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Music History Monday: August 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 12, 2013 12:55pm | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: August 12, 1968Cheap Thrills, the second album by Big Brother And The Holding Company is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at Columbia Recording cheap thrills big brother & the holding company janis joplinStudios in New York City (studio tracks) and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco (live tracks) from March - May of 1968. Following the band's breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, they will be approached by Clive Davis, then the head Columbia Records, who is eager to sign them. At the time, Big Brother is signed to independent label Mainstream Records, who will release their self titled debut album in August of 1967. It will take several months for the band to be extricated from their Mainstream contract and sign with Columbia, which will take place in early 1968. Once freed from their prior obligations, they will be paired with producer John Simon (The Band), and they will begin work on their second album. The initial plan is to record Big Brother in concert, producing an album that captures the band's electric live performances. When the results are lackluster, they will record much of the album in Columbia's New York recording studio, with the closing track "Ball And Chain" being recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (though the original release will erroneously credit it being recorded at the Fillmore East in New York). Originally titled Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills, Columbia Records will refuse to release it with that title, and make the band revise it. The album's iconic cover art by underground artist Robert Crumb (Zap Comix) is first intended to appear on the back of the LP jacket with a photo of Janis Joplin on the front. Joplin is so enamored with Crumb's artwork that it will be put on the front instead. Anchored by the hit single "Piece Of My Heart" (#12 Pop), it will be major success. When Columbia originally issues the LP along with the standard stereo version, the label will press a very limited amount of the mono version (an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 copies only), before quickly deleting it, turning it into a highly priced and sought after collector's item. The mono version of the album will be reissued in November of 2012 as a limited edition 180g vinyl LP pressing. Cheap Thrills will spend eight weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
 

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Songs & Gift Ideas for Mother's Day: Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2012 09:24am | Post a Comment

2Pac "Dear Mama" (1995) [from Me Against the World]

Mother’s Day 2012
(Sunday, May 13th) may soon be upon us but there's still plenty of time left to get mom the gift of music from Amoeba, whether you order something online from our website shop on Amoeba.com (and have us mail it directly to mom) or if you stop into one of the three Amoeba Music stores. With the endless choices of CDs, DVDs, records, posters, and more, you're bound to find something just right for mom.


Kanye West "Hey Mama" [from album
Late Registration]


Macka B "Respect to Our Mothers" [from the album Roots Ragga]
 
There is some excellent music that would make a great Mother's Day gift, including new/recent/current Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Societyreleases from Norah Jones' Little Broken Hearts or her 2002 album Come Away With Me, Adele's 21, Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society, The Civil Wars' eight track Live at Amoeba CD, Nanci Griffith's Intersection, Rumer's Season of My Soul, a new solo release by Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) called Sun Midnight SunBruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball, and Janis Joplin (including reissues). There's oodles of older titles too for sale on Amoeba.com including, for the budget conscious shopper, the Clearance Section offerings.

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San Francisco's "Russian Embassy" is a House of Legends

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 30, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment
house of legends russian embassy fulton street alamo square Some know San Francisco’s Westerfeld Mansion as the “Russian Embassy,” the site of an infamous brothel run by Czarist Russians in the 1920s. Some know it as a ramshackle boarding house for Fillmore district jazz performers of the 1950s. Most remember it as the magical crash pad of 1960’s counterculture luminaries that inspired Tom Wolfe, Janis Joplin, Ken Kesey, Anton LaVey, Bobby Beausoleil, and Kenneth Anger alike to fly their freak flag from the turrets of this Victorian palace.

For all of us who have wanted to know what mysteries Invocation of my demon brother kenneth anger house of legendsare contained within the walls of this Alamo Square manion, F for Fake Pictures brings you House of Legends, a feature-length documentary that explores the making of a legend by investigating the history and the myths behind San Francisco's Historical Landmark #135. 123 years in the making, the Westerfeld Mansion has a brilliant story to tell through many of its famous, infamous, and colorful inhabitants and visitors over the past 12 generations.

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Exclusive RSD Black Friday Releases

Posted by Amoebite, November 15, 2011 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Black Friday exclusives

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is fast approaching. The folks at Record Store Day have helped to organize a series of exclusive items just for indie record stores to be released on Black Friday. The list is pretty big, so we wanted to highlight some of the titles and give you the chance to view or print the entire list (PDF) so you can be prepared on Friday November 25. Just a heads up that the stock may differ between the three stores as well. 

Amoeba Hollywood
We will hold exclusive RSD releases behind our front counters. Line will form outside the store no earlier than 8 a.m. on Saturday. Product is limited to stock on hand and available to customers on a first come, first served basis. Limit one per title per customer. Store opens at 10:30 a.m.

Huge Black Friday Turntable Sale at Amoeba Hollywood! All turntables 20% off, plus even bigger deals on Audio-Technica LP 60 and Crosley Keepsake turntables. Limited to stock on hand. Friday 11/25 only.

Amoeba San Francisco & Berkeley
We will feature exclusive RSD releases on our sales floor. Product is limited to stock on hand and available to customers on a first come, first served basis. Limit one per title per customer. Stores open at 10:30 a.m.

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FESTIVAL EXPRESS FREE SCREENING AT AMOEBA'S MONDAY MOVIES

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2009 11:04am | Post a Comment
Grateful Dead "Don't Ease Me In" from Festival Express, Toronto, June 1970

Last week kicked off the highly recommended free Amoeba's Monday Movies series in Hollywood, CA at Space15twenty with a screening of the Hurricane Katrina themed film Trouble the Water -- a Festival Expresswonderfully produced documentary, albeit with an unsettling subject matter. In contrast, tonight's screening of the fun, must-see music documentary Festival Express, which captures a magical slice of time and rock history from almost forty years ago, is much lighter in its content.

The film was shot in the summer of 1970 over a period of five days on a cool custom made train with some very talented passengers on board, including Janis Joplin, The Band, the Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Sha Na Na. The train trekked its way across Canada from Toronto, to Calgary and to Winnipeg, with its crew stopping to perform concerts along the route.

What makes this film so unique and so endearing is just how candid everyone comes across in their intimate portrayals. I love this film and was so moved when I first saw it six months ago, especially by Janis Joplin's role. Her great performances  tragically would be some of her very last, since she died within a few months of this trans Canadian tour. I wrote an Amoeblog about Festival Express and Joplin back when I first watched the film.

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