Skinny Puppy's Last Rights Gets Deluxe Vinyl Treatment

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2009 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Skinny Puppy
As of this month, fans of Industrial Godfathers Skinny Puppy (without
whom there would be no Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails), will no longer have to shell out $200+ for the incredibly scarce vinyl edition of the band’s last (and arguably best) “classic-era” LP, Last Rights. This past August, the band polled their most rabid fans on, asking which Puppy LP they’d most like to see reissued on vinyl. Last Rights won out as the fan favorite with nearly half of the vote, leading the band to strike a deal with their former label Nettwerk to reissue the album. The resultant release (out now) is lovingly repackaged with I, Braineater’s (AKA Jim Cummins) original artwork on a gatefold sleeve, while the audio itself has been mastered specifically for vinyl and spread across two LPs cut at 45rpm for maximum mental deranging. The package also includes a bonus CD of the entire album. 

Last Rights still darkly stands out in the band's discography. It is both the band's most inaccessible and experimental album yet also its most devastingly beautiful. The band’s personal lives and health were in particularly bad states at the time of recording, with the members battling various drug problems. Puppy Vocalist Ogre, legendarily, was very much in the half-light of existence during the album’s recording. Held by the grip of a severe heroin addition, Ogre mostly forgoes his usual political lyrical bent and indeed sounds the part of a man exorcising a great many personal demons. 

Continue reading...


Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 29, 2009 09:30pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Charles Reece, November 29, 2009 08:31am | Post a Comment

Chico (Robert Dix) gets measured for a rifle: She (Sandra Wirth) might be a talented gunsmith, but his soon-to-be girlfriend feels something is missing in her life.

Chip off the old tune - chip music for the masses - apologies for the strained, non sequitur, idiomatic headline...

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 28, 2009 01:13pm | Post a Comment
Trailer for Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet

Chiptunes (or chip music) is a genre of electronic music made using (now) old video game and computer hardware. The limitations of 8-bit technology present considerable challenges that require surprising creative solutions. K?ji Kond?, pretty much the Mozart of the scene, composed the score for Super Mario Brothers that shows how brilliant the music can be. Using a remarkably tiny sonic palette he managed to create a catchy electro-Afro-Cuban melody that could be looped over and over without driving the gamer completely insane, even in shameful, febrile, all night gaming sessions. When the DJ Jubilee-led Take Fo' Superstars used it in "Do the Mario," it was amazingly still fresh. Witness:

The roots of chiptunes date back to the 1970s. In the first part of the decade, video games like Pong used sound effects sparingly. With the introduction of the Atari 2600 and the Apple II in 1977, video games and computers began to use music more extensively. Then Asteroids debuted in 1978 and ushered in video games' golden age with distinctive bleeps, blops and white noise.

Black Friday

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 27, 2009 12:05pm | Post a Comment

This Week At The New Beverly: November 27 - December 4

Posted by phil blankenship, November 27, 2009 12:02pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full December calendar is online!

Friday & Saturday November 27 & 28

The Best Years Of Our Lives
1946, USA, 172 minutes
dir. William Wyler, starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Harold Russell
Fri: 8:00; Sat: 4:00 & 8:00, Watch The Trailer!

Amoeba Music Toy Drive 2009!

Posted by Amoebite, November 27, 2009 11:03am | Post a Comment

All three Amoeba stores will be having their own toy drives! For more information, click here! Amoeba Hollywood will be passing toy donations to Five Acres, Amoeba Berkeley to A Safe Place, and Amoeba San Francisco to Compass Community Services.


Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2009 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Ten: 11:27:09

FELT 3 Slug Murs
1) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

2) Rakim The Seventh Seal (Ra Records)

3) Gift of Gab Escape 2 Mars (Cornerstone/RAS)

4) Edan Echo Party (Traffic Entertainment)

5)  Cellski Chef Boy Cellski: Culinary Arts Institutiion (Inner City 2k)

6) Messy Marv Draped Up and Chipped Out Vol 4 (Click Clack Records)

7) Sean Price Kimbo Price (Vision Mktg)

8) Fatgums X Bambu ...A Peaceful Riot (Gamma Gums Music/Beat Rock)

9) Wale Attention Deficit (Interscope Records/Allido Records)

10) OC & AG Oasis (Nature Sounds)

Thanks for this Thanksgiving week's Hip-Hop Top Ten chart go out to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco, where the number one new release is the highly recommended, Aesop Rock produced third release in the FELT series (featuring Slug of Atmosphere & Murs of Living Legends), FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez, which was written about here when it was number two on last week's hip-hop chart at Amoeba Berkeley. And this week's number two comes from perhaps the most influential and respected (particularly by other artists) hip-hop emcee of all time, Rakim, who has just released his latest solo album The Seventh Seal.  As immediately proven by Rakimthe album's Rakim as Grim Reaper cover art, The Seventh Seal takes its title from the dark 1957 classic film of the same name by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. In the movie, a medieval knight confronts the meaning of life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess with the personification of Death -- the Grim Reaper.

A Thanksgiving Prayer, William S. Burroughs

Posted by Whitmore, November 26, 2009 09:15pm | Post a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 26, 2009 11:30am | Post a Comment

A food blog for food day. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a depiction of a traditional Thanksgiving feast, so this hodge podge will have to do.

Ugh, I couldn't find a good pie cover either, so you'll have to deal with cakes & pastries. Oh well, even if all you can muster up after last night's escapades is a bowl of cereal, Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted by Billyjam, November 26, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving, Amoeblog readers! Above is Gloria Gobbler's reinterpretation of "You Can't Hurry Love" from a turkey's perspective, with reworked lines such as, "You can't gobble me on Thanksgiving Day. Why not eat tofu? Feed yourself the vegan way." And if you enjoy Thanksgiving themed, turkey perspective song parodies done to animation, check out the reworking of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" -- "U Can't Stuff This" or The Giblets' reinterpretation of Queen's "We Will Rock You" -- "We Will Eat You."  

And don't forget that tomorrow, Friday, November 27th, is when Amoeba kicks off its annual Holiday Toy Drive at all three Amoeba Music stores. When you come in to Amoeba over the next few weeks (cut off dates vary from store to store) we strongly encourage you to spread the love to those not as well off this year by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy for some needy child in your community.

And to help you feel even better about donating a toy for some poor kid, as a thank you for your generosity, Amoeba will give you a $2 coupon valid for any item over $3.99! All toys collected will be distributed to a local charity: Amoeba Hollywood will donate to Five Acres, Amoeba San Francisco will collect toys for Compass Community Services, and Amoeba Berkeley will provide toys to A Safe Place. For full details on the Amoeba toy drive run dates and the charities involved, click here.

Replay: Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving (on Thanksgiving...)

Posted by Kells, November 26, 2009 06:30am | Post a Comment
Thanksgiving everyone! It's early (just after six am) and I'm baking apple-cranberry-pecan pie while Thanksgiving's self-titled collection of home recordings emanates quietly from the little boom-box on the kitchen table. Good thing they thought to include a CD inside the oh-so-pretty triple gatefold packaging that houses the gorge three LP set on red, white and blue vinyl that is Thanksgiving's Thanksgiving; for this I give thanks. I can't imagine managing three records and a turntable while trimming pie crust and chopping nuts --- I can't go for that, no, no can do. Still, I count myself grateful for having made an impulse purchase of this gem of an album a few years back, for it has become precious to me. 

I remember picking up my copy at Amoeba San Francisco on something of a whim and a whiff: obviously tangibly beautiful, it was in my hands and pricey but not too much so. The promise of lovely colored wax teased me into buying, along with the notion that I fancied the thing smelling of Elverum, for I was enjoying an all things Phil Elverum boom at the time (it's never really gone away, it ebbs and flows...). I would be a fool to pass it up, or so I thought. Though this crazed logic that plays the feeble minds of those swayed to swooning for pretty records and limited pressings once again held me rapt, I brook no regrets regarding this purchase because the songs are as excellent as the artwork they come packaged with. For this, again, I give thanks.

Drop the needle and the sound of rain builds song after song, here as percussion or there like a bassline, sometimes as an unavoidable background "noise" and other times seemingly manipulated to fit the flow of words, rhythm and overall feeling. No, this is not a holiday record for the whole family to sing along to. It's more like a gentle reminder that rainy days in winter are best spent indoors sound-tracking your log book. The use of drums, or rain on drums perhaps, stands out as an overall highlight on all three records, but most of all on the Fuck the World titled LP of the set. Incidentally, the individual titles of each of the three LPs sort of spell out a basic ode to Thanksgiving the holiday, I feel. Fuck the World, I Am Yours and Welcome Home Human could be perverted title-downwards into any number of enticing three-act holiday-centric scenarios; make a game of it while the bird, or whatever mock you've got, cooks in the oven and you just might have a box-office hit, but I digress. The collection of songs as a whole make for perfect early to midwinter listening on introspective days, like quiet lonely holidays, when mostly muddled or unintelligible lyrics don't matter except when skeins like "god knows I'm grateful to be alive" unravel in cold clarity in concert with the scent of fresh baked apples and cinnamon from the oven.

I don't really know much about Thanksgiving as an ensemble other than "they" are a guy called Adrian Orange (some or most of the time anyway) and a bunch of other folks including but not limited to Phil Elverum (who smells of records, or, strike that and reverse it), and related friends in the K/Marriage/RadRecords etc. family tree. The particular Thanksgiving record on the table, literally, at present is something of an exemplary work for artists associated with or branching from the aforementioned tree because it not only represents a successful attempt at raising the art of private journaling and lo-fi home recording to new appealing levels but also presents it in a fashion that leaves little fat to trim in that there be hardly any filler for fodder to fire in the critical canon. In short, it's a wintery folk record that is, in my kitchen opinion anyway, all good. Thanks!

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 11/24/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 24, 2009 09:31pm | Post a Comment


Smallville's compilation series And Suddenly It's Morning (SMALL 002CD) begins and ends with these two tracks on this 12" split-release. On the A-side, STL brings back the magical moments to the dancefloor with a contemporary sound-design that meets funkiness at its best. Smallville owner Julius Steinhoff presents his first solo track "Something Like Wonderful" -- deeply-driving real house music.

KIKI - Immortal 12"

EROL ALKAN & BOYS NOIZE - Waves Rework 10"

PAUL KALKBRENNER - Berlin Calling Vol. 2 12”

VA - Mikado 12"

Hard To Find 12"

Peter Kruder presents two tracks from his arsenal of techno and house dancefloor bombs with Hard To Find. The title track is influenced by Detroit techno circa the age of UR to North African hooks. The filter sweep, which serves as the drop/break, is a master-class in restrained modulation. "25 West 38th St." opens with the sound of ocean air, swiftly diving into a bass-driven groove, lush strings and a piano-led top-line -- rhythmic and atmospheric.

OLIVER TON - Hasta El Fin 12”

DONNACHA COSTELLO - Ten Thousand Hours 12"

GAISER - Flashed 12"

MARCEL KNOPF (FEAT. CAMARA) - Crazy About Skinny Bitches 12”

Kiss Your Mind 12"

Finally, some news from Perlon co-founder Markus Nikolai. After some excursions with his band project Morane, he's back with a solo 12" featuring "Bushes" vocalist Clair Dietrich on the A-side.

MAPSTATION - The Africa Chamber LP

ECHOLOGIST - Snow Blower EP 12”


RICARDO TOBAR - Mi Pieza Esta Llena De Cosas 12"

JEFF MILLS - The Defender 12"

GOLDEN BUG - Assassin 12”

Sanctuary:3575 12"

Shawn Rudiman (known from Technoir, Matrix Records, and most recently Minimal Soul Records) appears as a new artist on Cache with an amazing deep dub monstertrack and the finest Detroit techno flavours. Deep atmospheric dub techno.

CARI LEKEBUSCH - Spindizzy 12"

VA - 10 Years Sender Part 02 12"

PETER GABRIEL - Games Without Frontiers 12"

ELSEL, BODO - Mein Haus 12”

MIKE MIND - Resonate 1/2 12"

MIKE MIND - Resonate 2/2 12"

PLASTIKMAN - Consumed/Pakard 12"


LINKWOOD expertly blends 80s boogie, Detroit techno, house, & deep soul on this triple pack album. "ROBOT PARADE" screams KRAFTWERK, & "NECTARIN" is a LARRY HEARD-esque piece. The raw house sounds of "CHICAGO" will have you jackin! All meticulously produced.

LAUHAUS - Latenights 12"


MARTINEZ - My Anthem 12"

SMOKIN JO - Umona 12”

Jay Shepheard

Stellar remixes! JIMPSTER's is dry and punchy, MOTORCITYSOUL uploads their classic Windy City-Detroit-Manhattan house drive, TJ KONG & NUNO DOS get nuts with a sexy dub remix, and ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ' is dark tech house perfection.

GREEN VELVET - Destination Unknown/Why Try 12"

GREEN VELVET - Answering Machine/Land Of The Lost

SANASOL - Tambourine Man 12”

ABOVE SMOKE - The Damned 12"

VA - Deep, Raw And Real Part 1 12"



The freestyle disco cut-up "SUN GLARE" nicely sets the mood here, a must have for Detroit house lovers. "BLUE CANAL" shows a deeper side, a bluesy mid-tempo groove that sticks. The cut leads way to RODENION's dark side with the lead cut, raw THEO PARRISH style banging shiz. (RUSH HOUR)


Akabu - SAX MY BITCH UP 12"

Audio Soul Project - WHAT YOU'VE BEEN MISSING 12"

Bocca Grande - INTENSIVE SPOT EP 12"

Kris Wadsworth - DIRECT 12"

Rick Wilhite - SOUL EDGE 12”


Invasion Vs Shackleton

The debut release on LESS MUSIC (a sister label to THIS IS MUSIC) featuring two remixes from dubstep pioneer SHACKLETON. Two part remix that comprises parts from both "FOLLOW THE SMOKE" and "SIX RED WIZARDS" from INVASION's debut album. A "slice of future minimal dub".Single of the month in MIXMAG.


Harry Craze - WA6 12"

Scratcha DVA - JELLY ROLL EP 12"

Kryptic Minds
CODE 46 12"

SKREAM's label DISFIGURED DUBZ is back with a vengeance, with new dubstep darlings KRYPTIC MINDS dropping their trademark sound with ultra-deep bass penetrating your brain with a layer of synths & FX riding over the top. "THE WEEPING" maintains the vibe with an added slow-mo synth staccato.

Art & Cash 12"/DVD

Art & Cash is the shocking "behind the scenes" documentary of a German art campaign. These exclusive tracks by Modeselektor are also soon to be released as part of a DVD by Get Physical.

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species

Posted by Whitmore, November 24, 2009 07:55pm | Post a Comment

Today in London, Christie's auction house sold a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of its first publication. The book, one of only 1,250 copies first printed in 1859, was found on a shelf in a family's guest bathroom in Oxford. Christie's said they thought the book would likely sell for around $100,000, but an anonymous telephone bidder won the green bound, gilt-decorated tome for about $171,000. Darwin's Origin of Species outlined his theory of natural selection and is the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution.
Of course, many fearful zealots thoroughly believe, and joyfully so, that Charles Darwin is now barbequing away, racked in hideous, throbbing pain, burning forever in the pit of hell for the rest of eternity because of his blasphemous thought provoking ideas, such as his belief that man evolved from lower forms of primates and random mutation.
Many of the least thinking biblical pundits and dim ostriches would like to blame Darwin and all his followers for the reason why this good christian nation is sliding into all things wicked. Any preacher worth his fear mongering salt will certainly lecture on the evil Stalinism these monkey loving evolutionists are shoving down the throats of the faithful joes and janes, taking society to hell in a hand basket with their flu shots, homosexuality, flag burning, pro-choice, science education, gun control, cunnilingus, hip hop, global warming, masturbating, MSNBC, health care reform.
Fear not creationists, god created Kansas just for you. Do I hear an amen!?


Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2009 05:01pm | Post a Comment

More than any other popular musical form, hip-hop is perhaps the most consistently (and often apologetically) misogynistic and homophobic genre in all contemporary pop music. This is something that Lady Gaga speaks about in the video clip above, taken from an interview with host Touré from on On The Record, that will broadcast later tonight (Monday, Nov 23rd at 9pm) on Fuse TV.  Of course, this is not exactly breaking news to anyone No Homowho listens to popular rap, but it is nonetheless refreshing to hear a high profile person address homophobia in popular rap music. This is something that encompasses recurring anti-gay lyrics in songs and also the whole "No Homo" obsession, popular within hip-hop circles for several years now, whereby the words "NO HOMO" are instantly said aloud by a person right after they utter  something that might possibly be construed as "gay sounding." This two word statement absolves them from the ultimate crime (of being perceived as "homo"). This "No Homo" subcultural movement even spawned its own fashion line that includes the "No Homo" baseball cap (pictured).

