener “Easy” and on, Days floats on breezy simplicity of melody and atmosphere that you could explain away as through line of Byrds by way of R.E.M. jangle pop informed by reverbed-out, dream pop aesthetics, but that would paint Real Estate as a throwback band when really their sound is their own. Country hues underpin even the spaciest of tracks, like the way winsome sliding guitars sway beneath the shivering, tremoloed star-shooting guitar lines of “Green Aisles,” and more obviously so on tracks like the springy, Smithsy “It’s Real,” which works some clever chord changes into a straightforward guitar-pop setting. Singer Martin Courtney’s voice is always plaintive but never intrusive, and the whole thing moves with subtle evocation, like a sepia-toned suburban home movie reel. It’s no coincidence a great, sunlit song on the album is titled “Wonder Years.”
 
Twin SisterTwin Sister – In Heaven
 
Twin Sister’s debut full-length delivers a band still emerging from chrysalis (their average age is now about 23, so says Wikipedia) but born with some pretty impressive power already. Roughly, Twin Sister are an indie pop band fronted by some froggish, androgynous vocals (singer vocalist Andrea Estella and guitarist-singer Eric Cardona both sound a little like the spawn of Sigur RosJonsi and St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, the latter band of which they also sound a bit like on the lite-jazzy “Stop”). They touch on chillwave (the shimmering and strange chords of “Kimmi in a Rice Field” is the album’s absolute highlight) without committing to it, seemingly more interested in vibing late ’80s indie and video game music — the gentle “Luna’s Theme” has Sega Genesis written all over it, something that might be playing in some anime space station. But whatever Twin Sister ends up doing —be it cool Britpop, neo-futuristic electro or something else entirely — it ends up sounding great, if not entirely unified.
 
M83 Hurry Up We're DreamingM83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
 
After a decade’s worth of brilliant albums that have been increasingly epic in scope, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has delivered the masterpiece he has hinted at for years. Gonzalez builds off the life-embracing yet ’80s nostalgic pop of 2008’s Saturdays=Youth across this double-album. Taking a hint from the Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Gonzalez sweeps through childlike wonder (the children’s story as Kraftwerkian computer-pop of “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”), adolescent angst (the two and a half minutes of skyscraper-sized orchestral rock in “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”) and young adult excitement (Gonzalez cries “The city is my church!” in the neon-backlit “Midnight City”) to capture the wide-eyed energy and naiveté of youth. There’s newly an emphasis on the kind of shuffling ‘80s funk-pop of the likes of Huey Lewis & the News and Hall & Oates in songs like “Claudia Lewis,” but it actually feels less throwback-ish than some of his previous work, perhaps in part due to contemporaries like Toro y Moi and Neon Indian similarly fusing such sounds with shoegazer aesthetics. Indeed, with the kinds of sonic dreamscapes of albums like Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us also in tow on songs like “This Bright Flash,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming presents us with all of Gonzaelz’s best tendencies, all at once, and at their utmost potential.

Amoeba Field Trip to See Hall & Oates

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2011 06:47pm | Post a Comment
Around 6:30pm on an incredibly warm 4th of July a yellow school bus pulled up on the Cahuenga side of Amoeba Hollywood, ready to take about 40 Amoebites on our third field trip to the Hollywood Bowl.

Our first Amoeba field trip to the Bowl was back in 2007, also to see Hall and Oates, and it became the stuff of legend around the store. Hollywood BowlSee photos from that inaugural trip to the Bowl. Our second trip was to see Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings open for Feist in 2008 (kind of an odd pairing musically, but still a fun trip). This trip to the Hollywood Bowl was set for the 4th of July and included the LA Philharmonic and a fireworks spectacular. In other words, it was going to be a really fun Independence Day!

Amoebite Tuna brought some blue face paint to help us get into the 4th of July spirit. By the time the bus pulled up to the Bowl, most of us had shiny blue paint somewhere on our faces. An unintended, but pleasant side effect of the paint - it helped us identify each other in the sea of people entering and leaving the bowl. Look for the blue paint! Tuna even befriended the people in the rows around us, painting their faces blue as well.

Hall & Oates performed most of their classic hits, opening the show with "Maneater" and closing it with "Private Eyes" accompanied by the LA Philharmonic. We danced, we sang, and we danced some more.
Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
And then there was the fireworks show - most definitely a spectacular, as the Bowl promised. Set off directly behind and on top of the Bowl itself, everyone in the ampitheatre had a fantastic view of some pretty fabulous fireworks.

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