Amoeblog

Five Crucial Stepping Stones to the Disco Sound

Posted by Amoebite, October 5, 2020 05:00pm | Post a Comment

By Chris Curtis

Disco music is possibly the most maligned genre in the recording era’s history. Critics point to its alleged vapidity and superficiality, its repetition and focus on percussion, its diminishment of the rock-sacred guitar, and its supposed exclusivity and decadence. Certainly, by the late 1970s, the sound had become formulaic and hundreds of bandwagon-jumpers and Johnny-come-latelies poisoned the pool with unexceptional cash-in attempts. But it seems obvious that a scene dominated by people of color, gay men, and women would eventually suffer a racist, homophobic, and misogynistic backlash in the America of 1979, and sure enough, the “Disco Sucks” contingent was successful in creating negative stereotypes that persist to this day.

But disco had been around a long time before the post-Saturday Night Fever deluge and, significantly, disco culture had existed for several years before an identifiable sound developed. When discotheques emerged in the U.S. during the 1960s, they were often orientated to the Jet Set, and the music played was often almost an afterthought. The early '70s New York loft, club, and private party scene shifted to a more egalitarian approach to admission, and the musical selections and quality of the sound system became more crucial to the experience of dancers. Any music that would move butts was open to consideration, including danceable rock, uptempo soul, and African percussion records. DJs not only became more thoughtful in terms of their musical picks, but also in the transitions between tracks. Even those who were not adept in the developing beat-mixing techniques gave careful consideration to which record followed the previous one.

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Interview With Cheetah Chrome Of Dead Boys

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 3, 2019 07:59pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

The Dead Boys are one of the most iconic bands of the punk era. They only put out two albums in the late seventies, but both of them are hallmarks of the genre. Young, Loud, And Snotty is a perfect punk slab of vinyl that includes songs like "Sonic Reducer," which may be one of the five best punk tunes ever written. We Have Come For Your Children is another legendary album with classic anthems like "Third Generation Nation." Their live shows were infamous for their violence and rowdiness, and even featured lead singer Stiv Bators cutting himself up on stage. Guitarist Cheetah Chrome's ferocious leads are like a slashing force of nature. Few groups captured the spirit of the New York punk scene better than the Dead Boys. The owner of CBGB was even their manager for a while. Over the years, the band has re-formed on a number of occasions and their latest incarnation will be playing at Burger Boogaloo on Saturday, July 6th. (More on Burger Boogaloo HERE!)

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Interpol

Posted by Amoebite, January 8, 2019 05:33pm | Post a Comment

Interpol - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We kicked off 2019 and our first What's In My Bag? episode of Season 12 with New York indie legends Interpol! The trio went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and chatted with us about some of their favorite records and movies, including Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Apparently the 19th century naval adventure/drama made such an impression on lead vocalist Paul Banks that he maybe, possibly got a tattoo inspired by the film. All three members had a lot of heartfelt and entertaining things to say about their eclectic picks, which ranged from Bad Brains to Roy Orbison and from Aphex Twin to Jesu.

The quintessential NYC indie band, Interpol consists of vocalist/guitarist Banks, guitarist/backing vocalist Daniel Kessler, and drummer Sam Fogarino. Initially formed in 1997, the group self-released Interpol - Marauder - Amoeba Musica series of EPs, and after a brief UK tour in 2001, performed on John Peel's BBC Radio program. Around this time, the band signed to Matador, who released their self-titled EP prior to the release of the critically-acclaimed, career-making 2002 full-length Turn on the Bright Lights. Interpol's sophomore LP, Antics, was released in 2004, reaching gold status on both the US and UK charts and earning them slots performing with the likes of U2 and The Cure. By 2007, the band had signed to major label Columbia for the release of their third LP, Our Love to Admire.

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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.

NYSOM #99

Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2014 10:24am | Post a Comment
    

NYSOM #99 of 100: Earlier this month DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist kicked off their ongoing "Renegades of Rhythm" vinyl-only tour honoring Afrika Bambaataa's vast and influential record collection with two shows at NYC's Irving Plaza (after a stop in Boston) where my man Joe Conzo took the above photo of the two West Coast DJs who wore the perfectly appropriate matching T-shirts for the occasion with "DUMP" and "KOCH" emblazoned on the backs of them in a direct reference to the NYC era in which Bambaataa and hip-hop rose to fame in New York City. In keeping with this theme of that oft romanticized bygone era of a decidedly grittier and grungier New York City I've included a few other pics from NYC in the 70's and 80's in this second to final of a one hundred New York State of Mind Amoeblog series including one (left in 1981 taken by Bob Gruen) of The Clash when they visited NYC and (by the same wonderful photographer) one of The Ramones on the New York City subway. Others include one of the Beastie Boys from 1986 taken at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens by Sunny Bak. By the way the highly recommended ongoing records-only tour with DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist (whose t-shirts said "SURE" and "SHOT" on the other sides) will be stopping in the Bay Area this weekend with the tour when they play SF's Mezzanine on Saturday, October 4th. 

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