Tickets for the comedy extravaganza Festival Supreme are on sale now.
The show takes place Saturday, Oct. 25 at the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park, which seems to be L.A.'s new go-to place for festivals (same place FYF Fest is now being held). Tickets are $114, or $275 for a VIP ticket.
The comedy and music festival will feature a who's who of alternative comedy and comedy-friendly musicians, including:Dethklok Metalocalypse
|Miles Michaud of Allah-Las|
Amoeba Hollywood’s Sunday Spins DJ series in June will begin this Sunday with Miles Michaud, the frontman for hazy L.A. garage-rockers Allah-Las. He’ll be spinning at the store starting at 5 p.m. The June series is curated by our friends at LA Record and takes place every Sunday in June at 5 p.m.
Michaud’s set is a perfect introduction to the new series—he and other members of Allah-Las got their start working at Amoeba Hollywood, so it’s a homecoming of sorts. The band’s excellent, self-titled debut is out now on Innovative Leisure. Check out my interview with the band here.
Here’s their video for “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind,” taken from Allah-Las:
It’s the last First Fridays of Spring, and they’ve saved one of the best shows for last.
On June 6, the Natural History Museum will host New Zealand psych-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra with L.A. dance-rock band De Lux, synth maestro Tobacco and S.F. psych-pop band Painted Palms. The mini-fest of sorts will take place outdoors on two stages from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be bought here.
Before that, an indoor tour and discussion at the museum will cover “Tracking and Trapping L.A.’s Insects,” followed by the discussion “Urban Beekeeping in Los Angeles and Around the World” with Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich. And outdoors, KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Garth Trinidad will keep things moving throughout the night.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra has two albums out, their self-titled debut and last year’s II, which injected their lo-fi psych rock with classic soul stomp. De Lux just released their debut album, the excellent Voyage, the art-disco revivalism of which makes LCD Soundsystem’s departure easier to bear. Tobacco also just released a new album, the intoxicating, freaky synth-funk opus Ultima Massage II. And Painted Palms released their debut, Forever, this year, full of buoyant beats and spacey, Beach Boys-inspired melodies.
Woods – “Tambourine Light”
Even though they just released a new album, the excellent With Light and With Love, Woods already have a new, non-album single headed our way, the warm and luscious “Tambourine Light,” which will be paired with “Tomorrow’s Never Yesterday” (possibly a rejected James Bond movie title) on a single due July 8 from Captured Tracks and the band’s own Woodsist label. If you follow the whole Woodsist gang, you know they’ll be at Big Sur Aug. 5 and Pioneertown Aug. 16 for a pair of Woodsist fests, featuring Woods plus Foxygen, Skygreen Leopards and more.
Tijuana Panthers – “Nobo”
I’m already a fan of the new Tijuana Panthers album, judging by their new-wavey first single “Cherry Street” and now this, a languid poolside rocker called “Nobo.” “Where do you get your money?” makes for an unexpectedly excellent chorus. Wayne Interest is due June 3 (preorder here) on Innovative Leisure, and the band plays The Roxy that night for free with Northern Tigers; they’re touring the West Coast with Fucked Up in August.
(also available in LP)
2) Blu Good To Be Home (Nature Sounds/Universal)
3) People Under The Stairs 12 Step Program (also avail in LP) (Piecelock 70)
4) The Fugees Score (Music On Vinyl)
5) Atmosphere Southsiders (also avail in LP) (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
In addition to the two new albums on last week's chart - 12 Step Program (also avail in LP) from longtime LA rap duo People Under the Stairs (PUTS) and fellow longtime indie hip-hop duo Atmosphere's Southsiders (also avail in LP) - new hip-hop albums this week include both Blu's Good To Be Home and this week's number one; The Roots ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. This new album, also available in LP format, is the eleventh studio album in 21 years from the Philly formed crew who in more recent years gained mainstream acceptance as Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show band. The on point Amoeba review of.... Shoot Your Cousin suggests that the new album, the first since 2011's Undun, comes at a much needed point in the Roots' highly public profile to "the band, once more often noted for their musicianship, emcee skills and social consciousness rather than for being Jimmy Fallon’s house band," to help them reestablish their street cred, and concluding that, "We’ll let The Roots keep their day job, as long as they come back every so often with an album as cool as this one." Clocking in a modest 33 minutes, the ten (technically eleven) track album opens with a song from the late great Nina Simone ("Theme From The Middle Of The Night") and includes such tracks as the lead single "When the People Cheer" (scroll down to see video below). The other chart entry this week is the recently reissued on vinyl from The Fugees Score.
Ninos du Brasil
Amazing shifting rhythms from the Italian percussionist duo. The group has moved from hardcore punk to this unique hybrid Batucada and Techno, and come up with something you might find nestled deep in a Villalobos marathon set. “Olhar Das Folhas” makes most minimal techno seem rhythmically bland - Ninos du Brasil’s drums are alive, a locktight amalgam of hand-played and electronic drums.
Blackest Ever Black
Darksided ambience from the duo formerly known as Young Hunting. That good ol’ Blackest Ever Black sound. Highlight “Success is Her Sensuality” sounds like an 80s gated-snare ballad (eg. In the Air Tonight) put through an austere, string synth grinder.
One of New Zeland’s best bands, The Bats, have just had three of their albums reissued on vinyl by their native Flying Nun label, The Law of Things, Compiletely Bats and Daddy’s Highway, plus a three-CD set with all three albums (also available to download). To celebrate, we’re counting off 10 of our favorite albums from the island country, in no particular order.
Best known in the States for crossover power-pop hits like “I Got You” (off the True Colours album), Split Enz’s first album is full of epic, prog-pop weirdness, featuring the songwriting talents of brothers Neil and Tim Finn.
SF DocFest, San Francisco's annual festival of documentary cinema, celebrates its 13th year of being "the film festival that provides a manageable amount of the truth" June 5th - 19th. The two week-long event brings the weird and wonderful aspects of real life to the big screen with showings at Roxie Theater in SF and the Oakland School for the Arts Black Box Theater.
Amoeba Music is proud to be part of the festivities this year by co-presenting the West Coast Premiere of Led Zeppelin Played Here. Directed by Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot), this documentary takes a look at the epic and possibly mythical 1969 performance Led Zeppelin gave in the gym of the Wheaton Youth Center in front of 50 confused teenagers. Krulik tracks down just about everyone who might have been there that Monday night, which also happened to be the evening of Richard Nixon's Presidential Inauguration.
Catch Led Zeppelin Played Here at Oakland School for the Arts on June 8th at 5pm or at Roxy Theater in SF on June 14th at 9pm. Get your tickets HERE!
Legendary L.A. punks X will play their first four albums, each in their entirety, at four separate shows in July at L.A.'s The Roxy.
First up is Los Angeles, the band's landmark 1980 debut. The band will play the album start-to-finish July 10, the Los Angeles Times reports. After that, the band will play Wild Gift July 11, Under the Big Black Sun July 12 and More Fun in the New World July 13.
Tickets to each show will be available starting at 10 a.m. on May 30. Tickets for the Los Angeles show can be found here, and/or pick up tickets for the Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun and More Fun in the New World shows.
Tickets are $35 a piece. The shows are expected to be about an hour long, and they start at 8 p.m.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
― Cicero, Letters to His Friends, Vol 2: Books 7-12
John William Waterhouse: Pandora, 1896
Most of the complaints made about Pandora -- at least in the media -- relate to its paltry artist payments and high profile protestations that they're too high. One of my own frustrations is that I can't simply ban certain artists from all of my channels with a single click. I don't mind the advertisements much, understanding that Pandora needs to generate money if its going to pay the artists those peanuts but I would actually welcome interruptions if they were to alert me, based upon my listening, to upcoming concerts and in-stores in my area and not just advertisements to shows like X Voice Idol Talent that I will never watch and Mercedes that I will never drive – nobody drives in LA!! A more cusomizable profile might make for more sensical, and thus more effective, advertising and connection to the music world.
Greetings from New York City where right now am in the Chelsea District on 25th Street down the block from where the production crew trucks from Law & Order are setting up for a shoot that will run through tonight. As I walked by the shoot, I half-expected to hear that L&O signature doom doom sound effect emit from the set. According to one tech guy I talked to briefly, the television show's film crew are "hoping it won't rain again." That's a valid concern since, over the past week here in NYC, we've been enduring a series of thunderstorms (plus humidity). In fact, the heavy rainstorms over the Memorial Day weekend disrupted a lot of planned outdoor events, which was a bummer for New Yorkers and visitors, including the 1500 sailors in town for Fleet Week. But weather forecasters predict good weather to arrive with June, just round the corner.
Otherwise, things are pretty good in NYC: a recently released report says that NYPD's stop and frisk incidents under the new mayor are down a whopping 89%. This is good, but from what I've seen round town, random stops of cyclists seems to be on the increase. Alex Baldwin's recent national news-grabbing arrest for riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street was just one of many citations and arrests made by busy NYPD on cyclists in the past month. Meanwhile CitiBike - the Manhattan bicyle sharing program that boasts 6,000 blue bikes at 330 docking stations from 59th Street all the way downtown - just celebrated its one year anniversary yesterday and, despite a few problems that are all being worked on including budgetary ones and keeping up with demand, is doing real well.
Katy Goodman went from bassist/back up vocalist of indie rock band Vivian Girls to lead vocalist/front woman of the dream-pop band La Sera. Three albums in and Goodman shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011 (while still gigging with Vivian Girls) Goodman moved back home for two weeks, bought a guitar, a tiny practice amp, and wrote some songs. A few weeks later, she realized she had "sort of written an album by accident." The result was a solid 12 track self titled record produced by longtime friend and Vivian Girls' video director, Brady Hall. In 2012, La Sera returned with Sees The Light (Hardly Art) and critics took note of Goodman's progress in songwriting and vocal delivery. Buzz around La Sera started to grow and hasn't stopped since.
La Sera now completes the trilogy with Hour of The Dawn (Hardly Art, 2014). The new record finds Todd Wisenbaker handling producer and guitar duties. Expect to hear songs that are faster, louder, and more aggresive than previous releases with lots of great catchy vocal lines. La Sera keeps evolving and Goodman is quickly becoming a master of her craft, creating songs that resonate with fans of Vivian Girls and new found La Sera die hards. Hour of The Dawn is a testament to Goodman's star power and her steady rise to the mountain tops of rock & roll!
