We mostly talk about fantasy.
We mostly talk about fantasy.
Monday afternoon may not be everyone's first choice for party time, but Amoeba San Francisco wasn’t about to let something as insignificant as a day of the week get in the way of a good costume contest!
Amoeba San Francisco’s annual Halloween employee costume contest was kicked off with the spooky sounds of DJ Tay, who came dressed as a Hippie Butcher complete with the head of Jerry Garcia!
Funnyman Sean Murphy served as our Master of Ceremonies and introduced each of our masked miscreants one by one as judges Tony, Donnell, and Suzanne took copious notes.
Julian lead the charge as…a mailman!
Then we had a special guest appearance by the one and only Tina Turner! Also known as Nick!
Luciano pillaged the stage in Viking gear.
To My Queen
New Jazz NJ8283 1963
A wonderful, somewhat neglected jazz music experience, with delicately grooving vibraphone and piano, gently singing over the percolating grooves of drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist George Tucker. Andrew Hill on piano takes the passenger's seat to Walt Dickerson's moves on this date, and the results are a nice, ethereal journey that always swings and keeps the fire burning while keeping each note sensitive and meaningful. Cyrille's versatility here is a treat, as I'm used to hearing him mostly with Cecil Taylor, and his bubbling, bopping percussion is exemplary. The photo of Walt's "queen" on the cover sets the tone for this marvelous journey.
Axieme Vol. 1
Red Record VPO 120 1977
Sundaland Cafe, taken during my set
This time around I was to play in three different shows. The biggest by far was an opening DJ set for the legendary Joe Bataan. The budget for this tour was much smaller then past tours. There was to be no hotels and I took the train to most places. My friend Shin Miyata, who has released several of my albums on his Barrio Gold/Music Camp label, was my host for the tour. We stayed at his apartment while he tended to Joe Bataan, who also has a few albums on Music Camp.
Winners of the pet costume contest will receive a variety of cool prizes including some items from Catts & Doggs. As you likely already know people really like to dress up their pets for Halloween (see the video below care of UZoo Gallery showing a variety of pets in Halloween costume) so based on this fact coupled with the number of calls of inquiry that Amoeba has been receiving about this pet costume contest, there will probably be a good turnout for this afternoon's event. Word has it that the contest will be a true democratic process with costumes been judged by all in attendance via an applause-O-meter and, regardless of who has the best costume, each pet and their owner will be admired and celebrated by all in the house. So make every effort to attend and have fun at Amoeba and if you are going for the pet costume contest try and get there at least 20 minutes before the 4pm contest start time.
When I'm not looking for videos of Danzig or pro-wrestling, watching Slavoj Žižek is how I spend a good deal of my internet time. He recently appeared on The Charlie Rose Show. Turns out, the two share an interest in Josef Stalin. But that discussion gets interrupted with topics like the philosopher's speech at the Occupy Wall Street rally, the Egyptian uprising -- both of which are the focus of his latest LRB essay -- Chinese capitalism and the ideology in Kung Fu Panda and Titanic. The Titanic analysis is a taste of what's to come in his and Sophie Fiennes' sequel to The Pervert's Guide to Cinema:
The box office personnel couldn't figure how to properly ticket for Take Shelter.
The much anticipated album from Jonsson/Alter, the new project from Henrik Jonsson & Joel Alter, has finally arrived. With personality and grace Jonsson/Alter blend soul, atmosphere and space with heavenly monotone funk. Or as the artists put it: “This album just landed in our laps like the sand falls inside an hourglass, every note is a breath of air and each kick pumps like a woken heart.'' Tension is the key word to this album. The raw funk of bass lines and drum programming always grinds against the smooth and beautiful, almost sacral and poetic parts of the music. You can feel the work of two producers, two styles, two ideas, meeting and blending to create something new - a sound of their own. Sharp acid bass lines meets smooth church-bell pads. Dreamy monotone organ pads and deep human sighs meet the striving funk of daily life. Minimalistic but irresistibly funky drum programming jams together with a wild and constantly tweaked one-tone bass line. Very few sounds play efficiently in this amazingly dirty club tracks to cinematic and dusty house. Good times are what we are made for and this album will hopefully help you in pursuing that task.
** Comes with limited Jonsson/Alter canvas bag **
Purchase Mod here
Achterbahn D' Amour
Trance me up / Adult Movies - Skudge remix
Acid Test 05 / Absurd
1) Evidence Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers Ent.)
2) Murs Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation (DD172)
3) People Under The Stairs Highlighter (Piecelock 70)
4) Exile 4 Trk Mind (Soulspazam/Fat Beats)
5) Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (Decon)
Thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Hollywood Amoeba store for this week's hip-hop top five chart which, you will notice upon closer examination, features exclusively acts from the SoCal store's surrounding area. As Rivera has told me in the past LA area customers have traditionally been highly supportive of their homegrown hip-hop talent. This week those talents include the LA producer/emcee Evidence who first came to fame as part of Dilated Peoples and who recently connected with the respected Mid West Rhymesayers Entertainment label who have released his highly recommended new Cats & Dogs album. LA's Murs, the Living Legends star who for a time lived in the Bay Area, is getting positive feedback all over for his latest release - a collab with Ski Beatz, Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation including down in New Orleans where, just before the album's October 11th release date, he did a unique promo for the new release on DD172 as seen in video clip below.
First up is the Amoeba sponsored SHOCK-IT-TO-ME! HALLOWEEN SPOOKENANNY at San Francisco's Café Du Nord on Monday, Halloween night. Beginning at 9pm it promises to be "the most insidious show in San Francisco this Ghoultide Season! Bringing back a real sense of old skool All-Hallows-Eve fun" with "a monstrous fright night of horror hosts, maniacal music, creepy contests, and more tricks ‘n treats than you can shake a bloody stake at!" For full details read the in-depth Amoeblog.
Also on Halloween night, Monday October 31st, is the big Live 105 sponsored Subsonic Halloween Ball at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco with 2 Many DJs, Fake Blood, Dyloot, Party Ben and many more. At the same Sutter & Van Ness venue two nights earlier is Halloween Massive 2011 - a costume party with hip-hop and house music, giveaways, and prizes. More info on both nights here. Saturday's party starts at 9pm. Monday's starts at 7pm. Regency Ballroom is located at 1290 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109.
PST: Are you guys working on new songs yet? If so, how is the sound shaping up?
Shaheen: Yeah, we have steadily been coming up with new ones, playing them live at shows and then recording them. They shape up well this way, playing them live then recording has always helped us to tight'n them up. Just need to record a few more next week and we should be on our way.
PST: Are you guys surprised at all by the recent resurgence of bands playing garage rock and surf rock?
Shaheen: No, not really. It seems to come in waves, this one seems a lot larger.
PST: Do you guys mind at all getting lumped in with other bands that play that kind of music? I could see it being frustrating, but also there seems to be a camaraderie among bands like you guys, Audacity and Ty Segall.
Shaheen: Yeah there's not a perfect fit for us there but, we get along pretty well with all those bands. Joe Walters from the Redwood Bar use to call us “Barbershop Surfpop,” I always liked that.
PST: One thing I feel like sets you guys apart is your vocals. They’re really great, I love that they're spread out among the members and that they’re often nice and croony, rather than full on garage all the time. Is that something you guys consciously tried to do, make sure the vocals actually sounded like real singing?
Shaheen: Yes. We have always kept it pretty clean for the most part. Chad croons, I whine, Daniel croons and whines.
PST: I lived in Long Beach for years, and I love that you guys represent it so well. It definitely captures the place somehow, although I can’t quite put my finger on how. If there’s a sound to Long Beach that you guys help embody, what do you think that is?
Shaheen: Long Beach has always had a pretty steady stew of counter culture, it's a port city. Maybe we rep a little piece of that.
PST: Do you have any favorite venues to play?
Shaheen: Shows that FYF put on are always rad, where ever they may be. It’s great getting to play these halls like the old timers use to.
PST: What's the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your shows?
Shaheen: We got to play with The Dead Milkmen at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. Seeing those guys in person was really crazy and the fact that we got to play with them blew my mind. I still can't believe that went down.
PST: Stock question, but what bands did you guys bond over, and who are some artists people might not expect you guys to be into?
Shaheen: The Dead Milkmen, Suburban Lawns, X, Circle Jerks, Link Wray, The Cramps, TSOL, Dead Kennedys, The Pyramids, Sade, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Ian Dury.
The release coincides with the band's much coveted opening slot on the new Pixies (who influence their sound) US/UK tour which kicks off tomorrow the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. No CA dates for Surfer Blood are included but you can pick up the new Tarot Classics EP featuring such tracks as "Drinking Problem" below. And if you want to check out more tracks before buying it at Amoeba you can stream it in its entirety here care of Spin magazine. You can follow Surfer Blood on Twitter.
Armstrong, a long time horror fan, could not have better timed the release of this unique new series. As well as the horror themed film piece being just in time for Halloween additionally this story about "corporate bad ass" Lars character Dante Wilson, who "practices treachery at every turn," also coincides perfectly with the Occupy Wall Street protests - something that had not yet begun when filming for the project began. As well as Frederiksen also featured in ROCKNROLL THEATER are Armstrong's pals AFI‘s Davey Havok, Shoshana Fox, Robert David Hall, and recent Amoeba Hollywood instore performers Fishbone.
Worst... lollipops... ever.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s almost time for Halloween! And you know what that means? Stressing out about costumes, making the Sophie’s Choice over which parties to attend (basically an exercise in letting your friends know who you like most) and experiencing undue suspicion of apples. (Is an apple stuck with hidden pins healthier if it’s organic? And do child-killers have a preference between Braeburns or a Cox’s Orange Pippin?)
Halloween: the scary holiday. You know what’s scary? How my body can turn two, tiny Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into a week’s worth of adult acne.
If it sounds like I’m anti-Halloween, know that I’m not. It’s just that, unlike Walrus Day, this holiday bears with it certain responsibilities, just like all the other more pious celebrations. Granted, one usually isn’t pressured to hang out with family members on Halloween (I actually like my family, but a lot of people have to settle for loving theirs), and no-one’s expected to cook lavish feasts (unless you count opening a fun-size Snickers “cooking”), but you are expected to have a lot of fun. This presents someone like me with real challenges.
Stanley Burrell (aka MC Hammer) Discusses WireDoo with Alex Howard.
Former superstar Oakland rapper MC Hammer, who two long decades ago ruled the pop charts with such hits as "U Can't Touch This" and "Too Legit To Quit," unveiled a brand new search engine this week called WireDoo that he hopes will give such popular search engines as Google and Bing a run for their money. Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Burrell and who has dabbled in high tech since his pop star years, announced the new search engine at Wednesdays Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco when, as in video interview above, he said that unlike the popular Google search engine that WireDoo will offer much more in data when you type in a word or words; offering not just links on the searched item/words but also offering up an array of suggested links to choose from - something he says will be superior to the typical Google searches.
Whether WireDoo, which is still in pre-beta development mode, will take off or fizzle out fast (a la Google + which only earlier this year was being hyped as the new Facebook but never caught on) remains to be seen. More more insights on WireDoo check out the above Hammer interview by Alex Howard interview at Wednesday's conference.
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley Wk ending Oct 21st, 2011
1) Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (Decon)
2) Phonte Charity Starts at Home (Hbd Label Group)
3) Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV (Cash Money/Universal)
4) Superstar Quamallah & Deqawn Talkin' All That Jazz (Cotter Records/Brick Records )
5) J-Live S.P.T.A. (Triple Threat Productions)
Thanks again to E-Lit at the Amoeba Music Berkeley for the latest Top 5 Hip-Hop chart and run down of new hip-hop releases in the Telegraph Avenue Amoeba store. These include the recommended number one album of the week; Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (on Brooklyn's high caliber Decon Records, the new one from Little Brother's
Phonte Charity Starts at Home on the Hbd Label Group, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV which will likely be charting through end of the year, and Superstar Quamallah & Deqawn's Talkin' All That Jazz on Cotter Records/Brick Records (this is a real good release that i just got through checking out). Also recommended is J-Live S.P.T.A. on Triple Threat Productions. Long one of my favorite, albeit long running underrated hip-hop talents, J-Live has been tirelessly putting it down for a decade and a half. And as his label name (Triple Threat) and new album cover and title imply he is a triple gifted artist - an MC, DJ, and producer - and he is amazing at all three - as proven on the new S.P.I.T. which stands for Said Person of That Abilility.
I have been waiting for this week to arrive for a long time. The long awaited box sets by The Smiths have finally arrived. There are a lot of Smiths fans out there who have been counting down the days for these box sets to arrive. We all probably have about 4 or 5 all time favorite bands. Those bands that we love more than anything else. We collect everything we can by them. We have probably owned their albums on cassette, CD and LP. We have listened to their albums over and over again. We have watched the videos over and over again. We have read all we could about them. We have spent hours reading magazines and books about them. We then later spent years looking for articles and blogs on them online. Or spent hours and hours on message boards or chat rooms. We have seen them live in concert as much as we could afford to. Assuming the band actually toured when we could see them. These bands are usually the bands that you were really obsessed with in your late teens and early 20s. At least that is how it was for me. The bands that you discovered in junior high that you then became obsessed with in high school and college. The bands that your older siblings or cousins got you into. The bands that your friends that were cooler than you found out about first. The bands that you can't imagine your life without. They are the soundtrack to our lives. We listened to them in our bedrooms late at night by ourselves. We later listened to them late at night with our best friends and girlfriends and boyfriends. We listened to them in the car with our parents and later with our friends. We listened to them on our first dates. We put their songs on compilations and mix tapes. We danced to their songs in our bedrooms by ourselves and later at clubs and parties and at friends houses. These are the bands that helped to create our favorite moments from our past. The songs that helped us to remember those memories.
The SYNTH Huckaby Remixes 12"
Slices Of Life
Slices Of Life presents tracks from Vladislav Delay's Sistol and Pole projects, remixed by Mike Huckaby. To start, "Keno" is transformed into an outstanding, dubby, Detroit-house masterpiece -- exclusively released as an extended version. On the B-side, Huckaby remixed a track originally produced in the same time period: Pole's "Silberfisch." In 2011, Mike Huckaby keeps the dubby and slightly melancholic, crackling atmosphere of the original, but his "S Y N T H Remix" beams "Silberfisch" straight onto the dancefloor.
Purchase Synth Remixes here
Into Infinity 2LP
On the fifth album by Alan Abrahams aka Portable, he teams up with Efdemin, Johannes Schön and Süd Electronic label-mate Lakuti, to lead us Into Infinity. During the last 15 years, Alan has lived and composed in South Africa, England, Portugal and Germany. He has released records on Background, Context, Karat, Musik Krause, ~scape, Spectral, his very own Süd Electronics label and Yore.
Purchase Into Infinity here
Theo Parrish / Burnt Friedman
Meet Mancingelani and Zinja Hlungwani 12"
Someone was clearly "feelin' the love" at Cut Copy.
Last week I saw Cut Copy with Washed Out opening, and I have to say for a show that wasn’t really on my radar, it really blew me away. The bands played Oct. 12 at the Palladium (which smelled like garbage to me for some reason). Washed Out was typically great, although a problem with seeing them live is that, like on record, the songs bleed together and it’s hard to recall which song is which. But their set was involving nonetheless, managing to sound melancholy through all the chill vibes. Cut Copy pretty much blew the roof off, playing songs from this year’s great Zonoscope like the “Owner of a Lonely Heart”-ish “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat.” You forget how many great, guitary dance singles Cut Copy has until you hear them all at once, like In Ghost Colours’ badass “Lights & Music.” I don’t remember hearing Zonoscope’s “Alisa” (bummer), but there were enough jams to make it through the night — “Pharoahs & Pyramids,” “Hearts on Fire” and “Need You Know,” songs that occupy some fabulous middle space between My Bloody Valentine and Ace of Base.
This weekend, stop by Amoeba Hollywood to pick up some rare Halloween vinyl, CDs & DVDs.
More than a few of these titles will be sitting in the bins waiting for you!
Check out "The Harvest" by Teen Daze from the new album A Silent Planet...
The Renegades UK "13 Women" (1966)
Upon hearing the news earlier this week of the recent passing in Finland of Kim Brown of the incredibly talented and way underrated Birmingham, England formed garage rock or "freakbeat punk" rock band The Renegades (as seen in video above doing their raw & inspired version of Bill Haley & The Comets' "Thirteen Women" - which has long been a favorite of my man Evan "Funk" Davies on WFMU) I've been going back and listening to that wonderful 1960's North American rock subegenre, that borrowed from the British blues rock bands who ironically in turn had borrowed from American blues artists, of garage rock which at the time wasn't even considered a separate form of rock. That happened after the fact in the seventies when it got dubbed "garage rock" or "60s garage" as well as such later tags as "beat," "psychedelic" or "psych," and "freakbeat" or "freakbeat punk" as in the above Renegades clip.
It was also in retrospect that I first came upon this wonderful music that many consider a precursor to punk because of its raw amateurish, albeit impassioned, adrenaline fueled basic rock energy/presentation with lots of distorted sounds and typically screamed, aggressive lyrics - just like punk rock. Like many other music fans, I first got introduced to garage rock courtesy of the wonderful Nuggets compilation (available at Amoeba) and the series it spawned (over a dozen Nuggets collections in all). Over the years there have been countless other garage compilations released such as the recent year release Who Needs Tomorrow? American 60s Garage Bands: 20 Rare Gems Compiled by The Bevis Frond which has a lot of unheard of under the radar gems from the 60's. Like rap or soul or punk of bygone decades, garage rock was a prolific sub-genre that featured more talented bands that never made the charts than ones who did get some type of mainstream attention - if only fleetingly. Hence a lot of the music fell way under the radar (good because it never got watered down for mainstream acceptance) which is why there are not too many film/video clips available of most of this music.
“After the first folk fest last summer at HM157, we wanted to keep doing shows, rather than wait a whole year to put together our second event,” explains Daiana Feuer of The New L.A. Folk Festival and LA Record. “Liz Garo from the Echo invited us to lunch one day at the Brite Spot and we just said “murder ballads” and she said, “I love it!” before we even mentioned filling the venue with chairs. That sealed the deal. We love Halloween and we thought an annual tribute to murder ballads was more than a good idea, it was essential.”
Performers will include The Americans, Leslie Stevens, T.O.M. (Troy of Restavrant), Gabriel Hart of Jail Weddings, Tommy Santee Klaws, The Damselles & The TC4, Ides Of Gemini, Eastside Hayride (ft. RT N The 44s, Olentangy John, Matt Taylor & His Laurels, Fort King, & guests), A/J Jackson of Saint Motel, Tom Brosseau, Garrett Pierce, Kevin Litrow (60 Watt Kid), Michelle Vidal & The Fur Traders, Morgan Gee, Correatown and more. DJ Smokin' Blue Bear will spin early blues and washboard tunes during intermissions and after the show. See a highlight from last year's show below.
Monsters, zombies, and mummies of all ages are invited to this Halloween party. Enter the costume contests at 3pm for a chance to win cash prizes! Enjoy the circus cabaret entertainment hosted by Coventry and Kaluza and diverse musical performances throughout the afternoon.
Just check out this line-up!
Join Amoeba Music and Strangelove for a Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on November 4th at the Cat Club in San Francisco!
Enjoy the sounds of Dark Electro, Industrial, New Wave, and Goth with DJs Tomas Diablo, Joe Radio (Deathguild), Prince Charming (Pleasure Principle), and Fact 50 (Kinky Salon). There will also be skull face painters on hand to put a ghoulish grin on your face and a community altar to the dead, so bring some offerings!
And dont miss the piñata filled with goodies! Whoever cracks that open gets tickets to see VNV Nation AND and an Amoeba gift certificate!
The spooky details:
Just $3 before 10pm ($7 after)
Cat Club: 1190 Folsom St., SF
Cathy Berberian "Ticket To Ride" (1977)
I thought I had heard every imaginable cover version and reinterpretation of The Beatles' music but this operatic rendition of the Fab Four's "Ticket To Ride" by Cathy Berberian, which is done in all seriousness, outdoes them all in absurdity as well as in sheer entertainment value. It reminds me of when I first heard Mrs Miller who in the 1960's recorded a series of high-pitched, off-key covers of popular songs of the day. Mrs Miller's music promptly got filed under "novelty" while the Dutch operatic singer Berberian, who recorded the above Beatles cover for the Dutch TV show Cathy's Songbook in 1977 with Harold Lester on piano, is definitely a better singer - but no less entertaining than Mrs Miller.
Watching/listening to Cathy Berberian's version of the song prompted me to dig for some other covers of "Ticket To Ride" which, with production by George Martin, was originally released by The Beatles on their 1965 album, Help! as well as a single. These covers of "Ticket To Ride" (videos of a few of which appear below) range in quality and include The Carpenters' 1969 slowed down ballad version and Hüsker Dü's mid-eighties true to the original live version - my two personal favorites. Other versions, done from the years immediately following the original up until recently include The Bee Gees, Vanilla Fudge, Sly and Robbie who renamed it "Free Ticket To Ride," The 5th Dimension, Atomic Kitten, The Punkles, Kids Incorporated, and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame who did a concert (not a recorded) version on his solo acoustic tours both last year and earlier this year.
Like so many people, our Amoeba family has been personally touched by breast cancer. We read about Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's Twitter campaign to help raise money and awareness about breast cancer in honor of his mother's memory. We were inspired by Larry's efforts and wanted to help build awareness of this disease.
The record swap goes from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, but the party goes on and features a ton of bands! Just look at this line-up:
Plus DJs Chris Owen & Mitch Cardwell will host The Dance Party after The Phantom Surfers!
Get your tickets HERE.
Further proof that Amoeba Music is, and has long been, an integral part of the Bay Area's hip-hop culture is this brand new video (just uploaded to YouTube last night) that focuses on Bay Area hip-hop ambassador and KMEL mixmaster DJ Amen who begins his busy day (as seen in above Thizzler On The Roof produced video) by stopping into Amoeba Music San Francisco on Haight Street. The video then follows DJ Amen, who did a great job spinning an exclusive Bay rap set at the recent Hella Fresh Festival at the Fillmore few weeks back, on his event filled day with a burrito stop at Papalote, and then down to KMEL radio and that part of town where he interacts with such artists as visiting hip-hop acts The Cool Kids and Dorrough Music.
Today I caught up with the video's executive producer Matt Werner, who worked on the video piece in conjunction with videographer Left Lane & motion graphics expert Tyler Metzger, to ask him about his company, Thizzler On The Roof, and its mission? It was set up, he said, "In response to the lack of mainstream love the Bay Area hip-hop scene has traditionally received," adding that "Our website was established as way to give local artists an outlet to be heard by as big an audience as possible. In addition to regularly posting the best and most recent releases from the vast talent pool of Bay Area artists, Thizzler started a video interview series and corresponding mixtape series entitled Under The Bay." Many may already be familiar with their collaboration with KMEL: the influential The Bay Area Freshmen 10 as well as with the company's hip-hop productions that include the Under The Bay concert series, The Adidas Earn Your Stipes monthly cyphers, and the Fight Club battle series.
Real Estate have helped usher in a contemporary appreciation of bands with clean guitars and hushed vocals, perfect for a summer day or autumn night. But Real Estate still do it better than anyone, as they prove on Days. From opener “Easy” and on, Days floats on breezy simplicity of melody and atmosphere that you could explain away as through line of Byrds by way of R.E.M. jangle pop informed by reverbed-out, dream pop aesthetics, but that would paint Real Estate as a throwback band when really their sound is their own. Country hues underpin even the spaciest of tracks, like the way winsome sliding guitars sway beneath the shivering, tremoloed star-shooting guitar lines of “Green Aisles,” and more obviously so on tracks like the springy, Smithsy “It’s Real,” which works some clever chord changes into a straightforward guitar-pop setting. Singer Martin Courtney’s voice is always plaintive but never intrusive, and the whole thing moves with subtle evocation, like a sepia-toned suburban home movie reel. It’s no coincidence a great, sunlit song on the album is titled “Wonder Years.”
Twin Sister – In Heaven
Twin Sister’s debut full-length delivers a band still emerging from chrysalis (their average age is now about 23, so says Wikipedia) but born with some pretty impressive power already. Roughly, Twin Sister are an indie pop band fronted by some froggish, androgynous vocals (singer vocalist Andrea Estella and guitarist-singer Eric Cardona both sound a little like the spawn of Sigur Ros’ Jonsi and St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, the latter band of which they also sound a bit like on the lite-jazzy “Stop”). They touch on chillwave (the shimmering and strange chords of “Kimmi in a Rice Field” is the album’s absolute highlight) without committing to it, seemingly more interested in vibing late ’80s indie and video game music — the gentle “Luna’s Theme” has Sega Genesis written all over it, something that might be playing in some anime space station. But whatever Twin Sister ends up doing —be it cool Britpop, neo-futuristic electro or something else entirely — it ends up sounding great, if not entirely unified.
M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
After a decade’s worth of brilliant albums that have been increasingly epic in scope, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has delivered the masterpiece he has hinted at for years. Gonzalez builds off the life-embracing yet ’80s nostalgic pop of 2008’s Saturdays=Youth across this double-album. Taking a hint from the Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Gonzalez sweeps through childlike wonder (the children’s story as Kraftwerkian computer-pop of “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”), adolescent angst (the two and a half minutes of skyscraper-sized orchestral rock in “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”) and young adult excitement (Gonzalez cries “The city is my church!” in the neon-backlit “Midnight City”) to capture the wide-eyed energy and naiveté of youth. There’s newly an emphasis on the kind of shuffling ‘80s funk-pop of the likes of Huey Lewis & the News and Hall & Oates in songs like “Claudia Lewis,” but it actually feels less throwback-ish than some of his previous work, perhaps in part due to contemporaries like Toro y Moi and Neon Indian similarly fusing such sounds with shoegazer aesthetics. Indeed, with the kinds of sonic dreamscapes of albums like Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us also in tow on songs like “This Bright Flash,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming presents us with all of Gonzaelz’s best tendencies, all at once, and at their utmost potential.
As a point of interest, shellac is not just an arbitrary tag pinned on 78s. Just like shellac's well-known use as a furniture finish, the secretion of the Asian Lac bug was also the primary ingredient for 78s from the beginning of the industry in the early 1900s up 'til around 1950, when vinyl began to replace it. It takes approximately 100,000 Lac bugs to produce one pound of shellac, so this species is owed a special debt of gratitude among fans of the 78 rpm record.
Upcoming entries might offer tales of amazing 78 finds or "fish that got away" stories dredged from ancient 78 lore. We'll highlight overlooked 78s or artists you should hear. We'll invite contributions from guest collectors. As the next advance in digital technology hypes storing music collections in the cloud, we'll delve into the lingering appeal these arcane fetish objects still have for some of us.
We recently added a batch of 78s to the Buy Stuff section of Amoeba.com, which now allows 78 surfers to select “78” from the drop down menu to view all the 78s together by date added. Items can also be selected by specific category of interest. We will continue to add 78s to the site and encourage you to check back regularly. As with other items purchased on Amoeba.com, shipping is free on 78s (USA only), saving 78 buyers at least $4.00 or $5.00 on shipping charges they would normally have to foot on an eBay or private mail order purchase. We grade 78s conservatively. Find out more about our 78 grading codes.
To help determine which turntable is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself before you purchase and some handy factoids that might help with that decision.
To DJ or Not to DJ
If you want to DJ with your turntable, you need a Direct Drive turntable. This means that you can scratch, mix, cue up your records, and do everything else DJs do without ruining your record player or the stylus.
If you don't plan on using your turntable for DJing, Belt Drive Turntable will work perfectly well for you.
How Are You Going to Hook Up Your Turntable?
Do you have a component system already? Do you have a receiver? If so, does it have a "phono" input selection? If your receiver doesn't have a phono input (and a lot of them don't these days), you will need a pre-amp.
If you have powered speakers (speakers that have their own power source), you can connect your turntable directly to the speakers if you want (and skip the receiver altogether).
What the Heck is a Pre-Amp Anyway and Why Should I Care?
The pre-amp boosts the sound of the cartridge on your turntable up to the "line" level of an iPod, CD player or cassette deck. A lot of turntables come with built-in pre-amps these days and if that's the case, you don't need to worry about it. But if your turntable or receiver doesn't have a built-in pre-amp, you'll need to get one (you can get a decent one for around $30 at Radio Shack). Then your turntable will connect into the pre-amp which will then connect to your receiver (or your speakers if you have powered speakers).
Having never seen Offspring (Andrew van den Houten and Jack Ketchum's adaptation of the latter's novel about a Northeastern cannibalistic kin, who first appeared in the book Off-Season), I took its sequel's opening pre-credit sequence to be a phantasmagoric continuation of I Spit On Your Grave where the eponymous Woman retreated into nature after having escaped the tyranny of Man and patriarchal culture. Surely, Lucky McKee and Ketcham's The Woman is more than an accidental synecdoche for the original title of Meir Zarchi's classic, Day of the Woman. Their film is, at its core, another rape-revenge film, but with the twist that the victim is feral, so outside of man's law. The misogynistic repression perforce comes from a different place than horror's generic South, since its resident hayseed hordes are uncultured and would likely sympathize with the bestial Woman. Zarchi's victim-protagonist Jennifer HIll, on the other hand, was an urbane writer who had culture stripped from her by barbarous rednecks. The Woman has just as much dirt under her fingernails as those rednecks, her language isn't much more than a growl, plus she's a cannibal (a taboo even greater than the use of the contraction "y'all"). Therefore, her victimization is a form of structural violence, that which is the repressed base of the status quo. The central fear expressed by The Woman isn't in having the Woman's culture dismantled (as it was for Jennifer) -- for she is pure cultural Other and has none -- but that cultural normativity is structured around the primordial violence she represents. Hillbillies can't victimize her any more than animals can victimize other animals, but the nuclear family can in the same way that a suburban adolescent might torture a cat.
The Other F Word Official Trailer (2011)
It's a good time for music at the cinema as there are several very interesting looking music documentaries or music themed films that have just been released or are about to be released in both theaters and on DVD. These include Re:Geneartion in which live DJs/producers (including DJ Premier & Mark Ronson) "turn the tables on the history of music" by teaming up with artists that you would not normally expect them to work alongside (including members of The Doors), The Ballad of Mott The Hoople about the early 70's Dylan-meets-The Rolling Stones styled, Bowie-affiliated rock group Mott The Hoople (this is in select theaters currently but will be out on DVD next month), Andrea Blaugrund Nevins' The Other F Word about punk rock dads with Family repsonsibilities and lil kids to nurture which opens in theaters on November 2nd, and Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. This film, which is just one of a few films in recent years about the unique French musical talent of Serge Gainsbourg, is having a special screening at the Lumiere in San Francisco this coming Thursday (Oct 20th) that Amoeba Music is giving away free passes to. More information on how to win here. Meanwhile above and below are trailers for each of these four new music themed movies that you may want to check out.
Re:Generation preview (2011)
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley Wk ending Oct 14th, 2011
1) Murs Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation (DD172)
2) J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation)
3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)
4) Dessa Castor, The Twin (Doomtree)
5) Danny Brown XXX (Fools Gold)
Thanks to ever-knowledgeable E-Lit at the Amoeba Berkeley store for the latest Top 5 Hip-Hop chart and in-depth overview of the many new hip-hop releases: many underground ones that you may not otherwise hear about. These include Top Five entrants from both one-of-a-kind Detroit emcee Danny Brown (XXX) and Doomtree female artist Dessa (Castor, The Twin CD which comes with a limited edition fiction book Sleeping With Nikki - if you pick it up at Amoeba Berkeley). Also on the new Top Five are the ever popular J Cole album (#1 in the US this past week), the brand new Ski Beatz produced Murs album (Love & Rockets Vol. 1), and 9th Wonder The Wonder Years. Other artists with brand new or recently released hip-hop releases include Bored Stiff's White Mic, Madlib, The Knux, RJD2, DJ Drama, Boom Bip, Evidence (Cats & Dogs), and maker of the new album This Is Our Science - Astronautalis who, as E Lit was mentioning in the above interview about his Bay Area concert earlier this week, is a truly gifted freestyle artist. Below are a slew of new videos from some of these hip-hop artists as well as some other ones including the brand new videos from Indecent the Slapmaster along with the best of Vallejo rap talent and Eligh & Amp Live that is taken from their forthcoming collaboration album Therapy at 3. Oh and don't forget that today (October 14th) at 6pm at the San Francisco Amoeba store that Mayer Hawthorne will be doing a live in-store DJ set and signing of his new second album How Do You Do (note on Universal this time out for the former Stones Throw act) . Details here.
The ever popular Canadian pop-rock duo of Tegan and Sara are about to release a really cool new DVD/CD pack on Warner Brothers in the coming weeks. Entitled Get Along the two disc set will arrive in Amoeba on November 15th where no doubt it will be a popular item with both customers and staff alike since the musical pair have built a strong relationship with Amoeba following many in-store performances over the years dating back eight years including ones at both Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba Hollywood last year. Songs on the new set include "I Hear Noises," "Back In Your Head," "Divided," "Knife Going In," and "Not With You."
The DVD/CD package includes two mini-documentaries plus both audio and video footage of a live concert by the duo in their homeland. Recorded over two nights at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC for an intimate audience of 75 invited fans it is a seventy minute concert titled For The Most Part. Meanwhile the first of the two 30-minute documentary films follows Tegan and Sara on an American tour, focusing on their history tracing back to their early music-career beginnings plus a look at their close relationship with their fanbase - something that was quite evident at their Amoeba instores. The other documentary film is a 25 minute piece called India since it follows them on first-ever tour of India - as seen in the above trailer clip.
On Sunday, November 6th, Amoeba makes a repeat appearance at one of the Southland's biggest and best record swap meets, Pasadena City College's Flea Market and Record Swap. With over 500 vendors, the Flea Market features antiques and collectibles, records, tools, clothes, toys and much more, not to mention food and good company.
The LA Weekly calls the show “the best source for used records in all of Southern California.”
I fell in love with The Drums when they put out their Summertime EP last year. How could I not love this band. It was the perfect pop record. Brilliantly pop friendly songs heavily influenced by The Smiths and Joy Division. But adding more modern sounds and synths. I fell in love. They also released their debut self titled full length album last year. Which was also fantastic. And now they have unleashed their second album called Portamento. You can never capture that excitement of a first record. But I am still loving this new album. The songs are catchier than anything and they just make me happy. A nice way to end my summer for sure. If you have still not joined the cult of The Drums. You should start with their first album The Drums or the Summertime EP. You will not be disappointed.
The San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center presents Best of Bop City: Celebrating 50 Years of Impulse Records, this Saturday, October 15th.
Hosted by KCSM's Sonny Buxton, this evening is part of our the San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center's series Best of Bop City, featuring great music from the high flying days of IMPULSE! Records. Called the "House that 'Trane Built," Impulse was at the forefront of the jazz avant garde and graphic design. Join our quintet of fine musicians as they interpret the great sounds of that immortal time.
Pianist Larry Vuckovich brings tenor saxophonist Noel Jewkes, bassist Jeff Chambers, and upcoming drummer Lorca Hart (son of famed jazz drummer Billy Hart). Jamie Davis will perform the great vocals of Johnny Hartman as heard on Hartman's famous recording collaboration with 'Trane.
This special concert is in conjunction with the San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center's new exhibition that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Impulse with iconic album covers and images of musical history giants captured by the legendary photographer Chuck Stewart. These images tell the label's story as vividly as its music does.
Select music, provided by Amoeba Music, will also be on sale.
7:30 pm & 9:30 pm
Jazz Heritage Center Lush Life Gallery
1320 Fillmore St., SF CA 94115
Check out the link for more details and to preorder a copy at Amoeba.com
THIS MORTAL COIL
deluxe limited edition
[4 CD BOX SET]
Preorder it now at amoeba.com
$99.98 w/ FREE SHIPPING!
"Song To the Siren" by This Mortal Coil from It'll End In Tears (1984)
"Strength of Strings" by This Mortal Coil from Filigree & Shadow (1986)
It's curated by Terri "Tooter" Berman and features Halloween-appropriate works by Grace Albelda, Douglas Alvarez, Kim Bagwill, Brooke Bearup, Terri "Tooter" Berman, Airom Bleicher, Julie Bossinger, Jonathan Bueno, Michelle Caplan, Deryke Cardenaz, Marcel DeJure, J Fuchs, Cristian "Smear" Gheorghiu, John Michael Gill, Harrel Goldstein, Dan Goodsell, Kio Griffith, Patrick Haemmerlein, Walter Hall, Mary J Hoffman, Lisa Hull, Jinxed Art, Billy Kheel, Aaron Kraten, Supersmash Max, Isabella Electra McGrath, Marlon McWilliams, Jon Measures, Sal Mendez, Yuki Miyazaki, Delphia Nikolaus, Tom Oliver, Jerry Paeff, Vera Paras, Carol Powell, Sarah Ramirez, Shannon Rowland, Uddon Soup, Mike Street, Paula Tade, Mayumi Tanaka, Kelly Thompson, Paul Torres, Jessica Valencia, David VonDerLinn, Susan Catherine Weber and more...
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
While listening to Irish Grimestep or whatever genre happens to be unfathomably cool at the moment is great and all, sometimes you need meat and potatoes. In my case, that would be C86, shoegaze, college rock and that sort of thing, and Slumberland Records keeps serving up bands like sloppy joes that fulfill this particular hunger. Their latest band is Veronica Falls, which, despite their late-‘90s CW Network show sounding name, are actually a great garage pop band in the vein of Slumberland alumn Crystal Stilts, Girls Names and Black Tambourine. “Right Side of My Brain’s” bouncy pop gets C86 so right that it could have been on the original tape that spawned that genre. “The Fountain” is delectable guitar goth pop that displays one of the band’s best and at first easily overlooked tricks — pristine harmonies. “Beachy Head” injects a welcome bit of surf-rock meanness to an otherwise well-mannered album. It’s pretty much candy all over.
Björk – Biophilia
With all the hubbub surrounding Björk’s latest album (corresponding iPad apps to songs, a street date delay and rejiggering of sound), it may be easy to dismiss the album beneath it all. That would be a shame, because Biophilia is as brilliant as anything in Björk’s catalog, but that brilliance is quieter and takes repeated listens to understand compared with some of her previous efforts. Whereas she tried to recreate the violently happy turns of Debut and Post in 2007’s Volta, here she’s back to forging new sonic territory, using newly invented instruments (such as the gameleste, which combines Indonesian gamelan instruments with the key-based celeste instrument) and employing iPad-made music and programmed beats. Of course, none of that matters if it doesn’t end up sounding great, and you probably don’t need to know any of that to enjoy the songs on Biophilia, but it helps to understand the otherworldly nature of a song like “Crystalline,” which relies on the strange gameleste to build atmosphere before breaking into a hyper-intense hardcore breakbeat section. That that song and “Cosmogony,” a musical cousin to Björk classics like “Isobel” and “Bachelorette” that builds beautifully before disintegrating into a sea of descending vocals, are the most accessible songs tells you more. At its core, Biophilia is a wildly strange, even disturbing album, from the dissonant and gibberish-laden “Dark Matter” to the blood-curdling electronic sounds and ghostly vocals of “Hollow.” Then there’s “Mutual Core,” in which Björk tosses her fans a bone (although one on which the meat is tough and sinewy) with more typically “Björk” musical movements and more overtly clubby beats. But there’s something new to uncover with each listen, despite a somewhat hollow-sounding veneer, such as unusual time signatures, haunting lyrics and hidden, loping melodies. Biophilia really sounds nothing like anything else Björk has done, or anything anyone else has done, for that matter, and will probably upset some fans and detractors alike. For its gutsiness alone, it’s great; and for its more inspired moments, it’s something no music fan should miss hearing.
Zola Jesus – Conatus
For those who were expecting Zola Jesus aka Nika Roza Danilova turn around from last year’s winning Stridulum II with an album of glossy pop, think again. Sure, Conatus is her most accessible statement yet, but the album is still teaming with the experimental electronic music and ethereal vocals on which she built her name, only with slightly more of an emphasis on the electro balladry she exhibited so well on Stridulum’s “Night” and “Lightstick.” “Hikikomori” begins with throbbing synths and Danilovato’s yearning vocals intoning “blisters on my hands,” underpinned by subtle strings. On this track and several others on Conatus, you can hear the effort Danilova has put into carefully considering the album’s every movement, building songs gradually and deliberately, pulling at the heartstrings but always from afar, sometimes coming through clearly, sometimes unintelligible in a vocal styling reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. Her best songs manage to do it all at once, such as in the soaring “Seekir,” in which she aims for the gut (“Is there nothing left of the mess we made?” she asks in a moment that clears the sonic din to cut through) as well as the dance floor, although the result, with intertwining, ghostly backup vocals, is too complex to simply label a dance song. You sometimes long for more moments like that on Conatus (the epic choral build of “Lick The Palm Of The Burning Handshake” being another), but its balancing act of restraint and putting it all out there makes for intriguing listening that will keep fans happy and pull in plenty of new ones.
At Friday (Oct 7th) evening's art opening of Billy Sprague's space themed album cover exhibit at North Oakland's As Is Exhibitions gallery space at 4707 Telegraph Ave. so many people showed up to catch the unique album cover exhibit by the avid record collector / Amoeba Berkeley employee, that for much of the night the large crowd spilled outside onto the Telegraph Avenue sidewalk. It was the perfect night for Billy's opening since the Bay Area early October weather was in Indian Summer mode, plus it was First Friday's in Oakland with art openings everywhere including right next door at Smokey's Tangle art space that shares a doorway with the 4707 space. Among the large crowd that showed up at the event were many of Billy Sprague's fellow Ameobites. "Tom McKwon, Shawn Williams, Big Tunde, Gail, Marc Weinstein & family, Ryan Stark, Kent Randolph, Ramon, Lori and Steve, Ian, Ranon, Rebecca & Matt plus a bunch of ex-employees," (including DJ Inti) all converged at the last Friday's packed opening reported the curator.
Like all the other lifelong music collectors I was drawn in by all of these amazing album covers - many I already knew but a lot I had never even seen before like Music for Sleepwalkers Only which - one of Sprague's personal faves that he accurately describes as, "a great mostly black galactic cover with three sleeping pills floating in space in a rather phallic manner."
Meanwhile scattered around the grounds of the East Bay park, which as one of the speakers on stage reminded folks features as its centerpiece a beautiful century old Victorian building, were drummers, art tables, food and clothing vendors, and various live graffiti installations. These various vibrant live aerosol art installations were all part of the weekend long 5th Annual Estria Graffiti Arts Festival which began two nights earlier with the Can Film Festival in SF and an exhibit at Oakland's SMSHBX Gallery, and continued the night before in downtown Oakland with various events that coincided with First Fridays and included the Pecha Kucha Night at the Oaksterdam University with all women artists under the title "Women Creating Public Art." The graffiti artists on Saturday, as part of the Life is Living Festival in DeFermery Park, included Doves (NY), Meres (NY), Woier (LA), Level (LA), Katch (HI), Ckaweeks (HI), and Vyal (LA) who took the title this weekend for the second year in a row.
Their earliest stuff had a freewheeling quality that made it seem like they were daring you to turn it off or keep listening to find out where they’d go next. First single “Brave Bulging Buyoyant Clairvoyants” from Limbo, Panto starts as this bouncy guitar jam until you hear the weirdest voice ever, like razors on chalkboard — that would be Thorpe’s dandified growl. That song used to be like a litmus test for me to see how much people would be willing to hear something that kind of smacks you around a bit and can’t sit nicely in the background.
“We were kind of small town boys really,” Fleming says of their early days. “It’s a bit of naiveté. We just thought people would get it.”
Things changed for 2009’s Two Dancers, which saw the band rein in the ruckus and focus on grooves and tunefulness. People took notice — the formerly renegade and challenging band suddenly appeared on year-end lists aplenty and got the band nominated for a Mercury Prize.
“It didn’t change a thing in terms of the music we’re making,” Fleming says. “But when you’re heading people like Mark Ronson saying they like Wild Beasts, it’s like, what on earth? When did this happen?”
The new LP was considered a huge leap forward for listening to pre-recorded Classical music. A pop song took, on average, two or three minutes to play, which was just perfect for a 10 or 12 inch 78 rpm record. A symphony required up to 5 or 6 records on 78 rpm and had to be changed 10 to 12 times with the music often interrupted in the middle of a musical phrase. There were automatic 78 rpm record changers, but they were clunky and could damage your records. You also had to account for the amount of storage space needed for the brittle, breakable shellac 78s. The most dramatic part of Goldmark’s demonstration was when he was photographed holding a few dozen LPs while the equivalent in 78s were stacked six feet high next to him.
The introduction of the LP was not without controversy. Columbia’s great rival RCA Victor was developing its own system of 7” short playing vinyl records that played at 45 rpm. RCA engineers insisted that quality control problems with LPs would doom it. This started what was to be known as “The War of the Speeds” in which both companies spent a ton of money on print ads to woo the public before RCA conceded and converted to LP. When it was settled, it set up the paradigm that lasted for nearly 40 years: LP for albums, 45s for pop singles.
With soul to burn, each member of this rocking ten-person group is directly descended from Haitian immigrants. The choir energizes their singing with a variety of percussion instruments from congas to clave, and enriches their tunes with movement and costumes that reflect Caribbean and African sources.
Don’t miss your chance to see this dynamic choir!
For tickets and more information, visit them HERE. (Group discounts available for 10 or more.)
Come into Amoeba SF to get passes to a sneak preview screening of Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.
Preview passes are available at the Amoeba San Francisco info counter and in the DVD room...but only while they last! Limited to one preview pass per person (each pass admits two)!
Thursday, October 20, 7:00PM
1572 California Street at Polk
San Francisco, CA 94109
Please arrive early to the screening and bring the pass. The theater is overbooked to ensure a full house and seating is first-come, first-served (the pass does not guarantee seating).
**César Awards 2011 - Best Actor, Best First Film**
**Tribeca Film Festival 2010 - Best Actor**
Renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar’s Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a completely original take on one of France’s greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Gainsbourg evolves from a precocious child in Nazi-occupied Paris, to small-time jazz musician and finally international pop superstar. Along the way, he romances many of the era’s most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). With a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack showcasing many of the musician’s greatest hits, the film is a sensual delight and a quintessential time capsule of the eras he enjoyed.
Given my recent essay on Whiteness in alien invasion flicks, I can't think of a better film example than Larry Cohen's Bone (aka Housewife) that demonstrates the way Whiteness is defined negatively through its imaginary other, Blackness. So here's a review from the past of that movie:
Replace the repressed white male anger of Fight Club with that of the repressed white housewife’s in order to explore the terrain of Jungle Fever and you get the gist of writer/director Larry Cohen’s debut. Instead of fitting squarely within the genre of blaxploitation, the film examines some of the stereotypical representations of the black male which helped make the genre possible to begin with.
Ray Ricky Rivera @ Amoeba Hollywood with Hip-Hop Top 5 Week Ending 10/7/11
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five for Week ending 10: 07: 11
1) J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation)
2) Evidence Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers Ent.)
3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)
4) Madlib No.12-Raw Medicine-Madlib Remixes (Stones Throw)
5) Blu Open (Nature Sounds)
Thanks for this week's Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart go to hip-hop recording artist & recent dad Ray Ricky Rivera (aka RRR) who really looks quite well rested (as you can see in above video) despite his sleep patterns been drastically altered of late -ever since he and his wife Lily had their young son Diego born a little over two months ago. Again congrats man! As RRR mentions the number one album at Amoeba, which is also the number one top selling album (of all genres) in the country this week, is the brand new J. Cole album Cole World: The Sideline Story on Roc Nation. In close second is supertalented LA hip-hop artist Evidence who came to fame as part of Dilated Peoples and is now down with the revered Rhymesayers crew with whom he was touring recently and who just released his recommended new album Cats And Dogs which also comes in a vinyl format. Another LA hip-hop treasure, Madlib, is among the other entrants in this week's Top Five (with Medicine Show #12) which is rounded out by releases from both 9th Wonder (The Wonder Years) and Blu (Open).
It had been many years since my previous (and only prior) Cirque show and I had sort of forgotten that Cirque du Soleil is, above all, a circus. The costumes are more magnificent, the sets are more elaborate, and there aren't any animals to pet or hay on the floor, but at its core it is a circus. Cirque du Soleil started as a small group of street performers in Quebec 27 years ago. Today it employs 5,000 people from around the world and has shows all over the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia (including a forthcoming Michael Jackson show in Las Vegas called The Immortal World Tour).
As an adult, I have seen a fair amount of shows, plays, and musicals, but not a lot of circuses. While we were waiting for the show to start, our section was visited by two women from the cast - one with a very thick French accent and large padded rear who crawled across the seats and somehow managed to stick her bum in everyone's face along the way (oh, a clown!) and a woman wearing a circulating praxinoscope as a sort of tutu. The clown was my first clue that we were on a journey with the circus, and she reminded me of going to the circus in New York City with my grandmother, something I hadn't thought about in years. (My only recent experience with the circus was Water for Elephants - don't waste your time, but if you must, read the book over the movie.)
Hello world, they're here. Unavailable for like, ever, now in one package complete with a hand-painted cover. Theo Parrish is one of Detroit’s most wanted exports especially in the past few years, but not too long ago, like many future techno-rebels that came before him, he was just another hustling Detroit DJ trying to make waves in the shadow of the city’s rich techno history. His indelible mark on the underground were highly limited, hand-labeled bootleg edit records of some of his favorite classic funk and disco tunes. The series of edits appropriately titled Ugly Edits, became highly desired rarities on the DJ and collector’s circuit. Rarities no more... as everyone should and can now hear his versions of Jil Scott, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Freddie Hubbard, and Sylvester edits just to name a few somewhere other than YouTube. Cool.
If you find yourself free this Sunday, DJs Larry G (Supercrass) and Timothy L (Modernbrit) of Club Underground (and Amoeba, in the latter's case) are going to DJ a set of post-punk, indie and more at Brightwell between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00.
Club Underground bills itself as "LA's Premiere indie/britpop/new wave/electropop/twee/60s/soul party since 2001. It occurs most Fridays at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown.
Haunting San Francisco's historic Café Du Nord on October 31st, the SHOCK-IT-TO-ME! HALLOWEEN SPOOKENANNY will, claws down, be the most insidious show in San Francisco this Ghoultide Season! Bringing back a real sense of old skool All-Hallows-Eve fun, event promoter August Ragone (columnist for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine), has sewn together a monstrous fright night of horror hosts, maniacal music, creepy contests, and more tricks ‘n treats than you can shake a bloody stake at!
After a ten-year ban in thirteen countries, Ragone is proud to announce the triumphant return of the legendary Rock n' Roll Rasputin, straight from his heart-stopping performance at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans: JOHNNY LEGEND & HIS NAKED APES! Johnny's latest musical incarnation (featuring members of The Mummies and The Chuckleberries) will be seizing Café Du Nord’s sinister stage with fellow maniacal maniacs THE UNDERTAKER & HIS PALS, and the organ-blitzing madmen of BEACHKRIEG!
Demonic DJ, OMAR PEREZ (Popscene, Shutter, Leisure, Sixxteen) will be spinning the wicked wax through the dark Samhain Eve, from The Cramps to Screaming Lord Sutch, to fulfill your sinister garage-stomping urges! Ragone boasts that in case of sudden monster attack, a team of Resuscitated Nurses will be on stand by, while each and every putrid patron will be insured for $1,000,000 by Wm. Castle & Sons of Hollywood against death by fright. And he warns, “Come early! No one will be seated during the final 15 minutes of the show!”
Your horrifying hosts for this night of ghoulish guising are MISS MISERY (Creepy KOFY Movie Time) and THE MONSTER MELONS (Ms. Monster & Her Monster Melons), who will MC the “Scary Screaming Contest” for a crawling cache of putrid prizes — including a real “Dead Body” — and the $200 Cash Prize “Creepy Costume Contest”!
Today and tomorrow (Oct 6th & 7th) one of the most important events in hip-hop and DJ culture takes place in London: the 2011 DMC World DJ Championships at the 02 Arena's Indig02 in which the top hip-hop battle DJs from 21 countries (reppin' the USA is DJ Vajra - full DJ battle details above) battle it out in this Turntablist World Cup in three major battle categories: DMC World Final, DMC Battle for World Supremacy, and DMC World Team. Additionally this two day scratch DJ event will present a bunch of great showcases including ones by last year's DMC World Champ DJ Ligone from France, the 2003 Supremacy Champ DJ Tigerstyle, three time DMC World Supremacy Champ DJ Switch (who'll perform the piece: Concerto for Turntables), plus an anticipated triple threat set from the revered X-ecutioners' Total Eclipse, DJ Precision, & Rob Swift.
This year's DMC battle comes at a time when turntablism or skratch music seems to be on a comeback in popularity on a global level. It's always been popular but after its honeymoon with the mainstream in the late nineties it seemed somewhat dormant (in actuality it had just gone underground). But lately there's been a noticeable increased interest in DJ battles like the DMC and turntablist events like Ireland's annual Community Skratch Games of the past few years or the recent Thud Rumble presentedFader Fest in San Francisco with the reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz as trio (QBert, D-Styles, Shortkut) and showcases from the likes of US DMC representative DJ Vajra. There seems to be a flurry of new turntablist releases lately too including ones from DJ ALF, Teeko, DJ Needlz, ThatKidNamedCee, Jimmy the Hideous Penguin, and DJ Quest who is about to release this month his latest turntablist album Cosmic Parasite (a collaborative effort with the two former bandmates from his original DJ crew Bullet Proof Scratch Hamster (BPSH) - DJ Cue and Eddie Def).
I love Western music. Not "Western music" as in "music rooted in European traditions," but rather the "Western" of "Country & Western." Cowboy Music. In many ways, Country and Western is an odd pairing. The two genres seem to be at complete odds. Sure, the performers evince a similar sartorial sensibility, but the subject matter of Western music is about hard-working buckeroos following honor and dogies out under the wide open sky.
Country, which I love too, is quite the opposite. Country celebrates the sedentary life - working and dying in the same small town, farm, or trailer court in which you were born -- and to hell with ethical codes of conduct; get drunk, cheat on your wife, and show up for your crappy job hungover.
Musically speaking, they're only distant cousins - no more closely related than Bluegrass and Jazz, House and Rap, Rock 'n' Roll and the Blues -- but of those examples, only Country & Western get so invariably lumped together as a single genre that people usually omit the "Western" altogether.
Celsius 7 is a longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist who has stayed true to the underground over his two decade long career. Most Bay Area music fans were first introduced to him 16 years ago when he arrived on the local underground hip-hop scene as part of the heralded group Psychokinetics. Since then he's carved out a rep as both a member of that revered indie group and also as a solo artist. Four years ago, when the Amoeblog last caught up with the artist, he had just released his solo debut album Wanderlust. Last week he released the follow up: the album Life Well Spent that can be found at Amoeba Music. This week I caught up with Celsius 7 to ask him about his personal hip-hop history, all the traveling he's done in recent years, his latest album Life Well Spent, the John Lennon Songwriting Award he won a while back, and how his own life has been going since we last chopped it up.
Amoeblog: Exactly how well spent has your life been?
Celsius 7: Well, I've lived the better part of the last thirteen years cubicle-free, and have gotten to travel and perform my music on four different continents. I've fallen in love and had my heart broken a few times. I've eaten well, laughed heartily, and I've followed my dreams. I've learned a whole bunch and still have a thirst and passion for life. It's definitely been an unorthodox approach, and it's been rough at times, but let me put it this way, if I died tomorrow I would feel like I played the game very well.
Ozzy will be signing copies of his new book, TRUST ME, I'M DR. OZZY: Advice from Rock's Ultimate Survivor, and select albums that Amoeba will have on sale at Booksmith. Based on his ongoing, hilarious Rolling Stone column, his new book finds him embracing his status as a medical marvel to tell incredible stories not found in his memoir (I Am Ozzy), offer advice that no human should follow, and shed light on his seemingly superhuman ability to stay alive.
Selected albums will be available, courtesy of Amoeba Music, at the event and may be purchased for signing as well. No previously purchased music will be autographed.
For more information, visit http://www.booksmith.com/event/ozzy.
Amoeba Berkeley's own Billy Sprague is launching an immersive space and music-themed installation at Oakland's As Is Gallery from October 5th through November 1st. Sprague has covered the gallery from floor to ceiling with over 150 space-themed album covers from the '60s and '70s, which he has collected over the past ten years. Call that an occupational hazard of being an Amoebite! This is a must-see for any vinyl fiend or space age enthusiast.
The opening reception is Friday, October 7th (part of Oakland's First Fridays) from 7:00pm to 10:30 and features Scott Caligure performing live synthesizer music in the gallery’s bay window! Plus fog machine and mood lighting will be in full force to add to the moonscape!
As Is Gallery is located at 4707 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, Ca.
Last night's Amoebapalooza Hollywood, which was accurately billed as "one night only annual celebration of musical mayhem" with acts including Byrdsol Taylor II, Prince Kajutu, The Hounds of Hell, Idol Eyez, Tease, Ghouls Night Out, Destination Unknown, Myklehar, and Vum, was first and foremost just a really good fun gathering of co-workers & friends for conversation, laughs, and of course music. Held at the well chosen venue, The Dragonfly on Santa Monica (about six blocks from Amoeba at 6400 Sunset), Amoebapalooza Hollywood Version 2011 showcased an impressive array of bands, all assembled just for the night and each comprised of Amoeba staffers exclusively, displaying such a caliber of talent that several should seriously consider expanding the lifespan of bands beyond last night's Amoebapalooza one-off performance.
Note that over the next few days you can expect many more detailed postings on this Amoebapalooza event (with lots of photos and video clips) on Amoeba.com including here on the Amoeblog since there were lots of photographers and videographers capturing the event all night long. With an emphasis on fun and music a total of a dozen acts, each allocated 15 minutes to perform - and all sharing the same drum kit, systematically made their way on and off stage throughout the music packed night. The live music kicked off following an introduction from Jason Boggs who, with his equally entertaining co-host "Jesus Cat Superstar," provided witty between set banter all night. Jason also became a last minute addition to the musical lineup during the evening when, in one of his numerous drag costume changes of the night, he busted out a hilarious rendition of the theme song from Bye Bye Birdie. Opening band Bikini Whale (pictured above just as they broke out the glitter) did a truly inspired set, that got everyone charged up and dancing, in which they effortlessly channeled the B52's and simultaneously set the tone for a non-stop night of really tight musicianship that included T.Rextasy's head-nodding, rockin' set of Marc Bolan & company's music, and Topographic Lotion's channeling of Yes, Fragile era that sounded exactly like the original prog rock band's recordings. Adding to their authenticity they even had, as the perfect ontage backdrop, a huge banner of Roger Dean like Yes cover art. Impressive! For more news and photos on the Amoebapalooza Hollywood check back here over the coming days for more reports.
Hat Art 2002
Mr. Michel Redolfii is, among other things, an architect of wondrous underwater acoustic installations...sometimes pools, sometimes oceans. This is a 2-LP set on the Swiss Hat Art label in a sweet little cardboard box package with lots of notes that documents Michel's electronic compositions done on a Synclavier II in the studio, and then being performed in a heated pool and in an underwater aquatic parks. The studio recordings are broadcast under the water through underwater speakers, while hydrophone mics pick up the transformation through the liquid medium, and it's natural mixing with underwater natural sounds. The stuff is eerie, gelatinous sonic stew that totally delights me with every listen. He calls it an "aerodynamic and amphibian" music. Indeed, Sire!
Your new album takes a different route than your previous releases. What was behind that?
I wanted to push myself vocally and artistically and I wanted to make an album that reflected all the music styles that I enjoy, not just Hip-Hop. My brother-in-law, Victor Valdes, is a harpist from Xalapa, Vera Cruz and introduced me to the world of Son Jarocho ten years ago. I knew it was a style I wanted to incorporate as well as Soul and Dancehall. All of these genres come from the community and have a history of being socially conscious.
There are many Afro-Caribbean influences in your album such as Son Jarocho, Dancehall Reggae and Cuban Son. What was the process of writing like?
We had some jam sessions with Aloe Blacc as well as Quincy McCrary (keyboard player for Mayer Hawthorne) Juan Perez (bass player for Son De Madera)
Quetzal Flores made songs out of the jams. The music came from the heart and is a reflection of everybody involved.
You left behind what seemed to be a promising career in both music and radio in Australia. At one point you were a host of a Hip-Hop show on Australia’s Triple J Radio network. What was behind that move? What do your fans in Australia think of the new album?