Amoeblog

The Strange Magic of Jeff Lynne’s ELO

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 20, 2018 05:24pm | Post a Comment

ELO

By Brent James

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the opening night of Jeff Lynne’s ELO world tour. The massive Oracle Arena in Oakland, California could hardly contain the excitement of the sold-out crowd that had traveled from as far away as New Zealand just to witness the return of one of music’s most unique and mainstay institutions in the flesh.

On Thursday, August 2nd, 2018, they were not disappointed…

Opening with “Standing In The Rain”, the 14-piece powerhouse band pummeled the crowd with blast after blast. “Evil Woman” kicked off an operatic hard rock cavalcade, and by the time “Do Ya” was over the fans could take no more! “When I Was A Boy” slowed things down so folks could catch their breath or perhaps refresh libations.

“Living Thing” was the band’s showcase, redefining the word “orchestra.” Iain Hornal was one of many VIP’s this evening and shined through on “Handle With Care,” channeling Roy Orbison with an almost eerie precision. “Xanadu” brought the house down, and “Shine A Little Love” demonstrated the technologically visual prowess that ELO has been known for since the very beginning. A show within a show.

The third “act” kicked off with “Wild West Hero,” and galloped all the way through classic staples “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Turn To Stone” before finally settling down. The encore, “Roll Over Beethoven” written by Chuck Berry but basically owned by Lynne and ELO, left the crowd on their feet and begging for more. Like an orgasmic, euphoric roller coaster ride, you want to ride it again and again.

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Joe Goldmark's "Blue Steel" Out Now

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 6, 2018 07:24pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba SF's own steel guitar master, Joe Goldmark, has just released his most exciting album to dateJoe Goldmark, Blue Steel with Blue Steel. Mixing Americana, blues, and roots music, Blue Steel showcases a number of original songs, plus a diverse mix of cover tunes ranging from Jimmy McCracklin, Graham Parker, B.B. King, and Jeff Lynne, to Lefty Frizzell, Rufus Thomas, and Dallas Frazier. Best known for his honky-tonk country and Americana sounds, Goldmark has combined an extra component this time with the addition of blues/roots songs like “All Night Worker,” “The Wobble,” and “Beautician Blues.”

“My album cover is loosely based on an old Starday Records album by Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith called Blue Guitar,” Goldmark says. “The artwork is blue, but the title Blue Steel actually reflects the R&B feel of the music on the album. Although the pedal steel guitar is considered a ‘country’ instrument by many, I’ve always placed it in other musical genres with excellent results. Blue Steel is colored by a soulful approach to all the tunes, especially on the handful of blues numbers.”

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Mystery Girl: The Most Romantic Rock Record?

Posted by Joe Goldmark, May 13, 2015 05:59pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Roy OrbisonIMO, Mystery Girl by Roy Orbison is the most romantic rock album ever. I pitched this theory to Diane, my wife, right after “A Love So Beautiful” had played and she had a different take on it. She said, maybe not romantic, but certainly passionate. Her rational was that the song’s relationship doesn’t work out. Semantics aside, we agreed that Jeff Lynne’s gorgeous production coupled with Roy’s amazingly tortured vocals make this album a heart-grabber.

Lynne was at the height of his powers with recent productions for The Traveling Wilburys, George Harrison, and his own brilliant Armchair Theatre. He succeeds at producing luscious rock music without being overly schmaltzy. We all know Roy Orbison’s early ‘60s rock operettas, which were rivaled only by Phil Spector’s paeans in their angst-filled grandeur. However, some folks haven’t heard his later work with The Traveling Wilburys and this album, Mystery Girl. Unfortunately, Roy Orbison died right before the album was released.

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(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

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