Amoeblog

Amoeba Bloggers Answer: What Was Your First Album?

Posted by Billy Gil, March 6, 2012 07:09pm | Post a Comment
I recently was at Amoeba Hollywood and overheard a customer telling an employee Davy Jones had died. I hadn’t heard the news yet. She brought it up because she was buying Katy Perry records for her daughter. She said her daughter didn’t even have a record player — she just wanted every bit of Katy Perry merchandise she could get her hands on.
 
The only artist I can ever remember being that obsessive about was The Smashing Pumpkins, but that was in high school. But it got me thinking about those first tapes, records, singles etc. that everyone got as a kid.
 
For me, the first album I ever bought on my own was Ace of Base’s The Sign on cassette. I had always liked music, but at 11, I had just started to pay attention to what songs were on the radio. A friend made me a tape from the radio and “The Sign” was on it. I loved it. In the coming weeks and months, albums by Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and my beloved Pumpkins would follow, but really it all started with Ace of Base for me. Though if I’m being technical, I had a cassette single of Paula Abdul’s “Promise of a New Day” that I listened to constantly when I was like 9, but I didn’t buy that — I won it at a cousin’s music-themed birthday party, at which my dad dressed himself and me as Simon & Garfunkel. I had no idea who they were. I think I was Paul Simon.
 
While I’m embarrassing myself, I thought I’d extend the question to the other Amoeba bloggers: What was your first album? Not kids’ music, but not just the cool stuff, either — the tapes we once listened to repeatedly and then put away in a drawer somewhere once we realized how lame they were, though I’m still on the hunt for The Sign on vinyl. Here are their answers:
 
Eric Brightwell
the cure kiss me kiss me kiss meMy first record was Luciano Pavarotti's My Own Story, a compilation of “musical highlights of his spectacular career.” They used to heavily advertise it on TV when I got home from school, and I was hooked. My first cassette was Peter Gabriel's So. I'd liked the singles from it, but when “Big Time” came out, I was obsessed. My first CD was The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. I was introduced to it by a German exchange student named Ina. Before she left I rode my bike into town to a Wal-Mart to get a blank cassette to dub it. I loved it so much, I thought it warranted being purchased on CD. 
 


Job O Brother

First vinyl album: Chipmunk Rock The Chipmunks
First vinyl single: Crush On You The Jets
First 8-track: Street Player Rufus
First cassette: Mesopotamia The B-52's
First cassette single: Been Caught Stealing Jane's Addiction
First CD: Upstairs at Eric's Yaz
First CD single: Makes No Sense At All Hüsker Dü

I still listen to and love all of these albums. I would be remiss if I didn't give an honorable mention to the Superscope Storyteller Series, whose fairy tales were backed by beautiful classical music, which made me the lover of the genre forevermore.
 
Ricky Frystak
My first single was “The Cattle Call” by Eddie Arnold. My mother got it for me in the late ’50s.
 
As I was completely enthralled by the yodeling on the record, and as I had a record player of my own already at the age of  5 or 6,  I played the hell out of it. The other thing around that time was a Sandy Nelson album called Let There Be Drums, as I had been given a snare drum and cymbal by my parents, and was playing percussion on all the pots and pans in the house to boot.
 
Then The Beatles hit and the rest is history.
 
Joe (The Vinyl Beat)
Paul Revere and the Raiders Here They ComeI'm a little older than most of the bloggers, so I'm going back a little further. The first album that I bought was Paul Revere & The Raiders Here They Come.  I still think it’s a great album.  It had tunes like “Louie Louie,” “You Can't Sit Down,” ”Money,” and “Do You love Me,” and it rocked real hard. I listened to it over and over because it was the only album I had! I got a few more while in high school, but couldn't afford many. I didn't start collecting until I went to college at UC Berkeley. On Sunday a few of us would go to the Alameda flea market at a drive-in near the Oakland Coliseum. I'd come home with a pile of scratched up LPs that I had spent a total of $5 on. Soon I had many crates full and I never looked back.
 
Gomez
kiss destroyerMy family did not have much money. So whatever one of us got we all shared. When I was in first grade, my father took my sisters and I record shopping. I wasn't into music and I remember all the surfer/hippie freaks in the record store scared me. Together, my sisters and I decided on getting KISS Destroyer over Aerosmith's Toys In The Attic. We eventually got the “Walk This Way” single from Zody's, so that sufficed our need for Aerosmith.
 
We would play the album when our parents weren't home and grab some tennis rackets to play air guitar while Destroyer blasted in the background.
 
The first single I bought was years later when I was in eighth grade. It was Fun Boy Three's “The Telephone Always Rings” I saw the video on MV3, a local new-wave video show that I couldn't stand but would watch daily. I liked the song because it was weird and it had the guys from The Specials in it. By then, I was into buying LPS and cassettes. I couldn't find the The Fun Boy Three album so I settled on getting the single. I bought it at Spider Records in Gardena, Calif., where later I got all my early punk records.

