Amoeblog Black History Month Series Salutes Leroy Moore & the Krip-Hop Nation, Pt II

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2011 11:41pm | Post a Comment
Leroy Moore

This is the second part in the Amoeblog Black History Month salute to the Krip-Hop Nation and its founder, Leroy Moore, who attentively oversees the day to day operations of this umbrella organization for hip-hop artists with disabilities worldwide. As noted in the first Amoeblog installment, this New York born, Berkeley, CA based artist/activist has cerebral palsy, which significantly affects both his speech and his mobility but he nonetheless displays a work ethic that would put most to shame. Simply put, the guy never stops striving in his efforts to push forth the Krip-Hop Nation as well as all the other causes and organizations, including Sins Invalid, that he is constantly involved in. Two weekends ago, for example, he was busy with the a two-part series of literary & performance arts themed Black History Month Krip-Hop Nation events in San Francisco at Modern Times bookstore and at the main San Francisco Public Library which, despite torrential rain hitting the region that week and affecting attendance, still managed to be a successful series with an informative and empowering message for disabled artists of color, and for those who support them.

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Anti-Casual Fridays (aka Formal Fridays aka Dress Up Fridays) and the Decline of the Western Civilization

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 28, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment

Casual Fridays (also known as Dress-down Fridays, Bis-Cas-Fris, or simply Casual day) began in the 1950s as employer-sanctioned faux-rebellion. Obviously just a perversion of natural order, occasionally those who don’t observe are required to pay a small fee. Interestingly, it’s like Saturnalia or April Fool’s day, a tool to keep the oppressed happy under the guise of benevolence from our betters.

After watching all eight hours of the Academy Awards ceremony last night, it's increasingly clear that men are increasingly confused by, ignorant of, or just wrong-headed about men's dress.

You had Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin dressed like waiters in a Havana nightclub and a large number of attendees wore black business suits, looking more like bankers than guests at what's supposed to be a prestigious awards show. I suspect there was a directive to ditch the traditional tuxedo in an attempt to appeal to the youth, who increasingly carry on dressing like children well into middle age.

February 28, 2011: Unknown

Posted by phil blankenship, February 28, 2011 10:29pm | Post a Comment

Diamanda Galás Hates The Food Fighters

Posted by Job O Brother, February 28, 2011 01:32pm | Post a Comment

Call it a survival kit.

The boyfriend is out of town this week, enjoying* the chilly dewiness of Portland, Oregon. (I wish I was with him – I get hungry just thinking about Portland, with all its easily accessible, diet-vanquishing, culinary goodness. Plus there’s a lot of hella rad folks who live there, and while I normally loathe good food and great people, something about the air there makes me all for it.)

I love my boyfriend, and I never find myself wishing he was gone; all the same, I cherish these times when it’s just me and the cats. It’s not that the boyfriend keeps me from doing anything, per se, but self-respect  keeps me from behaving certain ways in his presence.

For example, alone, I do nothing with my hair other than washing it. The result is a blond afro which effectively doubles the size of my already-capacious noggin. I wear a wife-beater constantly – something that never fails to get me not laid in this house – and if it’s too cold, I simply toss a hoodie over the wife-beater. That’s fashion, kids.

The cover for my new album, Save Auntie

Wine must be drunk straight from the bottle when I’m a bachelor. I swear it tastes better this way – perhaps because more oxygen is imparted into each swallow? It sounds debaucherous, I know, but I actually end up drinking less wine this way, because I drink just what I want instead of emptying a glass simply to keep from wasting anything. (It’s my Depression-era mentality. Why, when I was a kid in the 1930’s, we didn’t even have wine – only lime juice, which we’d make less sour by adding sugar, vanilla, rum, orgeat syrup and orange liqueur. And we had no glasses to drink it out of, so we had to use hollowed-out coconut shells. And it’s not like today where you can just swish wine in your mouth, oh no! We had to use little paper umbrellas to mix our beverages. I tells ya, times were hard.)

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Two Petitions to Deny Transfer of KUSF's FM License Successfully Filed with the FCC Over Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2011 11:36am | Post a Comment
Yo La Tengo
Last night as Colin Firth and all the other Oscars 2011 winners were celebrating in Hollywood, up north in San Francisco the members of the Save KUSF collective were still celebrating their weekend victory in the ongoing battle to win back their radio station, which had the plug pulled January 18th. Due to support for the much beloved San Francisco non-commerical radio station, not just one (as anticipated) but two Petitions to Deny the transfer its terrestrial FM license had been filed with the FCC. Saturday (Feb 26th) was the cutoff date and for the past five and a half weeks the tireless members of the Save KUSF group held a series of events, including the big radio station simulcast at Amoeba SF on Feb 18th, to garner support to reverse the move by the University of San Francisco. And support has been building rapidly! Last Tuesday at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Ira of the group Yo La Tengo sported a Save KUSF t-shirt on stage in a show of solidarity.

In an email Saturday night from Save KUSF's Kenya Lewis, who is one of the many hard working volunteers with the group, she praised the "steady and practical commitment to what was necessary to be sure KUSF-FM 90.3 remains the stalwart voice of SF and hub of our community, right where it belongs on the left-hand side of the FM radio dial here in San Francisco." Lewis also acknowledged that the battle is far from over and went on to say, "the next set of legal, negotiation, and community-building work will require an equal amount of rigor, dedication, and commitment -- which we have now proven is entirely possible." Lewis noted that the importance of winning this battle is not just a local one -- hopefully they can "help buck a bad nationwide trend" in which universities have been selling off their radio station FM signals and thereby depriving their respective communities of an important alternative media voice. For more info visit Save KUSF.

Dengue Fever Announce April Dates In Honor of New Album and New Musical Instrument, The Mastadong

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2011 09:10am | Post a Comment
Dengue Fever live at Amoeba Berkeley, June 2008

As evident from the video excerpts above & below from their 2008 Amoeba Berkeley instore concert, Dengue Fever are always a really great band to catch playing live. But their two just announced April Bay Area and LA shows promise to be even more exciting since, as on the LA based psychedelic rock meets Cambodian pop sextet's forthcoming album, Cannibal Courtship, they will officially be introducing the band's very own musical instrument invention, the Mastadong. Shown on the anticipated new album's cover art, alongside lead singer Chhom Nimol, the unique Mastadong is one half Fender Jazzmaster guitar and one half Cambodian Chapei Dong Veng (traditional Cambodian two-stringed guitar). Created exclusively for Dengue Fever guitarist Zac Holtzman, the Mastadong was first unveiled last month at the NAMM 2011 Show in the Anaheim Convention Center.

Ever popular with Amoeba customers & staffers, Dengue Fever, who played the Hollywood Amoeba six years ago, was formed ten years ago by brothers Zac and Ethan Holtzman after Ethan was inspired by the music he witnessed firsthand on a trip to Cambodia. Soon after, they discovered their phenomenal lead singer, recent immigrant Chhom Nimol, who sings in Khmer, in a nightclub in the Little Phnom Penh area of Long Beach. Dengue Fever have released six albums over the years including their eponymous 2003 debut and their last album, 2009's Sleepwalking Through The Mekong (M80) but the eleven track Cannibal Courtship will be their debut for Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group and it looks likely to be the group's most well and widely received work to date. As well as the band's trademark psych meets Cambodian hybrid they also nicely meld in various other sounds such as Afrobeat and a heavy dose of fuzz guitar.

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DJ Tonearm on Amoeba Hollywood's World Music Clearance Section

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 27, 2011 11:47pm | Post a Comment

After confusing our poor customers for the last three years, we settled on a home for all World Music clearance CDs. No more moving the World Music clearance sections from one spot of the section to next, or for that matter, from the top bins to the under the bins. World Music clearance is now located smack dab in the middle of the section, between where the Latin section ends and where the Brazil/African section begins. An entire row of World Music clearance CDs priced to move -- nothing over 2.99 and as low a buck! For those who do not know the drill, if you buy four red tag clearance CDs you get the cheapest one free. That means on average you can take home four CDs for around ten bucks or less.

From Aterciopelados to Zulu Spear, the section is always full. We have a big selection of known and unknown gems on such World Music labels as Real World, Putumayo, Six Degrees, Nacional, Island/Palm, Ahi-Na-Ma, Rough Guide and World Circuit. It’s a great place to find out of print CDs without having to pay the ridiculous collectors' prices listed on E-Bay and Amazon. It is also a great place to find a promo CD of a fairly new release or some obscure group that is huge in Argentina but unknown in Los Angeles. Yes, there is plenty of gold in that sea of clearance CDs, and no one knows more than L.A. DJ and promoter DJ Tonearm.

Tony Lopez aka DJ Tonearm has several residencies across Los Angeles playing World Music, House and Soul. Before I knew he was a deejay, I knew him as the guy digging through the clearance sections at Amoeba Hollywood. He often picked my brain to see if I had heard of a certain artists that he had found in the clearance section, and that’s how we got to know each other. I turned the tables on him and picked his brain at one of his residencies called Left of Center, which happens every fourth Saturday at The Verdugo.

What got you digging through the Amoeba clearance section?

It was completely by accident. I was buying some music and I ran across the clearance section and found a CD that I had paid full price at one point and said, “What?” So I started digging in the clearance section ever since.

When I suggest to people to dig through the clearance section for CDs they are looking for, they see it as a burden to go through the section. Do you feel that way?

Not at all. I like digging. That is where you find your gems. I know people like downloading but I find the Internet limiting. At Amoeba, I can find someone, whether it’s an employee or a customer, that has heard a CD I’m interested in. I like the human connection. I can pick someone’s brain to see if something is worth buying or not and from there I can get turned on to something else. Sure, I will use the Internet to listen to some tracks, but I will go to Amoeba to find them.

How often to you shop the clearance section?

Three times a week if I’m in the money and once a week if I’m short.

At this point, how much of your collection comes from the clearance section?

65…maybe 70%.

What are your five best finds in the World Music clearance section?

I found Bibi Tanga’s Yellow Gauze. Bibi is an African living in France and part of their Afro-Futurism movement. Even though I didn’t know his music I bought it because I liked the artwork and because he had a song on the album called “Talking Nigga Brothaz” and I wondered what that was all about. The album turned out to be gold and I got it for a buck! I found Sidestepper's Logozo E.P. and that is long out of print. I found a CD from a group called La Troba Kung –Fu called Clavell Morenet. They are from Catalonia and I play them a lot in my sets. I found Mc Solaar’s classic Prose Combat for 2.99 and the Outcaste label sampler Five Years for a buck. That has an early version of Thievery Corporation’s “Lebanese Blonde,” among other great tracks.

You can hear Tonearm spin at Global Gumbo along with live bands every Thursday at:

The Five Star Bar
267 S. Main Street, Downtown LA

Oscars 2011: The Fall

Posted by Charles Reece, February 27, 2011 10:47pm | Post a Comment

My predictions.

Leading Actor:
  Colin Firth -- The King's Speech
Cinematography: Wally Pfister -- Inception
Foreign Language Film: In a Better World -- Denmark
Sound Editing: Richard King -- Inception
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale -- The Fighter
Costume Design: Colleen Atwood -- Alice in Wonderland
Makeup: Rick Baker & Dave Elsey -- The Wolfman
Sound Mixing: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo & Ed Novick -- Inception
Leading Actress: Natalie Portman -- Black Swan
Directing: Tom Hooper -- The King's Speech
Original Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross -- The Social Network
Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley & Peter Bebb -- Inception
Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo -- The Fighter
Documentary Feature: 
Charles Ferguson  -- Inside Job
Original Song: “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 -- Randy Newman
Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin -- The Social Network
Animated Feature: Lee Unkrich -- Toy Story 3
Documentary Short: 
Kirk Simon -- Strangers No More
Animated Short Film: Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann -- The Lost Thing
Original Screenplay: David Seidler -- The King's Speech
Art Direction: Robert Stromberg & Karen O'Hara -- Alice in Wonderland
Film Editing: Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter -- The Social Network
Live Action Short Film: Luke Matheny -- God of Love
Best Picture: The King's Speech

.54 Hit versus .46 Miss

But, at least, better than chance.

Broadway is My Beat

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 27, 2011 12:13pm | Post a Comment

Broadway Is My Beat
, was a dark, gritty radio drama that began airing 62 years ago today on CBS, debuting February 27, 1949. The series revolved around Times Square homicide detective Danny Clover.


When the program debuted, it was produced in New York City. Clover was portrayed by actor Anthony Ross, a New York native and veteran of film and stage. His greatest exposure came playing the role of the Gentleman Caller in the 1944 original run of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.

The series' theme song was an instrumental rendition of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "Manhattan" and it was scored by Robert Stringer, a Nebraska-born composer who primarily wrote stock music for B-films, nearly always uncredited.

It featured scripts by Wisconsin-born (and later blacklisted) Peter Lyon, production by Lester Gottlieb, direction (and later production) by direction by Casey, Crime Photographer's John Dietz. Bern Bennet was the original announcer. 

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The Art of the LP Cover- Intoxicating Visons

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 26, 2011 11:40am | Post a Comment

The Gods Must Be Crazy: Studying Celebrity Culture

Posted by Charles Reece, February 26, 2011 10:13am | Post a Comment
I have cleansed myself. I closed my eyes and in a nanosecond, I cured myself... It's the work of sissies. The only thing I'm addicted to is winning. This bootleg cult, arrogantly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous, reports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math ... another one of their mottoes is "Don't be special, be one of us." Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you! I have a disease? Bullshit! I cured it with my brain, with my mind. I cured it, I'm done ... you don't look like you're having a lot of fun. I'm gonna hang out with these two smoking hotties and fly privately around the world. It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view, Alex!
-- Charlie Sheen on being a god

Could Sheen's firing from Men Behaving Badly be a sign of the end times for pop culture's Valhalla, that people will no longer put up with stars' egotistic bullshit? Nah, it's more like Ragnarök in the Thor comics, a cycle that's created by them, for them, but marketed to all of us -- diversionary entertainment at its purest. Here are some other recent examples:

Peter Biskind covers Mel Gibson's id in "The Rude Warrior" for Vanity Fair. Anyone who's read the author's books (e.g., Star, Down and Dirty Pictures) knows he has a penchant for overstatement, particularly when it comes to analogizing between a filmmaker's films and his or her personal life. This results in a hilarious reading of the movie I'm most anxious to see:

[The Beaver] features Gibson talking through a hand puppet that enables him to voice feelings he’s incapable of expressing directly, has been the object of much raillery. It hits every note in the Gibson songbook, and then some—most prominently, a suicidal dad redeemed by his son. (Foster says she took the script to Gibson because she thought it would speak to him personally.) But the film is so uncompromising, and directed with such delicacy, that it cuts through the sticky sentiment that is Gibson’s stock and trade. Foster manages to find in his preoccupations an authenticity that he has never been able to convincingly dramatize himself; she’s his beaver, so to speak.

I'm not sure he actually realized what he was writing in that last sentence, but what a double entendre.

In "The Apostate" at The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright interviews filmmaker Paul Haggis (e.g., Crash, Million Dollar Baby) about his fallout with The Church of Scientology, while detailing, along the way, the cult's history and its calculated relationship with Hollywood. There's so much great material here that it's hard to pick just one example, but Scientology's use of Sea Org (its missionary wing) for slave labor is fascinating. Take ex-member John Brousseau's involvement in providing favors for Tom Cruise:

In 2005, [Church leader and chairman David] Miscavige showed Cruise a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he owned. At Miscavige’s request, Brousseau had had the vehicle’s parts plated with brushed nickel and painted candy- apple red. Brousseau recalls, “Cruise asked me, ‘God, could you paint my bike like that?’ I looked at Miscavige, and Miscavige agreed.” Cruise brought in two motorcycles to be painted, a Triumph and a Honda Rune; the Honda had been given to him by Spielberg after the filming of War of the Worlds. “The Honda already had a custom paint job by the set designer,” Brousseau recalls. Each motorcycle had to be taken apart completely, and all the parts nickel-plated, before it was painted. (The church denies Brousseau’s account.)

