Amoeblog

Joel Jerome Chats With the Amoeblog Before His Performance Nov. 18 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2014 03:45pm | Post a Comment

joel jeromeJoel Jerome has been one of the best songwriters in L.A. for years under a number of guises—with his bands, dios, dios (malos) and Babies on Acid. Recently, he’s been going under his own name, under which he’s released the Beck covers album When Beck Was Cool and now a collection of his own songs called Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk. It’s perhaps the most direct and honed release he’s put out yet, consisting of songs new and old that have been whittled down to pop perfection in his home studio in Echo Park. I caught up with him a bit before his Amoeba Hollywood performance Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Instead of teasing you with some “quirky” factoid about our interview, why don’t you just take two minutes and read it??

What made you change the name under which you record, from dios/dios malos to Babies on Acid and finally Joel Jerome?

Joel: I finally decided to have everything I do under one umbrella, one name, since I write, arrange, produce and record all my music. I decided to just have it under my name so I could have the freedom of having different players for different shows. I’m the one busting my ass for this, so I may as well take full responsibility and have it all go under my name.

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New Vinyl and CD Releases At Amoeba Hollywood 11/14 - Jacques Renault, Nicuri, Bookworms and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 14, 2014 02:47pm | Post a Comment

VA - Tokyo Impressions

Various Artists

Tokyo Impressions 12"

Junk Yard Connections

So the story goes like this -- Mr. Tophat was shopping at Tokyo's vaunted vinyl output Diskunion and sees a fellow shopper carrying his record. He strikes up a conversation and eventually receives these excellent tracks, excellent house from an island that's still mysterious to many. The real highlight here is Butagoya an ace Detroit beatdown style roller with an odd jazz break in the middle. The final track, Kauboihatto by Okita Takamori is a cool martial post-punk bit.

Buy Tokyo Impressions 12"

 

Jacques Renault - Out Of Sync EPJacques Renault

Out of Sync 12"

Let's Play House

The New York producer and DJ comes out swinging on this one, with the help of analog guru Andy Meecham (Emperor Machine)I Like It is a warm yet alarmist house track, with a big fat analog bassline and detuned piano break. "Make Up's" got a totally convincing italo-arpeggio, which Renault bones out as the track does on -- equally pretty and functional. "M.A.N.'s" more in a '90s, Nu Groove style way, Burrell style catchy deepness.

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Top 10 Domino Releases

Posted by Amoebite, November 14, 2014 01:31pm | Post a Comment

Domino Records

For over twenty years, Domino Recording Co. has been one of the most celebrated and creative forces in the world of independent music. Founded in 1993, the London-based label started off by licensing works from acts signed to American record companies for release in the UK. Since that time, they've opened an office in Brooklyn and established the divisions Domino Deutschland and Domino France. Their stable of artists includes some of the most inventive, beloved and influential acts in music today, and we're delighted to welcome Domino to our family of digital labels available on Amoeba.com! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of Domino's best releases from the past decade and a half, listed below in no particular order.

Arctic Monkeys AM

Arctic Monkeys - AM (2013) 

One of the biggest recent records here at the store, AM sees the band collaborating with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on what he calls a "really cool, sexy, after-midnight record." This means Queens-style spooky grooving, melodic, laconic, druggy guitar solos, tired-drunk-guy crooning with falsetto doubling, and a shuffling, mid-tempo disco snark turned sneer in a nicer jacket a la someone like Jarvis Cocker's work with Pulp.

Black Friday Deals at Amoeba

Posted by Amoebite, November 14, 2014 11:19am | Post a Comment

Black Friday at Amoeba

Let's talk turkey about Black Friday. Lots of retailers are going to have sales, but Amoeba is throwing a weekend-long celebration of deals, steals, and exclusive releases at each of our stores.

First off, November 28th is Record Store Day Black Friday and that means that you can shop nearly 140 Record Store Day exclusive releases at our stores. Faith No More, Miles Davis, Grateful Dead, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, MORRISSEY CURATES THE RAMONES...so many exciting, limited edition titles. Download the list (.PDF) of this year's Record Store Day Black Friday releases available only at indie record stores. (Also check out Billy Gil's blog Ten Record Store Day Releases to Look For On Black Friday.)

We've also packed Friday full of crazy deals for you and yours because it's the perfect time to start shopping for the holidays (and yourself). Check out these festive offers...

