It's Halloween, So Here's My Interview with Guillermo del Toro

Posted by Charles Reece, October 31, 2011 07:32pm | Post a Comment

We mostly talk about fantasy.

Everybody Scream on this Monday, Halloween!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 31, 2011 05:38pm | Post a Comment
buisness werewolf monday halloween

Monday afternoon may not be everyone's first choice for party time, but Amoeba San Francisco wasn’t about to let something as insignificant as a day of the week get in the way of a good costume contest!

Amoeba San Francisco’s annual Halloween employee costume contest
was kicked off with the spooky sounds of DJ Tay, who came dressed as a Hippie Butcher complete with the head of Jerry Garcia!

Funnyman Sean Murphy served as our Master of Ceremonies and introduced each of our masked miscreants one by one as judges Tony, Donnell, and Suzanne took copious notes.

lead the charge as…a mailman! 

Then we had a special guest appearance by the one and only Tina Turner! Also known as Nick!

Luciano pillaged the stage in Viking gear.

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Beaucoup Bins of Beautiful Boom

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 31, 2011 04:05pm | Post a Comment
Whazzup?! Tons of great records coming over our buying counter lately, much of it landing in "The Choice Bin," and circumnavigating my world. There's so much going on I don't where to start. Let's sample some of my choicest morsels of the past weeks and hope to nourish your auditory appetite!

Walt Dickerson

To My Queen
New Jazz NJ8283  1963 

A wonderful, somewhat neglected jazz music experience, with delicately grooving vibraphone and piano, gently singing over the percolating grooves of drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist George Tucker. Andrew Hill on piano takes the passenger's seat to Walt Dickerson's moves on this date, and the results are a nice, ethereal journey that always swings and keeps the fire burning while keeping each note sensitive and meaningful. Cyrille's versatility here is a treat, as I'm used to hearing him mostly with Cecil Taylor, and his bubbling, bopping percussion is exemplary. The photo of Walt's "queen" on the cover sets the tone for this marvelous journey.

Steve Lacy

Axieme Vol. 1
Red Record VPO 120 1977

Steve's sinewy, sweet solo soprano sax gig in Italy form the late '70s is an awe-inspiring display of mood, technique and worldly musical knowledge. This guy really got around in so many musical contexts, but his singular ability to sustain a whole concert with one single-note-capable instrument is a testament to chops and storytelling at it's most exotic and interesting. Sounds and melodies carry the ear into the heart and mind, as Steve's craft mesmerizes and blows the logical mind. Each solo concert Lacy did had its own special emotional thrust reflecting what was going on in his life, and this is one special moment. Very limited edition when it came out.

Mickey Hart/Airto Moreira/Flora Purim

Reference Recordings RR12 1983

This sought-after, audiophile-quality LP has delighted me for years, and we just got another one in! Imagine pieces of the Apocalypse Now film's percussion soundtrack with more spooky ambience, yet floating on a cloud of Flora's echo-scat larynx vocalizations. Hart leaves his Dead cohorts and charts more new territory, and Airto does what he always has. Spacey home-made percussion pieces and sound worlds unique to these men's hand-picked and often hand-made kits. Single drum-cracks packing symphonic sonic wallop. Reverb to relax into. These excursions hold up to many listenings, and the sound is spectacular to boot. Timeless classic.

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Telemusik / Mixtur
Deutsche Grammophon 137012,1964-66

A major discovery of my youth getting into 20th century classical music, Telemusik jumped out at me immediately with its gorgeous multi-hued green cover (part of the famous Avant Garde series), and the title Telemusik triggered my science-fiction fantasies. Side one has Karlheinz in the NHK studios in Japan, creating one his most amazing electronic/musique concrete pieces that has stood the test of time so well. This piece seems to me to be a template for later pieces of this ilk, with its iconic processed sounds and synthesis in the classical style. Side two is a piece for ring-modulated full orchestra, with the electronics creating extra harmonics in addition to the symphony's tones. Dark sweeps of sound blocks and trickling bits of sensory stimuli make a unique audioscape of unusual intrigue. I'm a huge fan of this stuff, and this is one of the best.

Steve Reich and Musicians

Drumming/Music for Mallet Instruments Voices and Organ/Six Pianos
Deutsche Grammophon 1974.

This 3-LP box set is another monumental discovery of my tender age. When I heard this "Minimalism" style, I instantly fell in love with it, and it's because I heard this record as a first introduction. Three enchanting pieces, full of rhythm, harmony and energy, pulsating as if there's no tomorrow, yet flowing and morphing in the best of this style of New Music writing. Percussion and piano pieces sizzling with pulsating, shifting concurrence, notes beating against each other and thrusting the music forward. Early works of Reich deliver so much compositional and rhythmic density, an important feature of his own youth which has manifested itself into a more sensitive sparseness in his later years. THIS is the stuff of major careers in the making, with an individuality unmatched in other contemporaries lauded as equals. Great booklet in here, too!

Milt Hinton

East Coast Jazz #5
Bethlehem BCP1020 1955 

Very hip Jass session with a clarinet/piano/double bass/drums lineup, post-bop yet not Beebop in the strict sense; new chamber jazz but not "new music" or 3rd stream. This music is all about the bass style played by Hinton in its most "vocal" melodic effect, with the other musicians very subtly accompanying Milt, and his very melodic phrases and runs certainly making his name at moment in '55. The other cats make it like a tranquilized dixieland gig, with an echo-y studio sound that aids in the vibe. This is quite an interesting and unusually satisfying style, as the cool factor and chops of the musicians (Tony Scott, Dick Katz, Ossie Johnson) make this totally successful. I hadn't heard much of Hinton's own music, but his rep is huge in the bass world. Dig this!

The Art of the LP Cover- Halloween 2011, Pt. 2 (Devil's Night)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 31, 2011 03:13pm | Post a Comment

Check out last year's Satan themed blog here.

Japan Tour 2011: Part 1, By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 31, 2011 12:56am | Post a Comment

Sundaland Cafe, taken during my set

A few weeks ago I went to Japan. This was my third time in Japan and my second as a DJ. The first time I went it was in 1994 when I played bass briefly with the artist, Beck. The second time was in 2006. It was for a Chicano/Japanese cultural exchange with the band Quetzal and the writer, Luis J. Rodriguez, author of one of my favorite books, Always Running. Each trip was a different experience. The Beck tour was a straight-up rock tour, with nice hotels, chauffeurs, backstage food & drinks and on occasion, girls waiting in lobby for the bands. The second time was about experiencing Japanese Lowrider culture and how the much Chicano culture and Japanese culture have influenced each other. It was honor to be in the company of Luis and Quetzal on that trip and I was honored that I would be asked to attend. In Los Angeles and even in my own community, most of us feel like we have to bend over backwards just to get a gig. To say that the Japanese have been very good to me is an understatement.