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 02:25:11: Sims, Zion I & The Grouch, E. Lit, Macsen Apollo, Erk Tha Jerk + More

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2011 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:25:11

1) Sims Bad Time Zone (Zoomtree) CD

Proud to be stocking this product and even prouder that it's moving so well. This sophomore album from Sims is an album years in the making that highlights the Doomtree rapper's progression as an MC and talented lyricist. Doomtree's central producer, Lazerbeak, handles the entirety of the album's production and delivers some of his strongest beats to date. Very highly recommended, glad a distributor was wise enough to finally pick these guys up.

Cee Lo Green

2)  Cee-Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra) CD

Still moving strong, Cee-Lo's latest is just another example of how Goodie Mob's brightest shining member can make an album with massive radio appeal without sacrificing his artistic integrity. Whether he's singing or rapping, Cee-Lo always brings something interesting to the table.

3) Awol One & Factor The Landmark (Fake Four) CD

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Britney Spears Playing the Castro Theater March 29

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 25, 2011 10:42am | Post a Comment

According to SFist, Miss Britney Spears will be hitting one of San Francisco's most famous theaters, The Castro, to perform on Good Morning America on the day her new CD, Femme Fatale, is released -- March 29. Mark your calendars, bitches!

UPDATE: The performance will be shot March 27, a few days before it airs. More specific details now available here!

britney spears

T-West's Black History Month Rap Series

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2011 08:30pm | Post a Comment

T-West "Black History Month 2011"

For this year's Black History Month (BHM) talented Canadian rapper T-West wraps up his four part series of edutaining Black History Month raps with the above final BHM rap in the well received series. The first three T-West Black History Month raps (2006, 2009, & 2010) focused on praising the accomplishments of various Black figures that not everyone may have been aware of. As he said in introducing last year's BHM rap, the reason T-West writes and records these songs is, "Because I want young people to be excited about Black History Month. It was frustrating when I would be in class and none of my Black peers would be aware of some of the great things that Blacks had contributed to history." For T-West's latest and final Black History Month rap, released two weeks ago, the MC addresses (in the form of a letter been written) the individuals that he saluted in his past BHM raps. All four in the series are here and also on T-West's website.

T-West "Black History Month 2010"

 T-West "Black History Month 2009"

Let Me In? Alright, Sure!

Posted by Chuck, February 24, 2011 04:00pm | Post a Comment

Bullies? Check. Taboo love interest? Check. Youthful yearning, Morse code, fangs, acid-washed faces and a snooping detective you hope never finds what he’s looking for? Check, check, check. Plus there’s a Rubik’s Cube.

And there’s at least one obvious Americanism to Let Me In, which is the title itself. "Me" is more personal than "the Right One," a little more demanding and a lot less arbitrary. The title of the 2008 Swedish film—the Tomas Alfredson-directed Let the Right One In, a tender prepubescent romantic vampire story unlike much else before it—focused on key elements to the John Ajvide Lindqvist book, mainly the relationship between the two main characters (a meek boy, and an irregular non-girl vampire). Otherwise Låt den rätte komma in stayed loyal enough to leave bare footprints in the snow.

The Matt Reeves-directed film Let Me In of 2010 just had to distinguish itself, suggesting, for me anyway, a sense of that old “Let Us Americans Show You How It’s Done” bit. Plus there was the usual exchange rate caution that this could be another dumbed-down version of something already done right once if you could but get over your allergies to subtitles. In other words, the American film made me nervous, having liked the European one so much, and I don’t speak ka-ching the way Hollywood execs do. I feared the modern-day Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage that scandalized the original 1973 Scot version with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, that strong sick feeling of pointlessness. To my happy surprise though, Let Me In was more akin to how close The Ring got to capturing the non sequitur creepiness of Ringu. Did it have to be touched up for American audiences? Probably not, but then again, why not?

Shangri-La Sundays Presents Tim & Eric's Awesome Set

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 24, 2011 02:12pm | Post a Comment

: Sunday, March 6 at 7:00pm - March 7 at 12:30am. Make sure to mark that on your calendar and in your mobile phones and tricorders.

Location: R Bar LA 3331 8th St - WILSHIRE CENTERKOREATOWN.

CLICK HERE to see the Facebook event page and confirm that you're attending... then invite all of your friends.


Free! 무료! Miễn phí! Бесплатно! Gratis! Kostenlos! 免費!


Tim (DJ 2Tone) and Eric (DJ Poptone) DJing Asian/Vietnamese new wave, electro, eurodisco, freestyle, hi-NRG, Italo-disco, spacesynth and more. If you like '80s, beats, keytars, fun, synthetic fabrics, breaking, computers, booty-shaking, lasers, hairspray and drum machines you'll want to be there. 

"As always cocktail drinks served by are lovely and amazing Bartender Angela" -Tim

Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force


Albert One

Bad Boys Blue

Bobby Orlando

C.C. Catch

Company B

David Lyme

Den Harrow

Digital Emotion

F.R. David


Freestyle Project

Fun Fun


George Lamond


Gina T

 Jocelyn Enriquez

 Jonzun Crew


Kay Franzes

Ken Laszlo


Lil Suzy


Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam

Lisette Melendez

M.C. Shy-D

Magazine 60

Magic Mike


Modern Talking

Nice & Wild



Nolan Thomas

Pajama Party








Silent Circle

Stevie B

Sun La Shan

Sweet Sensation


The Cover Girls

The World Class Wreckin' Cru

Trans X

2 Hype Brothers And A Dog

Waterfront Home

Wish Key

also Angelina, Anthony, Arabian Prince, Avenue, B.O.S.E., Bad Boy Joe, Banana Band, Bass Dominator, Bass Junkie, Bazooka, Binary Ghost, Boys From The Bottom, Breakdown, Buffy, Cellophane, Charly Danone, Cheryl Hardy, Christal, Collage, Connie, Corina, Cosmic Touch, Cyber People, Cybotron, Cynthia, Daize, Danny Keith, De Johnny's, Debbie Deb, Dynamix II, Egyptian Lover, Energize, Eric, Exposé, Fake, Fantasy Life, Fascination, Felix, Frankie J, Freestyle, Funkatronic, Gigolo Tony, Hipnosis, Hot Cold, Impackt, Internal Affairs, Jaya, Jazaq, Jenny Burton, Jim Player, Josette, Judy Torres, Kelly Brown, Kidd Money, Klaas Bijland, L.A. Dream Team, Laserdance, Lian Ross, Linear, Lisa, Liscyn, Lonestarr, M.C. A.D.E., M:G DJ Spanish Fly, Maggotron Crushing Crew, Man Parrish, Mandarine, Marcus Gil, Megatrons, mindXpander, Mozzart, Nadia Cassini, Nayobe, Newcleus, Night Society, One Voice, Paul Sharada, Planet Patrol, Pluton & the Humanoids, Polaris, Protonic Storm, Proxyon, Purple Flash Orchestra, Quadrant Six, Reggie Griffin & Technofunk, Ringo, Rochelle, Rockell, Rodney Stepp, Rofo, Rygar, Sandee, Sarah Jean, Scala , Shah, Sorcery, Spanish F.L.Y., Squash Gang, Starr's Computer Band, Strafe, Strava Ganza, System Band, The Egyptian Lover, The Fast, The Future, The Mixtress, The New York Models, The S Factor, Timmy T, Tolga, Trinere, Tury Q, 12 Inches of Micmac, Twilight 22, Victoria Angeles, Vocoderion, Will to Power, Young & Restless, Yukihiro Takanawa and more!!!

Hope to see you then and there! 

With 14 Radio Stations Simulcasting, KUSF in Exile Amoeba SF Instore Was Historic Event

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2011 05:05am | Post a Comment
Last Friday afternoon's Save KUSF themed KUSF In Exile Amoeba Music San Francisco instore featured half-hour sets by six popular DJs from the recently ousted, much beloved San Francisco radio station. It was a history making event in which fourteen non-commercial radio stations across the nation all simulcast the WFMU New Jersey remote broadcast live. The event was also streamed on with a live video stream on As DJs Schmeejay, Irwin, Harry D, Jantine B, Carolyn, and Stereo Steve spun vinyl sets, dropping in classic KUSF IDs in between songs, with myself and WFMU co-host Gaylord Fields MC'ing the event, California radio stations in the Bay Area, Davis, and LA, in tandem with radio stations in seven other states across the US simultaneously carried the broadcast both terrestrially and via their respective online streams. These stations included many left of the dial college stations fearful of a DJ Irwin KUSFsimilar fate in this current economic climate in which universities have been selling off their FM stations for a quick cash fix with no regard to the importance of the role that their stations play in their respective communities.

Oscars 2011: My Ironclad Predictions

Posted by Charles Reece, February 23, 2011 11:48pm | Post a Comment

Leading Actor
  • Javier Bardem -- Biutiful (Roadside Attractions)
  • Jeff Bridges -- True Grit (Paramount)
  • Jesse Eisenberg -- The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Colin Firth -- The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company)
  • James Franco -- 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight)

He's cute, cuddly, British and speechifying with a speech impediment. Firth's only competition is Spanish-speaking Bardem, who stars in some emotive porn not many voters will have seen, but would've really loved if they had.

  • Matthew Libatique -- Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)
  • Wally Pfister -- Inception (Warner Bros.)
  • Danny Cohen -- The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company)
  • Jeff Cronenweth -- The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Roger Deakins -- True Grit (Paramount) 

With very few exceptions, Best Cinematography goes to period pieces. That suggests two rivals: The King's Speech and True Grit. This is Deakins' ninth nomination, but he's never won. Cohen is a first-timer, but for the kind of film that's always been more respected by the Academy. Based on a cursory search of the web, everyone's predicting anyone but Cohen. The King's Speech is a classically beautiful film, set in the past, and I don't think voters care much if this is Deakins' ninth nod, since repeatedly losing didn't make much of a difference on his eighth. Besides actors and directors, do the voters really pay much attention to how long someone's been shafted? The American Society of Cinematographers gave it to Pfister, but they're not the only ones voting now.

Foreign Language Film
  • Biutiful (Roadside Attractions) -- Mexico
  • Dogtooth (Kino International) -- Greece
  • In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics) -- Denmark
  • Incendies (Sony Pictures Classics) -- Canada
  • Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) (Cohen Media Group) -- Algeria

Dogtooth is pretty amazing, sort of Salò as a family dramedy, but that hardly sounds like something the Academy will cotton to. And, what, Carlos couldn't even be represented here? Both Bardem and Iñárritu have made solid connections with Hollywood, so if voters pay attention to any of these films, it'll be Biutiful.

Sound Editing
  • Richard King -- Inception (Warner Bros.)
  • Tom Myers and Michael Silvers -- Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney)
  • Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague -- Tron: Legacy (Walt Disney)
  • Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey -- True Grit (Paramount)
  • Mark P. Stoeckinger -- Unstoppable (20th Century Fox)

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Compton, Los Angeles County's Hub City

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 23, 2011 07:03pm | Post a Comment
***The following blog entry contains strong language and is intended for mature audiences***

This edition of Eric's Blog is all about the CPT.  Where? Compton. That's right. To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here.


Compton is an infamous city that is practically synonymous around the world with the South Los Angeles region in which it's located. Due in large part to the mythologizing and glamorization of N.W.A. and their gangsta rap followers, Compton has also become a byword for urban squalor and gang violence even though (not to make anyone feel old) nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the release of "Straight Outta Compton" and the city has, naturally, changed a great deal in that time. Nevertheless, the media continues to exploit the aging and increasingly irrelevant image as if Compton is frozen in time. Recently, a program on The History Channel hilariously claimed that "going to Compton is a death sentence for non-blacks." Not only are most residents of Compton non-black Latinos, there are small but visible groups of Belizeans, Filipinos, Koreans, Samoans and Tongans.

out this week 2/8 & 2/15...PJ Harvey!!!...Bright Eyes...Mogwai...Twilight Singers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, February 23, 2011 06:55pm | Post a Comment

PJ Harvey
is back! I love this lady like no other. I really get so excited every time she has a new album. She never stops impressing me and all her albums are so different but they are all uniquely PJ and they are all uniquely brilliant. This new album again switches things up and you might not like it at first but you can never go into a new PJ Harvey album expecting it to sound like any of her older albums. Dry and Rid Of Me remain two of my two favorite albums of all time and I would love to have those albums come out all over again but she has already done that. She doesn't need to go back and recreate the same style or energy she was working with back then. If you want those albums again then just go back and listen to them again! Her new album is called Let England Shake. It deals with some dark stuff, but remember, this is still PJ Harvey. The album deals mostly with war and fighting but not just in England, and it is a beautiful album at the same time. The album is what you make it. I am so happy she continues to impress me and make one great album one after the other.

PJ Harvey got her start way back in 1992 with her brilliant debut Dry. It came out in the beginning of summer, just weeks after I graduated from high school. As soon as one of my best friends played me the cassette in her car...I was in love. I think we all needed this album in our lives. It came at the perfect time for me. "Oh My Lover," "Dress," Sheela-Na-Gig," "Plants & Rags," "O Stella," & "Hair" are all on this album. I actually love every single song. It is one of those records that stands up almost 20 years later! I can't really even believe it has been that long. The album was dark and weird, powerful and full of this crazy energy. She seemed to just come out of nowhere. Other than Siouxsie, I really didn't love a whole lot of female musicians at the time. I pj harvey rid of meneeded some more in my life for sure. Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos had come out earlier that year. Debut by Bjork was right around the corner. Rid of Me came out the following year, in May of 1993. I was so excited to check out her second album -- I really had probably listened to Dry hundreds of times already at that point. Rid Of Me was perfect. It was even louder and more aggressive than Dry. I am sure it was not exactly the album that her label wanted her to make but it was another brilliant album and I couldn't get enough. The album featured "50ft Queenie," "Man Size," "Rid of Me," "Legs," & "Yuri-G." I actually didn't get around to seeing her live until her third album. I regret to this day that I didn't see those first two tours!

Her third album was To Bring You My Love in 1995. The album featured "Down by the Water," "C'mon Billy," "Long Snake Moan," & "To Bring You My Love." "Down by the Water" was the first single and I think the first time I heard the song was when I saw the video on MTV. It was for sure a different direction for her. The song became one of her biggest singles. I was still in love and I couldn't get enough. I finally got to see her live and PJ was, of course, amazing in person. I have never missed a live show since. She has continued to release a new album every couple of years. Is This Desire? in 1998, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea in 2000, Uh Huh Her in 2004, White Chalk in 2007, and now her new album, Let England Shake, in 2011. Not everybody liked White Chalk but I have loved them all. Stories from the City is one of my favorites of the later albums. I have been listening to this new album a bunch -- I just keep it on repeat. I didn't really fall in love until about the 4th or 5th time through. PJ Harvey stands up there with Siouxsie as one of my favorite female musicians of all time and her 8 albums all have a special place in my heart, coinciding with different parts of my life. I feel like I have grown up with her! She has been there with me from the month after high school right until now. I look forward to where she takes me on her journey. I love you, PJ Harvey.

Check out the video for PJ Harvey's new song "The Words That Maketh Murder" from her new album Let England Shake...

Coexisting with Scuby, Rappin' with Little Wings...

Posted by Kells, February 23, 2011 05:38pm | Post a Comment

Oh, man. I've been anticipating the release of this Little Wings record since, well, since Soft Pow'r dropped in 2007 because, real talk, I simply can't get enough of the stuff. Seriously, if his music was all I had to listen to for the rest of my life I can imagine living perfectly happy with that. So, I'll save myself from sharing what would certainly be an incredibly biased, glowing review of Black Grass (I only just received my record anyhow) and sum up my barely realized feelings about it thusly: it rules! The apple-tastic covert art hints at but a fraction of the symbolic baggage packed all up in that fresh LP sleeve and the *new* songs are as fresssh as the material devotees like me are surely already familiar with given the countless shows between albums, the Little Wings Daytrotter sesh last January and the ever-malleable nature of Kyle Field's approach to self-expression.

After an amazing (behooded, double-fisted microphone) Little Wings show at Amnesia earlier in January I chanced to speak with Kyle, who surprisingly and much to my embarrassment had heard about my one-off Little Wings cover band, and we agreed to scheme an instore gig (going down this Saturday, Feb. 26, 2pm at Amoeba Music in San Francisco)  and do an interview as well -- check it out below!

First off, I'd like to ask about your new record. You've been performing some of the songs from Black Grass for quite some time now; how long has the record been in the making?

Little Wings:
five years in the making in some sense, seven in another. i cannot believe it took me seven years to release ten songs, i was just hibernating or something, i still don't believe it. but i think that was a necessary break somehow.....?

What would you say is the overall vibe of the record? Does it have a particular place in time or season, is there a theme or feeling that inspired or permeates the collection of songs here?

LW: the overall vibe? disappointment and starting over maybe, the darkest hour peeling into the dawn, but the light isn't strong yet, a candle that might blow out? am i only answering with more questions?

At this moment what would you say is your favorite Black Grass jam?

mr. natural!

                               [check out the sweet-as video for Little Wings' "Mr. Natural" below]

How do you know when a song is finished, or ready to be recorded? 

i don't know how i know i know but i do. how do you know when a snowman is finished?

There seems to be little separation between the stylistic and thematic quality of your visual artwork and your music; do you feel there is any separation between the two or do you think of the two mediums as one?

i never know what to say about how they relate to each other, neither medium requires that i know how to relate them to each other, so i have never needed to pin it down me thinks.

The cast of characters that inhabit both your music and artistic creations are fun to imagine keeping up with. Do you ever have trouble with them? Have they been with you since you were a kid?

trouble? they are all based on me reading myself through others and trying to make a joke i think.
they keep me young i hope.

The Shredder, Scuby, Hanta Yo, Uncle've recorded many songs, if not song trilogies, for (or perhaps, as) these guys: what ever happened to Limber Legs and Grey Squirrel?

limber legs and grey squirrel, yes! those were two songs that were only ever recorded live, they are out there somewhere on a big sure tape i believe?

If you were to put together a class picture of these characters who would be in the center of the back row? Who'd be sitting Indian-style up front, possibly holding the sign?

scuby would be holding a branch/hanky bindle thingy, uncle K would be embarrassed to sing his own song. Hanta Yo would be singing indian style, and the shredder would be wearing torn Op shorts like dogtown documentary style. hopefully the photo is from '83, with the wizards being the school mascot, it's true!!!!

I'm curious about what are you listening to these days. Is there any new music you're into? What music do you always go back to, never tire of listening to?

i cannot seem to tire of lil' wayne the drought three. that is my main source for energy and musical income. he is such a wordsmith, and i am constantly having new breakthroughs with his lyrics and what they are doing. "money gives me life like a man with a gavel." thomas campbell and i are doing this installation at park life gallery right now and he is playing me so much music i have never heard but love instantly. i am completely unadventurous when it comes to seeking out music, i am not sure why, but i don't need outside music the same way i used to, i am trying to hear an inside song and jealously await new songs.

How about your earliest musical influences, can you remember the very first album you owned? Was it instrumental in your decision to become a musician?

my first tape i bought was toto IV in fourth grade, for the song "africa." it gave me this romantic feeling that i could wrap myself up in and listening to music has always brought me goosebumps and such heights.

I read before in another interview that when you're not enjoying "easy listening" you like listening to Iron Maiden, among other things. As a Maiden head, I gotta know: what is your favorite Maiden jam?

i love "killers!" but i first got into live after death in 8th grade. I love both of the versions of the band with paul or bruce singing, i kind of celebrate all of their 80's catalogue but didn't even make it past somewhere in time? so, when i was in highschool there were these surfers what were called the rats, and they were into iron maiden and i thought they owned it, so i couldn't wear it on my sleeve...but it was inspirational music, so fast and wicked....

I love that you often include choice cover jams in your live sets: what kind of song makes you want to take it for a drive? Have you ever heard a song and thought,"damn, I should have written that?"

"human nature!" when i learned the lyrics i felt like i knew michael so much better and really fell harder for him, then i find out it was written by one of the toto guys, what?!

live Little Wings cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature"here:

What is your opinion on karaoke?

i think it is harder than playing a show. i thought i could go up and make up words to "funky cold medina" and the place was packed with regular karaoke pros, and they were just puzzled. i totally choked and had to leave the stage.......

I understand you are an avid surfer: how often, if ever, do you find inspiration for your music and art when you're out there catching 10,000 waves?

i probably indirectly am inspired by the speed of the water, but what i really like about it is that it can absorb one's attention so fully that there is no room for any other thoughts. i usually just have room enough to have someone's song in my head.

Do you have a favorite surf documentary or surf related movie?

i love sprout, endless summer, litmus, the clay marzo movie just add water, and i love the surfing of derek hynd.

Have you always been a beach person?

sort of, but i can also feel alienated by the classic extroverted socal beach scene where guys are dumping water on screaming girls and stuff. i like beaches that look like gilligan's island, it keeps the parking lot riff raff out, they don't like walking on dirt trails?

Do you have any magical powers, because I'm inclined to assume that you do. Is there any particular power you would wish to wield?

esp and magical timing and thinking, seeing the right numbers at the right time, when i am thinking of someone and they call or tap me in the shoulder, i am fascinated by all of these occurrences and feel like i am in the right slipstream when i feel them stacking up, like i can't lose and can't stop.

I know you mentioned H.P. Lovecraft at sometime somewhere in one of your songs: Do you love him? Beach reading? What's on your beloved book list?

i don't know this song......and i don't think i have read him. i like joseph campbell and alan watts a lot. that is all i can think of at the moment..... and d.l. estero!!!
[please note: I figured out the Lovecraft reference I recalled is not from a song but comes from one of the skits on Magic Would, the Little Wings half of a split LP/cassette with Justin Clifford Rhody released on Indiana label Friends and Relatives in 2005.]

If you were to write an autobiography at this time in your life what would you title it, how heavy would it be and how would it end?

considering i would never do this i have no idea. great question and it really sets me up to be funny and all but i can't indulge in this Q at all somehow. it is fun to mythologize yourself with friends as a joke but i am still finding my feet on fanning the flames of a public persona. every time i read interviews where people are trying to be funny it gives me a weird feeling? david berman has done some of the best interviews, i can't come close....

Do you have any projects, schemes, shenanigans currently in the works?

a tape that will come out after black grass, a second be gulls joint, trying to do some more skateboard graphics. try and start jogging again?

One last question: a friend of mine would like to know "what is a what button?" and I am wondering, is there just one?

there is only one what button, you're right. i wonder what your friend thinks it is? i bet anything could be....
I know that's right. Thanks so much for your time Kyle, we are looking forward to your show!

What are the Mardi Gras Indians? (A Quick History)

Posted by Amoebite, February 23, 2011 05:23pm | Post a Comment
Since Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and we are talking about Black History---it seems fitting toMardi Gras Indians talk a little about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans and Louisiana. Still thriving, the Mardi Gras Indians are an important part of the Mardi Gras tradition and are said to have originated from the alliance between runaway slaves and the American Indians who provided a safe haven. It is also said that the African and Indian cultures found a natural affinity for each other as oppressed minorities within the early American settlements. The "Indians" incorporated African and Native American traditions in dress and rituals. Later on when Caribbean influences came to New Orleans, that flavor was also added to the mix.

The tribes of "Black Indians" which grew in Southwest Louisiana were defined by region and neighborhood and they became very territorial. To protect their status as the "reigning" Tribe in the neighborhood very often meant violent showdowns. In the early days of the 20th century, the focus of the "tribes" became less about territory and "turf wars" and became more about status defined by the better and more colorful suits and headdresses, as well as the songs and dances. The "battles" that the various tribes would do in the neighborhooMardi Gras Indiansds were about garnering respect for the amazing costumes and the dancing.

It was an ominous thing to see a group of Indians outside about to do battle with each other, and generally folks ran away. But nowadays, people flock to see the colors and hear the chanting, and to watch the "Big Chiefs" do battle. A Mardi Gras Indian Chief's suit can weigh up to 150 pounds, and he makes his suit each year with the help of his family. The tribe works all year to create a BETTER suit than the year before.

All Hail Record Store Day's 2011 Ambassador, Ozzy Osbourne

Posted by Amoebite, February 23, 2011 10:47am | Post a Comment

ozzy osbourne

If you love Amoeba, you no doubt know what Record Store Day is at this point. But did you know that RSD comes with its own ambassador of vinyl goodness? Yes, it's true, and this year's highly regarded representative is none other than the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne!

This year's RSD falls on Saturday, April 16th and on that day you'll be able to pick up a huge range of special to RSD limited releases from zillions of artists, but from Ozzy you'll find a special 7" of "Flying High Again," plus 30th Anniversary vinyl editions of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman.

Stay tuned for many more RSD details as the date gets closer! To check out past RSD madness at all three Amoebas, click here.

The Melvins and High on Fire Stuck in New Zealand After Quake

Posted by Amoebite, February 22, 2011 04:39pm | Post a Comment


EBX reports that friends to Amoeba and tourmates The Melvins and High on Fire are stuck in Christchurch, New Zealand after a 6.3 earthquake struck today.

Imagine leaving the quake-happy Bay Area only to live through the big one on the other side of the world!

high on fire

New 12" Releases @ Amoeba Hollywood 2/22 - Rainbow Arabia, Shackleton, Omar S, Elektro Guzzi, Jeff Mills & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 22, 2011 04:15pm | Post a Comment

Boys And Diamonds LP+CD

This is the debut full-length album by Rainbow Arabia. Averse to any easy classification, Rainbow Arabia's continent-trekking, kaleidoscope pop is rooted in no particular time or place, employing modern technological processes to an array of musical cultures and eras. The Los Angeles duo began with the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and Eastern beats, with which they quickly recorded their propulsive first EP, The Basta, synthesizing bossa nova and industrial post-punk with heavy Middle Eastern vibes. Digging deeper for inspiration from the worldly found sounds of Sublime Frequencies compilations, their follow-up EP, Kabukimono, expanded the color palette of their "fourth world" pop with dark, Arabic disco-dancehall jams sitting alongside sunnier moments with Caribbean and African flourishes. Rather than restricting themselves to the expanse and musical artifacts of Earth alone, Danny and Tiffany Preston recalibrate their focus, aiming their sights upwards into outer space. Nearly a year in the making, Boys And Diamonds is a stunning journey that not only marries East with West but also the past with the future. Immediately, you can hear some familiar elements found in their previous releases: Danny's asymmetrical tribal beats and lysergic pads, Tiffany's labyrinthine fretwork and tick-tock vocal swagger. But you'll also notice: the hooks are stickier and more confident, the rhythms are sturdier, and the production is lusher, even astral, giving the songs more space to breathe. Boys And Diamonds is unmistakably a pop album but also one that comfortably fits in with Kompakt's long-standing lineage of genre-refracting releases. You will be hard-pressed to find another record that cohesively brings to mind Siouxsie rubbing elbows with Shabba Ranks, Giorgio Moroder sipping daiquiris in Bali, Desmond Dekker envisioned through skittering footwork, Tom Tom Club sitting in with Congotronics, even early Madonna produced by Chris and Cosey. Unlikely as all of that sounds, Rainbow Arabia makes it sound easy. Drummer/producer extraordinaire Butchy Fuego (Pit Er Pat, Boredoms, MIA) contributes arrangements and beats in places, and Icy Demons' Dylan Ryan plays on the percussion-heavy island shuffle "Nothin Gonna Be Undone." The album was mixed at the wonderful Hobby Shop studios in L.A. by Mudrock, who also adds some final production touches on the record.

Purchase Rainbow Arabia - Boys & Diamonds here


Fireworks/Undeadman 2x12"
Honest Jon's Records

Top of Form Two brilliant Shackleton tracks with remixes by T++ and Baron Mordant. On "Fireworks," the mood is malevolent with synth shrapnel crisscrossing a stately, choral progression. T++'s remix enacts a rhythmic necromancy, its brittle, emaciated breakbeats shunting forward ravenously. "Undeadman" raises "Deadman." Midi signals from the original were sent to synths; sounds and effects were recorded separately and rearranged. Mordant Music re-fashions it into an epic of bad-trip kosmische. Designed by Will Bankhead, the sleeve layers different Zeke Clough artworks, in spot UV varnish.

Purchase Shackleton - Fireworks/Undeadman here

MDR 7 12"
Marcel Dettman Records

"Raw killer techno."

Purchase Norman Nodge - MDR 07 here

Extrakt EP 12"

The Extrakt EP captures the latest state of Elektro Guzzi's incredible live sound, recorded in London with the outstanding capabilities of Brendon "Octave" Harding, the trusted engineer of dub legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, and mixed by mega-producer Patrick Pulsinger. The four cuts capture Elektro Guzzi's raw side, turning out dark, sexy grooves with an almost indie edge -- probably their most danceable and DJ-friendly studio material to date -- specifically produced for the vinyl format.

Purchase Elekro Guzzi - Extrakt here


Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance 12”

Omar S starts 2011 in fine form with this absolutely incredible track. This is up there with the likes of Psychotic Photosynthesis. One sided release. Check!

Purchase Omar S - Here's Your Trance, Now Dance here

JEFF MILLS: The Beatmaster 12”
PROTECT-U: World Music 12”
ROYAL T: Orangeade 12”
MARTINEZ: Mzuzu 12"
VA: Warehouse Vol. 1 12"
DANIEL STEFANIK: Nocturnal 12"
SOUND OF THE ENDERS: Chapter 1: Lloyd 12"
JAMIE ANDERSON & OWAIN K: Without Sound 12"
CAMARA & BUSTLER/HIDENOBU ITO: When The Night Falls/Come (feat. Anna Yamada) 10"
FIAKUN TEAM: Around Your Neck 12"
SHACKLETON: Deadman 12"
KASBAH ZOO: Palabras 12"
MARCIN CZUBALA: Stay Close 12"
ROLAND APPEL: Fleurs Du Mal 12"
HENRY & LOUIS (FEAT. PACEY): Everyman Different (Mungo's Hi Fi Rmx) 12"
WILL SAUL & TAM COOPER: Hi-Lo/Room In Your Heart 2x12"
SCIENCE/VON D: Motion Tween EP 12"
BRUCH & JUNIOR: Runway To Kenia 12”
FUSED FORCES: K-Hole/Who U Dealing With 12"
JONA: Air EP 12"
LIVIO & ROBY: Moduri EP 12"

Ports O' Call: Paradise is Spinning (at 33 1/3 rpm)

Posted by Kells, February 22, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment
What do you get when two nerds from the same record store meet regularly to discuss all manner of music, art and general enjoyment over rum flights and multiple cocktails at San Francisco's best stocked "tiki" lounge? Hmmm, somehow I can't rememeber...

