Amoeblog

The 20 Best 1980's Hip-Hop Albums

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2014 12:00pm | Post a Comment

20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the 1980s

When fellow Amoeblogger Billy Gil, who has done a number of Best Of lists in various genres, invited me to do some hip-hop best-of lists I had mixed feelings about the task. While I love drawing up lists of my favorite hip-hop releases from different eras and regions, I know that no matter what I include or how I position/rate it, later I will feel some kind of regret thinking that maybe I should have included or excluded a release or not ranked it as high on the list. And I am sure there will be commenters who will have the same critical thoughts (a la "I can't believe you didn't include ______ or that you ranked____ as number one," etc.). Simply put, it is difficult to narrow down Best Of lists because firstly it's personal and subjective, and secondly because a list I (or you) may draw up today will be different from one we might compile in a year's time. Musical tastes and opinions, especially in retrospect, are constantly in flux for me anyway.

Furthermore, sometimes an album or a single will rate high on one list (depending on the category) but not so on another. An example from this list would be Too $hort who would rank up the top of a Bay Area list but lower on an overall hip-hop album list of the 80's. Then there are all of those amazing hip-hop singles that were only singles, non-album cuts, or were culled from albums that otherwise were not as strong overall. Or in the case of Malcolm McLaren's 1983 album Duck Rock, which technically is a diverse genre album with hip-hop content and packaged in a hip-hop fashion from its cover art to how it is meshed together by the Worlds Famous Supreme Team radio show, it doesn't technically qualify as a hip-hop album. Add to my not included on the list 80's albums: such compilations as Mr Magic's Rap Attack series since I tried to focus purely on artist (vs. compilation) releases with the exception of one soundtrack on the list. Anyway, to combat all of this, I plan on doing many more best-of hip-hop lists with the goal being to include as many titles of great records as possible overall.
 

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12 Twisted Mother's Day Movies

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2014 09:36am | Post a Comment

Mother’s Day could mean tuning into the latest movie based on a Jane Austen book or rom-com, but that’s no fun. Instead, we've compiled a list of 12 of the most messed-up movies about mothers. Save these to watch for after you’ve hung out with mom.



Mother’s Day (1980)

Let’s start with the one that shares its name with the holiday. The horror film, produced by cult horror kings Troma Entertainment and directedy by Charles Kaufman, got flak at the time of its release for its exploitative aspects, its rape/revenge scenario calling back to I Spit On Your Grave. But since then, its cult has become a substantial enough to warrant a remake produced by Brett Ratner and starring Rebecca De Mornay (star of another screwed-up mom’s movie, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). “Darlings, you have made your mother very proud,” the deranged mother of two hillbilly punks tells the boys when they bring her a woman to murder. Mom will love this one!

 

Serial Mom (1994)

Here’s one your mom might actually like, for cathartic reasons. John Waters, the emperor of bad taste, made this relatively mainstream yet still plenty effed up black comedy about a Stepford-ish mom who commits a series of murders in a small town for infractions as slight as stealing a parking spot. Kathleen Turner is awesome as the perfect mom you really hope you don’t piss off, killing with glee in stifling suburbia. Lots of appearances by Waters regulars like Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Traci Lords and Waters himself, as the voice of Ted Bundy.

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12 Albums to Look for in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 17, 2014 11:57am | Post a Comment

Here are 12 great albums that are coming out soon. Better save your pennies!

Black LipsUnderneath the Rainbow (LP, Limited Edition LP or CD)

Out March 18

Atlanta’s finest, scuzziest garage rock band is back with its seventh album. It’s co-produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. The video for “Boys in the Wood” has all kinds of homoerotic and drug-fueled forest mayhem.

 

 

Perfect PussySay Yes to Love (LP or CD)

Out March 18

The NSFW-named band crafts an eight-song aural assault on their debut, feauturing sunny hardcore riffs and Meredith Graves’ distorted vocals.

 

 

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The 20 Best Shoegaze Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2014 06:21pm | Post a Comment

Inspired by the reunion of shoegaze greats Slowdive, Amoeblogger Brad Schelden and I have compiled our list of favorite shoegaze albums.

For any who don’t know, shoegaze is a style of music rooted in the noise pop of The Jesus & Mary Chain and dream pop of Cocteau Twins from the early ’80s. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, bands took elements put forth by those bands—loud, distorted guitars, heavily reverbed vocals and emphasis on atmosphere over discernable lyrics—and came up with a new sound, first truly realized by My Bloody Valentine on their classic 1988 album, Isn’t Anything. Shoegaze (or shoegazing) was a term NME and Melody Maker in the U.K. used to describe the visual representation of the sound from bands who rose in My Bloody Valentine’s wake, depicting bands’ apparent lack of movement onstage and propensity to stare down at their numerous effects pedals. The genre hit its heyday in the early ’90s but persists today, with bands like My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver reuniting and artists like M83 and Diiv using elements of their sound (so-called nu-gaze, but I’ll avoid that terrible term). So with that lengthy explanation, here we go.

1. My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991)

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10 Albums to Pick Up for Valentine's Day

Posted by Billy Gil, February 7, 2014 05:21pm | Post a Comment

Hey you! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Like it’s next week. We’ll leave the chocolates and stuff to you, but we’ve got your music covered. Pick up any of these releases to help you seal the deal. Or to just enjoy quietly on your own with some white wine. That sounds great, actually.

Tina TurnerLove Songs

This compilation CD was just released and features some of Turner’s best songs, focusing on her comeback from 1983’s Private Dancer and on. Songs include a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “The Best” and more.

 

 

SadeThe Ultimate Collection

I mean, c’mon, duh. You can’t go wrong with any Sade album, but this readily available collection has all the hits, including later period songs like “Soldier of Love.”

 

 

WarpaintWarpaint

Of course, if your taste skews newer (or if you’re all stocked up on Sade), you could try a newer band. Warpaint’s latest album is sly, nuanced and sexy as hell, moving from moody declarations (“Love is to Die”) to heated post-punk (“Disco // Very”). See also: Rhye and their singer Milosh, who is kind of like the modern-day Sade, or there’s always nighttime neo-classic the xx.

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