This time around I was to play in three different shows. The biggest by far was an opening DJ set for the legendary
Joe Bataan. The budget for this tour was much smaller then past tours. There was to be no hotels and I took the train to most places. My friend Shin Miyata, who has released several of my albums on his Barrio Gold/Music Camp label, was my host for the tour. We stayed at his apartment while he tended to Joe Bataan, who also has a few albums on Music Camp.

When I arrived in Japan it was a Thursday afternoon. Shin was there to pick us up. I came with my girlfriend, Joanna. We waited another half hour or so for Joe Bataan to arrive. Together, Shin drove through the rush hour traffic of Tokyo, which makes L.A. traffic seem like nothing. Joanna and I were lucky were in good company. Joe Bataan and his wife are the nicest people and Joe was full of great stories. Once we got to Shibuya, where Joe’s hotel was, we met up with a man that we come to know as Willie-San, a percussionist from Japan that at one point studied and played with Tito Puente. With his long hair, he looked part samurai, part 80’s Salsa musician. Shin told me he was a total bad ass on the percussion. He definitely looked it.

We went to eat but I don’t remember much of it. I hadn’t slept much in the last 48 hours and it was starting to catch up with me. Eventually, we went to Shin’s apartment in a town called Chofu, located in the western end of Tokyo. Chofu could be compared to suburb of Los Angeles but it definitely had its own flavor. There were very little traffic or cars and most of the people, young and very old, got by on bicycles. Lucky for us Shin had several bikes so that we could ride whether we needed to get around in Chofu. It was one of my favorite things to do while I was there.

My first gig was the following evening. It was an after-hours gig in Shibuya. Most gigs either start very early (starting at 5pm) or they are after-hour gigs. Since most of the city takes public transportation and the train stops from midnight to 5 a.m., you either have to shut it down early or keep going until the trains run again. The night, called Pachamama, started at 11 p.m. at a place called
The Sundaland Café, a venue not much bigger than a one-bedroom apartment. My host was a DJ that called himself El Parrandero, which roughly translated from Spanish, is “a partier” Sundaland was definitely a party. I played with most of Tokyo’s finest Latin DJ’s, including El Caminante Okamoto, DJ Suda, El Shuffle, DJ Matsumoto, Amemiya from the Caribbean Dandy crew, DJ Papa-Q and El Parrandero himself. All the Japanese DJs had deep playlist and I enjoyed them immensely. They really got me amped to do my best.

Here, they don't hang the DJ, they hang the MC!

As a whole, the night was pretty crazy. We rode our bikes to get some food and to catch the train to the gig. You have to pay for overnight bike parking in Japan much like you would a car in the U.S. It costs roughly five U.S. dollars each to park our bikes. By the time we got to Sundaland, it was crowded and most people were already lit. I spoke to some very nice people and some very drunk people who offered me drink after drink. I passed them off to my girlfriend and our friend Miho, who was our guide that night. Miho works with Shin at Music Camp and although she works for him, that company is just as much as hers as it is his. The dedication she has to her work puts the hardest worker in America to shame.I can’t believe how much their small two-person operation does! Anyhow, the drinks kept coming. There was an MC doing shout outs while the other DJ’s were on. It sounded like he kept saying, “Yeah, yeahyeahyeahyeeeeyah” every other sentence. I don’t speak Japanese, but I’m pretty sure he was saying, yeah, yeahyeahyeahyeeeeyah, followed by the DJ’s names. Then some people in the crowd decided to take the MC’s shirt off, then his pants and soon his boxers. It started to look like a gay beer bash on a Sunday afternoon in West Hollywood or The Castro.

Man down!!!!

That should have been an indication that the crowd was real drunk.” One guy kept messing with me most of the night. I don’t know if he didn’t like me or if he wanted to mess with me cause I was an outsider, but it started to get to me, especially during my set when he started to put his hands on the mixer and grabbing my hands as I was try to mix. Just when I was getting to my boiling point, El Parrandero, (The Party Guy) took him aside and I never saw him again. I don’t know what happened to him, I don’t care what happened to him, but he was gone. Now it was time to get busy with my set. I decided to play only vinyl on this trip. I’m not a vinyl purest and I have Serato, but I figured I could play deeper cuts on wax that the other deejays wouldn’t have. I cursed the vinyl every time I had to carry it on the plane and trains, but when it was time to play, I was glad I brought my records. The people at Sunaland seemed to dig my Cumbia records especially.

Bad ass conga player from Orquesta Copa Salvo

After my set, a band came up. They were called Orquesta Copa Salvo. They were very talented and loads of fun. It was Japanese band that played deep Latin Funk, Salsa, Boogaloo and Bolero covers, sung in Spanish. Most of the people in the club spoke Spanish. Since I don’t speak Japanese I found it easier to communicate with people in Spanish rather than English. Many of the people at the club grew up in places like Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, where there are many Japanese living there. Some had jobs in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Some had traveled to Cuba and hung out in the barrios in the U.S. Whatever their story was, they developed a great love for Latin American culture, its people, music, language and food. The night was a reminder of what they experienced and what they missed now that they were back in Japan. I hope I was able to remind them of what they love about Latin American culture.

At five in the morning, it was time to go back to Chofu. I gave a few shout outs on the mic in English & Spanish and we were off. At the train station, we saw all the party zombies waiting for the train to get home. Some were club kids, some looked very wasted. Some of the couples looked like they hooked up for the first time. Most people were still in their business suits from the previous day. I bet all were happy it was now Saturday. We still had to ride our bikes back to Shin's and it was starting to rain. The ride was pleasant though. A cool misty rain while the sun was rising. Miho took off at record speed and we did our best to keep up. Neither Joanna and I have ridden a bike in a while. Twenty minutes later, we were back at Shin's and ready to call it a night.


Pet Costume Contest and Halloween DJ Sets This Afternoon At Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billyjam, October 31, 2011 12:30am | Post a Comment
Hurry, hurry, hurry to the Halloween celebration at Amoeba Hollywood today (October 31st) from 2pm to 5pm when there will be a pet costume contest (with prizes) plus special Halloween music spun by in-house DJs throughout the mid afternoon at the Sunset Blvd store. You are invited to bring your kids along too, especially in Halloween costumes, since we will be handing out candy to kids celebrating Halloween. The music entertainment kicks off at 2pm with DJ Frankenfurn who will be spinning for an hour. Then the following hour, up until the pet costume contest kicks off at 4pm, the soundtrack for your Halloween at Amoeba will be supplied by DJ Die Die My Darling & The Annityville Horror.

