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*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:

"...these go to eleven" - it's Nigel Tufnel Day!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 11, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment
It's official - today, November 11, 2011, or "eleven, eleven, eleven" if you're quoting Christopher Guest's Jeff Beck-inspired character from the cult, mock-rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, is Nigel Tufnel Day!
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Not too long ago a movement started via a very dedicated Tumblr page and a now nearly 22,000 member strong facebook page to declare 11/11/11 officially Nigel Tufnel Day. Well, we the people of Amoeba Music will not be waiting around for any authority with the proper jurisdiction to take the necessary actions to declare this day, November 11, 2001 officially Nigel Tufnel Day when we have every right to do so by the power invested in us by St. Hubbins - the patron saint of quality footwear, jazz blues/blues jazz enthusiasts and big-bottoms everywhere. Happy Nigel Tufnel Day already!

nigel tufnel day spinal tap guitarist holiday official poster art christopher guest

And so accordingly we honor a man who is not only a master of the saddest of all keys but Spinal Tap's six-string juggernaut and herald of heavy metal innovation with his custom amplifiers set to the eleventh volume setting instead of the standard ten, i.e "one louder", by tapping into a list of 11 memorable Nigel Tufnel quotes from This Is Spinal Tap. And while we've got you hooked into the spirit of the holiday, why not stop by one of our stores in person or online at Amoeba.com and pick up a copy of Tap's Smell The Glove (a.k.a. the This Is Spinal Tap soundtrack), or Break Like The Wind featuring hits like "Bitch School" and their singular, seasonal single "Christmas With The Devil", or perhaps Tap's latest release Back From the Dead - a CD/DVD combo packaged with a fold-out diorama featuring nineteen tracks, including essential Tappage Jazz Odesseys I-III.
Amoeba's Top 11 Nigel Tufnel quotes from This Is Spinal Tap

Remembering Cory Smoot

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 3, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment
Cory Smoot August 25, 1977 - November 3, 2011
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I sometimes have difficulty recalling birthday celebrations but I'll never forget my fourteenth as it was without a doubt the heaviest of them all. It was 1991 and basically still heads and preps all the way, socially speaking, and if you rolled with the heads yours was most likely a metalhead. That year my birthday party pretty much resembled any old home-spun celebration save for the fact that I obtained permission from my mother to invite my friends over to jam as loud. and for as long, as they liked. To this day I cannot fathom what my mothers thoughts could have been while she watched my friends and I bang our heads along to deft renditions of Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" and Megadeth's "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" wrought by the likes of a then thirteen year-old Cory Smoot and friends, the sheer multitude of amplifiers and other necessary equipment crammed into the tiny den guaranteeing almost certain instant deafness. I can say I have never ever experienced a bang-over as intense as the useless lolling-melon that hung from my sore neck and shoulders for days after that singular house party thrasher.

cory smoot metal guitarist gwar flattus maximus costume stage show

Though time has put quite the crook between the Cory I knew then and the Cory who was found dead this morning on GWAR's tourbus - a band he's been lending his sick licks, shreds and metalhead essence to for the last decade as lead guitarist Flattus Maximus - I feel an obligation to pay proper tribute to his memory. I do this not just because he was a homie from way back nor for the fact that he's managed to impart his humor and wizardry to our most notoriously messy hometown band but simply because Cory's technical prowess and musical influences heavily informed my tastes from an early age.

When the rising tide is rowdy and the Summer crowd is crowdy...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 22, 2011 09:45am | Post a Comment

little wings hotel utah show poster haunted ship captainhistoric venue sea nautical themed design
Come Fall! Come all to the Hotel Utah Saloon -- San Francisco's historic (circa 1908) "tall ship" themed venue where Marilyn Monroe used to await her beau Joe Dimaggio -- tonight and see local bard of beard and board Little Wings air some new songs along with Juanita and the Rabbit and the Lowrollers who'll be kicking it off at 9pm. The Utah being something of a fabled haunt, both in the literal and figurative sense, the eerie vibe of this dark and mysterious bar always frames nothing short of an ideal setting for Kyle Field's alter (altar?) gig-ego. Who knows if the last captain's face is still stuck in the mirror, but I'll be around to speak his name three times tonight and see if he appears. Stowaways: $6.
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Tim Cohen's Magic Trick album release party tonight!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, August 24, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment
tim cohen magic trick glad birth of love fresh & onlys frontman san francisco avant folk psych pop wizard rock folk yeah
Tonight tonight tonight! (((folkYEAH!))) presents the latest aural conjurings from local pop-psych wizard (popsyzard?) and Fresh & Onlys brainchild/frontman Tim Cohen's sleight of band side-project Magic Trick in celebration of their latest release The Glad Birth of Love (out on Empty Cellar) -- a record consisting of only four songs clocking in at nearly forty-five minutes that finds Cohen coloring outside the lines, expanding upon his improvisational troubadour habit by exploring a limitlessness of epic, long-form composition most gallantly, with more than a few influential favors bestowed from Joanna Newsom tucked beneath his armor.

That Cohen continues to maintain an excitement about his rambles comes as no surprise as his previous works, given his Two Sides, Onlys, Black Fiction, Feller Quentin, Smif Carniverous et al, are as different as pineapples and peaches but remain each enjoyable to the last. And this newly-born Glad Birth of Love is no exception, for it is most definitely Cohen's most ambitious release to date and features several heavy-hitter guest appearances like John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, Grace Cooper of The Sandwitches, Diego Gonzalez of The Dry Spells and Citay, plus many more. The limited-to-100-copies edition “comes in an elegant old-style tip-on jacket” with an 11″ x 22″ poster featuring what one dear friend of mine declared to be "some scary-ass artwork."

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