Despite flying under the mainstream radar for almost a decade, employing the DIY strategy so many do, the Tijuana Panthers are finally poised for a breakthrough. Much like their Innovative Leisure labelmates Hanni El Khatib, Nick Waterhouse, and the Allah-Las, the Tijuana Panthers have been crafting their own brand of alternative surf rock while tucked away in sunny Long Beach, California.
In 2010, the band self-released their debut, Max Baker, following it up with Semi Sweet (Innovative Leisure) in 2013. The latter is a lo-fi rock-pop record at times reminiscent of '50s era doo wop with puppy love themes. For their latest effort, Wayne Interest, the Panthers teamed up with producer and Black Keys touring bassist, Richard Swift. The lo-fi production style is still very intact and guitarist Chad Wachtel's surf licks rock with authenticity. The band shows off their punker minimalism, while still delivering catchy melodies backed by echoey drums.
Born on this day: June 22, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Todd Rundgren (born Todd Harry Rundgren in Upper Darby, PA). Happy 67th Birthday, Todd!
Born on this day: June 22, 1947 - Turtles lead singer and one half the great background vocal duo Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan (born Howard Kaplan in New York, NY). Happy 68th Birthday, Howard!
Born on this day: June 22, 1953 - Singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper (born Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper in Woodhaven, Queens, NY). Happy 62nd Birthday, Cyndi!
On this day in music history: June 22, 1968 - "This Guy's In Love With You" by Herb Alpert hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it is the first chart-topping single for the co-founder of A&M Records. In early 1968, musician Herb Alpert will receive an offer from CBS to host his own network television special titled The Beat Of The Brass. Looking new material to perform on the program, Alpert will contact his friend, songwriter Burt Bacharach, and ask him if he has any old songs that haven't been recorded. Bacharach will find the lyrics and music to a song he and his lyricist partner Hal David wrote titled "This Guy's In Love With You." Alpert loves it and records it immediately. When The Beat Of The Brass special airs on CBS on April 22, 1968, the song will be featured in a segment where Alpert sings the song to his then wife Sharon on the beach in Malibu, CA. The day after the special airs, the CBS switchboard is flooded with thousands of calls from viewers asking where they can buy the record. A&M Records will rush release the single the following day. Entering The Hot 100 at #72 on May 18, 1968, it then streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. The record is the first number one pop single for both A&M Records as a label, and for songwriters Bacharach and David, becoming one of their most performed and recorded songs. The success of "This Guy's In Love With You" will send the accompanying album The Beat Of The Brass to number one on the Billboard Top 200, becoming Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass' fifth and final chart-topping album. "This Guy's In Love With You" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
The setting for local independent hip-hop recording artist J.Morgan's latest video, "Human," is, you guessed it, Amoeba San Francisco. Proving that zombies need to shop too, filmmaker Bryce Graven captured Amoeba SF and Haight Street during the zombie apocalypse. You mean 4/20? NO! These are real zombies and they want to eat brains and browse CDs. But J.Morgan keeps it human.
"Human" is the title track for J.Morgan's debut album Human, available online at his website.
Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!'and available in both CDand LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels'Run The Jewels 2 that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics.
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career? Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role. Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.
Amoeba is proud to sponsor the June 26 Grand Performances show at California Plaza featuring folk-rockers Run River North. The show is free and all-ages, and it starts at 8 p.m. We’ll be on hand with the Prize Wheel, so come by and give it a spin!
L.A.’s Run River North combine beautiful folk harmonies with rock dynamics and uplifting, spiritually leaning lyrics. The band rose to notoriety after recording a performance video in a band member’s Honda, prompting the car manufacturer to surprise the band by taking them to “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Read Amoeblogger Billy Gil's interview with the band here. And see a video below of the band performing live at Amoeba Music last year.
Also performing will be S.F.’s The Family Crest. The band is an NPR favorite who play energetic tunes infused with soaring vocals, strings, choral harmonies and dramatic arrangements. Watch their video for “Love Don’t Go” below.