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On this day in music history: December 3, 1965 - Rubber Soul, the sixth album by The Beatles is released (US release date is December 8th). Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London on June 17 and from October 12 - November 11, 1965. Recorded in just four weeks following their second world tour, the album will be a major artistic milestone in their career, demonstrating yet another great leap forward in the bands' material both musically and lyrically. The influence folk rock (particularly Bob Dylan and The Byrds) will be apparent on several tracks. No singles will be released from the album, but nearly every track will become an airplay staple over the years including "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," "Michelle," "Drive My Car," "In My Life," and "If I Needed Someone." The albums' iconic cover shot is taken by photographer Robert Freeman. He will change the original picture to its distinctive altered state after showing the band slides of the photo session projected on an LP sized piece of cardboard. When the cardboard falls backward it will slightly distort their faces into the now familiar image. Rubber Soul will top the UK album chart, Billboard Top 200 for eight weeks and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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On this day in music history: September 17, 1967 - The Doors make their first and only on The Ed Sullivan Show performing their recent #1 hit "Light My Fire." Executives from CBS' Standards & Practices (i.e. network censors) will ask the band to change the line "girl we couldn't get much higher" to "girl we couldn't get much better," feeling the original line might be offense to some parts of the viewing audience. Lead singer Jim Morrison will agree to sing the altered line but when the band performs the song on the live broadcast, Morrison will sing the line as it was originally written, even emphasising it the second time he sings it. This will infuriate Sullivan and the network who had planned to have The Doors make another six appearances on the show, are immediately cancelled. When a show producer tells them they'll never appear on the show again, Morrison reportedly tells him, "Hey man. We just did the Sullivan Show.
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
3 "Words of Love" Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode" Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble" Link Wray
Country music icon Kitty Wells (born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville, TN. August 30, 1919 - July 16, 2012) has died today. Farewell to The Queen Of Country Music.
Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreiner in Pittsburgh, PA. November 26, 1937 - July 16, 2012) passed away today.For those of you who may not know this man's name or face, you will certainly know his outstanding work as a musician. Having been a part of Motown's legendary studio band The Funk Brothers from 1967 to 1972, he played on numerous hits such as Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," and other classics like Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio," The Capitols "Cool Jerk," Gladys Knight & The Pips' "If I Were Your Woman" and "Midnight Train To Georgia," The Shades Of Blue's "Oh How Happy," Edwin Starr's "Agent Double 'O Soul," The Parliaments "(I Wanna) Testify," The Spinners' "(They Just Can't Stop It) Games People Play" and "Rubberband Man," Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye," The Main Ingredient's "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely," The Manhattans' "Kiss And Say Goodbye," Ray Goodman & Brown's "Special Lady," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" and "Ready To Take A Chance Again," Deniece Williams' "Silly" and "It's Gonna Take A Miracle," and on and on. He will be missed.
This year is turning out to be a good one for Allah-Las. This week saw the announcement that the L.A.-based band, who weave strains of ’60s Nuggets-style garage rock with ’80s Paisley Underground jangle and au currant surf rock swagger, would be releasing their self-titled debut album Sept. 18 on Innovative Leisure. Additionally, Allah-Las were announced as part of the FYF Fest lineup this week, taking place Sept. 1-2. And the band also is playing this weekend at Moon Block Party in Pomona Saturday June 23.
Allah-La's debut album was recorded at the Distillery Studio, a Costa Mesa-based haven for analog recording, and was produced by label mate and local rock hero Nick Waterhouse. The band, which consists of bassist Spencer Dunham, singer/guitarist Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian and drummer/singer Matt Correia, already has released a video for the album cut “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind),” a jangly powerhouse that calls to mind Them’s garage classic “Gloria,” but relaxed instead of manic, resplendent in its analog sheen and laid-back cool.
I checked in with Dunham, a fellow South Bay native, to ask about the new album and what it was like for 3/4 of the band to work together at Amoeba.
PST: Has it been difficult to capture the exact sound you've been looking for on record?
Dunham: We tried recording a bunch of ways with different people but were never really satisfied until we went to the Distillery.
PST: What has recording with Nick Waterhouse and at the Distillery afforded the band in terms of sound and direction?
Dunham: Nick grew up in Orange County and has known the owner, Mike, since he was about 16. Mike loves to tinker with weird electronics to create one-of-a-kind instruments and effects, like microphones that go through record player needles. Sometimes those kind of things can be very complicated and time consuming, so it was really helpful to have two people working together to set up strange reverb tracks and whatnot.
PST: Can you talk a bit about working at Amoeba and how that affected the formation of the band and development of its sound? And what did you do while working at the store?
Dunham: Pedrum, Matt and I all used to work upstairs in the warehouse as “case switchers,” which is where you take bins of used CDs and put them in fresh jewel cases. You get a CD player and a hold box and basically just listen to music all day. It's pretty mundane work, but you get to see a lot of unusual albums, and we were all exposed to a lot of new music.
PST: In addition to the screaming girls and whatnot, have you had a lot of older “Nuggets” fans and people like that be into you guys? Have you had any particularly strange fan experiences so far?
Dunham: We definitely have a healthy contingency of garage fans, but our main audience remains American Apparel models. Not too many strange fan experiences yet, but Patrick Campbell Lyons from the ’60s band Nirvana (UK) befriended us after hearing our old radio show on KXLU a while back.
PST: I was never really that into the punk and stuff that a lot of other kids from the South Bay were into. Were you guys always attracted to more of the rock n roll stuff compared to what the area is known for? Were you exposed to it by parents, older siblings etc.?
Dunham: I used to listen to punk and it will always have a place in my heart, but in high school we mostly listened to a lot of classic rock: Hendrix, Who, Rolling Stones etc. We also used to hang around Scooter’s, which was a legendary Hermosa Beach record store owned by Uncle Tim, who hosts my all time favorite radio show, “The Bombshelter,” on KXLU. His shop was about the size of a closet, and while the majority of it catered to the punk scene, he also kept an eclectic selection of rock and got us turned onto stuff like The Velvet Underground and early Moody Blues.
PST: Can you give me a top five garage rock and paisley underground list of records you're particularly fond of?
Dunham: Here's a mix of classics and current jams:
The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip