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My top 50 alternative songs of 1991...Sing Your Life

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 9, 2020 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Top 50 Alternative Songs of 1991...Part IV #11-20

I am counting down my top 50 favorite alternative songs of the 90s! This is part four 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.

drive that fast

#20 Kitchens of Distinction "Drive That Fast" (One Little Indian)

Kitchens of Distintion were another sort of dream pop and shoegaze band from England. They never got as popular as they should of. But I really do love this song. They remind me of 80s bands like Echo & The Bunnymen or The Chameleons. Maybe mixed with the swirly shoegaze of 4AD bands like Lush and Cocteau Twins. It is easy to fall in love with this song. I love disappearing into it. "Quick As Rainbows" was the first single off their second album Strange Free World. But this was their second single off that album and I liked it a bit better. 

electronic get the message

#19 Electronic "Get The Message" (Factory)

Online Crate Diggin' Pt 4: Cypress Hill & Black Sheep 7"+ Skyzoo LP + Aloe Blacc + Paris

Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2020 03:32pm | Post a Comment
 

Lots of must-have recent arrivals at Amoeba this past week including two golden era classic singles reissued on 7” by UK label Mr Bongo. Black Sheeps “Flavor of the Month” with the B-side “Butt in the Meantime” 7” vinyl was the Native Tongue collective duo’s (Dres and Mista Lawnge) lead single off their  mind blowing 1991 debut album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Technically new 45RPM pressing is not a reissue, at least in this format, since it was previously only on 12" single format and unavailable on 7”. Meanwhile the other Mr Bongo reissue of the week, Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain" ( B: Insane in the Brain (Instrumental) 7” was previously only available on 7” single in the Philippines. The DJ Muggs produced track, as noted by Mr Bongo, was unbeknownst to many fans a diss track directed at Chubb Rock.

On vinyl LP format from Mello Music is Skyzoo’s Milestones vinyl LP (also avail on CD) whose theme is that of being a father (“dad rap”?). “The idea for this project came from me noticing the landscape of how fathers are represented in hip hop….the majority of the records in hip hop that speak on fatherhood have a negative connotation,” said the Brooklyn artist of his new 13 track album that sets about to change that stereotype. “There are a ton of others like me who are engulfed in hip hop and are also 24 hour a day dads, whose kids mean the world to them. I wanted to showcase that,” he said. Meanwhile RnB/soul artist down with hip-hop Aloe Blacc also reflects fatherhood and family life in his return album All Love Everything (BMG Rights Management).  

Note that while talented femcee Sa-Roc’s brand new album sold out fast at Amoeba (so is currently out of stock) that the new highly recommended Paris album Safe Space Invader vinyl LP (also on CD) is still available from Amoeba. Also note that Amoeba San Francisco store recently reopened with new hours of 11am-7pm, Thursday thru Sunday with COVID guidelines in place. 

Five Crucial Stepping Stones to the Disco Sound

Posted by Amoebite, October 5, 2020 05:00pm | Post a Comment

By Chris Curtis

Disco music is possibly the most maligned genre in the recording era’s history. Critics point to its alleged vapidity and superficiality, its repetition and focus on percussion, its diminishment of the rock-sacred guitar, and its supposed exclusivity and decadence. Certainly, by the late 1970s, the sound had become formulaic and hundreds of bandwagon-jumpers and Johnny-come-latelies poisoned the pool with unexceptional cash-in attempts. But it seems obvious that a scene dominated by people of color, gay men, and women would eventually suffer a racist, homophobic, and misogynistic backlash in the America of 1979, and sure enough, the “Disco Sucks” contingent was successful in creating negative stereotypes that persist to this day.

But disco had been around a long time before the post-Saturday Night Fever deluge and, significantly, disco culture had existed for several years before an identifiable sound developed. When discotheques emerged in the U.S. during the 1960s, they were often orientated to the Jet Set, and the music played was often almost an afterthought. The early '70s New York loft, club, and private party scene shifted to a more egalitarian approach to admission, and the musical selections and quality of the sound system became more crucial to the experience of dancers. Any music that would move butts was open to consideration, including danceable rock, uptempo soul, and African percussion records. DJs not only became more thoughtful in terms of their musical picks, but also in the transitions between tracks. Even those who were not adept in the developing beat-mixing techniques gave careful consideration to which record followed the previous one.

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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 
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