Amoeba favorite and SF local Carletta Sue Kay (aka Randy Walker) released her latest video, "Sloppy Kisses," just in time for Pride, Summer, Father's Day and anything else you can think of to celebrate while listening to this heart-wrenchingly sweet and sinister masterpiece.
Walker's female persona examines concepts of gender, love, life, and relationships through song and performance, and always with a twist. Who else but Carletta Sue Kay could rhyme the lines "cinnamon and sage" with "minimum wage" or toss out a head-scratcher like "I don't like my father at all, but I like your sloppy kisses"?
Enjoy the world of Carletta Sue Kay:
Amoeba favorite and SF local Carletta Sue Kay (aka Randy Walker) released her latest video, "Sloppy Kisses," just in time for Pride, Summer, Father's Day and anything else you can think of to celebrate while listening to this heart-wrenchingly sweet and sinister masterpiece.
You may recall Zach Braff had a huge soundtrack hit for Garden State back in the day, in which manic pixie dream girl extreme Natalie Portman told Braff The Shins would change his life. Guess they did, ’cause this new soundtrack will also feature a new song by The Shins called “So Now What” that was premiered earlier; you can stream that here.
The soundtrack to Wish I Was Here is due July 15 on CD, digitally and Aug. 5 on vinyl from Columbia. The movie is out in theaters July 18.
Screenshots via YouTube
Robyn & Royksopp absolutely tore it up for a sold-out, double-headliner bill at the Hollywood Bowl last night. The pair were promoting their new collaborative mini-album, Do It Again, and while that album is plenty terrific and they did play songs from it, both acts also made good with the hits, and Robyn played a couple of rare and/or new songs.
Royksopp played a set healthy with songs from their earlier albums (such as A.M.’s “Eple” and “Poor Leno”) and perhaps understandably with fewer tracks from their most recent album, Senior, a darker and instrumental affair compared with the flashing lights and high-profile guest spots of 2009’s companion album, Junior. The songs from that album sounded fantastic here, with a guest singer standing in nicely for The Knife/Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer Andersson (no terrifying mask, though) on Junior highlight “This Must Be It.” It sounded fantastic, though perhaps a bit subdued, but that may have been due to me having nosebleed seats.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: June 30, 1973 - Fresh, the sixth album by Sly & The Family Stone is released. Produced by Sly Stone, it is recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and Sausalito circa 1972 - Spring 1973. After the release of There's A Riot Goin' On in late 1971, Sly & The Family Stone will see their first personnel changes with the departure of bassist Larry Graham and drummer Gregg Errico, both having left under acrimonious circumstances. Sessions for the band's next album will begin in early 1972. The new album will introduce new band members bassist Rusty Allen and drummer Andy Newmark to the fold, though many of the tracks feature Sly playing all of the instruments himself. During the nearly 18 months that he works on the album, Sly will constantly remix and re-record several of the songs, resulting in different versions of the material. The album will spin off two hits, including the band's last million-selling single "If You Want Me To Stay" (#3 R&B, #12 Pop). When the album is first released on CD in the early '90s, alternate masters using the wrong mixes will initially be released until it is withdrawn and replaced with the correct version. This version of the album will become a sought after collector's item among Sly fans. The album's cover photo is taken by famed photographer Richard Avedon (The Beatles). Fresh will spend three weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number seven on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
|Thao & The Get Down Stay Down|
Amoeba is overjoyed to join The Bay Bridged and Tiny Telephone for the 4th annual Phono Del Sol music festival on Saturday, July 12th. This all-day festival celebrates the best of San Francisco's acclaimed independent music and food scenes with ten live bands on two stages in Potrero del Sol Park. Rock out with Wye Oak, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Nick Waterhouse, Blackbird Blackbird, White Fence, Yalls, Tony Molina, A Million Billion Dying Suns, The Tambo Rays, and Bill Baird, while perusing local food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, and more. There's no better way to spend an SF summer day!
Get your tickets HERE!
Bobby Womack "Across 100th Street" on Soul Train (1973)
Following several hours of unconfirmed online reports yesterday, it was finally confirmed in the early evening by his publicist that soul legend Bobby Womack had died Friday at the age of 70. What makes this news all the more shocking is that Womack had just performed two weeks ago at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Although no exact cause of death was announced, the soul-singing great, who will be remembered for such hits as his own "Across 110th Street" and The Rolling Stones' hit "It's All Over Now" (which he wrote), had suffered numerous ailments in recent years including colon cancer, pneumonia, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.
The Ohio-born Womack, who five years ago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had enjoyed a long career with a resurgence in popularity that began thanks in large part to fan Quentin Tarantino choosing the 1972 hit "Across 110th Street" as the opening theme song for his film Jackie Brown. For those who don't already have any Bobby Womack in their collections, recommended releases by the artist include the 2012 reissue release Across 110th Street-40th Anniv (CD) and the 11 track Icon series collection release Icon - The Best Of Bobby Womack (CD) that includes such gems as "Woman's Gotta Have It," "That's The Way I Feel About Cha," and "Across 100th Street."
Since it opened two months ago (fittingly on Record Store Day, April 19th), the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) ongoing exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records has been resoundingly popular and is attracting museum visitors of all ages and generations, from those who grew up with records to those too young to have ever seen vinyl firsthand or had opportunity (until now) to put down the needle and experience playing vinyl in all its analog glory.
The exhibit, which runs through July 27th, is sponsored by Amoeba Music who supplied nearly all of the vinyl for the hands-on exhibit. The action is in OMCA's Great Hall alongside another cool exhibit scheduled for the same run: Eric Nakamura's SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot exhibit.
As well as supplying nearly all of the records on exhibit and featuring a window display at the Berkeley Amoeba store dedicated solely to the OMCA exhibit, several Amoeba staffers have contributed to the exhibit by way of curating the numerous crates that dot the cavernous exhibit hall. These include Gail Todd, Marc Weinstein, Lori Katz, and myself who are among numerous other contributing music nerds -- such as avid local rap collector 12 Man Rambo, noted San Francisco producer Dan the Automator, and author Denise Sullivan -- who each drew up lists of 33 records per crate (some more, some less).
Join us at Amoeba Hollywood for our next charity auction July 5 at 4 p.m. featuring guest host Shelagh Ratner.
Your bid on tickets, gift certificates and more goes to help LA Love & Leashes, a non-profit-run “pet store” dedicated to finding homes for dogs and cats from L.A.’s six city shelters. Amoeba will match winning bids up to $1,000.
At this auction, we’ll have:
- A $50 Trader Joe’s gift card + vintage lunchbox
- A $50 Urban Outfitters gift card
- A signed Charo CD!
- A VIP pass to the Amoeba in-store event of your choice!
- And concert tickets to the following shows:
- Haim – Aug. 7 at the Wiltern
- Jenny Lewis – Aug. 9 at the Wiltern
It is now almost exactly halfway through 2014! It’s time to look back on the last six months and see what’s it’s had to offer music-wise. There’s already been a bunch of great records released this year, including a couple of excellent ones released just this week. If you haven’t checked these out, they’re all worth getting—pick ’em all up and catch up on what you’ve been missing.
Some people write memoirs. Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek write songs crammed with details, from a brutal story about a distant cousin’s death by a freak fire to mundane details about Panera bread and sports bar shit on the walls, that somehow come together to form something called a life. Just when you feel like the songs are too stuffed to keep up, Kozelek will let his breathy “sadcore” folk open up and focus on a seemingly trivial line like “blue crab cakes” in the song “Ben's My Friend,” and in doing so perfectly captures the weird things that stick out in our heads when we reflect. Simply put, listening is like attending a master class in songwriting.
Sons of Magdalene
This summer, LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is celebrating the life and work of another LA icon, the late artist Mike Kelley. So incisive and influential is Kelley's body of work that the exhibit takes up the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, plus a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue. With a deep and far-ranging oeuvre that takes in media from sculpture to photography to performance, Kelley's contributions to the world of music are sometimes overlooked.
A founding member of Detroit's noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, a student of Laurie Anderson (at CalArts), and the artist behind Sonic Youth's Dirty album art, Kelley's musical output is proudly positioned in the underground. Amoeba Hollywood sat down with Kelley a few years back to delve into that musical heritage, and to get his thoughts on the movies and music that influence and inspire him as an artist. In this 2010 installment of our Webby award-winning series What's In My Bag?, Kelley runs through his picks, from hallucinatory no-budget schlock horror flicks to classic jazz vocalists.
