Thompson rose to prominence in the mid-’70s with a run of albums recorded with her then-husband, former Fairport Convention member Richard Thompson (recorded as Richard & Linda Thompson). Following the dissolution of their marriage, Thompson was diagnosed with a rare condition known as hysterical dysphonia, causing her to lose her voice. She returned in 1985 with the solo album One Clear Moment, then largely disappeared from the public eye until returning in the early 2000s with a pair of solo albums. In 2007 she released Versatile Heart, with guest appearances by Martha Wainwright and Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, among others.
Her latest album, Won’t Be Long Now, will be released on October 15th, the same day as her appearance at the Grammy Museum, where she’ll appear with vice president of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Scott Goldman to discuss her music and the new record.
CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION
Lévy was born 30 September, 1865 in Algiers (then part of occupied French Algeria) to Salomon Lévy and Pauline-Amélie Goldhurmer. In 1879, when he was fourteen years old, Lévy began studying drawing and sculpture at École communale supérieure de Dessin et Sculpture in Paris. He first exhibited in 1882 at the Salon de Paris, where he showed a ceramic piece, La Naissance de Vénus, d'après Cabanel -- a reference to painter Alexandre Cabanel).
Spoiler alert if you have not already seen the final Breaking Bad episode. After last night's final episode of Breaking Bad, fans of the award winning Vince Gilligan television series will likely be showing up at Amoeba Music this week in search of specific songs and releases by Marty Robbins, Groucho Marx, and especially Badfinger - all of whom were prominently featured in last night's nail-biting finale of the five-season, five-star television show. Fans will also be tracking down both Breaking Bad (Music From The Original Television Series) that includes the Dave Porter main title theme, and the full Dave Porter Breaking Bad (Original Score From The Television Series) - not to mention, of course, all the Breaking Bad DVDs/Blu-Rays available from Amoeba such as Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season (All Hail The King) DVD that was released back in March and includes the first half of the final (two-part) fifth season. Clocking in at a stunning 375 minutes, the DVD set includes such special features as Episode 504, shot by Vince Gilligan and narrated by the Breaking Bad Writers, Prison Stunt Rehearsal, Jesse Plemons & Laura Fraser Audition Footage, The Cleaner: Jonathan Banks as Mike, and much more.
L.A. sister trio HAIM have seemingly been around so long, it’s hard to believe Days Are Gone is only their debut LP. That’s due to the band trickling out singles throughout the year that that have gotten better and better, all of which are included here. “Falling” moves on an echoing drum pulse and middle sister Danielle Haim’s husky, breathy vocals, falling somewhere between Christine McVie and Fiona Apple, and careful, creeping guitar riffs. “Forever” moves on an ’80s R&B shuffle, while the sisters’ back-and-forth vocal aerobics and harmonies employed Este, Danielle and Alana Haim showcase their greatest strength—the inborn chemistry fostered by playing in a band together since childhood. Their best song yet, “The Wire,” is bold enough to get called a Shania Twain knockoff by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow—they must be doing something right. Its Gary Glitter strut allows Danielle to really vamp and play the relieved ex-lover with glee, while youngest sister Alana steals the show with her swaggery second verse. The rest of Days Are Gone isn’t as strong as that dynamite opening, but even when the songs feel overstuffed, the sisters’ boundless energy makes the entire thing such an entertaining ride that you won’t mind the occasional whiplash. The details really make it worthwhile—the way the guitars pulse like they’re emulating synthesizers on “If I Could Change Your Mind,” the crazy, warped Miami Sound Machine-style vocals on the title track. We haven’t had a pop band like this in years, one with both the smarts and technical capability to call to mind classic pop acts from Fleetwood Mac through Destiny’s Child in one feel swoop. And Days Are Gone will no doubt make young women everywhere ask for guitars and pull their sisters into jam sessions. For that alone, we’re thankful for HAIM.
I found every final showdown Walt had, including with himself, to be emotionally satisfying, maintaining a consistency in characterization to the very end. I'm sure some will say it was all too pat and wrapped up, but the show was never big on narrative realism (it was, however, great at the psychological variety). Besides, the opposite criticism was made of The Sopranos, so there's no way Vince Gilligan and team could satisfy everyone. Also, was the final shot a big raspberry blown at the most notoriously disappointing finale in TV history? To wit:
I can't tell you how many times people ask for Manu Chao music on vinyl. So it's my duty to inform you that Because Music out of France is re-releasing most of Manu Chao catalog on LP. All the early Manu Chao's catalog on CD as well as the original LPs have been long out of print and sell for collector's prices. Six of his titles, Clandestino, Promxima Estacion: Esperanza, La Radiolina, Radio Bemba Sound System, Baionarena, and Siberie M'Etait Conteee, his all French language album that was never released on LP, will be released November 12th. All releases are double LPs (Baionarena will be a triple LP) that will come with a CD version of the album.
1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
2) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
3) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
4) Terrace Martin 3ChordFold (Empire Dist.)
5) A$AP Ferg Trap Lord (RCA)
As he makes headlines this week over his humorless Twitter rants against Jimmy Kimmel's jokes, Kanye West's latest album Yeezus on Def Jam continues to sell well at Amoeba. Undoubtedly a most talented artist Kanye is at his best when he sticks to simply making music or overseeing his GOOD (Getting Out Our Dreams) music label. Personally I prefer when artists stick to simply making music and not making war with fellow artists as seems to be increasingly more common these days with examples including rapper turned savvy entrepreneur Jay-Z whose acclaimed latest/twelfth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail on Def Jam is still charting at Amoeba nearly three full months since it arrived in the store. Jay-Z's recent verbal feud targets have included Harry Belafonte (who last month accused Hov of not being active enough in uplifting his race) and more recently Yoko Ono who he raps negatively about in a verse on the new (soon to drop) Justin Timberlake album The 20/20 Experience #2 that arrives in Amoeba early next week (read story here). In olden days feuds between artists would inspire creative response battle rap records. Nowadays they typically result in negative, nasty, name calling, Twitter rants. I miss the old days!
Michael Vidal – “Dreams (Come Back to Me)” – Free Download
The members of L.A. darkwave rockers Abe Vigoda have recently been focusing on other projects, including dream pop bands Roses and Dunes. Now lead singer Michael Vidal has unveiled a gorgeous collection of songs called Dream Center. “Dreams (Come Back to Me)” hums along on muted guitar and Vidal’s swooning baritone, sounding a bit like a Christine McVie-led Fleetwood Mac track until the groove goes full-tilt with a gleaming guitar rush at the end. Download it free from Amoeba.
Tropic of Cancer – “Plant Lilies at My Head” video
Cloud Control just released their second album, Dream Cave (Votiv), last week. From track to track the album gently unfolds like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer. Well crafted songs at times layered with lush synths and polished vocal hamonies take you from dark and lonely to bright and fuzzy. The songs are big but not overly produced, which makes for easily listening. Cloud Control has a cinematic feel that will definitely find them on many soundtracks to come.
To help celebrate their new album, the Australian quartet performed an exclusive set for the Amoeba Green Room Sessions series. The stripped down performance was nothing short of stellar and when a band rocks in the green room, you know they've got magic! As a special treat for the fans, Amoeba and Cloud Control are offering an exclusive free download of their song "Dojo Rising" recorded live in the Hollywood green room. Download now.
Amoeba returns to one of the biggest and best record swap meets in the LA area, the Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, on Sunday, October 6, 2013. 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. And admission is always free!
The Flea Market and Record Swap is from 7am-3pm. Look for the Amoeba booth located in the Bonnie St. parking structure (Lot 5) on the third level. We always have a great selection of vinyl, from dollar records to collectibles in every genre. Come out and enjoy your Sunday with us!
The LA Weekly calls the show "the best source for used records in all of Southern California."
More info HERE.
Atoms for Peace fans as well as fans of Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were in for a treat last night when the group formed by Thom Yorke with Flea on bass stopped by the Daily Show on Comedy Central last night for both an interview and performance in which they did killer sounding live versions of the songs tracks "Default" (latest single off the band's current album Amok that was released back in February of this year by XL Recordings and for which the current tour is in support of), and "Harrowdown Hill" (off Thom Yorke's solo album The Eraser from 2006, also on XL). Last night's performance was the first US set by the side-project supergroup originally formed four years ago in LA when they performed publicly for the very first time at the Echoplex in Los Angeles in early October, 2009.
Stately electropop from the Canadian chanteuse. Her running collaboration with Jeremy Greenspan seems to free the Junior Boys producer to explore odder aspects of his lush production. Against The Wall has driving synth bass but buries the snare and drifts into ethereal synth wobble at points. Lanza shines. She typically chooses to provide hooky, ephemeral counterpart to the chilly base, yet when she flexes her soprano, as she does on the chorus of the album's title track, its apparent she would sit atop an alternate Top 40 for the lonely.
LA Club Resource
Delroy continues a meteoric 2013 by seizing the means of production for himself. No nonsense, no press, LA Club Resource presents a functional new sound from the Southland. The first track, at 120 BPM, is slow compared to his recently preferred ghettohouse tempo, but introduces a fractured funk to the palatte. Two minimal synth lines, a simple double-snare hit and an unpredictable kick are all you need to move a floor. The B veers closer to the acid maze Funkineven travels. The vocal sample concluding the record is in-line with the cutty, street imagery associated with the label. Available in select few US brick and mortars.
The year 1976 was marked by several serious technological milestones. The year of the US' bicentennial saw America land Viking 2 on Mars and introduce the first space shuttle -- the Enterprise OV-101. In the computer world, IBM introduced the first laser printer -- the IBM 3800 -- and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple.
Now's your chance for you and a guest to attend a screening of CBGB October 1st at the Hollywood Arclight Theater as well as an afterparty with the cast and a special musical performance.
Enter to win at Amoeba, Hollywood (contest entry box is on the 2nd floor) or send an email to email@example.com with your name and phone number included. The winner will be notified on September 30th by phone, so include your daytime/best contact number.
CBGB covers the founding of legendary punk club of the same name in New York in 1973 and its run hosting many of the most important bands of the punk era. It stars Alan Rickman as CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry, Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop, Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith, Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome and Caleb Broom Mc Cotter as Wayne County, among others.
The soundtrack, due October 8th, pulls classic cuts from 20 artists who performed at the venue (preorder on CD or LP from Amoeba). The first LP pressing from Omnivore will be a 2xLP pink vinyl release. Purchase the soundtrack at Amoeba Hollywood and get a free movie poster (while they last!).
Here in New York City this week the big happening is the United Nations General Assembly:General Debate of the 68th Session that takes place at the United Nations at 787 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017 and is being streamed via YouTube. Beyond the reports of what is happening at the newsworthy global conference inside the U.N. building, such as yesterday with both Obama and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaking out for a resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations, outside in the streets of New York City the immediate meaning for everyday New Yorkers and tourists in town of the General Assembly is that traffic is screwed up on the East Side midtown and slowed down elsewhere across town. One friend of mine who foolishly took his car into Manhattan from Queens yesterday reported that just going 2 blocks took an hour in his attempt to get to the Queensboro Bridge with all the closures First Avenue is closed from 42nd Street up to 48th Street, and 44th, 45th and 46th streets are each closed to traffic between First and Second avenues . This means that for most of the city driving or taking taxis is not a good idea since those closures have a domino effect crosstown with gridlock everywhere. Good time to cycle or walk (weather if perfect this week here in NYC) or alternately take the subway. For more on the U.N. General Assembly click here.
This latest Amoeba Music giveaway is a doozie—are you ready for it?
Now through October 19th, enter to win a Gretsch Electromatic Club Jet "outfit" (a $1,000+ retail value) from Truetone Music, Gretsch, Amoeba Music and Lux Lives L.A.
The beautiful Gretsch G5425 is jet black, has a fully carved top-chambered body and is part of the newly revamped Gretsch line. Truetone Music is including a case, tuner, set-up, guitar cable, Gretsch strap and T-shirt, plus other extras. It's free to enter, and the winner will be announced at the Lux LivesLA event at the Redwood Bar on October 20th, celebrating the life and music of legendary garage punk band The Cramps with performances, a prize wheel, Cramps collectibles and more. Tickets are on sale for that event at Amoeba Hollywood for $20 (plus a $2 service charge).
Enter to win at Amoeba Hollywood through October 19th. While you're there, please consider supporting our friends at Best Friends Animal Society with a donation. Best Friends works to eliminate the killing of animals in shelters through implementing spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return programs, as well as its no-kill Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and working with a network of animal shelters and rescue groups. Ticket sales from Lux LivesLA will also benefit Best Friends. Read more about the organization at bestfriends.org.
No one can turn family dysfunction and manic depression into a joke better than Maria Bamford. Known for her left field brand of comedy that includes impersonating her mother and video skits with her two dogs on a couch, Bramford has definitely carved out her own niche. She's been featured in two Comedy Central Presents specials, made multiple late-night appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. You might also remember Maria from the popular Target commercials where she played an over achieving holiday shopper often referred to as, "the crazy Target lady." From Adult Swim shows to The Sarah Silverman Program to Variety's Top Ten Comics to watch, Maria has been one busy comedian.
Bamford is currently on the road touring her latest release, Ask Me About My New God! (Comedy Central Records). The tour hits Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco October 22, followed by a stop in So Cal at Flappers Burbank November 15/16. Bamford is a must see, with her live show teetering on performance art and stand up. She's hilarious!
In 1990 revolutionary, militant and Afro-centric hip-hop was in full effect and looked like it would be around forever. Examples included such popular socially & politically charged albums released in that first year of the decade as Public Enemy's third full-length album Fear Of a Black Planet, Ice Cube's first post N.W.A./solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Boogie Down Productions' Edutainment,X-Clan's To The East, Blackwards, Brand Nubian's One For All, Poor Righteous Teachers' Holy Intellect, Paris' The Devil Made Me Do It, Tragedy The Intelligent Hoodlum's self-titled Marley Marl debut, and Lakim Shabazz's Lost Tribe of Shabazz.
Amoeba Music once again had the honor to be an official sponsor of the Monterey Jazz Festival this past weekend (September 20 - 22nd) and to be on-site at the Monterey County Fairgrounds with a mini-Amoeba store! It was our third year in attendance, offering signings with many of the festival's most exciting acts in our Amoeba tent.
The festival, in it's 56th year, was ablaze with eight stages and 500 acts ranging from emerging artists like Roberto Fonseca and Davina & The Vagabonds, to jazz vets such as David Sanborn and Bob James, to superstars such as Gregory Porter and Ravi Coltrane. From Friday to Suday evening, we held 12 signings in the Amoeba tent and -- thanks to Monterey Jazz Festival Talent Coordinator Bennett Jackson -- we even got to sit down for a few short interviews. For full coverage of each signing, check out all of our Monterey Jazz Fest blog posts HERE. Below are the highlights from our whirlwind weekend of way-out jazz signings.
Drake has gone from sensitive Canadian kid actor to the most popular MC in hip-hop. The worst you can say about him is that he’s not the best pure rapper out there and lacks street cred; that’s still true. But as songwriters go, they don’t get much better. Drake is a new kind of hip-hop star, one less concerned with a hard image than he is with making interesting music. Barring the debatable “Wu-Tang Forever,” this is some of his best material yet. “Started From the Bottom” take a cue from his bud The Weeknd with a relentlessly bleak backdrop and a weary tale of success, like he’s reached the top of the mountain barely breathing—it’s a hell of a way to start a blockbuster album. “Hold On We’re Going Home” has been all over radio, with good reason, like a hip-hop version of Daft Punk’s latest album, all throwback funk and good time vibes, with Drake’s typically lovelorn lyrics. Despite the flak Drake gets for his rapping, Nothing Was the Same features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet, only including a handful of guest spots (2 Chainz and Big Sean add some welcome outside voices on “All Me”) and instead delving deep into Aubrey Drake Graham’s psyche and insecurities. “I hate that mom’s cooped up in her apartment, tellin’ herself that she’s too sick to get dressed up and go do shit” he says on the wrenching “Too Much.” Drake breathlessly delivers “The Language” in triplet cadence and lightens the mood (“She just wanna smoke ‘n’ f*ck, I said, ‘girl that’s all that we do’”). By the time he delivers the line “just give it time, we’ll see who’s still around a decade from now” on epic closer “Tuscan Leather,” Drake’s got little left to prove. If the haters provide fuel for his fire, haters keep hatin’ cause Nothing Was the Same is a beautiful smackdown.
Los Angeles has sure changed.
Some have been welcomed changes and others are hard to get used to. I’m constantly reminded this when I deejay in spots in Echo Park, Hollywood or Highland Park. Those parts of town were once considered the scourges of the city. It was riddled with gangs, drugs, homelessness, crime, earthquake damage and rows of buildings for lease. Ten years later, it’s now it’s a playground for the dull and ordinary. The argument of hipsters no longer applies here, because there is nothing hip about the people that play here. At best, they are in college; at worst they are former frat boys who have come to roost now that the area is safe.
When I used to tour for a living, the best thing about coming home to Los Angeles was getting away from the countless generic college towns that most of the venues were located. Much like the Wilson Pickett song “Funky Broadway” , where every town has a "Broadway and a Broadway women", the college town had the same restaurants, coffee houses, record stores, frat bar, alternative bar and everyone looks the same. Ethnicity as a whole was slim to none, as people of color were always relegated to the “other” parts of town. Being Chicano, I always felt I was in the wrong part of town when as well.. Places with diversity, such as Chicago and New York, were always welcomed stops on the road because I felt I could take a breather from the generic college town. I was never one to wonder why Los Angeles couldn’t be like Austin, Olympia or Chapel Hill. I liked Los Angeles the way it was. It was spread out, not connected by trains so you can play tourist in someone’s barrio. It was damaged and a place for the strong to thrive and the weak to avoid. It short, it was great.
The last night of the Monterey Jazz Festival is always bitter sweet. We hate for it to end, but we leave bursting full of positive experiences, the memory of amazing music, and a couple of fried artichokes. Sunday was a full day at the mini-Amoeba tent with signings from Joe Lovano (see previous blog post), Along Came Betty, David Sanborn & Bob James, Tammy Hall, and Davina & The Vagabonds.
Along Came Betty celebrates the spirit of hard-bop, a seminal movement of '50s and '60s jazz music. But the quintet has become much more than a homage to an important era of jazz history. Pianist and prolific composer Biff Smith's sophisticated yet highly accessible compositions blend elements of that era with modern sensibilities. The rich sound of harmonized sax and trumpet backed by the classic piano, bass, and drums rhythm section result in fresh, straight-ahead jazz.
Next we welcomed not one but two legends to our signing table, alto saxophonist David Sanborn and keyboardist-composer-arranger Bob James, who were celebrating their second creative collaboration Quartette Humaine (available on CD and LP). This collaboration comes a quarter century after their first, the million-selling GRAMMY® Award-winning Double Vision.
It's the last day of the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival and the eight stages are blazing with the sounds of jazz throughout the Monterey Fair Grounds. We have a full schedule of signings today at the mini-Amoeba tent...five to be exact!
We just had the honor of sitting down to a signing and interview with GRAMMY Award-winning saxophone giant Joe Lovano. Since 2009, Lovano has been with Us Five, a dynamic young band that features drummers Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, bassist Esperanza Spalding, and pianist James Weidman. His latest album Cross Culture is an 11-track tour de force that presents ten of Lovano’s original compositions along with a stunning interpretation of the Billy Strayhorn ballad “Star Crossed Lovers.” Augmenting his core group with the daring West African guitarist (and fellow Blue Note artist) Lionel Loueke, Lovano delivers his most fully realized representation of a career-long quest to explore the notion of universal musical language. MJF talent coordinator Bennett Jackson spoke with Lovano today:
Sundays are conducive to relaxed habitual activities like alfresco brunches, bible study and bingo.
Anyway, the enjoyment that comes of listening to records on a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon is, for me, the very definition of creature comfort. This Sunday being the Autumnal Equinox I'm reluctantly ringing in fall with these selections:
Staying Alive - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
This year my dumb ass didn't really get around to reveling in the splendor of Summer until it was almost over. Somehow, like magic, listening to this soundtrack is making it all okay. On the one hand I am so completely bummed to see Summer go, but I've also always been such a ho for Autumn, this film and the music that completes it. For me, right now, it's the remedy to all my Summer woes. Especially the breakdown part of "(We Dace) So Close to the Fire" where it claws it's way into a sexy, fragmented downtempo beat set against a corny gasping vocal, repeating "dance... fire... BURN!" signaling Finola Hughes' slinking she-devil entrance in the dance piece within the film, Satan's Alley (see the vid below). Who knew Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank was so musically gifted? I mean, "Moody Girl" is a criminally overlooked smooth soul jammer in my opinion.
Saturday night ended big at the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival with signings from The Relatives and Ravi Coltrane at the mini-Amoeba tent.
Fresh from their electrifying set on the Garden stage, The Relatives (dapper in lavender suits) sat for a signing and meet & greet at the Amoeba tent. The Relatives were formed in 1970 by veteran Dallas Gospel singer Rev. Gean West and his brother Tommie. Their sound bridges the gap between traditional Gospel, Soul, and Psychedelia. In the early 1970s, they recorded three obscure singles and a previously unreleased session — all of which are compiled on the acclaimed 2009 anthology, Don’t Let Me Fall. The release of the anthology brought The Relatives back together as a band, planting the seeds for their 2013 Yep Roc release, The Electric Word, which was recorded and produced by Jim Eno of Spoon, and is their first recording in 30 years!
Born on Long Island in 1965, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is the second son of John and Alice Coltrane. His father (who recorded the landmark Blue Train for Blue Note in 1957) died when Ravi was only two. Alice, a renowned composer and pianist, raised Ravi on the West Coast and proved a strong role model in her own right.
Rob Kelly "Jack The Ripper" (2013)
Since its humble beginnings in the 1980's Irish hip-hop has gradually grown and developed to its current vibrant state. From starting out as a predominantly derivative genre hip-hop in Emerald Isle has, over the years, clearly found its own voice and distinctive style. And while this identity first took root in the 90's, with acts like Scary Eire showcasing a unique Irish take on the genre, it is really only in the past five or six years that Irish hip-hop has become a most distinctive sub-genre of the global hip-hop movement with more artists than any previous time in its short history contributing to the art form.
As an Irish born hip-hop fan, who left the country just as hip-hop was taking root there, upon each return visit I have been actively following hip-hop in Ireland and can report that it is currently enjoying its healthiest & most innovative state with a slew of excellent new songs and albums been released over the past twelve month period alone - many from artists who just arrived on the scene in the past half decade. Over the past few decades it has been interesting to watch this Irish strain of the American born musical genre go through its slow but steady development. For this Amoeblog I have selected a brief sampling of Irish hip-hop videos from the past year or so to give an overview of the scene over there.
Amoeba Music is on the scene at the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival with our mini-Amoeba tent full of great deals and amazing signings with some of the festival's best musicians. Friday night was a blast with signings from Roberto Fonseca, Gregory Porter, and Snarky Puppy, and today (Saturday) has been epic indeed as we got to sit down for signing with The California Honeydrops, baritone sax player Claire Daly, and Big Sam's Funky Nation. Later tonight, we'll welcome The Relatives and Ravi Coltrane!
Digging deep into the roots of American music, The California Honeydrops embrace the traditions of blues, gospel, Second line New Orleans jazz, and early R&B. Plus, they're a hilarious bunch. We captured some of the fun on video:
When we caught up with Claire Daly and North Coast Brewing's Doug Moody, we discussed Baritone Monk, which was released by North Coast Brewing in October of 2012.
Below I honor those who share my enthusiasm for these films by sharing not original, but rather very lovingly recut, fan-made trailers for both Excalibur and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. [huzzah]
The opening night of the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival is coming to a close and the final notes of Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club's set are drifting through the crisp sea-side air from the Jimmy Lyons stage to our mini-Amoeba tent.
It's been an action-packed day of celebrity signings at our tent, starting with pianist Roberto Fonseca, who opened the festivities today on the Garden stage.
Then GRAMMY-nominated jazz and soul singer Gregory Porter graced the mini-Amoeba signing table between his two shows (Jimmy Lyons stage and Dizzy's Den). He charmed fans and signed autographs on his major label debut, Liquid Spirit, which is out now on Blue Note Records. This year we are lucky to once again have the help of Monterey Jazz Festival talent coordinator and musician Bennett Jackson, who jumped in and conducted a swift interview with Porter before Porter had to dash off to his next set. Check it out:
And as a special bonus surprise, Snarky Puppy dropped by for an unplanned signing! Genre-busters for sure, Snarky Puppy lands somewhere between a garage band and a collective, with over 25 players in regular rotation. Bennett Jackson sat down with the three core members (including award-winning bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League) and talked insider tips on Texas, New York, and their new album Family Dinner.
Greetings from the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival at the beautiful Monterey Fair Grounds! We are blogging LIVE from the Mini-Amoeba tent and will be here everyday of the festival (September 20 - 22), while offering rare and popular CDs and vinyl, special edition jazz t-shirts, books, posters, AND signings with some of this year's line-up of amazing artists!
Tonight, Friday, is opening night of the festival and the shows started roaring at 6:30pm. We have two stellar signings at the Mini-Amoeba tent tonight, so stop on by and meet these jazz luminaries!
Signing at the Mini-Amoeba tent tonight:
Roberto Fonseca – 8pm
When pianist Roberto Fonseca plays, the music seeps from every pore in his body, at times on stage he stands and hammers the piano as if it were a percussion instrument or he grabs a drum and transforms his group into a comparsa – the Cuban carnival groups that parade the streets once a year . YO, Fonseca’s new album, continues this party like never before. Recognized as a major influence on modern Cuban jazz, and jazz in general, he proves that his horizons are not limited by the subtleties of jazz, nor to just the Caribbean.
Valerie June started her Sept. 19 set at Amoeba Hollywood with little fanfare, playing guitar steadily and humming hypnotically to a stripped-down version of the title track to Pushin' Against a Stone (on CD or LP), the title track to her fourth and breakthrough album. On record, it's a fuzz-guitar laden soul number; live, June appeared solo, strumming her guitar and allowing her voice to grow slowly over time, moving from low and earthy to high and keening like Joanna Newsom's. "I ain't fit to be no mother" she sang on "Workin' Woman Blues," the album's awesome opener. Though her playing style was rudimentary, she got her point across, playing rough blues riffs and strumming open notes for a droning effect.
Even with a big name producer on her album like The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Valerie June isn't an artist who's been polished to a professional sheen. She still came off as an eccentric, saying little and hiding behind sunglasses. While she sometimes played furiously and sang her heart out, it seemed as though she was playing to herself, alone in a room—something that didn't hurt her performance, but rather made it all the more curious.
On this date (20 September) in 1953, one of my favorite old time radio Westerns debuted on NBC -- Six Shooter. It was created and written by Frank Burt, who'd also written for The Whistler, The Man Called X, and The Unexpected. It was produced by Jack Johnstone (Buck Rogers, The CBS Radio Workshop, Richard Diamond, Somebody Knows, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and others). The music director, Basil Adlam, arranged and conducted the theme,Ralph Vaughan Williams’s "The Highland Lament." The announcers were Hal Gibney (and John Wald), who introduced each episode with the words "The man in the saddle is angular and long-legged. His skin is sun-dyed brown. The gun in his holster is gray steel and rainbow mother-of-pearl, its handle unmarked. People call them both "the Six Shooter."
The only recurring character was Britt Ponset – played with greatness by Jimmy Stewart, who'd been interested in starring in a radio drama for some time before Six Shooter. Other actors that frequently appeared on the series included Parley Baer, Virginia Gregg, Harry Bartell, Howard McNear, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy, Alan Reed, Marvin Miller and William Conrad (though often credited as "Julius Krelboyne" since, at the same time, he was starring on Gunsmoke over at NBC's rival network, CBS).
1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
2) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)
3) 2 Chainz B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME (Def Jam)
4) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
5) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
Included in the latest hip-hop top five chart from Amoeba Hollywood is 2 Chainz' B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME which is the winner of the "#1 Next Level Album Title (September, 2013 - Associated Amoeba Website Album Reviewers Association)." This latest from 2 Chainz - the ever popular Atlanta-based rapper formerly known as Tity Boi is accurately described by this website as "super classy melancholy vibe which has 2 Chainz doing his pretty specific list-rapping (potentially equivalent to the one-liner stylings of someone like Steven Wright or Jack Handey?), which always manages to be both unbelievably laid back and unbelievably urgent." and is well worth picking up at each Amoeba store or online here (Note; free shipping in USA). Another recommended new entry on this latest Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart is local SoCal artist LMNO's brand new album After The Fact (Up-Above) that finds the Long Beach, CA artist in killer form with a rhyme flow that is smooth and engaging from the get go with the album's top notch production courtesy of Evidence who also graces the mic. Other collaborators among the album's well chosen guests include Rakaa, and MED. A must get for fans of that timeless 90's flavor hip-hop.
Actress Karen Black died from cancer last month. Before she passed, she recorded this great song with singer Cass McCombs, who also dueted with Black on the memorable “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” the opener to 2009’s Catacombs. In this song from the upcoming Big Wheel and Others, Black takes the lead, her voice sounding lively and wild. For fans of Black, this posthumous release is a beautiful gift. The 22-song Big Wheel and Others is due Oct. 15 on Domino, listen to “Brighter” below and “There Can Only Be One” here. McCombs will be at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown Nov. 12, L.A.’s The Echo Nov. 14 and S.F.’s Great American Music Hall Nov. 15.
Glasser – “Design” video
The video for the second single from L.A.-based Glasser’s upcoming Interiors album (preorder on CD or LP) features Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow in a futuristic Mad Men dress dancing with an animated sculpture. It reinforces the message: This is electro-pop fit for a museum, not just the dancefloor. Interiors is due Oct. 8 on True Panther/Matador.
Excellent outre acid from Aroy Dee's MOS_DEEP imprint. These tracks strike a delicate balance between gritty acid lines and more contemplative pads. The instrumental break in Game On Major feels like the chilled-out section of some lost Hacienda classic.
Shed comes correct with his third release on Modeselektor's 50 Weapons. Amazing, retro-tinged tracks with echoes of both the producer's Wax and Head High project. Both Dirt and Fluid trade in earworm synth themes comprised of two or three chords. Dirt's 909 kick and analog wind make for a track equally suited for djs and home listening. Fluid pairs a nostalgic organ riff with a massive breakbeat.
Islands took the stage at Ameoba Hollywood Sept. 17, the day they released their fifth album, Ski Mask (on CD, LP or download). The band mostly played songs from that album, portraying a more mature, subdued version of Islands than we've previously seen. However, Nick Thorburn is still a beast and a ham onstage—"We're Islands, it's true—oh shit," he said, distracted by something, then went to start a song on keys before returning to holding the mic and strutting through "Wave Forms," Ski Mask's buoyant opener. "Death Drive" introduced cool analog keyboard sounds and a subtle hip-hop feel to the set. For Ski Mask's best song, "Becoming the Gunship," Thorburn took to playing a beautiul white guitar—he and his band all looked pretty dapper, btw, but that's neither here nor there—and his bandmates offered solid harmonies. They reached back to 2008's Arm's Way for the discoy "Creeper" before returning to the newer material, proclaiming "Contractually, I'm obligated to ask you to buy [Ski Mask]" before launching into that album's “Winged Beat Drums,” a funkier song akin to Spoon with nice dynamics and sunny lines like "life's not a gas, it's a gas chamber." Thorburn picked his guitar alone in the opening of the sad-sounding "Here Here," while "Hushed Tones" saw bigger, Who-style ringing chords, with a soft underbelly of watery synths. Thorburn appeared to get annoyed with someone in the audience and invited the guy onstage to air his complaints—that guy ended up being rapper Subtitle, who joined the band to deliver his rap on Return to the Sea's "Where there's a will, There's a whalebone." Even as they've mellowed out, Islands couldn't resist throwing a bit of mayhem into the mix. The band stuck around for a signing session that included all members of the band biting into one of their records—perhaps to authenticate it as real, like people did in the olden days with gold coins.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. Especially if we're talking about old VHS tapes and most definitely if we're talking to the collective known as Everything Is Terrible!
Everything is Terrible! is a comedy website that features footage from VHS tapes spanning the mid '80s to early '90s. The collective scour thriftstores, yard sales and bargain bins searching for forgotten VHS gems. They then compile somewhat of a "best of the worst" and create hilarious mashup pieces of brilliant art. Sometimes it's a potty training video for kids or a PSA on drug use mashuped with Christian porn intervention and work safety tips. The result is outrageously funny. EIT also tours, putting on live psychedelic stage shows featuring puppets, video screenings, comedy, music and projections. They do it all and have legions of cult like fans to praise their genius.
Everything Is Terrible! has set out to amass the largest collection of Jerry Maguire VHS tapes in the history of man. Under their "Maguire Wach" campaign, EIT accepts mailed in VHS copies of the movie. Fans can also bring copies to their live shows and there is a leader board keeping tally on their website. Anyone who donates 10 or more copies gets their name on the leader board!
If you or somebody you know has a VHS copy of Jerry Maguire that needs a loving home, please donate it to Everything Is Terrible! at:
P.O. Box 47924
Chicago, IL 60647 USA
Nick and Dimitri of EIT recently visited Amoeba Hollywood for another memorable episode of What's In My Bag? and they managed to dig up some very crucial findings.
Imagine for a moment that you are a contestant on the game show Jeopardy and you were presented with the answer, "This community's slogans have included 'The Motion Picture Capital of the World,' 'The Heart of Screenland,' and 'Where Hollywood Movies are Made?'" If you're like me you'd probably ask, "What is Hollywood?" with some confidence. If you did, however, Alex Trebek would make that slightly pained and disappointed expression and tell you that "the question we were looking for is "What is Culver City?" And again, if you're at all like me, you'd probably go, "Huh?" By the way, Jeopardy! has been filmed in Culver City since 1994.
Culver City is, in fact, both currently and historically a major hub in the production of mainstream American Cinema (you know, the ones usually referred to as "Hollywood" films) but for whatever reason -- and despite the best efforts of many Culverites -- it has been far less successful than the Hollywood neighborhood in connecting its name to the entertainment industry in the global public's mind. In fact, I'd wager that more tourists and Angelenos associate Burbank, North Hollywood, Studio City, and Universal City with "Hollywood" film production than they do Culver City.
With the recent recognition of August 11th 1973 as the official birth date of hip-hop music and culture when DJ Kool Herc threw a party for his sister in a Bronx building rec center in August of '73 that would spark an unstoppable global movement, hip-hop scholars, fans, and DJs have all been celebrating the landmark anniversary in their own ways. UK based DMC DJ champion turntablist DJ Woody, who uses both audio and video in his live sets, has come up with his own full performance that traces the four decade history of his beloved genre. Above is a trailer of DJ Woody's Hip Hop is 40 audio/visual mix that is a nice sequel to his last major mix Big Phat 90's that was presented here with an interview with Woody on the Amoeblog a year ago. Since Woody, who you can follow on Twitter and Facebook, only offers an abbreviated teaser of his full length mix in the clip above for this Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I have compiled a select mix of six key hip-hop videos that span the years 1977 to 1999 in the ever evolving and shifting genre's illustrious life.
With advances in technology - plus wide access to it - being a lot more advanced in the second, third, and fourth decades of hip-hop's timeline there are a lot more videos and film footage of hip-hop from the early 1980's onwards than in its first decade. For example tragically there is absolutely no film or video footage (or even photos) of the fateful day back in August 1973 that Kool Herc kick started hip-hop. The first video below is of New York in 1977 - a time when the city was in total economic ruin - and when hip-hop was slowly growing and expanding from beyond the Bronx. The clip is part of a VH1 retrospective on NYC and hip-hop. The other selected video clips include Kurtis Blow on SoulTrain in 1980 performing his hit of that year "The Breaks," the music video for Afrika Bambaataa's classic 1983 single "Looking for the Perfect Beat," andEric B. & Rakim's "Paid In Full" single from 1987 when (even only four years later than Bam's "Perfect Beat" electro fueled record) the genre had totally shifted in style and presentation with a different emphasis on lyrical presentation, and beat-wise much slower BPMs. The other two clips I selected are both from the 90's when hip-hop had subtly shifted a bit more. They are Gang Starr's "DWYCK" featuring Nice & Smooth and Dead Prez's "Hip-Hop" - both hip-hop songs that I believe are truly timeless and will always sound amazing.
Amid the countless recent reunions of '90s bands, the timing seems perfect for the return of Sebadoh. While he's been toiling beneath the din of J Mascis' guitar heroics in the reunited Dinosaur Jr. for years, Lou Barlow's second-fiddle position in that band hasn't given enough of an outlet for Barlow's own songwriting. Thus Barlow sounds hungry on Defend Yourself, the first Sebadoh album since 1999. "Can you tell that I'm about to lose control?" he asks on the outset of the album on "I Will," over a serviceable melodic jangle. That statement proves true, as things get more interesting as Defend Yourself progresses. The stuttering "Beat" provides ample room for Barlow to shred both his guitars and vocals. It sounds as though Barlow's world is coming apart in the rumbling "Defend Yr Self"—an understandable position, given the end of his marriage, which provides bitter fuel for Barlow's fire on this album. Songs like "Oxygen," an upbeat indie pop-rocker, and "Once," a tentative instrumental, provide respite (though "Oxygen's" typically caustic lyrics remind us that even the shiniest apples from Barlow are laced with arsenic). But Barlow's at his manic best in songs like "Inquiries," which heaves into a nauseating (in a thrilling way) final portion, or "Final Days," which pairs headlong, full-band rush with world-doubting lyrics ("it's all made up and a waste of time" Barlow sings under his breath). With a mouthful of bile, Barlow spits out the songs of Defend Yourself. The resulting record feels as crucial and relevant as anything he's been a part of.
With an emphasis on music, art, and community and a mission statement of ensuring that, "all Oakland public school students have equal access to Art and Music education" the small but hard-working non-profit 51Oakland ("51" + "Oakland") organization has had a most positive impact since its creation a little over a year ago. Co-founder/ executive director Jason Hofmann (interviewed above for the Amoeblog) along with Yoshie Akiba - co-owner of the famed Bay Area jazz club Yoshi's - 51Oakland is doing for the Oakland public school system what, due to continual cutbacks in funding, has been unable to do for itself; present much-needed music and arts programs in the classroom. This the charitable organization has done by working with the schools in Oakland directly and responding to their stated needs.
As word spreads on 51Oakland more and more people in the community are getting involved. One of 51Oakland's volunteers is Oakland resident Joe Kemper who said he decided to volunteer time out of his week with the non-profit because, "I really admire how much of an impact the organization is making. Obviously bringing back music to the Oakland schools is going to have a positive effect on kids who want to learn and play, but more than that, it's significantly helping to increase overall attendance, kids who are involved in music and 51oakland are doing better in their other classes, and it's having a positive impact on graduation rates and affecting kids in their lives far beyond just musically." Kemper added that he cannot stress enough the importance of music and arts programs in schools. "Having gone through the public school system and having the opportunity to participate in music and sports programs made a huge difference for me, and to see that those opportunities are no longer there for these kids is a real tragedy," he said.
Currently, Jorge is a second year doctoral student in the History Department at the University of California, San Diego and hold a Masters Degree in History from Cal State Northridge.
In a conference Jorge spoke at back in 2008, Jorge lecture was entitled, "Yo Vivo Así, It's My Reality: How Rock En Español Started a Conversation Between U.S. Latino Youth and Their Latin American Counterparts” Jorge had this to say;
In the 1990s American rock music thrived in the suburbs under the alternative label, offering songs that dealt with teenage angst. At the same time, rock en español arrived in the Barrios of California and was appropriated by the Latino youth to create a sheltering space that shielded them from a hostile social climate created by anti-immigrant political initiatives such as Propositions 187, 209 and 227. With lyrics that directly denounced social injustices, Rock en español gained popularity and for the first time, generated close contacts among the "close others"; second and third generation young Latinos began a continuing conversation with immigrant Latino youths that came of age listening to this music in their home countries. This conversation created a new Latino youth subculture that considered Spanglish cool and fostered fads and trends derived from music, films, fashion, art and language that emanated from both American cities as well as Latin American metropolises.
With the summer's Rock The Bells mega traveling hip-hop festival rolling through the Bay Area this weekend (both today and tomorrow) I thought it only fitting to salute some of the many artists performing at the artist-packed, two-day event by including (below) music videos from a sampling of some of the talents performing. These include E-40 and Too $hort, Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli, Action Bronson, and Dilated Peoples. Meantime see the flyer above for detailed listing of this year's most impressive line-up of acts performing across the different stages at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View where Rock The Bells is once again this year. Note that both the late great Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy E will be kind of present via hologram technology a la the 2Pac at Coachella hologram. Also note that Deltron 3030's performance is tomorrow Sunday only. For Rock The Bells tickets and more info click here.
One thing I love about seeing shows at Amoeba is getting to see bands perform in a different way than they normally would. British R&B act AlunaGeorge played a short, stripped-down set at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 12, playing as a three-piece with only piano, electric drums and the velvety smooth vocals of singer Aluna Francis. They began with their single "You Know You Like It," playing it looser and jazzier than the dance-pop original. Francis danced close to the mic as she sang, gesticulating along to the lyrics. She sounded more confident than her chilled-out demeanor on record while singing on "Outlines," the opener to their excellent, recently released Body Music album (order on CD or download). You could really hear the detail and subtlety to AlunaGeorge's music on a song like the Robyn-ish "Attracting Flies," as Francis' cohort George Reid snuck in sly hooks on his piano. "Your Drums, Your Love" benefitted greatly from the minimal set-up; while the studio version is befitted with flashy studio tricks, its catchy chorus shone in this version, dressed up with jazzy improvisation and skittering beats.
See more photos from the performance here.
Folk rocker White Buffalo took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 11, performing songs from his recently released concept album, Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways (on CD now or preorder on LP). In the vein of, say, Steve Earle, White Buffalo aka Jake Smith performs americana songs with a satirical bent. His latest album details the life of a young man as he meets a woman and settles down with her, only to head to war, be shot and sent home a changed man who can't cope.
He started with "The Getaway," a waltz detailing the album's two young lovers running away together. In the next song, "Joey White," the character "finds out it's pretty fuckin' hard out there," he said, as the man joins the military seemingly without another choice. Smith had some trouble with the guitar cable during the song, during which he jokingly implored to the audiene, "talk amongst yourself, quit lookin' at me." Unflustered, he started to perform the hard-hitting song acoustically before the power came back—actually, it sounded pretty cool as his guitar sound broke apart while playing, and if anything, it added to the sentiment of things falling apart for Smith's character.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:13:13
1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
2) Big Sean Hall Of Fame (Universal)
3) Damu The Fudgemunk Spur Momento Trailer (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
4) Goodie Mob Age Against The Machine (The Right Records)
5) A$AP Ferg Trap Lord (RCA)
Thanks to E-Lit, holding it down at the Berkeley Amoeba store's hip-hop department, for the latest news in recent hip-hop arrivals at the Telegraph Ave. store via the above. new top five sales chart and the video in which he runs through many of the new CD and vinyl releases - many of them indie label releases that are not always easy to find in stores. In addition to the nationally popular Earl Sweatshirt's Doris (Columbia) and A$AP Ferg's Trap Lord - both of which I wrote about in previous weeks - other new top five entries include Big Sean's Hall Of Fame, Damu The Fudgemunk's Spur Momento Trailer (via Fat Beats and also on vinyl), and the return of Goodie Mob with the album Age Against The Machine on The Right Records. Once one of the main crews out of Atlanta’s lengendary Dungeon Family hip-hop collective, the Goodie Mob haven't done anything new as a full quartet (recording wise - they did reunite to perform) in fourteen long hip-hop years. Of course in the meantime Cee-Lo Green became a breakout bona fide pop star via his music (both solo with the huge hit "Fuck You" and with Danger Mouse as one half of Gnarls Barkley with the runaway hit "Crazy") and his TV role as a cat stroking judge on The Voice. So is the new Age Against The Machine any good you ask? I am still not 100% sure (I like it but don't love it like their earlier work) after needle dropping my way through it twice but it appears to these ears to be recorded out of a desperation (for three of the four members at least) to score a pop hit along the lines of Cee-Lo's solo work. Hence such hook driven songs as “Power” which addresses race relations. But it is at its best when it doesn't sound like it is trying to be pop but on such songs as “Special Education” and “Pinstripes.” Below is the video for the album track "I'm Set" to give you a better feel of how the comeback album by this once very unique and influential Southern group sounds.
Best Coast’s Fade Away Up for Preorder
L.A.’s Best Coast are following up last year’s excellent The Only Place with a mini album called Fade Away. The seven-song release features two songs she released on Record Store Day—“Fear of My Identity” and “Who Have I Become”—plus five more new ones. It’ll be out Oct 22 on frontwoman Bethany Cosentino’s new label, Jewel City. Read my interview with Best Coast here.
Crystal Antlers – “Rattlesnake” video
Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston's Garage Punk Uprising trailer 2013
The announcement over the past week via the above video trailer of an exciting sounding forthcoming documentary on the history of Boston garage / punk titled Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston's Garage Punk Uprising got me thinking about all the great punk music that came out of Beantown - most of which I personally learned about via college radio and buying records like the compilation "This Is Boston Not LA." The documentary, that features the godfather of Boston punk (and punk in general) Jonathan Richman, looks like it will be really good and well worth seeing - especially for fans of music from this region. Below are a few live videos of three Boston bands featured in this new documentary. These include The Real Kids in 1982 live on TV, the Nervous Eaters live in Cambridge, MA back in 1979 performing the songs "Degenerate" and "Loretta," and (from that same year) The Neighborhoods on a local Boston TV show when the pop hook driven band performed both "Prettiest Girl" and "No Place Like Home." For up to the minute updates on the documentary keep up on Facebook.
Nervous Eaters "Degenerate" & "Loretta" (Live, 1979)
New heat from the Aniara crew, this time presenting some epic compositions from Christoffer Berg, best known for his work with The Knife and Depeche Mode . The a-side is a dubby, glacial climb, somewhat similar to the material on Vertical Ascent by Moritz Von Oswald Trio. The B, Untouchable , is a bit closer to the Knife's icy, futuristic synthpop.
Excellent new material from the Ann Arbor acid maestro. The title track has the ominous pads and patient jack of prime Convextion material. Size and Shape suceeds with an 80s chicago house lead, expert synth harmonies and odd vocal sample. Elsewhere, the Hague and Midwest get all mixed up to delightful effect. 6-tracks, all killers.
L.A.-based dream pop band Haunted Summer cast their spell over Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 10, their autumnal music like a collective signifier of summer moving into fall. Their gorgeous “1996” saw them sending out cool waves of reverbed guitar while singer Bridgette Moody cooed an ode to nostalgia. The band moved from a four-piece to a duo of voice, guitar and synthesizers for a couple of hypnotic songs—including an even dreamier version of Animal Collective’s “Bees,” which they dedicated to the problem of honeybee colony collapse disorder—in which Moody’s voice would move from a whisper to a wail, occasionally masked with underwater effects. The band’s bassist and drummer came back for a couple more, plus their producer, who played a wicked theramin on their closing song.
Today, September 11th, in New York City is a most solemn day. Even a dozen full years after 9/11 New Yorkers still gristle at the thought of that devastating day when everyone across the city was somehow impacted by the tragedy that unfolded. To commemorate this twelve year anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil, when 3,000 died, there are numerous memorial events - some personal, some public - taking place around the city including, naturally, downtown Manhattan at the site of World Trade Center. Perhaps the most significant of all though is the national campaign under way that asks people to take the day to pause and reflect on what happened. It is also to help build awareness for the memorial museum, to open next year after delays, devoted to what happened that day. In that end workers are busy in their efforts to get the The National September 11 Memorial & Museum finished and open by Spring 2014. In a recent public statement the museum/memorial's director of education and public programming is author Clifford Chanin, who penned the book The Stories They Tell: Artifacts from the National September 11 Memorial Museum, said that the museum will feature hundreds of artifacts. Each one of these will capture individual personal stories of those directly impacted by that fateful day in September 2001. Due to several factors including real estate disputes and the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy the memorial/museum project, which should have been open by this year's anniversary, got delayed. To raise both funds and awareness of the project a campaign has been launched that asks people to “Take a day to remember the day that changed us forever.” Today in both the general media (TV, newspapers, websites) and on social media sites. So expect to see/hear a lot more about this today on such websites as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube that is also asking for minimal donations to go towards the staggering $700million price tag of the new museum/memorial. More info here.
Friday, September 13, 2013 // Midnite
Co-presented by WARNER ARCHIVE
House Party pals Kid ‘N Play make sure the party isn’t over in a fresh comedy that asks: “What happens when the school records of a brainiac dweeb (Kid, the guy with the high-rise ’do) and a street tough with attitude to spare (Play, the hip-hop style master) accidentally get switched?” It’s an urban retelling of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, you dig? These boisterous superfriends have the quick-witted dynamics, easy interplay and casual expertise of the best old-school comedy teams down pat — but with cooler clothes, and more slammin’ dance moves. Pairing the duo with a def soundtrack and hot supporting roles for Doug E. Doug and Karyn Parsons (Hilary from Fresh Prince Of Bel Air) ensures that the hip-hop flip-flop of 1992 is now the back-to-school Cinefamily jam of 2013!
Dir. Randall Miller, 1992, 35mm, 98 min.
$12, Free for Cinefamily Members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036
Portishead founder and producer Geoff Barrow is always busy making music. In 2009, Barrow teamed up with Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (Team Brick) to form the Krautrock trio, BEAK>. The group has since produced two full length albums, Beak> and Beak II, with the latter being released on Barrows' own Invada imprint.
Barrow and his cohorts caught up with our cameras at Amoeba Berkeley for another awesome episode of "What's In My Bag?." Right off the bat Billy pulls out a Frank Sinatra vinyl! Who would have thought the Kraughtrockers were into ol' blue eyes? Very cool! Matt picks up a CD that has a musician playing a "hurdy gurdy" on the cover, about which he says, "it just sounds amazing, it sounds like a drowning violin." Who doesn't love the sound of drowning violins? Geoff tells a great story about being sampled by the legendary hip hop producer J.Dilla and manages to dig up the soundtrack to the 1971 cult classic, Psychomania.
To get into the show, purchase Six Feet Beneath The Moon on CD or LP at Amoeba Hollywood starting on Friday, September 13th and you'll get you a pair of wristbands to the show. Limit one pair of wristbands per customer, while supplies last. Or follow @space15twenty on Instagram for additional details on attending the show.
Six Feet Beneath The Moon is the long-anticipated debut album from Southeast London's King Krule (aka Archy Marshall). He broke out in 2011, at the tender age of 16, with his eponymous EP released on True Panther Sounds. King Krule's sound, a hypnotic mixture indebted to working class British songsmiths like Billy Bragg as much as to NY No-Wave and hip hop, carries a maturity and depth far beyond his years.
The Terry Malts aren’t your typical Bay Area garage band. In fact, they’re not really a garage band or a punk band—or even a typical Slumberland Records band—at all. The band’s three members—comprising singer/bassist Phil Benson, guitarist/vocalist Corey Cunningham and drummer/vocalist Nathan Sweatt, started off in jangle-rock revivalists Magic Bullets before branching off into Terry Malts, a fast-paced, fuzz-rockin’ trio that fuses Ramones-style hooks and brevity with the deep-voiced panache of Morrissey and reverbed insouciance shared with several of their labelmates. Their second album, the Neil Young-reffing Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere (on CD or LP) is another quick and dirty delight, as was their first album, last year’s Killing Time. I caught up with the band just as they were set to release Nobody, which is in stores today. (See photos from their Amoeba performance here.)
As one of the many industry folk interviewed in the documentary I was among the lucky ones to get invited to last weekend's premiere screening. (I had produced a SoulBeat TV show dedicated to the Hieros back in September of 1993 upon the Souls' 93 release - portions of which are interspersed throughout the new doc). After the midday screening finished at New Parkway on 24th Street attendees moved over to the Rock Steady on San Pablo at 18th for the after party / photo exhibit (Phesto and Shomari Smith's Souls tour photos). It was outside that venue, a part of the New Parish, that I conducted the above video interview with Shomari Smith. At the recently relocated New Parkway (which looks great by the way) Shomari addressed the audience that, along with all of the Souls and most of the Hieros, included such film interveiwees as Lyrics Born, Equipto, and Dante Ross. "It's been an amazing journey," stressed Smith of the film that took two years to make. Like most good pieces of art the film took on its own direction and vibe based on the material Smith culled in the seemingly endless hours of interviews he conducted. The documentary clocked in at two hours he but before the screening Smith promised that the time would "go by quickly" (it did) adding how what the audience was about to view was "the directors cut" since due to licensing and other factors the film will have to go through another round of editing down and a series of alterations.
Janelle Monae's The Archandroid was a landmark R&B album, released in 2010 when Monae was only 24 years old and poising her to accept the baton from her predecessors. With The Electric Lady, she accepts entry into that pantheon of great soul artists, and even collaborates with several of them. Her duet with Prince, "Givin Em What They Love," is a raunchy bit of slow rolling rock 'n' roll that does the Purple One proud, with Monae giving a snarling, Karen O-like performance. She enlists Erykah Badu to collaborate on "Q.U.E.E.N.," for a jam that's both glitzy and soulful, unafraid of seeming both current and strange ("Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror? And am I weird to dance alone late at night?" Monae asks). But her duets fellow new guard members are equally thrilling, on the sassy title track with Solange, jazzy "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" with Esperanza Spalding and showstopper "Primetime" with Miguel. The music is remarkable and unpredictable throughout, from the loungey outro to "We Were Rock N Roll" to the Flaming Lips synths and Brazilian jazz chords of "Ghetto Woman." And impressively, with all these big names, Monae remains the star, singing and rapping like the second coming of Lauryn Hill. On her own, her songs are no less striking, singing an uplifting hymn with "Victorious" and closing things out beautifully on the reggae-tinged "What An Experience." What an experience The Electric Lady is, indeed!
Now this is a young man's summer vacation..
To someone who works as much as I do, summer is just a mere acknowledgement than a season. For instance, It is summer because it’s hot. It’s summer because the sun is out later and it’s because people are wearing less clothing. There is no summer vacations or lightening of loads for this working guy, just a little more sweat than usual.
However, this year I did take a summer vacation from this blog. The plan was to reenergize and come up with a fresh perspective of what to write about and whether I should continue to do so. It really hasn’t worked. Almost four months later, I still struggle in front of the computer thinking what I should write about. Clearly, there are better writers than myself, not only from all the great music blogs, newspapers and magazines from around the world, but within our pool of talented writers that work for Amoeba as well. They can write about the same artists and genres that I can, and with more eloquence and detail. Still, I don’t think that most of these writers have their hands in as many musical pies as I do. I came to realize that is my strength. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m the equivalent of one of those annoying foodies that can pontificate about the wonders of food cooked with liquid nitrogen then geek out on KFC Mac & Cheese. In the end, that what keeps me writing about music, the simple love of it.
So, I made it a point to listen to more music than usual, not pigeonhole myself and just enjoy what I enjoy. The following are some releases I really dug over the summer.
Despite all of the galleries and museums in the Bay Area displaying some incredible art oft times the best art on display is that work that is never restricted to business hours or entrance fees. I am talking about the street art - commissioned or non-commissioned - that you can find all over from city back alleys to main thoroughfares. My personal favorite public space street art is one that utilizes an existing functional item but transforms it into a piece of beauty. Case in point are the many city trash cans around the city of Oakland, including the ones dotted along Telegraph Ave. in the Temescal district of North Oakland, that have been transformed into beautiful art pieces for the public to enjoy and appreciate as more than mere garbage recepticals.
The artist responsible for many of these East and North Oakland art trash cans, including one that is located outside the Temescal Oakland Public Library, is self-described East Bay "mosaic artist" Daud Abdullah who, as well as his passion for mosaic art, has a love for music (particularly jazz). Hence why some of his mosaic pieces include images of musical instruments. I caught up with the artist, who in addition to North Oakland also has a series of pieces out in East Oakland including on High Street, MacArthur, and Seminary. I asked him a few questions about his craft and what goes into it (see video above) and his latest art projects of transforming bikes with glass. You can see his work if you are in East or North Oakland. You can also see his work, including his photography, by visiting his Flickr page under the tag Brookdaledude that includes several pics of the bikes that the artist who started out as a photographer talks about in the Amoeblog video interview. For exact locations of his public pieces or more info contact the artist directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever wonder how Chuck Palahniuk came up with the idea for Fight Club’s secret society of recreational fighters? Or how a giant wooden “man” ended up on fire in the desert, inspiring one of the world’s most radical gatherings? Welcome to the Cacophony Society, an underground group of pranksters whose antics have helped shape the contemporary zeitgeist for the past three decades. Now -- from flash mobs and SantaCon to groups like Improv Everywhere and the Yes Men -- new generations of instigators are taking a page out of the Cacophony book, driving pranks and events with social media tools.
On Monday, September 23rd, immerse yourself in the full Cacophony experience at the Castro Theatre as society founders and celebrated members (including Chuck Palahniuk, John Law, Carrie Galbraith, and Brad Wieners) take you through the society’s origins, the importance of play in adult life, and how to kick-start your own culture. Plus, check out some society spinoffs including: bartending robots from RoboGames, a blessing from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, “Hugging Machines” from artist Kal Spelletich, Art Cars, Doggie Diner heads, video shorts, and more!
Get your tickets HERE!
|Balboa Theatre, 1941|
Many small theaters have adopted the rallying cry of "Go Digital, or Go Dark," and though that sounds dramatic, it is all too true. After 100 years of movies being screened from film, Hollywood is converting to digital. Every theatre must upgrade its projectors and associated equipment by the end of this year.
The Balboa Theatre opened in 1926 and has served San Francisco's Richmond district continuously since then. Every year, thousands of residents of all ages visit the Balboa for screenings of new films and well-curated programming such as music documentaries, classics, and "Popcorn Palace" kids fare! But now they need your help.
The Balboa is raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign so they can upgrade the projection and sound equipment in both of their two auditoriums. It will cost close to $150,000 to do both. They have just raised enough to convert one auditorium, but you can help them reach their stretch goal so they can go all the way. With digital projectors in place, they will be able to keep the Balboa alive offering a modern, first-class movie experience in a classic neighborhood theatre. Plus, they are giving away some great reward incentives. Donate now!
Don't tell me you don't know about comedian Kurt Braunholer?? He's been seen on BUNK (IFC), Chelsea Lately, Bob’s Burgers (FOX), Delocated (Adult Swim), Comedy Central Presents, Jon Benjamin Has a Van (Comedy Central), The Heart She Holler (Adult Swim), Assy McGee (Adult Swim) and Human Giant (MTV). He can also be heard on the radio on This American Life, telling a story which he is currently developing for television for HBO.
Kurt was recently named one of Variety’s “10 Comics To Watch.” He’s also featured in Time Out New York's list of 50 Funniest New Yorkers, named as a "Comic to Watch" by Comedy Central, the New York Comedy Festival and TimeOut NY, as well as “Best Male Stand-Up” by the ECNY and “Best Unscripted Host” by the New York Television Festival. The man is funny!!
People came out to bid on concert tickets, gift certificates, collectibles, a special Kill Rock Stars “Kurt Pack” and so much more. The store was abuzz, and the heated bidding wars drove the temperature even higher than the record-breaking Los Angeles heatwave. Kurt is a natural at making people laugh while they dig deep in their pockets. Plus, he was a smooth criminal when it came to sliding the bids up and up and up...
This year there seems to be more confusion than collusion when it comes to determining the borderline between Summer's end and Autumn's dawn. Recently, I made a break from San Francisco's foggy cold summer to spend some time basking in the high August sunshine on the Carolina coastline. It was with much distress that before I had even returned to California I couldn't help but clock the sudden emergence of all things Halloween on my Summer radar. Browsing the beer aisle had become an exercise in dodging pumpkin brews, hitting the local corner store for a sunblock re-up meant traipsing through a spooktacular displays replete with bulk candies, even a beloved backroad farmer's market had transformed itself, within the span of a week, from sunny Summer fruit central into a homespun Halloween headquarters. What [expletive] gives?
All this is leading up to the total relief I felt upon seeing the merry music video for "Kim Chee Taco Man" earlier this week, the first bit of music released from Kelley Stoltz's upcoming album Double Exposure (drops 9/24 on Third Man Records). The video, co-starring Grace Cooper of The Sandwitches, is enjoyably humorous and all but what really struck me is the breezy, endless summer vibe of the track mixed with the familiar voices, faces and places indicative of a fully made in San Francisco production. What's more, I feel that the timing of this little ray of light has restored my faith in the season. We may not enjoy much in the way of a visual display of change as the wheel of the year turns, but just like the Kim Chee Taco Man's disciples in the video, we relish, with gusto, those goodies bestowed to us from on high, whether they be gifted from gourmet gurus or simply the results atmospheric stability. In any case, from September to October, I've got to give it up for Summer in San Francisco!
Amoeba Berkeley's E-Lit shows some of the cassette tapes at Telegraph Ave store
Everything comes round again, and sometimes more than once, including the long dismissed but never fully forgotten cassette tape format. Yes, once again the old analog cassette, once a symbol of listening to music on the go in the 70's or 80's (on Walkmans, in the car, or on boom-boxes) is currently enjoying yet another re-resurgence in popularity and/or curious interest by music collectors and small music labels. Even in the six years since I wrote a previous Amoeblog on the topic (Return of the Cassette that tackled the state of the cassette revival in 2007 and tied in with Thurston Moore's Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now NYC exhibit at the time) interest in cassettes has increased substantially.
Attention to cassettes in the media has grown too. Two years ago the Wall Street Journal did a nice piece on their renaissance. And for the past few years there has been a growing number of small indie specialty labels putting out cassette only releases. Among these are such Bay Area labels as MegaKut and Sanity Muffin (run by Amoebite Billy Sprague) and New Jersey punk label Baldy Longhair Records (see magazine ad for the label right). Blogs have been popping up all over on various aspects of the cassette tape including one how to repair a broken cassette.
First there was Record Store Day which began in 2008. Now, 2013 brings the first Cassette Store Day (7 September). Stores across Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America are on board with the latest celebration of a format that most consider obsolete. There are events taking place and totes and Ts (natch) commemorating the day are for sale. Although it’s not called Audio Cassette Store Day, that seems to be what it more properly is (sorry valorizers of Betamax and VHS). It's also Cassette Store Day, not merely Cassette Day -- is there such thing as a store that exclusively sells tapes? Even Tape World carried CDs and records.
Arcade Fire is releasing a very limited 12" single from their upcoming album, Reflektor (due out October 29 on Merge Records). The "Reflektor" 12" will be available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood on Monday, September 9 at 9pm. Amoeba San Francisco and Berkeley will have it for sale starting Tuesday, September 10 at open (SF opens at 11am, Berkeley opens at 10:30am).
Quantities are very limited so it's first come first served, limit one copy per customer and you must be in the store to purchase it. No phone orders, online sales or holds allowed.
We'll also be playing the new single at Amoeba Hollywood on Monday, 9/9 at 9pm so come down to the store for a chance to hear the new track before anyone else.
In typical Arcade Fire, mum's the word when it comes to everything about the release and the 12" single. Artwork for the 12" has surfaced online, but we can't confirm yet that this is accurate. To further complicate the mystery, the back cover also features a track listing of 14 songs. But it is reportedly just another trick by the band. We'll all have to wait and see on Monday!
Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, September 14 from 12- 5pm! We always have tons of great bargains just outside the store during our sidewalk sales and this one will be no different. (Of course there are some pretty stellar deals inside the store too, but you already knew that.) If shopping all of these awesome deals works up your thirst, the kind folks at Hubert's Lemonade will be on hand offering free lemonade to our lovely customers.
Sale items to look out for at this month's sidewalk sale include:
- All DVDs are $3 and buy one get one free (excluding DVD box sets)
- DVD box sets just $7 each or 2 for $10
- Classical CDs are buy one get one free
- Grab bags of ten 45s for only $3
- Posters 3 for $10
All sidewalk sales are final. Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale. Prices apply to sidewalk sale stock only and this offer is only while supplies last.
The singles from L.A. sister trio HAIM’s much-anticipated debut album, Days Are Gone (preorder on CD or LP), are already getting the remix treatment. This pretty/glitchy one comes from UK duo Tourist, which turns the power-pop of the original on its head. Pick up Days Are Gone Sept. 30 from Columbia.
The Goldberg Sisters – “Wandering I” video
It’s fine to carry a healthy skepticism when approaching the musical project of someone better known for their acting than music, but that can be dropped once you hear the music of The Goldberg Sisters, the musical project of actor Adam Goldberg. He produces the kind of sunsaoked, California psych-pop you could listen to all day, of the Beachwood Sparks/Dios Malos/Grandaddy variety. Still, Goldberg’s a Hollywood man, and thus he couldn’t resist directing his own video, which is hypnotic in its own right, consisting of 2,100 still images stitched together. It’s great stuff to get lost in. The Goldberg Sisters’ Stranger’s Morning is due Sept. 17.
CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present The Idan Raichel Project on Saturday, October 12th at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
In 2003, an unusual song aired on Israeli radio. With its haunting chorus in the Ethiopian language of Amharic and a global fusion sound, "Bo'ee" became an instant crossover hit that catapulted The Idan Raichel Project to the top of Israel's pop charts. The song turned a young dreadlocked keyboardist and producer into a household name in his native land.
Soon, The Idan Raichel Project became known around the world for its cross-cultural collaborations. Since the release of their first international album, The Idan Raichel Project has represented a hope that artistic collaboration can break down barriers between different backgrounds and beliefs.
Idan Raichel, the architect of this unique project, is a keyboardist, producer, and composer. He has long been fascinated with the diversity of Israel and sought to celebrate his appreciation and respect for different cultures through his music. Because of its open door to immigrants from Jewish communities around the globe, Israel is home to a stew of cultures and traditions, including Jews of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Latin American, Eastern European, and African roots. There is also a large Arab community, almost 20% of the population of Israel. The music of the Idan Raichel Project draws on all these traditions.
The Idan Raichel Project's latest album, Quarter to Six, was released in spring 2013. It offers a transcontinental mix of different musical streams. The album features guest appearances by Portuguese fado star Ana Moura, Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad, German countertenor Andreas Scholl, Colombia's Marta Gomez, Mali's Vieux Farka Toure, and a selection of some of Israel's top up-and-coming singers and musicians.
Singer/songwriters Jackson Browne and David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) will perform at the Richmond Craneway Pavilion on Sunday, September 29th to benefit Los Cenzontles, a nonprofit organization that also provides a music academy, a community space for youth and families, a band, and a hub for Latino artists. The Los Cenzontles touring group and students will also perform.
This concert is just the kick-off for Los Cenzontles' Supporting Roots Campaign, which will raise funds to expand and renovate its facility, and expand its renowned cultural arts programming.
Los Cenzontles (Nahuatl for The Mockingbirds) is a factory of musical culture based in California. Deeply rooted in tradition, its professional musicians and mentors redefine Mexican American culture with a contemporary voice.
Bookworms, the nom the plume for New Yorker Nicholas Dawson, stormed into the national consciousness with his pizza-emblazoned white label, African Rhythms. The track's psychedelic, sample-driven shuffle, was one of the early tracks (along with Terekke's Damn and Legowelt's Sark Island Acid) the put L.I.E.S. on the map. A little over a year later, L.I.E.S. is 50 releases in, Dawson looks after the Confused House label/night and African Rhythms is a 70 dollar record. Most post-white label material has been work completed in concert with fellow cosmonaut Steve Summers, so new solo material is highly anticipated - Japanese Zelkova doesn't disappoint. This is moody, machine funk of the highest order. The title track has a drifting pad and a rhythmic element that sounds like an old Xerox machine. Malfunction is a slow, filtering arpeggio jam, finding several unlikely sweet spots and emphasizing the unpredictability of analog machinery.
LIES unleashes a mini-epic from the Miami producer. As demonstrated on his recently reissued Apron debut, Beato is admirably unconcerned with traditional dance structures. That said, the young talent works in pockets of seasick improvisation onto more gridlike patterns on PMA, making the diversions even stranger in context. These tracks feel like a chaotic ride through the black of night punctuated by placid sunrise. The title track's distorted lurchto life eventually dissolves to contemplative string pads. Hawo is truck idling dub house, while Gimme a Light takes an idiot savant synth lead into what sounds like a seriously lo-fi version of early Orb material .
We are thrilled to announce the 300th episode of our What's In My Bag? series! We have definitely come a long way in our six seasons and we are so very grateful to our faithful WIMB supporters and fans for watching, commenting, and sharing our videos. We've discovered a lot of new music and learned a ton through the series, and from what you say to us on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, it's clear that you guys have too. Thank you to all of you who love "What's In My Bag?" just as much as we do!
To help celebrate this milestone, our 300th episode features DJ/Producer Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith of Fort Collins, Colorado. Known for his sample-based electronic hip hop productions, he is one of the most talked about producers in the scene. Smith is currently on tour promoting his fourth album, A Color Map Of The Sun, with dates across North America and the United Kingdom. In addition to performing under the PL moniker, he also runs his own label, Pretty Lights Music, which is home to seven artists including fellow Colorado native Paul Basic and PLM co-founder Michael Menert.
Lian Ross, whose Euro disco hits include "Fantasy," "It's up to you," "Say you'll never," "Scratch my name," "You're my soul" and others, is performing two upcoming shows this month -- on 20 September at R3 Social Lounge in Stanton, Orange County and on 21 September at Red Velvet in Houston, Texas. Both events will be DJed by DJ BPM and hosted by TQ.
If you're at all familiar with the European pop scene then you probably suspect that Lian Ross is a stage name -- if so then you're correct. Ross was born Josephine Hiebel, on 8 December 1962 in Hamburg, Germany. Throughout her career, Ross's partmer both in music and marriage has been Luis Rodriguez-Salazar, himself distinguished by an impressive musical career.
For this photo special, end of summer New York State of Mind Amoeblog, I present a short series of photos taken around New York City over the past few months - in a summer that flew by way too fast. Of course the good weather does continue in NYC into this month and next - sometimes in late October you can have days with temps in the upper 80s. But, as of now, summer is officially over in New York City. If you scroll your mouse icon over the photos here, such as the one above of Bryant Park the day after the final Monday night HBO movies on the lawn summer series ended, you can read text on the content of each respective image on this Amoeblog.
Exactly one year ago today - September 3rd, 2012 - avid East Bay DJ/music collector, former Amoeba Berkeley employee, and KALX DJ Matthew Africa was killed in a car accident while driving with his wife coming back from Reno, Nevada to their Oakland home. At yesterday's Hiero Day in Oakland, a lot of folks I ran into were thinking of Matthew and recalling this time last year when the shocking news of his death began circulating 'round the Bay. Here is link to an Amoeblog post written at that time that's worth re-reading, Remembering Matthew Africa Through The Music He Loved. The post includes input from many friends touched by this man's life that was fueled by the music he loved so much.
Out Sept. 10
Canadian indie R&B artist The Weeknd returns with a new album following his three mixtapes and their eventual compilation (Trilogy). Expect Kiss Land to live up to its name, judging by the sexy, Portishead-sampling “Belong to the World” heard below.
Out Sept. 17
The first album in 14 years from Sebadoh, the great indie rock band featuring Lou Barlow (also of Dinosaur Jr.), should be a hoot! Even if you’re new to the band, Barlow’s gritted-teeth delivery and brittle guitarwork are a thing to behold.
Amoeba Music and San Francisco’s historic music venue The Fillmore are pleased to announce the annual Fall at the Fillmore concert series. With over 40 concerts, there's something for everyone! Tickets for these amazing shows go on sale this Sunday, September 8th HERE!
Follow @AmoebaSF on Twitter for Fall at the Fillmore ticket giveaways!
Here's that Fall-tastic line-up:
9/5: ENANITOS VERDES with Bang Data, DJ Danny G
9/6: THE MICKEY HART BAND
9/7: AUSTRA with Diana Saturday
9/11: JIMMY CLIFF with Ethan Tucker
Amoeba Presents continues with three upcoming shows. The first is singer/songwriter Valerie June, who will bring her Appalachian folk-tinged rock to the Bootleg Bar Sept. 20. Valerie June’s recently released Pushin’ Against a Stone (available on CD or LP) was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who lends some rock oomph to her blues-folk sound.
Doors are at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m. It’s 21+, and tickets are $12-$15; they aren’t yet on sale but will be available for purchase here.
She’s also playing a live set at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m., so make sure to make it out for that free show. Listen to the rollicking “You Can’t Be Told” below.
Deluxe CD $19.98
Deluxe LP $26.98
It’s been four years since the last Neko Case album, but one listen to her verbosely titled new album and you’ll know it was worth the wait. As on her previous albums, Case borrows from folk, country and indie rock, opening with stunning guitar atmosphere on “Wild Creatures.” On “Night Still Comes” (download or listen free), she weaves beautifully strange melodies, both highly catchy and melodic and slightly discordant. Both lyrically and vocally, Case continues to be one of the strongest of her generation, articulating the intersect of man and nature with gorgeously twisted language. “I’m gonna go where my urge leads no more … a boreal feast, let it finish me please, as I revenge myself, all over myself,” she sings on “Night Still Comes.” Over jaunty electric guitar, she forcefully sings “I’m a man … that’s what kind of animal I am” on “Man,” continuing the gender play on acoustic ditty “I’m From Nowhere” (“I was surprised when you called me lady, ‘cause I’m still not so sure that’s what I want to be,” later qualifying that statement with “’cause I remember the ’80s, and I remember its puffy sleeves”). Though her lyrics are often clever, they’re more revealing here than ever—the most striking moment here is “Near Midnight, Honolulu,” a paralyzing portrayal of casually witnessed emotional child abuse that she then turns inward. Whether she’s describing the strange, corporeal world in which we live or her own inner workings, Case is always invigorating to listen to, perhaps never more so than on The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight...
Amoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you're into saving money and who isn't really?).
All tickets can be purchased at the registers (while supplies last) for a $2 service fee. We take cash and credit cards for all ticket sales. Store credit and coupons cannot be applied to ticket sales. Limit 4 tickets per person.
Please note that on the day of the show, we will stop selling tickets for that show at 5pm.
If you have a question about whether we've sold out of a specific show, please call the store at 323-245-6400.
JUST ADDED SHOWS:
Fool's Gold Day Off
Now in its second year Hiero Day, happening today from 11am to 6pm at 95 Linden Street in Oakland promises to be an off the hook affair and, despite earlier reports of the free event being "sold out" (meaning they had given away all the advance tickets), the latest news is that there is now plenty of room for everyone to get in. This positive turn of events happened over the last few days when the Hiero Day organizers, who realized that the demand far outweighed supply for entrance to Hiero Day, redesigned the entire area at the Linden Street Brewery so that it can accommodate the large numbers who want to get in to see all the great artists performing today at the all ages event.
Note that those who got the original tickets from the online lottery should still bring their printed out tickets and everyone should be prepared for some delays and wait in getting into event. Also make note that there is no parking and that the street outside will be blocked off. Attendees are advised to cycle, take BART (West Oakland BART is within walking distance), and (if you are coming from the other side of the Bay) the ferry at Jack London Square is also within walking distance. For more info on the event and directions visit Hiero Day website. Meantime as a preview of the acts playing today (see flyer above right) below are videos from a select few including members of Oakland hip-hop ensemble The Hieroglyphics themselves plus Murs & Fashawn, Strong Arm Steady, Mystic, and Erk Tha Jerk. Enjoy and see you at Hiero Day today.
"In the beginning, in the uterine night, was the voice, that of the Mother." [p. 74]
That line is from Michel Chion, borrowed from Kaja Silverman's The Acoustic Mirror, since it could easily have served as the epigraph for the psychodynamic plot of Nicolas Refn's Only God Forgives. In Bangkok, Julian (Ryan Gosling), a man-child, is all seething impotency under matriarchal oppression (Crystal, played by Kristin Scott Thomas), yearning to be punished by patriarchal law (Chang, aka the Angel of Vengeance, played by Vithaya Pansringarm). Julian is without a father figure, since he murdered him at Crystal's insistence some time prior to the current story. Her maternal control is a smothering totality that's produced this one son who can't make any decision without mother's approval and his older brother, Billy, who proves his virile independence by brutalizing and killing adolescent prostitutes. The Oedipal theme could hardly be more explicit as she incestuously traces the muscles on Julian's arm or discusses with his dinner date how he has the smaller cock of the two brothers. After Billy is killed at Chang's insistence for the murder of a girl prostitute (the police commander actually makes the father of the girl do the deed), Crystal demands that her surviving son exact familial revenge, regardless of what Billy might've done. This seems to keep with Chion's description of the uterine voice of the mother as an "umbilical net," which he considers "a horrifying expression, since it evokes a cobweb."
Refn expresses this uterine trap through Lynchian styled oneiric cinematography: a voyeuristic camera follows Julian's imaginary wandering down sanguine hallways without an exit. It's not the male gaze that haunts his dreams, however, but his mother's. Despite being trapped in this seemingly endless tunnel, he also desires a reconnection with with the womb as he moves forward, reaching into the darkness. His hope of a maternal reconnection is cutoff when the dream image of Chang, the substitute father, performs symbolic castration with a sword that severs Julian's arm just below the elbow. This is, as Silverman might explain it, a Lacanian version of the Oedipal: the child yearns for an imaginary union with the mother, but the father says, "No," which introduces the kid into the symbolic register where laws, such as moral injunctions, operate. This original 'no' is the law of the father, a symbolic castration that "grounds" (interpretatively retrofits) all future symbolic behavior on a fundamental lack that has removed the child's feeling of being the center of everything -- i.e., that comforting blanket of squishy sonority that surrounded Julian in the womb, before he became old enough to realize what a repressive force his mother is. Thus, he has typical mommy issues, which are made more troubling by the fact that she's a treacherous drug-dealing crime lord.
Earlier this summer South Bay DJ/production The Bangerz released their stellar new album PRiSM which is the music soundtrack for the Las Vegas stage show of the same name to accompany the slick choreography of their successful longtime pals in the SoCal b-boy crew The Jabbawockeez who rose to fame as winners of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew competition. The new 14 track album by the super-talented San Jose turntablist/DJ/production crew that originally went by the name Fingerbangerz and whose membership includes Goldenchyld, Replay, Nick Ngo, Cutso, Squareweezy, and G-Wrex, is more on the modern electro / EDM tip than their more turntablist flavored 2002 debut Vi-R-Us, which initially sparked their collaborations with the San Diego based Jabbawockeez, and marks the Bangerz growth as a group. Indeed in the decade since their debut a lot has happened for the Bangerz in their atypical rise to success and fame. With their roots in the generally under-the-radar ITF and DMC DJ battle/turntablist scenes, but always displaying a talent for rich production, the Bangerz slowly but surely built and expanded as DJs and producers: their collective production experience ranges from remixes (including Chris Brown and Kelis) to video game soundtracks, and TV commercials. All the while they've built their rep as accomplished club/party DJs - again both collectively and individually. They've done tons of shows alongside major hip-hop and pop artists and toured with the likes of Z-Trip. Tomorrow afternoon (Sept 2nd) the group perform at the free Hiero Day in Oakland. But the most significant career move of all for this San Jose DJ collective was hooking up with a crew of once little known hip-hop dancers from San Diego who would go on to become major TV stars when they took the title in the first season of America's Best Dance Crew, and consequently went on to become high profile American pop stars. This week I caught up with Goldenchyld of the Bangerz to ask him about the new album and the crew's rise to fame.
Just when I thought I had naught to say regarding Mileygate...
Okay, okay, okay Miss Miley. Girl can twerk, or whatever, and I take no issue with her preferred style of dance, even if she does resemble pinched trash wagging an imaginary honey stick when she does it. I have to admit, however, it bums me out that her dehydrated toungue n' tourettes performance at the VMAs last Sunday seems to have made "twerk" a household word or, at least, a generally accepted generic term for
sexy ass-dancing, which, by the way, Cyrus wasn't really showcasing. Not on that night anyway. But, hey, that's fashion and my opinion matters little and weighs less when it comes to stomaching realities like this slice of Mileygate aftermath right here:
Really though, all this weak-ass sauce aside, I want to share, right here and now, some examples of real-ass twerking for anyone out there interested in gaining an understanding of why this manner of dancing could, should and has been elevated to a level of high art in expressive movement. Poppin', grinding, twerking, bounce, clap, stripper dance... check up on it and call it what you will, just don't promise chocolate milk if you're pouring watered-down Yoo-hoo. Here follows some of my favorite moments I've stumbled across in recent twerk-ish history:
The music video for Diplo' s "Express Yourself" (featuring Nicky Da B) has developed such a rich rash of "see Miley?" comments within the past week that it is worth over-looking the blurred lines (see what I did there) between twerking and the awesomeness that is Nola Bounce to include it here. Plus, as an added bonus, the vocal track practically acts as a literal how-to dance tutorial for those not overtaken by the sudden urge to, well, express themselves upon first listen.