Amoeblog

Replay: Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving (on Thanksgiving...)

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 26, 2009 06:30am | Post a Comment
pie thanksgiving morning peaches iron skillet pies
 
Happy
Thanksgiving everyone! It's early (just after six am) and I'm baking apple-cranberry-pecan pie while Thanksgiving's self-titled collection of home recordings emanates quietly from the little boom-box on the kitchen table. Good thing they thought to include a CD inside the oh-so-pretty triple gatefold packaging that houses the gorge three LP set on red, white and blue vinyl that is Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving; for this I give thanks. I can't imagine managing three records and a turntable while trimming pie crust and chopping nuts --- I can't go for that, no, no can do. Still, I count myself grateful for having made an impulse purchase of this gem of an album a few years back, for it has become precious to me. 
thanksgiving self-titled triple lp marriage records phil elverum
I remember picking up my copy at Amoeba San Francisco on something of a whim and a whiff: obviously tangibly beautiful, it was in my hands and pricey but not too much so. The promise of lovely colored wax teased me into buying, along with the notion that I fancied the thing smelling of Elverum, for I was enjoying an all things Phil Elverum boom at the time (it's never really gone away, it ebbs and flows...). I would be a fool to pass it up, or so I thought. Though this crazed logic that plays the feeble minds of those swayed to swooning for pretty records and limited pressings once again held me rapt, I brook no regrets regarding this purchase because the songs are as excellent as the artwork they come packaged with. For this, again, I give thanks.

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Armonico Hewa says what? ask OOIOO...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 18, 2009 11:34pm | Post a Comment
 ooioo new album armonico hewa on thrill jockey yoshimi p-we

It must be good being Yoshimi P-We. It seems to me that she's had a pretty great year, what with her Boredoms gig at All Tomorrow's Parties in New York, her ambitious sounding project aboard a Russian ferry, soundtracking this past summer's solar eclipse off the southernyoshimi p-we ooioo boredoms free kitten live japanese underground experimental rock band girl group coast of Japan, two releases on the side: Bar-Cozmik (as Yoshimio) and Tingaruda (as OLAibi), not to mention the big fat recent new release from my favorite branch of the Yoshimi tree -- the all-girl, always exciting OOIOO. Amidst all this artistic activity, Yoshimi also gave birth to her second child this year. No wonder Wayne Coyne named a record after her

When OOIOO released Taiga a few years back I fancied that listening to it was a lot like journeying into an hour long, aural tour de la nature -- a sonogram for one of those excellent macrocosmic David Attenborough documentaries where frozen, aurora-enshrouded forests of the North exist minutes from warmer climes where glacier-fueled rivers rush chuckling over rock and mud towards temperate seas. What stellar programming like Planet Earth does for your eyes in the comfort of your home, extraordinary sounds like that of OOIOO do for your ears within the infinite expanse of your mind. This may come across as cheesy (only the easiest cheese, please), but it reminds me of something Obi-Wan Kenobi explained to Luke as he struggled to find his bearings with the Force: "your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them...stretch out with your feelings." Listening to OOIOO, for me, is like star wars twin sunset two suns on tatooine luke skywalker episode four a new hopeletting the Force flow through you, no blast shield required.

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Tricked Out and Fully Treated: Rocktober is over but the Halloween high remains...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 6, 2009 01:31am | Post a Comment
dennis miller dana carvey saturday night live snl weekend update late night tv

When I was in fifth grade staying up late enough to catch Dave Letterman's Top Ten was a personal goal of mine every weeknight (on Saturday nights it was staying up late enough to make it through Saturday Night Live in its entirety, but I always conked out right about the time Dennis Miller wrapped up his Weekend Update). I like to think that I became a lover of lists and listing things because of that after-hours fixation of mine, but who cares? The fact is that I do love a list and this year's Halloween happenings were so fabulously choice that I've got to work it out herein, Late Night Top Ten style:
graveyard gravestones san francisco state university education budget cut protest dios de los muertos
10: Students of San Francisco State University protesting budget cuts on Monday by turning the quad into a graveyard for courses felled by a lack of state education funds. The many headstones featured names of "dead" classes and mourners honored them dutifully in Dios de los Muertos style with candles, flowers and gorgeous little treats. A very clever and seasonally satisfying display of discontent!

