Amoeblog

Amoebapalooza SF done Decked them Halls at Cafe du Nord!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 8, 2011 10:42pm | Post a Comment
Right about now some of us here at Amoeba Music are probably experiencing disconcerting flash-backs of last Sunday nights' Amoebapalooza 2011 extravaganza - our annual variety show / collaborative fete wherein we Amoebites take all of our informed musical tastes and influences and toss them in in a blender with extra heaping helping of dysfunctional family sentiments and exhibitionist zeal often resulting in a veritable battle-of-the-bands whodunnit of epic proportions. For those who couldn't make it, and for those who can't remember exactly what happened, I'm here to commit all of my impressions and observations to the interwebs via personal recollection rendered threadbare by copious rum consumption. [photos by Kaitlin Layher]

Amoebapalooza liquid karma drone guru level experimental electronica julian maestas

First up, right on schedule, we had the elusive "powered by crystals" act Liquid Karma. Now, I know what you're probably thinking - "Liquid Karma? The all-natural plant growth stimulant?" No, silly! I'm talking about the signed-up-by-his-no-good-co-worker, one-man, guru-level experimental drone-core laptop wizard that opened Amoebapalooza 2011 - guess you had to be there, man. The only way he could've improved his performance is with the addition of a fog-machine. I really liked his senior shades.

amoebapalooza 2011 schnitzelklit

Following Liquid Karma's wall of WTF we had the good fortune to enjoy fifteen delicious minutes of SCHNITZELKLIT - a newlywed duo performing songs like "Blue Moon" and a heart-swelling rendition of David Lynch's and Angelo Badalamenti's Fire Walk With Me slow jam "Sycamore Trees," complete with an on-hand portable tape recorder playing the sax solo to lend a true Twin Peaks air to the affair. Lovely indeed!
amoebapalooza 2011 gabi beck

After that we had our very own self-styled "Jesus with a bun" Gabi Back strumming out a solid set of poignant acoustic covers what closed with an especially emotional rendition of Radiohead's "Lucky" proving that, within the span of just three brief acts, the spectrum of musical tastes and talents of our Amoeba brethren is as enthusiastic as it is expansive.

george harrison mask face amoebapalooza 2011 darkhorse tributeamoebapalooza 2011 dark horse tattoo george harrison tribute label design

The next act in the line up took their love of George Harrison to new heights as Darkhorse: the one man/three women tribute act that featured our resident Jazz-man/Metal dude/Kate Bush enthusiast (every record store should have one) on guitar, steaming up the inside of his GH mask as he shredded his through the acoustic set accompanied by a Kaitlin, our lady of the Darkhorse tattoo on drums and vocals, with further vocal accompanyment provided by Amoeba ladies both dear and fair of voice. Everyone of them in some way sporting a likeness of Mr. Harrison. I know that sounds like kooky fun, and it totally was, but there are unfortunately no pictures the act to make true said observation. [sigh] I hope the images above, them kooky masks and Kait's Darkhorse tat, make up for it even if it's just a little bit.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Disturbingly Cute Debut!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 28, 2011 12:12pm | Post a Comment
kyary pamyu pamyu moshi moshi harajuku debut mini album cover art yasutaka nakata capsule j-pop shibuya kei techno electronica
Harajuku superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut mini-album, Moshi Moshi Harajuku, was spotted recently among the new releases in the J-Pop section at Amoeba Music SF and, like a saccharine-laced shroom-hazed acid flashback citing the fallout that was my impression upon viewing her now-long gone viral music video for the single "PONPONPON", many intriguing questions about the psychedelic limits of Japan's popular Kawaisa and Decora cultural aspects immediately bubbled up. Chief among them: how much Pon could a Pon Way Way if a Pon Way could Way Pon?

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - "PONPONPON"


That, and where can I get that giant box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Has Pee-Wee Herman seen this? Some of the realizations spawned during the review: there really can never be too much pink and, something I had forgotten since, say...1997, Doc Marten's pair well with just about any ensemble. But I guess it took this Tokyo model and blogger fashionista turned J-pop wunder-gyaru to hip me to that fact, or re-hip me I guess, as the case may be. Seriously though, speaking of Kyary's fashion blog, this is the face that greets you when you arrive at her site:

