Amoeblog

Two SF Promoters Throw Michael Jackson Birthday Tribute Parties a Day Early

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment
Michael Jackson - Jackon 5 Medley, Live Mega Video Mix

Tomorrow, August 29th, may be the date that would have been Michael Jackson's 52nd birthday, but two Dave PaulSan Francisco party promoters & fans of the late, great pop star are celebrating a day early with MJ themed parties in both SF and the Midwest. The ever-successful traveling and San Francisco founded mash-up party Bootie will be celebrating tonight with an MJ themed mash-up event at the DNA Lounge! The playlist will include the mash-up of Michael Jackson and Nirvana -- "Smells Like Rockin Robin." Bootie begins at 9pm tonight at the DNA Lounge. First 100 get a free MJ CD. Click here for all the info!

Meanwhile, BOMB HIp-Hop's Dave Paul, who has been throwing his Prince vs Michael Jackson parties for over seven years now, will travel all the way to Chicago tonight for his MJ birthday themed Prince vs MJ party. Booked at the Windy City's Beauty Bar, Paul will be getting busy mixing album cuts, remixes, rare tracks and classics from his extensive Prince and Michael Jackson music collection. The party starts at 9pm tonight at the Beauty Bar. Click here for more info.

Howlin’ Wolf’s 100th birthday

Posted by Whitmore, June 10, 2010 02:07pm | Post a Comment

He was named after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, and as a kid Chester Arthur Burnett was nicknamed Big Foot Chester or Bull Cow as he grew to stand 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weigh in close to 300 pounds. That was a big man. But we know him as Howlin' Wolf, legendary and incredibly influential blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and composer, whose songs are as standard today as anything written by Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Carmichael, Leiber and Stoller or McCartney and Lennon. Howlin' Wolf’s compositions include “Killing Floor,” “Sitting on Top of the World,” “Who's Been Talking?,” “Moanin’ at Midnight,” and “Smokestack Lightnin'.”
 
Also, his versions of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” and “Back Door Man” are about as perfect a three minutes as you’ll ever hear in any genre, anytime, anyplace. Rough-edged, fearsome and fearless, Howlin' Wolf's booming voice sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before -- like something in between grinding a knife on a whetstone or a sharpening steel or shears tearing into bone or a monster truck pulling donuts on a gravel road. As the adage goes -- Howlin' Wolf has often been imitated but never duplicated.
 
Chester Burnett died in Hines, Illinois on January 10, 1976 and is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County in Illinois. His gravestone, etched with a guitar and harmonica, and allegedly purchased by Eric Clapton, can be found in Section 18 on the east side of the road.
 
Today would have been his 100th birthday.




(In which we celebrate the Arts of Antarctica.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 17, 2010 01:51pm | Post a Comment

"Hurry up and take the damn picture!" - Captain James Cook

It was today, in 1773, that Captain James “how ironic that he can’t” Cook made history when he and his crew, aboard the HMS Resolution, became the first people in our known history to cross the Antarctic Circle.

To commemorate the occasion, I thought it might be fun to focus on Antarctica, specifically, its music scene and film industry.


Downtown district

Unfortunately, aside from a few morally questionable home videos of research scientists playing a drinking game that involves Jell-O, some oil, assorted breasts and a few confused penguins, there isn’t really much in the way of Antarctic films.

Nor is there a strong music scene, beyond these same research scientists occasionally picking up a guitar and annoying their fellow bunk-mates with clumsy renditions of “Blackbird” or “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.”

Well, no matter. This is a big, big world with so much variety, and we need only to travel north from the great ice continent to discover other interesting music and films.


Ross Ice Shelf

Chicago has often been called the “Antarctic Circle of Illinois”* and when you visit this bustling metropolis, with its snow-capped hot dog stands and high-rise igloos**, it’s easy to see why.

Parallels between Antarctica and “the Windy City” abound. For example, Chicago has the highest population of Alaskozetes antarcticuses and nematodes in the entire city of Chicago. Both countries have things***, and many of the inhabitants occupy, bedevil, or sometimes even thrill. It all depends on stuff. (Few people know that Chicago’s famous landmark, Liberty Hall****, was commissioned by King Jeff IV of Antarctica in gratitude for the city’s aid in cleaning up after the 1914 Fecal Spill of Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen.)

But one place where Antarctica and it’s conjoined-twin-to-the-north are cruelly separated is in terms of its music. While deserted disco-techs succumb to ice dust and icicle decay in the south, Chicago’s music scene is hot, hot, hot!

Theories addressing this discrepancy are varied. Some people claim it’s because there’s about two million, eight hundred and two thousand, one hundred and fourteen more people in Chicago. But others, like me, think it has something to do with MAGIC.

Perhaps no other artist captures the heart and soul of Chicago like its native pop icon Jan Terri. For those few of you who’ve never heard of Jan Terri, consider this exposure to mark your maturity in the world of music appreciation. The majority of you who are already fans can simply revisit and renew your love. Your love for Jan Terri. Jan Terri love.


For there are two major periods of music: P.J.T. (pre-Jan Terri) and P.J.T. (post-Jan Terri), and she, like Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Elvis Presley and The Beatles, has become the new standard by which artists are judged.

Below you will find some of her music videos. Also included is this link to a rather snarky piece on Jan Terri as seen on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You can also visit the Jan Terri Shrine, or her (fan-run) MySpace page. I was hoping to find an audio of Yo La Tengo’s cover of her Christmas ditty “Rock & Roll Santa,” but failed.

Enjoy! And, as they say in Antarctica, “Wow! Look at all that! Just look at all that!”






















*Not actually true.
**Igloos aren't Antarctic.
***Antarctica and Chicago are not countries.
****Liberty Hall is in Kentucky.

Remembering Steve Goodman

Posted by Whitmore, September 20, 2009 06:42pm | Post a Comment

I’m not from Chicago, but I like Chicago, and though I’m a true blue, life long LA Dodgers fan, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Chicago Cubs: Wrigley Field, Hippo Vaughn, Three-Finger Mordecai Brown (who really only had three fingers on his right hand, but two them sported World Series rings), Riggs Stephenson, Ron Santo, ‘Mr. Cubs’ Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Milt Pappas, Ryne Sandberg, Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray and on and on ... these have been some tough years for Cubs fans. It's been one hundred and one years and counting since their last World Series victory.

Anyway, today, September 20th, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of one of the biggest Cubs fans ever to cheer amid the hallowed ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field, singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. Born and raised in Chicago, he never had much success as a solo recording artist, though his albums constantly received critical acclaim; he found far greater accolades as a songwriter. Some folks say he wrote the greatest Country and Western song ever recorded, and it says so right there in the song. “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” was the biggest hit record David Allan Coe ever had and the lyrics mention everything a proper and perfect Country/Western song should ever need or want: mama, jail, dead dogs, trains, trucks and drunkenness. Goodman also wrote the greatest friggin’ song about the railroads, “City Of New Orleans,” which became the biggest charting hit of Arlo Guthrie’s career. In the early 1970’s Goodman saw Guthrie in a bar and asked if he could play him a song. Guthrie agreed only on condition that Goodman first buy him a beer. The song would become something of an American standard, covered by many others including Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, John Denver, Jerry Reed, Hank Snow, Willie Nelson and even David Hasselhoff. Goodman also wrote some great songs about his own home town, “A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request;” “Go, Cubs, Go;” “The Lincoln Park Pirates,” a tribute to the notorious Lincoln Towing Company; and “Daley's Gone,” about Mayor Richard J. Daley, undisputed king of Chicago’s backroom politics, the last of the big city bosses, whose power didn’t create disorder, but was there to preserve disorder.

About the time Goodman's career really began taking off, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Still he managed to write and perform and fight cancer; he had a tongue-in-cheek nickname for the disease, “Cool Hand Leuk.” On September 20, 1984, Goodman died at University of Washington Hospital in Seattle. He was 36 years old. Eleven days later, the Chicago Cubs played their first play-off game since 1945 at Wrigley Field.
 
During the 2007 season, the Chicago Cubs began playing Goodman's recording, "Go, Cubs, Go," after each home game win. When the Cubs made it to the playoffs, interest in the song and in Goodman surged, resulting in October 5, 2007 being declared by Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn as Steve Goodman Day across Lincoln's Great State.





TECHNO IS BLACK!

Posted by Mike Battaglia, February 2, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment

              

Even five short years ago, many clubbers, ravers and dance music fans would be hard pressed to recognize the names Ron Hardy or Larry Levan (above, R-L), let alone acknowledge African American influence on the music they get freaky to on the weekends. Even in the black community, whole generations seem completely oblivious to this part of their musical heritage. Thankfully, that's changing. With a renewed interest in disco, 80's uptempo R&B aka boogie, techno and early house music over the past few years, knowledge of dance music's history and the role blacks (and gays and latinos) played in its inception is growing. Nightclubs where the music was allowed to evolve, like Levan's Paradise Garage (right) in New York, Hardy's Music Box and Frankie Knuckles' Warehouse in Chicago (the latter being where the name House Music was coined) and Detroit's Music Institute remain legendary not because of the venues themselves or the people who owned them, but due to the DJ's who made those places immortal by performing an aural alchemy that transformed the American soundscape.

In honor of Black History Month 2009, I plan on taking a look at these legends so that they might gain a foothold with a new audience. People like The Belleville Three, legendary innovators of techno music from Detroit, or DJ's and producers like Tony Humphries at New Jersey's Zanzibar, that bridged the gap between disco's firey, racist and homophobic "death" and the birth of house and techno. I'd like to visit the lives and careers of people who changed the face of music forever, as well as ask a few questions. Questions like: Why is it that DJ's like Tiesto, Sasha & Digweed, Paul Oakenfold or Paul Van Dyk remain the most recognizable faces in mainstream dance music while Theo Parrish (left) remains an "undiscovered talent," or that popular knowledge of its history seems to go no further than the 90's, when white folks finally caught on en masse to what black folks in Chicago, Detroit and New York had already known for years? Or that the most popular strains of dance and electronic music seem to have erased all trace of African American influence? In a press release for a 2006 conference on techno's black origins at Indiana University, author and professor of folklore and ethnomusicology Portia Maultsby said:

"It is interesting how the music migrated from Detroit to Europe, and...became associated with rave parties, and then migrated back to the U.S., and Americans became involved...and the African American identity became invisible. Music can be appropriated and re-appropriated, and history can be distorted as a result of that ...Very few people associate techno with its African American origins."

                     

(The Belleville Three, L-R - Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson)

I may not even have answers to these questions (but would love to hear people's ideas in the comments), but I think raising them is almost enough. Questioning the status quo has never been a popular idea in dance music, but it's something that skeptical ol' me is hardwired for.

Now, obviously things are changing. These men have been regarded as gods in the underground for nearly 20 years and as new generations discover this music for the first time, it seems that it's the essence they immediately attach themselves to; the music's late 70's and early 80's beginnings are attracting the kids and new artists alike, such as Hercules and Love Affair or New York's DFA label, headed by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. These artists either consciously or unconsciously are realizing a concept-- that house/dance/electronic music (whatever you want to call it) has lost its way and needs to step back a bit to reflect, to capture what made it great in the first place. To remember the groove.
 

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