Amoeblog

We've Got Tonight - Odd Pairings in Music

Posted by Miss Ess, October 30, 2008 07:33pm | Post a Comment
With the recent advent of the Jack White/Alicia Keys James Bond theme song, a fellow employee and I paul mccartney and michael jacksongot to thinking about odd pairings. What was up with the 80s anyway? It was the era of the power ballad, which means it was also one of the main eras of odd pairings (although I do seem to remember Bob Dylan popping up in Wyclef Jean's "Gone Till November" video in the 90s, but blessedly that was not an artistic pairing).

The first one that comes to mind, of course, is Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Paul was the "cute" Beatle and Michael was the "cute" Jackson, so this seemed like it could work...until you realize that Paul lived on a Scottish farm with his wife of many years, Linda, and their children, eating vegetarian food and lovingly raising animals. Michael, on the other hand, lived on Neverland Ranch, allegedly with groups of small children shuttling in and out of his Playland, complete with caged exotic animals. And these guys duetted twice, on "Say Say Say" and also "The Girl is Mine!" Without even considering the legal issues that came about soon after the duets due to Jackson buying the Beatles' songbook despite McCartney's wishes, it's no surprise they never talked again after creating these tracks. Here's "Say Say Say":



Another odd pairing that is a favorite of mine has always been Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton's "We've Got Tonight." Kenny's a down home kind of guy, into primping but still at home in cowboy boots-- a classic Texan. Sheena's an intense, romantic gal hailing from grey Scotland and specializing in dance-pop. I think all these two had in common was that they were selling a heck of a lot of records on their own back in 1983. I've heard they really did not get along at all in the studio though. At least they could come together this once, just for this night, of course. From the intro chatter to the mic control, I absolutely love this performance:

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The Circle Game

Posted by Miss Ess, September 18, 2008 06:31pm | Post a Comment
I love it when musicians write something new in response to another artist's song. One great artist inspiring another is what makes the world go round, in a way, and it's fun to find examples of artists reacting to one another's work.

One of the more famous examples of this is "Sweet Home Alabama," Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1974 response to Neil Young's earlier songs slamming stereotypical Southern racism, "Southern Man" and "Alabama." Neil apparently loved it when he heard his name in the track, as the bands were friendly:

"Well I heard Mr Young sing about it
Well I heard old Neil put her down
Well I hope Neil Young will remember
Southern Man don't need him around anyhow..."

 
 

Apparently Neil Young is extremely inspiring, because the other song that springs to mind as being written in response to a great song is Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," which she wrote for Neil after hearing his "Sugar Mountain." Both songs are about growing older and youth slipping by. The two songwriters met back in 1964, the same year 19 year old Neil wrote "Sugar Mountain," which contains the line "You can't be 20/on Sugar Mountain." Joni's response in "The Circle Game": "So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty/ Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true/There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty/Before the last revolving year is through."

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THE GROUCH & LIVING LEGENDS GIVE LOVE BACK TO AMOEBA MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2008 04:55pm | Post a Comment

Once again Amoeba Music has been immortalized in song. This time it is courtesy of the brand new album Show You The World by Cali hip-hopper The Grouch (out tomorrow, April 8, when he and the whole Living Legends crew will perform for free at Amoeba Hollywood @ 7PM).   Amoeba Music is name-checked in the song "The Bay To L.A." that features fellow Living Legends crew emcee MURS. The song -- off the 15-song new album from the LA artist with deep Bay Area history, not to mention Amoeba history, since we were the first store to carry the once struggling mid-1990's young hip-hop collective -- includes the lyrics, "the Bay to LA, like Amoeba player" - and with its distinctly Bay Area- flavored, synth-drenched infectious beat and catchy lyrics, "The Bay To LA" is the hit of the summer of 2008 just waiting to happen. I bet money on it. 

Also on the recommended new album from The Grouch is the observantly sharp & witty song "Artsy" (with lots of LA references) which has an equally great video (shot reportedly for just $3000), which you can see above. And the new Grouch album, his first since his collab with Zion I two years ago and his first solo in five years, is influenced greatly by the 2006 arrival in his life of his young daughter Rio, who is featured both on the album's cover art (see left) and on the new release's intro track.  The album and also the Living Legends new hip-hop collective project, The Gathering, are both on Legendary Music and are both dropping tomorrow (April 8th). To celebrate the two new releases, the entire collective will perform a free show at Amoeba Music Hollywood at 7PM which will be streamed (audio/video) live via this website. Don't miss it!

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Neil Aspinall, R.I.P.

Posted by Miss Ess, March 25, 2008 05:39pm | Post a Comment
One of the central figures in The Beatles' lives and career died yesterday. 

neil aspinall beatles apple


Neil Aspinall went to school with Paul McCartney and George Harrison and he remaineneil aspinall apple paul mccartney beatlesd a trusted confidante until the end.  Neil worked as a personal assistant and road manager to the Beatles throughout their rise to fame and became an indispensable member of their inner circle.  When the boys formed Apple in 1968, they made Neil Chief Executive.  I remember readneil aspinall brian epstein beatlesing somewhere that Neil had no idea what that meant or what precisely he was supposed to do, but in the halcyon days of the late 60s, it was anything goes and he managed to make it work as best he could, though Apple Corps is known to have leeched money from the get-go.

Nonetheless, Neil remained at Apple until last year.  He must have figured out the way to run the company successfully because he saw Apple through the breakup of the Beatles all the way to the lawsuits against Apple Computers and Steve Jobs.  He was behind the fantastic Beatles Anthology series, and contributed his own set of interviews to the documentaries, which was one of the few times he allowed himself to be seen on camera talking about his career.

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augmenting the blather ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 29, 2007 11:06am | Post a Comment

Perhaps the holiday season has already taken something of a toll on my psyche, (though I do little shopping and I’m more or less done), I’m feeling a tad bit overwhelmed these last few days. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that my trusted computer is in the shop for some repairs, as is my guitar amp … and I think every electronic gadget I own. And on top of that, someone hacked into my own Myspace account. And today a plumber is suppose to show up and take care of a few problems we have here at the old homestead, but how often do plumbers actually show up on the day scheduled, and on time? I should perhaps lighten the mood, quit the blather - or just step boldly forth and augment the blather, and mention that I’m really fond of old school fear inducing literature on subjects like culture shock and modern paranoia, media paranoia, ("the medium is the message") … (my personal favorite faux-cultural-analytical phrase: “media derived fantasies”), conspiratorial governments, and discourses on the mechanization of middle class culture on their efforts to mute class … basically anything on the spooky-spooky future. I’ll just quote some Alvin Toffler here and put up a pretty picture of a galactic spiral. I’ll feel better. Hey, I do feel better!

"Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock."

In short the definition of future shock is a personal sensitivity to "too much change in too short a period of time". I think Toffler is speaking to me directly, and that’s not a good sign!

I recently came across one of Toffler’s old books in a thrift store, The Third Wave. I glanced through it, and it’s not as richly paranoid as I would like it to be- I need more suspicion. If I was on my own computer, I could just click over to some eerie bookmarked pages, and just settle in with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. There is a crumb of comfort there, don’t know why, but on some of these sites I find just enough soothing reassurance that whatever the hell is going on, seems to keep right on going on. It’s a disquieting assurance, yes, but it’s consistent, besides you know in this day and age you grab whatever peace you can find, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now ... here's looking at you kid.  

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