Amoeblog

Remembering March 11, 2011: For What It Is Worth

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 8, 2012 12:34pm | Post a Comment
japan great tohoku earthquake tsunami nuclear disater clamity natural cherry blossoms sakura wreckage aftremath damage ruin

Everyday I think about what it would mean to suffer the panic of a disastrous earthquake. Sometimes the thought is latent, residing somewhere in my metal recesses. But at other times, like a few mornings ago when a magnitude 4 earthquake centered a few miles away literally shook me out of bed at 5:33am, it glows at the front and center in my mind like a warning fire. Can anyone ever really be ready for a seismic shift of any size? How does one prepare for the aftermath? Is there a price you wouldn't pay for hindsight?

tohoku earthquake tsunami natural disaster nuclear crisis catastrophe one year later child photographer wreckage ruins northern japan aftermath healing
 

It has been almost a year since the Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis and during that time there has been a great deal of giving, in terms of fundraising and charity, so that those in Northern Japan affected by the calamity may bolster their hope and know whatever relief may reach them while muster the strength to move forward and rebuild their communities. This Sunday, March 11 marks the one year anniversary of the natural disaster and I urge everyone to seek out and participate in local memorial events that honor those whose lives were claimed while maintaining awareness and providing support for organizations that continue in their effort to provide relief to survivors still striving to carve out an existence in the wake of such a catastrophe. For example, I will be heading to San Francisco's Japan Town for the community remembrance fundraising events featuring live performances and street sale (the Rise Japan booth will have all kinds of artwork on sale, including totes by Kelly Tunstall) then afterwards to Sushi Zone where owner, chef and Amoeba Music regular customer Kimiyaki Aoyama will have the restaurant open from 1-5pm -- mind you, they are never open before 5pm or on Sundays -- selling sake, beer and sushi with all profits to benefit the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation. However, you can make a contribution and score some new vinyl at the same time.

we are the works in progress kazu makino blonde redhead asa wa kuru label japan benefit lp vinyl record four tet terry reilly john maus earthquake tsumani disaster healing kazu makino blonde redhead asa wa kuru label japan disaster relief compilation we are the works on prgress tohoku northern japanese nuclear rebuild healing

If for no other reason than to acquire some beautiful music, Kazu Makino of the band Blonde Redhead has recently released a charity compilation on her newly founded Asa Wa Kuru label (meaning "Morning Will Come" in Japanese) with proceeds to benefit the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund and Architecture For Humanity (a list of these and other groups, individuals and institutions active in the disaster hit areas in Northern Japan can be found here). The vinyl-only compilation, titled We Are The Works In Progress, features some of the most hauntingly 4AD-esque broken-yet-crystalline pop-synth clarion calls to be heard of all the relief offerings put together by musicians with a mind to support Japan's post-tsunami healing process. The collection, spread over two LPs, features Blonde Redhead of course, plus an impressive array of singular artists like Four Tet, Ryuichi Sakamoto teamed up with David Sylvian, Broadcast, Deerhunter, John Maus, Interpol, Terry Riley, Pantha du Prince and many more - it is available for purchase through Amoeba Music here. Simply put, it is a gorgeous effort created to further a worthy cause - one that shouldn't provoke a pause to contemplate the value of music, but rather the value of hope.

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Blonde Redhead 4AD Sessions

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2010 01:39pm | Post a Comment
Check out Amoeba favorites Blonde Redhead performing tracks from their latest album, Penny Sparkle, in the first ever 4AD Sessions to be filmed! Fabulous!

out this week 9/14 & 9/21...blonde redhead...the drums...brandon flowers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 30, 2010 01:41pm | Post a Comment
blonde redhead penny sparkle
I really do live for weeks like this. 9/14 is a big release day! Tons of great new albums out to end your summer with! At the top of the list is a brilliant new album by Blonde Redhead. Some have been saying this album is too slow or mellow, but it is Blonde Redhead! The album will not get you out of a coma or suddenly make you have an optimistic outlook on life, but it is amazing! I have loved this band for a long time and over the years I have fallen in love with them over and over again. Each time a new album comes out and each time I see them perform live it is like falling in love for the first time. My favorite album is still probably Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons from 2000, their 5th album. Their new album is called Penny Sparkle and it's their 8th album. The new album is of course out on vinyl, and the CD comes out in two formats. There is a regular jewel case version and a Deluxe cardboard box version. No extra tracks, but the packaging is cute andblonde redhead fancy. Inside the hard-to-open box is a drawstring cloth bag and inside the cloth bag is the CD. It also has a fancy fold out booklet that is not included with the regular CD. The Grinderman, Junip, Brandon Flowers, James, & Weezer albums also all have deluxe versions out 9/14.

