Amoeblog

FOLK SINGER KATE MCGARRIGLE HAS DIED AT AGE 63

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2010 08:56am | Post a Comment
Kate & Anna McGarrigle
The Canadian folk artist Kate McGarrigle, best known for her work with her sister Anna McGarrigle, died last night (Jan 18th) following a battle with a rare form of cancer. She was 63. Her musical career (songwriter/vocals/piano/guitar) began with sister Anna in the mid seventies. They recorded ten albums together. Additionally, she was also known to many as the mother of musicians Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright from her marriage to musician Loudon Wainwright III. In fact, when reports that the artist was critically ill surfaced over the weekend, son Rufus reportedly canceled his tour of Australia and New Zealand, scheduled to begin in two weeks, to be by his mother's side. 

The McGarrigle Sisters debuted in 1976 with the critically acclaimed album Kate & Anna McGarrigle, which was even named "album of the year" by UK music magazine Melody Maker. Over the years tracks from the sisters' repertoire, which included songs such as "Heart Like a Wheel," "Goin' Back to Harlan," "Heartbeats Accelerating," "Talk to Me of Mendocino," and "On My Way to Town," have been covered by many artists, including Billy Bragg, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris. Below is a video of the McGarrigle Sisters performing their beautiful song "Heart Like A Wheel" in 1990. And below that is an amateur video of Kate, Martha, and Rufus Wainwright all together onstage two years ago at Radio City Music Hall in NYC performing "Talk to Me of Mendocino." Rest in peace, Kate McGarrigle!

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(In which good tidings abound.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 23, 2007 06:43pm | Post a Comment

Christmas Trivia: Which creatures in this picture traditionally ended up being sacrificed?
(See the answer at the bottom)

Merry Christmas, Dear Reader!

…Unless of course, you’re Jewish, in which case...

Happy Chanukah!


Or maybe you’re an African-American who’s reconnecting with what Ron Karenga characterized as their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study around principles that have their putative origins in what Karenga asserts are "African traditions" and "common humanist principles", in which case...

Happy Kwanzaa!


Oh! And my friend Giggles is a pagan.

Happy Solstice, Giggles, and all you other pagan pals!


Did I forget anyone? In a world of such rich and diverse cultural and religious/spiritual… uh… things, I’m sure it’s impossible to include everyone, except to say:

HAPPY WHATEVER THIS TIME OF YEAR MEANS TO YOU!


…Oh… Unless your beliefs prohibit being happy. I suppose my blanket statement wouldn’t include you. Sorry! Okay, so, let’s try this again…

WHATEVER EMOTIONAL STATE FOR WHICHEVER MEANS OF HOWEVER YOU DEEM TO MARK THIS TIME OF YEAR, I WISH THEE!


Whew! I think I nailed it that time. I must admit, though, I’m glad most of you readers just celebrate it as Christmas and Chanukah, because that’s much easier to say. ...And to write in hot glue on a stocking.

I will be celebrating the holidays at the home of my beloved. I’m going to make egg nog from scratch with bourbon and we’ll probably play Scrabble and watch the French & Saunders Christmas Special.


I’m also trying to come up with a recipe for "dessert eggs benedict". Any suggestions?

However and wherever you’re spending your December 25, remember that I think the world of you and will do everything I can to make things radder for you in the coming year.

Love,
Job

Trivia answer: All of them! Ho, ho, ho!

(In which Job is born again.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 25, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment

[Insert cuss word here.] I forgot to buy cone filters. Now, instead of waking up with a fresh cup of organic Sumatra, I’m waking up with a cold can of diet Coke. This is low. I really should just crawl back into bed and start over tomorrow. Of course, if I did that, I still wouldn’t have any cone filters.

But maybe some kind soul would read this blog and, as I hid beneath my comforter, re-enacting the third trimester of my mummy’s gestation process, they would come to my apartment and gift me some cone filters. Then I could safely slip out of the vaginal opening I’d have reconstructed using tin-foil, Ikea tumblers and cat fur, and greet the world as a newborn baby. That would be sweet. I’d wipe off the after-birth, put on a fresh pair of diapers, sip on a yummy mug of coffee and wait for my cord-stump to fall off.


"It's Rufus with an 'R' not Liza with a 'Z'...!"

I saw Rufus Wainwright at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night. I went there with my gorgeous pal, Carrie. We walked there from my apartment, an act which our LA-native friends thought akin to The Donner Party.

“You’re walking from Sunset Boulevard to the Hollywood Bowl?!” Cameron gasped, “That’s uphill!”

“It’s not uphill,” I answered, “It’s up slant.”

As Carrie and I neared the famed half-shell, I started to worry that we were there on the wrong night, and had actually arrived for a Bear Convention. I’ve never seen so many burly men in designer jeans.

(For those of you who don’t know what a “bear” is, I’ll explain:

Bears (family Ursidae) are large mammals in the order Homocarnivora. Bears are classified as homocaniforms, or doglike homocarnivorans, with the otterpinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere.

Common characteristics of modern bears include a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, paws with five nonretractile claws, devout love for Liza Minnelli, and a short tail. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous, with largely varied diets including both plants and animals and cheap beer.

With the exceptions of courting individuals and twinks with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They are sometimes diurnal, but are usually active during the night (nocturnal) or twilight (crepuscular). Bears are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and be adept climbers and swimmers. Bears use shelters such as caves and burrows and bars in West Hollywood as their dens, which are occupied by most species during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur. To this day, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, bears have been exploited through the encroachment of their habitats and the illegal trade of bears and bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even "least concern" species such as the brown bear are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations is prohibited, but still ongoing, particularly by Republican conservatives.)


Now comes a confession: I’ve already written about the show itself, for The Advocate. You can read the article here. One thing The Advocate doesn’t have, however, are these rad pix of Carrie eating her dinner of Trader Joe’s low-fat spinach pizzas and Pinot Grigio…


Amoeba exclusive photos! You saw it here first!

I introduced Carrie to these pizzas and she took to them like a fish to water. They're delicious! Sadly, they are not (yet) available at Amoeba Music. As she was macking on them, a strange look came over her face. She looked down at the quarter-piece of crust still in her hand and picked at it with her finger.

"Oh..." she said, then scrapped off the remnants of a sheet of greasy wax paper, which separates each individual slice. "Wax paper. I didn't realize..."

She looked at me. There was a moment of concern.

"I've eaten almost an entire piece of wax paper," she said, then suddenly smiled.

See? You can eat these Trader Joe pizzas with the wax paper and still enjoy it. They're that good! (Although Carrie admitted they were even better after removing them.)

Also, I feel I should explain some of the comments left by well-wishers on my previous blog entry. They come from readers of a different article I wrote for The Advocate which has nothing to do with Glenn Close getting her groove on. Thanks to the wonders of link technology, however, they found themselves at the Amoeblog and the rest is history.

Now I’m going to blast some Suzi Quatro and give myself a sponge bath. Don’t look.

(In which Job zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by Job O Brother, September 20, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
I’m writing this blog in a race against time.

I just popped two Tylenol PM caplets a couple of minutes ago. I expect my ability to compose grammar will degrade rapidly… starting now.

The problem is that I have too much to tell you. I almost tripped over Lily Tomlin’s feet at the HBO after-party the night of the Emmy’s. (I’ve been told that these so-called “Emmy’s” are an award they give to people in the television business, but I wanna do some fact-checking on that before I present the data as true.) I also caught Glenn Close bopping her shoulders when the band began playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Why do you Earthlings go so ga-ga over that song?!


Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world.

The boyfriend snagged us a chauffeured Audi. This fuggin' car had red, lit-up buttons on everything. Like, even the buttons had mini-buttons on them. I was intimidated. I don't like to think the car I'm riding in is smarter than me.

At a certain point we ended up in Anna Paquin's limo and headed over to the TV Guide party, just in time to miss Kanye West. I sent Kanye a box of Violet Crumbles to make up for it. It's his favorite candy bar. For Thanksgiving last year, he assembled the entire meal - turkey, stuffing, yams, Waldorf salad - using ONLY Violet Crumbles. It was an innovative and delicious meal and everyone who attended enjoyed themselves until we suffered diabetic shock and passed out drooling stomach bile.