Zola Jesus – “Dangerous Days”
It’s been three years since Zola Jesus aka Nika Rosa Danilova’s last album of new material, 2011’s terrific Conatus. The first taste of her new album, Taiga (due Oct. 7 on Mute), shifts further away from her early goth-noise material and builds on the more pop-oriented sound she’s shifted toward since the Stridulum EP, singing clearly and boldly over a dance-pop beat but with the same paralyzing strength her voice has always commanded. It’s startlingly different but sure-footed and sounds as brilliant as anything she’s done, leaving us dying to hear the rest of what’s in store with Taiga, which was co-produced in her newly adopted home of L.A. Dean Hurley (who’s worked with David Lynch and Danger Mouse, among others).
LA Font – “Motor Rally”
Ever since I first heard, "Dangling Conversation" and "Old Friends", I've loved Art Garfunkel's confident, husky-angel approach to harmony singing, and earnest, determined songsmith in his lead work with Paul Simon and...him. Not to mention all the hits these gents made, their work is of the highest caliber whenever they step up to the mic. Say what you will about Art, but that guy can SING!
Art's solo career doesn't immediately pop up in most folks' minds as being stellar hit-wise. He did hit a high point in 1979 with "My Little Town" written and featuring Paul Simon on Art's Breakaway album, and Art won a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Children's Album for Songs From A Parent To A Child.
Art's 1979 LP, Fate For Breakfast (Doubt For Dessert), wasn't destined for any such attention. It was Art's first music release to completely miss any top 40 chart position in the U.S., but here's an interesting sales tidbit: for this LP, the United Kingdom import edition featured another track not on the U.S. version, that was used in the film Watership Down, and stayed on the UK singles chart long enough to be the best selling single in the U/K for 1979!!! Art Garfunkel!! And...the LP went to No. 1 in New Zealand and Holland! Talk about a global marketing kerfuffle!
And, as if with a premonition of sorts for all this, and, in hopes to restart Art's arty-edgy-eclectic credibility, this release would prompt Columbia Records to go all-out on the packaging concept and warrant enough art department budget as to create at least 6 different covers for the initial U.S pressing of the disc! Huh? For Art Garfunkel? Very odd, also, that references to this package usually say "five" different covers were made, but I have found six!!!! Could there be even more?? Click on one of the covers above to see a slide show of the 6 unique covers presently residing inside Amoeba's Vinyl Vault in Hollywood.
Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.
Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.
With an invite from DJ Toph One who holds down Vintage - the weekly weekend warm-up parties at South of Market San Francisco club F8 Friday evenings from 5pm to 9pm - longtime Bay Area photographer Tim Devlin (aka Timi D…) recently launched an historic hip-hop themed B+W and color photo exhibit of his work spanning the years 1992 to 2011 and including lots of Bay Area icons of the genre with a focus on DJs/turntablists. "There are a lot of classic locations for the time and the era such as KUSF, which is no longer there, and San Francisco's long gone Justice League [currently The Independent] on Divisidaro with all the great Twist [artist Barry McGee] pieces visible in the background," the photographer said a couple of weeks ago at F8 on Folsom and 8th Street shortly after completing hanging all of the current exhibit photos that just scratch the surface of his vast body of work. A few hours later that evening an in an informal opening party the club would feature J-Rocc and VinRoc and other DJs. Coincidentally VinRoc is among the many DJs featured in the photography exhibit. Others include VinRoc's fellow Triple Threat crew member DJ Apollo. In turn Apollo's fellow former ISP (Invisibl Skratch Piklz) crew members Qbert and Mix Master Mike are also among the turntablist subjects of the exhibit.
Kan Wakan's sound on their recent Moving On album, a stew of stirring strings, classic rock organs, gleaming guitarwork and sensual vocals, seemed like it would be difficult to pull off in a live setting. But my first time seeing the band, June 18 at the store, showed just how skilled the band is at taking a heady and heavily orchestrated sound and making it work live. Beginning with cool polyrhythms and arpeggiating synths, singer Kristianne Bautista's vocals sounded husky and soulful one second, lilting the next, reminiscent of Bjork in their elasticity. Kan Wakan's sound is decidedly not small, playing as a seven-piece and creating grandiosity with surging crescendos, bells and tribal drums. Their songs sway and move, sultry and mysterious, oceanic amid surging guitars and crashing cymbals. The overall effect and intention seems to me to stir something up in you rather than smack you upside the head with something catchy, a nice antidote to the flood of overly excitable indie pop bands in L.A. Bautista's vocals were sometimes muffled by all the sci-fi synths and other craziness but would come through loudly every so often with a breathy forcefulness. For a band that trades in atmospherics and post-rock vibes, live, they're as gripping as a punk band.
See more photos from the show here.
Amoeba Music is sponsoring The Grammy Museum's music series "The Drop," the next edition of which will feature reggae band Dirty Heads July 7. The show and band interview start at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 (they're on sale now for American Express cardholders and will go fully on sale to the public July 1 at 12 p.m. PDT).
The band formed in Huntington Beach, Calif. in 1996, by Jared “Dirty J” Watson and vocalist/guitarist Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell in their freshman year of high school, writing hip-hop songs with a punk and reggae bent. Later adding percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa and bassist David Foral to the fold, and after an initial deal at Warner Bros. didn't come through, the band took their nearly completed first album, Any Port in a Storm, to Executive, who released it in 2008. The album's special edition included the song "Lay Me Down," featuring Rome Ramirez of Sublime With Rome, which spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Chart, more than any other artist in 2010.
The band followed up with 2012's Cabin By the Sea, which debuted in the Billboard Top 20, and then released the all-acoustic Home - Phantoms of Summer: The Acoustic Sessions last year. Now, the group brings their ever-evolving reggae-based sound to The Grammy Museum for an interview and performance as they're set to release Sound of Change July 8, featuring the single "My Sweet Summer" and produced by Grammy-winning producer Supa Dups (Nina Sky, Bruno Mars). The new album pops with new energy while staying true to their roots, featuring appearances by Buddah Shampoo (Ty Dolla $ign), Niles (The Cataracs), Ward 21 (311, Major Lazer reggae collaborations) and once again, Rome (Sublime).
The talented aerosol artists / muralists, whose vibrant colorful work adorned the walls of the recently displaced (evicted) 5POINTZ graffiti arts mecca in Long Island City (LIC) Queens to make way for the impending construction of luxury condos, were not the only victims of the late 2013 shutdown of the globally revered outdoor public arts space. The long-running, local, non-profit, underground arts organization LP (Local Project Arts Space), who were housed inside the Long Island City 5POINTZ complex, were also unceremoniously evicted. Luckily they found a new home just several blocks away but now they have the challenge of meeting the higher rents in this once run-down industrial section of Queens which, like so much of New York City, is undergoing a gentrification makeover - read: driving out the artists and working folks who can no longer afford to exist there.
In the case of LP whose mission statement has always been to provide local artists a platform to show their work, under the shrewd guidance of its Chilean born director Carolina Penafiel (see Amoeblog interview above), it has come up with creative ways to pay the rent and exist (subsist?) in its new home on 44th Road. These include preparing to sublet out some of its space as small office cubicles and also, in the short-term to cover the rent for the immediate two months, a 30-day Kickstarter campaign that will end on July 12th. Tied into that campaign this Friday, June 27th 2014, they will have a sign-up donation station for visitors to contribute to the organization (in turn they get a brick in the wall with their name engraved on it), as part of a photography art show entitled The Bad, The Good, The Beautiful, The Ugly Pt 2. There will also be spoken word artists and DJs including myself (doing a live WFMU broadcast) on Friday evening. For more info on LP and this Friday's exhibit visit their website, and click link for more info on their current Buy-A-Brick Kickstarter campaign and/or peep video below.
Hard French, San Francisco’s award-winning soul music event, is bringing their annual Pride party Hard French Hearts Los Homos to the streets of downtown San Francisco on Pride Sunday, June 29th from 3pm - 11pm! After three sold-out Pride events in previous years, Hard French host this eight-hour dance party inside Mezzanine and outside on the adjoining Stevenson Alley.
Headlining the Mezzanine Main Stage are Brooklyn’s Midnight Magic, LA’s Hi Fashion, and San Francisco’s SaturnRising. The stage will be hosted by Persia and Daddies Plastik who are known for their video Google Google Apps Apps, which has made them a social media sensation. Their next video, Stop Being Poor, will debut at the party! In addition to live performances, there will be six parties in six hours featuring DJs from popular local parties like Go Bang!, Mango, Bearracuda, Esta Noche, Club Fist, and more.
