My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Super Electric

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 29, 2020 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part III #21-30

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s! This is part three of five parts for 1991. In case you missed the last entry you can find it here. Come join me as I continue my journey through the greatest decade in alternative music.

this mortal coil

#30 This Mortal Coil "You & Your Sister" (4AD)

This song was from Blood which was my first introduction to This Mortal Coil. These collections of covers were put together by Ivo Watts-Russell who had already put out two albums in the 80s that I soon became obsessed with. I was already a fan of Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly who are featured on this song. Each song is really a beautiful little masterpiece. The covers are dark and spooky and very 4AD. This was also a great gateway to many artists that I had never listend to like Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Alex Chilton, Gene Clark & Chris Bell. This song brought me to these albums that I've listened to probably more than anything. These heartbreaking collections of  songs have really been life changing to so many of my friends.

Amoeba Crate Diggin' For New & Upcoming Hip-Hop: Paris, Sean Price, Hans Solo, Sa-Roc +

Posted by Billyjam, September 27, 2020 11:04pm | Post a Comment

Hip-hop is in a healthy state with lots of great new releases from both newcomers and longtime players in the game such as revolutionary rappers Paris and Public Enemy who both have new releases this week.  Veteran political rapper Paris’s new 2020 album is the ten track, self-produced Safe Space Invader LP (and CD version) via the longtime Bay Area’s artist’s own Guerrilla Funk Recordings imprint. The label accurately describes the no-holds barred album as, “a brutal commentary on Black life in 2020 America, touching on police brutality, racism, gentrification, economic inequality, and cancel culture, among others.” Check out below the animated video for the album track “Nobody Move” that’s reached almost a million YouTube views since its release a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile fellow consistently active, 80’s until now, revolutionary hip-hop act Public Enemy have their latest album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? announced for a September 25th release date in both CD and vinyl formats. However the album has yet to reach the Amoeba online store.
It’s a quarter of a century since Coolio release his breakout debut album and to celebrate Tommy Boy Records have released Gangsta's Paradise [25th Anniversary Edition] CD. Note that the colored vinyl Record Store Day (Drop 2 on Sep 26th) has already sold out at Amoeba.  The artist known as Hans Solo has released not a Star Wars themed album, as his name might imply, but a Star Trek themed album. The five track NuqneH LP (Holy Chaos Recordings)  has the distinction of been the first full release to be recorded in the Klingon language. The unique new Star Trek themed release comes with a cool booklet in the CD version and nice gatefold cover for the LP vinyl version.  For his fifth and latest album Tickets To My Downfall CD (Interscope) rapper Machine Gun Kelly has veered off more into pop punk than hip-hop but is still been categorized under hip-hop/rap. True hip-hop can be found in the late great Sean Price and Small Professor’s “Latoya Jackson / Remix” Record Store Day” 7" single via Coalmine Records.
Meanwhile upcoming releases to look forward to include the October 2nd Rhymesayers release from femcee Sa-Roc The Sharecroppers Daughter LP (also on CD) which, based on all the advance tracks, is off the hook. Another goodie will be the Oct 16th 2020 release from Homeboy Sandman; Dont Feed The Monster via Mello Music

Paris “Nobody Move” from Safe Space Invader LP (and CD version)
Hans Solo album trailer for  NuqneH LP and CD version 

Revisiting Curtis Mayfield’s Classics-Filled Back Catalog

Posted by Billyjam, September 22, 2020 07:22pm | Post a Comment

Since recently locating and digitizing the above publicity VHS Curtis Mayfield 1996 EPK (electronic press kit) I have been on a Curtis Mayfield music listening kick. I’d forgotten just how many incredible pieces of music that the artist/activist, who died three years after the above video was made to promote what would be the legendary soul singer/songwriter/guitarist’s final studio album New World Order, had recorded over his influential career as both a solo artist and originally as the main member of The Impressions. So important was Mayfield's musical output that he became known as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement thanks to songs such as The Impressions' "Keep On Pushing." In fact that song inspired the title of author Denise Sullivan's 2011 black power music book as covered by the Amobeblog. Below are some of the endlessly talented Curtis Mayfiled's back catalog titles that are currently available from Amoeba on vinyl and CD formats.

