Posted by Billyjam, September 24, 2007 01:13am | Post a Comment


Harley, a Black Labrador Retriever, is almost four years old. She is best pals with Lori, who works as a manager at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store.  The two start every day by going up to Lake Chabot for an invigorating morning walk/run. "My other dog Cody passed away and someone who worked at Amoeba put me in touch with someone whose dog had just had a litter. All seven of the litter were girls," recalled Lori. "Organic dairy farmers out in Cloverdale  -- so we went out there and saw her at 4 weeks and then at again at 7 weeks old when we picked her up." Lori notes that Harley has a good "dog friend" in a fellow AmoebaDog. "I share an office with Naomi and Harley and Liebchen (scroll down to see her profile) get along really well together," she smiled. 


Kahless (rhymes with Payless) is an Australian Cattle Dog and is the best friend of Paul Vasquez, who works in the world music section of Amoeba Music Hollywood. Recently Paul recalled that fateful day three years ago when he and Kahless first crossed paths. "It was one afternoon in April 2004; I was looking for a dog at the animal shelter in Pomona. I looked at plenty of animals, but none of them really caught my eye. On the way out, I saw a picture on a bulletin board of a dog with beautiful eyes and super crazy spots. I looked to my left, and there he was in his little cell. I went to him and knelt down to see his reaction. No barking, no weirdness, just eye contact and a wagging tail. All of a sudden he put one of his paws through the bars onto my knee. That was it. I chose him and he chose me. We've been best friends ever since."

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50 CENT beaten by KANYE 'Dollar Bill' WEST

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2007 12:10pm | Post a Comment

With estimated CD sales of two to one (two Kayne to every one Fitty) at Amoeba Music Hollywood and most other music outlets across the country, yesterday it seems that Fitty literally is 50 Cent to every Kayne "dollar bill" West, in terms of sales of the long-feuding artists' highly anticipated and publicized new full-length releases. As San Francisco Amoebite and AMOEBLOGGER Brad Schelden outlined in his "Coming Out Today 9/11" AMOEBLOG yesterday, the latest round in the ongoing battle between Kayne West and 50 Cent (aka Fitty) would manifest itself at cash registers this week upon the release of each high-profile rapper's new album: Kayne West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis.kanye west graduation

And according to Tuesday's retail sales figures from each of the three Amoeba Music outlets plus online sales figures released by iTunes and, it is clear that West's new release greatly outsold Fitty's. "In terms of sales here yesterday, it was pretty much two to one in Kayne's favor," said Amoeba Music Hollywood hip-hop department's John Liu, adding that, "There was definitely a buzz about the two new releases, no doubt generated by all the recent media attention." Meanwhile at Amoeba Music San Francisco, according to the Haight Street store's hip-hop buyer Luis, the ratio of sales yesterday was even greater in Kayne's favor. It was four to one, indicating that maybe Fitty should perhaps consider changing his name to 25 Cent or Quarta' for short.

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Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2007 04:35pm | Post a Comment
AMOEBLOG: How long have you worked at Amoeba Music Berkeley and what exactly is your job there?
DEAN SANTOMIERI: I started working in the record business in 1971 when I dropped out of SUNY Buffalo. I moved to the Bay Area in 1975, and although I thought I was through with the record business, unemployment was high and my friend Ivy got me a job at Tower Records in Berkeley. In November 1990, I visited Marc (one of the Amoeba owners) the first weekend Amoeba opened and he offered me a job. I thought about it over the weekend, then gave my two employers, Tower and Revolver Records, notice and started two weeks later. This would be late November or early December 1990. A year later I took a job running the Media Center at the California College of Arts, but continued to work Saturdays at Amoeba. In 1996, I left CCA and went back to Amoeba full time. I am a buyer and I work in the classical department. Most of my time is spent helping customers and pricing used CDs.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?                

DEAN SANTOMIERI: I could say many things, but Amoeba’s generosity in accommodating its employees stands out; for example, many of us are touring musicians and are graciously given time off. But the lengths to which the owners, managers and Amoeba employees have gone to help each other in time of need is what I find most unique about Amoeba. It is also what makes me most proud about working here. We live in a time when the escalating cost of health care, salaries and pensions have caused companies to drastically reduce or eliminate benefits, but what the Amoeba family has done for Dax Pierson (Amoebite pictured above, who was in a serious auto accident while on tour with his band) and others is unlike anything I have ever seen.
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top Three Items at Amoeba this week that people are seeking out?

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Posted by Billyjam, July 27, 2007 06:42am | Post a Comment

Another recent victim of visa problems entering the US to perform, UK based and Sri Lankan singer/rapper and designer M.I.A. has apparently overcome her American immigration issues this time around and will be performing all scheduled shows, including a highly recommended free instore at Amoeba Music, Berkeley this Saturday at 2pm!

Yes, the scheduled Saturday afternoon show with the artist often associated with Diplo is due to kick off at 2PM, but, as regulars to Amoeba Berkeley already know, space is somewhat limited when it comes to instores at the East Bay location, so get there early if you want to secure a good vantage point -- especially for this artist, who will most likely attract a large turnout.

The performance will be followed by a meet-and-greet/signing session with the artist, who just celebrated her 30th birthday last week. No doubt she will be performing tracks from her last album, the critically acclaimed 2005 Arular, which launched her unique blend of hip-hop, ragga, grime, and baile-funk Stateside and probably also some tracks from her soon-to-drop new album Kala (due out August 21st), featuring the song "Boyz." (Check out the colorful, mutli-cultural music video for this new single below.

Good word has it that if you buy either the vinyl 12" or CD version of the new M.I.A. single at Amoeba Berkeley on Saturday, you will receive a certificate good for two bucks off Kala when it drops in August, plus a limited edition bandana designed by the musician/designer herself (while supplies last). For full details/restrictions, click here

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Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2007 04:09am | Post a Comment

So what happens to Amoebites (people who work at Amoeba) after they stop working at Amoeba Music and move on with their lives? And does their time spent at the music store impact or influence them in any way later on? These questions and a lot more are answered in this interview (the first in a series) with a former Amoebite, who is now a Brooklynite, named Nick Lesley. Nick worked at all three Amoebas (Hollywood, Berkeley, San Francisco) before moving out to NYC two-and-a-half years ago. In California Nick played in the bands Vholtz, The Oma Yang, and Felicia & Coctopus, with whom he appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V on the track "Whiskey Dick." Currently Nick is a student at Brooklyn College, updates several websites, and plays in several bands, including Necking, whose lineup includes Dong-Ping Wong and Josh Graver. He books shows at the cool Brooklyn living space called Dead Herring House he shares with other artists (they had a giant show there just last Saturday night). For income Nick now works at a funky, fun lil spot in New York City's Lower East Side called the Cake Shop, which is part record-store, part cafe, and part music club. It was there that I caught up with the former Amoebite recently and asked him about  the differences between East and West coasts, about his studies, his music, and his life -- before and after Amoeba.

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