Amoeblog

Watch King Tuff Perform from 'Black Moon Spell' at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, December 18, 2014 06:52pm | Post a Comment

king Tuff at Amoeba Hollywood

Back with his follow-up to 2012's self-titled debut for Sub Pop, Black Moon Spell finds King Tuff amping up the fuzz and cranking up the volume. Kyle Thomas has a knack for crafting catchy gems reminiscent of '70s power pop, but gone are the days of the lo-fi, low budget aesthetic that seem to permeate early recordings. This is not a bad thing! Black Moon Spell falls somewhere between the fat, dirty, guitar crunch of T. Rex and the tongue-in-cheek power pop assault of Cheap Trick. What we get are riff heavy songs with superb melodies that would satisfy Beatles fans, coupled with stellar production thanks to producer Bobby Harlow's magic touch. Go pick it up asap!

Kyle Thomas and the rest of King Tuff cast their Black Moon Spell from the Amoeba Hollywood stage by way of a massive Marshall stack, hook laden riffs, and a thunderously beating heart of rock and roll. Check out the video below of the band performing the title track live at Amoeba. You can watch more from this performance on Amoeba.com.

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The Sacramento / European Hip-Hop Connection: JR & PH7 X Chuuwee

Posted by Billyjam, December 18, 2014 11:51am | Post a Comment

JR & PH7 X Chuuwee - ''Meanwhile Off Mack''(2014)

Call it a Euro-Sacto mix. The brand new video release above of the hip-hop track "Meanwhile Off Mack," that was published yesterday with a full album to follow in the new year and a single track free download available now, showcases the combined talents of Sacremento's Chuuwee with the studio skills of the two European producers JR & PH7 - who hail from Germany and Denmark respectively.

In comparison to the Euro beatsmith duo who've been putting it down for a few years now and whose track record includes working with such other US emcess as Sean Price, Ras Kass, Skyzoo, and Saigon, the South Sacramento rapper Chuuwee (whose voice/flow reminds me a bit of Mac Mall's) is a relative newcomer to the hip-hop world but odds are that will all change with the forthcoming full-length release of this Euro-Sacto collaboration to be entitled The South Sac Mack and to be released by Below System Records. It's scheduled to arrive in Amoeba in early 2015. Watch this space for more details at that time.

Best Electronic Albums of 2014 Handpicked by Matt, Jordan & Oliver

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 18, 2014 09:05am | Post a Comment

Best Electronic Albums of 2014

Moodymann - Moodymann (Mahogani Music)

Moodymann is a sprawling, psychic journey through KDJ's Detroit State of Mind with the protagonist revealing more about his setting and personality than ever. Like good writing, the length of Moody's tracks (or sentences) fluctuate wildly. The constant sing-speak narrative from KDJ and divergence of styles and tempos makes the record feel like a trip down the dial of a liminal radio. Moody gets an assist from Andres on future classic "Lyk U Used 2," a track that has Kenny ably playing a slightly woozy frontman over upbeat modern soul. The radio effect is amplified by likely and unlikely samples. Jeremy Greenspan appears first on "Have You Ever Been Lonely." Elsewhere, Lana Del Rey and Carl Craig's epic remix of "Delia and Gavin" is used to bear out the album's distinct, schizoid voice. Moody's serpentine 2011 hit "Freeki MF" acts as a recurring riddim before appearing in unadulterated form. KDJ's female counterparts match his idiosyncracies ("Watching U") and he even dabbles in Dennis Coffey-informed guitar psychedelia on "Sloppy Cosmic." The album, as a whole, is a lovesick ode to an unfairly maligned city, seen through the dark glasses of experience.

