Amoeblog

Get Tickets at Amoeba Hollywood to JazzReggae Fest on May 25-26

Posted by Billy Gil, April 30, 2014 04:55pm | Post a Comment

jazzreggae fest

UCLA’s 28th annual JazzReggae Fest has announced its lineup, and we’ve got your tickets for the show May 25-26.

Tickets for the fest Memorial Day Weekend at UCLA’s Intramural Field are $35 per day. Children 8 years old and under are free. Pick up single day tickets at Amoeba Hollywood with only a $4 service fee while tickets last! (Limit four tickets per purchaser. Store credit and coupons cannot be used toward buying tickets. Call the store at 323-245-6400 or check this blog to find out if tickets are still available.)

aloe blacc amoeba
Aloe Blacc live at Amoeba

The “Jam Day” May 25 features rapper Snoop Dogg, neo-soul acts Aloe Blacc and The Internet, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project Featuring Lee How & Nico Rubio, led by performer / choreographer Reich and featuring footwork by a group of talented performers.

“Reggae Day” on May 26 features reggae artists Ky-Mani Marley, Black Uhuru, Kevin Lyttle, Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Sister Carol and Fortunate Youth.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #79: Red Bull Music Academy Festival NYC, Bike Month, Aerial NYC, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 30, 2014 03:06pm | Post a Comment


You gotta just love the above aerial-view shot video of New York City that, in a mere two minutes, offers a remarkable overview (literally), utilizing the assistance of a drone, of the Big Apple and a real sense of its majestic beauty and vastness. Made by aerial photographer Randy Scott Slavin and perfectly synced to the soundtrack of RL Grime & What So Not's song "Tell Me" the engaging short-but-powerful video, that was published a couple of weeks ago via Vimeo, is the next best thing to taking a helicopter ride around Manhattan as it takes in such vistas as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Highline, and Washington Square Park. Speaking of visiting New York City - now and for the next month is a good time to do so before both the weather gets too hot and before prices of flights start to go up. 

While the non-stop rain we have been enduring all day today here in New York City continues through tomorrow (May 1st) with an 80% chance of precipitation, come Friday sunshine and nice temps will be ushered in and forecast to remain with us in the Big Apple for most of the rest of the month of May. And that's good news since May in NY is traditionally the month when everything and everyone seems to shift from indoors to outdoors with lots of activities taking place such as the annual AIDS Walk NYC that happens on Sunday May 18th and benefits over 40 AIDS service organizations in NY, NJ, and CT and, as of today April 30th, has already raised over $2million for the cause.  See route map here, and for more info and how to get involved click here.

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A look at Tsukioka Yoshitoshi on his 175th birthday

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 30, 2014 12:32pm | Post a Comment
Portrait of Yoshitoshi
Kanaki Toshikage portrait of Yoshitoshi

One of Japan's greatest artists, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, was born on this day in 1839, which I reckon makes it as good a time as any to blog about him. For those unfamiliar, Yoshitoshi is widely regarded as one of ukiyo-e's greatest innovators, as well as its last major practitioner. He produced an enormous body of work (about 10,000 pieces by some estimates) although he's best known for his bloody pieces -- which comprise a large chunk of his oeuvre. After falling out of fashion amongst Japanese art collectors, he was "rediscovered" in the 1970s and is now rightfully placed amongst the ukiyo-e greats.

*****

Yoshitoshi was born Owariya Yonejiro (米次郎), in the Shimbashi district of Edo (now Tokyo), in 1839. His Photographic portrait of Yoshitoshifather, Owariya Kinzaburō, was a wealthy merchant and samurai. The identity of his mother is unknown, although Kinzaburō's mistress, apparently not wanting the share their home with the child, sent him off to live with an otherwise childless relative, Kyōya Orizaburō, when Yonejiro was about three. At the age of five, after showing interest in art, the pharmacist uncle (or cousin by other accounts) began offering the young boy art instruction.

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See Johnny Thunders Doc 'Looking For Johnny' in L.A. May 24

Posted by Billy Gil, April 30, 2014 11:15am | Post a Comment
johnny thunders
Johnny Thunders

Amoeba is sponsoring the Los Angeles debut of the documentary Looking For Johnny, about the tumultuous life of punk rocker Johnny Thunders, Saturday, May 24, at the Downtown Independent Theatre. Tickets are on sale now for $15 at Amoeba Hollywood (+$2 service fee) or online here. There are screenings at 8:45 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Thunders (born John Anthony Genzale, Jr.) got his start as a member of the influential New York Dolls, glam-rockers in the early ’70s who wore women’s clothing, played gleefully sloppy rock ‘n’ roll and influenced a generation of punk rock from The Sex Pistols to The Ramones to post-punk bands like The Smiths. The guitarist later formed the short-lived yet crucial punk band The Heartbreakers and after their demise embarked on a solo career, starting with 1978’s So Alone through 1988’s covers album Copy Cats. Thunders was last working with a band called The Oddballs in 1991 when he died under mysterious circumstances in New Orleans—though he officially died of drug-related causes, some have long suspected foul play.

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The Late, Great Bob Hoskins

Posted by Charles Reece, April 30, 2014 07:10am | Post a Comment

With a criminal physiognomy and surly delivery that would've been perfect as the heavy in old film noirs, Bob Hoskins was born too late, but he still managed to act in some really great movies, like the retro-noir Mona Lisa and, one of my favorites, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, featured above. Hoskins died last night.

SF's Shipyard Artists Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Spring Open Studios

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 29, 2014 07:18pm | Post a Comment

Shipyard Artists (America’s largest artist colony with more than 280 artist work studios) and the Bayview Opera House have teamed up to present the 25th Anniversary of their Spring Open Studios. Join them at the Hunters Point Shipyard on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th from 11am - 6pm to view the work of over 125 participating artists. Special features for the 25th Anniversary will include food by the Bayview Underground Food Scene PopUp Market with many local vendors, live jazz with the Garrett Kobsef Duo and the Ollie Dudek Duo, a youth art show, and a participatory art zone for kids. Admission and parking are free!

Find out more about the 25th Anniversary Spring Open Studios HERE!
 

shipyard artists open studios hunters pointn

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Mount Kimbie

Posted by Amoebite, April 29, 2014 06:29pm | Post a Comment

Mount Kimbie

English duo Mount Kimbie have been winning over dance fans with their "post-dubstep" minimal style of Mount Kimbieelectronic music since their arrival in 2009. Last year they dropped Cold Spring Fault Less Youth (Warp Records), their follow up to 2010's Crooks & Lovers (Hotflush Recordings). After a series of EPs and 12 inch remixes, Mount Kimbie have crafted a sound all their own. They've collaborated with musical friends King Krule and James Blake, who also share the duo's minimal sensibilities. Mount Kimbie are definitely a group to watch out for. 

Mount Kimbie recently visited Amoeba Hollywood and hung out for another episode of What's In My Bag? Big fans of all things Motown, they kick things off with a 12 inch by one-hit wonder Charlene. They follow up with Together by McCoy Tyner, arguably one of the best jazz pianists to emerge during the 1960s. The duo also pick up George Duke, Joni Mitchell, and a few Latin and African records. These guys love it all and they only dig for the good wax! Check out the full episode and be thoroughly entertained.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Too $hort's Landmark Release "Life Is....Too $hort"

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2014 02:45pm | Post a Comment
In true battle rap tradition the cover of Too $hort's classic late eighties album Life Is…Too $hort shows the Oakland rapper, in a now iconic photo by Oakland photographer Victor Hall, triumphantly posing over the headstone of one of his fictitious fallen rap rivals "Sucker MC John Doe" who was "Born on Stage" and "Died on Wax. Rest In Peace."   The ten track album was originally released 26 years ago and, of the close to twenty albums that the prolific, pioneering Oakland rapper born (in LA) Todd Shaw has put out over an illustrious career that dates back to the early eighties and continues up to this day, Life Is...Too Short (along with Born To Mack), remains among the most popular Too $hort albums with diehard fans who identify with the artist's notorious player/mack persona.

Released in January 1988 when he was already "Eight years on the mic and I'm not joking. Sir Too Short coming straight from Oakland," Life Is...Too Short was the rapper's fifth album and his second for Jive Records - co-released and first released via the East Bay indie Dangerous Music. Over rumbling bass-lines and predominantly slowed down BPM booming tracks, mostly produced by Al Eaton at his now legendary East Bay One Little Indian Studios, Life is..... offered up plenty of $hort Dog's trademark "nasty raps" to satisfy fans of his Richard Pryor-meets-Blowfly inspired sexually explicit rhymes  that were personified by the previous album's (Born To Mack) underground hit "Freaky Tales."  $hort continued that theme on such tracks as "Pimp Tha Hoe,"  the sexually charged "Don't Fight The Feeling" (that, along with the Dangerous Crew compilation - also via Dangerous Music - introduced the rap world to a pre "Players Club" Rappin' 4-Tay), and the self-explanatory "Cuss Words" which, not surprisingly, offered a non-stop barrage of cuss word  tales of naughty nastiness that began with $hort rapping, "To all you bitches, hoes, and all that shit. Here's another rap that I'm ready to spit. It goes like this, my name is $hort. I'm tearin shit up like never before Pimp slaps, makin snaps. Cold cash money and Too $hort raps." The song, which shocked parent groups at the time, went on to include $hort threatening to "fuck your wife" with the "your" being anyone who crossed his path.

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Album Picks: Wye Oak, Jack Ruby, Ought

Posted by Billy Gil, April 29, 2014 10:38am | Post a Comment

Wye Oak - Shriek (LP, CD, Download)

wye oak shriek lp amoebaSometimes you need a change. Baltimore duo Wye Oak have been at it for a few years, producing great albums like 2011’s Civilian, but touring for that album left the band exhausted, and they were living in different cities. With new synthesizers in the place of guitars and drums, Wye Oak’s sound is reimagined on the stunning Shriek. Jenn Wasner sounds revelatory on opener “Before,” singing over dreamy synth washes and retro computer loops. Every instrument seems to occupy its own perfect space on the title track, creating a lovely little syncopated groove, while Wasner sings beautifully with high-flying abandon. That gorgeous opening makes way for Wye Oak to experiment a bit. “Tower” sees the band employing an R&B-inspired, stuttering groove, drawing influence from the spacey krautrock of Can as well as Timbaland and Missy Elliott’s work with Aaliyah. The changes sound so thrilling because Wye Oak clearly thrive in their new territory, moving freely through the sexy, Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Glory,” in which they sound like wise, older siblings to recent pop group Haim. And in the album’s loungier second half, the band produces robotic, poolside glamour (“Despicable Animal”); intricate, jungly noise (“Paradise”) and lush, adult pop (“Logic of Color”). Playing new wave sophisticates suits Wye Oak quite well, giving them new life with brilliant results.

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Cate le Bon Chats With Us Before Her Performance at Amoeba Hollywood April 30

Posted by Billy Gil, April 28, 2014 06:24pm | Post a Comment

cate le bon amoebaWelsh singer-songwriter Cate le Bon produced one of our favorite, underappreciated (well, by those who didn’t hear it) albums of 2013 with Mug Museum. Blending the cool demeanor and husky voice of someone like Nico with jagged post-punk guitars and beats, Mug Museum sounds like a hard-to-place unearthed precious relic, like something whispered into your ear.

She’ll perform at Amoeba Hollywood April 30 at 7 p.m. Before the show, we caught up with le Bon, who recently moved to L.A.

What spurred your move from Wales to Los Angeles?

I have always been intrigued by Los Angeles ever since coming to the city to rehearse with Neon Neon way back when. When the opportunity presented itself to record an album out here, which has always been a dream of mine, it felt like it was time to bite the bullet. Money mouth etc. ...The weather is also a definite perk.

