Amoeblog

RIP Isaiah "Ikey" Owens

Posted by Billy Gil, October 14, 2014 02:52pm | Post a Comment

ikey owens amoeba

Musician Isaiah Randolph "Ikey" Owens has died at the age of 38.

Owens was on tour with Jack White at the time in Puebla, Mexico. White's label, Third Man Records, issued this response via their website:

It is with great sadness that we tell the world of the passing of the incredible musician Isaiah "Ikey" Owens. He will be missed and loved forever by his family, friends, bandmates and fans.  

Ikey Owens was an astounding keyboard player in Jack White's backing band. He also played with Mars Volta, Free Moral Agents, and many other projects. 

Out of respect for Ikey, the remaining shows of the Jack White Tour in Mexico have been cancelled. 

We will all miss you Ikey. You were and are an incredible artist.

Owens has played with many L.A. and Long Beach bands over the years, first coming to prominence mainly as a keyboardist for such bands as Crystal Antlers, Long Beach Dub Allstars, El-P, Mastodon, Saul Williams and The Mars Volta, bringing explosive energy to the live shows of whatever band he was playing with at the time as well as on records like The Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium and White's latest record, Lazaretto. Owens also had his own bands, Free Moral Agents and Look Daggers.

Continue reading...

Psych Folk legend Eiichi Ohtaki dies at 65

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 10, 2014 04:01pm | Post a Comment
japanese singer songwriter folk rock acid musician producer psych happy end eiichi ohtaki eulogy dies dead 65 influential legend

Japanese singer-songwriter and producer Eiichi Ohtaki passed away at a hospital on Monday, December 30, 2013 after having collapsed at his Tokyo home while eating an apple, a piece which had apparently stuck in his throat causing him to choke. He was 65.

happy end eiichi ohtaki takashi matsumoto shigeru suzuki haruomi hosono apryl fool yellow magic orchestra japanese folk rock psych acid

Ohtaki's influential contributions to Japanese pop and folk rock music worldwide could not be more legendary. Born on July 28, 1948, he was perhaps most famous for being the singer/guitarist and founding member of Happy End (pictured left above),  a band he formed with fellow Japanese rock heavy hitters Takashi Matsumoto (Apryl Fool), Shigeru Suzuki and Haruomi Hosono (Apryl Fool/Yellow Magic Orchestra). From 1969 to 1972 the ensemble produced three studio albums that pioneered a highly revered heavy acid folk sound that made them Japan's most beloved and critically acclaimed classic rock bands of all time. More recently the ensemble won notoriety stateside when their song "Kaze wo Atusmete" was featured in the soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's 2003 film Lost In Translation.

Happy End - "Kaze wo Atsumete" from Kazemachi Roman (1971)

R.I.P. Women’s Chris Reimer

Posted by Billy Gil, February 22, 2012 03:48pm | Post a Comment
Chris Reimer WomenAs reported by the Calgary Herald, Chris Reimer, guitarist for Women, died Tuesday in his sleep. He was 26.
 
Calgary, Canada’s Women are as known for their guitar playing as anything else. At a time when guitar playing increasingly is eschewed in favor of electronics, or merely used as a filler instrument in a lot of indie rock, Women thrilled by putting guitar playing that was SKILLED, INNOVATIVE and most of all EXCITING at the forefront.
 
Along with bands such as Deerhoof, Deerhunter and Abe Vigoda, Women are a guitarists’ band. Like many indie rock fans, I fell hard for their first self-titled album and its standout track, the Beach Boys-ish “Black Rice,” when it came out in 2008. But it was 2010’s Public Strain that made it clear Women were a force with which to be reckoned. You could see it in the fire they put into songs like the spindly “Heat Distraction,” with its agitated time signature, or the washes of feedback they layered over songs which, at their core, were well-written guitar pop songs in the vein of the aforementioned Beach Boys, The Beatles and the Phil Spector bunch, such as the beautiful “Narrow With the Hall.”
 
Few bands are able to command as much power — and seem so head-spinningly new using familiar components — as Women. For a band such as theirs which has seemed to see its fair share of hardship and not as much due paid as less-deserving bands, they’ve given fans a lot already, and I hope they are able to continue on. In the time being, our thoughts go to the family and the band.

Dennis Hopper 1936 - 2010

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2010 11:50am | Post a Comment
Dennis Hopper

We lost another great today. Actor/director/artist Dennis Hopper died earlier today (May 29th) at his home of complications from prostate cancer after battling it since last fall. He was 74. Hopper came to fame as the director, co-writer and costar (opposite Peter Fonda) of the 1969 low-budget, drug-fueled film Easy Rider, that was a landmdennis hopperark for the counterculture and a surprise hit. He made his screen acting debut over a decade earlier in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause playing a rival high-school gang member opposite James Dean.

Hopper didn't only play a hard drinking, drug imbibing individual on film. The actor, whose hard partying alcohol and drug reputation preceded him for many years, had his ups-and-downs in Hollywood as a direct result. Not surprising considering that, by his own admission, for one long extended lost weekend that lasted five years, he was consuming on average three grams of coke, a half a gallon of rum, plus a case of beer every day.

But after getting his life back on track his career enjoyed a resurgence. Following being out of the Hollywood spotlight, a newly sobered up Hopper returned to his former glory in 1986 for his Oscar nominated role in Hoosiers, followed that same year by his amazing role as the twisted & deranged character Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (check out the brilliant yet disturbing clip below).

In all, Hopper appeared in well over a hundred different films, including (in no particular order) Apocalypse Now, Giant, True Romance, Cool Hand Luke, Hang 'Em High, True Grit, The American Friend, Rumble Fish, Speed, and River's Edge. Look for these and other Hopper films on DVD at Amoeba Music. Below are some select Hopper movie clips. And check the nice career-long photo dedication to Dennis Hopper on the Washington Post's website.

Continue reading...

Michelangelo Antonio Dead

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 31, 2007 10:05pm | Post a Comment
Michelangelo Antonioni died yesterday. He was partially paralyzed by a stroke in 1985 and unable to speak for the last 22 years.

 

He began his career in the 1930s but really began to make a name for himself in the 1950s. While his peers made gritty, immediate neo-realist films focusing on social issues and the struggles of the poor, Antonioni used film to examine the space between bourgeois characters with a highly refined and stylized directorial aesthetic.


In 1960 he released L'Avventura starring the iconic Monica Vitti. It was a radical departure from European film before it. The film remains an amazing depiction and evocation of alienation and dread. Its title is seemingly ironic (although "avventura" also means "fling," apparently, in addition to "adventure").