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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.

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In Memoriam: 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 26, 2012 03:15pm | Post a Comment

As the year comes to an end, we pause to remember those who have passed this year. Click on the photos to see our bloggers’ tributes earlier this year.

 

Austin Peralta, pianist/composer

austin peralta

 

 

Whitney Houston, singer

Whitney Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 












Ravi Shankar, musician

Ravi Shankar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




















      

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Rest In Peace Austin Peralta

Posted by Billyjam, November 30, 2012 10:10am | Post a Comment

As with everyone whose lives have been touched by Austin Peralta - the gifted young LA jazz pianist / composer whose sudden death last week shocked everyone who knew him - we here at Amoeba Music are similarly saddened greatly by this tragic news of the loss of our good friend who played at the Hollywood Amoeba just a few short months ago.

Austin is gone way too soon. But despite his young age, the talented artist had accomplished an incredible amount in his all too short time on this earth. He was only 15 years of age when he recorded and released his debut album of mostly jazz standards Maiden Voyage (on Sony/Japan) with respected jazz sidemen Billy Kilson (drums) and Ron Carter (bass). Then at age 16 the young jazz artist recorded another acclaimed album, Mantra for Sony/Japan, with respected seasoned jazz musicians Steve Nelson (vibraphone) and Buster Williams (bass).

Peralta, the son of skateboarder and film director Stacy Peralta, proved to be a tireless performer (check out this link to hundreds of YouTube clips) and recording artist. Two years ago he recorded his most attention getting album (Stateside) Endless Planets which was released by Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint back in March of 2011. Six months ago Ireland's All City Records released his Views of Saturn Vol. 2 - a shared vinyl-only 12" release with the late great Sun Ra who inspired the record. It was four months ago when Austin stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to perform as part of our Brainfeeder series  (picture above was taken at that Amoeba in-store in July). A week ago on November 22nd just four weeks after his 22nd birthday Peralta died - the result of as yet unknown causes. At this sad time our thoughts here at Amoeba are with his family, friends, and fans. Rest in peace Austin Peralta.


Thoughts On The Passing Of John Napier

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 12, 2012 11:03am | Post a Comment
John Napier RIPI know many people will be writing about John Napier, who passed away last week. So here are my thoughts. This is not a biography, just thoughts about the times we spent together on earth and the thanks I never got to say to him in person. To read a more thorough account of the greatness (and flaws) of John Napier through the eyes of Carla Bozulich, go here

I met John in 1991.He was in a group called Ethyl Meatplow, together with Carla Bozulich and Harold Barefoot Sanders III (AKA Biff) Ethyl Meatplow was fun and disturbing at the same time. They were an electro-queer-pop-industrial group with occasional nudity and urine flow. It was nothing that Los Angeles had seen before or since. Ethyl Meatplow was a band for several years before I got to know them and  were ready to break out nationally. I had a band that would often play on the same bills as them. John especially liked my band and helped us get gigs and convinced people to release our records.

John was a strange cat, but in a good way.If you were friends with John, you often had to endure long phone conversations with the first fifteen minutes of him speaking in an Elmo-like voice with Tourette's Syndrome. Once in awhile a body part that usually covered would suddenly be exposed, as he’d be laughing in a high-pitched child’s laugh. Normally I’d find that kind of behavior intolerable, but from John, it was endearing. It meant he was comfortable with you. That’s one way he showed he loved you.

Another way he’s shared his love was through music. If he knew you had the same thirst for music that he did, he would stop at nothing to share his vast musical taste with you. It meant a lot to me, being just as thirsty as John for new music in the days before the internet, He introduced me to Can, Neu, Stereolab, The Flesheaters, Sun Ra and countless other artists. He forced me to listen to Pet Sounds from The Beach Boys because I told him I hated The Beach Boys. He made me a fan.

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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.
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