Amoeblog

10 Holiday Albums That Don't Suck

Posted by Billy Gil, December 12, 2013 10:38am | Post a Comment

If you’re like me, most Christmas music makes you want to stab yourself in the eyeball with a sharpened candy cane. Luckily, since everyone and their mother has attempted a holiday album (I mean, most of them are X-mas-centric), there are some gems in the mix.

 

The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album/Christmas With the Beach Boys

beach boys christmas albumThe Beach Boys and Christmas music go together like Christmas and getting drunk. It’s an obvious choice, sure, but this album also wins because of the originals, which they put just as much effort into as their regular classics. “The Man With All the Toys” kicks enough ass to be listened to all year round.

 

 

A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector

a christmas gift for you phil spector cd amoebaSome would say the greatest Christmas album of all time, featuring classic productions by Phil Spector, with The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and other Spector favorites. Every other version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” sucks compared to this one.

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Ellie Greenwich 1940 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment
Ellie Greenwich
Ellie Greenwich
, who penned dozens of classic songs in collaboration with producer Phil Spector and Jeff Barry for acts like The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Shangri-Las, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, The Jelly Beans and The Dixie Cups -- the “girl group” sound, died this week of a heart attack in New York’s St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital; she had been admitted for pneumonia a few days earlier. She was 68.
 
In her 50-year career, Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was awarded some 25 gold and platinum discs. BMI Publishing lists more than 200 songs Greenwich wrote or co-wrote, including such classics as “Leader Of The Pack,” “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” “Be My Baby,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” “Look of Love,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “I Can Hear Music,” and "Hanky Panky.”
 
Born Eleanor Louise Greenwich on Oct. 23, 1940 in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was 11 when she began studying accordion before switching to piano. As a teen she started her own group called The Jivettes. She got her first break as a songwriter working for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had written dozens of classic 1950’s rock tunes. Her first chart success was "This Is It" with the Jay and the Americans, which she co-wrote with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers.

Greenwich became part of the mythical Brill Building stable of songwriters where she teamed up with her husband Jeff Barry. Other Brill writers included Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil plus the likes of Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and Paul Simon.
 
Greenwich and Barry also recorded a few sides as The Raindrops; their biggest hit was “The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget.” In 1964 alone, the two song writers were responsible for some 17 different singles reaching the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However the following year, 1965, she and Barry divorced, and Greenwich suffered a nervous breakdown.
 
She went on to produce songs for artists like Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, The Definitive Rock Choral and Ella Fitzgerald, but she really hit her stride working with Neil Diamond, producing his early hits “Cherry Cherry,” “Solitary Man” and “Kentucky Woman.”  In 1968, Greenwich released her first solo album, Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces and Sings, and included two charting singles, "Niki Hoeky" (a #1 hit in Japan) and "I Want You To Be My Baby."
 
In the 1980s she created a musical based on her life entitled Leader of the Pack, from the song co-written with her former husband Barry. The Broadway musical included many of her hits and told the story of her rise and fall. It scored several Tony and Grammy Award nominations.

This past week the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was quoted by the L.A.Times, saying, “She was the greatest melody writer of all time.”

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Li'l Bit #9

Posted by Job O Brother, July 28, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment
Hoo, boy. Who didn't see this coming?

Lenny Bruce

Posted by Whitmore, August 3, 2007 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Lenny Bruce
Last night I bought a first edition hard bound copy of Lenny Bruce’s How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, and this morning I realized it was the anniversary of his death… as they say (whoever they are) “there are no coincidences ..."

Anyway, on August 3, 1966, Lenny Bruce -- legendary stand-up comedian, author, social critic and satirist of the 1950’s and 60’s (born Leonard Alfred Schneider, October 13, 1925 ) was found dead at the age of 40 in the bathroom of his home at 8825 Hollywood Boulevard. The LAPD immediately announced that Bruce died from an overdose of narcotics, probably heroin, and that has been a universally reported fact ever since. However, the official report admits that the cause of death was unknown and the analysis inconclusive. Take that Wikipedia!

Dick Schaap eulogized Bruce in Playboy, with the memorable last line "One last four-letter word for Lenny: Dead. At forty. That's obscene."

Phil Spector, who once described Bruce as “my Socrates,” said Lenny Bruce died from "an overdose of police."

Side Note: I was going to include the entire script of  “Thank You, Mask Man,” but I’ll save that for his birthday in October. Those who might be offended will have to wait a few months. Sorry.

Here are some of Lenny Bruce’s jokes, comments and philosophies. Enjoy.

“If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses"

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government!’”

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White Stripes Style Alert! In This Edition: Jack Attempts the Duck Tail & A History In Photos

Posted by Miss Ess, May 18, 2007 11:50pm | Post a Comment
That feeling's in the air:  it's almost time for a new White Stripes record!  This one's gonna be called Icky Thump and it comes out June 19.  Part of the excitement of a new White Stripes record is always seeing what their new style will be.  I would even go so far as to say they are Beatles-esque-- between each record they disappear for a bit and come back with a totally different look.  So here's what we have this time:

white stripes nylon magazine
 

Woo hoo!  I gotta get me a pi....I mean, a copy of that magazine!

Despite not really being all that concerned with fashion, per se, myself, I have to give Jack White (we all know he is the mastermind of the group) credit for being such a fashion forward kind of guy.  He is always off on his own trip, whether its music or style or anything and I respect that....even if I dont always love the look!  Let's take a moment to ponder the many looks of the White Stripes, shall we?  For a band that only limits itself to dressing in three colors (red, black & white, in case you hadn't heard), they sure go crazy! 

Exhibit A, The Early Years:

white stripes

This is when they were going for that childlike thing, circa 1998.

Exhibit B, The Uber Arty Years: