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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #74: Lady Gaga NYC Residency, New York in the 70's, New Museum Breaks Barriers + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 26, 2014 09:49am | Post a Comment

Lady Gaga sings "Alejandro" live on Today Show in her hometown of New York City


Hometown mega pop star Lady Gaga, seen in video above a few years ago playing a free outdoor NYC show for the Today Show on NBC, plays kicks off a residency series at the Roseland Ballroom (just a matter of blocks from Rockefeller Center where NBC is located) for an eleven night consecutive residency series beginning this Friday night (March 28th). The series, that ends on April 7th, will be a kind of primer/practice run for Lady Gaga before she heads out of NYC on her upcoming big stadium tour ArtRave: The Artpop Ball. that coincides with her recently released album ARTPOP. The concert series at the 52nd Street venue is significant in that it will also mark the end of the Roseland Ballroom which, after many decades in operation, will close its doors for good after Lady Gaga's closing night performance. 8pm showtimes. Tickets range in price from $52 to $202. Roseland Ballroom is located at 239 W. 52nd St. New York,NY 10019. More info
relatively small (by her standards)

Currently in its midway point the indie film New Directors/New Films festival showcases up-and-coming filmmakers in this annual springtime mini film fest that takes place at such indie movie houses as Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center, and MoMA.

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Album Picks: Future Islands, Lavender Country, Liars, Caetano Veloso

Posted by Billy Gil, March 25, 2014 09:23am | Post a Comment

Future Islands - Singles (LP, CD, Cassette or Download)

future islands singlesIt’s a gutsy move to call your album Singles, but in the case of Future Islands, their fourth album and first for 4AD, it’s appropriate. The album is packed with songs that are both immaculately written and catchy as hell, as Future Islands mine new wave and pop-rock for all they’re worth. Just as lead singer Samuel Herring’s dynamite performance style and swingin’ dance moves have won people over (David Letterman, famously), the band gives it their all on songs like “Seasons (Waiting On You).” Herring’s emotional, throaty tenor, which can warp into a growl in an instant, is given the perfect backdrop of stargazing new-wave rock that should bring together fans of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to The Cure to The Killers with lighter-waving glee. The synths of “Spirit” bring up memories of B-Movie's “Nowhere Girl,” but Herring’s unique voice keep Future Islands from ever veering into purely nostalgic territory. “A Song For Our Grandfathers” is dreamy yet packs an emotional punch. Herring seems to get more and more insistent over the sprightly “Light House,” almost completely out of step with the band, yet it works so much better than it would have if he played it straight, getting in your face and making it impossible to merely have the song on in the background. On “Like the Moon,” a sexy, pulsating groove gives Herring the chance to kill it vocally, crooning romantically. But his best vocal performance comes next, on “Fall From Grace”—over a simple waltz, Herring goes deep into the bowels of his voice to deliver a performance somewhere between Tom Waits, The National’s Matt Berniger and a black metal singer. Charisma like his doesn’t come around all the time, and as a band, Future Islands are smart enough to stay out of the way while crafting terrific songs that stand on their own. Before you know it, you’ve listened to Singles like five times and still can’t wait to hear it again.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Rare Early 90's Interview with E-40 and The Click

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2014 01:01am | Post a Comment

The Click "Tired of Being Stepped On"

Recently uncovered the early days interview in the careers of E-40 and The Click  - his family group that featured D-Shot, B-Legit, and Suga T - that I conducted with the legendary Vallejo family rap crew on KUSF radio in San Francisco (interview below)  around the time of the release of The Click's group album Down & Dirty that featured the above track "Tired of Being Stepped On," and the E-40 solo album Federal on the crew's label Sick Wid It. This was before they signed with Jive Records and when D-Shot would still go by the name Mac D Shot.and B-Legit would still be sometimes referred to as Legitimate B.

For this 22 year old radio interview the group were joined in the studio by their producer Studio Ton and it was an exciting time for them as they were regionally popular - both in the Bay Area and down south and in the mid west where they built up a grassroots following from tirelessly trekking out to these other parts of the US to sell their tapes. In the interview they talk about their first (pre Click) group MVP who, in 1988, released a 4 song 12" EP featuring such tracks as "Thought I Could Trust A Girl." Note that with their later record label Sick Wid It they had a habit of printing the following year's date on their releases (IE if an EP or LP dropped in 1990 it would read 1991 on the label) hence there's often confusion about the exact years of the early era Sick Wid It releases like Federal and Down & Dirty that are often listed as 1993 instead of 1992.

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Amoeba Holds Sidewalk Sale April 5 From Noon to 5 p.m.

Posted by Billy Gil, March 24, 2014 06:24pm | Post a Comment

amoeba sidewalk saleAmoeba Hollywood is holding another great Sidewalk Sale this April 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Just outside the store on Sunset Blvd., we’ll have deals including:

-Comic books at four for $1

-DVDs for $3, or buy three get one free (excluding DVD box sets)

-DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10

-Classical CD bargains

-Blu-rays at three for $12

-And more!

Don’t worry about getting too hot outside—Hubert's Lemonade will be on hand with free lemonade for thirsty shoppers. 

See y’all there!

Amoeba Hollywood Sidewalk Saleshuberts lemonade

Harmonizing Siblings The Belle Brigade Play Amoeba SF and Hollywood This Week

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2014 11:30am | Post a Comment

The Belle Brigade - Belt of Orion (Live at Amoeba Hollywood, 2011)


Over the past several decades in popular music there's been frequent reminders that bands featuring siblings usually offer a special musical synchronicity, a flawless fusion of two signing voices - perfectly in sync with one another on a musical level. Examples of brothers, or sisters, or brothers and sisters together in bands over the years include The Kinks, Tegan and Sara, The Everly Brothers, The Bee Gees, and The Belle Brigade who play two Amoeba in-stores this week (tomorrow Tuesday at Amoeba San Francisco, and Thursday at Amoeba Hollywood) in support of their brand new album Just Because (also available on LP format). It will not be the first time that the LA brother-sister duo, comprised of Barbara Gruska and Ethan Gruska, graced Amoeba with their irresistible melodic rock and pitch perfect harmonies. Check the video above from Amoeba Hollywood from a few years ago, around the time of the release their critically acclaimed self-titled debut The Belle Brigade featuring such sunny and satisfying slices of pop rock as "Belt of Orion" above (see the full May 18th, 2011 Amoeba Hollywood in-store here).

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