Amoeblog

FRIEND OF AMOEBA ELVIS COSTELLO CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Elvis Costello at Amoeba Music (2009)
Elvis Costello

Happy birthday to friend of Amoeba Elvis Costello -- born Declan Patrick MacManus on August 25th 1954 -- who celebrates his 55th birthday today. A renowned, longtime crate digging music collector with most diverse tastes, Elvis is not surprisingly a big fan of shopping at Amoeba Music.

"One of the things that makes Amoeba a stop for me is that you are going to go in there with the intention of buying one record and come out with an armfull of other things because you know you want to go into the area where the jazz artists are. But at the same time they're sitting next to the hillbilly records, or the opera records, or the show tune records, or the new groups that are coming up and the old groups that are still there," Elvis told Ameoba's Josh Pollock at the Haight Street store on June 22nd when the artist played packed houses at both the San Francisco and the Hollywood Amoeba Music stores on that same day.

Above is the full Elvis Amoeba interview, interspersed with some music, which includes Elvis talking with Josh Pollock about such topics as his new TV show Spectacle on the Sundance channel (where his guests have included Smokey Robinson, Diana Krall, Herbielvis costello secret, profane & sugarcanee Hancock, and Bill Clinton), and also how certain fans just want him to remain 22 forever and be making the same music that he was over three decades ago. Meantime, below is the Amoeba Music concert segment featuring Elvis and band doing the songs "Complicated Shadows," "Down Among The Wines &..," "Blame It On Cain," "Red Cotton," and "My All-Time Doll." Click here to purchase Elvis Costello's new album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane: Note that these videos are different from the famous Elvis Costello - Live at Amoeba YouTube video, which was culled from these videos. That video has racked up a quarter of a million YouTube hits since it was posted on there three weeks ago.

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TROUBLE THE WATER FILMMAKERS CARL DEAL & TIA LESSIN INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, August 24, 2009 12:16pm | Post a Comment


The most accurately profound observation in the trailer above for Trouble The Water -- the award winning documentary about Hurricane Katrina -- is the statement that the disaster that happened this time four years ago, "is not about a hurricane. It's about America." The movie screens for free in LA at 8pm this evening (Monday 8/24) as the launch of the new series -- Amoeba's Monday Movies @ Space15Twenty. Amoeba will be selling the DVD at the screening tonight, though it is not due in stores till Aug 25! Click here for more info on the screening. It is an important film; as the last subject in the trailer from the Trouble The Waterfilm points out, "Katrina is still going on" in this country's treatment of its poor and underprivaleged.

In the four years since Katrina there have been many portrayals of the this American tragedy both produced for the screen and published as the written word, including Spike Lee's wonderful HBO documentary When The Levees Broke (also available on DVD at Amoeba). But most of the stories told relied on photos or film footage recorded either after the fact or from afar -- including the numerous aerial shots of the devastating hurricane's aftermath. In contrast, Trouble The Water offers footage shot from the inside, from the ground (or water, to be speciific) by two victims of Katrina: the husband and wife team Scott and Kimberly Roberts of New Orleans' Ninth Ward district, who captured their amazing survival tale on video.

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PHOTOSYNTHESIS FESTIVAL 2.0

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2009 11:17am | Post a Comment


Photosynthesis Festival 2.0. @ Trout Lake, WA (August 2009)

I always jump at any opportunity to travel and explore new places, and to check out innovative new ideas, especially when music and good friends are involved. So when my crewmates in OkiZoo -- the hip-hop band that I was a member of when living in Japan up til about four years ago and am still a member of even though we are now scattered all over -- invited me to meet them two weekends ago in Seattle, Washington with the purpose of joining them in a performance at the still burgeoning Photosynthesis Festival 2.0. festival at Trout Lake, August 7 - 10, I was on the first plane out west from Maryland.