In her interview, Lady Gaga, as always, is very supportive and defensive of her large gay following. When pressed by Toure as to which high profile homophobic hip-hopper she is referring to, she won't say. Truth is that it could be a great many rappers out there. But more than likely it is 50 Cent who she is referring to, since recently on the Angie Martinez radio show Fitty in a mocking derogatory tone referred to the scheduled Lady Gaga and Kanye West Fame Kills tour as the "gay tour." (the tour got cancelled due to Kayne's VMA outburst combined with lackluster advance ticket sales). This is the same rapper who in Spin magazine a few years back opined, "In hip-hop, there’s certain standards of things you can’t do. Being gay isn't cool -- it's not what the music is based on." Of course, many, including anyone within the so-called "homo-hop" subgenre of hip-hop, would argue that such a notion is nonsense. But, despite the growing numbers of queer rap artists, this hip-hop subgenre remains mostly a totally separate (and underground) world, and one that does not generally crossover into popular rap. Simply put, while most of the rest of popular culture has at least superficially embraced gays, it looks like it is still a ways off before popular hip-hop will accept its first openly gaHeavy D & The Boysy rap star.


Posted by Charles Reece, November 23, 2009 08:31am | Post a Comment
An aging hero (Barry Sullivan) stares down a youthful outlaw:

But what is he fixated on?

The villain's pistol, of course:

Violence in the Old West. Forty Guns is available on dvd.


Bomba Estereo Live At Amoeba Hollywood 11/16

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 23, 2009 12:00am | Post a Comment

When I heard that Bomba Estereo would be doing an instore performance at Amoeba, I didn’t know what to think. A few years ago, I heard their song “Huepajé” on a Nacional Records compilation and I dug it. Almost every time I played that song in the clubs, someone asked me about the song. I was anticipating their album Blow Up when it came out, only to be slightly disappointed by the somewhat sterile sound of it. I felt it was an adequate album, but not the one I was expecting. Perhaps their Electro-Tropical hybrid worked better as a single than a whole album. Soon after the album was released, I was getting reports from wherever Bomba Estereo played, from folks in Texas to a good friend in Tokyo, that this band live was not to be missed. It was only now that they got to make their way to Los Angeles. I hoped my friends were right.

The audience waiting for the show was small before the band went on. It was mostly your Latin Alternative enthusiasts and curious NPR types. Later, just before Bomba Estereo went on and during their set, the late-arriving Colombian nationals started trickling in, some decked out in yellow, blue and red, the colors of the Colombian flag. I saw a few gentlemen sporting the traditional Sombrero Vueltiao, the traditional hat of Colombia commonly worn by Cumbia and Vallenato musicians. I even saw a woman that was a complete Shakira knock-off in the front row, I kid you not! So when Bomba Estereo hit the stage and started the first song with the thud of conga synonymous with Cumbia, the audience was up and dancing.

The four-piece band, all from in and around Bogotá, Colombia, cannot escape the sound that is in their blood. The Cumbia rhythm, which seems to define Colombians, is the foundation of their music. However, it is layered underneath the surfy guitar, spacey keyboards, Dancehall vocals and dub bass. The hypnotic beat and the layers of sounds make a background for singer Liliana Saumet vocals. She is a mixture of M.I.A. and La Mala Rodriguez by the way of Annabelle Lwin from Bow Wow Wow. She is pretty much the show, using both a clean vocal mic and a dub vocal mic for effect. The band (bassist with synths, guitar and drums along with a computer for backing tracks) kept up the energy to match their spark plug of a singer. Their music hits you like a wave. You can resist it but it's better just to ride with it. Soon I was hooked. They played for forty-five minutes and it seemed like ten. I have to say my friends were right about this one.

After the show I felt that you have to experience Bomba Estereo live to appreciate Blow Up. Much like Bomba Estero label mates The Nortec Collective, their trance-rhythms and layers are lost on an album without the imagery and energy they produce in a live show. Perhaps I lack imagination or I get inundated with so much music that I get numb to it all. Perhaps clearer eyes and ears could enjoy it without the live show. Who knows? All I know is that I can listen to Blow Up with fresh ears now.

For more photos from the instore, click here!


Posted by Charles Reece, November 22, 2009 11:48pm | Post a Comment

Before there were gyms: Men being men to an off-camera balladeer singing, "You may find that the woman with a whip is only a woman after all." One of the all-time greatest Westerns, Forty Guns is available on dvd.

November 22, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 22, 2009 11:30pm | Post a Comment

Two Big Heists Hit L.A.

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 22, 2009 09:45pm | Post a Comment

Two noir masterpieces on the big screen in L.A!

Armored Car Robbery, despite its rather dull title, is a tight little caper masterfully led by William Talman, aka D.A. Hamilton Burger from Perry Mason. Filmed a few years before Perry started, Mr. Talman is at his finest as a cold blooded yet charming creep. His performance is my wife and I's favorite from any movie that we've seen this year, far superior to his better known role in Ida Lupino's classic Hitch-Hiker. Add in Charles McGraw, L.A. location shots, a great support cast, tight editing (67 minute running time) and you have essential B cinema!

The much more high profile Asphalt Jungle is THE heist film. I can't believe how many times it comes up in coversation with other noir fans. The archetypes created by the cast still color modern crime fiction and film. In my opinion, all of that is owed to the ensemble cast of character actors. Highlights include Jean Hagen, in a role second only to her masterful Hariette Sinton in Side Street, and the criminally underated Sam Jaffe at his most weasely. Most other top shelf caper films borrow from this John Huston masterpiece, so whether you're a fan of Resevoir Dogs or Rafifi, you need to see this film.

Monday and Tuesday (November 23rd & 24th)

Armored Car Robbery & the Asphalt Jungle

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W. Beverly Blvd.
L.A., CA 90036 


Posted by Charles Reece, November 22, 2009 09:13pm | Post a Comment

There's something vaguely Freudian about the way Cuddles (Dolores Dorn) cools down with some ice. Image from Underworld U.S.A., available in The Samuel Fuller Collection.

Experiments In Health Care

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 20, 2009 11:00pm | Post a Comment

We Shall Remain

Posted by Miss Ess, November 20, 2009 05:38pm | Post a Comment

It seems timely to think about the history of Native Americans with less than a week to go before Thanksgiving. And if you already dislike the US Government, prepare to be impressed, even astounded by the lows it has sunk to...It'll make you want to deface that cool, snide Andrew Jackson staring at you from your twenty dollar bills. You will see that the arrogant United States of America has its own history of genocide, one that has been going on for hundreds of years.

I watched the entire series We Shall Remain, a set of PBS documentaries about Native Americans' history once the settlers hit the continent's shores. The films cover brutal, unsettling material that unfolds in a deft, direct manner. It covers histories of the Cherokee, Shawnee, Apache, and others in episodes entitled "After the Mayflower," "Tecumseh's Vision," "Trail of Tears," "Geronimo," and "Wounded Knee." There are definitely some major tribes missing from the series, but hopefully their stories will also accessibly be told with such care in the future. There's still about 8+ hours worth of straightforward viewing here, and the films are made from careful, studied recreations, truly haunting photos, interviews and even found footage.

The most interesting and vital part of the films though, I found, is definitely the interviews conducted with Native people living today. This is particularly moving during "Geronimo," when ancestors of Geronimo, Cochise and others are interviewed. Their words and stories are intense, and the gravity of what their families have experienced is devastating. It is also particularly moving during the final film of the series, "Wounded Knee," which focuses on growing Native American activism in the 70s and the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee by the radical American Indian Movement (AIM). The interviewees' memories are so fresh, and their hope and passion for The Movement is so strong. If you think things will have gotten better for Native people after making it through the first 4 portions of this series, think again! Just because the final film covers the post- hippie 1970s doesn't mean the government is any sweeter to Native Americans.

Anyway, I strongly recommend watching these films. Though they are difficult to sit through at times due to their sheer brutality, violence and decimation, these complex stories hold much significance in our history and the fact that they are not often told is an even greater reason to watch.

Just seeing the interviewees' faces and hearing their words (often in their native languages) drives home the substantial point of We Shall Remain: Against all odds, Native American people have survived, through the very, very worst of conditions, and they continue to preserve and celebrate their culture. They are both bursting with pride about who they are and wracked with sorrow over what they have been forced to endure. And endure they have.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring the City of Walnut

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 20, 2009 04:40pm | Post a Comment

This Los Angeles County community blog is about the City of Walnut, a wealthy, woodsy Los Angeles suburb located in the southeastern portion of the San Gabriel Valley.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of the San Gabriel Valley and Walnut

To vote for other LA County communities, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

William R. Rowland Adobe Redwood Ranch House
Before it took on its current Asian persuasion, Walnut was mostly Caucasian. Before that, of course, it was inhabited by the Tongva people, whose village in the area was called Pemookangna. After the Spaniards arrived it was mostly used as a ranch which grew walnuts, wheat, grapes, fruit trees and as pasture for cattle. By the 1840s, the Spaniards called the area Rancho de Nogales, which means Walnut Ranch. Many of those walnuts were pickled. In 1868, John Rowland and William Workman divided the land into La Puente to the west and Walnut to the east. The city was incorporated in 1959. In 1975, the William R. Rowland Adobe Redwood Ranch House was designated an Historical Landmark. 

A few years back, a number of well-heeled Taiwanese business people moved to Walnut. Ten years ago, Asians, non-Latino whites and Latinos still made up roughly equal populations of the city and CNN hailed Walnut as a model of diversity. Since then, large numbers of Cantonese, mainland Chinese and especially Filipinos have moved to the area and numbers of white and Latino residents have diminished. The city’s changing character is reflected in the variety of popular restaurants including Heartland's Market and Kitchen, Apo Apo Deli Café, UCC Cafe, Colima Burgers, Coffee Break, Sate House, El Taco Nazo, Ninja Sushi, Mikasa, Kalahi Bakery, the New York Pizzeria, Osuna's, Bangkok BBQ, Charlie's Sandwhich Shoppe, Upper House Boba Tea Shop and Donut Tree. Donut Tree, open 24 hours a day, serves as a sort of de facto community center. When my roommate Tim and I went there, it was packed with retirees speculating about Oprah's reasons for announcing her retirement. The retirees came and went during our visit, all seeming to know one another, and almost invariably arriving and departing in nice cars.
Hockneyesque collage panorama of Walnut's downtown
Walnut is a decidedly tranquil, some would say, sleepy suburb. Money named it the 70th best place to live in 2009, thus placing it above all other California cities, although there doesn't seem to be a lot to do. Its "downtown" is a cluster of shopping centers known as "The Village" and is dominated by chains like Applebee's, Panda Express, Kohl's, Staple's, Starbucks and Millie's, albeit quaintly rendered in a craftsman style. As with many suburbs, most of the businesses are spread out along the main thoroughfares, clustered in shopping centers with names like Flag Automotive Center, Lemon Creek Village and Walnut Tech Business Center. As we know from films like Poltergeist, Blue Velvet and Paranormal Activity, sleepy towns usually have their share of ghosts, and Walnut is no exception according to this website.

Wildin' out at the Walnut Family Festival

This Week at the New Beverly: November 20 - 26

Posted by phil blankenship, November 20, 2009 11:15am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full November / December calendar is online!

Friday & Saturday November 20 & 21

Two by Krzysztof Kieslowski

Three Colors: White
1994, France / Poland / Switzerland, 91 minutes
dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski, starring Julie Delpy, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:40 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!


Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2009 05:48am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:20:09

Wale Attention Deficit

1) Wale Attention Deficit (Interscope Records/Allido Records)

2) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

3) Wu-Tang Meet the Indie Culture, Vol. 2: Enter The Dubstep... (Ihiphop Distribution)

4) Gift of Gab Escape 2 Mars (Cornerstone/RAS)

5) Wyclef Jean From The Hut, To The Projects To The Mansion  (R.E.D. Distribution)

It may seem like Washington DC rapper Wale has been around for quite a while already and that he should be up to his third or at least second album by now, but in actuality the justifiably hyped emcee is only just now releasing his debut, Attention Deficit on Allido via Interscope. The album has been much anticipated and has numerous big name collaborators (particularly production), including Mark Ronson, Cool & Dre, The Neptunes, 9th Wonder, and Green Lantern, and Lady Gaga, who lends her MIA inflected vocals to the single "Chillin" (already out many months and a big hit -- see video below), which seems to be everyone's favorite new hip-hop release. Since it dropped last week, Attention Deficit has been selling really well everywhere, including at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store, where it shot to number one with a bullet on the latest Weekly Hip-Hop chart. The album, which distinctly packs much crossover appeal, features Wale tackling many topics, including feelings of insecurity ("Contemplate"), the trials & tribulations of the everyday grind for a hard working rapper ("World Tour" featuring Jazmine Sullivan -- another already released single, one that revisits A Tribe Called Quest's song of the same name), and the reality of reality shows ("TV in the Radio").

Thirtysomething Feels, Well, Old and Even Tired...

Posted by Miss Ess, November 19, 2009 06:27pm | Post a Comment
Who am I, my mother?

Thirtysomething was just released on DVD and as a My So-Called Life fan (it has the same producers), as well as someone who has a passing interest in late 80s fashion, I decided to check out the show.

It's been more than 20 years since this show first aired, and watching at first I found the couples difficult to relate to and the emotions overwrought. As I watched more episodes, I kept waiting to like the show...and I just continued to try through 3 discs worth of episodes, until I finally straight up gave up! I really, really gave it a shot though. It is definitely dated, and I plainly did not like the male characters on the show at all, with their cheating thoughts and penchant for suspenders.

My other major issue with the show: it's so boomer it hurts. Really, it hurt me when they used and badly cropped Joni Mitchell songs not once but twice just in the first few episodes! Ouch.

I also feel, as someone who is currently technically thirtysomething and living in this ol' world of ours, that our lives now, at least in my scene anyway, are so completely different from these portrayed back in 1987 it's kind of a bit shocking. These people own their own businesses, homes, can afford children, have perfect hair and functional, stylish vintage's just not real to me, in my world, and that's a big part of why the show fell flat for me personally.

But when you think about the time, it makes more sense. These people are yuppies. There's just no getting around that. I suppose there are people out there who can relate to these characters, and there's nothing wrong with that, I just am not one of them.

If you want to see some great late 80s sweaters though, you are in luck! There's a plethora of them. And if you need that boomer walk down 1987 memory lane, this'll do it for a certain crowd. I'm sure it felt groundbreaking in its time, but I think those days are simply history. The show is truly a time capsule


Posted by Billyjam, November 19, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Dr. Dre The ChronicWhile the publicity blitz a couple of months back surrounding the remastered reissue of the Beatles' back catalog was certainly justified, it wasn't the only remastered reissue of classic music material to come out back in early September. In that same week Dr Dre's landmark debut solo 1992 album The Chronic was reissued in a new remastered and repackaged form.

Retitled The Chronic Re-Lit & From The Vaults and released by Wideawake/Death Row, the new reissue offers much more music -- over twice as much as the original! The new two disc set includes all of The Chronic’s original sixteen tracks remastered, plus liner notes from producer Quincy Jones III. More importantly, the new reissue includes a DVD entitled From The Vault, which features music videos for singles from The Chronic, a half hour Dr. Dre interview, plus various promotional pieces. The new package also includes seven unreleased songs featuring Snoop Dogg, CPO, Jewell, and Kurupt.

The Chronic, released in late '92, forever changed the direction of popular hip-hop and made Snoop Doggy Dogg (as he was then known) a star. It also propelled the careers of Daz Dillinger, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, and (Dre's step-brother) Warren G. And its singles, including "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" (see video below), "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin'),” and "Let Me Ride," Dr Dre were hits and ruled the airwaves for quite some time.

Armonico Hewa says what? ask OOIOO...

Posted by Kells, November 18, 2009 11:34pm | Post a Comment

It must be good being Yoshimi P-We. It seems to me that she's had a pretty great year, what with her Boredoms gig at All Tomorrow's Parties in New York, her ambitious sounding project aboard a Russian ferry, soundtracking this past summer's solar eclipse off the southern coast of Japan, two releases on the side: Bar-Cozmik (as Yoshimio) and Tingaruda (as OLAibi), not to mention the big fat recent new release from my favorite branch of the Yoshimi tree -- the all-girl, always exciting OOIOO. Amidst all this artistic activity, Yoshimi also gave birth to her second child this year. No wonder Wayne Coyne named a record after her

When OOIOO released Taiga a few years back I fancied that listening to it was a lot like journeying into an hour long, aural tour de la nature -- a sonogram for one of those excellent macrocosmic David Attenborough documentaries where frozen, aurora-enshrouded forests of the North exist minutes from warmer climes where glacier-fueled rivers rush chuckling over rock and mud towards temperate seas. What stellar programming like Planet Earth does for your eyes in the comfort of your home, extraordinary sounds like that of OOIOO do for your ears within the infinite expanse of your mind. This may come across as cheesy (only the easiest cheese, please), but it reminds me of something Obi-Wan Kenobi explained to Luke as he struggled to find his bearings with the Force: "your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them...stretch out with your feelings." Listening to OOIOO, for me, is like letting the Force flow through you, no blast shield required.

