White Denim came by Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 30 to slay us with their virtuosic Southern Rock attack. Syncopated beats and intertwining guitars greeted listeners as the band promoted its new album, Corsicana Lemonade (order on CD or LP). On songs like “Come Back,” guitarists Austin Jenkins and James Petralli dueted on harmonic guitar lines that made them sound like successors to the Allman Brothers. Jenkins barely broke a sweat, changing guitar effects and unleashing rapid fire riffs without breaking a sweat, all while wearing the tightest jeans known to man. Bassist Steven Terebecki and drummer Joshua Block were no slouches, either, keeping things grounded while offering their own impressive improvisations, throwing out rubbery basslines and splashy fills, respectively, and keeping things moving with shifting time signatures that prove Dirty Projectors aren’t the only cool modern band capable of pulling off music-theory-nerd tricks. Though they’re basically like a metal band in cowboy boots, it wasn’t all about showmanship, as songs like “A Place to Start” offered picturesque soul. See kids? Practice your instrument, it pays off.
Too much great stuff this week and it’s Halloween!
Dum Dum Girls – “Lost Boys and Girls Club”; Announce New Album
Whoa, what’s going on with Dum Dum Girls? The band, started by singer Dee Dee in San Diego, began as a lo-fi post-punk project, like someone left their Supremes and Siouxsie & the Banshees records in the sun and spun the melted result. From there, they’ve gone more toward Pretenders territory, producing shimmery jangle-pop, but this first taste of their newly announced album, Too True, due Jan. 28 on Sub Pop, recaptures some of their early darkness with their newfound sheen intact, emanating darkness and sensuality with a slow-moving shoegaze pop throb. Uhh, it’s very sexy. Richard Gottehrer (who has produced Blondie and The Go-Go's) and The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner, who both produced the band’s Only in Dreams and He Gets Me High EP, are back behind the boards. And way to go, H&M, for promoting your crappy clothes (which I buy) with actual cool music.
Best Coast – “I Don’t Know How” video
Because Tim Curry finding his tambourine in The Worst Witch never, ever gets old. Happy Halloween!
Eric Andre is, hands down, the funniest Haitian Jew on the planet! His website is probably the only competition he has out there. It is equal parts awesome, bizarre and just plain weird! He is best known for his live action comedy series, The Eric Andre Show (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim), which parodies '80s low budget public access talk shows. As the show's host, he is hyperactive, dysfunctional and often overreacts during interviews. A typical show will see him destroying furniture in the episode's opening song and acting aggressively towards his crew members. He will often hilariously divert from the script and refuse to read cue cards which results in him stuttering and losing his on screen presence. Sounds chaotic right? Hell yeah, it's chaotic. It's a very outrageous brand of comedy that is so over the top you can't help but come back for more.
Sporting a worn out Wu-Tang Clan shirt, Eric Andre visited Amoeba Hollywood for another awesome episode of What's In My Bag?. He clearly has an eclectic taste in music. From Hip Hop to Rock to World, he has all the bases covered. Eric digs up a cool cassette copy of Pat Benatar's In The Heat Of The Night. An avid fan of Flamenco music, he also finds an LP by a Flamenco group called Flamenco. For good summertime jams, Eric picks up the Afrobeat compilation Ghana Soundz Vol. 2. He grabs a copy of Whitney Houston's I'm Your Baby Tonight and offers a hilarious tip for listening to the album. Check out all of Eric Andre's picks and be sure to catch him late night on The Eric Andre Show.
The Bristolians Pev(erelist), Asusu and Kowton present a compelling compendium of their mutant bass sound. The structures here are nominally sci-fi techno, yet a destructive low-end current runs through nearly every track. Despite its natural austerity, subtlety is not lost on the trio. Asusu's Sister uses ethereal pads over the percussive racket. Kowton's Jam01 cleverly employs filtering to make a 909 drum track sound fresh. Pev's revisit of his collaboration with Kowton, Beneath Radar, has the sonic precision and economy of Boddika's recent work.
Rough hewn house cuts. The title track slides banging lo-fi percussion and the expected sample up against a euphoric soul sample. The b, Rubber Hands, is brilliant. Corroded hi-hat sits atop addictive filtered synth/bass lead. Closer Andy Asteroids is a hardware jam less focused on melody than the previous tracks.
On the prowl for some spooky/kooky records to soundtrack your All Hallow's Eve and Day of the Dead fetes? Then by all means creep up on these fresh-to-death platters of Horror-rific, fringe fantasy realness for your Halloween listening pleasure!
Paul Valéry was an essayist, intellectual, journalist, philosopher, Symbolist poet, fiction writer and polymath who was born 142 years ago today.
Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry was born 30 October, 1871 to a Corsican father and Genoese-Istrian mother in Sète (or Cette) -- a small town in Occitania. There he attended school at Collège de Sète before the family moved to nearby Montpellier, where in 1889 he began studying law. At the same time he began writing Symbolist poetry, some of which was published in La Revue maritime de Marseille. Symbolism was in many ways a response to Realism -- particularly inspired by the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire. It particularly flourished in Belgium, France, and Russia.
In 1890, after completing his law studies, Valéry met Belgium-born poet Pierre Louÿs. Louÿs introduced him to the writer André Gide, who in turn introduced him to France’s preeminent Symbolist poet – Stéphane Mallarmé, whose “L'Après-midi d'un faune” inspired Claude Debussy’s wonderful symphonic poem of the same name (composed in 1894).
New York City is still in mourning over the loss of one of its most beloved, longtime citizens: Lou Reed who sadly passed on Sunday at age 71. The Velvet Underground co-founder represented New York City more than most artists ever did and referenced it repeatedly in his work over the years. Sure New York City changed a lot since Reed sang about "waiting for my man" and walking "on the wild side" but so too did Reed himself who in more recent years would be seen with his wife Laurie Anderson walking their small dog on the gentrified streets of lower Manhattan. In the interview clip above, from the 1990's documentary Blue In The Face, the influential singer/songwriter/guitarist talks about his affinity for the New York City and what it meant to him in comparison to other cities. Right is an impromptu piece of graffiti dedicated to the late artist, pictured in the East Village, that appeared within hours of the news of Reed's passing on Sunday.
For the past four decades Halloween in New York City has been a most distinctive, memorable annual event thanks the mega scale annual Halloween Parade in the Village that attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers every October 31st for the parade that anyone and everyone (provided they are in costume) can join in and travel uptown from Sixth Avenue and Spring in the Village at 7pm (that is when it starts but get there earlier). This year’s Parade will be extra special and will include a total of 53 bands playing a myriad of musical styles, hundreds of puppets, dozens of dancers of various styles, and incredible floats and costumes and art creations. The weather forecast for tomorrow, Halloween night, is mild with a chance of showers, but compared to this time last year that is no big deal. As you may recall last year the Parade had to be suffered an unprecedented last minute cancellation following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. As a result Last year the Parade was the first event cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Hence this year's Parade is a celebratory return Parade - one that will be honoring "NYC's superheroes" that the Parade organizers called: "the REAL ones — those folks who stepped up to help the city out of that disaster and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Transplant Team and Jeff Bratcher—longtime Parade volunteer—who donated a kidney to the Parade Director’s son; and all those who have volunteered to marshal and animate giant puppets throughout the Parade’s long history and kept this humble arts organization going!" Enter the line-up of the Parade on 6th Ave. from the East and South between Canal and Spring. See Parade map above and for more parade info click here.
This month exactly 47 years ago, back in October 1966, the Black Panther Party was founded
in Oakland, CA by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton. Consequently during this anniversary month there have been a lot of related Black Panther history events, especially in the Bay Area, including several readings and gatherings surrounding the publication this month by History Of Funk author Rickey Vincent's latest book Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers' Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. Then tonight, the last event during this anniversary month, the folks at One Fam Culture Center in West Oakland will be screening two related films, Bastards Of The Party and Lords of the Revolution, followed by a panel discussion.
The documentary Bastards of the Party by Cle "Bone" Sloan portrays the birth of the gangs that cropped up in the vacuum left by the the Black Panther Party and shows the rise of the L.A. gangs the Crips and the Bloods as the so-called "bastard children of the Black Panthers." See trailer above. Meanwhile the film Lords of Revolution: The Black Panthers, a VH1 production, traces the history of the Black Panther Party from their beginnings through their tumultuous life including their fiery relationship with the police and the FBI who were determined to bring the Party down. Tonight's program begins at 7pm. Both films have been time edited to accommodate the two hour program that includes a panel discussion. Wednesday, October 30th, 7pm at One Fam Culture Center at 1606 7th Street, West Oakland. No cover charge. PH 510-444-7746
When it came to the era of the cool promo items courtesy of rap record labels that era would have to have been the first half decade of the 1990's: a time when rap record label promotion and publicity departments seemingly had a lot of disposable dollars to spend on exclusive swag (that, note, the artists themselves ultimately paid for a little further down the accounting road) that included baseball hats designed to coincide with the marketing of new albums. As journalist and radio DJ during that period I was fortunate to receive a lot of these promo items so for this week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I have assembled several of them - all of which are West Coast based. These include (above) the baseball hats for the 1993 rap movie soundtrack Menace II Society (a great album too!) that was released by Jive, and Profile Records' act 2nd II None straight outta Compton who came up thanks in part to their childhood friend DJ Quik whose own hat is down below too. Also included below are rap promo baseball hats for such artists as Ice-T (the $ sign one), Eazy-E (the Compton hat right), P.P.C. (Penthouse Players Clique) from Los Angeles, and MC Ren and E-40 from LA and the Bay respectively, plus two Bay Area rap record label hats from SF and the east Bay respectively: Black Power Productions and Oaktown Records.
The amazing new album from Arcade Fire proves the band was, and is, worthy of all that damn praise and hype that's been heaped upon the band since its inception. It also proves you can teach an old dog new tricks, as the band largely ditches the orchestral indie rock of their previous releases in favor of lean, mean groove-oriented jams. This isn't to say Reflektor is somehow less complex than their earlier work; the title track alone is a seven-and-a-half minute odyssey that sets the tone for an album that gives listeners a dance song while seemingly satirizing itself at the same time—are they the reflectors, repeating past sounds for the sake of accessibility? Are we the mirrors, reflecting what we want onto our musicians? It poses interesting artistic questions while giving us visceral thrills. Reflektor continues with more pensive groovers. "We Exist" pulls off a "Billie Jean" rip through "Reflektor's" staging of borrowed sounds, yet its also a silky rocker worthy of its own ripoffs, peeling into half-time chorus that that keeps listeners on their toes. The band successfully ventures into dub reggae on "Flashbulb Eyes"—no really, don't roll your eyes until you hear it—which moves into the tribal opening of "Here Comes the Night," making use of the band's many-membered setup for a dynamic, smooth jam that questions the concept of heaven in an accessible way, much as their forebears in Talking Heads did on "Heaven." "Normal Person" is like a response to The Suburbs' "Roccoco," which took hipsters to task for pretentiousness—this Robert Palmer-style rocker asks, "Is anything as strange as a normal person?" Reflektor's second half struggles for the same energy as its first, it offers the kind of sonic exploration the band perhaps hasn't always let itself undergo, like venturing into krautrock on "Porno," and more of the sort of spiritual questioning posed on "Here Comes the Night" pops up on "Afterlife," a much-wanted followup to The Suburbs' "The Sprawl II." It's a lot to take in at once, but you could listen to Reflektor ten times in a row and find a new song or idea to latch onto that you hadn't noticed before. It's the next logical step for a band who has carefully considered each release thus far, and it's also one of the year's best.
CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present singer/songwriter Rokia Traore on Friday, November 22nd at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
It all started with a sound inside Rokia Traore's head. One of the most adventurous singer/songwriters in Africa knew that she wanted to create a musical style "more modern, but still African, something more blues and rock than my folk guitar." Then she heard an old Gretsch, the classic electric guitar beloved by American rockabilly bands back in the fifties and sixties, and played by artists from Chet Atkins to George Harrison. That was the sound she had been looking for, and it has helped bring a fresh and startling new dimension to her exquisite and adventurous songs.
The daughter of a Malian diplomat posted to the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, Traore studied in Brussels and worked in a rap group, before deciding to go back to Mali to create the music she wanted, which was "not pop, not jazz, not classical, but something contemporary with traditional instruments."
She survived by washing dishes, cooking in a restaurant, and working as a housekeeper, as she found musicians for her new songs backed by her own acoustic guitar, the West African n'goni, and the balafon. She became a success back in Europe, where she was hailed as the "African Discovery of 1997" after performing at the Angouleme Festival in France. Recording contracts and international tours followed, as Rokia continued to develop her musical ideas and delight audiences around the world.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of LASERIUM® The Cosmic Laser Concert and the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland is hosting its return to the Bay Area! Amoeba is proud to sponsor this classic laser light show set to the beats of such rock icons as Pink Floyd and The Beatles. Immersed in the darkness of the planetarium, this stunning light show is music for your eyes.
Whether you are a fan from the past or new to the show, LASERIUM® draws you into the light. See it, hear it, experience it, again for the first time!
This is a limited engagement. Shows start on November 3rd and go through January. Get your tickets HERE!
Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 classic "Vertigo" is one of the master of suspense's films being celebrated
by the San Francisco Symphony as part of Hitchcock Week: October 30th to November 2nd
Hitchcock and Halloween are the perfect match. So fittingly this (Halloween) week the San Francisco Symphony presents Hitchcock Week over four nights (Oct 30th to Nov 2nd) by celebrating the perfect partnership of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock with composer Bernard Herrmann. As well as Bernard Herrmann the San Francisco Symphony, with Joshua Gersen conducting, will also be performing music of Lyn Murray, and Dimitri Tiomkin. Hitchcock Week opens on Wednesday October 30th with a screening of the ultimate scary movie Psycho. On night two, Thursday, Halloween night Hitchcock's The Lodger: Silent Film: A Story of the London Fog with live organ accompaniment of this early silent thriller from the master of suspense.
Celebrating its 8th annual Dia De Los Dead celebration is the crew from Eastside Luv. What makes their event impressive is they pay for it all out of pocket. No corporate sponsorships, no city money and the event is free! Last year’s celebration was the first to be done outside of the bar and in the streets of Boyle Heights surrounding The Mariachi Plaza. This year the event adds another stage, more vendors and a full-liquor/beer garden. The line-up is impressive. Mexican Institute Of Sound, with record digger, beat maker and always fun Camilo Lara. Camilo will also do a DJ set inside the bar Eastside Luv after the event. Nina Dioz, straight reppin' on the mic from Monterey, Mexico, Familia Valera Miranda out of Cuba, Chicano Son featuring Alice Bag with guest Bob Robles (Thee Midniters) Los Diablos, who are a classic grupera that played started in 1969 that in their heyday played a wide spectrum of the Mexican-America experience. They play Rancheras, Disco, Boleros, Santana-esque rock, soul cover in Spanish, Grab you abuela and get ready to dance!
Just watched this on blu-ray. As Martin Scorsese says in his introduction, Pursued is known as the first Western Noir. That's because it features cinematography by James Wong Howe, one of the best at conveying the menace of the big city through its shadows (cf. Sweet Smell of Success), and here he treats the alleys (or, maybe, just alley) of the small town in New Mexico as if it were every bit as dangerous as New York's hidden arteries. He even gets claustrophobic configurations off of barns in the middle of the day. Contemporary Westerners could learn a thing or two from him, too, about how to shoot a man on a horse: counter the heroic three-quarter shots with ones of his reduced significance against an infinite landscape. Another noirish characteristic is Robert Mitchum, as Jeb Rand, narrating the movie through a diddly-diddly flashback as if everything's preordained (cf. Out of the Past) with his present situation the only possible world. Along with the flashback comes a lot of Freudian-inspired psychosexual plot twists that were really popular among scenarists of the time. 'Solid' is as good a word as any to describe director Raoul Walsh, so it's the sexual suggestions that make the film into something a bit more special (which I'm guessing came from Nevin Busch's script). His matter-of-fact style adds to the perversity, whereby all the questionable emotional entanglements seem commonplace.
After losing his family to a blood feud with the Callums, Jeb is taken in at a very early age by Mrs. Callum, who raises the boy as a son. She has two children around the same age as Jeb, daughter Thor (short for Thorley) and son Adam. Jeb's only memory of life as a Rand is that he keeps his name and has a recurring nightmare of a spurred boot heel grinding into the ground. Everything else is repressed, but that doesn't matter to the one-armed stranger, Grant Callum, whose only goal in life is to erase the name Rand from existence. Along with occasionally taking a shot himself, Grant acts as a slick talking demiurge, convincing others to help him kill Jeb -- one of whom is Adam. Not that this was particularly difficult, since the selfish prick has held a long simmering animosity against Jeb whom he sees as an intruder. What his adopted brother intruded on was the two-way relation with Thor. These three kids are raised in a ranch version of Flowers in the Attic with few contacts but each other and Mrs. Callum. Leaving Adam a third wheel, Thor and Jeb eventually fall in love and decide to get hitched -- as if one can freely choose to no longer see one's sibling as a sibling. To reinforce this incestuous theme, it's revealed that the reason Grant hates Jeb so much is that the boy's father stole Mrs. Callum away from Grant's brother (Adam and Thor's father) ... that's right, just like Jeb stole Thor away from her brother. Furthermore, the narrative never makes it clear who the boy's biological mother is or when Mrs. Callum's affair took place and how long it lasted. All we know is that Grant sure wants to get rid of the Rand boy. Maybe he would've been doing Thor's future children a favor, but we'll never know for sure due to the sibling union being treated with the Production Code's mandated happy ever after.
Rest in peace Lou Reed.
The 71-year-old, influential rock songwriter/guitarist died earlier today (Oct 27, 2013) after undergoing a liver transplant just five months ago. In honor of the late great artist, we present a selection of videos including, of course, his work with the Velvet Underground, an interview from 1998 with Charlie Rose, and some live concert footage including from Paris in 1974.
Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting For My Man"
Lou Reed "Sweet Jane" live in Paris
Lou Reed interview on Charlie Rose, 1998
Lou Reed “Walk On the Wild Side”
Cass McCombs’ wonderful new record, Big Wheel and Others, is a big record, in length (22 tracks), scope and humanity. Ostensibly a folk-rock record, it dabbles in country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and just about every other genre that can be lumped into the general, overarching term “Americana.” Yet this isn’t a reverent record by any means. Much as his prior records did, such as 2011’s double whammy of Wit’s End and Humor Risk, songs veer into avant-garde atmospherics; lyrics defy their genre’s constraints, such as the country-rockin’ “Big Wheel,” which delves into the manhood country music often stands upon (“the taste of diesel and the sound of big rigs,” he sings, before later undercutting such manly imagery with lyrics like “a man with a man, how more manly can you get? I may be 5-foot-one, but you’re all wet”). Interspersing the tracks are interludes cut from the 1970 documentary short Sean, about a hippie kid who smokes weed, plus two versions of the same song, “Brighter!,” one sung with the late actress Karen Black, with whom McCombs also dueted on the Catacombs highlight “Dreams-Come-True-Girl.” I sat down to ask McCombs about the epic new album.
1) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
2) Cage Kill The Architect (Eastern Conference)
3) Black Milk No Poison, No Paradise (Fat Beats)
4) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings)
5) Armand Hammer Race Music (Backwoodz)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for supplying the latest top five chart at the Telegraph Ave. store and for doing an overview (in video above) of some of the new hip-hop releases to arrive in Amoeba recently. These include brand new chart entry from Cage - the long overdue album Kill The Architect - that was released on Tuesday this week and features production from DJ Mighty Mi ( from Philly hip-hop duo The High & Mighty) who released the album on his label Eastern Conference. As E-Lit noted the album (with cover by Antioch, CA born artist Alex Pardee) has "no guests" but is "one cohesive body of work." Another new release that dropped on Tuesday (October 22nd) is the Armand Hammer (NY emcee talents Billy Woods and Elucid) album Race Music that E-Lit has lots of good things to say about in the video above. However note that the Amoeba online price of the CD (free shipping in US) is lower than in the store. Buy here.
Here at Amoeba we love Halloween! Our employees dress up, our customers dress up. Even our dogs dress up! All three of our stores join in the celebration with guest DJs, costume contests, and treats for the kids. Make sure to get all your shopping done early as all Amoeba stores close early at 7:00pm on Halloween.
Amoeba Hollywood has festivities 3-6pm on Thursday, October 31st. Bring the kids to Amoeba for some Halloween treats - costumes are most definitely encouraged! At 3pm, Folerio, international DJ of the people, will spin a hauntingly sexy Halloween set! (Doesn't Folerio look like the long lost Italian cousin of Peanut Butter Wolf?) Then at 5pm, it's our 3rd annual Dog Costume Contest. If you've never experienced a dog costume contest, now is the time. Enter your pooch into our doggie costume contest for a chance to win Gift Cerificates from BlueCollar Working Dog, Amoeba prizes and more.
Lee Bannon – “216”
Lee Bannon’s “216” starts and ends with a simple piano passage filtered into ethereal bookends for a series of twists that gives “216” a dreamlike quality, where everything can change in an instant, from a simple hip-hop beat to dread-inducing tones and squelches. At just under six minutes, it feels inifinitely longer given the level of care given to each sequence, sort of like waking up from a five-minute nap and having dreamed up a lifetime. The Sacramento-based producer’s Alternate/Endings LP is due Dec. 9 on Ninja Tune.
White Fence – “Swagger Vets and Double Moon” (Live)
White Fence aka Tim Presley is one prolific dude, releasing wonderful lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll records regularly like it ain’t no thang. He’s releasing a live album Nov. 5 called Live in San Francisco, the first in Castle Face’s new “Live in San Francisco” series. The set was recorded at Amnesia San Francisco on a Tascam 388 for maximum lo-fi goodness. Except more live awesomeness from Castle Face down the line!
Odd, intriguing house forms from The Citizen's Band. The title track maintains an optimistic nu disco meets afrobeat pulse, but the highlights here are the original and MM/KM (Mix Mup and Kassem Mosse) take on Unchained. The original track uses only sharp modular arpeggiation for percussion but manages to be funky as hell, integrating a soaring horn motif and wordless vocal samples. KM/MM bring their trademark low-slung percussion and wooziness. Recommended.
Delroy Edwards x Funkineven
Heat from the unholy LDN/LA alliance of rising producers Funkineven and Delroy Edwards. The functionally titled tracks are rough dj tools with manic percussion. There is always talk of perfect tracks with just a few elements, but there are exactly two on this record - bassline and percussion. That percussion just happens to be some of the most unique you'll hear this year, all distant cannon snare, steamvent ambience and skittershot breaks.
Get your Halloween celebrations started early and join Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest drag club night, this Friday (10/25) at the DNA Lounge for their annual Halloween spookstravaganza! MC's Heklina and Peaches Christ bringing you their biggest show yet with performances by Exhibit Q., Holy McGrail, Qween, Elijah Minnelli, Fou Fou Ha, Precious Moments, Faux King Awesome, Raya Light, Gurleen, Sylvia O'Stayformore (Seattle), Colony (Seattle), and more!
Do you have what it takes to compete in San Francisco's biggest costume contest? You're gonna find out!
Doors at 9:30, show at 11pm. $15, advance tickets available HERE!
The Stone Roses were one of the best and most beloved Britpop bands of the early ’90s, helping the dance-influenced Madchester sound of the late ’80s and early ’90s take the British charts by storm with their classic self-titled debut album. In the U.S. their immediate impact was smaller, yet their influence stretched from predecessors like Oasis to more recent bands including Jagwar Ma and Diiv. Their sound, a blend of jangly guitars not unlike those employed by Johnny Marr in The Smiths with dancier beats and psychedelic effects, helped make them NME cover stars at the time, as did the presence of cocky, charismatic frontman Ian Brown, who once declared the band would become “the biggest band ever.” The band's second album failed to take off, and the band broke up in 1996. They reunited in 2012, after 16 years, to headline the Coachella Music and Arts Festival and have even garnered the Twitter ire of one Azealia Banks, as sure a sign as any that the band’s relevance continues today.
Many artists spend years paying their dues, honing their craft, grinding out tour after tour chasing the ultimate dream of being discovered and landing a record deal. For most, the dream never happens. That is, unless you are Charles Bradley. The ultimate "rags to riches" story, Bradley went from obscurity to international fame almost overnight, but that's not what's amazing about his story. The amazing part is Charles Bradley got his break at 62 years old and his newfound fame is relatively fresh.
Charles' life has been nothing short of burdensome. You can say he graduated top of his class from the school of hard knocks and was last in line when it came to catching a break in life. From growing up poor to contemplating suicide to the murder of his brother, his story is documented in the film Charles Bradley: Soul of America. Bradley spent two decades criss-crossing the United States working odd jobs and singing in small dives. Struggling to keep his head above water, Bradley took to performing as a James Brown impersonator named "Black Velvet." His luck changed one night when he was discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth.
Two full-length albums and a handful of singles later, Charles Bradley is a powerhouse in the current "retro soul" movement that has gained audiences all over the world. The James Brown influence in Bradley is clear and some critics have also compared him to the late great Otis Redding. Bradley is like a living time capsule. He's a window into an era that many generations of music lovers were not able to see. Charles Bradley is the modern day James Brown. Check out his debut album, No Time For Dreaming, and the newly released follow-up, Victim of Love, to hear for yourself.
On Nov. 7 American Express will present The Drop: Divided & United — Music of The Civil War at 7:30pm., featuring performances by Chris Hillman, John Doe and Lee Ann Womack, as well a panel discussion with the performers. Amoeba is proud to sponsor the event. Tickets are $15; you can pick them up here.
The show kicks off the album Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War, which features songs from the Civil War era, as picked by Randall Poster, a music supervisor who has worked with the likes of Wes Anderson, Martin Scorcese and Todd Haynes. The album, out Nov. 5 on ATO Records, is available for preorder now and includes 32 tracks on two discs, with appearances by the aforementioned artists plus Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dolly Parton and many more.
I’ve been to the Bing Theater a few times before. On the most memorable occasion I saw Mother (마더, 2009) there, a film directed by masterful genre-blender Bong Joon-ho (who, it also transpired, was sitting next to me. On the other side, by the way, was Charles Reece). That film screened back when the Bing Theater still had regular weekend screenings of films by the likes of Andrei Tarkovsky, Hong Sang-soo, and William Wellman. Sadly, the current CEO and director of the museum decided to pull the plug on the screenings -- faced as he was with declining attendance and the inability to find sufficient funding to continue what his predecessors had successfully done for more than four decades. (Here’s a thought: concession stands provide 85% of the profits for most successful cinemas and it’s frankly perverse watching a movie without popcorn or Jujyfruits).
Thank you, music fiends of the Bay Area!
The San Francisco Bay Guardian published their yearly Best of the Bay feature and we have once again won your vote as Best Record Store! Here's to many more years to come. Keep on diggin'!
Even one full year later, repair work on the Superstorm Sandy damaged R train line in NYC continues. In fact, as the sign posted a couple of months ago (see below) at the 34th Street/ Herald Square stop indicates, the work will continue for another full year through October 2014 - another reminder of the intensity of that storm that walloped New York City this time last year and, consequently will be on peoples' minds a lot in the coming week - especially on October 29th when the brunt of Sandy hit the East Coast.
For this installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog, along with news on the upcoming anticipated Ennio Morricone concert, as well as the photo left I present a series of photos taken over the past several weeks around New York City - mostly Manhattan. These include the above photo of the fountain at Park Plaza at top of Fifth Ave. at Central Park South, and the ones below (scroll down) that include some street art, NYPD on horses, some parks and sights including the StoryCorps building - all the way downtown - where for a decade of collaborating with hundreds of organizations throughout NYC they've been collecting the stories of thousands of voices in NYC in an attempt to record and preserve the "diverse and extraordinary stories" of New Yorkers' lives. To see location of individual photos simply drag cursor over each photo below.
Best Coast came to Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 22 for a set of songs culled laregely from their rad new EP, Fade Away. The band showed scrappy confidence in the new songs, which return to the heavier sound of her first album, Crazy For You. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's emotive voice shone through the fuzz as girls shouted her name, singing along to songs of loneliness and mid-20s dread. Cosentino gushed about playing to a large crowd (who lined up around the block to get in) at a place she frequented as a teen, and urged fans not to knock over the CD racks. Though the band played most of the new seven-song EP, they threw in a few choice songs from the first two albums—"The Only Place," "Boyfriend" and "Crazy For You," featuring some J Mascis-style shredding from Bobb Bruno. The whole setlist is below. See more photos from the show here.
"This Lonely Morning"
"Who Have I Become?"
The folks at Record Store Day have just released their list of titles that will be either exclusive for Black Friday (Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving) or will be an early release on that day. Below I picked some highlights to look for; check out the whole list of Black Friday releases that will be available at Amoeba here (.pdf). Better line up early for these!
Bob Dylan – Side Tracks (Black Friday Exclusive)
A compilation of Bob Dylan tracks that have never been released formally on an album, now released on a triple-LP set. Enough said.
Baby, I'm in the Mood for You
Mixed-Up Confusion (Single Version)
Tomorrow Is a Long Time
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
I'll Keep It with Mine
Can You Please Crawl out Your Window? (Single Version)
Positively 4th Street
I Wanna Be Your Lover
I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (Live)
Visions of Johanna (Live)
Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)
Watching the River Flow
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Down in the Flood (Live)
I Shall Be Released
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
George Jackson (Acoustic Version)
You're a Big Girl Now
Up to Me
It may have taken ten months but The Residents finally have a buyer for one of the ten unique "fridge box sets," to celebrate their 40th anniversary, that they first put on sale back on Christmas Day last. Yes this just in, care of local Bay Area NBC News: The Residents' $100,000 "Ultimate Box Set," that I reported on here on the Amoeblog back in early December a couple of weeks in advance of December 25th when the big dollar item was first put on sale, has been sold and delivered for that mind-boggling sale price of $100K! The high price tag fridge, containing 150 + items from the mysterious San Francisco band's long four decade career that the box set celebrates, is the first one sold of the ten made available for sale ten months ago. Read full NBC News report here. And shop for The Residents at Amoeba.com.
Best Coast - Fade Away (CD, LP or Download)
Best Coast's new EP marks a confident start to a new era for the band. Their previous album, The Only Place, featured more mature songwriting as Bethany Cosentino grew more confident in her voice, yet Jon Brion's smooth production didn't always jibe well with Cosentino's rough around the edges approach to confessional pop. The first release on her own label, Jewel City, Fade Away takes back some of the reverb and distortion of her early material but keeps the assurance she displayed on The Only Place. The result plays out as the most refined version of Best Coast yet. Cosentino sounds pissed in opener "This Lonely Morning," a rocker about a dude who won't stick around. "I Wanna Know" is one of her best girl-group jams yet, all desperation buried beneath sunshine and "Be My Baby" drums. Several songs take on quarter-life crises ("Who Have I Become," "Fear of My Identity"), while her heartbreak songs are equally riddled with introspection, as on the great Mazzy Star-ish ballad "Baby I'm Crying." One of Cosentino's best tricks is sneaking existential dilemmas into songs and lyrics that are on the surface straightforward and simple. By the end of the seven-song Fade Away, you're emotionally exhausted, as Cosentino gives it her all throughout. With Fade Away, she's given fans more than just a stopgap release, and one that leaves fans hungry for what's next.
Aptly titled Live At The Cellar Door the new live album is culled from concert recordings (including a rare solo version of "Cinnamon Girl" performed on piano rather than guitar) made during Young's six-show solo stand at The Cellar Door between November 30th and December 2nd, 1970.
Avid Neil Young fans will note that the concerts at the small Washington DC venue took place in the months following the release of After The Gold Rush - his third solo album. The forthcoming 1970 solo concert release features Young, on both piano and acoustic guitar, performing moving versions of such After The Gold Rush tracks as the hit album title track, "Don't Let It Bring You Down," "Tell Me Why," "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," and "Birds." Solo versions of Buffalo Springfield's "Expecting To Fly," "I Am A Child," and "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong" are also included as are such other gems as an early version of "Old Man" that would be officially released two years later on 1972's Harvest album. Live At The Cellar Door will be arrive in Amoeba Music on December 10th, 2013 when it will be released in both CD and 180-gram vinyl formats - as well as digitally. Meantime check for Neil Young's vast discography via Amoeba.com.
On Friday, November 1st, Strangelove (San Francisco's long-time favorite Dark electro/industrial/new wave/goth party) honors those who have passed by celebrating DIA DE LOS MUERTOS - the Day of the Dead! Of course DJs Tomas Diablo, Sage, FACT.50, and Prince Charming will be raising the dead with their killer tunes, but check out these Day of the Dead macabre festivities:
SKULL FACE PAINTING! Talented make-up artists will put a ghoulish grin on your face. It's FREE for everyone, though tips are always appreciated.
ALTAR TO THE DEAD! You are invited to bring a picture of a deceased loved one or celebrity to add to the altar.
PINATA! How often do you get to savagely swing a big stick in a nightclub (without getting arrested)? Whoever breaks open the pinata will win a gift certificate and goody bag from Amoeba Music, a Strangelove t-shirt, a pair of tickets to see Alison Moyet at the Fillmore on Monday, November 11th, and a pair of tickets to see KMFDM at the Independent on Thursday, November 14th!
Friday, November 1st
at The Cat Club (Folsom and 8th, San Francisco)
21+. 9:30PM-3AM. $3 before 10PM, $7 after
As she is doing it, she is listening to music through Spotify, which most people her age do rather than download or buy physical product. She is playing The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” I can hear it through her door from the adjacent kitchen as I wash dishes. She repeats the song. When it was over, she repeats it again, then again. I finally knock on her door and say, “You know, there are plenty of great Stooges songs besides that one!” She opens the door, looks at me slightly embarrassed but then defends herself. “I’m listening to the Iggy Pop anthology and this is the only song I like. The rest of it is too poppy, like The Ramones”
I slightly gasp. Not that she couldn’t be any more wrong about The Stooges but she based her opinion from Iggy Pop's Anthology? It’s like basing a writer's’ entire work on CliffsNotes. I told her to listen to the entire Funhouse album from beginning to end. I remember that album scaring me. It was so raw, so bluesy, so primal, that I knew by listening to it that my life would never be the same. I was right. It was like a hex or voodoo, maleficio, a Fukú, something, was put on me once the first notes of that album played on a cassette player in my friend’s car. I remember listening to Iggy's guttural screams, Ron Asheton's complete mutilation of his guitar, the unrelenting trance that was the rhythm section and thinking, "Wow" Not to mention the free jazz sax on some songs, altogether it was a mind-blowing experience for my young head.
I recently wrote an essay taking a perverse perspective on this comic book called Fukitor. It mixes questionable views on sex and race in a comedic manner that, I believe, undermines any straightforward reading of the book as mere support for white male power (the straightforward approach caused a brief controversy here and here). But, because it clearly revels within genres that are exploitative, the comic could hardly be thought to be clearly promoting good progressive values, either. Without a doubt, the book contains images of bigotry, but it's no more a sympathetic portrayal of white male privilege than a film like Fight for Your Life. All the white men in the book are knuckledragging imbeciles, but the comic (like said film) uses the bigotry for comedy, which is just too much for some people.
Being a fan of exploitation and not a fan of bigotry, it seems to me that the disagreement over exploitative imagery has more to do with the political demands one places on art rather than any necessary disagreement over politics itself. I don’t need to agree with the ideology of the art (whether or not it’s actually the view of the artist) to find some enjoyment there. In fact, like Groucho Marx, I'm skeptical of anyone who pats me on the back. Karns’ critics, however, seem to oppose his comics based on the fact that they aren’t expressing a correct view. I’m not the least bit sympathetic, for example, to Martin Wisse’s view on transgression ('transgression' being the word for 'exploitation' that lends it intellectual respectability):
Halloween is less than two weeks away! What are YOU going to wear?
Robert Smith will surely Cure any Halloween costume conundrum, as our Erin found:
This week on the Museum's website Scott Hamman of The Tech Museum of Innovation said that the exhibition hall had been strictly off-limits to all but that when he finally got to view it his mind was blown away and totally he awestruck. "My nine-year-old self, enamored of the gadgets, robots, and spaceships, came right out. The first thing I saw in the exhibition was the working model of Luke’s X-wing fighter, the one used in filming many of the special effects shots," he wrote. "My jaw dropped, and it dropped even further when I saw the model of the Millennium Falcon. It is huge, and I’m told it weighs close to a ton on its base. It was an amazing experience seeing the other models as well, but nothing compared to what I saw when I turned the first corner: Darth Vader. Or rather, the original Darth Vader costume. The actor who wore the costume, David Prowse, was a tall man, but still, it appeared larger than life. It is also, like everything else on display, extraordinarily well preserved." That description gives you an idea of what to expect from the vast 10,000 square foot exhibit that features models, props, and costumes from all the six films.
1) Black Milk No Poison, No Paradise (Fat Beats)
2) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings)
3) RJD2 More Is Than Isn't (RJS Electrical Connection)
4) Devin The Dude One For The Road (E1 Music)
5) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
Thanks to E-Lit for the above chart and accompanying video of the Amoeba Berkeley hip-hop buyer breaking down some of the newest releases in the genre in both CD and vinyl formats. As E-Lit noted there's new vinyl in Amoeba this week of the recently released album from Oddissee, plus a vinyl version of the instrumentals of the latest Apollo Brown offering with O.C. (Trophies), and Black Milk's brand new No Poison, No Paradise. That LP release is in addition to the CD version of No Poison, No Paradise - the highly regarded Detroit artist's first album since 2010's Album Of The Year -but not his first recording in that time. The producer/MC has been quite busy over the past three years between touring, working behind the scenes as engineer, in addition to working on such other projects as the Black & Brown EP with Danny Brown, Random Axe (with Sean Price and Guilty Simpson), and Jack White's Third Man single ("Brain" b/w "Royal Mega") to name but some of his musical adventures of late. Meanwhile his own new album No Poison, No Paradise pairs his talents alongside such guests as Black Thought, Mel, Dwele, Robert Glasper, and Quelle Chris. Below is the video for the album track "Sunday's Best/Monday's Worst.
Flea markets are just a bunch of people selling their unwanted junk and old ladies rumaging through dusty trunks, right? WRONG. The Downtown Flea Market is an event all to itself, a much hipper cousin to your grandmama's swap meet of yore.
The Downtown Flea Market was started this year by Phillip Dane, a veteran of flea markets. In 1991 Dane created the popular Fairfax High Flea Market. This new Downtown market boasts antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, and crafts and clothes by independent designers. In addition, there's a "chill out" area and local bands, DJs a wall climb and beer.
Amoeba is a proud sponsor of The Downtown Flea Market. The event takes place every fourth Sunday of the month, with this next event taking place Oct. 27. The market takes place in four parking lots in Downtown Los Angeles:
Yellow Lot: 246 S. Spring Street
Purple Lot: 253 S. Main Street
Green Lot: 243 S. Spring Street
Red Lot: 236 S. Broadway Street
MellowHigh – “Extinguisher”
The Odd Future trio MellowHigh (formerly a duo known as MellowHype) are generating much salivation for their first, self-titled album. One listen to the old-school-flavored “Extinguisher” and it’s not hard to hear why. “Hip-hop is back” one of them says near the end of the song. No doubt. The album’s due on Halloween via Odd Future.
Tera Melos – Live at Amoeba video
Nor. Cal.’s Tera Melos are one of the coolest guitar bands around, wrangling their guitar necks around each other with much interlocking riff mayhem. See how they do it with a video of their performance at Amoeba SF below. Read my interview with the band here, and check out their album X’ed Out.
From Dave Grohl's Sound City to 20 Feet From Stardom there have been some really great music-related documentary films released recently, perhaps none so overwhelmingly transcendental as the story of a reliable hit-maker and an iconic sound rooted in a sleepy corner of Alabama called Muscle Shoals.
There are some shows at Amoeba that get the staff tickled to pieces, and Gary Numan's show at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 16 was one of them. Employees turned into starstruck kids when Numan showed up, looking vampiric in a black vest, red tie and dyed black hair.
He took the stage with his band to promote his recent release Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), which portrays a harder edge to the new-wave star. I was listening to it on the way to the store and found myself driving really aggressively along to the music (well, that and the Waze app was yelling at me from my phone, but that's another story).
He opened with Splinter's "I Am Dust," the industrial rage of which could have started those who showed up expecting the synthy sounds of "Cars." But the sizable crowd that showed up seemed to dig the new tunes, bobbing their heads along when the drums and distorted guitars came in hard and enjoying the new ride one of their musical heroes was taking them on.
By the second song, I felt a little hot from the noise, a sexy, noisy blend of guitar and synth more akin to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Smashing Pumpkins than Numan's early records. His gothy howl was occasionally muffled by the overdriven guitars. This wasn't a problem when he broke into a couple of classics—"Are Friends Electric?" and "Cars," which had everyone cheering and uncontrollably singing along.
October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog month, and we're proud to sponsor Goldiepup Presents: The Great Escape Pet Adoption Dive in Hollywood on Sunday, October 20. The Great Escape brings together a collective of artists, friends, vendors, shelters and Angelenos with the common goal of finding homes for some of the many kitties and pups of Los Angeles. This event takes place at 6110 Hollywood Blvd (next to the Fonda Theatre), 10am-2pm on 10/20, and is free and open to all.
We'll be there with our famous prize wheel and other goodies, so be sure to stop by and say hello. All proceeds from the prize wheel benefit LA Animal Rescue (LAAR), a non-profit organization primarily focused on pet overpopulation and spay / neuter outreach.
In addition to The Great Escape Pet Adoption Drive, Best Coast, Baby Alpaca, and Death Valley Girls are playing a benefit show for LAAR at the Fonda on Monday, October 21. Tickets are available now at Amoeba Hollywood or you can buy them online here.
We are having our own Dog Adoption Day at Amoeba Hollywood the following Sunday, October 27 between 1-4pm. AND, we're also collecting donations for LA Animal Shelters throughout the month of October. If you bring in any animal shelter donation item to Amoeba Hollywood during October, we'll give you a $3 off coupon as a thank you.
The UK's second bid for crossover LP of the year is an odder beast than its predecessor (Disclosure). No vocals or pop songwriting chops here. Instead, Avery is preoccupied with 303 and guitar pedals while demonstrating a brilliant sense of pacing. Opener Water Jump sounds like a thoroughly modern take on Voodoo Ray. Elsewhere, as on the title track, Avery's admiration for Paul Woolford's spiky Erotic Discourse is evident. Towards the record's conclusion, Avery let's more diverse influences seep in. New Energy (Live Through It) uses a motorik rhythm while Spring 27 forgoes drums entirely.
Top notch dj tool with a cheeky title. Nina at the Boiler Room may be a joke at the expense of Ms. Kraviz; the track contains a rave siren, ham-fisted 707 programming and a simple earworm synth lead. All that said, it's addictive. No Stopping is stately, propulsive dub house, while The Future in fact looks back to a well-trod Chicago past.
I must admit I had to do a serious double take upon when, a few weeks ago, I first walked by the gas station on 10th Avenue at 24th Street in Manhattan's Chelsea District that I always walk by (see photos above and below) following been away from NYC for a just few weeks to witness sheep roaming in the hilly grass of where not long ago drivers pulled in to fill up their tanks with Unleaded. Damn! I thought to myself - How long have I actually been gone for this to unfold? Am I in some weird parallel science fiction universe? WTF! Like a twisted futuristic scene from some post-apocalyptic New York City set, Sci Fi movie (think Will Smith and his dog roaming the deserted Manhattan streets in the 2007 film I Am Legend - sans the virus and the horror stuff) I immediately conjured up what the city that never sleeps might look like if humans deserted the island of Manhattan. This type of imagery is likely what the people behind this wonderful short-term art installation, whose all too short six-week run ends this Sunday October 20th, had hoped to trigger.
The exhibit, which includes a total of 25 ‘Moutons’ made from epoxy stone and bronze, includes works by the artist from the years 1979 to 1996 and is described by curators as
"Set in a surrealist landscape amidst the existing industrial gas station architecture, the sheep symbolize Lalanne’s mission to demystify art and capture its joie de vivre. ‘Moutons’ have become Lalanne’s most iconic work, embodying his very approach to art while commenting on the nature of art itself." Sheep Station is open through Sunday October 20th. It is free public space event located at 239 10th Ave., at 24th St. More information.
Also, there's some sporting event involving a cricket-derivative going on right now between Los Angeles and St. Louis -- arguably the greatest cities in their respective states (well, arguable in St. Louis's case). So forgo your animal-style fries, Cool Ranch tacos, French Dips, kogi tacos, and Mission burritos for one day and prepare a feast of BBQ, Cherry Mashes, gooey butter cake, Ozark Pudding, St. Louis-style pizza, St. Paul sandwiches, and toasted ravioli as we honor the Missouri-Hollywood connection.
How many rockers do you know can say they started a band, signed a deal and became rockstars? Not too many right? Lou Barlow is on a very short list of rockers who can say they left a successful group to find more success with a new band. Reminds me of guy from a small Seattle band named Nirvana who went on to create another small band named the Foo Fighters. He's on the list too.
Often cited as a pioneer of the lo-fi sound, Lou Barlow is the founder of two of the most influential indie rock bands of the 1980s and ‘90s, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. He has gone on to produce many side projects including the band Folk Implosion whose single, "Natural One," hit #4 on Bilboard's Modern Rock Charts in 1995.
Barlow stopped by the Amoeba Hollywood store for another awesome "What's In My Bag?" episode. It's always great to see your favorite rockers shop for vinyl! To Lou's delight, he digs up a 12 inch single of Blotto's "I Want To Be a Lifeguard." He also snags Ty Segall's Singles 2007-10 LP that comes with a free digital download. Barlow also finds a lost new wave gem from his teens, The Elevators' Frontline.
Continuing from last week's hip-hop history installment, in which I went back to the formative years of the early to mid and latter 1980's in LA rap/hip-hop, I pick up with more listings of 1980's rap releases - all of which were 12" singles since the full length rap album was not yet so common. Hence why when, in the early 90's, West Coast rap pioneer DJ Flash went back and compiled and licensed many of these singles he did the world a favor. That was for his West Coast Rap history CD compilation series that I was involved in at a research and writing of liner notes capacity. This month I caught up with DJ Flash, who recently re-teamed up with another old school West Coast rap pioneer pal of his Captain Rapp, to executive produce a new album with Ronnie Hudson - maker of the 1982 funk classic "West Coast Poplock" that got repopularized in 1995 when it was sampled for the rap hit "California Love" by 2Pacfeat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. Entitled WestCoastin' that brand new album, that is available on CD at Amoeba Hollywood, is essentially an update of that influential hit of Hudson's (three different mixes included) with lots more on the new album that features a slew of old school guest producers and rappers adding their talents including Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, E-40, Rappin' 4 Tay, Celly Cel, Zapp Troutman, Battlecat, and Richie Rich. Check for the in-depth interview with Flash on this new project later this week here on the Amoeblog. Meantime back to the old school 80's LA rap records that Flash compiled for his West Coast Rap compilation series for Excello/Rhino.
Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, October 26 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. This month look for bargains on CDs, DVDs, grab bags, and a special cassette table too.
- DVDs $3 each, and buy 3 get 1 free
- DVD box sets for $7, or 2 for $10
- Comic books 4 for $1.00
- Grab bags of 45s in all genres
- 45s for $1.00 in all genres, fresh product!
- Vintage and modern magazines for cheap
- 8 tracks and cassette tapes
(Of course there are some pretty stellar deals inside the store too, but you already knew that.)
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.
Cass McCombs' latest record is a confident double-length album that shows his growth over seven albums into one of the foremost singer/songwriters of our generation. Big Wheel takes its time to get going, moving gently from one track to another. As such, even with its hour-plus length, it's an easily approachable album with great variety within a pretty straightforward setup. "Big Wheel" is a bluesy rumination on manhood—"A man with a man, how more manly can you get? I may be five-foot-one, but you're all wet" he sings in a memorable couplet. He pairs lyrics of a sexual love affair in "Morning Star" ( "wring my neck under your thighs" he sings suggestively in the chorus) with gentle country-folk that sounds like the first thing you want to hear upon waking. Perhaps the biggest highlight is "Brighter!," a song included twice, the second time with the late Karen Black taking lead vocals for a sweet, sad farewell. Some of Big Wheel's tracks veer into dad-rock territory, but even then there's usually something more interesting than what meets the eye on deeper listens, like the insane horns that pop up in "Joe Murder" and "Satan Is My Toy" or how "Everything Has to Be Just-So" begins gently and breaks apart into avant-garde atmosphere. Big Wheel and Others needs a few spins to sink in, but once it does, the album reveals itself to be an indelible listen.
Amoeba Hollywood is partnering up with Best Friends Animal Society for a Dog Adoption event on Sunday, October 27th from 1-4pm!
The Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. They work collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making Los Angeles a no-kill city.
Best Friends Animal Society also leads NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles), a coalition that provides spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters. They also increase adoptions through the combined efforts of their initiative, so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes. Best Friends provides grants to coalition partners for every pet they adopt to a new home, and also funds spay/neuter projects for pet owners who can't afford to have their pets fixed. In 2012, Best Friends/NKLA facilitated 23,421 adoptions and 4,458 spay/neuter surgeries were performed.
Best Friends Animal Society will have some of their amazing, adoptable dogs on site at Amoeba Hollywood on Sunday, October 27th. All dogs will be spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated.
Come down and meet your new best friend and find out how you can make a difference in the lives of these kind and special animals.
Tropicaza-Bamerette (cassette release only)
Bamerette is another excellent mix tape by one of Mexico’s best audio archivists, Carlos Icaza aka Tropicaza. This is a loving tribute to the Bamer Hotel, in particular The Bamerette, a nightclub located on the top of the hotel. Located in a part of Mexico City once called the Latin Quarter, where the nightlife congregated to enjoy the sounds of the best Cuban and Cuban influence musicians of the day. The heyday for The Bamer Hotel was between 1940 through 1970 before the hotel was shutdown for good after the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake. Many underground events were thrown in the ruins of the hotel, with many saying they could feel the spirits wandering around the complex while they were there.
Tropicaza’s mix feels like you are walking through the halls of the abandoned hotel, listening to those spirits conversing in Chilango slang as they share their memories via vintage Afro-Cuban rhythms and early Mexican rock & roll. The songs of Perez Prado, Carlos Roman, Nacho Mendez, J. C. Esquivel, saturated with delay for the ghost that still roam the former Latin Quarter.
With swinging Mambos, dirty joke songs and big band psychedelia, Bamerette is more than a mix tape, it is a story of a Mexico City long since past. Much like Sun City Girls audio journals (released by Sublime Frequencies) Bamerette should be listened to as a whole, rather for it’s individual tracks.
Tune into a new episode of Discos Inmigrantes, as we explore the sounds of Chicano Rock From 1960-2013. The first hour, wee will cover the days from the British and Detroit influenced sounds of Cannibal & The Headhunters and Thee Midniters on through the 70’s conscious rock from El Chicano, Tierra and Sapo. The second hour will focus on the punk influenced 80’s sound of The Brat, The Plugz and Los Illegals, to the 1990’s re-conscious sounds of Quetzal, Ozomatli on to today’s sounds of Thee Commons, Chicano Batman and Chicano Son. Discos Inmigrantes will air live from 8-10 pm PST on October 14th on the world famous Radio Sombra, Boyle Heights Community Radio station. Radiosombra.org.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:11:13
1) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings)
2) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
3) RJD2 More Is Than Isn't (RJS Electrical Connection)
4) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
5) Danny Brown Old (Fools Gold)
Special thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store in the above video clip for doing a nice overview of some of the new hip-hop releases this week in both CD and vinyl formats that include not one but two vinyl versions of the new Deltron 3030 album (the second being the instrumental version - good for DJs and emcees). E-Lit, who is the Amoeba hip-hop buyer and also a KALX DJ, will have more new releases next week to talk about. But back to this week's excellent new hip-hop top five from Amoeba which includes two of my personal favorite new releases - RJD2 and Deltron 3030. The latter is the long awaited sequel to the Deltron 3030 original release back 13 long years ago when the superstar trio ofDel the Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koalaunleashed their first sci-fi themed hip-hop adventure. As the amoeba.com review accurately writes "Event II finds the group basically picking up where the last album left off, telling paranoid tales of a future world gone corrupt and insensitive….Once again, the trio is spinning an entire world, and again, shockingly, the results are incredibly cohesive, and the world is totally immersive. Zach De La Rocha, Lonely Island, Damon Albarn, Black Rob, and Mike Patton all stop by to play various weird characters." While the album is filed under hip-hop it could easily be filed under alt rock or electronic. Also blurring genre lines is the highly recommended new RJD2 album More Is Than Isn't - the DJ/producer/multi-instrumentalist's fifth studio album in eleven years and perhaps his best to date. What I love most about is his impeccable choice in guest emcees and vocalists - including Blueprint, P-Blackk, STS and Khari Mateen - all of whom perfectly compliment his deep production style.
Amoeba is more than just pet-friendly. We're kind of nuts about animals here. Not only can shoppers bring in their pets any time, our staff's pets have become part of the family, wandering the halls of Amoeba and distracting us from our work with ridiculous cuteness.
October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, and we've got a number of activities planned. Amoeba Hollywood's annual Dog Costume Contest is on Halloween, Thursday Oct. 31, with DJ Foliero at 3 p.m. and the contest at 5 p.m. As well, Amoeba is accepting donations, including food, blankets and cleaning supplies, for a $3 off coupon, and Amoeba is sponsoring The Great Escape, a two-day (Oct. 20-21) pet adoption event happening at Fonda Theatre (6110 Hollywood Blvd.), a benefit show featuring Best Coast, Baby Alpaca and other pet-loving bands.
Amoeba SF on Halloween will have a DJ set of spooky tunes with DJ Kells Bells from 3-5 p.m., with a dog costume contest at 4 p.m.—enter for the chance to win an Amoeba gift certificate!
Amoeba stores close at 7 p.m. on Halloween. Read more about these events/efforts here.
Meet our dogs and cats below!
Amoeba customers can see MUSCLE SHOALS Friday through Sunday, October 11 - 13 at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley or Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco for free, while ticket supplies last. Visit the following link and use the group code Amoeba to request your tickets HERE!
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America's most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama's cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the "Muscle Shoals sound" and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals' magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.
Until the visit that Una and I took to San Clemente this past weekend, I don’t think that I’d ever visited the place. I’m not entirely sure because nearly all of my trips south on the 5 have ended in Mexico and the stretch of freeway between South Orange County and San Diego County has blended together in my mind into white-walled, red-roofed blur. I may very well stopped in San Clemente to refill the gas tank on at least one occasion but, again, I have no recollection. Now, however, after having spent a weekend there and exploring mostly on foot (the best way to explore) I promise that I won’t confuse San Clemente for any other red-tile community.
San Clemente is the southernmost city in South County. This is inarguable in a geographic sense and arguable in a symbolic sense as well. South Orange County is generally and night entirely inaccurately characterized as a predominantly white, politically conservative, and wealthy place.
San Clemente is predominantly white -- 76% white (compared to 44% for the county as a whole) although to me it seemed even whiter. However, slow change is afoot and in the past thirty years, the Latino population has more than doubled whilst the Anglo population has shrunk by 14%. According to the 2010 census, the population of San Clemente is 17% Latino but that seemed to me much lower. My perception versus the facts might have to do with the fact that I stayed near North Beach and spent most of my time exploring Downtown and the area next to the ocean -- areas that are possibly much whiter than others. In two days I only heard Spanish being spoken on three occasions, including once in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant. Asian-Americans make up just 4% of San Clemente's population, and blacks and Native Americans both make up less than 1% of the population.
The new band featuring Ali Koehler of Vivian Girls/formerly of Best Coast, Jennifer Prince on guitar and Patty Schemel, formerly of Hole (and of Hit So Hard, the documentary made about her) has debuted the title track from its forthcoming album on Don Giovanni, due Oct. 29. It’s a scrappy power-popper in the vein of such bands as Heavenly, Bettie Serveert and Velocity Girl. If you have a yen for female-fronted alt-rock, you’ll love Upset. They’ll be at S.F.’s Bottom of the Hill Nov. 20 and L.A.’s Echoplex Nov. 21. You can pick up first single “Oxfords and Wingtips” from Amoeba now, or preorder She's Gone here! (Also, check out how Upset fits into the Vivian Girls Family Tree.)
While typically documentaries make the rounds of the film festivals circuit, college circuit, and (in the case of a big release) in theaters and/or on television. Hence people get to view or at least know of a film. However, most of the time, if that film is a documentary and has music in it and is not solely about a musician, you don’t get to know the story regarding the music in said documentary. The documentary Sins Invalid, which previews in Oakland this weekend (Oct 11th & 12th) at the New Parkway Theater, is a documentary about a performance project that celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer / gender-variant artists. Since 2006, its performances have explored sexuality, beauty, and the disabled body. Sins Invalid is an entryway into the taboo topic of sexuality and disability, manifesting a new paradigm – disability justice. Here I will focus on some of the music in this film that was produced by artists who are from the Bay Area and elsewhere.
Sins Invalid, the entity, is a Bay Area-based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities which have been historically marginalized. Our performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities. Patty Berne, Todd Herman, Amanda Coslor, and myself (Leroy Moore) started Sins Invalid in 2006. Since then it has grown from one annual performance to a year-round program with different kinds of performance workshops, disability justice education at colleges, and local and national organizations. In 2007 the beginnings of work on the Sins Invalid film, a documentary about our annual performances, took root. Throughout the seven years of Sins Invalid we have worked with dancers, poets, performance actors/actresses, visual artists, and musicians from Canada, the United Kingdom, and all over the United States. Poetry and music were always a part of Sins Invalid, since our first show back in 2006 with the soulful voice of Lee Williams, a wheelchair user who played Porgy in George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, CA and who has appeared on the big screen in Made in America starring Whoopie Goldberg and Ted Danson. Williams’ CD of spoken word & music, Phase V, was released in 2006.
Dj Spider, Marshallito
Chilly new techno and house forms from the NYC duo. The record begins and ends with slower synth experiments, with warehouse tracks inhabiting the middle. Opener C17H21NO2 is a heady warm-up, with a crawling melodic progression disintegrating into delayed ephemera. C17H21NO4 is absurdly funky for a minimal techno bomb. The track uses adroit drum programming, a drunken synth progression and expert deployment of vocal samples to achieve liftoff. Recommended.
Reissue of the amazing 1999 12". The title track achieves an often imitated, rarely replicated level of spiritual deepness. Two simple progressions eventually intersect like ships in dark water. Raw drums and deep background vocal samples. Unstudied brilliance from the master.
London’s Genesis Publications and Amoeba Music are delighted to invite you to the worldwide premiere of Ringo Starr’s new limited edition book, Photograph, and the unveiling of his series of artist-signed photographic prints, The Photograph Portfolio, on Wednesday, October 23 at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood at 10:30 am. A special selection of the photographs will be on view at Amoeba Hollywood before and after the launch event.
Ringo Starr's Photograph presents unseen images taken by Ringo, accompanied by his own words, giving an unprecedented insight into the life of one of the world's greatest musicians. He takes readers deep into his early life, through his days with The Beatles and beyond. Hear about his adventures, mishaps and movies, with appearances from family and an All-Starr cast of friends. Each book is signed by Ringo, master printed in Italy on archival paper, individually hand numbered and hand-bound in leather.
Remember the whole Pixies/Breeders/Belly/Throwing Muses web of bands many years back? Or, more recently, the Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown/Frog Eyes/Handsome Furs/Divine Fits band sprawl? And let's not even get into Broken Social Scene. Well, none of these band associations holds a candle to Vivian Girls and the myriad bands, collaborations, side projects and what-have-yous that spring from the New York noise pop band. In light of recent release from onetime-Vivian Frankie Rose and the upcoming release by Vivian girl Ali Koehler in Upset, I've attempted to make a Vivian Girls tree for y'all. I'm sure I missed like 20 bands, let me know if I have!
Sandra Vu has been the cool presence behind the drum kit in a number of bands, both on record and live. She's helped propel such bands as Dirty Beaches, The Raveonettes, Midnight Movies, Boredoms and, most often, as the drummer for Dum Dum Girls.
Now she has her own project named SISU. Judging by her resume, SISU's debut album is somehow both comfortingly familiar, drawing from influences such as girl groups and noise pop, and something entirely new. The strange tones that strike across the skies of songs like "Counting Stars" and pulsating beats under songs like "Harpoons" draw more from krautrock, industrial and experimental music than contemporary shoegaze, while Vu's vocals range from disaffected and alien to front-and-center pop vocals. Blood Tears is a delight throughout, atmospheric and cool, yet catchy and immediately memorable.
I took a minute to speak with Vu about her new project and how she came into making music on her own.
Me: I hear SISU is the Finnish word for “extreme perseverance.” Why did you choose that name?
Vu: Originally, "SISU" stems from my name, but we later found out that it was a Finnish word. I like the meaning though so we've adopted it, respectfully.
A lot of really good stuff happening in New York City this week (where the autumn weather has finally arrived) including the big annual CBGB Music and Film Festival that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday (October 8-13) with the highlight being the big (free) concert in Times Square all day Saturday (10am to 7pm, Oct 12th) on three different stages will be performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, and the Wallflowers. The week long Festival, that just began last year, gives the long-running annual CMJ conference (coming up next week in New York) a run for its money. The six day event includes a wide variety of seminars and workshops, concerts and showcases by hundreds of new and established musical acts of all genres, plus a hundred film screenings including, most fittingly, a premiere screening of the brand new film about and titled CBGB, that Amoeba Music recently gave away Hollywood premiere screening tickets to, starring Alan Rickman and featuring a killer soundtrack that includes Dead Boys, MC5, Television, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, and Wayne County & The Electric Chairswas released yesterday and is directly available from Amoeba.
'80s electro-pop synth pioneer Gary Numan is set to release his 20th album, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) (Machine Music Label) on Tuesday, October 15th. For over 35 years, Numan has been pushing the envelope with his innovative electronic music. Widely known for his mega hits, "Cars" and "Are Friends Electric?," Numan has a deep catalog that runs the gamut of sonics and musical styles from pop radio hits to underground industrial goth not for the faint-hearted. Over a span of seven years and personal turmoil including depression, midlife crises, and adjusting to fatherhood, Numan fell in and out of the writing process and struggled to comeplete the new album. But in 2012 it all changed, with a permanent relocation to Los Angeles, a happy home life and a brand new studio; Numan was back at it, full on.
The result is a whirlwind of emotional content set to the backdrop of plush synths and hard beats that make for a pretty epic production. In a recent interview Numan states, "the reason why the album is called Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) is because of the depression. I felt broken. That’s where that subtitle comes from. It’s not a nice thing at all." Fans can now pre-order the album via amoeba.com.
Some music enthusiasts and critics alike believe the band Death to be the precursors to punk rock. Jack White is quoted as describing them as "ahead of punk and ahead of their time." Mos Def says, "These dudes were pre-Sex Pistols, pre-Bad Brains, pre-all that shit, and nobody knows about them. I don't understand how the world could forget them."
The documentary A Band Called Death tells the story of a Detroit band made up of three brothers who pursue a record deal to no avail. Despite interests from big wig Clive Davis, who insited that the band change their name for broader appeal, the group refused and was never signed to a deal. Their demo tapes were boxed away and placed in an attic to be forgotten. Three decades later, a demo tape made its way out of the attic and into the ears of an audience several generations younger.
In 2009, Drag City Records released a 7-song LP entitled ...For The Whole World To See. Soon after, a reformed Death took to the stage, almost 30 years after they formed.
The first wave of West Coast rappers drew influence from what they had heard out of the East Coast: adapting its style but infusing their own flavor. As a fan/collector of West Coast hip-hop from its inception and also as a part of the compilation series - West Coast Rap Volumes 1,2,& 3 compilation series of 80's rap on Excello/Rhino that was produced by D.J. Flash and released in the early 90's with research and interviews and liner notes done by me - I became familiar with a lot of this great early West Coast rap (note that the music was called "rap" more than "hip-hop" back then). So for this Hip Hop History Tuesday installment I am going to retrace that first decade in Los Angeles rap that began at the beginning of the 1980's. This is part one of the two-parter on the first decade of LA rap. Next week's second half will include more history of 1980's LA rap artists/releases plus an interview, conducted recently, with both DJ Flash and fellow West Coast hip-hop pioneer Captain Rapp.
Since Danny Brown launched from relative obscurity to stardom with his excellent mixtape XXX, it follows that his sophomore release should see the rapper sand the edges of his sound from his Internet-rap roots. Not so fast. Danny Brown’s Old doesn’t curb the weirdness that made XXX such a delight; it doubles down on it. The same highwire delivery and tight jeans that made 50 Cent balk at signing the dude are still going strong, though the humor of his previous work is turned down in favor of more straightforward storytelling—and as if in a bit for seriousness, Brown even includes “Side A” and “B” interludes to signify the break between the more laid-back first half and molly-addled crazy second half. Of course, Brown has just learned how to incorporate his wit into the songs more—“Wonderbread” is only slightly more horrifying than funny, about the perils of even going out for bread in the Detroit ghetto where he grew up, whereas the mind-bending “Lonely,” which features a sample from obscure French artist Morice Benin, sees Brown claiming his identity brilliantly (“Hipster by heart but I can tell you how the streets feel” he says, subtly reffing his childhood, selling drugs and time in prison without boasting). Brown’s collaborators—from the indie-minded Purity Ring to fellow rapper Schoolboy Q and especially the grime-influenced wunderkind Scruffizer, on the awesome “Dubstep”—aid in making Old a multifaceted affair. Producer Oh No (of Stones Throw duo Gangrene) helps set the stage for some of Old’s most striking tracks, like the Radiohead-ish “Gremlins” and manic “Red 2 Go,” though Brown at least shares the producer’s chair on each song. He offers some turn of phrase or stellar bit of production on every song, keeping you hooked on Old and hitting the replay button even after 19 tracks.
HAPPY WALRUS DAY, EARTHLINGS!
Kiss someone handsome, eat something tastier than it is healthy, learn a new word that will impress your enemies, crank up the song that makes you feel you could conquer the world, wear the shirt you wear to get stares, call out sick for work or school or meetings or anything that will force you to suffer fools gladly, cure cancer in a way that looks dashing, invent a new flavor of joy, define an as-yet unrecognized sexuality, surprise a loved one with something so sweet and spontaneous it makes them a little suspicious of you, walk around with a balloon (or if you're like me and you hate balloons pop every one you see), get drunk with your best friend and exchange secrets you never thought you'd tell, scream for ice cream, do not follow your diet or exercise routine (unless you're one of those freaky people that likes to exercise), avoid apathy, crack yourself up, tickle your fancy until it pees.
