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San Francisco International Film Festival Features Cibo Matto Live & More

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 14, 2015 05:12pm | Post a Comment

The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 23 – May 7 at multiple theaters in SF and at the PFA in Berkeley. This year, SFIFF features some amazing musical events and films along with the nearly 200 films and live events. Here are three not-to-be-missed musical films and events co-sponsored by Amoeba Music.

CIBO MATTO (USA, 2014, 120 min)
May 5, 8:00pm, Castro Theater
Cibo Matto’s hip-hop infused, electro pop burrowed deep into our collective earholes throughout the 1990s, becoming a symbol for the new post-genre musical cool. Experts at establishing mood and always up for an experimental challenge, the duo has developed new musical soundtracks to a number of wild and abstract short movies to be played in this one-time-only performance. Anchoring the screenings are two rare presentations of films made in 1970. First is Yoko Ono's incredible Fluxus epic Fly, which features a fly roaming a woman's body. Second is a modern re-staging of celebrated Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet—a movie that will blow your mind with its campy costumes, weird choreography, and sheer delight.

LOVE & MERCY (USA, 2014, 120 min)
May 1, 6:15pm, Sundance Kabuki Cinema
May 4, 2:00pm, Sundance Kabuki Cinema
This powerful musical biopic tells Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s dramatically compelling story in—to use ancient recording jargon—two tracks. In the 1960s as the band rides surf music onto the charts, a creatively restless Wilson (Paul Dano) writes the songs that will become Pet Sounds, but alienates himself from other band members. The 1980s Wilson (John Cusack) is a shell-shocked man trying to emerge from an overmedicated isolation with the love and mercy of a good woman.

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Axl Rose Named 'Greatest' Singer Ever

Posted by Billy Gil, May 21, 2014 11:24am | Post a Comment

vocal ranges greatest singers

There’s this thing going around the Internet right now saying Axl Rose is the greatest singer ever.

This list by something called Concert Hotels has actually done something really cool by showing the recorded vocal ranges of some of pop music’s most celebrated singers, taken from Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. The Guns N’ Roses singer came in at No. 1, meaning he has the widest recorded range.

guns n roses
Axl Rose (center) in Guns N' Roses

It’s fun to see Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and others represented pretty well on the list—did you know Lana Del Rey’s recorded vocal range is three octaves, dwarfing Taylor Swift’s two-and-change? Or that Eminem has a recorded range of more than three octaves?

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The Vinyl Frontier #3 - Surf Music!

Posted by Joe Goldmark, December 8, 2011 02:45pm | Post a Comment

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

When Jimi Hendrix joked that “you’ll never hear surf music again,” in his song “Third Stone from the Sun,” he was only four years removed from the heyday of the surf music craze. However in 1967, with psychedelic music flourishing in the midst of the hippie movement, surf music seemed incredibly square and white, like ancient history.

Surf music started out as reverb-drenched instrumental garage music by the likes of Dick Dale and The Bel-Aires and was centered in Southern California. In 1961, The Beach Boys recorded the song “Surfin’,” and a genre was born. By 1964, car themes were also included.

Living in California, there’s still an abundance of surf related vinyl to be found in your favorite record haunts. At Amoeba, there’s also many vinyl reissues of classic albums, such as the Sundazed Dick Dale series. And we recently enjoyed having Brian Wilson sign his Smile reissue at the S.F. and Hollywood stores.

Here’s some live clips of the original hits:
 

Pipeline - The Chantays


Surf City - Jan & Dean


Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

Posted by Miss Ess, November 23, 2010 01:39pm | Post a Comment
who is harry nilsson and why is everybody talkin about him

How could i have forgotten how amazing Harry Nilsson is? His brilliance was buried in my psyche for a few years but now after watching the new documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (and Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) I have been reminded and won't soon forget his particular brand of genius again.

Nilsson was a fascinating, sentimental tunesmith who moved to Los Angeles in the '50s to begin a fabled career. Over the years, through success and failure, he covered his serious insecurities with his intense need to be the life of the party. And party he did, with all the entertainment industry luminaries, most notably John Lennon (especially during Lennon's "Lost Weekend") and Ringo Starr (best man at Harry's third wedding). He also wrote lastingly great songs like "One" (on a night when he was listening to the busy signal of his telephone), created his most famous album, Nilsson Schmilsson, and the music and concept for the cartoon The Point (which includes my favorite Nilsson tune, "Think About Your Troubles").


There are so many interesting interviews in the film with members of the creative community like Terry Gilliam, Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Al Kooper, Derek Taylor's widow, Mickey Dolenz, Paul Williams, May Pang, Yoko Ono, Robin Williams, Randy Newman and many more. Each has a different story to tell about Harry, but most all of them comment on his big heart and, from the mid 70s onward, his being hell bent on self destruction. It's still so upsetting for songwriter Jimmy Webb to talk about Nilsson's eventual self-induced vocal ruin that he gets a rash and tears up. The trajectory of Nilsson's life brings many high highs and low lows, and this film chronicles them all.

Here's the trailer for the film:

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Bungle Fever: Mr. Bungle's California Available on Vinyl...Finally!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 4, 2010 09:43pm | Post a Comment
Mr. Bungle album vinyl issue california 1999 last record reissue 180 gram plain recordings
California dreamin'? Heck yes I am now that I got my paws on Mr. Bungle's newly issued third (and possibly final) LP, California, at long last! Originally released in 1999, Plain Recordings has done Mike Patton & company's stunning, genre-grinding "pop oriented" album nothin' but justice by offering this overflowing kitchen sink of experimental-rock on heavy wax for those of us who simply cannot get enough of the maelstrom of diverse influences --- ranging from swing, rockabilly, country & western, bossa nova, Hawaiian and Middle Eastern music, jazz, Zappa-esque doo wop, arty-funk, post-rock, space-age pop, spaghetti-Western music, warped circus melodies, new age, heavy metal and exotica --- that somehow manage to sound cohesive and linear against savage spates of juxtaposed music-making wizardry. Among many brilliant moments stitched into the body of this masterwork is the inclusion of stylistically head-banging kecak vocals (Indonesian "monkey chanting") on the album's final track, "Goodbye Sober Day." In this respect I reckon that Mr. Bungle's California could be reviewed as just another ripple in the weird "world beat" well, but I believe this record serves as proof that pre-Y2K global fusion, musically speaking, needn't entirely be remembered as naive Cirque du Soleil-caliber dregs of whimsical frivolity to be trampled by the likes of Michael Flatley. No, this album plays like rose-tinted muse blender on puree, partying with the lifetime achievements of Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach like it's 1999!

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