Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2009 06:29am | Post a Comment

coca colaArtists' music being used in commercials was once a touchy subject. And it is still is, but to a lesser degree nowadays than in bygone decades, it seems. It also depends on what context the music is used and what exact song by which artist is being utilized. Some commercially popular music is just geared to be a jingle. But traditionally the typical "serious" artist felt lending their art in exchange for cash as the soundtrack to some shallow TV commercial geared to sell (the word "pimp" would often be used) cars or washing detergent was the ultimate sellling of your soul to "the man."

And of course, if said artist's music is reactionary, revolutionary, anti-authoritarian, protest type music, it really is contradictory to have it included in a cheesy TV ad -- hence the reason Jello Biafra fought so hard against his litigating former friends/bandmates who he insisted were trying hard to make a quick buck by selling the rights of the Dead Kennedys' song "Holiday In Cambodia" to be used in a Levi's commercial.

But even less politically overt artists than Biafra are against their music being used in commericals. Still, there are exceptions to every rule. A good example is Jack White, who has long been opposed to the White Stripes' music being sold for use in a commercial. Reportedly over the years he and his bandmate white stripeshave been approached many times and turned down the offers to use the Stripes' music in commercials. But he wasn't opposed to composing a whole new song for a TV commercial a few years ago; he penned the sixties Brit psychedelic inflected tune called "Love Is The Truth" (reminiscent of the Small Faces' hit "Itchycoo Park") with the repeated lyrics "Love is the truth/ It's the right thing to do," to be used in a Coca Cola ad.

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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.

Record Store Day is Today!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2008 12:48am | Post a Comment
Today is that special holiday Record Store Day, where indie record stores across America offer you, our customers, treats that only proper indie record stores can offer! 

In addition to special Record Store Day-only sales, we here at Amoeba San Francisco will be offering a free goodie bag stuffed with swag while supplies last with purchase!  Also available tomorrow, artists such as Death Cab for Cutie, REM, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks,  Black Keys, and Vampire Weekend have created super rad vinyl-only releases to celebrate the occasion, and you can pick 'em up here!

Here in San Francisco we will have Jello Biafra manning the Information Counter from 4-5pm!  You can come by and ask him about Alternative Tentacles releases, or what his favorite country album is!  We will also have DJ sets by DJ Smash, V. Vale, and Aaron Axelson of  LIVE 105.  Check out this page on our website for more SF info.  For information about what will be happening at the Berkeley store, you can check out this page right here.  And for the happenings in the Hollywood store, click here.


Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2008 11:00am | Post a Comment

Man! I miss the eighties. I miss the 1980's mainly for the music and the vibe surrounding it. Yes in-fuckin-deed!

Perhaps even more than the hip-hop of that decade (which I love to death), I miss the American punk rock of the 1980's even more.

I miss 80's US punk because the music was still fresh and vibrant and hard(core). It was when punk itself was still an ideal that hadn't been fully exploited yet, not some fuckin pre-packaged commodity hawked as a fashion accessory at the Hot Topic outlet down at the local strip mall USA. 

Back then punk zines from MRR all the way down to every small but passionately put together two-page Xeroxed, circulation of ten had balls. And near everything related to punk, from zines to album covers to concert fliers and of course the music/lyrics itself, had a strong scent of political activism. And the one thing that seemed to cement everything together? The president at the time: Ronald Reagan. 

If you've forgotten who Reagan was, let me refresh your memory. He was a former governor of California who made some bad decisions but still became president of the USA. Reagan was (like George W. Bush) a Republican and (also like Bush) someone that folks liked to mock and imitate and disdain. He liked jellybeans. He asked "where's the beef?" and (like Bush) was the puppet of corrupt big business powers behind the scenes. 

And at that time it seemed every punk rock group had a song or album or show flier about Reagan. I thought of this when I went crate-digging in my punk section this morning and dug up my copy of the great Alternative Tentacles compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans and also an album by the great former band Reagan Youth -- just two examples of punk releases fueled by their contempt towards the then-president of the USA.
reagan youth
Reagan Youth, which was formed in Queens, NY by Dave "Insurgent" Rubinstein and Paul "Cripple" Bakija, used to play bills with the likes of the Dead Kennedys and Bad Brains (both on the Jellybeans comp on Jello Biafra's label).

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