Amoeblog

Dax Pierson is an Inspiration Eight Years After his Life-Changing Accident

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2013 10:15am | Post a Comment

Last Sunday marked a profound anniversary for former Amoeba staffer/talented Bay Area musician Dax Pierson since on that very same date eight years earlier (February 24th, 2005) Pierson's life would forever change following a serious auto accident. The well-liked Dax, who used to work at the Berkeley Amoeba store along with fellow members of his band Subtle, was out on the road on the band's first US tour traveling Interstate 80 in Iowa in a van along with six others. Without warning, the Subtle tour van (plus trailer in tow)  hit a nasty patch of black ice causing the van to skid out of control and completely roll over. Inside the upside down  vehicle, the seat-belted Dax's seat broke free from its hinges (Ford Motors were later held responsible), causing him to come crashing down on his head. The devastating accident severely paralyzed Dax, leaving him quadriplegic.

On the accident's anniversary, Dax took to his Facebook page to reflect on that fateful day in a moving status update that struck a chord with his extended circle of friends, bringing some to tears.

In the honest, heartfelt update Dax expressed how the accident had forever altered his life everyday - including the continual myriad of health issues he encounters. "My physical and emotional challenges have been many," he shared noting, despite the love and support of his mom and a core group of good friends, how he often is overwhelmed with feelings of being, "isolated and alien socially and creatively." As for what Dax sees for his future, he wrote, "Dialysis. Kidney transplant? A new home/neighborhood. Better music technology. Making music with people in the same room after 8 years of not."

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AMOEBLOG INTERVIEW WITH DOSEONE OF SUBTLE

Posted by Billyjam, June 13, 2008 03:42pm | Post a Comment

Oakland band Subtle pictured left to right: Jordan Dalrymple, DoseOne, Alexander Kort, Jeffrey 'Jel' Logan, Marty Dowers, and Dax Pierson.

In 2004 Subtle released A New White and in 2006 they dropped the second installment, For Hero: For FoolVery recently they released their third full-length, Exiting ARM on Lex Records. Amoeblog caught up with DoseOne to learn more:

AMOEBLOG:
For those who may just now be hearing your band's music for the very first time, can you bring them up to speed on what Subtle is all about and in particular the central character Hour Hero Yes? Additionally, how important is it to be familiar with the previous two Subtle albums, with their ongoing intricate themes, to fully appreciate Exiting ARM? In other words, is it like that TV show 24 where if you missed the previous episodes you feel kind of left out in following the storyline?

DoseOne: To be honest: all along we have woven these themes and motifs into the music knowing that the music should also remain accessible from any point in listening. These works should be accessible as both a work of song and as a timeless four minute chunk of layered creativities. So that being said, there is by no means "homework" that comes with Subtle records. It's meant to be rich and abound with things to interpret: next decade proof, if you will.

Otherwise the lore runneth over. Hour Hero Yes is a modern man. As flawed as he is brilliant; both hero and fool. The three Subtle full-lengths follow his arm and ascension entirely. A New White is the writings of the shell and man Yes once was, the man he must reconcile with. It all takes place in one bedroom in
Oakland. And as his quest for self intensifies, his one bedroom begins to come to life as his night terrors and day dreams begin to flood with omen and creature. At the end of A New White, Yes opens his door and takes to the world, fear at his back.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 6-6-08

Posted by Billyjam, June 6, 2008 08:30am | Post a Comment

Sadness struck both Amoeba and the local Bay Area hip-hop community this week with the tragic passing of the much-loved Anthony Marin (aka Big Ant) who, at the young age of 37, died of heart failure last weekend. 

A DJ/producer and multi-instrumentalist, not to mention an incredibly knowledgeable musicologist, Big Ant had been a fixture on the local hip-hop scene for many years -- ever since he moved north from LA in the nineties. Before working at Amoeba SF he had worked at Tower Records in the South Bay and Cue's in Daly City.

If you were into the local DJ or hip-hop scene you would have seen Big Ant over the years at countless events. A large framed man with a warm hug and a winning smile, plus an unbridled knowledge of all types of music (far beyond hip-hop), he had DJ'ed all over, played damn near every instrument it seemed (including guitar/drums/keyboards in Black Fiction - the experimental rock band he was a member of along with fellow Amoebites Jason Chavez and Tim Cohen), and was a ham at Karaoke.  This evening, Friday June 6th, from 5PM to 9PM, those who knew this great man will gather in his honor at Milk, which is directly across the street from Amoeba on Haight St.

For more in depth tributes to Big Ant, visit 4AM/Jason Chavez's MySpace or the text/photo dedication to him on the homepage of the Amoeba website, where Jason Chavez, his best friend, wrote so poignantly: "The best lesson he taught me is the lesson that every loved one that passes teaches us, that we are all still alive and we need to live, love and find our purpose and passions for ourselves and our passed loved ones who are watching us and guiding us towards our destinies. Everyone stay up, he'd want us to."   R.I.P. BIG ANT.

AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.6.08)

1) J-Live Then What Happened? (BBE)
2) TOPR The Marathon of Shame (Gurp City)
3) Giant Panda Electric Laser (Tres Records)
4) Subtle Exiting Arm (Lex)
5) The Cool Kids The Bake Sale (Chocolate Industries/A&M)

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PAPOOSE, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? + OTHER RAP TALES

Posted by Billyjam, May 17, 2008 08:10am | Post a Comment

Earlier this week upon hearing the news involving the highly emotional but equally ridiculous actions of hip-hopper Papoose, the fiancĂ© of jailed rapper Remy Ma, the voice of Dr. Phil popped into my head and I could just hear the TV psychologist uttering his trademark words to the "Mix Tape King" Papoose: "What were you thinking?" 

Really though! On Monday when he was scheduled to wed his lady behind bars, Papoose (born Shamele Mackie) attempted to sneak a skeleton handcuff key into Rikers Island where he was headed to the New York City jail's altar.

Once guards found the key on him he got ejected from Rikers and banned from the facility for six months.  What a dummy!  Everyone (especially gangsta rap aficionados) should know that whenever you go visit someone in jail or prison that they search you thoroughly from head to toe, and often beyond. What were you thinking, Papoose? 

And if that ain't enough, then the following day when Remy Ma (born Reminisce Smith), who was arrested for last summer outside a downtown NYC club allegedly shooting her former friend Makeda Barnes-Joseph (who she said robbed $3000 cash out of her purse), got sentenced in the New York Supreme Court to eight years in prison, Papoose was in the (court) house and was not happy. "Fuck you. Put me in jail muthafuckers!" and "Lock me up! Fuckin lock me up" were among the impassioned wishes the visibly emotional Papoose shouted towards court officers upon Remy's sentencing.

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INTERVIEW WITH AMOEBA MUSIC'S DEAN SANTOMIERI

Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2007 04:35pm | Post a Comment
AMOEBLOG: How long have you worked at Amoeba Music Berkeley and what exactly is your job there?
 
DEAN SANTOMIERI: I started working in the record business in 1971 when I dropped out of SUNY Buffalo. I moved to the Bay Area in 1975, and although I thought I was through with the record business, unemployment was high and my friend Ivy got me a job at Tower Records in Berkeley. In November 1990, I visited Marc (one of the Amoeba owners) the first weekend Amoeba opened and he offered me a job. I thought about it over the weekend, then gave my two employers, Tower and Revolver Records, notice and started two weeks later. This would be late November or early December 1990. A year later I took a job running the Media Center at the California College of Arts, but continued to work Saturdays at Amoeba. In 1996, I left CCA and went back to Amoeba full time. I am a buyer and I work in the classical department. Most of my time is spent helping customers and pricing used CDs.

AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?                

DEAN SANTOMIERI: I could say many things, but Amoeba’s generosity in accommodating its employees stands out; for example, many of us are touring musicians and are graciously given time off. But the lengths to which the owners, managers and Amoeba employees have gone to help each other in time of need is what I find most unique about Amoeba. It is also what makes me most proud about working here. We live in a time when the escalating cost of health care, salaries and pensions have caused companies to drastically reduce or eliminate benefits, but what the Amoeba family has done for Dax Pierson (Amoebite pictured above, who was in a serious auto accident while on tour with his band) and others is unlike anything I have ever seen.
 
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top Three Items at Amoeba this week that people are seeking out?

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