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Tribute To Legacy of Pioneering Influential Artist Pete Shelley [1955-2018] Co-Founder of Seminal 70’s UK Punk Band Buzzcocks

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2018 11:43am | Post a Comment

Sad news emerged yesterday that Buzzcocks lead singer/guitarist Pete Shelley had died from a suspected heart attack, as first reported on social media by his surviving younger brother Gary McNeish. Aged 63 the British artist born Peter Campbell McNeish, who enjoyed a career as both solo artist and co-founder of seminal UK punk band Buzzcocks, had been living in Estonia up until his passing on the morning of December 6th, 2018.

In 1975 while attending college Shelley and Howard Devoto co-founded the early era UK punk band Buzzcocks who made their influential debut performance opening for the Sex Pistols in Manchester in 1976. In January 1977 they released their debut record, the Spiral Scratch EP which, following the Sex Pistols, The Damned, and The Vibrators, was among the original wave of UK punk releases.

Not long after the release of Spiral Scratch in 1977 Howard Devoto left the band with Shelley then moving center stage as lead singer/songwriter and guitarist. As such he honed the band’s distinctive power-punk style.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Vic Mensa

Posted by Amoebite, February 5, 2018 06:51pm | Post a Comment

Vic Mensa What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa visited Amoeba Hollywood recently and picked up records by some of his all-time favorites, including two legendary bands of the UK punk scene: the Sex Pistols and The Clash. "The energy captivated me as a kid," he said of the album Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols. Mensa pointed to The Clash as one of his favorite bands, saying, "I feel like The Clash is the punk band." Having picked up their Live At Shea Stadium LP he said, "the live version is gonna have all of this fresh musicality that I haven't heard before."

Vic Mensa, born Victor Kwesi Mensah, began his career in the indie band Kids These Days before releasing his debut mixtape, Innanetape, in 2013. Featuring appearances by Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa The Autobiography Ab-Soul, Rockie Fresh, and BJ the Chicago Kid, the mixtape was universally acclaimed. Not long after, Mensa signed up to support J. Cole and Wale on the What Dreams May Come Tour. He was included in XXL's Freshman Class of 2014, winning over new fans with the release of "Down on My Luck," the first single from his debut EP, Street Lights.

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The Top 10 Criterion Blu-rays of 2017

Posted by Amoebite, December 18, 2017 01:57pm | Post a Comment

Top 10 Criterion Blu-rays of 2018

Has Criterion gone punk?? Based on the top selling Blu-rays at Amoeba this year it looks as if the primo purveyors of classic, foreign, and arthouse films found much of their success in alternative and cult-y titles by such provocateurs as Alex Cox, Terry Zwigoff, and John Waters. Perhaps it's a slight exaggeration, but based on the thin presence of films for Francophiles and classic film buffs, it seems that the prestigious label has gotten more angsty and alternative. Regardless, Criterion, as always, released a stellar collection of films in 2017. Here are the 10 best-selling Criterion Blu-rays at Amoeba.

Read all of our Best of 2017 lists.

Sid & Nancy Criterion Blu-ray Amoeba Music

10. Sid & Nancy 
Directed by Alex Cox, 1986
Released Aug 22, 2017

The long overdue Blu-ray release of Sid & Nancy has been one of the most anticipated Criterion releases in recent memory, and it couldn't have come at a more poignant time in lead actor Gary Oldman's career. Now regarded as a Hollywood mainstay, and garnering Oscar buzz for his recent portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hours, Oldman broke through to audiences in Cox's kinetic cult flick about the infamous, short lived, heroin-fueled relationship between Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen (played by an equally fascinating Chloe Webb), before her gruesome, unsolved death by stabbing. Packed with extra documentaries, archival interviews of the real Vicious and Spungen, commentaries by the cast and crew, and more, this is the ultimate edition of the beloved punk-classic. 4K digital restoration.
Rebecca Criterion Blu-ray Amoeba Music 9. Rebecca 
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1940
Released Sept 5, 2017

Considered a favorite by many die-hard Alfred Hitchcock fans, Rebecca was the director's first production in Hollywood, after making a name for himself across the Atlantic. Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier star is this psychological melodrama, in which the bliss of their new marriage becomes overshadowed by the memory, and possibly spirit, of Olivier's dead first wife. Filled with visual style, atmospheric special effects, and superb performances, Rebecca signaled the arrival of a new master in Tinseltown, and took home the Academy Award for best picture. The new Blu-ray is filled to the brim with special features, including various archival interviews with cast and crew members, three radio adaptations (including one by Orson Wells), screen tests, and a new conversation by legendary film critic Molly Haskell with Patricia White. 4K digital restoration.

From "Give Peace A Chance" to "Fuck Donald Trump" - Top Ten Protest Songs

Posted by Billyjam, April 11, 2017 02:10pm | Post a Comment

 
"War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again" - Edwin Starr "War" (1970 Motown) *
The above sentiment of Edwin Starr's popular anti-Vietnam protest song was right about war but with one key exception. War, along with other periods of serious social unrest, historically trigger some of the best reactionary art of all schools including music and some of the most powerful protest songs. Even before last Thursday's bombing of Syria and the inevitable future fallout it will cause, the Trump era had already helped kick start the latest renaissance of revolutionary protest music.  Like Edwin Starr's Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong penned 1970 single, recorded during the counterculture era, the latest wave of protest music is a form of artistic expression born out of passion and necessity. Traditionally protest music acts on two primary levels. It's the soundtrack to the actual protest / rebellion / revolution, as well as being as a medium to vent and share feelings of discontent. As well as being a catharsis for its creators offering listeners some sense of relief or bonding, good protest music can also provide a message of hope during historically challenging times. Since the beginning of time history has a habit of repeatedly presenting its citizens challenging times, with war and social injustices being recurring themes.

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Smithsonian Should Acquire CBGB Awning At Sotheby's Auction & Loan To Grammy Museum's Ramones "Birth of Punk" Exhibit

Posted by Billyjam, December 2, 2016 02:31am | Post a Comment

The awning from bygone punk mecca CBGB's, to be auctioned off next week by Sotheby's, deserves to remain in the public domain. Rather than go to some private collection, it would be wonderful if the historic  315 Bowery club awning were  acquired by the Smithsonian Institution. In turn it could then be loaned out to exhibits such as the ongoing Ramones exhibit "Hey, Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk" at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles through March 2017. More than any other act closely associated with CBGB's in its 70's heyday (Television, Patti Smith Group, Talking Heads, Blondie, Dead Boys etc.), The Ramones most epitomized the legendary punk/new wave club whose initials stood for stood for Country, Bluegrass and Blues. The late great quartet of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone were like the house band in the beginning.

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