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AMOEBITE PROFILE: MARTY DOWERS, BERKELEY

Posted by Billyjam, December 3, 2007 12:20pm | Post a Comment

MARTY DOWERS
AMOEBA MUSIC, BERKELEY:

AMOEBLOG: How did you end up working at Amoeba Music, Berkeley and what is your job there?

MARTY: I was working at a record store in Hawaii and wanting to move back to the Bay. My sister inquired as to if Amoeba or Rasputin were hiring. Turned out they both were. I never heard back from Rasputin, but Marc (Weinstein) said come on out for an interview. This was just as the San Francisco store was opening -- so some of the Berkeley buyers moved over there, and there was a spot for me.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba different from other jobs you've had?                          

MARTY: I've been in the 'industry' since 1980, but always wholesale -- one stops, rack jobbers. The store in Hawaii was the first retail job. Going from that little store front shop to Amoeba was quite an experience. Amoeba has become an institution!

AMOEBLOG: Best place to  grab a bite nearby Amoeba Berkeley?

MARTY: Good luck. Where's the Japanese ramen?

AMOEBLOG: What's the best record of all time?

MARTY: (laughing) Obviously, that's a very difficult question. It depends on mood, genre, etc. But how about this: "Who's santana abraxasThat Lady" (from '64) by the Isley Brothers -- a perfect single!

AMOEBLOG: Best album cover art of all time?

MARTY: Also a tough one. In the days when we were intimately involved with our record covers, I remember looking at Abraxas (Santana) for hours. How about Here Come The Warm Jets (Eno)?

AMOEBLOG: Your top five fave artists omiles davisf all time?

MARTY: Okay. off the top of my head:
Miles Davis
James Brown

Jimi Hendrix
King Crimson

Ennio Morricone

AMOEBLOG: First record you ever bought? And do you still like it or have you listened to it recently?

MARTY: The first 45's I remember buying were "Popcorn" by Hot Butter and "Uncle Albert" by Paul McCartney. The first three LPs were:

1. Partridge Family Album 
2. Santana - Abraxas
3. Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon

I still enjoy all of these, except maybe the Partridge Family, ha ha.

AMOEBLOG: Can you tell me what your music career history is?

MARTY:  I come from a musical family. My mom performed in musicals professionally. She still teaches piano and voice. My sister and I took piano lessons briefly, but it was not for us. She chose drums and I chose sax. The first time a saw a saxophone was on the Lawrence Welk Show. The second time was Roland Kirk on a PBS special. For those of you unfamiliar with him-- he was blind and he played multiple horns at once and circular breathed (look it up). I knew that was for me. I started playing when I was 10. We had an amazing teacher in Jr High, Mr. Phiel. He would write out his own arrangements & do things like bring in an Arp 2600 Synth for us to check out. This was in '72. I played in stage bands throughout school. I've been in a handful of bands since-- R&B, post-punk, art-rocsubtlek, Fripp-hop.

AMOEBLOG: Tell me about your current band.

MARTY:  I'm currently in a group called Subtle. We got together through Dax Pierson (ex-Amoeban). Dax was in a band with Jordan (another ex-Amoeban) in San Diego. Dax & Alex (our cellist) and I all performed together. Dax put the four of us together with Adam Dose Drucker (ex-Amoeban) and Jeff "Jel" Logan-- already well known as Them(selves) on Anticon

For more info on Subtle click here

The following clip is Subtle's video for their song "The Mercury Craze" made by Norwegian/Japanese animation collective SSSR:


 

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Subtle (8), Anticon (6), Amoeba Music Berkeley (25)