9: Rammstein's timely release of their new album Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. Now, I count myself as an accidental Rammstein fan (and there's a good lengthy yarn I could spin about the who, what and why-fors about it), but a fan I am nonetheless ---especially as their machismo-soaked yet obviously Depeche Mode influenced electro-opera-industrial rock always seems to find a place on my annual Halloween mixtape! Not to mention that these German rockers consistently crank out quality music videos that remind us that there once was a time when the medium was viewed as an elevated art-form. Their video for the 1995 single Du Riechst So Gut is perhaps their most romantic (despite the fact that the imagery delves into bestiality, transvestitism and baroque dance routines) and very Halloween appropriate (despite the fact that nearly all their videos could be specified as "Halloween appropriate"). Oh Rammstein, why must thy art be so misunderstood? Maybe it's a European thing...

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Duran Duran Sandwich, or why I love "What's in My Bag?"

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 21, 2009 06:29pm | Post a Comment
john taylor hat poster duran duran amoeba intrview 
You never know who you'll run into at Amoeba. For example, I've seen all kinds of people from my childhood in Virginia, old co-workers, classmates, circus performers, models, ballers, family members and even witnessed one wedding proposal. Within the last five years I've caught sight of, personally helped, or conversed pleasantly with many a celebrity customer and I have to say it always brings me a quiet thrill. No matter how many times I've been surprised by the variety of people I've bumped into while working at Amoeba, nothing prepared me for the reality of being held in the arms of a man that at one time was nothing to me but a glossy poster on my pre-teen bedroom wall. It's just the sort of situation that I never thought I'd find myself in, but there I was in between Simon Le Bon and John Taylor, flashing my best "cherry ice cream smile" in a momentary Duran Duran sandwich. 

The only thing better than experiencing the nostalgic high that my brief, friendly encounter with John and Simon provided is the on- the-spot "What's in My Bag?" interview they both consented to. Part of what makes rubbing elbows with all walks of life at Amoeba so special is that, generally speaking, everyone who comes to the store treads a common ground built from a mass appreciation of the arts. Meeting all kinds of folks is one thing, but being in a position to peruse and discuss music, cinema, and the enjoyment of both with virtually anyone you run into at Amoeba is something of a special indulgence of mine. I like to look at the ever-expanding array of "What's in My Bag?" interviews featured on the Amoeba website as an open window for world to experience the kind of social satisfaction we, the often misjudged record store employees, encounter day after day. Please check out this excellent vignette:

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The Boys Are Back In Town: it's Fleet Week again and the Blue Angels are settin' it off!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 10, 2009 01:34am | Post a Comment
 Blue Angels fleet week san francisco 2009 demonstration flight team navy officers

I cannot explain exactly why I get such a rush when I hear them Blue Angels roaring overhead, but
it's definitely something of a peeking at the bounty-beneath "The Tree" on Christmas morning kind of exhilarating tingling --- so full of promise and excitement! Ahh, to be thrust again into that "danger zone" Loggins croons so passionately about, and on my doorstep to boot. This weekend, what with its parade of military might (hardly), its bevy of boisterous sailors (verily) and high-flying boys in blue pulling all the G's they please (yes, please!), is definitely one of the most fun weekends us San Francisco residents can boast of. Plus, it's an excuse to put together a mix of songs you'll only listen to for all of five days or so (again, like Christmas). From Saxon's cover of Christopher Cross's "Ride Like the Wind" to something a little more random like MARRS's "Pump Up The Volume," the sky's the limit when it comes to compiling this year's Fleet Week festive "Need For Speed" mixtape. Check it out:



However, I know that the four days of the Angels stay will be fraught with voices groaning complaints about "the noise," peppered with prolonged soapbox-top denunciations of their "unnecessary" showmanship, waste of resources, etc. And to that I say, place the blame on them fraternal Buckeye bicycle repairmen who, once upon a North Carolina coastline with sense keen enough to follow their curious ideas through countless scientific experimentation and innovation, set the wings soaring on those royal blue F-18 Hornets that ruffled your feathers this afternoon. Blame science. I agree that maybe it's just plain not right for man to travel at the speed of sound, but it sure is amazing to see what 700 miles per hour looks like, even if it sounds like hell's seams ripping. But I feel that we humans, animals that we are, will forever push the limits of our existance to satisfy our needs. As for me, I fantasize that the Blue Angels need the devotion of captivated fans like me, just as much as I need their yearly testosterone-drenched exhibition to remind me that their magic is real. And as any other sailor of serviceman can tell you, being needed feels good.

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