Amoeblog

TOM SCHARPLING ON HIS PAUL McCARTNEY RAM ALBUM TRIBUTE

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2009 03:35pm | Post a Comment
paul mccartney ram
Everyone loves The Beatles, incuding radio DJ / comedian / televison writer Tom Scharpling, who has long favored Paul McCartney as his favorite of the Fab Four. Scharpling, who hosts the briilliant weekly WFMU 3 hour live radio program The Best Show on WFMU, considers McCartney's post Beatles, May 1971 release RAM (with wife Linda McCartney) to be one of the artists' finest works.

In fact, Scharpling was so into the album, which is often unfairly dismissed by critics, that he had the wonderful idea of producing a RAM covers tribute compilation, inviting his many musician friends to contribute to the project.The final product would be a special WFMU only release made out of love for McCartney, as well as for WFMU, as it helped raise funds (which it did very well) for the New Jersey radio station's annual fundraising pledge drive marathon earlier this year. 

Renamed TOM, and with a cleverly altered cover, the new tribute RAM is a sincere track-by-track reinterpretation of the 38 year old release with such artists as Ted Leo, Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Portastatic, Danielson, Dump (Yo La Tengo's James McNew), Spider Bags, Black Hollies, and Stones Throws' James Pants, all pitching in their time and talent to help out the popular radio host and the non-profit independent radio station.
Tom Scharrpling
I recently caught up with Tom Scharpling, whose show really is The Best Show on WFMU and one I never miss! It airs every Tuesday 8pm to 11pm EST on WFMU. I talked with him about the concept for the album, the artists' attitudes towards McCartney, and also his reaction to the similarly themed Ram on L.A. album that was released around the same time as his RAM tribute.

Amoeblog: How did you first get the idea to do this RAM themed compilation?

Continue reading...

Here, There, and Everywhere: It's Beatles Day

Posted by Kells, September 9, 2009 09:58am | Post a Comment

So, it's Beatles Day, big deal. No, really, it's a big deal! Think about it, what other band has earned their very own special day of celebration? That's right, no other band, because like it or not the Beatles are, have been and probably forever will be just that special. I cannot speak personally about any particular Beatles revelation in my early life, the best I can do being that in my formative years I remember reading interviews with guys from the bands I liked in magazines like Rip and Metal Edge where they'd always, always cite the Beatles as a major musical influence right along side bands like the New York Dolls, Deep Purple and Uriah Heap. I took note, but skipped the breakthrough introductory listen --- my excuse being that Mötley Crüe's version of "Helter Skelter" was enough Beatles for me.

It wasn't until the late 1990's that I finally got the message via Revolver. I listened to it repeatedly for, well, how do you measure time when you've got a new favorite record on repeat? I felt like I finally understood why that "Fab Four" band meant so much to so many and I liken the feeling to recognizing blind love for something after having lived so long in its shadow. I fell for them Beatles pretty hard, but I also kept it a secret. I mean, how would you break your fledgeling Beatles romance to a jaded herd of veteran music-retailer colleagues and still expect to be included in all their future reindeer games? My secret was safe, but one of my most precious Beatles moments was yet to come.

Fast forward to a humid summer night during the mid-oughts and a quaint little English pub I visited with some old friends and a few new faces while out on the town in merry olde Osaka, Japan. The Cavern Club, located in Osaka's very entertaining Umeda neighborhood, is a Tudor-style establishment imported brick by brick from old Britannia herself and features live Beatles cover bands every night and has been doing so, with ever so much attention to detail (haircuts and matching costumes, people!), for over twenty years. The deal is this: you pay a cover that includes a drink or two and then you sit back, relax and get your nostalgia on. If you feel so inclined, use one of the song request forms at your table to choose a song, fill in your name and where you're from, then give it to the waitstaff --- they pass it on to the band and, as the forms are blank, please feel free to request any Beatles song you wish!

