Amoeblog

Discover Our Classical Music Section!

Posted by Amoebite, November 13, 2009 03:37pm | Post a Comment
There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.

I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

It’s these interactions that led me to create the following “conversion chart.” While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

al green

IF YOU LOVE:                                              THEN CHECK OUT:

Al Green…                    …chamber music of Claude Debussy

There is little that connects these two artists at first glance, but one thing they have in common is a very smooth, seductive sound. Rich, complex textures that evoke sunlight, nature, and love-making. When in need of a sonic massage, both will do wonders.

Halloween Madness at Amoeba Hollywood!!!

Posted by Amoebite, November 2, 2009 11:55am | Post a Comment
Folks dressed up all freaky... devil music on the sound system... zombies and skeletons dancing onstage... was it Halloween or just another normal day at Amoeba Hollywood? The distinction is not always crystal clear in the 90028. But if you peruse these photos, you will discover that yes, it was definitely the most haunted day of the year! A day when tombs open and spirits arise, and all manner of ghoulies and beasties come forth looking for out-of-print CDs and groovy dollar records and classic horror movies on Blu-Ray... the lurking madness of Halloween at Amoeba!


We kicked things off with a little Misfits on the stereo (endorsing the patronage of Glenn Danzig, loyal Amoeba shopper) and the costumed Amoebites began arriving in full-on freak regalia! Scott showed up to staff the hip-hop section in the grey beard and American flag headband of the typical Vietnam veteran acid burnout, and got to work upstocking the J. Dilla section while mumbling something about Charlie and the Da Nang Bridge. Edythe and Saffron were resplendent as an old-time groom and bride, Jamie rocked a fabulous handmade Indian squaw shabooz and Annie made the scene in slinky Panther Pink.  There was a sexy vestigial midget nerd (best description I can muster), a purple cosmic space witch, a putrefied but spirited zombie cheerleader, a fearsome Lucha Libre wrestler, and a va-voom Poison Ivy impersonator (the Cramps guitarette of course, not the Batman villain).  Things got really wild & crazy when Kris and Javi showed up as Weekend At Bernie's, in board shorts and Hawaiian shirts with a very authentic-looking Bernie corpse. Melody's outfit was typically mind-blowing, a black vinyl recreation of Klaus Nomi! Juan was regal in Roman toga and Chuck Taylors, Scott was futuristic in a baby-blue flannel onesie as a Twitter post. And Melissa was magical as an alluring marionette. Not one but two serial killers stalked the mezzanine, Travis as Leatherface and Matt as Dinky Doodles, the smiley slasher.  Joel further indulged his aeronautics obsession as the black box from the Air France plane crash, complete with French moustache and attitude. Did I miss anyone? I'm sure I did, but hopefully the pictures got 'em all.  My own disguise was a bit tricky to identify but it was meant to be Peter Gabriel's sci-fi look on the cover of Genesis Live, as the Watcher of the Skies. (Or perhaps Xenu, the god of Scientology, as someone suggested.) Lucas improved on the general idea when he put it on and went around muttering to the staff his dead-on impression of my voice, doubling the horror and really freaking some folks out!

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Farewell, Mr. Williams

Posted by Amoebite, October 15, 2009 01:26pm | Post a Comment
leslie williams

Our much adored customer and friend Mr. Williams passed away yesterday, October 14, 2009. Here, we, the staff of Amoeba, celebrate his life and our lasting bond with this special man.

Mr. Williams was the quintessential Amoeba presence. Not just a customer (although he was our favorite), but also a spirit-lifting, gift-giving friend.

Mr Williams loved music. He loved Soul Music, from classic to current, from Ray Charles and Etta James to Gerald Levert and Mary J. Blige. He would find out about the newest independent release by a Johnnie Taylor or a Blue Magic, and let us know that we needed to have them.

Mr. Williams was incredibly generous, known to buy popsicles and drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches for the entire staff on particularly warm days. He was also known to give copies of a CD or loan a DVD of classic Sly Stone or James Brown performances.

He always had a good word for you, always made you smile, made you feel like you were in the right business.

His first name was Leslie, and he will be missed.
leslie williams
 
--David James

"Mr. Williams" was in Amoeba the day we opened in Berkeley, in November 1990, and almost every day for 7 years, until we opened our San Francisco store, which, conveniently, happened to be RIGHT BEHIND his home!!! From that point on, his daily visits were mainly at that store, though he still somehow continued to visit us in Berkeley and continued to add to his already amazing collection of music... as our #1 BEST CUSTOMER, we invited him down to help us celebrate the opening of our new Hollywood store on November 17th, 2001. HE CUT THE RIBBON FOR US, as thousands of new customers poured in!! Quite an honor for him, but even more so for us....This beautiful man brought so much joy to our workplace; we are forever deeply grateful for his presence in our lives. Wherever you are now, Mr. Williams, please know that we will NEVER forget you, and will always be inspired by your love for music and your beautiful spirit.

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Gustavo Dudamel Wins Over Los Angeles In an Instant

Posted by Amoebite, October 6, 2009 10:47am | Post a Comment
gustavo dudamel

Gustavo! Gustavo! Gustavo!


It’s unlikely that anyone driving around LA lately hasn’t noticed the signs, billboards and banners welcoming famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel to the city. They’re pretty hard to miss. Although I was glad to see them, I did wonder to myself how many other people glancing at them knew who the gustavo dudamel los angeles philharmonichandsome young Venezuelan is, or, for that matter, even cared.

Being a somewhat optimistic classical music fan, and having refused to buy into the current myth (and despite what you’ve heard, it is a myth) that so-called “classical” music is at death’s door, and that the only people still interested in this art form are white-haired eighty-somethings driving motorized wheelchairs equipped with state-of-the-art oxygen tanks, I naturally have welcomed the coming of St. Gustavo with open arms. But I did believe that, despite the press blitz, most of Los Angeles would remain apathetic toward a man who represents (next to Lawrence Welk or Liberace, perhaps) the least hip genre of music imaginable. But now I think I might be wrong. And I’m oh so glad I am.

There hasn’t been a welcome of this nature for a classical musician in this city since, perhaps, the days of Stokowski or Leonard Bernstein. I certainly haven’t seen such a thing in my lifetime (I just turned forty-three). And you may be thinking that it’s all hype. Believe me, it ain’t.

First off, Dudamel, despite his youth (he’s only twenty-eight), is a great musician. He most certainly is not a creation of the press, and the accolades he has received have been well earned. He single-handedlygustavo dudamel turned the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (of which Dudamel is a native son) into a world class ensemble, with recordings of Mahler’s 5th Symphony and the Tchaikovsky 5th (both released on Deutsche Grammaphon) that are second to none. But beyond that is the energy that Dudamel exudes on the podium – it’s real, it’s palpable, you can taste it. Add to that the mixture his personal charm and magnanimous personality and you have the makings of the perfect ambassador for “classical” music.

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Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets Release Party

Posted by Amoebite, September 25, 2009 05:41pm | Post a Comment
We celebrated the release of Rhino's new box set Los Angeles Nuggets: Where the Action Is! with an in-store performance and signing at Amoeba Hollywood on September 22, 2009 featuring a number of the acts from the box set, including: Jackie DeShannon, Keith Allison, Danny Hutton, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Standells, and P.F. Sloan! Compilation co-producer Andrew Sandoval was also there, spinning garage, sunshine pop, and singer-songwriter gems from the box set.

PF Sloan


Prolific LA songwriter (and performer in his own right) P.F. Sloan delivers his box set inclusion "Halloween Mary"...Sloan had his biggest hits with "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers and "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire...his backing band included locals the Wondermints.




Wondermints Guitar








Wondermints guitarist wields his minty fresh axe.

Fantastic Baggys



P.F. Sloan (2nd left) penned hundreds of songs and performed in many guises...this album, put together with longtime associate Steve Barri (2nd right) is an amazing simulation of circa '64 Beach Boys...the song "Surfin' Craze" was featured in an episode of the Flintstones. 

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