One of my favorite bands of the past few years makes their “breakthrough” record, moving the vocals to the forefront, dialing back some of the dairy farm’s worth of milky reverb and cutting some of the more atmospheric pieces in favor of straight dream pop, though newcomers to the band may still feel plenty disoriented. This is dream pop in the truest sense, moving in unexpected and imaginatibe directions, with only the minimally required regard to typical pop song structure. On songs like “Byebye, Big Ocean (The End)” and “In Love With the Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing),” ASDIG mastermind Ben Daniels builds towers of seafoam guitars and Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma’s strung-together vocals, ebbing and flowing and wafting into the background before surrounding and overwhelming you once again. It’s a wonderful experience getting lost in the album’s twists and turns—you come away half-remembering melodies and bits of guitar like some amazing dream you can’t describe, though this time the songs themselves are more concrete, easing new listeners’ entry into the band’s strange soundworld. It’s their strongest album yet, and surely one of the year’s best.
Above is a classic KISS photo shot on the streets of New York City exactly 38 years ago to the day (June 24th, 1976) when the hard rock band were still in their relative infancy - having formed only three years earlier in January 1973 out of the ashes of the NYC group Wicked Lester that was co-founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Fast forward on four decades to just last night, June 23rd, 2014 (see video below shot by KISSonline's Keith Leroux) when KISS kicked off their 2014 summer, 40-date tour in Salt Lake City, Utah and performed, among other fan favorites, their amazing "King of the Night Time World" which opened their headlining set. The intense nine-week cross-country tour, on which Def Leppard are joining them as opening co-headliners, is already mostly sold out and proves that KISS - even four decades (technically 41 and a half years) later - still command a loyal large following. The SLC show reportedly delivered what KISS fans have come to expect from their cult heroes - loud rock'n'roll from the cartooned costumed KISS members with lots of stimulating grand scale visual effects accompanying such hits as "Shout It Out Loud" off their 1976 album Destroyer. The tour, which finishes in Texas on August 31st, will be rolling through California for several dates/locations in the beginning of July including July 3rd in Wheatland, July 5th at Irvine Meadows, July 6th at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, and July 8th at The Forum in LA. In the meantime check out KISS' impressive five page, back-catalog online at the Amoeba store.
Lurene Tuttle (left) and Rosalind Russell in "The Sisters" (9 December, 1948)
On 17 June, 1942, the anthology Suspense debuted on CBS Radio. The long-running series, which anticipated television programs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, concluded in 1962, an occasion now usually cited as signalling the end of radio's Golden Age.
The formula of Suspense was similar to that of another excellent anthology of the day, The Whistler. In most episodes a crime occurs shortly after the program begins. Suspense is heightened as the drama unfolds. In the end justice prevails and the program concludes. Suspense succeeds where lesser anthologies often failed through good production, usually-taut writing, and the presence of some of the biggest names in Hollywood including giants like Bela Lugosi, Cary Grant, Charles Laughton, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Lena Horne, Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, Paul Muni, Peter Lorre, among others -- who were often cast against type (especially in the case of actors mostly thought of as comedians like Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, and Red Skelton).
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: June 23, 1965 - "The Tracks Of My Tears" by The Miracles is released. Written by Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, and Marvin Tarplin, it is the 21st single released by the Detroit vocal group led by singer, songwriter, and producer Robinson. The song will be developed around the song's distinctive opening guitar line created by guitarist Tarplin, taking inspiration from the Harry Belafonte calypso number "The Banana Boat Song." The track is recorded at Motown Studio A on January 20, 1965 with members of The Funk Brothers providing musical support. "The Tracks Of My Tears" will be later included on the group's album "Going To A Go Go" (#1 R&B, #8 Pop) in November of 1965. It will go on to be one of the most covered and recognized songs in the Motown catalog. Over the years it has also been featured in numerous films including Platoon and The Big Chill. The single will peak at #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #16 on the Hot 100. "The Tracks Of My Tears" is also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Looking for another reason to celebrate this coming 4th of July weekend?
Head down to any Amoeba store and partake in the 4th of July Weekend Classical Blowout! From Friday, July 4th to Sunday, July 6th, all three Amoeba locations will slash prices in half for all Classical Green and Red tag CDs and vinyl.
That's right! ALL Green and Red tag Classical CDs and LPs will be half off, all weekend long. Fresh bargains will be stocked and restocked often.
Can't make it to the stores? We always have amazing bargains available for purchase on Amoeba.com, with Free Shipping in the US, so dig in HERE!
PLEASE NOTE: our stores are closing early for the July 4th holiday. Amoeba SF & Berkeley will close at 6pm, and Amoeba Hollywood closes at 9pm.
Tonight, June 20th, Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest and most fabulous drag performance night club at DNA Lounge, presents their first ever salute to the pop queen Beyonce with special guest Latrice Royale (RuPaul's Drag Race)!
Heklina's legendary Trannyshack nightclub happens monthly, and this special Beyonce bender features performances by Miss Rahni, NothingMore, Anjie Myma, Fruitbomb, Chaka Corn, Effervescence Jackson, Roxy-Cotten Candy, D'Arcy Drollinger, Mahlae Balenciaga, and more.
Get your tickets HERE!
The first single of the Detroit legend's upcoming album has a living breathing beat with a loose, undulating bassline and whispered encouragement to dance. It's immediately recognizable and fits in with the cubist funk Theo's been putting out recently. Great picture sleeve summing up the paradoxical finesse and brutalism present.
Dark, elegiac house from the Nous camp. The title track and highlight "Onto" are mid-tempo house explorations with minor key strings and slo-mo acid lines meant to lull the listener into a shuffling hypnosis. "Dark Passenger" samples the Showtime series with the worst ending in the history of endings. Patricia's remix of "Black Drama" is gorgeous, adding momentum to the original and concluding with some beautiful mid-range arpeggios.
White Fence – “Like That”
It can be a drag when artists who’ve previously recorded in lo-fi trade for something cleaner. But while the first song from Tim Presley’s fifth album as White Fence, For the Recently Found Innocent, was recorded in a studio and not the bedroom and features live drums, “Like That” isn’t some self-important statement or anything. It just better reveals the tunefulness that has always been prevalent in White Fence’s sprawling releases in a British Invasion-style subtle rocker. Ty Segall’s behind the boards this time—the last time these two got together to record, we got the collaborative album Hair, so we’re expecting great things this time around, too. For the Recently Found Innocent is due July 22 on Drag City.
Wand - "Flying Golem"
Speaking of Ty Segall, the band he's touring with is pretty sick. They're L.A.-based Wand, and "Flying Golem" sounds like it's named after a Castlevania monster and rocks with a big, confident three-chord stomp. Ganglion Reef is due Aug. 26 on Segall's label, God?
2) Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy (Mello Music)
3) Sage Francis Copper Gone (Strange Famous)
4) Blu & Nottz Gods in the Spirit (Coalmine)
5) Madlib Pinata Beats (Madlib Invazion)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for the above top five chart and video breakdown of all the new and recent arrivals in the hip-hop department of the East Bay Amoeba store for which this week's special Video Version of the Hip-Hop Rap Up I've assembled the corresponding (or as many possible) of the top five albums plus other new releases referenced by E-Lit including MURSDAY!, Open Mike Eagle, Sage Francis, Radioinactive, Sapient, and clipping. (the new SubPop release). Also included below in video format are two other current Amoeba Music hot sellers: the video for the title track off 50 Cent's Animal Ambition (G-Unit), and some great video footage from last month in NYC at the Public Theater during the release concert party for The Roots' ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam) which is also available in LP. Watch and enjoy and visit either one of the three Amoeba Music retail stores or the Amoeba online store to buy this music.
MAYDAY! vs MURS "Here" (2014)
Brooklynn "Mile High" (2014)
Atlanta born and raised singer Brooklynn returns with her latest song.video "Mile High" (see above) which is both a follow up and sequel of sorts to the up-and-coming singer's phenomenally popular 'Take My Hand' (see below) song/video from seven months ago that racked up one million plus views, based purely on word of mouth, for the relatively unknown artist. Her latest video for the more pop flavored track, which is also a clear nod to Orange Is The New Black, picks up where her last video, in which you see the same robberies take place, left off - showing how when you rob others even if it is to do whatever it takes to survive bottom line is when do the crime you inevitably end up doing the time behind bars. Citing her musical inspirations as such classic rock pop acts as Prince, The Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, Michael Jackson, and Aerosmith Brooklynn's sound has a distinctly throwback vibe to it and displays a promising future for this - as yet - unsigned act who is giving away the new single "Mile High" for free via her SoundCloud page.
