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Occupy Wall Street's Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2011 10:14am | Post a Comment
Earlier this week folk-rock legends Graham Nash and David Crosby stopped by Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan to do an impromptu, politically charged acoustic set for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters that included “Long Time Gone,” “They Want It All,” and “Teach Your Children."

Note that Stephen Stills, who was also in town for the trio's Beacon Theatre concerts this week did not join them @ OWS, but Crosby and Nash sure represented and were the latest musicians in a long list of artists to have either performed at or stopped by and visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Others who have shown solidarity for OWS or have visited the relatively small, privately owned Zuccotti Park in the downtown Manhattan, Wall Street/financial district that began back in September, have included Pete Seeger, Talib Kweli, and Immortal Technique (see video below). 

A week ago, while in New York, I stopped by OWS a few times to talk with several occupiers including a member of the (OWS house band) percussion based Pulse band whose daily hours of drumming were curtailed following complaints by the immediate lower Manhattan community. My questions were about music and the role it plays in the Occupy Wall Street movement and specifically what music acted as the perfect soundtrack for OWS.  Many of the folks I talked with, that included occupiers camped out every night at OWS and some protesters who stopped during the day only, are included in the video clips below. These include Kyle who took a break from volunteering at the main food kitchen to chat, telling me that he has been at Occupy Wall Street since day one. And like many of the residents who have apartments downtown, he too is sick of the drums going non-stop. "Trust me, it's annoying," he laughed, "I just zone them out of my head. I don't even pay attention to them." he said. The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin,  "old protest songs, maybe something like Country Joe [McDonald] and Arlo Guthrie" are among the twenty something protester's musical faves along with System of A Down and Rage Against The Machine.

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Artist Interviews at Amoeba!

Posted by Amoebite, March 19, 2010 02:40pm | Post a Comment
So many amazing artists have performed live at Amoeba over the years!

While they are at our stores we like to take some time to get to know 'em a little better by having interviews, which we capture on video because we want you to have as much access as us! Check out just sampling of the MANY great artist interviews we have on our website below! For even more interviews click here! 


David Lynch (Hollywood)



Patti Smith (Hollywood)


No Age (Hollywood)


Man Man (San Francisco)


Pete Rock (Hollywood)



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A Year in the Life of Amoeba San Francisco

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 30, 2008 07:18pm | Post a Comment
It's been yet another eventful year here at Amoeba San Francisco, our 11th here on Haight Street! Below is a sort of best-of, a bunch of the highlights from the year for us, from instores to holiday events-- read on to celebrate the end of 2008 with us!

Going back to January 2008, we kicked off the new year with a groovy instore from Devendra Banhart.

devendra banhart at amoeba

January also saw the second annual Amoeba Art Show, held at the Space Gallery here in San Francisco. Many of Amoeba's employees, you see, are also fantastic artists, and so a huge gathering of pieces created by said employees from both the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba stores was shown, and the event also included some music, drinking and general hobnobbing. The art below was created by Amoeba Berkeley's Zak Wilson. More info about the event can be found here.


Then, in February, Vampire Weekend hit the stage for a HUGE and thrilling performance. You can go right here for a review and all the photos from that show.

BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP (W)RAP UP: 07:18:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2008 08:31am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE 07:18:08

1) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

2) Messy Marv Hustlas Motivation Mixtape

3) Jean Gray + 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith/Warner)

4) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

5) Nas Untitled (Def Jam)


This week's number one seller at the Amoeba Music San Francisco store should come as lil surprise. It was Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne, which, despite advance leaks and rampant downloading of its tracks, still managed to sell big numbers (by today's music industry standards) and hit the number one spot on countless charts (both airplay & sales) from Billboard (3 weeks straight @ #1) to KMEL toFillmore, San Francisco rapper Messy Marv Amoeba etc. Luis in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street Amoeba, who kindly supplied this week's Hip-Hop Top Five, said that Bay Area music buyers love Lil Wayne just as much as national audiences (especially considering the historic Bay Area/Dirty South connections), but that their dedication to Bay Area rap/hip-hop, including this week's chart's number two album, is unbridled.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 6:28:08

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2008 11:32am | Post a Comment

After having the plug pulled prematurely on the concert he was a part of last Saturday at the Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival in Norfolk VA where authorities charged him with "abusive language" (apparently for uttering the lyrics "What the fuck" during one of his songs),  Boots Riley of The Coup has issued a statement saying that the local authorities' charges against him are "racially motivated."

The obscure local Virginia law, on the books as # 18.2-416, has never before now been applied to a performer, nor has it been enforced against anyone in over 25 years.   But yet the city of Norfok is determined in pressing forward with the charges against the visiting Oakland emcee.

"City Officials claim that they are making the statement that profanity will not be tolerated," said Boots Riley in a prepared statement sent out yesterday by his label. "Obviously, since no one has been charged with this in 26 years, profanity IS tolerated. The statement they are making is that the culture and the people they feel I represent won't be tolerated. I was already off stage; the man they asked to leave the stage was Trombone Shorty, another Black man who looks nothing like me."

"This happened at 10PM, and it was far from a 'family' atmosphere, most of the audience was intoxicated after drinking at the festival's bar -- 'The Missing Kidney.' There was also a VIP section where free alcohol was distributed by the keg. Anyone who has been to a music festival on a Saturday night understands the scene. I did not leave the park afterward, as was claimed by FestEvents, the organizers of the Bayou Boogaloo Festival. I stayed and debated the validity of the charge with police and festival promoters. It is clear that this is part of a larger debate that has nothing to do with profanity, one that is being dealt with nationwide. That debate is about racism, gentrification and the ownership of public space."

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