Amoeblog

The Kids of Widney High

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 3, 2008 12:30pm | Post a Comment
I have the good fortune to be part of the in-store crew here at Amoeba San Francisco, and this affords me many opportunities to do one of my favorite things ever: see live music.

I’ve seen some bands that I GREATLY admire (Earth, High on Fire, The Raconteurs, Thurston Moore, The Breeders, Boris, The Dirtbombs… the list goes on), some bands that I’m unimpressed with (I’ll keep those to myself), and sometimes it’s something I’ve never heard before, but it’s always something different and new.

One factor that can affect my experience as a viewer is whether or not the performers are having fun and are excited to be here. When artists are psyched up for the unique experience of an Amoeba instore, it makes their show all the better for everyone!

 

What is the point of this personal rambling, you might be asking yourself? Well, this coming Sunday, July 6 at 2pm, The Kids Of Widney High are going to be performing LIVE for FREE, and I can’t wait to see them. Have I ever seen them before? Nope. But I did watch the video for “Pretty Girls” on the Amoeba Website. After that I wanted to see more, so I clicked over to YouTube and found this mini-documentary about the school and the songwriting class that has created this group. It’s worth watching the entire thing, but be sure to check out just after the 9 minute mark, when former member Shantel Brown says “…and I hope they get to go back to San Francisco again.”  WHAT?!?! Are they going to be way excited to be here? That makes ME all the more excited… I think YOU should come by and check it out. There’s nothing like a room full of people who love music, is there?

Amoebapalooza San Francisco is a swinging success!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 25, 2008 12:13pm | Post a Comment
Employees Kelly and Sean share their hazy impressions of another year's sonic bedlam!

As you may already know, here in San Francisco we recently celebrated the uproarious madness that we like to call Amoebapalooza! Here are two first-hand accounts of the controlled chaos that is Amoebapalooza SF!

First, we hear from Miss Kelly Sweeney:


Every spring, say around March or so, ideas begin buzzing around inside the heads of Amoeba’s staff. These inklings and urges are born of a question: What should I do, or rather, who can I be at Amoebapalooza this year? Could it be that this is the year that your dream Thin Lizzy cover band enables you to live your classic rock fantasy on stage for fifteen minutes? Is it finally time for you to rediscover your inner Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, or Michael McDonald? Everyone’s whisperin’ Fleetwood Mac -- will it happen? Whether you’re of the impression that Amoebapalooza is nothing but a glorified talent show or, conversely, that it’s perfect conduit through which Amoebites can shed some of their geekdom while gaining an odd sort of street cred, one cannot look past the fact that when it comes to “office parties” Amoebapalooza celebrates the uniqueness of the people that daily breathe life into the overall experience of one of the world’s best record stores.


This year’s Amoebapalooza hosted a motley lineup of acts featuring employees and friends of Amoeba SF. Tributes to our fellow employee and cherished friend Anthony Marin punctuated the playful atmosphere of the evening, with everyone expressing their reverence and grief in gestures, dedications and in some cases bizarre shout-outs; the love we feel for Big Ant was very much a part of the celebration.

EARTH, BORIS and AMOEBAPALOOZA SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 20, 2008 11:13am | Post a Comment
This Summer’s awesome shows have already begun, and this weekend alone is going to BLOW MY MIND!!  And it’s not going to be one of those weekends that starts pretty good and builds into one huge final show, oh no.

We begin big on Friday night with Earth at the Great American Music Hall. Dylan Carlsen’s sludgey, droney, stoner metal band has grown and evolved into the template that so many other bands have tried to emulate-- like SunnO))) for example. The line-up is complete with Adrienne Davies on drums, Steve Moore playing trombone and Wurlitzer, and Don McGreevy on bass. I LOVE THIS BAND. And co-headlining with them is Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, which is exciting for me for 2 reasons:  I’ve never seen them, and the last time I saw Earth they played with Neurosis, so this will be a completely different experience. I can appreciate and respect a band not contained in a box, either internally or externally created. Click here for a great new interview with Earth. For more info on tonight's show at the Great American, click here.

Then we have:


Saturday night at the 12 Galaxies is Amoeba Music San Francisco’s Amoebapalooza!  Employees and friends perform in 15 minute sets, with assured madness to ensue. Some acts have been together and performing for a while, some acts are purely for fun—a one time gig. 

Berkeley's Amoebapalooza!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 14, 2008 01:48pm | Post a Comment

Smile-- It's Boris!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 29, 2008 11:11am | Post a Comment

You gotta love Boris. They’re one of those bands who are so consistently good at what they do that a sizable bulk of their fans will forever find themselves buying anything and everything they can get their hands on. Because of their penchant for limited releases and gorgeous packaging,  plus the usual import price tag -- ouch, Boris collectors have it pretty rough no matter how you slice it.

While we cannot blame Boris for wanting to deliver the very best of their artistic capabilities in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible, it seems a shame that they seem to sacrifice the availability of their talents to the full scope of their fan-base. That being the case, I have to say, and please excuse the inherent perversity of the statement, God bless Southern Lord for bringing Boris accessibly and affordably to the states.

The band’s latest release, entitled Smile, is nothing short of what any Boris fan would expect from the genius rock-smiths the trio have proven themselves to be. For familiarized ears it is, neatly put, every Boris album you’ve ever heard divided by your four favorite Boris songs, figuring in new collaborations with Ghost’s Michio Kurihara and Stephen O’Malley of sunn0))).  Sound redundant? Don’t be silly: Boris knows no redundancy when it comes to rocking your face off, nor any limits, for that matter.

It begins as a slow, menacing rumble, suggesting the gathering of thunder-clouds clamoring to assault your naked ears, but what follows is a rather straight cover of PYG’s "Flower Sun Rain," except that it sounds something like a watercolor interpretation of the song; it’s as if PYG’s original, decidedly heavy folk-rock song is a solid ink splotch which Boris deliberately drenches. The song bleeds its sound slowly, heart-wrenchingly, toward the alarmingly sudden gleeful sound of a little girl laughing and -- BOOM! -- just like that, we’re reminded that Boris began as a punk band. The “danger zone” triptych of "BUZZ-IN," "Laser Beam," and "Statement" seem to jive sonically with the fighter jet depicted in the cover art; the three songs writhe frantically and unpredictably as the players shred through one frenzy to the next, dredging up comparisons from G.B.H. to Venom with some ol’ fashioned, heavy “hair” metal thrown in for dirty-good measure.   Here's the video for "Statement":

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