Amoeblog

Jack the Ripper, Rock n' Roller or Just Creepy Dark Alley Stroller?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 13, 2019 11:00pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"Let us begin. Let the circle not be broken. Concentrate upon the flame, which burns upon the Altar of Truth. Yes... there is something here. Something terrible. I feel its presence. Fear, anger, hatred... anger feeds the flame. Oh, oh, there is evil here, monstrous, terrible evil! Consuming hunger! Hatred of all that lives, hatred of women, a hunger that never dies! It is strong, overpowering, an ancient terror! It has a name: Barratus, Kesla, Redjac. Devouring all life, all light! A hunger that will never die!"
~ Sybo, the Argelian empath

Let me start off by saying, serial killers are not cool. They are total jerks. But much like the Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper still has folks intrigued because he had a great name and was never caught. Judas Priest, Morrissey, Nick Cave, and even LL Cool J have songs about "The Ripper."

Now, I don't listen to those cats, but I do have a fond memory of tearing down a dirt road along side the railroad tracks in my old Ford F150 (with a spray-painted pirate flag on the hood) listening to Link Wray & His Ray Men's "Jack the Ripper" on cassette when I was a young lad.

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New York State Of Mind #100 of 100

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2014 01:30pm | Post a Comment


Welcome to the final installment in the one hundred part weekly New York State of Mind (NYSOM) Amoeblog series that began two years ago. For this 100th Amoeblog I want to run down some events happening in the coming days/weeks ahead as well as include a random series of NYC themed music videos that I have not yet included in the many NYC music videos already posted to this Amoeblog series. Ongoing events of interest include the Greenpoint, Brooklyn weekly No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) which is happens Tuesday evenings for a little over an hour in a church basement hall is the total antithesis of the overpriced bottle-service night clubs of Manhattan. Founded in New Zealand and with satellite parities like this one in Brooklyn dotted round the globe (Chicago and San Francisco are the other two spots in the US), the rules of NLNL are simple and straightforward and posted by the door upon entry. "No watching, no cell phones, no breakdancing" is what is not allowed. What is allowed/encouraged is to make a dancing and having fun - in near darkness except for a dimly lit ceiling light show that takes your eyes a couple of minutes to adjust to.

On the night I attended NLNL the dance music played by the non-billed DJ (a guy dancing who routinely ran over to hit play for the next song off his iPhone that was plugged into the decent sound system) ranged from trap to deep house to past decades pop hits such as Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen," Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al," Dr. Dre2Pac's "California Luv," Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance," and The Cardigans' "Love Fool." NLNL, NYC happens every Tuesday from 8.15pm – 9.30pm at 129 Russell St, Brooklyn, NY 11222. No alcohol. All ages. $5 donation. More info here.

Personal Picks: Kelly's Best of 2012 Year-End Recap

Posted by Kells, December 31, 2012 02:30pm | Post a Comment


Well, here we are. We weren't thrust into a new dark age oblivion, the world didn't end and neither did my workaday quest for the best music for the day. This year was rife with records that just had to be snatched -- reissues, compilations, and a fair few newbies too.

Here follows my personal, "show and tell" style best-of list for 2012:  the year that didn't stop the big wheel a-turnin'. Rather than just dicing up a list of cold-cut favorites, I've included personal events and trends herein that shaped the music I sought and gravitated towards within the past year.


BEST NEW ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Jessica Pratt - JP. No contest. I have naught but the best of things to say about this disc of spun gold and I'm not alone. It seems every Barry, Rob, and Maurice in the blogosphere has been falling all over this record like autumn leaves in the rain. If you really want to know my take check out my real talk review of JP here, otherwise please do enjoy the album's opening track, "Night Faces" below.





 
BEST 2012 REISSUE: It's a tie between two (Numero related) comps: WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze and & Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974 - 1984. Both platters piled high with private press oddments and rarities one could hardly go more wrong than to miss out on these two exemplary feats of the compilation arts. The former being a point of revision for many in that it is essentially a mix of largely unheard "yacht rock"/AOR triumphs of seventies song-writing sensibilities (man, is it ever sensibly sensitive) that confronts one's moral definition of guilty (listening) pleasures. The latter comp, Personal Space - a seemingly dark horse among the usual reissue fare fleshing out the the soul comps shelf space, made the rounds among Amoeba staff regularly thus enjoyed a healthy amount of in-store play as well. Chock full of rhythm-box workouts a la Sly Stone, Timmy Thomas and Shuggie Otis, it's a far-out soul/funk excavation of the highest order. Both of these are solid front-to-back listens for the home vinyl library/curio corner.

An honorable mention smoothing out the angles in this Bermuda triangle of smooth sailing comps would have to be that Tim Findlay (of Groove Armada) mix for the Late Night Tales series, Music for Pleasure. Holy horse latitudes is this mix ever the very essence of a guilty, yacht-rocking pleasurecraft. I'd swear it's been a banner year for harnessing the soft, ever-lilting easy breezes of boxed-wine status AM Gold.
 