Winners of the pet costume contest will receive a variety of cool prizes including some items from Catts & Doggs. As you likely already know people really like to dress up their pets for Halloween (see the video below care of UZoo Gallery showing a variety of pets in Halloween costume) so based on this fact coupled with the number of calls of inquiry that Amoeba has been receiving about this pet costume contest, there will probably be a good turnout for this afternoon's event. Word has it that the contest will be a true democratic process with costumes been judged by all in attendance via an applause-O-meter and, regardless of who has the best costume, each pet and their owner will be admired and celebrated by all in the house. So make every effort to attend and have fun at Amoeba and if you are going for the pet costume contest try and get there at least 20 minutes before the 4pm contest start time.

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Having Fun with Stalin: Žižek on Rose

Posted by Charles Reece, October 30, 2011 08:58am | Post a Comment

When I'm not looking for videos of Danzig or pro-wrestling, watching Slavoj Žižek is how I spend a good deal of my internet time. He recently appeared on The Charlie Rose Show. Turns out, the two share an interest in Josef Stalin. But that discussion gets interrupted with topics like the philosopher's speech at the Occupy Wall Street rally, the Egyptian uprising -- both of which are the focus of his latest LRB essay -- Chinese capitalism and the ideology in Kung Fu Panda and Titanic. The Titanic analysis is a taste of what's to come in his and Sophie Fiennes' sequel to The Pervert's Guide to Cinema:

October 29, 2011: Ra. One

Posted by phil blankenship, October 30, 2011 01:29am | Post a Comment

October 29, 2011: Take Shelter

Posted by phil blankenship, October 30, 2011 01:27am | Post a Comment

The box office personnel couldn't figure how to properly ticket for Take Shelter.

Four Inch Focus- Gods and Myths

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 28, 2011 07:05pm | Post a Comment

Check out a similar gallery from 2009, click here

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood: 10/28 - Jonsson/Alter, Achterbahn D' Amour, Kowton, Francois X, SCB, Giorgio Gigli & Tin Man & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 28, 2011 04:42pm | Post a Comment
Mod (LP)
Kontra Musik

The much anticipated album from Jonsson/Alter, the new project from Henrik Jonsson & Joel Alter, has finally arrived. With personality and grace Jonsson/Alter blend soul, atmosphere and space with heavenly monotone funk. Or as the artists put it: “This album just landed in our laps like the sand falls inside an hourglass, every note is a breath of air and each kick pumps like a woken heart.'' Tension is the key word to this album. The raw funk of bass lines and drum programming always grinds against the smooth and beautiful, almost sacral and poetic parts of the music. You can feel the work of two producers, two styles, two ideas, meeting and blending to create something new - a sound of their own. Sharp acid bass lines meets smooth church-bell pads. Dreamy monotone organ pads and deep human sighs meet the striving funk of daily life. Minimalistic but irresistibly funky drum programming jams together with a wild and constantly tweaked one-tone bass line. Very few sounds play efficiently in this amazingly dirty club tracks to cinematic and dusty house. Good times are what we are made for and this album will hopefully help you in pursuing that task.

** Comes with limited Jonsson/Alter canvas bag **

Purchase Mod here

Achterbahn D' Amour

Trance me up / Adult Movies - Skudge remix
Acid Test 05 / Absurd

After their debut on Acid Test 02, Achterbahn D' Amour (aka Iron Curtis & Edit Piafra) return to Absurd for Acid Test 05. 2 new tracks plus a massive remix from Skudge. Mastered by Helmut at Dubplates & Mastering.

Purchase Acid Test 05 here

Francois X
Countdown EP
Deeply Rooted House

Francois X returns to the Deeply Rooted House label for his third record and we are very pleased to hear how he developed his style! Code Red has a great classic Techno vibe, while Haunted is an acid intriguing deep and dark track. Proper techno! Bonus comes on the flip side with the Marcel Dettmann remix of Code Red. His version is stripped down dark and pumping in his unique and raw and intense Berghain style!

Purchase Countdown ep here

Mace & Overlay 12”

It has been nearly a year since the last single dropped on Paul Rose’s SCB label, and for 2011 it returns in full force with two brand new cuts. “Mace” and “Overlay”, both insistent and hard-hitting, further establish the carefully crafted style of the SCB project.

Purchase Mace & Overlay here

Obtane & Giorgio Gigli / Tin Man

Modern nihilists Obtane, Giorgio Gigli and Tin Man deliver a cinematic and obscure Techno audio-sculpture.

Purchase 00H here

OHWL 004
Other Heights

Aquatic underground affair from Dutch producers Mohlao and Mi-24 (aka B. Bunnik), along with Kowton from the innovating Bristol-scene. Think of techno, think of electro, think of experimental dubstep.

Purchase OHWL here

Willie Burns
Creme EP

Sophomore EP by Brooklyn's new house prodigy Willie Burns, who has been honing his craft under various guises for the better part of a decade. Expanding on the foundation laid on his L.I.E.S. EP earlier this year, here we see Willy take a more aggressive approach towards more commercial territory... errrm as if... in any case, classic house tunes with a NY twist

Purchase Creme EP here

Marcel Fengler/Sphinx EP
Hakim Murphy/Moonbeam Express
Tall Black Guy/Water No Enemy 7"
Tall Black Guy/Return Of Here 7"
World Unknown - VOL. 3 12”World Unknown
Nice Rec/ST
Josh Dahlberg/Natura
Futura Agents Of Woe/Get Illiterate
Kyle Geiger/Imperial
Raiz/Keep Secrets
Jacques Greene/Greene 01
VA/Underground Dance EP Vol. 2
C-Beams/Strollin EP
Roots Panorama/Threee
Pirahnahead & Diviniti/Just Li
Robot Koch/The Other Side
J.Cub Presents 1/3 Quartet/ETYMOLOGY 12”
Special Case/AURUM 12”
Check The Guns/TAPE EDIT 003 12”
Moodymanc Vs Jamie Finlay/PEOPLE...12”
Marcus Intalex/STARK 12”
Kahn/ILLY 12”
Soft Rocks/MAGIC MILK 12”
D-Bridge/SO LONELY 12”
Morning Factory/SULTANS OF SWING EP 12”
Paul Woolford & Psycatron/STOLEN 12”
Coyote/MINAMOTO 12”
Ashley Beedle/ANGELS - PINBALL 7”
Cantoma/OUT OF TOWN REMIXES #1 OF 3 10”
Giorgio Luceri/6D22 EP 12”
Peshay/SOLINA 12”
David Boomah & Serum/WHY THEY WANNA 12”
Delta Heavy/OVERKILL 12”
Skeptical/BLUE EYES EP D12”
Evil K'Neil/TO RACK & RUIN VOL. 2 12”
T-Polar/APOLLO EP 12”
Ethyl - Huxley/3 FEET HIGH 12”
Josh Money/LET GO WITH YOU 12”
Throwing Snow/SHADOWER & SANCTUM 12”
Da 3rd Kind/I OBEY 12"
Ricardo Miranda/102POINT7 12”
Vicious Circle & Nocturnal/LAST... 12”
Tribute Edits/#5-WE LOVE BILL 12”
Switch Technique/THE STORYTELLER 12"
Andy Meecham/MORNING BANGER 12”
Majistrate/BIG DEAL 12"