Is your style icon Little Edie? Think dilapidated is the new black? Then YOU need to join Peaches Christ at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, October 12th for a special screening of the Maysles brothers' seminal 1976 documentary film Grey Gardens. Preceeding the film will be the premiere of an original stage-show called "Return to Grey Gardens" starring Peaches Christ, Jinkx Monsoon, and special guest Mink Stole!
The stage-show is set forty years into the future and documents the lives of an aging drag mother and her bitter drag daughter who continue to perform for an empty house at the now dilapidated and run-down Castro Theater. How did this happen? What will become of them? Will their famous and successful royal drag cousin Lady Bear step up and help out? Find out when we return to Grey Gardens on October 12th! Two shows: 3pm & 8pm!
Get your tickets NOW!
WOW! What a ride Saturday was, with the incomparable Don Barris (Windy City Heat, Big 3 Podcast, Jimmy Kimmel Live) hosting our October Auction at Amoeba Hollywood. We began hosting charity auctions in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and since then, with your help, we've raised over $450,000 for New Orleans Musician Relief, green charities, animal charities, Doctors Without Borders and many local organizations.
October is "Adopt a Shelter Dog Month" so this month's auction proceeds went to NKLA, a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and individuals led by Best Friends Animal Society which is dedicated to ending the killing of healthy and treatable pets in L.A. city shelters. They provide spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters, and increase adoptions through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes. Stay tuned for our other events in October, including a pet adoption at the Hollywood store on Sunday, October 27th.
This month's guest auctioneer, our good friend Don Barris, has a unique brand of comedy unlike most other comics, making him the Comedy Store's perfect closing act every night. He was the co-creater/star of the cult classic film, Windy City Heat, which was developed in the Comedy Store's Belly Room. The show is now called The Ding-Dong Show and it continues every Monday night as it has since 1992, making it the longest running show in the club's history. Don can also be seen nightly as the audience warm-up for ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Steve Lacy has always been one of my favorite horn players since I first hear him in the mid 70’s. He delivers a liquid, speech-like sound with his soprano saxophone which he plays exclusively. Influenced by trad jazz players, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans, Mr. Lacy composes and improvises with a quirky sense of melody unlike any other player around at the time or since, and his compositions reveal his very personal way of telling his stories. His staccato yet fluid attack, and almost vibrato-less legato stands out within the history of his axe. He has made many, many records (hundreds) and almost each one has its own individual sound and ultimate expression. Straight up swing to musique concrete to free improvisation are where Steve could be found at any moment, often simultaneously. His accompanists range from sitar duos to big band improv to sax/synthesizer/ drum outings, exploring all avenues of audible art. He also made many solo concerts, with just his soprano sax perhaps speaking the musical dialog about what was shaking at the moment. These concerts and recordings are a wonderful document of this artist’s creative depth.
I am fortunate to have met Steve when I had an in-store appearance with him while I was managing Rasputin’s Jazz and Soul record store in Berkeley, California in 1981. Steve is second from left, just to my right in this photo of that day (Rick Gillman far left, Lacy, Frystak, Michael Finney far right).
A kind and soft spoken personality belied his passionate, forward surging playing style. His many bay-area fans that day were in heaven to be near this musical icon, myself included. He played later in the evening at U.C.Berkeley to a packed house. Steve passed in 2004 at age 69 years young, and I was fortunate to see him play multiple times, always searching and swinging in whatever context he found himself in.
Now in its eight year the aptly named Fun Fun Fun Festival - Austin's annual Fall music/comedy/skate/food festival - will present its traditionally diverse and most satisfying lineup to date when it takes place in the Texas city over three days next month - November 8th, 9th , and 10th at the Auditorium Shores. That's when and where, on different stages catering to indie rock, hip-hop, electronic, punk, metal and comedy will present a refreshingly cool mix of well known and unknown (but all good) acts that will include RJD2, Melt Banana, Television, Flag (members of Black Flag), Big Freedia, Patton Oswalt, The Walkmen, Daniel Johnson, Jurassic 5, The Descendents, MIA, Slayer, Ice-T, Death Grips, Serengeti, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Johnny Marr, Sparks, Action Bronson, Snoop Dogg, and Unlocking The Truth. The latter is the duo comprised of Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins: the young African American NYC metal loving pals who wowed audiences at the recent Afro Punk Festival in their home borough of Brooklyn last month. Below is an interview video with the passionate pair of young metal heads, along with a series of other music videos by a select few of the numerous amazing acts booked to play at Fun Fun Fun. Usually festivals have some acts I really want to see and others that I could take or leave. But this festival personally appeals to my taste 100% with a lineup that I would like to see all of the acts perform. Hence am seriously considering how I can manage to take a trip to Austin next month to attend. Festival tickets are $79 per day or $179 for the three day weekend (or upgrade to $325 for the "ultimate smooth pass" which comes with some extras). Advance tix available to purchase here and more general Fun Fun Fun Festival info here or in the flyer above with all the amazing lineup included.
To celebrate this landmark year there are some great performers scheduled between the different entertainment areas including the Main Stage where headliner Peaches will be at 4pm, and The Monster Show with Cookie Dough & DJ MC2 who will be onstage at both 12:30pm and 2pm when they'll do two Wizard Of Oz themed performances with ensemble members including Sue Casa as The Scarescrow, Bebe Sweetbriar as The Good Witch, Crafty Dough as Toto, and Adam Brown as The Gatekeeper. Meanwhile on the Fair's Legends Stage turntable masters will include David Harness at 3pm and Pete Avila who will be spinning the final set at 5pm - each DJ spins for one hour. (for full performers line-up and times at all areas click here under "Entertainment"). This week I caught up with David Harness, Pete Avila, and Cookie Dough to ask them each three questions about this year's Castro Street Fair and its meaning to them.
Amoeblog: What does the Castro Fair represent to you and/or others?
1) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
2) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
3) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
4) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
5) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)
Since its release last week, Drake's latest full-length offering, Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money Records, has rocketed to the number one position on the latest Amoeba Hip-Hop Chart at the Hollywood store, where it even edges out recent month chart staples from the likes of Kanye West (Yeezus) and Jay-Z (Magna Carta Holy Grail) - the latter of whom makes a cameo on this latest from Drake. The Amoeba.com review gives this new Drake release (the artist's third studio album in as many years) a two thumbs up rating, calling it "some of his best material yet" and claims that the album "features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet." Of the Canadian-born artist's current status (one that draws a lot of criticism over such issues as his background as former child television star. Over the past week, Kendrick Lamar labelled him a "sensitive rapper."), "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." Indeed when it comes to competition Drake is a clear all around winner in terms of popularity with music buyers. As well as topping the latest Amoeba chart, he also went to number one with a bullet on the Billboard album chart, selling a reported 658,000 units in its first week.
NYC mainstay DFA makes an unexpected move towards Berlin's MNMLscene, emerging with a winner. ndf is the duo of Bruno Ponsato and Sergio Giorgini. For the title track, they start with a nostalgic synth vamp, moving to imbue the dreamy atmosphere with space and melancholy. This is accomplished through claps, "around the edges" snare, and a sleepy spoken/sung vocal predicting a future run-in with a former lover. Heavy remix, with Villalobos exposing kaleidoscopic threads in the already hypnotic original. He turns the original vocal into a chorus of detuned ghosts while pulling the beat apart.
Detroit doesn't sleep, apparently. Omar S makes a speedy return to 12" mode after the awesome Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself LP. If you enjoy the non sequitur vocal samples scattered throughout Omar's catalog this is the one for you. Don't Let This Be Happening starts with one of these samples, but quickly jumps into lush synthesis. On the standout title track, the vocal samples start to make more sense. Like Altman, Omar S builds a sense of place with voices from the neighborhood. As those voices talk, the crack bassline and drums do the walking.
Western (in sound and location) duo Widowspeak have a new EP due Oct. 29 called The Swamps, following the excellent Almanac LP, released earlier this year. “Calico” digs deeper into their sound, moving leisurely with dusty guitars until Molly Hamilton makes the titular refrain something of a cryptic mantra over an insistent pulse. The band also has debuted the brisk “True Believer” from the EP; you can pick that song up already on Amoeba.com. They’ll be at L.A.’s Echo Oct. 16 and S.F.’s The Chapel Oct. 18 with Pure Bathing Culture.
Schoolboy Q – “Banger (MOSHPIT)”
L.A. rapper Schoolboy Q has unveiled another new track—there’s no word yet if this will be on his upcoming Oxymoron album, the followup to last year’s excellent Habits & Contradictions, which as of yet has no tracklist or release date—but it’s as hot as anything he’s put out so far, sorta dark but not really creepy, like a party track you put on to take things to the next level. Those “boom shacka lackas” are taking me back to NBA Jam right now.
From humble punk beginnings to global festival headliner, Moby is easily one of the most recognizable faces in electronic music. In addition to being a platinum selling artist/producer, Moby is also a seasoned photographer and a multi-instrumentalist. He's an advocate for animal rights and a devout vegan. The guy is one cool dude.
Moby is back with his eleventh studio album, Innocents (Mute). Following a move from New York to Los Angeles, he recorded most of the instrumentation himself. He also collaborated with a list of relatively known singers including Mark Lanegan, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Cold Specks, Skylar Grey, and Damien Jurado. The result is a multi-layered production of both deep emotion and huge sonics.
The album will be promoted by a three date tour in Los Angeles. Yes, just 3 live shows will make up all the touring for Innocents. Oct 2, 3 and 4 will see Moby perfoming three hour sets at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Each show will be performed in two parts with the first half featuring songs from the new album and the second half being a "greatest hits" set.
This week in New York City the weather is just perfect: sunny, no rain or fog, temps in the upper seventies, and none of that typical overbearing summer humidity. Ideal weather to cycle round town and enjoy sights like the above one taken yesterday morning heading east towards Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village where the fountain, that is normally turned off, was on in full force. Meantime in the park itself people, including NYU students, tourists, and neighborhood residents, all seemed to be in a good mood taking in the glorious weather of the first day of October in New York City. Near the fountain several members of ZTA (Zeta Tau Alpha) busied themselves spreading the word on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by handing out pink ribbons to passers by and with drawing images and messages on the concrete park ground with colored chalk (see pic below).
Meantime a little further down the island of Manhattan on this fine first day of October the vibe was less happy as tourists who had traveled to Battery Park at the end of the island to take the boat over to the Statue Of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island were disappointed to learn that, due to the government shutdown, that the National Park Service had closed the famous landmark. An estimated 15,000 people visit the Statue Of Liberty everyday but not yesterday or today or for as long as the Government shutdown (now, October 2nd, in day two) lasts. The Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island were not the only destinations shut down in New York City. The Park Service also closed The National Museum of the American Indian, Federal Hall, and Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace.
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:
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:
|Show Name||Venue||Show Date||
(fee not included)
|12th Planet||Fonda Theatre||12/01/2013||$20.00|
|The 1975||Fonda Theatre||11/01/2013||$20.00|
|Active Child||El Rey||11/23/2013||$19.00|
|Joey Bada$$||Fonda Theatre||11/07/2013||$27.50|
|Beats Antique||Fonda Theatre||11/15/2013||$25.00|
|Ryan Beatty||El Rey||11/29/2013||$22.00|
|Charli XCX||El Rey||11/04/2013||$22.00|
|Cocorosie (SOLD OUT)||Fonda Theatre||10/29/2013||$25.00|
(Show postponed to Feb 7, 2014.
