Amoeblog

Legends of the Canyon

Posted by Miss Ess, November 16, 2010 05:13pm | Post a Comment
david crosby, joni mitchell, eric clapton

crosby, joni mitchell, eric clapton

If you're looking for an enjoyable romp through the late '60s/early '70s Laurel Canyon scene, Legends of the Canyon is the film for you. Photographer Henry Diltz narrates, and his photos and footage are used throughout, along with enlightening interviews with folks like David Crosby, Ahmet Ertegun, Van Dyke Parks, Michelle Phillips, David Geffen, Stephen Stills, Dallas Taylor, plus some great talk from Graham Nash, and many more.

There's an easy intimacy in the interviews, no doubt because Henry was involved in the process and he has known and been friends with these people for decades. Stephen Stills reveals how he was completely intimidated by Joni Mitchell, Michelle Phillips touches on how vulnerable Gene Clark was, Dallas Taylor talks about what made Graham Nash cry, and Graham Nash speaks of Neil Young's total devotion to the music, among many other stories. There's interview extras on the disc as well, a sweet inclusion.

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(In which we try to beat the heat with a 2x4 with a nail stuck in the end.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 19, 2010 09:34pm | Post a Comment
satan
Summertime greetings from LA!

Hoo boy. It’s that time of year again in the City of Angels: the Season of Heat. LA only has two seasons: warm and sunny (which is known as autumn and winter in other geographic locations) and the Season of Heat, when you never see anyone’s eyes for the sunglasses, and everyone packs the salons for pedicures for some devoted sandal wearing.

feet
"I'm thinking a simple French pedi this time. Thanks, Hoài Mi."

All of which is wasted on me. Forget sunning by the pool -- give me a frozen tundra and a copy of Cowboy Henk and I'm a happy guy. I find myself picking and choosing my activities based on what destinations have the finest air conditioners. (As an interesting side-note, if you find yourself shopping at Amoeba Music Hollywood and you’re in need of a rush of cold air, go to the classical section, then find where we keep Beethoven. That exact spot is where our powerful A.C. first blasts the room, and it’s heavenly.)

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HAPPY EASTER!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, April 4, 2010 10:22am | Post a Comment
easter bunny
The screams of children are drown out by the wailing of their mothers.

Oh geez. I’ve been sitting here – literally for minutes! – trying to think of what to blog about; meditating on current events both in my life and on this wacky planet we call Bruggafaderöllfyrwabbanonie (though “we” are a chosen few and most people prefer the moniker “Earth”), and couldn’t come up with anything special about today. I finally thought to visit my friend Wikipedia for some thrills, chills and spills in the form of their random article feature, only to suddenly remember that today is [insert cuss word here] Easter.


It’s Easter, brother! How could I not notice?

I’ll tell you how: I have no kids in my life. No one excited that an anthropomorphized rabbit might be prowling in the night, leaving artificially-colored produce is sneaky spots around our property (how kids think this is “neat” is beyond me and perhaps bespeaks to an aggravated psychological wound in our collective consciousness). My youngest nephews are all in Northern California, safely out of reach from Melrose brunches and Angelyne billboards; the closest thing to a child in my life is the kitten we just rescued. (Her name is Maybe.)

(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
fruit
This has been a busy week, dear readers. Lots of phone interviews, dinner parties, and soundtrack-slinging at Ye Olde Amoeba Music Hollywood.

I was gabbing with Peaches about her new album last Wednesday. It’s called I Feel Cream (release date in the U.S. is May 5) and it’s a blast! Definitely a departure from its predecessors, in that it’s more diverse in sound and moods. Peaches sings a lot more. There are moments where it sounds like the lovechild of modern R&B and older tracks by darlings of the Industrial genre, Front 242.

peaches i feel cream

Anyway, I asked her about musical influences that might surprise people (it’s already well documented that she loves hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll). This led to her gushing about Joni Mitchell, and this performance in particular, which rocked her world:


That voice! A miracle. I just can’t get enough of it…


She really is one of my favorite things in the world of music, and while not everyone shares my passion for her sound, anyone who appreciates songwriting as a craft must acknowledge that, as a writer of music and lyrics, she remains one of the greatest artists of modern pop music. She’s credited with inventing about 50 different guitar tunings, and the list of musicians who cite her as an influence – Peaches included – reads like a Who’s Who of music.

Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 02:23pm | Post a Comment
joni mitchell
Though a heck of a lot of people got to witness the monster festival that was 1969's Woodstock, a notable exception was Joni Mitchell.

Famously, her agent thought it wojoni mitchelluld be a better idea for her to keep her scheduled appearance on the Dick Cavett Show, and so Joni barely missed one of the most celebrated and fabled musical festivals of all time. Upset about not being able to attend, she quickly wrote the eloquent and apt song "Woodstock" based on what others had said about the festival, capturing a moment at least as well as any musician who was actually there.

Growing up in a Crosby Stills Nash Young-heavy household, we never ever listened to Joni Mitchell's version of her own song "Woodstock" at all. I didn't even know she had written it when I was young. Finally, in college I started listening to her music and found her version to be much more haunting and moving than the comparatively light and sunny (and kinda wanky) CSNY version. 

Here she is playing the song at a festival in Big Sur in 1969, just one month after Woodstock. I believe this is the first public performance of "Woodstock" ever. As she says, "Well everybody has heard about Woodstock and maybe a lot of you were there," you can hear the utter regret in her voice. It's a gorgeous performance.


Here's the CSNY version, in case your memory needs recharging:

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