Amoeblog

Instrumental Sounds Somewhat from the Orient

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2019 06:50pm | Post a Comment

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


In these modern times where audience snapping is the new clapping, where it is normal to have your cat get a reiki healing for depression, and where "Oriental" has been replaced by "Soy Sauce" flavor on Top Ramen packages, I offer you a non-controversial read about instrumental music somewhat from the Orient.

When one closes their eyes and thinks of the word "Orient," they may dream of a bustling Persian Martin Denny's Hypnotiquemarketplace with spice traders and fakirs gathering crowds, a Shambala-ish temple garden with mewing peacocks, or perhaps a rickshaw ride through a mysterious dark alley in old Hong Kong. But when you open your eyes and see the "Orient," it is usually on a party supply catalog full of plastic junk for Saint Patrick's Day, a fancy-pants hotel in Waikiki that you cannot afford to stay in but maybe steal some beach towels from, or perhaps even that amazing Vladimir Tretchikoff painting (as shown above) that your friend scored at a thrift store in Fresno that's still sitting in the trunk of their rusty Valiant. When it comes to music "from" the Orient, you may drift to thoughts of such exotica tunes as Tak Shindo's "Port of Trinkitat" or Martin Denny's "Hypnotique." I hope to open some new doors for you.

Continue reading...

Sophisticated Voodoo Jazz of the 50's

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 15, 2018 01:25pm | Post a Comment

Mystery Skull

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La ShowRobert Drasnin, Voodoo

So, you just found a Mystic Skull board game with all the pieces at the swap-meet and you are having some friends coming over to play it before watching Val Lewton's 1943 classic, I Walked with a Zombie. You frustratingly find yourself digging through your vinyl vaults and cannot seem to find the right music to set the eerie atmosphere you desire. Let my red chicken foot charm point you the way to the records you seek...some for the music, others for their covers.

Robert Drasnin's 1959 album titled Voodoo, is truly superb. You can easily feel entranced from the music, luring your mind deep into a forbidden jungle while listening to "Chant of the Moon." If the stars are in alignment, you may be lucky enough to find this record on colored vinyl (I recently found a yellow one). Perhaps some of you may have even seen Robert Drasnin when he performed at the Tiki Oasis back in 2008.



Perez Prado's "Voodoo Suite" is the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" of jungle jazz. From exotic drumming and primitive shouts and grunts to smooth jazz beats, this 23 minute piece makes you wish you were prowling on all fours like a tiger, hunting a scantly clad prey in the Jungle Rock Room at the Madonna Inn. Listen to it in its entirety, and if you stumble across this record in the wild do not hesitate in buying it. Pounce on it! In my humble opinion, this composition is a masterpiece.

Continue reading...

Score Board: Soundtracks for Tabletop Games, Part Two

Posted by Amoebite, April 2, 2018 02:59pm | Post a Comment

By Chris Curtis

Howdy gamesters! Welcome to the second installment of an occasional series of articles on soundtracking your board game experiences. In part one I made the case that the right music can elevate your fun around the table as much as it can with any social gathering. The tricky part with tabletop game ambience, though, is that you’re generally avoiding lyric-centric music, which wipes out a huge swath of choices.

My search for appropriate gaming background music has led me to dig into some neglected corners of my own music collection. Lately I’ve been re-listening to some '90s electronic and ambient releases that have survived years of collection culling.

For a brief period, ambient or electronic listening music was being heavily hyped by the music press. During the height of the British house and techno scene, clubs had begun to offer a separate music room apart from the main dance floor where clubgoers could take a break from the unrelenting beats. Adventurous DJs played a mix of '70s electronic LPs, mellow psych and prog, sound and nature effects, NASA recordings, and custom samples, along with current beatless 12” mixes - a blend designed to sooth the savage breast of the ecstasy eater. These “chillout” or ambient rooms became quite popular, and after album releases dubbed “ambient house” by The KLF (Chill Out) and The Orb (The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld), a spate of similar releases surfaced, most on independent labels, and a new (sub)genre was born. The scene flourished for a couple years but ran its course by the mid-'90s. Truth be told, not a lot of the material holds up, and, arguably, only a handful of classic records emerged from the heyday years.

Continue reading...

Murder on the Oriental Rock n' Roll Express

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2017 05:58pm | Post a Comment

Orient Express

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


"His breakfast was his Amber Moon. He never rose until it had had its full effect."
- Mr. Beddoes, Butler of Samuel Ratchett, in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

First, what is an Amber Moon you ask? To make this morning cocktail, crack an egg in a highball glass Murder on the Orient Express(with the yolk unbroken), add two shots of whiskey and a few dashes of Tabasco, then send it down the hatch! Of the many movies that hit the big screen in 2017 (The Shape of Water was my favorite), the one major stink-bomb let down for me was Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express...not only because this egg drop cocktail was not featured, but because, let's face it, David Suchet is the only actor that should ever play Hercule Poirot (and Kenneth's mustache was more awful then the bread rolls at Tommy's Joynt). Regardless of how Hollywood murdered Murder on the Orient Express, Johnny Depp's acting as Samuel Ratchett was totally superb and I truly Murder on the Orient Expresshave not liked a Johnny Depp movie since The Ninth Gate. His character was the diamond in the rough of the cast.

Continue reading...

Nejla Ates: the Exquisite Turkish Delight

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 27, 2017 08:48pm | Post a Comment

Nejla Ates

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


Nejla Ates"She had a ruby on her tummy and a diamond big as Texas on her toe
She let her hair down and she did the hoochie-coochie real slow
When she did her special number on the zebra skin
I thought she'd stop the show…"
~ "Little Egypt" by The Coasters

If you have flipped through Middle East or Belly Dancing records, you most likely have seen her…for she is hard to miss. As Sandra Warner was the enchantress for Martin Denny’s album covers, Nejla Ates, “the Turkish Delight,” was the “Honk-honk, hubba-hubba, Ee chee wa waa!” album cover model of Middle Eastern records in the 1950s.

A fellow Pisces, born March 7, 1932, Nejla lived a life of wild seduction, exotic belly dancing, and love drama. (If you are a Pisces too, join the Bay Area Pisces Power group on Facebook!) Dancing at night clubs around the world in the 1950s, Nejla was said to have "left a trail of broken hearts from Istanbul to the Bronx, with stops in Paris, Miami, and Las Vegas.”

Princes, oil tycoons, famous singers, and actors would fall madly in love with her, knowing full well that her side-hobby was stealing taken men, even from Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT