Opinion


This might be the shortest story of all time but I feel compelled to write something about the economy and how it has made a difference in the music industry. Well, maybe not as deep at the music industry in its entirety, but at least the selling of vinyl and hard to find David Bowie records.

This past weekend I found myself in Atomic Records in Milwaukee, WI buying records with a cool dude. I was obviously looking for anything with David Bowie on it and of course I found a 3-disc compilation of his “lost years” aptly named “David Bowie: Secrets of my Lost Years 1969-1973”. Holy Shit!

Needless to expand further upon, I was ecstatic.

Let me tell you something more exciting. It was $15.

Another tidbit of awesomeness, I found “ChangesThreeBowie” for $9. Bowied out? Never.

Here’s a cool video for you to enjoy featuring Mr. Bowie:

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BY: Megan Hundley

Unaware that this gem of an album was being released this past week, I was happily surprised by stumbling upon The Goo Goo Dolls, Greatest Hits Vol. 2 at my friendly neighborhood Reckless Records! Not only are there 22 hard-to-find tracks on this wonder but there is also a DVD containing 24 of their videos (both live and just normal music videos!). Released on August 19, I apologize for my lapse in keeping up to date on all things that were popular in the ’90s. Needless to say I was overly excited, yet still strapped for cash. I certainly plan on picking up a copy after this coming Friday (pay day!) and then I can Goo my life up a little bit.

That sounded weird, but I’m keeping it. I rarely have these Tobias Funke moments so I am embracing it.

( Photo by Megan Hundley, The Goo Goo Dolls, El Yunque Rainforest, PR, February 2008 )

More tidbits about the 2-disc album are that you can find some of your favorite music videos from their well-known hits all the way to their newest releases. I’ve been trying to keep up with the GGD (for short) after seeing them this past February in El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico. Yeah, I’ll attach some pictures from the show. It was UNREAL! John has quite the sense of humor that night that was vocalized when he told us to, “Watch out for the rabid monkeys”. Thanks for the tip.

I also was fortunate to meet them before the show and get a picture with them! But, this was all after I tripped and almost fell right in front of John Rzeznik. He caught me before I fell but I totally felt like a tron and you can tell by my awkward face in the picture. So, without further adieu, here are the pictures I promised…

(Me and the Goo Goo Dolls in El Yunque)

( Photos by Megan Hundley, The Goo Goo Dolls, El Yunque Rainforest, PR, February 2008 )

So, I suggest going, if not sprinting, out to the local record store (or just go on iTunes) and get this new album. I can’t wait to snag a copy of my very own and cherish it forever and ever. I might just frame it and put it up on my wall with my David Bowie vinyl records. We’ll see.

At long last I have returned! Since I have graduated I have had A LOT of time to do nothing and listen to a butt load of music all the time. Along with said wonderful activities, I have a few things to share concerning the music world via Milwaukee, Wisconsin! I am sad to no longer be the Publications Director, but I will try to write at least SOMETHING on here from time to time. — Megan Hundley

me rockin\' out to Guitar Hero

(pictured above: me keeping it real in Milwaukee by rocking out to Guitar Hero)

Matter of business numero 1:

My beau (John) and I were eating lunch at the amazing Comet Cafe on the East Side of Milwaukee when all of a sudden a notable musician graced us with his presence — Andy Hurley (the drummer of Fall Out Boy)! It’s no wonder that Hurley, being the straight edge vegan that he is, was eating at Comet since they have amazing vegan friendly food. Now, I am proud, and at the same time embarrassed, that I was not the one who recognized him.

Here’s how the short story goes: I was perusing the menu and John suddenly exclaims, “OMGz! It’s Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy!!!” I, of course, erupt in laughter because my first thought is the fairly known, poorly drawn online parodies of their song “Sugar, We’re Going Down”. To be quite honest, I don’t care much for the band but John insists that their earlier stuff is pretty great. I mean, he is such an indie-snob (points nose up in the air). Joking aside, I just thought it was cool to see a rocker out of his element just hanging out around his hometown. Respecting his privacy and trying not to be a complete creeper, I decided against asking him for an interview. John, on the other hand, told me that he wished he had worn his Since By Man t-shirt since the last time he saw FOB in concert Hurley had commented on his t-shirt saying is was cool.

Matter of business number dos:

I have been shown the light — Vinyl records are exponentially cooler than CDs, mp3s, cassette tapes, etc. The pictures on the cover are cooler, the sound is cooler and the overall feel is cooler.

