Essential Records: 'Rage Against The Machine'

Posted by Amoebite, February 25, 2015 11:15am | Post a Comment

Essential Records Rage Against the Machine

With the release of Nirvana's Nevermind (Geffen), Pearl Jam's Ten (Epic) and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Warner Bros), Alternative Rock dominated the early '90s mainstream. Touted as the voice of a generation, Kurt Cobain was the poster boy for grunge, leading the way with chart-topping, angst-filled hits. For perspective, Los Angeles was dealing with its own levels of angst and anarchy with the '92 riots which were spawned in the wake of the Rodney King beating. With the City of Angels literally on fire, President Bush had to call in the U.S. Guard for help. Compton rap group N.W.A. was ending its terror on the music industry, but not after prompting strict Parental Advisory guidelines on CD packaging for explicit content and drawing scrutiny from the FBI. With emotions on high and tension building in the streets, the stage was set and no one could have ever predicted the sonic tsunami that was about to shake up the music scene.  

Essential Records

Taking their name from a song written by frontman Zack de la Rocha (while with his previous group Inside Out), Rage Against The Machine produced a 12 song demo cassette. The tape was self-released and made available at shows for $5. The band's buzz quickly erupted like a molotov cocktail and with just a handful of live performances, Rage were being persued by several major record labels. Ultimately signing with Epic, the band's debut album, Rage Against The Machine, was released on November 3, 1992. On the strength of the lead single, "Killing In The Name," the album hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. "Killing In The Name" received heavy radio play with just 8 lines of repeated lyrics, including the explicit, "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" repeated 16 times. In line with the aesthetic and social message of RATM, the song alludes to the idea that police brutality is closely associated with the deep-rooted racism in the United States. It's safe to say that none of the grunge bands of the time were singing songs like this.

Continue reading...

May Day 2014: Songs That Celebrate and Defend The Rights of Workers Everywhere

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment
        Common a month ago doing a free show in support of workers at the Nissan car
        plant in Canton, Miss. who are pushing for a vote to organize as part of the UAW

In light of the ever increasing war being waged against unions and in turn the stripping of the basic rights of the working class in this country and elsewhere, this year's May Day (the internationally recognized day to celebrate and to defend the rights of workers everywhere from Modesto to Moscow) seems extra significant on this May 1st, 2014; perhaps even as significant as that very first mass US May Day protest back in 1886 when hundreds of thousands of disgruntled workers across the US, in a fight for an 8 hour work day, walked off their jobs in protest. Hence for this May Day I have assembled a selection of songs/videos that reflect the plight of struggling workers in a time when the gap between the rich controlling class and the rest of us gets wider and wider. 

Continue reading...

Albums Out 11/27: Raime, Wu-Block, Alicia Keys

Posted by Billy Gil, November 26, 2012 06:45pm | Post a Comment

Albums out Nov. 27:


Raime – Quarter Turns Over a Living Line

Raime Quarter Turns Over a Living LineLP $29.98

Dubstep has been an intriguing if polarizing new genre thus far, at some point encompassing artists as disparate as Skrillex and Andy Stott, much in the same way a new, seemingly precise but ultimately nebulous genre like emo or grime ended up describing very different music. If Raime are dubstep, they’re the murky bottom of its pit. Songs like “Soils and Coils” offer little in the way of humanity or respite from the brutality of its funeral-march beats and stark, alien sounds. Which means it’s one of my favorite things from the genre I’ve heard yet. Anyone with a taste for bleakness should check this out.



Wu-Block – Wu-Block

Wu-BlockCD $14.98

Wu-Tang Clan and The Lox team for a hip-hop superstar collaboration, featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, GZA, Masta Killah, Jadakiss and Styles P.

Continue reading...

Outernational's Music Takes On New Significance With Announcement of Ryan as Romney Running Mate

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2012 03:36am | Post a Comment
In celebration of their brand new Tom Morello produced Future Rock EP (available at Amoeba Hollywood) the group Outernational are currently on a two month tour with stops this week in Texas, Arizona, and California where they will play Fulton 55  in Fresno on Thursday (Aug 16), El Callejon in Salinas on Friday (Aug 17), and at The Satellite  in Los Angeles on Saturday (Aug 18) along with Las Cafeteras and Los Hollywood - all before traveling up to Canada, down South, and back East for more dates on the current tour that goes through the third week of September.

Along the route of this tour Outernational have been attracting new and old fans of their instantly likable world music flavored revolution rock. This is the second tour in the past few months by the hardworking Brooklyn NY based band. Their earlier 2012 concert trek was a unique two month, 2000 mile, tour along the Mexican border when they played venues not typical for touring rock bands including "the farm fields of California" as part of their Todos Somos Ilegales: We are All Illegal' tour 

Continue reading...

100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT