Amoeblog

METALLICA'S STRUCTURING ABSENCE, OR GOOD 80s BANDS 2

Posted by Charles Reece, August 23, 2008 06:24pm | Post a Comment
No wonder Metallica is so successful and so goddamn terrible now. What were you doing in high school?  Here's what Cliff Burton was doing with Faith No More's guitarist, Jim Martin:

 
Notice Martin's "Search and Destroy" riff in the second part:


Mmm.  I never heard anything like that at my high school talent shows. Closest anyone came was a spot-on Night Ranger cover band.

I HATE DRUM MACHINES, OR GOOD 80s BANDS 1

Posted by Charles Reece, July 13, 2008 02:44am | Post a Comment
Before Hanoi Rocks, guitarist Andy McCoy and bassist Sam Yaffa were playing with the (locally) famous Finnish punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy. This is a 1980 performance of the song "Olen Kaunis":


The next clip is an early promotional video for the great "Motorvatin'" with original drummer Gyp Casino.  This was also the best hair period for singer Mike Monroe. Surely, David Sylvian felt so inferior that he cut his mop off, resigning himself an artsier David-Bowie-circa-Low 'do. Nothing will make one give up glam faster than seeing a much prettier rival with a better head of hair. Just ask Brian Eno.


The band replaced Gyp with the ill-fated Razzle on drums and the following is purportedly the first visual recording of his being with the band. They do "It's Too Late" (where they pretend to play each other's instruments) and The Damned's "Problem Child":


I searched high and low for a live performance of my favorite song, "Tooting Bec Wreck," but couldn't find one. As a second choice from their greatest record, Back to Mystery City, here's "Mental Beat":


I wasn't aware until traveling the byways of YouTube that a video for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" existed, but here 'tis:


After Vince Neil "vehicularly manslaughtered" Razzle, the group broke up and went on to various other projects, the best of which was undoubtedly The Suicide Twins, featuring McCoy and fellow Hanoi guitarist Nasty Suicide. Their best song was "Sweet Pretending," which is the best acoustic glam song that Jesus & Mary Chain never recorded:


Monroe struck up a friendship with Little Steven from the E Street Band, which eventually led to a short-lived punk band, Demolition 23. Little Steven left before much recording was done, but they did write an über-catchy pop punk song, "Hammersmith Palais":


Finally, as McCoy was getting over a prolonged bout with alcohol and drugs (or, at least, learning to function better with them), he had a Finnish #1 single with the appropriately entitled "Strung Out":


Monroe and McCoy would eventually reunite, but about the best that can be said of the new version of the band is that at least it's not Him.

20th Anniversay of the Second Summer of Love -- Madchester and the Baggy Explosion

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 12, 2008 09:00pm | Post a Comment

The Second Summer of Love

It was 20 years ago today (well, this coming summer, which is just around the corner) that what was known as The Second Summer of Love occurred. England's youth fell in love with Ecstasy, which they combined with a taste for Chicago House Music and the results made history. As is often the case, the fashions of 20 years ago (in this case, the 1960s) became fashionable again. Tye dye and peace symbols abounded on teens around the world. Thousands of people started attending massive Acid House raves. A feeling of pacifistic and environmental optimism swept much of the planet (or maybe that was just my teenage outlook). The Factory label's Hacienda nightclub featured DJs and bands which mixed disco, house, hip-hop, electro and indie rock. Soon, other northern clubs followed their lead, such as Boardwalk, Devilles, Isadora's, Konspiracy, House, Soundgardens, Man Alive, The International, Bugsy's and The Osbourne Club. And the hooliganish Casuals tuned in and begat Acid Casuals.

