Amoeblog

Five Crucial Stepping Stones to the Disco Sound

Posted by Amoebite, October 5, 2020 05:00pm | Post a Comment

By Chris Curtis

Disco music is possibly the most maligned genre in the recording era’s history. Critics point to its alleged vapidity and superficiality, its repetition and focus on percussion, its diminishment of the rock-sacred guitar, and its supposed exclusivity and decadence. Certainly, by the late 1970s, the sound had become formulaic and hundreds of bandwagon-jumpers and Johnny-come-latelies poisoned the pool with unexceptional cash-in attempts. But it seems obvious that a scene dominated by people of color, gay men, and women would eventually suffer a racist, homophobic, and misogynistic backlash in the America of 1979, and sure enough, the “Disco Sucks” contingent was successful in creating negative stereotypes that persist to this day.

But disco had been around a long time before the post-Saturday Night Fever deluge and, significantly, disco culture had existed for several years before an identifiable sound developed. When discotheques emerged in the U.S. during the 1960s, they were often orientated to the Jet Set, and the music played was often almost an afterthought. The early '70s New York loft, club, and private party scene shifted to a more egalitarian approach to admission, and the musical selections and quality of the sound system became more crucial to the experience of dancers. Any music that would move butts was open to consideration, including danceable rock, uptempo soul, and African percussion records. DJs not only became more thoughtful in terms of their musical picks, but also in the transitions between tracks. Even those who were not adept in the developing beat-mixing techniques gave careful consideration to which record followed the previous one.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Eddie Richards and Steve Bug

Posted by Amoebite, January 2, 2018 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Eddie Richards and Steve Bug Amoeba Music What's In My Bag?

Influential house music DJs Steve Bug and Eddie Richards teamed up for an Othersound event in Los Angeles recently and, luckily for us, also stopped into Amoeba Hollywood for a What's In My Bag? video. The two mused over records that shaped their musical tastes and discussed how the DJ scene has changed over the years. "Nowadays everyone's just staring at the DJ, instead of listening to the music and getting into it," Bug lamented after finding a 12" single that reminded him of his first club experience in the late '80s. "At the time it was normal that people would dance facing each other," he continued. Richards shared the same sentiment, saying, "I'd prefer, actually, to be out of the way and for people to face one another." Between their stories and commentaries the two made for an interesting and educational interview.

British DJ Richards has been active in the dance scene since the 1980s and is sometimes referred to as the "godfather of house." At times going under the monikers Evil Eddie, Jolly Roger, and Kode, Richards became a prominent mover-and-shaker thanks to a residency at Camden Palace in London. He went on to perform at legendary events at Clink Street, Heaven, and Manchester's Hacienda. "Acid Man," released in 1988 under his Jolly Roger alias, reached number 23 in the UK charts and has become a club classic. He has released work via End Recordings, Hypervinyl, Matter/Form, SoCo Audio, Northern Lights, LHB, and through his own labels Lunar Tunes, dy-na-mix, and Storm. He spins regularly at London clubs Wiggle and Fabric.

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Music Videos of Ten Gay Club/Dance Classics

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2012 10:29pm | Post a Comment

As this year's LGBT Pride Month comes to a close here is one last installment in the series of Amoeblog specials celebrating the occasion It is ten music videos of gay disco/dancefloor favorites culled mostly from the 70's & 80's / disco/new wave eras (some 90's too) - and compiled from various lists and playlists drawn up by music fans and DJs.

Naturally it only scratches the surface and doesn't include a ton of great songs/videos. So feel free to post in comments any ones you think that should be added. But it does have some classic gay dancefloor staples in there including such ever popular ones such as the Village People's "In The Navy" and the Pet Shop Boys' later decade single/video cover of the Village People's "Go West."

Also included is Diana Ross' 1980 hit single "I'm Coming Out" which song producer Nile Rodgers reportedly got the idea for the track after noticing at some discos drag queens dressing like Ross. Of course the song, which was a disco and mainstream radio hit, was perceived on different levels by different people. For Ross herself it was her signature concert entrance opening theme as in the video below from her 1981 Great Western LA Forum show (note the clip also includes her doing "The Boss").

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Black [gay] History Month, 2012

Posted by Job O Brother, January 29, 2012 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Ethel Merman’s voice makes my stomach acids sour and the very idea of shopping for clothes gives me a panic attack; despite these and other suspicious facts, I am a member of the LGBT community. For this reason, the issue of equal rights is ever-present in my mind.

There’s been a lot written and said about comparing the history of intolerance between racial minorities and the gay community, most especially in late 2008 when Prop. 8 was passed in the state of California amidst reports that large numbers of black people, urged by their church heads, voted to end the briefly instituted marriage equality of the state.

There were, of course, many exceptions to this and I don’t mean to angle this as a blacks-versus-gays situation – it's far more complicated than anything I'll do justice to here – but it did shine a light on an issue that often ruffles feathers. Knowing my place here on the Amoeblog as “light entertainment,” I will eschew any prolonged essays on the matter (for great, long-winded crap like that you should check out Charles Reece’s blog), but I will say that equal rights for all people is not only a victimless proposition, it’s one that benefits all people. Whether you think it’s appropriate to compare the struggle for gay equality with those of racial minorities, the fact is that everyone should have the same basic, human rights.

It would be one thing if a child was struck with bone marrow cancer every time two lesbians kissed, but kids, that’s just not the way it is and the sooner we let the gays get married, the sooner they can set up homes that will raise the property value of your block.

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Rolling Stones 1978 Album "Some Girls" Gets Reissued This Week In Remastered Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and LP Editions

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment

This week, 33 years after its original release, the Rolling Stones' critically and commercially acclaimed 1978 album that topped the Billboard 200 album charts and spawned the crossover disco-blues fused worldwide megahit "Miss You," Some Girls is being re-released in a newly remastered form that is now available at Amoeba Music in three versions: the Some Girls remastered LP pressing, Some Girls Deluxe edition CD, and the Some Girls Super-Deluxe edition CD which include unreleased songs and a single for "Beast of Burden."

As aptly noted by the Amoeba Online Store reviewer of the Some Girls Remastered 2-CD Deluxe Edition, "The remaster gives the drums especially a terrific crispness. And the bonus disc is far from inessential, showing a range of different tacks the band could have taken on Some Girls, including the country jangle of “Claudine” and the rollicking “Do You Think I Really Care,” in which Jagger outsneers the punks coming up behind him."

That comment makes reference to the fact that Some Girls was released at a time when punk was in its prime and established rockers like Jagger were seen as old fogies past their prime and creativeness. Recorded between October 1977 and March 1978 Some Girls, with its obvious punk influences, was seen as Jagger's reaction to this attitude. But beyond punk and its even more obvious disco/dance influences Some Girls was really Jagger's paean to New York City (the song "Shattered" with lyrics like "Life's just a cocktail party on the street, Big Apple people dressed in plastic bags directing traffic" "or "Miss You" with Jagger singing how "I been walking Central Park" - are among the album's many examples) with countless references and nods throughout to the Big Apple which, at the time, was in its most run-down, albeit decadent, best.

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