OOIOO's latest release (on Thrill Jockey) is just as steeped in the sounds of nature worship as its predecessor, but the environment that gives rise to such faith seems to have shifted, or rather, evolved. Gone are the rhythms and melodies that suggested earthly symphonies of pounding tides, rambling rivers, wind-blown boughs and weathered rocks; on Armonico Hewa (an amalgam of Spanish and Swahili origin meant to suggest "air in a harmonious state"), it is as though OOIOO have blasted off into outer space and found some other planet's primitive weather gods to draw their polyrhythmic paeans and tribal chants from. The video for the opening track "SOL" prompts me to revisit my Star Wars analogy (see above) as it seems to focus on the sun (our sun?) as a thematic platform from which the album, ahem, blasts off.

Armonico Hewa could be called OOIOO's most random record to date in terms of musical composition due to the abundance of unexpected melodic and rhythmic twists and turns made within each track, resulting in a hodge-podge of a record not wholly unlike their previous works yet somehow alien to them all the same. But just like one might refer to their first record, Eight, as their "most punk" or Feather Float as their most, um, "techno-Lisa Frank-rock" or Gold and Green as their most "transcendentalist-rock," attempting to affix a label on the varied works these ladies create is as fruitless an exercise as pinpointing exactly how they create the sounds they make. I mean, did they auto-tune that Kaoss Pad this time around or what? And they must've ordered out for greens at one point because that bass line on the final track "Honki Ponki" -- a cover of a little known Turkish disco tune -- is as funky as that on "All Night Long" by the Mary Jane Girls. Here's hoping their next record is as near (in terms of completion) as it shall surely be beyond (in terms of creation). A++

p.s. Armonico Hewa is available in limited quantities on vinyl so get it, don't regret it. And...

Dear Thrill Jockey,
How about some OOIOO vinyl reissues already? Not everyone won the "I found it magically one day at Amoeba" game (in which I miraculously scored an copy of
Feather Float on turquoise wax a few years back). Can you even fathom how much saliva a proper vinyl run of Gold and Green would draw from the collective maw of the music munching community? Gross! I mean, yes please!
Thanks, bye 

November 18, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 18, 2009 11:07pm | Post a Comment

Promotional Stickers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 18, 2009 09:30pm | Post a Comment
It seems that in the world of LP promotional stickers, the quote bubble has been quite a popular design choice. Below is a small gallery of some of the better examples that I've come across recently...

Happy 100th birthday Johnny Mercer!!

Posted by Whitmore, November 18, 2009 08:40pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 11/19/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 18, 2009 10:12am | Post a Comment

ROBAG WRUHME: Lampetee 12"
Movida is Spanish and is the English word for 'moving.' With this first release we have moved something -- nobody else than Mr. Robag Wruhme (Wighnomy Brothers) has produced this first one. This track is really untypical for any production which Gabor ever did, but we liked that 'dubby' track so much that we really wanted to release it. Maybe the one or other will think back to good old Maurizio tracks. 'Lampetee' is a very old Greek 'song' with a pretty nice song-text which Gabor packed in that track with so many emotions. We were also happy as we get the 'o.k.' from nobody else than Nick Curly to do a remix for us. It has taken a long time, but finally the remix is so lovely, deep and groovy that we think it was good choice to wait so long. Support: Ricardo Villalobos, Onur Özer, Shinedoe, Thomas Melchior, Brendon Moeller, Matt Star, Daniel Mehlhart, Nick Curly, Frank Leicher.

BETKE: The Road/Loose And Blowsy Plumage 12”

DUSTY KID: Moto Perpetuo 12" (BOXER 075EP)

AGF/DELAY: Connection Remixes 12" (BPC 203EP)


KZA: Z 12" (EF 019EP)

Delano Smith
"A SPECIAL KIND" is classically constructed with filtered ASHFORD & SIMPSON samples ("STAY FREE") over a fat Detroit kick drum. "DEE'S GRUV" is on the atmospheric tip, "EXPLANATION" hits harder and faster, and deep house jam "TRUTH" wraps it all in one tight package. Don't sleep!

Ilija Rudman/INSTRUM. OF RAPTURE #4 12" (IOR004)

Sascha Braemer/SASCHA BRAEMER EP 12" (DBIRD031)


Claude Vonstroke/BIRD BRAIN EP 12" DBIRD029

General Elektriks/RAID THE RADIO 12”

Demetrio Giannice/TALK EP 12" (3EEP105)

temporary secretary dixon edits

Three house edits taken from his mix, DIXON works his magic with JUNIOR BOYS'"HAZEL," the HENRIK SCHWARZ remix of CODE 718's "EQUINOX," and BEN KLOCK's "IN A WHILE." He was lucky enough to get single parts from all the original tracks and recreate them all. Beautiful stuff here. (INNERVISIONS)


DIE VOGEL: Blaue Moschee 12”



FLORIAN MEINDL: Flashmob 12" (FLASH 015EP)

WAREIKA, MATTHIAS MEYER: Infinity/Smiles 12" (LIEBE 029EP)

RESOE: Magnolie EP 12" (BAUM 006EP)


Dirt Crew

DIRT CREW celebrates 5 years with the first of 2 samplers featuring tracks from DIRT CREW, TIGERSKIN, and GEIGER. "IF YOU DANCE" has an infectious simple bassline, while "GO FOR IT" has unique swagger and funk for a house track. "HAZE" ends with some atmospheric, techy sounds.




Cabin Fever/CABIN FEVER TRACKS VOL.9 12" (RKDS010)

Marc Poppcke/FAR AWAY FROM YOU 12" (FR128)

Fromage/VICIOUS 12" (NEEDW001)

In Flagranti/ELECTRIC FLING 12" (CRE026)


4 Hero

The new single taken from 4 HERO's PLAY WITH THE CHANGES album. Feats "MORNING CHILD" album version and string appella along with "TAKE MY TIME" feat JACK DAVEY album version and radio edit. GILLES PETERSON has called the A-side a classic tune and NPR made it "Song Of The Day."


Various/HYPERDUB 5.3 EP 12" (HDB025)


SILKIE: Head Butt Da Deck/The Horizon 12" (MEDI 020EP)

Spat/Era Of Black Holes Part 2 12"
(ZER 001EP)

Channel Zero is a new label run by Dead-O of Clouds with the aim of pushing new, forward looking music to new sets of ears around the globe, with no boundaries set as to the type of music being released. As anyone who has witnessed a Dead-O DJ set can attest, he is a man who knows how to connect the dots. Look out for more Channel Zero releases coming up this autumn. Spat / Era Of Black Holes Part 2 is a new release from Helsinki's Clouds, kicking off Channel Zero with two sides of bass-heavy modern-day electronica. Building on their template based on modern UK forms of bass music, the quirky edits and strong harmonic layers make these tracks yet another item of proof that Clouds are treading a path of their own. Act quickly, this awesome package won't hang around for long.

FUNK ETHICS: Blues Is Now 12" (DST 008EP)

CLUEKID: Chicken Foot/Shifty 12" (EAR 012EP)

MRK1/CYRUS: Last Drop/In The Background 12" (AR 030EP)

SULLY: Reminder/Jackman's Rec 12" (FRJ 005EP)

DJ HENY.G: Arena 1/Retro Love 12" (GBMASE 001EP)


Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
For this third installment in the ongoing Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account Amoeblog series by longtime incarcerated Sacramento rap artist Anerae “X-Raided” Brown, the artist writes about his early days in hip-hip, joining the Crips, what got him sent to prison, the meaning behind the recurring "Unforgiven" theme, his new label and recent signees and his recent releases, which are available at Amoeba Music.

There is also a breakdown of his career timeline that includes the songs he wrote for C-Bo and his own extensive discography, which is all the more impressive considering that he has done most of it somehow from behind bars. 

Brief History, Timeline & Discogaphy 
by Anerae “X-Raided” Brown

I was born in Sacramento, California, on the Southside. When I'd get in trouble my mom would send me to Prichard, Alabama, with my father, out near Mobile. I've been all up in Happy Hill. Other times I'd be out in East Waco, TX, from Trendwood to the Sherman Mannors. I lived in the Village for a while too. I got back from one of those trips down south around the time I was 15. I joined the 24th Street Garden Blocc Crips X-Raidedthat summer. The homies Big J-Dogg and Slim put me on. In hindsight, I coulda done something better with my life, but at the time I wasn't tryina hear that. All I cared about was the Blocc.

I started writing rhymes seriously when I was 15 or 16. I'd go to juvenile hall for getting caught with a sack of dope, or riding in a stolen car with a gun. It was always something. My mom would come pick me up. We never had to do more than a few months; sometimes we'd go home the next day. During those times in juvy I'd write rhymes to pass the time. I learned how to format my rhymes by listening to other rappers and feeling it out. My cousin Nicole knew Sicx, Sicx introduced me to (Brotha) Lynch and we got to work. I ended up signing with Black Market Records and the rest is history.

They Might Be Giants Rock Booksmith

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 17, 2009 01:32pm | Post a Comment
by Audra

Bookstores can be magical places for the young and old alike, but pack one wall-to-wall with They Might Be Giants fans of all ages and you have yourself a full-fledged party! At 4:00pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009, John Flansburgh and John Linnell – better known for the past 25 years as They Might Be Giants – hit Amoeba San Francisco’s neighborhood bookstore The Booksmith for a free mini-show and signing in support of their latest children’s book/DVD, Kids Go! and CD/DVD Here Comes Science.

they mights be giants

they might be giants

they might be giants

Back in 1986, the two Johns became the quirky accordion-slinging kings of college radio with the release of their self-titled debut album. However, their intergenerational appeal was cemented in 2002 with their first children’s album, No!, which presumably enjoyed the good timing of their original fan base’s own baby boom. No! was followed by 2005’s Here Come The ABCs and then 2008’s Here Come The 123s, which won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Album for Children. Here Comes Science is TMBG’s 14th studio album and fourth album for kids. Their first foray into children’s books began in 2003 with the book-and-CD combo Bed, Bed, Bed. Kids Go!, a sing-along story book illustrated by Pascal Campion, is just their second book, but given the Johns’ unstoppable energy, prolificacy, and apparent popularity, this is probably just the beginning of their publishing career.

Classical schmassical.

Posted by Job O Brother, November 16, 2009 04:38pm | Post a Comment

Not all classical music is classical music. Classical music, in its true sense, conforms to a particular style and time period – not an exact time, but roughly from 1750 to 1825. Even so, much of what we casually call “classical music” was written before and after that chunk o’ time. So what gives?

Think of it this way: We call a lot of music “rock music” even when it doesn’t conform to the chord progressions and beats of rock & roll. There’s a huge difference between Ike Turner’s "Rocket 88" and The Cardigans’ "Lovefool," yet they both get played on so-called rock music stations.

So, classical music can either refer to the above mentioned period of Western music, or it can be a generic, blanket term for all that stuff you hear on the classical music station, or find when shopping the Classical Music Section at Amoeba Music.

The reason it’s good to know a little about the periods and sub-genres of classical music is it will help you find what you like. For instance, I’m a huge fan of what’s known as the Impressionist style of classical music, so if I find an album of some composer I’ve never heard of – like say, Sir Pooppants McNaughtybits – and he’s described as an Impressionist, there’s a very good chance that I will enjoy his music. In addition, if I see that the compositions on the album are concertos for clarinet (an instrument I love), I know it’s highly likely I’ll love it. (You know what a concerto is because you read my last blog entry.)

Hunting for classical music kinda becomes an exercise in chemistry. You say, “I know I love Baroque music, and I know I love violins, and I know I want something intimate sounding – something that won’t overwhelm me but help me study for my taxidermy exam.”

So, you go to your favorite Amoeba Music employee and offer these guidelines:

Violin prominent
Intimate and easy to study to

And they can offer some suggestions, like the Mystery Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Biber

“But wait,” you coo softly into my ear as you cuddle my tender flesh and lift a chocolate bon-bon to my lips, “I still don’t know the different time periods. Like, what is Baroque?”

I take my time eating the confection before I answer you.

The most important periods of classical music to know are probably:

Early music
Medieval… 500 – 1400
Renaissance… 1400 – 1600

Common practice
Baroque… 1600 – 1760
Classical… 1730 – 1820
Romantic… 1815 – 1910

Modern… 1900 – today

Within these guidelines (and they are just guidelines, always and often up for debate) there are many sub-genres, like Impressionism, Serialism, Musique mesurée, and McNaughtybitism – none of which I’m going to try to cover here, but all of which fall into one of the major time periods listed above. In beginning your orientation of classical music, don’t worry too much about the sub-genres, okay? That’s for later days.

But as for the major time periods, let’s pay some attention… in my next blog. For now, I am distracted by your endless supply of candies.


Posted by Charles Reece, November 15, 2009 11:56pm | Post a Comment
Novelist, scenarist, actress, "objectivist" and basic propagandist for rapacious capitalism Ayn Rand is someone I've always tended to steer clear of. My aversion is due more to her muddy and hypocritical thinking, as well as a writing style that's about as accomplished as a cheap 1930s sci-fi magazine, than any sort of challenge one encounters reading Leo Strauss and other conservative thinkers. But the ironically named Reason Magazine tends to talk about her, and their chief cartoonist, Peter Bagge (of Hate fame) has a new strip about what the mention of her name elicits in the circles he frequents (over-caffeinated Seattleites, I guess). To any of my pals who might have an opinion on her, she's considered something like what American Idol winners are to music, namely for people who don't like philosophy. You know, Alan Greenspan. Since I can't speak for Bagge's choice of friends, I'm only going to take issue with his final (and I note hysterically rendered) panel:


...And, this being a movie blog, in particular how it's contradicted by Rand's role in the Hollywood Red-baiting of the late 40s and 50s. In 1944, to combat communist infiltration in Hollywood, Walt Disney and some other conservatives formed The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Some of its most prominent members were John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Ward Bond and Leo McCarey. The organization's statement of principles can be read here. Another associate was Rand, who wrote a manifesto for the group in 1950 titled "Screen Guide for Americans," which was a program for weeding out Red influence from the pictures with enumerated commandments: "Don't smear the free enterprise system," "don't smear industrialists," "don't smear wealth," "don't smear the profit motive," "don't smear success," etc. Her supposed probity against the use of "physical force to impose her ideas" can be read in the document's conclusion:

The principle of free speech requires that we do not use police force to forbid the Communists the expression of their ideas -- which means that we do not pass laws forbidding them to speak. But the principle of free speech does not require that we furnish the Communists with the means to preach their ideas, and does not imply that we owe them jobs and support to advocate our own destruction at our own expense. 

This Week At The New Beverly Nov 15 - 21

Posted by phil blankenship, November 15, 2009 08:48pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full November / December calendar is online!

Sunday & Monday November 15 & 16

A Sidney Poitier double bill

In the Heat of the Night
1967, USA, 109 minutes
dir. Norman Jewison, starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, James Patterson
Sun: 3:20 & 7:30; Mon: 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

out today 11/3 & 11/10...mary onettes...nirvana...morrissey...cold cave...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 13, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment

I recently discoved the fantastic Mary Onettes. I find it hard to believe that I had never heard of them until now. Their new album Islands is out November 3rd, but I was suprised to find out that this is their second full length album. I quickly fell in love with this new album before I even knew anything about them-- I only knew they were on Labrador Records and were probably from Sweden. So I decided to do some investigating and found out this was not their first album. I felt kind of embarrassed that I had never heard of them before. How could this band have passed me by? They are exactly the kind of band that I fall in love with. Their first self titled album came out 2 years ago on my birthday, May 1st, 2007. I guess I was too busy listening to the Magic Position by Patrick Wolf and the deluxe reissue of the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, which also came out on the same day. I am also a bit mad at my friends -- how could they have not told me about this band? Maybe they just assumed I knew all about them already. Or maybe they had not heard about them either! I typically love all things from Sweden. Especially if you are a band still musically living in the late 80's and early 90's. Espcially if you are influenced by The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, and Echo and the Bunnymen. This band was sort of made for me. I know I just recently discussed this, but I will discuss it again. I am, of course, in love with this new album, and it was the first time that I heard the Mary Onettes, so it will most likely remain the album with that special place in my heart. I went back last week and discovered their first album for the first time but I didn't like it as much as the new one. I did like it though, and am actually liking it more and more as I listen to it more and more. I know those Mary Onettes fans that have liked them since their first album will probably find this new one not as good but that is just becuase they are hearing this new album years after already falling in love with that first record. It all really depends on when you were introduced to the band.

I completely fell in love with all things Swedemary onettes islands cdn a couple of years ago. Seeing as Mary Onettes are also from Sweden I am even more surprised that I didn't discover them back then. Here is my I love Sweden blog from a couple of years ago. My other favorites from Sweden are Pelle Carlberg, Sally Shapiro, Jose Gonzalez, Jens Lekman, Studio, The Knife, The Shout Out Louds, The Legends and ABBA! It makes me happy when I find a new band. And it gives me hope that there are a bunch more bands out there just waiting for me to discover. I would never complain that there is not enough good music out there. You just have to look around a bit.

