Amoeblog

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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Boris: Back to Black with a foggy new dronathon and super limited double-live LP.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 30, 2009 12:21am | Post a Comment
Boris live at Amoeba Berkeley
Japan's reigning purveyors of thunderous heavy rock, Boris, hit the shelves of Amoeba San Francisco's Underground Japanese Rock section with a one-two punch this winter with their latest studio recording, Cloud Chamber (featuring, once again, guest Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara), and Smile -Live in Prague-- a very limited (only 425 copies issued) double-live LP "official bootleg" recorded (with permission) in the Czech Republic on the trio's latest tour in support of their album Smile. Though both are pricey, as doubless many a Boris fan has already guessed, both are worth shelling out the exra dough for, as many a Boris fan surely already knows. Here's why: Cloud Chamber is a first class return to the strom and drang style doom that fans of (lowercase 'b') boris have found in previous releases like flood and at last -feedbacker. It is just the sort of storm surge of sound that lays defenseless listeners down as if prone on the slab, hypnotized for sacrifice; beware of drowning. Smile - Live in Prague, on the other hand, has garnered more pointed attention for its sleeve art than for the bounty of copies we've recieved, given its inherent rareness. Some call the artwork, an obvious homage to San Francisco black metal band Von, a flagrant rip off. I find it delightful and, really, par for the course considering the lengths Fangs Anal Satan (Boris' art-working name) goes to produce, or reproduce if you will, some of the most coveted, kick ass packaging that drives both sticker prices and collectors' expectations upwards of the norm. Here are some of my favorite of Boris' artful tributes as, the old adage says, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (And check out images and reviews from Boris' amazing three Amoeba instores-- they've played each and every Amoeba -- here, here and here.)

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A Year in the Life of Amoeba Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2008 05:33pm | Post a Comment
Over at Amoeba Music Berkeley, 2008 has been a year full of thrilling instores and special events. Keep reading to check out about some of the hand-picked highlights:

In February, hyperactive punk band the Black Lips stopped by for an energetic instore appearance. You can see all the pictures from this event on our website here. You can also watch an interview and performance from their Amoeba Hollywood appearance right here.

black lips at amoeba

February also saw an instore by Bay Area favorites the Drive By Truckers, who brought a little twang to the Berkeley store on Valentine's Day.

drive by truckers at amoeba

In honor of Record Store Day at the Berkeley store, Pam the Funkstress of The Coup brought it on the ones and twos, several other DJs had sets and gift certificate giveaways occured throughout the day.

pam the funkstress of the coup

In the Spring, the store was treated to the pastoral, golden-toned sounds of local faves Vetiver. You can check out an exclusive interview with frontman Andy Cabic right here and see more pictures from the show here!

BORIS

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 20, 2007 11:32pm | Post a Comment
The growth of the Japanese band Boris' popularity in America is a perfect example of life imitating art. Their songs—droning metal scapes that can last over 45 minutes--  start with the merest hint of sound and then build to high, layered crescendos of noise.


Boris has been around since 1992, but only really gained a foothold in the states after Southern Lord began reissuing their catalog here. A successful appearance at South By Southwest this year also increased their profile in American music press, who adore them. So, like their songs, they have been lurking quietly in the background and have slowly but surely increasing their volume here over 15 years.  

This was apparent at their Amoeba in-store early in October. The place was packed with long hairs, noise geeks, and anyone else who wanted to spend their Saturday afternoon going deaf.  "Akuma no Uta is the best album ever!" yelled someone from the crowd as the band took the stage.

The band's three members, Atsuo, Takeshi, and the only female member, Wata-- a mother and could be seen carrying around her toddler who was wearing airline-grade ear protection—calmly got behind their instruments and began playing what would end up being one drawn-out song for nearly 40 minutes. It started as a slow steady background drone, then began to soar and climb with skittish metallic sounds that could only be described as "bubbly." At times it sounded like a jet beginning take-off, and by the time the drums kicked in and the main crescendo took hold, there was little doubt in the room that this was one of the best bands on earth.

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