LP's "Forever For Now" - to arrive in Amoeba June 3rd - will the artist's third full-length release
As she prepares to drop her brand new album Forever For Now (Warner Brothers) next week New York singer/songwriter LP (not to be confused with NYC hip-hop artist El-P) is keeping quite busy doing back to back concerts on tour as opener for Rodriguez. Tonight and tomorrow (May 27 & 28th) she plays The Warfield in San Francisco, and on Friday and Saturday (May 30th & 31st) she plays the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles - all on bills with Rodriguez. Then next Tuesday, the date her album drops and in celebration of its release she headlines LA's Sayers Club. While many only first heard LP in 2011 thanks to her uplifting song "Into the Wild" being chosen as the soundtrack to a national TV commercial for CitiBank (available from Warner at the same name and again included on this new album) the artist had been around for a lot longer than that. Back in 2001 The self-described "working class approach" to music-making artist released her debut album, Heart-Shaped Scar. That first LP album was produced by David Lowery who three years earlier featured her on his band Cracker's album Gentleman's Blues on Virgin. Since then she toured and performed a lot, released a second album in 2004 (Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol) but somehow, despite critical acclaim, never got the level of commercial success she deserved. She then shifted her career slightly when, in addition to writing and recording her own material, she also began avidly writing and co-writing for other artists including Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera. Then in 2012 she released the 6 song (five live tracks) EP Into the Wild (Live at EastWest Studios), which was reissued on vinyl for last year's Record Store Day (long out of print). Her new album Forever For Now , with the lead single "Night Like This" that drops next week, will feature guest spots from such artists as Isabella "Machine" Summers from Florence + the Machine, and looks set to gain the artist the level of attention that she has long deserved.
San Francisco's Twitterverse is abuzz with the doings of an anonymous entity who goes by the handle @HiddenCash. True to their name, this generous do-gooder hides envelopes of money around San Francisco and then leads the public to these hidden stashes of cash with clever Tweeted clues. Not much is known about the mysterious giver, but their Twitter profile relays a clear objective: "anonymous social experiment for good."
Reports from news sources such as KTVU and People.com claim @HiddenCash is a "he" and a "wealthy real estate developer" who feels he has the funds to spare. In the current economic climate of San Francisco where average folks are fleeing the city due to soaring rents and so many of our treasured establishments are being turned into condos for a steady stream of incoming rich tech workers, @HiddenCash is a bit of a welcomed miracle. Is it possible that he is doing the work of the collective unconscious conscience of the wealthy? Making amends for the mushrooming condo biz and its collateral damage?
Whatever the motives, it's pretty freaking cool and @HiddenCash decided to stash one of his famous envelopes at Amoeba SF this past Sunday. On May 25th at 6pm, he Tweeted the clue, "They say vinyl is dead, but it still lives here. On a street named the opposite of love. #WeAreTheWorld." Within 19 minutes, the cash was found by a lucky civilian in (drum roll please) the sleeve of a We Are The World LP! Our sources say the winner did not purchase the album, in case you were wondering.
Next week, rock greats Led Zeppelin will reissue their first three albums, the unimpeachable run of Led Zeppelin I, II and III. Ahead of those June 3 releases, the Zep have unveiled a rough mix of the classic "Whole Lotta Love," which will appear on the reissue of Led Zeppelin II. Give it a stream below:
Here's what the band had to say about the mix, via RollingStone:
"This version of 'Whole Lotta Love' is the mix down from the night that we recorded it, so it doesn't have any of the overdubs that everyone will be familiar with, because when they hear this they'll think, 'Oh yeah, that's the original' and all of a sudden they'll go 'No, it's not,'" Robert Plant said in a statement.
"You can see how songs grow," Jimmy Page said. "There must have been five or six other takes of that, which are not present. So the shaping of these things is very interesting and you can hear with this particular version that we haven't quite reached the point yet, and that it's very, very close."
You can preorder all three albums in various versions below:
Amoeba is sponsoring the LA Street Food Fest, with gourmet street eats at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on June 28 from 6 to 10 p.m.
The all-ages Summer Tasting Event, now in its fifth year, features food from nearly 100 chefs, restaurants, carts and trucks, plus craft beer, cocktails, music, free parking and more. It’s a pay-once, eat-and-drink-a-lot deal. Tickets are $55 or $85 for VIP/early admission at 4 p.m. (plus a service fee) for all you can eat and drink.
Participants are still being announced, but here are some things to look forward to:
-A craft beer garden, tequila tent and mixology cocktails (21+)
-An ice cream social, featuring frozen treats
-Vote for a People’s Choice Award in the Street Food Cook-Off
Parking at the Rose Bowl will be free for ticket holders. Find out more at lastreetfoodfest.com.
See a video of what to expect below:
Sharon Van Etten's new release takes the sound she's been carefully crafting over four albums and injects it with a dose of drama, billowing out her songs until they threaten to overwhelm you with emotion. Ambition looks good on her—and the songs on Are We There even seem to address this change. Opener "Afraid of Nothing" gives her voice enough room to belt, shedding some of the modesty of her previous work. "Even I'm taking my chances" she sings knowingly over an electronic beat on "Taking Chances," that foray into electronica carrying over to songs like the delicate, Beach House-ish "Our Love." On showstopper "Your Love Is Killing Me," Van Etten gives it her all, imbuing the chorus with such emotion in her low vibratto, it's impossible not to get goosebumps. Yet even as she's clearly reaching for the brass ring on Are We There, Van Etten still sounds tastefully restrained when need be, never losing her cool. It's a win-win—new listeners will undoubtedly be taken with Van Etten's powerful voice and immaculately crafted songs, while longtime fans are bestowed her best album yet.
A Bay Area summer tradition returns as Keistar Productions, fresco & Massive Selector present SOUL SLAM SF 9: Prince & Michael Jackson on Saturday, June 7th at Mezzanine in San Francisco. Whether you're a Michael Jackson fanatic or a Prince aficionado, the grooves will make your body move! It's no wonder why SOUL SLAM is considered the best dance party of the year. If you have been one of the lucky ones to dance your booty off at SOUL SLAM in the past, you know it's more than just a party... It's an experience!
All the way from Brooklyn, New York, the legendary DJ SPINNA rocks the best of both Michael Jackson and his Royal Clan (Jackson 5, Janet Jackson, Jermaine, MJ covers, and more) and Prince and all his Disciples (Sheila E, The Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Vanity 6, and more). Also with DJs Proof (Massive Selector), Hakobo (fresco), King Most (SF), and hosted by Michael Orange (Top Ten Social).
The fabulous and FREE Berkeley World Music Festival returns to Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley on Sunday, June 22nd from Noon - 9 pm. Continuous musical performances by Bay Area’s finest artists are featured in Telegraph Avenue cafes and at the People’s Park concert (1-6 pm, sponsored by Amoeba Music).
Headliners for the People's Park dance party are Bay Area's top Motown band Pride & Joy, and Manzo Rally (members of the famed Latin band Malo and special guest grammy nominee Johnny Gunn). The award-winning AfroFunk Experience, rising stars in the Bay Area's FUNK scene, opens up this exciting party. People's Park festivities (Noon-6 pm) feature the Crafts Bazaar and a 1pm special performance by the All Nations Singers and Dancers, ending with audience participation in Native American social dancing.
An impressive world music tour will also be presented in a variety of Telegraph Avenue venues. Big Lou “the Accordion Princess” performs at noon with Eastern European and Norteno Polka, followed by The Town Quartet (Trans-Atlantic chamber music from Spain to Argentina), ViBO Simfani (Brazilian, Latin & Beyond), and Tom Chandler Trio (Middle Eastern trance). Along Telegraph Avenue, outdoor performances include Belly Dance Bazaar (a costumed cabaret from DanceVersity), Belinda Salvidge Minstrels (Old English and Irish), Spirit of ’29 (Dixieland Jazz), and Michael Masley's celestial music on his invented "Kalimbolam" and "Eggdawn Autoharp."
When fellow Amoeblogger Billy Gil, who has done a number of Best Of lists in various genres, invited me to do some hip-hop best-of lists I had mixed feelings about the task. While I love drawing up lists of my favorite hip-hop releases from different eras and regions, I know that no matter what I include or how I position/rate it, later I will feel some kind of regret thinking that maybe I should have included or excluded a release or not ranked it as high on the list. And I am sure there will be commenters who will have the same critical thoughts (a la "I can't believe you didn't include ______ or that you ranked____ as number one," etc.). Simply put, it is difficult to narrow down Best Of lists because firstly it's personal and subjective, and secondly because a list I (or you) may draw up today will be different from one we might compile in a year's time. Musical tastes and opinions, especially in retrospect, are constantly in flux for me anyway.
Furthermore, sometimes an album or a single will rate high on one list (depending on the category) but not so on another. An example from this list would be Too $hort who would rank up the top of a Bay Area list but lower on an overall hip-hop album list of the 80's. Then there are all of those amazing hip-hop singles that were only singles, non-album cuts, or were culled from albums that otherwise were not as strong overall. Or in the case of Malcolm McLaren's 1983 album Duck Rock, which technically is a diverse genre album with hip-hop content and packaged in a hip-hop fashion from its cover art to how it is meshed together by the Worlds Famous Supreme Team radio show, it doesn't technically qualify as a hip-hop album. Add to my not included on the list 80's albums: such compilations as Mr Magic's Rap Attack series since I tried to focus purely on artist (vs. compilation) releases with the exception of one soundtrack on the list. Anyway, to combat all of this, I plan on doing many more best-of hip-hop lists with the goal being to include as many titles of great records as possible overall.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Born on this day: May 26, 1926 - Trumpeter and jazz music icon Miles Davis (Born Miles Dewey Davis III in Alton, IL). Happy Birthday to one of the most innovative musicians of the 20th century on what would have been his 88th birthday. We love you, Miles!
On this day in music history: May 26, 1973 - "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Edgar Winter, it is the biggest hit for the blues/rock band fronted by Texas born Winter. The song originates as an extended in studio jam. The rock instrumental derives its title from an in joke between band members, due to the number of splices made in the final master version of the song, and also to describe the song's heavy, lumbering beat. It is the last track recorded for Winter's They Only Come Out At Night album, and is initially released as the B-side to "Hangin' Around." After DJ's begin playing the flipside and due to enthusiastic public response, Epic Records will re-issue the single with the sides reversed. Entering the Hot 100 at #98 on March 10, 1973, it will climb to the top of the chart eleven weeks later. "Frankenstein" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
It's already a few years old but since a lot of people might have missed it first time around, and even if not, thought it was time to now post here on the Amoeblog the short but most enjoyable 22 minute documentary film on Music Man Murray in the West Adams district of LA following many years in Hollywood. Like the record store that bore his name music man Murray Gershenz, a former opera singer, was truly a treasure. Sadly both are no longer with us. The store closed two years ago and Murray died last August of a heart attack at age 91. But in his rich lifetime Murray was a passionate lifelong record collector whose vast personal collection would have put many self-respecting crate diggers/collectors to shame. In fact it got so large that half a century ago, following 25 years of simply collecting records, when he counted approx half a million pieces of vinyl in his collection, he decided to open his record store to unload some of these records, as well as stay close to records. As well as running the store in more recent years he had a more lucrative second career as a bit-part character actor in TV shows and movies. As such Murray appeared in such recent film and television productions as The Hangover, I Love You, Man, Mad Men, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Modern Family. But in the film above, lovingly directed by Richard Parks, the ever likable Murray plays himself doing what he loved most in life- being surrounded by records and music.
"In thirty years I want to see Stones Throw records either in the $100 bin or in the 99 cents bin," says Peanut Butter Wolf in the engaging new Jeff Broadway directed documentary about his label Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records). He hopes that he doesn't see releases from the now iconic label of his, that he humbly founded back in 1996, in "the $5 bin." It's got to be the 99 cents or a $100 bin, one or the other. "I want people to really hate it or really love it," he stresses.
