Amoeblog

The Wrong Way: African Americans in Rock, by Cas

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 27, 2010 03:01pm | Post a Comment
kyp malone tv on the radio

Kyp Malone and I shared an “Afro-punk moment” a few years ago. We were at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco where Kyp’s band, TV on the Radio, had opened for The Faint. The show was just letting out when I ran into the furry, bespectacled guitarist and co-vocalist milling about in the lobby of the venue. I struck up a conversation, letting him know I’d caught the previous night’s show of the same bill at The Grand Regency Ballroom. We’d been talking for some time when a young white indie kid broke away from the pack of even more young white indie kids that passed by and approached Kyp and me, smiling that “OMG” smile. “You guys were great tonight” she beamed, at first addressing me. There was this split second of confusion when I didn’t know how to respond since, you know, I was holding it down in thetv on the radio audience that night. I kind of chuckled and motioned towards Kyp, remarking that he was the guy she wanted to thank. Kyp, being mischievous, motioned right back at me, letting her know that I was the guy to thank. We let it hang for one beat before letting the embarrassed girl off the hook. Kyp thanked her for the compliment, his genuine smile defusing the girl’s embarrassment. After she dove back into the throng, Kyp turned to me and said, “That happens all the time...whenever I’m standing with any other black dude.” We laughed. 

Taking the diplomatic route, I guess I couldn’t really blame the girl for thinking I was a member of the band, except I don’t bear that much of a resemblance to any of the guys in TVOTR. Sure, we share some African ancestry, taste in eyewear and facial hair grooming concepts. But we don’t really look alike. Do we? Regardless, amongst all of the people that were at Bimbo’s that night, Kyp and I stuck out, even though only one of us was on stage under spotlights.

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Midnight Mass: Teen Witch Feb 20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 19, 2010 03:20pm | Post a Comment
teen witch midnight mass

Read A Requiem Mass For Me: Jay Reatard

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 14, 2010 02:33pm | Post a Comment
by Rob

The Reatards Fallout Records, Seattle – 1999

It's been just over ten years since that was filmed. On the first cross country jaunt by (a just old enough to drive) Jay and his make shift band. As whip fast and damaging as jay reatardthat daytime instore was, that night's gig has gone down in Seattle’s punk rock history books. A local oaf was heckling the Reatards as they played at the downtown venue The Gibson House (RIP). Jay, not one to take lightly these jabs at his character, watched as the drunken punk walked out the door. As he waited to cross the street, Jay threw down his guitar, opened the sliding window (stage left), jumped out and ran to the intersection. The crowd watched in awe as the band continued, not missing a damaged beat…and acting as though this happens all the time. It does. Jay laid a few steady blows, a few crazy man arm swings, wrestled about, and then came back in to finish the song.

This left a lasting imprint on me.

Not as much an imprint as it did on the pulpy, drunk outside, but…

This was art as terrorism. Band vs. crowd. He was the rare kind of frontman that does this not for the jay reatardaudience's sake, but for himself. This was his release. A tension breaker. Therapy. Jay was in it deep. If he hadn't been, he'd prolly have been a criminal or something. I dunno.

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Dj Vinnie Esparza's Best of 2009 List

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 6, 2010 03:21pm | Post a Comment
Vinnie Esparza works in reggae & jazz for our SF store. For the most part, his interest in music stops at 1983.

1. V/A - African Boogaloo - Honest Jons
The best 70s African Latin comp I have ever heard. Stellar.

african boogaloo


2. V/A - Panama! 2 - SoundWay
Outstanding collection of cumbia, funk and even calypso from Panama's golden years.

Panama! 2


3. Edan - Echo Party - Five Day Weekend
Edan outdoes himself with this continuous mix of original party rocking beats. Killer.

Edan - Echo Party


4. Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves (expanded edition) - Island UK
One of reggae's greatest albums gets the deluxe treatment with a second disc of rare bonus material.

junior murvin


5. V/A - Light: On the South Side - Numero Group
Phenomenal compilation of rare, mostly funky blues 45s from 1970s Chicago. Comes packaged with an amazing photograph book that places you right back on the scene. Vinyl only.

light: on the south side

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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