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AMOEBA INSTORE SERIES SHOWCASE JAY REATARD'S LOVE OF PUNK

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2009 07:30am | Post a Comment
Jay Reatard - "It Ain't Gonna Save Me" off Watch Me Fall (Matador, 2009)

Anyone who rushes to write off Jay Reatard's music as unoriginal or derivative of punk's past is missing the whole point of the supertalented, highly profilic artist with a love of Lo-Fi recordings. His anticipated new record Watch Me Fall on Matador comes out today and at 6pm today Reatard will play Amoeba Music Hollywood in his first of three Amoeba Music free in-stores. The other two Amoeba parts of Reatard's Indie Record Store Tour are Saturday at Amoeba San Francisco and Sunday at Amoeba Berkeley -- both at 6pm.

Born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., Memphis, TN's Jay Reatard has long been a huge fan of punk and post Jay Reatard Watch Me Fallpunk, especially the type with pop driven chord progressions that you can scream at the top of your lungs along with, as you can tell from listening to his numerous recordings under The Reatards and other names he has played under. It's like he totally absorbs punk's rich, robust past and spews it out with reinvigorated delight in stage shows that have have become so legendary they have threatened to overshadow the music itself, as mentioned last week in the wonderful Amoeblog Jay Reatard Amoeba Instore Tour post!

But, getting back to Jay Reatard's music, which at once sounds new yet totally familiar to anyone who has been a fan of punk and power pop punk over the years, the artist has said time and again that he has a deep passion for where music has come from and is merely putting his spin on it. Most recently, in an interview with Mike Rubin published two days ago in the New York Times, Reatard summed it up best when he said, "The whole concept for me behind pop music is to take your influences and filter them through yourself, and then they become something new. I’m not trying to move forward and create territory that hasn’t been mined before, I’m just trying to do my version of something that I like.”

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Dais Records Unearths COUM Transmissions

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 11, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Bicoastal boutique label Dais Records --founded in 2007 by Gibby Miller in L.A. and Ryan Martin in Brooklyn -- has, in its brief history, quickly amassed (with no signs of stopping) an impressive back-catalog of instantly classic releases by artists on the obscure and dark end of the spectrum. The label’s roster of quality limited vinyl pressings includes albums by Cult of Youth and Tor Lundvall as well as the sought-after Cold Cave 12”, The Trees Grew Emotions and Died.  The label has also developed a trusted working relationship with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge which has resulted in the vinyl release of Psychic TV’s recent full-length, Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers, and a haunting, previously unreleased 1968(!) archival recording from P-Orridge entitled Early Worm (now out of print).  

A third upcoming team-up between P-Orridge and Dais is another archival release, entitled The Sound of Porridge Bubbling by the infamous COUM Transmissions. Its release will mark the first time most will hear COUM Transmissions, a transgressive performance art collective and band founded, in part, by P-Orridge in 1967 (whose detailed story can be read in a 1999 illustrated biiography entitled Wreckers of Civilisation by Simon Ford). By the time Sound was recorded in 1971 its members also included Cosey Fanni-Tutti and, by 1976, eventually evolved into the seminal and forever holy/unholy Throbbing Gristle.
 
The recordings went unreleased until now due to the rapid activity of the collective pushing them off as a priority.  However, now that the seal on the vault has been cracked, further COUM archive releases via Dais are also in the works .

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Thomas Nola and O Paradis: Supergroup Paradise

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 4, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Les Paradisiers
is a musical power-marriage between American underground musician, author, and film director Thomas Nola (et Son Orchestre) and Barcelona-based Mediterranean-Neo-folk artist Demian, aka O Paradis. The duo’s first aural offspring, More Tales From The Garden, was recently released on LP with Free Digital Download Card via Nola’s own Disques de Lapin imprint. The LP features a dozen dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through Thomas and Demian’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.

Tales’ atmosphere is helped along by the fact that it was birthed into one being in two very separate places-- Demian’s parts were recorded in Barcelona and Thomas’s contributions were captured in Boston, MA. Therefore, the album is also a bilingual affair, split between American English and Peninsular Spanish.

However, much like O Paradis’s collaborative efforts with the now-defunct Austrian neo-cabaret act Novy Svet, Nola and Demian are actually a logical pairing. Both artists are popular among fans of the Neofolk genre but neither of them carry or are weighted-down by any of the problematic dogma that exists within it. The pair’s main respective projects seem to strive to weave new surreal worlds out of the pieces and tatters of this one, rather then anchoring their songs in a particular part of real world history. Where many of their peers’ albums are academic in nature, Nola and O Paradis’s output is usually looser and takes itself less seriously. Les Paradisiers doesn’t stop this trend. 