I read that you wrote most of the album in your home country, but I do feel a bit of SoCal sunshine poking through in Mug Museum. Do you think the new locale affected the sound of the album?

It has most definitely seeped into the album, but how, I am not able to say yet. I think that will become apparent to me when I listen back in many years.

cate le bon mug museum lp amoebaIt has to be a huge change. How do you feel playing and recording music here differs from doing so in the U.K.?

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Hip-Hop Loses Another Legend With the Passing of DJ E-Z Rock

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock "It Takes Two" (1988)


Hip-Hop has lost another legend and way too early in life too. Harlem hip-hop artist and one half of the legendary hip-hop duo Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Rodney "Skip" Bryce died yesterday of, as yet, undisclosed reasons at the young age of 46. A DJ and producer, who began his career three decades ago, DJ E-Z Rock along with partner in rhyme Rob Base will be best remembered for their two biggest hits, both from the late 80's: "It Takes Two" and "Joy and Pain." The songs were two of the four singles culled from their Profile Records 1988 hit album It Takes Two. The huge success of the single "It Takes Two" was in part due to the perfect choice of sample (James Brown-produced Lyn Collin's 1972 hit "Think (About It)" that fueled its memorable chorus) plus the fact that the song was equal parts rap and house/dance music - hence appealing to varying audiences.

As soon as the news of the DJ's death began to spread yesterday friends/collaborators/fans alike all took to social media to offer their condolences and memories including Biz Markie who first Tweeted the sad news, and fellow Harlem NY hip-hop veteran DJ Red Alert who, along with the classic photo of the artist (left), wrote via Instragram: "We Have Lost Our Very Own From Harlem NYC & The Hip-Hop Culture Our Brother DJ E-Z Rock. Rest In Peace Boss, My Condolences To The Friends & Family Of The Abraham Lincoln Houses." Above is the music video for "It Takes Two" while below is a live performance version of "Joy and Pain" at the Apollo on 125th Street in Harlem not far from where DJ E-Z Rock grew up. In a tragic side note singer Omar Chandler, the artist born Chandler Spencer who is seen/heard singing the hook on "Joy and Pain," died a year ago at age 51 - a stabbing murder/robbery victim in Hartsville, South Carolina.

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Music History Monday: April 28

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 28, 2014 10:22am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: April 28, 1969Chicago Transit Authority, the debut album by the Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City from January 27 - 30, 1969. Formed in 1967, the band are originally known as The Big Thing before changing their name to the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968. That same year, they will meet record producer James William Guericio who will also become their manager, helping them to secure a deal with Columbia Records. Relocating to Los Angeles, they will go through months of intensive rehearsals and writing sessions, before going to New York in early 1969 to record their first album. Recorded in just three days, they will have enough material for not only one, but two albums. CBS will initially balk at releasing a two record set on new band. Insistent on releasing the album as it was originally conceived, the band and Guericio will have to agree to take a cut in royalty payments as well as allow the label to price the album at a slightly lower rate than normal for a two LP set. Once released, the twelve track double album will initially get off to a slow start but will find success through heavy touring and support from FM underground radio. It will spin off four singles including "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (#7 Pop) and "Beginnings" (#7 Pop). Chicago Transit Authority will peak at number seventeen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Amoeba Curates Next Red Bull Sound Select Show in Los Angeles May 22

Posted by Billy Gil, April 25, 2014 05:08pm | Post a Comment

red bull sound select amoeba holy fuck

We’re curating the next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles, and this one will feature a trio of electronic-rock bands led by Holy Fuck at The Roxy on May 22 at 8 p.m. RSVP here for $3 tickets to the show. The show is 18+, and it's $12 without an RSVP.

holy fuck
Holy Fuck

Toronto-based Holy Fuck have released three albums of genre-pushing electronica, using unorthodox “instruments” such as film synchronizers and toy instruments in addition to electronic elements in order to create danceable beats and mesmerizing sounds. Their latest album is called Latin, and they’re working on a new one right now.

Supporting Holy Fuck at this show will be a couple of Los Angeles acts. James Supercave writes upbeat electro-pop with heartfelt vocals, as can be heard on his latest release, The Afternoon EP, which was just release last month. Wunder Wunder, an Australian, L.A.-based duo of producers who make shimmering, modern electronic pop with psychedelic touches, will open the show, followed by James Supercave and Holy Fuck.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.25.14: Top 5, New Releases with E-Lit, SF DMC Regional with DJ Cue, Blitz the Ambassador + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2014 12:54pm | Post a Comment
          


Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5, Week Ending 04:25:14


1) Childish Gambino   Because The Internet [Record Store Day] (LP) (Glassnote)

2) Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death [Clear Vinyl] [Record Store Day] (LP) (Atlantic)

3) J. Stalin S.i.d.-shining I (Town Thizness)

4) Various Artists Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows (Mello Music Group)

5) Nocando Jimmy the Burnout (Hellfyre Club)

As a result of the mad rush for exclusive Record Store Day releases at Amoeba Music on the incredibly busy RSD 2014 last Saturday some of those releases make up the latest Hip-Hop Top Five weekly chart from the Berkeley Amoeba store where E-Lit, in the video above, does a run down of new releases and what was popular during Record Store Day such as the vinyl version of Childish Gambino's  Because The Internet.  Other new chart entries include Bay Area homegrown talent J. Stalin's in demand new joint S.i.d.-shining I, the excellent Mello Music label compilation sampler Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows, and brand new Hellfyre Club release Jimmy the Burnout from Nocando.

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Weekly Roundup: Courtney Love, Trash Talk, tUnE-yArDs, The Donkeys, Zig Zags, Cold Beat

Posted by Billy Gil, April 25, 2014 10:41am | Post a Comment

Courtney Love – “You Know My Name”

courtney loveCourtney Love made news recently by announcing the mid-’90s lineup of Hole would reunite (along with Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf Der Maur and Upset’s Patty Schemel), but that doesn’t seem to be happening for the time being. However, we do have a new double A-side due from Love, “Wedding Day” and this hardcore-inspired pop song. Her voice is sounding pretty cool again. It’s out May 4.

 

Trash Talk – “Cloudkicker”

trash talkSacramento hardcore band Trash Talk have unveiled the first taste of their upcoming fifth album, No Peace (due May 27 on Odd Future), the follow-up to 2012’s excellent 119. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tastes like bile, whiskey and Molotov. Delicious!

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Movie Trailer Highlights from The 57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2014 02:48am | Post a Comment

20,000 Days on Earth  screens during SFIFF on Monday April 28th, 9:45pm, at Sundance
Kabuki Cinema, and Thursday May 1st, 6:15pm at New People Cinema.

The Nick Cave biopic 20,000 Days on Earth is one of two music-related films that Amoeba Music is co-presenting during this year's 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which just kicked off its action-packed 15 day schedule. 20,000 Days is just one of about 30 documentaries in this year's festival that include other music-themed films such as the Grateful Dead-related The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir, and Heaven Adores You (the other Amoeba co-sponsored festival screening) about the life of singer-songwriter Elliott Smith up to its tragic ending at age 34.

Meanwhile under the Festival's World Cinema category is We Are The Best! - the Swedish feature film by Lukas Moodysson set in the '80s about three young teenager girls who form a punk band. Coming of age comedy Ping Pong Summer is about a shy hip-hop obsessed 13 year old in the Maryland seaside town of Ocean Side in the mid '80s during a life-changing summer vacation. Susan Sarandon stars in a role that includes a scene of her wielding a fish as a weapon. Another SFIFF attraction is Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's culinary and wit-driven travel adventure sequel The Trip To Italy - worth it for the Michael Caine impressions alone. Above and below are trailers for each of these films. For the full schedule and more info, go to the 57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival website. 

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New Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 4/24/14 - Legowelt, Garnier, Octo Octa and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, April 24, 2014 10:18am | Post a Comment

Legowelt - Los Alamos Motel

Legowelt

Los Alamos Motel 12"

Peoples Potential Unlimited

Some reviewers have stated that all Legowelt records sound the same. Mr. Wolfers proves them wrong on this one. Sure, this release bears his trademark analog retrofuturism, but this is very much his "PPU" record. This EP explores lower tempos, noirish melodies and even vocals on "Videophone to Space". The title track has the gated 80s snare and plodding synth progression of a lost-to-VHS low-budget crime flick.

Buy Los Alamos Motel 12"

 

Garnier - AF 4302 EP

Garnier

AF 4302 EP 12"

50 Weapons

New 50 Weapons from a guy who knows a thing or two about producing for the club. The Parisian legend is in fine-form here, delivering dark, peak-time bangers. The highlight may well be "H.E." the record's most minimal, lurid track. A driving and hypnotic bassline bump up against an looped male vocal that eventually utters an explicit come-on through the break. The other two tracks are fine hardware techno.

AF 4302 EP 12"

 

Octo Octa - Where Did You Go

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Amoeba Sponsors The Drop: Ian McLagan at The GRAMMY Museum

Posted by Billy Gil, April 23, 2014 06:12pm | Post a Comment

ian mclagan

Amoeba is sponsoring The Drop: Ian McLagan, a performance and discussion with the legendary keyboardist Tuesday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at The GRAMMY Museum. Tickets are $20.

Ian McLagan is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who began in the 1960s as a keyboard player for U.K. rockers The Faces and The Small Faces. Since then, he’s recorded with artists as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg and Ryan Adams.

McLagan is releasing is first studio album in five years with United States, out June 17 on Yep Roc. Featuring McLagan on keyboards and vocals performing 10 new, original songs, United States is produced by Glyn Johns (The Faces, The Who) and is mastered by Bob Ludwig (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones). McLagan has premiered the first song from the album, called “All I Wanna Do.”

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First Fridays Returns May 2 With Holychild, Groundislava Featuring Rare Times

Posted by Billy Gil, April 23, 2014 05:03pm | Post a Comment


first fridays holychild groundislava

The next First Fridays series show hits the Natural History Museum May 2 from 5 to 10 p.m. with Holychild and Groundislava featuring Rare Times. Amoeba is a proud sponsor of the event. Tickets are $18 for museum admission and a guaranteed spot in the concert hall.

The bands runs from 8 to 10 p.m., with Holychild at 8 and Groundislava at 9:15. Peppy electro-pop duo Holychild have released the EP Mindspeak, featuring the upbeat, irresistible “Happy With Me.” Electronica producer Groundislava has worked in an 8-bit style on albums like 2012’s Feel Me (featuring the Chrono Trigger and Troll 2 sampling “Cool Party”) and appears at the Natural History Museum with electro-soul duo Rare Times. DJs Anthony Valadez and Daddy Kev will be tunes all night, starting at 5:30 p.m.

First up are tours starting at 5 p.m. on “Tracking and Trapping L.A.’s Wildlife,” with Aisling Farrell, collections manager, and Gary Takeuchi, assistant collections manager, at Rancho La Brea Department. There are three half-hour tours with a 15-person capacity each, limited to first-come, first-served. Afterwards there will be a discussion with Dr. John Harris on “Back to the Future: The Scientific and Cultural Importance of Rancho La Brea,” covering the fossils found at the La Brea Tar Pits and what they tell us about early life in California.

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Band of Skulls Play SF's Regency Ballroom on May 22

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 23, 2014 04:53pm | Post a Comment

band of skulls san francisco regency ballroomGoldenvoice & Amoeba Music present Band of Skulls -- that rawkin' British trio that's taking America by storm -- live at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on May 22nd.

Whether you know them from their three hit records or by their ridiculously catchy and searingly hot tune "Light Of The Morning" (featured in the ubiquitous Ford Mustang commercial), there's no denying that this is a band you need to experience live.

They are touring in support of their latest album Himalayan (out now).

Get your tickets now before they're all gone.
 

