Some Classic Working-Man/Working-Woman Songs For This Labor Day

Posted by Billyjam, September 5, 2011 11:14am | Post a Comment
"Working Man's Blues" by Merle Haggard

Beyond that first thought that typically pops into my head on this day every year ("Labor Day already? Damn where did the summer go?!") my mind turns to the endless lists of songs about working & laboring away in a job - of which these can be divided primarily into the "I hate my job and my boss" category (IE Johnny Paycheck's perennial "Take This Job And Shove It") and the "I work hard to make a living and support my family but don't necessarily want to quit or harm my boss." This Amoeblog focuses on the latter and on just classics from the 1960's to the 80's in the rock and pop categories. Disclaimer: obviously there's many not included so feel free to add your suggestion in comments below.

First up is the above classic "Working Man Blues" by Merle Haggard with lines like "It's a big job just gettin' by with nine kids and a wife. I been a workin' man dang near all my life I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use." Hopefully Merle will play this song when he performs, along with Kris Kristofferson, at the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco in four weeks (Sept 30, Oct 1st & 2nd). Also included (below) is Glen Campbell's timeless tale of the hardworking "lineman for the county" - "Wichita Lineman." Note that there are still some tickets available for Campbell's Amoeba Hollywood instore signing tomorrow (Sept 6th) at 6pm which the artist, who was recently diagnosed with alzheimer's, is doing in support of his final album Ghost On The Canvas.

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Everybody Loves Lizzy!

Posted by Kells, March 17, 2011 12:20pm | Post a Comment

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! This year I thought I'd round up a Thin Lizzy tribute comprised of covers in a celebration of the rocker legacy Phil Lynott & friends gifted to inspired vagabonds the world 'round.

I am firm believer that there might not have been a "Run to the Hills" if it weren't for Thin Lizzy. Here is Iron Maiden's rather straightforward yet bad-ass version of "Massacre" from Lizzy's Johnny The Fox album. This track appears on the b-side of Maiden's "Can I Play With Madness" UK 12" single.
"Massacre" covered by Iron Maiden

The Cure covering Lizzy came as a bit of a surprise but I think they really pulled it off. Again from the Johnny The Fox album, here is the Cure's take on "Don't Believe A Word," keyboards 'n' all:
"Don't Believe A Word" covered by The Cure

For a band that is seemingly so often compared to Thin Lizzy, it comes as no surprise at all that The Sword have gotten in on the homage. Here is their version of "Cold Sweat" (a very popular Lizzy tune for hard-rockin' cover jams) from the final Thin Lizzy record, Thunder and Lightning. Dig that pencil-on-notebook-paper artwork tribute to the original Thunder and Lightning album sleeve as well! This track released as a limited 45rpm vinyl single:

"Cold Sweat" covered by The Sword

Click these links to check out some other versions of "Cold Sweat" like the throaty metal of Kalmah and the much tamer Sodom jam.

Motorhead, having shared the stage with Thin Lizzy in the past, make every effort to keep the legacy alive with their frequent covers of Lizzy jams, most notably "Rosalie," the Bob Seger penned single from Lizzy's Fighting. Check out this slick capture of Motorhead doing the "rock 'n' roll band" thing at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Indeed!

"Rosalie" covered by Motorhead at Montreaux 2007
Here is another cover I hadn't expected, however much sense it makes: Mastodon doing one of Lizzy's epic action-adventure jams, "Emerald," from the classic Jailbreak album.
The cover originally appeared as a bonus track on Mastodon's Japanese release of their album Remission.
"Emerald" as covered by Mastodon

Check out another triumphant cover of "Emerald" by Dragonlord here.

In keeping with the recurring western themes of cowboy life and hard livin' on the wild American frontier, here is a cover of "Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)" from the Chinatown album by Running Wild as it appears on their Little Big Horn EP.

"Genocide (The Killing of the Buffalo)" - Running Wild

By far it seems that the proto-metal Thunder & Lightning garners the most cover jams of all; here's yet another one:

"The Sun Goes Down" covered by Sinner

But I've saved the best for last, and no, I'm not talking about Metallica's cover of "Whiskey in the Jar"...

I remember the first time I saw Huey Lewis talking about his friendship with Phil Lynott in a documentary, he seemed really touched by Phil's creative spark and, like so many others, offers a fresh (okay, I admit this video is kinda tired) perspective on the breadth of Thin Lizzy's influence on rock 'n' roll from top 40 pop to metal's sludgy bottom feeders. "The Boys Are Back in Town," yes, but I have a feeling they'll never really leave.

Still want more? Here's Pearl Jam and Bon Jovi's covers of  "Boys Are Back In Town" plus Anthrax's take on "Cowboy Song" (I was disappointed) and, fuck it, click here for Metallica's vid. Cheers!

Amoebapalooza Hollywood 2009!

Posted by Amoebite, September 15, 2009 07:39pm | Post a Comment
Every year the staff of Amoeba Music in Hollywood get together for a no-holds-barred musical cage match called Amoebapalooza...20 Amoeba bands get as crazy as possible onstage for 10 minutes each!

Brently Heilbronw crazy IS possible?

Very crazy was the answer this year...and/or very glamorous, creepy, rockin', shockin', wild, wonderful, and dancetastic! One of the most wonderful and insane Amoebapalooza lineups of all time took the stage at the King King on Sunday night and showed how it was done. Surely any unsuspecting patrons to walk in from Hollywood Boulevard must have thought they had stumbled onto the set of some kind of psychedelic rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber's brain-damaged evil twin, and hopefully they stuck around to enjoy it with the rest of us.

As our lovable and pants-wettingly funny host Brently Heilbron put it, it's the last Amoebapalooza of the decade...soon we won't have the Oughts to kick around anymore, and it'll be the Teens! Taking this temporal warning to heart, the musical freBen Ricciaks of Amoeba made sure they sent the Oughts out with a kaboom. Have a drink with me and let the show begin...

The lights went down on the red velvet curtain, and the festivities began with a Jaco-Pastorious-on-PCP solo bass guitar odyssey from gangly wunderkind Ben Ricci, bravely kicking off this night of strangeitude. Is the bass meant to make sounds like that? Dunno. Ben's bass wizardry was closely followed by the hard-charging sounds of Thin Lizzy tribute band Emerald, with one Sam Rodriguez channeling the spirit of the late great Phil Lynott. Sorry if I'm leaving anything out...the next thing I remember was the always mind-blowing cabaret fantasia of Cream Puff, the one-man show of antique futurist foppington Joey Jenkins. There really is nothing like Mr. Joey JenkinsJenkins...jigging, chanting and prophesizing from the stage, in his knickers and mountaineering headgear, he makes you feel like you've wandered into one of David Lynch's weirder dreams. He ended by collapsing in a grand death scene, instantly growing a marvellous flower from his heart. Showbiz!

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