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Amoeblog Interview With True Skool's Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2014 11:13pm | Post a Comment
Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist has long been part and parcel of the fabric that makes up the Bay Area's vibrant hip-hop scene - even though he's not originally from California. An East Coast transplant, with a stop en route to Cali in Colorado, Ren is not only a skilled DJ with two decades of turntable experience coupled with a deep diverse knowledge of music, but he is also a revered club/concert promoter whose True Skool parties are legendary. Additionally, via his online magazine / newsletter True Skool website and its affiliated social network links - notably Twitter and Facebook, he provides a unique and invaluable source of information on Bay Area hip-hop and nightlife happenings as well as general hip-hop news and cultural/political updates - all of which demonstrate how well connected and passionate the man born Renoir Salgado is about hip-hop culture and the Bay Area at large. In addition to his own productions Ren is also in big demand at other folks' events too such opening for Wu-Tang Clan at Ruby Skye in San Francisco (photo above) in 2007, or over the summer at the Amoeba Music sponsored Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) at where he was among the carefully chosen curators and also a guest lecturer. Then last month at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' (YBCA) cool retro hip-hop event Clas/sick Hip-Hop: 1993 Edition he was an integral part of the two-day event when, among other things, he curated/DJ'ed the official CD mix of event - an excellent mix of hip-hop music from the year of '93. This week I caught up with the always busy Ren to ask him about True Skool - its history, ongoing projects, and future plans. 


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The 25 Best Albums By California Artists Released in 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 17, 2014 03:50pm | Post a Comment

best california albums blog

From L.A. and S.F.’s garage rock scenes to Compton’s blossoming rap artists, California artists represented well in 2014. Here are 25 of our favorites from the year, in alphabetical order.

Allah-LasWorship the Sun

allah-las worship the sun lpOn Worship the Sun, L.A.’s Allah-Las get some dirt on their boots by scuzzing up their sunny surf-garage sound with some rattling guitar solos, stonery grooves (“Buffalo Nickel”) and head-spinning psych-rock tunes (“501-405”).

 

 

Cherry Glazerr Haxel Princess

cherry glazerr haxel princess lpCherry Glazerr had the debut record of the year for Burger Records, moving unstoppably on the strength of its garage riffs and singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy’s teenage caterwaul.

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Exodus shocker -- the latest Hollywood Bible cartoon isn't very realistic

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 17, 2014 09:06am | Post a Comment

The other day I found out that some people are outraged by the casting in a Hollywood film -- in this case Ridley Scott's latest effort, Exodus: Days of Future Past (or whatever its full title is). They're apparently so upset that they're boycotting it, which is something I do with all but one or two Hollywood films every year although I refer to it simply as not paying to see it.

The problem that the boycotters have, it seems, is that Exodus is almost completely historically inaccurate (It's safe to guess that most of the Egyptian and Jewish characters are most portrayed by Anglo-Saxons and presumably speak Modern (if pretentious) English with a modern British accent, or approximation of one. Without having watched a trailer I'd guess that there aren't a lot of apparently Middle Eastern Africans portraying Middle Eastern Africans and the actual actors of African descent are used entirely for background color and supporting roles). 

Apparently these scandalized and offended won't-be viewers have never seen a Hollywood film before... or assumed that they'd somehow completely change their raison d'etre. Even at Hollywood's artistic peak in the 1930s, racial sensitivity and historical accuracy were not exactly hallmarks of Hollywood films -- making loads of money was, and that's what they did and they did it well. At one point Hollywood made loads of money with elaborately choreographed, brilliantly scored, escapist musicals. Nowadays Hollywood makes loads of money with loud CGI superhero cartoons. Sometimes -- rarely -- art slips through the cracks. Much more often big, dumb-looking movies like Exodus get released that look rather like the big, dumb movies that Hollywood was mostly pumped out for the last 90 years.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Belgian Superstar Stromae

Posted by Amoebite, December 16, 2014 05:43pm | Post a Comment

Stromae

With influences ranging from rap to '90s Eurodance to Jacques Brel, genre-bending artist Stromae is a rising global star. Born Paul Van Haver to a Flemish mother and a Rwandan architect father who was killed in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, Stromae grew up in Brussels with his four siblings. After struggling throughout Stromae Racine Carreehis school career, he began rapping under the stage name Opsmaestro in 2000 before reversing the syllables in the word "maestro" and changing his moniker to Stromae. In 2009, he was working as a trainee at a Belgian radio station when he gave his single "Alors on danse" to the music manager who played the track on air. A year later, Stromae burst onto the international scene with his debut album, Cheese. His 2013 release, Racine Carree, has gone platinum eight times in Belgium and has stayed strong at the #1 spot in album charts across Europe. With beats that get feet tapping, lyrics that tackle topics like AIDS and absent fathers, and a modern global aesthetic, Stromae is not the typical pop star. This fall, he collaborated with Lorde, Haim, Q-Tip and Pusha-T on a track for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I soundtrack.

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Top Ten Essential Hip-Hop Albums of 2014

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2014 11:13am | Post a Comment

10 Essential Hip Hop Albums of 2014

1) DJ Qbert Extraterrestria + GalaXXXian (Galactic Butt Hair Records)


Although only released digitally in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter campaign (vinyl to arrive at Amoeba in 2015), this instrumental album (Extraresstria) and its rap/emcee counterpart album (GalaXXXian) rate as my top pick(s) for the best hip-hop released in 2014. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking so; Extraterrestia is up for a possible Grammy award. The stated goal of DJ Qbert's new album, which the artist considers as a Wave Twisters Part II, is to present the sound of skratch music in the future as he sees it, or - as he said upon the release of the new project - "the time capsule response and interstellar transmission to any galactic civilization, alien or far-future human." The "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables" ably accomplishes both solo as producer/DJ as well as with such album collaborators as Kool Keith, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Dana Leong, and Chad Hugo, who (along with Tipsy) co-produce the album's best track - the soothing, dreamy, ethereal "Ascender (Agartha)."

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New Avi Buffalo Video

Posted by Amoebite, December 15, 2014 06:14pm | Post a Comment

Avi Buffalo at Amoeba Hollywood

Long Beach-based rocker Avi Zahner-Isenberg and his band Avi Buffalo performed a few songs from their Avi Buffalo At Best Cuckoldsophomore album, At Best Cuckold (Sub Pop), recently at Amoeba Hollywood. The new album finds Avi Buffalo building on the sound and aesthetic they crafted on 2010's self-titled debut. The first record found the young 19-year old Zahner-Isenberg and his cohorts writing songs filled with age appropriate context while showing signs of a true songwriter. Four years later and Avi Buffalo have grown up, just a little. At Best Cuckhold digs deeper into their West Coast brand of indie rock and you can hear the experience of a well oiled band seeping through the speakers. The songs are well structured and the production quality is great. You get the sense that Avi Buffalo are acting like responsible adults and then Zhaner-Isenberg reminds you not to take it too seriously with songs like, "Can't Be Too Responsible." 

In support of At Best Cuckold, Avi Buffalo played to an excited audience at Amoeba Hollywood. Watch the teaser below and check out more from this performance on Amoeba.com.

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14 Indie Rock Records That Would Make a Great Gift

Posted by Billy Gil, December 15, 2014 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Gift Ideas Indie Rock

There have been tons of records released under the nebulous indie rock genre this year that find new things to say within the confines of rock 'n' roll (The War on Drugs), or throw out the rules while still remaining pleasing to listen to (Ariel Pink). Here are 14 widely appealing records from this year that would make a great gift for just about any indie rock fan. 

the war on drugs





 

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs’ dreamy country-rock music evokes slow motion, even as its songs move at a sprightly pace. The driving rhythm behind "Under the Pressure" is caked in heavily reverbed guitars and washes of synthesizer, even as real-life guitar solos and Adam Granduciel's vocals come through more clearly than ever before. Similarly "Red Eyes" is like some lost '80s collaboration between The Highwaymen and The Cure, effusing brilliant colors with its bright synths and yelping vocals, but the most stunning moment comes in the minute or so in the middle of the songs when a third of the sound is stripped away, leaving a gorgeous, introspective bridge before Granduciel's yelp brings everything crashing back, while the rhythm stays insistent as always. Lost in the Dream invites repeat listens—atmospheric pieces like "The Haunting Idle" keep things spacious, yet the band comes back for the Bruce Springsteen-vibing "Burning" in the albums latter half. As its title would suggest, it's an album to get lost in. It feels like seeing the entire open road ahead of you, coasting yet seemingly to move in place while the sun sets and middle-of-nowhere stations play Bruce and Tom Petty in the background.

Music History Monday: December 15

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 15, 2014 10:46am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: December 15, 1967The Who Sell Out, the third studio album by The Who, is released. Produced by Kit Lambert, it is recorded at Talentmasters Studios in New York City; IBC Studios, Pye Studios, De Lane Lea Studios, CBS Studios, and Kingsway Studios in London; and Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles from May - November of 1967. The band's third release is a concept album that includes songs interspersed with fake commercials and public service announcements, mimicking the British pirate radio station Radio London. The band will actually be sued by a number of companies whose real products are parodied on the album. It will spin off the classic "I Can See For Miles" (#10 UK, #9 US Pop). Original pressings of the album include a short instrumental cut in the runout groove. The first 1,000 copies of the original stereo and first 500 mono copies of the UK LP will come packaged with a psychedelic poster of a butterfly painted by artist Adrian George. The art had originally been intended for the album's cover, but is rejected. The rarity of these initial pressings have sold in recent years for more than $1,000 each or more on the collector's market. The album is reissued on CD in 1995 with ten additional bonus tracks including outtakes not included in the original release. It is reissued again in 2009 as a two CD Deluxe Edition featuring the original mono and stereo versions of the album, with 28 bonus tracks.The Who Sell Out will peak at number 13 on the UK album chart and number f48 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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The Bay Bridged 2014 Fundraiser

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 14, 2014 07:58pm | Post a Comment

The Bay Bridged - the San Francisco-based non-profit that brings you both the Phono del Sol Music & Food Festival and The Bay Brewed: A Rock & Roll Beer Festival, plus an award-winning music blog and podcast series - is holding an online fundraiser through the end of December. All donations go towards helping them produce those amazing music festivals and enables them to continue to produce their quality stories and podcasts.

Every donation of $10 or more gets you a digital download of The Bay Bridged 2014 Holiday Compilation featuring songs from Everyone is Dirty, Cocktails, bAd bAd, Joseph Childress, Al Lover, Laura Weinbach (of Foxtails Brigade), and more. Donors of $50 or more will receive a number of additional benefits including discounted and free tickets to 2015 events and a chance to win some great raffle prizes such as an Amoeba gift certificate!

Donate today and continue to support local music!

Amoeba SF's Best In-Store Shows of 2014

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 14, 2014 05:28pm | Post a Comment

By Brent James, Amoeba SF Event Coordinator

When I took over the position of Event Coordinator for the San Francisco Amoeba store, of course I was more than thrilled to be able to work alongside many artists in the music business that i've admired for so many years. I was ecstatic to help promote and produce the amazing live shows that have become synonymous with Amoeba Music. Most of all, however, I was excited to discover new artists and acts. Things that otherwise might pass me by in the normal course of a day! The following list is compiled of the performances this year that most stood out to me. Sure, I was aware of a few of them, but for the most part I walked away from these shows with a fresh perspective of what they're trying to say and as a new fan. I'm already looking forward to writing this list next year...Cheers!


5. STRAND OF OAKS, Saturday August 30, 2014
At this very early-in-the-tour performance, SOA performed songs from their album Heal. The crowd watched with admiration as Tim Showalter and company preached with songs that were reminiscent of early Bob Seger or even Springsteen. Perfect show for a beautiful Saturday!

Strand of Oaks

4. THE DRUMS, Friday October 4, 2014
One of those days where we suddenly have a crowd of 400 screaming teenagers pogo dancing to their electronic idols! They knew all the words, they had all the records. Solid touring band, but the kids were there to see Jonny and Jacob and were NOT disappointed! The Drums worked the crowd into a frenzy and left them wanting more. Check out their newest LP, Encyclopedia.

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Slim Pickin's: the Best of the Amoeba SF Vinyl Clearance Section

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 14, 2014 02:30pm | Post a Comment

There's a new monthly DJ event happening in San Francisco and Amoeba SF is proud to be involved. DJ Johnnie WalkerThis is no ordinary DJ party. The brainchild of longtime San Francisco resident and DJ Johnnie Walker, Slim Pickin's is a celebration of Amoeba SF's Vinyl Clearance section! Viva la dollar vinyl!

Each month, two DJ's spin nothing but vinyl selections found in the vast Amoeba Vinyl Clearance section at the historic Murio's Trophy Room (1811 Haight Street), just two doors down from Amoeba, from 3pm to 8pm. Sounds easy and fun, right? Well, here's where it gets interesting: the DJ's have just an HOUR before the party to pick their aural offerings. Basically knowledge, intuition, and sense of humor will dictate the vibe and flow of that day's event. At the end of the day, each DJ will receive special prizes.

Slim Pickin's is set to happen on the third Sunday of the month, but please note that December's installment is TODAY (12/14). RSVP on the Facebook invite.

The event is free and 21 & up. Stop by to be considered for a chance on the wheels of steel!?