Brooklynn 'Take My Hand' (2013)
Like the works of Henry David Thoreau, the two-party system and that burger that's served on a donut instead of a bun, the venerable indie rock band Superchunk is a distinctly American institution. Formed in 1989 and steadily releasing albums ever since, the quartet of singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan, guitarist Jim Wilbur, bassist Laura Ballance, and drummer Jon Wurster has left an indelible mark on the world of independent music through the release of numerous classic albums and the foundation of big-time indie label Merge Records. It's Merge's 25th anniversary this year, so Superchunk has remastered and reissued their long out-of-print, classic 1997 album Indoor Living, as part of the label's anniversary reissue series. The band is also set to perform at the Merge 25 festival in North Carolina this July, and at Riot Fest in Chicago in September.
In this installment of "What's In My Bag," McCaughan, Wilbur and Wurster make a special visit to Amoeba San Francisco. Superchunk may be synonymous with the punk/indie DIY ethos, but their collective musical taste is all over the map. In honor of the City by the Bay, Wurster starts things off with the Kevin Epps documentary The Black Rock aka Black Alcatraz, a look into the long-ignored black experience at the famous island prison. Wilbur picks up a Leonard Bernstein recording of Mahler's Symphonie No. 2 and shares a story about a personal experience with the famed conductor. McCaughan delves into Philly soul with Major Harris' My Way and '80s Nigerian funk with the comp Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times and Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983. Check out all the band's picks, from crust-punk to classical, in the full episode below!
Jack White, he of many a blues-rock band, broke records this week when it was announced his second solo album, Lazaretto, sold 40,000 copies in its first week—on vinyl alone. That’s the biggest week ever for a single vinyl album since Soundcan began recording vinyl sales in 1991, according to Rollingstone. (Lazaretto also sold 41,000 CDs and nearly 57,000 downloads in its first week.)
To celebrate that achievement, both for White and for vinyl as a medium, which White has publically championed, we’re counting down the best albums written or co-written by Jack White. We’re leaving off those he produced, since there are so damn many of them, as well as Loretta Lynn’s excellent Van Lear Rose, which White produced and played on but only co-wrote one song of, and live releases. Let us know if you agree!
The first album made by White and his friends in The Greenhornes and Brendan Benson is a blast, albeit a green one, sounding like a record quickly made by friends that nonetheless had some gems, including the catchy “Steady As She Goes.”
This week is a good time to be in New York City with a bevvy of wonderful events taking place including the once endangered, wonderfully flamboyant annual Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade which happens Saturday (June 21) at the beachside Brooklyn district (take the F train to the last stop). The above three hour video, care of TradingPhotos.com, of last year's parade will give you an idea of what to expect at the giant scale art parade with burlesque and vaudeville event. More info.
Meanwhile NYC's Pride Week (June 24-29, kicks off with a family night, free screening of “The Wizard of Oz” in Lower Manhattan at Hudson River Park’s Pier 46. For full details on the event packed Pride Week, that concludes with a parade and dance party headlined by Demi Lovato, visit the NYC Pride website .
There are two full days left to Williamsburg's Northside Festival which is being described as Brooklyn’s answer to South by Southwest - only in its formative days, back before big megastars headed to Austin and it was just underground unknown bands. Comparatively the Northside Festival is much more modest in scale and content with approximately 400 up-and-coming (mostly local) bands of different genres including Baked and Ava Luna scheduled for the week long music and film festival at various venues that ends tomorrow (Thursday June 19th) night. Like SxSW there will also be panels and speakers including the likes of Jon Steinberg of BuzzFeed. For exact show/event details and tickets click here.
On June 30 The GRAMMY Museum’s Drop program will feature John Fullbright at 8 p.m., with a discussion and live performance with the artist. Amoeba is proud to sponsor the event. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
At the young age of 26, Americana singer/songwriter Fullbright has already received a heap of praise since releasing his first albums, 2009’s Live at the Blue Door and 2012’s From the Ground Up (CD or LP). The Los Angeles Times called From the Ground Up “preternaturally self-assured,” and NPR has dubbed him one of their “10 Artists You Should Have Known.” Featuring Fullbright’s twangy vocals, soulful lyrics and roots-inspired guitar and piano work, From the Ground Up went on to be nominated for a Best Americana Album Grammy.
As part of The Grammy Museum’s Americana Music Series, the museum hosts Fullbright to celebrate the release of his most recent album, Songs, which is out now. Join The Grammy Museum for a discussion with Fullbright, followed by a performance at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater.
The annual Wine & Jazz Summer Concert Series, presented by KJAZZ 88.1, kicks off July 1, giving jazz fans something fun and free to do every Tuesday in July from 7 to 9 p.m.
On July 1 the series will host Latin American percussionist Pete Escovedo. The jazz great has a celebrated solo career, having released solo albums since the late 1970s and having played with groups such as Santana.
The event will also feature wines by Stella Rosa and food by Wolfgang Puck Catering. (There's a nominal charge for wine; proceeds go toward Project Angel Food, a non-profit that provides food to the seriously ill.) It takes place in the Central Courtyard (2nd Level) of Hollywood & Highland.
Next, on July 8, the series will host Brian Auger's Oblivion Express. Jazz and rock keyboardist Auger has been releasing albums solo and in collaboration since the 1960s, having played with the likes of Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.
"Roll up a phat one, and pass it around. I wanna get blunted, my brother" was the lyrics/hook from bygone era San Francisco rap/hip-hop crew Total Devastation's 1993 hit single "Many Clouds of Smoke" which hit the rap sphere right during the national pro-weed / blunted hip-hop wave of the early nineties. The San Francisco group, who began in 1988 with members Redeye, Big Tone (formerly known as Soopa Dupa), and DJ Tuf Cut Tim the Fat Beat Maker, released their debut - the EP In The S.F. Streets - in 1990 which paved the way for their aforementioned breakthrough 1993 hit single "Many Clouds of Smoke" from their self-titled album that was also known as Legalize It. Currently working on a documentary on the group entitled Total Devastation: The Original Kings of Smoke I recently caught up with Big Tone to chop it up with him on his group, whose final release would be 1999's The Stone Age, for the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History series. Check out both that recent video Amoeblog interview with Big Tone and the music video for their 1993 national hit "Many Clouds of Smoke" (above and below respectively). Not included in the published version of the interview is what Big Tone had to say when asked what he sees as the difference in the Bay Area hip-hop scene two decades ago vs. now? "We were all more unified back then I think. Our generation, we all had a goal: to put our region on the map. I think that is the main difference," said Big Tone who noted that he is still active in the music business and that he is currently working on a project called C.S.I. (City Slickers Inc.) which is Tone along with his homies Spit Game Dame and DJ Foul Ball with whom he's just released the full-length City Slick Minded on Ball of Smoke. Additionally he is working on forthcoming solo release to be titled The Legend of Smokey Green Thumb. Look for the Total Devastation documentary sometime in 2015.
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's hand-painted map of Los Angeles County communities and neighborhoods
Yesterday I finished painting a large map of Los Angeles County. On it I attempted to depict every Los Angeles County community and every Los Angeles neighborhood. It was also important to me to include the two Channel Islands that are part of Los Angeles and to depict them where they actually are in relation to the rest of the county (and not shrunken and stuffed into a box in the corner -- a fate with which Hawaii and Alaska are intimately familiar).
I first started writing about exploring Los Angeles neighborhoods in October 2007. I began writing about Los Angeles County communities a month later. I expanded to Orange County in 2010, in defiance of ignorant protestations based on stereotypes which, as with those leveled against Los Angeles, have a increasingly little resemblance to reality. I tagged all of my pieces California Fool's Gold in homage to the late, great Huell Howser, a fellow immigrant from the Upper South and explorer of the real California. I'd love to be able to map and explore other countries, cities, and neighborhoods too though and there is literally nowhere that I won't go. Have easel, will travel.
