Amoeblog

Music History Monday: July 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 1, 2013 11:19am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: July 1, 1945 - Singer and songwriter Debbie Harry of Blondie (born Deborah Ann Harry in Miami, FL). Happy 68th Birthday, Debbie!
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1951 - The B-52's lead singer and songwriter Fred Schneider (born Frederick William Schneider III in Newark, NJ). Happy 62nd Birthday, Fred!
 


Born on this day: July 1, 1960 - R&B vocal legend Evelyn "Champagne" King (born in the Bronx, NY). Happy 53rd Birthday, Evelyn! (See pictures from Evelyn's in-store at Amoeba SF!)
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1971 - Singer/rapper/songwriter and producer Missy Elliott (born Melissa Arnette Elliott in Portsmouth, VA). Happy 42nd Birthday, Missy!!
 

Continue reading...

Music History Monday: August 27

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 27, 2012 05:20pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Remembering blues guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan, October 3, 1954 - August 27, 1990.


On this day in music history: August 27, 1966
- "Blowin’ In The Wind" by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 on September 3rd. Written by Bob Dylan, Wonder records his cover version after receiving many requests from fans who have heard him perform the song in his live show. Stevie’s producer Clarence Paul will sing co-lead vocals on the track. The song originally appears on Stevie Wonder’s 1966 album Uptight. “Blowin’ In The Wind” will be the then 16-year-old Motown stars’ third R&B chart topper and third top 10 pop single.


On this day in music history: August 27, 1967I Was Made To Love Her, the seventh album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Henry Cosby and Clarence Paul, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from late 1966 to mid 1967. Titled after his recent R&B chart topper and top five pop hit, the album features covers of Ray Charles' "A Fool For You" and James Brown's "Please, Please, Please," as well as several Motown standards such as "My Girl" and "Can I Get A Witness." I Was Made To Love Her will peak at #7 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #45 on the Top 200.

(Wherein the author steers his fears and beers with queers.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 7, 2012 10:11am | Post a Comment


Um... eek.


This weekend, Los Angeles celebrates its main Gay Pride festival and I plan on being there. This may not seem like a stunning “news flash” to many of you, dear readers, but those who know me well know that I have a phobia of parades and balloons, I will not wait anything over 10 minutes for a table at any restaurant no matter how piquant their comestibles, nor will I eat standing up (and certainly not in a crowd!) and I’m allergic to most forms of fun – all of these are features of such events (or so I'm told).

But here’s another fact about me: I’ve never participated in any Pride activities in any city, any year, ever – and that strikes me as, well… queer. So this is the year I’m remedy it. I'm coming out! (...of my safe and cozy home.)

I need to go buy bottles of water and sun-block with an SPF of pi, but before I do, I wanted to get some mood music from our rich, LGBT heritage (see below). Beats make me braver!

And if you plan on coming to LA’s Pride, look for me. I’ll undoubtedly be cowering in some dark corner, terrified of everything, but doing it with a rad attitude.



Continue reading...

Amoeba Bloggers Answer: What Was Your First Album?

Posted by Billy Gil, March 6, 2012 07:09pm | Post a Comment
I recently was at Amoeba Hollywood and overheard a customer telling an employee Davy Jones had died. I hadn’t heard the news yet. She brought it up because she was buying Katy Perry records for her daughter. She said her daughter didn’t even have a record player — she just wanted every bit of Katy Perry merchandise she could get her hands on.
 
The only artist I can ever remember being that obsessive about was The Smashing Pumpkins, but that was in high school. But it got me thinking about those first tapes, records, singles etc. that everyone got as a kid.
 
ace of base the signFor me, the first album I ever bought on my own was Ace of Base’s The Sign on cassette. I had always liked music, but at 11, I had just started to pay attention to what songs were on the radio. A friend made me a tape from the radio and “The Sign” was on it. I loved it. In the coming weeks and months, albums by Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and my beloved Pumpkins would follow, but really it all started with Ace of Base for me. Though if I’m being technical, I had a cassette single of Paula Abdul’s “Promise of a New Day” that I listened to constantly when I was like 9, but I didn’t buy that — I won it at a cousin’s music-themed birthday party, at which my dad dressed himself and me as Simon & Garfunkel. I had no idea who they were. I think I was Paul Simon.
 
While I’m embarrassing myself, I thought I’d extend the question to the other Amoeba bloggers: What was your first album? Not kids’ music, but not just the cool stuff, either — the tapes we once listened to repeatedly and then put away in a drawer somewhere once we realized how lame they were, though I’m still on the hunt for The Sign on vinyl. Here are their answers:
 
Eric Brightwell
the cure kiss me kiss me kiss meMy first record was Luciano Pavarotti's My Own Story, a compilation of “musical highlights of his spectacular career.” They used to heavily advertise it on TV when I got home from school, and I was hooked. My first cassette was Peter Gabriel's So. I'd liked the singles from it, but when “Big Time” came out, I was obsessed. My first CD was The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. I was introduced to it by a German exchange student named Ina. Before she left I rode my bike into town to a Wal-Mart to get a blank cassette to dub it. I loved it so much, I thought it warranted being purchased on CD. 
 


(In which we research the magic of 3.14.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 22, 2011 02:09pm | Post a Comment

grandma
[insert terrifying caption here]


Unlike many, I look forward to Thanksgiving not because of what I get to eat, but what I get to cook. For this reason, I love to host the holiday. In a village like Los Angeles, it’s usually easy to find many lost little lambs who’ve no place to eat (and no ability to manage kitchens themselves). Honestly, it’s like flunking Home-Ec is a requirement to moving to the City of Angels; I guess Type-A personalities don’t have a lot of patience for braising.

Nothing makes me feel more like a magical wizard than when cooking-challenged people like my boyfriend watch me prep food. Am I roasting zucchini or casting a sleep spell on the whole kingdom? Because his reaction would be interchangeable in either event.

gum pie

I learned to cook from my Mom; sometimes instruction was direct, but mostly I just hung around the kitchen while she cooked and made a nuisance of myself, learning by observation. I was hypnotized by corn starch and its ability to turn any liquid in to a thick sauce. Separating an egg seemed like a delicate and ancient Chinese dance, and gee whiz…! See what you can do when you whip those egg whites?

There were some causalities, from which I grew wiser. One sneaky bite of unsweetened chocolate taught me that some of life’s greatest pleasures can come from something so foul. I learned Tupperware cannot be used like a pot on the burners, and soon after I learned how hard it is to clean cooked and melted plastic off a grill. One of the few scars I have on my body is on the knuckle of my left thumb from the first time I learned how to use a peeler – I don’t remember what fruit I cut myself on, but I’ve always remembered how to hold the instruments securely since then. Oh! And I learned it doesn’t take very many bittersweet chocolate chips to destroy an appetite.