The unprecedented show of support for Cheb i Sabbah in time of need has proven what an admired, appreciated, and most important figure he truly is. "You know he's been around DJ'ing since he was just a teenager - playing soul in the 60's in Paris and [he] was very hip to all the North African styles long before most anyone else was," said Amoeba Music's Marc Weinstein recalling that Cheb i Sabbah worked at Amoeba Berkeley as world music buyer for about four years in the mid-nineties. "He brought an incredible depth, especially with African and Middle Eastern music, when he worked here at Amoeba," recalled Weinstein, adding that as a DJ he is in a class of his own. "He would have Nickies [on Haight St.] rockin' so hard, creating monster grooves. The place would be packed! He is the most well loved DJ I have ever known!"
Malcolm Mooney and The 10th Planet @ 21 Grand, Oakland July 2010
Fans of Malcolm Mooney and his legendary influential German experimental band Can should make it their business to head to the Bay Area's Skyline College to the San Bruno campus' Skyline Art Gallery this coming Thursday (Sept 15th) for a must-attend art-opening, reception, and a performance from the iconic musical figure in which he and The 10th Planet will play a free concert! Half will be the music of Can. "The other half will improv," promised Marc Weinstein (aka Amoeba Marc), who has been a constant in Mooney's ever-rotating 10th Planet backing band over its fifteen year history. The band came about as an outgrowth/extension of Malcolm Mooney's back up band Pluto. Above is a clip of Mooney and The 10th Planet a year ago when the band played the wonderful (albeit now sadly defunct) downtown Oakland gallery and performance space 21 Grand.
For this week's Sklyline concert, which promises some nice experimental drone sounds, the 10th Planet players' lineup will include Weinstein on drums, Peter Conheim on bass, both Dean Santomieri and Jim Hrabetin on guitar, and of course Malcolm Mooney himself ("a weirdo poet singer guy," laughed Marc) doing vocals. Mooney is also a key component of the gallery's new exhibit. Along with Gregory Edwards and Fay Grajower, they make up the 3 Corner Symphony (a piece that was first exhibited in New York City), which will run for five weeks at the Skyline Art Gallery. The art show is produced in association with the show Mooney recently had at White Columns in NYC and "he is recreating it" at Skyline, said Marc. The art opening's reception begins at 5:30pm and the music is scheduled to start at 7:30pm.
Directions to Skyline College.
Art gallery info.
Malcolm Mooney's website.
It was exactly twenty years ago today, November 17th, 1990, when the first Amoeba Music store opened its doors in Berkeley, CA. And, as you well know, all three Amoeba stores have been celebrating the anniversary of this joyous occasion all this month, culminating in the big, all day 20th Anniversary party event at the original Telegraph Avenue Amoeba this past Sunday with cake (of course), giveways, incredible sales, plus non-stop live entertainment from such talents as Pam the Funkstress, DoseOne (both pictured left), and Lyrics Born. Check this recent Amoeblog with lots more photos and a nice run down on Sunday's wonderfully fun event.
As Amoeba's Marc Weinstein noted in the recently posted Amoeblog interview, the lead up to that November 1990 opening took many long months of hard work. That Amoeblog interview was just one of two that Amoeba Marc did on the topic of Amoeba's rich past. I also talked with him about additional Amoeba history, including what Telegraph Ave was like in the decade before Amoeba first opened and Marc's own personal record store history.
"I worked at Rasputin's in 1980/'81 and then I went traveling to buy records back East so I still worked for Rasputin's through '83 but not back in the Bay. When I came back from being back East I worked in San Francisco at Streetlight Records from '83 to '90," recalled Amoeba Marc. "I remember the Avenue [Telegraph] been completely packed with all types of people. The variety that was represented and the businesses that kind of catered to those people on Telegraph was so thick," he said. "It was so good in its heyday; great record stores, great book stores, great used clothing stores. We closed Rasputin's at 11pm so we could go next door to Universal [long gone Berkeley record store] which was open til 12 and Universal always had little shows or things going on. We could shop for records til midnight every night and go see bands and never really leave the Avenue. You can't really do that kind of thing anymore."
We couldn't think of a better way to continue celebrating our 20th Anniversary this month than with an interview with Marc Weinstein, one of our founding owners, about Amoeba's inception, opening our first shop in Berkeley, what makes Amoeba special, some of his favorite memories thusfar, and more! Scattered throughout are some little-seen images of the Berkeley store before it opened as well as in its very early days!
Read on and check back for more additions over the next few weeks! To read our first Anniversary post, with testimonials from some of our favorite customers, click here! To get info about the Anniversary Events scheduled at the Berkeley store on Nov 13 & 14 with DJs, live performances from Foxtails Brigade, and Lyrics Born and prize giveaways, click here! You can also get involved by entering our contest -- share your own Amoeba story for a chance to win a shopping spree and more! Read about it here.