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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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #54: New Yorker Lou Reed, Halloween Parade, Monsters Of Rap, Clocktower Gallery + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 30, 2013 11:12am | Post a Comment
      

New York City is still in mourning over the loss of one of its most beloved, longtime citizens: Lou Reed who sadly passed on Sunday at age 71. The Velvet Underground co-founder represented New York City more than most artists ever did and referenced it repeatedly in his work over the years. Sure New York City changed a lot since Reed sang about "waiting for my man" and walking "on the wild side" but so too did Reed himself who in more recent years would be seen with his wife Laurie Anderson walking their small dog on the gentrified streets of lower Manhattan. In the interview clip above, from the 1990's documentary Blue In The Face, the influential singer/songwriter/guitarist talks about his affinity for the New York City and what it meant to him in comparison to other cities. Right is an impromptu piece of graffiti dedicated to the late artist, pictured in the East Village, that appeared within hours of the news of Reed's passing on Sunday.

For the past four decades Halloween in New York City has been a most distinctive, memorable annual event thanks the mega scale annual Halloween Parade in the Village that attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers every October 31st for the parade that anyone and everyone (provided they are in costume) can join in and travel uptown from Sixth Avenue and Spring in the Village at 7pm (that is when it starts but get there earlier).  This year’s Parade will be extra special and will include a total of 53 bands playing a myriad of musical styles, hundreds of puppets, dozens of dancers of various styles, and incredible floats and costumes and art creations. The weather forecast for tomorrow, Halloween night, is mild with a chance of showers, but compared to this time last year that is no big deal.  As you may recall last year the Parade had to be suffered an unprecedented last minute cancellation following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. As a result Last year the Parade was the first event cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Hence this year's Parade is a celebratory return Parade - one that will be honoring "NYC's superheroes" that the Parade organizers called: "the REAL ones — those folks who stepped up to help the city out of that disaster and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Transplant Team and Jeff Bratcher—longtime Parade volunteer—who donated a kidney to the Parade Director’s son;  and all those who have volunteered to marshal and animate giant puppets throughout the Parade’s long history and kept this humble arts organization going!" Enter the line-up of the Parade on 6th Ave. from the East and South between Canal and Spring. See Parade map above and for more parade info click here.
Among the many concerts happening Halloween night is the Monsters Of Rap showcase at the Hammerstein Ballroom with Jadakiss, French Montana, Juelz Santana and many more including the late great Jam Master Jay's young son DJ Get Live who will be doing a special turntable tribute to his late great legendary father. The Hammerstein is located at 311 West 34th Street between 8th and 9th Aves. Tickets are $65 and available at TicketMaster

Rest In Peace Lou Reed

Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2013 01:06pm | Post a Comment
 Lou Reed "Perfect Day (live)"
 
 

Rest in peace Lou Reed.

The 71-year-old, influential rock songwriter/guitarist died earlier today (Oct 27, 2013) after undergoing a liver transplant just five months ago. In honor of the late great artist, we present a selection of videos including, of course, his work with the Velvet Underground, an interview from 1998 with Charlie Rose, and some live concert footage including from Paris in 1974.
 


Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting For My Man"



Lou Reed "Sweet Jane" live in Paris



Lou Reed interview on Charlie Rose, 1998



Lou Reed “Walk On the Wild Side”

Geoffrey O’Connor Brings His Noir Synth Pop to Hollywood Forever

Posted by Billy Gil, September 28, 2011 02:09pm | Post a Comment
Geoffrey O’Connor, frontman for Australian indie pop band Crayon Fields, released his debut record under his own name this week with Vanity Is Forever, a dark and sexy collection of new romantic pop reminiscent of Bryan Ferry and later-period Roxy Music. It’s gorgeous stuff, and tonight he’ll play it at Hollywood Forever Cemetery alongside Swedish songsmith Jens Lekman at 8 p.m. I took a minute to chat with O’Connor about his music upbringing and influences — surprise, it’s not all ’80s all the time!

PST: Can you tell me a little bit about your musical background up until releasing Vanity Is Forever?

O’Connor: I’ve been writing and recording songs since high school, which is when I started playing with Crayon Fields — we are now working on album number three. I released a solo record in 2007 as Sly Hats, but then decided to drop the name for the one my mother gave me.

PST: What are some of the influences, musical or otherwise, that got you making the music that appears on this album?

O’Connor: Classics like Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed and Dory Previn are the first musical influences that come to mind. I work in a cinema and get to see a lot of free movies — often there will be a memorable scene or quote that will trigger a song idea, even in the ones I don’t like.

PST: I definitely hear a cinematic quality to your music. Have you or would you consider scoring a film?

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Music For Dogs: Amoebadog Blog Part V

Posted by Billyjam, June 21, 2011 10:53pm | Post a Comment
This time last year on a Saturday morning in Sydney, Australia Laurie Anderson led a small but powerful four piece music ensemble in an outdoor concert by the Sydney Opera House for dogs and their owners. But the unique concert was less for humans and primarily music for the dogs (approximately a thousand in all in all sizes and breeds) in attendance since it was a “high-frequency concert” with sounds and frequencies that were geared for dogs' hearing ranges.

As you can see from the three video clips below some dogs liked the sounds a lot while others appeared to find them discomforting. But all reacted somehow and mostly in a positive & peaceful fashion. And as Anderson notes with pleasant surprise in one of the clips below following the 20 minute concert "There were no dog fights!"  Anderson, who was accompanied to Sydney by husband Lou Reed who did not perform but is seen behind the sound board, also said that the June 5th, 2010 Music For Dogs performance was the best concert that she ever part-took in.



Music for Dogs by Bill Morrison features lots of great dog shots and the music



Music for Dogs by PomegranateArts includes brief interview with Laurie Anderson



Music for Dogs by Altoburg focuses on the dogs' reaction to the music
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