Amoeblog

An Other 'Best Music of 2016' List

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 31, 2016 01:45pm | Post a Comment

 


by Rick Frystak


Here in The Choice Bin, the wealth of superior new music that I get to be exposed to is just staggering.
The wealth of music around this whole planet is astounding, limited only by one's desires, with each new release or deep-dug reissue a shiny object for us to be drawn to. Walk into an Amoeba, an indie record store or check into some genre-specific internet radio and real college radio and you'll know what I mean. And this year was no exception for those who actively seek out new and old sounds and enjoy doing so.

As a youth I was glued to my AM and then FM radio, listening to Rock, Soul, Jazz and 20th Century Classical revelation. Some hosts would even compare hi-fi gear live on the air, using the latest LP cuts. We waited impatiently for stuff we'd heard to arrive at the 3 or 4 record stores in the vicinity. Then I rode to the record shop and bought my favorites, back then in mono for $1 cheaper, and later driving into Westwood for some small-label LP or expensive import that was a must-have. 

With the passing of many of our heroes so devastating, each moment of immersing oneself in their language and legacy is a precious one. And of course, there are the highly talented younger artists that bring a fresh, but well-informed element to their work and sometimes usher in new eras. Compelling, unfamiliar music seems to be discovered by me daily. Then to hear someone say, ''...nothing's happening musically now'', just sounds goofy. 

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Vintage, Original Rolling Stones 'Licks' Memorabilia & More on Sale at Amoeba + Chat With Designer Craig Braun

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 8, 2016 11:06am | Post a Comment
Rolling Stones Licks belt buckle
Exquisite, Original, Vintage 1971 Licks Silver/Enamel Belt and Buckle
Available in sizes X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
 
The record business is home to many people who are a kind of hero to me, often behind the scenes in unspoken nine-to-fives. I have my heroes of album cover design: Tadanori Yokoo, Reid Miles, Jim Flora, Dirk Rudolph, and Barbara Worjisch to name a few.

Add to this list a Mr. Craig Braun, a quintessential ''Man Behind the Curtain," a luminary of mostly-unsung parts of the music establishment of the 1960s and '70s. And even more paramount than Craig's resume and bone-deep knowledge of the record business is that he's a refreshingly witty, wonderful human being with umpteen stories to tell.

Exotic Ten-Inch LPs of Eastern Europe (...and a few others)

Posted by Rick Frystak, May 23, 2016 01:34am | Post a Comment

Through the years of collecting and working with vinyl, I've always been enchanted with attractive, forward-thinking album artwork and design. I can still say that to this day I will still buy a record because of its stunning artwork, without regard for the content. These records are wonderfully tactile, touchable things with graphic design that stands out, screams out to be held and admired, displayed or even framed, in addition to being nurtured in one's carefully curated collection.

In 2012, Amoeba bought a record collection in New York (it's here) that contained some absolute gems of 1950's record cover design on 10-inch Long Play (LP) discs.. I stashed some of the most interesting designs as I went through the collection for us to peruse here. Conceived shortly after the 7-inch Extra Play (EP) era, these covers virtually attack one's visual senses, created in such a way by these labels as to literally command a person to pick the thing up! Imagine a record store back then displaying these gems next to a rather austere Perry Como record!  

Never have I encountered more captivating packaging than these 10-inch "Long Players" from eastern Europe, mostly on the Supraphon (Czech) or Melodiya (Russia) labels. The paper quality feels absolutely sublime on the fingers, and some of these covers are actually stitched together! Just holding these records sends me back in time to my Czech brothers-in-music! These are true mid-century iconic designs.

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Can You Say, Amen! Hallelujah? These Records Do.

Posted by Rick Frystak, May 5, 2015 02:01pm | Post a Comment

Used to be, you'd just turn to the person on your left or ring a few doorbells and you could share the word, the joy, an essence of spiritual inspiration so grand that it had to be shared with others. Nowadays, bomb blasts announce a religious or causal empathy so strong that death as the message is a possible option.

Not with these folks. Herein is a collection of LPs designed to to share a joy, a goal, the excitement of an idea worth sharing. These LP days are over mostly because of super slick production, barrages of video and television rejoicing, and other delivery methods. I've grabbed these and shot them over the last few years because they make me feel good, never even playing them, just feeling the joy on the LP package. Lord knows what these sound like...

Savor these, then, and pick them up and many more like them right from the bins of Amoeba Hollywood!

Music Icon Martin Perlich, Buy Counter Enigma, Friend

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 9, 2014 10:46am | Post a Comment


MUSIC AND RADIO ICON MARTIN PERLICH HOOKS UP!
...or, How The Amoeba Buy Counter
Made Martin Perlich And Me Life-Changing Friends.
 

Here at The Choice Bin, I've been a fan of Martin Perlich's ever since I discovered him on the radio in the early 2000s. An immediate hit, I remember making the station a preset on my car radio. He was THE MAN when it came to the best musical programming in L.A. at the time for me and it was every weekday!! Avant Garde, progressive Rock and Pop mixed with gorgeous Classical, World, and Folk music in regular rotation! And his raps between tracks always drew me closer to the speakers. His distinguished broadcasting career spans almost fifty years. He rocked as a producer of ''The Midnight Special''. He pioneered experimental radio in Cleveland (Classical Radio as well as Rock Jock on WMMS in Cleveland) and KMET in Los Angeles (now KTWV); classical host on KFAC, KUSC, and KMZRT. He practically invented the "eclectic" format of mixing genres one after the other, fitting in perfectly in the early 1960's. As a radio guy, I was excited about what he would play next. His interviews with music legends are the stuff of legend, and available here!

So, I was at the buy counter at Amoeba Hollywood one day (where folks trade in their old CDs and records). "I know that voice," I thought, as this cool fellow laid out his used CDs. Of course we chatted, and when fate would put us together for a few more minutes, it was apparent to me that that not only would we be fast friends, but broadcasting was only a part of Martin's life.

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