Lower may have the post-hardcore album of the year on their hands on Seek Warmer Climes. The band has been compared with fellow Danes Iceage, and like that band, Lower take hardcore punk to epic proportions not seen since the heyday of bands like Fugazi or ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. This isn't to say they can't be pithy; on rumbling opener "Another Life," their atonality is fist-pumpingly catchy and Adrian Toubro's wolf-like barks and cries keep you rapt, and "Lost Weight, Perfect Skin" shows us they know their way around a hooky riff. But Lower aren't looking to make friends. On centerpiece "Expanding Horizons (Dar es Salaam)," their dirtied guitars trudge through the wilderness for more than seven minutes as Toubro sings "we travel far, expand our horizon, but in the process I see that no horizon will ever benefit me." However bleak the worldview may seem on Seek Warmer Climes, the album is never a drag. It's a thrilling, lightning bolt of a record that loudly announces the arrival of yet another great band from Copenhagen's underground.
|Jon Snow looks hot/pouty while Mance Rayder looks weary/sleepy|
Warning: There will be spoilers.
“Game of Thrones” ended its fourth season in its own spectacular fashion of killing off as many characters as possible in an hour-long show. The finale “The Children” wrapped up a number of this season’s storylines, which I’ll review below.
The episode started with picking up off of last week’s exciting battle at the wall, with Jon Snow heading off to face (and possibly kill) Mance Rayder, the leader of the wildlings. If you’ll recall, the wildlings got some help to bolster their numbers from the cannibal Thenns in episode one. Jon Snow had returned from the wildlings, saying he traveled with them to gather information. Snow and others thwarted a group of mutineers at Craster’s Keep, saving his own brother, Bran, and his crew in the process without even knowing it (a diversion from the books, I’m told). Master-at-arms of the Night’s Watch Alisser Thorne grew weary of Snow’s increasing leadership or impetuousness, depending on how you look at it, but Snow proved to be right about sealing the tunnel beneath the wall, which was breached by a giant during the wildlings invasion of the wall, during which Snow’s ex-lover and wildling Ygritte was killed. In the finale, Snow believes killing Rayder will split up the wildlings, but he is somewhat disarmed by Rayder’s decidedly unbarbaric nature.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
Born on this day: June 16, 1942 - R&B vocal legend Eddie Levert (born Edward Levert in Bessemer, AL) of The O'Jays. Happy 72nd Birthday, Eddie! We love you!
Born on this day: June 16, 1971 - Rap music icon and actor 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur in East Harlem, NY). Happy Birthday to Tupac on what would have been his 43rd Birthday.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1979 - “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for two weeks on June 30, 1979. Written and produced by Frederick Knight, it is the biggest hit for the former school teacher turned singer from Memphis, TN. The song is originally written and intended for the then 13-year-old singer Stacy Lattisaw. When Lattisaw does not end up signing with Knight’s production company (signing with Atlantic Records instead), Knight will re-write the lyrics, originally about kids talking on the telephone, to something more suited for an adult singer. Anita Ward, a 22-year-old former school teacher will be given the song for her debut album. The track is cut at Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS and released on Knight’s Juana Records (distributed by Miami-based TK Records). The record will be remixed by famed New York club DJ Richie Rivera, which will turn it into a worldwide hit. “Ring My Bell” will sell over 2.5 million copies in the US alone.
S, M, L, XLA logo designed by Andrew Byrom
The website's description follows:
The exhibit highlights the work of artists and designers, including Fieldwork (Maya Santos and Rani de Leon), On The Road Project LA (Jonathan Louie and James Michael Tate), Jae Won Cho of J1, Laurel Broughton of WELCOME PROJECTS, Natasha Bajc, NO RELATION (Steven and Mads Christensen), Grey Crowell of the Foundation for Architecture and Design, Bijan Fahmian of the Los Angeles Arts Collective, NONdesigns (Miao Miao and Scott Franklin), Cellular Complexity (Julia Koerner, Kais Al-Rawi, and Marie Boltenstern), Andrew Kovacs, Jonathan Louie, Evan Mather, Alison Petty Ragguette, M-Rad (Matthew Rosenberg), Lisa C. Soto, Maxi Spina, T8projects (James Michael Tate), limilLab (Filipa Valente), and Eduardo Viramontes.
Damon McMahon has been making lo-fi psychedelic folk under the Amen Dunes moniker over the past decade. Several tours, a stint living in China and a few records later, and Amen Dunes are having a breakthrough moment with the recently released Love, a cleaner, more precise album and perhaps one of the best of the year thus far, full of swirling, melancholic folk-rockers with carefully considered experimental touches.
I’ve read that in the past you recorded a lot of things on your own onto tape. What made you want to go for a more produced sound on this record?
I think I’ve always wanted to make records that sounded really good, but I didn’t have the means to do so. It’s always been a solitary process, it never really worked for me in studios, but I’ve always wanted to make a record that sounded really good but I never really had the ability to do that. I had specific visions for this record. I had this idea of imagining what a songwriter record would sound like if it was backed by Pharoah Sanders. I was really obsessed with this Pharoah Sanders record called Karma, I have been for a long time. I wanted to make a record that production-wise was reminiscent of that. And I couldn’t really do that with a TASCAM four-track.
Was it important to keep some of the immediacy of your earlier work? I’m thinking of a song like “I Can’t Dig It,” which has almost a live feel to it.
Allah-Las – “501-415”
Allah-Las, who met while working here at Amoeba and went on to release an excellent self-titled debut two years ago, have a new one on the way called Worship the Sun, out Sept. 16 via Innovative Leisure, produced by Nick Waterhouse. “501-415” is both more stripped down and psychedelic than what we’ve heard before, with a country jangle and Pedrum Siadatian’s wandering vocal spiraling over a tremoloed guitar funked-out bassline. It’s an intriguing turn and leaves us hungry to hear what the rest of Worship the Sun will sound like. Allah-Las’ Miles Michaud recently came by Amoeba for one of our Sunday Spins sets presented by LA Record, which continue every Sunday at 5 p.m. this month. Check out an interview I did with them a while back.
Max Essa/Edition Basso
Supreme balearica from this team of sonic globetrotters. Essa delivers some far east Sunset Jams. "Peninsular", in particular, is stunning, building a lush instrumental over a hypnotic synth motif. Growing Bin man Basso edits a heady, percussive African tune and some unknown 80s oddity on the B.
Over what seems like mere months, Rødhåd has become a household name among deep techno heads, mainly for his hypnotic, spanning dj sets. This 12", his third for Dystopian, shows his aggressive, heady sets have seeped into his own productions. These are top notch big room hypnotizers. Opening track "Helldiver" is sparse, dimensional techno, with a tuneless stab rattling the spine of the composition. "Mines of Mars" is a bit more melodic, while "Rising" is a heavy, minimal reminiscent of peers Traversable Wormhole or even Robert Hood.
It's almost Father's Day and we wanted to pay homage to all the rad fathers of the world, particularly the ones who share their love of music with their kids. Here are our Top 5 What's In My Bag? episodes featuring dads at Amoeba. Two episodes feature dads shopping alongside their kids and the others are fathers trying to navigate that potential minefield of picking out music for their children.
5. Jay Bentley of Bad Religion and his son, Hunter, demonstrate what happens when the generations listen to very different musical styles. Unlike his punk rocker dad, Hunter is an aspiring rap artist and picks up underground hip hop. Watch as Jay reacts to his son giving Bad Religion some praise. (Start at 2:37 for the conversation between father and son.)
Jay Bentley (Bad Religion) - What's In My Bag?
4. Comedian "Weird Al" Yankovic, in our very first episode of "What's In My Bag?" back in 2008, was at Amoeba Hollywood shopping for his five year old daughter. (Side note: We are talking to him near the entrance to our parking garage as he was on his way out the store. Oh, how far we've come in 6 years!)
World music legend Angelique Kidjo will appear June 20 at Grand Performances, the free music series at Downtown L.A.’s California Plaza. The show starts at 8 p.m. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the show, and we'll be on hand with a booth and our prize wheel.
Born in Benin, the Grammy-winning Kidjo has been called “the undisputed queen of African music” by the Daily Telegraph, while NPR calls her “Africa’s greatest living diva.” On albums like 2014’s EVE, which is dedicated to the women of Africa, Kidjo blends influences from around the world, from Afropop and Carribena zouk to the soul and funk of American artists like James Brown, Nina Simone and Jimi Hendrix (the latter of whom she’s covered, singing Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”). Kidjo has collaborated with everyone from Alicia Keys to Philip Glass. She sings and speaks in four languages (Fon, French, Yoruba and English) and uses Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique, as well as jazz vocalese (a style similar to scatting, improvising by singing lyrics rather than scat syllables to pre-existing instrumentals).
Los Angeles really is a land of delicious tacos. Tacolandia seeks to highlight some of the city’s best Saturday June 28 at El Pueblo de Los Angeles in Downtown (125 Paseo De La Plz Los Angeles, CA 90012) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Curated by Latin American food guru Bill Esparza and presented by LA Weekly, Tacolandia 2014 features 40+ taco vendors from both Los Angeles and Mexico, along with entertainment and tequila tasting. (Please note the event is 21+.)
Amoeba will be at the festival—stop by our booth and spin our prize wheel!
Tickets are $30 for general admission, plus $20 for access to the tequila garden, or $50 for a premium ticket that gets you both, plus five drink tickets and a VIP gift bag. Once you’re inside the fest, samples of tacos and tequila are free (up to 10 half-ounce samples for the tequila).
The taco providers include Ameca, Amor y Tacos, Aqui es Texcoco, Bistro LQ, Cielito Lindo, C-V-Che, Carnitas El Momo, Chichen Itza, Chef Katsuji Tanabe, Colonia Taco Lounge, Coni’Seafood, CorazÃ³n y Miel, Don Chente, EggSlut LA, FIG, Finca Altozano by Chef Javier Plascencia, Flor Del Rio, George's At The Cove,Gish Bac Restaurante OaxaqueÃ±o, Guerrilla Tacos, La Flor de Yucatan, La Guerrerense of Ensenada, La Monarca Bakery, Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca, Loteria Grill, Mariscos Jalisco, Mexicali Taco & Co., Mexicano, Petty Cash, Pez Cantina, Picca, Revolutionario LA Food, Rincon Oaxaqueno, Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses, SoHo Taco, Sol Cocina, Starry Kitchen, Taco Maria, Los Originales Tacos Arabes de Puebla, Tacos Kokopelli of Tijuana, Tacos Leo, Taco Punta Cabras and Tamales Elena.
(Image source -- Tikiyaki)
It's Iced Tea Day again! When people grouse about so-called "Hallmark holidays," Iced Tea Day is rarely if ever mentioned and I've never seen an Iced Tea Day card... maybe we can do something about that.
According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consume 85% of their tea iced. Tea was first consumed on ice in the 1860s, when it was regarded by some as a curious fad. By the 1870s it appeared in cookbooks including Estelle Woods Wilcox's Buckeye Cookbook (1876) and Marion Cabell Tyree's Old Virginia (1877). According to Wikipedia, "Its popularity rapidly increased after Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis." I began drinking it -- either hot or iced depending on the weather and my whims -- when I was about eight -- both for its taste and because I hoped to stunt my growth a bit (and thus hopefully not stand out so much).
The Fresh & Onlys continue to move away from the reverb-drenched garage rock of their early records and toward something more grandiose on House of Spirits. From the outset, it’s clear they mean business, with more precise songwriting and cleaner production than ever before. Tim Cohen’s lyrics take a darker turn—he sings like Rosemary’s Baby grown up on the rollicking “Who Let the Devil,” claiming Satan bottle fed him with blood, fitting in nicely with co-singer/songwriter Wymond Miles’ typically gothier songs, such as the country-Cure style “Animal of One.” The band turns in one of their loveliest songs ever with “Bells of Paonia,” a throbbing, fuzzed out shoegaze ballad with a dreamy romanticism that suits the band nicely. Mostly, these updates work for the band. Occasionally you miss the early rock stuff, though they go balls out on “Hummingbird,” and the lack of reverb reveals some weakness to the vocals. Still, I’ll take earnest and scrappy any day over easy or lazy, as the band leaps past the tired garage-rock moniker that has previously tailed the band and lands in exciting new territory.
The other day while riding BART, I saw an ad for KMEL radio with a collage of images featuring a sampling of artists that get a lot of airplay on the popular Bay Area radio station, including the late great Tupac Shakur. The 2Pac photo (left) was that iconic one you see all the time, culled from the photo shoot for the slain rap artist's album All Eyez On Me. The Death Row / Interscope release was Tupac's fifth album and widely considered the best album of his long illustrious career, both in life and posthumously. 2Pac would be dead seven months after the
release of this album.
The actual photo, one of many shot by celebrity photographer Ken Nahoum (see video below by Nahoum from the 2Pac photo shoot) for the album's art work, was not used for the front cover but instead relegated to the inside gatefold as part of a collage of pictures and text to accompany the four-LP, two-CD set that was divided into "Book 1" and "Book 2." However, since its February 1996 release, it is this image that has been used time and time again in articles and advertisements like KMEL's.
Every time I see this iconic picture of Pac staring upwards I always wonder to myself, what is he looking at or what exactly was going through his mind right then? So over the weekend I passed on this question via my Facebook page to find our what others thought might be the answer. The response was pretty good so I decided to republish the replies below with the name of who suggested them.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: June 9, 1958 - "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for six weeks. Written by Wooley, the novelty song will be the biggest hit for the Oklahoma born singer/actor. Wooley will audition for the head of MGM Records in early 1958, singing mostly ballads. At the auditions' conclusion, he will sing "The Purple People Eater" when the label president asks if he has any other material. Sensing its hit potential, he will sign the singer and rush him into the studio with producer/A&R man Neely Plumb (father of actress Eve Plumb, Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch). The song is quickly cut and released, becoming an immediate smash. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #7 on June 2, 1958, it will leap to the top of the chart the following week. "The Purple People Eater" will sell over two million copies. Following the success of the record, Sheb Wooley will star on then new TV series Rawhide with an up and coming new actor named Clint Eastwood. "The Purple People Eater" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 9, 1972 - Bruce Springsteen officially signs with Columbia Records. Having performed in bars and clubs in his native New Jersey for several years, the young singer/songwriter will audition for legendary A&R man John Hammond whose previous discoveries include Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, George Benson, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin. Now under contract to Columbia, the label will put Springsteen in the studio in July to begin work on his debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. The first album will initially sell only 25,000 copies, with the follow up The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle not performing much better. Eventually, Springsteen's recording career will take off with his breakthrough album Born To Run in 1975. Over his four decade career, Bruce Springsteen will come to be regarded as one of the preeminent singer and songwriters of all time, selling over 120 million records worldwide, winning 20 Grammy Awards (to date), two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.
Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.
Even with last week’s thrilling fight that ended in the deaths of two characters and the fate of Tyrion Lannister looking grim, last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” might have been the most exciting yet. Dramatically though, it’s a different story.
The episode began with Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly talking about love like it’s a damn Lifetime movie, not a TV show where people are regularly bludgeoned to death onscreen. Cheesy as it might have been, we knew it was just the calm before the storm. And what a storm it was—basically a Gallagher concert’s worth of blood sprayed onto viewers for about 45 minutes, with the occasional flick of storytelling thrown in the mix. Look! There’s Gilly, miraculously finding her way to Castle Black. Hey! Janos Slynt is kind of a wuss, hiding from the battle in the food cellar with her. And we were all waiting to see what happened with Ygritte and Jon Snow. But mostly it was just one big bloody battle.
On one hand, the battle was a spectacle to behold. And for a fantasy show set in a place beset by constant battle, the show is surprisingly light on actual fighting (aside from, you know, major characters dying in terrible ways all the time). Barring the battle of the Blackwater in season two, this was the mother of all fights in the show on an episode that smartly eschewed the regular multitiered storytelling to keep us held in the grips of the battle. Truly stunning were the wildling giants riding on mastodons, terrifying and even seemingly realistic.
As reported a little earlier today by the BBC, beloved British actor/comedian Rik Mayall, best known as one of the four main stars of the alternative offbeat comedy television series The Young Ones, has died at the age of 56 today at his home in London. The exact cause of his death has not been announced but Mayall, who was married with three children, was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 that left him in a coma for several days and greatly disabled ever since. Pictured left in recent times, Mayall also appeared in such other television shows as Bottom, Blackadder (he played Lord Flashheart), and The New Statesman plus movies such as Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso. But it is for his brilliant role as the obnoxious Rick (prone to extreme slapstick humor) in The Young Ones that he will be best remembered for, followed in close second for the show Bottom that he co-wrote with his close friend/Young Ones collaborator Adrian Edmondson. The comedian/actor co-wrote The Young Ones with Lise Mayer and Ben Elton and although it had a cult huge following that continues to this day the TV show only ran for a total of 12 episodes (two six episode series), originally broadcast between the years 1982 and 1985 on BBC2 in the UK and shown late night on MTV (where most Americans first saw the show) in 1985.
