Irish Female Vocalists

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2015 04:04am | Post a Comment

No better time to do an Irish female vocalists Amoeblog post since it is Women's History Month and since I am here in Dublin, Ireland today, where the national St. Patrick's Day Parade will begin at noon. The crowds have already swarmed the city centre while the festivities kicked off here over the weekend with overflowing bars and various events surrounding the four-day I Love My City 2015 Festival that leads up to and includes St. Patrick's Day. Generally, it's a time for both Irish natives and the influx of tourists to get their collective (drunken) Irish on. Naturally there's lots of Irish music everywhere, including a free show at The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle with new Irish music vocalist Pauline Scanlon, backed by Notify  who is part of the current wave of Irish singers keeping the Gaelic (Irish) traditional music alive by infusing slightly new arrangements on traditional airs with some electronic instrumentation backing alongside trad instruments.

Pauline Scanlon is one of the Irish female vocalists showcased in this Amoeblog along with a cross-section of others from over the past few decades up to the present. This list is both subjective (based on my own personal favorites) as well as culling the opinions of a few music fans here who include Paul Deacy (owner of Galway record/book/candle shop Bell Book & Candle), longtime Irish music collector and ambassador Tall Paul Lowe, and RTE 2XM radio DJ/broadcaster Eric "DJ Laz-E" Moore.   

Continue reading...

The 90s...the best albums of 1990...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 6, 2012 10:29am | Post a Comment

best of the 90sI have been thinking about the early '90s a lot lately. I graduated from high school in 1992, and that was 20 years ago! So I have been all sorts of nostalgic this last year about my formative music years. I was born in the '70s. But I really grew up in the new wave '80s. 1984 - 1986 were really the years that I first remember getting obsessed with music. These are the early years of MTV and the years I fell in love with new wave and all things British. The B-52's and Berlin were probably the only bands that I loved that actually came from the United States. Most of my favorite bands and albums throughout the '80s and '90s came from England.

My favorite bands in 1984 are pretty much my favorite bands today. I can't imagine my life without New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Ultravox, Talk TalkBauhaus. These bands have been a huge part of my life. My British obsession would only get bigger over the years. I got deep into shoegaze and dream pop in the early '90s. Which then led me into Britpop and British dance music in the mid '90s.

I have been obsessively making lists and CD compilations of each year of the '80s and '90s. I have made a playlist for each year and a list of my 10 favorite albums from each year. I will slowly be sharing these with you over the next couple of months. I am going to start with the early '90s since these are the years that have been on my mind the most lately.

I got my musical start in the '80s. But it was really the early '90s when I started to get obsessed with actual bands and albums. I feel like that period in your late teens is the most important time for your musical development. That period when you are 15-20 years old. It was not just watching music videos and listening to songs on the radio anymore. This is the period when I first got a job and starting buying records! These were the albums that I went out and bought for myself.

Continue reading...

Why We Love Those Sad Songs So Much: Because It Feels So Good To Hurt So Bad!

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2011 01:20pm | Post a Comment

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Today"

Why do we love those sad songs so much? What is It with songs that help us wallow in our misery? Those post break up anthems, or songs about loss and depression that just seep of sadness yet draw us like a moth to a flame. Why do people love Morrissey and the Smiths' sad songs about been miserable? Because - like hot tea on a hot day that fights fire with fire - so too do sad songs quell the sadness in our collective hearts. Some say that we like sad songs of others' tales of despair because we can indulge in their suffering from a safe distance. Like in the comic strip above we love/hate those sad songs so much we have to hit replay. "Please Mr Please" don't play B 17. I don't ever want to hear that song again," sang Olivia Newton John on the weepy Bruce Welch & John Rostill penned 1975 international hit - but you know she secretly indulged in hearing B17 again despite the sadness it aroused in her tortured soul.  Of all the pop hits over the past several decades Elton John's Bernie Taupin penned hit "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" sums up our need for sad songs: "It's times like these when we all need to hear the radio.`Cause from the lips of some old singer we can share the troubles we already know. Turn them on, turn them on. Turn on those sad songs when all hope is gone!" and the song's clincher line, "it feels so good to hurt so bad"


Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"

John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden

Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)

The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"

out this week 4/21 & 4/ shop boys...depeche mode...the horrors...empire of the sun...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 30, 2009 04:30pm | Post a Comment

It is hard for me to think about anything except for Grey Gardens today, but I will try. The new Grey Gardens Docudrama was on HBO last week, but I finally had my little screening party last night and watched it. I have been a big fan of the documentary for a while. I fell in love with it not only because it is an amusing look and a very interesting eccentric family, but also because it is tragic and beautiful and hilarious all at the same time. There is really a bit of the Beales in all of us. But I had my doubts about this movie. I was excited about all the interest in what I felt like was a secret little documentary that not that many people knew about. Still, I was skeptical-- I had not seen the musical version on Broadway but thought it was sort of a strange subject for a musical. Somehow despite all that, this movie worked out perfectly. I really can't imagine it being any better. I really think that the Beales would have even liked it themselves. They would most certainly enjoy the fact that the story of their lives was not only an award winning documentary but also a musical and an HBO movie.

Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore were fantastic as Big and Little Edie. I have been really wanting them both to have grey gardens drew barrymorea good role for a while now. Jessica Lange was great in my favorite, Tootsie. She also starred in Frances that same year in 1982 and broke my heart with her performance. While I loved her in Cape Fear in 1991, I feel like she has not really found the right role for herself until now. And Drew Barrymore just blew me away with her performance as well. I have long been a fan of Drew Barrymore but never really liked the movies she ends up in. I really have not enjoyed much since Firestarter and E.T., aside from Charlie's Angels. The makeup was probably the most amazing thing about the movie. This was only a TV movie but had better makeup than most big budget blockbusters. I can't wait to go back and watch the old documentary now. It was really crazy how they seemed to totally become these two characters. They not only got the look and voices perfectly, but they also had all the mannerisms down perfectly. They really were a fascinating family. I liked the way the film intertwined the backstory of how they came to be with the recreations of the footage from the original documentary. Tdepeche modehe story is actually extremely sad and poignant. Fantastic. This movie will be staying with me for a very long time to come.

Continue reading...