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NYSOM #99

Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2014 10:24am | Post a Comment
    

NYSOM #99 of 100: Earlier this month DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist kicked off their ongoing "Renegades of Rhythm" vinyl-only tour honoring Afrika Bambaataa's vast and influential record collection with two shows at NYC's Irving Plaza (after a stop in Boston) where my man Joe Conzo took the above photo of the two West Coast DJs who wore the perfectly appropriate matching T-shirts for the occasion with "DUMP" and "KOCH" emblazoned on the backs of them in a direct reference to the NYC era in which Bambaataa and hip-hop rose to fame in New York City. In keeping with this theme of that oft romanticized bygone era of a decidedly grittier and grungier New York City I've included a few other pics from NYC in the 70's and 80's in this second to final of a one hundred New York State of Mind Amoeblog series including one (left in 1981 taken by Bob Gruen) of The Clash when they visited NYC and (by the same wonderful photographer) one of The Ramones on the New York City subway. Others include one of the Beastie Boys from 1986 taken at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens by Sunny Bak. By the way the highly recommended ongoing records-only tour with DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist (whose t-shirts said "SURE" and "SHOT" on the other sides) will be stopping in the Bay Area this weekend with the tour when they play SF's Mezzanine on Saturday, October 4th. 

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Pump Up the Jam: Songs to Jumpstart Your New Year's Resolution

Posted by Billy Gil, January 2, 2013 05:56pm | Post a Comment

I, like many others, engaged in the cliche practice of going to the gym the day after New Year’s Day (which is reserved for hangovers) in order to “start the new year right” and “get on the right track.” During this delusional first couple of weeks — or if you decide to actually stay with an active workout routine (good for you!) — you’ll need some tunes to get you through the slow crawl back to fitness. Here are some of my favorite workout jamz, most of which you can download at Amoeba.com.

 

Technotronic“Pump Up the Jam”

Technotronic PumpDespite its inclusion on questionable Jock Jams albums, this late ’80s banger is a brilliant slab of early minimalist house pop.

 

Prodigy“Smack My Bitch Up”

ProdigyThe only Prodigy song I ever liked. Its misogynistic overtone is unfortunate, even with the “shocking” video they used to try to counter that (which I think made it worse), but its mid-’90s MTV “Amp”-era beats surprisingly hold up.

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.



50 Essential Albums of 2012


1.  SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD) 

The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.  






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LA Hearts NY Benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief Sunday Nov. 11

Posted by Amoebite, November 8, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment

LA Hearts NY logoIt's been a week and a half since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey and the cities and beach communities there are still working to recover from the storm. To top it all off, they have just been hit with a snowfall and many homes that just had their power restored are back without electricity. A group of Los Angeles residents have formed a collaborative to help grassroots organizations in New York with their relief efforts.

LA Hearts NY is throwing an emergency benefit this Sunday, November 11 at Space 15Twenty in Hollywood (right across from Amoeba). The event runs 2-6pm and will feature DJs from KCRW (Chris Douridas), Cat Power (Gregg Foreman and Nico Turner) & others, along with a silent auction, bake sale, Intelligentsia coffee and more. They still need help too so if you want to donate anything (including auction items) please email them at laheartsny@gmail.com.

 

LA Hearts NY flier

 

Album Picks: Cat Power, The Fresh & Onlys, Jens Lekman, Deerhoof; Plus Albums and Movies Released Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 4, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment
OK, too much amazing music was released today, but for me, the new albums by Cat Power, The Fresh & Onlys, Jens Lekman and Deerhoof shined above the rest. However, don’t sleep on great new albums by Animal Collective, Stars, Bob Mould, Two Door Cinema Club and Two Gallants, plus Blu-rays of Arachnophobia, Child’s Play, The Five-Year Engagement, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Hocus Pocus, Man on a Swing, Piranha 3DD, Safe and Umberto D., among others.
 
cat power sunCat Power Sun
 
Cat Power’s personal life — her admitted alcoholism, her erratic live shows — is a favorite topic of discussion such that it often threatens to overshadow talk of her brilliant music. Perhaps in an effort to curb that, Chan Marshall has created her least intimate, most globally accessible album with Sun. Marshall produced and performed almost everything on the album herself, but in lieu of the sort of austerity of an album like Moon Pix, we get a dark synth-pop record, spurred by Marshall’s desire to make something unlike anything she had done before. However, underneath the synths that spiral around the title track, for instance, this is still very much a Cat Power record — worry not, fans. In fact, the beginning of opener “Cherokee” begins in what sounds fairly typical for Cat Power — a simple, repeating guitar line, light piano touches and a steady beat — but it becomes clear that this is new territory as Marshall comes in with distorted, direct lyrics: “Never knew love like this.” However pop-oriented the song, with a beautiful synth melody making it sound a bit like ’80s Fleetwood Mac, Marshall’s meanings are still obscured: “Marry me to the sky … bury me upside down.” First single “Ruin” is similarly grabbing, but ultimately strange, unique; it’s piano lines and disco bassline dance up and down a bouncing beat while Marshall sings about various global locales like an indie rock “Kokomo,” but she’s singing about poverty, not vacation or the awesomeness of getting to travel while touring. It’s fun to hear her go pop-rock on “3,6,9,” which bounces along with chanted choruses and even sees Marshall take on the ubiquitous vocoder. Marshall can’t help but become increasingly personal as the album progresses, as live drums interrupt the digital beats of “Manhattan,” which glitters with heartfelt searching; “Silent Machine” returns to the bluesiness of her last few releases, but also has a startling computerized breakdown halfway through; and “Nothin But Time,” a duet with Iggy Pop, makes for the most beautiful, 10-minute Kraftwerkian ballad you’ll hear anywhere. The rock guitars and hip-hop delivery of “Peace and Love,” which closes the album, show Marshall is willing to go just about anywhere with her music if it provides new inspiration for her stirring voice and incisive lyrics; thankfully, on Sun, it nearly always does. She's signing copies of Sun today at 6 p.m. at Amoeba Hollywood for the first 100 people who buy the record!
 
The Fresh & Onlys Long Slow DanceThe Fresh & Onlys Long Slow Dance
 
The Fresh & Onlys were are always good, but Long Slow Dance takes the S.F. garage rockers to epic heights, with a newfound clarity to their vocals and straightforwardness of songwriting. “Yes or No” is divine romantic guitar pop, stringing a beautiful upward melody along a chugging backbeat that develops into a swooning chorus. The title track is the kind of campfire-friendly indie pop that bests the Shins at their game. “Presence of Mind” swirls around a picturesque college-rock backdrop but loops in perfect surf-rock riffs and another irresistible chorus. Every song seems to have some “how can that be new” moment, whether it’s a memorable line like “Dream girls don’t know what they’re doing/They go around doing anything they want,” or some elegant guitar riff, or laying out yet another perfect guitar ballad with “Executioner’s Song.” You just don’t want Long Slow Dance to end.

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