Seagram "The Ville" (from The Dark Roads)
Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the death of talented Oakland rapper Seagram who on July 31st, 1996 was shot and killed on the streets of East Oakland. Seagram Miller was only 26 years old with two albums to his name (his third would be released posthumously) and had not yet reached his artistic potential nor had he gotten the full level of appreciation that he deserved. A smart, intelligent, articulate wordsmith whose way ahead of its time debut album (The Dark Roads on Rap-A-Lot) addressed the realities and consequences of the gangsta life that he was unapologetically a part of right up to his tragic death - a violent shooting murder that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle at that time as such: "Oakland police Sgt. Gordon Melera said the two men had just exited a van in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue, an area in East Oakland known for violence and drug trafficking, when they were fired upon Wednesday night." That same article also noted how three years previously Seagram had escaped an assassin's bullet writing that, "Police said Miller's song about a rival gang in 1993 angered an Oakland drug kingpin, which led to an attempt on Miller's life. Miller escaped injury in that shooting, but a San Leandro police officer was wounded" but that OPD would not speculate whether his fatal shooting, in which Seagram's rap associate Gangsta P was seriously shot but not killed, was related to the earlier 1993 attack. Even 18 years after that fatal night in East Oakland the murder is still unsolved. Also of note from a Bay Area hip-hop historical perspective is that in that same year of 1996 two other Bay rap greats were also shot and killed: Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas two months later, and Mr Cee of R.B.L. Posse who was killed in San Francisco on New Year's Day of that year.
TV on the Radio front man Tunde Adebimpe is one busy singer. In addition to TVOTR getting ready to release, Seeds (Harvest Records) this fall, Tunde has been rocking with his side project, Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band. In 2012, the singer gathered up a few friends and soon after released a self-titled EP on their own ZNA Records label. Ryan Sawyer (Lone Wolf/Thurston Moore), Josh Werner (Lee "Scratch" Perry, CocoRosie) and Alex Holden (Big Numbers) round out the band.
Tunde and his cohorts stopped in at Amoeba Hollywood for another cool episode of "What's In My Bag?" With a name like Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band, you can guess these cats are influenced by all kinds of music! The vinyl they dig for is proof not only of their varied influences, but also the depth of their tastes. The guys jump right in with some serious stuff for Jazz lovers, Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch LP. They follow that up with two re-issues of rare African records from Mali's Super Djata De Bamako. This is a good listen for funky guitar and awesome drumming. From religious Santeria Afrocuban music to the modern electroclash of the Liars' Mess, HWBMB dig up lots of cool records. Check out the entire episode below to see what else they found!
The GRAMMY Museum’s Drop program next month features country singer Billy Joe Shaver Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event, in conjunction with The Americana Music Association and 88.5FM KCSN. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
Shaver comes to the museum’s Clive Davis Theater just two days after the release of his new album, Long in the Tooth. He’ll be at the theater for an interview, hosted by VP of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Scott Goldman, followed by a performance.
Texas-born Shaver worked as a songwriter in Nashville, writing for the likes of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Presley. His own solo career launched with 1973’s Old Five and Dimers Like Me, a classic of outlaw country. His songs have continued to be performed by others throughout his career, from Patty Loveless to Willie Nelson. Long in the Tooth is his first album of new music in seven years.
|Creme bike donated by American Cyclery. Color may vary.|
Join us at Amoeba Music in San Francisco for Hot August Bikes, a celebration of all things bicycle, on Sunday, August 17th from noon to 5pm!
Come check out our raffle for a Creme Dutch style bike donated by American Cyclery and The Ocean Front Walker bike donated by Sole Bicycles, freebies, and pro-bike vendors including Bern Helmets, Bike & Roll, our co-sponsors SF Weekly & the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Hubert's Lemonade, Salsa de Fina, Potato Potato Buttons, and more! Proceeds from this event will go to benefit the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
This is turning out to be a great day for new music videos!
Real Estate have a new video for the track "Had to Hear," the jangly opener to their excellent Atlas album. There's lots of summery goodness to be had here, like eating Mexican food, chillin' on a boat, playing guitar and generally enjoying life. If you haven't yet picked up Atlas, I highly suggest you do—some, like me, might even call it one of the best albums of the year so far. Real Estate will be playing live at Amoeba SF for FREE Friday Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. If you're here in L.A., they'll be at FYF Fest Aug. 23.
For this week's installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I have included a bunch of photos (above/left/below) that I took all round town (mostly Manhattan and mostly over the past week or two - but some other times/boroughs too including the one in the Bronx above) and if you drag the mouse icon on top of each image you will see embedded text that accompanies the respective images. Meanwhile some of the events and happenings in NYC in the week ahead include later today (July 30th) Lisette Melendez, George Lamond, and Coro who are masters of the hip-hop/disco born genre known as freestyle: the synth-based dance music which combines the influence of Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk flavor (note that Bambaataa is presenting this concert today) with Latin rhythms, and European Hi-NRG vocals. Free. All ages. 7pm to 9pm sharp. At Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. Part of the NYC Summerstage series. Free ferry ride from lower Manhattan to Staten Island takes about half hour including wait for boat, followed by short bus ride. More info.
On Saturday afternoon in the same Summerstage series will be a killer free show in Central Park at 3pm with Dr John & The Night Trippers. Opening for the New Orleans legend will be the New Orleans influenced Hurray for the Riff Raff which is the creation of frontwoman Alynda lee Segarra, a 26-year-old Bronx native who traveled to New Orleans to hone her musical chops. This is a free show but arrive an hour or more before the official 3pm opening time to ensure admission. More info.
Two of our more exciting pop stars released new videos today.
Lana Del Rey has unveiled a video for the title track to her recently released Ultraviolence. Like the album itself, "Ultraviolence" hushes critics by revealing new layers to her gangster Nancy Sinatra sound, piling layers of Lana over gorgeous orchestration to paint a beautiful tapestry. Perhaps the Crystals-reffing lyrics are a bit silly—"give me all of that ultraviolence" isn't a particularly appealing line—but they sound good coming out of her mouth, and the music itself is immaculate. In this video, Del Rey engages in a soft-focus, Instragrammable wedding. It's typically campy but also sweet—the lone titillation comes from Del Rey licking her soon-to-be hubby's fingers, pretty tame by her standards. Check it out below:
Meanwhile, Janelle Monae also released a video for the title track to her last album, the still-great Electric Lady. In it, Monae is hosting a party with like-minded ladies including Esperanza Spalding (who collaborates with Monae on the album's "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes"), Kimbra, T-Boz, Monica and Estelle. Rapper T.I. also makes a cameo. I don't see her cohort in this song, Solange—maybe she's still trying to lay low after that whole Beyonce/Jay Z/elevator thing. Still, looks like a fun party for a great tune. Anyone else need (not want) that skull record player?
This week Amoeba is debuting its Weekly Wednesday Steal, in which we’ll have some awesome product for only $10 on Amoeba.com.
This first week we’ll have Scottish electronica duo’s Boards of Canada gorgeous In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country for $10 on July 30. The EP is considered one of Boards of Canada’s best releases, if not its best ever.
A new item will be featured on Amoeba.com every Wednesday for $10. As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States.
Watch a fan video for In a Beautiful Place’s “Amo Bishop Roden” below:
On Sunday, Aug. 17 from noon to 5 p.m., Amoeba Music is holding its first ever Hot August Bikes event at the Ivar parking lot, just down a half-block from the store.
The event will feature DJs, food and drinks, bicycle-related workshops, a prize wheel and raffle tickets for prizes from Sole Bicycle, Bern Helmets and more! We’ll be celebrating bike culture in partnership with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), which works to raise awareness about the proposed bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd. LACBC will also provide bike valet service, and you can sign up to become a member on site.
The bike-a-licious prizes we’ll be raffling off include a grand prize of the beautiful Sole Bicycle pictured below, plus cool Bern helmets, limited edition bike gear, $100 Converse gift certificates, gift certificates to local restaurants and Amoeba, concert tickets and more.
1) Various Artists Cell Block Compilation (Cell Block/Priority)
2) Rappin' 4-Tay Aint No Playa (Rag Top/Chrysalis)
3) Conscious Daughters Gamers (Priority)
4) 2Pac All Eyez On Me (Death Row)
5) IMP Ill Mannered Playas (In-A-Minute)
6) Mac Mall Get Right (Relativity)
7) Peanut Butter Wolf Step On Our Egos (South Paw)
8) Too $hort Gettin' It 12" (Jive)
9) N.O.A. forilla (120)
10) The Delinquents Smooth Getaway (Dank Or Die)
11) Suga T Paper Chasin' (Sick Wid It/Jive)
12) Twisted Mind Kids Twisted Mind State (8-song demo - No Exit)
13) Lateef The Wreckoning/Latyrx (Solesides)
14) MadFace Black Attracts Heat (Corn Field)
15) Lil Gangsta P meet the lil gangsta (Erin)
16) V/A The Dangerous Crew (Dangerous/Jive)
17) Richie Rich Half Thang (41510/Shot)
18) Milkman feat Da Goonz Reminisce (Major Music)
19) Hobo Junction E.P. (South Paw)
20) Sacred Hoop demo tape (Miasmatic)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has a new video for the song "Rapt," which will be on her forthcoming first solo album, Crush Songs. You can download the song now on Amoeba.com, and you can preorder the album on LP now.
Directed by her husband, Barney Clay, the gorgeous video shows Karen O underwater in slow motion, occasionally illuminated and sometimes obscured. I recommend pausing every now and then; each shot seemingly could be an impressionist painting.
Check out the video below:
The acoustic, dreamy "Rapt" can be found on Crush Songs, which will be released Sept. 9 via Julian Casablancas' label, Cult. Read Karen O's description of her new album in a note she wrote below, via her website:
Amoeba Music is curating the next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles, featuring indie-pop acts Tanlines, SISU and Roses, at The Sayers Club in Los Angeles Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. The show is 21+ and tickets are only $3 with RSVP.
Brooklyn-based electronica duo Tanlines released their excellent debut record, Mixed Emotions, in 2012 to critical acclaim. The band is currently working on its new album, recording it here in L.A.
Shabazz Palaces 2011 release Black Up is undoubtedly one of the best, most exciting hip-hop releases of the new millennium. So we waited with bated breath for this second release from Ishmael Butler (one of '90s alt hip-hop greats Digable Planets) and Tendai Maraire, and Lese Majesty does not disappoint. The album is a sweltering blur of chilled-out beats, sparkling synthesizer tapestries and spacey rhymes that echo through your head. The 18-track album has a prog-like massivity to it, making it fun to get lost in—you can listen to Lese Majesty three times in a row on repeat and never get sick of it, nor will you fail to discover something new. But if you need a good entry point into their weird, wonderful world, I'd recommend the bizarrely catchy beats that hook you in "They Come in Gold" or the funny and fast-paced "#CAKE," with its layers of vocals and strange diversions. Now all I'm gonna do with the rest of my day is eat cake and listen to Shabazz Palaces. I wish! Back to work ... but honestly, this is one of the best things anyone's put out this year. Shabazz Palaces play Amoeba SF tonight at 6 p.m.!
File local dance punks De Lux between Liquid Liquid and LCD Soundsystem in your record collection -- if you don't care about proper alphabetization, that is. The duo of Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco make the kind of smart disco that pays tribute to their progenitors, nodding to the glittering, sequin-bedecked past, while keeping the dance floors of today groovin'.
Which is exactly what happened when the lads stopped by Amoeba Hollywood earlier this spring. With a full band backing them, Guerin and Franco unleashed some seriously seductive, summery vibes. De Lux has been ruling the streets of LA this summer, with performances at Echo Park Rising (August 15) and Pacific Fest OC (August 16) in the works. Their debut full-length, Voyage, is out now on Innovative Leisure.
Check out two songs from De Lux's excellent set below or watch the full performance here.
De Lux - Live at Amoeba
Watch and Comment on YouTube
Billy Bragg "A New England (live at Amoeba San Francisco: October 2013)"
As reported today by British media outlets including the NME (New Music Express) UK inmates will finally be allowed use of string guitars thanks to a campaign led by Billy Bragg and including such other musicians as Johnny Marr, Dave Gilmour, and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway. The political campaign which was kick-started by Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, with Bragg leading the musicians in the crusade for prisoners' rights, set about overturning the long-standing ban on steel-string guitars in British prisons. According to UK prison authorities, the guitar ban was based on fear of their parts being used as weapons. "This is a victory for common sense and I'm pleased after months of campaigning the UK Government has listened," said the Cardiff West MP upon hearing news of the lift of the ban.
"The power of music to help prisoners to rehabilitate is well documented. I started the campaign after prisoners wrote to me explaining how they had saved from their small prison wages to buy guitars and how therapeutic learning to play the guitar had been for them before the ban," added the MP. Billy Bragg noted upon news of the lifting of the ban that prisoners being allowed use of steel string guitars, "can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing." A long time champion of the underdog and with a history of fighting against civil injustices, Bragg founded the Jail Guitar Doors rehabilitation initiative to try and overthrow the ban against ban arguing that guitar playing helps greatly in the rehabilitation process of inmates.
MOTHER LOVE BONE - APPLE (1990)
Although Mother Love Bone were credited with attracting major label attention to Seattle, their musical sensibility (and Wood's sartorial) were decidedly at odd with the horde of ripped-jeans-and-ripped-abs tortured bros that would come to characterize grunge after its crossover.
Located somewhere in the middle of fusion and jazz-rock (but definitely closer to the later) were New York City's The Free Spirits, comprised of Bob Moses, Chris Hills, Columbus Baker, Jim Pepper, and Larry Coryell. Drummer Bob Moses had previously played with Roland Kirk and guitarist Larry Coryell had been introduced on Chico Hamilton's soul jazz classic, The Dealer, in 1966.
If you haven't already made your way to the ever-popular, Amoeba Music sponsored, excellent exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) which opened three months ago on April 19th (Record Store Day) at the downtown Oakland museum in its Great Hall exhibition area don't fret as you still have some time - well not much, but some - since it is open through tomorrow Sunday July 27th. To mark the end of this wonderful hands on exhibit, that paid homage the joys of analog and vinyl with lots of local Bay Area folks (including many Amoebites) offering their input on the subject, today Saturday July 26th will be the final weekly Talk & Play program of the three month long exhibit in which experts in specific areas of music/records informally chat to a museum audience while dropping the needle on the records that they are referencing in their talk/lecture.
Today - from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Great Hall - the Talk & Play session will be David Katznelson (record producer, and president of Birdman Recording Group) and friends who will be presenting a Talk & Play they call Every Record Has a Story. David's co-hosts will be Steven Baker (former president of Warner Brothers Records), Britt Govea (Folk Yeah Productions founder), and Josh Rosenthal (founder of Tompkins Square Records) - all of whom will share their favorite music/records and tell stories and secrets related to collecting said records. David Katznelson is among the many record collecting musicologists who have curated crates (that museum goers can personally play on provided turntables) at the Vinyl exhibit. For this final fourth installment in the Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Amoeblog series I have included David's crate: The influence and genius of the Velvet Underground, along with those of two other contributors: Sylvie Simmons whose crate is Grrl Power - women in rock from pop to punk, 1960-1980, (she also curated Sylvie Simmons the Americana crate), and the museum's own Rachael Aguirre (Administrative Assistant & OMCA Lab - Curatorial and Experience Development) whose crate is titled Sound track for Dungeons and Dragons: Onyx Discs of Epic Sound: A Dungeons and Dragons Soundtrack. Meanwhile the photos in this blog are either provided by OMCA or James Mak of Joysco Photos who kindly shot this photos on behalf of the Amoeblog (thank-you James!).
The Minneapolis phenom with his third release on Ben Klock's label. The title track is gorgeous, deep melodicism, based around a soulful set of synth chords which come into greater definition over the course of the track's 6 and a half minutes. Each percussive moment feels huge, no snare, just a well-timed 909 clap. That clap reappears on the more minimal but slightly swung "Creeping". "Spying" is late night techno gear, a bright piano figure creates a perfectly illicit vibe
Modern Love Demdike Stare are really taking it there with the Test Pressing series. This might be the most punishing issue yet. "Procrastination" starts like a cantankerous engine, slowly. Eventually, a comically heavy beat and bassline are issued in by a lion's roar. No joke. "Past Majesty" is more of a head-down deathrock thing, interrupted by blasts of noise. The track bears the influence of Albini's gnarly units Big Black and Rapeman.
Roses – “It’s Over” video
L.A. dream-pop trio Roses recently released “It’s Over” as a single from their upcoming Dreamlover EP, out Aug. 5 on Group Tightener (you can preorder it now). Now they’ve got a video for the track, directed by Cassandra Hamilton, that sees the band along with friends in bands like Susan playing in the California countryside with oversized cartoon guitars amid neon butterflies and gorgeous wildflowers. Reminds me of classics like Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today” and Blind Melon’s “No Rain” in its sunny, carefree optimism and casual absurdity. Roses are playing the next Red Bull Sound Select show with Tanlines Aug. 20, curated by Amoeba Hollywood. More info on that coming soon!