Amoeba Holds Charity Auction Saturday May 3 With Gustavo Arellano

Posted by Billy Gil, April 23, 2014 03:33pm | Post a Comment

Our next charity auction will be hosted by OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano on Saturday, May 3 at 4 p.m. at Amoeba Hollywood, after which he'll spin records for a "Tres De Mayo" DJ set.

sweet reliefBid on concert tickets, gift certificates, collectibles and more. Proceeds will go toward Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to career musicians struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability or age-related problems. Amoeba will match winning auction bids up to $1,000.

Some of the items in the May 3 auction will include:

-Two tickets to Tacolandia, the taco fest happening June 28 in Downtown L.A.

liars
Liars

-Two tickets to American Idiot, the play based on the Green Day album of the same name, plus water bottles, T-shirts and other Green Day stuff. Read more about that show here.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Video With The 88

Posted by Amoebite, April 23, 2014 12:51pm | Post a Comment

The 88

Power pop rockers The 88 recently visited Amoeba Hollywood for an awesome episode of What's in My Bag?. These guys have been churning out catchy radio hooks for a decade now. In the mid 2000s it was virtually impossible to turn on your TV and not hear a song by The 88. From hit shows like Grey's Anatomy, The O.C., One Tree Hill to current shows like Community (they wrote the theme songand films like The Lorax, The 88 have been singing to you all along, even if you didn't know it.

The 88The 88 recently self-released their 6th studio album, Fortune Teller. After a brief stint with Island Records, which neither made nor broke The 88, the band is still making noise in a genre that is over-saturated with young, short attention span Millennials. Adam Merrin, Keith Slettedahl, Todd O'Keefe and Anthony Zimmitti definitely have a knack for constructing songs that are catchy and easy to digest, and there's no doubt their new album will have music supervisors frothing at the mouth for placements.   

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Italo-disco singer Savage is coming to Southern California

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 23, 2014 11:01am | Post a Comment
Savage portrait

On 6 June, 2014, '80s Italo legend Savage is performing for the first time in Southern California. He'll perform his greatest hits, including “Don't Cry Tonight,” “Only You,” “A Love Again,” “Fugitive,” “Radio,” and more in an event that will be DJed by BPM and hosted by singer TQ. Advance tickets are available here

Savage Flyer


Savage was born Roberto Zanetti was born in Massa, Italy on 28 November, 1956. Zanetti's musical education began when he was fourteen and he began taking piano lessons. Soon after he began playing keyboards in several bands including L'inchiesta, Fathima e i Pronipoti, I Vicini di Casa, andSangrià. 




In 1977, Zanetti formed Santarosa with Alberto Feri, Tiziana De Santis, Angelo Tedesco, and Paolo Zilio. In 1979 they had a his with Souvenir," which sold over 200,000 copies. The song was produced by singer “Zucchero” Fornaciari (né Adelmo Fornaciari)  and in 1980, he and Zanetti began a creative partnership. In 1983, the first fruit of their labor was also their first stab at dance music, "To Miami," attributed to Taxi and released by Florence-based Harmony Music and credited to Taxi

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #78: SummerStage 2014 Schedule, Museum @ FIT, CitiBike, NYC Earth Cam Views, Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2014 12:07pm | Post a Comment

Above is a screenshot of the live Earth Cam stream of Times Square in the heart of Manhattan. This 24/7 live video cam is a cool URL to save just to check in and get a glance of how things are looking in New York City. Stationary for several minutes, the camera routinely does a pan of the area to settle into another vantage point from high up looking down a this "crossroads of the world" and, like all Earth Cam live video feeds, comes with current weather updates. The camera is one of several cameras around town that you can bring up on your computer to get a birds eye view of New York.

Just a fifteen minute stroll down Seventh Ave. from Times Square is the free and always interesting Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). It is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Featuring ever-changing, innovative fashion exhibitions, the museum's Fashion Culture special programs happen all year long, Tuesday through Sundays, and include exhibition talks and tours, fashion conversations with major designers, lectures, and book signings. All ages. Free. Tues-Friday 12 noon to 8pm, and Saturdays 10am to 5pm. More info

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Super Duper Alice Cooper Screens One Night Only at Balboa Theatre, 5/1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 22, 2014 11:43am | Post a Comment

Are you ready for Super Duper Alice Cooper?! It's the first ever "doc opera" -- a dizzying blend of super duper alice cooperdocumentary archive footage, animation, and rock opera that will cement forever the legend of Alice Cooper -- and it's showing for one night only at the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco on May 1st at 7pm and 9:30pm. Get your tickets now!

The film is a twisted tale of a teenage Dr. Jekyll whose rock n’ roll Mr. Hyde almost kills him. It is the story of Vincent Furnier, a preacher’s son who struck fear into the hearts of parents as ALICE COOPER, the ultimate rock star of the bizarre. From the advent of Alice as front man for a group of Phoenix freaks in the '60s to the hazy decadence of celebrity in the '70s to his triumphant comeback as '80s glam metal godfather, we will watch as Alice and Vincent battle for each other’s souls. Alice’s story is told not only by the man himself, but through exclusive interviews with members of the original band, Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, and Dee Snider.

Super Duper Alice Cooper is the creation of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn at Banger Films, producers of Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009 SXSW Audience Choice Winner) and Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010 Grammy-nominated and Tribeca Audience Choice Winner), and much-lauded filmmaker Reginald Harkema, winner of the TIFF Special Jury Prize for his film Monkey Warfare.
 

Album Picks: Fear of Men, Kelis, Iggy Azalea, Future

Posted by Billy Gil, April 22, 2014 09:37am | Post a Comment

Fear Of Men - Loom (LP or CD)
fear of men loom lpFear of Men pull some of the best bits of shoegaze and alternative together to create a slick (but not too slick) and immensely enjoyable debut record. Singer Jessica Weiss has a smooth, exacting voice that calls to mind ethereal singers of yesteryear, from Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser to The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. The band plays muscular indie-rock that can move in graceful lockstep (“Tephra”) or set a pretty, yet never sappy backdrop over which Weiss can breathily intone, as on the lovely “Seer.” On the album’s most thrilling moments, Weiss will stretch her voice into territory that goes beyond the expected, singing into a lo-fi mic on the gorgeous “Descent” or looping into dizzying layers on standout “Waterfall.” There’s still a bit of room for Fear of Men to come into its own, but it’s difficult to argue with their sound when Loom sounds so immaculate. It’s definitely one of the most promising debuts of the year, and sets up Fear of Men as a band to watch this year and long after.

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Music History Monday: April 21

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 21, 2014 10:30am | Post a Comment


To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.


Born on this day: April 21, 1959 - Singer, songwriter and founder of The Cure, Robert Smith (born Robert James Smith in Blackpool, UK). Happy 55th Birthday, Robert!
 


On this day in music history: April 21, 1958 - "Twilight Time" by The Platters hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for one week, also topping the R&B Best Sellers chart for three weeks on April 28, 1958. Written by Buck Ram, Al Nevins, Morton Nevins, and Artie Dunn, it is the third pop and fourth R&B chart-topper for the Los Angeles-based vocal group. The song is originally recorded in 1944 by The Three Suns and by big band leader Les Brown. When The Platters record it in early 1958, it will initially be the B-side of "Out Of My Mind." American Bandstand host Dick Clark prefers "Twilight" and begins heavily plugging it on the show, making it the A-side by default. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #7 on April 14, 1958, it will leap to the top of the chart the following week. The single will sell over 1.5 million copies by the time it tops the charts,  The success of the record will be significant as more than 90% of its sales on the 7" 45 RPM format, leading The Platters label Mercury Records to phase out the manufacturing of the 10" 78 RPM record, the format that had dominated the music industry for the first half century of its existence. "Twilight Time" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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April 20, 2014: Under the Skin

Posted by phil blankenship, April 20, 2014 09:18pm | Post a Comment
Under the Skin movie ticket stub

Hip-Hop Songs To Celebrate 420

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2014 11:06am | Post a Comment

         
                                        Bone Thugs~N~Harmony "Weed Song"

Happy Easter!
Happy 420! Both holidays, which fall today, seem almost equally accepted and mainstream, especially in states such as California, Colorado, and Washington. But it wasn't always that way. The first time I personally became aware of the symbolism of 420 and what it meant was back in the mid '90s when I was over in Amsterdam reporting on the High Times sponsored Cannabis Cup for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. During that week of events in the Dutch city long associated with cannabis, I noticed how at exactly 4:20pm each afternoon without fail everyone would stop whatever they were doing to spark one up. Of course, most stoners don't need an excuse or specific time to remind them to indulge in the sticky icky, but that doesn't stop folks from observing the hour of 4:20 (pm or am) as if it were a religious holiday. Weed lore has it that celebrating 4:20 dates back to the early 1970's when, somewhere in NorCal near Humboldt - longtime the epicenter of California weed-growing, a group of friends chose that time of the day to light up. Since then the time morphed into the date of April 20th as a celebratory time and nowadays it seems everyone, smokers and non-smokers alike, are well aware of the meaning of 4:20. 

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Recap: Record Store Day 2014 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Rachael McGovern, April 19, 2014 06:40pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day at Amoeba Hollywood

Record collectors and music fans of all stripes came together in the wee hours of April 19 outside of Amoeba Hollywood to get their hands on the super limited edition Record Store Day titles. Some of the hottest sellers of the morning included a glow in the dark Ghostbusters 10" by Ray Parker Jr, the R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions 4-LP box set, a Paramore "broken" 12", and the Cure/Dinosaur Jr split 7". Despite the early hours, there was plenty of enthusiasm, excitement, and camaraderie in the line. And lots and lots of coffee.

Watch our video below to see how the morning unfolded:

Coffee Bean at Amoeba Hollywood for Record Store Day

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf generously provided coffee for the early birds, helping to fuel their stamina (and ours!).

Brently Heilbron at Amoeba Hollywood

Our Master of Ceremonies for the day was Mr. Brently Heilbron, a comedian, actor, and original host of our charity auctions, who now lives in Austin, TX. 

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Record Store Day at Amoeba SF: The Most Vinyltastic Day of All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2014 05:52pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day is still raging at Amoeba San Francisco until we close the doors tonight at 8pm, but the early hours were a magical time for hardcore record collectors and record store enthusiasts. We captured some of that magic in our epic video below. Also scroll down to see some photos of the the biggest and best Record Store Day yet, full of amazing DJs, deals, and the best customers in the world.
 



Thank you to all of our Record Store Day DJs:

Joel Gion
Bobby 
Primo
Andy Cabic of Vetiver
Jeff Boom Bostic
Russell Quan
Blood Sister

And thank you, record collectors everywhere...

Record Store Day 2014 A Big Success, And There's Still Hours Left To Shop For Exclusive Record Store Day Releases

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2014 05:03pm | Post a Comment

Diggin' in the Hip-Hop 12" Crates At 18 Months - Record Store Day 2014 Amoeba Berkeley

 

"It's been the busiest Record Store Day ever!" reported Amoeba Berkeley employee Gail at 4pm today during Record Store Day. People were lined up outside hours before the 10:30am opening of the Telegraph Ave. store this morning, and once those early shoppers got inside they gravitated towards the sections where they knew their desired RSD releases would be. Then they had to line up to buy them.