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 10.28.11: Evidence, People Under The Stairs, Murs, Exile, Freestyle Fellowship & more

Posted by Billyjam, October 28, 2011 07:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 10:28:11


1) Evidence Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers Ent.)

2) Murs Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation (DD172)

3) People Under The Stairs Highlighter (Piecelock 70)

4) Exile 4 Trk Mind (Soulspazam/Fat Beats)

5) Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (Decon)

Thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Hollywood Amoeba store for this week's hip-hop top five chart which, you will notice upon closer examination, features exclusively acts from the SoCal store's surrounding area. As Rivera has told me in the past LA area customers have traditionally been highly supportive of their homegrown hip-hop talent. This week those talents include the LA producer/emcee Evidence who first came to fame as part of Dilated Peoples and who recently connected with the respected Mid West Rhymesayers Entertainment label who have released his highly recommended new  Cats & Dogs album.  LA's Murs, the Living Legends star who for a time lived in the Bay Area, is getting positive feedback all over for his latest release - a collab with Ski Beatz, Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation including down in New Orleans where, just before the album's October 11th release date, he did a unique promo for the new release on DD172 as seen in video clip below.

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October 27, 2011: Showgirls 2: Penny's From Heaven

Posted by phil blankenship, October 28, 2011 01:07am | Post a Comment

Guide to Halloween Weekend In The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, October 27, 2011 06:20pm | Post a Comment
Halloween may not be until Monday but the festivities are already well underway around the Bay Area. This past weekend there were numerous Halloween themed events but this weekend is when things kick into full gear with tons of events happening. This Amoeblog is a general guide to concerts and entertainment for Halloween in the Bay, 2011 for both adults and kids.

First up is the Amoeba sponsored SHOCK-IT-TO-ME! HALLOWEEN SPOOKENANNY at San Francisco's Café Du Nord on Monday, Halloween night. Beginning at 9pm it promises to be "the most insidious show in San Francisco this Ghoultide Season! Bringing back a real sense of old skool All-Hallows-Eve fun" with "a monstrous fright night of horror hosts, maniacal music, creepy contests, and more tricks ‘n treats than you can shake a bloody stake at!" For full details read the in-depth Amoeblog.

Also on Halloween night, Monday October 31st, is the big Live 105 sponsored Subsonic Halloween Ball at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco with 2 Many DJs, Fake Blood, Dyloot, Party Ben and many more. At the same Sutter & Van Ness venue two nights earlier is Halloween Massive 2011 - a costume party with hip-hop and house music, giveaways, and prizes. More info on both nights here. Saturday's party starts at 9pm. Monday's starts at 7pm. Regency Ballroom is located at 1290 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109.

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Get Yer Pre-Halloween On With Tijuana Panthers

Posted by Billy Gil, October 27, 2011 06:03pm | Post a Comment
Lots of very cool shows happening this weekend for Halloween. On Halloween, Zola Jesus is playing at the Echoplex and Abe Vigoda is playing Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, with DJ sets from Air France and The Field. The day before, on Oct. 30, Tijuana Panthers take the stage at the Ukrainian Cultural Center with fellow garage rockers The Soft Pack, Thee Oh Sees and Total Control. Three-piece Tijuana Panthers, with drummer Phil Shaheen, guitarist Chad Wachtel and bassist Daniel Michicoff, play a kind of punk-influenced surf rock that shows the line from The Ventures to The Buzzcocks to Jay Reatard is a short one indeed, seamlessly combinging straightforward, clean-but-not-clean-cut guitars, alternatingly bratty and crooning vocals and old school rock-combo rhythms — check out their gorgeously bummed out "Summer Fun" below for a fine example of what they do. I took a minute to talk to Shaheen about their sound.

PST: Are you guys working on new songs yet? If so, how is the sound shaping up?
Shaheen: Yeah, we have steadily been coming up with new ones, playing them live at shows and then recording them. They shape up well this way, playing them live then recording has always helped us to tight'n them up. Just need to record a few more next week and we should be on our way.
PST: Are you guys surprised at all by the recent resurgence of bands playing garage rock and surf rock?
Shaheen: No, not really. It seems to come in waves, this one seems a lot larger. 
PST: Do you guys mind at all getting lumped in with other bands that play that kind of music? I could see it being frustrating, but also there seems to be a camaraderie among bands like you guys, Audacity and Ty Segall.
Shaheen: Yeah there's not a perfect fit for us there but, we get along pretty well with all those bands. Joe Walters from the Redwood Bar use to call us “Barbershop Surfpop,” I always liked that.
PST: One thing I feel like sets you guys apart is your vocals. They’re really great, I love that they're spread out among the members and that they’re often nice and croony, rather than full on garage all the time. Is that something you guys consciously tried to do, make sure the vocals actually sounded like real singing?
Shaheen: Yes. We have always kept it pretty clean for the most part. Chad croons, I whine, Daniel croons and whines.
PST: I lived in Long Beach for years, and I love that you guys represent it so well. It definitely captures the place somehow, although I can’t quite put my finger on how. If there’s a sound to Long Beach that you guys help embody, what do you think that is?
Shaheen: Long Beach has always had a pretty steady stew of counter culture, it's a port city. Maybe we rep a little piece of that.
PST: Do you have any favorite venues to play?
Shaheen: Shows that FYF put on are always rad, where ever they may be. It’s great getting to play these halls like the old timers use to.  
PST: What's the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your shows?
Shaheen: We got to play with The Dead Milkmen at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. Seeing those guys in person was really crazy and the fact that we got to play with them blew my mind. I still can't believe that went down.
PST: Stock question, but what bands did you guys bond over, and who are some artists people might not expect you guys to be into?
Shaheen: The Dead Milkmen, Suburban Lawns, X, Circle Jerks, Link Wray, The Cramps, TSOL, Dead Kennedys, The Pyramids, Sade, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Ian Dury.

