Amoeblog

Chuck Prophet? We're keeping him.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 5, 2007 11:24am | Post a Comment

With a last name like "Prophet," you have but a few paths in life you could take. First there's the obvious, the path of the evangelist.  Then there's the option of being a medium, or mind-reader, or soothsayer. Or, as in the case of Chuck Prophet, you could combine both trajectories, and become a musician.


Local hero Chuck Prophet chose the latter, and he just released his eighth solo work, Soap And Water. He played six songs from the record for an amalgamation of friends, family, and fans on a balmy Saturday afternoon in our San Francisco store.


If "American Music" can be defined as having its roots in jazz, blues and the Old West, then Chuck Prophet is definitely a uniquely  "American" artist. He could easily be a staple in any House of Blues signature band, or back his van into any roadhouse in the country and put on a jumpin' show.


Amoeba has a certain road-house quality, let's face it, and we were more than glad to let him back his van up to our doors. Prophet plays with great intensity, holding his guitar like it's a limbo stick that
he is going to duck under, or a wily snake that he is trying to straighten out. "A woman's voice'll drug you," he drones in his Lou Reed-like tone, the swampy guitar backing him up with its own plodding, trance-like quality. "You'll get lucky for the chance."


Prophet's music engenders a certain intimacy; it's the perfect kind of relationship between the artist and his audience, all of which is just the sort of show for a setting like an in-store. To wit: during his between-song banter, Prophet looked out over the whole shop and quipped about all the "competition" that was out there staring back at him in the form of other CDs for sale. Immediately a rather strange
guy in a Sublime hoodie, a black fedora, and a Soul Asylum T-shirt ran up to the front of the stage waving a record. "Hm," said Prophet, holding it up to read 'the competition.' "The Sidekicks, Butt Candy,"
he read, deadpan. Everyone erupted in laughter.

Continue reading...

Baghdad By The Bay and Halloween

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 2, 2007 10:09pm | Post a Comment
Things always weird in SF, California, dontcha know ... but ain't no day of the week is this Mac Dre:


Mister Sexx himself/herself, oh, who cares!?!? That is a costume without a safe word, honey.

Um, Jimmy baby, that aint no costume: you just been working that info booth too much, right next to the reggae section:


Just shows ya, Concord got nothing on ya, SF! Or wait, is it the other way around? I'm confused!


Noelle-A-Saurus!!!











Okay, that explains why all the white men ran screaming out the side door. Ain't no play in that costume!
Trick or treat? SCALP!



Corr-Courtney, baby, I just LOVE your .... well, everything! Except, well ... if I have 4 drinks in me, and mind you, I DO, you kinda look like my mom here.  *faint



                                                                            The Invisible Lance!!

Continue reading...

Ahhhh, Thelma!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 24, 2007 01:19am | Post a Comment

"This Amoeba thing is getting to be very catchy," said Houston from the stage of her SF in-store appearance. (She was referring to her other appearance earlier in the year at the Hollywood store.)



The 61-year-old daughter of a Southern cotton farmer turned disco diva is touring in support of her new CD, A Woman's Touch, which is a mix of covers from people like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and Sting. Houston explained to the crowd why all of the songs that she sang were originally done by men, and not women, considering the name of her record: "Once Gladys, Chaka, or Aretha record a song," she said, "you don't need to go there!"




The audience was loaded with old queens (this being SF, after all), all there to pay homage to the woman who sang one of the top ten disco songs of all time, "Don't Leave Me This Way."


But besides being a disco icon, Houston is also an accomplished stage actress, and it showed in her delivery. She came out to the platform dressed like Tina Turner, in a tight tunic and leggings, with a shock of neatly dredded hair in a ponytail cascading around her. She placed a top hat upon her head, which had gigantic feathers dripping off of it. "This is my good luck thing," she joked, "my good voodoo spirit."


Accompanied only by a backing track and a microphone, she lit into her first song, "Wake Up," and then into an Al Green cover, "Love and Happiness." Before she sang it, she told the crowd a story about Al Green, and how she and a certain male friend of hers both had a crush on him in the '70s. "[This was] before the grits," she joked, referring to Green's run in with the law, a hot pot of porridge, and his woman's back.

Continue reading...

BORIS

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 20, 2007 11:32pm | Post a Comment
The growth of the Japanese band Boris' popularity in America is a perfect example of life imitating art. Their songs—droning metal scapes that can last over 45 minutes--  start with the merest hint of sound and then build to high, layered crescendos of noise.


Boris has been around since 1992, but only really gained a foothold in the states after Southern Lord began reissuing their catalog here. A successful appearance at South By Southwest this year also increased their profile in American music press, who adore them. So, like their songs, they have been lurking quietly in the background and have slowly but surely increasing their volume here over 15 years.  

This was apparent at their Amoeba in-store early in October. The place was packed with long hairs, noise geeks, and anyone else who wanted to spend their Saturday afternoon going deaf.  "Akuma no Uta is the best album ever!" yelled someone from the crowd as the band took the stage.

The band's three members, Atsuo, Takeshi, and the only female member, Wata-- a mother and could be seen carrying around her toddler who was wearing airline-grade ear protection—calmly got behind their instruments and began playing what would end up being one drawn-out song for nearly 40 minutes. It started as a slow steady background drone, then began to soar and climb with skittish metallic sounds that could only be described as "bubbly." At times it sounded like a jet beginning take-off, and by the time the drums kicked in and the main crescendo took hold, there was little doubt in the room that this was one of the best bands on earth.

Continue reading...

San Francisco Is Still Doomed (Still)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 13, 2007 04:47pm | Post a Comment
San Francisco’s legendary early punk band Crime is back and Amoeba is hosting the unveiling of their new LP (vinyl only folks!) Exalted Masters with an in-store performance and signing on Friday, September 21st at 7:00pm. But wait, there’s more! Frontman Johnny Strike will also be signing and his new book A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above, published by Rudos and Rubes.

Crime was formed in 1976 by Johnny Strike, Frankie Fix, Ron "The Ripper" Greco (ex-Chosen Few/Flamin' Groovies), and Ricky James. They ripped post-hippie San Francisco a metaphorical new one when they released their first (and many say Punk’s first) single “Hot Wire My Heart / Baby You're So Repulsive.” There was no mistaking these guys for mere rockers; they mixed a rebellious and sexually-charged image (they were most often seen flaunting their vampiric, just-outta-rehab good looks in tight leather, regulation police uniforms, or old-time gangster duds) with their unique blend of intellectual and furious lo-fi rock and roll. Crime found local refuge at the now legendary Mabuhay Gardens, but became nationally notorious after playing a gig at San Quentin Penitentiary in full police uniforms (of course).

In 1977 Hank Rank joined the ranks, but left in 1979. The band split in 1982 when Strike quit Crime to focus on writing. Frankie Fix attempted a Crime reunion in the early 90’s, but Strike elected not join in. In 1996 Frankie Fix passed away.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  >>  NEXT