Amoeblog

Digging Deep In The Crates Of Latest Record Collection Acquisition By Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2015 05:12am | Post a Comment


As a music fan and lifelong record collector, I love the opportunity to join Amoeba buyers when they travel to check out large privately-owned record collections to potentially scoop up and get onto the shelves at Amoeba Music's three stores. For me, flipping through record collections is always fun. I get a kick out of looking at album covers, spotting records that I already know and/or own, along with ones I have never seen nor heard of. Such was the case earlier this week  when I joined Amoeba Marc just outside of New York City to check out a moderate sized record collection consisting of mostly LPs from the '70's through the early '90's and ranging in genres. Our job was to check out the collection to see if it had records Amoeba customers would want (it did) and then to pack it up and ship it back safely (there's an art to shipping large quantities of records without them encountering any damage) to Amoeba's Hollywood store where they will begin making their way into the vinyl isles within a week. 

The first record collection buy for Amoeba that I was a part of was a few years back in Queens, NY when we packed and shipped a 30,000 unit (mostly vinyl) collection cross country back to Cali. That was a large collection but not compared to one that Amoeba Marc and crew shipped from Ohio earlier this year. That one numbered 80,000 records, which is a lot to pack and ship. In comparison, this latest collection acquired by Amoeba was relatively modest in scale. It numbered 3,200 12" records (90% albums with the balance in 12" singles) and around 750 7" singles, plus a short stack of 10" singles/EPs. That' a little over three quarters of a ton in weight; something I learned from Peanut Butter Wolf who released the 2001 album My Vinyl Weighs A Ton. That album's title, he informed me in a previous Amoeblog on this topic, was based on not just a play on words of the famous Public Enemy album but also his personal experience when he had to move and determine the weight of his vinyl for the trucking company.  4,000 LPs = 1 ton. The U-Haul "small" size box (the best size box for record packing/shipping) holds approx 100 albums and weighs approx 60 lbs.

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Digging in the Crates of OMCA's Vinyl: Sound & Culture of Records Pt 4: Sylvie Simmons, David Katznelson, & Rachael Aguirre

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment


If you haven't already made your way to the ever-popular, Amoeba Music sponsored, excellent exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) which opened three months ago on April 19th (Record Store Day) at the downtown Oakland museum in its Great Hall exhibition area don't fret as you still have some time - well not much, but some - since it is open through tomorrow Sunday July 27th. To mark the end of this wonderful hands on exhibit, that paid homage the joys of analog and vinyl with lots of local Bay Area folks (including many Amoebites) offering their input on the subject, today Saturday July 26th will be the final weekly Talk & Play program of the three month long exhibit in which experts in specific areas of music/records informally chat to a museum audience while dropping the needle on the records that they are referencing in their talk/lecture.

Today - from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Great Hall - the Talk & Play session will be David Katznelson (record producer, and president of Birdman Recording Group) and friends who will be presenting a Talk & Play they call Every Record Has a Story. David's co-hosts will be Steven Baker (former president of Warner Brothers Records), Britt Govea (Folk Yeah Productions founder), and Josh Rosenthal (founder of Tompkins Square Records)  - all of whom will share  their favorite music/records and tell stories and secrets related to collecting said records. David Katznelson is among the many record collecting musicologists who have curated crates (that museum goers can personally play on provided turntables) at the Vinyl exhibit. For this final fourth installment in the Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Amoeblog series I have included David's crate: The influence and genius of the Velvet Underground, along with those of two other contributors: Sylvie Simmons whose crate is Grrl Power - women in rock from pop to punk, 1960-1980, (she also curated Sylvie Simmons the Americana crate), and the museum's own Rachael Aguirre (Administrative Assistant & OMCA Lab - Curatorial and Experience Development) whose crate is titled Sound track for Dungeons and Dragons: Onyx Discs of Epic Sound: A Dungeons and Dragons Soundtrack. Meanwhile the photos in this blog are either provided by OMCA or James Mak of Joysco Photos who kindly shot this photos on behalf of the Amoeblog (thank-you James!).

