Amoeblog

The Jungle Echoes of Chaino

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 15, 2016 06:02pm | Post a Comment

Chaino, Jungle EchoesBy Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


Are you planning your next loincloth-clad romping weekend in the Jungle Rock Room at the Madonna Inn but don't feel you have the right tunes for your portable record player? Are Martin Denny and Eden Ahbez just a tad too mellow for the primitive thoughts you have swirling in your mind? You have Frank Hunter’s White Goddess album already, but you need more raw, mating-ritual music? You need Chaino.

As the story goes, long ago in the Congo, there was a hidden tribe that possessed extraordinary mental and physical powers and could even communicate with the wild animals. Then one day, a nearby jealous and hostile tribe attacked the secret tribe’s village, killing everyone but one little boy named Chaino. Found and saved by a passing Chaino, Night of the Spectremissionary, Chaino was brought to the United States to be “educated” and it was discovered that he had percussion talents from beyond this world.

Practicing 17 hours a day, Chaino would soon master 7 drums at a time. Although it was said, that he was quiet and reserved away from his drums, his "savage" beginnings seemed to resurface when he would play his music, allowing his primitive spirit to project through his drums. This, my friends, is the story Omega Records tells you on the back of Chaino’s record.

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Essential Records: The Tony Williams Lifetime, "Emergency!"

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 23, 2014 02:57pm | Post a Comment

They say music can be life-changing. I’ll buy that. Probably the most important and profound post-Beatles record in my Jazz life, or even my musical, personal and business life (you’ll see), was Emergency! by the The Tony Willams Lifetime. That’s a big sentence for an LP fiend like me. ONE record led by a drummer did all that? To me, Jazz is a huge, beautiful expression of the American Classical music, no small accomplishment in the last 100 years with everything out there. And I remember as if was yesterday how this record came to change my life.

In high school and later I was in a bluesy, Procol Harum-meets-Jefferson Airplane-style outfit calledMoonfleet, after the film. We had the town and the era by the ear, so naturally we were asked to play our own Senior Picnic close to graduation at Westchester High School (still there), near the beach in L.A. I had played drums at another Senior picnic and I knew the picnics were free-for–all's in those days. We were excited to blow our fellow student’s minds, with coffins and dancers and fiery  entertainment, with myself on guitar then.

As per our gig deal, the school had hired a PA system for our show. The day came and we pulled in for a sound check with our equipment. What the hell? It’s a flat bed truck set up on the Jr. Varsity lawn!! With nice club-PA speakers! Loud!! With audio guys that knew what they were doing!! We had a big stage with good sound. But, hey, that music, coming over the system?

As we unpacked our gear we started to actually hear the music that the sound guys were playing. We thought we were doing fire music! This music had the most energy and fast logic I’d ever heard in any organized small band! The group would play the main melody of the song and then this wonderfully composed improvisation would come just blistering out of the sound, churning with ideas and primitive juju, smearing itself over our teen minds, and then back to the main melody again, thank you, allowing us to breathe again…formed like Jazz, but smoking and searing like Rock. And all of it, electric guitar, searing Hammond organ, and even the 4-piece drum set sounding like it was coming out of Marshall stacks set on 11, said drummer just exploding with super-human chops!.

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Glen Velez & Shira Kammen Perform in SF, December 5

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 3, 2014 07:50pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present Global Mysteries: Strings and Skins, a Concert with Glen Velez & Shira Kammen on Friday, December 5th at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

World music innovators Velez and Kammen collaborate on old and new music for medieval strings and frame drums, exploring masterpieces and traditional music from Bulgaria, Spain, and the Arab world. Both musicians create organic groove-oriented music, which proclaims its uniqueness while infused with awe at the rhythms and melodies of our planet. They will perform selections from their recent recordings, along with improvisations culled from the ancestral sound-breath memory we all share.

Glen Velez, a four-time Grammy Award recipient, has played a seminal role over the last 26 years by introducing the frame drum to modern audiences. He has taught extensively worldwide, investigating the healing properties of drumming and sound. As a master teacher, he has developed his own approach called The Handance Method, incorporating voice and body movement into learning to play the frame drum.

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, Anonymous IV, the King's Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips.

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Making Percussion Driven Music With Just Household Items + Imagination

Posted by Billyjam, June 26, 2012 06:09pm | Post a Comment
       

If you have eleven minutes to spare or even just 3 minutes now and 8 minutes later do yourself a favor and sit back and watch & listen to this wonderful Swedish, music-driven, short film, titled Music For One Apartment And Six Drummers from 2001. Directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson and featuring the drummers Johannes Björk, Magnus Börjeson, Marcus Haraldson, Fredrik Myhr, Sanna Persson, and Anders Vestergard it is the simple story of these six creative percussionists (a drum gang) who patiently sit in their Volvo outside the apartment home of strangers, patiently waiting for them to leave so that they can break and enter and then make sweet rhythmic music utilizing numerous household items (plus imagination) as they go from room to room - with ten minutes to commit their drum crime. Nice!

(In which Job interviews Neal Morgan...)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 20, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Due to some unfortunate miscommunications between the staff here at the Amoeblog, two of us ended up interviewing the same musician, Neal Morgan, about his solo debut.

Fortunately, the interviews are vastly different, due to my professional and honed skill as a journalist devoted to hard-hitting storytelling and dedication to factual analysis, and the other interviewer, Miss Ess, who prefers a more “whimsical” and, shall we say, lying-er approach to writing.

You can read this other "interview" by clicking on this link right here.

