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Remembering Mike Kelley at MOCA

Posted by Amoebite, June 27, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead

This summer, LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is celebrating the life and work of another LA icon, the late artist Mike Kelley. So incisive and influential is Kelley's body of work that the exhibit takes up the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, plus a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue. With a deep and far-ranging oeuvre that takes in media from sculpture to photography to performance, Kelley's contributions to the world of music are sometimes overlooked.

Sonic Youth Dirty

A founding member of Detroit's noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, a student of Laurie Anderson (at CalArts), and the artist behind Sonic Youth's Dirty album art, Kelley's musical output is proudly positioned in the underground. Amoeba Hollywood sat down with Kelley a few years back to delve into that musical heritage, and to get his thoughts on the movies and music that influence and inspire him as an artist. In this 2010 installment of our Webby award-winning series What's In My Bag?, Kelley runs through his picks, from hallucinatory no-budget schlock horror flicks to classic jazz vocalists.

 



New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Director Edgar Wright

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2014 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Edgar Wright

Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy

Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.

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Show Recap: Kan Wakan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 25, 2014 07:18pm | Post a Comment

kan wakan amoeba hollywoodKan Wakan's sound on their recent Moving On album, a stew of stirring strings, classic rock organs, gleaming guitarwork and sensual vocals, seemed like it would be difficult to pull off in a live setting. But my first time seeing the band, June 18 at the store, showed just how skilled the band is at taking a heady and heavily orchestrated sound and making it work live. Beginning with cool polyrhythms and arpeggiating synths, singer Kristianne Bautista's vocals sounded husky and soulful one second, lilting the next, reminiscent of Bjork in their elasticity. Kan Wakan's sound is decidedly not small, playing as a seven-piece and creating grandiosity with surging crescendos, bells and tribal drums. Their songs sway and move, sultry and mysterious, oceanic amid surging guitars and crashing cymbals. The overall effect and intention seems to me to stir something up in you rather than smack you upside the head with something catchy, a nice antidote to the flood of overly excitable indie pop bands in L.A. Bautista's vocals were sometimes muffled by all the sci-fi synths and other craziness but would come through loudly every so often with a breathy forcefulness. For a band that trades in atmospherics and post-rock vibes, live, they're as gripping as a punk band.

See more photos from the show here.

5 Famous Dads Shop at Amoeba

Posted by Amoebite, June 12, 2014 02:52pm | Post a Comment

what's in my bag fathers

It's almost Father's Day and we wanted to pay homage to all the rad fathers of the world, particularly the ones who share their love of music with their kids. Here are our Top 5 What's In My Bag? episodes featuring dads at Amoeba. Two episodes feature dads shopping alongside their kids and the others are fathers trying to navigate that potential minefield of picking out music for their children. 

5. Jay Bentley of Bad Religion and his son, Hunter, demonstrate what happens when the generations listen to very different musical styles. Unlike his punk rocker dad, Hunter is an aspiring rap artist and picks up underground hip hop. Watch as Jay reacts to his son giving Bad Religion some praise. (Start at 2:37 for the conversation between father and son.) 

Jay Bentley (Bad Religion) - What's In My Bag?

 

4. Comedian "Weird Al" Yankovic, in our very first episode of "What's In My Bag?" back in 2008, was at Amoeba Hollywood shopping for his five year old daughter. (Side note: We are talking to him near the entrance to our parking garage as he was on his way out the store. Oh, how far we've come in 6 years!)

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Crystal Fighters

Posted by Amoebite, June 6, 2014 09:01pm | Post a Comment

Crystal Fighters

In a world where EDM has infiltrated just about every musical genre on the planet, it's sometimes hard to filter out all the noise. There's a new contender making their way up the dance-pop ranks, Crystal Fighters, a London-based dance band steeped in elements of traditional Basque culture. Their latest album, Cave Rave (Atlantic, 2013), evokes exactly what the title suggests... you're in a cave dancing with fluffy bears while pink bats are circling the hanging disco ball above and the bass is hitting so hard your clothes fall off. All you can do is sing along in a trance. Cave Rave shows off the band's ability to craft catchy tracks with hooks made for pop radio, while still supplying the deep harder stuff old fans love. Crystal Fighters have the song sensibilities reminiscent of Yeasayer with the electro-pop polish of Capital Cities. The Fighters will be all over the world playing festivals throughout the summer. Make sure to catch them!

Our What's In My Bag? cameras caught up with Crystal Fighters on a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. Very much influenced by World Music, Sebastian Pringle kicks things off with a vinyl copy of a stellar Soundway Records reissue of forgotten Colombian legends Michi Sarmiento Y Sus Bravos. It's a must-have for world music enthusiasts. He also picks up a copy of Francis Bebey's African Electronic Music 1975-1982 on vinyl. Gilbert Vierich digs through our reggae 45 section and pick up a stack of singles. Yes, literally a stack! Graham Dickson shows off his love of electronic music with selections by Holy Ghost! and the Perlon record label. Check out all their cool picks in the full episode below. 

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