Amoeblog

Rare Steve Lacy LP Shows Up In Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 7, 2013 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Steve Lacy has always been one of my favorite horn players since I first hear him in the mid 70’s. He delivers a liquid, speech-like sound with his soprano saxophone which he plays exclusively.  Influenced by trad jazz players, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans, Mr. Lacy composes and improvises with a quirky sense of melody unlike any other player around at the time or since, and his compositions reveal his very personal way of telling his stories. His staccato yet fluid attack, and almost vibrato-less legato stands out within the history of his axe. He has made many, many records (hundreds) and almost each one has its own individual sound and ultimate expression. Straight up swing to musique concrete to free improvisation are where Steve could be found at any moment, often simultaneously. His accompanists range from sitar duos to big band improv to sax/synthesizer/ drum outings, exploring all avenues of audible art. He also made many solo concerts, with just his soprano sax perhaps speaking the musical dialog about what was shaking at the moment. These concerts and recordings are a wonderful document of this artist’s creative depth.

I am fortunate to have met Steve when I had an in-store appearance with him while I was managing Rasputin’s Jazz and Soul record store in Berkeley, California in 1981. Steve is second from left, just to my right in this photo of that day (Rick Gillman far left, Lacy, Frystak, Michael Finney far right).

A kind and soft spoken personality belied his passionate, forward surging playing style.  His many bay-area fans that day were in heaven to be near this musical icon, myself included. He played later in the evening at U.C.Berkeley to a packed house. Steve passed in 2004 at age 69 years young, and I was fortunate to see him play multiple times, always searching and swinging in whatever context he found himself in.

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Divine Discs of the Electronic Continuum

Posted by Rick Frystak, September 13, 2012 02:28pm | Post a Comment


I am a searcher, never quite satisfied with music and sounds that already exist. There are many like myself out there. I am consistently persuing electronics-based records like these herein that testify to the pioneering spirit of those musicians, composers and scientists in search of the newest “musical “sounds available via technology of all levels of sophistication. Throughout history the primitive object or idea will lead the way to a monumentally sophisticated one, and visa-versa, as long as one is paying attention. Take thefuzzbox for example. That thing lead a revolution of little boxes that one plugs one’s instrument into to get big, wild (and conversely subtle) effects on said instrument ranging from fuzzy distortion to multiple octave voices to…God knows what now, huge racks of processing gear for a single riff.  At the same time in another part of the culture, Joel Chadabeguys and gals in long white lab coats were fiddling with room-sized computers to get a single tone that was not produced by a musical instrument, but alas, hallehlujah, a machine did it! And other folks were stringing audio tape across rooms and cutting inches of tape recordings to compose new recordings (Musique Concrete) to make other recordings to manipulate and, well, you get it.

The sense of experimentation and the ability to manifest those ideas has never left the true creative artist. There are sonic “searchers” among us that will never be satisfied with what already exists in the known sound worlds, and it is this motivation that fuels records like these. The daring ones, without concern of peer’s criticisms or naysayer’s pessimism, have forged ahead with whatever tools available to take these ideas and run with…no, FLY with them to the edges of reality.

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Secret Society of the Sonic Six Northwest Tour With Headless Lizzy September 7-14th

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 30, 2012 01:50am | Post a Comment

(((6)) is making the northward trek!!

September 7th
the Icebox
Oakland, CA
$5 21+ 9:00

September 10th
Psychopomp Presents @
Plan B

Portland, OR
$7 21+ 9:00

September 12th
THREAT @ the Mercury
Seattle, WA
$6  21+ 9:00

September 13th
Religious As Hell & SES presents @ New Frontier Lounge
Tacoma, WA
$5 21+ 9:00

September 14th
Cryptatropa Bar
Olympia, WA
$5 21+ 9:00



Of course, you can mail order (((6))) newest 12" Pick Up from Amoeba Music Hollywood.


Secret Society of the Sonic Six
Blame and Blood from Pick Up EP



Headless Lizzy & Her Icebox Pussy Chasm Creeper


A King's Ransom From Queens

Posted by Rick Frystak, July 9, 2012 03:04pm | Post a Comment
Virtuous vinyl votaries rejoice! Amoeba Music has just acquired a very choice collection of records from the Queens, NY area to resell in our Hollywood store and on Amoeba.com, a collection that is quite exhilarating to a record guy like myself, and very different from collections I've seen on the West coast or any coast. Beginning on July 21 at 10:30am, Amoeba will offer the first of these records for sale to the public at the Hollywood store, and right now some of them are online at Amoeba.com.

Eddie, the previous owner of the records, was a true record collector, but not in the sense of the must-own or traditional market-driven collectible pieces and sought-after titles. Instead he was a curator of alluring oddities, deviating from the mainstream and submersing himself in what he himself liked to listen to, always with the highest of ideals, a paradigm of good taste. He was able to keep his records in a condition that was exactly as he had bought them, and mantained the collection as if they were never played. Many of the records happen to be still sealed, as new!

Folks here in California will be awed by the breadth of the material and its integrity, consisting of mostly non-rock 'n roll genres, not-oft traded on this massive scale. Vocals, soundtracks, thousands of 20th-century classical and jazz titles, latin music and all locales of international artists are represented here, as well as folk, blues and spoken word. Rarely seen lounge sounds and easy listening cheesecake covers, great Amercan songwriters sitting right beside obscure new age and electronic music. Over 30,000 discs of very small and large labels, private pressings, boutique pressings and artist editions await inspection by Amoeba loyalists on the day these go on sale. As these discs were collected and maintained in the New York area, West Coast LP collectors will delight in perusing these platters just-in to Hollywood from 2,800 miles away!

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Inside Look At Billy Sprague's Space Themed Album Cover Art Installation At As Is Exhibitions

Posted by Billyjam, October 12, 2011 10:20am | Post a Comment

At Friday (Oct 7th) evening's art opening of Billy Sprague's space themed album cover exhibit at North Oakland's As Is Exhibitions gallery space at 4707 Telegraph Ave. so many people showed up to catch the unique album cover exhibit by the avid record collector / Amoeba Berkeley employee, that for much of the night the large crowd spilled outside onto the Telegraph Avenue sidewalk. It was the perfect night for Billy's opening since the Bay Area early October weather was in Indian Summer mode, plus it was First Friday's in Oakland with art openings everywhere including right next door at Smokey's Tangle art space that shares a doorway with the 4707 space. Among the large crowd that showed up at the event were many of Billy Sprague's fellow Ameobites. "Tom McKwon, Shawn Williams, Big Tunde, Gail, Marc Weinstein & family, Ryan Stark, Kent Randolph, Ramon, Lori and Steve, Ian, Ranon, Rebecca & Matt plus a bunch of ex-employees," (including DJ Inti) all converged at the last Friday's packed opening reported the curator.

Like all the other lifelong music collectors I was drawn in by all of these amazing album covers - many I already knew but a lot I had never even seen before like Music for Sleepwalkers Only which - one of Sprague's personal faves that he accurately describes as, "a great mostly black galactic cover with three sleeping pills floating in space in a rather phallic manner."

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