Amoeblog

More One Album Wonders

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. Here's Part II of a look at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



MICHAELANGELO - ONE VOICE MANY (1971)

Michaelangelo - One Voice Many


Michaelangelo were a Greenwich Village-based psychedelic folk-rock group led by Angel Petersen (but credited simply as “Angel”) who wrote the group's music and played electric autoharp -- an instrument popularized within the folk-rock scene by Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian. Rounding out the band were Michael John HackettRobert Gorman, and Steve Bohn. After attracting interest from producer Rachel Elkind and composer Wendy Carlos, what proved to be Michaelangelo's solitary album, One Voice Many, was released by Columbia. It incorporates a variety of influences that give the band a unique sound but one that might appeal to fans of Pidgeon and Renaissance (and not just because both used autoharps as well). Apparently the excellent album was poorly promoted which accounted for its poor sales and the group's subsequent disbandment. However, it clearly found its way to some fans over the years, as in 1992 the band Golden Smog included a cover of their song, 
"Son (We've Kept the Room Just the Way You Left It)" as the lead track on their EP, On Golden Smog. In 2009 it was released on CD by Rev-Ola.


Show Recap: Cate le Bon at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

cate le bon amoeba hollywoodCate le Bon’s songs have a ragged glory, spare, yet intricate and propulsive like Television and Patti Smith Group before her, with a world-weary soul cutting through via le Bon’s swooping vocals. Backed by her sturdy, three-piece band, they launched into the clockwork shuffle of “No God,” from her most recent release, 2013’s excellent Mug Museum, at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.

Le Bon shifted gears from icy to sultry for single “Are You With Me Now,” which has the feel of a classic reggae ballad covered by a CBGBs band. The set picked up for album opener “I Can’t Help You,” its interlocking post-punk guitars and le Bon's sultry voice moving into a snarling chorus while le Bon's nimble-fingered guitarist doubled as keyboardist, playing jaunty synth organ to balance the songs jagged edges. They got playful for “Duke,” a song whose singsongy melody ends in a banshee wail from le Bon.

Her set moved from le Bon’s most immediate songs to some of her most challenging ones. “Sisters” started harmlessly enough with an upbeat jangle but ended in atonal guitar jabs and a ping-ponging bassline. “Wild,” Mug Museum’s heaviest rocker, saw some of le Bon’s wildest guitar playing as the song ended in a krautrock freakout. And for anyone not new to the le Bon fold, she pulled out Cyrk’s “Fold the Cloth,” its ornate arrangement balancing Mug Museum’s directness and ending things with eerie harmonies and spurts of carefully orchestrated guitar noise.

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NYC Gallery Exhibit of Punk & Post-Punk Memorabilia Captures Essence of Influential Musical Era

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2011 09:25am | Post a Comment
When recently in New York I was fortunate to catch a short run punk & post-punk themed gallery exhibit that included some wonderful posters, flyers, and other memorabilia of this music from the mid 70's through the early '80's. Titled Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post Punk Graphics 1976 - 82 this one-month only exhibit at the Kasher Steven Gallery on W 23rd St in the Chelsea district, that closes this week but is rumored to be coming to the West Coast sometime in the future, is a most engaging collection for anyone with even a passing interest in this influential time period in music. Simultaneously on display in the same space is the related Laura Levine: Musicians photo exhibit that overlaps some of this same period but whose timeline runs up to a decade later.

This photography section of the exhibit is credited exclusively to NYC music photographer Laura Levine who reportedly started out by talking her way into punk clubs and their backstage areas with a camera slung round her neck and a fake press pass in hand. Within no time she was a legit member of the press working as photographer for the likes of the The New York Rocker, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. Many of her photos on display (nearly all black and white) intimately capture that famed early 80's Downtown New York scene; a world that included artists and musicians from all backgrounds and genres. Photos include Afrika Bambaataa, an early days 1982 Madonna, the Beastie Boys and Run DMC together in a group shot, John Doe and Exene Cervenka (during their X days), Joey Ramone, and The Clash.
 
Meanwhile the Rude and Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976–82 portion of the gallery includes two hundred plus items on display. As well as posters and flyers (there's a great one from the Mabuhay Gardens in SF that featured the DKs, Angst, Toxic Reasons, and the short-lived talented local band the Fried Abortions) are fanzines, flyers, clothing, stickers, and punk buttons/badges.

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Famous Grey Raincoat - Or, Silly Goth, Vampires Are for Kids!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 6, 2010 04:45pm | Post a Comment

 Class Hey Day crowds, 1950

In honor of this lovely weather we're having here in Los Angeles, I'm going to blog about the so-called Raincoat scene. Before Goth -- for that matter, before New Grave, Dark Wave, Cold Wave or any of those other overly specific scenes (that I will dutifully write about in time), the British music press took to lumping together a bunch of bands and their fans and calling them "raincoats." Why? Because since their invention in the 1850s, nothing has silently and eloquently conveyed, "I'm dark, brooding and Romantic" like slouching in a trench coat. OK, it could also convey, "I'm stealing porn and not wearing clothes underneath." That's a different sort of Raincoat Brigade.

Anton Corbijn - Ian Curtis

The earliest usage of "raincoat" in this sense that I've found is in an edition of NME. "1982 was also a year of recession in the U.K. A broken economy, you could argue, enabled both genres to flourish: sleek synth-pop helped people transcend national gloom, glowering raincoat-rock authorised them to wallow in it." 

The unsung heroines of Punk/Post-Punk/No Wave/New Wave

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 13, 2009 05:46pm | Post a Comment
Since its beginning, rock music has been a male dominated affair. Women, such as Wanda Jackson, were not just anomalies but curiosities. By the '60s there were plenty of girl groups, female soul singers and a few female-fronted rock bands, but the few actually female-dominated rock bands like Ace of Cups, Fanny, The Girls, Goldie & the Gingerbreads (the first all female rock band to sign to a major label) and even the Shaggs aren't exactly household names. That seemed to change in the '70s, when Suzi Quattro and The Runaways seemed to lessen the shock of seeing girls wielding instruments. Whether he was joking or not, Roger Ebert took credit for the girl rock revolution by creating the Carrie Nations in his screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Things really began to change with onset of the new wave of the late '70s. Not only were there female-fronted bands like Siouxise & the Banshees and Blondie, but there were also bands integrated in various ways, like Talking Heads and later The Mekons, Gang of Four, &c. Now, although you could still listen to the radio for a year without hearing an all-female rock band, it's not entirely out of the question. These bands aren't all entirely comprised of women, but they definitely broke the mold.


The Au Pairs "Come Again"


The Bloods "Button Up" (audio only)

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