During last evening's Bay Area hip-hop themed Talk, Play, and Sip session I hosted at the Oakland Museum of California - as part of OMCA's ongoing Amoeba sponsored VINYL: The Sound and Culture of Records - several participants addressed in their shares the importance of hip-hop as a vehicle for a message of upliftment and/or awareness rather than simply mindless escapism and glorification of consumerism, sexism, and casual violence. Speakers including Bas-One, Adisa Banjoko (below), and Eric Arnold each addressed the topic as did DJ Platurn (pictured above) who observed that to his fellow speakers, who all came up in the era of politicized, positive thinking hip-hop via artists like Public Enemy and the Bay Area's Paris, were all conditioned to view hip-hop as a powerful medium of message and change. DJ Platurn's Talk N Play 45's record selections reflected that too, especially Too $hort's classic 1990 single "The Ghetto" (off Short Dog's In The House) which addresses the poverty and economic disparity of urban areas like Oakland. Also noted at last night's OMCA session was how Bay Area hip-hop has traditionally included many politicized artists. One such current example is Dregs One who, along with host Equipto and a grip of other SF artists and speakers (see flyer for full lineup), take over Slim's tonight in a benefit hip-hop show that will address pressing local community issues such as evictions, gentrification, and police brutality.
In a world where EDM has infiltrated just about every musical genre on the planet, it's sometimes hard to filter out all the noise. There's a new contender making their way up the dance-pop ranks, Crystal Fighters, a London-based dance band steeped in elements of traditional Basque culture. Their latest album, Cave Rave (Atlantic, 2013), evokes exactly what the title suggests... you're in a cave dancing with fluffy bears while pink bats are circling the hanging disco ball above and the bass is hitting so hard your clothes fall off. All you can do is sing along in a trance. Cave Rave shows off the band's ability to craft catchy tracks with hooks made for pop radio, while still supplying the deep harder stuff old fans love. Crystal Fighters have the song sensibilities reminiscent of Yeasayer with the electro-pop polish of Capital Cities. The Fighters will be all over the world playing festivals throughout the summer. Make sure to catch them!
Our What's In My Bag? cameras caught up with Crystal Fighters on a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. Very much influenced by World Music, Sebastian Pringle kicks things off with a vinyl copy of a stellar Soundway Records reissue of forgotten Colombian legends Michi Sarmiento Y Sus Bravos. It's a must-have for world music enthusiasts. He also picks up a copy of Francis Bebey's African Electronic Music 1975-1982 on vinyl. Gilbert Vierich digs through our reggae 45 section and pick up a stack of singles. Yes, literally a stack! Graham Dickson shows off his love of electronic music with selections by Holy Ghost! and the Perlon record label. Check out all their cool picks in the full episode below.
Father’s Day is just a few days away. To celebrate, we’re gathering some of our favorite “dad rock” albums. What is “dad rock,” you might ask? We’re talking about those staples your parents owned on vinyl, the ones that weren’t cool enough for you to discover on your own—no Black Sabbath, David Bowie or The Doors here—but that nonetheless are essential albums in rock history. Listen to one of these ol’ classics this Father’s Day and think about how your dad was right all along—“Hotel California” is pretty far out. Here they are, in no particular order:
Now Fleetwood Mac are cool again, but there was a long period when they weren’t. You don’t make one of the biggest albums of all time without some backlash. But after a Smashing Pumpkins cover, a high-profile reunion special and extensive touring, the Mac came back into public favor, and you can see their influence in a huge way these days, especially in young, female-fronted rock bands like Best Coast, Haim and Beach House. Anyway, Rumours kicks ass and pretty much every baby boomer owns it.
Zig Zags – “So Stoned” video
L.A.’s Zig Zags have been steadily building steam by teasing out chunks destructive garage-rock with heavy doses of Sabbath and hardcore like this one, “So Stoned,” whose video is a glam-rock ode to getting stoned and watching YouTube videos. Ty Segall was behind the boards here, giving “So Stoned” that terrific feeling of barely being contained—too much rock! The trio’s self-titled debut album is due June 16 on In the Red.
EFG – “Singing Bridges”
The new song by L.A.’s EFG (aka Electric Flower Group) starts as a lonely, spaced out Jesus & Mary Chain-esque pop tune before a throbbing bassline and absolutely corrosive guitars take over, sending the song into the stratosphere. The band’s fuzzed-out psych rock continues to develop nicely, so much so that the band is playing a plum slot at Chinatown Summer Nights on June 14, a free, outdoor fest once a month in Chinatown over the summer.
Part 3: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Deeper" (from Piñata 2014)
Boot Camp Clik "Trading Places" - The legendary BK crew throw a free BBQ/concert tomorrow
Yesterday (June 3rd) was the official launch of this season's annual citywide park concert series SummerStage with a free show by Ty Dolla $ign at Red Hook Park in Brooklyn. The series continues this evening at the same location where Mark McGuire, Marissa Nadler, and Delicate Steve all perform (again for free) at 7:00pm. An excellent triple bill this show is worth it just to check out Mark McGuire alone who plays an array of instruments and musical styles that include mandolin, drum machines, guitars (electric and acoustic), and a Talkbox as witnessed on the former Emeralds member's latest solo album Along the Way whose sound Amoeba.com likened to "early New Age—think Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno." More info.
Tickets are $3 with RSVP. The show is 18+. Get to the show early if you want to get in—it’s first come, first served.
Portland’s The Thermals have been at it since 2002, churning out socially and politically charged songs with ferocious, catchy power-pop riffs. Their latest is last year’s Desperate Ground.
The show will also feature L.A.-based openers Gothic Tropic and Beach Party and is hosted by Tapioca and The Flea. Gothic Tropic’s jungle-pop bounces on tribal beats and Cecilia Della Peruti’s animalistic vocals. Beach Party’s garage rock is heavy on hooks and attitude on their recent EP! Tapioca and the Flea blend modern psychedelia and electro-pop on songs like “Take It Slow.”
Amoeba Hollywood is holding its next Sidewalk Sale Saturday, June 14 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Just outside the store on Sunset Blvd., we’ll have deals including:
- 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
- Comic Books at three for $1
- Half-off Buddha Bar collections
And more! See you there!
Although our music and our drugs stayed the same, Although our music and our interests are the same
1988 -- the Second Summer of Love. 1989 -- the end of South African apartheid and the cold war. Love was all around and if it wasn't enough to make one euphoric there was ecstasy and Madchester to the rescue. What were baggies but hip-hop-and-house-hip hippies-cum-hooligans-cum-hippies again? In case we needed further proof, the baggies made the connection more obvious with their updated covers of psychedelic and Situationist era tunes which at their worst sounded like karaoke versions spruced up with the funky drummer beat but at occasionally exceeded the popularity of the originals.
Above is part one of the recently published documentary on the DMC, which is the DJ battle organization that began in 1986 in the UK by famed Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince who formed the "Disco Mix Club" or DMC as an offshoot of the Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began five years earlier. His first spawned remixes that were then released on tape and vinyl, which then in turn led to the actual DJ competition. Initially the battles were more themed towards (as the name implied) "disco" party DJ mixing, but then (after noting the turntablist style of the US Superman/New Music Seminar (NMS) battles) changed up their focus from purely DJ mixing to the more intricate scratch/turntablist hip-hop DJ styles and techniques. Nowadays a respected worldwide organization with battles in countless countries that lead up to an annual worldwide championship battle, its most recent years' developments (which some love and some hate) have been mostly digital era related. These include ones such as allowing DJs to utilize laptops with programs like Serato and Traktor, and also well as hosting online DJ competitions whereby DJs record at their homes their own battle routines and upload them online to be judged by the DMC. To check out the numerous DJ contestants in the DMC Online DJ Championship 2014 click here.
The former Walkmen frontman leaves us swooning on his solo debut. Backing away from the post-punk of his former band, Black Hours sees Leithauser focusing on digging his gravelly voice through chamber pop environs, singing heartily among stirring strings and vibes on “The Silent Orchestra.” Little the Walkmen did had the vibrant energy of a song like “Alexandra,” with Leithauser smiling his way through an irresistible jig. But Leithauser also throws a bone to those who miss the Walkmen’s nocturnal musings with songs like “11 O’Clock Friday Night,” a kind of New York at night drinking song with some clanging percussion amid the CBGBs guitars to keep it tied to the orchestrated feel of the rest of the album, and the lonely piano ballad “St. Mary’s County.” Throughout, Leithauser’s voice has never sounded better, growing further into a manly howl like a young Rod Stewart. He sounds as terrific crying into a pool of whiskey and reverb on the countrified “I Retired” as he does returning to his roots on the defiant “I Don’t Need Anyone.” While we’ll always miss the Walkmen, the thing we were gonna miss the most was that voice. Black Hours makes their departure sting less, as it’s opens a triumphant new avenue for Leithauser.