1:  Curtis Mayfield Curtis 180 gram vinyl LP (1970 released solo debut)
2: The Impressions Ultimate Collection CD (20 song compilation of the group's ultimate tracks)
3: Curtis Mayfield  Super Fly OST CD (also avail on hybrid SACD format) (1972 OST, artist's third solo)
4: Curtis Mayfield  Original Album Series Box Set (5 CD set is best value for your buck with 47 songs)
 Curtis Mayfield, The Impressions The Anthology 1961-1977 (2CD set of solo & group output) 

The Impressions "It's Alright"
Curtis Mayfield came to the general public’s attention in the sixties as a member of The Impressions. But his career began a decade earlier in the mid 50’s when he became a member of the Roosters, the group also featuring Jerry ButlerArthur Brooks, Richard Brooks and Sam Gooden that would morph into The Impressions. Following a lineup change and temporarily leaving the group Curtis Mayfield became the Impressions' lead singer. As such he was responsible for a string of hits including “Amen,” "Gypsy Woman,” “Keep On Pushing," "People Get Ready", "Talking about My Baby,” "Woman's Got Soul" and "It's All Right.” All of these and another 13 songs are found on the highly recommended group's Ultimate Collection CD.

The 1970 Curtis Mayfield album Curtis was initially released on his own Curtom Records is currently available from Amoeba as Curtis 180 gram vinyl LP  thanks to Rhino UK. Now five decades old this album was Mayfield's solo debut. A true classic, Curtis captures firsthand the social and political view from a Black American at that critical point in US history. Further it contains what many, including myself, consider to be the Curtis Mayfield’s greatest song, “Move On Up” (video below). That self-empowering anthem is just one of many timeless classics on this soul masterpiece that also includes “Miss Black America,” "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go,” “The Other Side Of Town" and “The Makings Of You.”
Curtis Mayfield "Give Me Your Love" from Super Fly 1972

Another must-have Curtis Mayfield album is the artist’s third solo album / soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation flick Super Fly OST CD (also avail on hybrid SACD format) that includes the now classics “Freddie’s Dead” and “Pusherman.” Both the album Super Fly and Curtis along with three other Mayfield albums (Curtis Live, Roots and Back To The World) are all neatly compiled on the 5CD box set  Original Album Series Box Set  that's the best dollar value of all the releases listed here. Another good value collection is the 2CD set of 40 songs total of Curtis Mayfield solo and The Impressions back catalog spanning sixteen years; The Anthology 1961-1977.   

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Online Crate Diggin' Hip-Hop Guide + Amoeba SF Reopen Thursday-Sunday 11am-7pm

Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2020 04:31pm | Post a Comment

The good news is that this week is the San Francisco Amoeba Music store opened its Haight Street doors  after the retail outlet had been shuttered since the beginning of the COVID quarantine era back in mid March. So far it is just the San Francisco Amoeba Music store that has re-opened and its hours are condensed into four-day shopping weeks; Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sundays from 11am – 7pm with the buy counter having these same hours. Note that all Amoeba shoppers must follow all the health and safety guidelines from the City of San Francisco, including social distancing and mandatory wearing of face coverings over the nose and mouth. Click here for all the details and for updates on the soon to reopen new Amoeba Hollywood location click here. And for information on the second in the three part series of "DROPS" for Record Store Day, happening on Saturday September 25th click here

Amoeba new releases in hip-hop, all available online, include Eminem's early 2020 surprise released, eleventh studio album Music To Be Murdered By now avail on vinyl LP from Amoeba and the vinyl pressing of  Joell Ortiz and SoCal’s KXNG Crooked's H.A.R.D. LP (also on CD) that is dedicated to Fred The Godson who, as noted in an Amoeblog article, is the 35 year old rapper who tragically died in late April from the coronavirus.  Other new hip-hop items found in Amoeba's crates include the CD pressing RTJ4 from Run The Jewels and Logic's overdue new album No Pressure via Def Jam that Amoeba reviewers described as the artist coming, "full circle for a sequel to his 2014 Def-Jam debut, Under Pressure, revisiting his boom-bap roots on what he claims will be his last album." Also still in stock is recent Mello Music release Marlowe 2 LP by the power duo of Marlowe comprised of producer L'Orange and emcee Solemn Brigham

My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Three Strange Days

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 10, 2020 04:50pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part II #31-40

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s! This is part two of five parts for 1991. In case you missed the last entry you can find it here. Come join me as I continue my journey through the greatest decade in alternative music.

nitzer ebb

#40 Nitzer Ebb "I Give To You" (Mute)

I got to see Nitzer Ebb and Electronic open up for Depeche Mode at Dodger Stadium in 1990. It was my first big concert and one of my favorite memories. I had seen a Nitzer Ebb sticker on a fellow students car. But I had not really listened to them. I was super into them at the show and became a fan of "Join in the Chant" & "Hearts & Minds." Ebbhead came out in 1991 and featured "I Give To You" & "Godhead." I thought these guys were the coolest. Industrial bands were always obessed with machinery and leather and they always seem to feature shirtless dudes rolling around on wet concrete in their videos. I was a fan. I loved this video and was hooked on danceable industrial music. It was speaking to my angsty self brewing inside of me.

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