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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode With Singer-Songwriter Linda Thompson

Posted by Amoebite, March 27, 2014 10:10am | Post a Comment

Linda Thompson

If there is such a thing as folk rock royalty, then Linda Thompson deserves a gold throne at the head of the table. Her story definitely has the makings of an episode of VH1's Behind The Music, full of drama, heartbreak and drug addicted co-starsHer circle of friends included many great singer-songwriters who played major roles in the folk rock boom of the '60s and '70s. Such friends include Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, John Martyn, Tim Buckley and, of course, her ex-husband Richard Thompson. During the '70s, Linda and Richard Thompson married and released several albums as a duo for Island Records before taking a three year hiatus to study Sufism. In 1982, they partnered with famed producer Joe Boyd to release Shoot Out The Lights (Hannibal), which critics today hail has one of the greatest folk rock records of all time. (You can watch our "What's In My Bag?" episode with Joe Boyd here.)

Linda ThompsonDespite battling a rare throat condition that hampered Linda's ability to talk and sing (resulting in an eleven year hiatus), Thomspon has released four solo records including 2013's Won't Be Long (Pettifer Sounds). This new album finds her collaborating with her son, singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson, including backing vocals by her daughters (Kami & Muna) and accompaniment from her ex, Richard Thompson. The end result is a cohesive, timeless batch of covers and originals that marks a definite milestone for the singer in her 60s. 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Producer Joe Boyd

Posted by Amoebite, January 2, 2014 04:19pm | Post a Comment

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd is an icon when it comes to music producers. He was at the core of Britain's folk rock boom of the '60s and pioneered the World Music genre in the '80s and '90s. Mr. Boyd has been a part of some Joe Boydiconic moments in music history, including overseeing Bob Dylan's legendary first live electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Boyd also signed and produced a young 20-year-old Nick Drake who subsequently released the classic album, Five Leaves Left. Boyd also holds the distinction of producing Pink Floyd's first single, "Arnold Layne."  From founding his label, Hannibal Records, to working as a film executive for Warner Bros. to releasing his memoir, White Bicycles: Making Music In the 1960s, Joe Boyd has definitely made his mark.  

Amoeba's "What's In My Bag?" crew had the pleasure of hanging out with Mr. Boyd during a recent visit to our San Francisco store. Needless to say, he has very eclectic taste in music. Mr. Boyd kicks off the episode with Dafnis Prieto's About The Monks and says Prieto is the "new genius of the drums." Boyd also digs up a copy of Mongo Santamaria's Our Man In Havana on vinyl. Although he points out he doesn't keep up with current bands too much, he made sure to pick up a copy of Phosphorescent's Here's To Taking It Easy. Mr. Boyd has many cool picks from all regions of the world to check out!

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HAPPY EASTER!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, April 4, 2010 10:22am | Post a Comment
easter bunny
The screams of children are drown out by the wailing of their mothers.

Oh geez. I’ve been sitting here – literally for minutes! – trying to think of what to blog about; meditating on current events both in my life and on this wacky planet we call Bruggafaderöllfyrwabbanonie (though “we” are a chosen few and most people prefer the moniker “Earth”), and couldn’t come up with anything special about today. I finally thought to visit my friend Wikipedia for some thrills, chills and spills in the form of their random article feature, only to suddenly remember that today is [insert cuss word here] Easter.


It’s Easter, brother! How could I not notice?

I’ll tell you how: I have no kids in my life. No one excited that an anthropomorphized rabbit might be prowling in the night, leaving artificially-colored produce is sneaky spots around our property (how kids think this is “neat” is beyond me and perhaps bespeaks to an aggravated psychological wound in our collective consciousness). My youngest nephews are all in Northern California, safely out of reach from Melrose brunches and Angelyne billboards; the closest thing to a child in my life is the kitten we just rescued. (Her name is Maybe.)

