Amoeblog

Dip Your Toes into Classical Music with Our Handy Conversion Chart

Posted by Amoebite, November 17, 2014 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Classical Music Conversion Chart

There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.

I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

It’s these interactions that led me to create the following "conversion chart." While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

The best time to come explore the Classical section will be November 28-30 when we're having a huge Classical blowout at our stores over Black Friday weekend. All red and green tag Classical CDs and vinyl will be 50% off! Sale details here.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #9: Macy's Parade, 12-12-12, Buckyball, Tracy Morgan, John Cage, Madison Square Park, Rev Billy +

Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2012 02:08pm | Post a Comment

Now in week four of Superstorm Sandy recovery mode New York City takes another major stride in its return to normalcy by making a significant statement this week that things are well on their way to getting back on track with the big 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade all set and ready to go this week. Since this past weekend, when I took the photo above from the Herald Square front of the the world's largest department store (well until 2009 when the South Korean chain Shinsegae opened an even larger store) Macy's parade organizers had everything in place - much to the approval of the business minded Mayor Bloomberg who knows the bottom line dollar value of such tourist attractions for his city that will attract an estimated 3 million sightseers along its route.

Expect to hear many references to Sandy and the resilience of its victims during Thursday's big parade TV broadcast that an estimated 50 million will watch. If you are in NYC on Thanksgiving Day the parade starts at 9am in the Upper West Side at 77th Street by Central Park West and heads down to Columbus Circle, then left onto Central Park South, right on Sixth Ave and down to Herald Square by Macy's. This year’s performers and celebrities will include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trace Adkins, Big Apple Circus, Chica and the crew from Sprout, Colbie Caillat, Rachel Crow Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, Karmin, Kidz Bop, Mannheim Steamroller, Miss USA 2012 – Olivia Culpo; the Muppets and cast of Sesame Street, The Wanted and many more. More guests and general parade info here.

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L@TE: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA Starts Sept. 14th with a John Cage Celebration!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 3, 2012 03:59pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba is proud to be partnering again with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive to present a whole season of L@TE night programming on Friday nights! This year's schedule has really expanded on the groundwork laid last year with over ten events from September through December!

It all kicks off on Friday, September 14th with a celebration for John Cage's 100th birthday featuring video artist John Sanborn’s PICO (Performance Indeterminate Cage Opera), a sprawling, circus-like environment incorporating multiple aspects of Cage’s work, from Fontana Mix to the Europeras. Get your tickets HERE!

The following weeks will see performances from Devendra Banhart (9/21), The Dodos (9/28), Weekend (10/5), Terry Riley with Tracy Silverman (10/12), and much more throughout the entire Fall season!

The Friday night programs typically begin at 7:30 pm in Gallery B. Doors open at 5pm with DJs in the lobby or Gallery B at 6:30pm. Admission is $7; free for BAM/PFA members and Cal students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available exclusively to members, students, faculty, and staff until one week before each event, at which time tickets go on sale to the general public. If a show is sold out, rush tickets may be available at the door beginning at 8pm.

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(In which the author receives an anonymous gift.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2011 04:38pm | Post a Comment
vintage diet
Don't you hate it when you're stuck sitting on a plane next to someone with thick ankles?

The other day I was busily preparing my usual breakfast – a small bowl of nonfat cottage cheese with a few cucumber slices, a cup of black coffee, and a rice cake, all deep fried and smothered in butterscotch gravy – when a knock came on the front door. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found no one there, some eight hours later. What was there was a small package, neatly wrapped in what looked like paper (though this is merely speculation on my part).

Strange packages from persons unknown should always be regarded with suspicion, but as I am a curious person by nature (my great-great-grandfather was a cat) I couldn’t help but open it, which proved to be a long and arduous task as I opted to use only my tongue, rather than the more versatile and saliva-free hands I keep at the end of my arms.

Inside the package was a cassette tape, painted a variety of colors, but without any linguistic explanation as to its purpose or content. I assumed it was a gift from one of my fans, but then I remembered they were without capacity for thought, incapable of free will and basically only good for circulating air. No, this cassette tape was almost certainly from a human, probably a living one, and almost certainly residing somewhere on this planet!

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John Cage vs. Simon Cowell in UK X-Factor Showdown for Coveted #1 Slot on Britain's Christmas Week Pop Charts

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2010 04:18pm | Post a Comment
John CageSimon Cowell























A piece by the late, great American composer/music theorist John Cage, to be "recorded" today by an extended ensemble that includes Billy Bragg and Pete Doherty, will go head to head against this weekend's winner for the Sunday finale of the phenomenally popular British television talent contest The X-Factor for the much coveted #1 position on the Christmas pop chart. Until last year that top slot on the UK pop charts automatically got taken by the winner of The X-Factor, ever since it began airing in 2004.

However, that all changed last Christmas after disgruntled music fans, who were sick of the overbearing blase pop of the mainstream Simon Cowell-created contest (Cowell is also a judge), banded together via a Facebook campaign to all purchase another single and drive it, through sales, to the top position on the Christmas week pop chart. The song they chose, based on the name of the band and the song title, was the 1992 Rage Against the Machine track "Killing In The Name."

Continuing in the "Rage Against The Machine" theme (The X-Factor being the machine), this year's song is by a one-off band named Cage Against the Machine, who today were scheduled to "record" the song by John Cage -- and not just any old Cage composition, either, but the composition "4' 33."" Even by the avant garde artist's standards this is a challenging track since it is a completely silent piece that runs for 4 minutes and 33 Cage Against The Machineseconds.

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