Amoeblog

(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
This has been a busy week, dear readers. Lots of phone interviews, dinner parties, and soundtrack-slinging at Ye Olde Amoeba Music Hollywood.

I was gabbing with Peaches about her new album last Wednesday. It’s called I Feel Cream (release date in the U.S. is May 5) and it’s a blast! Definitely a departure from its predecessors, in that it’s more diverse in sound and moods. Peaches sings a lot more. There are moments where it sounds like the lovechild of modern R&B and older tracks by darlings of the Industrial genre, Front 242.


Anyway, I asked her about musical influences that might surprise people (it’s already well documented that she loves hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll). This led to her gushing about Joni Mitchell, and this performance in particular, which rocked her world:


That voice! A miracle. I just can’t get enough of it…


She really is one of my favorite things in the world of music, and while not everyone shares my passion for her sound, anyone who appreciates songwriting as a craft must acknowledge that, as a writer of music and lyrics, she remains one of the greatest artists of modern pop music. She’s credited with inventing about 50 different guitar tunings, and the list of musicians who cite her as an influence – Peaches included – reads like a Who’s Who of music.












Her own feelings about the music industry may not be so generous, though they seem to be justified. When asked in a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone: So how do you feel when some people say the whole [music] business is going down the crapper?

Joni Mitchell: I hope it all goes down the crapper. It's top-heavy, it's wasteful. It's an insane business. Now, this is all calculated music. It's calculated for sales, it's sonically calculated, it's rudely calculated. I'm ashamed to be a part of the music business. You know, I just think it's a cesspool.


…Gee whiz, Joni – tell us how you really feel.

I joke, but I only admire her for her frankness. I love her work so much that I’ve not wanted to blog about it. I have this issue with certain artists; I respect them so much that the idea of conveying their brilliance intimidates me. (Notice I’ve never blogged about Jim Nabors?) But Peaches’ excitement over Mitchell was so sincere, so surprising, and, for me, so relatable, that I had to take a moment to at least say, for the record, how totally gay I am for Joni Mitchell.

So there.

Prince

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 1, 2009 06:20am | Post a Comment
Prince Rogers Nelson is easily the most daring, inventive, and subversive pop star in contemporary music. He is just as much Cole Porter as he is James Brown. Using an R&B aesthetic base, he has interwoven punk rock, rock & roll, pop, jazz, blues, and new wave to carve out a sound that is American, uniquely African-American.

prince

His diverse background, varied music palette, and pop/showbiz mentality can be credprince rogers nelsonited to his Minnesota upbringing. Like Bob Dylan (also from MN), he balances spirituality and humanity with heartache and yearning. He is part spiritual leader, religious zealot, sensualist and priest of carnality. His work is visceral yet calculated, both frank and overt. This is all anchored by his genius for laying out a great tune. I mean, who princecaught the first time that "Raspberry Beret" was a tale of a person losing his virginity? With attention to detail draped in poetry and the abstract, the lyrics sound idiosyncratic and real as anything Joni Mitchell ever wrote. But songs like "Darling Nikki" expose a rawness and sexiness balanced in a tale about the love and loss found in a one night stand. So what is he about? What does it all mean?

Prince's music, story and career are so singular that many have tried to trace where this all comes from. The Minnesota link was a start; maybe it's his mixed African-American heritage. Who knows? But Prince has continued time and time again to break the mold of pop constraints, social uptight-ness, cold war hysteria, bible reading, and corporate rock greed. And through all of Prince's moods, phases, flings, mysteries and crusades, he has gotten us to wonder, follow and believe with one thing-- our own body. So where it "all comes from" is beyond us all, but where it goes is rapidly obvious -- we feel it in our bodies. There is no doubt he has moved us.  

Continue reading...

Multiple Maniacs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 10, 2008 11:45pm | Post a Comment








The Best Video Ever

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 1, 2008 12:42am | Post a Comment
This has to rank as one of my favorite videos ever. Snoop is just crazy! I like how the video begins and ends like it was recorded off a VCR. It reminds me off watching a late night video show and waiting for my favorite video to come on, then pressing the record and play. Everyone in the 80's/early 90's had that one VHS tape full of your favorite videos. The song's pretty out there as well. It's Snoop meets Prince/The Time/Vanity 6 meets T-Pain meets Daft Punk. BTW, Snoop's album drops March 11th.

Stories Of A Young Gomez, Pt. 1 - How Prince & Funkadelic Rocked A Young Mind

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 22, 2008 01:17am | Post a Comment

It was 1982. I was on a school bus with my classmates, coming back from a field trip. We went to one of those historical Spanish ranches that were built when California was still Mexico (or Aztlán, if you swing that way). I was in a haze, staring out the window when my classmate, Krystal, yells out to me, “Hey, have you heard the new Prince yet?” She threw me her cassette Walkman and I pressed play.

“Don’t worry, I won't hurt you. I only want you to have some fun…”

I knew "Little Red Corvette;" it was all over the radio. But by the time I got to "Lady Cab Driver" I was a full-blown fan and 1999 was my Sgt. Pepper. It took me months to figure out that this was the same Vato that sang "Wanna Be Your Lover" a few years back.

Orale! I always thought it was a woman who sang that song!

A few weeks later, my cousin Diana had a party in Buena Park. She had a pretty big record collection. I managed to ignore all the other records and went straight to 1999. As soon as the needle hit the wax, Diana’s boyfriend, Larry, was like, “Aw hell no, Prince again?’ At that moment I remember hating Larry. Like most kids, I held every discovery sacred and I thought I knew more than everyone. Larry looked at me like he knew what I was thinking. “You want to hear where Prince got all that from?’ He went to the record collection and pulled out Funkadelic’s One Nation Under A Groove and Uncle Jam Wants You. He played each album consecutively, side a, side b, side a, side b. All those songs, "Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!," "Cholly (Funk Gettin' Ready To Roll), "One Nation Under A Groove," "(Not Just) Knee Deep Pt.1," "Freak Of The Week." I stood staring at the speakers, digesting every song, every note, every deep bass note, every keyboard bend, every guitar solo and vocal harmony. It was as if I was trippin', way before I knew how that felt.

Once again my little world was rocked.
(To be continued...)
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