Amoeblog

INTERVIEW WITH GROTUS DRUMMER BRUCE BOYD

Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2009 07:27pm | Post a Comment

Grotus live in Rouen, France - 1994.

The expression "ahead of their time" pretty much sums up the musically unique, genre blending, multi-media 1990's Bay Area group Grotus. Grotus was an amazing band, especially live, that appealed to fans of punk, industrial, metal, two drum-set percussion, samples, and politically outspoken lyrics. Unfortunately though they were also one of those really good bands that never fully got the type of credit grotusor, more importantly, the level of success that they deserved and the band called it quits in 1996, only five years after they released their debut album.

Grotus' original members Adam Tanner (keyboard, guitars, sampler) and John Carson (keyboards, bass, sampler) formed the band in San Francisco in 1989. Drummer/vocalist/sampler player Lars Fox joined afterward and together they honed their unique sound and steadily built up a strong local following, getting much airplay on stations like KUSF and KALX, and gigging at a variety of venues, often with the band Consolidated with whom they were friends. Drummer and DJ Bruce Boyd joined the group after they released their debut in 1991. His addition gave Grotus the two drummer sonic assault that helped define their powerful sound.

Grotus' record labels included Spirit Music Industries, Alternative Tentacles and the major London/Polygram, and between them all the band released a series of singles, EPs, and albums. They played on stages alongside such groups as Nine Inch Nails and Mike Patton's Mr Bungle, for whom they opened on a 1992 US tour. For the next four years the band toured tirelessly, winning diehard fans along the way in countries such as France, where the above live concert clip was shot and where they recorded a live album in 1994. Grotus' three studio albums are Brown (1991), Slow Motion Apocalypse (1993), and Mass (1996). While most of the Grotus catalog is out of print (Slow Motion on Alt Tent is still in print on CD), you can usually, with a bit of digging in the vinyl and CD sections, track down copies of their records at Amoeba Music. Recently I caught up with member Bruce Boyd to ask him some questions about this great SF group.
grotus
Amoeblog: You joined the band after it had been around for a minute. Can you give folks an idea of what point Grotus was at when you joined and how you came to join the fold?

Calfornia Fool's Gold -- Exploring Canterbury Knolls

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 1, 2009 06:13pm | Post a Comment
Map of Canterbury Knolls
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Canterbury Knolls



Canterbury Knolls
is a South LA neighborhood bordered by Manchester Square, Morningside Circle and Vermont Knolls to the south, Hyde Park to the west, Chesterfield Square to the north, Vermont Square to the northeast, and Vermont-Slauson to the east.


Map of South LA
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Los Angeles

For the estimated two dozen or so semi-regular readers of this blog, the way this works is clear. People vote for a Los Angeles neighborhoodor an LA County community (vote here). To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

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out today 11/17 & 11/23...them crooked vultures...annie...adam lambert...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 1, 2009 04:50pm | Post a Comment
Nirvana
Wow, everybody. It is officially December! The last month of the year. The last month of the decade! Most people complain that time goes by too fast. I usually say that myself -- but it has been a long decade. Remember Y2K? That really does seem so long ago. I don't think that the 00's will ever be remembered as such a decade as the 70's or 80' or 90's. It really seemed like all of those decades got smashed together to form this last decade. But does anybody ever really talk about the 1900's? Or even the 1910's? It really is all about the 20's! It will be interesting when the 2020's come to an end. I guess the 1920's might be forgotten by then but still, you will have to be specific when you say the 20's...although not that many people think you are referring to the 1880's when you say "80's."

The 80's came back in a big way these last 10 years -- the music backstreet boysand fashion for sure. The 90's will always be remembered by me for certain genres of music. I will always remember it as the decade of raves and electronica. I got into all this music in this decade and it reached the height of its popularity in the 90's. Britpop and Teen Pop also took over. I was into listening to Blur, Suede, Pulp, Gene, Elastica, and Oasis while most everyone else was listening to The Spice Girls, N SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. The beginning of the decade was really all about grunge though. Nirvana and Soundgarden somehow faded into Britney and The Spice Girls by the end of the decade.
american idol
This decade will be remembered for American Idol and reality TV. It all started with shows like Survivor but now everybody has a reality show. It will be remembered for digital music and Ipods. DVD and Blurays. I think that indie labels really took over this decade too. Labels like Matador, Sub Pop, Touch and Go, and Secretly Canadian put out some of the best music of the decade. Indie music of the 2000's sort of came out of the Alternative 90's. It will also be the decade that marked the end of most chain Music Stores. I think the early 00's were probably the best time for most records stores -- or at least the very late 90's and very early 2000's. However, the good times did not last long. In the second half of the 00's, many indie stores closed down as well. Still, many have survived and these last couple of years have even seen new small indie music stores popping up all over the kathy griffinplace.

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Bob Keane R.I.P. (1922-2009)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 1, 2009 10:11am | Post a Comment

Los Angeles
lost one of its great independent operators a couple of days ago. Bob Keane died of renal failure at the age of 87. Previously he had conquered lymphoma (at age 80) and survived decades of ups and downs, including battles with drugs, alcohol, the record industry & himself. 

His early years were spent as a successful clarinetist and big band leader, at one point taking over Artie Shaw's band -- he even took a crack at acting. In the early 50's, after a stint in WWII, he hosted a local variety show on channel 2, but looming in the near future was his true calling.

Keene Records was started by Keane and John Siamas & their first hit was a doozy. "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke made over a million dollars and made an international star out of Cooke. Unfortunately, Keane hadn't any contracts with Siamas and soon Siamas gave him the business and Bob was left to his own devices. Never one to remain passive, Keane turned around and formed Del-Fi Records, releasing records from Frank Zappa, Little Caesar and the Romans, The Lively Ones, Surfaris, Johnny Crawford (of Rifleman fame), and Brenda Holloway, as well as an endless list of one off singles. Of course, the biggest Del-Fi sensation was Ritchie Vallens, but my favorite is the Eden Ahbez LP. Keane went on to more success and troubles with Bobby Fuller and eventually helped to kick start Barry White's career on the Mustang label. According to Keane, a bullwhip was Mr. White's weapon of choice back in his 50's street gang days.

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Little Boy vs. Man on Stilts

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 1, 2009 02:04am | Post a Comment
This video really made my night, so much so that I felt inclined to blog about it. At first, the sense of fear creeps in as a man on the stilts approaches a tiny tot on the Santa Monica Pier. All worry is laid to rest the moment the kid starts to boogie. Haven't seen anyone move like this since the king of pop himself. This kid's got mad moves!

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