Amoeblog

New Vinyl Reissues from The Cure, The Velvet Underground & Nico and More

Posted by Amoebite, June 30, 2017 06:06pm | Post a Comment

Vinyl Reissues

The 4th of July weekend is upon us and with it comes a pretty stellar run of reissue vinyl. You'll find lots of classic LPs in the mix, from the piano rock stylings of Sir Elton John to the album that launched a million punk/art-rock bands, The Velvet Underground & Nico. What's nice about this week's newly reissued releases is that many of these are out on high-quality vinyl -- and frankly, many of these are essentials. Stock up now to soundtrack your neighborhood fireworks show! 

ABBA

ABBA - Gold

Originally released in 1992, Gold is not just ABBA's best-selling album, but one of the greatest selling albums of all time. This 2-LP reissue is out on limited edition (appropriately) gold-colored vinyl.

Cranberries

The CranberriesEverybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?

Close To The Ledge: Top Ten Suicide Songs

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2017 06:35pm | Post a Comment

First up, if you are currently feeling suicidal or simply need to talk to someone, call the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK [8255] where you will be forwarded to a counselor in your local area. Secondly this Top Ten Suicide Songs list (songs dealing with suicide from first and third person perspectives, and/or the mindset surrounding the subject), while intensely emotional, are in fact uplifting songs that have been known to both distract from and alleviate self-destructive feelings. Much like the power of blues music, these songs can similarly begin to lift those feeling low and depressed out of their deep funk.

As with any limited music list that attempts to cover a wide range of recordings on a specific topic, this top ten does not include a lot of great/worthy songs on the subject of suicide. A Top 50 list would have included many deserving songs that unfortunately were omitted in this top ten. Hence I have referenced these "honorable mention" songs in the honorary mentions paragraphs below as well as throughout the text of this Amoeblog. But please post any other worthy songs not included in the comments section, thanks.

I chose the Amoeblog title "Close To The Ledge" because of the fact that so many songs about suicide reference, both literally and figuratively, the ledge that people jump to their death from. This recurring theme appears in such songs about suicide as Frank Turner's "Song For Josh" and Stacy Barthe's "My Suicide Note  (both in top ten below), the Paul Westerberg penned "The Ledge" by The Replacements from their 1987 album Pleased To Meet Me (also on vinyl/LP),  Third Eye Blind's deceptively peppy sounding 1997 hit "Jumper" with the refrain "I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend," and The Dead Ships' "Citycide." The title track off the LA band's 2015 album Citycide refers to the ledge of the San Francisco side of Golden Gate Bridge that singer Devlin McCluskey, who lost his best friend to suicide, was referring to upon learning that the majority of jumpers off the GGB (the subject of the dark but nail-bitingly engaging 2006 documentary The Bridge) "jumps off the City side."

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Rest In Peace George Michael [Christmas Day 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, December 25, 2016 11:11pm | Post a Comment

Earlier today, Christmas Day, pop star George Michael was reportedly found dead at his Oxfordshire home in England. He was only 53 years of age. According to the Hollywood Reporter, who quoted the singer's manager Michael Lippman, the former member of Wham! and solo singing superstar died of a heart attack at his Goring-on-Thames home in the early afternoon. Meanwhile Michael's publicist Connie Filippello issued a statement today that read, “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”


George Michael first came to fame along with Andrew Ridgeley as part of the dance pop duo Wham! that formed in 1981. An outgrowth of a little known, short-lived (1979 - 1980) ska quartet called The Executive, the pared down duo of Wham! scored a string of hits in their five years together in which they sold 25 million records around the world. Their hit singles (more in the UK than in the US) included "Young Guns (Go For It)," "Wham Rap," "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Freedom," "Last Christmas," and "I'm Your Man." Following the breakup of Wham! in 1986, Michael first collaborated (thanks to Clive Davis) with one of his heroes, Aretha Franklin, on the duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)." Then he threw himself fully into writing and recording what would be a more mature sound than Wham! and a an even more successful solo career (selling 80 million records!) beginning with his 1987 landmark debut solo album Faith. However it should be noted that back in 1984, while still a member of Wham!, he released his first solo single: the hit "Careless Whisper" which is sometimes also credited to Wham! as it appears on the group's 1984 album Make It Big.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Death Angel

Posted by Amoebite, November 1, 2016 11:26am | Post a Comment

Death Angel What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Death Angel frontman Mark Osegueda can tell a good story. In fact, he tells a lot of great stories in this "What's In My Bag?" episode, including his very first concert experience.

"My very first concert was KISS 1979 at the Cow Palace on the Dynasty tour. I was 10. Four fifths of the original Death Angel, we all went together...I knew 10 minutes into the show, that's what I want to be when I grow up."

The legendary thrash metal band recently performed at Amoeba San Francisco to celebrate the release of their eighth full-length album, The Evil Divide. A passionate music fan, Mark took us on an anecdote-filled journey through the artists who most impacted his life, including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Nick Cave, and Elton John.

Death Angel formed in 1982 and quickly became one of the key bands in the Bay Area thrash scene. Their 1985 Kill As One demo was produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett and caught the attention of Enigma Records, leading to the release of the band's first full-length, The Ultra-Violence, two years later. In 1988, the band released their sophomore LP, Frolic Through the Park, and embarked on their first worldwide tour. Act III followed in 1990, its two singles, "Seemingly Endless Time" and "A Room with a View" both receiving regular airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball.

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Happy Birthday Alan Aldridge -- The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 1, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
English artist Alan Aldridge

Today is the 69th birthday of English artist, graphic designer and illustrator, Alan Aldridge (click here to visit his site). His distinct airbrush work adorned numerous books and albums in the 1960s and '70s and helped define the aesthetic of the era -- equal parts whimsy and menace.
Alan Aldridge Painting Finale

Aldridge appeals to me, in part, due to the way he draws upon older artists from very different traditions. The grotesque, fantastical characters echo the febrile visions of Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. The invasive, sometimes threatening vegetation reminds me of the vegetable portraits of Italian Mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The soft, velvety folds and textures of clothing remind me of French Neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's almost single-minded focus on mastering the technique of depicting textiles.
 
As a young child, when I was first exposed to Aldridge, I hadn't yet heard of any of those artists. I don't remember ever even asking who Alan Aldridge was, but it was clear even that his particular synthesis of influences and ability to simultaneously captivate and repulse was immediately recognizable as the work of one artist, whatever work it adorned.

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