Chuck Prophet: San Francisco Musical Treasure

Posted by Joe Goldmark, October 27, 2015 01:29pm | Post a Comment

Chuck Prophet

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

San Francisco rocker Chuck Prophet cut his musical teeth in the band Green On Red before embarking Chuck Prophet, Night Surferon a solo career in the early 1990s. Since then he’s recorded a dozen of his own unique albums. Although he’s had much critical success, he still flies pretty much under the radar as far as the masses are concerned. Luckily, he’s undeterred, and keeps releasing wonderful albums. He did have some commercial success when he scored a Top 40 hit a few years ago with “Summertime Thing,” a perfect summer anthem from his album No Other Love. His latest album Night Surfer is out now on Yep Roc.

Chuck’s songs are well written and hooky, and his production is clean and interesting. His lyrics are unusual and his “blue-eyed soul” vocals are strong and distinctive. We’re fortunate to have him in the local scene when he’s not touring the world. A shout out to Stephanie Finch, Chuck’s wife, who’s been a mainstay in the band on organ and vocals.

"Summertime Thing" – From No Other Love

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Ghost

Posted by Amoebite, October 27, 2015 12:46pm | Post a Comment

Ghost What's In My Bag? at Amoeba Hollywood

Swedish heavy metal band Ghost are known for their theatrical appearance onstage and their anonymity offstage. Fronted by Papa Emeritus, an "anti-Pope" figure in skull makeup and cardinal robes, and backed by masked members who call themselves Nameless Ghouls, the band formed in 2006. Their debut full-length came in 2010 with the release of Opus Eponymous.

Ghost MeloriaThe followup came in 2013 with Infestissumam, which generated controversy when it was recorded in Nashville, TN, due to the album's satanic lyrical content. Ghost's third album, Meliora, was released in August 2015 and debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart. You can watch Ghost make their U.S. television debut this Friday, October 30 with a live performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

In support of Meliora, Ghost recently performed a special acoustic set at Amoeba Hollywood. Over 700 fans showed up for the free show and a lucky 300 were also able to meet the band and get the new record signed. Check out the video below featuring some of the amazing, loyal fans who turned up early for the in-store performance. A Nameless Ghoul from Ghost took some time to talk with our What's in My Bag? crew about some of his favorite albums by KISS and Candlemass, and give us some insight into the black metal concepts in Ghost.

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10 Spooky Musical Pieces for Halloween

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 26, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment
Vintage Halloween Masks

At one of the several jobs at which I work we’ve started listening to a Halloween playlist from Spotify or Pandora and like all of those pre-fab playlists it sucks. There aren’t that many explicitly Halloween songs so whomever programed it resorted to tossing in things like Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf" because what's scarier than a hungry Brummie? The Searchers’ “Love Potion No. 9” is not scary and although it's a bit mad, neither is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You” -- both apparently chosen because, you know, potions and spells and such. That sort of thinking is also why David Seville’s deeply annoying (but not scary) “Witch Doctor” now haunts every facet of my brain. Basically this playlist is 90% the kind of stuff collected by Dr. Retarded, novelty record collector and chief head of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I like spooky music and horror films (although they're sadly almost never scary) so this kind of lazy mix-making gets no “squeaks” from me. There is so much more appropriate music out there. The other night some friends and I went to the Million Dollar Theatre to see Dawn of the Dead and before the show former Amoebite Jimmy Hey DJed a set which drew from film scores by Goblin, naturally, and some more unlikely picks, such as Scott Walker’s “The Electrician.” Of course this inspired me to write the following listicle for your enjoyment.

An Intimate Evening with Matisyahu in San Francisco, November 6

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 25, 2015 03:28pm | Post a Comment


Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present An Intimate Evening with Matisyahu on Friday, November 6th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of his breakthrough album, Live at Stubb's, Matisyahu has taken a new look at the music that first made his reputation with his new release Live at Stubb's III: A 10-Year Journey. In two stripped-back sit-down shows in March of 2015, Matisyahu performed new arrangements of his early reggae hits from the original album, along with a selection of later favorites up through Akeda. This tour reconnects Matisyahu with long-time musical collaborators and friends from his early touring days, including Live at Stubb's guitarist Aaron Dugan.

Matisyahu and his band will present an evening of stripped-back arrangements highlighting the music that launched his career while taking fans of all ages on a journey through his evolution.

Get your tickets now for this for this very special event.


Album Picks: Joanna Newsom, Fuzz, Pure Bathing Culture

Posted by Billy Gil, October 23, 2015 12:07pm | Post a Comment

Joanna NewsomDivers

joanna newsom divers lpJoanna Newsom’s first album in five years finds the musician lending her ornate songcraft and magical imagery to an album that at its plainest, examines relationships and the effects of the passage of time. “Anecdotes” begins the album with woodland noise and shortly reintroduces Newsom’s piano, harp and uncommon croon, her lyrics painting slices of life of a soldier laying land mines and returning home, summing up the sentiment it portrays with the line, “Anecdotes cannot say what Time may do.” Newsom’s lyrics are as inscrutable as ever—“Sapokanikan” refers to a Native American village that once stood where Greenwich Village now lies and references Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem about a fallen Egyptian pharaoh, “Ozymandias”—but they’re in service of her central theme, as she sings, “the records they left are cryptic at best, lost in obsolescence.” The arrangements by Newsom, Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi and Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) tickle the songs with orchestral brushes and lend rock pulse to songs like “Leaving the City.” Shorter songs appear, like “The Things I Say,” a downtrodden, countrified piano ditty with lyrics both direct (“I’m ashamed of half the things I say”) and fanciful (“When the sky goes thinkin’ Paris, France, do you think of the girl who used to dance when you’d frame the movement within your hands”) that ends in a rain of beaming guitars. These serve to as breathers before sinking into epics like “Divers,” which gives Newsom’s harp and malleable voice room to roam as she intones, “How do you choose your life? How do you choose the time you must exhale and kick and writhe?” Like Newsom’s previous work, Divers demands close attention. Her albums are the antithesis of instant gratification, which is perversely likely why she’s become so popular as an out-of-time balladeer despite sounding more medieval than millennial—her songs beg that you drop what you’re doing, lest you miss one of her witticisms or whimsies. It’s a strangely soothing effect, harkening back to the time of following lyric sheets and sitting to listen to music as a solitary activity. Despite being seeped in melancholia, Divers ends on the somewhat positive note of “Time As a Symptom.” Newsom cries about the “joy of life” as owls hoot and birds chirp in the background, declaring, “the moment of your greatest joys sustains.” Divers may be concerned with the fleeting nature of time, but it’s a convincing bid at artistic permanence.

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