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Bob Weir & Bill Frisell Join Wilco For Perfect Closing Set of Mount Tam Music Fest

Posted by Billyjam, September 19, 2016 05:06pm | Post a Comment

Longtime post-Americana alt rock faves Wilco finished their headlining set on Saturday (Sept. 17th) at Mount Tam's Sound Summit festival with an encore set that featured surprise guests Bob Weir and Bill Frisell. Guitar genius Frisell, who had done an earlier afternoon Guitar In The Space Age themed set at the Marin mountaintop festival, joined the headliners for two songs before the Grateful Dead member (who plays Amoeba Hollywood Sept 27) plugged in his guitar and joined all seven other musicians for "California Stars" and an inspired multi-guitar fueled rendition of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." This closing to an already killer set by Wilco, their sixth Bay Area concert in the past two weeks, topped off a perfect day at the third annual music festival that also featured Los Lobos, The Stone Foxes, and Matt Jaffe  Long a hip-hop music fan rather than rock, admittedly I was not familiar with Wilco's music before attending Saturday's all day event at the 2000 foot altitude amphitheater. But en route up the winding Marin mountain drive to the concert I was accurately informed by a colleague that, "Wilco are the sort of band that even if you don't know their music, you'll immediately feel like you do!" Depending on your level of enthusiasm or your level of cynicism, that could be viewed as a good or bad thing. For me it was a good thing. But for Amoeba Wilco bio writer John Schacht not as much. "Churning out the most bland music ever made that people actually like," he wrote of the band but in reference more to their earlier work before they began to explore new musical directions, something I learned all about during Saturday's
satisfying show.

The Chicago based band formed 21 years ago and their current six-member lineup, including founding members Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt, has remained constant for the past dozen years. The songs in the first part of their concert on Saturday, with the band's lush rich full sound coupled with singer/front man Tweedy's Dylan-ish vocals, reminded me not so much of Zimmerman senior but his son Jakob's band The Wallflowers. But before I could pigeon-hole Wilco's sound, they'd already shifted gears and smoothly morphed into some totally different sound. They went off on experimental musical tangent and did it well, then later they nailed a soaring acid rock guitar jam, and then later drifted off into country rock: a sound I learned that dates back to their Uncle Tupelo roots.

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Atop Mount Tam, "Sound Summit" [Los Lobos, Wilco, Bill Frisell] Proves That Like Bay Property, Best Venues Are All About Location

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2016 08:17pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow's Sound Summit music event in Marin County featuring Los Lobos, Wilco, Bill Frisell's Guitar In The Space Age, The Stone Foxes, and Matt Jaffe is proof that the location of a venue can greatly enhance the enjoyment of an already great music concert. As with housing, it's all about location, location, location! And the Bay Area is blessed with a rich variety of locations for outdoor concerts. Some are better than others. The Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View is generally liked but is not my personal favorite. This is because of fact it was built on reclaimed land (a dump), and consequently has omitted at times  some harsh smells into the air.  Favorable outdoor venue locations in the Bay Area  include the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and Stern Grove in San Francisco. But few outdoor concert spaces in the Bay (or anywhere) can match the majestic location of the annual Sound Summit that takes place in an historic stone amphitheater set high atop Mount Tamalpalis. There, within the high elevation California State Park, the 4000 seater Mountain Theater is surrounded by lush redwoods and has absolutely breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. This perfect view provides the perfect backdrop to a concert event like tomorrow's all day music festival.

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Levitt Pavilion Shows Feature Robben Ford, El Vez and Los Lobos in Mid-September

Posted by Amoebite, September 1, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba will be on hand at for three free, all-ages shows at Levitt Pavilion this September. The shows start at 8 p.m., and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., with food, children’s activities and more. Join us at the Amoeba booth before the shows and spin the prize wheel to win some cool swag.

robben fordFirst up on Sept. 10 is five-time Grammy-nominated musician Robben Ford. The blues, jazz and rock guitarist and songwriter has collaborated with such artists as Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Kiss and more. Musician Magazine named Ford one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of the 2oth Century.” His latest album is called Into the Sun. Watch an album trailer below.

el vezOn Sept. 11, Chicano rocker El Vez takes the stage. Blending Americana and Mexican styles, he channels Elvis Presley but with a Latin twist. His latest release is God Save The King: 25 Years Of El Vez 1988-2013. Watch a feature on El Vez below.

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15 American Pop Hits That Aren't in English

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 23, 2015 10:00pm | Post a Comment
In the United States there is no official language and in roughly 18% of American homes, one of hundreds of languages other than English is primarily spoken -- all of which, unless they're indigenousshould be considered "foreign languages." In Los Angeles, everyday you can hear pop songs on the radio in Cantonese, English, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese and although I often find that pop music is better when the lyrics are unintelligible, only a handful of pop songs in a language other than English have made the journey onto the pop charts -- here are fifteen (or so).


Harry Choates - Jole Blon



Harry Choates's "Jole Blon" (1946, French


Video: Mariachi El Bronx Live at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, May 17, 2012 06:09pm | Post a Comment
Mariachi El Bronx stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to play their uniquely American take on traditional Mariachi music. Bedecked in black mariachi garb and with horns in tow, the band played a set of tracks from their 2011 album Mariachi El Bronx II.

Mariachi El Bronx started as post-hardcore band The Bronx before incorporating mariachi elements for this side project, which began when the band was asked to do an acoustic version of the song “Dirty Leaves” from The Bronx’s self-titled second album for a television show and they turned it into a mariachi dirge.

“We never wanted The Bronx to be a soft, quiet band,” says frontman Matt Caughthran, “but this freed up a whole new realm. Sometimes you don’t realize the barriers around yourself until you step outside them. It was a big moment in our career, breathing new life into the band.”



Band members Caughthran, Joby J. Ford (guitar), Jorma Vik (drums) Brad Magers (trumpet), Ken Horne (jarana/guitar), and Vincent Hidalgo (guitarrĂ³n) then studied up on YouTube, no less, while touring with The Bronx to make Mariachi El Bronx happen. Learning all the mariachi styles, such as norteno, jorocho, juasteka, bolero, and corridos was essential.

“Mariachi has rules,” Caughthran says. “We learned everything we could out of respect, especially as we’re a bunch of white guys — well, except for Ken, who’s Japanese.”

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