I wrote a guide to sea vegetables over at my blog. As a companion piece here at the Amoeblog, I thought I’d compile a guide to modern day sea shanties by vegetarian (or former vegetarian, in some cases) songwriters or bands with vegetarian members.
There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.
I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.
It’s these interactions that led me to create the following "conversion chart." While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!
The best time to come explore the Classical section will be November 28-30 when we're having a huge Classical blowout at our stores over Black Friday weekend. All red and green tag Classical CDs and vinyl will be 50% off! Sale details here.
Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest drag club night, incorporates everything from low brow trash to high brow performance art and has become famous (or infamous) worldwide as the quintessential San Francisco experience. Amoeba music is proud to be a sponsor of the Trannyshack salute to not one, but two legendary women of rock: Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush! Join Heklina, DJ Omar (Popscene / Sixxteen), and a host of amazing drag performers on August 17th at the DNA Lounge for this momentous event! Get your tickets in advance HERE!
Daniel Rossen’s Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP came out today, and true to form for Grizzly Bear’s Rossen, it doesn’t disappoint. Though he’s perhaps the lesser-known entity of Grizzly Bear (the other being gravy-voiced Ed Droste), everything Rossen has released to this point, both within the band (his gorgeous “Deep Blue Sea," for instance”) or without it (as part of Department of Eagles) has born an unmistakable stamp. It’s a tribute to his talent that you can say that without being able to describe just what that stamp is. It’s a certain mysteriousness that is part of what makes Grizzly Bear so alluring, where you’re very much hearing folk-rock with a kind of doo-wop vocal delivery — sounds simple enough — but everything is curiously out of reach. Lyrics are more suggestive than descriptive, intimating nostalgia and loss without really being forthright about it, and arrangements tend to spiral out rather than circle back to where they’ve started. Silent Hour/Golden Mile is actually more direct than some of Rossen’s other work. “Up On High” wouldn’t be out of place on a Grizzly Bear album, while “Silent Song” and “Golden Mile” are relatively straightforward rock songs that still spin off from typical construction, with spindly guitars and high, cooing vocals that remind me a bit of mid-period Radiohead without actually sounding anything like that. Both songs also benefit from hummable moments — not something Rossen is always known for — as well as the kind of high, lap steel guitar lines found famously in Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” or George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” At five songs, Silent Hour/Golden Mile leaves you wanting for much more, which I’m guessing we’ll get in the form of the next Grizzly Bear or Department of Eagles album, but the EP is far from a departure or indulgence. It’s more like a treat, an appetizer for something bigger.
Above is the recently extremely-extended remixed version of Kate Bush's big 1978 hit "Wuthering Hieghts" (an historic song because in 1978 when it topped the UK charts it was the first time a woman had a UK number one with a self-written song - and Bush was only 19 at the time) which has been stretched out to about nine times its original length - clocking in here at about 36 minutes. This remix method which takes the Chopped & Screwed remix style to a whole other level (that style, associated with the late great Texas DJ Screw, would slow down the BPM of rap songs to about half the original speed & add in various effects) slows down the original by stretching it out to six or eight times the original time. Hence why Kate Bush's song, which originally clocked in at about 4 and a half minutes, is now almost 36 minutes long in the "Ultra Slow" remix.
This stretched-style of remixing, which is pretty easy (and fun) to do, can make for some great remixes - although it is often hit and miss. I have personally done a bunch, using Peak Pro program and extending or stretching out the time to usually 8 times the original length, and come up with some good results. One that worked great for me was Joni Mitchell's "Blue" which, like the Kate Bush remix above, becomes transformed into this other-worldly mood-piece taking two minutes for MItchelll just to sing the opening five words of the song's lyrics - "Blue, songs are like tattoos." For those wishing to hear the original version of "Wuthering Heights" below is a 2011 remastered version of the Kate Bush recording which was number one on the UK charts in 1978. Look for it and Kate Bush's other music at the Amoeba online shop.