Those future decade crate diggers the DJ/producer and label founder born Chris Manak imagines, whatever their music tastes might be, are bound to find lots to love from the totally unique and independent Stone Throw Records label's incredibly diverse and prolific roster boasting hundreds upon hundreds of titles released over the past 18 years - all with that instantly recognizable logo known and respected the world over. Shoot, forget all the music releases; even those ubiquitous Stones Throw logo turntable slip-mats have become synonymous with DJ culture of the past two decades - as has The Turntablist's (aka DJ Babu) highly revered 1996 Stones Throw battle record release Super Duck Breaks.
Since it's Memorial Day Weekend, we can start saying it's summer, right? Summer concert lineups like FYF Fest are being announced left and right (weekend passes for that festival are still on sale at Amoeba Hollywood, BTW), and now the Twilight Concert Series has announced its summer lineup of free concerts at the Santa Monica Pier.
The rest of the announced lineup is as follows:
HT Heartache – “Cowboy Poetry” video premiere
We’ve got the premiere for the new video from HT Heartache, for the melancholy country-noir song “Cowboy Poetry.” Shot in stunning black-and-white in Joshua Tree, the video captures “Cowboy Poetry’s” sense of romantic yearning as well as a feeling of being purposefully lost. HT Heartache is the project of L.A.-based singer/songwriter Mary Roth, with help from multi-instrumentalist Christina Gaillard, who recorded the new album Sundowner over the past year and a half in Highland Park. It’ll be available at Amoeba Hollywood starting May 28, so check it out!
Some Ember – “The Thrashing Whip” and Album Stream
Nina Chase and Dylan Travis remember the other side of synthesized music, calling to mind the darkwave and coldwave momements of the 1980s without being overly referential or reverential. “The Thrashing Whip’s” light pulse beat is more reminiscent of an anxious heartbeat than a dance beat, its disintegrating synthesizers sounding like they’ve been sprayed with acid and Travis’ heartbreak croon traversing heady chord changes and ghostly sounds. However, Chase’s sweet backup vocals and the occasional glittering effect helps give the song a feeling of uplift through the gloom. Very intriguing. If you’d like to hear the rest of the California duo’s Some Ember LP (due May 27 on Dream Recordings), check it out on Stereogum.
2) Atmosphere Southsiders (also avail in LP) (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
3) Iggy Azelea The New Classic (Island/Def Jam)
4) Tyler, The Creator Wolf (Columbia)
5) MF Doom Mm...Food? (Rhymesayers)
Released earlier this month is the brand new album 12 Step Program (also avail in LP) from longtime LA rap duo People Under the Stairs (PUTS) that has shot straight to number one on the new hip-hop chart this week in their hometown Amoeba. It is the ninth album from the talented pair, comprised of Double K and Thes One, of whom Amoeba.com wrote in the new album review, "The PUTS are aging like the luxury items they are, becoming better and more valuable with age, forever giving the impression that their most fruitful period is always the current one." I concur and for further proof scroll down to see a video clip from the new 12 track 12 Step Program. Similarly the number two new chart entry is from another longtime indie hip-hop act duo Atmosphere. Of this new release from the emcee/production duo of Slug and Ant Amoeba.com accurately writes, "Slug brings that same honesty to his raps about getting older and wiser on Southsiders, a kind of refocusing for Atmosphere. Rather than try to recapture the fury of Atmosphere’s youthful early albums, Slug portrays a newfound ability to look outward and upward here." Agreed and the album, a 20 song set, deserves repeated listens to fully absorb all he has to say. Read the full review here.
Omar S and Luke Hess
Omar teams up with longtime collaborator Luke Hess for a motor city summit. Fans of both producers will be delighted with the results."Automatic Midnight" combines AOS's percussive grit with Hess's refined sense of space. It's a dub techno track imbued with gritty personality. The B, "Outerspace Drive" feels like the duo attempted to force Terry Riley's expansive minimalism into a jack track. Perfect for late night trips.
Rabih Beani continues his circuitous path through the mutant US techno underground, this time unearthing Lack, from Carrboro, North Carolina. This is pantomime techno. The only present elements are those necessary to convey a simple point - it's not dance music, rather the implication of it. "Eminence Grace" uses a bold stab which sounds sourced from an early rave record and not much else. "Aphelion" focuses on an unnerving sine wave and a skeletal rhythm.
CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present Grammy Award–winning Beninoise singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo on Saturday, June 21st at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
Born in the West African country of Benin and raised in the busy port city of Cotonou, Angelique Kidjo was surrounded by a multi-hued world of music, dance, and art - from the rich sounds, rhythms, and story telling of traditional Beninese culture to the far-ranging fascinations of international pop, rock, blues, Latin music and jazz. Add to that the blessing of parents who honored creativity and supported Angelique's artistic goals unconditionally, encouraging her to give free rein to the talents she began to reveal as a six year old.
Expressing those talents to the fullest, she became a highly visible international artist while she was still in her 20s. Throughout the ‘90s and beyond, she has performed globally, winning honor after honor, including a Grammy, while using her visibility to campaign for women's rights, provide educational opportunities for girls, and support environmental initiatives.
On Eve, her Savoy Records debut named for her own mother as well as the mythical "mother of all living," Angelique Kidjo builds on her evolving legacy with a 13-track, three interlude set of melodically rich, rhythmically powerful expressions of female empowerment. These songs become all the more intimate and emotionally urgent with Kidjo's dynamic collaborations with traditional women's choirs from Kenya and various cities and villages in Benin. The singer and her newfound native vocalists sing in a wide array of native Beninese languages, including Fon (Kidjo's first language), Yoruba, Goun, and Mina.
This Sunday, May 25th, celebrate Memorial Day and the Material Girl Madonna with Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest and most fabulous drag performance night club, at DNA Lounge!
This year, Heklina's legendary Trannyshack salute to all things Madonna features special guest Bianca Del Rio (Season 6 contestant of Rupaul's Drag Race), plus performances from Exhibit Q., Roxy-Cotten Candy, Sue Casa, House of Glitter, Rice Rockettes, Sugah Betes, Raya Light, Skid Marks, Cookie Dough, Chaka Korn, Qween and more.
Get your tickets HERE!
The band Liars has come a long way since their formation in the early 2000s. They've released seven studio albums and a slew of EPs and singles, making these veterans of post-punk a force to be reckoned with. In support of their newly released album, Mess (Mute), Liars will be playing an all-ages show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood Tuesday, May 27th. Tickets for this show are also available at Amoeba Hollywoood. Mess is a fun production full of drone like vocals, electro synth layers, and traces of dub-step. Liars often tow the line between experimental rock and high energy electro-dance and those elements are all well represented on the new album.
The band recently visited Amoeba to do a little shopping and of course our cameras recorded all the action for another fun episode of What's In My Bag?. Singer Angus Andrew and synth player Aaron Hemphill explored nearly every corner of Amoeba Hollywood, picking up freestyle, rock, '90s hip hop, soundtracks, apparel and more. They get things started with Michael Frank's LP, The Art of Tea, and then show off a couple of AC/DC and Culture Club patches. They also pick up an awesome Ice Cube Kill At Will T-shirt! Check out the full episode below for all of their great finds.
A new documentary currently in production seeks to explore the fertile punk and hardcore scene of Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s and ’80s.
Filmmakers Paul Bishow and James Schneider are seeking funding for their documentary Punk the Capital, Straight from Washington D.C. via Kickstarter. The film is more than 10 years in the making and will explore how the hardcore movement began and why it has such staying power, focusing on the period from 1976 to 1985.
The filmmakers say they conducted more than 100 interviews with key figures in the hardcore movement, collecting more than 200 hours of archival footage along with flyers, pictures, zines and more paraphernalia from the time. The film includes interviews with and footage of such hardcore luminaries as Alec and Ian MacKaye (the latter from Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, The Teen Idles and Embrace), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Jeff Nelson (Minor Threat), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Tesco Vee (The Meatmen, Touch & Go), Cynthia Connolly (photographer, Dischord), Joe Keithley (D.O.A.), Sharon Cheslow (Chalk Circle) and more.
After one of the seemingly longest and most brutal (weather-wise) winters, New Yorkers are more than ready for Memorial Day and what it signifies: the beginning of the summer season. Traditionally this time of year in New York is when numerous events begin for the summer season. This weekend that will include the wonderful 172 acre public open park space Governors Island. A true oasis amidst the craziness of New York City, Governors Island offers the perfect one-day mini-vacation even though it is only a mere half mile or ten minute ferry boat ride from the lower tip of Manhattan. It reopens Saturday (May 24th) for the 2014 summer season but, unlike in previous years when it was only open weekends, this island of fun will be open seven days a week this summer. Furthermore, the park will now offers an additional 30 acres of space for the public to enjoy.
Governors Island amenities include sporting facilities, picnic areas, old buildings to view or explore, and lots of art on exhibit...and this is all free to see and do. There are even have bike rentals that are free at certain times (free weekday mornings for one hour between 10 a.m.and noon) and at other times moderately price), but you can always bring your own bike over on the ferry. Similarly entrance to the island park, a former military base and home to the US Army and Coast Guard that first opened to the public nine summers ago, is completely free. The ferry ride (formerly free) over from nearby the Staten Island Ferry Building is now just a minimal fee of $2 round-trip. There are lots of concerts and music events on the island too. For full info on Governors Island summer schedule and general info click here.
There’s this thing going around the Internet right now saying Axl Rose is the greatest singer ever.
This list by something called Concert Hotels has actually done something really cool by showing the recorded vocal ranges of some of pop music’s most celebrated singers, taken from Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. The Guns N’ Roses singer came in at No. 1, meaning he has the widest recorded range.
|Axl Rose (center) in Guns N' Roses|
It’s fun to see Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and others represented pretty well on the list—did you know Lana Del Rey’s recorded vocal range is three octaves, dwarfing Taylor Swift’s two-and-change? Or that Eminem has a recorded range of more than three octaves?
Beloved Warp Records duo Plaid return with their eighth album, a perfect apotheosis of the IDM sound they helped pioneer. Plaid excel at extrapolating emotional material out of whirling synthesizer landscapes, thanks to a reliance on simple melodies beneath the surface of tracks like the melodic “Hawkmoth” or synth-poppy “Matin Lunaire.” Songs like “Nafovanny” and “Wallet” seem to tell a story as the band layers extensively over singular lead synths, perhaps inspired by their recent soundtrack work (including the anime Tekkonkinkreet), whereas songs like “Slam” create mini-epics of house-inspired beat work. Though Plaid never rose to the level of fame of contemporaries like Squarepusher, their remarkably consistency should encase their legacy as IDM greats, as their work on Reachy Prints is nothing short of inspired.