The show's $12 in advance, $14 at the door, all ages, starts at 7:30. Get tickets here. Check out Tijuana Panthers' album Max Baker here.

October 26, 2011: The Mighty Macs

Posted by phil blankenship, October 27, 2011 12:27am | Post a Comment

Florida Quartet Surfer Blood Release New "Tarot Classics" EP and Begin Tour With Pixies This Week

Posted by Billyjam, October 26, 2011 02:30pm | Post a Comment
Among the new releases to arrive in Amoeba Music yesterday was the Tarot Classics EP  (Kanine Records) by Surfer Blood. It is the first extended release from the West Palm Beach, Florida based rock quartet since they first arrived on the scene last year with their acclaimed debut album Astro Coast, also on Kanine Records. Also in 2010 they released the 7" single "Floating Vibes" which is still available at Amoeba. Their new EP, available on both vinyl and CD, features bonus remixes by several producers including San Francisco based Speculator, and Totally Sincere which is Connor Hanwick of the Drums and Peggy Wang of TPOBPAH.

The release coincides with the band's much coveted opening slot on the new Pixies (who influence their sound) US/UK tour which kicks off tomorrow the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. No CA dates for Surfer Blood are included but you can pick up the new Tarot Classics EP featuring such tracks as "Drinking Problem" below.  And if you want to check out more tracks before buying it at Amoeba you can stream it in its entirety here care of Spin magazine. You can follow Surfer Blood on Twitter.

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Tim Armstrong's (aka Tim Timebomb) ROCKNROLL THEATER Coincides with Halloween and Occupy Wall Street

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2011 07:30pm | Post a Comment

ROCKNROLL THEATRE Episode 1 "Dante" (2011)
The always busy Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Transplants, solo, etc.) is gearing up for Halloween with his latest side project; an ambitious, rock n roll based, musical with a horror flavor, short film series titled ROCKNROLL THEATER - that immediately reminds one of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Under his alias Tim Timebomb Armstrong's been busy on the project working with director Kevin Kerslake plus a host of both experienced and first time actors/dancers including his Rancid bandmate Lars Frederiksen who gets a starring role (peep him in clip above and trailer below) in this new series that was launched on Friday last on VEVO with the first episode been "Dante" (see above).

Armstrong, a long time horror fan, could not have better timed the release of this unique new series. As well as the horror themed film piece being just in time for Halloween additionally this story about "corporate bad ass" Lars character Dante Wilson, who "practices treachery at every turn," also coincides perfectly with the Occupy Wall Street protests - something that had not yet begun when filming for the project began. As well as Frederiksen also featured in ROCKNROLL THEATER are Armstrong's pals AFI‘s Davey Havok, Shoshana Fox, Robert David Hall, and recent Amoeba Hollywood instore performers Fishbone.

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(On the advent of Halloween.)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 24, 2011 02:16pm | Post a Comment

Worst... lollipops... ever.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s almost time for Halloween! And you know what that means? Stressing out about costumes, making the Sophie’s Choice over which parties to attend (basically an exercise in letting your friends know who you like most) and experiencing undue suspicion of apples. (Is an apple stuck with hidden pins healthier if it’s organic? And do child-killers have a preference between Braeburns or a Cox’s Orange Pippin?)

Halloween: the scary holiday. You know what’s scary? How my body can turn two, tiny Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into a week’s worth of adult acne.

If it sounds like I’m anti-Halloween, know that I’m not. It’s just that, unlike Walrus Day, this holiday bears with it certain responsibilities, just like all the other more pious celebrations. Granted, one usually isn’t pressured to hang out with family members on Halloween (I actually like my family, but a lot of people have to settle for loving theirs), and no-one’s expected to cook lavish feasts (unless you count opening a fun-size Snickers “cooking”), but you are expected to have a lot of fun. This presents someone like me with real challenges.

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October 22, 2011: The Innkeepers

Posted by phil blankenship, October 22, 2011 11:52pm | Post a Comment

U Can Search This: MC Hammer Unveils Ambitous New Search Engine Called WireDoo

Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2011 08:53am | Post a Comment

Stanley Burrell (aka MC Hammer) Discusses WireDoo with Alex Howard.

Former superstar Oakland rapper MC Hammer, who two long decades ago ruled the pop charts with such hits as "U Can't Touch This" and "Too Legit To Quit," unveiled a brand new search engine this week called WireDoo that he hopes will give such popular search engines as Google and Bing a run for their money. Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Burrell and who has dabbled in high tech since his pop star years, announced the new search engine at Wednesdays Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco when, as in video interview above, he said that unlike the popular Google search engine that WireDoo will offer much more in data when you type in a word or words; offering not just links on the searched item/words but also offering up an array of suggested links to choose from - something he says will be superior to the typical Google searches.

Whether WireDoo, which is still in pre-beta development mode, will take off or fizzle out fast (a la Google + which only earlier this year was being hyped as the new Facebook but never caught on) remains to be seen. More more insights on WireDoo check out the above Hammer interview by Alex Howard interview at Wednesday's conference.

October 21, 2011: Some Guy Who Kills People

Posted by phil blankenship, October 21, 2011 11:54pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap Up Week Ending 10.21.11: DJ Quest, Spank Rock, J-Live, Freestyle Fellowship, Phonte, Melissa Czarnik, Superstar Quamallah & Deqawn, and more

Posted by Billyjam, October 21, 2011 08:45am | Post a Comment

E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley Wk ending Oct 21st, 2011

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 10:21:11

1) Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (Decon)

2) Phonte Charity Starts at Home (Hbd Label Group)

3) Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Superstar Quamallah & Deqawn Talkin' All That Jazz (Cotter Records/Brick Records )

5) J-Live S.P.T.A. (Triple Threat Productions)

Thanks again to E-Lit at the Amoeba Music Berkeley for the latest Top 5 Hip-Hop chart and run down of new hip-hop releases in the Telegraph Avenue Amoeba store.  These include the recommended number one album of the week; Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (on Brooklyn's high caliber Decon Records, the new one from Little Brother's
Phonte Charity Starts at Home on the Hbd Label Group, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV which will likely be charting through end of the year, and Superstar Quamallah & Deqawn's Talkin' All That Jazz on Cotter Records/Brick Records (this is a real good release that i just got through checking out). Also recommended is J-Live S.P.T.A. on Triple Threat Productions. Long one of my favorite, albeit long running underrated hip-hop talents, J-Live has been tirelessly putting it down for a decade and a half.  And as his label name (Triple Threat) and new album cover and title imply he is a triple gifted artist - an MC, DJ, and producer - and he is amazing at all three - as proven on the new S.P.I.T. which stands for Said Person of That Abilility.

