Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Garbage

Posted by Amoebite, February 14, 2018 04:10pm | Post a Comment

Garbage What's In My Bag? at Amoeba Hollywood

What's the secret to keeping a band alive and running for 20+ years? Being on the same wavelength helps, which could certainly be said of alternative rock legends Garbage. The band visited Amoeba Hollywood recently to sign their new book, This Is the Noise That Keeps Me Awake, and did some record shopping while they were here. Lead singer Shirley Manson and drummer Butch Vig both found things related to cult / horror director Dario Argento. Manson grabbed a vinyl copy of the original soundtrack to Argento's Opera. Having never seen the film, Dario Argento's involvement was reason enough to grab it. "I'm always looking for good intro music," Manson explained, "and this might be a hidden gem." Vig picked up a DVD copy of Argento's The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, which features a soundtrack by the legendary composer Ennio Morricone. "I love his films," he told us, before going on to recount the time he saw his first Argento film, Four Flies on Grey Velvet. All four members shared old stories and found a wide-range of albums, books, t-shirts, and movies in this What's In My Bag? episode.

Garbage first rose to prominence in the mid-'90s by fusing underground genres like trip-hop, grunge, and industrial with radio-friendly pop sensibilities. The band was founded in 1993 by Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig, who had achieved considerable celebrity as a result of his production work on Nirvana's 1991 LP Nevermind. The group hired Shirley Manson a year later, after seeing her band Angelfish on MTV. With their lineup in place, Garbage recorded their debut album in late 1994. Their self-titled LP was released in 1995 and debuted at #193 on the Billboard Top 200 on the strength of singles "Queer," "Only Happy When It Rains," and "Stupid Girl." The album went platinum in 1996.

Continue reading...

Freedy Johnston's 'Perfect' Pop Gem: I'll Buy THAT for a dollar!

Posted by Mark Beaver, July 20, 2009 09:25pm | Post a Comment
freedy johnston this perfect world
Freedy Johnston
came out of Kansas and played around New York until he got signed by Bar/None Records, who released his debut, Trouble Tree in 1990. Trouble Tree was well received, but it was 1992's Can You Fly that got Johnston's name and songs bouncing all around college radio.

I've always thought of Freedy Johnston as the lost member of the Db's. He has a pristine pop quality to his voice and the stories he writes have the same almost-too-clever and slightly melancholic take on relationships that made the Db's' Amplifier the deservedly huge college rock classic that it became.

In 1994 I was working at SF's Reckless Records of London, an arguably cool and decidedly tiny record store on upper Haight St. As always, I was listening to anything I could get my hands on. Johnston's This Perfect World happened across the counter and stopped me in my tracks just by the power of its sheer completeness.

Produced by Butch Vig (Garbage) and featuring contributions from Graham Maby (Joe Jackson Band), Kevin Salem (Dumptruck), Marshall Crenshaw, Marc Ribot, Mark Spencer (Blood Oranges) and David Schramm, who worked repeatedly with the Db's' Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple, This Perfect World is a perfect pop record. Most of it is deeply written, deeply produced and played rock-pop, though in places ("Gone Like the Water") it reveals Johnston's beloved folk-country roots. I've heard the criticism that Butch Vig sucked the edge out of it in the production, but I wasn't noticing that in 1994 and don't really notice it today, 15 years later, listening to it (still) from beginning to end.

Continue reading...