Amoeblog

Son of Rogue's Gallery: Strange but Seaworthy Reworkings of Traditional Maritime Folk

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 4, 2013 01:17pm | Post a Comment
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Okay, we get it. There is no need for further evidence that Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski have developed an immortalizing affinity for all things piratical. Not that there's anything wrong with pirate fever, mind you, (I might be the only one on staff here at Amoeba Music SF that'll openly admit to being stoked about the prospect of future chapters in Pirates of the Caribbean film series) it's just that their enthusiasm for more legendary exploits of swashbuckling buccaneers, pillaging priveteers, salty sea dogs, and scurvy scallywags of yore sure has manifested itself in stranger ways than Walt Disney's theme park attraction turned multi-billion dollar motion picture franchise success story (sorry, Haunted Mansion). Of course I'm talking about their published tributes to the sea chantey arts.
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Back in 2006 Depp and Verbinski had a hand in producing Hal Willner's Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys -- an unruly and somewhat drunken compilation featuring an intriguing, genre-spanning line-up of mostly high profile pop/rock artists revisiting a bounty of maritime folk and seafaring work songs, songs that were once passed down quite literally over vast oceans of time thus contributing to modern music styles in more way than one might immediately suspect. These reinvigorated renditions of antiquated rhymes that comprise Rogues Gallery serve as pleasant testaments to the durability of oral tradition, though oddball tracks buoy here and there throughout the cut, rendering some beloved chantey-man reels near unrecognizable, freakish even, challenging imbibers to sink or swim along with each tune and demanding listeners to temper their grog with a certain amount of equanimity.

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For the Love of Halloween Mixtapes!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 29, 2012 11:37am | Post a Comment
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One of the many reasons I look forward to Halloween each year is that it truly is the holiday what inspires the best mix tapes. Also they're usually the most fun sort of mix to compile as the novelty encourages limitless experimentation. For the last thirteen years I have made and exchanged Halloween mix tapes with a dear friend and kindred spirit thus becoming a Halloween tradition that means as much to me as pumpkin carving, inventing the best costume for the day, and impaling candy corn on my canines.

Naturally, we here at Amoeba Music make the most of live-mixing music for our Halloween festivities (see DJ Teen Wolf, pictured right) and this year shall surely be no different so, by all means, do come out and join us! Remember to dress to distress, bring your little dogs too and, since we close early at 7pm so that we may all celebrate Halloween right frightfully, feel free to consider ours a warm up to your Halloween party plans -- I know i do! In fact, I'll be manning the decks this year!

Now, if you're into making a Halloween mix but as yet haven't attempted your own here follows some seasonably solid Halloween mixtape advice from some reasonably seasoned compilation enthusiasts, highlighting some of the content that made the cut for my own mixer this year. What the heck, let's call it seven hot tips for Halloween mixtape success -- it's been a while since I've listed anything.

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Halloween mixtape hot tip #1
: When culling content for a Halloween mix never discount an entire genre as seasonally inappropriate as fear knows no formal bounds. I'm talking about Country, y'all. Famed Country and Western convoy outlaw C.W. McCall's "Night Rider" from the recently reissued Wolf Creek Pass (on Omni) is some great C&W for Halloween what with its odd moog-a-delic reverberations and badass Rap-esque delivery droning on and on about driving at night and stuff. While not as frightening and perfectly Halloweeny as, say, Porter Wagoner's "The Rubber Room" it is an entirely appropriate track for a diverse, genre-spanning Halloween compilation in that it provides a departure from the more standard, obvious fare. That, and the fact that most songs about driving at night are cool.