So, back to the Mary Onettes. Once again, the new album is called Islands. They named it because they think of each song as its own little different shaped island. It is really a great little pop album. The songs are all catchy and tragic. There is a definite sadness beneath the songs. They fall somewhere in between goth, shoegaze, indie, and twee. The name of the band is a bit cute and silly but I like it. I hope they make it out to Los Angeles so I can see them! I suppose I should start planning my trip to Sweden. It seems like I belong there I guess. Maybe I would just fall in love with everything there and want to move there. I definitely feel some sort of kinship with the music but I don't think I have any Swedish blood flowing through my veins. But maybe one of my German great grandparents had a bit of Swedish in them! I am off to go learn more about Swedish music. I am sure my next favorite band will come from Sweden as well.

Here is a video for "Pleasure Songs" from the first Mary Onettes album...

and here is the audio for "Symmetry" from the new album Islands (my favorite song off the new album)...

also out 11/3...

Introducing by Brilliant Colors

Phrazes for the Young by Julian Casablancas

Love Comes Close by Cold Cave

Freedom of Choice & Q: Are We Not Men? reissues by Devo

Fantastic Mr. Fox Soundtrack

Suckin' It For the Holidays by Kathy Griffin

Machine Dreams by Little Dragon

Swords by Morrissey

Bleach reissue by Nirvana

Live at Reading by Nirvana

Memoryhouse reissue by Max Richter

Exquisite Corpse by Warpaint

Raditude by Weezer

also out 11/10...

Backtracks by AC/DC

Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos

Rewolf by Asobi Seksu

Never Cry Another Tear by Bad Lieutenant

Ignore the Ignorant by Cribs

Fountain by Echo & the Bunnymen

Live from the Royal Albert Hall CD/DVD by The Killers

Live at the 02 London England DVD by Kings of Leon

Received Pronunciation by Pants Yell!

Xenophanes by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Up To Now by Snow Patrol

Last of the Rock Stars by Ronnie Spector

Discover Our Classical Music Section!

Posted by Amoebite, November 13, 2009 03:37pm | Post a Comment

There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.

I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

It’s these interactions that led me to create the following “conversion chart.” While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

al green

IF YOU LOVE:                                              THEN CHECK OUT:


Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2009 07:00am | Post a Comment

                Amp Live feat. Trackademicks & Mr. Micro - Gary is a Robot (OM Records)

Above is the brand new video for the latest release from super-talented Bay Area producer Amp Live, equally known these days for both his membership with Zion I and for his acclaimed Radiohead remix project Rainydayz from last year when he masterfully reworked Thom Yorke & company's In Rainbows LP. The video above is for the single "Gary Is A Robot" (which comes in four other remixed versions) on which Amp is joined by Trackademicks and Mr. Micro. The track is a taste of what is to come on Amp Live's forthcoming solo album project, Murder at the Discotek, which is scheduled to drop on Child's Play/OM in the first quarter of 2010. Stay tuned for details.

Speaking of Bay Area hip-hop talent, hard-working, versatile SF emcee and self-described "make something happen-aire" Sellassie, who last night (Thursday) put it down at the In House Bay Area Talent Sellassie the GreatShowcase at Element, is tonight (Friday 13th) opening for Raekwon at the Independent. Queen YoNasDa and DJ Raw B are also on the bill tonight.  9:00 PM show. Click here for tickets and info

Big Night for Andy Warhol!

Posted by Whitmore, November 12, 2009 10:07pm | Post a Comment

Well somebody out there has money to burn ... shit, crisis what financial crisis? The pathetic and mostly lifeless contemporary art market was suddenly re-animated on Wednesday at Sotheby's New York when a silk-screen painting by Andy Warhol, produced in 1962, sold for a $43.8 million, the second highest price ever for a Warhol piece. (In 2007 his painting, Green car Crash (Green Burning Car 1), sold for a mind blowing $71.7 million.) The amazing thing about all this is that the pre-auction estimate of for the silk-screen was expected to pull in only about $8 - $12 million.
Sotheby's contemporary art auction as a whole sold $222.8 million worth of art, more than doubling the auction house's high estimate of about $98 million in sales.  
The bidding for the piece 200 One Dollar Bills opened at $6 million, but instantly doubled with the very first bid from the floor – those in the biz called it “an unusually aggressive move;” I call it just weird, ego driven conspicuous consumption. Five more bidders joined in the battle before an anonymous buyer won the painting via telephone bid.
Described as a "hugely important work for American art history," its one of Warhol’s earliest silk-screens. The 80¼ x 92¼ inches canvas comprises of 200 $1 bills reproduced in black and gray with a blue treasury seal. The painting's anonymous seller bought the piece back in 1986 for $385,000. Nice profit!


Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2009 12:36pm | Post a Comment
Hans-Joachim Roedelius
Alessandra Celletti
and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of Cluster -- formerly Kluster fame), who in recent times met on MySpace and began working on a collaborative piece titled Sustanza di Cose Sperata [Substance of Things Hoped For] -- which they have so far only performed at a few large European festivals and also recorded for the label Transparency -- will perform together for three exclusive US shows (LA, SF, NYC) next month.

And as you may already be aware, Amoeba Music is the only outlet for tickets to both the San Francisco show (12/3 at Theater 39) and the Los Angeles show (12/5 at Zipper Hall). In advance of these two highly anticipated concerts, the Amoeblog this week caught up with both the Italian based Celletti and the Austrian based Roedelius to talk music. The interview with Celletti, which was published yesterday, can be seen by clicking here. Meanwhile, immediately below the video of the artist in concert at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, CA, is the Amoeblog conversation with the ever-active 75 year old Roedelius, who has long been considered the father of German electronic music as well as one of its most prolific artists, with approximately 150 albums to his credit.


Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 12, 2009 11:52am | Post a Comment


They Might Be Giants free mini concert & Book Signing 11/12!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 11, 2009 06:24pm | Post a Comment

they might be giants

Join They Might Be Giants and The Booksmith for a mini-concert, reading, and signing in celebration of KIDS GO!, a sing-along book/DVD with illustrations by Pascal Campion. Other TMBG CD titles will also be available, provided by Amoeba. Free event! All ages welcome! Thursday, November 12th at 4pm at The Booksmith in San Francisco.

Sonny Smith of Sonny & the Sunsets Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, November 11, 2009 01:57pm | Post a Comment
San Francisco's own Sonny & the Sunsets are releasing an album of confident, cool rock songs that have an easy, loose vibe to them called Tomorrow is Alright on Secret Seven/Soft Abuse Records! [Secret Seven is the same label that put out (with Empty Cellar) The Two Sides of Tim Cohen, and is soon to release The Sandwitches 12"...] It comes out November 17th as a vinyl only, limited release of 500 copies and will be available at Amoeba. The album features a wallop of guest appearances by San Francisco stalwarts Kelley Stoltz, Tim Cohen from The Fresh and Onlys, Tahlia Harbour of The Dry Spells and Heidi Alexander from The Sandwitches, among others. Sonny, whose musical endeavors have taken him through the years from piano bar gigs in Colorado to Marin's Headlands for an artist's retreat, chatted with me about his past, present and future.

MIss Ess: So you grew up here in San Francisco? How did you start playing music? Who helped you get going and what a
rtists influenced you as a kid?

Sonny Smith: I learned when I was a kid. I was given a guitar. Van Halen.

ME: Eventually you moved to Colorado. Whose music were you playing at your piano gigs out there?

SS: I met a woman that played Jackson Browne songs and Eagles songs and stuff like that on flute at a bar for pay. She gave me her gig. That was my first gig. Playing piano instead of her.

ME: What sparked the first song you ever wrote?

SS: I don't know. Lust, probably. Loneliness. One of those, probably.

ME: Was there anything in particular you were aiming to capture with the recording of the

SS: I can't relax.

ME: How was your artist's residency in The Headlands? What was it like to have nothing to do but create? Was it freeing? Paralyzing?

SS: Well, it's a very amazing place. Very inspiring. Can you imagine living like that all the time?

ME: I would love to live like that! The Headlands have been an extremely special place to me since I was very, very small. Sounds like this album has been cooking for a while, and even though it has just been released, have you already written more new songs for your next album?

SS: Yes, lots of stuff being made all the time. Only some of it gets heard by others.

ME: Who makes up your band currently when you play gigs?

SS: Ryan Browne, Tahlia Harbour, Kelley Stoltz and me.

ME: What musician inspires you the most?

SS: The minute I hear something good I am kinda inspired.

ME: How do you feel about the music scene in the Bay Area currently? Any particular favorite local band, aside from your own?

SS: I don't know about the music scene. I'm out of it. I stay in. I only go out to play. It looks good from where I'm standing. What do I know? I don't know anything. The Sandwitches are good.

ME: What have you been listening to lately?

SS: I was liking Donovan Quinn and the 13th Month lately. I had it in my car for a while.

ME: What is your most treasured piece of musical gear?

SS: My guitar.

ME: What's next for you? Tour?

SS: I am in Alaska on tour doing this e-mail from a internet cafe. $2 per 15 minutes. Thank you.

ME: Thanks for your (apparently expensive!) time.

November 11th, 1918, Armistice Day

Posted by Whitmore, November 11, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment
The War to End All Wars. Though in 20 years time the Second World War would begin and the 78 million casualties would more than double the amount of World War One.
The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 38 million: 16 million deaths and 22 million wounded (7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured).
Of the 60 million European soldiers who were mobilized from 1914 – 1918, the official number of deaths was 9,721,937 with 21,228,813 wounded personnel; that is over half the military population. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies -- United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and the United States) lost 5.7 million soldiers and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) about 4 million. Civilian deaths officially totaled 6,821,248, though many estimates double that number.
Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria–Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%. About 750,000 German civilians died from starvation brought on by the British blockade during the war. In 1914 alone, the typhus epidemic killed 200,000 in Serbia and a few years later more than 3 million more would die in Russia. By 1918, famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon. In addition, the biggest influenza pandemic of the century, the Spanish flu, spread around the world killing at least 50 million to as many as 100 million people. Though the war was not the cause of the flu, it certainly hastened the pandemic (the first cases were found at the army base, Fort Riley, Kansas). With massive troop movements, close quarters and poor sanitary conditions, some researchers speculate that the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment as well as the stress of combat and attacks from chemical weapons, increasing their vulnerability to the flu, widening the spread of the disease.
Battles of Arras, Somme, Verdun, Soissons, Ypres, Liege, Lorraine, Belleau Wood, Antwerp, St. Quentin, Fromelles, Artois, Bazentin Ridge, Gallipoli, Ctesiphon, Dujaila, Asiago, Caporetto, Mount Ortigara, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Galicia, Komarów, Kraśnik, Gumbinnen, Łódź, Przemyśl, Rawa, Tannenberg, Vistula River, Kajmakcalan, Kosovo, Bucharest, Cer, Kolubara, Mărăşeşti, Turtucaia, Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, Saint-Mihiel, Passchendaele, Mont Sorrel, Messines, Marne, Le Cateau, Loos, Guillemont, Fromelles, Charleroi, Gaza, Romani, Hanna, Kut, Champagne, Broodseinde, Amiens, Aisne, Kisaki, Erzincan, Manzikert, Sardarapat, Sarikamish...
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.


Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2009 10:37am | Post a Comment

As you probably already know if you've stopped into one of the Amoeba Music stores recently or perhaps you discovered from reading elsewhere on this website, the Euro musical tour de force duo of Italian classical pianist Alessandra Celletti and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of the electronic/experimental group Cluster) will be coming to America next month to do three select exclusive US performances in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. And as you probably also know by now, advance tickets for both the LA and SF shows are available exclusively at the three Amoeba Music locations, and are reasonably priced too, at just $20 a ticket (plus a $2 service fcellettiee). The Bay Area concert takes place December 3rd at San Francisco’s Theatre 39 -- Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the SoCal concert is on December 5th at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles (200 S. Grand Ave next to MOCA). The final concert takes place on Saturday, December 12th at Saint Peter's Church, at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 54th Street in NYC. Other Music is selling tix for that show.

Above is an Italian TV news report from earlier this year on the musical pair with an excerpt from a performance from last year's Primitivo Festival. And below is a clip of Celletti solo interpreting Philip Glass' Metamorphosis in concert last year. Also below is the video for the song "100 Dreams" from Way Out which again showcases Celletti's vocal talents. And immediately below that is the Amoeblog interview with Celletti in which she talks about her inspiration, her music being adapted for film soundtracks, her new hardcover book/DVD set that is being released in tandem with the U.S. concerts, and the colors that will be brought to life at next month's anticipated US concert dates.

Exene Cervenka Captivates Berkeley Crowd

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 10, 2009 02:34pm | Post a Comment
exene cervenka

Exene Cervenka
, the legendary singer of X, performed at Amoeba Berkeley this past Saturday in support of her new solo record Somewhere Gone (out now on Bloodshot Records)! While the instrumentation of her latest LP is closer to that of her other X side project, The Knitters, the melodies and darker lyrical content still shine through on the new folksy record. Somewhere Gone features the late Amy Farris on strings as well as Cindy Wasserman and David Carpenter, from the band Dead Rock West on backing vocals and bass, respectively. The album also features a cameo from Flat Duo Jets' Dexter Romwebber, though Wasserman and Carpenter were only transfers from the record to the live performance.

exene cervenka

Exene and her band played a 45 minute set of songs, mainly from the new album, though they did sprinkle in some unrecorded material throughout. Unlike solo sets from Frank Black or Paul McCartney, there were no rearranged X songs. Rather, the in-store focused on the material Exene had written over the past 4 years while living in rural Missouri.
exene cervenka somewhere gone
Also while in Missouri, Exene has focused on her visual art, which has been showcased recently in galleries in Southern California, where she now resides. The album cover for Somewhere Gone is one example of the collage style art that Exene produces.


Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2009 11:05am | Post a Comment
The Apple iPod turns the big 8 today. On the morning of November 10th, 2001, Apple first began selling its original version of the iPod MP3 music player. Pictured left, that original iPod sold for $399 + tax, and was marketed as an "Ultra-Portable MP3 Music Player" that "puts 1,000 Songs in Your Pocket."

Up to that point there had been many types/brands of MP3 players around (I knew a lot of folks who favored using their MiniDiscs as MP3 players) but no company had streamlined and made an MP3 player as user friendly as Apple did with the iPod. In 2001 it came with a 5GB hard drive, coupled with the first scrolling wheel and interface on an MP3 player.

Of course, in retrospect, compared to the variety of models of iPods and other MP3 players available to us today, this prototype iPod seems both bulky and pricey in contrast. Such is the way in this fast paced, ever-changing digital age. But what is most significant about the iPod is that in eight short years, it has not only changed the fortunes of the company that manufactures it (just as Apple's next big hit, the iPhone -- almost at 45 million in unit sales -- has similarly done), but it also has altered how the world listens to and consumes music.

Immediately before its commercial release back in late 2001, the iPod was being billed as the coming "Next Generation Player" and boy, that could not have been closer to the truth, since it literally signaled the generation of music consumers to come. The iPod was largely instrumental in changing everything to do with music; from listening to it, to buying or acquiring it, to selling, sharing, & storing music, etc, from that point on. In fact, in the music business that date, November 10th, 2001, could well be considered the watershed moment that divides two eras: BiP/AiP (Before iPod and After iPod).

Happy 40th birthday Sesame Street!

Posted by Whitmore, November 10, 2009 10:40am | Post a Comment
There have been 4212 episodes.
The letter E has been featured 150 times.
There are 6 steps on the stoop at 123 Sesame Street.
There are an estimated 100,000 different Sesame Street products sold world wide.
There are 368 bottle caps are in Bert’s collection.
Over 440 celebrities have appeared on the show.
Jim Henson Company has built over 5000 puppets for the show.
Big Bird is 8 ft 2 in. tall; he’s been played since episode 1 by Caroll Spinney, age 75; he also does Oscar. The costume is made up of nearly 6,000 feathers.
Big Bird is perpetually 6 years old. 
The original 7 characters: Big Bird, Oscar, Kermit, Grover, Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster. 
Elmo is years old. He’s been on the show for 25 years.
2 days before its premiere, a 30-minute preview entitled This Way to Sesame Street was shown on NBC. The show was financed by a $50,000 grant from Xerox.
For its debut Sesame Street reached only 67.6% of the nation, but earned a 3.3 Nielsen rating, or 1.9 million households.
By 1979, 9 million American children under the age of 6 were watching Sesame Street daily. 4 out of 5 children had watched it over a 6-week period, and 90% of children from low-income inner-city homes regularly viewed the show.
There are 20 international independent versions and is broadcast in over 140 countries.
Sesame Street has won 122 Emmy awards, the most ever for 1 show. 
All the Muppets have 4 fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has 5.
Sesame Street has 2 stars on Hollywood blvd 1 for Jim Henson, 1 for Big Bird.
“Rubber Duckie,” sung by the Muppet character Ernie (voiced by Jim Henson), reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970.
4 First Ladies have appeared on Sesame Street: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
Today’s anniversary show will feature H, the 8th letter of the alphabet, and the number 40.

Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 9, 2009 09:18am | Post a Comment

When Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance originally came out in 1983, I was not aware of all the Chicano bands that were popping up all over my back yard. Sure, I knew about the groups that came out in the seventies such as Tierra, El Chicano and Malo because oldies radio had been playing them for years. The only thing that I listened to at the time that was similar to The Eastside Renaissance was Los Lobos’ now classic …And A Time To Dance. Although groundbreaking in many ways, Los Lobos’ music was rooted in Traditional Mexican music and Americana. It was the kind of music that could be easily digested by the readers of Rolling Stone as being adventurous. However, to a fifteen-year getting into punk…not so much.

A few years later, thanks to the Alex Cox’ underground classic film Repo Man, a whole new world was opened to me. The soundtrack to Repo Man contained punk groups I dug at the time such as Fear, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies and The Circle Jerks, not to mention Iggy Pop performing the theme song. However it was The Plugz on the soundtrack that really knocked me out. It was Punk En Español and it had a sound all of its own. The songs “El Clavo En La Cruz” and their Spanish version of "Secret Agent Man (Hombre Secreto)" made it in every mix tape that I made during those years. Most of my friends that were into punk rock at the time didn’t get my fascination with The Plugz. They could never understand how excited I was that there was this band that were Mexicanos that sang in both Spanish and English.

The Eastside Renaissance was released on the Rhino Records offshoot label Zyanya. It was a joint venture between Ruben Guevara and Rhino president Richard Foos. Ruben was the former lead singer of the band Ruben and the Jets, a soulful rock band out of East L.A. who took their name from the Frank Zappa album of the same name. Frank Zappa produced their debut album as well. Zyanya released History of Latino Rock - Eastside Sound, Vol. 1: 1956-1965 and aBest of Thee Midniters compilation, capturing the sound of East L.A.’s past. After the release of the two compilations, Ruben suggested to Richard that they should release an album of current East L.A. groups. Ruben got support from The Brat and The Plugz to add a few previous released tracks. The Odd Squad and Felix and the Katz were suggested to Ruben by other artists involved with the project and Ruben produced a few of the other groups as well, such as The Royal Gents, Los Perros, Califas, as well Ruben's own group, Con Safos. Not all the music was punk or new wave. The Royal Gents was a Latin Funk group out of Pomona. Los Perros were a folkloric group and the groups Mestizo and Califas were a fusion of Mexican folkloric, Salsa, Rock and R&B, much like groups like Quetzal and La Santa Cecilia are today.

The press for the compilation was more than the label expected. Eastside Renaissance got rave reviews from Village Voice, The Boston Phoenix and The L.A. Times. The three compilations that Zyanya released in 1983 were reminders to the rest of the world that there was more to Chicano music than just Ritchie Valens. The cover art also captures a time and place. It’s picture of a mural done by the artists Gronk and Willie Herron of ASCO fame, with old school gang graffiti lettering surrounding the photo, done by Ruben himself. There are pictures in the back of all the artists involved looking so young and fierce. Some I recognize as people that are still active in the scene today. Some of the people in the photos turned out to be crooks and some turned out to be mentors. As you can tell, it’s not just a record for me; it is a piece of history…East Los Angeles Chicano history.

For some reason, Eastside Renaissance always seemed to escape me. I could never find a copy. Eventually it became out of print. I looked everywhere for it. I even went as far as asking Ruben Guevara himself if he had any extras copies. (He didn’t.) Friends would always come up on the record, usually finding it at a discount store somewhere. Recently I heard the crew at Mas Exitos bust out the song “C/S” by Con Safos during one of their deejay sets, I spoke to one of the Mas Exitos deejays, Ganas, about how cool the song is and how I have been looking for that album for years. I think he told me Chico Sonido found it a few days before, misfiled in the Soul music section at Amoeba. Damn, right under my nose! I was crushed to say the least when he told me that.

There is a customer named Roberto that I have befriended since I started working at Amoeba. He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Most people wouldn’t know it. He is an academic but does not play the role. He is very unassuming. Roberto is from El Salvador and with Los Angeles' ever-growing immigrant population, he blends in with the crowd. He is the type of person that you can talk to about art, politics, world events and especially music. I have to say I received a mini-education talking to him over the last five years. I try my best to enlighten him with new music, but he usually has me beat by years. One day I ran into him while having lunch. We sat for the duration of my lunch hour talking about East L.A. history and the music. One of the subjects we spoke about was our love for the Eastside Renaissance compilation. He knew the songs well and the history behind it. He had the album. I told him about my trials and tribulations of trying to get a copy. Then we talked about other East L.A. records. It was a cool conversation. After lunch we went our separate ways and I didn’t think much more of it.

A few weeks later Roberto came to the store. He told me that he came upon some great LPs, one of them being Los Angelenos and wanted to know if I would be interested in having it! For some reason, I thought he was talking about a prog rock group with a similar name. At first I told him no because I was a little out of it at the time, but he insisted that I check out the LP. On my break I went with him to the security desk, where he had his bag stored. He pulled out a sealed copy of Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance. He told me that a woman sold him a bunch of records and the album was in the pile. He remembered that I really wanted the LP, so he came by the store and gave it to me. It was finally in my hands, thanks to this awesome person. I couldn’t stop thanking him.

Many people I know have given up on the record store concept. Certainly, most record labels have, choosing to release albums far in advance on download sites before offering it to retail…if at all. Blog sites will upload out of print albums for downloading for free. You can find The Eastside Renaissance on many blog sites. I’m not one of those purests that feels that it's any less of a find if you find a rare album on the internet versus digging through every record store in the country. Still, I can’t help that the people who download music miss out on the human interaction of digging. Just from trying to find this one album, I got history. Not just of the album, but the stories that came from each person that the Eastside Renaissance album has influenced. From the person who helped put it together to the deejays that are reintroducing it to a new audience to a man who grew up 2300 miles away from East Los Angeles who loved it as much as I and helped me find this classic East Los gem…and that’s something you’ll never get from any download site.

Zyanya is pronounced “Zaan-ya,” like you would pronounce “Fania,” and means “always” in Nahuatl.
The Plugz were from the South Bay…Wilmington, Ca, to be exact, and not from East L.A.,

November 8, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2009 11:41pm | Post a Comment

Horror, The Universal Language 3: Identity in Seconds (1966) & Face of Another (1966)

Posted by Charles Reece, November 8, 2009 10:15pm | Post a Comment

Thinking? At last I have discovered it -- thought; this alone is inseparable from me. I am, I exist -- that is certain. But for how long? For as long as I am thinking. For it could be that were I totally to cease from thinking, I should totally cease to exist. -- René Descartes' res cogitans from "Second Meditation" of Meditations on First Philosophy

In hindsight, who could've been more perfect to play the bought face in John Frankenheimer's Seconds than the most infamous of closeted actors, Rock Hudson? Irrespective of his own intrinsic make-up, Rock's bread-and-butter came from being sold as the perfect masculine physiognomy to wannabe-Doris Day housewives everywhere. As such, this film might be considered the actor's ontological biography. Here he plays the new body bought by an aging businessman who's tired of his family and life. Along with the new body comes a new social identity, that of an artist. Sounds pretty good, right? Unfortunately, Rock can't forget who he was/is, and when he discovers that the community he now lives in is a group of commodified identities like himself, the horror is manifested. He's the Cartesian cogito lost in a world of pure doubt, where everything is mere appearance and nothing is real, but (here's the clincher) he still has his memories. Not being able to forget the past keeps him from being able to commit to the manufactured fantasy. Consider the way such a realization can screw up sex:

This 'imagined part' becomes visible in an unpleasant experience known to most of us: in the middle of the most intense sexual act, it is possible for us all of a sudden to 'disconnect' -- all of a sudden, a question can emerge: 'What am I doing here, sweating and repeating these stupid gestures?'; pleasure can shift into disgust or into a strange feeling of distance. The key point is that, in this violent upheaval, nothing changed in reality: what caused the shift was merely the change in the other's position with regard to our phantasmic frame. -- Slavoj Žižek, "Love Thy Neighbor? No, Thanks!"

Hiroshi Teshigahara's Face of Another is even more explicit in the horror that comes when a grounding fantasy is realized as such. In a spin on Plato's invisible man fable, Mr. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) is given a realistic mask after having his face melted in a chemical explosion. The mask is modeled on another man's face, behaves like a regular face, but can be removed. The doctor who invented the mask warns Okuyama that its continued use might distance him from his self, diminishing the sense of moral responsibility (just like invisibility). His "true" face remains hidden under bandages until he applies the new one. The real misery begins when Okuyama tests his wife's fidelity to that old adage of loving one for what's on the inside. As you might expect, grotesque disfigurement wasn't doing much for his sex life, particularly given his constant depressing whine. His wife tries to be supportive, but he's not having it. Instead, he puts on the mask and seduces her as "another man." When he confronts her, she claims to have known it was him all along. But even if she's telling the truth, does it make his realization any less horrific? It suggests (going with Žižek) that she's always been making love to a fantasy based on appearances (his old face was a mask, too), rather than the internal qualities he believes to constitute his core being. He feels (quite rightly, it seems) reduced to another's "phantasmic frame." Clearly, something needs to be violently repressed; what or who will it be? To misquote Sartre, hell is intersubjectivity.

Face of Another is available as part of Criterion's boxset for Teshigahara, along with 2 other uplifting tales from scenarist and novelist Kôbô Abe, Pitfall and Woman in The Dunes. Seconds is unfortunately out of print (in the U.S., at least), but it ain't too hard to find.

Next up, freedom versus conformity.

Part 1
Part 2

Classical Music Sale: I. Allegro non troppo

Posted by Job O Brother, November 8, 2009 03:12pm | Post a Comment

You... shook me aaaallll night long!

Far more people want to shop the Classical Music section than do. This is because many customers, while having heard classical music and enjoyed it, do not know how to differentiate one album from another. No one wants to look like an ignorant buffoon (except your best friend in 7th grade who you’ve long since lost contact with anyhow), so the idea of browsing aisles of classical music without knowing the difference between a chamber piece or a chamber pot (which is a good thing to know, FYI) is enough to send you scurrying back to the latest post-punk, freak-folk, R&B roots-influenced release from [insert hot young band here].

Well, my fragile little reader, relax. I am here to help. I’m going to teach you some basics – enough to allow you to shop without feeling like you’re Sissy Spacek in the opening shower scene of Carrie.

"I don't know what counterpoint means!!!"

Incidentally, if you’re already educated in classical music, this blog entry isn’t for you. This is for the layman, the curious, the uninitiated. I’m going to be simplifying things and skipping stuff. My main goal is to get people started, and I don’t need you freaking them out with long-winded diatribes about how Stokowski’s transcriptions of Mussorgsky’s works are a bastardization that perverts their core, ethnic vitality in lieu of Westernized concepts of melodic accessibility. [And here’s where I snap my fingers and weave my head back ‘n’ forth like Jackée on 227.]

So, without further ado, here's some basic terminology:

Symphony vs. Concerto vs. Chamber, etc…

A symphony can be two things: A group of professional musicians, such as the Astoria Symphony or the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra or the Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán. In this instance, the term “symphony” is synonymous with the term “orchestra.”

But most often, when used on its own, the word symphony denotes a piece of music that is written for a full orchestra. Remember: a symphony is played by a symphony – that’ll be a helpful hint soon.

What constitutes a “full orchestra?" About 100 people who can barely pay their rent! [drum roll] But seriously, a full orchestra is what you think of when you imagine classical music being performed live – a large group of men and women in tuxedos and evening gowns, organized into plots of instruments. When you were forced to go see The Nutcracker as a child, it was a full orchestra that played the music.

Sometimes, certain pieces call for a similar variety of musicians, but much fewer of them, say, about 50 musicians, or even less. We usually call these chamber orchestras. Still a lot of people involved, but not quite as awesome a mass as a full orchestra.

On the other end of the population spectrum we have chamber works. These are compositions meant to be played by small groups of musicians. Here’s a good way to remember: In many European countries, a bedroom is called a chamber, so think of chamber works as being played by a group of people small enough to comfortably fit in a bedroom.

A duo (played by two people), a trio (played by three), a quartet (four), quintet (five), sextet (heh heh… I said sex), septet (seven), and octet (eight) all constitute chamber works. Even more musicians are possible, but the bulk of chamber compositions will use one of the above amounts of peeps.

There’s also solo pieces, that is, works written for a single musician. These aren’t usually referred to as chamber pieces, even though they meet the above criterion. I’m not sure why. I could find out, but that would require doing some research, and I wanna hurry up and finish this so I can go back to knitting myself a new spatula.

Think how awesome this would look in Angora!

“What’s a concerto?!” you scream suddenly at the top of your lungs. Well, if you wanna sit down and use your inside voice, I’ll tell you…

A concerto is a piece of music written for a full orchestra but showcases a particular instrument. Therefore, if something is called a cello concerto, it means the music will be played by that huge group of musicians, but they’ll often take the background while a cello player shows off.

Think of it like Twisted Sister. The group consists of a bunch of dudes, all rockin’, but then Dee Snider takes center-stage and, while he depends on everyone else to make the music work, he becomes the focal point – the star. It’s like that.


So, if you’re looking for something with a big sound – something that will really fill your room and set the atmosphere, a symphony is a good way to go. And if you really like a particular instrument, like the flute, you might try out a flute concerto.

But if you want something easy to read to, or play during dinner parties, a chamber work is a more likely choice. Again, you can seek out chamber works for flute if that’s the instrument you’re gay for.

We’re just barely scratching the surface here, but knowing the above information is going to help a lot when shopping the Classical Section at Amoeba Music, as many albums are categorized using the above terms.

That’s all for this entry, with a promise of more to come. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cookware to craft…

Carl Ballantine 1917 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, November 8, 2009 12:35pm | Post a Comment

The comically inept magician known as The Amazing Ballantine or The Great Ballantine or the perfectly over the top moniker, Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician, has died. The truly amazing Carl Ballantine, the comedian and character actor who is perhaps best known for his role of Lester Gruber, the confident con artist in McHale's Navy, was 92.

He died in his sleep this past week at his home in the Hollywood. I used to see him around the neighborhood all the time, usually at the post office or the grocery store. In a town jammed with celebrity sightings, it was only a Carl Ballantine sighting that would elicit an email or a phone call from several friends of mine.

Born Meyer Kessler in Chicago on September 27, 1917, he started performing magic tricks as a 9 year old, tricks learned from a local barber. By the time he was a teenager he was successful enough as a magician that he supported his family. When he felt a slight change in his magic career was needed, he renamed himself; 'Ballantine' came from an advertisement he saw for Ballantine whisky. One night when a magic trick failed miserably and he threw out a couple of one-liners to cover the error, the Amazing Ballantine was born. His career spanned vaudeville, film, television, Vegas and Broadway. Since the early 1940s, Ballantine always performed in a top hat, white tie and tails, his reason: “If the act dies, I'm dressed for it.”

In 1956 Ballantine was the first magician to play Las Vegas, appearing on a bill at the El Rancho Vegas Casino with Harry James, Betty Grable and Sammy Davis Jr. To promote the show, he rode a horse down the Las Vegas strip.

Ballantine appeared in a number of films, including The Shakiest Gun in the West, (1968), The World’s Greatest Lover (1977), Mr. Saturday Night (1992), and Speedway (1968) starring Elvis Presley, who offered Ballantine a Cadillac. His wife, comedian Ceil Cabot (who died in 2000 after 45 years of marriage), wouldn’t allow him to accept it. His most recent film appearance was in the biopic, Aimee Semple McPherson (2006).

Besides McHale's Navy (1962-66) starring Ernest Borginine, Ballantine was a regular cast member on the 1969 sitcom The Queen and I and 1980's One in a Million. He made dozens of guest appearances on a variety of variety shows and series like the Andy Williams, Danny Kaye and Dean Martin shows, as well as The Hollywood Palace and The Tonight Show. Often appearing as a magician, he guest starred on Fantasy Island as the Great Zachariah, on Night Court as the Fabulous Falconi and on The Cosby Show as the one and only Great Ballantine. Ballantine also appeared on Broadway in the 1971 in the revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum with Phil Silvers.

In 2007, Steve Martin presented Carl Ballantine with the Lifetime Achievement Fellowship from the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Late last year Ballantine performed his act for the final time at the It's Magic  show at the Kodak Theatre.

According to his daughter, Saratoga, Ballantine wanted his ashes scattered over Santa Anita racetrack. Obviously the man loved the ponies. Saratoga was named after the famous racetrack in New York, her sister Molly's middle name is Caliente, named after the legendary track in Tijuana.

Ballantine is survived by his sister, Esther Robinson, and his daughters. Rest in peace, Carl.