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Remembering Music Man Murray and His Records Via Richard Parks' Short Film

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2014 05:39pm | Post a Comment



It's already a few years old but since a lot of people might have missed it first time around, and even if not, thought it was time to now post here on the Amoeblog the short but most enjoyable 22 minute documentary film on Music Man Murray in the West Adams district of LA following many years in Hollywood. Like the record store that bore his name music man Murray Gershenz, a former opera singer, was truly a treasure. Sadly both are no longer with us. The store closed two years ago and Murray died last August of a heart attack at age 91. But in his rich lifetime Murray was a passionate lifelong record collector whose vast personal collection would have put many self-respecting crate diggers/collectors to shame. In fact it got so large that half a century ago, following 25 years of simply collecting records, when he counted approx half a million pieces of vinyl in his collection, he decided to open his record store to unload some of these records, as well as stay close to records.  As well as running the store in more recent years he had a more lucrative second career as a bit-part character actor in TV shows and movies. As such Murray appeared in such recent film and television productions as The Hangover, I Love You, Man, Mad Men, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Modern Family. But in the film above, lovingly directed by Richard Parks, the ever likable Murray plays himself doing what he loved most in life- being surrounded by records and music.

Custom Record Store and Label Sleeves From Over The World

Posted by Rick Frystak, April 16, 2014 11:45am | Post a Comment

Promoting one's logo and style has always been a concern if not a priority of any creative business, especially the music business. To have your record store or record label's graphic sensibility out in the world is like a tag, a notice that, "we exist righteously", and "take a look at us, we are cool and you want to be part of this!". What better way to do this than to attach your graphics onto the outside of an LP's inner sleeve living in eternity with the record snugly inside. Or, to have the store's bag carried out onto the street by your loyal customers with your logo beaming out at the universe. Now that's promotion, or perhaps simply an affirmation of being in the moment.

Here is a 10-year collection of various record store and record label's logo and graphic style across the eras, mostly committed to an LP's inner sleeve, and some retail shopping bags inclusive, logos singing raucously or whispering of the quality within. With trends and budgets shifting moment to moment, this collection becomes a small guide to the attraction of it for everyman's taste. What do folks think will look good? How will they remember our business?  As I deal with old record collections and their ephemera daily, it's always a wonderful gift to have an exotic sleeve pop up from accross the country, or even the world. Records have always been a universally traded entertainment, and it's becoming more so by the month now. 

So, this Record Store Day, sit back and find your favorites within the trove of typographical time. Just browsing these photos fills me with hope.

Click on any image to start a slideshow.

Photographs of sleeves and bags by RICK FRYSTAK

The 45's Section at Amoeba Music Hollywood: Tour with Tuna

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2014 11:32am | Post a Comment


Below is the recent interview conducted with Tuna who works in the amazing 45's / 7" singles section at Amoeba Music Hollywood where you will find all genres of music on 45's in both new and used. There's a lot of original pressings of 7" singles dating back several decades as well as many brand new releases.

As Tuna noted, a lot of contemporary punk acts like to release their music first on cassette (another popular old format thought to be long gone), followed by a 45 single release, and then followed up with an LP.
 
When you visit Amoeba's 45's section be sure to look up on the wall for the cool displays of 45's, many or which are very rare releases. Now in its eight year, Record Store Day (coming up on April 19th), is when to expect to find a slew of new additions to the 45's section.

 

In addition to the 45's sections at each of the three Amoeba Music stores (Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco), you will also find a wide variety of 45's on the Amoeba online store. New additions for this week alone include Swedish rockers The Hives' 2004 single "Walk Idiot Walk / Genepool Convulsions" new for just $4.98, which (like all the 45's from Amoeba.com) SHIPS FREE in U.S. Nice! 

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