Amoeblog

INTERVIEW WITH AMOEBA MUSIC'S DEAN SANTOMIERI

Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2007 04:35pm | Post a Comment
AMOEBLOG: How long have you worked at Amoeba Music Berkeley and what exactly is your job there?
 
DEAN SANTOMIERI: I started working in the record business in 1971 when I dropped out of SUNY Buffalo. I moved to the Bay Area in 1975, and although I thought I was through with the record business, unemployment was high and my friend Ivy got me a job at Tower Records in Berkeley. In November 1990, I visited Marc (one of the Amoeba owners) the first weekend Amoeba opened and he offered me a job. I thought about it over the weekend, then gave my two employers, Tower and Revolver Records, notice and started two weeks later. This would be late November or early December 1990. A year later I took a job running the Media Center at the California College of Arts, but continued to work Saturdays at Amoeba. In 1996, I left CCA and went back to Amoeba full time. I am a buyer and I work in the classical department. Most of my time is spent helping customers and pricing used CDs.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?                

DEAN SANTOMIERI: I could say many things, but Amoeba’s generosity in accommodating its employees stands out; for example, many of us are touring musicians and are graciously given time off. But the lengths to which the owners, managers and Amoeba employees have gone to help each other in time of need is what I find most unique about Amoeba. It is also what makes me most proud about working here. We live in a time when the escalating cost of health care, salaries and pensions have caused companies to drastically reduce or eliminate benefits, but what the Amoeba family has done for Dax Pierson (Amoebite pictured above, who was in a serious auto accident while on tour with his band) and others is unlike anything I have ever seen.
 
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top Three Items at Amoeba this week that people are seeking out?

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Hilly Kristal, Founder of CBGB's, Dead at 75

Posted by Miss Ess, August 29, 2007 12:47pm | Post a Comment
hilly kristal cbgb
Hilly Kristal
has died.

Apparently he had lung cancer.  cbgb omfug

It's sad to me that after fighting for years to save the seminal punk club he founded, CBGB's, and losing that battle, he then lost his life less than a year later. 

He was 75 years old.

R.I.P Hilly.


Here's a performance by the Ramones at CBGB in 1977.



And here's Blondie performing there the same year:




It's lame and depressing how almost all the cool parts of New York City are being swallowed up by rents and landlords and all that gentrifying junk.

The first time I ever went to NYC I was 19 years old and super wide eyed and I dragged my friends to CBGB.  I coulda sworn I could still smell Lou Reed and Dee Dee Ramone in the dirt coating the street there in the Bowery.  We didn't have fake IDs and we were obviously too young to get in to the club but I went into the shop next door and got a shirt and wore it proudly for about 5 years....until Hot Topic started hawking them and every mall rat across America suddenly had one...Everything rock n roll started to feel even more hollow at that point.

Li'l Bit #4

Posted by Job O Brother, August 28, 2007 11:46pm | Post a Comment
This is my week for spotting obscure female comedians, it seems, because today I was delighted to find myself face-to-face with the charming and razor-witted Cathy Ladman.

Cathy was often seen on TV stand-up shows; I remember, Mtv showcased her frequently. I also had the LP she shared with Paula Poundstone. She was one of my favorites and I was always excited when she showed up on billing.

Working in Hollywood, one is always running into celebrities. It's a relief when those you like end up being cool in person, as Ms. Ladman was.

I tried to find some of her stand-up on YouTube to share with y'all (I'm always looking out for you, sugar), but the few things that featured her also included many others, so I leave it to you to discover her yourself. But only, y'know, if you like laughing and stuff.


The immensely satisfying Kathy Ladman.

More Tales of the City: In This Edition, Amnesiacs Spell Trouble for Midgets

Posted by Miss Ess, August 28, 2007 06:34pm | Post a Comment
So I am continuing watching the Tales of the City complete series.  Now I'm on to More Tales of the City

I have to say, it's not as good as the first series, just like everyone told me, but it is still highly enjoyable.

more tales of the city armistead maupin mouse
From Left, look-now-she's-white D'orothea, preggers DeDe, jerk face Beauchamp, new icky face Mouse, amnesiac Burke, cheese bucket Mary Ann

More Tales of the City is the second part of a 3 part mini series based on Armistead Maupin's novels about San Francisco and the lives and loves of some of its inhabitants in the 70s.

more tales of the city dvd One of the most unfortunate aspects of the More Tales is that several of the characters from the originalmore tales of the city mary ann mouse series Tales of the City have been recast, most unfortunately Michael "Mouse", one of my favorites from the first series. His replacement has a dimpled chin and a sleazy moustache.  Not exactly the sweet Brian Boitano look alike I so adored from the first series.  But whatever.  Brian, a sort of side character in the first installment, has been recast for More Tales by this aqua netted hair older looking dude. The character of Mona has been recast also.  I never thought I would miss scary tiger face lady Chloe Webb but now that she's gone I must say she added a certain gravitas to the flighty character of Mona that her much younger, less interesting replacement lacks. 

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GANG STARR's JUST TO GET A REP - A HIP HOP CLASSIC

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2007 05:00pm | Post a Comment
Mad brotgang starrhers know his name....It's a daily operation

These infamous hip-hop words are among some of the numerous memorable lyrics uttered by GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's track on the February 1991 Gang Starr single "Just To Get A Rep" (Chrysalis/EMI) which, with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the single's flip side, is a true hip-hop classic! Same for the January 1991 Gang Starr album Step In The Arena that "Rep" was culled from. Both are key parts of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme known by heart to any true hip-hop fan. "Just to Get a Rep" harks from a time (late 80's/early 90's) that many agree was the "golden age of hip-hop" and a time that is very close to my heart as a longtime hip-hop fan.

And listening to "Just to Get A Rep" again (see the video below and read the lyircs under video screen) brings back memories of that time when the single and the album had just dropped, a time that was brimming with amazing new hip-hop joints that (as a DJ) I was dying to play. Back then I was doing Bay Area hip-hop radio and TV shows and interviewed Gang Starr many times. It was no big deal back then.   At the time, rap had still not gone 100% fulltime mainstream -- it was pre Dre's Chronic, which ushered a new, more mainstream era in rap's consumption. This meant that if you were a Bay Area DJ on such independent small stations as KUSF, KALX, KZSU, KPOO, KPFA, or KFJC, you could get artists like Gang Starr to make a live appearance on your show with little effort (today you are competing with David Letterman and People magazine). Back at that time Guru and Premo made numerous trips to the Bay regularly to perform (shows for example were at one of Dave Paul's BOMB Hip-Hop Showcases at the DNA) and do the rounds of local radio stations and retail outlets (big up to Leopolds in Berkeley and T's Wauzi at Eastmont Mall in East Oakland). If you have any memories of this hip-hop classic or wish to nominate one of your personal fave hip-hop classics, please do so below in the COMMENTS. Thanks!

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