Amoeblog

It's only been 21 years ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2008 12:03am | Post a Comment


On this Saturday, I'm going into my closest Amoeba Music, and I'm buying a CD. For the same reason I am going into my local bookstore to get an art book from them: I look around our communities, and I am tired of empty store fronts. So on days like this, when I think of the people at all these locally owned and independent record stores, my heart warms. Local jobs, here in our neighborhoods, keeping the flavor of life vibrant.

There's lots to do today in all the Amoebas, here's a link to check out the cool stuff. If you're not in California, check out the official website for RECORD STORE DAY. No matter what, you'll find something cool and beautiful. Just like you.


Paul McCartney :

There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played Amoeba in LA, I realised what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come. Cheers!


Joan Jett
The indie record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture. It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose owners and staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.

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The Breeders Release Moutain Battles!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 8, 2008 01:06pm | Post a Comment

The Breeders
are a force of nature (no pun intended)!  I wasn’t sure that they could up the ante after 2002’s Title TK, which I thought might have been the most perfect album ever and seemed to pick up right where Pod left off.  To my great pleasure, they certainly have created an incredible album in every respect, possibly the best album of young 2008-- Mountain Battles.  Blasting off with “Overglazed,” you are taken to another planet where The Breeders guide you through sonic terrain only they can offer.

Mountain Battles is the culmination of many years of recording on and off with the assistance of the likes of Steve Albini, Erika Larson, and Manny Nieto in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio, and comes complete with incredible design and of course classic 4AD aesthetics and style as a whole.  Mastered at Abbey Road “because I’m going from half-inch tape directly to vinyl, there’s only a couple of places in the world that still do half-inch directly to the cutting of the acetate,” as Kim has explained.  You can hear the passion and dedication to the art of record making in every single track of the album. Joining Kim and Kelley Deal (vocals, guitar) are drummer Jose Medeles and bassist Mando Lopez (of Fear), who played on TitleTK.

The namesake track “Mountain Battles” is somehow oddly reminiscent of Nico's Desertshore and Low-era David Bowie.  The avant-garde composition works its magic whilst Kim croons “My wilting heart does shadow on the moon/ Fantastic view/ Thinking of things to do.”  As a matter of fact, you can hear bits and pieces from decades of music history in the mere 36.5 minutes of the duration of the album.  A few rise to the surface immediately – Jimi Hendrix, Isaac Hayes, Roy Orbison, The Pretenders, Wire... Isn’t this the stuff of which great music is made?  Here one might want to consider the fact that the “All Wave” recording method was used in conjunction with on the fly mixing during mastering for a total analog dream sound end product.  This “pure sound” method is opposed to using any form of digital recording manipulation and sound can be seen as a music making strategy or style parallel to the realist film movement Dogme 95.  Ladies and gentlemen: sit back, relax, close your eyes and enjoy the masterwork that is Mountain Battles

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Mick Jones Stops In...Thrills All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 5, 2008 03:11pm | Post a Comment


Last week I received a frantically excited email from our floor manager Tony Green-- Mick Jones of The Clash had just been in the store!  He was with Tony James from Carbon Silicon

And, as the above photo attests, it's true!  Tony Green tells me Mick was a complete sweetheart, even taking a walk down memory lane with him, remembering the Clash show in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1979 that our Tony had attended.  It's good to know Mick is still up on politics-- apparently he purchased a great many politically-related DVDs.

I recall hearing similar sweetheart stories about Joe Strummer, who played an instore at Amoeba back in 2001.  Strummer went to nearby bar Murio's and had a drink with a few of our employees!

It goes without saying that The Clash remain one of the most thrilling and passionate bands to ever make their mark on the musical world.  Check out an old, semi-awkward yet exceedingly entertaining interview with Tom Snyder and the members of The Clash from their vital, ducktailed heyday:

Consolers of the Lonely

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 1, 2008 11:22am | Post a Comment

You know how it feels when you listen to a new album and it gives you chills up your spine and that feeling in your throat?  Well, that’s how The Raconteurs' new album Consolers of the Lonely makes me feel.  It’s sooooo good!!!  The first thing I noticed that was somewhat different was the general feeling of the album: comfortable and relaxed.  Now, I don’t mean the music sounds comfortable and relaxed-- the band does.  There was a feeling of excitement surrounding the last album, Broken Boy Soldiers, since it was the first time these old friends had recorded an album together.  This time around, they know exactly what they are doing and have evolved into the next level.  They must have been enjoying themselves because the album is quite long considering the length of the previous album.  55+ minutes and 14 songs as compared to 33+ minutes and 10 songs.

It’s exciting to hear the Nashville influence on this album.  After Detroit turned on Jack White, he moved down to Nashville, as did Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler.  “Top Yourself” and “Old Enough” particularly capture a southern country/blues feel, which is different than the more typically northern sound that was on their previous album.  There is more acoustic guitar in these songs and some banjo and fiddle too, and I can picture these ol’ boys hanging around on the porch in the evening warmth just finger pickin’ these songs and enjoying themselves.

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Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 7, 2008 07:25pm | Post a Comment
When Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks took the stage to legions of hoots and hollering and a very crowded floor, it was clear that we were in for a rare treat. Malkmus is known for a few bands he’s been in such as Pavement, The Silver Jews and The Crust Brothers. Just last month he was the recipient of the Plug Awards’ Impact Award; known among it’s recipients as the “Indie Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The Jicks (a hybrid of “Jerk” and “Dick,” or Mick Jagger’s name backwards ...) are composed of drum maven Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney and Quasi), Bassist Joanna Bolme (Elliott Smith and The Minders), and Mike Clark on guitar and tripped out keyboards. Fresh from a secret show in Portland and a Sonic Boom, Seattle in-store just before that, Amoeba WAS their San Francisco post-record release show (that is, if you missed them in December at the Great American Music Hall) and the legions of fans and curious folks who crowded the aisles for the 45 minute plus performance couldn’t have been witness to more electric and often psychedelic magic.

With a heavy attack of electric guitar (a la Hendrix) the band grooved into the first song on the album "Dragonfly Pie." The band was on from the start, seemingly commanded by Janet Weiss’ super tight style on the house drum kit, “the best borrowed kit I’ve ever used,” she commented.  However, throughout the performance, all eyes looked to Malkmus for cues.

There had been a bit of equipment talk prior to starting – Malkmus pointed out that his guitar was plugged into the amp Jack White of the White Stripes was notorious for using. “Let’s see what we can do!”  He even joked,  “can we pass on the store credit and keep some of this equipment?”

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