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A Love Letter to "Black Star"

Posted by Amoebite, May 18, 2015 04:47pm | Post a Comment

Love Letter to Black Star

I loved our recent Essential Records piece about Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star. I loved the personal reflection and the reminiscing about that time and how it had an impact. So many of us are touched by music at a point in our lives - by a particular song or record - and it's amazing how much it sticks with us, and resonates for years and years and years. Just hearing that record can make us feel something deeply: a moment in time, a time in our lives. Music is the wallpaper and the soundtrack. For some of us it is something way more than the background, it is at the core of who we were and are and who we developed into.

Karen at Leopold RecordsKaren at the Info Counter (~1990)

Of course I had a slightly different, but just as pivotal, experience with the release of the album. It has been one that has carried me from the Bay down to LA. Black Star was released the year that Amoeba opened in San Francisco. It was what reminded and reassured me why I was committed to doing what we do every day with music. Because, simply put, artists and musicians were still challenging and stretching and inventing and bringing music to people in a whole new way to whole new generations.

San Francisco Silent Film Festival 20th Anniversary, May 28 - June 1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 18, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with the most ambitious festival to date. Join them May 28th - June 1 at the historic Castro Theatre for more musicians and films than ever, and even an extra day!

During the five glorious days of silent-era films and brilliant live music, there will be 21 programs in all, including film historian Kevin Brownlow sharing tales of his personal experiences with personalities from the silent film era, actor Paul McGann narrating the British horror-comedy The Ghost Train, a special movie-and-live-dialogue performance of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair, a program of hilarious Charley Bowers shorts hosted by inimitable showman/preservationist Serge Bromberg, the premiere of a new score for Murnau's The Last Laugh by Berklee College of Music’s Silent Film Orchestra, and Bay Area’s Earplay performing a new composition for Man Ray’s Emak-Bakia.

See the full line-up and get your tickets HERE!

One Album Wonders: Baader Meinhoff's Baader Meinhoff

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 18, 2015 10:53am | Post a Comment
Luke Haines has released music under several names and as a part of several bands including The Auteurs, The Black Arts, Black Box Recorder, The Deverell Twins, The North Sea Scrolls, The Servants, and the One Album Wonder that is the subject of this piece, Baader Meinhof. Baader Meinhof were named after the West German terrorist group who actually went by the name the Rote Armee Fraktion.

Baader Meinhof album

As a child in the 1980s, I remember the Weather Underground’s heist of a Brink’s truck, the MOVE firebombing, and stories about Carlos “The Jackal.” The first (and second to last) car that I owned was a still-boxy black BMW adorned with a bumper sticker informing anyone stuck behind me in gridlock “Ich gehöre nicht zur Baader-Meinhof Gruppe.” I only know about ten words of German but own an un-subtitled copy of the documentary Starbuck Holger Meins (I get the gist). My interest in Leftist urban terrorism is such that even if a completely generic whoa-oh band were to title a song "Deutscher Herbst," I'd probably listen to it less critically than I would were it instead titled something like "England Skies."

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Music History Monday: May 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 18, 2015 07:50am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: May 18, 1959 - "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for seven weeks on May 11, 1959. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the biggest hit for the Charlotte, NC-born R&B singer, songwriter, and musician. Originally titled "K.C. Lovin,'" the song is first recorded by Little Willie Littlefield in 1952. Harrison will perform the song as part of his live act for several years before recording it himself in March of 1959. Re-arranging the song to a shuffle tempo and adding the refrain "They got some crazy little women there, and I'm gonna get me one" to the chorus make it an instant classic. Issued on Bobby Robinson's Fury Records (he would later be the founder of seminal Hip Hop label Enjoy Records) in early April of 1959, the record will be an immediate hit on both the pop and R&B charts upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #100 on April 13, 1959, it will quickly streak to the top of the chart five weeks later, making it the first single in Billboard chart history to enter at the bottom of the chart and go all the way to number one. "Kansas City" will be covered by numerous artists over the years including The Beatles, Muddy Waters, and James Brown. Wilbert Harrison's version of "Kansas City" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001.
 

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Shovels & Rope Bring "Evil" to Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, May 15, 2015 05:59pm | Post a Comment

Shovels rope

Fans of all ages came out to watch Charleston, South Carolina-based husband-and-wife duo Shovels & Rope play a passionate set of songs on the Amoeba Hollywood stage to celebrate the release of Swimmin' Time. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent brought down the house with their alternative country rock. Everyone was so excited for the new album, even Elvis Costello got in on the action. He showed his support by picking up a copy on vinyl before the in-store and then posed for a quick pic. 

Shovels & Rope's latest album, Swimmin' Time, is the follow-up to their acclaimed 2012 album O' Be Joyful. "Birmingham" (the number one song on American Songwriter's year-end list) and the rest of O' Be Joyful put Shovels & Rope on a larger stage, leading to an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman, an acclaimed set on PBS' Austin City Limits and festival slots at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and ACL. Mojo noted that  "their thrilling music rooted in old country with touches of blues and gospel can't help but remind you of Jack and Meg and Johnny and June." You can catch the band as they criss-cross the country playing summer tour dates.

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