out this week 5/26...james blackshaw...phoenix...grizzly bear...blank dogs...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment
blank dogs
I imagine that everybody will be so busy talking about Grizzly Bear this week, they will forget about any other albums that have also come out this week. I am still trying to get into the Grizzly Bear, but it just hasn't been working. I don't neccessarily have a problem with them and maybe they will finally grow on me in the next couple of weeks. It just has not happened yet. But I imagine if you are already a Grizzly Bear fan then you will love this new album -- everybody seems to like it. Some lucky fans got to hear the album early and even buy it early on this Monday here at Amoeba, the day before the album officially came out.

But there are some smaller albums that are getting me very excited this week. First up is the new album by Blank Dogs. The album is called Under & Under and is released by In the Red Records. Blank Dogs is actually just one Blank Dog: one dude from Brooklyn. We seem to know way too much about most artists these days, so I find it refreshing when I know absolutely nothing about an artist. It just makes it all about the music, which is what it should be. This guy even goes so far as to wear masks when he is photographed. Blank Dogs have been putting out music for a couple of years but this is my first real introduction to him. I have long been a fan and will always be a fan of blank dogs under and undershoegaze...and shoegaze this is not, but it does sort of fall into the new genre -- "Shitgaze," brilliant term that makes complete sense. He basically is sort of making up his own weird distorted intrepretation of a genre. It makes it super personal and way more interesting than anything else out there. I am also forever in love with the keyboard, so when it is done right, I usually fall in love with the album. Blank Dogs sound not too different than the synth bands you might have grown up with. Elements of Joy Division, The Cure, and Tuxedomoon are easy to find in these songs. He is not really hiding his influences, but imagine a Jay Reatard type playing with those old genres and making his own sound. The album is dark and dreary but also has a hidden energy inside that make the songs have a sort of more fun, pop feel to them. This is probably the music I would have wanted to play if I had ever continued on my career in music and perfected my keyboard playing skills. Lots of good songs on the album, however, the first track is still my favorite. As much as I love Joy Division, sometimes I need a break. This album is the perfect alternative -- giving you the darkness you desire but with a little something else. Maybe if Ian Curtis had found the right medication and managed to survive the 80s and 90s, this is the sort of album he would have ended up making.
james blackshaw
One of my other favorites of the week is the new James Blackshaw. This guy has been around for a while but I have never actually gotten around to listening to him...although it is very possible that I did listen to him before and it just didn't hit me until now. I honestly always thought this guy was some 60 something Irish dude playing old timey folky ballads. I pictured him with a long white beard and maybe in a wheelchair -- not unlike Robert Wyatt. I was amazed to find out he was actually born in 1981, and he is from I was not so far off on his location, just a bit off on my guess of his age. He has been putting out albums since 2004. He made his way to the label Young God for this new album called Glass Bead Game. Like the albums of Grouper and Jose Gonzalez, this album manages to break my heart a little every time I listen to it. At first it just seems like a simple little album of solo guitar and piano, but it managed to get inside me and break me all up inside. It was one of those albums that I put on not really exjames blackshaw glass bead gamepecting to like, but I was intrigued because it was on Young God. I just expected some Glenn Yarbrough style vocals over the music. I have not had a chance to explore his old albums, but I know he has crossed some boundaries and experimented with a couple different genres. I just like what he is doing right now. There is also some great piano work on this album. The Glass Bead Game is actually the last book by author Hermann Hesse, the man who brought us Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. The album features Joolie Wood on violin, clarinet, and flute; and also John Contreras playing the cello, both of whom also play with Current 93. Lavinia Blackwall also contributes some vocals, but most of album is instrumental. The album is nothing short of beautiful. While it manages to break my heart every time I listen to it, it also mangages to heal it every time. The album is sort of a spiritual classical album. It really makes me feel like I am living in a different era.

