Amoeblog

An American Prayer

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 3, 2007 12:43pm | Post a Comment
The other day I saw the legendary keyboardist from The Doors, Ray Manzarek, shopping at Amoeba. Seeing him brought back a flood of memories of hanging out with my stoner friends during my high school years that absolutely worshiped The Doors. They bought into the whole "Jim Morrison’s mystique" and his “Lizard King” persona. Personally, other than a few songs, I was never really into them. The record we would listen to over and over again was the posthumous An American Prayer.

American Prayer was released in 1978, a record that combined spoken word that Jim Morrison recorded in 1970 with music that the remaining members of The Doors created in 1977. It was a possible glimpse of what The Doors would have sounded like if they stuck around that long. I remember hating it. For one, it didn’t have any of songs I liked and two, I never liked Jim Morrison’s poetry. There were even a few Discoesque tracks on the album. It seemed like all the rock artists at the time were trying to play disco back then: David Bowie, The Doobie Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, all had Disco hits on the radio. For most Blacks and Latinos in the 70's/early 80's, it was our first tastes of those classic rockers because they were playing music we familiar with.
A few years back I heard L.A. DJ Garth Trinidad spin “Ghost Song” at a club. It fit perfect with other R&B tinged house tracks he was playing that night. I few days later I was at a record shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, and found a copy of American Prayer for 99 cents. After a few listens it occurred to me that American Prayer was way ahead of its time. It was an updated version of the Beat poetry records that came out in the 50’s at a time when no one was doing anything like this. Most of Jim Morrison’s poetry on this album is dated but set with the semi-funky beats the poems come off as modern club tracks.
There are a few cuts from this album I love to spin at clubs. “Ghost Song” and “The Hitchhiker” always get reactions from people. “Who does this song?” they ask me. When I tell them it’s The Doors, they then ask me, “Who did the re-mix?” My favorite track to spin is “Latino Chrome.” I always pull it out when I’m spinning the Chicano old school jams. It a perfect fit with classic El Chicano or Timmy Thomas style jams.
I feel like many musicians must have had the same experience as myself of being stuck in a room with idol-worshipping stoners listening to that album. Yet something about American Prayer left a lasting impression on the music that we would all create later. On the track “Dawn’s Highway” Jim Morrison talks about seeing...
“Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding,” and how the souls of the dead Native Americans penetrated his...“Young child's fragile eggshell mind.”
Whether I like to admit it or not, I guess American Prayer left a little Doors influence on my own “young fragile eggshell mind.”

(In which Job kills the radio star.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 2, 2007 06:44pm | Post a Comment
I spent the best and most embarrassing years of my life in the Pacific Northwest, specifically, a tiny Gold Rush town called Nevada City (located in the state of California – don’t make a fool of yourself at the next cocktail party, acting like you’re all hip to the Nevada City scene, then make the common mistake of assuming it’s in Nevada).

The population is less than 3,000 people. About 2,500 of those people are young folks, and 2,000 of them are musicians, but only about 1,580 of those musicians are geniuses.

Sure, I’m bragging. But I’m not exaggerating. I promise on my eight inch rod.

…of yarn. I knit. Why, what did you think I meant?

Anyway, dirty bird, it behooves me to introduce one particular singer/songwriter that is, how you say, rad. His name is Adam Kline, and his band is Golden Shoulders. And here is the video for one of his songs, off his album “Let My Burden Be”. But don’t stop here, enjoy his other recordings, too.

You rabid Joanna Newsom fans will get particular joy in the backing vocals. Aw, yeah.


 
 

Free Elvis Costello Show! Tomorrow @ Village Music in Mill Valley

Posted by Miss Ess, May 2, 2007 06:17pm | Post a Comment
Just wanted to let all y'all know that the one and only Elvis Costello is playing a FREE show tomorrow at Village Music in Mill Valley.  He's actually going to be playing songs from his favorite records he has found at Village over the years.  It should be a really special event and the perfect excuse to ditch work, right?

 elvis costello village music mill valley

and then there's MAUDE...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 2, 2007 01:51pm | Post a Comment
Finally, the Bea Arthur fans can rejoice. Maude season one is now on DVD! After the release of all seven seasons of the Golden Girls, Bea Arthur's previous show "Maude" has finally been released. Maude originally aired from 1972-1978. Bea Arthur's character "Maude Findlay" was originally seen on "All in the Family" as Edith Bunker's cousin. Maude became a very successful spinoff for its creator Norman Lear. The show is set in Tuckahoe, New York. The show is about the liberal minded Maude and her fourth husband, Bill Macy, and grown up daughter, Adrienne Barbeau. The show also starred Esther Role as the housekeeper who would spin off onto her own show, "Good Times." Conrad Bain, the rich dad from Diff'rent Strokes, played the neighbor. And Bea's future costar of "The Golden Girls," Rue McClanahan, was also on the show!  The fantastic Adrienne Barbeau would go on to star in John Carpenter's "The Fog" and "Escape From New York," and Wes Craven's "Swamp Thing." Adrienne actually got her start in musicals and was the original "Rizzo" in Grease. She actually has recorded an album as well!

I was actually first introduced to Bea Arthur on the Golden Girls. It was only years later that I learned she had a previous hit show. I had only seen a couple of the episodes before I bought this DVD. The DVD includes all the original 22 episodes from the first season. All with the brilliant theme song by Donny Hathaway "And Then There's Maude." Unfortunately there is no bonus material on this DVD. It is a shame. No commentaries, no bloopers, no documentaries or behind the scenes footage. There is not even music playing in the menu screen. I could for sure watch some episodes in spanish or french, but not on this DVD. But it is still worth it.

Continue reading...

A London Sumting

Posted by Mike Battaglia, May 2, 2007 12:49am | Post a Comment



London's stalwart pirate radio underground has been an essential tool for the growth of electronic dance music since the mid-80's, specifically Acid House, Breakbeat Hardcore, Jungle/Drum'n'Bass, Ragga and now Grime/Dubstep. It provides, free of charge to the listening public, a wealth of brand new music, often produced right in their own neighborhoods, that mainstream radio either can't or won't play (although that's changed greatly in recent years), as well as offering a community rallying point culturally. There are a few perspectives of pirate radio, one from The Powers That Be concerning "theft" of the airwaves and another that's more about the music. Here's a local news item from the early 90's with the "official" message:



Another London news clip, this one from 1994, the early days of Jungle, with squareness in full effect:




There's a sense of mystery surrounding pirate radio that lies in its clandestine nature - both musically as well as physically. Jungle and Ragga both got very little attention from the mainstream during their inception periods but flourished through the pirates via dedicated DJ's and promoters, some of whom turned their popularity into lasting careers in radio, with a few stations actually going legit. Throughout the "Second Summer of Love", as the heady Acid House-drenched summer of 1988 is often called, pirate radio was the beacon in the night, guiding clubland refugees to the nonstop party. This UK documentary from '94 shows a bit more of a balanced viewpoint, particularly showing the establishment's skewered views in stark light. Check the intro for a track that tweaks a sample from the news clip above!

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  2091  2092  2093  2094  2095  2096  2097  2098  2099  2100  2101  2102  >>  NEXT