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Late Night Tales' Latest: Smooth Sailing with Groove Armada's Tom Findlay

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 19, 2012 02:52pm | Post a Comment
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If Amoeba Music were a theme park I'm pretty sure the Electronica section would be our version of Tomorrowland. I mean, for a section so chock full of retro-futuristic realness and fad-tastic appeal it shouldn't really come as a surprise that this year's best mix of backyard barbecue/SoCal beach-walk roller-skating/AM Gold yacht-rockin' jammers is currently filed under the Groove Armada bin card, humbly packaged not unlike any other CD/LP bearing the Late Night Tales standard. That's right, UK-based compilation master-curators have issued this flawless assortment of deep cuts and legit hits from the 70's and 80's Soft Rock heyday, assembled by one Tom Findlay of the aforementioned Groove Armada, under the title Music for Pleasure. The fact that the word "guilty" didn't find it's way between 'for' and 'pleasure' in the title is perhaps saying something about how these songs have come to be appreciated and accepted as a now relatively shameless sonic indulgence (unlike, say, endless deep house mixes for Burning Man survivalists which, for me, summon full-body dry heaves).

Featuring artists like Todd Rundgren, Electric Light Orchestra, Gerry Rafferty, Sugardaddy, The Doobie Brothers, Ambrosia, Robert Palmer, Boz Scaggs and so, so many more this is surely the cheapest ticket to the Indian Summer sunset vibe-ride in your mind. Put it on, turn it up, and feel your cares fade clean away, for, what a fool believes...he sees and no wise man has the power to reason away what seems to be, etc.




In A Cloud II - MORE New Sounds From San Francisco!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 17, 2012 12:23pm | Post a Comment
Looking to scope the lay of the local pop scene in San Francisco? Seek no further than In A Cloud...II!
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Finally, the long anticipated sister release to the initial In a Cloud - New Sounds from San Francisco compilation the fine folks at Secret Seven Records delivered back in 2010 is ready for her coming out par-tay! Like her predecessor, In A Cloud II: New Sounds from San Francisco features 13 previously unreleased recordings from some of the city by the bay's finest, including: Vetiver, Ty Segall, Hannah Lew (of Grass Widow), Wymond Miles (of Fresh & Onlys), Chuck Prophet, Lucky Eyes, Will Sprott (of The Mumlers), Sonny & The Sunsets, Paula Frazer, Kelley Stoltz, Bad Backs (featuring Andrew Kerwin of Trainwreck Riders & Bianca Sparta of Erase Errata), Tim Cohen (of Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick), and Papercuts with fresh-to-death cover art by Simon Evans. Unlike the previous In A Cloud jammer, this sweet baby is a limited vinyl-only release with 650 copies pressed so don't go sleepin' in on the release date (that would be today, y'all sleepyheads). The Hannah Lew track, "Octopus via Satellite", currently has my heart hypnotized like a gracefully executed intergalactic postcard, it's hard to imagine this would've could've ever been a throw-away creation. Get yours today at Amoeba Music!

Digging Numero Group's Solid Bronze

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, May 2, 2012 11:16pm | Post a Comment
This year, as with every year since 2008, Record Store Day was a huge success. My mind still boggles at the shear scope and breadth of this years' list of limited Record Store Day releases and I think it's safe to say there really was a something-for-everyone vibe to the offerings made available this go 'round. Yet there be a fair amount of slept-on nuggets still glistening in the stream and perhaps none of them more deserving of a mining undiscovered ore metaphor than the mellow moods latent in yet another stellar comp from the smithies of smooth at Numero Group, the same folks who hit it outta the park last year with a double LP sister compilation to their Boddie Recording Company box set. What makes this Record Store Day remainder so friggin' essential is, well, as one Amoebite put it, "think AM Gold meets modern soul meets yacht rock...with a glass of boxed wine and a joint full of shitty weed."

Think WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze!
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Honestly, I can't think of any better description of this light 'n easy mix than that offered by the Numero Group folks themselves, who had me at "Fans of the Dans -- Folgelberg, Steely, Seals and Hill -- this is your Numero record." An essential slice of delightfully less filling (tastes great!) soft rock chipped from Record Store Day treasure fissure, snatch yours up before they become a fabled piece of RSD history.