Due to his tight schedule of touring and promoting the new album,
To The Breathing World, Neal was under the weather and frequently distracted during the following interview, which resulted in many of his answers being garbled and unintelligible. (Confidentially, I think alcohol may have been a contributing factor to this. That’ll teach me to get drunk before an interview!) I therefore had to rely on memory and occasional paraphrasing in transcribing the following Q & A. Even so, I was able to capture the spirit of our conversation, from Neal's obsession with "crushing" to the revelation of his suicidal fantasies. Read on…


Neal Morgan before the plastic surgery

How did you pick up playing the drums? What is it that drew you to them so strongly - so much so that any other attempts to follow other dreams were crushed?


That’s an excellent question, Mr. Brother. I am impressed with your professional and honed skill as a journalist. And, might I add, your pectoral muscles are rad.

Who are your favorite drummers and how will you crush them in the inevitable drum wars?


I don't think I'll have to crush them. I think the drum wars will be humans versus drums, ala humans versus robots in Terminator. There will be a small drummer resistance led by Ginger Baker, who by then will have machine guns for arms.

This record is a gutsy idea – what made you want to create a drum and voice album instead of making a piping hot plate of delicious waffles? ‘Cause – and maybe you didn’t know this, Neal – waffles are not only easy to make, but less likely to attract snarky criticism from a cynical music press.

I'm not super big into waffles.

You know what? Let’s continue this interview at the Waffle House.

Um…

LATER ON, AT THE WAFFLE HOUSE...

When and how did you begin writing these songs? Like, did you go with a pen and lined paper? Or are you one of those people who writes better curled up in the corner of a coffee house with a worn journal and a thin-tiped Sharpie©, somberly writing lines of poetry while casting sly glances at whoever walks in the door, each time hoping it wiil be a super-cute girl whose taste in post-grunge, neo-folk garb is matched only by her ability to hold her own in a conversation about 1970’s rock ‘n’ roll and thinks Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show (Great Job) is funny, not annoying, and who’s passive enough to wait backstage at shows for you to not only finish your set but help strike the stage AND gracefully endure the endless, awkward post-show conversation with the opening act (and their girlfriends) and visiting pseudo-celebrities (and their girlfriends) and friends (and their girlfriends) as you all aimlessly try to figure out where to go for a late-night dinner “in this town” but TOUGH enough – when the two of you are behind closed doors – to make you forget your sensitive, artist ways and make you feel like a virile, passionate, carnal MAN. Or do you just use a laptop?

...A laptop.
 
How did you make the arrangements? Were they all there in your mind, with all their many parts, waiting to get out? And have you considered seeking medical attention for this? ‘Cause you’re probably a paranoid schizophrenic.

Broccoli is Satan spelled backwards.

High in vitamins C, K, and A

What kind of technology did you use to record the album? How did you shape the various sounds? Actually, nevermind. Miss Ess will probably ask you those questions ‘cause she’s such a nut about those technical details. Like, she’ll ask a guy that on a first date. It’s weird. Pass the syrup, please.

I’m uncomfortable.

PASS THE SYRUP OR I’LL EAT YOU!!!

[Neal passes the syrup.]

Thank you. I feel the influence of Nevada City in your words (I've experienced those salamanders!) and creativity. What affect do you feel growing up there had on you and your work, and have you forgiven the townspeople for it?


Why is this the hardest question? I think I gave Miss Ess a very so-so answer, now that I'm thinking back. I don't know what to say about the creative process or the result of the creative process in terms of having come from Nevada City.

Just say what we’re all thinking: It’s the reefer.

That’s not what I was thinking.

I didn’t say it was. I said it’s what we are all thinking. This Boysenberry syrup tastes like sugary cow blood.


Now on to your new town: What affect do you feel Papua New Guinea has on your work and creative output.


I brought all these sea shells down there, packed inside the drums in their cases, only to find I can't pay for anything. WHAT? So I'm broke and in a really dry spell, creatively.

Tell me about your tour plans and how you are going to bring this record to life on stage! You have a female singer who will be joining you? Tell us something secret about her that no one’s supposed to know! Something dark we could use against her if she crossed us.


Damaris Peterson, who’s performing with me – she’s a man, plain and simple. And my great grandfather.

Are you messing with me?

No. I’m taking this interview seriously.

Then that’s fantastic.

What have you been listening to lately? Besides music, I mean.


The roar of the road, my man, the roar of the road.

Wow. I never noticed how exactly you sound like Bob Seger, Neal.


I get that a lot.

It’s eerie. God rest his soul.

Bob Seger isn’t dead.

So?

[Long, awkward silence.]

What is your most prized piece of double helical gear?


Huh?

What song best describes your life right now, if you had to choose between “Suicide” by Suzi Quatro or “My Suicide” by Michael Gira?

Uh, Suzi, I guess? ...Why do I have to choose between those two songs?

Name a record you love that you think more people should listen to and explain why you think it’s important to be so bossy about it.


Zach Hill's Astrological Straits. I'm bossy for your own good.

What's next for you to "crush?"


I don't do a lot of crushing. I'm starting to think maybe I should crush a lot more. Wasn't there a rap song about crushing a lot?

What's been your best find at Amoeba to "crush?"

OK, I'm going to crush something at Amoeba. I promise you I will. It starts here.

Can I finish your waffles?

Knock yourself out.

Neal's album To The Breathing World comes out today, October 20, 2009, and will be available at Amoeba Music. As an added incentive, any customer who purchases the album at Amoeba Music will also receive a free handshake from me, while supplies last.
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