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Ten reasons why last year didn't suck: another Best Music of 2011 list

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 1, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
2011, what can I say? A great year for music if not for anything else. So without further ado, I'm pleased to present my very own "Best of 2011" list, because listing is fun (unless, of course, you're on a ship in danger of capsizing). Let's sail on shall we, beginning with the top of the best, old Mr. Natural himself:

little wings black grass best of 2011 album record review indie surf folk rock klye field rad rcords
Little Wings

Black Grass
Rad

This apple made a monumental leap from the tree in that it was many years in the making. It seemed that Kyle Field, the man behind the Little Wings mystique, had gone on hiatus only to return on his own terms with this juicy bramble of soft melodies, surf-salted served with a side of Lil Wayne-influenced folk-rock jammage. Field spins wooly yarns that sound like a conversation gone unspoken in the moment regaining shape in memory, voiced to oneself longingly. It's introspective almost to a fault, but the overall sound and vibe offers enough volume and warming to light even the darkest reaches of your keep and stay the ghosts of Black Grass' pasts at bay. Without a doubt the best new record and best instore performance of the year.

Little Wings - "Black Grass"


sandwitches san francisco band grace cooper heidi roxy girl group americana best record 2011 rock folk swing shuffle album local music
The Sandwitches
Mrs. Jones Cookies
Empty Cellar

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Celebrate Amoeba's 20th Anniversary! Part 4 - Some of Our Most Memorable Instores

Posted by Amoebite, November 12, 2010 01:06pm | Post a Comment

This month we are celebrating 20 years of Amoeba! It's our anniversary! And one of the ways we wanted to celebrate was by highlighting here for you some of our best, most memorable instores of all time! We have been so lucky over the years -- we've hosted shows, signings and events with Paul McCartney, Queens of the Stone Age, The Shins, Flight of the Conchords, John Waters, The Gossip and zillions more. You can find video footage and interviews from many of our instores right here! Read on to find out what three of our most seasoned instore reviewers thought were some of our very greatest.

But first, get further immersed in our 20th Anniversary! To check out our first Anniversary blog post, with testimonials from some of our favorite customers,
click here! Our second Anniversary post is an interview with co-owner Marc Weinstein about getting the Berkeley store off the ground all the way back in 1990 and what Amoeba means to him. Read it right here. Our third Anniversary post includes Top 10 lists from some of our old skool employees -- click here to check out their favorites in music and movies from the past 20 years!

Boris: Heavy, New and Noteworthy

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 7, 2010 01:03am | Post a Comment
Boris live atsuo wata japanese rock band
It may seem like Boris has been keeping uncharacteristically quiet of late, but get ready kids! This summer will be anything but restful for the tempestuous trio, what with a US/Canada tour kicking off in San Diego later this month and a handful of new and noteworthy releases, not to mention the latest news that Boris has surprisingly teamed up with the Cult frontman Ian Astbury. Merely imagining how frightfully massive Astbury's god-like vocal contribution to Boris' patent wall of sonic, hard-rocking excess could be on BXI --- their collaborative EP to be released by Southern Lord on CD and 12" this September --- has got this fan all in a fluster of anticipation. The audience-realness perspective of the video below aside, if seeing this new Boris/Cult thing unfold onstage via a cover of the Doors "This is the End" doesn't spark your fire then you ought to get your tinderbox checked.



Until they grace the stage in my hometown I'll have to make do with the latest imported Boris offering, Variations + Live -- a deluxe greatest hits CD of sorts comprised of several re-recordings and reinterpretations of thirteeBoris variations + live CD DVD import inoxia records greatest hits michio kuriharan well-loved Boris rockers featuring part/full-time axe-master Michio Kurihara on guitar and a bonus DVD of the band playing live in Japan. If Heavy Rocks and/or Akuma no Uta is/are among your most treasured Boris albums this'll have to be a must-have, as the newly recorded versions of "Korosu," "1970" and "Naki Kyoku" shalt surely melt ye face. Variations + Live is available now at Amoeba Music in San Francisco; act fast. 

A Decade of Live Shows in SF! The Best of the Best...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2009 10:05am | Post a Comment
by Kaitlin

2010 will mark 10 years since I first moved to San Francisco. One of my favorite pastimes has been going to live shows. I’ve see big shows, small shows, quiet shows, loud shows, good, bad, memorable, forgettable and life changing shows. I’ve enjoyed rock in many forms: metal, acoustic, electric, world, performed by musicians ranging from close friends to the world famous…Here is a list of some of my favorite things about seeing shows in SF and some of my favorite shows in and around SF this decade:

great american music hall

There are so many amazing venues here to see just about any type of music you might be seeking. The Fillmore and The Warfield are classic venues that can pack in a lot of people to check out some big grindermannames, like The White Stripes, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Willie Nelson, Patti Smith and many, many more. Bottom of the Hill, the Independent, and Café du Nord are smaller and more intimate, and offer a wide variety of local and traveling bands the chance to be seen. 

The Great American Music Hall is my favorite venue in the city. It was designed and built after the 1906 earthquake, was called Blanco’s back then and served as a bordello up until prohibition. After that, it was a dance hall called the Music Box, and then a jazz club, until it was re-opened in 1972 as The Great American Music Hall. I’ve seen some of my favorite shows there, including Ben Kweller, The Mars Volta, Earth, Boris, Neurosis, The Dirtbombs, Grinderman, Shellac, Melvins, and High on Fire, oh, but to name a few…If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out a show there!
dave grohl
But through all the venues and all the shows, here I have listed some of the most memorable ones I’ve seen during the 2000s, mostly rock and metal…I’ve tried to find a video to accompany these shows, although some videos aren’t from the show or even tour where I saw these bands. 

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Boris' Golden Dance Classics

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 12, 2009 01:32pm | Post a Comment
boris spilt golden dance classics with 9dw on catune records
New Boris vinyl. Some of you are drooling at those words and others are heaving a sigh and moving on. The good news is that it's in the store now, stocked in quantity and cheap! The bad news is that there is no bad news unless you think the title Golden Dance Classics bodes ill, and for some of you it will. The A-side consists of two dance-perfect, disco/electronica trips courtesy of 9dw (the artist who initiated this release as a result of their fifteen year friendship with Boris) and the B-side: two new songs from Boris that check into a crossover grey area wherein some decidedly experimental compositions mix loose, simplified electro dance rhythms with Boris' signature guitar-bloodletting, wall of sound hugeness. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it --- I'm pleased to say I like it very much!

If you're afraid to try it, never fear, Boris will be releasing the first in a set of three sequential picture disc 7" records full of new "heavy" works on Southern Lord by month's end (the other two following in October and December) which ought to pack at least one fog-bomb tremblor for all the droners to nod off to (personally I cannot wait to hear the track "Heavy Metal Addict" slated to appear on the October release --- now that is a song I've been supporting 200% since I was thirteen years old). In the meantime, if you're into that pesky "allkindsamusic" genre, which is what happens to most folks who find themselves working in any branch of the music business for any length of time, you'll probably dig on this quirky split from Catune records. 

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