Amoeblog

Close To The Ledge: Top Ten Suicide Songs

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2017 06:35pm | Post a Comment

First up, if you are currently feeling suicidal or simply need to talk to someone, call the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK [8255] where you will be forwarded to a counselor in your local area. Secondly this Top Ten Suicide Songs list (songs dealing with suicide from first and third person perspectives, and/or the mindset surrounding the subject), while intensely emotional, are in fact uplifting songs that have been known to both distract from and alleviate self-destructive feelings. Much like the power of blues music, these songs can similarly begin to lift those feeling low and depressed out of their deep funk.

As with any limited music list that attempts to cover a wide range of recordings on a specific topic, this top ten does not include a lot of great/worthy songs on the subject of suicide. A Top 50 list would have included many deserving songs that unfortunately were omitted in this top ten. Hence I have referenced these "honorable mention" songs in the honorary mentions paragraphs below as well as throughout the text of this Amoeblog. But please post any other worthy songs not included in the comments section, thanks.

I chose the Amoeblog title "Close To The Ledge" because of the fact that so many songs about suicide reference, both literally and figuratively, the ledge that people jump to their death from. This recurring theme appears in such songs about suicide as Frank Turner's "Song For Josh" and Stacy Barthe's "My Suicide Note  (both in top ten below), the Paul Westerberg penned "The Ledge" by The Replacements from their 1987 album Pleased To Meet Me (also on vinyl/LP),  Third Eye Blind's deceptively peppy sounding 1997 hit "Jumper" with the refrain "I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend," and The Dead Ships' "Citycide." The title track off the LA band's 2015 album Citycide refers to the ledge of the San Francisco side of Golden Gate Bridge that singer Devlin McCluskey, who lost his best friend to suicide, was referring to upon learning that the majority of jumpers off the GGB (the subject of the dark but nail-bitingly engaging 2006 documentary The Bridge) "jumps off the City side."

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New Pearl Jam LP and 7" Vinyl Reissues Available

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2016 03:40pm | Post a Comment

Pearl Jam vinyl reissues

A veritable bonanza of Pearl Jam reissues hit our shelves this morning, including two long out-of-print LPs and five (yes, five!) 7" singles. The new releases are in honor of the legendary grunge rockers' 1996 album, No Code, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. They've also reissued Yield, their 1998 follow-up. The newly reissued 7"s are the singles from both albums.

Read on to find why we're excited about each release.

No Code

No Code (LP)

Out of print on vinyl since its original 1996 release date, No Code has long been a sought-after, expensive collectors' item. It has been newly mastered specifically for vinyl by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig and released on 150-gram vinyl, with recreated artwork. If you pick this up, you'll also receive one of four Polaroid lyric cards.

Yield (LP)

They Sing Sea Songs Down by the Seashore -- Vegetarian Sea Shanties of a Sort

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 17, 2015 09:03am | Post a Comment
"Colin Hunter" "their only harvest" (1879)
Their Only Harvest by Colin Hunter (1879)

I wrote a guide to sea vegetables over at my blog. As a companion piece here at the Amoeblog, I thought I’d compile a guide to modern day sea shanties by vegetarian (or former vegetarian, in some cases) songwriters or bands with vegetarian members.
Seaweed Gatherers (1926) by Harold Harvey
Seaweed Gatherers (1926) by Harold Harvey 
 
 
*****


Belle & Sebastian - “Ease Your Feet in the Sea”

Blur - "This is a Low"


Bob Marley And The Wailers - “High Tide Or Low Tide”

One Album Wonders: Mad Season

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 2, 2015 02:31pm | Post a Comment
Mad Season

The Scientists were likely both grunge's inventors and the genre's first supergroup (members had previously played in Cheap Nasties, Slick City Boys, and Victims). However, if one hears “grunge supergroup” they more likely think of Temple of the Dog, a one album wonder the members of which had previously played in Seattle grunge bands including Soundgarden, Green River, and Skin Yard (as well as the not-really-grunge one album wonders Mother Love Bone and not-at-all Seattle - since they were from San Diego - Bad Radio). Mad Season, when they're remembered, are that other grunge supergroup. 
 
Mad Season's Above


Mad Season arrived pretty late on the scene, toward the end of 1994. In April of that year, Kurt Cobain had killed himself but alternative and music had by then long ceased to be anything remotely underground and was resolutely mainstream. In 1992, MTV had replaced 120 Minutes host Dave Kendall with, Lewis Largent and the program, which had previously showcased a host of bands playing diverse music became a parade of bands whose members dressed like Largent, in shorts, combat boots, flannel, and backwards baseball cap. If that wasn't mainstream enough, MTV also launched the ironically named Alternative Nation as a showcase for the manufactured corporate guitar rock favored by soulful dudebros (eg Candlebox and Stone Temple Pilots).
 

In 1993 Marc Jacobs had served up grunge realness on the catwalk for Perry Ellis -- five years after Martin Margiela had pretty much done the same thing, serving up a fantasy of homeless fashion for the one percent. By 1994 pre-ripped jeans and combat boots were part of a uniform adopted by the knavescene and celebrities like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves. Their female counterparts, such as emaciated supermodel Kate Moss,  were used to promote heroin chic. After not having heard any interesting new American rock in what seemed like forever, I gave up on it. I would hear the names of new bands, including Toadies, Seven Mary Three, Sky Cries Mary, Jars of Clay, Primitive Radio Gods, Eels, DC Talk, Duncan Sheik, Sister Hazel, Local H, and more. All would have their champions but like every Steven Spielberg movie since Raiders of the Lost Ark, if I gave any a chance I'd almost certainly be underwhelmed. 

Essential Records: 'Rage Against The Machine'

Posted by Amoebite, February 25, 2015 11:15am | Post a Comment

Essential Records Rage Against the Machine

With the release of Nirvana's Nevermind (Geffen), Pearl Jam's Ten (Epic) and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Warner Bros), Alternative Rock dominated the early '90s mainstream. Touted as the voice of a generation, Kurt Cobain was the poster boy for grunge, leading the way with chart-topping, angst-filled hits. For perspective, Los Angeles was dealing with its own levels of angst and anarchy with the '92 riots which were spawned in the wake of the Rodney King beating. With the City of Angels literally on fire, President Bush had to call in the U.S. Guard for help. Compton rap group N.W.A. was ending its terror on the music industry, but not after prompting strict Parental Advisory guidelines on CD packaging for explicit content and drawing scrutiny from the FBI. With emotions on high and tension building in the streets, the stage was set and no one could have ever predicted the sonic tsunami that was about to shake up the music scene.  

Essential Records

Taking their name from a song written by frontman Zack de la Rocha (while with his previous group Inside Out), Rage Against The Machine produced a 12 song demo cassette. The tape was self-released and made available at shows for $5. The band's buzz quickly erupted like a molotov cocktail and with just a handful of live performances, Rage were being persued by several major record labels. Ultimately signing with Epic, the band's debut album, Rage Against The Machine, was released on November 3, 1992. On the strength of the lead single, "Killing In The Name," the album hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. "Killing In The Name" received heavy radio play with just 8 lines of repeated lyrics, including the explicit, "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" repeated 16 times. In line with the aesthetic and social message of RATM, the song alludes to the idea that police brutality is closely associated with the deep-rooted racism in the United States. It's safe to say that none of the grunge bands of the time were singing songs like this.

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