Anyway, Blonde Redhead is not one of those bands meant for everybody. They have not really changed very much over their 8 albums. If you have ever loved them before then you will probably still love them now. I feel like their fans are a loyal bunch -- at least I am! This new album is dark and dreamy, weird and ethereal. It will most certainly break your heart, just like you would expect from them. I have liked all of their albums but I really have not gotten obsessed with an album this much since Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons. Blonde Redhead is Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simon and Amedeo Pace. The band first started in 1993 in New York and 17 years later I really can't get enough of them. There is just something about them that gets under your skin and they stay with you for life. I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt back when I was listening to Melody in 2000 and In An Expression of the Inexpressible in 1998. Those albums and those feelings will stay with me forever. If you are not already a fan of their music it is not too late! It would be like a treasure hunt for you, going back and discovering all their older brilliant albums.

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Synthsual Seduction: Getting Intimate with Blonde Redhead's Penny Sparkle

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 14, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment
blonde redhead penny sparkle record review 4ad art rock label kazu makino amadeo pace twins new cd LP
A while ago, right here in this blogosphere, I shared a memorable, if somewhat goofy, moment I experienced in conversation with Blonde Redhead where it was determined that their signature sound is, seasonally speaking, " cold, like winter," punctuated by drummer Simone Pace's joking that they've been trying to score a "summer hit" all these years. True, there's nothing very ruddy or relaxing about the raw, malodorous roots they laid down in their hard-rocking early days, prompting fans to coin the multilingual heart-breakers as "art rock" darlings while some persnickety critics underrated them as Sonic Youth wannabes. Alas, that "certain damaged" sound that Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi and Rites of Spring fame) coaxed into the production Blonde Redhead's middle children albums (In An Expression of the Inexpressible, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and Misery is a Butterfly) is as gone as the no wave, DNA inspired D.I.Y. joie de vivre captured on the band's Steve Shelly (of, duh, Sonic Youth fame) produced self-titled debut as well as that of their self-produced, non-slump of a blonde redhead penny sparkle cover art record review album 4ad goth alan mouldersophomore effort La Mia Vita Violenta and it's bewitching follow-up Fake Can Be Just As Good (sigh). However, I believe congratulations are in order as it seems that Blonde Redhead have, with Penny Sparkle --- their eighth full-length album in fifteen years, their third record for the 4AD label --- created the most lusciously polished, goth jewel of a make-out record since the Cure's Disintegration dropped in 1989.

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out this week 8/10 & 8/17 & 8/24...blonde redhead...conan o'brien...antony & the johnsons...sufjan stevens

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2010 12:20pm | Post a Comment
jimmy fallon emmy's
It is hard to believe that September is almost here -- it seems like summer just started! But before we know it the kids will be back in school and we will all be getting ready for the holiday season. I love this time of year... The end of summer, I mean. I was actually one of those weird kids who didn't mind going back to school. I looked forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall and winter. The award season is also right around the corner and the Emmy Awards are this Sunday! I am thinking they are actually going to be very funny this year since they are hosted by Jimmy Fallon. I do still love Jimmy Fallon from his SNL days. I am rarely up late enough to catch his show but I do like it whenever I manage to watch it. I still think that Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon should host the Oscars together. And yes, the Oscars are also right around the corner -- the Oscar nominations will be given out January 25th and the actual Oscars will be on February 27th!
                                                                                                                                                                        blonde redhead new album
It has been a couple of slow weeks for music new releases. Arcade Fire week was amazing a couple of weeks ago but it was all sort of downhill after that. Now things are getting exciting again this week! The great end of summer albums are coming out and there are some fantastic albums right around the corner to get us through the end of the year. Additionally, there are some exciting new EPs and singles and 7"s out this week. No Age put out a new single called "Glitter" on 12" and 7". They have a new album, Everything in Between, out on September 28th. Blonde Redhead released "Not Getting There" as a 12" this week. They are one of my absolute favorites who never let me down and I can't get enough of them! They have a new album out on September 14th called Penny Sparkle. I still remember the first time I heard Blonde Redhead. That girl has one of those amazing voices and I have never heard anyone like her. Glad to have them back in my life! I assume by now that everyone has heard them but if you haven't, check out A Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and In an Expression of the Inexpressible first.

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