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The Choice Bin's Choice-y-er Buy Counter Scores of 2011

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 18, 2011 07:08pm | Post a Comment
As the year 2011 flies to a close, I've gathered some of my favorite scores from the past year together to reflect upon how much great stuff gets traded in at our used buying counter. All this art came in over Amoeba's trade-in counter but didn't make it past my "gotta check this out" sensors-in-overdrive...lots of stuff maybe not have been released in 2011 but plucked from the ocean of "keepers" and brought ashore, as the relevance and quality make it so, and the joy of reconnecting with a reissue or another format.  Our "Insurance Return" policy keeps the good stuff coming in as well.  And I've forgotten more titles than I've remembered...

Vinyl
LPs


John Adams

Harmonium

ECM 1984

I've owned this on a compact disc for ages, and then I see the magnificent film, "I Am Love" with the great Tilda Swinton and I see a vinyl copy of it and my head goes, "BUY THIS"!  This record was cut up and used as the score in such a wonderful, effective way, swooning, tilting and fanfare-ing the scenes making the picture so much more intense and sentimental. Bravissimo. The wax sounds amazing, too, as is the ECM tradition.



Havergal Brian

Complete Piano Music
Cameo Classics 1981

Amazing moods and very sound writing for piano. Think Debussy, Copeland, Ravel, Mozart, Haydn, Bryars and Gershwin and all this rolled into one fellow born in the U.K. in 1876. The great sound on this disc makes it so enjoyable, and being a wonderfully produced U.K. pressing with a brilliant performance by Peter Hill seals the deal.

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2011: That Which Doesn't Kill Us Makes Things Longer

Posted by Job O Brother, December 13, 2011 11:03am | Post a Comment
vintage father time
"Why couldn't I have been the year with Obamacare?"

Oh, 2011! Can it be it’s only been a year since I knew ye? This was a year of firsts: The first time I had a kitten who liked to lick new, clean plastic with an almost fetishistic zeal; the first year I lived in Los Angeles without working the floor at my beloved Amoeba Music Hollywood (I miss you, desperate holiday shoppers!); the first year I grew more than one grey hair at the same time (I blame you, traffic on Fairfax!)

It was also the year I suddenly, and without any obvious explanation, decided I loved and wanted to see any and all films of the horror genre. This came as a surprise to me. My boyfriend accuses me often of only liking films where nothing ever happens – preferably with a lone clock ticking in the corner of an otherwise quiet room. It annoys me when he claims this, mostly because I cannot defend myself.

The horror section in Amoeba Music’s DVD section provided me with many hours of happy judging-a-book-by-its-cover moments. Some gems I was hypnotized by were…

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More Journeys Off the Beaten Track

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 29, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Peter Michael Hamel
Hamel
Vertigo 6641 055, 1972

2-Lp set on German Vertigo circa 1972 brings us a spiritual journey of minimalism and creative spark, alone in the studio…tape running and overdubbing, often not listening to the previously recorded material. Hamel was doing multi-tracked organ, synths, piano and percussion in Germany at the same time as Riley, Glass and those guys were, quite forward-thinking. He worked with maestros Joseph Anton Reidl and Luc Ferrari, but never went in that conrete’ or collage direction as a style musically. Terry Riley is still doing live organ pieces just like these herein, and classical composers have struggled with this style for decades. Here in these discs we have 2 luscious sides of organ and synthesizer pieces with each instrument “beating” or modulating the other, simple rooted tones yet always moving with melody and logic; 1 side of prepared piano with a Cage influence, yet Hamel shows his prog/pop and Indonesian gamelan inclinations rhythmically and tonally. Nice! The last side is synthesizer overdubs with water and breath sounds, owing to Hamel’s heavy spiritual side and his immersion in this new minimalism. This record is still fresh now, and vibrates with a wonderful, contemporary accessibility and creative spark even after nearly 40 years. And this 2-disc set on Vertigo vinyl is rarer than a 2-dollar bill at this point.

 

Pat Martino

Strings!
 

Prestige 7547, 1968

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Massive LP Collection Hits the Floor at Amoeba Berkeley on Black Friday!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 23, 2011 12:20pm | Post a Comment
LP collection
Amoeba Berkeley recently bought a large LP collection from a Bay Area collector of mostly Rock and Oldies (with some Soul and Jazz) going back as much as 50 years. It includes many unusual titles and deep catalogue all brought at very fair prices. It's a collection for the imagination to run wild. These titles hit the floor for the first time on Black Friday (November 25) at Amoeba Berkeley!


"This collection is somewhat of a time capsule in nature. A mostly rock collection that I might have seen in the early '80s. Lots of interesting/unusual items that were probably passed by at that time, but now hold intrigue. Some wall items are mega-rare, mostly in the rock/psych rock arena." - Amoeba Kent


LP Collection   LP Collection

*NEW* in J-Pop this week: Tokyo Jihen's Great Discovery!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 14, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank heavens! J-pop superstar Shiina Ringo's slinky jazz-rock unit Tokyo Jihen (or Tokyo Incidents if you prefer your English full-on, 100%) are back with Dai-Hakken/Great Discovery -  their fifth television-themed record to date (i.e. Education, Adult, Variety, Sports, and now Discovery [Channel] television)!
tokyo jihen daihakken great discovery shiina ringo jazz rock band j-pop japanese rock tokyo incidents
I have to say, it's comforting to see a well-established artist who has grappled with fumbles and triumphs alike throughout their career still making the sort of music and displaying their particular taste for showmanship with grace and aplomb. Shiina Ringo is a little bit like Prince in my mind, even if it's purely for the fact that her successful side project, Tokyo Jihen, is not only peopled by her hand-selected collection of uber-talented, male musicians but also once released a record packaged with it's very own original cologne for men. I mean, the recent music video for Dai-Hakken b-side --「ハンサム過ぎて」("Too Handsome") wherein Ringo "directs" her band of fellows to put on their most comely date-night behavior -- kinda says it all. Ringo is a dom-ballerina and all the world, well all of Japan and many locals otherwise anyway, are her stage.



(Like you've never licked your TV screen) Pretty! But I digress, this post is about the new full-length record, not the new-new single. To my delight this record is a great deal more satisfying at first listen than the last two Incidents' incidents but I'm sure the end payoff will be the same in that it stands alone as a great album in as much as it further gilds the worth of the greater part of Ringo's works, with or without her Incidents. It's always been all about her, you know, as the video for 「女は誰でも」(or "Any Girl" -- Ringo's own twisted English translation of said title being "Fly Me to Heaven" which I feel is really more indicative of the flutterings and spasms "any girl" might feel playing dress-up in an extensively sequined vintage  wardrobe as Ringo does waltzing through this self-indulgent vignette of a musical interlude) suggests, check it out:

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