Amoeblog

Amoeba's Zak Wilson On New "Art Gods" Documentary And Tower Records' 1980's Art Displays, Part II

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2013 09:09am | Post a Comment

Last week here on the Amoeblog was the first half of an interview piece with Amoebite Zak Wilson on the subject of the wonderful new documentary that he is featured in: Art Gods (An Oral History of the Tower Records Art Department). Over the weekend the film premiered at San Francisco's Balboa Theatre and this week Art Gods has been released on DVD and is available in each of the three Amoeba Music stores: Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood.

As its full title implies Art Gods is a documentary about the art department at the now defunct Tower Records chain that began in Sacramento in the early sixties when Russ Solomon opened the first Tower Records store. Zak Wilson (that's him above back in the day at Tower), who is among those featured in the engaging doc, worked at Tower in Berkeley during its 80's heyday and has many stories to share from those times - as you will see in the Q+A below that is accompanied by numerous photos of Tower in the 80's and some of their legendary displays - all courtesy of Zak Wilson's photo collection that is featured in Art Gods.


Amoeblog: Many people thought of Tower Records as a big chain run like any other large music chain. But was that really an accurate view of Tower? And was owner Russ Solomon a hands on boss or someone you never saw?

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Amoeba's Zak Wilson On The New "Art Gods" Documentary About Tower Records' Legendary Art Displays, Part I

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment

        

Amoebite Zak Wilson, who I last talked with here a few years back when he offered his invaluable insights on the world of guitar picks for the Amoeblog, is always busy working on some new project. His latest, of which he is one of several contributors, is the wonderful new documentary Art Gods (An Oral History of the Tower Records Art Department). As its title implies, Art Gods is about the art display department of the now defunct Sacramento-based record store chain during its 1980's heyday (when Wilson worked in their art department). 

This documentary is an engaging time capsule of a bygone era in both the record business (when records were the primary format) and in the pre-computer/pre-digital age of art displays. The film premieres tonight and tomorrow (Dec 6th and 7th) at San Francisco's Balboa Theatre.  Next week, Art Gods will arrive in Amoeba and other stores on DVD. This is part one of a two-part interview with Zak about the film, along with pictures of some of those great album art-based record store displays. Part two will run next week to coincide with the release of the documentary on DVD.

 



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The 5th Annual Amoeba Art Show: Friday, May 4th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 17, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Art Show Oakland Art Hop

AMOEBA ART SHOW 2012
Friday, May 4th
6pm - 11pm
2928 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA
MAP

In what has now become a Bay Area tradition, Amoeba Music throws killer annual art shows to exhibit
Michelle Guintu
Michelle Guintu
Grace Cooper
Grace Cooper
Billy Sprague
Billy Sprague
Trixy Grace
Trixy Grace
and celebrate the creative works of its multi-talented staff from all three Amoeba locations. For our fifth annual Amoeba Art Show, we are taking over the future home of The Black Spring Cafe in sunny Oakland!

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Zak Wilson Discusses Guitar Pick Collecting And The New Amoeba Music Guitar Pick

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2010 07:15am | Post a Comment

The new, cool looking line of Amoeba Music guitar picks may be priced at just 50 cents per pick, but in the world of guitar pick collecting some avid collectors will pay many times that amount for a heavily desired pick. As reported by the Pick Collecting Quarterly about a month ago, one guitar pick collecting fanatic forked over $1063 in an eBay auction for a Kiss (circa 1974) black on white Ace Frehley / Pastore Music guitar pick. Yes, as any serious guitar player will tell you, guitar pick collecting can become AC/DCas much of an obsession as guitar playing itself.

Guitar picks, which are a type of plectrum designed for use on a guitar but often used to play other string instruments too, such as mandolin or banjo, come in all kinds of shapes, styles, and are made from numerous types of materials including plastic, rubber, felt, glass, tortoiseshell, and stone, and can range in price accordingly. Although picks have been around for centuries (early ones been made out of bone, shell, wood, metal, amber and other materials), it wasn't until the 1920's that they were mass produced. A relatively more recent phenomenon is the customized pick. Traditionally made by rock bands, with Rick Nelson of Cheap Trick been one of the first to famously toss out dozens of them during concerts, more recently entities such as Microsoft, MTV, Verizon, and Budweiser, have all emblazoned their names on guitar Metallica guitar pickpicks. Right now there are thousands upon thousands of customized guitar picks out there with legions of avid collectors following them.

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Amoeba Music's Second Annual Art Show

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 30, 2008 03:28pm | Post a Comment

Friday, January 25th brought San Francisco a rain storm of biblical proportion. The incessant downpour superseded “dogs and cats” within the first few hours of daylight and went straight for much larger mammals – blue whales and pre-historic beavers? Believe me, it was bad.

Given that Californians aren’t known for their hardiness in torrential rains, it was a pleasant surprise – perhaps even an artistic triumph over nature – to find San Francisco’s sleek and urban Space Gallery packed that night with art connoisseurs, Amoeba employees, and friends for the Amoeba Music's Second Annual Art Show’s reception.

It’s apparent to anyone who has perused the stacks at any of Amoeba Music’s three locations that it’s much more than just a record shop. A friend of mine actually admitted that he refers to Amoeba as the “Wish Store” because he always finds whatever rarity it is that he’s been obsessing over. There is a magical aura of sonic wish fulfillment radiating from Amoeba, and the employees (from cashiers to managers and owners) are responsible for creating this musical wonderland on a daily basis.

It can be of no surprise that these same employees possess multiple talents beyond mastery of arcane musical knowledge. The 112 works on display at the Space Gallery from January 22nd through 26th proved that the staff is a formidably gifted team. The selection offered a wide range of formats, emotions, and influences, as well as levels of experience -- a variety befitting a cross section of the Amoeba crew.

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