Madchester, So Much to Answer For

Half a world away in Columbia MO, I used to listen to KCOU, which would play lots of Acid House and Belgian New Beat. It was the first contemporary music that I was into as it was happening. My parents only played soul, bluegrass, jazz and classical records. Then I discovered the Doors, T Rex and the Beatles through the radio. And after discovering College Radio, a new world opened up. I would dance (in private) on the hearth in the living room to these strange, new sounds and hope that my mother wouldn't ask what the hell that stuff was all about because I couldn't really explain its hold on me, although it's debt to my beloved Kraftwerk was evident. Our exchange student, Alexis Poul, found an Acid House button at JFK which was, of course, a smiley face with the words "acid" and "house" printed on them. Alexis told me that all anyone listened to in France was house music. And when I went there, in '89, it was true. Even the buses played house.

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Spacesynth (after a brief bit about Space Disco)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 14, 2008 04:00pm | Post a Comment

 

When you like a lot of the sci-fi movies from the mid-to-late 1970s, you frequently are treated to Rubellian utopias populated by horned-up hedonists, robots who are polished like (coke) mirrors and multi-racial aliens all getting together at the space disco/cantina/casino. As with almost all science fiction, it's more a reflection of the time of it's conception than any like future. This stuff was heavily indebted to the sexual revolution that preceeded it and was wholly clueless about the AIDS epidemic lying around the corner. In the tense, cold-war-fearing 80s, just a few years later, sci-fi frequently fell into two camps. On the one hand you have bands of marauders roaming the post-apocalyptic wastelands in churched-up dune buggies out to terrorize the few remaining civilized humans, who are attempting in a harsh world to preserve culture and science and maybe the knowledge of how to grow food. On the other you have gritty near-futures where market economics and technology have exploded into fearsome things, exploited by crusties who can access the internet through datajacks in their skulls. And they live in cities called Neo Tokyo and the like. But, for now, back to the 70s...

Space Disco was a briefly popular subgenre of disco which melded science-fiction-inspired style, themes and futuristic sounds (like laserguns) to your garden variety disco. It was exemplified by groups like Cerrone, Space and Sheila B. Devotion, although less stylistically single-minded artists like Sarah Brightman ("I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper") and Dee D. Jackson ("Automatic Lover") also dabbled in the style. In America, MECO scored a big hit with their discofied version of the theme from Star Wars.

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Eazy-E Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 7, 2008 01:10pm | Post a Comment
Happy Eazy-E Day, a holiday observed over in Compton by order of the mayor. I'm not sure what customs are attached to the day so I'll just share my Eazy-E story.



I first heard Eazy-E back in 1988 when I was in junior high. Even before I heard him, I'd heard of him. Back then, new music was still mostly disseminated by word of mouth and the trade of mixtapes. Our computers were Apple ][es and the internet was still just one of Al Gore's fantasies. The only rap they played on the radio was harmless (but fun) stuff like Whodini, UTFO and the Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff. But just looking around the school hallways it was obvious that there was more to the hip-hop world than what got played on the air. Kids wore enormous clocks around their necks like Flava Flav of the airplay-denied Public Enemy. When teachers distinguished me from another Eric by referring to me as "Eric B.," the question "where's Rakim?" often followed-- uttered by a savvy classmate. The rap that most people listened to as far as I know (with the exception of Ice-T, Too $hort ) was either from the East or South Coasts. Then, seemingly overnight, kids started wearing Raiders and Kings gear. A wind picked up from the west...



One day around that time, my younger brother Evan and I were out riding bikes down past Bill Wolf's property. Bill Wolf was kind of a big man out in the country who built a lot of homes, owned a lot of land and used to shoot copperheads-- plus he claimed to have seen panthers in the woods behind our house, long before they were officially verified to have returned to the area. I remember the tar on Old Mill Creek Road used to bubble in the heat and pop under my Schwinn's deliberately swerving tires. There was probably the loud buzz of cicadas in the air. Down by Mill Creek (where I used to try to catch crawdads) Evan (riding our sister's orange 3-speed) found a chewed up, discarded cassette by the bridge. He said that the tape was unraveled and draped across some weeds. It was labeled "Eazy Duz It." I got excited at the opportunity suddenly afforded us to listen to something we probably wouldn't otherwise hear. Evan wound the tape back up with his finger and took it back to the house.

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