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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Billy Bragg & Wayne Kramer

Posted by Amoebite, January 7, 2014 04:32pm | Post a Comment

Billy Bragg

In the world of politically charged rock and roll, Billy Bragg and Wayne Kramer are iconic in their own right. The two musician/activists came together in 2009 to form Jail Guitar Doors, a non-profit organization that provides musical instruments and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners. Their name comes from a 1977 song by The Clash called "Jail Guitar Doors," which detailed the imprisonment of their hero, the MC5's Wayne Kramer.

Mr. Bragg and Mr. Kramer recently brought their Jail Guitar Doors show to Amoeba Hollywood. For their charity work, the two were presented with a certificate of recognition from the city of Los Angeles. Needless to say, they rocked the house. After their performance, the two sat down with our crew for another episode of What's In My Bag?.

Billy Bragg kicks off his "shit you can't find in England" list with Valerie June's Pushin' Against A Stone and Neko Case's The Worst Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. Kramer picks up some Jazz with Grant Green's Grantstand record and drops a fun fact about Grant's love for the classic B3 organ. The two have some great picks from Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series Vol. 10  to soulstress Merry Clayton's Best Of compilation to Cliff Martinez's Only God Forgives soundtrack. These are two cool guys, who on their own would have entertaining episodes, but we were lucky enough to get them together, making it a must see for any fan. Enjoy! 

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10 New Records That Are Perfect for Fall

Posted by Billy Gil, October 1, 2013 04:09pm | Post a Comment

While interviewing the band Dream Boys recently, I noted that their jangly new album seemed perfectly timed for fall. That got me thinking of other recent music that is well-suited for cardigan weather, the kind of records you want to snuggle up to when it starts to get cold out. So lots of EDM—j/k! Here are some records to get cozy up with on this first of October.

Dream Boys – Dream Boys

dream boys lpJust as genres like Paisley Underground, C86 and college rock gave ’60s sunshine pop an ’80s makeover, Dream Boys take a modern, emotionally gray yet laid-back approach to producing a detailed guitar-oriented sound. Enjoy poring over the jangly riffs of Dream Boys and read my interview with the band here.

 

BlouseImperium

blouse imperiumBlouse pulled a bold move for its second album, especially considering the band is still up-and-coming, by radically changing its sound, forgoing the synth-heavy sound of its debut for a pretty straightforward rock sound incorporating new wave and alt-rock elements. It pays off, as Imperium is one of the season’s best rock albums, pairing dreamy vocals and lyrics with an emotionally direct sound.

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Album Picks: Neko Case, Chelsea Wolfe, Holograms, The Julie Ruin, Jonathan Rado

Posted by Billy Gil, September 3, 2013 09:36am | Post a Comment

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

neko case the worse things get lpCD $13.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $20.98

Deluxe LP $26.98

It’s been four years since the last Neko Case album, but one listen to her verbosely titled new album and you’ll know it was worth the wait. As on her previous albums, Case borrows from folk, country and indie rock, opening with stunning guitar atmosphere on “Wild Creatures.” On “Night Still Comes” (download or listen free), she weaves beautifully strange melodies, both highly catchy and melodic and slightly discordant. Both lyrically and vocally, Case continues to be one of the strongest of her generation, articulating the intersect of man and nature with gorgeously twisted language. “I’m gonna go where my urge leads no more … a boreal feast, let it finish me please, as I revenge myself, all over myself,” she sings on “Night Still Comes.” Over jaunty electric guitar, she forcefully sings “I’m a man … that’s what kind of animal I am” on “Man,” continuing the gender play on acoustic ditty “I’m From Nowhere” (“I was surprised when you called me lady, ‘cause I’m still not so sure that’s what I want to be,” later qualifying that statement with “’cause I remember the ’80s, and I remember its puffy sleeves”). Though her lyrics are often clever, they’re more revealing here than ever—the most striking moment here is “Near Midnight, Honolulu,” a paralyzing portrayal of casually witnessed emotional child abuse that she then turns inward. Whether she’s describing the strange, corporeal world in which we live or her own inner workings, Case is always invigorating to listen to, perhaps never more so than on The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight...

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First City Festival in Monterey with Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, MGMT, Neko Case, Beach House, Toro y Moi + More!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 20, 2013 02:35pm | Post a Comment

Big news! The inaugural weekend of the First City Festival takes place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center on Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25thJoin Goldenvoice and Amoeba Music in welcoming Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, MGMT, Neko Case, Beach House, Toro y Moi, the west coast debut of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks (featuring Dave Portner of Animal Collective), and so many more.

Two-day General Admission tickets on sale now at Amoeba SF & Amoeba Berkeley. No additional fees!

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Trip to Hawai'i: Part 2

Posted by Job O Brother, August 1, 2011 01:28pm | Post a Comment
hawaii postcard

Waking up on a Hawaiian Island is pretty much the radliest, so I was happy to do it; happier still to begin my first full day on Maui. My brain was brimming with ideas for fun and adventurous activities I could postpone in lieu of doing nothing, but for this I first needed calories I wouldn’t burn.

They don’t make better calories than in Hawaii. It’s all about salty, sweet, and fat, with a side of the freshest, juiciest fruit you’ve ever had. Talk about mixed messages: Here you go, tummy, a meal of simple, raw, nutrient-rich papaya and pineapple. Oh, and also here’s some SPAM fried in noodles with sugar gravy, mayonnaise pork and buttery, buttered butter in butter sauce with butter butter salt butter salted sugar butter. Side of butter. (Salt.)

The boyfriend and I decided to put on some clothing (after repeated, negative breakfast experiences without it) and made our way to the buffet at our hotel. We found a table overlooking the Pacific. Between us and it was a walking trek that many people were using for jogging. How… insensitive. Didn’t they know I was trying to punch as many macadamia nut pancakes down my gullet as possible? And their obnoxious exercise routine was bumming my trip, man – reminding me I was a gross slob with nary a single definable “ab”. But this coconut syrup isn’t going to drink itself, people!

As the boyfriend went out in search of an iced soy latte (you can take the Angelino out of LA, but you can’t LA out of an Angelino), I drank my drip and marveled at the simple beauty of the double-rainbow that stretched from the middle of the turquoise water to the clouds above Kauai. How perfect… how poetic…

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