Amoeblog

Beats, Chimera and Life in 2009 by Cas

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2009 05:48pm | Post a Comment
2009 was an odd year of music listening for me. Unfortunately, my preferred method of absorbing new music (whilst walking around the city) was thwarted by the demise of my iPod. After my computer speakers bit the dust in the wake of the iPod disaster, I was practically denied access to my most comfortable listening spaces. Thus, a lot fell through the cracks for me. At the same time, 2009 was the year I made an effort to wrap my head around dubstep, a genre that had been exciting just as much as it was often confounding in previous years. I can’t say I necessarily understand the genre much better, probably because it’s so ill-defined and constantly shifting. But I at least got a better sense of the elements of the genre I like and the ones I could do without. With a few exceptions, my Best of Electronica 2009 list is loaded with artists and releases that were bright lights in a pretty murky atmosphere of heavy beats and bass.


Telepathe – Dance Mother

Telepathe – Dance Mother

The self-conscious hipster affectations of this Brooklyn based electro-pop duo practically dictate that I should hate them on sight. But Telepathe (pronounced “telepathy”) members Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, with production assistance from TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, make music that is as casually beguiling as their facade is tiresomely forced. That may be a backhanded compliment, but I dare you to look at the intentionally horrible 80’s choreography and ugly sweaters on display in the video for lead off track “So Fine” without rolling your eyes or groaning at least once. I suggest chucking the visuals and making your way through the album’s mix of synth textures, propulsive beats, shoegazy guitars, and detached schoolgirl chanting and singing that I found undeniably infectious.

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Top TV on DVD Picks of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 26, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment

by Kaitlin

I hate commercials. Really, really loathe commercials. I hate commercials so much in fact that I stopped watching TV altogether for years. But there is a wondrous, magical invention called TV on DVD that allows me to watch TV commercial free!! Not only that, but I can waste hours at a time watching episode after episode. Here, in no particular order, are my top TV DVDs of 2009, some new to DVD, some just new to me but all were found in the DVD room in Amoeba SF:

New to me:

Roseanne Seasons 1-9
 

roseanne

I’ve only watched up through season 5, but this show is so funny. Not only is Roseanne hilarious and really cutting edge, but the amazing John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert and rest of the Connor clan make this cast so strong. But the best thing about this show is how real it feels; they’re just a working class family trying to survive everything life has to throw at you. With lots of love and humor, they yell and fight and laugh and I really love this show! Their Halloween episodes are some of the most memorable…
 



How I Met Your Mother Seasons 1-4



how i met your mother

The first thing I have to say is the main character of this show, Ted, is kind of annoying… But luckily he has Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan in the supporting cast to make this show very funny. Neil Patrick Harris plays a womanizing scumbag with a heart of gold buried really, really deep, and Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan play the kooky, kinky long term couple… the supporting cast makes the show!
 

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Most Fun Live Shows of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 04:08pm | Post a Comment
by Kaitlin

I am a photographer by trade, and combining that passion with my love of live music, I have an insane amount of fun taking photos at shows. Here is a photo diary of a few of my favorite photos from some of the most fun shows I saw in 2009. You can find many more of my pics here.

DP
at Bleakhaus in the Mission 2/28

dp


Shellac at Great American Music Hall 6/17

shellac


Sunn O))) at Brookdale Lodge in Santa Cruz 8/9

sunn o)))


Butthole Surfers at Regency Ballroom 10/16

butthole surfers


Flaming Lips at Treasure Island Music Festival 10/18

flaming lips


Kawabata at Terminal 11/6

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Best Jazz Reissues and New Releases of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 03:52pm | Post a Comment
by Scott

2009 was a good year for jazz. As usual, there was a focus on reissues, but there were also plenty of new releases that were worth picking up. The bulk of the items in my best of have a link to Great Britain.

freedom

1. & 2. Various - Freedom Rhythm & Sound

This release from the British label Soul Jazz is both a nice hardcover book of album covers and a 2 cd set. Billed as "revolutionary jazz original cover art 1965-83," that description doesn't mention that there are a lot of words in the book giving nice encapsulation of different artists and organizations related to the civil rights movement. Along with this book, which has albums you thought you would never see in a 12"x12" reproduction, the cd version has a beautiful booklet filled with both information on the music and political events relating to civil rights. Along with bigger name folks like Sun Ra and his Arkestra, there are tracks by lesser known artists: the Hasting Street Jazz Experiment, Stanton Davis' Ghetto, and Lloyd Miller. Some of these albums were limited to 500 pieces, so being able to look at the covers and listen to cuts from those albums is a rare treat.

Prince Lasha insight

3. Prince Lasha Ensemble - Insight

The first domestic release of a Columbia LP from 1966 by local horn master Prince Lasha (pronounced "Le Shay," it says in the liner notes) Ensemble: Insight. The disc features Mr. Lasha with a cast of brilliant British musicians, including pianist Stan Tracey and David Snell on a very hip harp. There are beautiful ballads, peppy bop cuts and both original compositions and standards. I had a chance to meet Prince Lasha in our store a few years ago and had him sign an LP of his to me, then after I thanked him, he hugged me.

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Best East Bay Live Shows of 2009!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 03:39pm | Post a Comment
Our own Grace, from the Berkeley store's marketing department, compiled a list from all the Berkeley store employees of their top shows of 2009! Here they are, in no particular order:

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