All tix for 11/15 will be honored.)
|Deltron 3030||Fonda Theatre||11/24/2013||$32.00|
|The Dismemberment Plan||Fonda Theatre||12/12/2013||$27.50|
|Mike Doughty||Fonda Theatre||11/08/2013||$25.00|
|Dillon Francis||Fonda Theatre||12/27 & 12/28||$27.50|
|Fratellis (SOLD OUT)||Fonda Theatre||11/12/2013||$17.00|
|Gov't Mule||Fonda Theatre||10/30/2013||$30.00|
|Anthony Green||El Rey||11/22/2013||$19.00|
|Albert Hammond, Jr.||El Rey||11/20/2013||$25.00|
|High on Fire & Kvelertak||El Rey||12/12/2013||$20.00|
|Jagwar Ma||El Rey||12/13/2013||$17.00|
|Paul Kalkbrenner||Fonda Theatre||12/13/2013||$25.00|
|Kid Ink||El Rey||11/03/2013||$22.00|
|King Krule||Fonda Theatre||12/18/2013||$22.50|
|Less Than Jake||Fonda Theatre||11/30/2013||$25.00|
|Lord Huron||Fonda Theatre||03/01/2014||$22.50|
The Maine & Anberlin
(Show postponed from 10/8 to 12/11.
All tix for 10/8 show will be honored.)
|Johnny Marr||Fonda Theatre||11/02/2013||$27.50|
|Colin Meloy||Fonda Theatre||01/16/2014||$28.50|
|Mikal Cronin / Redd Kross||El Rey||12/03/2013||$20.00|
|Minnesota and Michal Menert||El Rey||10/31/2013||$25.00|
|Morbid Angel||Fonda Theatre||11/29/2013||$22.50|
|Murder City Devils||Fonda Theatre||11/10/2013||$25.00|
|Kate Nash||Fonda Theatre||11/23/2013||$22.50|
|Naturally 7||El Rey||11/25/2013||$20.00|
|Over the Rhine||El Rey||11/21/2013||$27.00|
|Save Ferris||El Rey||11/01/2013||$25.00|
|Suicidal Tendencies||Fonda Theatre||12/20/2013||$32.50|
|El Ten Eleven||El Rey||12/14/2013||$17.00|
|Trombone Shorty||El Rey||01/25/2014||$27.00|
|Volcano Choir||Fonda Theatre||01/18/2014||$26.00|
|Keller Williams||El Rey||11/08/2013||$20.00|
|Dizzy Wright||El Rey||11/02/2013||$17.00|
As if you don't know, that there is Jesse Pinkham from Breaking Bad having one very fucked up day (in the episode "Granite State"). He's just witnessed his ex-girlfriend, Andrea, get knocked off by Todd, whom Jesse has appositely summed up as "that dead-eyed Opie piece of shit." Todd belongs to criminal clan of ratio-instrumentalist racist rednecks and he's the least emotional of the bunch when it comes to taking care of business. He shot a child witness last season without flinching, now terrorizes Skyler by threatening to kill her baby girl Holly should anything come out to the cops about Lydia (Todd's crush and criminal business partner), followed by murdering Andrea to prove a point. The point being that Jesse better keep cooking meth for Lydia and the rednecks or he'll kill Andrea's boy, Brock, just as easily as he did his mother. Contrary to the cannibalistic hillbilly savages that Hollywood tends to depict the under-employed and -privileged white Southerner as, Uncle Jack's family are real cold motherfuckers. Everything is about profit and risk assessment. They are the smartest criminals in the the entire five season run of the show. And they're probably the most evil, too, for that same reason.
Andrea's murder is the most heinous of all in a story that has featured many, many murders. Why? Because of its iniquity: she was killed because of what it would mean to Jesse, not because -- as was the case in killing Hank or even the boy witness last season -- she had anything on Todd's family or business associates. In terms of the criminal ratiocination that makes up the show's diegesis, her death was the most unfair. Hank was actively going against the criminals, so chose to put his life at risk. And the boy on a bike, at least potentially, had knowledge that might've been actively used against Walt, Todd and the others. Andrea had nothing on which to ever actively go against the rednecks. Instead, she was killed as pure means to an end of which she had absolutely no knowledge or ability (potential or actual) to alter as a free agent -- that end being the continuance of Uncle Jack's family business. Her death was pure collateral damage, in other words. Hank went out with honor, accepting his fate as a result of trying to live as a moral agent, Andrea's life was simply used by others.
Not an Autumn goes by that I don't indulge in the ultimate cinematic sacrifice to the regenerative forces of Spring by viewing the most excellent British cult classic The Wicker Man (not to be confused with the poorly-honeyed and over-the-top misogynist romp of a remake starring Nicholas Cage). This year's viewing, however, will be an extra special treat in that the film is celebrating 40 years of horrific pagan pageantry with the theatrical release of The Wicker Man: The Final Cut wherein director Robin Hardy's original vision is finally restored.
For those who have never seen it, take warning. This film is unsettling in that it is a bit of a musical studded with weird sex scenes and even weirder segments debatably necessary nudity, often interrupted by non-violent horror elements and culturally-confused comedic spells all revolving around a central mystery thread: a child is reported missing from a remote Hebridean island and the stringent Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward), come from the mainland, is determined to find out what happened. The result is a very revisitable cinematic delight, though it ultimately leaves disconcerting and, depending on your moral compass, a horrifically distressful aftertaste.
While interviewing the band Dream Boys recently, I noted that their jangly new album seemed perfectly timed for fall. That got me thinking of other recent music that is well-suited for cardigan weather, the kind of records you want to snuggle up to when it starts to get cold out. So lots of EDM—j/k! Here are some records to get cozy up with on this first of October.
Dream Boys – Dream Boys
Just as genres like Paisley Underground, C86 and college rock gave ’60s sunshine pop an ’80s makeover, Dream Boys take a modern, emotionally gray yet laid-back approach to producing a detailed guitar-oriented sound. Enjoy poring over the jangly riffs of Dream Boys and read my interview with the band here.
Blouse pulled a bold move for its second album, especially considering the band is still up-and-coming, by radically changing its sound, forgoing the synth-heavy sound of its debut for a pretty straightforward rock sound incorporating new wave and alt-rock elements. It pays off, as Imperium is one of the season’s best rock albums, pairing dreamy vocals and lyrics with an emotionally direct sound.
There’s nothing to signify the leaves changing color the wind getting crisper than some cool jangly rock ‘n’ roll. L.A.’s Dream Boys deliver that in spades on their self-titled debut (check it out on CD or LP). Songs like “Sometimes” breeze through with shimmering guitars and sweet, swoony harmonies, calling to mind a post-punk Byrds or Southern Californian Stone Roses. Few bands dig into this sound so thoroughly, with a wonderfully patient, languid quality, making Dream Boys a standout record even among a crowded field.
I sat down for a minute to talk to these dreamy So. Cal. boys about their somnambulist sound.
PST: It’s hard to find out much about you guys from the Internet! Why don't you just tell me in brief about yourselves—when did you form, why did you form, who does what in the band, and are you native Angelenos or from other parts?
Wayne Faler: We formed a little over a year ago. There are three songwriters. Band members are Wayne Faler and Wallace Meek on guitars and vocals, Will Ivy on bass and vocals, and Mike La Franchi on drums. Mike is from the Northern California. Wallace is from Scotland, Wayne is from Michigan, and Will is a Southwest guy via San Francisco. We formed the band after meeting while playing in other bands. We wanted to combine a certain set of influences that really spoke to us and present them in a more modern way.
Treasure Island Music Festival, that magical musical weekend in the bay, returns for its seventh year October 19th - 20th! This year's line-up is a real treasure trove with performances from Beck, Animal Collective, Major Lazer, James Blake, Little Dragon, Sleigh Bells, and so many more!
Don't miss the festival's spectacular 60-foot Century Ferris Wheel, surrounded by an ever-changing eclectic mix of interactive art installations and roaming performers.
Enter to win a pair of VIP passes to this amazing two-day festival right here on Amoeba.com! Click HERE to enter!
Amoeba Music is standing up for underdogs everywhere by spreading the word that shelter animals need our help! Wanna show some love to the homeless dogs & cats at your local shelter and save $3 off Amoeba Music at the same time?
Join Amoeba Hollywood in donating much-needed supply items for the care and comfort of homeless animals in our community. Animal Shelters in LA are in desperate need of donations, but we can help! Donations, food, blankets, and cleaning supplies can go a long way to help to sustain homeless, abandoned and unwanted animals.
For each one shelter item donation, we will give you a $3 off coupon to use on any purchase at Amoeba Music! It's that easy. Bring in an old towel, a can of cat/dog food or a cleaning product and we'll give you three bucks! Amoeba will be collecting donations through the entire month of October.
But Amoeba's campaign to help our furry friends doesn't stop there. We have an entire month of awesome events benefiting our homeless animal companions including:
- The October Charity Auction - Comedian Don Barris (Jimmy Kimmel Live!) hosts our October 5th Auction at Amoeba Hollywood. All proceeds go to Best Friends/NKLA with Amoeba matching ALL winning bids!
- Our Monthly Super Sidewalk Sale - Visit Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday, October 26th from noon-5pm for our next sidewalk sale! Pick up some awesome deals on CDs, vinyl, DVDs, box sets and more! A portion of the proceeds go directly to Best Friends/NKLA.
- Lux Lives LA 2013 - Celebrate the life, music and birthday of The Cramps' Lux Interior Oct 20th at the Redwood Downtown LA. Buy merch & spin the famous AMOEBA MUSIC prize wheel. 100% of the proceeds will be donated in Lux Interiors' name to Best Friends/NKLA!
- The Great Escape - Amoeba is sponsoring this 2-day (Oct. 20-21) pet adoption event happening at Fonda Theatre 6110 Hollywood Blvd, culminating in a benefit show featuring Best Coast and Baby Alpaca + other pet-loving bands.
UTFO "Roxanne, Roxanne"
With so much mean-spirited dissing between rappers these days on social media websites like Twitter I am reminded of a simpler (pre Digital Age) era in hip-hop when one rapper had a beef with another he/she took it to the mic and did something creative and musical about it - keeping it real, real hip-hop, in other words. Hence for today's installment in the weekly Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I return to the 80's to the battle rap on record era and specifically the Roxanne battles/wars which pretty much kick-started and shaped the form on record. This approach to ironing out differences between individuals in hip-hop has never been restricted to just rappers/emcees. Indeed hip-hop's four elements - b-boying, graffiti, DJ'ing, and MC'ing - each have healthy histories of traditionally been rooted in non-violent forms of battle between rivals. Since the 70's graffiti crews have traditionally challenged one another via their vibrant street art. Hip-hop DJs / turntablists have long fought with one another via displaying their respective skills in DJ battles. Hip-hop dance b-boy/b-girl crews have gone head to head poppin, lockin, and breakin' etc. in celebrated dance battles. And, of course, MC's have battled one another in freestyle rhyme, whether on the street corner in a cipher, on stage, or on record since the beginnings of hip-hop forty years ago. They still do to this day. However many are too lazy to do so in person with their opponent but willing to do so from the comfort of their iPhone via a typed up diss of 140 characters or less .