Rachael McGovern

I remember CDs being expensive — or at least perceiving that they were expensive — when they were first introduced. It was just me and my mom for many years when I was growing up, and CDs were not something we could afford, as much as we both loved music. My mom remarried when I was 12 years old, and we moved to New Delhi, India, where my stepfather was working on assignment. This is important for one reason — the accessibility to new American music was pretty slim during that time overseas. The details are a little hazy, but I remember my stepdad coming back to India after a business trip to the States with two CDs for me and my stepsister to choose from — EMF's Schubert Dip or Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony. She and I shared a room so, in effect, we got to share the albums. But I choose Cooleyhighharmony. “Motownphilly back again...” Oh man, did I love that record. Still do. It was way, way better than that EMF album.
 
(Also of note that year: During a stay in a New Delhi hotel while our house was under construction, I was able to watch Asian MTV, and that's where I first heard/saw Right Said Fred's “I'm Too Sexy” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”)

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Used Finds: OMD, Beach Boys, Pointer Sisters

Posted by Billy Gil, February 8, 2012 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Here’s a new feature where every so often I’ll pick out my favorite used LPs from recent finds. It should go without saying I got all of these for like, an average of five bucks a piece. So here it goes.
 
OMD – Dazzle Ships
(link to original issue CD)
 
I always liked OMD enough for their singles, especially “Enola Gay,” but I never really delved into their albums until this one, a mini masterpiece of whirring industrial synthesizers and indelible pop melodies. Some of OMD’s catchiest songs (“Genetic Engineering,” “Telegraph”) are interrupted by bits of shortwave broadcast played over oceanic synthesizers that lend the whole thing an eerie ambiance. It feels like listening to the radio on a submarine. There’s also a young band called Dazzle Ships; they’re really cool too.
 





The Beach Boys – Sunflower
(new LP)
 
Sunflower is maybe the last classic the Beach Boys made and is all the more ripe for rediscovering because its songs haven’t been played to death (it wasn’t a hit in the U.S.) and its tastefully layered production sounds great today on harmony-driven songs like “Forever” and “Cool, Cool Water,” fun ’70s rocker “Slip on Through” and, especially, “All I Wanna Do,” which may have helped invent shoegaze.
 









The Pointer SistersSpecial Things
 
I love everything about Special Friends. The sick bouncing basslines and horns on “Could I Be Dreamin’” and “Evil.” Burt Bacharach co-penned ballads like “Where Did the Time Go” that will absolutely kill you if you’re in the mood. Their outfits. But also this album has “He’s So Shy,” maybe their best song, which is like cotton candy for anyone with a yen for early ’80s synth-driven R&B a la Prince’s Dirty Mind.

Peaches Christ's Fashion Tips for Special July 1st Screening of Purple Rain @ The Castro with Apollonia In The House

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2011 01:03am | Post a Comment

      

"Take Me With U" Prince & Apollonia from Purple Rain1984

 

Anyone who lives in San Francisco or who follows the Amoeblog already knows that Peaches Christ's Midnight Mass movie series is a thing of legendary status and that, along with everything else that the drag icon and her Backlash Production Company produces, rightfully commands a large & loyal following in San Francisco as well as the other cities and countries the traveling show has visited. But the upcoming July 1st special screening of Purple Rain at San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre may top all other Peaches Christ events to date.

In addition to the 35mm film presentation of Purple Rain (already a proven Midnight Mass favorite) and the guaranteed entertaining Purple Pre-Show, the event will also feature none other than Apollolina herself who starred alongside Prince in the 1984 film. Apollonia, the actress, singer, and former model who was born Patricia Kotero, will be Peaches' live guest for both a Q&A session and a post show meet-and-greet. Yesterday I caught up with Peaches Christ to ask about what fashion tips she might have for attendees of this special event and also what she thinks will be some of the favorite movie scenes with the audience at the Castro on July 1st? "All of the musical numbers tend to be the best scenes at our screening, especially the finale when the big concert finale breaks into 'I Would Die 4 U.' The audience goes nuts!" said Peaches Christ - the alter ego of accomplished drag performer, emcee, filmmaker, and actor Joshua Grannell who began the ever popular Midnight Mass series at the Bridge Theater in SF back in the late nineties.

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The Art of the LP Cover- Hoop Earrings

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 5, 2011 01:45pm | Post a Comment

Prince Playing Oakland Next Week

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 16, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment

According to SFist, epic legend Prince will be playing two shows at the Oakland Arena next week, on Mon, Feb 21 and Wed, Feb 23, and tickets go onsale this Friday, Feb 18!

prince

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