Jessie Evans, The Vanishing Lady, Returns To California

Posted by Aaron Detroit, July 23, 2009 11:23am | Post a Comment
Greetings and Salutations!! Welcome to the inaugural post of Amoeba’s Black Light District, a new weekly(ish) blog where we shall traverse in the darker realms of the musical & subcultural universe (i.e. Death Rock, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Transgressive Fiction, Dark Wave, Apocalyptic Folk, Goth, Black Metal, B-Movies, Doom Disco, Synthpop, Ethereal Nu-Gaze, Neo-New Beat, Death-Twee, Infernal Drone and all manner of night-friendly sounds and darkly delights! *cue Evil Doctor laugh). Come forth, for we own the night!

This week, California’s prodigal dark queen,
Jessie Evans, jessie evans is it fire?returns for shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles to promote her debut solo LP, Is It Fire? (Fantomette Records). Jessie spent nearly a decade in the California Punk and Death-Rock scenes honing her chops singing and wailing James Chance-style on her trusty saxophone (as well as a few other instruments!) in bands like The Vanishing and the now rather legendary Subtonix.

The Vanishing relocated from San Francisco to Berlin in 2004 but split up soon after, leaving Jessie free for new ventures.
Autonervous, initially a solo project, blossomed into a collaborative project between Evans and Bettina Koster (of the '80s German band MALARIA!). The duo released an LP and toured in 2006. Autonervous marked a heavy shift in direction for Ms. Evans -- her songwriting became more sultry and less incendiary, her lyrics more minimal and focused. Also bubbling under the dancey beats was a new sense of joy. Egads! Her grimajessie evansce was turning into a smile!

On Is It Fire? that smile has turned into full-on laughte
r, and audibly s
o! It’s not an evil-kind of laughter either, on the interlude track “Micheladas,” Evans can be heard clinking glasses and laughing joyously. The album is indeed a celebration of dark glamour, love and sexuality, from the daring come-on of "Scientist of Love" and the House-y statement of intent, “Let Me On,” on to the horn-y swing of the Autonervous re-take “Golden Snake” and the dark and dreamy sway of “Black Sand” with its chant of “It’s time to get into your body.”

Evans didn’t party completely alone though; in fact, she brought in some heavy-hitters, literally. Both
Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop), and Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees) share time behind the drum-kit on the album. Evans’ arrangements focus heavily on beat and rhythm, which adds greatly to the primal and sexual mood of the album, whilst Budgie ‘s presence definitely lends to some Creatures-esque moments. Also under Evans' employ is horn-blower Martin Wenk (Calexico), and an International Children’s choir. This lady throws one crazy shindig!
jessie evans and budgie
Half of Is It Fire? was recorded at home in Berlin while the other half was recorded in Jessie’s newest beloved city, Tijuana (Evans pays tribute en Espa├▒ol on 3 tracks). Evans’ ridiculously long list of credible contributors gets longer with production and mixing duties handled by Thomas Stern (Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Crime and The City Solution) in Berlin and Pepe Mogt (Nortec Collective) in Tijuana.

(In which an angel visits Amoeba Music Hollywood.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 13, 2009 02:33pm | Post a Comment
jimmy scott
Little Jimmy looking big

Uh, did I mention that, a couple weeks ago, Little Jimmy Scott came into the jazz room at Amoeba Music Hollywood? I used up a whole box of tissue, my mind was so blown – and I’m not easily star-struck. Most of the people I’d like to meet are dead (a quality I admire in a person). Never have I been as giddy and star-struck as I was at meeting Jimmy Scott. I cried. I actually cried! Like I was a seventeen-year-old girl at a Beatles concert in ’64. Okay, I didn’t grab the sides of my face and scream – not externally, anyway.

jazz singer

He was sweet like an angel descending on the city for a day to offer a glimpse of light unsoiled by our planet’s spiritual smog. His voice was unmistakable, his smile generous, and he patiently listened to all our gushing with the grace you’d expect from your favorite Kindergarten teacher. The fact that he was wheelchair-bound only enhanced the sense that he was visiting royalty, forever receiving people at his throne.

Poor health has made his already diminutive body more frail, and the stiffness in his hands made for an other-worldly contrast to his skin, which was soft and warm like a newborn infant.

He was flanked by a small film crew from Germany who were shooting a documentary on the making of his next album which, they reported, would be of the blues genre. They were excited that, in the employees of Amoeba, they finally found some young people who not only knew who Jimmy Scott was, but were fans. One of them bullied my fellow co-worker, Lucas, and I into being interviewed for their documentary, despite my emphatic explanation that I was too shy for interviews and anyway, English was my sixteenth language. (I acquiesced after they called my bluff and offered to allow me to answer questions in my native Ket.)

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