I wasted no time in filling out my form, requesting my all time favorite Beatles song, "I'm Only Sleeping." I remember thinking that they might not play it and duly prepared myself for a bit of disappointment. I recalled those many times I spent searching for that title among the pages of Beatles songs listed in karaoke boxes, never once seeing it printed on the page as a possible choice. Besides, though the band had not listed a selection to choose from, how could they know every song in the Beatles catalogue? How could they be ready to get down and jam on any and every random "yes, please!" that comes their way? I'm glad I got all worked up thinking about it because when the band slammed, or I should say eased, into my request minutes after I turned it in I was floored by the quality of the performance. They played superbly with faces that shone with satisfaction for the music they made even though it wasn't their own. And do you know what? They even worked in that crazy backwards guitar part that happens in the middle of the song without any hint of force or awkwardness. And to top it all off, they mentioned me after the song and seemed tickled that my request came all the way from San Francisco. I was simply pleased they could read my Japanese. Aside from such lasting memories as bonding with friends over an a cappella rendition of "Strawberry Fields Forever" in the back of a New York City cab to eavesdropping on a hilarious, long-winded argument between two people at Amoeba over whether or not it is possible to reduce the White Album from two discs to one and still retain the overall quality of the whole recording, the fondness I carry for that strange and enjoyable night at the Cavern Club in Osaka makes it my number one Beatles-related experience. 

Here is a sampling of some live at the Cavern Club clips, but please do look this special place up if you're ever in Osaka (or in Tokyo's chic Roppongi district --- they have a second location there too) because, there, every day is Beatles Day. 







Happy Beatles Day: 9/9/09 Remastered Beatles For Sale

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2009 09:22am | Post a Comment

The Beatles On Record (excerpt 3)

Happy Beatles Day! Today, 9/9/09, is the much anticipated Beatles Day and Amoeba Music is celebrating the occasion in style with fun Fab Four related activities at each store all day today, and of course the Beatlesnewly remastered Beatles music is finally here. Beatles Day means that that digitally remastered Beatles catalog, which has been talked about for ages, is now available to buy at Amoeba Music.

The reissued, remastered Beatles catalog, which is worth getting for old and new Beatles fans alike, includes all of the Beatles CDs packaged with replicated UK album art, expanded booklets with original and newly written liner notes, rare photos and more good stuff. And note that at Amoeba you can get a free Beatles limited edition litho with your purchase today of two or more Beatles remastered CDs while supplies last. 

But regardless of whatever you plan on buying Beatles-wise today, swing by Amoeba Music's Beatles Day celebration, which includes special Beatles DJ sets, trivia giveaways, Beatles look-alike contests, Beatles auction an more stuff. For more information on exact Beatles Day schedules at each store, scroll down or click here, and read the numerous recent Beatles 2009 Amoeblogs.


Structures

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 8, 2009 11:00pm | Post a Comment


The structure pictured on the Virgin Prunes label above looks a lot like some of the carnage that our recent wildfires created. Below we have a couple of takes on the Capitol Records building. 







I've covered skylines in another post, but since then I've found quite a few more. Below we've got yet another take on the Capitol building.





Thoughts On Abbey Road

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, September 8, 2009 07:37pm | Post a Comment
 

An iconic studio and my favorite Beatles album. I remember first hearing Abbey Road when I was a child. It introduced me to music that stood apart from anything I had ever heard before. Beautiful melodies captured me, and every time my mother listened to it I wanted more. Playful and dramatic, it showed me how real feelings were connected with music. It helped me get through my piano lessons and escape to adventure town. I don't know how I would have connected to music if it wasn't for Abbey Road. I do know that it was an education for me. The lesson plan was to fall in love with music and decide that I wanted to be involved with it at every level. This is something that I feel I have achieved throughout my life.


   Tracklisting:

"Come Together"  
"Something"  
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"  
"Oh! Darling"  
"Octopus's Garden"  
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"  
"Here Comes the Sun"  
"Because"  
"You Never Give Me Your Money"  
"Sun King"  
"Mean Mr. Mustard"  
"Polythene Pam"  
"She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"  
"Golden Slumbers"  
"Carry That Weight"  
"End, The"  
"Her Majesty"  



This Wednesday, 09/09/09, I encourage everyone to connect or reconnect with Abbey Road. Believe the 
hype! It will truly be a monumental day in music. Go forth to all Amoeba locations! You will be serviced professionally and to your greatest expectation. Amoeba delivers what YOU want. 

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