Last matter of business (3, in case you lost count):

Bjork makes crazy music videos. My friends, Charlie, John, Mary and I were watching a DVD of her music videos and a vast majority of them involve her, “…being nude in front of a green screen leaving the director to do whatever the hell he wants”, commented Charlie. Now, it was a general consensus that the video for “Joga” is a huge let down. It’s just a helicopter going over random landscapes and sometimes the director/editor used a computer program to make it look like the world is being viewed through a kaleidoscope and then hot magma is spewing out of every orifice.

For your enjoyment, here is a Bjork video of her song “Triumph of a Heart”. I love this video, it is hilarious and it has a dancing cat in it. Let the weirdness begin…

Hello there faithful Amp-ers!  I must apologize about the long gap between posts this past month, things just got straight cray cray with finals and moving and working and…well, basically I became quite busy.  But The Amp wasn’t far from my thoughts, don’t worry.  We’re back.

And so, I have for you a troubling new phenomenon that has cropped up in our neighbor to the south, Mexico – Emo hate.  Emo kids have fast become the most-bashed social group in Mexico’s cities, suffering verbal and even physical abuse for their style.  Read on for more on this strange development…

It’s not unusual anymore to see gaggles of dark-clad, skinny adolescents with straightened hair and studded belts cavorting anywhere that loitering is tolerated.  Here in the United States, we’ve been seeing the emo trend, a modern permutation of the goth movement, grow for the better part of a decade, and the fad has become increasingly mainstream.  And whether or not you love them, hate them, emo kids are generally tolerated here.

In Mexico, it’s a completely different story.  Instead of the slow-growing, music-based emo trend that developed here in the U.S., its Mexican counterpart has caught on rapidly, and seems to center largely on fashion.  Super tight jeans, dyed-black and spiky hair, stars, and all of the trappings of emo culture have appealed to a certain group of young people in urban Mexico.  And their peers aren’t looking kindly upon the sudden influx of “emos” into their hang-outs. 

Violence has escalated rapidly in Mexico (see also: here and here for more) where shouting matches have turned into all-out brawls and unprovoked attacks on anyone who even looks emo.  Punks and metalheads, the most agressive anti-emo groups, resent both how quickly the trend has caught on and how eager kids seem to adapt to it on order to fit in.  Fueled by internet message boards full of anti-emo sympathizers, the view of emo style as a means of fitting in, with no real passion or even slight common thread to unite them except fashion.  That sentiment has translated into savage attacks on unarmed (and usually scrawny) emo kids, and high tension in the popular hang-outs of the city.

In response to the escalating hatred, repeated demonstrations for tolerance have taken place in the streets of Mexico City, with emo kids joining forces with gay rights activists and other advocates for groups that are discriminated against.  A police presence has even been required to keep the warring groups apart in some cases, to keep demonstrations from turning into massive street brawls.

Faux hate for the stereotypes of emo culture has become trendy here in the U.S. (“I wish that my grass was emo so that it would cut itself!”), it’s true.  And sure it’s easy to pick on a group that typically tends toward the emotional and wimpy sort.  But what’s happening in Mexico is a completely different scenario: real harm coming upon young kids just because of how they dress.  I think that’s just wrong…and this is coming from the self-proclaimed fashion police.  I’m not going to bust out my liquid eyeliner and arm-warmers in solidarity just yet, but I don’t think emo kids should be whaled upon just for wearing too much black.  It comes down to the age old tradition of jocks beating up wimps…but now there’s fashion at stake.

After that long-winded diatribe on the perils of emo kids, don’t you want to watch a Youtube montage of pictures of Mexican emo kids paired with a song straight out of their scene?  I thought so…

 

Amp Editor-In-Chief Caroline Doerhoff has re-realized her love for Feist, thanks to Steven Colbert. What can’t that man do! NOW WITH VIDEO!

You know, I’ve loved Feist for a few years now…her voice is magical, her songs are well-crafted, her lyrics are witty. But I grew complacent in my love, I’ll admit it. I grew comfortable in my affection for Feist, though I sometimes thought she deserved more than her modest success. And then….that commercial. After seeing that iPod commerical for the hundred bajillionth time, I grew disenchanted. Don’t get me wrong, “The Reminder” is the definition of a solid album…I just got to the point where I wanted to punt a baby every time I heard “1234” coming from some chick’s cell phone.