The definition of "hip hop movies" is pretty darn wide as it covers a broad range of types and styles of films - not to mention differing levels of quality since, let's face it, some have been downright low-budget jenky (bad meaning bad). The hip hop movie genre as a whole encompasses such varieties as concerts films (EG 1995's The Show or 2005's Dave Chappelle's Block Party); documentaries about specific parts of the genre or individual artists (e.g. Scratch or Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme or Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest); bio-pics like Notorious or the semi-biographical Eminem acting vehicle 8-Mile; and straight up pure celebratory flicks that show love for some or all of hip hop's four elements (EG Wild Style, Juice, Beat Street, and Breakin').
After over a decade in orbit, interplanetary alternative hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030 have descended from space, rocking concert halls across America and preparing for a fall jaunt to Europe. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala joined forces once more on last year's Event 2, a star-studded followup to their 2000 self-titled debut, featuring the likes of Damon Albarn, Zach De La Rocha, Mike Patton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amber Tamblyn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Cross, and the Lonely Island. (And that's only a partial list.)
Dan the Automator and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien took a break from the constant struggle against our galactic overlords to sit down with the What's In My Bag? crew at Amoeba Hollywood. The Automator explores some of his cinematic inspirations, kicking us off with the 2012 sci-fi flick Looper. Next up Del shares his love for Black Flag's Damaged and My War. The picks keep coming fast and furious with the Automator's next selection, Shaun of the Dead, and with Del repping little known funk group Apple and the Three Oranges.
If you've driven by Amoeba Hollywood recently you may have noticed a mural on the Cahuenga side of the building for Jenny Lewis’ new album, The Voyager. (That's Ms. Lewis in front of the mural during its painting.)
To celebrate The Voyager, Jenny is giving away tickets to see her in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Aug. 9, plus a $100 Amoeba gift certificate! All you have to do is take a photo of yourself in front of The Voyager mural and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #AmoebaVoyager to be entered to win! You can find Jenny Lewis on Twitter @jennylewis and we're @amoebamusic.
The winner will be contacted August 4, so get to sharing!
Check out the making of The Voyager mural with this new video for Jenny's single “She’s Not Me.” Watch it below:
Last week Jenny Lewis released a video for “Just One of the Guys,” starring Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart and Brie Larson. The Voyager comes out Tuesday, July 29 and is up for pre-order on LP and CD.
Grand Performances, a series of free shows put on at California Plaza in Downtown L.A., will host People Get Ready: A Soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. Amoeba is a proud sponsor of the event. We’ll be on hand with a booth and our prize wheel, so come by and say hello.
The show features such artists as Les Nubians, Dwight Trible, Dexter Story, Ejyptian Queen, Godfrey at Large and more performing new renditions of anthems in a celebration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The performance is produced by Jonathan Rudnick and Dexter Story, who previously produced Celebrations of Peace Go With You Gil for Gil Scott-Heron and Young Gifted & Nina for Nina Simone. It’s hosted by KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez.
After closely dodging a major public transportation strike of the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) earlier this week (which would have trickled down to affect MTA buses and subways, thereby affecting all New Yorkers and not just those who commute into the city from suburban Long Island), folks here are still breathing a sigh of relief in this city where, it seems, nearly everyone takes public transportation. Speaking of which, the Citi Bike program has expanded its service to embrace more tourists by making it more accessible for casual one-off users. Compared to typical bike rental outlets Citi Bike's $10 for a 24-hour period seems like a deal. However the drawback is that is you only get the bike for 30-minute increments before having to re-check it out - or suffer heavy fines. More info here.
Continuing in the bike loving NYC theme, this month 122 metal bicycle sculptures (see below) have been rolled out around Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of a grand scale sculpture exhibit by 83-year-old bicycle-loving Mexico City artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. He first created the cycle themed sculpture exhibit entitled "Las Bicicletas" in his hometown with the stated goal of celebrating both art and bike riding. Supported financially by the Parks Department and the DOT (Dept. of Transportation) the public art installation can be seen all over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, with many strategically installed near the Citi Bike share racks. More detailed info.
Somewhere between the sunny melancholia of Best Coast, earnest alt-rock of The Cranberries and the college rock of bands like Talulah Gosh lie Toronto's Alvvays. Their debut record is a delight of heartfelt naivete spun out in catchy indie-pop nuggets. Molly Rankin's lovably untrained voice pleads irresistibly on the charming "Archie, Marry Me" amid a four-chord, minor-key jangle. "Don't leave ... we can find comfort in debauchery" Rankin sings with the requisite mix of winking irony and legitimate feeling; taken with the songs lovely synth strings and gently rambling nature, it comes off like future nostalgia for a time that's currently being experienced. Youth may be wasted on the young, but Alvvays make young sadness sound pure and sweet on their debut.
Noise Pop presents the second annual 20th Street Block Party on August 23rd with two music stages, tons of delicious food and drinks, and on-going festivities from noon to 6pm. And it's FREE!
The 20th Street corridor will be transformed into a free party to showcase and celebrate a diverse neighborhood that blends modern ideas with community traditions to create a new San Francisco experience. Featuring music from Rogue Wave, Cayucas, Melted Toys, Tommy Guerrero & The Mattson 2 with Ray Barbee and more.
More info HERE.
The upcoming DJ SetForPeace, scheduled for September 21st during Peace One Day, could not be better timed considering all of the unrest that is going on in the world right now with, sadly, no signs of slowing down. The informal yet well received global anti-war campaign that encourages "DJs uniting around the world to raise awareness of peace day" is a part of Peace One Day which was begun 15 years ago by Jeremy Gilley (see video above), whose goal was simple - how about peace for just one day out of the year? - with September 21st being that day of the year. Gilley's organization Peace One Day’s objective is to "institutionalize Peace Day" and he contends that its campaigns and activities have proven that the message of the day actually does carry weight and has had a positive impact with powers that be cooling off for that one day.
Akon will headline Peace One Day celebration at Goma International Airport on September 21st. Regarding the DJ SetForPeace role in the overall Peace One Day it is a coalition adding to the overall goal of the day. Not just DJs, but also producers, and MCs are encouraged to play a Set for Peace on Peace One Day, 21st September which this year falls on a Sunday - a good day for music, and for peace. "In a club, at a festival, in a park or in your own home, you can use the power of music to bring people together in the name of peace," encourage the organizers. "By dedicating your set, you are telling the world about Peace Day and encouraging positive action in homes, schools and communities." To get directly involved click here, info on Set For Peace, and for general information click here.
|Spoon performing live at Amoeba Hollywood in 2005|
Spoon’s well-received new single, “Do You,” has a hot new slow-mo video starring singer Britt Daniels that nicely matches his rambling lyrics and eerie rising and falling vocals. Spoon will play Amoeba Hollywood Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!
In the video, which premiered at the Urban Outfitters blog for their UO Music Video Series, Daniels plays cabby to a pensive girl in what at first seems like a quiet, contemplative video. Then WTF at around the three-minute mark. I’ll not spoil it for you. You’re just gonna have to watch, and I recommend that you do. Remember MTV’s “breakthrough” videos? (Or any videos on MTV?) Spoon would be all over that shit with this clip, directd by acclaimed music video and commercial director Hiro Murai (who’s done videos for such artists as Childish Gambino, Queens of the Stone Age and Cults).
|Photo: Aida Daneshvar Photography|
The new album by byrdsol (aka Burgess Tomlinson) takes the artist’s electronic sound and infuses with a healthy dose of folk heart, giving pierreponte an intriguing duality. On one hand, the music is put together by digital means, beats are introduced halfway through songs and acoustic strums are cut up and mended, yet Tomlinson’s breathy croon and bedroom composition style keeps the music grounded and connected.
The album is currently available as a download exclusively on Amoeba.com, while Tomlinson has started an indiegogo campaign for a physical release. I took a minute to catch up with Tomlinson, who currently works at Amoeba Hollywood, about his latest release.
How long have you been making music?
Most of my life. I guess I got serious in 9th grade. The music director at my high school put the budget to good use. He built a complete midi studio with an Ensoniq sampling, sequencing, keyboard workstation, and a few now vintage drum machines. You were allowed to sign up for time blocks on your breaks or lunch, as long as you were involved in at least one music class, which I was for four years. I was also taking piano lessons at home and playing a few Casio-type keyboards my dad got me way into the nights. In 10th grade my friends and I started a band called Swirl, in a music-friendly basement. We recorded thtree songs in a local studio and played some extremely high profile arcade gigs at the local mall.
With just a little over one week left to the wonderful Amoeba Music sponsored record / vinyl themed exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at OMCA this is part three in the Digging In The Crates Amoeblog series dedicated to some of the curated crates that are currently on exhibit (but only through next weekend, Sunday July 27th) at the Oakland Museum of California as part of its excellent interactive Vinyl exhibit which has been there for three months and is well worth checking out. For this installment we focus on (scroll down to see) San Francisco producer Dan Nakamura - aka Dan the Automator - who coincidentally later today (July 19th) will be doing a free outdoor show at 7pm at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY along with fellow Deltron 3030 members Kid Koala and Del The Funky Homosapien plus the Deltron 3030 Orchestra.
For his curated crate picks (which overlaps a bit with his above Amoeba WIMB? clip) at the OMCA Vinyl exhibit the prolific producer chose a combination of some of his all time favorite releases such as Eric B and Rakim's Paid In Full and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (his number one top pick), as well as many of the countless releases that the prolific producer has been personally involved in over the years such as Cornershop's When I was Born for the 7th time on which he is the producer, Handsome Boy Modeling School of which he is one-half along with Prince Paul, The Gorillaz whose first album he produced, Jamie Cullum's Catching Tales on which Nakamura does beats and programming, Kasabian's West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum that he produced, Lovage which is the producer along with Mike Patton and such other collaborators as (again fellow Deltron 3030 member) Kid Koala, and Jennifer Charles, and Anaïs' The Love Album via Polydor France released in 2008 that he also produced and is in the same musical vein as his forthcoming latest project, Got A Girl along with vocalist Mary Elizabeth Winstead, that will be arriving in Amoeba this coming Tuesday (July 22nd, 2014) via his long running San Francisco based label Bulk Recordings. What's crazy is that he didn't even get to include one of his best (and earliest) releases - one that I included in the crate I curated at the OMCA exhibit - his 1989 early breakbeat/battle record Music To Be Murdered By.
Nice addition to the canon of rare groove/hip-hop inflected music that is equally suited for home listening or warm-up sets. Budgie is formidable/session man and record collector, and it shows in these ornate boogie/funk influenced instrumentals. "Full Moon" and "Clevage" are top notch soul-sample beats, a looser, more psychedelic version of the sound that brought Kanye West to massive fame. For fans of Andres, Floatin Points.
Very cool wavo-inflected release on Optimo Music. "Patience (JD Twitch Edit" moves along with a nice arpeggiated bass line and some unintelligble post punk vocals. The rigid arpeggiation and early 80s feel remains throughout, with tracks like "[Less] Merchandise]" adding to the political vibe and bringing in a bit of melody.
Christopher Owens – “Nothing More Than Everything to Me” video
I randomly this week put on Girls’ first album, Album, expecting it to not age as well as it has in the past few years. But it really is the perfect summer album. Since that band’s demised, Girls singer Christopher Owens released an underrated solo album, Lysandre, and now has a new album on its way called A New Testament. The country and gospel touches that were prevalent on his last album and the second Girls album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, are here but twanged up a bit and honed down to a bite-sized portion, sounding not unlike a cleaner version of something that would’ve been on the breezy Album. See Owens play as house band for a kids’ dance in the video below for “Nothing More Than Everything to Me.”
The Donkeys – “Scissor Me Cigs” video
San Diego’s The Donkeys produce a melancholic surf rock on their recently released Ride the Black Wave album that suits the sleepy “second city” of Southern California well. The video for “Scissor Me Cigs” showcases another record store, M-Theory of San Diego, as well as the band’s hometown with a kind of hazy Sunday afternoon feel.
1) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)
2) Madlib Rock Konducta Pt 2 (LP) (Madlib Invasion)
3) Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)
4) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)
5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal)
The music world lost another great yesterday with the passing of Texas born blues guitarist/singer legend Johnny Winter who died (Wednesday, July 16) in Switzerland in his Zurich hotel room. He was 70 years of age. While no exact cause of death has so far been announced according to those close to the artist, who was considered among the greatest slide blues guitarist of all time, had not been in good health for a few years - yet still managed to get enough energy to do what he loved - perform the blues to appreciate audiences. The older brother of Edgar Winter with whom he began playing the blues from early in life, Johnny was not just a practitioner of the blues but also long an ambassador and champion of the genre as he supported the careers of such idols of his as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters (see all three together in concert in video down below). In the 1977 Winter brought his hero Muddy Waters into the studio to record Hard Again for Blue Sky Records - the imprint distributed by Columbia specifically set up for the release - followed by two other Waters collaboration albums that would result in three Grammys for Waters.
1984's Ghostbusters, set in New York City, is among the free films screened in NYC this week
The bevy of free outdoor movies continues with a wide range of choices of movies and locations to view them that include tonight (July 16) at Pier 63 at Hudson River Park (near 23rd Street) where the award winning 2013 film American Hustle will screen for free. This is a great location and does not get as packed as some of the other spots like Bryant Park but note that the front half of the lawn, which is damp most of the time so bring a plastic sheet, is on a backward slant from the screen so try to avoid sitting there or you will keep falling backwards. More info. Meanwhile at the aforementioned Bryant Park's (42nd Street at Sixth Ave.) weekly HBO sponsored screening this Monday (July 21s) will be National Lampoon's Vacation. More info. Over in Brooklyn at McCarren Park tonight (July 16) SummerScreen presents Ben Stiller's silly but fun Zoolander. What makes this free outdoor movie series extra special is that they also have a live concert beforehand. This evening that will be the must-see double bill of two hot new NYC hip-hop acts Ratking and Princess Nokia. 6 pm start time with film screening at sundown (8:30pm approx). McCarren Park is at N. 12th St. at Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg. More info. Then on Friday evening at Pier 46 (again on Hudson River Park) "Ghostbusters (trailer above) will screen at part of the summer movie series' Family Fridays with free popcorn to accompany the free movie. Pier 46 is along West St. at Charles St. More info.
"It's pretty humbling and amazing to see my photos from when I was a sixteen, seventeen year old kid," Joe Conzo told the Amoeblog - as seen in the above video clip - speaking last week by the wall of photos on display at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery space on Greenwich Street in the Village in New York City. The exhibit is similar in title and theme as well as contributors to the highly recommended 2007 published book Born In The Bronx that he is an integral part of. "Born In The Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Buddy Esquire, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Joe Conzo - A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop" the exhibit that is curated by Johan Kugelberg (editor of the book) runs through July 26th, 2014 at the downtown gallery space and is well worth visiting - and it is free.
In addition to Conzo's photos on exhibit are such artifacts as classic original era hip-hop show flyers by Buddy Esquire (RIP), a grid of original cells from the animated sequences of Charlie Ahearn’s landmark hip-hop film Wild Style, and a wall display of LP and 12" vinyl from the Afrika Bambaataa's influential record collection. There's also Afrika Bambaataa manuscripts and notebooks and the original lyrics handwritten for “Planet Rock” - all of which adds up to must-see material for any true hip-hop history fanatic.
Hardcore punk supergroup OFF! are known for their raucous, rowdy live shows, and they definitely brought their A-game when they swung by Amoeba Hollywood a couple months ago. Frontman Keith Morris (Circle Jerks/Black Flag), guitar player Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), bass player Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) and drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes) tore through six short-but-sweet tracks which left the packed room wanting more.
This August, OFF! are gearing up for a US tour to promote their most recent release, Wasted Years. But this time the supergroup is getting even more super, with the addition of legendary Melvins drummer Dale Crover, who's filling in for Rubalcaba. Check out the two part video of OFF!'s performance at Amoeba Hollywood and get a glimpse of the mayhem brewing for the summer tour--just mentally Photoshop in Dale Crover.
Infamous punk rockers Dwarves will join the band for a handful of dates.
THE PALEY BROTHERS - THE PALEY BROTHERS (1978)
Power pop, with its decidedly adolescent preoccupations, was twee before twee pop was a thing. With catchy ditties like "Come Out and Play," written by Andy Paley (the other brother was Jonathan), their outlook was calculatedly juvenile (if that word can be applied in a sense that's not meant as negative). After releasing their sole LP, The Paley Brothers, The Paley Brothers went on to play in The Notes, who also released a seven inch slice of seventies adolescence, "Rough School Year." Real Gone Music released The Paley Brothers: The Complete Recordings which includes their sole album and a bunch of previously unreleased stuff.