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out this week, 10/11 & 10/18: please please please let me get what I want...the smiths box set!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 21, 2011 08:00am | Post a Comment

I have been waiting for this week to arrive for a long time. The long awaited box sets by The Smiths have finally arrived. There are a lot of Smiths fans out there who have been counting down the days for these box sets to arrive. We all probably have about 4 or 5 all time favorite bands. Those bands that we love more than anything else. We collect everything we can by them. We have probably owned their albums on cassette, CD and LP. We have listened to their albums over and over again. We have watched the videos over and over again. We have read all we could about them. We have spent hours reading magazines and books about them. We then later spent years looking for articles and blogs on them online. Or spent hours and hours on message boards or chat rooms. We have seen them live in concert as much as we could afford to. Assuming the band actually toured when we could see them. These bands are usually the bands that you were really obsessed with in your late teens and early 20s. At least that is how it was for me. The bands that you discovered in junior high that you then became obsessed with in high school and college. The bands that your older siblings or cousins got you into. The bands that your friends that were cooler than you found out about first.  The bands that you can't imagine your life without. They are the soundtrack to our lives. We listened to them in our bedrooms late at night by ourselves. We later listened to them late at night with our best friends and girlfriends and boyfriends. We listened to them in the car with our parents and later with our friends. We listened to them on our first dates. We put their songs on compilations and mix tapes. We danced to their songs in our bedrooms by ourselves and later at clubs and parties and at friends houses. These are the bands that helped to create our favorite moments from our past. The songs that helped us to remember those memories.

There are probably about 50 or so bands that I love and am obsessed with. But I am talking more about the bands at the top of your list. These bands for me are Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, The Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie & the Banshees & The Smiths. I have probably listened to these bands collectively more than all the other bands I love added together. All these bands have put out various box sets and reissues over the years. Depeche Mode gave us the Singles box sets reissued a couple of times. We got beautiful remastered 2CD version of all the Depeche Mode albums up to Exciter in 2006 and 2007. We also got a New Order box set called Retro in 2002. The New Order catalog got reissued in deluxe 2CD packaging in 2008. We got the Join the Dots Cure box set in 2004. The Cure catalog has all been reissued up to Disintegration which finally just came out last year. I am still waiting for that Wish reissue! The remastered version of Disintegration sounds just as amazing as you remember if not better! We got a Siouxsie & the Banshees box set Downside Up in 2004. Some of the Siouxsie & the Banshees albums were remastered and reissued in 2006 and 2009 as imports. But the whole catalog never got the compete domestic reissues that they deserve. I am still holding our for that too. The Cocteau Twins had a great EP box set come out in 1991. This box set was replaced by the Lullabies to Violaine set in 2005. Some of the Cocteau Twins albums have been remastered. But I would still love a comprehensive catalog box set from them as well.

With all these reissues over the years I have still been waiting for The Smiths. I have still been hoping that one day we would get some sort of reissues and box sets from The Smiths. The band only had four studio albums. They have had many compilations over the years. But never a comprehensive box set. Things started to turn around when The Sound of The Smiths 2CD compilation came out in 2008. The Smiths singles box was also released in 2008 as an import. This included a 12CD box and a 12 7" box. Then the four studio albums got reissued and remastered on LP in 2009. And now in 2011 we finally have a proper box set by The Smiths! It is not exactly what I would have hoped for. We all hope that there is some secret 5th studio album out there. Or that there are are albums worth of unreleased songs. But I simply don't think that is the case. I am still holding out for a more comprehensive DVD and Blu-ray collection for the band. Some sort of official 2 hour documentary on the band and a all inclusive box set with every video and TV appearance and live performance. But these box sets out this week are still pretty amazing. They might not be exactly what we wanted. But still a fantastic way to enjoy one of my all time favorite bands. Out this week is a 8CD box set and an 8LP box set. The Smiths Complete is all 8 albums remastered.The CD box set includes the 8 albums all remastered and reissued for the first time. They are all beautifully packaged in mini LP replica type packaging. They are beautiful. The LP box set includes the 4 studio albums which have already been remastered on LP. But also includes the other 4 albums which are reissued and remastered on LP for the first time.

Both of these The Smiths Complete box sets include:

The 4 studio albums:
The Smiths (1984),
Meat Is Murder (1985),
The Queen is Dead (1986)
Strangeways Here We Come (1987)

hatful of hollowand these 4 compilations:
Rank (the live album from 1988)
Hatful of Hollow (the compilation released in 1984 featuring BBC Radio 1 Recordings and the singles "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," "Hand In Glove" and "William It Was Really Nothing" and their B-sides "How Soon Is Now," "Girl Afraid," and "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want."
The World Won't Listen (The UK Rough Trade compilation from 1987)
Louder Than Bombs (The US Sire Records compilation from 1987)

If you are a big fan of the band you might need to add one of these box sets to your collection. The CD box set is actually a really good deal. Eight albums all remastered and reissued on CD for the first time. They basically include almost every Smiths songs previously available.

For the super fan there is also The Smiths Complete Super Deluxe Collector's Box. It is very limited. This huge box set was released in the UK a couple of weeks ago and is limited to only 4000 copies worldwide. The Box set is packaged in a beautiful flip top box that opens from the top. It includes special compartments for the CDs, 7"s and LPs. It includes the 8CDs and 8LPs in the other two box sets out this week. But also includes all the 7"s and a poster and booklet and art prints. The box sets are numbered on the back of the 12 page booklet.

The Smiths Complete Super Deluxe box set includes the following...

All 8 Remastered CDs and LPs:
The Smiths, Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead, Strangeways Here We Come, Hatful of Hollow, Louder Than Bombs, The World Won't Listen, and Rank

25 7" reissues!

The Smiths Complete Picture (All Region DVD)

36" x 24" poster

12 Page LP size Booklet with awesome contributions from Seymour Stein, Stephen Street and Grant Showbiz.

Download card with code to get high quality mp3s of all the songs featured in box set.

8 Art Prints featuring album art.

This box set is really a beautiful special thing. A very large and expensive thing. But a very special gift to the fans.

It is hard to pick my favorite songs by The Smiths. There are simply too many amazing songs to choose from. They all are special to me and all make me think of different stages of my teen years and young adulthood. I love this band. And am so happy to have them in my life for all the years of my youth and all the years of my future...

The Smiths and fans of The Smiths were often made fun of because the songs were thought to be so depressing and melancholy. But these songs were probably what got me out of depressing days. I never thought of this band as depressing. These songs are still as amazing and inspiring as the they were the first day that I heard them. There are some fantastic pop songs on all of these albums. The songs were brilliantly written musically and lyrically. I really can't imagine my life without Morrissey and Johnny Marr and the brilliance of The Smiths.