"Boy, there was this very long line that started in here and snaked all the way around, up and down those isles, and then on over to the cash register," said Gail, pointing all the way across the store from the world music section, not far from where DJ Inti was spinning some Afrika Bambaataa at that moment, while many shoppers were busy digging in the crates. These shoppers included the little 18 month old girl with her pops in the above video. One happy record shopper I ran into earlier had copped the special Record Store Day clear vinyl three-record set reissue of the Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death while another had picked up the RSD reissue of Sam Cooke's final album Ain't That Good News on vinyl. While many titles may already be gone there are still a lot left and several hours of shopping remain on this Record Store Day 2014. So head over to your local record store, especially if it is Amoeba. Amoeba San Francisco closes at 8pm, Amoeba Hollywood closes at 9pm, and Amoeba Berkeley closes at 10pm today.
 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.18.14: Pre Record Store Day Edition

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2014 11:35am | Post a Comment
      

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 04:18:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy) (also on LP)

2) The Alchemist & Budgie The Good Book (Landspeed)

3) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)

4) Pharoahe Monch  PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media)

5) Awol One & Gel Roc The Cloaks (Abalano Records)

Just in time for Record Store Day (tomorrow April 19th, 2014) is the special twenty year anniversary reissued vinyl version of Nas' classic April 1994 debut albumIllmatic (also on CD with bonus disc) which is this week's number one on the latest hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba store. Meanwhile number two on this brand new chart, thanks to E-Lit for the above video breakdown, is the two-disc 48 track collaborative album from The Alchemist and Budgie The Good Book on Landspeed Records which also arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday (April 15th) and, as E-Lit pointed out, is fueled by gospel samples exclusively. Another new chart entry that E-Lit is feeling a lot is The Cloaks which is the collaborative side project of Awol One and Gel Roc along with producer Awkward plus scratches by super talented DJ D-Styles.
Scroll down to end to peep the music video for the album track "Rule By Secrecy."

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20 Great Stoner Movies to Celebrate 4/20

Posted by Billy Gil, April 18, 2014 11:20am | Post a Comment

dazed and confused movie

Dazed and Confused

Stoner CinemaHappy 4/20 everyone! Here’s a list of 20 of our favorites that you can enjoy in whatever state of mind you happen to be in, though “freeing your mind” certainly helps. We tried to keep the list fun (no David Lynch or Natural Born Killers) but also not too dumb (Half Baked). Light up and enjoy. And if you’re in the store, check out our Stoner Cinema section within our Comedy section of DVDs.

Yellow Submarine

Let’s start with just about every Beatles movie, particularly this one. Besides being the best Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine is also the most psychedelic, as the Beatles try to save fantastical paradise Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies in a magical yellow submarine, set to the album of the same name. It’s nonsensical fun no matter what your state of mind is.

 

Fantastic Planet

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New Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 4/18/14 - Suzanne Kraft, Sage Caswell, Seven Davis Jr. and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, April 18, 2014 08:56am | Post a Comment

Suzanne Kraft - Missum

 

Suzanne Kraft

Missum LP

Running Back

Running Back issues the teenage ambient tapes from Suzanne Kraft, the accomplished LA producer better known for sunny, psychedelic house. The roots of Kraft's melodic sense are revealed. II  has spacious guitar and ambles on with the timeless grace of a Basinski piece. VI  introduces a simple beat, while V is closest to traditional ambient electronic music - an enveloping pad transports the listener.

Buy MIssum LP

 

Omar s - Romancing the Stone

Omar S

Romancing the Stone 2x12"

FXHE

Omar S continues his prolific tear, following the It Can Be Done ..LP and the FXHE 10 Year Mix  with this dj-friendly 2x12". The title is totally appropriate as this is Omar's most melodic, sensual material in years. "Romancing the Stone" centers on a wistful piano riff. "Frogs" works from a funky disco bass line into abstract 303 atmosphere and back again. Surpass leans heavy on piano riffs again, using a cosmic, repetitive chord to build tension for over 10 minutes!

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Snoop Dogg: The Rapper We Love, Despite His Occasional Career Deviations

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

  Sergio's Music Intervention: Snoop Dogg Please Be Gangsta Again (2010)

In honor of tonight's San Francisco concert by Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), in which he'll be "performing his classic smash hits," via music videos this Amoelbog celebrates the career highs (pun intended) of the artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg while briefly  referencing some of the career lows of the artist born Calvin Broadus via the above video. I think it can be said that most of us hold an unconditional love for Snoop Dogg. Hence why the rapper who has sold over 30 million albums to date is still popular and headlining big venues like the Regency Ballroom in SF tonight and can charge $72 for a ticket to get in, and why we as longtime fans can somehow forgive him for his numerous questionable rap career deviations.  These numerous career sidesteps by the notorious weed smoking gangsta rapper from the LBC are entertainingly addressed in the above hilarious video clip by Sergio Cilli in one of his famed Music Intervention rants on the now defunct Current TV. The piece originally aired back in 2010 around the time Snoop teamed up with Katy Perry for her mega pop hit "California Gurls" but is still funny because it is so true!

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Stream Songs From Record Store Day Releases Before They Come Out

Posted by Billy Gil, April 17, 2014 09:27am | Post a Comment

Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 19. You can see all of the records that will be available here, and be sure to check out my 10 to watch blog. To whet your appetite further, check out these songs that will be released on Record Store Day but that you can stream now. And be sure to come to Amoeba stores on April 19—read about what we’ll have going on in-store here.

Ex-Cult – “Ties You Up”

ex-cultWhile this track will be on the upcoming Midnight Passenger album, this version (not found on the album) is produced by garage-rock wunderkind Ty Segall, giving it that extra oomph.

 

Lust for Youth – “Illume”

lust for youth sacred bonesWe’ve been fans of Sacred Bones signees Lust for Youth for some time now, but they seem to really be coming into their own with the cleaned-up and poppy “Illume.” It’ll appear on their new album International (out June 10), but before that, you can pick it up on Sacred Bones’ compilation Todo Muere Vol. 4, with other gothy goodies from Zola Jesus, Marissa Nadler, David Lynch and more.

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CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music Present Shujaat Hussain Khan

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 16, 2014 07:18pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present virtuoso sitar player Shujaat Hussain KhanShujaat Hussain Khan on Friday, May 2nd at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

Shujaat Hussain Khan belongs to the Imdad Khan gharana of the sitar and is the seventh in an unbroken line from a family that has produced many musical masters. He is the son and disciple of the master sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan. His musical pedigree continues back through his grandfather Ustad Inayat Khan, his great-grandfather Ustad Imdad Khan, and his great-great-grandfather Ustad Sahebdad Khan - all leading artists of their generations.

At the age of three, Shujaat began practicing on a specially made small sitar, and by the time he was six the child prodigy started giving public performances. Since then he has performed at all the prestigious music festivals in India and he has traveled around the world performing in Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe.

Shujaat has his own unique style of playing. His approach to rhythm is largely intuitive, fresh and spontaneous, always astonishing his audiences. He was recently a visiting artist at UCLA and currently lives in New Delhi, touring throughout India, the United States, and Europe each year. 

Get your tickets HERE!

New "What's In My Bag?" With Our Record Store Day DJ Chuck E. Weiss

Posted by Amoebite, April 16, 2014 02:31pm | Post a Comment

Chuck E. Weiss

Before Chuck E. Weiss became known for his own musical talents, he was known for the company he kept. His circle of friends included the likes of Tom Waits and Johnny Depp to name a few. Back in the day,  Weiss was this trendsetting scenster from Denver who once toured as a drummer for Lightnin' Hopkins and recorded with Blues legends Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters. After relocating to Los Angeles with his buddy Tom Waits, Weiss befriended singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones and Chuck E Weiss Red Beans & Weissbecame the subject of her hit song, "Chuck E.'s In Love."  

Weiss is back with his new album, Red Beans & Weiss (Anti-Records), after a seven year gap between his last release. The new album is chock full of zany, retro, blues and rockabilly influenced jams executive produced by Johnny Depp and Tom Waits. The record is fun and catchy!

Weiss is also a bonafide vinyl collector and record store culture runs in his blood (His parents owned the Record Center, a small record store in Denver, Colorado). So it's only fitting that Chuck E. Weiss will be playing a DJ set at Amoeba Hollywood for Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19th. Click here for the full schedule of events on Record Store Day.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #77: Snow in April, Earth Day, Record Store Day, Holly Golightly, Patti Smith & Other NYC Concerts +

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2014 12:06pm | Post a Comment

Odyssey "Native New Yorker" (1977)


The above video for Odyssey's timeless 1977 hit "Native New Yorker"  - written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell and also recorded by Frankie Valli, Esther Phillips, and Black Box - incorporates alongside the performance footage some cool shots of New York City's skyline and streets from back in the mid seventies. 

Meanwhile today in NYC climate change is on peoples' minds. Yes, with Earth Day NYC 2014 coming up Tuesday, April 22nd, the topic of climate change will be unavoidable since starting late last night (April 15th) and continuing this morning there was an unexpected snowfall - in mid April!  Sure it was just a light dusting of snow overnight but considering this is Spring when typically high temps are in the 70's and sunscreen, not snow gear, is what New Yorkers are packing before leaving the house this is highly unusual and another reminder that climate change is very real and very serious.

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Custom Record Store and Label Sleeves From Over The World

Posted by Rick Frystak, April 16, 2014 11:45am | Post a Comment

Promoting one's logo and style has always been a concern if not a priority of any creative business, especially the music business. To have your record store or record label's graphic sensibility out in the world is like a tag, a notice that, "we exist righteously", and "take a look at us, we are cool and you want to be part of this!". What better way to do this than to attach your graphics onto the outside of an LP's inner sleeve living in eternity with the record snugly inside. Or, to have the store's bag carried out onto the street by your loyal customers with your logo beaming out at the universe. Now that's promotion, or perhaps simply an affirmation of being in the moment.

Here is a 10-year collection of various record store and record label's logo and graphic style across the eras, mostly committed to an LP's inner sleeve, and some retail shopping bags inclusive, logos singing raucously or whispering of the quality within. With trends and budgets shifting moment to moment, this collection becomes a small guide to the attraction of it for everyman's taste. What do folks think will look good? How will they remember our business?  As I deal with old record collections and their ephemera daily, it's always a wonderful gift to have an exotic sleeve pop up from accross the country, or even the world. Records have always been a universally traded entertainment, and it's becoming more so by the month now. 

So, this Record Store Day, sit back and find your favorites within the trove of typographical time. Just browsing these photos fills me with hope.

Click on any image to start a slideshow.

Photographs of sleeves and bags by RICK FRYSTAK

Chat with Artists including Sky Ferreira, Dan Croll & Joey Bada$$ Ahead of Record Store Day

Posted by Rachael McGovern, April 15, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day Amoeba Takeover

Amoeba's Google+ page is being taken over by a handful of artists this week leading up to Record Store Day! We're hosting a series of live chats Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 where you can submit your questions and vote up the ones you want answered. If  you can't tune in live, you can watch them on our YouTube channel after the events.

 

Thursday, April 17 - Dan CrollDan Croll Sweet Disarray
12pm PT / 3pm ET

Watch it here.

English singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Croll will chat with fans and take your questions live on Thursday, April 17 at noon PT. On Record Store Day, Croll will be releasing a limited 10" with two new songs.

As a teenager Croll learned to play guitar, bass, piano, the drums, and trumpet and studied at Liverpool's Institute for Performing Arts. But over time his music has become increasingly electronic and now incorporates both acoustic and electronic elements. His debut album, Sweet Disarray (Capitol), was just released in the States on April 1.

Dan Croll Record Store Day 2014

Dan Croll
Hello My Baby 10"

'American Idiot' Returns to the Stage in L.A., Amoeba Auctions Off Tickets

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2014 03:56pm | Post a Comment

american idiot

The Tony-nominated production of “American Idiot,” the play based on the concept album of the same name by Green Day, comes to L.A.’s Pantages Theatre next month.

The limited one-week engagement runs from May 13 through May 18. Amoeba Hollywood will be auctioning off two tickets to the opening May 13 show at our May 3 charity auction. The tickets also include a meet-and-greet with the cast after the show.

