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Music History Monday: October 6

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 6, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 6, 1969 - "Something" b/w "Come Together" by The Beatles is released (UK release date is on October 31, 1969). Written by George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, it is the 18th US chart-topper for the Fab Four. The lone single is issued from the band's recently released album Abbey Road. The ballad "Something" is written by George Harrison while the flipside "Come Together" is actually written by John Lennon but is credited to Lennon/McCartney. By the time the single reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 29th, both sides will be listed at the top (w/ "Come Together" listed first) due to a change in chart policy. Billboard begins listing the A and B sides of a single receiving radio airplay and generating sales in the same chart position rather than separately. Initially, the two sides will debut on the chart separately with "Something" entering the Hot 100 at #20 and "Come Together" at #23 on October 18, 1969. "Come Together" will climb as high as #2 and "Something" at #3 before "Come Together" slips back to #7 and "Something" holds at #3. Billboard will then combine the airplay and sales chart information for both sides of the single, providing the momentum for both to ascend to number one. "Come Together/Something" is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: July 28

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 28, 2014 07:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 28, 1979 - “Good Times” by Chic hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for six weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for one week on August 18, 1979. Written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is the second R&B and pop chart-topper for the seminal New York City-based R&B band led by musician and producers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. Like many of Chic's other hit singles, lyrically they will seem quite ambiguous on the surface, but in truth will often mask a much more profound and deeper meaning within the lyrics. The duo will refer to their songs having a "deep hidden meaning" behind them. Edwards and Rodgers will base "Good Times" conceptually on depression era pop songs like “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “About A Quarter To Nine,” juxtaposing them with the state of the late 70’s economy and the unbridled hedonism of the "Disco Era," making a veiled statement about people’s need to escape and to forget about their troubles. That concept will even extend to the packaging of the accompanying album Risque, which will feature the members of the band posed in a sepia toned black & white photograph depicting that bygone era. Released as a single on June 4, 1979, "Good Times" will be an immediate smash, both on the dance floor and on the radio. It will go on to become one of the most influential records of the late 20th century and beyond when it also becomes a cornerstone of Hip-Hop culture. Its innovative bassline will be used as the basis for the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” as well as spawning numerous songs either directly copying or influenced by it. "Good Times" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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20 Essential Records You Need on Vinyl

Posted by Billy Gil, April 10, 2013 09:21am | Post a Comment

Use the promo code vinyl10 to get 10% off any new and used vinyl on Amoeba.com.


In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day 2013, I decided to make a list of 20 records I think everyone should own on vinyl. Take this Record Store Day to build a nice foundation for your record collection. I picked this list based on pretty arbitrary criteria, including what critics generally think are great, what I think is great, what I think particularly sounds good on analog-warm vinyl, and what you won’t have to pay $100 for or scour for (e.g. no hard-to-find ’90s vinyl or things out of print). I also left it to one album per artist. These aren't in any particular order. Send any omissions to this list to idontcare@makeyourownlist.com. Or just leave a comment!

 

The BeatlesRevolver

The Beatles RevolverIn my mind, The White Album is the greatest Beatles album, but you can’t beat the utterly perfect one-disc punch of Revolver. It should go without saying that every Beatles album is essential and is worth owning on vinyl yadda yadda, but if you have to start somewhere, do it here. Their catalog was recently reissued on vinyl in stereo mix, so you should have no trouble finding them if you’re just starting out — and you should have no trouble finding quality replacements, if your old Beatles LPs are worn out.

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Album Picks: Real Estate, Twin Sister, M83

Posted by Billy Gil, October 18, 2011 02:10pm | Post a Comment
Real Estate DaysReal Estate – Days
 
Real Estate have helped usher in a contemporary appreciation of bands with clean guitars and hushed vocals, perfect for a summer day or autumn night. But Real Estate still do it better than anyone, as they prove on Days. From opener “Easy” and on, Days floats on breezy simplicity of melody and atmosphere that you could explain away as through line of Byrds by way of R.E.M. jangle pop informed by reverbed-out, dream pop aesthetics, but that would paint Real Estate as a throwback band when really their sound is their own. Country hues underpin even the spaciest of tracks, like the way winsome sliding guitars sway beneath the shivering, tremoloed star-shooting guitar lines of “Green Aisles,” and more obviously so on tracks like the springy, Smithsy “It’s Real,” which works some clever chord changes into a straightforward guitar-pop setting. Singer Martin Courtney’s voice is always plaintive but never intrusive, and the whole thing moves with subtle evocation, like a sepia-toned suburban home movie reel. It’s no coincidence a great, sunlit song on the album is titled “Wonder Years.”
 
Twin SisterTwin Sister – In Heaven
 
Twin Sister’s debut full-length delivers a band still emerging from chrysalis (their average age is now about 23, so says Wikipedia) but born with some pretty impressive power already. Roughly, Twin Sister are an indie pop band fronted by some froggish, androgynous vocals (singer vocalist Andrea Estella and guitarist-singer Eric Cardona both sound a little like the spawn of Sigur RosJonsi and St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, the latter band of which they also sound a bit like on the lite-jazzy “Stop”). They touch on chillwave (the shimmering and strange chords of “Kimmi in a Rice Field” is the album’s absolute highlight) without committing to it, seemingly more interested in vibing late ’80s indie and video game music — the gentle “Luna’s Theme” has Sega Genesis written all over it, something that might be playing in some anime space station. But whatever Twin Sister ends up doing —be it cool Britpop, neo-futuristic electro or something else entirely — it ends up sounding great, if not entirely unified.
 
M83 Hurry Up We're DreamingM83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
 
After a decade’s worth of brilliant albums that have been increasingly epic in scope, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has delivered the masterpiece he has hinted at for years. Gonzalez builds off the life-embracing yet ’80s nostalgic pop of 2008’s Saturdays=Youth across this double-album. Taking a hint from the Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Gonzalez sweeps through childlike wonder (the children’s story as Kraftwerkian computer-pop of “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”), adolescent angst (the two and a half minutes of skyscraper-sized orchestral rock in “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”) and young adult excitement (Gonzalez cries “The city is my church!” in the neon-backlit “Midnight City”) to capture the wide-eyed energy and naiveté of youth. There’s newly an emphasis on the kind of shuffling ‘80s funk-pop of the likes of Huey Lewis & the News and Hall & Oates in songs like “Claudia Lewis,” but it actually feels less throwback-ish than some of his previous work, perhaps in part due to contemporaries like Toro y Moi and Neon Indian similarly fusing such sounds with shoegazer aesthetics. Indeed, with the kinds of sonic dreamscapes of albums like Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us also in tow on songs like “This Bright Flash,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming presents us with all of Gonzaelz’s best tendencies, all at once, and at their utmost potential.

R.E.M.'s Short Film for "Every Day Is Yours To Win" Now Showing Online

Posted by Billyjam, April 26, 2011 03:41pm | Post a Comment
               

R.E.M. have just posted the above new film on YouTube for their song "Every Day Is Yours To Win" as part of R.E.M.’s ongoing Collapse Into Now film project (in conjunction with the band's album of the same name, released last month by Warner Brothers) in which they stream a piece for just 24 hours. The Collapse Into Now album-inspired film project is a selection of short films set to the music from the new LP and each film was directed by notable artists and filmmakers, all curated & overseen by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. The list of directors includes renaissance man James Franco; filmmaker, photographer, and conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood; and documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. The "Every Day Is Yours To Win" short above was directed by Jim McKay, Chris Moukarbel, and Valerie Veatch. For further info on this R.E.M. project visit REMhq.com. Pick up the new R.E.M. album Collapse Into Now online from Amoeba!
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