Jenny Lewis’ video for “Just One of the Guys,” taken from her upcoming new album The Voyager (out on LP and CD July 29, it's up for preorder now), turns its titular idea on its head (literally) with some breakdancing and gender play.
Actresses Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart show up to play as backup in Lewis’ band a la Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” (only a tad less sexist) before donning tracksuits and mustaches and pulling out some B-boy movies.
According to Rollingstone, the new album was written during a tough time for Lewis, following Rilo Kiley’s breakup and the death of her estranged father. She kept busy by writing and touring with the Postal Service, then entered the studio last year with Ryan Adams and his producing partner Mike Viola (Beck also did some production work on the album).
Billy Higgins is widely considered one of the most important drummers in rock history. Balancing function and form, Higgins supported such legendary jazz artists as Ornette Coleman, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Witherspoon, serving as the house drummer for Blue Note in the1960s and playing on dozens of albums.
In 1989, Higgins founded cultural center The World Stage in Los Angeles to provide workshops for young musicians in performance and writing. Higgins died in 2001 with an estimable musical legacy behind him.
The World Stage Arts, Education and Performance Gallery will hold its 25th anniversary celebration, Honoring the Legacy of Billy Higgins, at the Ford Theatres Aug. 24, featuring performances by former students and jazz notables including Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws, Patrice Rushen, Carmen Lundy, Dwight Trible, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and more. Tickets start at $30. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event, along with KJAZZ.
David J. is probably the only member of seminal post-punk/goth band Bauhaus to release a Britney Spears cover. The song shows up as a bonus track on David's latest album, An Eclipse of Ships, and naturally it's a jazzy, film noir-influenced take on the pop singer's "Toxic." Fittingly, the video for the track features adult film star/industrial musician Sasha Grey; after all, this is the man who named his band Love and Rockets after one of the first alternative comics and who wrote a play about doomed Warhol starlet Edie Sedgwick. True to the DIY roots of the UK punk scene in which he made his name, David's most recent album was entirely crowd funded through Kickstarter.
Recently, David J. swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of the music that shaped his career and some of the newer artists who inspire him today. He kicks off this installment of What's in My Bag? with Oil City Confidential, a rockumentary about Dr. Feelgood, a British pub rock band with a huge influence on the early punk scene. He then shows off an LP copy of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg's album together, because, as he says, "you can't beat vinyl." Soon afterwards, David selects the new LP by his buddies and similarly Gainsbourg-influenced bossa nova stylists Thievery Corporation.
SPACE WALTZ - SPACE WALTZ (1975)
It seems to have taken a few years for news of Ziggy Stardust's death to reach the shores of Waitakere, New Zealand... or maybe Alastair Riddell didn't care when caked on some make-up and released a Bowie-indebted album as Space Waltz, a band whose membership was rounded out by Brent Eccles, Eddie Rayner, and Greg Clark. With a voice that veered closer to that of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Riddell sang songs with heteroflexible gender-bending like “Beautiful Boy” and “Love The Way He Smiles.” Space Waltz were actually slated to tour with AC/DC but backed out and Riddell went on to pursue a solo career whilst Eccles and Rayner ended up in better-known Oz and Kiwi bands The Angels and Split Enz, respectively.
MOONKYTE - COUNT ME OUT (1970)
Moonkyte were a group of young hippies (Dave Stansfield, Dave Foster, Mick Humphreys, and Trevor Craven) who in 1970 banded together in Bradford and who managed, it seems, to pull themselves together just long enough to record and release one album, the psychedelic, folk-rock-colored Count Me Out. In addition to the usual rock instruments they added a banjo, sitar, a whistle, and harmonium and making music along the lines of The Incredible String Band. After playing a few festivals and losing and finding a few members they began recording a second album, which they planned on naming No Visitors Allowed, but which was never completed.
THE AEROVONS - RESURRECTION (1969, released in 2003)
THE ANIMATED EGG - THE ANIMATED EGG (1967)
The Animated Egg was a studio-based project of Burbank-based session player named Jerry Cole (bornJerald Edward Kolbrak in Green Bay, Wisconsin). During Cole's career as a musician he released work under his own name and various pseudonyms although often uncredited. He'd previously assembled a group of musicians as The Id who released The Inner Sounds of the Id. Working with another group of musicians as The Animated Egg, the session psychonauts released another solid collection of slightly kitschy instrumental rock. Cole went on to perform, write, and produce with many big names before passing away in 2008.
ARZACHEL - ARZACHEL (1969)
The members of of the obscure band Arzachel originally performed as Uriel, a name which was dropped to avoid legal confrontation. The band's sole, eponymous release -- a stew of meandering, organ-driven psychedelia -- may be obscure but the members -- Steve Hillage, Dave Stewart, Clive Brooks, and Mont Campbell -- are all well-known to fans of the Canterbury Scene (although on the record they were all credited with pseudonyms). After Arzachel ended, Stewart, Brooks, and Campbell played together again in Egg. Hillage and Stewart played together in Khan and Hillage was also later a member of Gong.
Mushroom were formed in Dublin by Alan Brown, Aonghus McAnally, Cam Lynch, Michael Power, andPat Collins. Their sole album, Early One Morning, is a collection of folk-rock. Although somewhat in the vein of Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, it was often a bit more rock than folk albeit with a Celtictwinge. They disbanded in 1974.
THE MO-DETTES - THE STORY SO FAR (1981)
The Mo-dettes were a post-punk band originally comprised of June Miles-Kingston, Jane Crockford,Kate Korus/Korris (formerly of The Castrators and The Slits), and Ramona Carlier and who formed in 1979 in London. After having a hit with “White Mice,” they recorded their sole album, the optimistically-titledThe Story So Far. In May 1982, Sue Slack replaced Carlier on vocals and later in the year, the band split.
World Peace Is None of Your Business might be Moz’s angriest album yet. Full of bitter political cynicism and social commentary, the album has the feel of a knowing screed by someone who’s seen it all and whose attitude mostly feels justified. Whether he’s detailing the death of a beat poet (“Neal Cassady Drop Dead’s” “everyone has babies, babies full of rabies” line is priceless) or bemoaning the futility of human connection (“you fail as a woman and you lose as a man” he sings in “Earth Is the Loneliest Planet”), Morrissey’s in classic sardonic mode, while musically the band lays on touches of flamenco guitar, a digitized beat here and a harp there, to form a more lush version of the hard-hitting rock sound he’s employed for the latter half of his career. I can't say that I love the title tracks, in which Morrisey's frustration is understood, but its “each time you vote you support the process” seems insensitive to the places and people that have fought long and hard for this right. Still, it’s hard to resist when he’s in his finest form, on tracks like the extended “I’m Not a Man,” in which Morrissey places his militant vegetarianism and pacificism front-and-center as a new form of manhood, reminiscent of his classic line “it takes strength to be gentle and kind,” (from The Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over”) amid glittering synthesizers and glam stomp. For anyone who’s unfairly labeled Morrissey a miserablist in the past, World Peace shows Moz as an elder statesman with his fists clenched and plenty of piss ‘n’ vinegar left in his system. Also, don't forget—Morrissey just had one of his best albums, Vauxhall & I, re-released last month, get that shit.
If you’re like us, you grew up jamming to “Weird Al” Yankovic spoofs such as “Smells Like Nirvana” and “Amish Paradise.” Ever wonder how he’d take on the current crop of Millennial post-pop or whatever it’s called?
Wonder no more. “Weird Al” has a new album coming out tomorrow called Mandatory Fun, and he’ll be at Amoeba Hollywood signing copies of it from 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday July 18. Also we’ll take your picture with him and post it to Amoeba.com (no instagramming immediately from your phone though, sorry).
The new album features spoofs of songs by Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Pharrell Williams, whose megahit “Happy” becomes “Tacky” in Al’s weird hands. Check out the video below (which premiered at Nerdist), featuring such cool people as Kristen Schaal, Jack Black and Margaret Cho:
Feeling nostalgic for the faux wood paneling on your old Atari 2600? Or did you come of age playing Mortal Kombat on your Sega Genesis and losing your Nintendo Gameboy at school? If you're reading this on the ol' interwebs, chances are your life was touched (if not molded) by the history of video games...and it's time to celebrate that history. Video Games: The Movie hits the Bay Area, opening at the Roxie on July 18th with screenings nightly at 8pm & 10pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 2:30pm & 4:30pm.
This epic feature length documentary from executive producer Zach Braff chronicles the meteoric rise of video games from nerd niche to multi-billion dollar industry. Featuring in-depth interviews with the godfathers who started it all, the icons of game design, and the geek gurus who are leading us into the future, Video Games: The Movie is a celebration of gaming from Atari to Xbox, and an eye-opening look at what lies ahead. Featuring interviews with Zach Braff, Sean Astin, Chris Hardwick, Wil Wheaton, Nolan Bushnell, Hideo Kojima, Cliff Bleszinski, and Alison Haislip.
2) Big Freedia Just Be Free (Queen Diva)
3) Danny Brown Hot Soup (Street Corner Music)
4) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (T.e.g.)
5) G-Eazy These Things Happen (BPG)
Locking down the number chart position this week at Amoeba Hollywood is not an album but a 7" single: the excellent, collector's item, picture disc single, via Stones Throw, from Madlib alter-ego Quasimoto (aka Lord Quas) "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" The side "Planned Attack" is culled from the album Yessir Whatever while the "Talkin Shit" side is a short, previously unreleased track with both featuring and produced by Madlib, artwork by Jeff Jank, and described by the Peanut Butter Wolf headed label as "Quasimoto X-ray record. Half picture disc, half clear vinyl. Lord Quas with brick on one side, and his "insides" show on the flip. Delivered in a clear polybag." Also charting are Oakland rapper G-Eazy's major label debut These Things Happen (BPG), 9th Wonder's The Wonder Years (which has been out for a minute but is a chart re-entry), and the ever-prolific and talented Danny Brown's Hot Soup on Street Corner Music - a reissue of his mixtape from 2008.
Gilb'r and Sotofett
Tripping, dub-inflected tracks from Gilb'r and Sex Tags honcho Sotofett. These tracks are structured like psychedelic rock jams on analog synthesizers rather than loop based dj tools. This is apparent on B-side Plantehaelvate, which spins various melodic yarns over a pulsing bass line.
Tight two-tracker from Mr. Saturday Night's Eamon Harkin. Title track Back Down begins with the sound of party conversations over a chunky techno beats - perhaps Harkin's many days and nights leading the dance in Brooklyn have allowed him to nail the communal feeling present during a track's lead up. Harkin eventually drops some spacious pads to complete the simple banger. The track will appeal to fans of Runaway's Brooklyn Club Jam. The b-side is a bit bouncier, possessing a cool, Kraftwerk-style mid-range bass line.
Roses – “It’s Over”
|Photo by Olivia Hemaratanatorn|
Ex-Abe Vigoda guitarist Juan Velasquez has a new project, the dream-pop trio known as Roses, and they’ve got a four-song EP coming out Aug. 5 on Group Tightener called Dreamlover. The first song we’ve heard from it, “It’s Over,” is a stuttering, stunning new waver with David Byrne-esque vocals, dreamy synth washes and crashing shoegaze guitars. They’ll be at S.F.’s Hemlock Tavern July 15 and L.A.’s Bootleg Theater July 16 with A Sunny Day in Glasgow.
Craft Spells – “Nausea” video
Friday, July 18th, Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest and most fabulous drag performance night club, presents their salute to the original rock and roll chameleon, David Bowie, at the DNA Lounge! Trannyshack welcomes special guest star Raja (RuPaul's Drag Race) and make sure you dress to impress for the Hedwig/Bowie look-a-like contest!
Heklina's legendary nightclub will also feature performances by Fauxnique, Lady Bear, Raya Light, U-Phoria, Sugah Betes, Jordan L'Moore, Kegel Kater, The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual, and more.
Get your tickets HERE!
While some diehard James Brown fans are already skeptical of Get On Up (the forthcoming biopic on the Godfather of Soul that opens in theaters everywhere in three weeks) because they say that the star Chadwick Boseman doesn't look much like the singer, I say that's crazy because he's a great actor and he sure sounds and moves just like him - as evidenced in the above trailer. Also based on this trailer, as well as on the other clips I've seen of this movie on the life of one of the greatest artists of all time, my bet is that this film, directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, is going to be off the hook. Besides incredible music (it sounds like they used all of Brown's original recordings and not reworkings as is often the case in music biopics), Get On Up has a killer cast and drama - lots of drama - from James Brown's real life. It starts with him as a five-year-old boy ("just a street kid from Augusta, Georgia") with a tough childhood and follows him through all of his ups and downs, including incarceration where he organized and led the prison gospel choir, three marriages, and meeting his estranged mother years later after he had found major success.
Ahhh summer in the city. Nothing quite captures the magic and possibilities of a late summer night in vibrant Downtown LA like a rooftop concert -- especially when said concert features performances from De Lux, YACHT and Peanut Butter Wolf. You'll also get to experience art installations from Friends with You and Animal Charm, music by dublab DJs, experimental video games curated by Messhof, and cocktails provided by the Roosevelt Hotel's Spare Room. And it wouldn't be a party without food trucks from Heirloom LA, Guerilla Tacos, Urban Oven and Salt & Straw.
Tickets to Summer on 7th are $65 advance / $75 at the door and all proceeds support free access to arts education. The event kicks off at 7pm at 720 Kohler Street, on the corner of 7th and Kohler.
The Sam Vincent Foundation -- named in honor of Sam Vincent, a talented chef and musician who tragically passed in 2011 -- holds their 3rd Annual Punk Rock Benefit show on July 26th at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. Join Amoeba and the SVF for an evening of live music with from Hank Wood & The Hammerheads (Brooklyn), Blazing Eye (Brooklyn), Lecherous Gaze (Oakland), Reckless (Oakland), Stay Scared (Oakland), Catastrophe (Ventura), and Dirt Flood (Colorado).
In addition to the full line-up of punk's finest, there will also be a raffle for amazing prizes. Admission at the door is just $10 and proceeds benefit the Sam Vincent Foundation, which carries on Sam's passion by working with at-risk youth in the culinary arts.
Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm. 21+
Eli’s Mile High Club
3629 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland
Summer is officially well underway here in New York City with proof being that there are simply too many things going on simultaneously to possibly attend them all - a good thing because every day there is a myriad of fun events (mostly free, and mostly outdoors) to chose from ranging from music concerts of all genres, to films in fun locations, to dance productions, and art shows, etc. These include the must-attend annual summer tradition of the Tools of War grassroots hip-hop produced Park Jams which take place in parks in the Bronx and Manhattan over the three main summer months on either Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon/early evenings. Since it's now July that means that the Park Jams, with the focus on the DJs, are happening at Crotona Park up in the Boogie Down Bronx - bringing the phenomenon, that gave birth to hip-hop four decades ago, back full circle.
Last week, up until the summer thunderstorm kicked in the last quarter of the four-hour event, those entertaining included 1980's DMC champ DJ Cheese, "forever" host Grandmaster Caz, and legendary hip-hop DJ Jazzy Jay who is pictured top care of Ignacio Soltero. (Soltero also took photo above from one of last month's Spanish Harlem Tools of War Park Jams at White Park). Tomorrow (Thursday July 10) at the Crotona Park, Bronx location at the same time (4pm-8pm) the lineup will include DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and DJ Looie Loo. For full listings see flyer below or click here.
Photos via Capitol Records
Ever the iconoclast, Beck’s last “album” was something called Song Reader, which consisted only of sheet music written by the musician. Though it has been performed publicly since its 2012 release, there’s never been a proper physical release until now.
The album, called Warby Parker Presents Beck Song Reader (the glasses maker is producing the album and will release Beck-created, limited-edition “black cherry” Carmichael eyeglass at the same time, according to Rollingstone), will have tracks written by Beck and performed by Jack White, Jack Black, Jeff Tweedy, Jarvis Cocker, Norah Jones and Beck himself. It’s out July 29 on Capitol. You can preorder it now.
Warby Parker also will release a new version of the Song Reader book, with some new prints from artist Marcel Dzama. Warby Parker also put on the Song Reader show in L.A. last year. Lest you think they’re some BS corporate company getting their name on an ostensibly cool album, Warby Parker wil donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of the Beck glasses they sell as part of their "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" program. And they’re donating the proceeds of the album to nonprofit 826 National, which helps kids ages 6 to 18 with creative and expository writing. Co-founded by writer Dave Eggers, they're a great organization with eight locations around the United States, including right here with 826 LA; I highly suggest checking out all the cool things they do.
In the second Amoeblog dedicated to some of the curated crates that are currently on exhibit (through July 27th) at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) as part of the Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records we present selections from both the creates of Lori Katz (manager at Amoeba Music which is the primary sponsor of this must-attend exhibit) and 12 Man Rambo. The exhibit includes weekly Talk and Play sessions where folks from the local music community stop by and chat informally with museum goers and play samples of records. Joe Colley will speak this week in the Talk and Play session on the topic of "experiments in sound" on Saturday July 12th 1pm-230pm. Photos in this piece are by permission of OMCA and James Mak for Joysco Photos.
Meanwhile for her crate’s selection Lori Katz explained that, "I dug through the $1.00 bins at Amoeba Music. The records that I chose are examples of what I was listening to when I was beginning to become aware of music. My first memories of listening to music are when I went away to summer camp. This was in 1975-1977. My camp counselors introduced me to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and so much great music of that time. Looking at these record covers brings back so many great memories."
Remember "Endless Summer Nights," "Right Here Waiting" and "Should've Known Better"? Whether cruising to the beach or hanging out at the mall, multi-platinum artist Richard Marx's ubiquitous hit singles were the unofficial soundtrack to the 1980s. Now imagine that smooth, silky voice through the filter of the EDM, trance, and Brazilian music currently on the singer/songwriter's playlist. Marx is back with a new album, Beautiful Goodbye, inspired not only by the dance of seduction, but by some seriously chilled-out dance grooves. But, in the famous words of LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback; Marx has been here for years, writing songs for everyone from Barbra Streisand to Keith Urban to Luther Vandross.
One of the few artists who has the distinction of having written a #1 single in four separate decades, the hardworking Marx took some time to sit down with our "What's In My Bag?" crew and share some of his biggest musical influences. This episode kicks off with Marx choosing a collection by beloved soul singer Donny Hathaway. Next up is his favorite album of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire's I Am. After sharing stories about the artists and albums that shaped his musical career, Marx introduces us to a newer artist, progressive house DJ Morgan Page, whose influence shows up on Beautiful Goodbye.
STS9, Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, Hieroglyphics, E-40, Mac Lethal and more are set to perform at the uniquely SoCal Chalice Festival July 12-13 in San Bernadino, CA. Sure, there's a killer musical lineup, but this is also a celebration of all things cannabis, so live glassblowing, plentiful food trucks and yes--edibles--will also be spotlighted.
This is the first year for the festival, which takes place at the National Orange Show (NOS) Event Center and is sponsored by Hitman Glass. Chalice California is a two-day event dedicated to the culture and people surrounding cannabis concentrate, complete with educational seminars, competitions, and a glassblower village--not to mention some of the biggest names in hip-hop and dance music. Doors open Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 11am.
You can pick up tickets at Amoeba Hollywood, where we've got individual day tickets ($40 for Saturday, $50 for Sunday), as well as a weekend pass ($70). Please note there is a $2 service fee per ticket. Or you can buy tickets online here.
The latest by London’s Proper Ornaments mines melodic gold out of tautly constructed little indie rock songs. Think of the dark corners of Velvet Underground songs or early Pavement given a little shoegaze shine, and you’re close. And if you think it's unfair to compare them to ’90s bands, they have a great krautrocker called “Stereolab.” But really, the band’s sly hooks stand on their own, especially on songs like the twangy “Now I Understand” and slinky British Invasion-inspired “Don’t You Want to Know (What You’re Going to Be).”
I have liked gorillas from an early age. I think I was eleven when I read Dian Fossey's Gorilla's in the Mist, shortly after finishing Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man; both works made me want to pursue ethology or primatology for many years afterward. My fascination with gorillas went further back -- past the Donkey Kong game which I was pretty good at (if hardly King of Kong material) at least back to toddlerdom, when I carried around a wallet which contained, if memory serves, a picture of a glow-in-the-dark Aurora model of King Kong.
MENAGERIES AND FANTASIES
Cinefamily’s Don’t Knock the Rock fest continues this week with the shoegaze documentary Beautiful Noise. Although this Thursday’s screening is sold out, the festival has added another screening Thursday July 17 at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $12 and you can get them here.
Beautiful Noise documents the devolopment of the shoegaze music scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s, featuring interviews with such luminaries of the genre as de facto shoegaze godfather Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), members of shoegaze progenitors Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and shoegazers like Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Catherine Wheel and The Boo Radleys (aka all of our favorite bands). Director Eric Green and producer Sarah Ogletree got the film funded through Kickstarter, raising $84,740 from 1,511 backers to pay for the licensing and distribution costs, according to Rollingstone. Watch the trailer below:
Join Amoeba Music and Book Passage in welcoming Grammy Award-winning rock legend, actor, and writer Rick Springfield to the Corte Madera Book Passage on Saturday, July 26th at 4pm. Mr. Springfield will be signing copies of Magnificent Vibration -- his smart, savvy, and rambunctious fiction debut -- and giving a live performance!
"Why are we here? What is love? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Does God send text messages?" These are the kinds of questions Horatio Cotton, aka Bobby Cotton, asks in Magnificent Vibration as he sets off on an uproarious adventure to find his purpose in life. After serendipitously stealing a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore, Bobby calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God—and that God likes to mess with him. Soon enough, Bobby finds an ideal companion for his journey—the breathtakingly sexy and exceedingly sharp Alice—and they set out to find some combination of spiritual and carnal salvation...and possibly save the planet.
Rick Springfield is also the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Late, Late Night, which Rolling Stone named one of the twenty-five greatest rock memoirs off all time.
More info on the signing HERE!
On Saturday, July 5, Comedian Shelagh Ratner rocked the 4th of July holiday edition of our Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood! The LA-based writer, performer, and voice actor who has been featured on Prank My Mom, Stand Up In Stilettos, and Stand Up And Deliver, brought the energy and the bids to an all-time high as she quipped her way through a hilarious hour to raise money for L.A. Love & Leashes! Shelagh was mixing and matching crazy items and collectibles, telling stories along the way, keeping the jokes flowing and the people laughing ---all while she moderated a heated bidding war on Arcade Fire tickets!
It was a good time on a busy holiday afternoon and she helped raise almost $2,000 dollars for rescue pups and cats! Located in the Westside Pavilion shopping center, L.A. Love & Leashes is the first “shelter shop” that is 100% dedicated to animals from Los Angeles’ six city animal shelters. Not only did the auction raise a lot of money, but one customer, Colleen, adopted a dog on the spot!
Highlights of this month's auction:
- Trader Joe's Gift Card + cool hello kitty lunchbox - $55.00
- Vintage Eagles Mobile - $30.00
- Coffee Bean gift cards + Amoeba mugs - $20.00
- Blinged out Bedazzled Tupac T-shirt - $25.00
- Lady Gaga singing toothbrush - $35.00 !!!
- Tickets to see Fucked Up at the El Rey - $25.00
- Ringo photograph tote and Ringo drumsticks (2 pair) - $25.00
- Tickets to see New Order at the Greek - $100.00
- Tickets to see Arcade Fire at The Forum - $130.00
- 24 – Season 1 DVD signed by Kiefer Sutherland!!! + Season 6 - $40.00
- Stevie Nicks poster - $25.00
- Love & Leashes goodie pack - $30.00
- Hip-hop Cartman + Mean Girls DVD + Madonna Mug - $15.00
- Amoeba Fan Pack with extra goodies - $15.00
- Tickets to see Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) at The Wiltern - $25.00
- Beatles collectibles - $65.00
- Led Zeppelin promo package - $35.00
- Tickets to Haim at the Wiltern - $40.00
- Wendy O. Williams doll + Wonder Woman poster - $30.00
All together the bids totaled $830.00. With the Amoeba match, it means $1,660.00 goes directly to LA Love & Leashes! Thank you so much to all the customers who came out to bid, and most especially to Shelagh Ratner for making it one of the best auctions we've had!
Pink Floyd will release a new album called The Endless River in October.
David Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson, spilled the beans on Twitter this holiday weekend, as Spin picked up, adding that Pink Floyd backup singer Durga McBroom-Hudson revealed via Facebook that the album will have all new tracks. Still no word yet on what those tracks will be (or tour dates), but still, NEW PINK FLOYD.
Happy July, everyone! It's a good time for a good ol' fashioned Sidewalk Sale.
Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale happens Saturday, July 12 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
- Classical Bargains
- And more!
Come on over July 12 to stock up on cheap movies, music, comic books and other goodies to take you through the summer. Plus, our friends from Hubert's will be here passing out free lemonade to thirsty customers!
Wunder Wunder – “Midnight Hours”
Aussie transplants in L.A. Wunder Wunder have unveiled a new song that further chills out their already easygoing sound. But, far from boring, it actually makes the band stand out more amongst the throngs of psych-pop bands in L.A., giving them a kind of airy, 10cc vibe yet picking up the beat when things are in danger of floating away. Perfect music for dangling your pinky in the pool while sipping on margarita. (Wishful thinking? Maybe, it’s hot and it’s the Fourth of July.) Their LP Everything Infinite is due July 15 on Dovecote. Check out my interview with Wunder Wunder here.
Pyramid Vritra – “Eleven12” video
Ladies of a certain age need love, too. That’s the premise behind the new video by Pyramid Vritra, which showcases the young L.A. rapper servicing older ladies in a seedy motel room. The psych-rap song comes from the Stones Throw LP Indra, which is in my opinion one of the great overlooked albums of the year so far, check it out!
G-Eazy "These Things Happen" (2014)
2) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)
3) Sapient Eaters vol. 2: Light Tiger (Sapient Kills)
4) Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy (Mello Music Group)
5) Sadistik "Ultraviolet" (Fake Four Inc)
This week's number one album at the East Bay Amoeba Music store is from Oakland raised rapper G-Eazy, who relentlessly paved the way to success via relentless uploading of tracks online plus tireless concerts and touring (including Warped Tour and opening for Lil Wayne, and Drake), with his third album/first major label release These Things Happen via SONY. Although he's been making music for many years G-Eazy's real break came 3 years ago with the release of his mixtape The Endless Summer that included a reworking of Dion's "Runaround Sue" that featured collaborations with Greg Banks, Erika Flowers, and Devon Baldwin and became a viral video sensation - paving the way for his current success or impending success. Devon Baldwin returns on this new album on the popular pre-album single/video released track "Let's Get Lost" (see video below). Elsewhere throughout his new major label debut, which is selling extremely well across the country, G-Eazy addresses his impeding major success on songs such as the title track, “Almost Famous,” and “Opportunity Cost.”
Here are some of our most anticipated albums of the summer. Preorder to get your hands on them as soon as they come out.
Out July 22
English synthpop artist La Roux (aka Elly Jackson) broke through in a huge way with her 2009 self-titled album and its accompanying club hits like “Bulletproof.” Trouble in Paradise comes five years later, after Jackson says she was unprepared for fame and lost her voice due to anxiety and producer/collaborator Ben Langmaid left due to artistic differences. Jackson says the new album will be warmer and sexier, inspired by the likes of Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club.
Hear the smooth, downtempo “Let Me Down Gently” below:
Death Grips have been one of the most important yet, to some, most frustrating bands to emerge during the 2010s.
The Sacramento band, made up of Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride), drummer Zach Hill and producer Andy Morin (aka Flatlander), made aggressive industrial noise-fueled hip-hop with often little regard for fan expectation, acquiring a wider audience, their record label, physical media, basically anything and everything that wasn’t a Death Grip. And this made them one of the most exciting bands around from a non-musical perspective because you never really could chart where they were going to go next. One minute, they’re releasing their most widely appealing (and perhaps best) album to date, The Money Store, playing at Coachella and getting signed to Epic in 2012.
The next minute, they release their major label debut early, for free, over the Internet, with a dick pic as the cover and publish emails from Epic telling them to remove the downloads immediately. Apparently Epic wouldn’t release the album until a year later, pissing the band off and prompting the early release of the music. It was a weird thing where the record label didn’t look bad—not wanting to release an album in the same year as the band had already released another hardly seems like major label bullying, given the resources they’d put into promotion—but the band’s utter disregard for “the way things are supposed to be” (not to mention their own monetary stake in their art) seemed punk at a time when the concept had lost most of its meaning. And fans won by getting the music as soon as it was finished (harkening back to a time when bands releasing multiple albums per year wasn’t such a big deal), and those wanting a physical release got it when Universal eventually released the album.
The author in Philadelphia (image courtesy Una Zipagan)
I recently visited Philadelphia for the first time as a stop on a sort of Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec, which I undertook following my sister's graduation from Princeton. To date, the only states that I haven't visited in the lower 48 are located along the East Coast... except for North Dakota. Even those East Coast states that I had previously visited are not states in which I've spent much time. I'd been to New Jersey just once, New York just once, and Miami a few times. I've also been informed by several Northeasterners that Miami does "not count." I respond with a quote from Posdnuous, “Characters have the tendency to con themselves/ To think the East Coast is only New York and Philadelph.”
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.
Tickets are limited, so please call first to make sure they are available: 323-245-6400.
JUST ADDED SHOWS:
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|
|Blonde Redhead||Fonda Theatre||11/12/2014||$25.00|
|Blue October||Fonda Theatre||12/06/2014||$32.50|
|Boy & Bear||Fonda Theatre||10/06/2014||$20.00|
|Broods (CANCELED)||El Rey||10/02/2014||$18.00|
|Aaron Carter||El Rey||12/13/2014||$20.00|
|Clean Bandit||El Rey||09/30/2014||$20.00|
|Com Truise||El Rey||10/04/2014||$22.00|
|Dark Star Orchestra||Fonda Theatre||09/26/2014||$30.00|
|De La Tierra||Fonda Theatre||08/31/2014||$35.00|
|Delta Spirit||El Rey||10/30/2014||$20.00|
|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|
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings make the kind of ebullient, impassioned soul music that often gets labeled as "retro"--when, in reality, "timeless" is a much more appropriate description. These days, Jones and co. are one of the most fruitful branches on the soul/funk family tree, churning out album after album of soon-to-be-classic grooves that branch out pleasantly from the genre's Aretha/Etta/Mavis roots. After a delayed release due to Jones' triumphant battle with pancreatic cancer, the group's latest album, Give the People What They Want, came out earlier this year and the irrepressible Ms. Jones and her Dap-Kings have been on the road ever since.
The band took some time from their busy schedule to sit down with the "What's In My Bag?" crew and talk music. Jones kicks the segment off with disco icon Sylvester's live album, Living Proof. Next, drummer Homer Steinweiss talks about Norman Greenbaum's psych/gospel hybrid album, Spirit in the Sky. "Everyone should have this record," says Neal Sugarman about his pick, Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic Two Steps from the Blues. As they pull out LP after LP, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' passion for music reveals itself in the depth and breadth of their picks. Check out the full episode below and get a crash course in the history of soul, funk, and disco.
Amoeba is proud to sponsor a free, upcoming Grand Performances show at California Plaza in Downtown L.A. We’ll be on hand with our Prize Wheel at both shows, so come down to spin ‘n’ win. The show starts at 8pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy free live music under the stars!
On July 18, we’ll be at Chop and Quench, featuring The Fela! Band Broadway cast, including Tony-nominee Sahr Ngaujah. The show is a live performance of legendary African musician Fela Kuti’s ’69 Los Angeles Sessions album in its entirety. The album was recorded in 1969 while Kuti was living in Hollywood, performing six nights a week at Citidel de Haiti on Sunset Boulevard. The performers have worked on the Fela! musical, a show based on the life of Kuti that features his music and lyrics.
See a performance from the Fela! musical below:
Check out more shows happening at Grand Performances on their site all summer long.
Sea Wolf is led by Alex Brown Church, first coming to prominence with 2007’s Leaves in the River album and its single, “You’re a Wolf.” Since then, Sea Wolf have released three more albums—White Water, White Bloom; Old World Romance; and this year’s Kickstarter-funded Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke, which is due for wide release this month.
As Red Bull’s shows aim to showcase underheard local talent, Sea Wolf will be joined by local electronic pop acts Rare Times and White Rainbow. L.A. duo Rare Times fuse loungey synthesizers and R&B and New Age touches on songs like “No One’s Looking Out.” White Rainbow is the project by L.A.-based Adam Forkner, who makes hard-hitting electro jams like “Be the Dancer, Be the Dreamer.”
Dolly Parton "Benny Hill Show Theme"
Fizzy, alt-rock distortion, cooing, girlish vocals and surf-pop melodies make up this duo’s incredibly likable debut record. With Frankie Rose (of solo, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts fame) on board, Drew Citron’s delicate songs get just the right amount of rhythmic punch and fuzzy bite. The songs range from sweet and easy (“Honey Do”) to kind of creepy and menacing (“Planet Birthday”) in a quiet girl in the back of the class kind of way. It’s not the most original thing you’ve ever heard—you can easily pick out the Pixies/Breeders references on songs like “Madora”—but that shouldn’t curb your enjoyment, as these two are far from the first to pull from that well. They’re even better on songs like “All the Things,” which build from that mold but stretch into strange ways, blending melodies and chords into the grays in between the bright color bands. And the production is pure ’80s college rock heaven, sounding like remastered C86 tracks or early Rough Trade songs that hadn’t seen the light of day before. So, you may know what you’re getting with Beverly, but in the capable hands of these two, that proves to be a very good thing.