George Clinton, Who Celebrates 75th Birthday, Defines Funk and more in Rare 1985 Interview

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2016 08:20pm | Post a Comment

Today funk innovator, captain of the mothership, nucleus of Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk All Stars and other spin off bands, George Clinton celebrates his 75th birthday. The artist is an historic key figure in shaping not just funk music but also a lot of hip-hop too. A hard working musician who, even in his mid 70's, is currently on tour. The man is truly a living legend. Hence if you have never seen him and P-Funk in concert you owe it to yourself to go see him play. Luckily there's ample opportunities to do so. Currently on tour in Euorpe, tonight he celebrates his birthday playing the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Tomorrow night he brings P-Funk to the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield, England. The artist returns to California in September when  he will play the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sept. 15th and at the Santa Cruz Mountains Sol Festival September 18. In honor of this funk musical pioneer and his 75th birthday, I have a rare recently uncovered May 1985 interview with George Clinton that I conducted for KALX radio back in the day. Clinton, who was 44 years of age at the time, was enjoying a rich recent solo career. Just three years earlier in 1982 he unleashed his solo debut album Computer Games that featured the funk smash hit single "Atomic Dog." The following year he followed up with solo album number two You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish.  At the time of this interview he'd already finished up working on his third solo album, Some Of My Best Jokes Are Friends and was onto his next project: producing The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In fact he was in the studio in Detroit with the Chili Peppers working on their album Freaky Styley when he took time out to conduct this phone interview.

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New 'What's In My Bag?' Episode with Flea and Amy-Jo Albany

Posted by Amoebite, February 1, 2016 06:54pm | Post a Comment

Flea Amy-Jo Albany What's In My Bag?

You probably know Flea as the bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. But you may not know him as an actor or jazz aficionado or the co-founder of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization dedicated to music education for kids. In 2014, Flea executive-produced and co-starred in the film adaptation of Amy-Jo Albany's memoir, Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood, about life with her father, jazz pianist Joe Albany. The biopic stars John Hawkes, Glenn Close, and Elle Fanning, and its soundtrack features jazz greats such as Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, and Joe Albany himself.

Flea and Amy-Jo recently visited Amoeba Hollywood for a DJ set and soundtrack signing. They took time to talk with our "What's In My Bag?" cameras and to surprise each other with a few selections. In this episode they talk about falling in love with Bach, Bowie's ability to interpret songs, and the transcendent power of J Dilla.

Watch the full episode below to see the rest of their picks:

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.

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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

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New Music Coming From Saint Etienne, Santigold, and Amadou & Mariam

Posted by Rachael McGovern, February 21, 2012 10:39pm | Post a Comment
Saint Etienne has released a video for "Tonight," the first single from their forthcoming album, Words and Music by Saint Etienne - their first album of new material in seven years! "Tonight" was produced by Tim Powell (Kylie Minogue), and member Bob Stanley describes the song as being about "the anticipation of going to see your favourite group...The whole album is about the power of pop, how it affects and shapes your life."

So far no album release date has been set, but they have announced tour dates around the UK in May so perhaps that's a good indication of when to expect the album.

Santigold released a new single this week, "Disparate Youth," from her forthcoming sophomore album, Master of My Make-Believe (out May 1 on Downtown). You can catch her on tour this Spring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers or at Coachella in April. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that she tours solo as well. I had the chance to see her at the House of Blues Anaheim a few years ago when she was supporting her 2008 self-titled debut album (back when she was still Santogold) and I hope to see her perform again. The new Santigold tracks will have to tide me over until then.

Watch an animated clip of "Disparate Youth" and an official video for "Big Mouth," the album's lead single:

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