Amoeblog

Belong's October Language: 2006 treasure of static and buzz

Posted by Mark Beaver, March 13, 2009 02:07pm | Post a Comment
belong october language
I get a strange thrill out of stumbling upon albums that sound exactly like what their cover suggests -- in this case, the ancient decaying photo of a pioneer-era buiding, probably from Belong's hometown of New Orleans; the spaces where the color saturates and the many spots where all color and image have been wiped away by time and the elements. October Language is the aural equivalent.

Compared to electronic frontiersmen like Fennesz and William Basinski, Belong (composed, for this recording, of conspirators Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones) make sounds that seem to be in the process of disappearing even as they first appear. The opening track, "I Never Lose. Never Really." begins with a tone like hearing an orchestra muted through the walls of a building, as if the swelling adagio would come through crystal clear if someone would just open the right door. Then it all begins to descend beneath an increasing tide of swirling static.

I find the whole album to be, essentially, meditational. There is a profound silence at the center of it, not unlike modern classical compositions by the likes of Arvo Part, Toru Takemitsu or Henryk Gorecki. The focus on electronics and instruments more often associated with Rock makes October Language more immediately reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless than anything within the Classical tradition.

There are very few vocal tones on the album, another factor that pulls it away from the Rock genre, and the pure focus on the build and wane of the sound and atmosphere places it among my favorite listens of the last few years.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater & My Mother Turn 50

Posted by Amoebite, March 13, 2009 01:28pm | Post a Comment
The two most important things in my life have always been, and will always be, the gift of movement and my relationship with my mother. I started dancing 23 years ago at a small studio in Albuquerque, NM. My grandmother worked at the local telephone company and, as fate would have it, the nearest day care center was not actually a day care center, but instead a dance studio. The rest, as they say, is history.
Ailey Dancer
Dance has shaped and moved my life in such a way that it has become my artistic expression, my creative outlet, and my identity. I’ve always known that dance would remain a huge part of my life regardless of what I chose to do with it professionally. My mother has always supported my decision to be deeply involved in the arts, as well as anything else I’ve put my mind to.

Growing up in Albuquerque, there wasn’t much room for diversity in the dance world. Often I was left feeling like the odd one out because of my body type and ethnicity. I was told I was too muscular to become a dancer during my formative years but, because of my mother’s unwavering faith in me, I continued to pursue my dream as a dancer, regardless of what others tried to tell me.

It wasn’t until I was 13 that I became familiar with the New York modern-based dance company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. For the first time, I felt enlightened seeing a group of 30 dancers, with all different body typesAiley Dancers and ethnicities, coming together to share their gift of movement. It was like a breath of fresh air and validated my existence in the dance world. They gave me faith and because of them, I realized that my hopes for becoming a professional dancer were not merely dreams and out-of-reach goals, but were there for the taking.

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Future Hunters

Posted by phil blankenship, March 12, 2009 10:45pm | Post a Comment
Future Hunters directed by Cirio H Santiago  Future Hunters starring Robert Patrick

Future Hunters

Future Hunters

Vestron Video 4510

RAPPERS: THE WEAKEST, THE WORST, THE OLDEST, & THE YOUNGEST

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2009 08:10pm | Post a Comment
Below are four entertaining videos that cover extremes in rap: the weakest, the worst, the oldest & the youngest. The first one is a clip from the forgotten gem of an episiode of NBC TV show The Weakest Link from 2002 when it adapted a rap theme to determine who was the weakest rapper. On the show from seven years ago, host Anne Robinson had, it seemed, almost as much fun with her contestants (Young MC, Xzibit, B-Real, Da Brat, DJ Quik, Nate Dogg, Jermaine Dupri & Rev Run) as "Miss Katie" Couric recently did interviewing Lil Wayne.

The World's Worst Rapper? (Up for debate of course since there are probably worse.) The clip below features no-talent emcee Stephen from Sheffield and is from the 2006 preliminaries of UK's The X-Factor with judges Simon Cowell, Sharon Osborne, and Louis Walsh -- all of whom weren't feeling Stephen's flow. 

The World's Oldest Rapper video clip features Herb Jeffries rapping at 95 years old. And the World's Youngest Rapper clip is of Bobby J, who is actually not the youngest rapper. I think he is about 4 and a half or five in this clip, and there are many younger rappers out there. But of the numerous 3  year olds I have seen/heard, none come close in style and flow to lil Bobby J. And anyways, this Amoeblog is more about fun than anything else. So just enjoy!


The Weakest Rapper

Samantha Bumgarner -- fiddling ballad woman of mountains

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 12, 2009 06:49pm | Post a Comment
Aunt Samantha Bumgarner c. 1937

Aunt Samantha Bumgarner (née Biddix) was a fiddle and banjo player from North Carolina who, in 1924, became the first woman to record hillbilly music. In doing so, she opened the doors for all the great female hillbilly and country musicians who followed. Imagine for a second a world without Brenda Lee, Iris Dement, Jean Shepard, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Norma Jean, Skeeter Davis, Sue Thompson and Tammy Wynette, to name a few. Not a pretty place.

Dillsboro, North Carolina c. 1904
 

Samantha Biddix was born in Dillsboro, North Carolina on Halloween, 1878, the same year Black Bart held up his last stagecoach and, more relevantly, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. Her parents were Has Biddix, himself a fiddler, and Sara MaLynda Brown Biddix. Though Biddix showed an early interest in music, her father wouldn’t allow her to touch the fiddle, an instrument occasionally referred to by hillbillies as a “devil’s box.” Nonetheless, when he wasn’t around, she played it and displayed a natural talent. The banjo, then viewed as a slightly more acceptable instrument for women, was not forbidden and Biddix’s first, constructed from gourd and cat hide, was presented to her at fifteen. Later, having demonstrated her skills for her father, he bought her a ten cent model and allowed her to perform with him in the area. Ultimately, he consented to her entering a banjo competition in Canton and she won. Gaining confidence, she began entering and winning competitions routinely.

English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians

When she married Carse Bumgarner in 1902, he gave her her first fiddle but she remained most acclaimed for her banjo playing. A few years later she acquired the nickname "Aunt Samantha." Although through the lens of modern ignorance, a hillbilly woman gaining fame with the banjo may seem completely out of the ordinary, it was actually fairly common for women to play the instrument, especially amongst hillbillies. In 1916, when Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles began field recording in the upper south, nearly three quarters of the hundreds of tunes they compiled as English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians were performed by women. In addition, many famous male hillbillies learned to play from the women in their lives. Ralph Stanley was taught to play by his mother, Lucy Smith Stanley. Cynthia "Cousin Emmy" May Carver taught "Grandpa" Louis Jones. Clarence "Tom" Ashley learned to play from his aunts, Ary and Daisy. Morgan Sexton was schooled by his sister, Hettie. Earl Scruggs was beaten to the banjo by his older sisters, Eula Mae and Ruby.

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