...oh right, "Ports O' Call" --- three hours of uninterrupted Exotica mixed live on the wheels of steel as a part of Amoeba's weekly, in-house "Mandala" DJ series! DJ Martin Baxter Lyman (a.k.a. Amoeba jazz-man extraordinaire, Mr. Scott Walker) and DJ Long Gone Gamelan Gong (that's me!) will be exploring the experimental themes and concepts of Polynesian infused grooves from the founding fathers of Exotica and their Tiki temple grounds to popular Hapa Haole and Surf styles, with respect to native influences inherent to and modern music influenced by the genre. So if all sounds Exotica are your thing then this Friday, February 25th, from 6 to 9pm is the best time for you to come down to Amoeba Music in San Francisco to do a little vinyl treasure hunting while we mix up some island fever inducing south seas sonic realness. Requests welcome!

Martin Denny & Si Zentner "Tiki" from Exotica Suite

(In which the author receives an anonymous gift.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 21, 2011 04:38pm | Post a Comment

Don't you hate it when you're stuck sitting on a plane next to someone with thick ankles?

The other day I was busily preparing my usual breakfast – a small bowl of nonfat cottage cheese with a few cucumber slices, a cup of black coffee, and a rice cake, all deep fried and smothered in butterscotch gravy – when a knock came on the front door. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found no one there, some eight hours later. What was there was a small package, neatly wrapped in what looked like paper (though this is merely speculation on my part).

Strange packages from persons unknown should always be regarded with suspicion, but as I am a curious person by nature (my great-great-grandfather was a cat) I couldn’t help but open it, which proved to be a long and arduous task as I opted to use only my tongue, rather than the more versatile and saliva-free hands I keep at the end of my arms.

Inside the package was a cassette tape, painted a variety of colors, but without any linguistic explanation as to its purpose or content. I assumed it was a gift from one of my fans, but then I remembered they were without capacity for thought, incapable of free will and basically only good for circulating air. No, this cassette tape was almost certainly from a human, probably a living one, and almost certainly residing somewhere on this planet!

Having thus solved this riddle to my satisfaction, I sought out mechanisms necessary to enjoy the cassette. I decided to use my old boom-box (that’s 1990’s for “ghetto blaster”), which gets far better sound than my washing machine (though does nothing for butterscotch gravy stains).

Guitarist Johnny Nitro, Bay Area Blues Fixture For Decades, Died Over the Weekend at Age 59

Posted by Billyjam, February 21, 2011 03:26pm | Post a Comment
                      Fan footage of the late Johnny Nitro playing at RWC Blues Jam (May 2009)

As reported by SF Gate, the Bay Area blues scene lost one of its hardest working musicians over the weekend when longtime San Francisco blues guitarist Johnny Nitro, known for his guitar chops and his raspy singing voice, dropped dead Saturday night in his North Beach apartment. His apartment was directly above the oldest bar in San Francisco, the Saloon bar on Grant Avenue -- a venue he came downstairs to play at regularly. I saw him play there and at other Bay Area venues over the years on many occasions and he would always play his heart out and clearly lived his life for the blues. Nitro, who was 59, reportedly had been suffering from heart disease and diabetes for a good few years and recently had to be hospitalized for a few days after he collapsed onstage during a gig. As well as tirelessly gigging in local bars/clubs, mainly, Nitro was also a teacher at the Blue Bear School of Music at Fort Mason. Rest in peace, Johnny Nitro. You will be missed.

SF Producer Salva Releases New Video for "Weeeird Science"

Posted by Billyjam, February 21, 2011 02:02pm | Post a Comment

Salva - Weeeird Science (Dr. Plot's 'Space is the Place' Video Mix)
from Frite Nite on Vimeo.

Talented local San Francisco producer Salva, from the Frite Nite label/crew in SF and resident DJ at Change The Beat parties at SOM Bar alongside Mophono and others, has just released this entertaining yet shamelessly cheesy retro sci-fi styled video for his old school synth driven, funky bass track "Weeeird Science (Dr. Plot's 'Space is the Place' Video Mix)."

The song is taken from the Chicago born artist's recently released debut album Complex Housing, which was unleashed earlier this month by the Los Angeles based FoF Music label. Since then it has been winning positive reviews all over, including one a few days ago on Pitchfork. A digital and vinyl only release, look for it on vinyl at Amoeba Music.

The Art of the LP Cover- The Oak Tree!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 21, 2011 10:45am | Post a Comment

Morris Day
may have had the song but it seems that Bobby Brown rocked the style harder than anyone.

Rayon, oversized sweaters, granny brooches, epaulets and faux creepers...the Oak Tree was the one stop shop for my jr. high school semi-formals. When did they all disappear?

February 20, 2011: From Prada To Nada

Posted by phil blankenship, February 21, 2011 12:12am | Post a Comment

This is Your Library, LA

Posted by Amoebite, February 19, 2011 05:41pm | Post a Comment

This is Your Library! Join us on March 3 for the second in a new series of late-night talk show-like events beginning at 8pm at the historic Central Library in downtown LA. The evening will feature well-known and not so well-known Angelenos talking about what they do, how they do it and what it means to be doing it in Los Angeles. Enjoy Dublab DJs, live music from He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, internationally acclaimed artist Catherine Opie, comedian Patton Oswalt, novelist Wesley Stace (aka singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding) and more! More info here.

los angeles library

Diamanda Galas Hates The Foo Fighters

Posted by Charles Reece, February 19, 2011 11:30am | Post a Comment

Due as much to Dave Grohl's public stance as an HIV-denier as his musical ability, Diamanda Galás prefers Buddy Rich, or as she eloquently put it:

The FOO fighters? He is a drummer without a brain. I was raised on Buddy RIch. Now we have
breeders with chopsticks talking about viral duplication. Oh dear. Oh mommy. Oh SHUT UP, will ya?

And to my suggestion that he's a nice fellow, she replied:

When the water reaches sea level, girl, hit me baby one more time. We are talking about AIDS disinformation. I could give a fellating fuck about nice. Give me an honest homophobe over a dumbass liberal DARTH VADER bearing crystals on the bodies of the soon- to- be- dead. “Bless you my child, while the rich white boys on WALL STREET were taking anti-virals ‘just in case’ they stayed alive long enough to get the protease cocktails, YOU, sainted brother, die unblemished by the crimes of the marketplace, but annointed by ME.” JESUS FUCK ME. What a bloody weekend.

Just in case you might've missed it.

New 12" Releases @ Amoeba Hollywood 2/18 - Efdemin, James Blake, Kassem Mosse, Raime, Ryan Elliott & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 18, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment


Chicago Remixes 12”

With surely one of the most exciting releases ever, Dial presents the heavenly dreamteam of DJ Koze, Portable and Efdemin himself remixing tracks off of Chicago (DIAL 021CD/LP). DJ Koze has always been a part of the Dial family so it was just a matter of time to ask him for a remix. Portable and Efdemin have always exchanged music and friendship. Now they share this beautiful and outstanding first part of the Chicago remixes. Also includes a dub version.

Purchase Efdemin - Chicago Remixes here:

James Blake

James Blake DLP

Within the last year this producer has gone from relative obscurity to one of the hottest names in the post dubstep underground. Living up to the hype, this debut album further explores his sonic trademarks of melancholy soul & glitchy electronica. Includes 2 bonus cuts not on the CD!

Purchase James Blake - James Blake here:

Kassem Mosse

Workshop 012 12”

Blinding killer 12" - TIP!

Purchase Kassem Mosse - Workshop 012 here:


Retread 12”
Blackest Ever Black

Blackest Ever Black is a new label founded to channel and promote the violent, poetic and provocative impulses lying dormant in electronic music. Its first release is by Raime, a London-based duo who draw explicit inspiration from the marginal mavericks of early European goth, industrial and synth wave. This is a trio of essays in unease, and a welcome sign that the post-techno avant-garde is alive, angry and untethered to the dancefloor, academy or gallery space. Music for hard times.

Purchase Raime - Retread here:

Fingers/The It

A Path/Donnie
K Starke

The DJ INTERNATIONAL classic "DONNIE," which was produced by LARRY HEARD, CHIP E, & HARRY DENNIS as THE IT, gets reissued, but this time it's the "LOVE AND HAPPINESS VERSION" that sees the light. On the flip, VIRGO brings their mix of the FINGERS track "A PATH." Both are undeniably bangin!

Purchase Fingers/The It - Donnie here:

Ryan Elliott

Rocksteady EP 12"
Ostgut Ton

The latest addition to the Ostgut roster, Detroit's Ryan Elliott, is a recognised force on the international DJ circuit -- yet his productions are few and far between. Now re-located in Berlin, the new Berghain resident contributed his track >Abatis< to the >Fünf< anniversary compilation, setting the tone with dark and brooding Techno undercurrents. These two new tracks bring Ryan's production skills to the fore, both slow burning and refined recordings that show off his love for bassline-led, straightforward club tools.

Purchase Ryan Elliott - Rocksteady here:

Neurotic Drum Band
U Got Me Dancin' 12"

The Neurotic Drum Band struck gold with the monster piano anthem "Robotic Hypnotic Adventure," a remarkable piece of music which found its way into the sets of discerning DJs such as James Murphy, Aeroplane and Agoria, amongst countless others. "U Got Me Dancin'" features vocals by Cole Williams of That's My Cole and Great Weekend, in a wild duet with Neurotic's resident robot. Shimmering pianos glide over a tough rhythm section, and you can't help but sing along.

Purchase Neurotic Drum Band - U Got Me Dancin' here:


Nang Presents The Array Vol. 2

4 track sampler from the 2nd installment in NANG RECORDS ARRAY series. The vinyl takes 4 of the more dancefloor leaning tracks from the CD. Synth pop from NUURO, Baltic disco from PROPER HEAT, funkiness from TOBY TOBIAS & a previously unreleased remix from JUSTUS KOHNCKE.

Purchase - Nang Presents Array Vol. 2 here:

N-Type & Cyrus - DARK FREQUENCY 12”
Jam Factory/VOLUME 2 12”
Random Person/COMPUTER MUSIC 12”
Newcleus/JAM ON IT 2011 REMIXES 12”
Nu:Tone/SHINE IN 12”
They Live/PURE PALMS 12”
Persnickety All-Stars/BROTHERS STAY..12”
Model 500/OFI (BULLION & SDC RMX'S) 10”
Reverso 68/WELL HEELED 12”
Inland Knights/BORROWED VOL 9 12”
Zepp001/THE WARM 12”
Wild Cookie/DRUGS EP 12”
Tiago/THE SOURCE 12”
Black Rose/ANTHEM 12”
Swindle/PLAYGROUND 12”
X-Press 2/GET ON YOU 12”
Small World Disco/EDITS #12 12”
DJ SODEYAMA: Miles 12”
TIGER STRIPES: How We Feel 12"
VA: Boysnoize Presents Super Acid 2LP
TOMMY FOUR SEVEN: Armed 3/Ratu 12"
UNER: Bassboot 12"
EDDIE C: Do It Yourself 12"
MONKEY MAFFIA: Monkey Maffia Music Club 12"
RVDS: Moments 2x12"
RAINBOW ARABIA: Without You 7”
MOVE D/SERAFIN: Anne Will/Starship Discothèque 12"
KINK/ADAM PORT: Detunator/Stalker 12"
APENDICS.SHUFFLE: I See The Morning Time 12"
MAYA JANE COLES: Beat Faster 12"
NAUM GABO: Songs From A Great City 12"
FUMIYA TANAKA: Fur Elodie 12"
ILLUM SPHERE: Dreamstealin' 12"
GABRIEL ANANDA: Love Attack 12"

SF Band The Mantles Release New Video for "Cascades"

Posted by Miss Ess, February 18, 2011 10:25am | Post a Comment
Fabulous local SF garage band The Mantles have just released this film bit for their beautifully scuzzy sounding track "Cascades."

The Mantles - "Cascades" from Mexican Summer on Vimeo.

Amoeblog Black History Month Series Salutes Leroy Moore & the Krip-Hop Nation, Pt I

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2011 09:01am | Post a Comment

Leroy Moore
Leroy Moore
, the founder of the Krip Hop Nation -- the burgeoning global umbrella organization for hip-hop artists with disabilities -- may appear to have the proverbial chips stacked against him. The Berkeley, CA artist, activist, organizer has cerebral palsy, which significantly affects his speech and slows down his mobility. But in no way does that deter Moore who, in the five years since he founded the growing global Krip-Hop organization, has gotten increasingly busier with every turn.

This Black History Month Amoeblog is part one in a two-part salute to this amazing, hard-working, positive & productive individual. The much longer second part, which will run on Thursday, Feb 24th, will include an in-depth interview with Moore and present a detailed overview of the numerous Krip-Hop artists (hip-hop artists with disabilities) around the world that Moore has been documenting via a series of compilation releases and other projects.

2010 was an incredibly busy year for Moore who, besides Krip-Hop Nation, is involved in a myriad of activities including the Sins Invalid arts & education organization. In 2010 Moore spent a good deal of time out on the road traveling to Krip Hop related events back East, down South, and over in Europe, where he and his group were presenters at the UK's DaDa Fest (Disability & Deaf Arts). We're only seven weeks into 2011 and this new year is already shaping up to be an even more hectic one for the man and the Krip-Hop Nation organization he founded five years ago.

Get These Guys to Make Movie Trailers: Dead Island

Posted by Charles Reece, February 17, 2011 10:50pm | Post a Comment

I didn't think I'd ever be praising anything to do with a video game, but the trailer for the upcoming Dead Island is structurally brilliant: Two parallel time lines, one moving forward, but set in the recent past, and the other beginning in the present, but moving in reverse. They meet towards the end, connecting the stories. I found it on Ain't It Cool News, to give credit where credit's due. Watch it in HD! Or you can watch the flimsier version here:


February 17, 2011: The Roommate

Posted by phil blankenship, February 17, 2011 10:39pm | Post a Comment

S. Carey of Bon Iver to Play Big Sur

Posted by Amoebite, February 17, 2011 05:13pm | Post a Comment

bon iver s. carey

S. Carey of the ever-popular Bon Iver will play an exclusive gig at the legendary Henry Miller Library in Big Sur on May 22! This show is gonna sell out right quick, so get your tickets online here!

Beth Ditto's Solo Video "I Wrote the Book"

Posted by Miss Ess, February 17, 2011 04:56pm | Post a Comment

Beth Ditto's band The Gossip once played an instore in SF on my birthday, back in '04. I was so excited to see them play! I'd been a fan since the first notes of That's Not What I Heard rang through my college radio station. What I remember most about the fateful instore date is that poor Beth tripped UP the stairs in the back bowels of Amoeba, totally fell down, and was mortified! Poor gal! But she was so sweet! And the instore rocked, too! (The Gossip played another one in Hollywood a couple years back, too.)

Anyway, fast forward to the now, and Beth is releasing a solo album this March and the video for the first single, "I Wrote the Book" is quite Madonna-esque and supremely dance-y. Check it out here!

Mudhoney Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Posted by Amoebite, February 17, 2011 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Grunge authorities Mudhoney have just announced tour dates along our fine West Coast via SubPop. Without further ado:

04/29/2011 - Oakland, CA, The New Parish
04/30/2011 - San Diego, CA, Casbah, with The Makeup Sex
05/01/2011 - Los Angeles, CA, Echoplex
06/24/2011 - Seattle, WA, Tractor Tavern
06/25/2011 - Portland, OR, Dante’s

Comedy Duo Garfunkel and Oates Live at Amoeba Charity Auction

Posted by Amoebite, February 17, 2011 03:02pm | Post a Comment
If you haven't heard of Garfunkel and Oates yet, you probably will soon. (No, it's not a long-lost collaboration between folk singer Art Garfunkel and pop/soul singer John Oates.) Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are two actresses and singers also known as the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. They've appeared on Raising Hope, Scrubs, Last House on the Left, Bored to Death, and The Big Bang Theory. They've performed on The Tonight Show and were just signed to a pilot deal with HBO. They also recently hosted our monthly charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood to celebrate the release of their new comedy album, All Over Your Face.