We’ll also have merchandise from the show available to bid on, so head to Amoeba that day for a chance to win. The charity auction goes to benefit Sweet Relief, a non-profit that provides a fund for musicians in medical and financial need.

american idiot dance“American Idiot” tells the story of three childhood friends looking for meaning in a post-9/11 world. The musical features the music of Green Day and lyrics by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, using hit songs from the album like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and “American Idiot,” as well as songs from Green Day’s 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown and the unreleased Green Day song “When It’s Time.” The show’s Grammy-winning soundtrack is available now.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Hip-Hop Power Duo EPMD's 1988 Debut Album "Strictly Business"

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment
In hip-hop history 1988 was a pretty darn incredible year for landmark releases. Like 1987 it was another landmark time in the development of the genre - an era when hip-hop had shifted from its old-school second phase and had arrived into its new so-called "golden era" that would last through to 1992/1993.  A hip-hop group and album that personified this perfectly was and the power duo of EPMD and their flawless debut album Strictly Business.

Released in August of 1988 on Sleeping Bag Records Strictly Business (not to be confused with the 1991 movie of the same name with an LL Cool J song of the same name on its soundtrack) was the debut album from infamous New York hip-hop duo EPMD whose name stands for  "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars" and who are comprised of the emcee/production power pair of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith (aka PMD).  The album was reissued last year as Strictly Business 25th Year Anniversary Edition CD with five bonus tracks.

Although only ten songs in length the hip-hop styles displayed on Strictly Business - cool laid back rhymes over smooth funky beats that sampled an infectious blend of funk, soul, and rock - remain influential to this day and personify the creme de la creme of hip-hop's much celebrated "golden age" - something that EPMD kept going on their second album, Unfinished Business, the following year as well as on later releases (all in the "Business" titled series). Unlike albums of today, which tend to be smothered in guest emcees and producers, with the exception of DJ K La Boss (who added his turntablist skills to album track that bore his name), Strictly Business was purely the talents of Erick and Parish who both rapped in a similarly almost lazy-sounding, rolling, lyrical flow.

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Album Picks: Thee Oh Sees, Woods, The Both

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2014 11:05am | Post a Comment

Thee Oh Sees - Drop (LP or CD)

thee oh sees drop lp amoebaThee Oh Sees’ perhaps final LP encapsulates what the band has done so well for the past decade while still forging new territory. The album balances songs that thump around in dark corners with those that bang out brilliantly. “Penetrating Eye” explores spacey moog sounds even as it unleashes an unholy howl of Sabbath guitars. “Put Some Reverb on My Brother” has a terrifically snarling little riff and sneering performance by John Dwyer, with saxophones that add extra pop. The title track has great, big Who-style guitarwork, making it one of the band’s most all-embracing rock tracks yet. “The King’s Noise” tries on some regal riffs and strings for a bit of proggy psychedelia. But for all of Drop’s catchiness, it’s the band’s ability to warp garage-rock guitars into something truly strange and unnerving that gets us every time, as on the spacey, scary “Transparent World.” If this is truly the end of Thee Oh Sees, they’ve gone out with a bang on one of their strongest albums yet.

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Tears in your beers -- Country tunes for Tax Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 15, 2014 09:35am | Post a Comment
Krazy Kat and crew

Income taxes -- they're no fun -- especially when you're poor. 

There are few escapes from them, too. Most of the few countries which don't have them are located in Arabia, where massive corporate taxes on even more massive oil revenue make them unnecessary. In the US, on the other hand, corporate income taxes only account for about 9% of federal government receipts (we may have the highest nominal corporate tax rate in the world but the effective corporate tax rate is much lower) whereas individual income taxes account for about 41%. That might, at first glance, seem high but our individual income taxes are actually low compared to those of most countries. In the developed world, only Chileans, Mexicans, and Turks contribute less to their countries' GDPs... or something (my mind glazed over for a second). 



Enough about percentages and Arabia -- what if you want to stay in America but still avoid taxes. You could always go Unabomber or embark upon a black market career... as Big Daddy Kane told us, "pushers don't pay taxes." But Jesus wouldn't approve of either of those options. The Messiah made his opinions on taxes known in the Gospel of Matthew, and even got a little testy:

Music History Monday: April 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 14, 2014 11:21am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: April 14, 1973 - "Masterpiece" by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on April 28, 1973. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield, it is the 11th R&B chart-topper for the veteran Motown vocal group. Songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield will give the song its title when he feels that all of the combined elements of the piece add up to a "masterpiece," though the word does not appear in the lyrics. Whitfield will write "Masterpiece" as a sequel to the Grammy-winning smash "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" (and the album All Directions), and features members of The Funk Brothers providing musical support and is arranged by Paul Riser. The single and album are recorded during a period where there is ever-mounting tension between the highly-strung producer and The Temptations, who are unhappy at having no say in the creative process and are being referred to by music critics as "the Norman Whitfield Choral Singers." "Masterpiece" will be edited down from its nearly 14 minute epic length down to under four and a half minutes for single release. Though the Tempts will top the R&B chart three more times with "Let Your Hair Down," "Happy People," and "Shakey Ground," in 1974 and 1975 respectively, "Masterpiece" will be will be the group's last top ten pop hit for 18 years. It returns to the upper reaches of the chart when they collaborate with Rod Stewart on "The Motown Song" peaking at #10 in September of 1991. "Masterpiece" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Earth Day San Francisco 2014 Significant Following New Climate Change Report

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2014 09:47am | Post a Comment

Fourth annual Earth Day San Francisco happens at Civic Center/UN Plaza on 4/19/2014

 
With the unsettling (but not surprising) results of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, this year's Earth Day (April 19th, same day as Record Store Day) takes on a more profound meaning.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the UN report, which stresses how only a few decades remain to halt global warming from falling into catastrophic effects, "a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change." Hence it is expected that this study's findings will be discussed by speakers at this weekend's Earth Day San Francisco festivities that takes place from 10am to 6pm at UN Plaza/Civic Center.

About 10,000 people are expected at this year's fourth annual Earth Day San Francisco event, which will feature three stages of speakers and entertainment from such performers as New Monsoon & The Earth Day All Stars, Trevor Green, lots of great DJs incuding J Boogie and Jocelyn featuring Kid Crunk. In addition to multicultural music and performance pieces, there will be such renowned environmental speakers as Bill McKibben, Leila Salazar-Lopez, Kevin Danaher, and Dr. Margaret Lowman. There will also be interactive D.I.Y. workshops, green-economy data, plus such things as green jobs opportunies, an "Eco-Fashion" show and an "Eco Artist Grove," as well as organic food cooking demonstrations and tips on how to build a solar oven.  In total there will be about 80 eco-exhibitors showcasing all types of earth-friendly products. For children there will be a giant size green kids zone and eco-carnival.

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April 13, 2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Posted by phil blankenship, April 13, 2014 04:03pm | Post a Comment
Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie ticket stub

Bad Meaning Really Bad is Theme of "Bad Movie Night" At The Dark Room, SF

Posted by Billyjam, April 12, 2014 08:14am | Post a Comment

Conspiracy Theory screens this week (April 13) at Bad Movie Night as part of the Mel Gibson series


I recently had online access to view any new movie released in the past year. From that experience what struck me most, besides the sheer volume of movies released that I had never even heard of or that made it to your local cineplex, was just how really bad the majority of movies being made these days are. Most are awful lackluster affairs with bad acting and poor unbelievable story-lines that are simply unwatchable. To sit through these bad movies would be pure torture unless you somehow turned these lemons into lemonade by poking fun at them and having a laugh at their expense. Such is the idea behind the Bad Movie Night Sunday night series at San Francisco's The Dark Room on Mission Street this April the theme is bad movies starring Mel Gibson and next month it will be "Legendary Flops" bad movie month, while June will be bad George Lucas films.

"It's pretty simple: we show movies. The hosts talk back to the screen. So do you. And we all laugh," state the organizers of Bad Movie Night who have been "desecrating art since 2005" and whose irreveratant approach to movie screening is done in the tradition of MST3 (Mystery Science Theater 3000) whereby intently watching the film on screen and seriously following its storyline is out the window in favor of purely poking fun at this projected waste of money. "Will this movie suck?" ask Bad Movie Night presenters. "Yes it will. But we blow back," they assure audience members who make it to their weekly screenings. Held each Sunday eve at 8pm, April 13th's bad movie will be Mel Gibson's Conspiracy Theory, next week's will be Lethal Weapon 4, and the following week is Hamlet (1990). And bad as these are, there are even worse movies such as their scheduled June 1st Bad Movie Night screening of George Lucas' Howard The Duck (1986) that on Rotten Tomatoes got only a 15% Tomatometer critics rating. But the worse the movie the better the talk back to the screen promises to be.
 

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10 Records to Look For on Record Store Day

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2014 06:05pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day is coming our way Saturday April 19. You can already see what we have going on at Amoeba stores here, and this is a full list of titles that will be available that day. It’s a lot to parse through, so we’ve pulled a few highlights:

Joy Division An Ideal for Living (12”)

joy division record store dayWho wouldn’t want the first-ever Joy Division release? It includes remastered versions of the four songs originally included—“Warsaw,” “No Love Lost,” “Leaders of Men” and “Failures.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Husker DuCandy Apple Grey LP

husker du candy apple grey lp record store dayA totally awesome and underrated entry to the Husker Du canon. It was their major label debut, so the band’s fifth album got some flack from longtime fans, but revisiting it, Candy Apple Grey sounds as amazing as anything else they did, with songs like the immortal “Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely.” The 1986 album helped set the tone for alternative rock to follow. It’s on grey vinyl for the first time.

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April Red Bull Sound Select Show Features Mr Little Jeans

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2014 11:52am | Post a Comment

mr little jeansThe Red Bull Sound Select Series continues in April with Mr Little Jeans live at The Roxy April 24. The show is curated by our friends at KCRW 89.9 FM. RSVP for $3 tickets.

Mr Little Jeans is the project by Monica Birkenes, a Norwegian singer who writes sugarcoated electro-pop ditties that stick in your head long after they’ve stopped playing. Her recently released full-length album features terrific songs like the uplifting “Rescue Song,” a moody, electro-noir cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” and “Oh Sailor,” which features the local Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale. It’s out now on CD and will be available on LP April 15.

avid dancerShe’s supported by Avid Dancer and Breakfast. Avid Dancer’s Jacob Summers is a former U.S. Marine and world champion at rudimental snare drumming. Now, he’s a psych-pop artist with an infectious single out called “Stop Playing With My Heart.”

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Weekly Roundup: Thee Oh Sees, Warpaint, Tijuana Panthers, Audacity, LIZ, Bart Davenport, The Fresh & Onlys, Vertical Scratchers

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2014 10:51am | Post a Comment

Thee Oh Sees – “Drop” video

thee oh seesSo I guess Thee Oh Sees are still breaking up? I feel like I’ll believe it when I see it. But in the meantime, their new album, Drop, is due April 19 , aka Record Store Day (you can preorder it now on LP or CD). The visuals for their new video for the power-poppin’ title track reminds me of Spirograph and origami, except a lot cooler. Here it is, via Spin.

 

Warpaint – “Disco//Very” and “Keep it Healthy” video

warpaintI picture Warpaint a lot shier than they appear in the video for two songs from its recent, self-titled second album. For the darkly danceable “Disco//Very,” we see them cavorting in the streets with a bunch of skaters, coming off a bit like the girl gang from The Craft. Lots of fun hand-dancing. Then, night falls for the chiller “Keep It Healthy,” which sees the ladies’ nocturnal tune soundtrack nighttime skate tricks. Very cool, fun stuff that shows the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. Also Warpaint is one of the best albums of the year so far and you should get it now.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.11.14: Chuck Inglish, Madlib, Triple Threat DJs, Stones Throw Records, and more

Posted by Billyjam, April 11, 2014 10:41am | Post a Comment
        
Chuck Inglish "Easily (featuring Ab-Soul & Mac Miller)"


Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 04:11:14


1) Chuck Inglish Convertibles (Federal Prism)

2) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

3) Quasimoto Planned Attack / Talkin' Shit [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

4) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

5) Kendrick Lamar  Good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath)

Once again this week at Amoeba among the popular recent hip-hop releases is the Freddie Gibbs, Madlib collaboration Pinata that is in the number two slot on this week's new Amoeba chart from the Hollywood store. The album, that appears on Madlib's Madlib Invazion label,  continues to also sell well at both Bay Area Amoeba Music stores. No doubt the duo's recent, reportedly excellent Bay Area concert helped boost interest in the new album. Another Madlib related release on this week's chart is the Quasimoto 7" picture disc "Planned Attack" and "Talkin' Shit" on Stones Throw Records. Other new Amoeba Hip-Hop chart entries include YG's My Krazy Life on Def Jam, Kendrick Lamar's unstoppable Good kid, m.A.A.d city on Aftermath, and the number one album this week: the brand new Chuck Inglish album Convertibles on Federal Prism (note there will be a vinyl LP version dropping on April 29th).

New Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 4/11/14 - Chevel, Fit, Carl Craig and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, April 11, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

Chevel - One Month Off

 

Chevel

One Month Off 12"

Stroboscopic Artefacts

Odd new techno forms. The title track is combines nuanced, unsettling, atmophere with a martial two-step drum pattern. "The Wall" has a shape shifting bassline, and adroit drum programming that put Chevel in good stead with Hessle Audio's more outre material. 

Buy One Month Off 12"

 

 

Fit Siegel - Cocomo Seedbed

Fit

Cocomo/Seedbed 12"

Fit Sound

Detroit son Aaron Siegel takes an unexpected, balearic turn after his anthemic "Tonite" and collaboration with Gunnar Wende. "Cocomo" is bittersweet, tropical nostalgia although Fit arrives in this sweet spot via his typical, hardware driven rig. "Seedbed" has Fit getting gnarly with a taut, acid techno instrumental. 

Buy Cocomo/Seedbed 12"

 

Split Secs - I Stand Alone

Records Make the World Go Round, All Year Round: Films About Record Stores, Collectors & The Industry

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 10, 2014 08:20pm | Post a Comment

We're all very excited about Record Store Day, a holiday created by the music gods and bestowed upon collectors everywhere, but Record Store Day comes but once a year. For most of us working and/or worshiping at the altar of the Audio and Visual Arts, everyday is a kind of celebration observed in small but worshipful ways. "It's out of print. I hope I can find it," is our prayer and "Oh cool! I've been looking for this for years," is our holy exaltation.

To celebrate the culture of the collector and the record peanuts charlie brown record collectionstore employee, Amoeba San Francisco wants April to be Record Store Month and invites all fans and collectors on pilgrimage to browse, contemplate, and perhaps purchase from our selection of movies about record stores, collectors, and the music industry. Some glorify us, some...well, can be pretty honest. Either way, they sure are entertaining and everyone has their favorites.

Check out our display in the SF store and share your favorites in the comments section below. Here are just a few notables...
 

Pretty in Pink (1986)

This is the John Hughes gold standard of teen angst right here and it's probably safe to say that you either identified with the record store employee Andie or her music-obsessed best friend Duckie. We all know who she should have ended up with at the end. Is that a spoiler? Sorry, we take this matter very seriously. Oh and good lord, check out the soundtrack!

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With The Glitch Mob

Posted by Amoebite, April 10, 2014 01:15pm | Post a Comment

The Glitch Mob

With two proper albums, five mixtapes, one EP and a slew of singles, The Glitch Mob are LA's beat scene rulers. The electro champions have remixed everyone from Daft Punk to The White Stripes to TV On The Radio. Their most recent full-length, Love Death Immortality, came out in February of this year on their own imprint, Glass Air. A quick look at their tour schedule and it's easy to see the Mob is in high demand. You can catch them performing out in the desert at Coachella April 11 & 18.

The Glitch Mob stopped by Amoeba Hollywood recently for some record digging. The guys picked up some really cool Drum & Bass, Hip Hop and Dub albums, kicking things off with Portishead's 1997 self-titled classic on vinyl. They follow it up with Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 and ATLiens by Atlanta's biggest Hip Hop export and fellow Coachella artist, Outkast. They also share some of their influences, including DieselboyKing Tubby, and Nine Inch Nails. Check out the full episode for all their picks.   

Experience An Entire Musician's Career In One Weekend with Oakland's Women's Rock Camp

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2014 11:35am | Post a Comment

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp
- the wonderful Oakland-based music education non-profit whose sole mission is to empower girls (ages 8 to 18) via the power of music - is presenting the cool sounding, three day Women's Rock Camp for its older sisters (ages 19 +)  coming the first weekend of next month. May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th is when, through music education, creation, and performance, when women with absolutely "no musical experience" whatsoever necessary (but note "all skill levels welcome") can sink themselves into an intensive weekend long music (and life) learning project in which they will learn a musical instrument including the standard guitar, drums, bass and then on the evening of Sunday May 4th, day three get to perform with their newly formed bandmates/friends on stage at Oakland's New Parish club - all the while adhering to the excellent organization's mantra of "music, community, power."

Tuition for Women's Rock Camp (WRC), which will be held at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts at 1428 Alice St. in downtown Oakland and the nearby New Parish in the Uptown district, is on a sliding scale from $300 to $500. The camp will provide instruments for the entire weekend, so participants just have to show up ready to partake, learn, and have fun. They even provide all meals. All proceeds raised by the WRC weekend to directly to support the youth programs at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC) that allows girls from low-income families to attend their summer camp and after school programs. You may recall BATRC did a thing at Amoeba a couple of years back that was part of a fundraiser that culminated in a December 2011 concert when four all teenager member bands - part of BAGRC's Advanced Music Program - performed onstage one fun afternoon at Amoeba Berkeley. 

April 9, 2014: Bad Words

Posted by phil blankenship, April 9, 2014 10:12pm | Post a Comment
Bad Words movie ticket stub

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #76: NYC Sports Events, After Midnight, Crooklyn, The Havana Film Festival New York, + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2014 11:29am | Post a Comment


Even if you are not a sports fan it is always fun to attend a baseball, football, or basketball game while in New York City where there is always some major sports event going on and visiting a sports center like Yankee Stadium is a memorable good time, even for non diehard sports fans. Tonight (April 9th) for example at Yankee Stadium, which is in the Bronx just across from upper Manhattan (Harlem), the New
York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles. Game starts at 7:05pm. Tomorrow (April 10th) at the same location at 7pm the Yankees, who compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division, will host the longtime rivals the Boston Red Sox in the first of three games (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). And since it is baseball likely these games will run for several hours - allowing time to wander the stadium and check out everything including the concession stands where you can buy home team hats and swag that double as NYC souvenirs, not to mention that, compared to football, tickets are far more affordable. Right now for example you can tickets for Saturday's 1pm Yankees/Red Sox game for about $40. Tickets here

10 Up-and-Coming Artists You Should Get to Coachella Early For

Posted by Billy Gil, April 9, 2014 09:16am | Post a Comment

We’re all excited about OutKast reuniting for Coachella. And who doesn’t love seeing The Knife or Arcade Fire? But there are plenty of just-under-the-radar bands playing the two-weekend festival (April 11-13 and 18-20). Here’s our list of 10 bands it’s worth getting there early for. (And by the way, Coachella set times have been announced.)

 

Flatbush Zombies

Friday at 12:25 p.m.

flatbush zombiesPart of the “Beast Coast” movement, the Brooklyn hip-hop group proves the music scene there is more than just a bunch of skinny white dudes with guitars. The acid-rap group debuted its Wu-Tang-inspired rhymes on this year’s It’s All a Matter of Perspective EP and a handful of mixtapes, but we’ve yet to see a full album. Be there so you can say you saw them before they blew up.

 

Wye Oak

Friday at 1:05 p.m.

wye oakSimilarly to another Baltimore duo, Wye Oak spin out beautiful tunes highlighted by Jenn Wasner’s husky, emotive vocals. But now the band has moved to Portland and ditched the dreamy guitars entirely, remaking the band’s sound for its upcoming album Shriek, due April 29 on Merge (preorder on LP or CD). The album’s lead single, “The Tower,” is stuttering, strange and alluring art-pop closer to St. Vincent than Beach House.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With STRFKR

Posted by Amoebite, April 8, 2014 05:40pm | Post a Comment

STRFKR

STRFKR (pronounced and formerly known as Starfucker) is an electronica quartet from Portland, Oregon. Vocalist Joshua Hodges initially started Starfucker as a solo project in 2007 and since then it has blossomed into a bonafide band. With a handful of releases, several song placements, including a Target commercial, and performances at this year's Coachella festival, STRFKR are quickly on their way to invading the minds of pop culture devouts. Be sure to check out their recent LP, Miracle Mile (Polyvinyl Records) and get a taste of the Pac North! Who knew Oregon exported beards, craft beer and electronica?

Our What's In My Bag? crew caught up with STRFKR on a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. It's always great when a band comes in and only shops for vinyl. These guys found some diverse records. From Fugazi to Bill Evans and from Chilly Gonzales to Falco, STRFKR find their way to just about every section of the store. Check out their full episode below.

STRFKR - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Ziv Television and a brief history of syndicated television in America

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 8, 2014 03:52pm | Post a Comment
Ziv Productions logo

Due to the rise in quality television and the sad, hopefully-not-irreversible decline of Hollywood films, any unbiased viewer of both would have to agree that television is entirely capable of producing great art. Much of the credit goes to cable (e.g. Breaking Bad and Mad Men) and online television (e.g. Homestar Runner and House of Cards). Then there's syndicated television, which came into existence literally to provide television filler 65 years ago this month, when Ziv Television's first production aired.

Ziv advertisement 1955

For the most part syndicated television's reputation for providing chaff is deserved. Syndicated programs have long been dominated by cheap anthology shows, court shows, game shows, variety shows, talk shows, celebrity gossip "news" shows, and other low-budget, low-brow, fare that at its best is enjoyable as a time-killers and guilty pleasures. Sometimes due to their peripheral nature, they're amazingly watchable for all the wrong reasons -- in many ways a television equivalent of the grindhouse cinema.

Back in the old days, neither the big four radio networks (ABC, CBS, Mutual, and NBC), nor the big three US television networks (CBS, DuMont, and NBC) offered a full day's dose of programming. Then as now there were television stations not affiliated with any network -- but even they rarely could produce enough programming to fill the day. In radio, syndicated programing, produced by independent companies had been the solution at least since the 1930s. The first American television company to produce syndicated programs was Ziv Television Programs, whose first program, Fireside Theatre, began airing back on 5 April, 1949

Amoeba Partners With Jazz at LACMA

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2014 11:33am | Post a Comment

lacma

When the weather’s nice, L.A. becomes a great place to hear live jazz music in the outdoors.

Every Friday night at 6 p.m. from mid-April to late November, LACMA offers free jazz shows in the lawn area. Amoeba is proud to be a community sponsor of the event.

pete escovedo Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra opens the program on Friday, April 18. Featuring legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo, who has performed with Santana, Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, among others, the performance will pay tribute to pioneering jazz keyboardist George Duke.

The series, which features leading jazz artists from Southern California, continues with Russell Ferrante & Bob Mintzer Quartet May 2, Lesa Terry and Collective Spirit May 9, and Jacques Lesure Quartet May 16.

See the whole list of performers here.

Album Picks: De Lux, EMA, OFF!, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, The Mary Onettes

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2014 08:01am | Post a Comment

De LuxVoyage (LP or CD)

de lux lp amoebaThere’s been a hole in our hearts lately where dance-rock bands of yore used to reside. De Lux fill that hole admirably with immediate, expansive dance rockers that aren’t short on detail or hooks. “Better at Making Time” opens the album subtly, letting its disco bass groove enter four minutes in after giving Sean Guerin’s David Byrne-ish vocals a chance to sink in. “Movements” is a true groover, made up of a bunch of interlocking parts—a simple-yet-effective bassline and guitar lick in lockstep, washy synths and chiming bells—while Guerin’s vocals get wilder and wilder. The duo of multi-instrumentalists Guerin and Isaac Franco let each song breathe and unfold at its own speed, giving it a couple minutes in “I’ve Got to Make a Solid Statement (No More Likes & Ums)” before singing a word so we that Stevie Wonder-style clavinet and spacey effects can soak in. Of course, when they get to it, as on the superb “Love Is a Phase,” the result is a space-disco opus that leaves you head over heels for the band. Though Voyage is stuffed with cool references, they never feel forced or overdone. It feels as though the young band has digested decades of smart party jams and picked the choices parts to make their own thing—though you could compare them to LCD Soundsystem or The Rapture, for instance, on songs like “Make Space,” most of the time De Lux never sound imitative of those bands, as tunes like the interstellar “On the Day” stand completely on their own. It makes Voyage all the more pleasurable, and not at all in a guilty way. Smart disco-punk that makes us dance while satisfying our inner music-snobs? We’ll take it and more, please.

57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival, 4/24 - 5/8

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 7, 2014 03:54pm | Post a Comment

The San Francisco International Film Festival returns April 24th through May 8th! SFIFF showcases cinematic innovation and presents marquee premieres, international competitions, star-studded events, and live performances. This year’s music headliners are Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields)! The program features 200 films of international distinction, including new work by Richard Linklater and so many others.

Amoeba is proud to co-present two music-related films at this year's festival about a couple of our most-beloved icons: 

20,000 Days on Earth (England, 2014, 95 min)
Investigating musician/writer/poet Nick Cave’s history, psyche, and creative path, 20,000 Days on Earth is a must-see for fans or anyone interested in an Artist’s journey. This highly stylized biopic presents a choreographed “day-in-the-life,” depicting Cave as an introspective and dark figure, and featuring his band the Bad Seeds’ own brand of controlled ferocity. 

Showing April 28th, 9:45pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinema and May 1st, 6:15pm at New People Cinema.

Amoeba Presents The Drop: Mary Gauthier at the GRAMMY Museum

Posted by Billy Gil, April 7, 2014 11:38am | Post a Comment

mary gauthier amoeba grammy museum

 

Amoeba is proud to present The Drop: Mary Gauthier at the GRAMMY Museum April 21 at 8 p.m. Doors are at 7:30, and tickets are $20; get them here.

As part of The Drop’s new Americana music series, folk artist Gauthier will appear for an interview, moderated by vice president of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Scott Goldman, after which she’ll perform a set of songs.

Mary Gauthier’s throaty, world-weary voice, gothic-country acoustic guitar playing and detailed storytelling have won her praise from the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. Though she’s a stoic persona, Gauthier’s music packs an emotional wallop.

mary gauthier trouble & love cd amoebaHer story goes back to being an adopted child and teenage runaway. Gauthier first found shelter amongst drug addicts and drag queens. Though she eventually came to be a chef with her own restaurant, a crippling heroin addiction threatened her success and led to her arrest.

Now sober, Gauthier traded her chef’s apron for a guitar—she didn’t write her first song until her mid-30s, for all you late bloomers out there—and the six albums she’s released have been critically acclaimed, with 2005’s Mercy Foundling garnering the Americana Music Association's New/Emerging Artist of the Year distinction, and 2011’s The Foundling being named the No. 3 Record of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Music History Monday: April 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 7, 2014 10:35am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born this day: April 7, 1915 - Iconic jazz vocalist/songwriter Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris in Philadelphia, PA). Happy Birthday to "Lady Day" on what would have been her 99th Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: April 7, 1967 - FM Underground radio is launched at KMPX 106.9 in San kmpx san franciscoFrancisco. Having grown tired of the grind of AM Top 40 radio, broadcasting legend DJ Tom Donahue, who will pioneer the free-form album rock radio format that puts the focus on rock album cuts rather than the tight and often restrictive Top 40 pop formatting that plays strictly hit singles. KMPX will broadcast from a studio at 50 Green Street in San Francisco's North Beach district. The station will both change the face of commercial radio and be instrumental in breaking new artists like Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix. However, Donahue's time at the station will last less than a year. Splitting his time between the San Francisco station and sister station KPPC in Pasadena, the strain of working both stations will cause the veteran DJ/Program Director's relationship with owner Leon Crosby to breakdown, leading to Donahue's ouster from the station. In a show of solidarity, the staff of KMPX will strike after Crosby replaces Donahue with Bob Prescott as PD. The strike will last for eight weeks, in which time Crosby will fire all of the original staff and replace them with DJ's mined from other stations around the country. Upset by what has transpired, a number of prominent rock musicians including The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones will ask KMPX to refrain from playing their music as a show of support for the deposed station workers. By May of 1968, Tom Donahue and several former KMPX staffers will be working at rival station KSAN (owned by Metromedia Broadcasting).

Rest in Peace to Iconic 70's Photographer Leee Black Childers (Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pick Pockets, Junkies, Rock Stars, & Punks)

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2014 08:15am | Post a Comment

Legendary New York underground photographer Leee Black Childers, whose iconic 1970's photos were captured in his 2012 published book Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pick Pockets, Junkies, Rock Stars, and Punks, has died in LA. The folks from Lethal Amounts in Downtown LA had recently flown Childers out to Los Angeles for a showing of the photo exhibition of the book photos, that opened on March 22nd and is scheduled to run through April 19th, which Amoeba Music was one of the sponsors of.  In conjunction with that photo exhibit Amoeba Hollywood obtained two of signed Childers’ prints (one of David Bowie and another of Patti Smith) to have for sale in the LA store.

The Kentucky born Childers, who worked for Andy Warhol in both NY and London was among the earliest photographers to capture the burgeoning glam scene and the early NYC underground punk scene, was also at one time involved in the business management of both Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) and David Bowie (he was the tour manager for the Ziggy Stardust tour). Childers' photography was featured in the cover art of Bowie's Diamond Dogs album and Thunders' Born Too Loose - among others. Childers' Factory era photos of Warhol, his countless pics of the Hotel Chelsea denizens including lots of drag queens, and his photos from the Stonewall era NYC had made made him  a milestone historic chronicler of both gay and rock cultures.

April 6, 2014: The Raid 2

Posted by phil blankenship, April 6, 2014 03:33pm | Post a Comment
The Raid 2 movie ticket stub

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.04.14: CunninLynguists, Kev Brown, 9th Wonder, Zion I, Slum Village, Mobb Deep, DJ Shortkut

Posted by Billyjam, April 4, 2014 10:08am | Post a Comment
       


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 04:04:14


1) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

2) CunninLynguists  Strange Journey Volume Three  (MRI)

3) 9th Wonder Jamla Is The Squad (Jamla Records/Empire Dist)

4) MindsOne & Kev Brown Pillars (Ill Adrenaline/Fat Beats)

5) Mobb Deep The Infamous Mobb Deep (Infamous Records)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for running down all the new hip-hop releases this week that include the latest from North Carolina super-producer  9th Wonder Jamla Is The Squad on his Jamla Records label. Jamla is the Squad is a compilation featuring the singles "Be Inspired," "No Competition" and "15 Minutes of Fame" and, in addition to Jamla acts, showcases guest features from such non-label talents as Pete Rock, Phonte, Talib Kweli, and BJ The Chicago Kid. Real good album worth picking up as is the brand new one from Maryland  emcee / producer Kev Brown with MindsOne Pillars on Ill Adrenaline via Fat Beats that features such underground burners as "Equinox" (see music video below).

New CD/Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 4/3/14 - Panoram, Christopher Rau, Tom Ov England and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, April 4, 2014 05:47am | Post a Comment

Mr. Feeling - House is Mr. Feeling

Mr. Feeling

House is Mr. Feeling LP

Klapmaster

Next level homage from Chicago vet Jordan Fields. In this world of pretenders, who better to take us through the possibilities of the classic jack track sound? "I Want to Jack" is a clear Chip E tribute, yet the moody rhodes and electrofunk pads on "Your Desire", and restless bassline on "15 Minutes of Fame" make this record inventive and enjoyable far beyond its conceit. 

Buy House is Mr. Feeling LP 

 

 

Terrence Parker - Emancipation of My SoulTerrence Parker

Emancipation of My Soul 12"

Intangible Records

You don't name a track "Emancipation of My Soul" lightly, and TP's 1995 sanctified piano house classic lives up to the title. A piano riff speeds up and remains constant through beatdown drums, a grip of killer basslines and introspective strings. The b-side, "A Track for O.J. Simpson" slams, and odd organ riff and bassline preceding huge marching band kicks and hand drums.

Buy Emancipation of My Soul 12"

Wu-Tang Clan's $5 Million Album Personifies Music Industry's Unpredictable, Ever Shifting New Business Model

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2014 02:37pm | Post a Comment
"Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin ta fuck with" - those famous well-worn, two-decade old Wu-Tang Clan lyrics are proving to be most accurate with the latest news on the Staten Island (aka Shaolin) hip-hop crew who last week announced that for their next album (The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) that they would only be manufacturing one single (physical) copy of the album.

That sole physical LP copy, to be released in addition to the later unlimited digital download version of this brand new album that was recorded in secrecy, would be auctioned off for what they hoped would be a final bid of a million dollars or more. The 31-track, 120 minute album will be a double vinyl set and reportedly packaged in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. Most intriguing is the ambitious figure of a million dollars or more that the group said they hoped to get. That was last week and I thought it was outlandish and unrealistic amount of money that in no way would they ever get. But I was wrong - very wrong.

As reported by Billboard magazine yesterday the Wu got offered a lot more than one million dollars. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," the group's RZA told the music magazine. "So far, $5 million is the biggest number," he continued. "I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business, sending me a lot of good will. It's been real positive." Real positive is an understatement. That's absolutely incredible and a hell of a lot more money (provided this is not some hoax) than the Wu-Tang would ever make from selling an album via the traditional channels of releasing it via a major label like RCA who distributed Loud Records - their original label on which they released their hip-hop classic, 1993 landmark debut Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Game of Thrones' Season Four: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, April 3, 2014 01:43pm | Post a Comment
The wait is almost over -- who's ready to play?
game of thrones board game meme riff game of life parker brothers totally inappropriate joke shame

This Sunday, April 6th, Game of Thrones' fourth season is set to get real. Really real. Real to death. And when HBO plays the Game of Thrones everyone wins, except maybe the cast. NO SPOILERS or anything but -- in the spirit of keeping it real --  everyone knows by now that no one in this high fantasy saga is "safe" by any meaning of the word. In a recent interview Scottish actor Rory McCann, who portrays Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in the series, claims to cautiously read through the ninth episode script for each season while quaffing a glass of whisky, prepped for death and distress not unlike that major drama bomb that dropped back in S1E9. Of course it doesn't help that the show's writers sometimes insert fake death scenes into scripts just to freak out their already nervous troupe, prompting stars to worry in advance about life and work after landing a hit series. British actor Kit HaringtonJohn Snow on the show, explains, "We all flip through the scripts when we get them to see if we live or die, but the writers are very cruel; they sometimes write fake scenes to kill someone off and then that actor will be kind of out of a job and scared." Even hunky Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa, undeterred by the premature demise of his beloved character, Khal Drogo, in season one, has attempted to write his own way back on to the show, saying, “It’s a fantasy world, sweetheart. You never know!” Yeah, no.
game of thrones book series a song of ice and fire every death tabbed marked paperback george r r marttin hugh fantasy epic saga
To give non-readers an idea of just how much death the series deals in, on the left is an image of the five (of the planned seven) published books, collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire, with each death marked by a brightly colored post-it, like a bizarre murder rainbow. It's difficult to assess who is more relentless, author George R.R. Martin or whoever went through the trouble of tallying every death in the books. At the moment, the HBO series is only halfway through that green book in the middle, A Storm of Swords, which means that the seasonal thinning of the cast will be no less brutal than anything we have previously seen. On a more positive note, the scope of the show stands to expand further this season, revealing new faces and places on the map we've only ever heard mentioned before while also returning to some of the previously established  family seats n' things that have been out of play for a while.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Detroit House Producer & DJ Andres

Posted by Amoebite, April 3, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment

dez andres

There is no disputing the impact Detroit city has had on American music history. From Motown founder Berry Gordy to iconic Hip Hop producer J Dilla to the legendary rock band MC5, DJ Dez (aka Andres) is directly influenced by the Motor City's deep musical history. He received his first drum set from his father at age three and began studying percussion. He fell in love with turntables as a pre-teen and by the time Andres was in high school, he had already cut his teeth rocking underage house parties in Los Angeles. 

