The White Stripes "Effect and Cause"
The White Stripes "Effect and Cause"
The new album is called The Party Ain't Over and was released last week. The gatefold vinyl version plays music when you open it, like those greeting cards that sing to you when you open them. I think this is amazing! Seriously. It plays music when you open it! I missed her shows she did a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles but I did catch her on Conan last week and she is, of course, amazing (see video below). Jack White performed with her on stage and then they both sat down for a quick interview with Conan. I love the interaction between Jack White and Wanda -- sort of like a mother/son-type relationship. He teased her about her relationship with Elvis when Conan asked her about her early tour with Elvis. She dated Elvis Presley in 1955. Anyway, you really need this album in your life! It is one of my favorites of the year so far, and she even does a fantastic cover of "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse. Wanda Jackson was featured briefly in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line but I think she really deserves her own movie. She has had an interesting life for sure and has influenced a ton of country and rockabilly artists over the years. Just check out any of the current rockabilly musicians and you can hear the influence. It is great to have Wanda Jackson back on the music scene. I think she didn't need Jack White and could have made a great album on her own, but he just stepped it up a bit. The two of them together is perfect. The album is perfect.
Sad news today from the Whites: Jack and Meg are permanently breaking up and the White Stripes are officially no more. They said that "the main reason is to 'preserve what is beautiful and special about the band.'" Makes sense, I guess -- I mean, how many different songs can you really write with a guitar and a drummer? I'm surprised this hasn't happened earlier, frankly. White Stripes, RIP. It was good while it lasted.
"Truth Doesn't Make a Noise"
This month we are celebrating 20 years of Amoeba! It's our anniversary! And one of the ways we wanted to celebrate was by highlighting here for you some of our best, most memorable instores of all time! We have been so lucky over the years -- we've hosted shows, signings and events with Paul McCartney, Queens of the Stone Age, The Shins, Flight of the Conchords, John Waters, The Gossip and zillions more. You can find video footage and interviews from many of our instores right here! Read on to find out what three of our most seasoned instore reviewers thought were some of our very greatest.
But first, get further immersed in our 20th Anniversary! To check out our first Anniversary blog post, with testimonials from some of our favorite customers, click here! Our second Anniversary post is an interview with co-owner Marc Weinstein about getting the Berkeley store off the ground all the way back in 1990 and what Amoeba means to him. Read it right here. Our third Anniversary post includes Top 10 lists from some of our old skool employees -- click here to check out their favorites in music and movies from the past 20 years!
In recently trying to fill in a friend on what I'd spent the last year or two listening to, I realized that my personal taste tends to gravitate towards some element of either Folk form (any hint of hill-folk finger-pickin' or Ozark/Appalachian melancholy and I'm in), Psychedelia or the tendency to extend a theme for a good long jam (a category in which I include a lot of the Jazz that I like), or just a great, funky groove.
With those qualifiers in place, the following is a year by year review of the last decade which somehow got past me with out noticing it. I mean, really?!! 2010?!!! I didn't see it coming:
2000: Album of the Year
Air's enjoyable and wacky Moon Safari had been on the decks for a couple years before they contracted for the soundtrack to Sofia Coppolla's Virgin Suicides. The resultant score is absolutely sublime and marked the French electronauts as contenders to watch.
For myself, it was the defining sound of the millennium's new year.
Shelby Lynne released a killer country-soul gem, I Am Shelby Lynne, that echoed early material from the likes of Bonnie Raitt. Thinking that it was a brilliant debut from a talented 32yo unknown, I was eventually shocked to find that it was her 6th album. I listened to it for months.