Riki and Kate met at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and began working together on a short film called Imaginary Larry. As Garfunkel and Oates they create satirical folk songs covering topics like same sex marriage ("Sex With Ducks"), gently telling a guy they aren't interested ("I Would Never [Have Sex With You]"), and the joys of pregnancy ("Pregnant Women Are Smug"). You can buy All Over Your Face here or at Amoeba Hollywood.

This Week At The New Beverly: Robert Altman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Musical Classics, TMNT, Grindhouse Film Fest & More!

Posted by phil blankenship, February 17, 2011 11:25am | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full upcoming schedule is available online:

Thursday, February 17

Ghost World editor Michael R. Miller will appear IN PERSON, schedule permitting, on Thursday to discuss!

Finally, yet another 2010 release that didn't get a fair-shake theatrical run writer-director Lena Dunham's shoestring debut feature Tiny Furniture nonetheless captivated critics to a certain degree even if audiences had no idea that it was even playing, let alone where. The central idea sounds almost forbiddingly familiar: a recent college grad, played by the auteur herself, returns to her claustrophobic home world without a clue as to where to direct her life. Ostensibly a piquant addition to the D.I.Y. Mumblecore aesthetic, Dunham's picture is more assured than what usually comes from this neck of the woods, offering a certain comic charm and naiveté to replace what some might call the calculated restlessness of the typical Mumblecore character type. Ultimately, Tiny Furniture is more satisfying than what you might expect because Dunham herself is as sharp a writer as she is a somewhat recessive camera subject, and you get the sense that she's critiquing her character's self-indulgence a touch more than she celebrates it. Tiny Furniture may be most valuable, however, for the glimpse it affords into the promise of even more lovely and detailed comedies to come from this talented navel-gazer. On the same bill, more youthful attitude, suppressed uncertainty and way-cool blues (among a multitude of off-the-chart musically hip selections) by way of Terry Zwigoff's brilliant observed, sensitive recreation of the too-cool-for-school (or anything else) outsiders at the beating heart of Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (2001). Here is the rare graphic novel adaptation not centered on superheroes or displaced noir tropes or even a particular visual signature. Clowes' panels are clean and completely unfussy, and Zwigoff has translated that sense keenly without tipping into the mundane. And his actors-Thora Birch and Scarlet Johanssen-communicate the fear barely contained beneath their snarky indifference and the sense of their insecurity at the prospect of having no idea how to adapt to a world that won't slow down. Best of all is Steve Buscemi, who becomes a cultural and emotional touchstone for Birch, a real person conjured from what would have only previously been the object of her ridicule. Ghost World plays with hilarious specificity in its design and satirically youthful bent, but there's sadness about its reconciliation with maturity that is surprisingly, though never sentimentally heartfelt.

February 16, 2011: The Dilemma

Posted by phil blankenship, February 17, 2011 12:23am | Post a Comment

The Town Part VII: Oakland Faders DJ Collective Proves There's Strength In Numbers

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2011 08:22pm | Post a Comment

The super-talented East Bay based Oakland Faders hip-hop DJ collective has grown in its ranks since founding members DJs Spair and Platurn formed the party rockin'/turntablist group, originally a DJ duo, a dozen years ago. These days Spair, while still officially a member, resides down in Las Vegas where he DJs clubs, casinos, and big parties, while back in The Town (Oakland) DJ Platurn is now flanked by such renowned fellow Oakland Faders as Joe Quixx, DJ Zeph, DJ Enki, DJ Mere, and Ammbush. Meanwhile, another Oakland Fader in exile, DJ Icewater, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York but makes regular trips back to the East Bay to collaborate with his crew. Same with DJ Spair, who was up from Nevada in the Bay two weekends ago with the crew to DJ for the monthly Fade at Era party in Oakland at Era Art Bar & Lounge.

Each DJ of the eight member Oakland Faders has his own rich Bay Area hip-hop history that collectively dates back to before the Faders formed. And if you were to round up all of the productions, remixes, records and mixtape CDs that the Oakland Faders are responsible for, both individually and as a crew, you'd fill several crates with some top quality hip-hop. At Amoeba look for these releases as well as for their PCKPR (Piece Keeper Clothing) line T's with an exclusive CD.

One thing that I have always loved about the Oakland Faders is their Oakland Raiders derived logo above, something that has evolved slightly over the years. "The first time we did the Oakland Faders logo we actually used the [Raiders] logo. That was back about ten years ago in the Stray Records days. And that was a straight rip but you can only run with that for so long," said Platurn in reference to the common knowledge of how well guarded copyrighted NFL logos can be. "So right now it's kind of a cartoon derivative of it at this stage. Basically we took the swords and made them into [turntable] tone arms, and instead of a helmet he's wearing headphones."

You Bettah Werk! RuPaul's Drag Race

Posted by Miss Ess, February 16, 2011 11:29am | Post a Comment

RuPaul Charles' Drag Race is one of the most enjoyable television shows in existence. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, after years of being ignored, RuPaul has taken his career into his own well-manicured hands, fashioning a program of sheer pleasure about what he knows and does best: the art (and it is truly an art, of this I am sure) of drag. Queens from across the country (and let's not forget the incredible artists from Puerto Rico, too) gather together in an unmarked Los Angeles studio to compete under a simple banner: "May the best woman win!"

It's not just about the competing queens, though. On the show, Ru brings so much eleganza! She is truly the ultimate Mother; The program features contestants who may feel they have never fit in anywhere and introduces them to other dolls who become like family. Sure, they fight, there's some shady shade thrown, and ultimately a climactic "Lipsync for your life," but in the end, there's always Ru's constant proclamation, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else...." as the queens take to the runway once more and dance the show out to cries of "Let the music play!" The show exists as a small utopia where all those who are labeled "different" can come together and express themselves to the max, be appreciated for who they are, and finally, dance the night away. Seeing the process unfold over each season is inspiring, fun and exhilarating. At its core, under all that makeup and duct tape, RuPaul's Drag Race is about celebrating self expression, cheesy as that sounds, and it is often quite touching to witness. It's truly a feel-good reality show, and yes, I know how oxymoronic that sounds.

And with guests and guest judges getting in on the fun over the past 3 seasons like Chloe Sevigny, Vanessa Williams, Susan Powter, Charo, Tori Spelling, and zillions more, this show is a virtual "Where are they now?" of gay icons. 

RuPaul is still making music too, in case you were wondering. He'll have a brand new album out in April called (of course) Glamazon!

RuPaul Charles, I salute you, today and every day, not just for bringing fierce Realness to the mainstream for 20+ years, but also for doing your part to spread more Realness across the entire world!

Drag Race airs on Logo Monday nights at 10, and on VH1 Tuesdays at 9, but you can watch 'em all online here.

Check out my all-time favorite moment from the show here:

Prince Playing Oakland Next Week

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 16, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment

According to SFist, epic legend Prince will be playing two shows at the Oakland Arena next week, on Mon, Feb 21 and Wed, Feb 23, and tickets go onsale this Friday, Feb 18!


Mariee Sioux, Ruche, and More at Convent Collective, SF, Feb 18

Posted by Miss Ess, February 15, 2011 06:12pm | Post a Comment

Why Do You Love KUSF?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 15, 2011 02:40pm | Post a Comment

Short film by Kym Farmen and ex-Amoebite Denah Johnston

Marvin Gaye Biopic in the Works

Posted by Amoebite, February 15, 2011 01:14pm | Post a Comment

marvin gaye

According to Spinner, a new Marvin Gaye biopic is in the works, and will be directed by Julien Temple, whose The Filth and the Fury, about the Sex Pistols, is legendary. The Gaye biopic will focus on his exodus to Belgium, after IRS troubles pushed him out of the US, and the recording of what would be his final album, Midnight Love, there.

Interview with SF Producer Mophono About His Genre Pioneering New Album Cut Form Crush

Posted by Billyjam, February 15, 2011 09:49am | Post a Comment

Today (Feb 15th), San Francisco DJ/producer Mophono releases the genre pioneering new album Cut Form Crush on CB Records. On it, the artist presents the three genres he calls Dirt Wave, Thug Jazz, and Skip on Beat. Last year Mophono, who also goes by the name of DJ Centipede, did a record with a project called Mophono's Halftone Society on Bastard Jazz Records, a cool small label out of Brooklyn that another Bay Area DJ/producer/remixer DJ Platurn has also recently released a record through.

For Cut Form Crush, which should appeal to fans of instrumental hip-hop and glitch-hop type beats, Mophono is joined by San Francisco's MC Subverse on "Rep," the album's only non-instrumental track, and by famed LA producer Flying Lotus on the track "Cut Form Crunch." Another LA based DJ/production talent, Gaslamp Killer, will be joining Mophono, along with Citizen Ten, in San Francisco this weekend when the artist will be throwing a record release party for Cut Form Crush on Saturday, Feb 19th at SOM Bar. Meantime, the album (which will be released on both CD and vinyl) arrives in Amoeba Music today. Recently I caught up with Mophono to talk about the new record and his career to date.

Amoeblog: For those who don't know about you, can you give us some history about you as an artist, including releases that people should be aware of?

Mophono: I grew up DJ'ing hip-hop and instrumental, experimental, and electronic music at raves and underground warehouse parties throughout the Bay Area since 1995. Before that it was just a hobby that started from listening to shit like the Beastie Boys, EPMD, and the Art Of Noise. I also definitely was inspired by my older brother, who played me a lot of rap, punk and industrial music, sandwiched with my mother and father's psychedelic folk background.

Happy Black Valentine's History Month Day!

Posted by Job O Brother, February 14, 2011 01:07pm | Post a Comment

It’s Valentine’s Day, mothertruckers! What to do, what to do? The boyfriend is working at the office all day, so I have until tonight to devise some kind of romantic surprise. I was thinking of transforming our dining room into a kind of “outdoor park at night,” using white twinkle lights as the only illumination, lots of houseplants, cushions on the floor, an elaborate picnic, and something like this playing…

But is that surprising enough? Perhaps I’ll hire one of our actor friends to pretend to be a mugger – he’ll arrive halfway through desserts, beat us up and take our money. That would be both sweet and romantic, because violence is both those things at once.

“Every punch is like two kisses,” my Grandma used to say as she tucked me in. (And every morning my Mom would ask me why I woke up with bruises on my face.)

In honor of Black History Month, I’m using this day of sweets and crushes and gay hearts to celebrate some of my current favorite black entertainers and artists and others (an entire list would be, how you say, retardedly long), any and all of whom I would very much like to be my Valentine. Enjoy!

Congratulations Esperanza Spalding, Best New Artist!

Posted by Amoebite, February 14, 2011 11:06am | Post a Comment

Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding visited Amoeba Music Hollywood back in 2009 for an excellent instore performance and a little shopping. 

Purchase Esperanza Spalding albums here in our Buy Stuff section.

Happy ("Lay Lady Lay" from the Isley Brothers on) Valentine's Day!

Posted by Kells, February 14, 2011 10:20am | Post a Comment
Continuing from my two previous posts, here is a romantic ten and a half minute slice of Isley Brothers Valentine's Day realness, by way of Bob Dylan, circa their 1971 album Givin' It Back. If this don't turn the motor in your love machine over, well, I'd say it's time to check out what's going on under ya hood.

"Lay Lady Lay" - The Isley Brothers

Shopping Your Record Collection

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 14, 2011 10:10am | Post a Comment

I am not one to discourage anyone from buying vinyl, but every once in a while, when the funds are low and you get that itch to dig for records around the city, it's time to reevaluate priorities. Will it be records or paying the rent? Will it be saving money to travel or building the ultimate record collection? At some point in any sane collector’s mind, a voice should come into your head that says, “Slow down!” Really, unless you are someone like DJ Shadow, who makes a living by playing and sampling his entire record collection, every once in a while, you've got to slow your roll.

Clothing shopaholics are told to dig through their own closets rather than to shop for more clothes. Most of the time, they will have clothes that still have the price tag on them and have never been worn. It’s called “shopping your closet.” It saves you money and gives you the same kick that you’d get from shopping at the mall. On top of that, you can make an inventory of what you have (so you don’t buy it again) or see what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Clothing that is no longer needed can be donated or sold to a vintage clothing store, where you can take that money and save it, or gasp…buy more clothes!

The same goes for records. We collectors have a bunch of records that haven’t been played. Many of us have records in our collection that are still sealed. We have bought doubles by accident. Take that time you would use for digging and go through what you already have. Chances are you will be reintroduced to music that you have forgotten about.

The ever-important listening session is key. I find it funny that the people that are most guilty of not listening to records they bought are club DJs. It’s somewhat understandable. If you are a club DJ, you are buying music to play out rather than to enjoy. It’s your living. Most of your free time, you are practicing rather than listening and the most a record gets is a few drops of the needle before finding the “hit.” You may not be able to play out a rare record that you always wanted because it doesn’t match what you play now…so it sits.

Last weekend, I put myself to the test. I went through my collection and was pleasantly surprised by the records I did have rather than fiending over the ones I didn’t have. I left out my stand bys, all my favorites that I do play out on a regular basis, in the gig bag and went digging. Some, I can’t wait to bust out again. Others, I probably will sell. These are some that I had forgot I had and perked my interest.

Googoosh (Gougoush)-Best Of

As much as I love this Persian icon and was excited to find this album on the original Ahang Rooz label, there hasn’t been much of a chance to play this out in my Latin Music based sets. However, there is an incredible Mamboesque track, "Kucheye Miadd," which will probably drop in the next set or two.

V/A-Guitar Mood

I got this because it had some tracks from Los Relampagos from Spain. This bootleg of instrumentals from around the world came out in the nineties, way before the whole recent psychedelic world music boom. This sound is like something Sublime Frequencies would put out: Trashy surf rock bands from Japan, Spain, France, Holland and a rare track from the Ventures, listed as The Mystery Band. 

Gilberto Gil-1971

Again, I got this album months ago because it was an original pressing but perhaps a little too mellow to play out. It’s the album that finds Gilberto in London as a Brazilian exile along with Caetano Veloso. Like Caetano’s 3rd Self-titled album (also released in 1971), it is mostly sung in English. Some don’t like the English records but to me there is a beauty in his voice that cannot be denied in any language. It’s the perfect melancholy record for any gray day when you are feeling homesick.

Ray Rodriguez And Orquestra Duro-Survival

Ahhh…the days when you could still find classic Salsa albums at the thrift store. I think I bought this for a buck at an Out Of The Closet in Atwater. This is, hands down, a classic. I was wondering why I haven’t busted this out, like ever? One reason is that it has a giant scratch on side two and I put it in a section in my collection devoted to scratched or damage records that one day I will go through to see if I can salvage or not. On second look, side one doesn’t have a mark and side two, except for the last song, "Amarate El Juanete," is clean as well. This is a floor banger for sure and I will bust this out at one of my next gigs.

So there you have it. Four albums that I forgot I had and two that I will possibly use at gigs. There were other records that I listened to that I wasn’t that into that I will sell to trim the excuse fat off the collection. Remember, Amoeba pays top dollar for your trades, so if you can’t kick your music habit, at least you can recycle the goods.

Keeping Up Appearances: Lady Gaga Expresses Herself and the 53rd Grammy Awards

Posted by Charles Reece, February 13, 2011 11:33pm | Post a Comment

From the Lacanian perspective, what then is appearance at its most radical? Imagine a man having an affair about which his wife doesn't know, so when he is meeting his lover, he pretends to be on a business trip or something similar; after some time, he gathers the courage and tells the wife the truth that, when he is away, he is staying with his lover. However, at this point, when the front of happy marriage falls apart, the mistress breaks down and, out of sympathy with the abandoned wife, avoids meeting her lover. What should the husband do in order not to give his wife the wrong signal? How not to let her think that the fact that he is no longer so often on business trips means that he is returning to her? He has to fake the affair and leave home for a couple of days, generating the wrong impression that the affair is continuing, while, in reality, he is just staying with some friend. This is appearance at its purest: it occurs not when we put up a deceiving screen to conceal the transgression, but when we fake that there is a transgression to be concealed. In this precise sense, fantasy itself is for Lacan a semblance: it is not primarily the mask which conceals the Real beneath, but, rather, the fantasy of what is hidden behind the mask. So, for instance, the fundamental male fantasy of the woman is not her seductive appearance, but the idea that this dazzling appearance conceals some imponderable mystery.
-- Slavoj Žižek [emphasis mine here, but his below]

The internet is already aflutter with Lady Gaga's obvious appropriation of Madonna's "Express Yourself" for her new single, "Born This Way," which she performed tonight on the Grammys (in a style more or less like what you can see in the above video). In an interview with 60 Minutes before the show, she referred to herself as a sociologist of fame, "academic" in her research. This research doesn't seem to have taken her much further than Madonna, but her rediscovery of the latter's wheel of fortune contains a good deal of truth to it. After all, Madonna was a master at tweaking the mainstream, having it think that its boundaries were being transgressed while the status quo remained. Turning her concerts into self help seminars, Lady Gaga passes on the secrets of her success to her fans between songs: you can be anything you pretend to be as long as you wear a believable costume. Honesty here is a matter of being true to the mask one wears. There's no pretense that anything's underneath. When photographers want to shoot who she "really is," she replies that her appearance is who she really is. Her costumes mask the fact that there is nothing being hidden. So she's a good Lacanian:

In order to exemplify the structure of such redoubled deception, Lacan evoked the anecdote about the competition between Zeuxis and Parrhasios, two painters from the ancient Greece, about who will paint a more convincing illusion. First, Zeuxis produced such a realistic picture of grapes that birds were lured into picking at it to eat the grape. Next, Parrhasios won by painting on the wall of his room a curtain, so that Zeuxis, when Parrhasios showed him his painting, asked him: "OK, now please pull aside the veil and show me what you painted!" In Zeuxis's painting, the illusion was so convincing that image was taken for the real thing; in Parrhasios' painting, the illusion resided in the very notion that what we see in front of us is just a veil covering up the hidden truth. This is also how, for Lacan, feminine masquerade works: she wears a mask to make us react like Zeuxis in front of Parrhasios' painting - OK, put down the mask and show us what you really are!

Too bad she's not a better musician.

It's a bit like making notes from the underground when commenting on the Grammys, but I can't help thinking masks are about all that's left of popular music. I saw Usher's little white hope imitating Michael Jackson, a black Elton John singing with an emaciated Miss Piggy, and Muse ripping off Marilyn Manson. Then there were the tributes, which, to be kind, only served to remind me of the absence of those being celebrated: Norah Jones, John Mayer and Keith Urban trying to do Dolly Parton; Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston and some gals I didn't recognize trying to do Aretha Franklin; Mick Jagger trying to do Solomon Burke; and Bob Dylan trying to do Bob Dylan. And "country" has come to simply mean fatter than pop stars (Lady Antebellum), while "indy rock," uglier (Arcade Fire). As popular music has increasingly crossed class, genre, race, age and region -- has become music for anyone (at least, according to the Grammys) -- it's done so by being homogeneous sludge. It's easier to hear actual distinctions in electronic dance music. I'm not disagreeing with Lacan, just saying no one's good at painting believable curtains these days.

Six KUSF DJs Featured on Feb 18th Amoeba San Francisco Instore to be Broadcast Live on A Dozen US Radio Stations

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment
In an act of solidarity with the Save KUSF movement and the legions of KUSF 90.3FM supporters still in shock over the sudden silencing last month of San Francisco's beloved freeform radio station, Amoeba Music San Francisco will join forces with New Jersey's WFMU radio tnd several other radio stations this Friday, February 18th, to host an all KUSF DJ live remote broadcast that will be on WFMU airwaves back east as well as streaming online on KUSF DJs spinning music sets during the 3 hour instore that begins at noon sharp will include Irwin (Sleeves on Hearts), Carolyn, Stereo Steve, Jantine B, Harry D (In The Soul Kitchen), and DJ Schmeejay, who was in the middle of his popular Tuesday morning show, Radiodrome, on the morning of January 18th when the plug (literally) was pulled on the 90.3FM transmitter. 

The other radio stations who will be broadcasting the Save KUSF Amoeba instore include KXLU Los Angeles who broadcast on 88.9FM, WXYC Chapel Hill, North Carolina who broadcast on 89.3FM, KFJC 89.7FM, WCBN Ann Arbor, KVRX Austin, KALX 90.7FM Berkeley, WITC Cazenovia NY, WREK Atlanta, KRFP Moscow, Idaho and KZSU Stanford who, as any Bay Area radio fan already knows, are at 90.1FM. Each station will broadcast both terrestrially and on their online streams.

The Art of the LP Cover- Cocktails

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 13, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Devil in a Blue Dress

Posted by Miss Ess, February 12, 2011 02:37pm | Post a Comment

If you're longing to see LA in the 40s and Denzel Washington in a wifebeater, then the film Devil in the Blue Dress is for you! It's a twisty-turny whodunit noir that also stars Don Cheadle, Tom Sizemore and Jennifer Beals.

Denzel's character Easy is the kind of uber-masculine guy who takes the law into his own hands and kicks some ass at the same time, all the while looking smooth as ever! Good stuff.

Save KUSF Benefit Sunday, Feb 13

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 12, 2011 01:58pm | Post a Comment

Heads up, San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area! Get more details here!

Little Wings to Play Instore in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 11, 2011 05:22pm | Post a Comment

kyle field little wings

Consistent Amoeba favorite and now-local Kyle Field, aka Little Wings, will be gracing our SF store for the very first time ever with his glorious songs on February 26th at 2pm! This is a can't-miss instore, guys -- it's on the release date of his brand new album Black Grass! Come feel the vibes and look at what the light did now with us!

and .p.s, keep an eye out for an exclusive interview with Kyle here on the blog via uberfan Kelly in the coming weeks!

"Look at What the Light Did Now"

Amoeba Hollywood Vinyl Insider -- Collectible Latin LPs AND 7" Rarities Overhaul!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 11, 2011 11:00am | Post a Comment

Stop by the Hollywood store for a great batch of recently acquired collectibles -- Picture sleeve 7", girl groups, northern & modern soul rarities & a great batch of Latin collectibles. We're talking salsa, guaguanco, sealed Tico originals, Mongo, La Lupe and much more!

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti Vinyl Back in Print!

Posted by Kells, February 11, 2011 10:38am | Post a Comment

Ohhh yeah! Get your paws on these vinyl reissues of two Ariel Pink albums, The Doldrums and House Arrest, via Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, out on March 8! It's been a long while since I've seen a used copy of The Doldrums on wax floating around on the salesfloor and I've been disappointed that I didn't snag it ever since I had the chance. You know, that old story. Well, no friggin' worries, mate! And I'll be picking up a copy of House Arrest too!

"Every Night I Die at Miyagi's" from House Arrest:

"Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups" from The Doldrums:

On a personal note: The Doldrums, with that signature home recording sound (consisting of a keyboard, guitar and 8-track as well as all those unbelievable vocally-generated drum sounds) is the shit, real talk. That side A packed with non-stop hits, including "For Kate I Wait," has long been a beloved summer jam and I can't wait to plop it on the platter of ye old hi-fi and kick back some cold ones, open all the windows and picture myself rollin' down this road come August:
Route 12 is my highway to heaven, in syndication.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 02:11:11: Slaughterhouse, Dregs One & Equipto, Philthy Rich, Michael Franti, DJ Mpenzi, Blueprint + More

Posted by Billyjam, February 11, 2011 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Six Chart: 02:11:11

1) Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows (101 Distributions)

2) Philthy RIch Trip N 4 Life (Town Thizzness/LiveWire Records/SMC)

3) Dregs One and Equipto The Generation Gap (mixed by DJ BeatsMe (Pocketwatch Productions/Solidarity Records)

4) Slaughterhouse The EP (E 1)

5) Elusive Hip-Hop For Hipsters (Elusive)
6) Buckshot The Common Knowledgy of The Entertainment Industry (Duck Down Music)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba San Francisco for this week's Top Six, which includes five new hip-hop albums and one new hip-hop book/CD package. That unique combo is The Common Knowledgy of The Entertainment Industry -- the neatly packaged, well presented, and most informative 80-page book with CD by Buckshot of legendary Brooklyn hip-hop group Black Moon / founder of Duck Down Records fame -- that was among the new releases showcased here on the Amoeblog Hip-Hop Rap Up a few weeks ago.

Number four this week on the chart is the brand new, long overdue (supposed to drop six months ago) latest offering from Slaughterhouse, the four-member rap supergroup comprised of Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, & Royce da 5' 9," who have been tipped to be signing with Eminem's Shady Records ever since they made a cameo in Em's "Forever" music video.

This Week At The New Bev: Claude Chabrol & Claire Denis plus Moulin Rouge!, Tiny Furniture, Ghost World, Let The Right One In, Pulp Fiction & MORE!

Posted by phil blankenship, February 10, 2011 10:26pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full upcoming schedule is available online:

Friday & Saturday, February 11 & 12

These pre-Oscar days that start off every new year are often considered dog days when it comes to the Hollywood release schedule. Studios tend to dump their least promising product in January and into February, allowing filmgoers to catch up with the big releases left over from Christmas that are likely to garner awards attention. The New Beverly is playing catch-up too with three 2010 releases that barely made a splash theatrically in Los Angeles but are well worth seeing on the big screen before they make their way to the various home theater formats. Friday and Saturday you can see the swansong of the late, great, some might even say underappreciated nouvelle vague master Claude Chabrol along with the latest from one of modern international cinemas most vital and celebrated filmmakers, which just happens to star an actress who herself sports more than a passing familiarity with Chabrol's pensively perverse universe. First, Gerard Depardieu is Inspector Bellamy, a French detective on vacation with his wife who ends up knee-deep in a crime case involving infidelity and issues of familial loyalty. Chabrol worms his way into the suspense through character, not plot machinations, and the movie has a lovely, rambling ease that sets it apart from more typical policiers of the French and American varieties. Second on the bill is Chabrol favorite Isabelle Huppert (Violette, Story of Women) in the latest from acclaimed director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day and last year's smashing 35 Shots of Rum). White Material

reunites the director with the biographical roots of her life in Africa to tell the story of a white French family embroiled in racial and civil conflict while trying to save their coffee plantation. Denis' startling visual sensibility and Huppert's fearlessness save the film from accusations of ignorant colonialism, forcing the viewer to confront, without judgment, the conscience of a woman who attempts to live out her connection to the continent in the way that reflects her deep emotional connection to it. While everyone else is scrambling to tick the last titles off their Oscar to-do list, take this opportunity to soak in two of the year's finest, least heralded achievements.

New 12" Releases @ Amoeba Hollywood - Steffi, Anton Zap, Sepalcure, Ron Hardy, Son Of Sam, Isolee & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 10, 2011 04:54pm | Post a Comment

Yours & Mine LP
Ostgut Ton

On the debut album by Berlin-based Dutch DJ/producer Steffi, you will discover an even further developed producer who shares her personal journey. A long period of intense experimentation and self-discovery led to this sensitive, instinctive and extremely insightful long-player. Carefully mixing old and new, warm analog synth and drum textures flow in unison with modern studio finesse over nine tracks, each telling its own story. Ethereal, hypnotic passages and positive, uplifting messages meet temperate, slow-building vibes and heart-wrenching moments. Often, simplicity blurs into satisfying complexity. Moments of sheer joy arise against the backdrop of a rich and elegantly-controlled exploration of sound. The opening track, "Lilo," is a soothing, harmonious forecast of this deep dance music album-- swirling and reduced. A warm solid state thump drives it, however, and it becomes clear that the beauty in Steffi's house music lies in this meeting of classic, emotion-drenched melodies and bold, earthy drums. The tactile "Piem" rises and climbs with a strong late-night intensity before "Yours" featuring Virginia comes to the fore. Striking a clever balance between positive, addictive pop and straight-up club energy, this vocal-led future-classic is a loud and proud testament to how far Steffi has come -- not only as a producer, but as a DJ who understands the need for balance, control and release. Perhaps an ode to the many foundations of house that have no doubt inspired Steffi, "Arms" is a string-led jack track, a slow burner in the best sense, and all the better for it. Similarly, "Manic Moods" sells itself on the strength of its handful of carefully-crafted analog synth lines, slowly fusing to become one while her beats urge us forward. The urgent sci-fi tones and extended soaring strings of "Mine" bring it back to the club as heady images of warehouses past, present and future flash before you. This retro-futurism is then taken further with the muscular "Nightspacer," whose NY house roots are fleshed out by blossoming pads and an unstoppable, throbbing, traveling vibe. Drawing the album towards its close, the deeply spaced "You Own My Mind," featuring Virginia's beautifully smooth vocals, washes over and wraps around you in a melancholic blanket of sound. Deeply personal to the last, "Moving Lips" could be that special last embrace; one more moment to end the night and yet keep you longing for more.

Purchase Steffi - Yours & Mine here

Fleur EP 12”

Following their stunning "LOVE PRESSURE" debut, this Brooklyn-based duo, who have recorded previously as MACHINEDRUM, release another gorgeous EP of 4 tracks that weave distant chords, soulful vocals, and organic rhythms into vibrant soundscapes that transcend genre.

Purchase Sepalcure - Fleur here

Ron Hardy

Not On Label

#4 of this jacked up series brings more cuts supposedly from lost Chicago reels. Side A holds a clean edit and an instrumental of "LIQUID LOVE." On the flip are 2 more tracks that have been heard on numerous HARDY tapes that bring out the more 'acid' style of house. This one's the best so far!

Purchase Ron Hardy - Edits #4 here

Son Of Sam

Nature Makes A Mistake 12”
Running Back

It is 1984 all over again. The freshest sound ever, even fresher now. Running Back unearthed a treasure from the UK '80s art funk vaults: "Nature Makes A Mistake," written and produced by Chris Bishop, originally released on a cassette sampler, now restored and remastered for vinyl. Âme (teaming-up with Marcel Dettmann in the mix) maintains the spirit of the original and teleports it onto the dancefloors of the 21st century.

Purchase Son Of Sam - Nature Makes A Mistake here


Well Spent Youth 2LP

After six years, Isolée finally releases his third album on DJ Koze's Pampa Records. "Over the last 15 years, Isolée has managed to create a breathtaking trademark sound. Every note seems lovingly scavenged from the depths of his analog equipment pool, then polished and woven into an abstract, otherworldly, always morphing yet still binding and bouncing sound composition of epic proportions. Well Spent Youth is a chameleon; it assumes different forms depending on the volume it's played. Tunes like 'Taktell,' 'Thirteen Times An Hour,' 'Hold On,' 'One Box' and 'Celeste' set the club on fire, quickly spreading the unique, indescribable Isolée vibe, which imbues the often cold, bleak dancefloor with a unique, clever color. The collective joy at being challenged is ubiquitous. People dance to Isolée's music with their eyes closed -- opened every now and then only to exchange knowing nods. Now, Isolée reminds us yet again what electronic music is capable of -- crossing boundaries and achieving the psychedelic.

Purchase Isolee - Well Spent Youth here


2nd volume of this compilation series for TRAX's 25th anniversary features tracks re-edited by some of the contributors to DJ HISTORY. PPF's "JACK FOR DAZE DUB" of "FARLEY KNOWS HOUSE," JUSTIN HARRIS redoes RALPHI's "YOU USE TO HOLD ME," KINK covers "CLAP ME," & JOHN DALY edits "CAN YOU FEEL IT!"

Purchase Trax vs Dj History vol 2 here

Anton Zap
Background Series #3
Ethereal Sound

Continuing the string of ultra deep releases, ANTON ZAP brings #3 in this particular series. "KEEP ON MOVING" is a hypnotizing tune with warm pads and a familiar melody sample. "38" on side B keeps the atmosphere deep and chugs with a synth bass and minimal changes.

Purchase Anton Zap - Background Series #3 here

Isolee & Robag Wruhme/TAKTELL 12”
Calagad 13/I CAN MAKE YOU DANCE EP 12”
Telephunken/ALL THE MAMIS EP 12”
Marcello Napoletano & IFM/RENEGADE...12”
Various/TRAX 25 VS DJ HISTORY VOL 1 12”
Various/TRAX 25 VS DJ HISTORY VOL 2 12”
Various/TRAX 25 VS DJ HISTORY VOL 3 12”
Various/TRAX 25 VS DJ HISTORY VOL 4 12”
JD Twitch/CUMBIA 12”
Boohgaloo Zoo/I GOT 12”
Onur Engin/EDITS VOL. 2 12”
Kay Sputnik/BIPOLAR PROMO CUTZ 5 12”
Chris Simmonds/STILL WORKING HARD EP 12”
DJ Madd/ARPZ 3000 12” SP:MC & LX1/DOWN 12"
1000names/BEFORE SUNRISE 12”
Trujillo/FRUIT PUNCH 12”
Jay 5ive & Kromestar/BASS 96 12”
Relocate/SOUL SURVIVOR 12”
Yasmin/ON MY OWN 12”
Danny Byrd & Netsky/TONIGHT 12”
Various/HOSPITALITY D&B 2011 EP D12”
Kromestar/JABBER JAWZ 12”
Marcos Cabral/OTP PARTY BREAKS #5 12”
Genetix/SQUID ATTACK 12”
Gravious/JUNCTION CITY 12”
VOZMEDIANO: There's A Light EP 12"
SHADOW DANCER: Murder Room 12”
KINK: Leko/Yako 12"
ERNESTO FERREYRA: El Paraiso De Las Tortugas Remixes 12"
GUMMIHZ: Songs From The Continents 12"
OMURAH: Paranormal Symphonies 12”
MARCO CAROLA: Groove Catcher 12"
MANIK: Keep That Fresh EP 12"
NORTHERN STRUCTURES: Self Similarity 12"
BENTON: Sinners/Necromancy 10"
NUPHLO: 40 Thieves 12"

Jackson Browne Playing Santa Cruz Civic Feb 23

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 10, 2011 04:35pm | Post a Comment

Hey kids, if you wanna see Jackson Browne play a solo acoustic show at Santa Cruz Civic on Feb 23, get your tickets here!

jackson browne

Oakland Rapper Askari X

Posted by Billyjam, February 10, 2011 03:10pm | Post a Comment
 Askari X
For this installment in the 2011 Amoeblog's Black History Month series I wish to focus on the super-talented, politically-charged, Afrocentric Oakland rapper born Rickey Murdock, who went by the stage name of Askari X and was also known by a Muslim name related to the East Oakland Muslim group that he was associated with: Ansar El Muhammed S/C. Currently not musically active, this powerful lyricist and gifted emcee should have, I firmly believe, achieved a much higher level of success in his hip-hop career than he did. He didn't due to several factors, one being that the content of his lyrics was often way too revolutionary & militantly pro-Black / anti-White, so he alienated a good segment of his potential audience.

More notably, his career got stalled due to the fact that he has been incarcerated for a great deal of his teenage and adult life. The artist, whose last album, The Return Of Askari X (a.k.a Rickey Murdock), was released in 2000 by Success Entertainment, is currently in Folsom State Prison, where he has been for the past two plus years. I attempted a few times over the past year, via letter, to reach him in Folsom for the Amoeblog to get some words from him directly but heard nothing back from him, unfortunately. However, I have previously interviewed him on a few occasions over the years. One time was back in the mid nineties when he had just released his second album, Message To The Black Man on Slow Motion Records.

Askari X "Ward Of the State" (1992)

On the title track of that 1995 album he offered up such attention-grabbing, incendiary lyrics as "Message to the Black man in America: Africa’s calling, come home...Asiatic Black man you are God from birth, made up of all the 99 elements of this planet earth. God of the universe, older than the sun, moon, and stars from the holy tribe of Shabazz." At the time, he told me, "The goal of this song and the album is to put out the teachings of the glorious, most honorable founder of the nation of Islam." His previous 1992 debut album, Ward Of The State on Righteous Records, was written while he locked up as a teen and associated with the RBG (Righteous Black Guerillas) crew. 

Like Thunder, Lightnin', So Catchy It's Frightenin': Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood"

Posted by Kells, February 9, 2011 06:07pm | Post a Comment

In the vein of my last post, here's a different trippy take on another beloved classic hit: Amii Stewart's deep-dish disco serving of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood." Initially, I bought this record more so for the glamorama of cover art than the actual musical content, but I have since developed a sort of terminal enchantment with the overall calorie-off, aerobic aesthetic repeat listening presents.

Girl is wearin' me out with this video, check it out!

The Town Pt VI: Oakland's Cole Coffee, Where Conversation is Celebrated & Music is Appreciated

Posted by Billyjam, February 9, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment

Long before Oakland (aka "The Town") was a hipster destination teeming with endless cafes offering good quality coffee, there was the North Oakland coffee spot known as Royal Coffee, and in more recent years known as Cole Coffee. In 1987, Royal Coffee, which morphed into Cole Coffee in 2005, first opened on 63rd Street near College Avenue in North Oakland near the Berkeley border. Offering strong, quality, affordable coffee with no pretensions and located just half a block down from La Farine bakery, it immediately built a loyal following. Even the recent era influx of new Oakland cafes similarly offering choices of quality coffees and teas has not affected the College & 63rd Street business one bit. This is because Cole, nee Royal, is as much of a social gathering point as it is a place to buy a good cuppa joe.

When Cole Coffee's owner Michael Murphy purchased the business from Royal Coffee six years ago,  changing the name to Cole Coffee at the time, he was already quite familiar with the business and its loyal clientele. "I managed Royal Coffee from 1992 until I puchased the business in 2005," he told me. He recalled how back when he started managing the business that, "Royal only had the 63rd Street location and then opened the cafe in 1995." Cole Coffee is one business split into two locations that are side by side. At the front cafe part (corner of 63rd & College) you can sit down inside or outside and specialty coffees are custom made on drip in front of you. Then the Cole Coffee shop round the corner down a bit on 63rd (with an apartment door entrance separating the two) is where you can buy coffee by the pound to go and cups of the reliably strong roasted and tasty house coffee. About a dozen small round green cafe tables line the outside on 63rd and snake up around onto College.

Grading and Other Rants

Posted by Joe Goldmark, February 8, 2011 05:01pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!
gilberto lopez
“When some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean?”

Grading is a record collector’s biggest pet peeve, as it’s rarely accurate or biased in our favor. There are two types of grading -- aural and visual -- and since probably 90% of all used purchases are made without listening to the record, collectors have come to rely on the seller’s visual grading, which leads to many problems. Nobody uses the same lighting system for inspection, there’s no standardization as to what that condition translates to in written grades, and then there’s absolutely no guarantee that an album that looks to be in a certain condition will actually sound that way. Aural grading is a much more accurate barometer of a record’s condition, but there’s still variation between stereo systems, the quality of the styli, and how different ears tolerate varying degrees of ambient noise. It’s unrealistic to expect sellers to play grade their vinyl, becernest tubbause it takes a lot of time. And then, even if a record sounds good but looks awful, like some ‘50s albums I’ve encountered, most people don’t want them because there’s very little resale value.

I do some shopping on eBay, and the worst problem is that half the sellers don’t even define their grading criteria. So when some yahoo says his album is V++, what the hell does that mean? For some sellers, that’s their second highest grade and only befits a near perfect album, but for others, it’s only the fourth highest grade behind M, NM, and E. I would lobby for some kind of standardization, but how would you define the gradations? I like a 10 point system (with 10 being the highest), but the reality is that only the top five numbers matter; nobody lists an album as a 4. So, maybe a 5 point system… Speaking of grading, Neil Umphred, who curated the early Goldmine price guides, used to define the VG (Very Good) grade as Very God Awful! The point is that if sellers don’t include their grading criteria in their listings, their gradernest tubbes are meaningless.

New Shannon and the Clams Track

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 8, 2011 04:17pm | Post a Comment

shannon and the clams sleep talk

Amoeba favorites Shannon and the Clams will release a brand new album on April 5 called Sleep Talk! Mark your calendars and check out the title track below!

Thee Oh Sees, Sandwitches, Sic Alps and Ty Segall Play Benefit 2.9 in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 8, 2011 03:58pm | Post a Comment

Bring a warm coat to donate and read more about the show here!

thee oh sees

Patti Smith's Just Kids

Posted by Miss Ess, February 8, 2011 03:05pm | Post a Comment

Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning Just Kids is the best book I've read in a long time, and maybe the best I've ever read about the creative process.

It's the story of her development as an artist during her childhood and througout her 20s via her complex relationship with best friend and artist Robert Mapplethorpe. It's an incredibly moving, intricately written autobiography and is ripe with detail when it comes to their poverty stricken existance that was lit up only by art and by friendships with some of NYC's most colorful characters in the late 60s/early 70s, like Candy Darling, Harry Smith and Janis Joplin, to name but a few. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! In our current era of irony and faux posing, where Manhattan's exceedingly high rents have obliterated any hope for real artistic daring, it was refreshing and inspiring to read about two consummate artists taking on the city who truly lived for their work and for creation itself.

Richard Pryor’s Forgotten Masterpiece—Moving

Posted by Chuck, February 8, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment

I’ve always thought the best comedy ever conceived was Moving, starring Richard Pryor. Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration—“ever” goes back further than 1988. But, you know, without getting snagged up on the front end of eternity, I will add that Moving is also the most underrated comedy and could have been a cult classic on par with Dazed and Confused or Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space had the film come out on DVD sooner than 2006 as a sort of b-side throw-in with Greased Lightning. Twenty-one years after its theatrical release, it’s still excruciating, smart, subtle and funny. I think this way because of Dana Carvey’s schizoid character(s), and Randy Quaid's playing the ex-con Crawford brothers/neighbors, Edward and Perry and King Kong Bundy from Hummingbird Movers, and Morris Day . . . eh, I could go on. But mostly because of Pryor’s character Arlo Pear, whose life spirals out of control when he’s fired from his suburban job as a mass transit engineer in New Jersey and is forced to move to the more remote suburbs of Boise “fucking” Idaho.

Hilarity ensues. The best line is a throwaway, when the movers are idly driving around Boise with all of the earthly Pear’s belongings, and Pryor’s Arlo drives up beside them in his ruined Saab dressed like Rambo and tells them to pull over. “Hey, it’s that Arlo Pear man,” says the driver. “What? Ah man, forget about him,” says the other with complete disregard. This makes no sense on so many levels it will never get old.

The movie is made all the better because it’s so unheralded. The many people I’ve talked to who know it (at least half a dozen) either like it as much as me (which is compulsively), or at least like it very much (in which case I tell them to watch it again). Come on, there’s some real irony to the notoriously foul-mouthed Pryor having a “swear jar” for his family to pay into, a quarter for every slip. And you’d have no indication from watching movie the fiction-like qualities of Pryor’s real life.

Sesame, Sesayou: Today's Word Is 'Sycophant'

Posted by Charles Reece, February 8, 2011 09:45am | Post a Comment

Anti-commercialism: Sesame Street does Mad Men.

Cee Lo Green Performs Crazy With Prince on Guitar @ MSG Last Night

Posted by Billyjam, February 8, 2011 09:04am | Post a Comment

Cee Lo Green "Crazy" featuring Prince @ MSG, NYC Feb 7th 2011

At the recent Grammy Award Nominations, Cee Lo Green, who has collaborated with many artists over the years including most recently Amy Winehouse for her 2011 comeback album, was asked who he would still like to work with. "I got a chance to perform with Prince in Vegas and we became friends, if I can call myself his friend, but we haven't done anything musically or creatively together. I would like to do that, if given the chance," he said, referring to the two teaming up to do "Crazy" together. And again last night, Feb 7th in New York, after performing as the opening act for the purple one at Madison Square Garden (MSG), he again was joined by Prince onstage for a rendition of (Gnarls Barkley's) "Crazy" featuring Prince on guitar, as seen in fan video above c/o YouTuber babysdaddyATL. While there is no official word of the two recording new song(s) together, it seems inevitable that they soon will.

Easy does it.

Posted by Job O Brother, February 7, 2011 06:14pm | Post a Comment

One of the most rewarding and confounding things about being an Earthling who loves music is watching my tastes change with time, or better said, watching them grow – I don’t think there’s very much music I once loved I no longer do. My first favorite acts (at age 3) were The Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, and The Chipmunks, and I still adore them all today.

More surprising to me is how much I’ve come to cherish music I would have once loathed. 2010 became the year I “discovered” easy listening, both light music (which can be found in Amoeba Music's classical section) and lounge music (which can be found in the coincidentally-named Lounge section).

It all started with a bandleader named Robert Farnon. I was drawn in by his album covers, which evoked lush, darkly romantic landscapes and liaisons reminiscent of a Douglas Sirk film.

Perhaps it was city living that led me to lust for light listening – a kind of escapism from the constant soundscape of waves of traffic, the bling and bursts of cell-phones, and the startling pitch of people’s dreams breaking into billions of bits. For whatever reason, impulsively, I gave an album of Robert Farnon’s a spin while I worked, and found myself enveloped in ease – my imagination drifted into sweet scenes as each suite seemed to sweep me off my feet – I was a fourteen year old girl writing of new, naïve love in her totally boring diary.

Irish Guitar Great Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy Fame Dead at Age 58

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2011 10:20am | Post a Comment
Thin Lizzy's Gary Moore - short excerpt from Live in Sydney 1978

Sad news for guitar-loving hard rock fans everywhere. Northern Ireland's Gary Moore, who played guitar intermittently with Thin Lizzy as well as enjoying his own successful solo career, died yesterday at age 58. So far no confirmation of cause of death. Growing up in Ireland as fan of hard rock from a young age, I was fortunate to have seen Moore play with both the Dublin Ireland band Skid Row (with Brush Shiels) and later with Thin Lizzy -- with whom he was guitarist in three different stages during their career. Rest in peace, Gary Moore.

Gary Moore "Still Got The Blues"

The Late, Great Tura Satana

Posted by Charles Reece, February 6, 2011 11:09pm | Post a Comment

From Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill. Tura Satana died last Friday.

The Art of the LP Cover- Ahoy!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, February 6, 2011 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap Up 02:05:11: Talib Kweli, Philthy Rich, DJ Quest + More

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2011 09:26am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:05:11

Talib Kweli
1) Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows (101 Distributions)

2) The Jacka Flight RIsk (

3) Madlib Medicine Show #11: Low-Budget Hi-Fi Music (Stones Throw)

4) Turf Talk The Turf Sinatra Mix Tape (
5) Philthy RIch Trip N 4 Life  (Town Thizzness/LiveWire Records/SMC)

Shout-out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba for compiling this latest Hip-Hop Top Five Chart which features Talib Kweli's brand new release in the number one slot with a bullet following its release last week on 101 Distributors. But what is eyebrow raising about this CD release (arriving in a deluxe version as well as a regular CD version) is that when I interviewed the artist in late December here on the Amoeblog he clearly stated when I asked him if there would be a CD or vinyl that this album was going to be an MP3 only release: "Gutter Rainbows is going to be digital only because I'm focused on Prisoner of Conscious as a full release. Gutter Rainbows is more just for the fans," Kweli told the Amoeblog. So did he have a change of heart in the intervening six weeks and decide to issue it on CD for fans like me who still love physical copies? It doesn't appear so. Just in the past week, in an interview with MTV News' Sway Calloway, it was stated that "the rapper decided to avoid producing physical CDs." Kweli reiterated what he had told the Amoeblog:  "I'm putting out Gutter Rainbows — which is a small release — not on a CD." He did go on to say that "at a later date" he would issue a limited edition CD through Duck Down Records. But that's down the road and not on 101 Distributions through Fat Beats, as this CD release is. So what's the dealio? Luis at Amoeba said that not only is there a CD version of Gutter Rainbows now, out since Jan 25th (same day as the online release), but that a vinyl version of Gutter Rainbows is due to follow in two weeks on Feb 15th. I put a call through to the contact at Duck Down Records, who set up the recent Amoeblog interview with Kweili, but as of posting this blog no word back. Once I can determine the full story, I will report it here.

out this week 1/25 & 2/1...the party ain't over by wanda jackson!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, February 4, 2011 02:32pm | Post a Comment
I have been excited about the new Wanda Jackson ever since I heard she was working with Jack White. I already loved her but I knew she could be even better with the help of Jack White! Jack White is, of course, from the White Stripes, who are now officially broken up. Not that Wanda really needed Jack White -- she was putting out some of the best rockabilly and country albums way before he was even born. She is the Queen of Rockabilly, after all! But I knew that he could be bring that greatness out of her once again. It had been a while. Jack White already helped Loretta Lynn make an amazing album a couple of years back, so we knew he could do it. Both Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson are two of my favorites! I obviously don't like anything new that comes out in the world of country but I have always loved the country music of the 50's and 60's. Wanda Jackson got her start back in back in the 50's, back when Rockabilly was very popular but there were not really a whole lot of women putting out rockabilly records. This is why she is known as the first woman of rockabilly. She paved the road for many who followed her. She later moved on to putting out more country albums and eventually gospel albums, but on this new album she is putting out the great rockabilly that made her famous. This is good stuff!

The new album is called The Party Ain't Over and was released last week. The gatefold vinyl version plays music when you open it, like those greeting cards that sing to you when you open them. I think this is amazing! Seriously. It plays music when you open it! I missed her shows she did a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles but I did catch her on Conan last week and she is, of course, amazing (see video below). Jack White performed with her on stage and then they both sat down for a quick interview with Conan. I love the interaction between Jack White and Wanda -- sort of like a mother/son-type relationship. He teased her about her relationship with Elvis when Conan asked her about her early tour with Elvis. She dated Elvis Presley in 1955. Anyway, you really need this album in your life! It is one of my favorites of the year so far, and she even does a fantastic cover of "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse. Wanda Jackson was featured briefly in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line but I think she really deserves her own movie. She has had an interesting life for sure and has influenced a ton of country and rockabilly artists over the years. Just check out any of the current rockabilly musicians and you can hear the influence. It is great to have Wanda Jackson back on the music scene. I think she didn't need Jack White and could have made a great album on her own, but he just stepped it up a bit. The two of them together is perfect. The album is perfect.

Check out Wanda Jackson performing "Hard Headed Woman" on Town Hall Party in 1958...

Who's Zoomin' Who? It's Aretha's "What A Fool Believes"

Posted by Kells, February 4, 2011 10:33am | Post a Comment
I woke up with this song stuck in my head again this morning and so, accordingly, I attempt to exercise it here. Aretha Franklin's cover of Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald's classic yacht-rocker made popular by the Doobie Brothers is a manic slice of synth-indulgence that's, like many an Aretha song, dead catchy. Beware. Just give it thirty seconds of warming up and you'll be in the zone, the smoooooth R&B zone.

Aretha Franklin - "What A Fool Believes"

The Rise and Fall of Afrocentric Rap as the Predominant Movement Within Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2011 08:07am | Post a Comment
I miss and often think about Afrocentric rap and wonder why it didn't last longer as the prevalent form of popular rap. I also often wonder why it got overshadowed and forever overtaken by gangsta rap as the most popular and predominant form of hip-hop music. So this Black History Month's Amoeblog is dedicated to the memory of Afrocentric rap as a once powerful movement within hip-hop; a salute to its greatness and a brief examination of its rise and fall as the one-time leading sub-genre of hip-hop.

Afrocentric rap, which can also be tagged as conscious rap, socially conscious rap, political rap, Black nationalist rap, militant rap, revolution rap, etc., was at its peak and was most widely consumed & embraced by the masses during the golden age of hip-hop in the late 80's to early 90's. However, Afrocentric rap, which can be described as a lyrical form that proudly celebrates the accomplishments of the Black community, past & present, in addition to voicing complaints, concerns, and/or social observations of the African American community from a firsthand perspective, has always been part and parcel of hip-hop.

Early popular examples would include 1982's "The Message" single on Sugar Hill by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee, while current day examples include the soon-to-drop 2011 album track "Clap" by Brooklyn emcee Saigon off his Feb 15th release The Greatest Story Never Told (Suburban Noize). Afrocentric rap has been with us from day one and will never go away. However, it may never return to the popularity of its heyday, a time when it was common to see rap videos on TV espousing politically charged, pro Black imagery and messages.

February 2, 2011: The Mechanic

Posted by phil blankenship, February 3, 2011 11:03pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Releases @ Amoeba Hollywood - Desolate, Skudge, Chymera, Mikkel Metal

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 3, 2011 02:18pm | Post a Comment

The Invisible Insurrection LP+CD
This is the fifth release by the Hamburg-based record label FauxPas Musik. Just in time for their first anniversary, they publish German anonymous producer Desolate's debut album The Invisible Insurrection. In January 2009, his first EP was released and now the time has come for his first LP, and of course, this imprint is pressed on vinyl. The dark but dynamic sounds of Burial and the spheric, spacy atmosphere of Boards Of Canada seem to be basic inspiration points for Desolate. Available in a limited 180 gram vinyl edition plus a bonus CD with extra tracks.

Listen to "Divinus" here:


If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are/This Foundry
Blackest Ever Black

"If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are" is a tense work, with a rolling rhythm that might make one think of jungle, if jungle were a product of the '80s cold wave. The drum hits and synth tones seem almost punitive, designed to admonish rather than seduce -- and yet seduce they do. On the flip, Regis reinvents "This Foundry." It's a tough but sensitive version, true to the original's overriding atmosphere of decay and disquiet, but also tapping into its romantic undercurrents.

Listen to "If Anywhere Was..." here:

February 2, 2011: What If

Posted by phil blankenship, February 2, 2011 11:01pm | Post a Comment

Primavera Sound 2011 Lineup Announced

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2011 07:44pm | Post a Comment

  "La Truita" by Barcelona's Aias, who will perform at this year's Primavera Sound

Sure, it's all the way over in Spain, but Primavera Sound is well worth the trip! The mind-blowing lineup for their upcoming 11th annual music festival in Barcelona the last weekend in May was announced today. I have yet to attend but have many friends from WFMU who have over the past two years to broadcast from various stages and also hang out. They say that it Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffitiis one of the best festivals ever, with an excellent mix of acts from all over (including lots from the US), and in the perfect location.

Barcelona is an incredible city to visit and of course if you travel that far you probably would plan extra days/weeks to travel round other parts of Spain, nearby France, and/or other European destinations. But more importantly, the music festival itself is excellent because the Primavera Sound bookers have impeccable taste and a knack for booking headliners that are both rising new talents and established (but still cool) performers.

Additionally, as WFMU's Jason Sigal, who also works on the FMA (Free Music Archive) noted, they have a great ear towards the music scene in Spain, like the hometown female trio Aias who sing in Catalán and, according to Sigal, "were inspired to form a band after seeing the Vivian Girls at Primavera Sound a couple years back." Their latest video from a couple of months ago is above.

White Stripes Break Up

Posted by Miss Ess, February 2, 2011 10:54am | Post a Comment

Sad news today from the Whites: Jack and Meg are permanently breaking up and the White Stripes are officially no more. They said that "the main reason is to 'preserve what is beautiful and special about the band.'" Makes sense, I guess -- I mean, how many different songs can you really write with a guitar and a drummer? I'm surprised this hasn't happened earlier, frankly. White Stripes, RIP. It was good while it lasted.


"Death Letter"

"Truth Doesn't Make a Noise"

Michael Hurley, Cass McCombs and White Magic at Swedish American Hall, SF

Posted by Miss Ess, February 2, 2011 09:52am | Post a Comment

Tickets available here!

January 31, 2011: Love and Other Drugs

Posted by phil blankenship, February 1, 2011 11:05pm | Post a Comment

A Moment with RVDS

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, February 1, 2011 02:15pm | Post a Comment
Hamburg based RVDS makes beautifully deep & fragile music encompassing an array of styles from the deepest of house and techno with spacious beats and infectious melody. He took a Moment to talk about the new album, his process and love of synths.

Tell us about RVDS aka Richard von Der Schulenburg.

RVDS could be an abbreviation for "Rich Violet Detroit Sound" or "Rude Visions Destroys Science." One evening my friends did a list of different abbreviations for RVDS; it's fun. But in a way, you are right, it is my name as well and in fact it's the name for my electronic music project.

How did you come from playing in a punk band to making house music?

It's a musical development. I'm always trying and experimenting with sounds and music and always did electronic music, but not that club thing. This is new and I love to do it. In my opinion every kind of music can be awesome when it has this energetic thing. This could be a groove, a melody, a sound or a word in the lyrics. It's interesting with people like Moritz Von Oswald or Thomas Fehlmann, who have played in bands like Palais Schaumburg and 20 years later they are doing a different electronic music.

Do you recall some of your early clubbing experiences?

My early club experiences in the mid Nineties aren't that clear in my head. Maybe I was too drunk or something -- and I wasn't enjoying the music as much as I do now. My first awesome club experience was 2004 -- as you see, very late ... What I really love in all club experiences is this nonstop dancing thing and that there is this open-minded emotional communication between the people. 2004 there was this track "Easy Lee" by Ricardo Villalobos, which left me and many other people feeling something very intense. This is what I love.

Tell us about the Skywalking project -- how did the project come about?

It started at the Pudel Club in Hamburg. There was a Monday and there was no Dj around, so Pete aka Lawrence called me and Christian Naujoks to play some records. Anyway, the feeling was like talking to each other through music, and this was very intense. We did some recordings as well. I hope we get some music released this year, so that you can decide if you like to listen to these musical conversations.

The album varies in styles from deep house to acid to techno and back but all carries an experimental feel; what are the influences that make up your sound palette?

It would be too long for listing all the influences. I could mention Larry Heard, Drexciya, Sun Ra and so on, but in fact I'm just experimenting and playing with my instruments, which trigger all the influences in my brain.

Who's the vocalist featured on "Pain?"

It's me, myself and I. This vocal line gets in my head after a night in the Pudel Club and I record the first voices early in the morning. I like to do things with vocals; maybe it's the best personal note you can give in the music you make.

What does your gear set up consist of and your process for recording?

My gear is mostly analog instruments. I grew up with these things and remember my brother getting a Roland Juno synth on his birthday in 1983. So indeed I know how these instruments work and I like the sound. A friend of mine has a synth-studio “museum,” where nearly 20 synths are live.

I recorded two tracks from the album there, but sometimes so many great synths and drum machines can confuse my process, so I like working with less equipment at home.

My track "Marzipan Nightmare" from the it's 002 EP is made with the Arp Qaudra, Arp Odessey and the PPG. For an example ...

The track "Windy Night" is made with the Roland Jupiter 8, the Oberheim and the Roland System 100. Every piece of gear has got something to say ...

(Click here to check out the “museum”)

Is It's your primary outlet for releasing RVDS material?

Yes, at It's I can release any music I want without doing making compromises or agreements which don’t make the product any better.

What's the story behind the URL

We do things here that sometimes we don't even know what we do, but we know that it's mostly good. Say it in Derrick May words: it is what it is :-) -

What is the current state of affairs with electronic music in Hamburg?

The Smallville record shop/ parties and the MFOC partys (always on Sunday) at the Pudel Club where such acts like Mount Kimbie or Kyle Hall played last year are very important places to go for electronic music.

Top 10?

Sun Ra - Spectrum (BYG Actuel)

Urban Tribe - Insolitology (Planet E)

The Other People Place - Lifestyles Of The Casual (Warp Records)

John Heckle - Life on Titan (Mathematics Recordings)

John Swing - Time to Rest (LiveJam Limited)

Lawrence - Just Like Heaven (Smallville Records)

Joe R. Lewis - Love of My Own (Booton Records)

Larry Heard - Missing You (Alleviated Records)

Marcellus Pittman - There's Somebody Out There (Unirhythm)

Theo Parrish - Feel Free To Be Who You Need To Be (Sound Signature)

Purchase RVDS - Moments here:

Abner Jay, One Man Band and Unsung Hero

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 1, 2011 07:17am | Post a Comment

by Kaitlin

"Seeing and hearing is believing, folks, how great thou art Abner Jay sings and plays. He once was a low down dirty blues singer, heavy on drugs and liquor.  He performed with such greats as Lil Richard, Otis Redding, James Brown and many others. One man band."

"St. James Infirmary Blues"


true story of abner jay

I very recently heard Abner Jay's music for the first time, and I've fallen in love with his deep voice, folky-blues-ey style and in-between-song spoken word stories and jokes. It's really a bare-bones, original and unique sound that reminds me of so many others I love, from Bob Dylan to Son House. The information that most of us seem to know comes straight from the horse's mouth via pamphlets (such as the quote above) and short biographies that he hand wrote and passed out at his performances, and it seems an lesser known legend has been out there all along.


The basics we know are: Abner was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia in 1921. Since his grandfather and father were both slaves, he was also a slave. His Grandfather gave him his own banjo and learned Abner how to play at an early age. He began performing in Medicine Shows at the age of five. At the age of 11, he joined the Silas Green Ministrels. He was in World War II and by age 25 he led the WMAZ Ministrels on Macon radio from 1946-1956. After this time, he began a solo career, traveling the south in a converted mobile home that opened up into a portable stage, complete with a small PA system and home furnishings. He traveled the southern United States as a one man band, earning a living by performing field songs, Pentecostal hymns and minstrel tunes as well as original material, with themes consisting of Vietnam, drug addiction, depression, sex and lust among others, intermixed with parts of spoken word and jokes. He sold vinyl records and cassettes that he self published on his own label, Brandie Records. These original pressings are sought after and quite rare. More recently, Mississippi Records, a Portland, Oregon based record label specializing in American roots music and blues archiving, has re-released some of Abner's recordings and releases, complete with reproductions of some of the handwritten pamphlets and biographies he distributed, including True Story of Abner Jay and Last Ole Ministrel Man, both of which I have purchased from Amoeba SF.   
I think the best way to share the joy of Abner Jay is to let him speak for himself. Here are some more quotes to share the wonder that is Abner Jay.