Amoeblog

Local SF Bands Unite for Blaze Foley Record Release and Tribute Show!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 25, 2012 04:49pm | Post a Comment
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Blaze Foley's songs have been celebrated and covered by so many notable Country and Western heavy hitters like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, John Prine and Lyle Lovett that one could hardly say the man's work has gone unsung. However, despite his music being some of the best, most hauntingly honest and soul-stirring country yarns ever spun, his true voice and vision have long gone unheard and under-appreciated by mainstream Country audiences. This Thursday night at Amnesia will certainly prove to be something of a comeuppance fest for fans of Foley's works in the form of an album release and tribute show featuring a fresh & hot line-up of local San Francisco artists curated by Secret Seven Records. This is going to be the kind of show that feels balanced on choice cosmic alignment and I have a feeling that several impeccable answers to that silly old "what becomes a a legend most?" question will be provided as the night progresses.

For more info on Blaze Foley check out the Secret Seven record release profile here, read about his biography Living In The Woods In A Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley by Sybil Rosen here and check out info on the documentary film, Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah, here. There is also a special episode of the Astral Maps podcast dedicated to the works of Blaze Foley, featuring a guest appearance by Greg Gardener - the man behind the curtains at Secret Seven records, here. Incidentally, if you ever just want to talk it out concerning your esteem for lost country greats, all things Blaze and/or outlaw country in general be sure to seek out Astral Maps podcasters Andrew K. and Sterling the next time you visit Amoeba Music in San Francisco, feel free to let 'em know I sent ya!

Here is the trailer for Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah. Do come out and spread love for local musicians as they celebrate the life and work of Blaze Foley - it's going to be a phenomenal show!

Blaze Foley documentary trailer

Deep Desert Dial-A-Song: Music From Saharan Cellphones

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 15, 2012 04:24pm | Post a Comment
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Music From Saharan Cellphones is not only the first record I have ever bought comprising of music culled from cellular phones but it's also the first to feature a tracklist what includes bitrate info in the notes.
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But that's not the only info packed into the incredibly informative insert, oh no. Included within are detailed explanations pertaining to each individual song along with notes on the instrumentation for each respective track and insightful remarks as to the personal relevance of these oft swapped compositions from both the collectors' and the musicians' points of view. Also, if you feared plunking down your hard earned cash for another mysterious, untold vinyl oddment be aware that the "behind the music" info-throwdown continues on the back of the tracklist wherein the demystification of this record begins and the essentialness of it's inception becomes fully realized and, in a sense, re-mystified. In short: Christopher Kirkley begot his sahelsounds label to capture an amazing collection of contemporary West African jammage that is nothing if not a true adventure in hi-fi for the 21st century. And apparently there's more to come.
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The songs that comprise Music From Saharan Cellphones were mp3s culled from memory cards of cellphones in West Africa where trading songs via wireless transfer was common before the word "smartphone" became an everyday term stateside. All of the songs presented on the LP are the spoils of an armchair musicologist, the aforementioned Kirkley. who based his immersion out of the Nothern Malian town of Kidal. While there Kirkley began gathering whole collections of MP3s and later got it together to track down the artists to collaborate on a commercial release (via Mississippi records) with sixty percent of the proceeds going directly to the artists themselves - I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult a task that was. The variance in musical style is curiously wild with traditional instruments mixing-it-up with the likes of Groovebox, Autotune,a myriad of synths and the seemingly compulsory presence of Taureg guitar with influences reminiscent of everything from Jil Jilala to Tupac Shakur, Algerian Rai to Mauritanian Jagwa.

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Winter Is Coming...This Spring!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 10, 2012 03:52pm | Post a Comment
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As you may already know, "the cold winds are rising" - much like my expectations when it comes to the adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series from sequential novels to the HBO-helmed Game of Thrones teleplay. Within a few months I find myself irrevocably hooked on the books, having thus far ruined every plot twist and intriguing turn through the season three finale (A Storm of Swords might just be the very best book in the series) and after having recently seen the first episode of season one, I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel a kinship with those people out there in the great wide nerdiverse that identify as gamers, though the alignment of said familiarity be chaotic neutral at best.

That said, I cannot waaaiiit for the proper DVD release of Game of Thrones season one; I just wanna hold it. That first episode was such satisfying viewing, even given my foreknowledge of what's to come, that I'm saving all my geeky esteem for the March 6 release date so I can dig leisurely into said boxed set, desperately laden with extra features and all. And if details like the three horn blasts that punctuate the season two teaser below don't make everyone of your hairs stand on end, shivering with dreadfully sweet anticipation, then consider your craven gamer ass on notice!

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Found: a cache of 150 "Lost" Thin Lizzy tapes containing up to 700 songs!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 3, 2012 06:21pm | Post a Comment
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Tremendous news for Thin Lizzy addicts announced today! According to the Belfast Telegraph a cache of up to 700 Thin Lizzy songs found among 'a treasure trove of tapes stashed away by Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott' have been slated for release later this year as a box set via Universal Music.

Apparently, shortly before the Dublin rocker's death in 1986, the then 36 year old Lynott gave a heap of 150 tapes to a third party for safe keeping - here's hoping the good folks at Universal treat the twenty-six year old find kind.

"This is an absolutely stunning find," Steve Hammonds, project manager behind the new Thin Lizzy box set, told the Irish Independent.

"In every group there's a member who lovingly collects their recordings and in Thin Lizzy that was Phil Lynott, because Lizzy was his baby and his band."

"There are out-takes, unheard versions of Thin Lizzy hits and, most exciting of all, material which was recorded but never released at the time," said Mr Hammonds.

The scheduled June release won't be the first collection in the last few years to feature archive work by the band as it follows on last year's Live At The BBC release, not to mention all those long-awaited deluxe remastered editions of Lizzy's back catalog. [and while we're on the subject, powers that be, howsabout getting around to taking the TBD out of the promised 2CD/DVD edish of Live and Dangerous equation already]

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Ten reasons why last year didn't suck: another Best Music of 2011 list

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 1, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
2011, what can I say? A great year for music if not for anything else. So without further ado, I'm pleased to present my very own "Best of 2011" list, because listing is fun (unless, of course, you're on a ship in danger of capsizing). Let's sail on shall we, beginning with the top of the best, old Mr. Natural himself:

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Little Wings

Black Grass
Rad

This apple made a monumental leap from the tree in that it was many years in the making. It seemed that Kyle Field, the man behind the Little Wings mystique, had gone on hiatus only to return on his own terms with this juicy bramble of soft melodies, surf-salted served with a side of Lil Wayne-influenced folk-rock jammage. Field spins wooly yarns that sound like a conversation gone unspoken in the moment regaining shape in memory, voiced to oneself longingly. It's introspective almost to a fault, but the overall sound and vibe offers enough volume and warming to light even the darkest reaches of your keep and stay the ghosts of Black Grass' pasts at bay. Without a doubt the best new record and best instore performance of the year.

Little Wings - "Black Grass"


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The Sandwitches
Mrs. Jones Cookies
Empty Cellar

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