Amoeblog

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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The Employee Interview I: Zack

Posted by Miss Ess, March 31, 2007 06:32pm | Post a Comment
In following with both the fact that Amoeba hires only the most insatiable and voracious music enthusiasts, and the fact that we of course all learn from one another, periodically I will be posting interviews with staff members. In this edition, I discuss with San Fran's own Zack his musical past and present, among other things.

The Employee Interview:
Zack
4+ years employed at Amoeba
Floor dude

animal muppets
Q:  What was the first music you remember hearing as a kid, before you had a say?

Z:  "Back in the USSR," "Good Vibrations," and the "Monster Mash." My dad would play these while he got me dressed on the couch in the living room before preschool.

Q:  How have these songs influenced your musical likes and dislikes?

Z:  With the Beatles, it gave me a great pop foundation for discerning melodies I like and dislike, but as I got older I really couldn't take the Beatles anymore and had a long stretch of being completely over them while I explored other musical avenues. Since the birth of MY son I have embraced the Beatles once again, having had enough time off and being able to hear them again for the first time along with him.

Q:  What was your first concert?  Last?

Z:  First concert was the Kinks at the Palladium in LA, '87 and my last was the Melvins at Great American.

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