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God Bless Los Lobos

Posted by V.B., January 9, 2012 02:18pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

What if there was a band that could play great rock & roll, cool R&B, plus hot Mexican and ChicanoLos Lobos grooves?  On top of that, what if this band could also synthesize those influences into their own wonderful songs without losing any of the flavor or intensity of the various original genres?

Luckily for us, Los Lobos can do all this and more. Their body of recorded work is staggering in its breadth, beauty, and rhythmic groove. They are truly a national treasure and define the term “Americana band.”

David Hidalgo on lead guitar, vocals, and assorted other instruments gives the band a lot of its diversity and musical muscle. Steve Berlin on sax and keyboards is the newcomer in the band, having joined in 1983! Cesar Rosas is also an excellent lead guitar man and a soulful singer. Louie Perez writes much of the material, used to be the drummer, and now plays rhythm and sings. Last but certainly not least, Conrad Lozano always plays strong solid bass lines.

Other bands have successfully combined styles and, in some cases, created a whole new genre. However, I don’t think there’s ever been such an eclectic band as Los Lobos. As you can hear below, they cover a lot of bases.

"Chuco’s Cumbia"


The Vinyl Frontier #3 - Surf Music!

Posted by V.B., December 8, 2011 02:45pm | Post a Comment

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

When Jimi Hendrix joked that “you’ll never hear surf music again,” in his song “Third Stone from the Sun,” he was only four years removed from the heyday of the surf music craze. However in 1967, with psychedelic music flourishing in the midst of the hippie movement, surf music seemed incredibly square and white, like ancient history.

Surf music started out as reverb-drenched instrumental garage music by the likes of Dick Dale and The Bel-Aires and was centered in Southern California. In 1961, The Beach Boys recorded the song “Surfin’,” and a genre was born. By 1964, car themes were also included.

Living in California, there’s still an abundance of surf related vinyl to be found in your favorite record haunts. At Amoeba, there’s also many vinyl reissues of classic albums, such as the Sundazed Dick Dale series. And we recently enjoyed having Brian Wilson sign his Smile reissue at the S.F. and Hollywood stores.

Here’s some live clips of the original hits:
 

Pipeline - The Chantays


Surf City - Jan & Dean


TAMBOURINE MAN: Interview with Joel Gion of The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted by V.B., October 12, 2011 01:50pm | Post a Comment
The VinylBeat expands its focus this week to present a fun interview with Amoeba’s own Joel Gion, tambourine man with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  Joel hips us to the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of tambourines as he shares his collection with us.  Enjoy. 



To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

The Vinyl Frontier #2 - Collecting Tex-Mex & Chicano Vinyl

Posted by V.B., August 17, 2011 06:41pm | Post a Comment

tear drop talk to me sunny and the sunliners vinyl lp    buena suerte follow the leader little joe and the latinaires vinyl lp   falcon tortilla factory antonio martinez guerrero vinyl lp

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

Tex-Mex, the melding of rock and roll with Chicano music, started in San Antonio and L.A. in the late 1950s. It quickly spread to all Mexican-American communities throughout the Southwest. It wasn’t called Tex-Mex in L.A., but there was a similar aesthetic in all the Chicano communities and I’ll lump them together for the purposes of this article.

Some of the more famous bands in Texas were The Sir Douglas Quintet,Sunny & the Sunliners,Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, Little Joe & the Latinaires, Freddie Fender, Rocky Gil, and The Royal Jesters. In L.A., it started with Ritchie Valens and Chris Montez, and the mid-‘60s saw the rise of Thee Midnighters, The Premiers, Cannibal & the Headhunters, and a host of lesser known bands.

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The Vinyl Frontier #1 - Collecting C&W Records

Posted by V.B., July 1, 2011 03:49pm | Post a Comment

“It’s refreshing not to hear the juvenile whining that’s so prevalent in alt rock…”

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!



I realize that country music doesn’t resonate with everyone. The primary reason for that is because mainstream country has been pretty vapid for the past thirty years. Country radio caters to the lowest common denominator, and insults our intelligence while abusing our musical standards. And if that isn’t enough, the twang of the older better stuff is difficult to deal with if you weren’t raised with it. I understand the barriers. In fact, when I was a kid my friends and I thought that “Buck Owens” was about the funniest name we’d ever heard.




All that withstanding, it was country rock music and steel guitars that caught my ear a few years later and lead me on a quest to find the “real” stuff. I found a goldmine. For some obvious starting points, try Haggard’s honky-tonk music, Bill Monroe’s bluegrass, Hank Williams country blues, Bob Wills’ western swing, George Jones’ white man’s soul and Ray Price, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings. If that works for you, delve a little deeper and dig Johnny Bush, Wynn Stewart, The Derailers, Wanda Jackson, Porter Wagoner, Laurie Lewis, Johnny Paycheck, The Texas Troubadours and many more. 
 
                                      Wanda Jackson Album Cover Image

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