Amoeblog

The 80s List: Part 1

Posted by Amoebite, August 11, 2011 06:57pm | Post a Comment
We're unashamedly big music nerds here at Amoeba Hollywood, and we love to talk and reminisce about our favorite records with each other. We also like to debate their historical relevance. Sometimes these conversations can get pretty impassioned, as it did on the fateful date I exclaimedAztec Camera Aztec Camera's 1983 release High Land, Hard Rain to be one of the best records of the '80s.

Oops...that statement was met with mild laughter and ridicule from two of my co-workers. I realized pretty quickly that it was a very tall claim considering the wealth of great music that emerged over the course of that decade. The truth is, I was forced into justifying that statement by making a top-ten list of my favorite '80s records. It was a daunting task that took a fair amount of soul searching, but it was a lot of fun. It was also very infectious, and over the next couple of days a dozen other people made their top ten lists, and within a few weeks the number grew to over 100 Amoebites.

The '80s were witness to many divergent and popular styles of music, and from the beginning we realized that it would be impossible for most of us to condense our favorites from all the genres we like into a tiny top ten list. There's just too much good stuff out there. So, we limited this list to Rock/Pop and its sub genres like punk, metal, goth, and new wave. Even so, it was still a difficult selection process because not only are there hundreds of amazing records to consider, there is also the added dynamic of time.

The Art of the LP Cover- Reflections

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 7, 2011 01:00pm | Post a Comment

To Be a Star in Hollywood All You Need is a Sharpie

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2010 05:33pm | Post a Comment
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
To be a star in Hollywood all you really need is a Sharpie pen. And since fame and stardom don't always come a-knockin' on your door, sometimes you just gotta go out there and make it happen yourself -- take control of your own destiny, or stardom, so to speak. This you can do armed with a Sharpie, plus a willingness to commit a minor crime, followed by a quick walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame until you stumble upon one of the blank stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street.

There, spread over a combined 18 blocks, sit approximately two and a half thousand five-pointed terrazzo & brass stars brightly embedded in the Hollywood sidewalk, spaced at every six feet. Many of these stars are blank waiting to be officially filled in with the name of some accomplished entertainment Sharpiefigure, typically a movie, TV, or music person. Sometimes these blank stars get unofficially filled in. That is exactly what "Boris P" with his "M" in a circle symbol recently did on Vine in the block just below Hollywood Blvd, where he got busy with his Sharpie pen -- instantly bypassing the typical hard uphill slog to stardom. And with an estimated ten million visitors annually coming to LA specifically to see The Walk, according to a report by NPO/Plog Research, odds are that "Boris P" is a hell of a lot more well known now than he was before he bought that 99 cent Sharpie.

Administrated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the Hollywood Historic Trust, The Hollywood Walk of Fame very recently celebrated its 50th anniversary which I missed by a few days. Held on Sunday, July 25th, the occasion was celebrated with a day-long festival with tours of iconic Hollywood theaters and studios, as well as live music, performances, movie screenings and various other activities including the induction of the late great Louis Prima onto The Walk. I passed his shiny new star -- not too far from Boris P's star.

Continue reading...

Photographic Memory, Part 1

Posted by Job O Brother, September 7, 2009 01:17pm | Post a Comment

"Please conjure sheets of paper to come floating out of the laundry basket below"
The author, circa 1996

I have recently come into possession of my adolescent photo collection. There was, for a period of about five years, a time when I owned a fetching Ricoh camera which had been given to me by a rad woman whom I lived with on a mountaintop commune on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She used to regale me with stories from her years as a hot-shot publicist, and explained to me which lines from David Bowie’s “Drive-in Saturday” had been written about her by the Thin White Duke.


Were these claims true? Who knows. But it did distract me from the profound and crippling nervous breakdown I was experiencing at the time, fuelled in part by excessive use of ecstasy as a means of spiritual enlightenment and by living with my then step-father who made such helpful suggestions as, “Maybe you have alien implants in your brain.”

“Oh, yes. Well thank you for that.”

I thought it might be fun to dip into the box and see what musical and/or cinematic associations they bring. Kind of reconsider my colorful past in terms of stuff you could purchase at Amoeba Music. For I am a salesman, ladies and gentlemen.

Let’s begin now…


Here’s a picture of me caked in drying mud on the banks of the Dead Sea. Taking the picture is my Mom, who is also slathered in earth. Supposedly there was some physical benefits in doing this, but honestly I didn’t need a reason beyond getting to rub mud all over my near-naked body. Who needs the added incentive of a health boost? What you don’t see in this picture is the gaggle of Japanese tourists shrieking with laughter as the women in the group got smeared with mud by their husbands. And what you don’t hear is that the spa where this all took place is playing Marianne Faithfull’s album Broken English over the loudspeakers. Because when you’re soaking in mineral baths and having the toxins flushed from your body, what else do you want to hear but this…


Yes, the spirit of the Essenes is alive and well on the banks of the Dead Sea.


Here’s a picture of Emilie Autumn. Emilie was famous in our hometown for a variety of reasons, one of which being that she would do things like, say, dye her skin green and wear Christmas tinsel hair extensions. This isn’t body paint, folks. This is skin dyed green, and over the course of weeks it would gradually fade away, as though Emilie were transforming from Frankenstein monster to human girl.

I spent a sizable chunk of my youth locked in Emilie’s room, smoking pot, drinking Thunderbird, eating pot, and making art with her. Music was always playing, and the most popular tunes were (in no particular order):














After being best friends for three years, Emilie and I began having sex, which made the next three years of our relationship a more stormy affair. Her creativity extended into ways of breaking my heart and I finally stopped talking to her. She was one of the great loves of my life and a part of me will always be in love with her. Green skinned or not.

Aw... More to come!

GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR iPHONE:

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2009 08:09am | Post a Comment


In July 1969 David Bowie released "Space Oddity" (see original video below) and now, forty years later, anyone can remix the song on their iPhone or iPod Touch with the Remix David Bowie Space Oddity Application powered by iKlax which was very recently made available for purchase. This marketing launch, of course, strategically ties in with the 40th anniversary of Man's first steps on the moon. According to the marketers,"'Space Oddity' has become cult material, marking David Bowie's career forever. Moreover, the track was broadcasted along with the live images from the moon landing by the BBC as Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong made history. By choosing the iKlax multitrack iPhone application for "Space Oddity"'s own 40th anniversary, David Bowie provides a unique experience to his fans.

The remix application contains the original soundtracks for each and every instrument used in the song, letting users vary the volumes of the voice, the 12 string guitar, drum & bass, mellotron, organ, violin and orchestra, as well as save each new remix. Oh yeah, and it also has a fun feature whereby you can shake the iPhone to get new sounds, as shown above.

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