Amoeblog

Essential Records: Portishead's 'Dummy'

Posted by Amoebite, October 27, 2014 04:24pm | Post a Comment

Essential Records Portishead Dummy

During the summer of 1996, I became obsessed with Portishead. Dummy had been released two years earlier, so generally speaking, I was late to the game, but in the suburban town where I was about to start high school, I was definitely way ahead of the game. Because when it came to underground music, culture or film, there was no game.

I was just about to turn fifteen and leave all the friends I'd known for nearly a decade to attend the state's largest high school on my own. It was a deeply mopey time. At the same time, I was starting to realize that the music on Top 40 radio made me feel like something was missing, that musically-speaking, there must be more out there. So, I started tuning into the local alt-rock station after school, alone in my room, and that's where I first encountered Portishead's "Sour Times."


Portishead - Sour Times
Watch and comment on YouTube

 

I hated this song. I thought it was irritating and abrasive. Singer Beth Gibbons would wail "Nobody loves me/it's true/not like you do" with her '60s jazz influenced vocals and I would get pissed off that I'd have to sit through it for the next three or four minutes. (For some reason I never went as far as actually turning the radio off.) Every time I heard it, I would get angry at it, angry that I had to sit through it, angry that the station's Music Director had poisoned the rotation with this grating, slightly terrifying few minutes of song. 

Continue reading...

The Art of the LP Cover- On The Fringe

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 10, 2010 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Remembering Isaac Hayes & Black Moses

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 10, 2008 09:43pm | Post a Comment
It’s not often that I get emotional over a musician’s death, but when I heard Isaac Hayes passed away I was saddened, like I'd lost a friend. In fact, his music was my friend in times when I needed it the most. If I was in love, Isaac encouraged me. If a girl left me, Isaac was there to console me. When I hated the world, Isaac was there to show that love conquers all. Basically, when the shit hit the fan, Isaac Hayes was a friend when no one else was.

Back in 1994, I was hired as a bass player to go on the road with a band. After each tour, someone in the crew or band got let go in the most absurd passive aggressive manner. It was never "thank you, but your services are no longer needed", it was just  a lot of bad vibes until you either quit or once the tour ended you were replaced without notice. It was nerve wracking to say the least. I figured they were going to fire me at any time. It was like being in the mob and waiting for a hit that would eventually come. On the last tour, I knew my time had come. We were in Europe and I was starting to get the bad vibes. I was getting the silent treatment from everyone on tour, including the star of the show. I felt ignored and was getting shut out of activities that a band and crew engage in on tour. Alone in my bunk on a bus, I found solace through music. My anger about my situation was alleviated by a rotation of The Stooges Funhouse, Black Flag’s Slip It In and NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. But once I was done with my anger and the rotation of those CD’s, I felt that isolation deep inside. Those long drives over night from city to city can be some of the loneliest times, especially if you don’t feel like you have any friends around you. I missed my family, Los Angeles and Mexican food. I missed talking to people on a homie level. That’s where Isaac came in.

Continue reading...