Welcome sign at Brookhurst
Drive down Garden Grove Boulevard with your windows up (paying proper attention to the road in front of you) and you might not notice that you're passing through Little Seoul. There are no banners, memorials, murals, monuments or that many fluttering South Korean flags. Pass through on a bus and maybe you'll notice the Hangul signs and blue tile roofs. The best way to experience Little Seoul, despite some drawbacks, is by walking in it – although your hair might pick up the smell like bulgogi by the end of your ramble. The other day I headed over there to explore it, accompanied by Una Zipagan and host of the excellent Notebook on Cities and Culture podcast, Colin Marshall.
Another blue tile community
Make Music Pasadena takes place Saturday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Amoeba will be on hand with vinyl, band T-shirts, 45s, Amoeba swag, Amoeba Happy Hour gift certificates and more. Stop by our booth and say hi! Plus, if you wear your Amoeba swag to the festival and stop by our booth, we'll give you an Amoeba gift certificate (while supplies last; items purchased at MMP on 6/7 do not qualify).
For a suggested $5 donation, you’ll get to see indie rock bands like Surfer Blood, Tennis and Saint Motel, international pop star Yuna, electro pop act Sylvan Esso, melodic acoustic band Run River North, local acts like So Many Wizards, Shirley Rolls, Bloody Death Skull and many more.
A full list of the acts is here.
Reggae artist Matisyahu will perform and be interviewed June 4 at The Grammy Museum as part of their program “The Drop.” Amoeba is a sponsor of the event. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Doors are at 7:30 p.m., with a discussion and susbsequent performance starting at 8.
Matisyahu first rose to fame in the mid-2000s for the sheer oddity of being an Orthodox Jewish rapper, performing in a yarmulke with a full beard and payot. But his music soon eclipsed most talk of Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller; Matisyahu is his Hebrew and stage name) as a novelty artist, fusing alternative hip-hop and reggae music with Orthodox Jewish themes, on albums like his 2005 breakthrough Live at Stubbs.
More recently, Matisyahu has shaved off the beard and ditched the yarmulke, stating on his website in late 2011: “When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey: to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality—not through books but through real life. … I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. … And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry... you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.” Despite the change in appearance (including dyed-blonde hair) he sported in videos for the 2012 album Spark Seeker, Matisyahu says he is still spiritually Jewish.
Whoever greenlighted that Michael Jackson hologram thing knew what they were doing.
The Billboard Music Awards, which took place last night, haven’t always gotten the press the Grammys get. But last night’s show got people talking by taking the hologram performance concept that first gained notoriety in 2012 when a hologram Tupac performed at Coachella and applied it to none other than the late King of Pop.
I’m not sure how horrified to feel by this. The hologram looked pretty real, but at no point was I fooled into thinking that was Michael Jackson moonwalking across the stage, and judging by audience reaction in the video, I’m not alone. I think the hologram thing is a fluke that will go away. This notion that we’re gonna just replace dead rock stars or those who can’t be there with holograms and sell out arenas and tours is a little ridiculous—it’s a fad. At least “Slave to the Rhythm” is a pretty good song, from the better than expected posthumous release Xscape, although it’s not quite as good as “Love Never Felt So Good,” which should win “best song of 2014 that was mostly recorded in 1983” at some award show.
See a partial list of the Billboard Award winners below:
Top Artist: Justin Timberlake
Exactly 36 years ago on May 19th, 1978 Penelope Houston and her seminal San Francisco punk rock group The Avengers played the Mab (nÃ© Mabuhay Gardens - the beloved and bygone SF punk palace on Broadway in North Beach) on a bill with visiting LA punk pioneers X. That show was just one of many they would do at the Mab and one of countless gigs that the hard-working, high-energy, and highly politicized West Coast pioneering punk rockers would do that year.
On January 14th of 1978 the band, who only formed a year earlier, had the fortune of being chosen as the opening act for the Sex Pistols at Winterland in what would be the Pistols very final show. Fast forward to today to almost four full decades later and Houston and the Avengers (albeit with a different lineup...the original Avengers officially broke up in 1979 but started playing select gigs first as the scAvengers and then sporadically again as The Avengers a decade ago) are back doing their thing, and sounding as great as ever with the current lineup featuring Houston and fellow original member Greg Ingraham along with Joel Reader and Luis Illades. This coming weekend, the Avengers have three Cali shows booked back to back.
Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.
Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” pulled a trick that has seemingly become a trademark of the show: It kept us waiting, then pulled the rug out in the end.
After last episode’s explosive trial, in which Tyrion Lannister basically told everyone to go fuck themselves, we awaited the beloved character’s fate. Would Jaime Lannister fight for the brother the rest of their family rejected? Would Bronn come in and save the day, as he did back in the Vale, saving Tyrion in a trial by battle from getting flung out of the moon door? (More on that later …)
It would seem not. Despite Bronn's schooling, the now one-handed Jaime hasn't been able to get his swordfighting mojo back. Bronn, a sellsword and a rogue through and through even with the knighthood he attained during the Battle of Blackwater, has been offered a pretty sweet deal by Cersei—he basically gets to marry a rich bimbo (Lollys Stokeworth) and possibly inherit a castle, intimating that he only need to help Lollys’ barren older sister fall off a horse or meet some other unfortunate yet easily-explainable demise for this to happen. Tyrion understands; even if they’re friends, this is a guy he hired out of nowhere, whose primary driver seems to be money and women, and until now, Tyrion has been his way to achieve that. Now, fighting for Tyrion against the monstrous Mountain would almost certainly assure both of their deaths.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Born on this day: May 19, 1945 - Singer, songwriter and musician Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend in Chiswick, London, UK. Happy 69th Birthday, Pete!
Born on this day: May 19, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, model, and actress Grace Jones (born in Spanish Town, Jamaica). Happy 66th Birthday, Grace!
Born on this day: May 19, 1951 - Ramones lead vocalist Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, NY). Happy Birthday to this punk rock icon on what would have been his 63rd Birthday.
On this day in music history: May 19, 1972 - Honky Chateau, the fifth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Chateau d'Herouville in Herouville, France in January 1972. It will be the first full album to feature John recording with his road musicians bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson, and guitarist Davey Johnstone, setting the template for his most successful work during the 70's. The album will differ from his previous work as it is the first to not feature a string section since his debut release Empty Sky (though it will feature violin player Jean-Luc Ponty on two tracks). Chateau will also be the last Elton John album to be released on the Uni Records imprint in the US and Canada, as the label will be absorbed into MCA. It will spin off two singles including "Honky Cat" (#8 US Pop, #31 UK), and "Rocket Man" (#6 US Pop, #2 UK). Honky ChÃ¢teau will spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number two on the UK album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
As the last survivng member and co-founder of the '70s band Big Star, Jody Stephens has quite the rock & roll story. Big Star cut a record with producer and Ardent Studios founder John Fry, who also played the part of psuedo manager by default. Under Fry's direction, Big Star secured distribution and marketing with the legendary soul label, Stax. With rave reviews and backing by Ardent and Stax, Big Star was poised to be the biggest name in rock. However, Big Star's 1971 debut, #1 Record, failed to top the charts and was quickly dubbed a commercial flop. Many critics praised the band's work, but sources say Stax was unable to fully distribute and market the album for success. The band managed to release three albums between 1971 and 1974 before disbanding and falling into obscurity.
Fast forward three decades later, Big Star has amassed a cult following of fans and influenced many successful rock bands along the way. Groups like R.E.M and The Replacements have cited Big Star as major influences on their craft. Rolling Stone magazine listed all three Big Star albums as part of their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (published in 2003 & 2005). But the biggest push in the Big Star resurgence is due to the very well-produced documentary, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. The film chronicles the band's history in a story that (if not already) will pull you into the fandom of Big Star. Jody Stephens, being the only living member, was at the center of the film's publicity and screening events, literally making him a rock star for the first time! Stephens also tours as Big Star backed by many well-known musician friends. When not on tour, Stephens manages Ardent Studios in Memphis. Over the course of his tenure at Ardent, the studio has seen everyone from Three 6 Mafia to the White Stripes to Bob Dylan book studio time.
FYF Fest has announced its 2014 lineup. The show, taking place Aug. 23-24 at the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park, includes headliners Phoenix (Saturday) and The Strokes (Sunday). The Saturday lineup also features a couple of recently reunited bands—beloved shoegaze band Slowdive and post-rock progenitors Slint—as well as Interpol, a set by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, Grimes, Little Dragon, Caribou, Future Islands, Tycho, Death Grips and more. Sunday includes a set by reunited post-hardcore band The Blood Brothers, Flying Lotus, Blood Orange, Darkside, Earl Sweatshirt, Four Tet, Mac DeMarco and more.
Matt Kivel – “Insignificance”
Beginning with a sort of Sonic Youth-folk feel, Matt Kivel’s “Insignificance” reveals itself to be a graceful love song dirtied just enough with lo-fi grit. It’s the first thing we’ve heard from Days of Being Wild, the L.A.-based singer-songwriter’s new album, due July 8 on Woodsist. Kivel, who was in the indie-pop band Princeton with his brother, Jesse (also of Kisses), will be at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown Aug. 16 for the Woodsist Festival alongside Woods, Foxygen and …
The Fresh & Onlys – “Who Let the Devil”
…The Fresh & Onlys, who have just released the third track from their upcoming new album, House of Spirits, which is due June 10 on Mexican Summer. The album promises a lot of variety, judging by the minimalist beauty of “Bells of Paonia,” goth country-rock of “Animal of One” and now the rococo Americana of “Who Let the Devil.”
Among the brand new releases to arrive in Amoeba this week is the all killer, no filler Coalmine Records ten year anniversary release (promo video above) that showcases the creme de la creme of the past decade's output from the Brooklyn based label - all mixed together by DJ Revolution. Aptly entitled Coalmine Records Presents: Unearthed the compilation album (a double CD disc set) contains both a mixed version care of DJ Revolution, and an 'Untagged Deluxe Edition' which includes three bonus cuts. Artists featured include Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Large Professor, The Artifacts, Blu, Sean Price, Big Noyd, Skillz, Guilty Simpson, Rah Digga, El Da Senseiand Fashawn.
In addition to the CD version of their album 7 Skies H3 (previously a 2011 Record Store Day limited vinyl release) that will arrive in Amoeba next week (May 19th) the always busy / Beatles-loving, three decades strong Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips are planning on releasing later this year their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band tribute album to be entitled, With A Little Help From My Fwends, that Warner Brothers will release on October 28th - coming 47 years after the original Fab Four release in June 1967. As well as being a nod to the Beatles' lyrics the tribute album title "With A Little Help From My Fwends" is a reference to the album's guest spots from some of their friends or "fwends" rather.
These guests will include (Lips side project) the Electric Würms, MGMT, Sean Lennon, MMJ, Foxygen, Phantogram, plus Miley Cyrus and Moby who both collaborate on the lead single / track "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." That digital only (for now) advance single/track will also be a benefit release with a portion of funds raised to be donated to The Bella Foundation in Oklahoma City; a non-profit organization based in the band's hometown that assists low-income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care. For more music and news on the Lips visit both the The Flaming Lips page on the Amoeba store, and the band's website. Below is a fan made video of the band along with Miley Cyrus performing the aforementioned "Lucy" at a concert in Manchester two months ago.
Terrific compilation that's acts as a good indicator on the state of current underground house music. Permanent Vacation shows an admirable dedication to exposing newer US/EU producers alongside relatively established names. Highlights include the dubby, warp zone funk of Lake People, Willie Burns' slightly chilled out take on his Hauge-influenced sound and one of the best Achterbahn D'Amour tracks to date. They can keep my money.
Secret Circuit and Suzanne Kraft debut their breezy cosmic-afrobeat collaboration just in time for summer. Though both of these chaps know their way around a synth, stringed instruments are fully embraced on Sunset Dawn. "Breathing Made Easy" features a hypnotic acoustic guitar, while the low-key heroics on "Downtown Salad" recall mid-period Floyd. Shuffling rhythms are complimented by adroit melodic interplay within these improv-based jams - they sound like they're having a good time, you will too.
|Photo by Norman Wong|
RSVP here to see Holy Fuck with James Supercave and Wunder Wunder May 22 at The Roxy for Red Bull’s next Sound Select show in Los Angeles. The show is only $3 with an RSVP.
Canadian electro-pop band Holy Fuck began as almost an experiment in sound—how can you make electronic music without actually using electronic instruments? Rather than laptops and sequencers, the band chose to use film equipment, toys and other non-instruments to achieve similar effects.
Fast forward 10 years, and they’re sharing stages with the likes of Skrillex at EDM festivals without losing an ounce of their outsider cool. The band’s next show sees them headlining the next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles May 22 at The Roxy with Aussie/L.A. psych-pop band Wunder Wunder (read an interview here) and L.A. indie pop band James Supercave. We caught up with the band (made up of Brian Borcherdt, Graham Walsh, Matt McQuaid and Matt Schulz) a week before the show.
RSVP here to see Wunder Wunder with Holy Fuck and James Supercave May 22 at The Roxy for Red Bull’s next Sound Select show in Los Angeles. The show is only $3 with an RSVP.
If there’s ever been a group that fused the sensibilities of two places they've come from, it’s Wunder Wunder, an Australian band that now live in L.A. The band hails from a place known for its awesome psych-pop bands, like Tame Impala and Jagwar Ma, to name a few, but they’ve got a distinctly easygoing, SoCal vibe, too, on songs like the glittering “Coatstline.”
Even though we’ve only heard two songs so far from the band, we’re already pumped about the prospects they offer. The duo’s debut album, Everything Infinite, is out July 15. We caught up with the band, made up of Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant (who are also in electro-pop band Miami Horror) before their May 22 show with Holy Fuck and James Supercave at The Roxy May 22.
Perhaps the coolest thing on TV this week was on Monday, when Neil Young showed up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with Jack White to record live in White’s refurbished Voice-O-Graph booth, which records straight to vinyl. You can see the pair showing this thing off in the clip below while Louis C.K. watches on, joking about recording laughter-free comedy in it.
Neil Young recorded his entire new album, the covers record A Letter Home, live in the 1947 Voice-O-Graph booth, coming out with a record that pops and hisses with old-school flair. Jack White says it's the only vinyl-recording booth left in the world that’s open to the public, as the booths were typically found in arcades and at tourist attractions from about the 1940s through the ’70s.Visitors to Third Man Records in Nashville can record live in the booth and mail their record out, as seen in this video.
Jazz at LACMA continues through November with a slate of free jazz shows every Friday evening at 6 p.m. Amoeba is a community sponsor of the series. Check out the whole lineup here.
Nov. 21: Janice Anderson - With comparisons to such varied artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Astrud Gilberto, Anderson also founded the Jazz Vespers, an interfaith monthly jazz series at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica.
Nov. 28: Frank Vardaros Jazz Orchestra - Trumpeter Vardaros leads a band that draws from the tradition of such jazz orchestras as those led by Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and Count Basie. Vardaros has performend with such artists as Ann-Margret, Clark Terry and Arturo Sandoval.
Hot on the heels of his collaborative album with Stik Figa (The City Under The City) talented prolific producer L'Orange now returns just six months later with more of his refreshingly unique sound: the highly recommended The Orchid Days that was released last month and that, like City, comes via the high caliber indie label Mello Music Group. "Two and a half years ago I got out a piece of paper and wrote down every single thing I wanted to do in the next year and at the very bottom of it I wrote Mello Music Group," the artist told me of finding his ideal label home after self-releasing some free albums digitally. "This is where I have seen myself for a long time and it is definitely an honor to be counted among the roster." His brand new Mello Music release The Orchid Days features carefully selected guest vocalists, (including Blu, Homeboy Sandman, and Billy Woods) on just 7 of its 19 tracks allowing the Nashville based producer to fully stretch and flex his trademark, hypnotically dreamy production style - while interweaving just the right amount of vocal guests to perfectly compliment his (and their) styles - all the while subtly moving the album's storyline along. The Orchid Days storyline is the story of love - finding love, falling in love, and then losing it and missing it - a story told via random soundbites expertly assembled - to the backdrop of an old world mood crafted by building layer upon layer of dreamy jazzy grooves from digging deep into really old jazz records with flutters of dramatically engaging soundbites/samples (handpicked over time by L'Orange) from old black and white movies, along with, often static sounding, classic old radio broadcasts. These samples along with the mood created by the musical backdrop tell a story that strongly hint that there was some specific romantic figure in L'Orange's life that inspired The Orchid Days. So I asked the artist was there a specific girl in mind as he recorded the album? "Of course there's a girl. I'm a poet," he replied adding. "Since that's not a satisfying answer I'll tell you something I haven't told anyone yet- she's on the album cover." [above left]
Little Dragon is bigger than ever! Not only is their new record, Nabuma Rubberband (Loma Vista Recordings), getting major buzz around the world, the band has also teamed up with RedBull for the Nabuma Derby! Fans have a chance to win tickets to see the band play Bonnaroo. There are two ways to win. First, build the fastest rubberband derby car and take home an exclusive Little Dragon prize pack. Second, upload a picture of your derby car to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NabumaDerby, and you could win two tickets to Bonnaroo (which is headlined this year by Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White and Vampire Weekend). Visit the Nabuma Derby site for details. Contest is being held now!
Little Dragon visited Amoeba Hollywood on Record Store Day and managed to sneak in some shopping. Of course they hung out and shared their findings with us! Yukimi and Erik kick things off with a couple of really cool shirts by jazz great Pharoah Sanders and '80s new wavers Devo. Yukimi digs up a classic twelve inch by Janet Jackson, the infamous "Got 'Til It's Gone." Legend has it the late great J.Dilla produced this hit, but credit was given to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis! Clearly big fans of hip hop and R&B, Little Dragon also pick up Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, which Erik calls the "best record in the world," and Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" on vinyl. Check out the full episode for all their great finds!
INTRO TO LITTLE SAIGON
Southern California is home to several ethnic enclaves and since the region's largest and fastest growing racial minority are Asian, perhaps it's not surprising that most of the recognized neighborhoods are specific to various Asian populations. In Los Angeles County there's Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little India, Little Osaka, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town. Orange County is home to Little Arabia (Arabs being geographically Asian if not -- by most people's reckoning -- racially so), Little Seoul, and Little Saigon -- the latter of which is little in name only.
It feels like summer’s already here, but there are still plenty of great releases lined up for the tail end of this spring. Here are 10 we’re looking forward to that you can preorder now.
Out May 19
Before they were Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots were one of the most dynamic and socially conscious groups in hip-hop. “When the People Cheer” reminds us of how great they are as pure rappers, and it’s got a cool stop-motion video to boot.
Starting June 12th, your Thursday nights are spoken for. San Francisco's historic Balboa Theatre brings you a summer full of exciting music documentaries, each selected for its depth-of-coverage about music crafted by strong, independent artists.
Balboa Theatre's Summer Music Documentary Series opens on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30pm with Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost), a fly-on-the-wall documentary that does indeed follow Bobby Bare Jr., son of country music legend Bobby Bare, through the sometimes lonely and disconnected turns of life on the road.
From then on, each Thursday night will bring a new film, covering a distinct vista of the global musical landscape. Many of the films are considerable in their scope, tackling the history of entire movements or genres of music. A few are more narrowly focused, giving the viewers a glimpse of one important band or musician. The selection ranges from histories of reggae and punk rock to a portrait of a globe-striding klezmer band.
Check out the full line-up and get your tickets HERE:
Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost)
Thur 6/12: 7:30pm
5 Sides of a Coin
Thur 6/19: 7:30pm
Swans - To Be Kind (LP, Two-CD Set, Deluxe Two-CD/DVD Set, Download)
Swans records are more like happenings, unforgettable experiences you have to sit down and pay attention to. The two-hour To Be Kind, released 21 months after the similarly epic The Seer, is no exception. Sounds wriggle, writhe and heave on the hilariously titled “Screen Shot,” but Swans also seem to have more control than ever—these sounds are speaking to one another, albeit in some unspoken language, not creating a cacophony. The effect can be paralyzing. Listening to “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” feels like staring into the darkest night, accompanied by a country sway and Michael Gira’s chants, which grow suddenly violent—“I’m just a little boy!” he cries repeatedly, while the guitars bellow and sigh with increasing pronunciation and sampled laughter ups the creep factor into Lynch territory. Gira growls “I need love” like it’s a threat. Meanwhile, “A Little God in my Hands” is Swans’ version of a pop song—thumping percussion (think Tom Waits) meets multiple voices singing over each other, while eerie backwoods instrumentation and sudden noise explosions burst out of nowhere but somehow still leave you bobbing your head along as Gira repeats evocative adjectives (“forever hateful, forever beautiful, forever needing, forever reaching”). It’s easy to attribute pagan imagery to Swans’ music and say it sounds like a sÃ©ance or something, but the 34-minute “Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Overture” really does sound like the soundtrack to a sacrifice, or at least some wicked feast. Its slow, long build demands patience, but Gira’s always charismatic voice makes it worth the trip.
Word arrived early this morning from several European sources including Swiss Public Television that renowned Swiss artist H.R. Giger passed away yesterday (May 12) following serious injuries sustained after falling down stairs. He was 74. Born Hans Rudolf Giger the influential fantasy realism artist (surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer) is best known to most for being part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for effects and design work on Ridley Scott's film Alien. He also worked on the special effects artwork for such other movies as Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Species, Dune, Batman Forever, and Poltergeist 2.
H.R. Giger is also known for doing the cover artwork for numerous albums over the years including Emerson, Lake & Palmer's 1973 release Brain Salad Surgery (pictured left), Danzig's 1992 release Danzig III: How the Gods Kill, and the Dead Kennedys' 1985 LP Frankenchrist for which he did the highly controversial "Penis Landscape" poster insert in the original record sleeve. That controversial poster, which was a painting of rows of penises and vulvae, almost bankrupted Alternative Tentacles at the time after its owner and DKs lead man Jello Biafra was brought to trial over indecency charges brought by the then burgeoning PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center). Much of Giger's fantastic realism and surrealism work was of so-called "biomechanoids" as seen in photo with him below. Currently on exhibit through June 13th the Galerie SansvoiX in Leipzig (DE) is Giger's "Zeitgeist" that includes the piece in photo at top of page. More info.
Checked out legendary drone sound installation art space The Dream House in TriBeCa (pictured above) last weekend and it was amazing. Luckily I got to check it out when I did since the long running space is about to temporarily close again this Sunday (May 18th) before taking a break until its next (22nd season) in mid September. A long running collaborative "Sound and Light Environment" piece, that dates back to 1993, by sound artist/composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela the Dream House is presented by the MELA Foundation. There at 275 Church Street there is a non descript door with no sign but just a buzzer that will get you inside and up the long steep flight of stairs to the third floor exhibit - a floor below where the minimalist exhibits' creators live. Luckily too since any other tenant would surely not wish to live above such a wall (floor?) of sound which is one long continuous hypnotic humming single frequency drone care of giant speaker stacks in the long purple light fused room that overlooks Church Street looking up towards Canal. The shaggy carpeted floor is strewn with pillows to lay down and relax on and get the best effects of the drone. The guy at the door suggested moving your head around to get alternate soothing effects of the loud (but not deafening) throbbing drone. For some attendees the experience is a religious like one that transcends visitors beyond this lower Manhattan space.
The 19th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival returns to the glorious Castro Theatre from May 29–June 1. The festival includes 17 silent-era features in preserved and restored prints, one program of extraordinary silent shorts and rarities, and the ever-popular Amazing Tales From the Archives program. 19 programs in all, and you won't want to miss one, especially since all films are accompanied by live music! Tickets are on sale now.
Check out some of the highlights:
OPENING NIGHT: THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE (USA, 1921)
The film that made Rudolph Valentino a star and brought director Rex Ingram to prominence, Four Horsemen is one of the greatest of the Great War chronicles. Valentino brought a new kind of leading man to the screen in the role of Julio Desnoyers: the Latin lover. Desnoyers is the favorite grandson of a wealthy Argentinean rancher, who spoils the boy. After his grandfather’s death, Julio moves to France, falls in love with a married woman (Alice Terry) and is finally shamed into joining the army. Based on the best-selling novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez and adapted for screen by June Mathis, Four Horsemen was among the biggest box office hits of the silent era, premiering in March 1921 to great critical acclaim. The film was re-released in a shortened version in 1926, the year Valentino died, and was seen in that truncated form until Kevin Brownlow and David Gill undertook a restoration in the early 1990s. Brownlow and Gill returned the film to its original length with its original color tints, as well as restoring the famous tango to its scintillating splendor. SF Silent’s presentation commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War I, as well as the 25th anniversary of the accompanying ensemble—who started life as a Ragtime and Tango Orchestra. Musical accompaniment by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (9:15 p.m., Thursday May 29)
Lily Allen "Sheezus" - title track from Sheezus (2014)
Lily Allen, whose long awaited latest album Sheezus arrived in Amoeba last Tuesday care of Parlaphone Records (via Warner) in both regular and deluxe CD (bonus disc with 5 additional tracks) versions, has just announced that she will touring the States in September for the first time in five years. That last tour by the UK singer/songwriter and actress coincided with her last studio album - It's Not Me, It's You. Part of the reason for the long gap between albums by the oft times controversial artist had to do with Allen's reportedly stepping back and taking time out from the rock n roll lifestyle and an effort to focus on her family. In 2010 she officially announced that she was taking a break from music for a few years to raise her young family and to set up her own record label. 18 months ago she returned from her hiatus with the release of both her cover of fellow Brit act Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," and the track "Hard Out Here" - both UK hits at the time, with the digital only "Hard Out Here" now in physical format and included on the new album (see video below). Sheezus is a departure from her previous more ska flavored style with more electronic and pop sounding production values now taking center stage. Meanwhile Allen's voice is as powerful and commanding as ever while lyrically she never fails to grabs listeners' attention by not holding back on sharing her opinions on everything, especially the state of pop culture. Even the new album title is a reference to Kanye while on the new album's title track she takes an honest evaluation of women in pop music; how they're perceived and marketed. Sadly many have misunderstood this track (video above) as a diss to her fellow female pop artists while it is anything but.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Born on this day: May 12, 1928 - Legendary pop songwriter, producer, and arranger Burt Bacharach (born Burt Freeman Bacharach in Kansas City, MO). Happy 86th Birthday, Burt!
Born on this day: May 12, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Steve Winwood (born Stephen Lawrence Winwood in Handsworth, Birmingham, UK). Happy 66th Birthday, Steve!
On this day in music history: May 12, 1958 - "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for four weeks, topping the Rhythm & Blues Best Sellers chart for five weeks on May 19, 1958, and also topping the Country & Western Best Sellers chart for three weeks on June 2, 1958. Written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, it is the second chart topping single for the rock & roll duo from Brownie, KY. Having also penned The Everly Brothers first number one single "Bye Bye Love," the husband and wife songwriting duo will write the ballad "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in only fifteen minutes. The Everlys will record the song at RCA Victor Studios in Nashville, TN on March 6, 1958, in just two takes. Legendary guitarist Chet Atkins will also play electric guitar on the track. Released as a single in April of 1958, it will quickly become a smash. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #9 on April 28, 1958, it will leap to the top of the chart two weeks later. When it tops the country singles chart on June 2, 1958, it will become the first record in Billboard chart history to top the pop, R&B, and country charts simultaneously. The single will also backed by the song "Claudette," written by a then relatively unknown musician named Roy Orbison, inspired by his wife. "Claudette" will also chart, peaking at #30 on the pop Best Sellers chart on the same date that "Dream" tops the chart. A rock & roll standard, "All I Have To Do Is Dream" will be covered numerous times over the years including versions by actor Richard Chamberlain (#14 Pop), Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell (#27 Pop, #6 Country), and Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal (#51 Pop). The Everly Brothers original version of "All I Have To Do Is Dream" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2004.
DEATH RACE 2000
Friday, May 9, 2014 // Midnite // Tonight!!
Roger Corman’s depraved drive-in hit is revving its engine, ready to plow through an audience of die-hard midnight maniacs! So get set for the Transcontinental Road Race, a lethal coast-to-coast, no-holds-barred orgy of fast cars and flattened bodies (points are not just scored for speed, but for the number of innocent pedestrians killed) in mankind’s greatest sporting event ever. Drivers David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone, Roberta Collins, The Karate Kid’s Martin Kove and cult movie icon Mary Woronov are putting the pedal to the metal, on the run to outmaneuver not just one another but also groups of activists willing to do whatever it takes to stop our barbaric heroes. A biting satire on America’s thirst for violence, director Paul “Eating Raoul” Bartel’s update of sci-fi legend Ib Melchior’s story is as pitch black as it is blood red, beautifully shot by Tak Fujimoto (fresh off Malick’s Badlands), fine-tuned to optimum performance by ace editor Tina Hirsch, and gloriously well-deserved of its infamous Ebert zero-star review denouncing the film for being in “poor taste, unnecessarily gratuitous in both nudity and violence.” In our words, a classic.
$12, Free for Cinefamily Members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036
The Skygreen Leopards – “Leave the Family”
S.F. psych-rock duo The Skygreen Leopards have a new album due July 8 on Woodsist called Family Crimes, and they’ve released the first song from it, “Leave the Family,” a bit of sunny-sounding psychedelia with goth lyrics—“you leave the family and you don’t come back,” goes one refrain over jangly 12-string guitar. Donovan Quinn, one of the two Leopards, is a busy guy—he also recently released a great record with Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance under the moniker New Bums. In fact, that whole Woodsist gang seems to be bustling as of late, with Woods’ recent, excellent album having been released and the gang gearing up for new Woodsist Fests, one Aug. 5-6 in Big Sur and another Aug. 16 in Pioneertoown (featuring Skygreen Leopards, Woods, Real Estate and more). Thanks for keeping us chill w/your cool hippie vibes throughout the summer, guys!
Mother’s Day could mean tuning into the latest movie based on a Jane Austen book or rom-com, but that’s no fun. Instead, we've compiled a list of 12 of the most messed-up movies about mothers. Save these to watch for after you’ve hung out with mom.
Mother’s Day (1980)
Let’s start with the one that shares its name with the holiday. The horror film, produced by cult horror kings Troma Entertainment and directedy by Charles Kaufman, got flak at the time of its release for its exploitative aspects, its rape/revenge scenario calling back to I Spit On Your Grave. But since then, its cult has become a substantial enough to warrant a remake produced by Brett Ratner and starring Rebecca De Mornay (star of another screwed-up mom’s movie, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). “Darlings, you have made your mother very proud,” the deranged mother of two hillbilly punks tells the boys when they bring her a woman to murder. Mom will love this one!
Serial Mom (1994)
1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy)
2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)
3) Iggy Azelea The New Classic (Island/Def Jam)
4) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
5) Eminem The Slim Shady LP (Interscope)
Celebrating its twenty year anniversary is Nas' flawless, classic 1994 album Illmatic which has been especially reissued by Sony Legacy for the occasion as Illmatic XX. The album, which includes such hip-hop timeless gems as "N.Y. State of Mind," "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and "The World Is Yours," by the Queensbridge emcee is this week's number one chart entry at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store, where also charting in the latest top five is another 90's rap classic: Eminem's 1999 megahit The Slim Shady LP (Interscope) which finds itself back in top sales this week at the SoCal store. Other current top five chart entries include Drake's Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money, and YG's My Krazy Life (Def Jam) which drew inspiration from various West Coast hip hop classics as Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Speaking of Dr. Dre, the famous former N.W.A. member/influential solo artist who has made a huge impact as a hip-hop producer, looks about to make his biggest (financial) mark as co-creator of the audio equipment and music-streaming service Beats Electronics known for the headphones that carry his name (Dre Beats) if the company, as has been reported over the past 24 hours, gets purchased by Apple at a reported $3.2billion price tag!
You do not want to miss the 2014 Yeah Gurl Spring Affair happening Sunday, May 18 at Space 15Twenty across from Amoeba Hollywood! Yeah Gurl is a curated event featuring local, indie urban fashion designers, contemporary artists, a selfiebooth, nail art, and DJs in a unique "sample party." This event brings together affordable fashion and art while allowing you to support innovative creatives. The spring edition of Yeah Gurl will focus on the upcoming LA Urban Summer, highlighting various fashion designs alongside contemporary/street art. Amoeba will have a crew on site 12-4pm with our awesome Prize Wheel! Stop by our booth for a chance to take home cool prizes and some Amoeba swag.
Yeah Gurl's Spring Affair opens Sunday, May 18th at 11am and goes until 4pm. You may want to get there early as the're giving away free limited edition Yeah Gurl print gift bags to the first 100 customers.
The famous Amoeba prize wheel in action!
British singer-songwriter Douglas Dare is the new kid on the block. Dare vocalizes his short prose and poems to a backdrop of drums and electronics with his piano strokes taking center stage. He creates a soundscape that is emotionally deep and sonically wide open. At just 22 years old, Dare comes off as a seasoned songwriter with a mastery skill level. He cites Thom Yorke and Rufus Wainwright as influences and his newly released full-length, Whelm (Erased Tapes), proves he has the chops to one day be held in the same regard as such heavyweights.
Douglas Dare took time out of his tour schedule to hang out at Amoeba Hollywood and dig for vinyl. Our camera crew were in tow and captured another cool episode of What's In My Bag?. Dare starts things off with an inspiration from childhood, a classical album by Claude Debussy played by Emile Naoumoff. He also picks up WhoMadeWho's Knee Deep and a more contemporary inspiration, St Vincent's latest self-titled release. Check out the full episode for all of Douglas Dare's cool finds.
Just released video of Marko Markovich's BASE Jump off the 1 WTC (Freedom Tower)
3 am on September 30, 2013. Yesterday Markovich and his fellow jumpers were in court
Above is a brand new video, posted to YouTube a couple of days ago, of the controversial NYC BASE jump in the wee hours of September 30th last from the Freedom Tower at the location of the World Trade Center. This latest video was take from the point of view (head cam) of jumper Marko Markovich who was the first of the three base jumpers to parachute from the 1,776-foot-tall building before getting arrested for the daredevil stunt - but not at the time of the incident, only in recent weeks when the first video of the jump was uploaded to YouTube. This second video, which is much longer than the previous one posted, captures both the amazing view from so high up above Downtown Manhattan floating downwards as well as the nervous anticipation by the 27 year old Markovich and his fellow jumpers. In the video you can hear the three jumpers (who were all arrested along with their lookout person) say how they hope they won't end up in the local NYPD Precinct arrested for felony charges. Unfortunately for them the posting of that first video in late March was exactly what led to their arrest on felony charges. Meanwhile Monday's posting by the jumpers of this second video to YouTube, which asked viewers to donate to their legal fund and to help make BASE jumping legal, was a strategic one since the following day (yesterday May 6th) all four would be in court on charges of burglary, reckless endangerment, and jumping from a structure - that could result in them serving some serious time behind bars. They all pleaded not guilty with their lawyer stating that his hope that the charges would be reduced from felony to a misdemeanor. The case continues in six weeks when they all return to court.
Name: Fiona M.
Job: Poster Manager, Sales Rep/Outreach
How long have you been with Amoeba? I have been here for three and a half years!
What else do you do with your time?
I go to a lot of shows. I am rich in talented friends and friends that have weight over guests lists. I write stuff too, and play guitar in the wee hours of the night. Gotta stay active, so I get outside a lot. If anybody has a baseball glove, I'll meet you at the park. Aside from that, you can usually find me cooking for my friends at home and listening to records.
Tell us a story about working at Amoeba.
A few months after I started at Amoeba, I signed up to DJ in the store. I decided to compile a themed set: Light N Bouncy Pop Delights. The set included various pop songs spanning the decades. It was a bit nerve wrecking looking out at a store filled with colleagues whose DJ skills and music knowledge hugely surpassed my own. When more than a handful of those same coworkers came up to me during the set to either ask who an artist was that I had played, or to high-five me for a good selection, I distinctly remember feeling like I was at home here. Especially when DJ Mona Lisa threw up her hands and hollered from across the store the second I threw on "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor. That was a validating moment in my life.
What have you been listening to lately?
After a super successful debut last year, Tacolandia is back with more tacos than your taste buds can handle! The event is curated by the World's First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza. Mr. Esparza is the Southland champion when it comes to discovering the best street food in the county. From the O.C. to West L.A. and every hood in between, Esparza has uncovered many great taco shops, food trucks and corner stands that serve up nothing less than stellar tortilla filled treats. This is definitely a gathering of the taco gods... Okay, maybe not gods, but really awesome taco men and women with mad skills for making your taste buds very happy.
This year Tacolandia will be held on Saturday, June 28 at LA's birthplace, El Pueblo De Los Angeles, and will feature tacos from over 40 of LA and Mexico's hottest vendors, plus live music and tequila tasting. Amoeba Hollywood will be on site with our special prize wheel. Be sure to come say hello and give the wheel a spin for some cool giveaways. Tacos, music and tequila! What more could you ask for? Tacolandia has "good times" written all over it. You definitely do not want to miss this.
Tickets are on sale now here.
General Admission ticket includes:
|Early Bird Pricing: $25 (ends Friday, May 30th at 11:59pm)|
|Advance Pricing: $30 (Saturday, May 31st at 12 midnight - Friday, June 22nd at 5pm)|
|Door Pricing: $40|
On Saturday, May 3, just a few days before Cinco De Mayo, we had a wonderful auction with one of our absolute favorites, Gustavo Arellano. The beneficiary for this auction was the outstanding organization Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, now in its twentieth year of providing financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability or age-related problems. In other words, Healing Musicians in Need. We all have received so much out of music, it was time to give a little back!
Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, author, lecturer, and the nationally syndicated “¡Ask a Mexican!” columnist. This was a return engagement for Gustavo as our auction host and he outdid himself. We were so excited to have him back, and he definitely delivered, putting together some crazy packages (a signed Charo CD along with a Nick Cave toy, or a Star Wars Toy with a Cumbia CD), and holding the audience rapt with his rapid-fire auction patter. And he made sure everyone understood that every bid had meaning, making jokes all the while driving the bids up and up.
As always, Amoeba matches each and every bid. We started the Auction tradition when Katrina hit the Southland in 2005, and we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local and global organizations in the last nine years. We have raised money for so many worthy organizations; from Doctors Without Borders disaster relief to NKLA and many more. It's a huge part of our community efforts and we appreciate so much the people who come out to support, and our guest auctioneers over the years (who have included Bob Odenkirk, Garfunkel and Oates, David Cross, and many other comedians and luminaries). Check out our auction page for a deeper list.
tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus has always seemed outright phobic of sounding like anyone else, mangling her elastic voice, drums loops and kitchen-sink instrumentation into a cartoonish assembling of sounds that only slightly resembles other indie pop of its ilk. “On the one hand, there is what sounds good, on the other there is what’s true,” she sings on the relatively low-key “Look Around,” as if addressing any criticisms of her music head-on. However, Nikki Nack's strength comes from Garbus' ability to wrangle her wild ideas into instantly memorable pop songs that are still nonetheless really effing strange. Whether she’s inventing new hopscotch cheers with Busta Rhymes references on “Water Fountain,” skipping along cabaret-jazz vibes on “Real Thing” or creating alien freestyle jams like “Sink-O” and “Wait for a Minute,” Garbus remains definitely tuned to her own frequency. However, these songs are as rife with hooks as they are loaded with tangents and unstoppable energy. The songs that aren’t as concerned with rule-breaking on Nikki Nack are almost more striking in that they reveal the power of Garbus’ incredible voice and her ability to make even a seemingly straightforward song hauntingly unusual, as on songs like “Time of Dark,” which reveal themselves to be highlights upon repeated listens. tUnE-yArDs still isn’t for everyone—there’s a childlike reading called “Why Do We Dine on the Tots?” that’s a bit of groan-worthy performance art—but listeners who may have shied away from tUnE-yArDs bizzaro pop in the past will find lots to feast on here, as Nikki Nack is always more intriguing than off-putting in its otherness. Listening requires plenty of trust, but Garbus makes falling down the rabbit hole with her well worth it on Nikki Nack.
Sir Mix-a-Lot "Posse On Broadway" (1988)
While Sir Mix-a-Lot is often wrongly dismissed as a rap one hit wonder for his international crossover mega-hit single "Baby Got Back" the Seattle rapper/producer actually boasts a rich catalog of quality hip-hop - much of it in the years, on his own Nastymix Records label, leading up to his well worn 1992 hit single about him "liking big butts and I don't know why" and the Def American released album Mack Daddy from where it was culled. In fact he released his very first record seven years before "Baby Got Back." And four years before his big hit propelled the now 50 year old artist born Anthony Ray into mainstream status he released his debut full-length album Swass which included the hip-hop 'golden age' classic "Posse on Broadway." A single off the album released on the successful North West indie rap label that he himself founded, "Posse" struck a nerve with rap fans not just in Seattle but everywhere at the time. This was thanks to such factors as its great lyrics, the track's irresistibly powerful 808 kick-drum fueled beat, and also because listeners made the song lyrics relate to their own town's "Broadway" (every city has a Broadway it seems) whether they were in Oakland, San Francisco, New York City or wherever. Of course, the "Broadway" Sir Mix-a-Lot (who called the Bay Area his second home and spent a lot of them there) was referencing in "Posse On Broadway" was the street in his own hometown of Seattle. Located in Seattle's Capitol Hill district, it was on Broadway where he and his "posse" famously "stopped at Taco Bell for some Mexican eatin' But Taco Bell was closed, The girls was on my tip. They said go back the other way we'll stop and eat at Dick's. Dick's is the place where the cool hang out. The Swass like to play and the rich flaunt clout. Posse to he burger stand so big we walk in twos." (Scroll down to see full song lyrics.) A few years back when I interviewed more recent era Seattle underground hip-hop artist D. Black and asked him if Dick's Drive-In, the famed Seattle fast food institution immortalized in "Posse On Broadway," was still in business? "Yes, Dick's is still there on Broadway, although I don't eat there anymore cos it's not Kosher," added the next generation Seattle emcee, who practices Judaism. In fact today's best known Seattle rapper Macklemore filmed his (The Heist featured track) "White Walls" video at Dick's.
It's a Mother's Day celebration to die for this Saturday, May 10th at SF's Castro Theatre at 8pm as the inimitable Ricki Lake joins hostess Peaches Christ for a giant Serial Mom anniversary tribute night.
What better way to say I LOVE YOU, MOM this Mother's Day weekend then with a screening of the John Waters' wickedly hilarious classic, a live pre-show stage performance, and the one and only Ricki Lake?! Ms. Lake is a bona fide pop culture icon, film star (Hairspray, Cry Baby), Emmy Award winner, and motherhood advocate. Peaches Christ will conduct an onstage interview with Ms. Lake including an audience Q&A preceding the screening.
The pre-show, "Serial Queen," co-stars Peaches as "Dottie," the innocent victim of a vicious crank-caller. What happens when a successful drag queen goes on a killing spree in San Francisco and begins offing drag rule-breakers, boogers, and the impolite? Is Martiny the first to go? Find out! The show will also feature the fantastic and erotic dance stylings of SexiTude. Wear white shoes at your own risk.
Get your tickets now!
Freestyle is a type of dance-pop music that evolved from Hi-NRG, Electro, and Hip-Hop in the early 1980s — primarily in New York City and specifically the South Bronx. Due to the ethnic and musicological background of some of its producers, performers and many of its fans, Freestyle was originally often referred to as Latin Hip-Hop. After enjoying a period of crossover popularity in the second half of the 1980s, Freestyle stopped being a major musical force in mainstream but was kept alive by a cult largely comprised surprisingly perhaps, largely of Filipinos.