Here are a couple of my favorite songs. There are really so many more that I love. Don't worry...they sound much better than this on the remastered CDs and LPs!!!...

"Unloveable" by The Smiths from the albums The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs...

"Handsome Devil" by The Smiths from the album Hatful of Hollow...

"Well I Wonder" by The Smiths from the album Meat Is Murder...

"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths from the album Strangeways Here We Come...

"I Know It's Over" by The Smiths from the album The Queen Is Dead...

also out 10/11...

Ashes & Fire
by Ryan Adams

by Bjork

Tomorrow's World
by Erasure

Looping State of Mind
by The Field

On the Water
by Future Islands

Dropped Pianos
by Tim Hecker

Original Colors
by High Places

TKOL RMX 1234567
by Radiohead

Creatures of An Hour
by Still Corners

also out 10/18...

He Thinks He's People
by Rob Crow

Hurry Up We're Dreaming
by M83

All Things Will Unwind
by My Brightest Diamond

Destination Ecstasy
by Pink Playground

Hazed Dream
by Psychic Ills

by Real Estate

The Smiths Complete Box
by The Smiths

Sets & Lights
by Xeno & Oaklander


New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood: 10/21 - Mike Huckaby, Portable, Theo Parrish, Chubby Wolf, Lawrence, Floating Points & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 20, 2011 06:06pm | Post a Comment
The SYNTH Huckaby Remixes 12"
Slices Of Life

Slices Of Life presents tracks from Vladislav Delay's Sistol and Pole projects, remixed by Mike Huckaby. To start, "Keno" is transformed into an outstanding, dubby, Detroit-house masterpiece -- exclusively released as an extended version. On the B-side, Huckaby remixed a track originally produced in the same time period: Pole's "Silberfisch." In 2011, Mike Huckaby keeps the dubby and slightly melancholic, crackling atmosphere of the original, but his "S Y N T H Remix" beams "Silberfisch" straight onto the dancefloor.

Purchase Synth Remixes here

Into Infinity 2LP

On the fifth album by Alan Abrahams aka Portable, he teams up with Efdemin, Johannes Schön and Süd Electronic label-mate Lakuti, to lead us Into Infinity. During the last 15 years, Alan has lived and composed in South Africa, England, Portugal and Germany. He has released records on Background, Context, Karat, Musik Krause, ~scape, Spectral, his very own Süd Electronics label and Yore.

Purchase Into Infinity here

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Show Report: Portishead at the Shrine, Cut Copy/Washed Out at the Palladium

Posted by Billy Gil, October 20, 2011 05:55pm | Post a Comment
Portishead’s two-show run at the Shrine Auditorium began Oct. 18 with a night of new and old songs filtered through the band’s singular and sour lens. The set was heavy with songs from the harsh, emotional Third, my personal favorite Portishead album, as they began with “Silence,” singer Beth Gibbons gripping the microphone as if for dear life (and rarely leaving this pose) and singing as if it were her dying breath. Their more well-known songs (“The Rip,” “Sour Times”) sounded perfectly rehearsed and terrific, but even more revelatory live were songs that are subtler pleasures on record —“Magic Doors” and “Threads” aren’t my favorites on Third, but live they erupted with power, particularly “Threads,” in which Gibbons let ’er rip in the show’s most moving moment. Weirdly, a song a lot of Portishead fans don’t like — the spare, militaristic “Machine Gun” — got a huge response, accompanied by some extremely creepy visuals that looked like someone crawling through an attic, somewhere between The Shining and “Ghost Hunters.” I couldn’t help but notice how wonderful it really is to have a band like Portishead be so popular as to sell out the Shrine two nights in a row, culling together young and aging hipsters and normies alike to listen to music that, at its core, is very strange and disconcerting.
Someone was clearly "feelin' the love" at Cut Copy.

Last week I saw Cut Copy with Washed Out opening, and I have to say for a show that wasn’t really on my radar, it really blew me away. The bands played Oct. 12 at the Palladium (which smelled like garbage to me for some reason). Washed Out was typically great, although a problem with seeing them live is that, like on record, the songs bleed together and it’s hard to recall which song is which. But their set was involving nonetheless, managing to sound melancholy through all the chill vibes. Cut Copy pretty much blew the roof off, playing songs from this year’s great Zonoscope like the “Owner of a Lonely Heart”-ish “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat.” You forget how many great, guitary dance singles Cut Copy has until you hear them all at once, like In Ghost Colours’ badass “Lights & Music.” I don’t remember hearing Zonoscope’s “Alisa” (bummer), but there were enough jams to make it through the night — “Pharoahs & Pyramids,” “Hearts on Fire” and “Need You Know,” songs that occupy some fabulous middle space between My Bloody Valentine and Ace of Base.


1. Silence
2. Nylon Smile
3. The Rip
4. Sour Times
5. Magic Doors
6. Wandering Star
7. Machine Gun
8. Over
9. Glory Box
10. Chase the Tear
11. Cowboys
12. Threads
We Carry On

Cut Copy:

1. Take Me Over
2. Feel the Love
3. Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat
4. So Haunted
5. Corner of the Sky
6. Lights and Music
7. Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution
8. Pharaohs & Pyramids
9. Saturdays
10. Voices in Quartz
11. Hearts on Fire
12. Sun God
Where I'm Going
Need You Now

The Art of the LP Cover- Halloween 2011, Pt. 1

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 20, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment

This weekend, stop by Amoeba Hollywood to pick up some rare Halloween vinyl, CDs & DVDs.
More than a few of these titles will be sitting in the bins waiting for you!

out this week, 9/27 & 10/4: Drive...Gem Club...Teen Daze...We Were Promised Jeptpacks...Zola Jesus...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 20, 2011 12:40pm | Post a Comment
I have always been a sucker for shoegaze and dream pop. I just can't get enough of it. I have always loved it and I always will. I just love the dreamy and hazy feel of a really good dream pop album. It can take me away from reality to some other sort of magical place. It is my new age music. Sometimes I hear an album like this for the first time and I immediately fall in love. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. This happened the first time I heard Washed Out. I immediately fell in love. This happened again with Teen Daze. The new album, A Silent Planet, immediately became one of my favorites. I can't get enough and I keep going back to it. It is one of those perfect albums for a hazy overcast morning. Teen Daze is sort of the Canadian version of Sigur Ros. The new album is just six songs. But it really is no shorter than many full length albums these days. It really will transport you to another dimension. I fell in love with the album after just seeing the album artwork. It reminds me of a 70s sort of futuristic painting. A very specific view of science fiction. I sort of expected the album to be all instrumental. Sort of in the style of the amazing album The Days of Mars by Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom. But this album by Teen Daze is full of vocals. It could easily fit in with any band on Sarah Records like Secret Shine or Brighter. But with a more futuristic synthy element. I really do love this album. It is currently near the top of my list.

