Amoeblog

New Release: Lulu Jam's Temporada Alta

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 13, 2015 02:35pm | Post a Comment



Still of Lulú Jam!'s video for "Amor de verano" 
Directed by Roberto Doveris, filmed by Valentina Sáez for Niña Niño Producciones


After a seven year recording hiatus, Chilean electro-pop group Lulú Jam! have a new album out called Temporada AltaThe path of my discovery of Lulú Jam! is, I think, kind of amusing in that reveals something about the changing landscape at the intersection of technology and recording. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and one of the first bands I heard on the now-defunct Spanish indie station that I liked was “Tren al Sur” by the by-then-disbanded Chilean group, Los Prisioneros. More than any other band, Los Prisoneros opened me up to South American pop — not sweaty, clenched fist, sing along with the jukebox, pirate-shirted “Rock en Español,” but pop. 

A Venezuelan contacted me via LiveJournal and sent me a jpeg (this was before YouTube) of a video by Argentine band Miranda! and I caught a video for another of their songs, "Romix," on LATV. When Myspace launched, it's only obvious improvement over Friendster was that there bands could have profiles and Miranda!’s “Myspace friends” included several bands, the most interesting of whom were Lulú Jam!, a Chilean band with which they’d more than once shared a stage. 

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One album wonders: The Merry-Go-Round

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 6, 2015 01:25pm | Post a Comment

THE MERRY-GO-ROUND -- YOU'RE A VERY LOVELY WOMAN • LIVE (1967)

This week's One Album Wonder is the 1960s baroque pop band The Merry-Go-Round, who released their only album in October 1967. Although several members played in the band, few would challenge the claim that the ringleader of the band was a prodigious then-teenager named Emitt Rhodes


The Merry-Go-Round, taken from a promo photo

Emitt Lynn Rhodes was born 25 February 1950 in Decatur, Illinois. In 1955 the Rhodes family moved to Hawthorne, California, drawn by a job in the aerospace industry. When he was fourteen, Rhodes played drums in a high school dance band, The Emerals, with Bill Leeder, Dennis Troll, and three brothers from MontrealDon, Dave, and John Beaudine, The Emerals split but Rhodes soon rejoined the brothers Beaudine alongside 

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One Album Wonders: Opal's Happy Nightmare Baby

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 29, 2015 12:00am | Post a Comment
 OPAL - HAPPY NIGHTMARE BABY (1987) 


Opal was an American band associated with the Paisley Underground and whose guiding force was David Roback, a guitarist and songwriter from Pacific Palisades. Roback graduated from high school in 1975 and in 1981 formed The Sidewalks who, renamed Rain Parade, were seminal within the Paisley Underground scene. 



Roback quit Rain Parade in 1983 after the release of their debut and formed Clay Allison with Kendra Smith from The Dream Syndicate on bass and Keith Mitchell (drums). As Clay Allison the band released “Fell from the Sun” b/w “All Souls.” After they changed their name to Opal, they released two EPs, Fell from the Sun (1984) and Northern Line (1985), which were later combined and released as Early Recordings. Opal’s sole full-length, the mostly T.Rex-indebted (albeit almost narcoleptically laid back) Happy Nightmare Baby, followed in 1987. 




Whilst performing in Hammersmith, Smith abruptly quit the band mid-performance. She was replaced by Hope Sandoval, whose duo Going Home had recorded a still unreleased album produced by Roback the previous year. With Sandoval on lead vocals, Opal began work on a planned follow-up to be titled Ghost Highway but by 1989, the new line-up was reborn as Mazzy Star — which also included Opal performers Suki Ewers and William Cooper



Smith formed a new band, The Guild of Temporal Adventurers, with Jonah Corey and A. Philip Uberman, who released an eponymous mini-LP in 1992. In 1995 she released a solo album, Five Ways of Disappearing, on 4AD. In the years since Opal’s dissolution, Roback has mostly worked (albeit with long hiatuses) with Mazzy Star although he wrote and produced songs for Maggie Cheung in the 2004 Olivier Assayas film, Clean

*****

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One Album Wonders Northside's Chicken Rhythms

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 23, 2015 03:55pm | Post a Comment
NORTHSIDE - CHICKEN RHYTHMS (1991)


My introduction to the quartet named Northside came in my second year of college, I believe, a few years after the release of their only album, Chicken Rhythms. As a teenage fan of all things Madchester, I'd heard of them, of course, but it wasn't until Liz lent me a cassette that I was able to give it a listen. Although I was at first dismissive of what seemed to me to be by-the-numbers Baggy, over time the album unexpectedly grew on me.

Northside were formed in 1989 by Warren "Dermo" Dermody (vocals and United supporter) and Cliff Ogier (bass and City supporter). They were soon after joined by Michael "Upto" Upton (guitar) and Paul Walsh (drums). Upton was soon after replaced by Timmy WalshAll were residents of either Blackley or Moston, in Manchester's Northside. In August they recorded a demo at The Cutting Rooms, part of Abraham Moss College




Northside received some airplay byTony the Greek’s program on Piccadilly Radio and Craig Cash on KFM, Stockport. They capitalized on their growing local fame with their September live debut at Manchester’s Boardwalk which sold out. Not long after, Tony Wilson visited them at their rehearsal space and offered them a contract with Factory and they accepted. They closed out the year opening for Happy Mondays at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in November and a performance (supported by Paris Angels) at the Haçienda's Christmas party. In early 1990, Northside were profiled on the Granada documentary, Madchester – The Sound of the North


In April Northside headed to the capital to record their debut single with producer Ian Broudie, "Shall We Take A Trip" b/w "Moody Places," released on Factory. It was very much of the time, with wah-wah guitar, funky drumming, and vocals sung in the style of The Stone Roses' Ian Brown or The Charlatans' Tim Burgess. A not at all veiled paean to LSD, it was predictably banned by the BBC and climbed to No. 50 on the singles chart.



Second single, "My Rising Star,” was both less derivative and less distinct but no less winning. It reached No. 32 in the charts and spent seven weeks on the charts. 

Northside Chicken Rhythms

Chicken Rhythms was released in 1991 (some re-issues also included "My Shining Star"). The album's cutesy artwork, designed by Manchester's Central Station Design, suggested strangely that Northside were some kind of twee boy band. Their third single, "Take 5," climbed to No. 40 in the UK (and No. 1 in Canada). It was 
released on 1 June, the same day they played Leeds’s Elland Road Stadium with Happy Mondays, The Farm, and The La’s.



Northside began working on demos for a follow-up but Factory went out of business in 1992 and the follow-up was never completed. Northside went their separate ways in 1996. In 2003, Dermo and Ogier formed Silent Partners, with Malc Law (drums) and Danny Yates (guitar). Ogier left and was replaced by Dom Morrison.

In 2006, following the reformation of Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays, Dermody, Morrison, Yates and new drummer Spencer Birtwistle (The Fall)
 played as Northside on a handful of dates. In 2014, the original line-up of the band re-formed but so far no new material has emerged.



*****


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One Album Wonders: The Paris Sisters Singer Everything Under the Sun!!!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2015 03:48pm | Post a Comment


Real life siblings Priscilla, Albeth, and Sherrell began cutting records as The Paris Sisters in 1954. In the fifteen years that followed, they only released on full-length studio LP and in their final year as a recording unit. The San Francisco trio did appear on more than 25 singles, however, and are best remembered for the perfect pop hit, “I Love How You Love Me."


When The Paris Sisters first performed, they did so in the style of earlier popular sister acts like The Boswell SistersThe Andrews Sisters and The McGuire Sisters, releasing nine singles through Decca (two backing Bings son, Gary) that didn’t perform terribly well commercially. In 1957 they released two singles for Imperial that also went nowhere.

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