Fast forward to the '90s when Detroit was already on the map, making lots of noise with their local dance scene (rivaling the famed scene in Chicago). Andres finds himself working in a record store with house producer Moodymann. The two eventually go from co-workers to labelmates with Andres releasing three solid albums for Moodymann's Mahogani Music label. On top of the Moodymann credibility, Andres was tapped by J Dilla himself to DJ for the group, Slum Village. From Hip Hop to House music, Andres has become one of Detroit's modern torchbearers. He's since founded his own imprint, La Vida, which he launced with a his new 12 inch single titled "New For You." 

The Amoeba What's in My Bag? crew caught up with Andres on a recent visit to our Hollywood store. He found some really cool movies and picked up a few great vinyl finds. Andres grabs a copy of the documentarty film Searching For Sugar Man, a story about Rodriguez, a forgotten Detroit musician who, in some countries, is held in the same regard as Elvis. Definitely a must see! He also gets his hands on a vinyl copy of 24 Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth. Check out the full episode to see all his cool picks!      

L.A. Vegan Beer & Food Festival May 17

Posted by Amoebite, April 3, 2014 11:28am | Post a Comment
Vegan Beer Fest

Los Angeles is the mecca for music, a hotbed for food trucks, and home to some of the coolest micro breweries so a festival that showcases all three elements is a no brainer. With the rising popularity of health consciousness in Southern California, it's also no surprise that the Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival has quickly become a local favorite.

This year's fest marks the 5th annual event and it's getting bigger and bigger each year. Over 40 craft breweries and 35+ food trucks/restaurants will be on hand to fill up your cups and bellies. To enhance your taste-testing delights (and maybe burn a few calories from dancing) festival producers enlisted five of LA's coolest bands, including He's My Brother She's My Sister and Leftover Cuties. It's all going down Saturday, May 17 across from The Roxy (8950 W. Sunset Blvd) in West Hollywood. 

Amoeba Hollywood is a proud sponsor of this amazing fest and we'll have Amoebites on hand to pass out some goodies! 

LA Vegan

April 2, 2014: Sabotage

Posted by phil blankenship, April 2, 2014 10:24pm | Post a Comment
Sabotage movie ticket stub

The Rural Upsurge -- A Brief History of Country Cool and Uncool

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 2, 2014 02:20pm | Post a Comment
Country Mouse and Town Mouse
Arthur Rackham illustration for The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Since the US's founding, Americans have steadily moved from the countryside to the city but the story of our pop culture has always been the product of a dialogue between the two worlds, with urban and rural fashions coming and going. While being country might not be cool again, it does seem that American television's landscape is once again overwhelmingly rural in character -- a world populated by catfish scammers, catfish hand-fishers, Sasquatch hunters, morbidly obese Mennonite mafioso, bootlegging bigamist Baptist beauty contestants, and other cryptozoological specimens. 43 years ago the television landscape was similarly dominated by rural caricatures when, at the end of March, the so-called "Rural Purge" resulted in a deliberate shift away from rural-themed shows to those set in cities.
 

*****

Americans have long generally migrated to the cities and their environs, including the suburbs, and today the percentage of America's population who live in the country is at an all time low -- about 16%. However, it wasn't until the 1910s that America's urban population overtook its rural. 

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #75: Old vs New NYC, WTC B.A.S.E. Jump View, Frankie Knuckles R.I.P., Danny Brown in New York +

Posted by Billyjam, April 2, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment
        

The above video, produced by the pro-walking for health City Walk series, is a mix of new New York City plus a century old New York City - back in 1901 when the sidewalks were wider than the actual street in the middle. The 113 year old NYC footage was filmed by the Thomas Edison Company and culled by the folks at City Walk, whose goal is to encourage Americans to walk more and utilize their communities in the best possible way with respect to the environment. Compared to today this footage is from a much simpler and more peaceful time in New York City. I say this after last week's most unsettling statement from President Barack Obama who said that stopping "a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan" is the US's top security concern. Say what? He sure caught my attention, and I'm sure everyone else who lives in New York City, not to mention those planning on visiting New York.  I could almost hear the clicks of tourists cancelling their planned trips to the Big Apple.

Even 13 years after 9/11 New Yorkers are still jittery and this type of statement from the commander in chief sure doesn't help. And neither did the news, also last week, of how easy it was for the B.A.S.E. jumpers to break into the site of  almost finished 1 World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) building to make their jump, and in so doing demonstrating just how poor security is even at the site of 9/11. Meanwhile the stunning video of that B.A.S.E. jump, which took place back in September but was only published last week, is below. Adding further proof that homeland security, at the very place where it should be at its highest, is below par was with another news story last week about a 16 year-old New Jersey youth who easily managed to break into 1 World Trade Center, bypass security (who were asleep), and make his way up to the top of 104th floor of the building.  "I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop. I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the sixth floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor. I then took the staircase up to 104th floor," the teen told police after getting arrested.
 
       

Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California, 4/19 - 7/27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 1, 2014 07:42pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is proud to support a museum exhibit like you've never seen (or heard) before! The Oakland vinyl, the sound and culture of records at oakland museum of californiaMuseum of California presents Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records from April 19th (hey, that's Record Store Day!) through July 27, in which they explore the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting, and sharing records.

Immerse yourself in this uniquely Californian take on vinyl with experiences ranging from individual and group listening stations to informal talks and live performances. The gallery will be transformed into an experimental listening environment, appealing to all the senses. View notable record collections, photographs of collectors in their homes, and watch and hear interviews as well as rarely-seen historic and archival film and video on the science of recording. Explore the history of album cover art with an exhibit of notable covers and a film on the topic. Peruse and listen to all kinds of records, spanning genres with a focus on the independent record industry that blossomed in California from the mid-1970s to now.

This is a particularly hands-on exhibit; use the listening stations' turntables and headphones to listen to boxes of records collected by Crate Curators—influential members of the record community such as collectors, DJs, independent record store owners, radio personalities, and others. Each crate contains 33 records chosen by the Crate Curators to tell a personal story. You can also dig through a variety of records (provided by Amoeba Berkeley) and curate your own thematic crate!

Concert Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in April 2014

Posted by Amoebite, April 1, 2014 03:54pm | Post a Comment

Concert Tix for sale at AmoebaAmoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you are 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:

Banks

Banks
El Rey
May 29

Foxygen

Foxygen
The Fonda Theatre
August 14

 

Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:

Show Name Venue Show Date Ticket Price
(fee not included)
Banks (ON SALE 4/25) El Rey 05/29/2014 $17.00
Kishi Bashi Fonda Theatre 05/16/2014 $18.00
Black Label Society Fonda Theatre 06/07/2014 $35.00
The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo) El Rey 06/14/2014 $25.00
Charles Bradley Fonda Theatre 05/17/2014 $25.00
Cultura Profetica El Rey 06/27/2014 $29.50
Danny Brown El Rey 05/03/2014 $24.00
Deafheaven El Rey 04/25/2014 $20.00
Mac DeMarco Fonda Theatre 07/11/2014 $20.50
Desert Daze Sunset Ranch Oasis 04/26/2014 $45.00

Dillaville Tour
Bizarre Ride Live (feat. Slimkid3 & Fatlip)
& Slum Village

Album Picks: Mac DeMarco, Cloud Nothings, Inventions

Posted by Billy Gil, April 1, 2014 10:31am | Post a Comment

Mac Demarco - Salad Days (LP, CD or Download)

mac demarco salad days amoebaMac DeMarco wrongly gets called “slacker rock.” At only 23 he’s releasing his third album, and it’s one of the best things we’ve heard all year. The title track is a swaying, gleefully glum blues track, its charming, singalong quality masking some quarterlife crisis (“Always feeling tired, smiling when required/write another year off and kindly resign,” suggesting some darkness behind DeMarco’s goofy grin). “Brother” features DeMarco sumptuously singing while milky guitars dance beneath the surface. It’s one of the loveliest tunes he’s ever produced. Songs like “Goodbye Weekend,” with its woozy, intoxicating guitar line and lovely jazz tones, speak to what a strong songwriter DeMarco has always been beneath it all. And while he’s all the better for ditching some of the affectations he sported on the still-great Rock and Roll Night Club in favor of a streamlined sound he’s dubbed “jizz jazz,” DeMarco can still pull some conceptually striking songs, like “Passing Out the Pieces,” which uses heavily effected harpsichord and booming synth-bass to create miraculous millennial psychedelia, pulling in some of the good ol’ Beatles/Kinks/Beach Boys influence he’s seemed to (probably smartly) avoid showing thus far in his career. Salad Days shows DeMarco to be a classical songwriter with the ability to turn an amiable, if not immediately memorable, voice and intricate yet mangled guitarwork into tunes that pull at you in unexpected, emotional ways. So he can’t be bothered to shower or cut his hair—we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, 25 Years Later

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2014 09:25am | Post a Comment
beastie boys paul's boutiqueHard to believe that it is already a quarter of a century since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique was initially released, and five years since the 2009 20th anniversary deluxe reissue of that landmark second Beastie Boys album. Paul's Boutique, while widely considered the group's greatest recording, was initially considered a (commercial) flop by its label, Capitol Records, back in '89 cut to its lackluster sales in comparison to its predecessor. In fact so disappointing to Capitol were sales that, following a huge initial hype / marketing campaign, they completely stopped promoting the album. Many rap fans, drawn to group by the hits on their Rick Rubin produced 1986 Def Jam debut mega-hit album Licensed To Ill, were disappointed too. But true hip-hop fans saw/heard the brilliance of Paul's Boutique that was a distinct departure from Licensed To Ill.

Instead of Rick Rubin handling production on this sophomore release, which demanded repeated listens to fully appreciate its depth and brilliant nuances, was produced in good part by the Dust Brothers and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn over an extended period of time to ensure it came out just right and to the liking of members Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch.  It did, and sure while it may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill (still a great album too) Paul's Boutique was a far greater quality recording and one that truly stands the test of time as proven by such tracks as "High Plains Drifter," "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun," "Car Thief," "Shadrach," and "Get On The Mic." No wonder then that over the years it grew in popularity (and sales),  is regularly included high up on music lists' best albums of all time, and was reissued on its 20th anniversary.
 
Re-released five years ago to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the 2009 reissue of the LP reissue version was on 180 gram vinyl, in a nice two-sided, four-panel gate-fold sleeve - that revised the very original expensive gatefold pressing of the album. The 2009 reissue also included a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary on the album that was so close to the Beasties' hearts. For instance the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in reference to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punk rockers about to morph into full time hip-hoppers.