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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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Allah-Las Talk New Album, Play Moon Block Party and FYF Fest

Posted by Billy Gil, June 20, 2012 05:35pm | Post a Comment

Allah-LasThis year is turning out to be a good one for Allah-Las. This week saw the announcement that the L.A.-based band, who weave strains of ’60s Nuggets-style garage rock with ’80s Paisley Underground jangle and au currant surf rock swagger, would be releasing their self-titled debut album Sept. 18 on Innovative Leisure. Additionally, Allah-Las were announced as part of the FYF Fest lineup this week, taking place Sept. 1-2. And the band also is playing this weekend at Moon Block Party in Pomona Saturday June 23.
 
Allah-La's debut album was recorded at the Distillery Studio, a Costa Mesa-based haven for analog recording, and was produced by label mate and local rock hero Nick Waterhouse. The band, which consists of bassist Spencer Dunham, singer/guitarist Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian and drummer/singer Matt Correia, already has released a video for the album cut “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind),” a jangly powerhouse that calls to mind Them’s garage classic “Gloria,” but relaxed instead of manic, resplendent in its analog sheen and laid-back cool.
 
 
I checked in with Dunham, a fellow South Bay native, to ask about the new album and what it was like for 3/4 of the band to work together at Amoeba.
 
PST: Has it been difficult to capture the exact sound you've been looking for on record?
 
Dunham: We tried recording a bunch of ways with different people but were never really satisfied until we went to the Distillery.
 
PST: What has recording with Nick Waterhouse and at the Distillery afforded the band in terms of sound and direction?
 
Dunham: Nick grew up in Orange County and has known the owner, Mike, since he was about 16. Mike loves to tinker with weird electronics to create one-of-a-kind instruments and effects, like microphones that go through record player needles. Sometimes those kind of things can be very complicated and time consuming, so it was really helpful to have two people working together to set up strange reverb tracks and whatnot.
 
PST: Can you talk a bit about working at Amoeba and how that affected the formation of the band and development of its sound? And what did you do while working at the store?
 
Dunham: Pedrum, Matt and I all used to work upstairs in the warehouse as “case switchers,” which is where you take bins of used CDs and put them in fresh jewel cases. You get a CD player and a hold box and basically just listen to music all day. It's pretty mundane work, but you get to see a lot of unusual albums, and we were all exposed to a lot of new music.
 
PST: In addition to the screaming girls and whatnot, have you had a lot of older “Nuggets” fans and people like that be into you guys? Have you had any particularly strange fan experiences so far?
 
Dunham: We definitely have a healthy contingency of garage fans, but our main audience remains American Apparel models. Not too many strange fan experiences yet, but Patrick Campbell Lyons from the ’60s band Nirvana (UK) befriended us after hearing our old radio show on KXLU a while back.
 
PST: I was never really that into the punk and stuff that a lot of other kids from the South Bay were into. Were you guys always attracted to more of the rock n roll stuff compared to what the area is known for? Were you exposed to it by parents, older siblings etc.?
 
Dunham: I used to listen to punk and it will always have a place in my heart, but in high school we mostly listened to a lot of classic rock: Hendrix, Who, Rolling Stones etc. We also used to hang around Scooter’s, which was a legendary Hermosa Beach record store owned by Uncle Tim, who hosts my all time favorite radio show, “The Bombshelter,” on KXLU. His shop was about the size of a closet, and while the majority of it catered to the punk scene, he also kept an eclectic selection of rock and got us turned onto stuff like The Velvet Underground and early Moody Blues.
 
PST: Can you give me a top five garage rock and paisley underground list of records you're particularly fond of?
 
Dunham: Here's a mix of classics and current jams:
 
rain parade
The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
 

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The Hives Lex Hives Hits Stores, Band Picks Out Records at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, June 5, 2012 05:33pm | Post a Comment

The Hives Lex HivesThe HivesLex Hives is out today, and it’s maybe the band’s strongest effort since Veni Vidi Vicious. I remember being in college and all kinds of people were into The Hives during the short-lived so-called garage rock revival of the early ’00s. Mostly “Hate to Say I Told You So” was just better and louder than anything else on the radio at the time, back when people were still listening to mainstream radio to find new and exciting rock bands.
 
It’s great to hear them in good form again on Lex Hives, exuding the same bratty appeal that made them so much fun in the first place. The band continues to veer from the garagey punk of their debut toward both the new wave feel of Tyrannosaurus Hives, like the Devo-esque “Wait a Minute,” and scuffed up ’70s arena rock, especially on first single “Go Right Ahead,” which is like a punk version of E.L.O.’s “Don’t Bring Me Down.” There are still plenty of garage-punk cuts to be had, like breakneck-speed rockers “These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgics” and “If I Had a Cent,” but it’s nice to see them mess with the formula a bit to keep things interesting — “Take Back the Toys” sounds like someone left a cassette of the band’s biggest hit out in the sun, baked into crispy lo-fi, while “My Time Is Coming” begins a blues-y dirge before tearing into it.
 
Pick up Lex Hives online or in-store, and check out their “What’s In My Bag?” below, in which the band digs into punk, blues, Neil Young and Mitch Hedberg. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is 34 this year, but still somehow looks 18. What do the Swedes know that we don’t?
 

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The Ruse of Analogy: One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil, 1968)

Posted by Charles Reece, April 8, 2012 08:02pm | Post a Comment
one plus one cinemarxism godard

[This essay originally appeared as part of The Hooded Utilitarian's roundtable on Jean-Luc Godard here.]

To begin with, a generalization: Godardians really don’t like Quentin Tarantino. But, fear not, this post isn’t going to be about the latter, only the reasons expressed by the Godardians for their contempt. Wasn’t it Jean-Luc Godard himself who argued against a clear distinction between the fictional film and the documentary? For him, being even more opposed to naïve realism than Andre Bazin, the camera always had a perspective, a position, or as Colin MacCabe puts it: “there is not reality and then the camera – there is reality seized at this moment and this way by the camera.” [p. 79] It was this foundational belief that led to Godard’s dismissal of the anti-aesthetic implicit within cinema vérité, that reality comes from letting the film roll. Yet, Jonathan Rosenbaum (and I might as well mention Daniel Mendelsohn and HU’s very own Caroline Small) condemns Inglourious Basterds for “mak[ing] the Holocaust harder, not easier to grasp as a historical reality,” because “anything that makes Fascism unreal is wrong.” Evidently, contrary to Godard, fascism is just there waiting to have a camera pointed at it. No truth could possibly come out of a fantasy involving Nazism.

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One + One = Godard Roundtable

Posted by Charles Reece, December 5, 2011 09:11am | Post a Comment
one plus one poster godard

I'll be participating in a roundtable on Jean-Luc Godard over at The Hooded Utilitarian. My own piece (appearing this Friday) will be on his mixture of radical democracy, black militancy and the Rolling Stones, 1968's One Plus One (aka Sympathy for the Devil). The whole shebang has begun with a lovely introductory essay by Caroline Small. Check it out!

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