REIUSSUE RADNESS: Thin Lizzy, Takeshi Terauchi, Judas Priest, Stan Rogers, Can, My Bloody Valentine and so, so many other reissues really lit up the old hi-fi this year. Of the pack I'd say that the Light in the Attic reish of Thin Lizzy's self-titled album and Allen Toussaint's Southern Nights (out via 4 Men with Beards) have been fighting it out for turntable dominance most of this past year. I'm still digesting the Can - Lost Tapes box set and don't even get me started on the glory that is the live at the '83 US Fest DVD that comes packaged with the latest remastered reissue of Judas Priest's 30-year-old masterpiece Screaming for Vengeance. Other notable reissues include the waves of fuzzy shoegaze nostalgia imparted to the middle bit of 2012 thanks to the My Bloody Valentine reissue tsunami, the continuation of the very long overdue reissue of Canada's working man's maritime-folk troubadour Stan Rogers' back catalogue (what began last year) and the release of Nippon Guitars -- a killer comp ofering an overview of the life and work of Japan's godfather of surf guitar, Takeshi Terauchi. It's so good we can't even play it in the store on a busy without selling out by the end of track three.

speaking of compilations...

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You've Got Another Thing Comin': 30 Years of Screaming For Vengeance!

Posted by Kells, August 13, 2012 11:45am | Post a Comment

When it comes to metal, whether it be heavy, hard, or hairy, the one thing that really hurts my feelings is a poorly mastered recording. While I admit I possess very little knowledge on the subject of mastering (however informative this link should prove) it would seem that time and inevitable technological developments have redefined what a properly mastered record should sound like, nevermind that my reckoning of a ill-mastered metal record has everything to do with volume control. Putting on an exemplary recording like Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance only to discover the maximum volume setting worthy of a dental visit is an insult to the ear and the slap to the id; "why can't I make this any louder", you lament. I feel your pain, people. I too am screaming for vengeance!


Which is why I am particularly stoked about the upcoming September third celebratory reissue of Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance - the 30th Anniversary Special Edition, containing not only the remastered original album plus six bonus tracks, but also a live DVD from the 1983 US festival show filmed in San Bernadino, CA on May 29, 1983.I know, you're probably thinking, Priest has already seen to the digital remastering of most of their catalog in 2001, no? Sound hounds and intense listens have generated a clash of opinions concerning just how beneficial the overall remaster treatment was. While I don't pretend that my ears are trained to recognize minutiae apparent in the thankfully LOUD 2001 Priest remasters, my favorite complaint directed at the "creepy, crawly knob-twiddling" Jon Astley inflicted upon the reissue of British Steel compares the end result to "Edith Bunker being gang raped by a swarm of castrated locusts" -- an observation that potentially bodes ill for any serious audiophile.

However, run-of-the-gauntlet banger chicks, like me, can get down with the good stuff no matter how it's broken off (*coughs* vinyl, preferably) and I am ever hopeful that this particular 2012 reissue (albeit CD only) signals a trend in reigniting an appreciation for the pioneers, turbo lovers, and defenders of the metal faith, NWOBHM or otherwise,  like Halford & co. It must be stated, as a standalone inclusion, the footage of Priest performing at the 1983 US Festival that accompanies this anniversary presentation is amazing! Having only recently enjoyed viewing their live in Dallas circa 1986 Priest...Live! VHS I would be lying if I said I wasn't ready to light my couch on fire while watching this crispy new, almost thirty-year-old footage while spending a quiet night in very soon [see promo below].

Fun fact: the US Festival was intended to be a celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people - organized by Steve Wozniak formerly of Apple Computer. This show was filmed at the second, and what turned out to be last, US Festival in 1983. The Sunday was the "Heavy Metal Day", i.e. "It was the day new wave died and rock n' roll took over". It set the single-day concert attendance record for the US with an estimated 375,000 people - insane!

Judas Priest have this to say about this memorable day in metal history:

'On the day that we performed, we flew in by helicopter - and the first sight we saw was that of thousands of abandoned cars piled up around the crests of the hills that surrounded the festival arena, which as we went over took our breath away. For there below us, spread throughout hundreds of acres was a massive crowd – over three hundred thousand strong! The summer heat was raging and combined with the hot Santa Ana winds made for a scorching metal furnace on stage.'


The '80s List: Part 10

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2011 12:46pm | Post a Comment
Wipers One day at Amoeba Hollywood I proclaimed that Aztec Camera's 1983 release High Land, Hard Rain was one of the best records of the '80s. This single statement eventually led to over 200 Amoebites ranking their top 10 favorite albums from the ‘80s.

From the beginning we realized that it was impossible for most of us to condense our favorites from all genres into a tiny top ten list. So, we limited our lists to Rock/Pop and its sub-genres like punk, metal, goth, and new wave. Even so, it was a difficult selection process because not only are there hundreds of amazing records to consider, there is also the added dynamic of time.

The '80s were a long time ago and the music has had many years to gestate. We have a deep sense of nostalgia and sentiment with these albums as our fondest memories are associated with them. These are albums we LOVE.

- Henry Polk

P.S. We'll be posting new additions to the '80s list project from Amoeba staff members on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. See all entries in our ‘80s list series.

P.P.S. The '80s List Book is available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood.


Heather Long

Pixies Doolittle (1989)
Husker DuZen Arcade (1984)
Judas PriestBritish Steel (1980)
X – Los Angeles (1980)
PretendersPretenders (1980)
The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
The ClashLondon Calling (1980)
Duran DuranRio (1982)
Iron MaidenThe Number Of The Beast (1982)
Adam And The AntsKings Of The Wild Frontier (1980)

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