To be honest, I knew little about this festival, which began last year but my crewmates had told me that the lineup included the headliners Amon Tobin, Daedelus, and Kid Koala and that the festival was pretty unique in a summer filled with music themed festivals all around the US. The organizers behind the event are coming from a strictly DIY philosophy and say that the festival's goal is to "take your dreams, ideas and skills and weave them into nature, music, art, and education. The goal is a sustainable community where everyone is simultaneously the student and teacher." The hope for this second year of the North West fest was to "focus on sustainability through permaculture, renewable energy, water conservation, holistic healing, waste reduction, and wild crafting," and it seemed like they accomplished this, pretty much, although the turnout of about 2000 for such a really wonderful event was less than I thought it deserved.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 08:21:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six: 08:21:09 (c/o Luis)
Gas Mask Colony
1) Gas Mask Colony Genuine Masters of Ceremony (Gurp City)

2) The Boy Boy Young Mess Prices On My Head Vol. 2 (Click Clack Records)

3) J-Billion The Beautiful Loser (Risky Bizness Productions)

4) Kaz-Well FIsh Outta Water (Tape Vault Records)

5) Heliocentrics Fallen Angels (Now Again)

6) Slaughterhouse self-titled (E1 Entertainment)

As my man Luis @ Amoeba Music San Francisco points out in his quick run-down of the new hip-hop top six CDs of the week, two thirds are Bay Area homegrown releases, proving the Bay (and SF in particular these days) is in a most healthy and prolific state of rap creativity. In the number one chart position is Gurp City's own Gas Mask Colony with the brand new full-length Genuine Masters of Ceremony. Also repping the Bay is Messy Marv under his alias The Boy Boy Young Mess and his second installment in the mixtape series Prices On My Head (The Money On Yo Family) Vol 2 with an impressive lineup that includes guests Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy & Lil Webbie. Meantime, SF rap artist Kaz-Well -- self described “hip-hop geek" -- has a nice retro hip-hop feel to his brand new CD Fish Outta Water which, note, is titled exactly the same as the new release from SoCal hip-hopper Chali 2na. Great minds think alike, I guess.

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FUN WEEKEND HAPPENINGS IN THE BAY AREA

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 02:27pm | Post a Comment
Paramount Theater
Once again, this weekend in the Bay Area there is a lot of really great, fun stuff happening; much of it is either quite affordable for any size wallet or else totally free, as in the case of the three recommended Bay Area Amoeba Music always-free instores this weekend, including the DJ Quest & the Horizons Unlimited/DJ Project showcase later tonight in SF and the two Jay Reatard instores at both Bay Amoeba locations, tomorrow and Sunday. 6pm is the start time for all Amoeba shows this weekend.

The historic Paramount Theater on Broadway near 20th in downtown Oakland is the finest preserved art deco building in California, and tonight (Friday, August 21) there will be a screening of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window. The film is a masterpiece, deserving of being fully appreciated on the big screen. The film tells the tale of wheelchair-bound photographer Jeff Jeffries' (James Stewart) peeking through binoculars into the windows of his Greenwich Village apartment neighbors while his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont, played by Grace Kelly, isn't so sure he should be spying. But then Jeff witnesses a murder -- or has he?

The Hitchcock film is a part of the ongoing but sporadic, budget priced Paramount Movie Classics series. I attended the last one in early July, a screening of the 3D horror flick Creature From The Black Lagoon, and it was so much fun -- especially when you go with a large group of people. Not to mention there's a mere $5 (cash only) entrance fee that includes the live Wurltizer organ serenade plus a raffle with a chance to win free prizes. Plus, there's the classic movie previews and historic newsreels. The turnout for that screening was so large that by about 7:50pm the theater had reached capacity and people were being turned away at the door, so get there with time to spare, especially if you are driving, since parking is scarce. Cycle or take BART to the 19th/Broadway stop one block away. Ticket box opens at 6pm. Doors open at 7pm. More info here.

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