FRIDAY ONLY:

  • 25% off gift certificates (up to $100) 2-4pm only. Redeemable starting 12/1.
  • Buy 3 Green Tag Blu-rays for just $12
  • 25% off headphones, posters, and used books
  • Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable on sale for just $119.98! 
  • Crosley turntable on sale for $119.98 (Amoeba Hollywood only)

Please note: Amoeba Hollywood's trade counter will open late at 2pm on Black Friday.

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Patti And The Pope

Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

Singer/poet and friend of Amoeba Patti Smith, seen in Reuters photo above being greeted by Pope Francis in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, will be among the specially selected artists invited by the pope himself to perform at the Vatican Christmas concert in mid December in front of bishops and cardinals.

Since this news was reported by the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera many, including myself, have had a similar reaction (say wha?) with that one Patti Smith song lyrics instantly popping into our collective heads: the one from the famous Horses album track "Gloria" that goes
"Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." Whether at the Christmas Vatican concert, scheduled for December 13th and to be broadcast live, Patti Smith will perform that song or not remains to be seen. Meanwhile below is a 1979 live performance from Germany of the song.



Weekly Roundup: Deerhoof, Silk Rhodes, Medicine, Meatbodies

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2014 08:51am | Post a Comment

Deerhoof – “Exit Only” video

deerhoofTake Shelter’s Michael Shannon stars in a new video as two guys losing their shit while listening to Deerhoof’s ferocious “Exit Only,” from their great new album La Isla Bonita, which is out now. To be fair, Deerhoof’s music does kind of make you feel like you’re losing it—in the best way.

 

Silk Rhodes – “Realtime”

silk rhodesThe second track (after "Pains") that we’ve heard from Silk Rhodes upcoming self-titled debut, out Dec. 2 on Stones Throw, is a delicious slice of minimalist, pyschedelic neo-soul. The L.A. duo are subtle, yet they immediately get under your skin.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Logic, DJ Quik, Blu, YG, Diabolic

Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2014 05:04am | Post a Comment
Top Five Hip-Hop Chart for Week Ending 11:14:14


1) DJ Quik The Midnight Life (Mad Science)

2) Logic  Under Pressure (Def Jam) also avail as LP

3) Diabolic Fightin' Words (WarHorse Records) - also avail as LP

4) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal) also avail as LP

The above top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store reflects the top sellers of the past week which are not always necessarily new releases. Case in point are both YG's My Krazy Life from March of this year, and (to a degree) the Blu album Good To Be Home featuring production by Bombay and not by Exile this time - with whom their previously released collaborative Below The Heavens LP continues to sell well. The Blu chart entry originally came out six months ago via the indie Nature Sounds (who along with Fat Beats issued the LP version of the full-length) but has now been re-released by Universal. Have not heard the Universal version but hopefully the major label remastered the original which most agree was "shitty" sounding - and I quote countless fans of the artist himself as stating this. And the super gifted LA emcee has lots of fans - especially in his hometown where he always gets a lot of love.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With VEEP's Timothy Simons

Posted by Amoebite, November 13, 2014 02:04pm | Post a Comment

Tim Simmons

Timothy Simons is an actor best known for his role as Jonah Ryan on HBO's Veep. Ryan is a self-proclaimed "go to guy" as the White House liaison to the Vice President's office. Much to the annoyance VEEPof the Veep staff, character Ryan takes great pride working for the President and not the Vice-President. Ironically, the President cannot stand Ryan, which makes for great comedy. 

Timothy Simons studied theater at the University of Maine and developed his chops with the Chicago-based theatre group, Hypocrites. In 2008, he and his wife relocated to Los Angeles and just two years later, Simons made his television debut on Veep

Simons recently hosted a charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood and saved some time to do a little shopping and film an episode of What’s In My Bag?. He has a bunch of great picks, including several films, as you might expect from an actor who takes his work seriously. Simons starts off with a copy of Puplhead, a collection of essays written by John Jeremiah Sullivan. He makes a point to talk about Blow Out, the 1981 thriller by director Brian De Palma and starring John Travolta as a sound effects technician. Simons also finds the classic Charlie Chaplin film, Modern Times, and picks up a little country music with Doc Watson’s Definitive Collection and John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves.

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Brian Coleman's Bay Area Book Tour In Support of "Check The Technique Volume 2"

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2014 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Respected longtime music journalist/hip-hop fanatic Brian Coleman will be in the Bay Area this week to promote his brand new book Check the Technique Volume 2 (Wax Facts) that picks up where the 2007 published first volume and its 2005 predecessor left off with "more liner notes for hip-hop junkies" as the engaging, information packed 526 page new book accurately promises on its cover.