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Continued Anticipation Surrounding Lil Wayne's Rebirth Album

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
Lil Wayne Rebirth
With its release date having been postoned more than once already (April 7th, May 19th, and June 23 were each cancelled street dates), Lil Wayne's anticipated seventh studio album Rebirth (Cash Money Universal Motwon) is now slated to be released eight weeks from now, on July 21st. However, the promise by the rapper that it would be an all rock album is up for debate. Still, regardless of whatever music is on the new Southern rap artist's album, Rebirth is a guaranteed future hit.

Originally billed as a "rock album" by the artist, born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr, who has cited Kurt Cobain in interviews as being among his major influences, Rebirth has caused controversy among rap fans who fear that their hero had deserted the genre he came to fame in. In fact, the first single off Rebirth, the rocking, guitar laced "Prom Queen" (video below), didn't chart nearly as well as some past Wayne hits. Some have speculated that this was part of the reason for the album's delay and its genre reformatting to more of a rap than a rock album.

"The influence of the new album is mainly rock...a little different than they [the fans] have been used to," offered Lil Wayne in his recent Soundcheck interview. "We just used the title rock cos we didn't want people to think I am too different so therefore we put the title on the music before they do. But really it's just more Lil Wayne maturing," he said in an interview on The View four weeks ago. Meanwhile Bryan "Baby" Williams (aka Birdman -- one half of BIg Tymers), Cash Money Records co-CEO and mentor to Lil Wayne, informed Vibe magazine that, “It’s not a rock record...That’s what I think people are getting misunderstood. When you speaking about a rock record, you think he’s got a guitar and everything, but it’s not that."

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Back to the Future Marathon at the New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2009 12:03am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!

Friday & Saturday
May 29 & 30

Back to
the Future Trilogy Marathon!

Actress Claudia Wells, Jennifer from the first film, will appear in person both nights to discuss the film!

All Tickets $10
One tickets admits you to all three films

Back to the Future 7:30pm

Back to the Future Part II 10:00pm

Back to the Future Part III 11:59pm

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Be sure to check out Claudia Wells' new website, too!

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Beach Party 2009

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 27, 2009 10:07pm | Post a Comment
andy williams happy heart lp coverorquesta del recuerdo lp covernajee lp cover
We're expecting a heatwave, so here's a nice round of beach themed covers...
charlie barnet quartet jazz oasis lp coverrod mckuen seasons in the sunn II lp cover
romanovsky & phillips trouble in paradise lp coversandy owens ensemble montage lp covertma beach party 2000
a date with riverside lp coverjimmy buffett riddles in the sand lp covernat king cole those lazy hazy crazy days of summer
I know that the Jazz Oasis cover is supposed to be desert, but it looks like the Pismo Beach sand dunes to me.
trigo limpio lp covertammy wynette only lonely sometimes lp coveriguana the winds of alamar lp cover
los joao vamos a la playa lp coverhard rock hits lp coverthis is steve & eydie lp cover
Although I love the Date With Riverside cover above, the Enrique Jorrin LP below is my personal favorite of the bunch.
call of the midnight sun lp coverorquesta enriques jorrin lp covertornader hit it again lp cover

Asian-American Cinema Part IX - the 2000s

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
The ninth of a nine part series on Asian-Americans in front of and behind the camera


The first efforts to combat negative racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian-Americans in film began in the silent era, when a few empowered figures attempted to create an alternative Asian-American Silent Cinema. After their efforts faltered, Hollywood provided most cinematic images of Asians in the '30s, 40s, 50s, and '60s. With the birth of Asian-American theater, Asian-American cinema was revived in the 1970s and began to take off as a viable independent cinema in the 1980s. By the '90s, the scope of Asian-American Cinema broadened considerably, a trend that continued in the 2000s.

In the 2000s, Asians became the fastest growing racial minority in the county. As of 2006, there were over thirteen million Americans of Asian descent (not counting Native people). Of the top ten languages spoken in American homes (English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian and Russian), four are Asian.

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