Jack White's Lazaretto Ultra LP is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma in the middle of a sonic quesadilla of awesome. Release date is June 10th (pre-order HERE), but starting Tuesday, June 3rd, you can come down to Amoeba SF and try it out for yourself! The good folks at Sony have provided us with a Third Man Records/Crosley Spinnerette Turntable so YOU can get a hands-on experience with White's latest creation. The listening station will be set up on the Amoeba SF stage.
Check out all the bells and whistles:
ULTRA LP FEATURES:
- 180 gram vinyl
- 2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
- 1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record
- Side A plays from the inside out
- Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for “Just One Drink” depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
- Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record
- Both sides end with locked grooves
- Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
- Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
- Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering - Different running order from the CD/digital version
- LP utilizes some mixes different from those used on CD and digital version
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:
Simian Mobile Disco
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|
|American Football (4 Ticket Limit)||Fonda Theatre||12/13/2014||$25.00|
|BABYMETAL (SOLD OUT)||Fonda Theatre||07/27/2014||$27.50|
|Blue October||Fonda Theatre||12/06/2014||$32.50|
|Boy & Bear||Fonda Theatre||10/06/2014||$20.00|
|Buzzcocks (ON SALE 6/28)||Fonda Theatre||09/17/2014||$25.00|
|Aaron Carter||El Rey||12/13/2014||$20.00|
|Clean Bandit (ON SALE 6/28)||El Rey||09/30/2014||$20.00|
|Com Truise||El Rey||10/04/2014||$22.00|
|Cultura Profetica||El Rey||06/27/2014||$29.50|
|Delta Spirit||El Rey||10/30/2014||$20.00|
|Mac DeMarco||Fonda Theatre||07/11/2014||$20.50|
|Justin Townes Earle||El Rey||10/06/2014||$22.00|
|FKA Twigs||El Rey||08/12/2014||$20.00|
|Foxy Shazam||El Rey||07/31/2014||$20.00|
|Nils Frahm||El Rey||11/13/2014||$27.50|
|Fucked Up||El Rey||08/21/2014||$20.00|
|FYF Fest (SOLD OUT)||
LA Sports Arena
It's 1989 and things are lookin' up... side-down.
The final year of junior high was heavy for my 8th grade class at Live Oak Waldorf School.
We’d bonded unusually deep; our eccentric education, overseen by the same, stern woman annually and paid for by unconventional, often dysfunctional parents, made us peers not just of age and fads, but in isolation: we weren’t represented in popular culture – there weren’t Cosby kids too poor to afford clothes or dental work; INXS wasn’t singing about the world of antiquity, accompanied by recorder ensemble; the cast on Facts of Life never gathered in a bi-monthly circle to share from their hearts until everyone wept and atoned and affirmed admiration for each other – then broke for their next class on American folk dancing.
"I'm afraid being raised without an understanding of more mainstream, cultural norms
is going to handicap my trajectory in life, Tootie."
The final months of that semester were strange; our lessons became devoted to one, final project: a run of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, barely edited, performed for the public by either of two casts, each featuring the same students in alternate roles.
It was our teacher’s idea this would avoid certain students having all the glory of lead parts. While well-intended, it instead ensured that shier kids who’d have preferred to skip the spotlight, couldn’t; it meant everyone had two characters to memorize – quite a task, considering this was most pupils’ introduction to iambic pentameter – and made what would have been the natural, unfriendly phenomena of critical comparison between kids’ acting skills even more impossible to avoid.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: June 2, 1962 - "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, topping the R&B singles chart for 10 weeks on May 26, 1962, and the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks on . Written by Don Gibson, the song is originally recorded by Gibson in late 1957. Charles will record the song at United/Western Recorders on February 15, 1962. It is the first single issued from the landmark album Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (released in April of 1962). Initially labelled "Ray's Folly" by ABC Paramount Records executives who doubt its commercial potential, the album and single are an immediate smash with the public. A major hit in several genres, "I Can't Stop Loving You" will set a record for the longest run at the top of the R&B singles chart that will hold for over 20 years until it is tied by Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" in November 1982. "I Can't Stop" will also earn Ray Charles a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording in 1963 and will be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. "I Can't Stop Loving You" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.
Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” contained yet another major character’s death, which has especially been a trademark of this season of the show.
After Oberyn Martell aka The Viper revealed a long-held vendetta against The Mountain and all of the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister and her children, the cards seemed to be stacked against the ginormous Mountain. After all, what could a mountain of a man do against a deadly warrior with years of built up resentment do?
A lot, it turns out. The battle between The Viper and The Mountain was the most exciting fight sequence yet on “Game of Thrones,” pitting The Viper’s acrobatic skills against The Mountain’s brute strength, with many of the show’s major characters looking on, awaiting Tyrion Lannister’s fate via trial by battle. And The Viper did get the upper hand, mortally wounding The Mountain several times.
But true to its mythical, nearly Biblical allusions—“The Viper and The Mountain” sounds at least like a fable if not something out of the Old Testament—pride was the ultimate winner of this fight. Drunk and blinded by hatred, The Viper resisted finishing off The Mountain until he said Elia Martell’s name, the woman he raped and murdered. The Mountain finally obliged—while bludgeoning The Viper’s face until his brains exploded out of his skull, before dying himself. Not only was this the most exciting fight ever in GoT, it was also the most bloody disgusting.
"Here in my car, I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It's the only way to live, in cars" sang Gary Numan in his dark seductive, synth-pop hit single "Cars" off his 1979 solo album The Pleasure Principle which was released just months after his (and band Tubeway Army's) album Replicas which spawned the artist's other hit of that same year "Are Friends Electric." See video above for "Cars" which was a big hit for Numan in both his native United Kingdom upon its release and the following year in the States. "Cars" is one of those classic electronic synth pop songs that just never seems to age. When Numan arrived on the charts at the time many rightfully noted how his vocal style was somewhat derivative of Bowie and some other artists but it didn't really matter because he was so good at what he did and since he added his own robotic style to it. Plus he put his own unique stamp on the track and the album it came from in terms of instrumentation. For the Pleasure Principle there were no guitars at all unlike the first two Tubeway Army albums that preceded it. For the album Numan utilized for the synth sound a Polymoog. And with "Cars" Numan became synthesizer pop's first big star. Human League's "Don't You Want Me" wouldn't be released until a two full years later. So big a hit was "Cars" for Numan, who has been busy performing and recording recently, that it remains the one song that, beyond his diehard cult following, the average fan will associate him with - despite the fact that he has consistently releasing albums over the years totaling twenty studio albums (and many additional reissues and live releases) including last year's Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). Not only was "Cars" a hit for Numan in 1979, 1980 but would go on to become a hit again in both 1987 and 1996.
Prince fans rejoice! Amoeba's own Mandala DJ series celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Purple One's 1984 rock musical Purple Rain with special guest DJ Nero Nava (City of Women) spinning all things in the Princely realm from 2-4pm on the Amoeba SF stage. It's also the Artist's birthday, so let's go crazy!
We also recommend checking out Soul Slam SF 9: Prince & Michael Jackson later that night at Mezzanine.
Amoeba Music San Francisco is currently stocking the limited-edition Stones Throw/AIAIAI headphones! Stones Throw Records and Copenhagen-based audio design company AIAIAI collaborated for these TMA-1 Stones Throw Edition headphones, and you gotta see 'em to believe 'em.
The original TMA-1 was developed in collaboration with 25 acclaimed and international DJs in 2010, and it’s the favorite DJ headphone of the in-house Stones Throw DJs (we like them). The minimalist, durable DJ tool has undergone a few improvements since 2010, the latest of which is the most remarkable to date owing to its new design features and colorway. This headphone also includes two detachable cords, one of which has a microphone.
What you get in the box:??
• Matte black TMA-1 headphones Stones Throw Edition?
• Two interchangeable pad types: synthetic and semi-leather
• Two interchangeable & detachable cable types: 1.5m coiled cable and 1.5m straight cable with 3-button microphone?
• 1/8-inch to ¼-inch plug adapter?
• Carrying pouch?
• Transducer Principle: Dynamic, closed
• Driver Unit Size: mm
• Impedance: 32±15% Ohm
• Load Rating: 0.1W
• Frequency Response: to 20.000 Hz
• Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.3%
• Sensitivity: 103±3dB Weight w/o
• Shipping weight: 3lb
And now, more glamor shots: