Amoeblog

Beats, Chimera and Life in 2009 by Cas

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2009 05:48pm | Post a Comment
2009 was an odd year of music listening for me. Unfortunately, my preferred method of absorbing new music (whilst walking around the city) was thwarted by the demise of my iPod. After my computer speakers bit the dust in the wake of the iPod disaster, I was practically denied access to my most comfortable listening spaces. Thus, a lot fell through the cracks for me. At the same time, 2009 was the year I made an effort to wrap my head around dubstep, a genre that had been exciting just as much as it was often confounding in previous years. I can’t say I necessarily understand the genre much better, probably because it’s so ill-defined and constantly shifting. But I at least got a better sense of the elements of the genre I like and the ones I could do without. With a few exceptions, my Best of Electronica 2009 list is loaded with artists and releases that were bright lights in a pretty murky atmosphere of heavy beats and bass.


Telepathe – Dance Mother

Telepathe – Dance Mother

The self-conscious hipster affectations of this Brooklyn based electro-pop duo practically dictate that I should hate them on sight. But Telepathe (pronounced “telepathy”) members Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, with production assistance from TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, make music that is as casually beguiling as their facade is tiresomely forced. That may be a backhanded compliment, but I dare you to look at the intentionally horrible 80’s choreography and ugly sweaters on display in the video for lead off track “So Fine” without rolling your eyes or groaning at least once. I suggest chucking the visuals and making your way through the album’s mix of synth textures, propulsive beats, shoegazy guitars, and detached schoolgirl chanting and singing that I found undeniably infectious.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:31:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2009 10:15am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:31:09

The Grouch
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

3) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

4) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

5) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

Last week longtime Living Legends emcee and friend of Amoeba The Grouch was the number one chart entry at the San Francisco store with his latest album, Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music). And this week, the prolific artist repeats that feat at the East Bay Amoeba Music, where fans, eager for this short (only ten tracks) but quality CD, have pushed it to number one. Even though The Grouch released his last solo album (Show You The World) last year and his collaboration album with fellow Living Legends emcee Eligh (Say G&E!) just eight months ago, he still manages to come up with fresh and original material.

Less than six degrees of seperation from The Grouch is the number four entry on this week's Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top FIve: FELT, which features Slug of Atmosphere, who collaborated with The Grouch & Eligh on their collaborative album this year, and MURS, who is another fellow Living Legends member. Aesop Rock does production on this third and latest installment in the FELT series of tributes to B-movie actresses, FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez, which appears on the record label that seemingly can do no wrong, Rhymesayers Entertainment.

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Under the Influence: The Dry Spells offer a heady debut

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 31, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
dry spells too soon for flowers lp on empty nest records san francisco psych folk rock band
Too often it seems those who write about music resort to whittling albums, by means of record reviews, into a pronged rod of divination in an attempt to dowse the well from which the music-makers' inspirations originated. For San Francisco folk-rock locals The Dry Spells, reviews of their debut LP Too Soon For Flowers (Empty Cellar Records) read alike in that the word "witchy" is summarily mentioned in almost every critique and comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, Espers, Citay, Fairport Convention and even Loreena McKennitt drop in abundance like heavy fruit from a burdened bough. It's easy to see the common understanding, as the Dry Spells are comprised of Citay's one-time and sometime players, though they've been at it since before Citay's inception and their esteem for rocking on traditional folk-ballads perceptibly deals in some of the same magic conjured by Espers, sure, not to mention that both bands share a cover of "Black is the Color" between them (Espers play it like a heart-sick maid pining over a years-dead lover, whereas the Dry Spells almost flaunt the tune, fleshing out into a verdant composition worthy of Willow the inkeeper's daughter on Summerisle). They also lend their trademark harmonies to a beguiling cover of "Rhiannon," arguably Fleetwood Mac's most enchanted mom-rock tune (I fancy many a mother-to-be has considered naming a girl-child after such a spirited strain as this), and I have to applaud the effort, as the Dry Spells manage to leave Stevie Nicks' leather and lace leanings intact despite weaving in their own fibrous skeins of alternating folk, rock and light-in-the-dye psyche threads; indeed, the Dry Spells craft complex song compositions not unlike heavy tapestries laden with meaning, tradition and more than a hearts-worth of woeful devotion.
Dry Spells, band, San Francisco, folk, rock, too soon for flowers, Tahlia Harbour, April Hayley, Andria Otte, Diego Gonzales
I could go on along these lines of correlation, offering more aural comparisons to the Dry Spells "witchy" ways (imagine Dolores O'Riordan kidnapped by the Deal Sisters meeting a wayward Meriel Barham altogether singing Steeleye Span and the Trees while on a backwoods journey to liberate the hidden mythology of the lost city of Ys via melody and romantic lyricism), but I'll let it be in favor of the band for who they really are: Thalia Harbour (vocals/guitar/melodica/glockenspiel), April Hayley (vocals/violin/melodica), Adria Otte (guitar/vocals/violin) and Diego Gonzalez (bass/oud/viola). However, I would like to take the focus away from the more obvious sounds-likes to indulge in a little examination of what makes this record great under an entirely different lens. The perspective being that their record is, for me, almost the equivalent of a very good read of high fantasy, or at least as good as any old anthologized, oft-told yarn.olive fairy book, andrew lang, henry ford, h.j. ford, fairy tales, victorian era, book

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A Single Man - Definitely Singular

Posted by Miss Ess, December 30, 2009 04:22pm | Post a Comment
In many ways, it seems like a bad idea for someone who is a fashion designer to make a film, doesn't it? It seems so egotistical, so over the top, for someone with great success in one highly visible industry to attempt it in another. Sure, occasionally it works out, but for the most part, we've seen enough celebrities try their hands at creative endeavors in genres other than the one they've become popular in to great failure. Bruce Willis, anyone? Mariah Carey? Russell Crowe? Ethan Hawke?

But Tom Ford has, against the odds, done it well. A Single Man, his first feature film, is out now and it is fantastic.

a single man

See, for all the reasons that making a film when you are a highly accomplished fashion designer sounds a single man colin firthlike a potential disaster, there are other reasons that make sense if (big if) it is done right; after all, both film and fashion are visual mediums. And Tom Ford proves yet again that he has a gifted eye by beautifully and movingly capturing the anguish and lasting sorrow of an English professor living in Los Angeles in 1962. After about a year, George Falconer (played by Colin Firth) still can't get over the sudden death of his long term lover. Ford brings precision and artistry to the film, taking the viewer directly into the George's world, showing us how slowly time ticks by, how he feels like he is drowning, his total isolation and all-consuming grief. His world has literally faded to grey and we see its colors through his eyes. There are moments of brightness, but mostly it is dulled.

The film also portrays the suffocating feeling of being forced to stay clojulianne moore a single manseted in the early 60s. Julianne Moore is perfection as Charley, George's desperate, gilded best (only?) friend. Aside from Charley, George is kept from connecting to the vast majority of the world even if he wanted to, simply by his status as a gay man in an unaccepting society. This, along with his unspeakable sorrow, causes him to feel disconnected from pretty much everything and everyone, but the events of the single day in which the film takes place try to show him otherwise.
chris and don: a love story
Befitting a film made by someone who has spent his career in visual design, the film is awash in eye candy, from the sets to the clothing, of course. Being angsty, stereotype shattering and set in '62, of course it's Mad Men-esque, and Jon Hamm even has an appearance in the film, although it is just his recognizable voice over the phone.

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Rowland S. Howard - 1959-2009

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 30, 2009 12:47pm | Post a Comment
Rowland S. Howard
Rowland S. Howard
was one of his generation’s greatest, most inventive and influential guitarists, as well as one of Australia’s towering but under recognized songwriting talents. Howard was most famous for his noisy, atmospheric, slash-and-burn style, mainly heard during his tenure with The Birthday Party. After their split, Howard continued to support and collaborate with a number of other musicians before finally embarking on a solo career.
 
Rowland was born October 24th, 1959. The slight, bat-eared youth was always drawn toward the fine arts and his early interests included drawing, reading and listening to The Monkees. In the early ‘70s he began playing guitar, as his musical interests shifted toward Syd Barrett, Roxy Music, David Bowie and prog rock. Eventually he became aware of and enamored with American bands like The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls and The Stooges. In 1974, after dabbling with the saxophone, Howard and his school chum Simon Mclean formed their first band, the amazingly-named Tootho and the Ring of Confidence. In 1977, the two joined Graeme Pitt and Rob Wellington in the short-lived punk band, The Obsessions.


That same year, Howard joined the first band that would truly showcase his precocious songwriting genius, The Young Charlatans. Joined by Janine Hall, John McKinnon, Jef Wegener and Ian “Ollie” Olsen, the band played a mere thirteen shows but recorded a couple of demos, including the sixteen-year-old Howard’s composition, “Shivers,” later included on the compilation, Fast Forward 004 (1981). Olsen, however, didn’t want to share the songwriting role and by May of 1978, the band was no more. Wegener played with The Last Words before joining Laughing Clowns. Hall later played in The Saints and Weddings, Parties, Anything. Olsen formed Whirlywirld and later Max Q, with INXS’s Michael Hutchence.

SOULS OF MISCHIEF's TAJAI ON MONTEZUMA'S REVENGE

Posted by Billyjam, December 30, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
souls of mischief
The highly anticipated new Souls of Mischief album, Montezuma's Revenge, on Clear Label is the Hieroglyphics collective's first official studio album in almost a decade. There's a good reason why the long awaited record has been selling extremely well at each of the three Amoeba Music stores since it was released early this month. It's an amazing album; one that recaptures the magic of each stage of the longtime, unique East Oakland hip-hop crew. Souls of Mischief first burst on the scene in 1993 when they captured the attention of the hip-hop world with their stunning debut 93 Til Infinity on Jive/Zomba. And of course, having Prince Paul, one of hip-hop's most gifted producers, at the helm for Montezuma's Revenge only helpted bring out the best in the Souls of Mischief.

I recently caught up with Tajai of the group and asked him why it took such a long time for this new official Souls full-length album to drop.  "We have been traveling and promoting a gang of records, from Hiero Full Circle and Full Circle Live to Power Movement, Triangulation Station and My Last Good Deed, from the crew and individual members," said Tajai. And just how did the Prince Paul collaboration come about? "Opio and Domino were on the Handsome Boy Modeling School (Dan the Automator & Prince Paul) tour a few years back and they tossed the idea of doing an album back and forth. Prince Paul actually followed up and the rest is history," he said, adding, " Working with him {Paul} was incredible. He is a perfectionist and really brought out the best in all of us." 

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out this week 12/1 & 12/8 & 12/15 & 12/21...animal collective...pixies...alicia keys...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 29, 2009 11:44am | Post a Comment

There are not a ton of new releases in December, but there have been a few worth checking out. I have been too busy getting my "best of" lists ready for the end of the year and the end of the decade, so I have not had much time to talk about these new releases, but here is a quick list for you. There's not really much out this week, December 29th, just a couple of DVDs. Come pick up your copy of Paranormal Activity and Jennifer's Body on DVD!

You will have to wait until January for more music new releases. I will get back to my normal new release reviews next year, I promise, and in the next day or so I will be posting my top 100 albums of the decade! It has not been an easy list to compile. It is hard to compare albums from 2001 with albums that just came out last month. But it has been a lot of fun going back and listening to all my old favorites. I only gave myself a couple of rules in compiling the list: I had to really love the album. It had to be an album that I still like or at least look back on fondly. I also only picked one album for each artist, so I didn't let myself pick 3 Radiohead albums and 3 PJ Harvey albums. The list would have been too boring. Or, if I was Rolling Stone, I would have had 2 albums by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, and the White Stripes in my top 25. There are just too many great albums in the decade to let those bigger artists dominate my list, so I picked my favorite album from each artist for the whole decade. I had so much fun making this list that I am also going to go ahead and make a list of my top 100 albums of the 90's. And I also have a list of my top movies of the 90's and the current decade as well! So check out my lists soon! They will be posted any day now....

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WEST AFRICAN MUSICIAN ROKIA TRAORE

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
Rokia Traoré "Yankadi"
Rokia Traoré
Thanks to Amoeba Marc for directing folks to the music video for the great song "Yankadi" by talented West African artist Rokia Traoré. In the video, one of her accompanying musicians is sporting an Amoeba Music T-shirt. (He first appears at :12 but much clearer at :25.) An accomplished, award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist, the thirty something Rokia was born in Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. She has toured extensively and recorded four albums over the past dozen years, including Mouneïssa (1997 & 1998), Wanita (2000), Bowmboi (2003), and Tchamantché (2008).

The multi-instrumentalist (she also plays flute and percussion) was fortunate to collaborate early in her career with Ali Farka Touré, which helped get her deserved attention. Over the years since, she has worked with a myriad of artists, including the Kronos Quartet, who collaborated with her on her album Bowmboï, released by Nonesuch six years ago. For more information on this artist (including some more music videos), check out her MySpace. And, of course, look for her CDs at Amoeba Music.

Ghost Blogging: Ghost World Roundtable

Posted by Charles Reece, December 27, 2009 08:48am | Post a Comment
ghost world hard back

I guess I should've posted a link to the entertaining Ghost World roundtable that I participated in over at Noah Berlatsky's Hooded Utilitarian. A fun time was had by most, if not all. It begins here.

December 25, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, December 26, 2009 08:35pm | Post a Comment
Blind Side movie ticket stub




Top TV on DVD Picks of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 26, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment
by Kaitlin

I hate commercials. Really, really loathe commercials. I hate commercials so much in fact that I stopped watching TV altogether for years. But there is a wondrous, magical invention called TV on DVD that allows me to watch TV commercial free!! Not only that, but I can waste hours at a time watching episode after episode. Here, in no particular order, are my top TV DVDs of 2009, some new to DVD, some just new to me but all were found in the DVD room in Amoeba SF:

New to me:

Roseanne Seasons 1-9

roseanne

I’ve only watched up through season 5, but this show is so funny. Not only is Roseanne hilarious and really cutting edge, but the amazing John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert and rest of the Connor clan make this cast so strong. But the best thing about this show is how real it feels; they’re just a working class family trying to survive everything life has to throw at you. With lots of love and humor, they yell and fight and laugh and I really love this show! Their Halloween episodes are some of the most memorable…



How I Met Your Mother Seasons 1-4

how i met your mother

The first thing I have to say is the main character of this show, Ted, is kind of annoying… But luckily he has Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan in the supporting cast to make this show very funny. Neil Patrick Harris plays a womanizing scumbag with a heart of gold buried really, really deep, and Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan play the kooky, kinky long term couple… the supporting cast makes the show!

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Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-3

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 26, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment

juan son mermaid sashimi20. Juan Son-Mermaid Sashimi

Juan Son's first solo outing since the demise of Porter is a symphonic collage of songs in both English and Spanish. Musically, the arrangements are sophisticated, capturing the same imagination the likes of Brian Wilson and XTC had in the past. Juan's high, Bjork-like voice sometimes leaves me with a bit of a headache, but I also can’t stop listening to it, especially the track “Nad,a” somewhere between The Rolling Stones “She’s A Rainbow” and Café Tacvba at their best.






19. Tinariwen-Imidiwan: Companions

Tinariwen's latest release finds the band returning home after constant touring to the Sahara desert. Perhaps their homecoming sparked a return to a sound that I felt they lost on their last release, Aman Iman. Imidiwan has the band once again rocking out. In ways it reminds me of their second album, Amassakoul, but with more vision and clarity this time. With this release, Tinariwen continues to remain the standard of the Toureg rock scene that has grown over the last decade.



Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 25, 2009 01:10pm | Post a Comment
christmas with the christies new christy minstrelsarthur firdler christmas festivalharry belafonte i wish you a merry christmas

A second helping of Xmas covers. Included in this batch is the Aroma Disc Christmas album, meant to accompany your pine cone scent disc or something or another. I tried to track down an Aroma Disc ad or two but had no luck...

dan crow's i'm an elf!cantos de la posadas lpwilson high school long beach choir lp
ray conniff's christmas albumchristmas harmonies lpkid creole & the coconuts christmas on riverside drive
frank luther christmas for children
a singer christmas for the familyAroma Disc
hermanos zavala christmas in mexicochristmas with the stars lpronald colman charles laughton

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:24:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2009 03:01pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Ten: 12:24:09
the grouch three eyes off the time
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

3) BlakRoc Blakroc  (V2/Cooperative)

4) Messy Marv & Berner Blow (Bern One Ent.)

5) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

6) Messy Marv Highly Aggressive (Click Clack Records)

7) Snoop Dogg Malice N Wonderland (Priority/EMI)

8) Young Money We Are Young Money (Cash Money/Universal)

big boy young mess9) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

10) Timbaland Shock Value II (Blackground Records)

The Grouch from the Living Legends crew is back with a banger that went straight to number one on this week's Hip-Hop Top Ten from the Amoeba Music San Francisco store. Thanks to Luis for the chart. Titled Three Eyes Off The Time on Legendary Music, this latest release from The Grouch talks about a variety of subjects, including love in the digital age, which is explored in "The Dangers Of Online Dating." He also continues topics such as fatherhood, explored previously by the emcee on Show You The World. That album, with The Grouch pictured on the cover with his daughter on his shoulder, was released last year. And the profilic emcee, who a few years ago teamed up with Zion I to record an entire album (2006's Heroes In The City Of Dope) has not been idle. Earlier this year, along with Eligh, he released the great collaborative album Say G&E! Unfortunately, Eligh doesn't appear on Three Eyes Off The Time, but others do. Rankin Scroo and Marty James appear on the tracks "Daddy's Home" and "Make Em Think," respectively. And Fashawn and Mistah FAB both cameo on the track "Already," which is only available on this CD version of the album.

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Most Fun Live Shows of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 04:08pm | Post a Comment
by Kaitlin

I am a photographer by trade, and combining that passion with my love of live music, I have an insane amount of fun taking photos at shows. Here is a photo diary of a few of my favorite photos from some of the most fun shows I saw in 2009. You can find many more of my pics here.

DP
at Bleakhaus in the Mission 2/28

dp


Shellac at Great American Music Hall 6/17

shellac


Sunn O))) at Brookdale Lodge in Santa Cruz 8/9

sunn o)))


Butthole Surfers at Regency Ballroom 10/16

butthole surfers


Flaming Lips at Treasure Island Music Festival 10/18

flaming lips


Kawabata at Terminal 11/6

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2009 BAY AREA HIP-HOP RAP UP

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2009 04:06pm | Post a Comment
Messy Marv, aka The Boy Boy Mess
2009 was another good year for Bay Area rap/hip-hop, with a string of new releases dropping over the past twelve months, including the thirty four full-length releases listed below. Appearing in no particular order, these choices are based mainly on releases culled from the Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop charts compiled by Luis at the Haight Street store over the past year. Not every single Bay Area hip-hop release is included here (feel free to nominate any worthy omissions in the comments below), but many of them are, and they give a good sense of the vibrant Bay Area music scene for the year of 2009.

Three albums appeared on early 2009 Amoeba Hip-Hop charts but did not make the list below since they technically were each 2008 releases (released late last year):  E40's The Ball Street Journal, released on Sic Wid It and distributed through Warner Brothers; San Quinn's From A Boy To A Man (SMC/Fontana); and Keak da Sneak & San Quinn's Welcome To Scokland on Ehustl, which combined the best of "the Sco" (San Francisco) with the "O" (Oakland) on an album that was extremely popular in the Bay in '09.

North Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B. may not have released a new solo album in 2009 but he did pop up on countless other artists' releases over the past year, including most recently on The Grouch's just released Three Eyes Off The Time. Mistah F.A.B  appears on the CD track "Mistah F.A.B.Already" with hella popular Fresno emcee Fashawn. F.A.B. also appeared on Fashawn's critically & commercially acclaimed official debut album, following a string of mixtapes, Boy Meets World on Loud, which was a hit at all three Amoebas. Mistah F.A.B. also released joint full-length projects in 2009 with both the Alchemist and Glasses Malone, with whom he unleashed The Sideshow CD.

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Best Jazz Reissues and New Releases of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 03:52pm | Post a Comment
by Scott

2009 was a good year for jazz. As usual, there was a focus on reissues, but there were also plenty of new releases that were worth picking up. The bulk of the items in my best of have a link to Great Britain.

freedom

1. & 2. Various - Freedom Rhythm & Sound

This release from the British label Soul Jazz is both a nice hardcover book of album covers and a 2 cd set. Billed as "revolutionary jazz original cover art 1965-83," that description doesn't mention that there are a lot of words in the book giving nice encapsulation of different artists and organizations related to the civil rights movement. Along with this book, which has albums you thought you would never see in a 12"x12" reproduction, the cd version has a beautiful booklet filled with both information on the music and political events relating to civil rights. Along with bigger name folks like Sun Ra and his Arkestra, there are tracks by lesser known artists: the Hasting Street Jazz Experiment, Stanton Davis' Ghetto, and Lloyd Miller. Some of these albums were limited to 500 pieces, so being able to look at the covers and listen to cuts from those albums is a rare treat.

Prince Lasha insight

3. Prince Lasha Ensemble - Insight

The first domestic release of a Columbia LP from 1966 by local horn master Prince Lasha (pronounced "Le Shay," it says in the liner notes) Ensemble: Insight. The disc features Mr. Lasha with a cast of brilliant British musicians, including pianist Stan Tracey and David Snell on a very hip harp. There are beautiful ballads, peppy bop cuts and both original compositions and standards. I had a chance to meet Prince Lasha in our store a few years ago and had him sign an LP of his to me, then after I thanked him, he hugged me.

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Best East Bay Live Shows of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 03:39pm | Post a Comment
Our own Grace, from the Berkeley store's marketing department, compiled a list from all the Berkeley store employees of their top shows of 2009! Here they are, in no particular order:

Black Light District's Best Dark Music Albums of The '00's

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 23, 2009 12:45pm | Post a Comment
Last week, I posted Black Light District's year-end best of list, which was a breeze to compile compared to reviewing the last 10 years for this week's post -- the 20 Best Dark Music Albums of The Decade. I had to whittle away many great titles, but I believe these records have proven to be or will prove to be dark classics for years to come. See ya next year, kids...

1. Coil – The Ape of Naples / The New Backwards (2005/08)


John Balance’s passing was one of the great tragedies in the music world this past decade. It was especially sad to see one of his greatest works be released posthumously. The recordings on The Ape of Naples and its (later-released) sister album, The New Backwards (collected together in the limited Ape of Naples LP box set), date back as far as 1993 when the band was briefly signed to Trent Reznor’s Nothing label, but went unfinished until 2004 when the group returned to the abandoned material for their new album. Gorgeous Funeral-Folk, third-eye electronics and captured transmissions from beyond The Threshold.

A Decade of Live Shows in SF! The Best of the Best...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 10:05am | Post a Comment
by Kaitlin

2010 will mark 10 years since I first moved to San Francisco. One of my favorite pastimes has been going to live shows. I’ve see big shows, small shows, quiet shows, loud shows, good, bad, memorable, forgettable and life changing shows. I’ve enjoyed rock in many forms: metal, acoustic, electric, world, performed by musicians ranging from close friends to the world famous…Here is a list of some of my favorite things about seeing shows in SF and some of my favorite shows in and around SF this decade:

great american music hall

There are so many amazing venues here to see just about any type of music you might be seeking. The Fillmore and The Warfield are classic venues that can pack in a lot of people to check out some big grindermannames, like The White Stripes, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Willie Nelson, Patti Smith and many, many more. Bottom of the Hill, the Independent, and Café du Nord are smaller and more intimate, and offer a wide variety of local and traveling bands the chance to be seen. 

The Great American Music Hall is my favorite venue in the city. It was designed and built after the 1906 earthquake, was called Blanco’s back then and served as a bordello up until prohibition. After that, it was a dance hall called the Music Box, and then a jazz club, until it was re-opened in 1972 as The Great American Music Hall. I’ve seen some of my favorite shows there, including Ben Kweller, The Mars Volta, Earth, Boris, Neurosis, The Dirtbombs, Grinderman, Shellac, Melvins, and High on Fire, oh, but to name a few…If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out a show there!
dave grohl
But through all the venues and all the shows, here I have listed some of the most memorable ones I’ve seen during the 2000s, mostly rock and metal…I’ve tried to find a video to accompany these shows, although some videos aren’t from the show or even tour where I saw these bands. 

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Best Pop Dance of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
Don Ford, our resident pop dance expert and floor manager extraordinaire here in San Francisco, has made this list of his favorite pop dance releases of 2009! Check em out!

1. Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster

lady gaga fame monster




2.
David Guetta- One Love

David Guetta- One Love



3. Patrick Cowley
- Catholic

Patrick Cowley-Catholic



4. Ultra Nate - Alchemy

 Ultra Nate - Alchemy

December 22, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, December 22, 2009 11:03pm | Post a Comment
The New Daughter movie ticket stub

CHARACTER ACTOR ARNOLD STANG PASSES

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2009 02:09pm | Post a Comment

Character actor Arnold Stang, whose long career in radio, television, and the movies included playing oppisite Frank Sinatra in the 1955 film The Man With the Golden Arm and doing the voice of the cartoon Arnold Stangcharacter Top Cat, died of pneumonia Sunday night. He was 91 years of age.  

Diminutive in stature and readily identified by his recognizable mannerisms and trademark heavy glasses, he was a serious actor who ended up playing more comedic roles than sober ones. He once described his image this way: “I look like a frightened chipmunk who’s been out in the rain too long.”

But his distinctive voice alone could carry him, as evidenced in the Top Cat cartoon clip above, in which Stang played the lead character T.C. (Top Cat), the leader of a gang of trouble making New York City alley cats. He effectively played this character, apparantly styled after Phil Silvers, for the 30 episodes of the Hanna-Barbera animated television series that were made in the early sixties and then ran for many years afterwards. In fact, it still runs on TV to this day.

As well as Top Cat, Stang did the voices for numerous other cartoons, including the 1965 film Pinocchio in Outer Space, for which he did the voice of Nurtle the Turtle. In the Otto Preminge-directed Frank Sinatra film The Man With The Golden Arm, a dark tale of heroin addiction, he played the role of Sinatra’s buddy Sparrow. One of the last acting roles Stang played was as the photographer in the 1993 film Dennis The Menace with Walter Matthau.

ERIC & CHARLES DVD REVIEW SHOW

Posted by Charles Reece, December 22, 2009 01:01pm | Post a Comment

Christmas Gangs and Santa's Village

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 22, 2009 12:05pm | Post a Comment
a christmas festival eugene ormandylawrence welk jingle bells

This Lawrence Welk record inspired me to dig up a little classic LW for your viewing pleasure. It's listed as a "gang" number, a term not usually associated with these kinds of groups. I have a Bing Crosby LP that is a collection of gang songs as well. Below we have Mitch Miller, who was perhaps the most popular of said gang leaders.

ella fitzgerald's christmasholiday sing along with mitch
Christmas in Germany LPgreat songs of christmaschristmas in brazil lp
johnny apollo's christmasheaven sings x-mas
holiday in song lppercy faith music of christmasmerry christmas with the mom and dads
perry como christmas albumorgan plays music for a merry christmas

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Top Electronic Albums of 2009

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 22, 2009 11:33am | Post a Comment








Lusine
A Certain Distance
Ghostly International





















Dj Sprinkles
Midtown 120 Blues
Mule























Patrick Cowley
Catholic
Macro























Matias Aguayo
Ay Ay Ay
Kompakt


















IF YOU DON'T LOVE ROBIN WOOD, YOU DON'T LOVE CRITICISM

Posted by Charles Reece, December 20, 2009 09:02am | Post a Comment
 robin wood

I can't imagine thinking through Hitchcock, Hawks, Queer Cinema or Horror films without Robin Wood. He was the humblest (his critiques were always in a state of potential revision) and most plain-spoken of all the great theoretically driven critics (never letting theory or dogma dictate his own reactions). Although he did tend to overuse the "to not love movie x, is to not love cinema" (e.g., Marnie), that was part of his charm. Truly one of the good guys.

Summary of his career.
David Bordwell's obit.

 

Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2009 08:39am | Post a Comment

30. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey - Echos Hypnotiques, Vol. 2

While last year’s collection of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou work, From the Vaults of Albarika Store 1969-1979, dug deep into the group’s rare gems, this collection comes from sessions that they did at the E.M.I. studio in Nigeria. The result? Better sound quality and more great music from the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. Their blend of Highlife, Funk and the Vodoun rhythms that come from their native country of Benin separate this album from the pack of retro-African releases that have been coming out this year.



29. Moncho Rivera - Yo Tengo Lo Mio

In Salsa music, there is nothing better than a great Sonero, a singer who is able to improvise off the top of the dome and give their musicians a run for their money. Moncho Rivera is the nephew of another great Sonero, Ismael Rivera, and continues a family tradition of singers who just destroy their contemporaries. Moncho and his band are red hot on this release, which is one of the few highlights in the Salsa music world this year.





28. V/A - Sensacional Soul Vol 2

I always felt that the best music ever made was during the worst of times. During the oppressive Franco era, conservative radio stations and record companies did not want to explore the Psychedelic movement. However, Motown was big in Spain and all the groups that emulated The Beatles started to get a little soul in them, often incorporating horn and foreign soul vocalists. Sensacional Soul Vol. 2 is a fine mixture of cover songs sung in Spanish and funky instrumentals with plenty of beat influences guaranteed to liven any dance floor.

Travel Time

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 19, 2009 07:00pm | Post a Comment
Morris Day Daydreaming Joe Bushkin I Get A Kick Out Of PorterWhitney Family Airways

I feel for any of you out there who might get stuck at the airport this coming week; lucky for me, a family visit just requires dealing with the 5 Freeway. 

Joe Bushkin Blue AngelsHIGH-FLYING TRUMPET OF AL HIRTTheodore Bikel On Tour
Migiani Dimanche A OrlyLiving Strings Airport Love ThemeGregory Isaacs Reserved For Gregory
Ames Brothers Hello Amigosthe Barry Sisters ShalomHarry Marshard & His Orchestra Resort Favorites For Dancing
Frank Chacksfield Glamorous HolidayJohnny Osbourne and the Sensations Come Back DarlingMas Exitos De Julio Jaramillo
Quinteto Salinas Viaje Musical A Israel Donald Byrd Places and Spacesfela anikulapo kuti mr. follow follow

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Eastbound & Down - Down, But Certainly Not Out

Posted by Miss Ess, December 18, 2009 06:13pm | Post a Comment
When was the last time a show made you cry with laughter? If you're me, it'd been a while...

eastbound & down

...Till Eastbound & Down got me this week. It took me 5 episodes to get to that point, but watching all 6 episodes of this short seasoned show from HBO was quite the experience in hysterics.

I thought the whole white trash thing was over. eastbound & downThe mainstream'd caught on, we got crappy movies like Talladega Nights and then also had to deal with Jeff Foxworthy's career actually continuing...The genre, subculture, whatever you wanna call it, seemed truly played out on the media scale. So, really, when I first heard about Eastbound & Down, I thought there was no reason for what was sure to be yet another deposit into the rednecks-taking-over-the world trashbag.

BUT Kenny Powers (played by Danny McBride) and his brethren proved me wrong. This show is hilarious, mostly because of how smart and detailed it is. It clearly was written and created by people (McBride being one of them) who grew up in the South and got the hell out as soon as they could, but probably still have to go home for the holidays. These writers have an intimate knowledge of the habits of small town Southerners, and that brings much of the pleasure in watching this show.

Eastbound & Down is about an offensive, hardheaded and failed baseball pitcher who once was at the top of his sport but now has been forced to retire and move back, penniless, weastbound and downith his prized purple and leopard print jet ski in tow, to his (Rick Danko lookalike) brother's house in his Southern hometown. Having to face the people he knew before his fame and riches, his old girlfriend April chief among them, does quite a number on the former egomaniac. It's fun to watch him try to readjust to his new and former Southern small town way of life, where he is forced to take a job as a gym teacher at his old middle school. He decides the only way out is to once again get back into the major leagues, however he can. Good thing his old dealer still lives in town and can provide the 'roids!

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:18:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 12:18:09

Snoop Dogg
1) Snoop Dogg Malice N Wonderland (Priority/EMI)

2) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)

3) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

4) Timbaland Shock Value II (Blackground Records)

5) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

Snoop Dogg went straight to number one this week on both the Billboard 200 chart and the new Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Chart with his tenth and latest solo outing, the 14 track Malice N Wonderland. He first arrived on the rap world back in 1992, when he premiered on the title track of the Dr Dre produced Deep Cover soundtrack and later that same year on Dre's landmark The Chronic album. Ever since then, Snoop (who dropped the "Doggy" part of his name some time back) has become more than merely a prolific rapper recording a string of solo singles and albums, in addition to making countless cameos on other peoples' records. He has also become a movie and television star and a pop culture icon -- not to mention a controversial figure often getting into trouble with the law, incidents that collectively resulted in him getting legally banned from the UK and Australia. Now that's gangsta!

Snoop is also a notorious weed smoker and earlier this week in his entertaining appearance on the Stephen Colbert Show on Comedy Central, when quizzed about his 420 habit he assured the host that it was prescribed "medical marijuana." "Who's your doctor, Dr. Dre?" shot back Colbert, without missing a beat, to loud laughter. If you missed this great Colbert episode, that also included Snoop doing a song plus a funny soap opera reading with Colbert, go back and check it out on ColbertNation.com. But stoner or no stoner, the ever active Snoop recently added the title of business executive to his resume when EMI hired him as the chairman of the recently reactivated Priority Records on which Malice N Wonderland appears with distribution through EMI. The new album's lead single, "Gangsta Luv," is produced by and features The Dream, who is just one of Malice's many guest contributors. Brandy and Pharrell cameo on "Special," while Souja Boy Tell Em appears on "Pronto," and Lil Jon joins Snoop on the track that he also produced, "1800." Other producers include the Neptunes, Battlecat, and Scoop DeVille, who produced "I Wanna Rock" -- a track that was mixed by Snoop's original mentor Dr Dre. In addition to the album Malice N Wonderland, Snoop also made an accompanying mini-movie of the same name, a la his 1994 short film/soundtrack Murder Was the Case. A trailer for this short film follows immediately below.

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This Week At The New Beverly: Dec. 18 - 24

Posted by phil blankenship, December 17, 2009 11:47pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full December calendar is online:
http://www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm



Friday & Saturday December 18 & 19

New Prints of Rarely Screened Billy Wilder Films

Five Graves To Cairo
1943, USA, 96 minutes - NOT ON DVD!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0035884/
directed by Billy Wilder, written by Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett starring Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, Erich von Stroheim, Peter van Eyck
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:30 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

VARIOUS ITEMS IN HIP-HOP FROM THE YEAR 2009 + TOP TEN

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2009 09:50pm | Post a Comment
El Michels Affair, Wu Tang
I don't know about you, but 2009 zipped by for me, although not without making its mark in terms of music being recorded and released, and also in terms of music news being made. 2009 was a good year for hip-hop. In sports hip-hop was more present than ever, with Jay Z and Alicia Keys performing in New York at the World Series, and the Oakland hip-hop group the High Decibels' music being featured in a beer ad during the SuperBowl and in consequent football games. It was a year when the Wu-Tang crew were omnipresent, it seems, both individually and also with their music being replayed or remixed by others (inc. El Michels Affair). It was also a year when Brooklyn rapper Sean Price was seemingly everywhere -- popping up in cameos on a multitude of other folks' releases and releasing his own great mix CD.
Themselves, Anticon
2009 was the year when Wale finally released his official debut album. It was also a year when the line between mixtape CDs and actual albums released on CD got very blurred. Artists who released both a mixtape CD and an official album in 2009 included Anticon duo Themselves. 2009 was also the year when, thankfully, use of the Auto-Tune technology decreased substantially. With his song "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)," Jay-Z may have helped speed up the process of its inevitable passing.  Below is a list of hip-hop and related music items from the past twelve months that caught my attention. Also below (scroll all the way down) is my list of Top Ten releases from 2009 that I really enjoyed.

Laurel Canyon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 16, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Hollywood
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Hollywood, showing the approximate location of Laurel Canyon

This blog entry is about Laurel Canyon. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.
Streets of Laurel Canyon

The woodsy area in the Hollywood Hills now known as Laurel Canyon was originally inhabited by the Tongva. A spring-fed stream attracted Mexican shepherds in the 18th century. After the region became part of the US, Anglos arrived. About 100 years ago, the area was divided up, cabins were erected and the area was marketed to vacationing tourists. The first movie made in Hollywood was shot in Yucca Corridor in 1910. Though the film industry remained centered in Edendale for a few years, it gradually shifted to Hollywood and Laurel Canyon became the home of some of the burgeoning industry's photo-players.
Laurel Tavern

Famed cowboy star Tom Mix bought the Laurel Tavern and converted it into his residence. Mary Astor had a love nest on Appian Way. Gay Mexican "Latin Lover" Ramón Novarro lived there until his murder in 1968.

Holiday Box Sets Galore!

Posted by Amoebite, December 16, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment
We’ve been having a lot of fun “holiday shopping” at Amoeba HollywooBox Setsd lately. But instead of standing pat with standard box-sets and collections, we’ve been imagining what we’d want as a collection, using a broader parallel of titles and themes, and, well, we started putting together our own fun Gift Boxes!

These aren’t your average ordinary “best of...” sets or, you know, “the complete series”...no, these are the box sets we wish people made. Sets like our ZOMBIES! DVD Pack, which gleefully includes not only Dawn of the Dead, but also Shaun of the Dead (plus 28 Days Later and Zombie! the movie), all packaged up nicely in a little “to go”-style box for only $30 (everything is hand-picked from our awesome used selection to keep the budgets down).

We also made up some Blu-ray Starter Kits with horror classics, football films, Stanley Kubrick, Brad Pitt and more, for all those folks who got a Blu-ray player last year (or have one under the tree this year!), to kick-start their collection. At only $50, these thematic sets are a total steal. We have music packs—World, Jazz, Classical—to Blu-Ray Box Setgive a sampling of different sections in our store; boxes for kids, Christmas music, and even some larger collectible packs for people who like The Beatles or Elvis. These might include a t-shirt or a poster, or some funky collectible item we’ve had in our stash to make the ULTIMATE pack for a true fan.

What I Listened to Most in 2009

Posted by Miss Ess, December 16, 2009 01:31pm | Post a Comment
2009 wasn't my most music-heavy year, I'll admit (my own fault). I mostly stuck to what's tried and true, but each of these were special to me this year for one reason or another. Some are oldies but goodies, some brand new and sparkling...

Alela Diane - To Be Still ("Every Path")


Mountain Man -
Mountain Man ("Animal Tracks") (..and here's an interview with these fabulous gals!)


Fleetwood Mac
- Tusk ("Sara")


Alasdair Roberts -
Spoils ("You Muses Assist")

Black Light District's Top Dark Music Albums of 2009

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 16, 2009 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Folks at Amoeba Hollywood like to refer to the area in the store where the Goth/Industrial and Metal Sections reside as the "Dark Corner."  Black Light District is sort of a virtual extension of The Dark Corner (as well as its former resident, the Experimental section), so the year end lists here reflect those flavors and also include those darker-leaning titles from the creepier nooks in the rock section. Next week, we'll examine the 20 best of the decade. Now without further adieu...2009's greatest from the darker realms....

1. Cold Cave - Love Comes Close (CD/LP) [Heartworm/Matador]

Love Comes Close is an infectious slab of 9 inspired dark-wave and synth-pop anthems. Cold Cave couldn't have timed their debut any better either, with synthpop bound for a big comeback with the release of BBC's stellar documentary Synth Britannia. Read my review of Love Comes Close from earlier this year here.

Listen: Cold Cave "Heaven Was Full"

BEST 11 FILMS OF 2009

Posted by Charles Reece, December 16, 2009 10:31am | Post a Comment
* THE 11 BEST * 

Without Qualification


 inglourious basterds poster unused drawn

up in the air poster

in the loop poster obama



bad lieutenant new orleans poster

tyson poster toback

Top Forty World Music Releases of 2009 Vol-1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 16, 2009 01:39am | Post a Comment

40. V/A-Legends of Benin

There is fallout from all the African funk compilations that have been released over the last couple of years and it’s that they are all too much for most African music listeners to keep up with. What differentiates Legends of Benin from rest is that it concentrates on songs over funky beats, with each song being full of melody as well as danceable. Analog Africa, the label who brought us African Scream Contest last year, has another gem on their hands.




39. V/A-Back To Peru Vol.2

Back To Peru Vol. 2 is chock full of nuggets from the golden years of Peruvian Psychedelic and garage music with a heavy emphasis on the early 70’s period. Peru’s rock bands are raw in comparison to most groups in Latin America that were around during this time and this compilation captures that spirit with plenty of fuzz guitar and snotty anti-establishment anthems.




38. Os Mutantes- Haih Or Amortecedor

A misunderstood album I thought. I think people expected the Mutantes of old to magically reappear after many years on hiatus. Original member Sergio Dias' songwriting and musicianship has preserved well over the years, only his energy has been transferred. Yes, it has modern instrumentation and a new batch of musicians but it also retains much of that great prankster spirit of the original group. This is one I hope people revisit as time goes on.

Bootlegs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 15, 2009 04:20pm | Post a Comment
Matt Monro From Russia With Loveeric burdon & the Animals greatest hitsfirst records bootleg label

Here's a batch of covers from the alternate universe of import bootleg LPs. Most of these are Korean boots that servicemen would bring back from tours of duty during the Vietnam War era. Growing up in such a huge Navy town, many of my friends' fathers and uncles had these peppered throughout their collections. Occasionally referred to as kimchi pressings, these LPs feature covers that are thin paper covered in plastic, though not to be confused with legitimate South American pressings that also feature this cover design. The bootlegs often feature lovely looking colored vinyl that is notorious for its poor sound quality. However, most feature alternate artwork and there's a small but fervent collectors market for big bands like the Beatles and Stones.

jimi hendrix electric ladylandbarbara streisand barry gibb guiltychet atkins grand prix series
tom jones from the heart
Joni Mitchell Bluelet's go monkey
rowan & Martin's Laugh-Inyarbrough & peoplesthe mamas and the papas farewell to the first golden era
marianne faithfull manhattans greatest hitsthe bee gees best collections odessa

my top 50 albums of 2009...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 15, 2009 01:20pm | Post a Comment

thieves like us play music
#1
Thieves Like Us
- Play Music (Shelflife)

This was one of those albums that I was excited about before I even heard it. I knew I would be falling in love with this one from the review alone. And the love only got stronger as time went on. I couldn't get enough of this one! It may not seem like much at first, but it truly is fantastic. I still don't know too much about this band. All I know is that they are from Sweden and they like New Order. The album is that sort of dark and new wave style but it doesn't really fall into one genre alone. Favorite songs on the album are "Fass," "Miss You," and "Drugs in My Body." The label Shelflife has put out good albums before, but nothing as good as this. I had really big hopes for this band this year to catch on in America but I don't think they ever really got that big here, which is the fate of many bands that I have fallen in love with before. They might just be a bit too weird or dark and slow. The album does not hit you over the head at first but it does get under your skin and the songs are catchy in their own special way. I highly recommend it. They do remind me a bit of the album by The Teenagers that I fell in love with last year, just without the silliness. A fantastic little album.

MILES DAVIS' KIND OF BLUE HONORED BY THE HOUSE

Posted by Billyjam, December 15, 2009 12:16pm | Post a Comment
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Washington has decided to commemorate jazz great Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue. The House voted (409 to 0) yesterday to honor the landmark fifty year old recording's contribution to the genre. Kind of Blue, originally released by Columbia Records in August 1959, featured Davis along with saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian ''Cannonball'' Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers, who sponsored the measure, said that Davis and the other album contributors ''made musical history and changed the artistic landscape of this country and in some ways the world.'' Indeed, the album's influence has been far reaching, influencing all types of music far beyond just jazz, including Latin, rock and hip-hop. And over the years many musicians have done their renditions or reinterpretations of Kind of Blue, including Portland, OR blip artist Andy Baio, who earlier this year recorded an inspired 8-Bit reinterpretation of the album that he retitled Kind Of Bloop.

Below is a video honoring Kind of Blue's fiftieth anniversary made in conjunction with Legacy Recordings' recent releasing of the album's Collector's Edition Box set which is available at Amoeba Music. 


Miles Davis - Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary

(In which Job picks his favorite album of 2009.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 14, 2009 12:13pm | Post a Comment
Aloha, humanity! I’m back from my all-too-brief vacation on the Islands of Hawaii, about which I will tell you soon, but not now, as the time has come for my contribution to the Amoeblog Best of 2009.

As many of you know, I don’t exactly ride the cutting edge of the music scene, and most of the music I listen to was made by people who either died of a smack overdose on the balcony of some plush hotel over twenty-five years ago, or they died trying to free their brothers and sisters from Southern slavery, or they were assassinated in the French Revolution. These are roundabout ways of saying I listen to dead people.

So when I’m in a position to name my favorite picks from the current year, I’m normally a deer in headlights, hoping I can somehow convince people that Helen Kane didn’t actually die in 1966, and has just released this awesome new single…


Really! Morrissey produced it. I know, it sounds like it was recorded decades ago, but that’s because… of… things and… stuff.

This year, however, I am happy to report I have a favorite album that really was released in 2009 by someone who’s really alive and the album is really good!

The album is Get Reasonable and it was recorded by Golden Shoulders, a poetic name that cloaks the identity of Adam Kline – the brains behind the outfit.

golden shoulders
"So delicious! And nutritious!"

Get Reasonable is the natural progression of music that blossomed from the ashes of grunge; it is rock music and it is sincere. While a huge swath of people have invested in acts that are devoutly escapist, such as Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, or the cast of Glee, Golden Shoulders has amassed a loyal following of music enthusiasts who value craftsmanship over craftiness and witty lyrics over easily learnable ones. Golden Shoulders’ sound is fresh, inventive, smart and completely devoid of so many of the production gimmicks that plague the airwaves currently.

HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT V

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2009 08:08am | Post a Comment

Today we have the latest in the ongoing series by guest Amoeblog contributor, incarcerated Sacramento hip-hop artist Anerae "X-Raided" Brown. Here, he continues a topic that he began in a previous Amoeblog about the creative process in prison.

In the previously published first part he wrote about the fact that incarcerated individuals sometimes have an advantage when it comes to being creative because they can focus more easily on their art due to lack of distractions. In this second piece on the same topic, he writes about the importance of certain programs for inmates and one in particular that was cut some years back due to the state's budget crisis. As you know, California's budget crisis has only worsened in recent times and those in the prison system, where things are already chronically overcrowded, are feeling the crunch most.



The Creative Process in Prison, Part Two: by Anerae "X-Raided" Brown

art class in prison

Once upon a time, before California's well documented budget crisis, before the California Department of Corrections indisingeniously added "Rehabilitation" to their name, there existed a program titled Arts in Corrections. For this program, so called Free-Staff, often unpaid citizens that volunteered their time and expertise, would come into institutions to teach inmates such skills as how to play musical instruments, how to paint, or draw, or bead, and many other crafts and hobbies that would allow interested inmates to occupy their time in productive ways. And oftentimes Free Staff would learn a thing or two from random exceptionally talented inmates.       

Coming Down in a Puff of Smoke: Up in the Air (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 13, 2009 11:51pm | Post a Comment
"Hey, little girl, don't you know he's the devil / He's everything that I ain't / Hiding intentions of evil, / Under the smile of a saint. / All he's good for is getting in trouble, / And shiftin' his share of the blame. / And some people swear he's my double: / And some even say we're the same./ But the silver-tongued devil's got nothing to lose, / I'll only live 'til I die. / We take our own chances and pay our own dues, / The silver tongued devil and I." -- Kris Kristofferson
 
up in the air poster

Unlike my blogging confrère, I somewhat ashamedly enjoyed Juno, but primarily for the comically pathetic character played by Jason Bateman. He's an artistic dreamer compromised by the bourgeois constraints of making an upper-middle class living. He's also the only basically decent adult male protagonist in director Jason Reitman's three-film oeuvre (perhaps due to being written by Diablo Cody, rather than the director). That is, Bateman's character still has some idea -- no matter how illusory -- of making music for something other than its exchange value. If his new film, Up in the Air, and first film, Thank You for Smoking, both of which he wrote, are any indication, Reitman's more interested in the bourgeois male who serves as the beguiling, devilish proponent of Capital. In the earlier film, Aaron Eckhart (who's always been the artier house parallel to George Clooney) plays the chief propagandist for Big Tobacco with absolute zeal, completely committed to the libertarian ideal of capitalism as being best when it's amoral -- let the consumer qua homo economicus make up his own mind. That such corporations pay big bucks to the rhetorical charms of such men puts the big lie to this idealization. Eckhart's character never goes beyond being a fascinating evil in the film, which keeps the audience at a distance from him, making it clear one should put identification on hold. It's for that reason that the attempted dramatic turns fall flat, even though the movie ain't half bad. This time around, Reitman places the capitalist devil in a romantic comedy, using the most seductive of contemporary stars, Clooney.

cary grant eva saint marie north by northwest   bright sided

While Clooney gets compared to Cary Grant a lot (and for good reason), one thing he's never had is a role as good as the ones HitchcockHawks and their writers used to supply -- at least, until now. Ryan Bingham is Clooney's Roger O. Thornhill, a complete narcissistic asshole with whom, nonetheless, you can't help but identify due to his charisma and tragic disposition. Whereas Hitchcock and writer Ernest Lehman provide some phony absolution for the adman Thornhill at the end of North by Northwest, Reitman and co-writer Sheldon Turner remain true to the letter(s) of their character (which might as well be 'R.O.T.,' with the 'O' standing "for nothing"). Ryan is a hatchetman for corporate downsizing, who uses his silver tongue to do what corporate bosses are too cowardly to do directly. In the manner exhaustively detailed in Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided, he uses the depraved double-speak of the positive thinking movement to make employees (supposedly) feel good about being canned -- as if it's a chance for a new beginning, rather than being cast off alone into the void. He's also a part-time self-help guru for management, who's devised a nihilist philosophy that justifies his own inability to connect with humanity except through a miserable way of making a living:

December 10, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, December 11, 2009 11:56pm | Post a Comment
Transylmania movie ticket stub

Die Cut Gallery Volume 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 11, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
moby dick records company sleeve20th century disco sleeve

Here's another round of company sleeves for you all; there's a few rarities here. The Friday the 13th and the Panorama Disco sleeves are both pretty hard to find, while the Def Jam & Epic sleeves are classics that you see every day.

def jam records 12" company sleevepanorama disco sleeveepic disco single company sleeve
grt disco company sleeveprestige records disco sleeverso disco 12" company sleeveavi giant single company sleevede-lite records disco sleeve
epic records cotton club 12" sleevetted records company sleevewarner brothers uk 12" company sleeve
prelude records company sleevemirage records atlantic company sleeve

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:11:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:11:09
Souls of Mischief
1) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label Records)

2) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

3) Wu-Tang Meet the Indie Culture, Vol. 2: Enter The Dubstep... (Ihiphop Distribution)

4) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

5) Aesop Fables Living The Dream While Awake  (Weed Tracker Music)

Shout out to Inti at Amoeba Music Berkeley for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart which finds a local hip-hop crew on top, Oakland's Souls of Mischief and their first new studio album in a decade, the Prince Paul produced Montezuma's Revenge on Clear Label Records. The new album also includes production input from Domino (responsible for their amazing debut 93 Til Infinity). The four emcees, A-Plus, Phesto, Opio and Tajai, are in top notch form here. And, not surprisingly, these diehard Hieroglyphics members, who dropped their debut sixteen long years ago when they were still teenagers, have matured quite a bit, all the while keeping that Hiero/Souls flavor that made them so endearing in the Rosie Perez, Feltfirst place. It sounds like veteran yet ever-envelope pushing producer Prince Paul got the best of out of the crew, as witnessed on standout songs such as "Home Game," "Postal," "Proper Aim," and "Dead Man Walking." Also, Prince Paul can be credited with creating a cohesive album (complete with skits, of course) that deserves listening to in its entirety -- the way albums used to be.

Little Osaka - 小大阪

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 10, 2009 11:09pm | Post a Comment
Little Osaka - Sawtelle Boulevard Hayama - Little Osaka

This Los Angeles neighborhood blog entry is about Little Osaka. To vote for another neighborhood(s) to be covered here on the blog, click here. To vote for a Los Angeles County community(ies) to be covered, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.


Map of the West Side - Los Angeles
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Westside

Japanese-Americans
have long been integral to the fabric of Los Angeles. J-Towns have sprung up around the Southland in Gardena, Torrance, Boyle Heights, Pasadena, San Pedro, Terminal Island, Compton, Long Beach, Monterey Park and Sawtelle. As far as I know, only two have acquired nicknames that reflect their Japanese-ness, Little Tokyo and Little Ōsaka. The former is a well known spot downtown.

Google's Favorite Places - Amoeba Music

Posted by Amoebite, December 9, 2009 03:59pm | Post a Comment
We're patiently waiting the arrival of our store decal. Stay tuned for how we might use our QR code.

Read more about Google's Favorite Places here.

Google's Favorite Places

Highlights from Our 2009 Instores!

Posted by Amoebite, December 9, 2009 03:34pm | Post a Comment
Celebrate, relive and/or discover some highlights from the year's instores at all three Amoebas along with us right here!

Amoeba BERKELEY!

Exene Cervenka

EXENE CERVENKA

The Legendary X front-woman Exene Cervenka played a captivating set of her folky solo material at Amoeba Berkeley for an adoring crowd of old and young punks alike. After performing, she signed records and chatted with the giddy fans. View more photos here.

Mae Shi

THE MAE SHI

Los Angeles spaz-punks The Mae Shi completely wigged out on the Berkeley stage. Passing a full-sized parachute over the whole stage and crowd in the Jazz room, the band climbed on our CD racks and ran into the aisles while performing songs off their latest album, Hlllyh. View more photos here.

AFTER 12 YEARS JAWBOX REFORM TO DO ONE-OFF LIVE TV SHOW

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment

The much revered (and missed) nineties alt-rock outft Jawbox performed last night (12/8) for the first time in twelve years! They played a one-off, one-song reunion show live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at NBC's New York studios in the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza building, performing the song "Savory" (video above in case you missed their charged performance). The Washington DC group played their first show ever back in 1989 opening for Fugazi and were once signed to Dischord before surprising/shocking many by jumping to a major (Atlantic Records). The occasion for this surprise reunion was to celebrate the reissue of Jawbox's 1994 album For Your Own Special Sweetheart -- available at Amoeba Music -- featuring the song "Savory" that was once covered by the Deftones. And, despite the wishes of the many remaining fans of this post-hardcore band, the group's J. Robbins insisted in a recent statement that, besides last night's TV appearance, there would be no other shows or chance of a full-fledged reunion.

Twenty nine years ago tonight ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 8, 2009 11:15pm | Post a Comment
John Lennon new york
Twenty nine years ago
tonight I was at home, safe in my tiny triplex, watching Monday Night Football, lounging on a very ugly, distastefully yellow and brown recliner, recently found near the dumpster at the local Jack in the Box where my girlfriend worked. We lived together, right around the corner on lucky 13th Street in Newhall, California. I worked at a nearby liquor store in Saugus, which explained our extremely diverse bar in our dining room. Anyway, I was drinking cinnamon schnapps, intent on just wasting away another Monday night watching football. The Dolphins and Patriots game had gone into overtime when Howard Cosell announced to the nation that John Lennon had been shot in New York City. (A guy named Smith, I believe, won the game on a field goal for the Miami Dolphins.) Seconds later the phone started ringing off the hook, there was a lot of confusion and tears and lame hopeless jokes.

Anyway, here are some John Lennon quotes:
 
“Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.”
 
“I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another.}
 
"If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or my music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it."
 
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.”
 
“As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.”
 
"Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that
ruins it for me."
 
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”
 
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.”
 
"Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. It's nine-tenths of the problem."
 
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
 
“Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.”
 
“Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.”

JOHN LENNON AND NEW YORK CITY

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2009 07:40pm | Post a Comment
The Dakota, December 8th, 2009

On this date, December 8th, exactly 29 years ago, John Lennon was tragically shot and killed outside his New York City home, The Dakota building on 72nd Street and Central Park West. He was gunned down at approx John Lennon, New York City10:50pm in cold blood by Mark David Chapman, a "fan" who Lennon had signed an autograph for earlier in the day. The former Beatle, along with his wife Yoko Ono, had just returned from a remixing session at the Record Plant recording studio.

While this event stunned Lennon/Beatles fans the world over, for those who lived in New York City it was momentous. While certainly nowhere near as devastating a tragedy as the 9/11 attacks on New York City, Lennon's horrifying murder on a Manhattan's streets was similar in that the event brought the city and its citizens together in shock and mourning. A densely populated metropolitan area, New York City can often be a cold, unfriendly place where strangers may bump shoulders with fellow city dwellers but rarely stop to talk to total strangers.

But on that night in 1980, as news of Lennon being slain trickled out, total strangers in shock gathered in the streets and cried together over the unbelievable news. It hit New Yorkers especially hard because Lennon had adopted New York City as his own. He had relocated there nine years earlier and had always proclaimed his love for the Big Apple. He even titled one of his albums after NYC, the highly politicized 1972 Yoko collaboration and double-album Some Time In New York City. And one of the most common images that comes to peoples' minds of John Lennon is one with him proudly wearing that New York City t-shirt (above). So his death in New York City hit hard. And on the night of the shooting concerned fans converged at both Roosevelt Hospital where Lennon was taken (and died within a half hour of tstrawberry fields central parkhe shooting) and outside the Dakota building, where a huge crowd had gathered, with candles lit and singing Lennon songs. And once word that Lennon had died got back to the swelling crowd outside the Dakota, the crying and mourning intensified. In fact, it continued through the night and into the days after.

Remember John Lennon October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980

Posted by Miss Ess, December 8, 2009 01:07pm | Post a Comment
"God" - Plastic Ono Band


"Jealous Guy" - Imagine


"One Day at a Time" - Mindgames


"Johnny B. Goode" - on the Mike Douglas Show


"Yer Blues" - from The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus


"Many Rivers to Cross" - with Harry Nilsson

 
"Watching the Wheels" - Double Fantasy

Other Christmas Movies - off-beat, under-seen, non-traditional, obscure, forgotten and alternative Christmas movies

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 8, 2009 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Come September of every year and kid-friendly Christmas movies began to dominate the airwaves. Movies with muppets and toys and Frosty and Santa and Rudolph. Movies like Babes in Toyland (1961), Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978), A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Elf, Ernest Saves Christmas (1988), A Flintstone Christmas (1977), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976), Home Alone (1 and 2), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966 and the live action "reboot"), It's a Wonderful Life, Jack Frost (1998), Jingle All the Way (1996), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and its re-make), Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A Muppet Family Christmas (1987), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Nutcracker, The Polar Express (2004), Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976), Santa Claus (1985), The Santa Clause (1 and 2), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982), and Yogi's First Christmas (1980)... to mention some of the better known ones. Although not all of them are completely insufferable for anyone over the age of seven, none are exactly adult-friendly. 

Interview with Moodmusic's Sasse

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 7, 2009 10:51am | Post a Comment
MOODMUSIC'S SASSE

This week sees the release of Moodmusic’s Starstyling compilation, which is a fine selection of some of the best moments from their recent catalog. Label owner Sasse provides a large helping of fresh house and techno featuring tunes from many of the Moodmusic camp, such as Tigerskin's already classic “Holy Grail” along with the newest release from Dave DK and Holger Zilkse, “You Will Find Out,” which we can’t get enough of...Sasse took some time out to answer some questions for all things concerning Moodmusic and what’s in store next.

When and where were you born, and have you always been in Berlin?

Originally born and raised in Finland in May 1973, I´ve been in Germany for the last 10 years, in Berlin for 6 years now. As much as I Iove the city for its vibrant scene, it´s a very nice and chilled place to live.

What got you interested in house/techno music?

It must have been the first wave of acid house which hit the UK, and eventually also the rest of Europe in the end of the 80s which made the impact. I remember taping radio shows in late 80s with italo, proto house and early Chicago stuff and dreaming of going into clubs, as where I lived in a small industrial city in Finland there [were] only shitty pubs and discos. Eventually I started traveling to London and NYC to buy records and visit clubs, which led to promoting my own nights in the early 90s, first doing proper raves, then doing club nights and so on..

HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT IV

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2009 09:00am | Post a Comment
Anerae "X-Raided" Brown
Today we have another installment in the ongoing exclusive Amoeblog series Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account by X-Raided, in which long-incarcerated Sacramento rap artist and label owner Anerae "X-Raided" Brown writes from behind the bars of Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA  where he is serving a 31 year to life sentence. In this edition, he writes about his two most recent releases, the two volumes in the Unforgiven series, which are available at Amoeba Music.

As outlined in his last Amoeblog entry, X-Raided, who somehow manages to run a record label and release albums from behind prison bars (he's released a dozen projects since his incarceration back in the early nineties), has released three albums just this year, all with Unforgiven in the title. One is entitled Eternally Unforgiven, recorded, he said, "to get my voice back out there" after a gap in releases. Meantime, The Unforgiven 1: In the Beginning is an updated version of the album he released ten years ago via Sacramento's Black Market Records. The new 2009 version, released on the artist's recently formed Bloc Star Entertainment label, features completely different sequencing, added tracks, and remixes. The goal of this release was to bring new fans up to speed and to prepare them for The Unforgiven 2: Assisted Suicide, which, according to X- Raided, "is here to let y'all know I'm back and I'm serious. Anybody think we ain't on fire, listen to the "Mortal Combat" remix and tell me we ain't the best. I put the rhymes on Unforgiven 2 against anything out there." What follows is X-Raided's track by track breakdown of each of these Unforgiven volumes.

SAM FULLER'S CIGARS 5

Posted by Charles Reece, December 6, 2009 10:50pm | Post a Comment
As I recall, dreams of hats are supposed to signify genitalia. Obviously, psychoanalytic interpretation can go overboard.

sam fuller forty guns

Here a cowboy is merely grabbing his hat to leave.

forty guns sam fuller

Forty Guns is a available on dvd.

sam fuller cigar

How to Dramatize with a Hammer: Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Posted by Charles Reece, December 6, 2009 10:04pm | Post a Comment
 precious title

"Why so hard?" the kitchen coal once said to the diamond. "After all, are we not close kin?" Why so soft? O my brothers, thus I ask you: are you not after all my brothers? Why so soft, so pliant and yielding? Why is there so much denial, self-denial, in your hearts? So little destiny in your eyes? And if you do not want to be destinies and inexorable ones, how can you one day triumph with me? And if your hardness does not wish to flash and cut through, how can you one day create with me? For all creators are hard. And it must seem blessedness to you to impress your hand on millennia as on wax. Blessedness to write on the will of millennia as on bronze — harder than bronze, nobler than bronze. Only the noblest is altogether hard. This new tablet, O my brothers, I place over you: Become hard!
-- Zarathustra, quoted in "The Hammer Speaks!" from Friedrich Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols

The most inclusive description of the art is that, termite-like, it feels its way through walls of particularization, with no sign that the artist has any object in mind other than eating away the immediate boundaries of his art, and turning these boundaries into conditions of the next achievement. 
-- Manny Farber on what he called "Termite Art"

precious bottle mom

I wasn't going to see Lee DanielsPrecious, figuring it would be a bunch of liberal claptrap about the struggle of an inner-city black teenager overcoming adversity to make the rest us feel better -- something along the lines of what Manny Farber used to call White Elephant Art. That is, the big Hollywood message films of old, the style and substance of which now tend to be relegated to the Sundance circuit due to multiplexes focusing on big budget spectacles (albeit, such films are making a commercial comeback, cf. Sandra Bullock's current star vehicle Blind Side, or Will Smith's recent Happyness). But, being on a Sam Fuller kick, a recent Fresh Air review of his new box set piqued my interest by suggesting that Daniels was carrying on in the exploitative, knee-to-the-groin style of the Termite master. Rather than practice a nuanced argument in his films, Fuller would pummel you with so many messages (the difference between textual and subtextual mattering little) that any overt ideological points would become buried, challenged or eaten away, leaving you bewildered as to what exactly he was trying to say. Consider his critique of racism from Shock Corridor, where a black patient has taken on the oppressive iconicity of white supremacy as a defense mechanism, donning a Klan hood to repress another black patient:


There's no subtlety in the scene, but it defies any easy categorization. It manages to be both vile and comical at the same time. The insightful Dave Chapelle did a twist on this in his show where he had a blind, black Klansman spouting white power slogans, never having seen his own reflection. Was Fuller deadly serious with this sort of exploitation, or did he see the comedy in such lurid, almost literal, metaphors? I'm not sure, which is why I can't stop watching his films. I bet that Chapelle could see the humor in Precious, though, which, despite being promoted as some monumental indictment of urban destitution by producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry (leaving the former "breathless," while the latter could only say "powerful"), is as comically exploitative as anything Fuller ever came up with. If you're the type who regularly bursts out laughing during an Aronofsky or Von Trier film, then this is the movie to see. Precious, in fact, borrows the Von Trier formula for existential drama: heap so many social tortures on a female character until the only plausible reaction can be be a hearty, absurdist laughter. Any social realism hinted at in the trailer disappears in the first 10 minutes when you see Precious get knocked unconscious by a bottle her mom throws, resulting in a nightmare montage with boiling pigs snouts and dad's hovering gut as he expresses his "love" for his little girl. 

There's just about no current stereotypical urban plight not foisted on the character of Precious: illiteracy, aids, welfare, obesity, teenage motherhood, Mariah Carey, etc. Where Requiem for a Dream just comes across as pretentiously goofy in its approach to drug addiction, Daniels and his scenarist Geoffrey Fletcher create a dark comedy of ill-manners (which might or might not be intentional). Precious's relation with her mother is the evil distaff version of Sanford & Son, in which mom constantly berates her as a "dumb bitch" who needs to "forget school" and get her "fat ass down to the welfare office." This is punctuated with mom attacking her with the aforementioned bottle, a frying pan and eventually a TV set.

precious mom tv set

Beware: spoilers follow!

Silent night - Christmas movies of the silent era

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 6, 2009 11:55am | Post a Comment
A Christmas Past DVD         A Christmas Carol & Old Scrooge DVD

Happy St. Nicholas Day! For your enjoyment, a little somethin' to break the monotony of all that hardcore Christmas that has gotten to be a little bit out of control...


Santa Claus
(1898) was directed by George Albert Smith (Weary Willie, Making Sausages), a former portrait photographer and member of the UK's Brighton set. In 1906, he and Charles Urban patented the world's first commercial color film process, Kinemacolor. Smith was something of an English Georges Méliès, employing and pioneering the use of special effects, mostly in the fantasy genre.

Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost (1901) was apparently the first adaptation of seemingly millions of Dickens's novel.


The Night Before Christmas
(1905) was directed by the great Edwin S. Porter (Uncle Josh in a Spooky Hotel, Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show, The Gay Shoe Clerk) and is a pretty loose adaptation of the famous poem by Clement Moore. It will undoubtedly appeal to fans of dioramas and vintage children.

Acetates, Test Pressings & Promos

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 5, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment
valentine recording studiosartisan sound recorderscapitol records transcription disc label
k disc masteringkendun recorderskeel manufacturing corporation test pressing label
united artists records inc. reference recordwallachs musci city promo sleevestudio recordings incorporated acetate
gerson d bender fine recordings precision lacquer labelNBC reference recording acetate
ascor recordings acetate labelcapitol records acetate labellittle white chapel wedding acetate
sunshine sound acetate labelthe mastering lab acetate labelpresswell records test pressing label
texas baptist radio center acetatetorchlite test acetate labelua blue test pressing label

Todd is Godd: Rundgren tours his legendary album A Wizard, A True Star.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 5, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
 todd rundgren a wizard a true star album cover tour 2009 san francisco live futurist rock concert
I have only ever twice before been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a live performance of an entire album from beginning to end. I'll never forget the dorky glee I felt once upon a time in 1990 hearing Geoff Tate of Queensryche ask his band mates a few songs into their show in support of their album Empire, "guys, shall we do Mindcrime?," only then to crush non-stop through their hour-long progressive rock-opera Operation: Mindcrime. Then there was the surprise and delight of hearing Joanna Newsom say during her show a couple of Christmases ago, "I'd like to perform my new album for you now," and just like that, her nearly hour long Ys magically unfurled its sails with everyone in attendance on board. However, Todd Rundgren's performance last Tuesday night of his stellar album A Wizard, A True Star at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco was a mess of fandom-fueled joy that I knew I was getting into and, to a certain extent, almost dreaded.
todd rundgren a wizard a true star awats tour fan art jacket embroidery needle craft
I mean, compared to the prior two experiences where my "being there when they unexpectedly played the album" aspect of the live performance became a highlight of each show, I wondered how will I look back on this --- a show where I know not only the set list beforehand, but also already anticipate the overall feeling that I get when listening to the album on my own terms. In other words, how could this show present anything but the record I love as a less-than-perfect rendition with low-lights glaring where the highlights would be (a lot like Todd's white-on-black hairdo actually). Maybe I was a little concerned as to Todd's ability to deliver, at age 61, his genre-smearing, progressive futuristic rock magnum opus of 1973 in a live, staged setting --- an album that has aged so well that Todd admits to caving in to fan demands for a tour when asked, "why this album," and "why now?" C'mon, who would go through all the trouble to embroider the back of their jacket with album art from a record that wasn't sent from Utopia itself? If the exemplary piece of fan craftage above (as seen at the show last Tuesday night) gives any indication, Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star must be nothing less than the shit, impervious to crumbling under the constraints of staged presentation! Still there's more...
todd rundgren rocker style icon 1970's guitar god a wizard a true star tour 2009
I know now that I was wrong to doubt Rundgren's ability, regardless of age, to deliver anything but a jaw-dropping display of pure showmanship and theatricality. And I was wrong to expect the expected too. For one thing, I had no idea Todd was to be his own opening band. To everyone's surprise, Todd, flanked by three other dudes similarly clad in black on black and wearing black shades, took to the stage and, after announcing the world premiere of "Todd Rundgren's Johnson," played a robust set of Robert Johnson covers. Todd explained at one point that this particular cover band thing had something to do with either business or karmic obligations, probably both. In any case the set provided a means for a world class shredder like Rundgren to really strut his stuff and look effortlessly cool doing so. But that didn't last long, as Todd's taste for rotating guises in the second act, or rather the show we all came to see, had me wondering if Rundgren's "style icon" status has rendered him immune to aesthetic criticism or has been downright revoked.

Edgar Allan Poe auction goes stratospheric ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 4, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Edgar Allan Poe Auction
“Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.”
 
At Christies Auction House today in New York, an 1827 first edition copy of an Edgar Allan Poe poetry collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was sold for $662,500 -- the most ever for a 19th century book of poetry. The 40-page collection, and Poe’s very first publication, was inspired by the work of British poet Lord Byron. Only a dozen copies are known to exist of the fifty initially pressed. Oddly enough Poe did not attach his name to Tamerlane; the authoEdgar Allan Poe Tamerlaner is only indicated as "A Bostonian." Also sold at auction was a two-page, hand written manuscript containing the first 8 stanzas (of 16 stanzas) of "For Annie" ("Thank Heaven: the crisis --- the danger is past....") from 1849, written just months before his death at age 40. The manuscript, which was written for a one of Poe's loves, Nancy L. Richmond, far exceeded the $50,000-$70,000 estimate, netting a mind blowing $830,500 at auction, breaking the 19th century literary manuscript record.
 
The book and manuscript, both somewhat worn and wrinkled, came from the private library of television producer William E. Self (he was the executive in charge of production for such classic shows as Batman, Lost in Space, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, and Land of the Giants). Both pieces were sold to anonymous bidders.
 
“As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.”

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood: Matias Aguayo, Ziggy Kinder, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 4, 2009 01:35pm | Post a Comment
HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO


MATIAS AGUAYO
Rollerskate 12"

"Rollerskate" is the first single from Matias Aguayo's full-length Ay Ay Ay (KOM 205LP/KOMP 076CD). Aguayo has already established significant buzz, and "Rollerskate" was already included on Pitchfork's "Best New Music" list. It's easy to get drawn into the organic earthiness of Aguayo's musicianship -- his voice is the source of the song, ingeniously layered and contextualized into what seems like an endless mantra. Remixes by Marcus Rossknecht, Diegors & The Don, Sanfuentes & Alex Thunders, and Rebolledo.



TIEFSCHWARZ - Fall In/Keep On 12”
 
N/A (FEAT. ROSINA) - Fables And Fairytales 12"

KZA - A 12"

BRIGITTE FONTAINE & KHAN - Fine Mouche Remixes 12"

LOSOUL - Care Remixes Pt. 1 12"


KOLLEKTIV TURMSTRASSE
First Day/Last Day 12"

"They have come a long way. Remixes for Hot Chip, releases on Cocoon, and part of the Diynamic family from the very beginning. So we are very proud to present the next release from our boys -- Christian Hilscher & Nico Plagemann, better known as Kollektiv Turmstrasse. They return with one of their finest tunes to date. Always loyal to their own label-mission, Music Wins Friends (Musik Gewinnt Freunde), this new release upholds this principle! With this new EP, they once again confirm that they are one of the very best in their class. And we are certain it will win them many new supporters for sure!"

First Day

The Fantastic Mr Fox Is Indeed Fantastic!

Posted by Miss Ess, December 4, 2009 01:31pm | Post a Comment
fantastic mr fox wes anderson

Like many film fans, I have something of a complicated relationship with Wes Anderson's movies. While I love that they have a strong individual viewpoint that is unlike any other filmmakers' and is far from the norm, at the same time, they can be sort of...well...whiny.

royal tenenbaums

To illustrate with his older films, I would say that The Royal Tenenbaums was a smashing, story-book-like portrait of a profoundly dysfunctional family, each member with his or her own fantastical, intricate back history covered in full-on idiosyncratic detail. This, I loved.

darjeeling limited

Then, there's what I consider one of his lows: The Darjeeling Limited, which I wrote about here. To sum up though, in that film the self absorption of the characters and the overly labored acting and plot were total turn offs.

fantastic mr fox wes anderson

Anyway, I went to see his newest film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and was completely re-energized! It was an explosion of preciousness and warmth, from the carefully designed outfits on the puppets (corduroy suits and apple printed dresses) to the beauty of the Fox family's dollhouse-like home in a tree. The characters are darling puppets, yet they are each as multi- faceted and original as any others you've seen at the movies. This film takes Anderson's strengths -- his detail orientation and sense of whimsy (god, I hate that word, though it is apt here!) -- and plays them out to perfection. Oh yeah, and I enjoyed tfantastic mr fox wes andersonhe Beach Boys saturated sound track. It seems like it wouldn't work at all...but it does, and just adds to the charm.

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:04:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2009 09:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top FIve: 12:04:09
Black Keys, RZA, Blakroc, Mos Def
1) BlakRoc Blakroc  (V2/Cooperative)

2) Lil Wayne The Carter Documentary DVD (Cash Money/Universal)

3) Birdman PRICELE$$ (Cash Money/Universal)

4) DOOM Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust Media)

5) Juvenile Cocky and Confident (Atlantic Records)

Blakroc by BlakRoc, the number one new hip-hop release from the Hollywood Amoeba store this week, is one of those refreshing albums that pushes the boundaries of what rap or hip-hop is, or can be. The Blakroc project, which was initiated by rapper Jim Jones and produced by Damon Dash, is a large scale collaborative affair between the Black Keys (who you'll recall worked with Danger Mouse on their last album) and a slew of high profile hip-hop talents including Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, RZA, Pharaohe Monch, Ludacris, and the late ODB. But to label BlakRoc simply another rap-rock fusion (a melding that so often comes off sounding forced) is selling it short. The album comes off sounding fresh and never forced with the Black Keys' (guitarist & vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney) dirty, guitar driven, big drum beat sound proving to be the perfect match for the album's numerous emcees. Because it is far from your typical cliche rap release, this album will not appeal to all rap fans, which is why it is so worth listening to. For a taste of this album, check out the video below for the album track "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" featuring Mos Def and Jim Jones.
Birdman Cash Money Lil Wayne
Cash Money Records holds down two new releases on the new Top Five, a CD and a DVD from Birdman and Lil Wayne respectively. The 90 minute documentary takes an in-depth look at the highly successful New Orleans rap artist Dwayne Carter Jr., aka Lil Wayne, aka Weezy, aka the self-proclaimed 'greatest rapper alive." It includes lots of interviews, behind the scenes segments, and, of course, concert footage. The movie, which won positive reviews when it screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival, also offers a pretty revealing look at Wayne and what makes him tick (and also what gets him high). You get to see the popular and prolific artist, who has been a star since his early teens, as an alternately funny and short-tempered fellow. Unfortunately -- due to the timeline of its creation -- the film doesn't include his latest legal problems (gun possession) and the likely jail time he may soon serve. There is a ten minute excerpt from the documentary below. 

This Week At The New Beverly: Dec. 4 - 10

Posted by phil blankenship, December 4, 2009 01:14am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full December calendar is online:
http://www.newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday December 4

Eric Caidin and Brian Quinn
with Grindhouse Releasing present

The Grindhouse Film Festival

Stunt Rock
1978, Australia, 86 minutes - BRAND NEW 35mm Print!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0078335/
dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, starring Grant Page, Monique van de Ven, Margaret Gerard, Richard Blackburn and SORCERY!
11:59pm, All Tickets $8, Watch The Trailer!

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Charts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 3, 2009 12:57am | Post a Comment
Since I skipped October’s World Music bestseller chart last month, I decided to make a comprehensive chart that includes the best sellers for both October and November.

1. Poncho Sanchez - Psychedelic Blues
2. Shakira - She Wolf
3. Bomba Estereo – Blow Up
4. Rodrigo Y Gabriela –11:11
5. Bebel Gilberto – All In One
6. Gustavo Cerati – Fuerza Natural
7. Mercedes Sosa – Cantora
8. Aventura – Last
9. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou - Echos Hypnotiques Vol. 2
10. Buika - El Ultimo Trago

Both Poncho Sanchez and Bomba Estereo had recent successful instore performances at Amoeba Hollywood and their chart positions reflect that, with each of them coming in at number one and three respectfully. Shakira was a no-brainer at number two, as people have been waiting for She Wolf since rumors of its release over the summer. Her chart position is a cumulative number based on sales of the import version and the domestic release. Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bebel Gilberto, Gustavo Cerati, Aventura and Mercedes Sosa continue to sell well into December. Wow, can you believe it is December already?

Here is a chart just for the month of November:

1. Bomba Estereo-Blow Up
2. Shakira-She Wolf
3. Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou-Echos Hypnotiques Vol. 2
4. V/A -Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-91
5. Buika–El Ultimo Trago
6. Rodrigo Y Gabriela –11:11
7. V/A - Panama! Vol.3
8. Poncho Sanchez -Psychedelic Blues
9. Bebel Gilberto –All In One
10. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos–Cantan En Español

INTERVIEW WITH GROTUS DRUMMER BRUCE BOYD

Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2009 07:27pm | Post a Comment

Grotus live in Rouen, France - 1994.

The expression "ahead of their time" pretty much sums up the musically unique, genre blending, multi-media 1990's Bay Area group Grotus. Grotus was an amazing band, especially live, that appealed to fans of punk, industrial, metal, two drum-set percussion, samples, and politically outspoken lyrics. Unfortunately though they were also one of those really good bands that never fully got the type of credit grotusor, more importantly, the level of success that they deserved and the band called it quits in 1996, only five years after they released their debut album.

Grotus' original members Adam Tanner (keyboard, guitars, sampler) and John Carson (keyboards, bass, sampler) formed the band in San Francisco in 1989. Drummer/vocalist/sampler player Lars Fox joined afterward and together they honed their unique sound and steadily built up a strong local following, getting much airplay on stations like KUSF and KALX, and gigging at a variety of venues, often with the band Consolidated with whom they were friends. Drummer and DJ Bruce Boyd joined the group after they released their debut in 1991. His addition gave Grotus the two drummer sonic assault that helped define their powerful sound.

Grotus' record labels included Spirit Music Industries, Alternative Tentacles and the major London/Polygram, and between them all the band released a series of singles, EPs, and albums. They played on stages alongside such groups as Nine Inch Nails and Mike Patton's Mr Bungle, for whom they opened on a 1992 US tour. For the next four years the band toured tirelessly, winning diehard fans along the way in countries such as France, where the above live concert clip was shot and where they recorded a live album in 1994. Grotus' three studio albums are Brown (1991), Slow Motion Apocalypse (1993), and Mass (1996). While most of the Grotus catalog is out of print (Slow Motion on Alt Tent is still in print on CD), you can usually, with a bit of digging in the vinyl and CD sections, track down copies of their records at Amoeba Music. Recently I caught up with member Bruce Boyd to ask him some questions about this great SF group.
grotus
Amoeblog: You joined the band after it had been around for a minute. Can you give folks an idea of what point Grotus was at when you joined and how you came to join the fold?

Canterbury Knolls

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 1, 2009 06:13pm | Post a Comment
Map of Canterbury Knolls
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Canterbury Knolls



Canterbury Knolls
is a South LA neighborhood bordered by Manchester Square, Morningside Circle and Vermont Knolls to the south, Hyde Park to the west, Chesterfield Square to the north, Vermont Square to the northeast, and Vermont-Slauson to the east.


Map of South LA
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Los Angeles

For the estimated two dozen or so semi-regular readers of this blog, the way this works is clear. People vote for a Los Angeles neighborhoodor an LA County community (vote here). To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

out today 11/17 & 11/23...them crooked vultures...annie...adam lambert...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 1, 2009 04:50pm | Post a Comment
Nirvana
Wow, everybody. It is officially December! The last month of the year. The last month of the decade! Most people complain that time goes by too fast. I usually say that myself -- but it has been a long decade. Remember Y2K? That really does seem so long ago. I don't think that the 00's will ever be remembered as such a decade as the 70's or 80' or 90's. It really seemed like all of those decades got smashed together to form this last decade. But does anybody ever really talk about the 1900's? Or even the 1910's? It really is all about the 20's! It will be interesting when the 2020's come to an end. I guess the 1920's might be forgotten by then but still, you will have to be specific when you say the 20's...although not that many people think you are referring to the 1880's when you say "80's."

The 80's came back in a big way these last 10 years -- the music backstreet boysand fashion for sure. The 90's will always be remembered by me for certain genres of music. I will always remember it as the decade of raves and electronica. I got into all this music in this decade and it reached the height of its popularity in the 90's. Britpop and Teen Pop also took over. I was into listening to Blur, Suede, Pulp, Gene, Elastica, and Oasis while most everyone else was listening to The Spice Girls, N SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. The beginning of the decade was really all about grunge though. Nirvana and Soundgarden somehow faded into Britney and The Spice Girls by the end of the decade.
american idol
This decade will be remembered for American Idol and reality TV. It all started with shows like Survivor but now everybody has a reality show. It will be remembered for digital music and Ipods. DVD and Blurays. I think that indie labels really took over this decade too. Labels like Matador, Sub Pop, Touch and Go, and Secretly Canadian put out some of the best music of the decade. Indie music of the 2000's sort of came out of the Alternative 90's. It will also be the decade that marked the end of most chain Music Stores. I think the early 00's were probably the best time for most records stores -- or at least the very late 90's and very early 2000's. However, the good times did not last long. In the second half of the 00's, many indie stores closed down as well. Still, many have survived and these last couple of years have even seen new small indie music stores popping up all over the kathy griffinplace.

Bob Keane R.I.P. (1922-2009)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 1, 2009 10:11am | Post a Comment

Los Angeles
lost one of its great independent operators a couple of days ago. Bob Keane died of renal failure at the age of 87. Previously he had conquered lymphoma (at age 80) and survived decades of ups and downs, including battles with drugs, alcohol, the record industry & himself. 

His early years were spent as a successful clarinetist and big band leader, at one point taking over Artie Shaw's band -- he even took a crack at acting. In the early 50's, after a stint in WWII, he hosted a local variety show on channel 2, but looming in the near future was his true calling.

Keene Records was started by Keane and John Siamas & their first hit was a doozy. "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke made over a million dollars and made an international star out of Cooke. Unfortunately, Keane hadn't any contracts with Siamas and soon Siamas gave him the business and Bob was left to his own devices. Never one to remain passive, Keane turned around and formed Del-Fi Records, releasing records from Frank Zappa, Little Caesar and the Romans, The Lively Ones, Surfaris, Johnny Crawford (of Rifleman fame), and Brenda Holloway, as well as an endless list of one off singles. Of course, the biggest Del-Fi sensation was Ritchie Vallens, but my favorite is the Eden Ahbez LP. Keane went on to more success and troubles with Bobby Fuller and eventually helped to kick start Barry White's career on the Mustang label. According to Keane, a bullwhip was Mr. White's weapon of choice back in his 50's street gang days.

Little Boy vs. Man on Stilts

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 1, 2009 02:04am | Post a Comment
This video really made my night, so much so that I felt inclined to blog about it. At first, the sense of fear creeps in as a man on the stilts approaches a tiny tot on the Santa Monica Pier. All worry is laid to rest the moment the kid starts to boogie. Haven't seen anyone move like this since the king of pop himself. This kid's got mad moves!

Bohemian Rhapsody Shuts Down Arpaio

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 1, 2009 12:48am | Post a Comment
So why is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County Arizona in a music blog? Because of the band Queen, of course!

For those who aren't familiar with Sheriff Joe, his heavy-handed approach to law enforcement has caused much controversy over the last fifteen years. He has won fans in conservative Arizona, but to the rest of the world, he is seen as one of the worst violators of human rights. According to Phoenix New Times, from 2004 through November 2007, he was the target of 2,150 lawsuits in U.S. District Court and hundreds more in Maricopa County courts, with more than $50 million in claims being filed. His tough on crime tactics have crossed over into immigration issues. After Arizona passed a law that would make it a felony to smuggle undocumented immigrants into Arizona, Arpaio took it upon himself to instruct his sheriff's deputies and members of his civilian posse (known as The Minutemen) to arrest “illegal aliens.” They soon took to harassing any persons of color without regards to their legal status. Earlier this year The Department of Justice began investigating Arpaio's targeting of Latinos and Spanish-speaking people. Two months ago, The Department of Homeland Security removed the authority of Arpaio's deputies to make immigration arrests in the field.

Arpaio is a master at eluding questions in the vein of Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon, another master of the game. However, on Monday night, Arpaio was being interviewed "Meet-the-Press" style at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Protestors soon tired of him dodging questions and broke out into a cacophonous version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" to disrupt the interview. Check it out below.