Amoeblog

Top 20 Songs About Heroin

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2014 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Upon hearing the incredible, engaging new single "Bag A Gear" from the Dublin, Ireland-based rapper Tommy KD (formerly known as Man & The Machine) on the topic of his former heroin habit that he is grateful to have finally kicked, I was reminded of the numerous songs tackling the topic of the highly addictive opiate.

I have put together a Top 20 Songs About Heroin list - some seemingly pro but most definitively con. These songs (with accompanying videos) are culled from different genres and different eras but all share views on the same topic - one that has destroyed way too many great musicians' careers and lives over the decades. Just as there are countless terms and nicknames for heroin (horse, smack, H, skag, junk, dirt, brown sugar, golden girl, hell dust, white nurse, thunder, etc. etc.) there are also seemingly endless songs about the drug. This subjective top twenty list could easily be extended into a Top 100 or Top 200 list, so feel free to post any songs on the subject of heroin that you think should have been included. Since I tried to keep it down to 20, I had to cut out duplicates by artists included and did not include such greats as "Ain't it Fun" by both The Dead Boys and Guns N' Roses.

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'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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New James Brown Biopic "Get On Up"

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2014 02:35pm | Post a Comment

          

"Get On Up" Trailer - movie opens August 1st, 2014

While some diehard James Brown fans are already skeptical of Get On Up (the forthcoming biopic on the Godfather of Soul that opens in theaters everywhere in three weeks) because they say that the star Chadwick Boseman doesn't look much like the singer, I say that's crazy because he's a great actor and he sure sounds and moves just like him - as evidenced in the above trailer. Also based on this trailer, as well as on the other clips I've seen of this movie on the life of one of the greatest artists of all time, my bet is that this film, directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, is going to be off the hook.  Besides incredible music (it sounds like they used all of Brown's original recordings and not reworkings as is often the case in music biopics), Get On Up has a killer cast and drama - lots of drama - from James Brown's real life. It starts with him as a five-year-old boy ("just a street kid from Augusta, Georgia") with a tough childhood and follows him through all of his ups and downs, including incarceration where he organized and led the prison gospel choir, three marriages, and meeting his estranged mother years later after he had found major success.

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Music History Monday: July 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 7, 2014 09:16am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: July 7, 1940 - Legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, UK). Happy 74th Birthday, Ringo!
 


On this day in music history: July 7, 1962 - "The Stripper" by David Rose And His Orchestra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by David Rose, it is the biggest hit for the British-born bandleader and composer. In 1958, Rose will write music for a television series called Burlesque (starring Dan Dailey and Joan Blondell). Recorded during the last ten minutes of a recording session, the song will go unreleased as the rest of the tracks recorded are more string oriented and the brassy instrumental seems out of place. Four years later, Rose will record a version of the pop standard "Ebb Tide" to promote the Paul Newman film Sweet Bird Of Youth. Without any time to record a B-side, "The Stripper" is pulled out of the vault and issued as the single's flipside. A DJ in Los Angeles named Robert Q. Lewis will discover the obscure track and will play it over and over for 45 minutes on his show. The stunt will make the record a hit locally in L.A., eventually spreading to the rest of the country. Entering the Hot 100 at #90 on May 12, 1962, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. Rose will go on to write the music for the long-running TV series Little House On The Prairie and Highway To Heaven. "The Stripper" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Oakland Public Library Celebrates Black History Month with Soul Explosion!!!

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2014 09:44am | Post a Comment

Oakland Public Library (OPL) is celebrating Black History Month in various ways at its different branches throughout this month including its soul and R&B music-themed Black History Month Soul Explosion!!! this evening (Tuesday, Feb 4th) at 6pm at the OPL Lakeview branch on El Embarcadero down by Lake Merritt. Local DJ, musician, and record store owner Ed'N'Sted will curate a "multimedia excursion into soul" by playing music and videos by such soul/R&B legends as James Brown, Jackie Wilson, The Isley Brothers, and Little Willie John for two solid hours. Tonight's FREE event starts at 6pm sharp and goes until 7:45pm. It takes place in the Meeting Room of the Lakeview branch, located at 550 El Embarcadero Oakland, CA  94610. More info by calling (510) 238-7344 or online here.

In honor of tonight's East Bay Black History Month event, below are select live videos by three of these artists. Included are the Isley Brothers on Soul Train doing "Summer Breeze," James Brown and band in concert in 1989 doing "I Feel Good," and Jackie Wilson performing "To Be Loved," "Lonely Teardrops," and "Alone At Last" on The Ed Sullivan Show in the early 60's. Also below is a really great piece on the short life (he died at 30) of the underrated Little Willie John who Marvin Gaye dubbed "the soul singer's soul singer." This excellent short documentary, entitled Fever: Little Willie John's Fast Life, Mysterious Death, & The Birth Of Soul (also the name of the book), is well worth watching if you are into the history of soul/R&B.

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