When I heard that Feist was coming to the Pageant here in Saint Louis, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get tickets because of her overwhelming popularity. The show sold out quickly, just as I assumed it would, and I wasn’t disappointed. Now I see that maybe I should have been…

Tonight on The Colbert Report, Feist agreed to play an impromptu song. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and a microphone, Feist proceeded to blow my mind with her rendition of the song “I Feel It All.” She sounded fantastic…there wasn’t an off note anywhere, and her improvisations felt natural, never clumsy or overdone. My love for Feist was rekindled in those few minutes…and I have Steven Colbert to thank. Let’s hear it for the Colbert Bump!

EDIT: Watch and believe! Here’s Miss Feist on Colbert.


Publications Director, Megan Hundley, has an affinity for going to see movies that pretty much bomb. As per usual, she’s got an opinion and wanted to write about it. This time it is a movie review of “Funny Games”, a movie in which the music plays a fairly integral role in setting the mood/tone.

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Listening to nice, calming music on the radio and driving along a serene mountainous landscape on their way to a beautiful landscape. This is how the family in the American version of the film Funny Games begins their story. The viewer is certainly put in their place when the name of the movie is flashed on screen in bold red letters at the same time that an incredibly scary death metal song is played, which is actually the song “Bonehead” by Naked City. I certainly jumped in my seat since I went into this movie knowing only that it was about a family who is visited by some unwelcome visitors, wearing creepy white gloves and what looks like tennis outfits, at their lake house.


Upon further investigation into this seemingly interesting story, I find that this movie is supposed to depict of the way violence is portrayed in the media. My first question was: How is it possible for the same writer/director to make the carbon copy of his previous work within 10 years of one another, let alone at all? Welcome to the world of writer/director Michael Haneke. His latest movie, Funny Games, starring Naomi Watts, is the exact same movie that he made precisely 10 years prior with, oddly enough, the same name. The only differences between the two films are the cast and the language.
My mantra during this movie was literally: “What the hell is going on?!” As soon as one of the creepy white-clad boys came to the family’s house asking for eggs and acted immensely uncomfortable and unsure of himself, I knew insanely weird things were going to happen (as if the death metal song in the beginning credits didn’t give that away, right off the bat). One of the first disturbing occurrences that took place was the disappearance of the family dog, which we later find falling lifelessly out of the trunk of the family’s Range Rover in the driveway. Well kids, the terror did not stop there. From that point in the movie on, the all-white-wearing young men terrorized by playing “games” with the family. While these young men were extremely creepy, they were also very polite. With a plethora of pleasantries exchanged through out the film, they always asked the family nicely to do such atrocious things. It’s no surprise that the tag line of the movie is “It’s easier when things are polite”.
While the two young men are relentlessly torturing the family, they keep calling one another a handful of different names. For instance, when the young man in charge calls his counterpart “Tom,” he then becomes “Jerry;” and then when he calls his partner “Bevis,” he is then “Butthead.” These pairs are both, of course, cartoon characters in relatively modern America and are recognized by the general public rather easily. I can see from this why the movie may have been named Funny Games, but I find even that to be a stretch.
One of the most interesting things about the movie is the fact that the young man who was in charge of the homicidal mania that was this movie breaks the fourth wall on numerous occasions. Periodically, throughout the movie, he asks the audience questions and tells the audience things he is thinking. The most memorable breaking of the fourth wall happens at the end of the movie, when he simply stares the viewer in the eye and you immediately know what is going to happen from that point on.


While the movie did not end up the way I might have wanted to, it certainly made a great impact on me. I certainly do not ever want to let creepy young men wearing all white anywhere near me. I fear I might never play tennis again because of this movie. Thanks for taking yet another life sport away from me, Mr. Haneke.

I had, what I thought was, a wonderful idea! I was going to listen to an album that recently came out and then draw what I “saw” when I heard it. Well, here’s the result of that brilliance.

I guess it was more of a “free draw”, highly comparable to a free verse or one of those writing exercises where you can’t pick your pen up off the paper and you just write whatever comes to mind. That’s basically what I did except I had to pick my Sharpie up to change colors (or mediums when I used a pen).

Here’s what happened: I listened to Volume One by She & Him, the band that consists of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Then I drew stuff on a piece of 8” x 11” computer paper. These are things that I thought of when I listened to their music. I hope Zooey and M don’t hate me now because I did this terribly awesome doodle.

Say what you will about my 21 year old attempt at drawing with permanent markers and a Paper<3Mate pen. I think it seriously rivals the Maddox kids drawings.

ROCK!

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