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50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.



50 Essential Albums of 2012


1.  SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD) 

The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.  






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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Carries On In Warren Hellman's Absence With A Stellar Lineup

Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2012 10:10pm | Post a Comment

Despite the sad fact that Warren Hellman (lower right), the financier/music fanatic who created and fully funded the big San Francisco annual, free, weekend long Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, passed away last December at the age of 77 due to complications from leukemia, the wonderful festival in Golden Gate Park that he is responsible for lives on in his absence. And this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, happening this weekend Friday to Sunday, Oct 5th to 7th, is one that Hellman would definitely have approved of.

This year's Hardly Strictly (the festival's twelfth year) boasts another rich and diverse lineup that includes such artists as Elvis Costello solo, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (Friday), The Chieftains, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock, Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, The Cowboy Junkies (all on Saturday), Patti Smith and her band, The Knitters, and Doug Sahm's Phantom Playboys featuring Dave Alvin, Boz Scaggs, Steve Earle, Jimmie Vaughan, and Delbert McClinton (all on Sunday's lineup). That list of acts is amazing in and of itself. But the fact that those artists only amount to small fraction of the total number of acts scheduled over the three day fest at the six different stages between Hellman Hollow and Lindley Meadows makes it even more mind-boggling.

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Jacked Up on the Irons: top ten reasons NOT to miss the Maiden England 2012 tour!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, August 4, 2012 03:07pm | Post a Comment
iron maiden maiden engalnd california event t-shirt tee 2012 tour eddie golden gate bridge flag bear seventh son logo design

Iron Maiden may be senior classmen in the school of rock but they manage to keep outperforming (while, in most cases, shaming to filth) touring rockers the world 'round with their professionalism and showmanship. Last night's show at the Shoreline Amphitheater (even singer Bruce Dickinson seemed perplexed as to just where the venue was supposed to represent, resorting to, "Scream for me Shoreline!" after asking, "Where the fuck are we supposed to be? San Francisco? Oakland?") was so phenomenally epic, a two hour an epoch in my life. And, according to further Bruce banter between songs, due to the limitations of the venue -- I believe he referred the Shoreline as an "old hippie bandshell" -- the band wasn't able to fully bring their show to life. Nevertheless, they certainly seemed to pack as many pyrotechnics, flames and Eddies on stage as they could in the hopes that, as per Bruce's comments, "burn fucker down to they can build a better one!". Here's hoping they achieve their fully realized set up tonight in Sacramento.

Anyway, find yourself on the fence about hopping the Maiden train this summer? Here's ten good random-order reasons (i.e. every reason could and should be reason number one anyway) to drink the kool-aid!

Reason number one: event tees! The Maiden England 2012 California event tee, pictured above, features Eddie riding an unchained bear, ripping the Golden Gate a new one? Yes please! I'm lucky I got me one of these last night as they were sold out even before the show began. Looking forward to wearing this sweet baby out. 
iron maiden maiden engalnd 2012 tour dave murray steve harris adrian smith janick gers guitar harmony guitarmony triple threat attack axe twin triple

Reason number one: love that patent twin axe-attack "guitarmony" sound? Man do I ever. And Maiden one-ups the advance with the promise of a triple threat what with Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers on guitar. Add to that the galloping bassmageddon of founding member Steve Harris and there you have the classic recipe for a flaming face-melting of harmonized rifflines.

Summer 2012: You CAN Play With Madness!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 29, 2012 12:12pm | Post a Comment
iron maiden flight 666 documentary ed force one take off in flight boeing 757 bruce dickenson pilot heavy metal airplane tour 2009

You know there's something heavy in the air when Ed Force One, Iron Maiden's custom fitted and supremely airworthy Boeing 757 tour-craft, makes a low pass over your hometown's main gas, food and lodging conduit. Well, up the irons Maiden heads of America - the boys'll be back in town this summer revisiting their 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son world tour with production and content to mirror their Maiden England concert home video* so closely that they're gone ahead and exhumed the title for use on yet another "between albums" tour, or the third chapter in the band's History of Iron Maiden live shows.

iron maiden seventh son of a seventh son tour artwork ed force one flight 666 maiden england tour history summer 2012 north america 2013 nwobhm bruce

'Tis a thing of beauty, no? I am almost at a loss for words to explain how pumped I am for this tour. Seventh Son was the first Iron Maiden cassette I ever owned and it still serves as a source of workaday strength for me, especially the song (and music video for) "Can I Play With Madness" - any of you "talented arts" kids out there will fell me on that score. In fact, eff it, I'm so stoked right now how about we watch the music video for "Can I Play With Madness" and talk tour deets n' things after the break.

 
 

Now, if you or any of your clairvoyant friends are in the official Iron Maiden fan club then chances are you've already procured your tickets as they were made available to IMFC members today, but if you're not be ready to get the best of the leftovers on March 2nd or 3rd (check here or your local venue listings for official ticket sale dates and times) and remember to buy paperless and avoid the gauging habits secondary ticketing sites (i.e. the evil that men do lives on and on). For a complete list of set list speculations and 2012 tour dates, see below. Otherwise, up the irons! See you in D.C. and San Francisco!!!!!!!!

RAP NEWS Tells Us What to Expect in 2012 (with Guests Noam Chomsky & Anonymous)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 3, 2012 12:42pm | Post a Comment
Like your rap long, ponderous, and downright hilarious? Thanks to RAP NEWS (written and createdAnonymous, occupy, #occupy, occupy wall street, Rap News, 2012, Noam Chomsky by Hugo Farrant and Giordano Nanni in a home-studio in Melbourne, Australia), there's a constant stream of socio-politically relevant musical commentary addressing the global issues of today. Oh, and they wear funny wigs.

Their latest installment (episode 10) discusses the big one: 
2012!
What will happen? Will we see the poles shift or a paradigm shift? Will a rogue Sumerian planet smash into our solar system, plunging us into serfdom under the iron fist of a race of gold-hungry aliens? Or are the aliens already here? 

Bringing out the big guns -- Noam Chomsky and even an embodiment of Anonymous -- RAP NEWS crams in as many theories and arguments as possible about our impending end of days. Happy New Year!


-- Audra
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