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Best of 2016: Kelly's Personal Picks (now with more cat)!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 31, 2016 02:18pm | Post a Comment
best of 2016 vinyl tony molina egyptian lover blonde redhead tele novella violent change dick stusso dry spells the she's bandit beyonce solange baskets twin peaks eden ahbez
Looking back at 2016, it was a good year for music, if for nothing else. If you're reading this—hey!—you survived the ride. How did you do it? Was it the music? Without a doubt, music has saved my life, or at least my mood, as often as once a day (very probably) over this past year and for that I am thankful (most definitely). Here follows a little list of personal favorites that really came through for me in 2016. My cat may be in some of these pictures...

tony molina confront the truth 45 slumberland
Tony Molina
- Confront the Truth
(Slumberland)

I never know what to expect from Tony Molina, aside from hella Bay Area bombast and great short songs, and Confront the Truth further confused matters for me (save for the short songs tip) in the best way possible. This lovely 45 is brimming with just the sort of comfortably spun, little-bit-country/little bit folk 'n roll melodies I like. It can also be said that it's brimming with conspicuous influences, namely bits n' bobs reminiscent of The Beatles, Elliott Smith, and perhaps even a little early Skynyrd (think "The Seasons"). Nevertheless, it's easy to appreciate the truth of Molina's heartfelt songwriting and superb ability to navigate a softer power as he coaxes and bends his strums and twangs 'til the bitter end on this ten-ish minutes long, eight song confrontation. Or 'til the bittersweet end, as the cherry on top is a loving cover of Thin Lizzy's wistful instrumental "Banshee" rounding out the record like a would-be bonus track. Altogether a perfect example of how beautifully moving even the most fleeting music can be.

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The Best Albums of 2016

Posted by Amoebite, December 19, 2016 03:01pm | Post a Comment

Best of 2016

With the holiday season fast approaching and 2016 drawing to an end, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite releases for the year. Staff from all three of our stores --  in Hollywood, San Francisco, and Berkeley -- shared their picks for the year's best music and movies and told us a little about what made them so awesome. So hop in the Amoeba sleigh with us, won't you, as we go on a magical holiday journey through the early months of 2016 till now, adventuring from world music to rock 'n' roll and everything in between, savoring the most memorable works from some of our most beloved artists. (It might even give you a few swell ideas for record-shaped stocking stuffers.) 

Best of 2016 - rock

Anohni Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness

I have been a fan of Anohni (formerly known as Antony & the Johnsons) for a long time now. She has another one of those distinctive voices that there is no confusing for someone else. Another great album produced by the amazing ANOHNI. The words in the songs are so full of emotion and power it is almost too much to handle sometimes. This album somehow feels like it is in the future. The songs are very set in the present. But the music really takes me to the future. Or at least makes me feel like we will be OK as long as we have ANOHNI to help guide us through the uncertain future. - Brad, Hollywood

De La Soul, Bowie, Ennio Morricone, Sturgill Simpson, & "Compton" OST: Top 5 Reasons 2017 Grammys Don't Completely Suck

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2016 02:17pm | Post a Comment

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.

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Hip-Hop And The 2016 Presidential Election

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2016 05:03am | Post a Comment
Nov. 8th: Following what has to go down as the most divisive, emotionally draining and drawn out, media saturated, presidential campaign in American history, we've finally arrived at November 8th, Election Day 2016. Polls are open 7am to 8pm today in California and from 6am to 9pm in New York. Vote for whomever you believe in, but be sure to get out and vote unless you are among the demographic of early voters who've already handled their business. 

In viewing this election process from a hip-hop perspective and judging what candidate has been most associated with the musical genre, the answer seems pretty clear, starting with who it is not. It sure wouldn't be the one whose racist rhetoric inspired one of the most popular party jams of this past summer: YG featuring Nipsey Hussle's "FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)" off YG's mid June released album Still Brazy (Def Jam). Indeed from early on hip-hop seemed unlikely to side with the candidate who had built his campaign upon the relentless, yet ultimately redundant, questioning of the legitimacy of the birth place of America's "first hip-hop president."

Further Trump's campaign appearing both anti-Hispanic and anti Black Lives Matter, sure didn't give him much chance of converting diehard hip-hop followers. Nor did the lawsuit-happy Orange one's long list of litigation threats that included one against popular rapper Mac Miller. Back in 2011 Mac Miller recorded the song called "Donald Trump" (making reference to riches, nothing political) for his Best Day Ever mixtape (avail on LP) that went on to become a platinum hit and to date racked up 117 million video views. At first Donald Trump said he liked the song. But later he flip-flopped and threatened to sue the rapper (he still has not) over use of his name in the hit song. Unimpressed but inspired to fire back, Mac Miller blasted Trump back at that time. Fast forward to last December, right before the televised Republican presidential debate, Mac Miller revived his counter attack via Trump's favorite fighting ground, Twitter, by posting to his 5.75 million followers: "Please just don't elect this m**therfucker man"

Of course Mac Miller isn't the only rapper to diss Trump. Many have done so in song, especially over the past year, including The Game in the track "El Chapo" with Skrillex, off his 2015 album The Documentary 2.5 Collectors Edition, on which he rapped: "knock Donald Trump out his toupee." However it should be noted that traditionally in the pre-political days of Trump, especially the early nineties when his image was just that of rich businessman, the Donald's countless rap song mentions, that even included A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground, were all highly complimentary with his name been utilized simply to symbolize wealth.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with DJ Spinna

Posted by Amoebite, September 20, 2016 12:24pm | Post a Comment

DJ Spinna What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"I'm gonna give away a little b-boy secret...this record by Cerrone, 'Look For Love,' is a very popular b-boy break," says DJ Spinna of the 7" released by the Cotillion label. But be careful, he warns us, sometimes they edit the breaks out of the singles. The accomplished and much sought after DJ was recently at Amoeba Hollywood, giving away some great record collecting advice and offering up killer recommendations.

Wonder-full LABrooklyn-born hip-hop producer DJ Spinna is a genre-bender whose work dabbles in rap, soul, funk, electronica, and jazz. He first came to prominence in the late '90s underground hip-hop scene thanks to his work with The Jigmastas. He has produced and remixed tracks for some of the biggest names in the contemporary music scene, including Mary J. Blige, Nightmares on Wax, Guru, J-Live, De La Soul, Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Roy Ayers, and many more.

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