Ain't no party like a Rammstein beach party!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 25, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment
rammstein mein land music video retro tiki surf surfboard beach party made in germany greatest hits retrospective single cd album record
Gearing up for the December 13th release of their greatest hits retrospective titled Made in Germany 1995-2011, Neue Deutsche Härte darlings Rammstein have channeled their inner Hasselhoff and outdone themselves again with the kooky, retro beach party themed video for "Mein Land" (directed by renowned videomeister Jonas Åkerlund - creator of Rammstein's most pornographic, er, controversial music video "Pussy" as well as the greasy, all-nude male revue that is the "Mann Gegen Mann" body slam and the award-winning "Ich tu dir Weh"). The single, with the exception of the b-side "Vergiss Uns Nicht," is the only previously unreleased song slated for inclusion among the collection of heavy hits celebrating the body of work of a band that has seen zero changes in their line-up since 1994 and continues to flaunt an outlandish style what combines boundary-pushing tomfoolery with impressive pyrotechnic stage antics much to the delight of their fan-base though said accolades often cause a rift among critics who more often than not seem perfectly pleased to acquiesce to confoundation and mild annoyance. But then everybody loves a beach party, ja? It's difficult to imagine anyone laughing at Rammstein more than they are laughing themselves, spray-tanned tits out and all. Check it below:

Get it Girls! The Sandwitches: New Single, New Videos, New Tour!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 16, 2011 05:20pm | Post a Comment
the sandwitches band san francisco hardly art grace cooper heidi roxy esta noche in the garden video strip club drag bar dive
Ever saunter past that dive-y drag joint on 16th between Mission and Valencia and find yourself wondering just what is up, er, goes down all night and all day at Esta Noche? Devotees of local darlings the Sandwitches caught a peek of the ladies' very own savory stage show à la Noche in their new Ryan Brown directed video for "In the Garden" -- the lead off track for this year's stellar full-length LP Mrs. Jones' Cookies (brought to you by the fine folks at Empty Cellar Records) -- featuring more than a few fab familiar faces of Amoeba Music SF. Work it out, ladies, werrrrrrrk!



This vid release comes hot-off-the-heels of another stellar Sandy jam: the girls' new two-song 7" single "The Pearl" (out on Hardly Art) dropped last week, a video for the b-side "Benny's Memory Palace" also having just been released, and with Grace and Heidi embarking on a Sandwitches European tour it would seem that our little hometown trio is poised for some long-overdue appreciation and recognition. From here on out let there be no mention of their beginnings as back-up singers (even if it is, tsk, one of the better aspects of them Fresh & Onlys). Come get the single (it's naught but $4.98), enjoy the vids (try not to over-ogle) and, if you can, get off your duff support the Sandwitches' local color-stories as they paint the Old World gold this November. Sophia McInerney's video for "Benny's Memory Palace" follows below:

*NEW* in J-Pop this week: Tokyo Jihen's Great Discovery!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 14, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank heavens! J-pop superstar Shiina Ringo's slinky jazz-rock unit Tokyo Jihen (or Tokyo Incidents if you prefer your English full-on, 100%) are back with Dai-Hakken/Great Discovery -  their fifth television-themed record to date (i.e. Education, Adult, Variety, Sports, and now Discovery [Channel] television)!
tokyo jihen daihakken great discovery shiina ringo jazz rock band j-pop japanese rock tokyo incidents
I have to say, it's comforting to see a well-established artist who has grappled with fumbles and triumphs alike throughout their career still making the sort of music and displaying their particular taste for showmanship with grace and aplomb. Shiina Ringo is a little bit like Prince in my mind, even if it's purely for the fact that her successful side project, Tokyo Jihen, is not only peopled by her hand-selected collection of uber-talented, male musicians but also once released a record packaged with it's very own original cologne for men. I mean, the recent music video for Dai-Hakken b-side --「ハンサム過ぎて」("Too Handsome") wherein Ringo "directs" her band of fellows to put on their most comely date-night behavior -- kinda says it all. Ringo is a dom-ballerina and all the world, well all of Japan and many locals otherwise anyway, are her stage.



(Like you've never licked your TV screen) Pretty! But I digress, this post is about the new full-length record, not the new-new single. To my delight this record is a great deal more satisfying at first listen than the last two Incidents' incidents but I'm sure the end payoff will be the same in that it stands alone as a great album in as much as it further gilds the worth of the greater part of Ringo's works, with or without her Incidents. It's always been all about her, you know, as the video for 「女は誰でも」(or "Any Girl" -- Ringo's own twisted English translation of said title being "Fly Me to Heaven" which I feel is really more indicative of the flutterings and spasms "any girl" might feel playing dress-up in an extensively sequined vintage  wardrobe as Ringo does waltzing through this self-indulgent vignette of a musical interlude) suggests, check it out:

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