Amoeblog

The Art of the LP Cover- Amusements

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 28, 2011 02:15pm | Post a Comment

Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: MSTRKRFT

Posted by Amoebite, March 18, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment
30 Coachella Bands Featured in 30 Days

127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

-By Scott Butterworth
MSTRKRFT
Day #2 - Artist #2 - MSTRKRFT

There comes a time in every boy’s life when he spreads his wings and becomes a man. For me it was moving from Northern California (Modesto) to San Diego to attend San Diego State University in the Fall of 2002. Moving away from home for college is a coming of age ritual that many in this country are familiar with. But as soon as you get to San Diego State, you realize there is a more highly celebrated coming of age ritual looming ahead of you: the fifteen minute drive south across the border (often by party bus) to Tijuana, Mexico, to take part in whatever it is that you’re not old enough to do in the U.S. But for me, my first trip to “TJ” wasn’t the usual first weekend of Freshmen year as a reaction to newfound freedom away from the parents. My first venture across the border was toward the end of college (late 2006, I think?) when my friends and I were hungry for some legendary TJ tacos and heard about a few local San Diego bands and DJs doing a show in TJ one weekend, headlined by something or someone called MSTRKRFT. I was a little nervous heading across the border for the first time, but my friends were self proclaimed “regulars,” so they promised “everything will be just fine."

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Canadian For 'Yes!': FM's prog clearance masterpiece

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, August 5, 2008 12:00am | Post a Comment
In a recent edition of the L.A. Weekly’s Ask a Mexican column, someone asked why it was that so many young Mexican kids seemed gaga for Morrissey. The columnist thought the better question was why so few children of the imperialists (white kids) weren’t as equally gaga about some of the excellent music made by Latino musicians. Granted, as I hear my neighbor drive up blasting his stereo beyond what could possibly be comfortable for him inside the nuclear heart of that volume, I have to admit that much of what he plays for the neighbors sounds pretty good. Not necessarily something I would run out and buy, but I was far from hating it.

What’s that got to do with Canada? Good question, but in some ways, it's obvious. Canada is the Mexico of the Great White North, dont’cha know? It has only been the fact of a more-or-less common language that has allowed the very few Canuck rockers to break USA radio charts that have so far. Neil Young, Bare Naked Ladies, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Steppenwolf, Rush, Leonard Cohen; there aren’t many that spring to mind and most of them are not in my personal collection, but they built careers with American money without being AmericaFM Black Noisen or British. Good job, guys!

So, trawling thru the Red Sea of Clearance, I happened upon an album cover that has haunted me since my childhood. The vacant stare of the half-man/half-mannequin surrounded by the glowing hoop and splash of light has taunted me from Clearance bins for as long as I can remember being conscious of music. “Now’s the time,” I declared and grabbed it.

FM's Black Noise was in Clearance due to some condition issues, but it was there and cheap, so I took it. FM formed in Toronto in 1976, and Black Noise is their first album, from 1977. I hear a lot of Fragile-era Yes in their sound, some Jean-Luc Ponty, a splash here and there of Jan Hammer and a lot of the prog that defined the reigning Canadian supergroup of the day, Rush.  Perhaps it was the curse of the also-rans, the stigma attached to coming later than first with any particular sound that kept FM from being heard, or maybe we had already filled our Canadian quota for 1977. I certainly don’t mean to give the impression that FM were copy-cats, by any means. There’s enough Buggles in their sound to tilt them towards what was becoming known as New Wave and a bit away from the pack of dyed-in-the-wool proggers. Their drive is provided by fuzzed guitar, virtuoso drums and the central wail of Nash the Slash’s electric violin.

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