By Nazeeh Alghazawneh
At least once a month an elderly woman approaches me and tells me that I remind her of her son, either in the way that I look or because of my demeanor or simply because of my age. They’re very sweet and a little bit sad but most of all, full of nostalgia, which is always more sweet than sad until you think about it too much. They love to tell me about them. These mothers love to tell me about the love they have for their sons - an unconditional, boundless love that’s familiar and intimate at the same time but mostly uncomfortable. However, I nod my head and I listen because a heart is speaking to me and that’s the best thing about mothers: they always speak with their hearts.
It’s 1979 and Japanese New Wave director Shohei Imamura releases his first feature-length fiction film, Vengeance is Mine (available on DVD and Blu-ray), after a decade of making documentaries. For 140 minutes we’re introduced to Iwao Enokizu (played by Ken Ogata), a textbook sociopath with a penchant for murdering innocent people for reasons he couldn’t explain. Based on the real life serial killer Akira Nishiguchi, the film depicts the 78-day killing spree with faithful objectivity; Enokizu’s exploits aren’t glorified or celebrated, but they are fully realized. Imamura’s camera hangs low and aloof behind our protagonist, following him with that lecherous sense of dread and paranoia that a hunted murderer on the run probably feels. Ogata’s performance finesses a presence on the screen that is volatile, dripping with an anxiety that ultimately makes you feel uneasy, but dedicated to him nonetheless. The worst part is just how charming he is. It’s a concoction of Kit’s (Martin Sheen) aimless nonchalance from Terrence Malick’s Badlands and Bronson’s (Tom Hardy) gleeful desire for violence from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. Enokizu lacks any regard for anyone in his life, including himself, which appears to fuel his desire to kill; he seems to be angry that he’s even alive.
By Nazeeh Alghazawneh
If you're searching for the perfect holiday gift for the post-punk completist or the music fan who has everything, never fear! We've compiled a roundup of some of the most impressive, comprehensive, and just straight up awesome slash interesting rock box sets to hit our stores this year. Many of these releases have never been on vinyl before. Some had been on vinyl long ago, back in the day, and were going for crazy prices on the resell circuit -- until these reissues dropped. From alternate takes to oral histories, here's why we think these box sets will make delightful gifts for the music lovers in your life.
This comprehensive box set features two 200-gram vinyl LPs plus two CDs, a booklet with song notes from the band, a lyric sheet, and two record sleeves -- the original proposed design and the iconic Skylarking design.
What was the first thing Sunn O)))'s Greg Anderson picked up during his recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood? That would be the super deluxe edition of Black Sabbath's seminal sophomore album, Paranoid. "This is (an) incredibly important band and album," says the guitarist and co-founder of Southern Lord Records, who also comments "everything kind of starts and ends" with Sabbath for him.
Sunn O))) formed in the late ‘90s, becoming legendary figures in the metal scene through their innovative incorporation of elements from doom, drone, ambient, noise rock, and black metal. Founders Stephen O'Malley (Khanate, Burning Witch) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake, Engine Kid) originally teamed up as a Los Angeles-based Earth tribute band before honing their unique sound and releasing their debut full-length ØØ Void in 2000 via Hydra Head. The duo’s next offering was 2002’s 3:Flight of the Behemoth.
By Brent James
You've been to the shows. You've seen the artists. You've always wanted to be on the Amoeba stage. NOW is your chance!
Running now until December 31st is our indoor sidewalk sale we're calling the Bizarre Holiday Bazaar! We've dug through the darkest, deepest recesses of the building and put all the choice merch out for sale. Best part? It's actually located ON the world famous Amoeba San Francisco stage!
It's a great place for photo ops, on Friday nights you'll be on stage WITH a guest DJ, and you'll find last-minute stocking stuffers such as a Tom Petty hiking bag or a Santana picnic blanket. Not your thing? How about your choice from over 100 different carded Star Wars action figures? Or maybe a KISS action figure?
In any case, there's something for everyone at Amoeba Music. With a different selection every day, you'll never see the same thing twice!
Happy Holidays from Amoeba Music!
One of five Grammy 2017's "Best New Artist" nominees Anderson .Paak (above Feb 2015: Amoeba Hollywood following the release of his album Venice). This year the neo-soul singer/producer/musician from Oxnard (FKA Breezy LoveJoy) released both the solo album Malibu (nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album) & collaborative Yes Lawd! (on LP) with Knxwledge as NxWorries.
Predictably within moments of the public announcement of the nominees for the 2017 Grammys been made last Tuesday (Dec. 6th) disgruntled music fans swarmed social media to vent their outrage over why they felt the Grammys sucked. While many positive music fans agreed with such choices as Beyoncé (nine nominations in all!) or Sia (two nominations), or the inclusion of such relative newcomers as Anderson .Paak and BJ The Chicago Kid (both friends of Amoeba), typically it was the voices of discontent who were the loudest and that dominated the discussions. These critics were the quickest in expressing their disdain over the picks and, more importantly, the omissions or snubs from the listed nominees for the music biz's biggest annual event: the 59th Grammy Awards to take place on February 12, 2017. "I can't believe that so-and-so [insert their fave artist here] was not included once but that Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West each got eight nominations! What the F.." was a stereotypical response by those of the many unhappy music fans to the Grammys announcement. But being incredulous at the lack of new creative alternative music in a mainstream music event doesn't accomplish anything. It's like Trump whining about how "unwatchable" SNL is while still religiously tuning in each week.