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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Richard Marx

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2014 03:25pm | Post a Comment

Richard Marx

Remember "Endless Summer Nights," "Right Here Waiting" and "Should've Known Better"? Whether cruising to the beach or hanging out at the mall, multi-platinum artist Richard Marx's ubiquitous hit singles were the unofficial soundtrack to the 1980s. Now imagine that smooth, silky voice through the filter of the EDM, trance, and Brazilian music currently on the singer/songwriter's playlist. Marx is back with a new album, Beautiful Goodbye, inspired not only by the dance of seduction, but by some seriously chilled-out dance grooves. But, in the famous words of LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback; Marx has been here for years, writing songs for everyone from Barbra Streisand to Keith Urban to Luther Vandross.

One of the few artists who has the distinction of having written a #1 single in four separate decades, the hardworking Marx took some time to sit down with our "What's In My Bag?" crew and share some of his biggest musical influences. This episode kicks off with Marx choosing a collection by beloved soul singer Donny Hathaway. Next up is his favorite album of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire's I Am. After sharing stories about the artists and albums that shaped his musical career, Marx introduces us to a newer artist, progressive house DJ Morgan Page, whose influence shows up on Beautiful Goodbye.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Posted by Amoebite, July 1, 2014 02:07pm | Post a Comment

Sharon Jones at Amoeba

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings make the kind of ebullient, impassioned soul music that often gets labeled as "retro"--when, in reality, "timeless" is a much more appropriate description. These days, Jones and co. are one of the most fruitful branches on the soul/funk family tree, churning out album after album of soon-to-be-classic grooves that branch out pleasantly from the genre's Aretha/Etta/Mavis roots. After a delayed release due to Jones' triumphant battle with pancreatic cancer, the group's latest album, Give the People What They Want, came out earlier this year and the irrepressible Ms. Jones and her Dap-Kings have been on the road ever since.

The band took some time from their busy schedule to sit down with the "What's In My Bag?" crew and talk music. Jones kicks the segment off with disco icon Sylvester's live album, Living Proof. Next, drummer Homer Steinweiss talks about Norman Greenbaum's psych/gospel hybrid album, Spirit in the Sky. "Everyone should have this record," says Neal Sugarman about his pick, Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic Two Steps from the Blues. As they pull out LP after LP, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' passion for music reveals itself in the depth and breadth of their picks. Check out the full episode below and get a crash course in the history of soul, funk, and disco.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Director Edgar Wright

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2014 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Edgar Wright

Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy

Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Superchunk

Posted by Amoebite, June 19, 2014 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Superchunk

Like the works of Henry David Thoreau, the two-party system and that burger that's served on a donut instead of a bun, the venerable indie rock band Superchunk is a distinctly American institution. Formed in 1989 and steadily releasing albums ever since, the quartet of singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan, guitarist Jim Wilbur, bassist Laura Ballance, and drummer Jon Wurster has left an indelible mark on the world of independent music through the release of numerous classic albums and the foundation of big-time indie label Merge Records. It's Merge's 25th anniversary this year, so Superchunk has remastered and reissued their long out-of-print, classic 1997 album Indoor Living, as part of the label's anniversary reissue series. The band is also set to perform at the Merge 25 festival in North Carolina this July, and at Riot Fest in Chicago in September.

In this installment of "What's In My Bag," McCaughan, Wilbur and Wurster make a special visit to Amoeba San Francisco. Superchunk may be synonymous with the punk/indie DIY ethos, but their collective musical taste is all over the map. In honor of the City by the Bay, Wurster starts things off with the Kevin Epps documentary The Black Rock aka Black Alcatraz, a look into the long-ignored black experience at the famous island prison. Wilbur picks up a Leonard Bernstein recording of Mahler's Symphonie No. 2 and shares a story about a personal experience with the famed conductor. McCaughan delves into Philly soul with Major Harris' My Way and '80s Nigerian funk with the comp Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times and Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983. Check out all the band's picks, from crust-punk to classical, in the full episode below!

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Crystal Fighters

Posted by Amoebite, June 6, 2014 09:01pm | Post a Comment

Crystal Fighters

In a world where EDM has infiltrated just about every musical genre on the planet, it's sometimes hard to filter out all the noise. There's a new contender making their way up the dance-pop ranks, Crystal Fighters, a London-based dance band steeped in elements of traditional Basque culture. Their latest album, Cave Rave (Atlantic, 2013), evokes exactly what the title suggests... you're in a cave dancing with fluffy bears while pink bats are circling the hanging disco ball above and the bass is hitting so hard your clothes fall off. All you can do is sing along in a trance. Cave Rave shows off the band's ability to craft catchy tracks with hooks made for pop radio, while still supplying the deep harder stuff old fans love. Crystal Fighters have the song sensibilities reminiscent of Yeasayer with the electro-pop polish of Capital Cities. The Fighters will be all over the world playing festivals throughout the summer. Make sure to catch them!

Our What's In My Bag? cameras caught up with Crystal Fighters on a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. Very much influenced by World Music, Sebastian Pringle kicks things off with a vinyl copy of a stellar Soundway Records reissue of forgotten Colombian legends Michi Sarmiento Y Sus Bravos. It's a must-have for world music enthusiasts. He also picks up a copy of Francis Bebey's African Electronic Music 1975-1982 on vinyl. Gilbert Vierich digs through our reggae 45 section and pick up a stack of singles. Yes, literally a stack! Graham Dickson shows off his love of electronic music with selections by Holy Ghost! and the Perlon record label. Check out all their cool picks in the full episode below. 

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