In the early 1980s listeners could still discern the unique cultural contributions that made pre-corporate Hip-Hop a complex Afro-Caribbean-Hellenic-Italo-Teutonic gumbo. The syncopated rhythms of Electro-Funk owed their popularity to Nuyoricans’ central importance in the emerging subculture. Electro-Funk branched into something distinct (what came to be known as Freestyle) in 1982 and ’83, with the release of songs like Planet Patrol’s “Pay At Your Own Risk,” C-Bank’s “Get Wet,” and Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” and the production efforts of figures like John Robie & Arthur Baker, The Latin Rascals, and Mark Liggett & Chris Barbosa.
The First City Festival returns for its second year to the Monterey County Fair and Event Center on Saturday August 23rd and Sunday, August 24th! Last year at its debut, the boutique music festival attracted more than 10,000 attendees each day and featured a line-up of over 30 bands at the picturesque coastal setting.
The line-up for this year's fest includes Beck, The National, Phantogram, Best Coast, and so many more amazing acts! In addition to performers on three stages, the festival offers other entertainment and distinctive attractions including a Vaudeville-style variety stage, plus a full carnival with rides and games.
Tickets are on sale now and includes unlimited access to carnival rides. There will also be hotel and shuttle packages available for purchase.
Check out First City Festival for more info.
NYC based designer, coder, and data scientist at Undercurrent Matt Daniels has just unveiled his latest project, an in-depth examination of the vocabulary of hip-hop emcees which, for any fan of the genre or of the English language, is well worth checking out. The results, just published on Amazon News under the heading The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop, are the results of Daniels' quest to study and compare some of hip-hop's most prolific artists and determine their use of words in raps while comparing them with William Shakespeare’s vocabulary "across his entire corpus" noting how "he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever." He also uses as a comparison test the first 35,000 words of Herman Melville's book Moby Dick, and states that he decided to compare "this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop" and that for this study that he "used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake." As a data source he utilized Rap Genius (website that comprises most rap song lyrics) that, even though the study is just published now in May 2014, are only current to 2012. Among the artists included in his study are E-40, Too $hort, LL Cool J, Rakim, Beastie Boys, and standout study subject Aesop Rock who ranks as user of the most unique words in his rhymes clocking in at a total of 7392 unique words as compared to say Snoop Dogg (3974 unique words), or Blackalicious (5480 unique words used). He also goes into a deeper look at Wu-Tang (see above excerpt) for a look at each members "total words" (as distinct from "unique words"). For further in-depth results of this study click here.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Born on this day: May 5, 1934 - R&B vocal legend Johnnie Taylor (born Johnnie Harrison Taylor in Crawfordsville, AR). Happy Birthday to this rhythm and blues great on would have been his 80th Birthday.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1962 - West Side Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 54 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Didier Deutsch, it is recorded at the United Artists Scoring Stage in Hollywood on August 9 - 10, 1960. Featuring songs written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, it is the soundtrack for the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. The soundtrack album like the film itself will become an unprecedented success, with the album ascending to the top of the charts following the film's sweep of the Academy Awards, winning 10 of the 11 awards its nominated for. The West Side Story soundtrack will set a record for the longest run at #1 in the history of the Billboard pop album chart (unbroken to this day), spending a total of one year and two weeks at the top. The album will also spend a total of over five years on the Top 200 before falling off of the chart in 1967. It will win the Grammy Award for Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast From a Motion Picture or Television in 1962. West Side Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Festival season continues with a new one called Deserted At The Palms, happening at The Palms bar May 17 out in Wonder Valley.
Where's that, you might ask? You may have heard of Pappy and Harriet's over in Pioneertown and the suddenly hip town of Joshua Tree, but just past those places, off Highway 62, is the even more remote Wonder Valley, home to the surreal Palms bar. It's a dusty, friendly saloon with an outdoor stage owned and run by the band The Sibleys, who also play at every show at the bar.
|Thee Oh Sees|
Sound cool? You haven't even heard what bands will be playing yet. It's a doozy of a lineup—prolific Bay Area garage rockers Thee Oh Sees; Welsh songstress Cate le Bon, who just graced our own little stage; lo-fi greats White Fence; surrealist pop duo Prince Rama; dark disco diva Nite Jewel; jangle-pop maestros Dream Boys; minimal wave lady Geneva Jacuzzi, who will DJ at Amoeba Hollywood May 30 at 8 p.m.; wild folk band Bloody Death Skull; and so much more, including Chrome Canyon, Rainbow Arabia, Amanda Jo Williams, Hott MT, Alex Lilly, Gun Outfit, Sex Stains and, of course, The Sibleys. The show is put on by L.A. Record's Daiana Feuer and Jessica Espeleta, the latter of whom will be DJing here Friday May 23 at 8 p.m.
Cate le Bon’s songs have a ragged glory, spare, yet intricate and propulsive like Television and Patti Smith Group before her, with a world-weary soul cutting through via le Bon’s swooping vocals. Backed by her sturdy, three-piece band, they launched into the clockwork shuffle of “No God,” from her most recent release, 2013’s excellent Mug Museum, at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.
Le Bon shifted gears from icy to sultry for single “Are You With Me Now,” which has the feel of a classic reggae ballad covered by a CBGBs band. The set picked up for album opener “I Can’t Help You,” its interlocking post-punk guitars and le Bon's sultry voice moving into a snarling chorus while le Bon's nimble-fingered guitarist doubled as keyboardist, playing jaunty synth organ to balance the songs jagged edges. They got playful for “Duke,” a song whose singsongy melody ends in a banshee wail from le Bon.
Her set moved from le Bon’s most immediate songs to some of her most challenging ones. “Sisters” started harmlessly enough with an upbeat jangle but ended in atonal guitar jabs and a ping-ponging bassline. “Wild,” Mug Museum’s heaviest rocker, saw some of le Bon’s wildest guitar playing as the song ended in a krautrock freakout. And for anyone not new to the le Bon fold, she pulled out Cyrk’s “Fold the Cloth,” its ornate arrangement balancing Mug Museum’s directness and ending things with eerie harmonies and spurts of carefully orchestrated guitar noise.
Amoeba Hollywood is holding its next Sidewalk Sale May 10 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Just outside the store on Sunset Blvd., we’ll have deals including:
-Comic books at four for $1
-DVDs for $3, or buy three get one free (excluding DVD box sets)
-DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10
-Blu-ray Discs at three for $12
-Classical CD bargains
We know its already getting hot out there. That's why we've partnered with Hubert's Lemonade to keep you hydrated while you're outside.
See y’all there!
1) Army of the Pharaohs In Death Reborn (Enemy Soil)
2) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)
3) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)
4) DJ Quik Safe + Sound (SONY)
5) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)
Clocking in a just under an hour is Army Of The Pharaohs anticipated new joint and this week's number one hip-hop chart entry at Amoeba In Death Reborn which is the fourth studio album by the non-commercial yet hella popular Army of the Pharaohs featuring the all-star lineup of Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Blacastan, Block McCloud, Celph Titled, Crypt The Warchild, Demoz, Des Devious, Doap Nixon, Esoteric, King Magnetic, King Syze, Planetary, Reef the Lost Cauze, and Zilla with production from various studio talents including Apathy, C-Lance, Leaf Dog, Panik, and Stu Bangas. The release, which is the group's first new studio album in four years, is packed with rapid fire wordplay by this talent-packed collective and features such memorable tracks as the lead single/video “God Particle” (below). Also below is the video for YG's Drake featured single "Who Do You Love?" off his current chart entry My Krazy Life on Def Jam. Other chart entries at Amoeba this week are Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's Pinata, ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron, and (in throwback style) DJ Quik's 1995 album Safe + Sound which is one of two older releases that have been moving at Amoeba Hollywood this past week. The other older release that, for some reason, began selling briskly over the past week at the SoCal Amoeba is Lauryn Hill's 1998 post Fugee's solo classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Thee Tee Pees – “Indian Bingo”
Thee Tee Pees don’t have time for your fancy studios and multitracking. But they do have time to record “Indian Bingo” 20 times (if you believe the guy shouting “take 20!”) at the beginning of “Indian Bingo” just to get that perfect balance of slop and fury. The L.A. garage-punk band releases its self-titled debut in late May via Manglor, and it’s already sounding like the party rock record of the summer.
Pillar Point – “Cherry” (Music Go Music remix)
How did I miss fawning over the Bay Area’s Pillar Point (aka Scott Reitherman) and his excellent, recently released self-titled dream-R&B album? I’m a dum dum. At least I had the wherewithal to be on it for this remix of “Cherry,” which strips some of the gauzy texture from the original and adds a funk shuffle that makes it into an absolute jam. Known mainly for his work with Throw Me the Statue, Pillar Point is someone we’re gonna have to watch from here on out. He’s at L.A.’s Echoplex May 5 and S.F.’s Elbo Room May 6. Listen to the original “Cherry” here; watch the video for the gorgeous “Dreamin’” here.
Inward-looking house album from the English producer Karmil. These tracks unspool slowly, largely based on gauzy samples and minimal synth work. The result is somewhere between Fennesz, Gas and the L.I.E.S. catalog, an alluring sound indeed. "Sinkhole" mixes an elegant, corroded string sample with a touch of 303 squelch. Ambient shufflers for the heads.
Jonsson & Alter
Single version of the moody cut of J & A's excellent "2" album. Kazumi's heavily reverbed vocals ride an expansive synth motif. Eventually, the breakdown opens up to a tough tech/house drum workout with some Seinfeld slap bass accents and subtle jacking percussion. This track would do damage at one of Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream parties.
plant in Canton, Miss. who are pushing for a vote to organize as part of the UAW
In light of the ever increasing war being waged against unions and in turn the stripping of the basic rights of the working class in this country and elsewhere, this year's May Day (the internationally recognized day to celebrate and to defend the rights of workers everywhere from Modesto to Moscow) seems extra significant on this May 1st, 2014; perhaps even as significant as that very first mass US May Day protest back in 1886 when hundreds of thousands of disgruntled workers across the US, in a fight for an 8 hour work day, walked off their jobs in protest. Hence for this May Day I have assembled a selection of songs/videos that reflect the plight of struggling workers in a time when the gap between the rich controlling class and the rest of us gets wider and wider.
Amoeba 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:
The War on Drugs
Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:
|Show Name||Venue||Show Date||
(fee not included)
|The Afghan Whigs||Fonda Theatre||10/25/2014||$35.00|
|Banks (SOLD OUT)||El Rey||05/29/2014||$17.00|
|Black Label Society||Fonda Theatre||06/07/2014||$35.00|
|The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo)||El Rey||06/14/2014||$25.00|
|Com Truise||El Rey||10/04/2014||$22.00|
|Cultura Profetica||El Rey||06/27/2014||$29.50|
|Mac DeMarco||Fonda Theatre||07/11/2014||$20.50|
|Fink (ON SALE 5/30)||El Rey||10/11/2014||$22.00|
|Foxy Shazam||El Rey||07/31/2014||$20.00|
|Nils Frahm||El Rey||11/13/2014||$27.50|
|Fuck Buttons||El Rey||06/26/2014||$20.00|
|Fucked Up||El Rey||08/21/2014||$20.00|
LA Sports Arena