Seven Nina Simone Vinyl Reissues On the Way Via Verve

Posted by Amoebite, September 27, 2016 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Nina Simone Vinyl Reissues

From the mid to late 1960s, Nina Simone recorded seven albums for the Philips label considered by many to be the zenith of her recording career. These works feature some of her most well-known tracks and cover a lot of territory, from "Sinnerman" to "Mood Indigo" to "Strange Fruit." Earlier this year, Verve released a vinyl box set of these albums, The Philips Years. Now, on September 30th, each LP included in that collection will be available as a 180-gram vinyl reissue.

Here's what you need to know about these massively influential albums.

Nina Simone in Concert

Nina Simone in Concert (1964)

Recorded at Carnegie Hall over the course of three different concert appearances, Simone's first album for Philips shows her evolution from Greenwich Village folk/jazz stylist to outspoken civil rights activist. The LP features classic tracks "Mississippi Goddamn," "I Loves You Porgy," and "Pirate Jenny."

Broadway - Blues - Ballads

Broadway - Blues - Ballads (1964)

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Cellist Joshua Roman

Posted by Amoebite, July 19, 2016 11:13am | Post a Comment

Joshua Roman Amoeba Music What's In My Bag?

When classical musician/composer/curator Joshua Roman visits Amoeba Hollywood he's sure to pick out a very eclectic mix of music, one that includes electronic, opera, jazz, and Ween. "I discovered Ween in college when I discovered a lot of things, musical and non-musical," says Roman, "and some of them go very well with Ween." Masters of style" is what he calls them, saying, "They're the most versatile band that I know." High praise coming from someone with tastes as versatile as Roman.

Joshua Roman at Amoeba Hollywood

Joshua Roman began his career in 2006 as the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a coveted position attained when he was only22. He has gone on to serve as the director of Seattle Town Hall's Town Music series, and has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestras, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador. He has collaborated with artists such as Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers, Earl Carlyss, Christopher Taylor, Christian Zacharias, The JACK Quartet, So Percussion, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and playwright Anna Deveare Smith.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Blonde Redhead

Posted by Amoebite, April 18, 2016 06:56pm | Post a Comment

Blonde Redhead Amoeba Music What's In My Bag?

Do you love Ennio Morricone? Well, so do the members of Blonde Redhead! On their last west coast tour, the New York trio stopped in at Amoeba San Francisco and picked up a couple of the legendary composer's film soundtracks. One, L'Istruttoria E Chiusa Dimentichi, they had never heard before, while all three now own a copy of the other, The Sicilian Clan. Of course, Morricone wasn't the only artist they found at Amoeba, and as you could expect from a band as eclectic as they are, their picks were pretty interesting.

Blonde Redhead BarraganFormed in 1993 after Italian undergraduate jazz students Amedeo and Simone Pace met Japanese art student Kazu Makino at an Italian restaurant in New York, Blonde Redhead fused noise-rock and shoegaze to create their own style of dream pop and rock. Their self-titled first record was produced by Steve Shelly and released in 1995, which has been followed by a steady stream of releases since. In 2004 Blonde Redhead released Misery Is a Butterfly, their first for the 4AD record label. 2014 saw the release of Barragan, their ninth, and most recent, studio album. The band will be on the road again this spring with a stop at San Francisco's The Independent on May 24 and two shows in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, May 26-27.

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Essential Records: Portishead's 'Dummy'

Posted by Amoebite, October 27, 2014 04:24pm | Post a Comment

Essential Records Portishead Dummy

During the summer of 1996, I became obsessed with Portishead. Dummy had been released two years earlier, so generally speaking, I was late to the game, but in the suburban town where I was about to start high school, I was definitely way ahead of the game. Because when it came to underground music, culture or film, there was no game.

I was just about to turn fifteen and leave all the friends I'd known for nearly a decade to attend the state's largest high school on my own. It was a deeply mopey time. At the same time, I was starting to realize that the music on Top 40 radio made me feel like something was missing, that musically-speaking, there must be more out there. So, I started tuning into the local alt-rock station after school, alone in my room, and that's where I first encountered Portishead's "Sour Times."

Portishead - Sour Times
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I hated this song. I thought it was irritating and abrasive. Singer Beth Gibbons would wail "Nobody loves me/it's true/not like you do" with her '60s jazz influenced vocals and I would get pissed off that I'd have to sit through it for the next three or four minutes. (For some reason I never went as far as actually turning the radio off.) Every time I heard it, I would get angry at it, angry that I had to sit through it, angry that the station's Music Director had poisoned the rotation with this grating, slightly terrifying few minutes of song. 

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Two New "What's In My Bag?" Episodes With The Flaming Lips

Posted by Amoebite, February 11, 2014 05:42pm | Post a Comment

Our What's In My Bag? crew had the pleasure of shooting an episode each with Michael Ivins and Kliph Scurlock of psychedelic alternative rock band The Flaming Lips. Definitely a must see for Lips' fans. 

Michael Lee Ivins (pictured in the blue shirt) is the bassist and founding member of The Flaming Lips. The band originally formed in Norman, Oklahoma with Wayne Coyne playing guitar, his brother Mark Coyne on vocals, and Ivins handling bass duties. After several years of crafting their sound, The Flaming Lips broke into the mainstream with their 6th studio album, Transmissions From The Sattelite Heart (1993), spawning the hit single "She Don't Use Jelly."  

In March 1999, The Flaming Lips were gearing up to tour in support of their album, The Soft Bulletin. The band hired Kliph Scurlock (pictured left in purple shirt) to do some heavy lifting as a roadie. Scurlock remaind on tour with the band until 2002 when the Lips were doubling as an opener and backing band for Beck. In an effort to enable multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd to play lead guitar, Scurlock was asked to play drums during the band's run with Beck. Subsequently, Scurlock went from touring drummer to full-time member and remains with the Lips until this day.      

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