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Albums Out Nov. 19: Led Zeppelin, Tim Hecker/Daniel Lopatin, LA Vampires/Maria Minerva and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 19, 2012 05:48pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Tim Hecker, Daniel Lopatin - Instrumental Tourist

Tim HeckerCD $9.98

LP $19.98

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never’s Instrumental Tourist brings out the best in two major figures in electronic music, producing a musical endeavor that’s as interested in pleasing its audience as it is turning over new stones. “Uptown Psychedelia’s” mechanical noise ebbs in and out while an eastern-influenced synth line wriggles chaotically. While more glacially paced, “Scene From a French Zoo” eschews the notion that ambient music need be peaceful or serene; its foreboding tone indicates some unstated melancholy. “Vacation for Thomas Mann” grows more ethereal as the pair set their synths skyward. Appropriately titled “Intrusions” tracks back to themes introduced in “Uptown Psychedelia” with industrial noise bursts, though it retains the ethereal feel of “Vacation for Thomas Mann,” until it gradually gets nastier and disintegrates. “Whole Earth Tascam” builds tension with noise and synthesized vocals before breaking apart to the sound of birds chirping, but then it gets even tenser than before. The song’s intriguing push-and-pull makes it the most soundtracky song on the album and definitely a highlight. “GRM Blue II” makes for a quick, strangely melodic respite full of glassy tones, while the more aggressive “GRM Blue III” is full of squelching sounds like an alien response to earthling radio signals, challenging the listener as the song stretches to nearly six minutes. The albums final tracks continue pushing the album’s ethereal and unsettling qualities in seemingly equal measure, particularly on the Eastern touches and wind instruments of “Grey Geisha,” never losing listener attention, though Instrumental Tourist can be a demanding listen. By keeping things unfussy and not overly layered, Hecker and Lopatin create excitement in their interplay. Their union proves not to be a collective patting on the back but rather another notch in the post of excellence for both artists.

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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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Music History Monday: October 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 22, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: October 22, 1969Led Zeppelin II, the second album by Led Zeppelin is released. Produced by Jimmy Page, it is recorded at Olympic Studios and Morgan Studios in London; A&M Studios, Quantum Studios, Sunset Sound, Mirror Sound, and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles; A&R Studios, Juggy Sound, Groove Studios, and Mayfair Studios in New York City; "The Hut" in Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN from January - August 1969. Quickly following the success of their self-titled debut, the album is written on the road and recorded in numerous studios in the US and UK on days off between tour dates. Led Zeppelin II will quickly surpass their debut in sales, cementing the bands' musical reputation as well as establishing a template in which countless hard rock and heavy metal bands will follow. It will spin off several classics that become rock radio staples including "Heartbreaker," Ramble On," and "Whole Lotta Love" (#4 Pop), the latter of which is issued as a single. The initial US pressing of the LP mastered by Bob Ludwig will be problematic for some as loud and dynamic passages on the record will cause it to skip on cheaper turntables of the day, initiating sizeable returns. Atlantic will be forced to remaster the album (this time by George Marino), with the bass and high end significantly rolled off. These original "loud cut" pressings of II will become sought after by collectors over the years. Led Zeppelin II will spend 7 weeks at #1 (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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Mash-Up Of The Week: Wax Audio's Whole Lotta Sabbath, a Led Zeppelin vs Black Sabbath Mash-Up

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2010 04:04am | Post a Comment

Wax Audio "Whole Lotta Sabbath" Led Zeppelin vs Black Sabbath Mash-Up

This latest Mash-Up of the Week is a refreshing change from the usual mash-ups being produced these days. Typically mash up producers base their tracks off of either solely contemporary pop songs, or else Wax Audiocurrent pop hits mixed with an older era pop tune (such as Lady GaGa + Kei$ha with Michael Jackson). But "Whole Lotta Sabbath" works exclusively off of classic hard rock sources -- namely Zeppelin and Sabbath.

The audio/video mixer of this mash up is Wax Audio out of Australia, who has been creating mixes for the better part of the past decade. I first learned about him six years ago during the Bush administration when, like myself and the DJs of Mass Destruction crew (DJ Pone, Dawgisht, DJ ALF), he was also doing remixes of George W. Bush speeches. One of Wax Audio's greatest pieces was his remix of John Lennon's "Imagine;" retitling it "Imagine This," he chopped, word by word, Bush saying each lyric of the song and matched it over an instrumental.

I caught up with Wax Audio earlier today (later today in Australia), who told me that the "Whole Lotta Sabbath" video is indeed brand new but that the audio track has been done for a minute. "To be honest, my main motive to make the mix at the time was just to get a real classic rock/metal mash-up out there," he told the Amoeblog. "I'm a big fan of the old bands and there didn't seem to be too many mashes of them at the time. But once I started, I thought the concept was really cool. Sabbath singing about the evil of men and war and Zeppelin praising women and love. The track is entirely comprised of the original Zeppelin and Sabbath tracks ("War Pigs" and "Whole Lotta Love") but there's also plenty of other Zep samples in there too -- "Dazed & Confused" mostly, but a few other bits and pieces. The video shows footage from the Vietnam and Iraq wars and also shows Sabbath performing from both those eras, which is interesting. There's also stuff of the Hindenburg disaster, which relates to the Zeppelin name and a photo of a Celtic Cross I took in Scotland (relating to Sabbath and their penchant for crosses)."

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