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San Francisco's Indie Film Venue The Vortex Room Set To Reopen, But Needs Your Help

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 4, 2015 07:38pm | Post a Comment

The independent San Francisco film venue and archive The Vortex Room was unbelievably cool. Where Vortex Roomelse could you catch a screening of Werewolves On Wheels on 35mm amid space-age bachelor pad decor with 20 of your best friends that you haven't yet met? That was the regular just-another-Thursday sort of a scene at The Vortex. It was an underground haven for serious cinephiliacs and fans of trash culture, the secret clubhouse you always wanted to belong to. You had to sign up on their Facebook group or for their email newsletter to find out about the screenings, live shows, and assorted groovy happenings. They called themselves a "film cult" and an "embassy to the stars," and on multiple occasions hosted Bobby Clark, the actor who played the Gorn on original Star Trek. I find it urgent to point out at this juncture that there hung a velvet painting of Charles Bronson at The Vortex, next to a Flash Gordon pinball machine. 

Unfortunately, as many great and culturally important venues in Late Capitalist San Francisco, The Vortex Vortex Roomwas thwarted by eviction in 2014. Freakazoids like myself were crestfallen. Many of the recent closures have affected me, but none like that of The Vortex (and the upcoming closures of Elbo Room and The Lucky Penny, a fantastically mediocre all-night diner on Geary). Death knell of an era, people. BUT now there is hope again! OR as the mysterious overseers of The Vortex have stated, "like an Egyptian Bennu fusing cosmic essence with a Grecian Phoenix, the Vortex has divined a new location right here still in our fair city of San Francisco!"

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Americana Artist Jackie Greene Comes to the Grammy Museum Aug. 11

Posted by Amoebite, August 4, 2015 06:57pm | Post a Comment

jackie greene

Amoeba is proud to sponsor Jackie Greene at the Grammy Museum Aug. 11 at part of the Americana series of its program "The Drop." He'll appear to discuss his career and new album, Back to Birth (out Aug. 21), and will perform live at the Clive Davis Theater.

The show starts at 8 p.m., and doors are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, however, they are currently sold out.

Of Greene, The New York Times has said he could be "the Prince of Americana. That's capital P, and not because Mr. Greene favors the color purple but for some musical parallels," such as switching between guitar and keyboard, and firing off catchy one-liners. He's influenced by the classic American songbook of artists such as Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, and has played with The Black CrowesThe Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh & Friends and in the rootsy supergroup Trigger Hippy with Joan Osborne and Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman. Back To Birth sees Greene acting as multi-instrumentalist, adding the piano, organ and drums to his repertoire, and Greene says the album focuses on "the notion of a cyclical existence" and "a return to the simplicity." Hear a performance of the new album track "Silver Lining" below:

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Mariachi-Metal Hybrid Metalachi Takes the Stage at Levitt Pavillion For Free Show Aug. 14

Posted by Amoebite, August 4, 2015 02:09pm | Post a Comment

Metalachi

Boasting the most unique combination of genres we've heard of in some time, mariachi-metal rockers Metalachi will play at Levitt Pavillion in Los Angeles Friday, August 14 as part of their summer concert series.

The show is free and all-ages. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., and music begins at 8. Come by early, grab a bite from places like Pupusas Y Mas, D's Tacos and Tomski Sausage, and swing by the Amoeba booth to give our Prize Wheel a spin.

Playing versions of Metallica and Black Sabbath songs on trumpets on violins, Metalachi are a must-see for any metal fan or mariachi enthusiast. The band, originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has been featured on Buzzfeed and has performed Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" on "America's Got Talent." Check out a video of that performance below:

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D.I.T.C.'s Multi-Talented Lord Finesse Discusses Big L, The Music Industry, "Accident Music," His Future Book + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 4, 2015 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Unlike most hip-hop artists, who tend to excel in just one area of the genre, D.I.T.C. (Diggin In The Crates) founding member Lord Finesse is an equally amazing MC, DJ, and producer. Add to that a hella funny guy with a career in stand-up waiting for him if he ever wants it as proven by the funny sharp wit he displays when hosting DMC battles. Recently I caught up with the longtime Bronx born multi-talented hip-hop artist, at one of the Crotona Park Jams where he was just kicking back and enjoying the rich cultural vibe of park jam produced by Tools of War. He would perform at the same event two weeks later.

Being in the Bronx  park brought it all back for Finesse, as it was there as a kid that he got his sharp wit and quick comebacks he says. "Ah man all that comes from snappin' in the park when we were younger, and joking and snappin' all the time. So it's natural for me to just come up off the top. That's why the rhymes, the punchlines, they're designed that way," he said. On the hot topic of hip-hop as a culture with an important history versus rap as merely a commodity, Lord Finesse feels quite strongly. "All that stuff you hear on the radio when they say you could be great at rap and hip-hop without knowing the culture is like you trying to be a doctor without getting a degree," he said. 

In this digital age Lord Finesse contends that too many young artists rely solely on the Internet as their outlet when they need to go out on tour and "be ready to roll up your sleeves" meet the fans and connect with them. "If you think that you are going to throw up your little video on YouTube or put out your mixtape and think you are gonna be straight" that is too limited an approach he stressed. "Then you're not covering all bases." One of those bases traditionally has been   radio airplay but its importance has shifted over the decades compared with when Lord Finesse officially started his career in 1989.

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New "What's In My Bag Episode?" with JD McPherson

Posted by Amoebite, August 3, 2015 06:57pm | Post a Comment

JD McPherson What's In My Bag?

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native JD McPherson is a roots rocker with a fresh take on early American rock 'n' roll and R&B. As a teenager, he played in a series of punk rock bands before moving toward a more roots-influenced sound with projects like The Poison Okies and The Starkweather Boys. McPherson took a chance and sent a demo recording to Jimmy Sutton, a heavy hitter in Chicago's roots and R&B scene. Sutton then agreed to produce McPherson's 2010 debut album, Signs and Signifierswhich was re-released in 2012 by Rounder Records and reached #47 on Billboard's Rock Albums chart.

Let The Good Times RollIn February 2015, McPherson released his followup, Let the Good Times Roll. Produced by Mark Neill (Los Straitjackets, The Black Keys), the album also features "Bridgebuilder," a track co-written with the Keys' Dan Auerbach. In summer 2015, McPherson performed at the UK's legendary Glastonbury Festival before heading out on a lengthy North American tour.

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