November 6, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 6, 2009 11:11pm | Post a Comment

Gift of Gab Drops Escape 2 Mars

Posted by Smiles Davis, November 6, 2009 04:42pm | Post a Comment

While at Zanzibar in Santa Monica for Afro Funke’ last night I overheard a partygoer compliment the host of the evening for his mic swag: “He’s got the gift of gab!” What a genius way to describe someone's oratory skills. Coincidently enough, just a few hours earlier, Blackalicious rapper and Quannum Projects member Gift of Gab performed on The Amoeba Hollywood stage. Blackalicious, a duo comprised of Gab and DJ/Producer Cheif Xcel, found a nice comfy position in the heart of underground hip-hop and has remained there since its inception in 1992. Quannum Projects is a hip-hop collective/ independent record label out of the San Francisco Bay Area comprised of DJs and Mcs. Ever heard of DJ Shadow or Lyrics Born? They’re some of the more notable members of the small unified group. Gift of Gab, although very much still a part of the duo, has been doing solo projects and collaborations with other hip-hop heavies like Lateef The Truth Speaker and Grouch and Eligh since 2004. Last night's zealous show was mind-blowing yet short lived, and nonetheless enjoyable.

Gift of Gab opened up his set with “A-G,” a Blackalicious classic. DNA Beats shared the stage, serving as his DJ. An eclectic mix of enthusiastic die-hard fans—young and old—Amoeba shoppers and employees gathered in between aisles to enjoy the spectacle. The show didn’t last any more than half an hour, but still I left with that adequate feeling of utter satisfaction. No gimmicky stage show with flashing lights galore and all things glitter necessary; this brilliant MC commands the stage with just his voice, as do most of the acts who are privileged enough to grace the Amoeba stage. Then again, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? His rapid-fire delivery is really what’s most impressive. He’s Speedy Gonzales on the mic. Gab spits out more lyrics in one 8-bar than the sun produces solar power energy per hour. Not just any old meaningless bundle of words, Allmusic best describes his prolific style as “jam-packed with internal rhymes, allusions, metaphors, ten-cent words, and amazing tongue-twisting feats of skill.” Couldn’t have put it any better had my life depended on it.

Gift of Gab has patiently waited 5 years to drop his second full-length solo album. Along with bringing the heat, Gab is sticking to his roots and laying down the groundwork for undeniable relevance. "People are gonna think this is about Martians, but it's not," Gab explains. "It's more so about taking care of the planet we're on. We might have to escape to Mars or somewhere else if we keep taking the planet we live on for granted. I'm not trying to preach to anyone," he persists. "I just think it's important for us to raise the level of consciousness and consideration of these things." If only we could get the Lady Gagas of the world to take note.

Cornerstone Recording Arts Society, —the same label that put out Rootbeer's debut album Pink Limousine— released Escape 2 Mars November 3, 2009 on CD, vinyl and worldwide digital download. Already I’ve been bumping the first single from the album, "El Gifto Magnifico," which was released a few months back. Gab performed a dope track from the album last night he said was produced by turntablist, former member of both funk group Ozomatli and of legendary hip-hop group Jurassic 5, the one and only Cut Chemist. Speaking of Jurassic 5, I recently had the pleasure of opening up Soup and Marc 7 who've brilliantly formed a new group called Portable Payback, definitely worth checking out. Love to share, back to Gab. Featured on another track, “Dreamin’” are iconic MCs Del The Funky Homosapien and Brother Ali. Quite the heated line up. Will definitely have the CD plugged into heavy rotation for the next couple of weeks. For more pics from the instore, go here. 'Till next time...chew the corners off!


The Employee Interview Pt XXIII: Tom Lynch

Posted by Miss Ess, November 6, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment
Tom Lynch
12 Years Employment
Buyer Extraordinaire

Miss Ess: How did you end up at Amoeba?

Tom Lynch: I was working at Car City Records in Detroit, my co-worker, Geoff Walker, had just come back from his vacation to the Bay Area and told me about Amoeba opening in SF and looking for used LP buyers. Geoff had applied on a whim, got interviewed, and offered the job. Geoff came back , decided to go to grad school, declined the offer, and told me that I should give it a go. I was up for a change, not to mention I had just been in a  wreck and had no more van and had no money to buy another one. So fate really forced my hand. I've always felt that they never really got over Geoff turning them down.  

ME: What is the best live show you have ever seen?

TL: Being one of three people in the audience as The Replacements ripped through their set at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, July 1983. Everyone else was in the bar below the club watching Siouxsie & the Banshees videos. My pal John Maxwell & I and this weird short guy were the only people watching them -- they were opening for R.E.M. -- and this short guy was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, doing these sliding dance moves and was yelling at the 'Mat's to get off the stage. They were blazing hot; when nobody was looking they would crush you with their ferocity. They just laughed at him, threw lit cigarettes at him.

Tommy was fifteen and had this blonde Sid Vicious sort of hair style, baggy black pants and a grubby white t-shirt; he was jumping higher then the mike stand, he looked terrific. When the sawed off cowboy walked up to the edge of the stage and said, "Look, nobody wants to see you guys, get off the stage," Paul leaned forward and yelled, "Well, we hope you like this one!" and then blew out "God Damn Job." It was brutal!

They finished, and the 'Mats slunked across the floor to the dressing room and John & I stopped Paul and said they were great... "Aw, thanks, wanna come back and a have some beers?" So, we walked past the guy who let me in on the condition that I don't drink (I wasn't eighteen yet. This was back when you could still blag your way in to shows) to have beers with the mighty Replacements. R.E.M. was back there, but they weren't talking to the 'Mats, it was kind of tense. It was toward the end of the tour they did together, and I think the 'Mats may have been more than what the boys from Athens, GA had bargained for.

That whole summer was the best, 1983 -- knowing I was never going back to public education, a vague commitment to junior college, and descending into a world of record stores, punk rock shows, writing fanzines, buying a second hand bass, thrift stores, midnight movies, and meeting crazy people.

I've been lucky to have seen some great performers live. Seeing Chuck Berry the night before the first day of high school was classic: my pal Kirby Cobb and I snuck into the venue across the boulevard from his house, and Chuck had invited everybody to dance on stage with him, which is all we needed.

First time I saw The Clash was hair raising; it was like watching an atom being split, they were just going off in every direction! The Ramones and X were like getting flattened by a locomotive, incredible. First time seeing Dylan, from the third row, was memorable. Opening for The Wipers on their last tour in 1989 in Ann Arbor was a fun job. Greg Sage told us we were one of the better bands opening for the Wipers and I thought, "Jeepers, poor guy, he's been paired with real crap, because WE stink!" The Jacobites, never thought I'd get to see them, Patti Smith, Johnny [& June] Cash, Alice Coltrane w/ son Ravi, Roy Haynes & Charlie Haden.

I saw Ravi Shankar & daughter Anoushka last Thursday and it was fantastic. First shows I ever saw in San Francisco, before I moved here, two bands from Japan, Muddy Frankenstein and Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, were at the Purple Onion for two nights and it was a lot of fun. Pre-sold me on the possibilities of living here. And there's all the great bands in Detroit I saw over a fifteen year period... too much, too many to go on about in this space. The all night jazz jam sessions at Bert's Place in Eastern market on Russell Street were just five bucks to get in at eleven PM, and these young guys would play until way past dawn! And the fried catfish with corn bread and beans was dynamite!  

ME: If you could go back in time and see an artist or band who is now gone perform live, who would it be and why?

TL: Just one?!

Harlan Leonard & His Rockets were the band everybody in Kansas City was running off to see when they had a break in their set or had the night off. This was in the late thirties through the mid forties. If everyone in the Basie band was hauling ass to see Harlan Leonard & His Rockets, it must have been a pretty good show. I have most of Harlan's recordings, and there's not that many unlike Mr.'s Basie or Ellington, but they're great. For a "swing orchestra" Leonard's group was, maybe, a little bit ahead of the curve. Fast, slick arrangements, paired down, but losing none of the feel. Almost pointing the way to bop. Hey, I'm not Orin Keepnews, I ain't got it to explain the technicalities, but I would have loved to have seen Harlan Leonard & His Rockets.. 
ME: What has been your best personal encounter with a band or artist?

TL: [I was] eating a sandwich off Screamin' Jay Hawkins' deli tray in his dressing room while he signed the back of my denim jacket and I heard my pal Tracy Fogle shout out, "Screamin' Jay, what was the greatest moment of your life?," and Screamin' Jay replied, "The greatest moment of my life was when I discovered the fur burger!"

That was a great night. My friend Laura Lee got us fantastically high and my pal Steve Stimmell and I tried to start up the bulldozer across the way from the club Screamin' Jay had played at, The Soup Kitchen Saloon on Orleans Street in Detroit. The Soup Kitchen was the oldest bar in Detroit, a rambling place that had a bar and dining area (the Creole smothered chicken was my favorite, but just about everything was good there) and a performance room with a low stage. Sunday nights [they had] an open mike night, and the rest of the week live shows. Regional and national players all the time. We used to go see Lazy Lester there (he split his time in Detroit & down south), Nappy Brown, Rufus Thomas, H-Bomb Ferguson. There were some great blues clubs in Detroit, but The Soup Kitchen really was the home for the blues in Detroit. The Soup Kitchen got bought up by some fly by night developer in 1999, who was gonna put a casino on the spot. So they knocked down The Soup Kitchen, and the big plans fell through, and now there's just another vacant lot in a city that has plenty of vacant lots. I was able to go and visit one last time, just for drinks with a friend, Liz Copeland. A crying shame.     

ME: What initially got you into music when you were a kid?   

TL: I liked how music made me feel. I didn't start walking, I started off running. According to my mother, whenever the Kent cigarette commercial came on television, I just ran to the set to dance along with the jingle because I loved the tune so much. Sixties television: there was far more music on TV then there is now, and a wide variety. I loved the country music programs that were on at the time as well as the variety shows where you would see everyone from Pearl Bailey to Paul Revere & the Raiders. Ed Sullivan was great for that, and I recall the "Hello Goodbye" video the Beatles had done for Ed. The Johnny Cash Show was my personal favorite.

When The Monkees went into syndication in '70, I flipped! That's when I knew I would have to be in a band. I still listen to them and whenever I hear certain songs, it's 1970 again. The Monkees still do not get enough credit for being a great pop group. Then, there was A Hard Day's Night and Help on the afternoon movie show.

AM radio was also so amazing, and I was fortunate to grow up with the Mighty CKLW AM 80 across the river in Windsor, Ontario. They were known as the Blackest White station and the Whitest Black Station. They broke Kiss & Elton John to the black audience and Parliament and Isaac Hayes to the white audience. Bob Seger wrote the song "Rosa Lee" in tribute to CKLW's program director, Rosa Lee Trombley, a single mom who went from switch board operator to picking the songs that would build careers and blow your mind! WKNR 13 AM was also a huge influence, similar format, but leaned a little more on the bubble gum/teen sound, and it was bliss. WJR 76 AM had great morning shows, [but] was more for grown ups; the hosts were polished, but hilarious. The legendary JP McCarthy had the main drive time hours, then Jimmy Launce who, once a year celebrated "Hortence Waffle Day," a day where Jimmy's entire show was him reading strange names from the phone book and other public records, all the while playing "Pomp & Circumstance" in the background! Late at night was The Mike Worf Show, a mix of instrumental selections and spoken word done by Mr. Worf. Imagine if Rod Serling had a music show and you get the picture. After that was the Gene Elsey Show, his theme being "Flight Time" by trumpeter Donald Byrd, which sounded great with the headphones on. Radio was a huge influence on taking in music; it was always a surprise and there was real magic to it.   

ME: What kind of music did your parents play around the house when you were growing up? What impact did this have on you?

TL: Mom listened to classical music and Joan Baez. Mozart, Bach, and all the big composers. I liked most all of it, especially Porkofieff's Peter and the Wolf, but I never gained a strong affinity for classical until recently. It didn't help that I was stuck for years in concert band and hated it.

My dad was far more influential. His sound was Sinatra, Nat Cole, and all the big bands of his teenage years in the forties. He was crazy about the clarinet and Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. My dad worked in the rail yards in Omaha, Nebraska during the early to mid forties when he was in high school, living in a boarding house on his own. So he was eating in diners & lunch rooms that had 78 juke boxes that were filled with lots of proto R&B records and they became ingrained in his psyche. Wynonie Harris was from Omaha, so that jump blues sound was all over the area. When I was a lad, he used to sing all these nutty songs I thought he had made up: "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," "Open The Door Richard," "Cement Mixer," "If You So Smart How Come You Ain't Rich"-- this was my dad's patois with us kids, and it confused the hell out of me! Then, when I discovered Louis Jordan, Jack McVea, Slim Gaillard and more, I had a greater admiration for the old man, pretty good taste in jump blues!      

I have to say, no one in my family had or has any appreciation for country music -- no one except me. I heard my paternal grandmother had a fondness for the honky tonk sound, but I never met her. Maybe I got it from her? 

ME: I know music from Detroit and Michigan is particularly special to you. What are your favorite artists from your hometown area?

TL: Matt Smith writes some of the best pop in the world. His band Outrageous Cherry have a new recording out that I love so very, very much, called Universal Malcontents. I've plugged it in Amoeba's Music We Like, and it's just the most addictive album I've heard in a while. Matt is such a serious student of music, and has such an uncanny ear for writing the most upbeat, catchy pop classics and sings them with such exuberance and then turns on a dime for the aching, sad song sung with wistful longing. I don't know how he does it.

His other project, The Volebeats, were Y'alternative before there was a name for it, and those guys can sing the weepers like nobody's bizness, I declare. I don't know how often The Volebeats get together, but they've been at it twenty years. Matt Smith & I had worked at Car City Records and Outrageous Cherry played a mess of shows with my old band, Rocket 455. Matt produced the first single by Rocket 455, "Bum Ticker"/"Scabby." Ah, that Matt Smith kid has got something on the ball.

ME: What blues artists are the most important to you?

TL: Howlin' Wolf is my favorite blues artist, after him, Muddy Waters. But there are so many folks that just slay me. Slim Harpo was so cool, and Jimmy Reed had such a lushy style; they are similar in their laid back styles, but both so different from the other.

Hound Dog Taylor
was the King of the Gut Bucket Slop! It ain't pretty, it ain't technical, but when it's three AM and the guests are wanting more, you must release the Hound Dog Taylor! Hound Dog's solos are like the first snow fall of the year and everyone's forgotten how to drive in the crap: you hit the breaks, and it's a fast sickening slide with no control and no idea how it's gonna end! I think that's the best! Hop Wilson is kind of like that, too.

It's almost heresy to admit this, but as time has gone on, the post WW2 blues boom is more for me. I don't hold the original country blues lower, I got that scene on the same mantle, but, from forty six to sixty six are my favorite years. The urban blues. What the hell, I was born in Chicago in '65, the sound was in the air! It had to have permeated the womb. That sound has always been a deep attraction for myself. Little Walter, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, the sound of Chicago!  

There's so many from so many other cities, down south, here on the west coast, and Detroit, of course: Pee Wee Crayton, Guitar Slim, Earl King, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Bobo Jenkins, Baby Boy Warren, John Lee Hooker. And One String Sam doing "I Need A Hundred Dollars," whom no less then Captain Beefheart described as "warm pie!" I'll have me a slice, thank you!  
ME: How does the San Francisco scene compare to the Michigan scene? I guess it's hard to say since it's two different eras, but maybe give it a shot?

TL: I can't really answer that because as I've never been an active member of the scene [here in SF]. I know it's tough to sustain an audience for a lot of deserving musicians, which is discouraging. All I can say is in San Francisco the day job rules the scene, it's expensive, few places to play, and the flake factor is high. Yet I've seen some fantastic local bands and musicians IN SPITE of it all. As far as Detroit goes, when I had my run there, I couldn't have asked for more. I feel very fortunate to have been where I was, to know the folks I knew, and to have had the experience I had. It was really, really fun. 

ME: Since you are friends with Mick Collins, you have an in and I need to know: Will The Gories ever play SF now that they've reformed for a few shows?!

TL: I wouldn't hold your breath! I regret I was not able to attend the Big Show in Detroit. It would be a dream come true to see them again. Maybe Dan, Mick, & Peg will find it agreeable to do an annual Gories gig once a year in Detroit because people love them so much, and all of my friends can meet once a year and have a ball!

ME: What Dylan album had the greatest impact on you and why?

TL: Nashville Skyline. I would listen to that every night for a year, alternating with Hank Williams' Forty Greatest Hits. Nashville Skyline -- It's a late night record, a driving at night record, a listening in the dark record, a make out record. It's an album to hold her to, miss her to, and ask her to. It's perfect in the summer, fall, winter, and spring. And Bob's trying to sing like Lefty Frizzell. Blonde On Blonde is second after that for all the same reasons, except he ain't singing like Lefty on that one.    

ME: What Michael Hurley song is your favorite?

TL: "Nobody Ever Sits Next to Mr. Wiskerwitz."

ME: What song best describes your life right now?

TL: "You're All I Need" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

ME: What are some artists that you particularly love that more people should know about?