Spanning 25 chapters with over 80 interviews and tons of accompanying images Coleman has meticulously presented the back story of 25 albums and 325 hip-hop songs (some eighties but mostly nineties) with the artists, producers, plus some label execs associated with them weighing in on these recordings. The end result is a page turner packed with  insights and answers to questions you might have had, or had not thought you wondered about until reading this enlightening book.

The chapters include The Coup Steal This Album, Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop, Dr. Octagon Dr. Octagonecologyst, Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted & Kill At Will, Masta Ace Incorporated SlaughtaHouse, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo Wanted: Dead Or Alive, ED O.G & Da Bulldogs Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto, Jeru The Damaja The Sun Rises In The East, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, and KMD Black Bastards. Meanwhile the accompanying artist interviews include ones with such hip-hop acts as DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ice Cube, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Mantronix, MF Doom, and Company Flow.

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AFI spinoff group XTRMST

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2014 08:23am | Post a Comment


The Blue Man Group gone red, gone bad, and acting like characters from The Warriors is what I first thought upon seeing the brand new music video (above) from traditionally structured, new hardcore punk band XTRMST. The song "Conformist" is a lead single by the self-described "straight edge hardcore" (with some electronic instrumentation thrown in) group formed by veterans Davey Havok and Jade Puget  of NorCal's legendary long running "goth punk" group AFI. The song is a taste of what's to come on the AFI spinoff supergroup's self-titled debut that will be released (oddly enough) by electronic dance producer/artist/label owner Steve Aoki through his Dim Mak record label. Look for the 14 track album at Amoeba Music when it will arrive in stores next week on November 17th.

Celebrate The Byrds' Gene Clark With Nov. 16 Performance Featuring Members of the Byrds, Beachwood Sparks and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 12, 2014 04:23pm | Post a Comment

gene clark show

November 17 would have been the 70th birthday of Gene Clark, founding member of legendary rock band The Byrds. Clark’s son, Kai Clark, has organized an intimate concert at Hotel Cafe this Sunday, Nov. 16, to celebrate the life of his father, featuring Kai Clark, Jangle Brothers (with John York, who played bass for The Byrds), Gospelbeach (featuring members of Beachwood Sparks), Carla Olson with The Psychedelic Cowboys, Bob Woodruff and more.

The show takes place from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and tickets are $20. You can pick up advance tickets here.

gene clark two sides to every story lpThe event also coincides with the re-release of Gene Clark’s long out-of-print 1977 solo album, Two Sides To Every Story. It’s out on CD now and comes with a color, 26-page booklet with photographs by Ed Caraeff from the album cover photo session and liner notes by John Einarson, author of Gene Clark biography, Mr. Tambourine Man. In addition, the CD comes with a download card with more than 90 minutes of exclusive bonus tracks, including a 1975 full-band performance. An earlier LP reissue of the album is also available.

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Queenz of L.A. Event at Downtown Artwalk Benefits Homeless Women

Posted by Amoebite, November 11, 2014 01:06pm | Post a Comment

Looking for something fun to do during the Downtown Artwalk this Thursday? Stop by QUEENZ of LA, a benefit event for homeless women at Evaporate LA.

The 18+ event starts at 7 p.m. and includes art, DJs spinning breakbeat and house music, drinks, a vape lounge and bar, a photobooth and more. Proceeds go to Downtown Women's Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing permanent housing for homeless women. Donators will receive gifts from Amoeba, OG Hip Hop Chocolates, Beat Swap Meet and Acrylick.

Evaporate LA is located at 120 E 5th Street in Downtown L.A.

queenz of la event

 

Album Picks: Cult of Youth, Royksopp, Cool Ghouls, Dream Police, Dirty Beaches

Posted by Billy Gil, November 11, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Cult Of Youth - Final Days (LP, CD, Download)

cult of youth final days lpCult of Youth’s self-described “post-industrial Pet Sounds” begins with the instrumental “Todestrieb,” its eerie synths and tribal drums setting a foreboding tone for the album. “Dragon Rouge’s” acoustic strums and Sean Ragon’s intoning vocals give the track the feel of a classic Church song or stripped-down Sisters of Mercy track, while additional touches like cello and orchestral percussion pump up the grandiosity. Elsewhere, the band plugs in and goes full-tilt, with B-52’s riffs and post-punk rhythms on “Empty Faction” and goth-jangle on “Gods Garden.” Ragon’s voice is used terrifically throughout, judiciously given echo to resonate or often without effect to let his throaty post-industrial growl run free without trampling over the gorgeousness of these tracks. He’s at his best screaming through the nocturnal desert scene set by “Down the Moon” or kicking up dust on the rollicking “No Regression.” Like Iceage’s recent Plowing Into the Field of Love, Cult of Youth’s Final Days successfully marries Americana to post-punk rooted in traditions of hardcore and industrial music. It’s an unholy union, and it’s awesome. Check out "Empty Faction" via Stereogum.

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The Sugarhill Gang's Big Bank Hank Has Left The Building

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2014 08:45am | Post a Comment
Sugarhill Gang "Rapper's Delight" (1979)


Famous for such rap rhymes as "Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn. Say if your girl starts acting up, then you take her friend" and "I'm here and I'm there, I'm Big Bank Hank, I'm everywhere" rapper/member of the pioneering popular rap act The Sugarhill Gang Big Bank Hank - born Henry Jackson of the Sugarhill Gang (along with Wonder Mike and Master Gee) died earlier today according to reports from such industry insiders as Lee"DJ Flash" Johnson. "He had stage four cancer," reported DJ Flash of the 57 year old New York City born pioneering rapper whose hit 1979 single "Rapper's Delight" directly influenced him and and so many others back in the day.  DJ Flash, who began his rap career in the early 80's on the West Coast,  told the Amoeblog this morning that, "Big Bank inspired a generation. Every true hip hop fan can remember where they were they were the first time they heard Rappers Delight. His passing will be felt around the world!" In honor of the rapper, responsible for introducing so many around the world (outside NYC) to rap/hip-hop for the first time, below are the lyrics from his first verse in the late seventies Sugar Hill Records hit single  (corresponding video above - abbreviated version) that was reportedly recorded in one take. [Note that however famous those lyrics were they were in fact ghost written by Grandmaster Caz - as outlined in this 2013 Amoeblog interview with the Cold Crush member who said he never got credit for them.]

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Rest In Rubble, 5Pointz

Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2014 05:50pm | Post a Comment

As we approach the one year anniversary of the controversial whitewashing of 5Pointz -  the once vibrant outdoors aerosol art mecca in Long Island City, Queens - I thought it time for an update on what's going on in the site that was a free public outdoor art gallery for two full decades. It was on November 19, 2013, when most of the colorful aerosol pieces by world famous street artists were whitewashed over after being officially condemned to make way for high rise luxury condos. It was yet another casualty in the expanding gentrification of New York City's five boroughs. 

Following frequent visits to 5Pointz over the past three months since the demolition of the square block area at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street began, I can confirm that the December 31st projected completion date of the demolition process should be right on schedule. Once that's done, then the construction of two 47 to 50-story luxury apartment buildings will begin. After these two high rise buildings (which will house 1,000 apartments) are completed, the owner of the property promises to allocate a good deal of wall space for aerosol artists to return to the site and continue doing their work. However, most artists have vowed to never return to contribute their art. Of course, what actually happens when these new buildings are fully completed - likely sometime in 2016 - remains to be seen. Even though the fight to save 5Pointz in its original status is long lost, artists and activists have been closely monitoring the new developments. Hence when news surfaced that the owner of the property was going to name the new luxury apartment towers "5Pointz" and have the name trademarked, these artist/activists loudly protested saying that the developers were merely trying to capitalize off the work and reputation the artists who had voluntarily shared their art at their own expense over the past 20 years by using the name that Meres One had given the space after taking it over from when it was Phun Factory.
 

As a longtime fan of 5Pointz, it was a place I would frequently visit to enjoy the new art, take pictures, and run into folks I know like longtime NY/NJ aerosol artist DEMEROCK (originally of the Wallnuts crew). At 5Pointz, especially on the weekends, there always seemed to be something going on from hip-hop video shoots to photo shoots taking place (one time I saw a bride and groom in formal wear get their wedding pics taken with graf as backdrop). Even if I didn't walk by, I'd make a point of taking the 7 train as its elevated tracks offered the perfect view of 5Pointz and its multitude of colorful pieces. Naturally then when I stopped by earlier today to witness the increasing piles of rubble and the few remaining buildings with nary a few pieces of art left, it was a sad thing to witness. The one part with some art that still remains (pictured at top above) includes the aerosol-sprayed lettering in large-scale font "END OF AN ERA" that adorns the top part of building and pretty much sums it up. While longtime supporters of the old 5Pointz vow that they'll have nothing to do with the new apartment towers, it is the end of that era and a new (albeit more sanitized) era will take its place where artists will again be welcome to share their art on designated wall space. It is my guess that most artists will be happy to share their work there. Meantime though, I spill a lil on the curb for the old 5Pointz, which now rests in rubble. Below are a few "BEFORE" photos from 2013 and 2012 that correspond with the "AFTER" as in now shots above.
 
 
5 POINTZ BEFORE shot from 2012

Music History Monday: November 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 10, 2014 10:59am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 10, 1975Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits, the ninth Chicago IXalbum by Chicago, is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at CBS Studios in New York City, Columbia Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from January 1969 - December 1973. The first greatest hits package for the band, the 11-song compilation will feature tracks from Chicago's first seven albums. Though it will exclude any selections from their third and fourth albums, due to Chicago III not yielding a major hit single and their sprawling 4-LP live set recorded at Carnegie Hall also not having any singles released from it. It will also not contain any tracks from Chicago VIII, which had only been released eight months before. Since XI is issued only as a single LP, it will include the edited versions of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (original pressings feature the promo radio edit, later replaced by the commercial 45 edit when reissued on CD), "Make Me Smile," and "Beginnings" (faded earlier to run only 6:28, with the full 7:51version restored on the CD release) to meet the time constraints of vinyl. The album's cover artwork features a photo of the band members on a painting scaffold, making it one of the few Chicago albums to actually feature the band on the front cover. Original vinyl pressings will feature custom label artwork and inner sleeve, with later repressings using the standard red Columbia label and generic inner sleeves. CBS will also release the album in quadraphonic stereo. Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits will spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Celebrate Our Birthday With an Amoeba T-shirt and Get 10% Off This Weekend

Posted by Amoebite, November 10, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment

Wear your Amoeba Shirt and get 10 percent off

Amoeba is turning 24 this year. And to celebrate, we’ve got a great deal for you!

Wear your Amoeba T-shirt to the store during our birthday weekend (Saturday, Nov.15 through Monday, Nov. 17) and get 10% off your purchase. (It’s limited to one discount per day and can’t be combined with other coupons or offers.)

If you don’t have an Amoeba T-shirt yet, pick one up in our stores in a myriad of colors, or order on Amoeba.com.

amoeba berkeley

This weekend doesn’t just celebrate the birth of the original Amoeba store in Berkeley, which was opened Nov. 17, 1990, on Telegraph Avenue. In 1997, on Nov. 15, the Amoeba mitosis happened—the cell split and we were TWO, as Amoeba opened an even bigger store where the old Rock & Bowl was on Haight Street in San Francisco. Then, on Nov. 17, 2001, the Amoebas gave birth to a WHOPPING GRANDBABY with Amoeba Music Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. With hundreds of thousands of titles in a two-story building over an entire city block, it’s not only our biggest store but the biggest independent music store in the world! Find out even more about our stores and take video tours of each store here.

So come help us celebrate the birth of all three of our stores this weekend. It’s our party and we’ll give you 10% off if we want to.

One album wonders: The Open Mind's The Open Mind

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 10, 2014 01:00am | Post a Comment
THE OPEN MIND - THE OPEN MIND (1969)

Around 1963, Putney-based musicians Mike "Mike Bran" Brancaccio (guitar), Phil Fox (drums), Timothy du Feu (vocals), and Ray Nye (bass) formed The Apaches, who recorded a demo with none other than Joe Meek. Nye left the band and du Feu moved to bass after they acquired a new singer, Terry Martin (real name Terry Schindler). They changed their name to The Drag Set in 1965.

The Drag Set

Two years later the band were writing their own material and released their first and only single as The Drag Set, “Day and Night” b/w “Get Out of My Way” in early 1967 on Go. Go was a short-lived label which released mostly mod and soul music by the likes of The Barney Sisters, Carl Douglas And The Big Stampede, Neil Spence, Our Plastic Dream, Phil Brady And The Ranch Set, The Roll Movement, Samantha Juste, Scots Of St. James, and Sugar Simone.


The Drag Set realized that there might be some unintended connotations to their name and in 1968 changed it to the suitably psychedelic The Open Mind, on the suggestion of De Feu

The Open Mind

The following May they released their first single with their new name, “Horses And Chariots” b/w “Before My Time.” In July the band released a collection of mod-tinged, leather pants heavy psych which proved to be their only LP, titled The Open Mind and released by Philips

The Open Mind

In August of 1969, The Open Mind released a non-album single, “Magic Potion” b/w “Cast a Spell," produced by Fritz Fryer, guitarist of The Four Pennies. "Magic Potion" proved to be The Open Mind's final release, although they soldiered on until 1973, at which point Phil Fox quit. 


After that, De Feu and Schindler were joined by Stephen Florence and a new drummer and became Armada (not to be confused with Rod Torfulson's Armada Featuring Herman Menderchuck), who broke up after releasing no music.