Boris: Back to Black with a foggy new dronathon and super limited double-live LP.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 30, 2009 12:21am | Post a Comment
Boris live at Amoeba Berkeley
Japan's reigning purveyors of thunderous heavy rock, Boris, hit the shelves of Amoeba San Francisco's Underground Japanese Rock section with a one-two punch this winter with their latest studio recording, Cloud Chamber (featuring, once again, guest Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara), and Smile -Live in Prague-- a very limited (only 425 copies issued) double-live LP "official bootleg" recorded (with permission) in the Czech Republic on the trio's latest tour in support of their album Smile. Though both are pricey, as doubless many a Boris fan has already guessed, both are worth shelling out the exra dough for, as many a Boris fan surely already knows. Here's why: Cloud Chamber is a first class return to the strom and drang style doom that fans of (lowercase 'b') boris have found in previous releases like flood and at last -feedbacker. It is just the sort of storm surge of sound that lays defenseless listeners down as if prone on the slab, hypnotized for sacrifice; beware of drowning. Smile - Live in Prague, on the other hand, has garnered more pointed attention for its sleeve art than for the bounty of copies we've recieved, given its inherent rareness. Some call the artwork, an obvious homage to San Francisco black metal band Von, a flagrant rip off. I find it delightful and, really, par for the course considering the lengths Fangs Anal Satan (Boris' art-working name) goes to produce, or reproduce if you will, some of the most coveted, kick ass packaging that drives both sticker prices and collectors' expectations upwards of the norm. Here are some of my favorite of Boris' artful tributes as, the old adage says, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (And check out images and reviews from Boris' amazing three Amoeba instores-- they've played each and every Amoeba -- here, here and here.)

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Davey Graham 1940 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, December 16, 2008 05:51pm | Post a Comment

The legendary English guitarist and a major influence on practically every fingerstyle acoustic guitarist for the past 50 years, Davey Graham, passed away on Monday of lung cancer which was detected only a few weeks ago. He was 68.

Born November 22nd, 1940 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, he took up the guitar at the age of 12. By the age of 19 Graham composed what would probably be his most famous piece, “Anji,” released on his debut 1962 EP, 3/4 AD, and later covered by the likes of Pentangle and Simon & Garfunkel.

Here in the United States, Graham perhaps wasn’t as well known as some of his contemporaries but he has been credited with single-handedly inventing the concept of the folk guitar instrumental in the U.K.-- simultaneous honors in the U.S would go to John Fahey, who was making similar innovations. Graham influenced a who’s who of British guitarists from Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Richard Thompson, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Martin Carthy, and Jimmy Page -- Page’s instrumental "White Summer" was heavily based on Graham's "She Moved Thru the Bazaar/Blue Raga."

In 1959 Graham first made headlines with his attention grabbing performance of “Cry Me a River’ in the BBC television documentary Hound Dogs and Bach Addicts: The Guitar Craze, produced by Ken Russell. During the 1960s he played a major role in the British folk revival, releasing a series of eclectic solo albums that touched on a wide range of music, from jazz and blues to Indian and Arabic and gypsy. He introduced to many an aspiring young guitarist the DADGAD guitar tuning, whose chief appeal is the ability to improvise freely, yet maintain a solid underlying rhythm and harmony. But Graham's career was somewhat unpredictable; his concerts were often hit or miss. Much of his reputation was based on a couple of brilliant albums, both released in the same week of 1965, Folk Routes, New Routes in a duet with the folk singer Shirley Collins and Folk, Blues and Beyond, a mostly instrumental album that combined all his world music styles. His live playing was best captured and recorded in 1967 on an incredible album entitled After Hours, which was recorded in a student's dorm room on the campus of Hull University in front of an audience of about eight people. Nonetheless, and in many ways, even as impulsive as he may have been, Davey Graham was the first guitar hero … and certainly one of mine.

There will be a private funeral held for Davey Graham later this week. A public memorial service is being planned for January.


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