TL: Gene Clark, Wynn Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Doug Sahm, Bob Martin, Toussaint McCall, McGuinness Flint, Darrell Banks, Garnett Mims, PP Arnold, Freddie Keppard, there are far too many! 

ME: It's well known that good music comes out of particular "scenes" and times. What scene do you wish you could go back in time to? What about it is so appealing to you?

TL: Hastings Street in Detroit, from the twenties to the early fifties. It was the main vein for the black community, all the clubs, all the action was there. Public radio in Detroit had this spectacular moment when one of the DJ's had on his show an older gent talking about Hastings Street in its prime and it was riveting! A fellow by the name of The Detroit Count recorded a 78 for Joe Von Battle's JVB label in the late forties called "Hasting Street Opera Parts 1 & 2" that was a hilarious account of the locations and goings on on Hastings along the bus line and intersections: "...that's a bad joint that's the onliest bar in Detroit where bartender run's everybody out with a pistol..." John Lee Hooker became a star performing there, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie cut the first be-bop 78 there (with my old customer JC Heard on drums!) -- or so some would say. I used to ask older customers of mine about Hastings Street all the time and it just fed my imagination. In the mid fifties, the city bought it all up, kicked everybody out, tore it down, and put it the I-75 freeway. Three cheers for progress.

ME: What music-related movie do you watch over and over again the most? 

TL: The Concert For Bangladesh, [X's] The Unheard Music, The American Folk Blues Tours Volumes 1,2 & 3, Rude Boy [featuring The Clash], The Kinks in Concert 1973, MC5: A True Testimonial. 

ME: Since film noir is also one of your passions, can you recommend some films that are on the top of your list?

TL: Out of The Past, Night & The City, A Force of Evil, Detour, Brute Force, Ace In The Hole, Thieves' Highway, Asphalt Jungle, Black Angel, Le Trou, Killer's Kiss, Le Circle Rouge, Farewell My Lovely, Shoot The Piano Player, The Killers, Scarlet Street -- too many! See them all, you won't be sorry!

ME: What is your favorite thing about working at Amoeba?

TL: Buying used records that are clean, sweet, and the kind folks want to buy! The people you meet shopping in the store, having all kinds of old friends pop in from all the place and saying hello. Amoeba is a destination and I can't tell you how many times I've had a surprise visit from an old friend on the shop floor.

ME: What has been your best find at Amoeba?

TL: The Sounds of a Junk Yard LP. You get to hear a car engine cut in half with some kind of huge saw. It's a really great record. And finding my sweet Elizabeth at the coffee shop next door, on July the fourth, 1998, at ten minutes after ten that foggy morning.

ME: That's so lovely. Thank you so much for your time!

Electronic New CD Release 11/6/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 6, 2009 11:31am | Post a Comment

In Between

This is the debut full-length album from Germany's Marek Hemmann, as well as the first CD long-player from the house of Freude-Am-Tanzen. Hemmann has long been one-half of the duo Hemmann & Kaden, who for years have been the pillars of the new house & techno scene, both as producers and as a live act. Hemmann has also been responsible for innumerable remixes, from Dirt Novitzky to Chopstick & Johnjon to Dusty Kid. In Between is pure technoid material in an eclectic house-world, which offers a new discovery at every turn. From classic deep-droning dub epos over frizzy house with shots of bossa nova and demanding horn-action, up to highly complex sample tone-art, this is a long, rewarding trip through techno-land. With a round of wholly comprehensive melancholy and hypnotic bass lines, the tracks bathe you in a type of beauty that will come over you like a sunrise.

Simply Devotion

Like hardly any other contemporary DJ, Berlin-based Catherine Britton, aka Cassy, is living at the interfaces between reduction and soul, jazzy deep house and geometrically-structured techno. In Berlin, she quickly gained a residency at the Panorama Bar, worked as a producer with such renowned musicians as Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Mathew Jonson and Swayzak, and has released her music on labels such as Perlon and Ostgut Ton as well as on her own imprint, Cassy. Simply Devotion is Cassy's second mix CD after the highly-acclaimed Panorama Bar 01 (OSTGUT 002CD) compilation, and it is proof of her love for deep house of a different kind, which has -- despite occasional flashes of soul vocals -- nothing to do with garage house. With unhurried charm and a secure sense of the seductive power of house music, Cassy enchants us with more than 70 minutes of sensual sound hypnosis and she starts with an exclamation mark: together with his Ifach buddy Ian Loveday, aka Minimal Man, Baby Ford beguiles the listener with mantra house with hints of Italo-pop. Anton Zaprecalls, with his purified form of percussive dub house, the best days of Chez Damier, and Danny Howells makes you speechless with "September," a breathtaking stringed furioso in the best tradition of Detroit trance, remixed by Future Beat Alliance. Cassy's own unreleased track, "Magnificent Cat Won't Do," is powered by the kind of electrically-charged minimal dub soul that is so typical for her. The final track comes from Miami's house institution and Murk legend Ralph Falcon, with his house mix of "Whateva," which sits somewhere in between R'n'B vocals and acid reminiscences. Other artists include: Trus'me, Jitterbug, DJ Qu, Kai Alce, Azulu Phantom, STL, Taho, Quince, Kassem Mosse, Linkwood, Inland Knights, Kezym, Pierre LX, and Alan T and Alex K.

This Week At The New Beverly: Nov 6 - 12

Posted by phil blankenship, November 6, 2009 10:18am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full November / December calendar is online!

Friday & Saturday November 6 & 7

The Restored Director's Cut Of

Betty Blue aka 37°2 le matin
1986, France, 185 minutes
dir. Jean-Jacques Beineix, starring Béatrice Dalle, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Gérard Darmon, Consuelo De Haviland
Fri: 8:00; Sat: 4:00 & 8:00, Watch The Trailer!


Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2009 06:00am | Post a Comment
Gift of Gab

Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Weekly Top Ten: 11:06:09
GIft of Gab
1) GIft of Gab Escape 2 Mars (Cornerstone Ras)

2) Masta Ace + Edo G Arts & Entertainment (Traffic Entertanment)

3) Mr. Chop For Pete's Sake (Now Again Records)

4) Sene & Blu A Day Late & A Dollar Short (Shaman Work)

5) R.A. the Rugged Man Legendary Classic Vol 1 (Green Street)

6) CunninLynguists Strange Journey Vol Two (Piece So Strange Music)

7) Jern Eye Vision (MYX)

8) Themselves CrownsDown (Anticon)

9) Killa Keise Yellow Tape Zone (Step It Up Entertainment)

10) Kam Moye (aka Supastition) Splitting Image (MYX)

Special thanks to Luis (pictured below) at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Ten Chart. The chart has a really nice, diverse mix of new releases, including several homegrown Bay Area albums such as the Haight Street store's top selling rap album this week, GIft of Gab's Escape 2 Mars. This is the second official solo album release, a follow up to 2004's 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, from the talented Quannum emcee. Gab is also is one half of Blackalicious (with Chief Xcel) and a founding member of Bay Area rap-supergroup The Mighty Underdogs (with Lateef the Truth Speaker of Latyrx and producer Headnodic of the Crown City Rockers). To help celebrate this new release, which hit Amoeba shelves on Tuesday, the much loved Bay Area MC did an Amoeba SF instore on the release day. "It was really cool and he [Gift of Gab] was awesome on the mic," reported Luis of Tuesday evening's free concert. The artist was joined onstage by Dnae Beats who produced Escape 2 Mars, which was released by Cornerstone Ras. Luis Amoeba San Francisco

Tricked Out and Fully Treated: Rocktober is over but the Halloween high remains...

Posted by Kells, November 6, 2009 01:31am | Post a Comment

When I was in fifth grade staying up late enough to catch Dave Letterman's Top Ten was a personal goal of mine every weeknight (on Saturday nights it was staying up late enough to make it through Saturday Night Live in its entirety, but I always conked out right about the time Dennis Miller wrapped up his Weekend Update). I like to think that I became a lover of lists and listing things because of that after-hours fixation of mine, but who cares? The fact is that I do love a list and this year's Halloween happenings were so fabulously choice that I've got to work it out herein, Late Night Top Ten style:

10: Students of San Francisco State University protesting budget cuts on Monday by turning the quad into a graveyard for courses felled by a lack of state education funds. The many headstones featured names of "dead" classes and mourners honored them dutifully in Dios de los Muertos style with candles, flowers and gorgeous little treats. A very clever and seasonally satisfying display of discontent!

9: Rammstein's timely release of their new album Liebe Ist Für Alle Da. Now, I count myself as an accidental Rammstein fan (and there's a good lengthy yarn I could spin about the who, what and why-fors about it), but a fan I am nonetheless ---especially as their machismo-soaked yet obviously Depeche Mode influenced electro-opera-industrial rock always seems to find a place on my annual Halloween mixtape! Not to mention that these German rockers consistently crank out quality music videos that remind us that there once was a time when the medium was viewed as an elevated art-form. Their video for the 1995 single Du Riechst So Gut is perhaps their most romantic (despite the fact that the imagery delves into bestiality, transvestitism and baroque dance routines) and very Halloween appropriate (despite the fact that nearly all their videos could be specified as "Halloween appropriate"). Oh Rammstein, why must thy art be so misunderstood? Maybe it's a European thing...

8: Realizing my costume. I'm one of those crafty types who loves to construct a guise from scratch every year and half the fun is coming up with a good idea to roll with. Initially I thought I'd dress up as a Tiki this Halloween, but that eventually morphed into a Hawaiian Tiki cocktail, or a Mai Tai. I would have liked to think I could pass my tiki-mug-with-skewered-fruit-and-purple-paper-parasol ensemble as a Zombie cocktail just to put a little pun in the mix, but I'm just glad that most people "got" what I was. 

7: All those pumpkin-flavored seasonal treats --- yes, please! Three stand-outs this year were the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Peet's Coffee (more spicey and less sugary than the competitors offerings), Hershey's Pumpkin Kisses (which I thought would be gross, but they're more yummy than they should be) and Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake mix, which has enjoyed top billing at every Sunday breakfast in my household since discovery. Enjoy them while you still can.

6: The achievement of this fabulous Wayang-esque Jack 'o Lantern. Biggest of big ups to the pumpkin-carving master who created this exquisite piece --- can you even imagine how frustratingly painstaking it must have been to create? It paid off in pure breathtaking Halloween-ness. Eat your craft-biting heart out, Martha!

5: All ten and a half minutes of Tommy heavenly6's "Lollipop Candy Bad Girl" video. You know, I could stop right here and flip-flop into an auxiliary list of the things that I love about pro-alter-ego Jpop artist Tomoko Kawase, but I'll can it for now and say that A: I love that she, or at least one of her alter-egos, adores Sweet Valley High (what self-respecting bookish bitch doesn't have a Sweet Valley High loving alter-ego?) and B: I love that her absolutely absurd Halloween-flavored music video suggests that the way to make Halloween cake is to drop several jack o' lanterns and whole bottles of Jose Cuervo into your oversized witches' cauldron: duh!

4: Gugug's rendition of "Bela Lugosi's Dead." So there are these guys, more specifically two guys and sometimes their friends, in Scotland who call themselves Gugug and play experimental-ish music live on YouTube (and on one of YouTube's most subscribed channels, just so ya know). Besides being super-talented, ukulele playing, melodica-wielding over-achievers, they provide free tutorials and tips for uke enthusiasts to take total artistic control of their medium and whip up genius-grade covers of all manner of beloved tunes with such regularity that if what they do makes you happy, like it does for me, checking in with Gugug can be deemed therapeutic. And this year's "Halloween Special" from Gugug effing hit the spot, seasonally:

3: Trick-Or-Treating on Belvedere Street. There is, in a sleepy residential corner of San Francisco, a quiet avenue that becomes for one night a year a mash-up of every over-produced and unlikely trick-or-treating scenario ever imagined for and depicted on celluloid. The residents of Belvedere Street in Cole Valley are so completely committed to creating the ultimate Halloween wonderland experience en masse that it makes me wonder if they have to make absolutely sure that any potential new-comers to the area are fully capable of "bringing it" before they are permitted to move in. It's pleasantly clear by the gathered crowd that many folks count on this little nook for their annual family-funtime Hallow's Eve fix. It seems one is never too old to trick-or-treat on Belvedere Street and surely one may never tire of listening to children strategize various methods of trick-or-treating while padding about gazing in awe at costumed kids of all ages, not to mention house after over-dressed "haunted" house lining the blocked off corridor. In short: it rules!

2: Amoeba San Francisco's annual costume contest! The one thing above all that I treasure about Halloween is the scope and depth of the looks that come out and play for the day each year. Of course, dressing up at work isn't always about functionality, which always provides some titillating, old-fashioned juxtaposition in an otherwise visually over-stimulating environment. My favorites were Garth (from Wayne's World --- party on, Garth!), Robert Smith, Alice Cooper, the Blue Jay, "Hey!" Kool-Aid himself and one usually chatty employee who took his Chaplin costume so seriously that he said next to nothing all day. Now that was scary indeed!

1: Bob Saggeth live at Amnesia! In terms of the holiday-time continuum, whatever stays the high becomes the most fondly remembered nostalgia nugget in my world. This Halloween I had to pour a little out for my friends (Amoeba mainstay and man of many talents Josh Pollack and Amoeba alum and "best drummer in SF" Warren Heugel) and friends of friends who, no doubt, practiced extensively to bring their heavy hitting, one-off Black Sabbath cover band to Amnesia Bar, thus slaying all in attendance with back to back sets of face-melting stoner jams a-plenty. All my favorites were performed deftly, fog machine a-fogging and all, and I went home Halloween night --- on one of the strangest bus rides of my life --- with an ear to ear goofy grin on my face and ears that rang from Saturday night 'til Tuesday noon. "Allllllllllllright now!" --- thanks Bob Saggeth for properly punctuating one of the best seasonal reasons to peel your ass off the couch and see what all the fuss is about! Happy Halloween, everyone!

out today 10/20 & 10/ stevens...pylon...maps...flight of the conchords...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 5, 2009 05:24pm | Post a Comment
pylon chomp
Time seems to be flying by so fast as we get close to the end of the year. I really do love this time of year and hate that it goes by so fast. As soon as October begins it seems to end. Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's Eve will be here and gone before we know it. The music releases will start to slow down in November and December but there are still some great albums coming out. We have a new fantastically great reissue from the fantastically great band Pylon. I can't believe it has already been two years since their last reissue, but it's true! I was about to do a whole blog about Pylon but it was sounding a bit familiar as I was thinking about it in my head. That is because I already did a whole blog about them two years ago. Pylon's first album, Gyrate, was reissued by DFA two years ago on October 16, 2007. You can go back and read my blog here if you want. I just went back and read it myself. I was amazed what I had forgotten over the last couple of years and actually learned something myself. Pylon was great. You may not know that. I sure didn't know anything about them until 2 years ago when that first reissue came out. DFA has now reissued their seconpylon chompd album, called Chomp. It is equally as great as the first one. And I love how they recreate the LP artwork for the CD reissue along with the worn in imprint from the vinyl. Pylon was a new wave band from Athens, Georgia, but they have a darker sound than fellow Athens groups the B-52's and R.E.M. They remind me of Siouxsie & the Banshees at times, mixed with the Motels and Romeo Void. Basically, you can just think of any fantastic female led new wave band and mix them all up together and you get Pylon. The band toured a bit with Gang Of Four and also sound like them at times. This second album is at times dark and gothy and at times just a dark sort of punk. I like to think of them as Athens Goth. Seriously. These songs would not be out of place at a death rock night at any club. Good stuff. I really did love that first reissue but had sort of forgotten about Pylon until now. I was so excited when I heard that their second album was also getting reissued. I went and listened to that first reissue again to get myself ready. The second reissue does not disappoint.

Also out this week are two reissues from the great Bauhaus. While I had never been a fan of Pylon until that first reissue, I have for sure always been a long time fan of Bauhaus. Unlike Pylon, they of course made it on the radio in Los Angeles and were a much bigger deal. However, I didn't really get into Bauhaus until way after I discovered my love of Siouxsie & the Banshees. Peter Murphy and Bauhaus were sort of the male equivalent of Siouxsie & the Banshees. I first got really into The Cure and Depeche Mode, but Siouxise quickly followed. I think I actually bought a Love & Rockets album before buying a Bauhaus album. Bauhaus broke up in 1983, and that was still years before I had ever heard of them, so it was only natural for me to first become a Love & Rockets fan first. My first Love & Rockets album was Earth, Sun, Moon in 1987. "No New Tale to Tell" was all over the radio and most of us were in love with that song. This was their third album. I then got really obsessed with their fourth self titled album that came out in 1989. From there I went backwards and discovered the Bauhaus albums that had come before Love & Rockets.

The first two Bauhaus albums are getting the nice remastered reissue treatment this week. In the Flat Field was their first album from 1980 and Mask was their second album from 1981. In the Flat Field is often thought of as the first Goth album to ever be released. It included "Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "God in an Alcove," and "St. Vitus Dance." The album was re-released by 4AD in 1988 with bonus tracks. This reissue included "Dark Entries," "Terror Couple Kill Colonel," and "Telegram Sam." Even though Mask came out after In the Flat Field I always think of it as being their first album. It was the first album I owned by them and I still have my original cassette. It included "The Passion of Lovers," "Kick in the Eye," and "Hollow Hills." Bauhaus really only had 2 more albums after this until their reunion album from last year. The Sky's Gone Out came out in 1982, followed by Burning From the Inside in 1983. I am sure these albums will both have reissues out at some point next year. The reissues out this week are called the Omnibus Editions. They feature the original albums along with a disc of bonus tracks, outtakes, and alternate recordings. They also come with large booklets with new photos and interviews and come packaged in a cute, odd shaped box that is a bit longer than the normal size CD. The packaging looks great and it is always exciting to have remastered versions of some of your old favorite albums. I don't think I had ever even heard Mask on anything but a cassette before now! The albums are as dark and fantastic ever. They remind me of why I fell in love with Bauhaus. Peter Murphy as a solo artist could never quite recapture the brilliance that was Bauhuas. I doubt there will ever be anything like these albums again.

also out 10/20...

Logos by Atlas Sound

Love Is Not Pop by El Perro Del Mar

I Told You I Was Freaky by Flight of the Conchords

Lungs by Florence & the Machine

Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons

Turning the Mind by Maps

BQE by Sufjan Stevens

Fits by White Denim

also out 10/27...

Black Ice by AC/DC

Broadcast & the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age by Broadcast

Opiate Sun by Jesu

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead by Sean Lennon

Dolly Box Set by Dolly Parton

Strict Joy by Swell Season

Unlimited Box Set by Barry White

November 4, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 4, 2009 11:13pm | Post a Comment


Posted by Billyjam, November 4, 2009 09:43am | Post a Comment
Jason Bitner Cassette From My Ex
Since the release last week of Jason Bitner's engaging new book Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves, the St Martin's Griffin published, 212-page anthology of 60 short stories, has been striking a nerve with  readership of a certain age who can directly relate to and recall its pre-iPod subject matter: the bygone era of the homemade mixtape -- specifically mixtapes made to woo new crushes or love objects.

An image that pops into many minds would be the Rob Gordon character played by John Cusack in the  Stephen Frears directed film adapatation of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity and his obsession with making the perfect mixtape, regardless of how long it took. Or as Shirley Manson of the group Garbage wrote for Cassette From My Ex's jacket cover, "Anyone who understands the obsessive attention to detail, the time it took to collate, select, and edit the content of a perfectly executed mix tape, or just someone who appreciated the rhythms and nuances of such extraordinary artifacts will treasure this collection of stories, comfortable and secure in the knowledge that such exquisite efforts were not made in vain and indeed there was a time when a humble cassette tape was perhaps the greatest gift of all."

For Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves, Bitner, who is best known as a co-founder of the wonderful Found magazine series, compiled first-person essays about mixtapes fueled by crushes or love (some tragic, some hilarious, many in-between) written by sixty different writers, many of them journalists & musicians. Contributors include author Rick Moody, This American Life's Starlee Kine, The New Yorker's Ben Greenman, The Magnetic FieldsClaudia Gonson, Improv Everywhere's Charlie Todd, Mortified's David Nadelberg, and former Rolling Stone writer and MTV2 veejay Jancee Dunn.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 11/04/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 3, 2009 11:36pm | Post a Comment

STEVE BUG Look Who's Stalking/Zero Balance 12" (COR 067EP)

Steve Bug follows up his Collaboratory mix with this superb 12" for Cocoon. While "Look Who's Stalking" uses the raw energy of Chicago/Detroit house with driving hand claps, percussions and nasty vocals, "Zero Balance" is an experiment in how far you can reduce tech-house to the essence of a bass line. Short vocal loops complete a sensibility that makes Bug's tracks such high quality music.

SIZE Yeah (Gregor Tresher Remix) 12" (PURE 055EP)

VA Snuggle & Slap 2x12" (CCS 041LP). 2x12

CONFORCE Cruising EP 12" (CURLE 021EP)

SIGUR ROS Gobbledigook 12" (KOM POP015EP)

ROBERT HOOD The Pace/Wandering Endlessly 12" (MPM 004EP)

ANDY STOTT Night Jewel 12" (LOVE 058EP)

PACO OSUNA Lemon Juice 12" (PLUS 8106EP)

JABBERJAW The Garden Of Eden 12" (SPC 078EP)

JOHN SELWAY Shake The Snow 12" (THRONE 003EP)

ROCHA/MUGWUMP Hands Of Love (Fingers Of Sand) 12" (IFEEL 001EP)

Beatconductor CARIBBEAN PATH 12"


Danton Eeprom SCORING ONLY TO BE.. 12" CNTX3637

PROXY Who Are You?/8000 12" (TURBO 071EP)      

Super Value SPECIAL EDITS 07 12" SV07

Hell & Christian Prommer FREAK IT 12" 047BUZZ

This is Halloween, Amoeba SF Style!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 3, 2009 02:13pm | Post a Comment

Another spooky Amoeba San Francisco Halloween has come and gone...thank goodness we have photographs to help us always remember the good, the bad, and the ugly!

We kicked things off with mood-setting DJ sets by DJ Tay and Miz Margo, Taylor in some creepy garb and Margo a dead ringer for Abbey from NCIS!

  Next came our costume contest, with our deliciously disgusting hostess, Miss Snatch Face!

Then came Annie as the cat burgler...

 Emily as Coraline...

Grace as Grace Alice Cooper...

Tena as the Black Dahlia...

Erin as Robert Smith of The Cure...

Billy as Homer Simpson when he got fat to get disability...

Classical Music Sale: Overture

Posted by Job O Brother, November 2, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment

It's the, uh, instrument they're focused on. Yeah.

New Amoeba Music customers sometimes ask if/when we have any sales. My patent answer is usually something along the lines of:

“Not officially, because we’re constantly lowering prices on our entire selection.”

…Unless, of course, the customer is holding a ferret and that ferret is looking like he might wanna sneak into my ear-hole and munch my juicy brains, in which case I will modify my answer to:

“Not officially, because we’re constantly calling the police to report illegal pets such as ferrets.”

This may seem like a very niche circumstance to you, dear reader. All I can say is that, until you work at a record store for over eight years like me, you shouldn’t assume the regularity of near-lethal ferret activity. Especially if you’re working the folk music section.

They mostly eat the eyes of our innocent young.

The above being mostly factual, it is something of a special event that Amoeba Music Hollywood has announced an upcoming sale.

November 14 and 15 (or, if you’re British: 14 and 15 November) we will be hosting our first ever Classical Music Sale. All music (tapes, CD's, vinyl, 8-track, etc.) from our Classical Music section will be 20% off for these two days only. What is perhaps most exciting (or dangerous, depending on how much of your rent check you end up spending) is that this sale will include wall-items.

What’s a “wall-item”? They are the choice and glorious pieces of vinyl that line the walls of Amoeba, showcased like the fine works of art they are. And they will be much cheaper than they’re worth.

All of this is, in part, inspired by the new wave of local interest in Classical Music spawned by the arrival of superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel to the post of Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They’re calling it “Dudamel Fever” and frankly, I don’t think the government is prepared with enough vaccine to inoculate it.

In the coming blogs from yours truly, I plan on exploring some Classical Music that I cherish, and I fully intend to manipulate you into loving it as well. You’re welcome.

So stay tuned, mark your calendars, and get ready as I beef up your confidence so that you can finally brave the vast Classical Music section at Amoeba Music Hollywood with poise and curiosity. Before you know it, you’ll be dazzling people at cocktail parties with pithy antidotes about your favorite Baroque oboe sonata. Rad.

Veinte Flores

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 2, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment

This set is a collection of 20 flower labels named after the zempoalxochitl or cempazuchil ("twenty-flower") otherwise known as the orange marigold. Traditionally on El Dia de los Muertos, wreaths made from the marigold are placed on the graves of loved ones and offered to the dead. There was no way that I was going to find a collection of labels featuring only marigolds, so a post made up of various flowers will have to do.

Beat Showcase

Posted by Smiles Davis, November 2, 2009 03:22pm | Post a Comment

PUMA and Ableton (Live) are teaming up for a Beat Showcase at Low End Theorythis Wednesday, Nov. 4th, in Downtown L.A, with performances by Thavius Beck, Take and Matthewdavid.... 

They're also hosting a very special pre-show event, where you can learn FOR FREE beatmaking tips & tricks, including on the software Live, as well as receive free giveaways from Novation, Odyssey, Dubspot; and for those who will come early, PUMA will be giving out some very special limited edition Puma x Ableton tee's made for the event...without forgetting drinks on them!!! It's going to be some real fun, and for those who know about controllers, we will showcase the new Novation Launchpad, pretty ill actually.

Dia De Los Muertos

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 2, 2009 02:31pm | Post a Comment

Every year I look forward to building my altar for Dia De Los Muertos. It’s become more important to me than Christmas or New Year's, and most certainly more than Thanksgiving. It's time for me to take time out and think of those who have left this world and look forward to their spiritual return via memories, stories and offerings. Besides images of family and friends that have passed on, I like to include musicians and artists who have inspired me in some way. This year, many great musicians from Latin America and Spain have passed. So this is my ofrenda to them. Pan De Muerto, Chocolate and Tequila for all spirits who visit. I hope you can include the souls listed below in your altar or in your thoughts today.

Mercedes Sosa (Argentina)
Argentine folk sing and outspoken activist. Along with Silvio Rodriguez, Victor Jara, Violeta Parra and many others, was part of the Nueva Canción movement. Nueva Cancion was the mixture of Latin American folk music and rock with progressive and politicized lyrics. Mercedes Sosa is not only respected in her native country, but around the world. Her most recent album, Cantora, contains collaborations with the likes of Shakira, Caetano Veloso and Luis Alberto Spinetta.

Jorge Reyes (Mexico)
Jorge Reyes started one of Mexico’s first progressive rock bands, Choc Mool, in the late 70’s/early 80’s. He played both guitar and flute while incorporating many indigenous instruments of Mexico. In 1985, Jorge went solo and released a series of new age albums based upon indigenous Mexican culture. He performed legendary concerts at famous Mexican archeological sites such Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza and his music was used for movies and television shows around the world. Coincidentally, he had an annual Dia De Los Muertos show at The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City that was widely popular.

Joe Cuba (Puerto Rico)
His real name was Gilberto Miguel Calderón, and he was from Puerto Rico, not Cuba. He was known as the "Father of Latin Boogaloo," the marriage between Soul and Latin music. His many hits include “Sock It To Me Baby” “Bang Bang” and “El Pito (I’ll Never Go Back To Georgia)." As a bandleader, he helped start up the careers of such future legends of Salsa as Cheo Feliciano, Ruben Blades, Charlie Palmeri and Jimmy Sabater.

Manny Oquendo (USA)
Manny was a self-taught percussionist that went on to play with some of the biggest names in Latin Music. He played with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmeri, Johnny Pacheco and Tito Rodriguez, among many others. Manny was instrumental in bringing the complicated Cuban rhythm Mozambique to Latin Jazz and Salsa. He, along with Bassist Andy Gonzalez, formed Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino and recorded the classic Concepts In Unity, which is a must hear for any percussionist. Soon after, Manny and Andy formed Libre, a group that Manny played with until January of 2009.

Maria Trinidad Perez de Miravete Mille aka Mari Trini (Spain)
As a child, Mari Trini suffered from various kidney ailments. She was told that her condition was incurable, so instead of dwelling on it, she became of Spain’s most popular singers. She first went to France and recorded an album in French before returning to Spain in the late 60’s. While in France, she was influenced by Jaques Brel and Juliette Greco, and even went as far as saying that she wanted to become the “Spanish Juliette Greco.” The fiercely independent Trini found herself at odds the oppressive Franco –era conservatism and she was exactly what Spain needed. Her songs became feminist anthems and her attire (wearing pants rather than dresses) influenced women in Spain to do the same. Mari became popular for her romantic songs although she was quiet about her own romantic life. She hid the fact that she was a lesbian for many years, often having to answer questions why she didn’t have a boyfriend. Her popularity waned over the years but many of her songs are considered classics, such as “Acércate,” “Un Hombre Marchó,” “Yo No Soy Esa” and Una Estrella En Mi Jardín.” In 2001, she recorded a comeback album with Los Panchos, re-recording her greatest hits "Trios" style.

Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez (Cuba)
Mainstream audiences knew Chachaito as the bassist for The Buena Vista Social Club. However, like the other musicians involved with BVSC, he had a long career before that. He came from a musical family. His father was Cuban composer Orestes Lopez and his uncle was the legendary bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez. As a teenager he started to play in many of Cuba’s big bands. At seventeen, he replaced his uncle in the group Arcana y sus Maravillas and soon after started playing with Orchestra Riverside. He played classical music during the day and with Cuban dance bands at night. At one point, he was part of the Cuban experimental group Irakere along with Chucho Valdés, Arturo Sandoval, and Paquito D'Rivera. His only solo album, the excellent Cachaito, came out in 2001. It is a blend of Cuban Music with Dub Reggae, Jazz and African music. Unfortunately, due to the Buena Vista Social Club hype, the album got lost in the shuffle. Revisiting it recently, it was years ahead of its time.

Honorable mention:
Ralph Mercado (Puerto Rico)-Salsa promoter and once head of RMM Records.
Quintin Cabrera (Uruguay)-Nueva Cancionero, wrote “Senor Presidente.”
Suma Paz (Argentina)-Folk singer who introduced the compositions of fellow Argentine Atahualpa Yupanqui to the rest of the world.
Ramón Piñon (Tejano)- He was the leader of his own conjunto for many years and is known for helping give Freddy Fender his start in the music business.
Edgardo Miranda (Puerto Rico) guitarist, played with Tito Puente and Cortijo.
Ricardo Abreu (Cuba) one of the infamous members of Los Papines, known as “the Harlem Globetrotters of Cuban percussion.”
Antonio Vega (Spain) Former lead singer of Nacha Pop, wrote the Spanish Rock anthem “La Chica De Ayer.”
Rafael Escalona (Colombia)- Vallenato songwriter, co-founder of the Vallenato Legend Festival.
Jesus Alfonso Miro (Cuba)- Musical director of Los Muñequitos De Mantanza.
Otilio Galíndez (Venezuela) - A songwriter and composer who wrote many Christmas related songs. His songs were covered by the likes of Mercedes Sosa, Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez.

Halloween Madness at Amoeba Hollywood!!!

Posted by Amoebite, November 2, 2009 11:55am | Post a Comment
Folks dressed up all freaky... devil music on the sound system... zombies and skeletons dancing onstage... was it Halloween or just another normal day at Amoeba Hollywood? The distinction is not always crystal clear in the 90028. But if you peruse these photos, you will discover that yes, it was definitely the most haunted day of the year! A day when tombs open and spirits arise, and all manner of ghoulies and beasties come forth looking for out-of-print CDs and groovy dollar records and classic horror movies on Blu-Ray... the lurking madness of Halloween at Amoeba!

We kicked things off with a little Misfits on the stereo (endorsing the patronage of Glenn Danzig, loyal Amoeba shopper) and the costumed Amoebites began arriving in full-on freak regalia! Scott showed up to staff the hip-hop section in the grey beard and American flag headband of the typical Vietnam veteran acid burnout, and got to work upstocking the J. Dilla section while mumbling something about Charlie and the Da Nang Bridge. Edythe and Saffron were resplendent as an old-time groom and bride, Jamie rocked a fabulous handmade Indian squaw shabooz and Annie made the scene in slinky Panther Pink.  There was a sexy vestigial midget nerd (best description I can muster), a purple cosmic space witch, a putrefied but spirited zombie cheerleader, a fearsome Lucha Libre wrestler, and a va-voom Poison Ivy impersonator (the Cramps guitarette of course, not the Batman villain).  Things got really wild & crazy when Kris and Javi showed up as Weekend At Bernie's, in board shorts and Hawaiian shirts with a very authentic-looking Bernie corpse. Melody's outfit was typically mind-blowing, a black vinyl recreation of Klaus Nomi! Juan was regal in Roman toga and Chuck Taylors, Scott was futuristic in a baby-blue flannel onesie as a Twitter post. And Melissa was magical as an alluring marionette. Not one but two serial killers stalked the mezzanine, Travis as Leatherface and Matt as Dinky Doodles, the smiley slasher.  Joel further indulged his aeronautics obsession as the black box from the Air France plane crash, complete with French moustache and attitude. Did I miss anyone? I'm sure I did, but hopefully the pictures got 'em all.  My own disguise was a bit tricky to identify but it was meant to be Peter Gabriel's sci-fi look on the cover of Genesis Live, as the Watcher of the Skies. (Or perhaps Xenu, the god of Scientology, as someone suggested.) Lucas improved on the general idea when he put it on and went around muttering to the staff his dead-on impression of my voice, doubling the horror and really freaking some folks out!

Day Of The Dead Pt. 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 1, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment