Amoeblog

Merry Christmas, Christmas Realness!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 25, 2014 12:25pm | Post a Comment
Merry Christmas everyone! There's nothing like waking up on Christmas morning and getting all dolled up for the ultimate day of zenith-level holiday season revels! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas looks from some of my all time favorite famous people. 

Joan Rivers
' oversize sweater worn for the Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (also starring Grace Jones, k.d. lang and Cher) is everything! Though our one and only Joan exited life's temporal stage this year, her spirit continues to entertain all us Earthbound couch potatoes. Check out those shoulder pads! It's like she's smuggling stollen in there!
joan rivers christmas sweater pee-wee's playhouse special realness holiday

Sometimes I think the Christmas Realness category as we know it was invented by, and for, Dolly Parton. With numerous Christmas specials, collaborations, albums and look after look of very merry material ensembles built on holiday cheer, Dolly has embodied the reason for the season time and time again throughout her career, her flirtationship with Mr. Kenny Rogers offering some of the best looks.

Christmas chalet realness...

And Food Did I Have and Plenty: A Cornucopia of Feast Folk for your Thanksgiving Comedown

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 30, 2014 12:52pm | Post a Comment
steeleye span below the salt thanksgiving folk rock dark medieval songs about food feast fellowship
I can't imagine everyone is pumped to jump right into all things Christmas before the Thanksgiving leftovers have cooled or even ceased to provide soup and sandwich solutions aplenty. This is especially true, for me, when it comes to accepting the inevitable aural advent of Holiday Music, a sonic offense that can sometimes begin as early as weeks prior to Black Friday. As a sentimental hoarder enthusiast of Holiday tunes, I relish the reason for the season and all the weird and wonderful music that comes with it, but I feel it's in poor taste to unleash the likes of "Last Christmas" too soon. And given that Thanksgiving music thankfully isn't a thing, the lack of any bankable November music tradition leaves the door wide open for folks like McCartney to simply have their "Wonderful Christmastime" as prematurely as they please. I feel an intervention is in order.

Thus I spent the last four weeks exploring possible playlists that might adequately satisfy the season-specific music void that exists Halloween and Christmas, something like a dignified tribute to noble November. Enter the notion of Feast Folk -- a seasonal buffet of harvest-inspired "folk rock" mainly adapted from or informed by ye olde English Roots music as exhumed by many a new age troubadour in the British Isles of the late 1960s (the likes of which is surveyed at length in Rob Young's exemplary book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music). Here is some food for thought:

Such a Vision: Grace Sings Sludge's Red Light Museum

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 24, 2014 07:14pm | Post a Comment
grace sings sludge cooper singer songwriter sandwitches last years friend red light museum empty cellar bay area artist painter
photo via sludgegrace.tumblr.com

There are plenty of divas and dime-a-dozen darlings moving through the vanity fair on any given day, but there is only one Grace Cooper in existence. An artist, singer, and songwriter known in part for her countless collaborations with local visionaries and troubadours aplenty, as well as for her contributions as one-third of the oft celebrated and much missed Bay Area "girl band" The Sandwitches, Grace has lately released a new collection of songs as Grace Sings Sludge, an alias that serves as a monicker for her mostly-solo show, one that is apparently executed entirely on her own terms.

Following up from her past two Grace Sings Sludge releases with San Francisco’s Secret Seven Records, This Time It’s Personal and Last Year’s Friend, this new self-released album, Red Light Museum (via Empty Cellar), is a heady potion of lust, devotion, and darkened encounters that seems to be a more disturbed affair compared its predecessors, in a good way. One bewitching example of this is the opening track, "Difficult to Luv," what begins as an intimate, barely-there rhythmic apparition that slowly slips it's limbs around you, easing into a slow-handed throbbing inquisition for the "Jesus Christ of love" -- see the cattitudes aplenty video for the song, below:


Morrison Hotel Gallery to exhibit collection of bygone Stevie Nicks Polaroid self-portraits

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 6, 2014 09:45pm | Post a Comment

Stevie Nicks Morrison Hotel Gallery polaroid self portrait gallery show fleetwood mac
image credit Stevie Nicks/Morrison Hotel Gallery

Stevie Nicks may have found fame in Fleetwood Mac, but she is nothing if not her own super star, apparently. Concurrent with the October 7th release of her new solo album 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault and her upcoming tour with the fully reunited Buckingham Nicks era Fleetwood Mac line-up, Morrison Hotel Gallery will debut Stevie's 24 Karat Gold photographic exhibit featuring a collection of Nicks' intimate and meticulously executed Polaroid self-portraits created while at home and on the road between 1975 and 1987. The exhibit begins in New York City on October 10th and 11th at 201 Mulberry Street, moving from there on to the Morrison Hotel Gallery Loft at 116 Prince Street for the month of October. Prints will be available for sale through the website, the gallery in Soho and and through Morrison Hotel Gallery's Los Angeles location at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, October 12th to the 21st.

Given that many of the songs recorded for this new album were written between 1969 and 1987, this exhibition presents a fitting glimpse into the clandestine musings of an artist at work. "I always hoped that there would be some kind of an outlet for them," Nicks says of these images. "When I started looking back at these songs I wrote years ago to select what I would record for my new album, I began to look at all the Polaroids I had taken during that time. For every love affair I had, there are pictures. "

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Fleeting Phases: Falling for Once and Future Band

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 28, 2014 07:25pm | Post a Comment
once and future band brain ep mouth magazine record vinyl debut san francisco prog psych rock Joel Robinow (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Raj Ojha (drums/recording engineer) and Eli Eckert (bass/guitar/vocals)

Sheesh, it's been a minute since I've thrown my two cents into this here pot and I've got a lot of pennies to spend. So far, 2014 has been a damn good year for new music and I would like, if I may, to take you back to May when a local band dropped one hell of a debut EP for the ages.

Seemingly fixed somewhere between derivative approximations recalling the Crimson courtiers of Progressive Rock and master multi-part harmonizers of yore like, for example, maybe Wishbone Ash or Bubble Puppy, it could be said that Oakland's Once and Future Band has calculated dead reckoning in waters more well known than uncharted. However, this assessment is flawed. Roughly two minutes into the sprawling eponymous opening track of their debut EP, Brain, when lead vocalist, guitarist, high synth-sayer, and man behind the dream Joel Robinow (of Howlin' Rain, also wearing an exceptionally well designed OAFB tee, right over there) sings, "everyone knows ‘cept yourself that these phases are fleeting, time to take stock and face up to the path life is leading", it's time to give up and give in. The nearly nine minute saga advances not unlike said fleeting phases, progressing along most unpredictably in stone grooves, lucid pulses, transitory textures, and ascending arpeggios, executed with a passion for sound and vision so palpable that any trifling comparison made to apparent forebears would seem a dull and heartless pursuit. Considering the first track alone, it is clear that this band possesses something of a sonic timelessness, a quality that perhaps gives some credence to wanton Steely Dan-ish, CSNY et cetera Classic Rock banalogies, but is rather more a result of a fortuitous confluence of unabashed creativity and masterful musicianship. Fact: these guys make music magical, fanciful, adventurous, and valuable -- every second worth the effort. Once and Future Band simply rules. And they would still rule even if Rick Wakeman had said "no" to Yes.

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