Okay, some of that last paragraph is untrue.

Melissa Logan’s birthday party was two nights ago. I was there after a few rounds at The Advocate’s 40th anniversary party. William Baldwin was there, and I wasn’t sure if his standing across the room and paying no attention to me whatsoever was his idea of a come-on, but what else could it have been? The poor man just can’t come to grips with the fact that I am happily committed to Corey.


Corey chatting with Perez Hilton at the party, as I try to find a cocktail that doesn't look like a parrot.

I’m already forgetting what I’ve written. The Tylenol is gaining on me.

And speaking of sleeping pills, I’ll be going to see Rufus Wainwright’s tribute to Judy Garland this Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl. If everything goes according to plan, by the end of the evening I will have goaded a gang of Judy/Liza drag queens into pummeling me. It’s an obscure fetish and I have to take advantage of every opportunity to make it happen which presents itself.

(I have another fantasy of women dressing like Virginia Woolf, stuffing me into their coat pocket, and drowning themselves in rivers. This is a very difficult fetish to enjoy and it’s almost impossible to find women who’ll do this for me. And yes, I have checked Craig’s List, but girls will draw you in, full of promises to be Woolf and I’ll drive across town only to discover that they’re actually Vita Sackville-Wests. Total mood killer.)

Which leads me to wonder what kind of oven-cleaner Sylvia Plath used?

Wait… what is this blog about again? Or is this a letter? Who are you?

I better post a distracting picture and escape before you catch on…

coming out today...5/15...rufus wainwright...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 14, 2007 09:29pm | Post a Comment
Today is the release day of the new album "Release the Stars" by Rufus Wainwright. This is his fifth album. Rufus comes from one of those crazy music families just full of crazy talent. It kind of makes me a little jealous. His dad is the great Loudon Wainwright III and his mom is Kate McGarrical. His sister, Martha, is also a musician. His first self titled album came out in 1998. I have to admit that I first got into Rufus when I found out that he was gay. Even today, very few musicians actually admit to being gay. Especially when starting out in the music business. It took Elton John like 50 years to come out. I felt it was my duty to support him and I was intrigued. But I actually ended up liking his debut album "Rufus Wainwright" quite a bit. Some might find him a bit dramatic but he really does have  a stunning voice.




Although you will have a hard time noticing it, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys is the  executive producer. When I first heard about Neil being involved, I was expecting a very different album. I was sort of expecting a mix of Erasure and Liberace. However, nothing could be farther away from what the album actually turned out to be. It is still a very Rufus album. The album also features Richard Thompson. The Thompson and Wainwright families are often intertwined.  Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, is a good friend and often plays live with Rufus. His new album is brilliant. He really is a great songwriter. He manages to capture a tragic feeling in all his songs even if they seem to be at first happy little ballads. His signature voice carries you through the album and brings you into his little Rufus world. Its hard not to notice his love of the showtunes and the opera. He for sure likes the drama. However, its not done in a mocking way or even a kitschy way. Rufus plays his own piano on most of the songs. Sometimes you might even feel you are at a piano bar listening to your favorite song. But a really good piano bar that you would keep coming back to. He has his own unique style but also manages to create an album that even your grandma might like. Just as long as she doesn't look to deep into the lyrics.

 This first single of the album is "Going to Town." One of the lyrics of the song  is "I'm so tired of you America." A line that many of us can at times relate to. One of the things I like most about him is what first intrigued me about him. In a business where so many people hide and pretend to be a certain kind of person, Rufus is proudly Rufus. He bares his soul on his songs and his albums. He does not pretend to be some kind of person he is not just to sell more records. I only wish more artists could be as brave as him. You can really feel that honesty come through on all his albums. And that honesty mixed with that magical voice make for a great album, once again.


also out today...







"Sky Blue Sky" by Wilco











"Hey Eugene!" by Pink Martini













"Minutes to Midnight" by Linkin Park













"Strange House" by the Horrors






and the brilliant movie "Pan's Labyrinth" comes out on DVD today!