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Remembering Mike Kelley at MOCA

Posted by Amoebite, June 27, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead

This summer, LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is celebrating the life and work of another LA icon, the late artist Mike Kelley. So incisive and influential is Kelley's body of work that the exhibit takes up the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, plus a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue. With a deep and far-ranging oeuvre that takes in media from sculpture to photography to performance, Kelley's contributions to the world of music are sometimes overlooked.

Sonic Youth Dirty

A founding member of Detroit's noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, a student of Laurie Anderson (at CalArts), and the artist behind Sonic Youth's Dirty album art, Kelley's musical output is proudly positioned in the underground. Amoeba Hollywood sat down with Kelley a few years back to delve into that musical heritage, and to get his thoughts on the movies and music that influence and inspire him as an artist. In this 2010 installment of our Webby award-winning series What's In My Bag?, Kelley runs through his picks, from hallucinatory no-budget schlock horror flicks to classic jazz vocalists.

 



The 90s...the best albums of 1990...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 6, 2012 10:29am | Post a Comment

best of the 90sI have been thinking about the early '90s a lot lately. I graduated from high school in 1992, and that was 20 years ago! So I have been all sorts of nostalgic this last year about my formative music years. I was born in the '70s. But I really grew up in the new wave '80s. 1984 - 1986 were really the years that I first remember getting obsessed with music. These are the early years of MTV and the years I fell in love with new wave and all things British. The B-52's and Berlin were probably the only bands that I loved that actually came from the United States. Most of my favorite bands and albums throughout the '80s and '90s came from England.nme the sundays 1990
 

My favorite bands in 1984 are pretty much my favorite bands today. I can't imagine my life without New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Ultravox, Talk TalkBauhaus. These bands have been a huge part of my life. My British obsession would only get bigger over the years. I got deep into shoegaze and dream pop in the early '90s. Which then led me into Britpop and British dance music in the mid '90s.

pixies melody maker 1990I have been obsessively making lists and CD compilations of each year of the '80s and '90s. I have made a playlist for each year and a list of my 10 favorite albums from each year. I will slowly be sharing these with you over the next couple of months. I am going to start with the early '90s since these are the years that have been on my mind the most lately.

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Redd Kross' Steve McDonald Talks to Amoeba About "Researching the Blues"

Posted by Billy Gil, August 16, 2012 04:02pm | Post a Comment

redd krossRedd Kross have been the quintessential underground band for the past three decades. The band has nearly always eschewed both pop and indie convention by staying true to its sound, likely angering as many pop fans with its snottiness and random references to Tatum O’Neil and Shonen Knife as they would indie purirsts with its insistence on lacing its acidic songs with undeniable pop hooks.
 
From Hawthorne, Calif. and based around the duo of brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Redd Kross first released music in 1980 with a self-titled EP, after opening for Black Flag as teenagers for its first gig. Other musicians came and went as the band released records throughout the ’80s and ’90s, hitting their stride with 1987’s Neurotica and 1990's Third Eye. Following 1997’s Show World, the band all but disappeared, with its members occasionally surfacing for other projects — Steve McDonald famously added bass parts to The White StripesWhite Blood Cells, redubbing it Redd Blood Cells, which saw thousands of downloads and press hubbub. The brothers McDonald separately produced albums by other artists as well.
 
researching the bluesThe elusive band returned in 2006 to play a set at REDCAT in Los Angeles covering the band’s entire catalog, featuring the Neurotica-era lineup of the McDonalds, Robert Hecker and Roy McDonald. They toured and played a killer set of the entire Born Innocent album opening for Sonic Youth, who played all of Daydream Nation (I was there! Yessss.), at the Greek Theater in L.A. In 2008 they played Coachella, among numerous other festivals and appearances over the past few years. Now, finally, Redd Kross have released an album of new material, entitled Researching the Blues. The album has seen some of the band’s best reviews, garnering an 81% on reviews aggregator Metacritic, and it’s not hard to see why, hearing the enlivened swagger the band displays on songs like the title track (download free here), while maintaining the dynamism that has always set the band apart, also including shimmering power-pop ballads like “Dracula’s Daughter” and “Winter Blues.”

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Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth In-Store Performance at Amoeba SF 4/12

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 4, 2012 06:50pm | Post a Comment
JUST ADDED: Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo is performing at Amoeba San Francisco on Thursday, April 12 at 6pm! He'll play songs from his new album, Between The Times And The Tides (out now on Matador Records).

Recorded with longstanding Sonic Youth producer John Agnello, Between The Times and The Tides is a shimmering and melodic tapestry of rock sounds. Ranaldo’s trademark alternate-tuning guitar work is at the forefront; it is amplified by brilliant guitar work from Wilco’s Nels Cline on almost every track. The all-star lineup also includes Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums, Alan Licht on guitar, and John Medeski on keyboards. There are also cameos from former Sonic Youth cohorts, drummer Bob Bert and producer/instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke.

You can also see him later that night at Brick and Mortar.

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Artist & Musician Mike Kelley Has Died at Age 58

Posted by Rachael McGovern, February 1, 2012 11:59am | Post a Comment
Mike KelleyIn more tragic news following this morning's announcement of the passing of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius, renowned artist and musician Mike Kelley has died at age 58 from an apparent suicide. (Update: Kelley was 57 when he died.)

Originally from Detroit, Kelley had been living in Los Angeles for many years. Kelley was a diverse artist known for his textiles, doll objects, performance videos, drawings, and multimedia installations. He has had one-artist exhibitions all over the world including the Gagosian Galleries in New York City and London, the musée du Louvre in Paris, and galleries in Japan, Germany, Italy, and Austria. He had public collections featured in the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among many others. His work is scheduled to appear in the upcoming Whitney biennial.

Sonic Youth - DirtyKelley was also a musician. Though those two audiences didn't often co-mingle, music fans will recognize his art from the album cover for Sonic Youth's 1992 album, Dirty. Kelley was a founder of Destroy All Monsters, a noise/punk/experimental band from Detroit which began in 1973 and broke up in 1985. Although they never found mainstream success, they garnered new attention in 1977 with the addition of former members of The Stooges (Ron Asheton) and MC5 (Michael Davis). In 1994, Kelley and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore compiled a 3-CD box set called Destroy All Monsters: 1974-1976 on Moore's record label, Ecstatic Peace!. The band reunited in 1995 and re-released past editions of the Destroy All Monsters magazine, recorded 5 new albums, exhibited their art, and performed at festivals around the world.

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