Check out "The Harvest" by Teen Daze from the new album A Silent Planet...

Another one of my favorites out last month is the new album from Gem Club. I have been listening to this album almost every day. Breakers is the name of the album. Released by the label Hardly Art who has really been putting out some great stuff lately. This album is a bit of a downer. So make sure you are in the mood for it. This is a dark folky atmospheric album in the style of Elliott Smith or Jose Gonzalez. Similar to albums by Beirut or Fleet Foxes. The album is beautiful and intense album. But it is a very minimal album. With mostly just piano and cello and voice Gem Club somehow manage to create one of the most beautiful albums that I have heard in a while. I also forget how much I like it until I go back and listen to it again. I think it just keeps getting better and better. Gem Club has just two band members. It is Christopher Barnes and Kristen Drymala. I think they are my two new favorite people.

Check out "Lands" by Gem Club from the new album Breakers...

I am really hoping that everyone out there has already seen the movie Drive. You really need to get out to a theater and see it if you can. It is easily one of my favorite movies of the last couple of years. It does not hurt that I am big fan of Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. But I think I would have liked this movie regardless. It is just one of those beautiful noir thrillers where everything came together perfectly to make a fantastic movie. The script and directing were perfect. The casting and acting is fantastic. And the look and sound of the movie is amazing. A score and soundtrack can really make or break a movie for me sometimes. And this soundtrack is amazing. It is part score and part soundtrack. Johnny Jewel, the man behind Glass Candy and the label Italians Do It Better, was originally to have done the whole score to the movie. This is not what they ended up using. But we will hopefully get to hear this unused score as a release sometime in the future. And good news. Johnny Jewel will be working on the score for the new version of Logan's Run directed by Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn. The movie ended up using the score of Cliff Martinez which also appears on the soundtrack. But they did end up using songs by Desire and The Chromatics. Both from albums put out by Johnny Jewel and Italians Do It Better. The songs all fit perfectly into the movie. And the soundtrack is obviously a great album to listen to while driving. Especially at night. Please go see the movie if you not already done so. It somehow manages to have the feel of the best of 70s and 80s thrillers but without feeling retro or overdone. It just works. And the soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks in a long while. Somehow this movie seemed timeless to me. I think it will remain a fantastic movie for decades to come. It will be a movie that I will never forget and I am sure I will often go back to it and be able to experience that same experience of seeing it for the first time.

Check out "Under Your Spell" by Desire from the Drive Soundtrack...

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Saluting 1960's Garage Rock

Posted by Billyjam, October 20, 2011 10:22am | Post a Comment

The Renegades UK "13 Women" (1966)

Upon hearing the news earlier this week of the recent passing in Finland of Kim Brown of the incredibly talented and way underrated Birmingham, England formed garage rock or "freakbeat punk" rock band The Renegades (as seen in video above doing their raw & inspired version of Bill Haley & The Comets' "Thirteen Women" - which has long been a favorite of my man Evan "Funk" Davies on WFMU) I've been going back and listening to that wonderful 1960's North American rock subegenre, that borrowed from the British blues rock bands who ironically in turn had borrowed from American blues artists, of garage rock which at the time wasn't even considered a separate form of rock. That happened after the fact in the seventies when it got dubbed "garage rock" or "60s garage" as well as such later tags as "beat," "psychedelic" or "psych," and "freakbeat" or "freakbeat punk" as in the above Renegades clip.

It was also in retrospect that I first came upon this wonderful music that many consider a precursor to punk because of its raw amateurish, albeit impassioned, adrenaline fueled basic rock energy/presentation with lots of distorted sounds and typically screamed, aggressive lyrics - just like punk rock. Like many other music fans, I first got introduced to garage rock courtesy of the wonderful Nuggets compilation (available at Amoeba) and the series it spawned (over a dozen Nuggets collections in all). Over the years there have been countless other garage compilations released such as the recent year release Who Needs Tomorrow? American 60s Garage Bands: 20 Rare Gems Compiled by The Bevis Frond which has a lot of unheard of under the radar gems from the 60's.  Like rap or soul or punk of bygone decades, garage rock was a prolific sub-genre that featured more talented bands that never made the charts than ones who did get some type of mainstream attention - if only fleetingly. Hence a lot of the music fell way under the radar (good because it never got watered down for mainstream acceptance) which is why there are not too many film/video clips available of most of this music.

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October 19, 2011: Livid

Posted by phil blankenship, October 19, 2011 10:37pm | Post a Comment

Murder Ballads Returns Oct. 20

Posted by Billy Gil, October 19, 2011 05:07pm | Post a Comment
In what’s becoming a very cool local Halloween ritual, Murder Ballads is returning to the Echoplex this Thursday Oct. 20. Co-hosted by The New L.A. Folk Festival and LA Record with the Grande Ole Echo, the tribute shows features songs about killers, scorned lovers and evil doers as concert-goers get to actually sit (!) in chairs at the Echoplex and take in the show. The vibe? Funeral chic.
“After the first folk fest last summer at HM157, we wanted to keep doing shows, rather than wait a whole year to put together our second event,” explains Daiana Feuer of The New L.A. Folk Festival and LA Record. “Liz Garo from the Echo invited us to lunch one day at the Brite Spot and we just said “murder ballads” and she said, “I love it!” before we even mentioned filling the venue with chairs. That sealed the deal. We love Halloween and we thought an annual tribute to murder ballads was more than a good idea, it was essential.”
Performers will include The Americans, Leslie Stevens, T.O.M. (Troy of Restavrant), Gabriel Hart of Jail Weddings, Tommy Santee Klaws, The Damselles & The TC4, Ides Of Gemini, Eastside Hayride (ft. RT N The 44s, Olentangy John, Matt Taylor & His Laurels, Fort King, & guests), A/J Jackson of Saint Motel, Tom Brosseau, Garrett Pierce, Kevin Litrow (60 Watt Kid), Michelle Vidal & The Fur Traders, Morgan Gee, Correatown and more. DJ Smokin' Blue Bear will spin early blues and washboard tunes during intermissions and after the show. See a highlight from last year's show below.

Tickets are $10 advance/$12 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m., and music starts at 8:45. Get tickets here.
As for future shows, Feuer has an amazing idea: “How about a tribute show to old songs about ‘hot dogs’ and ‘fruit’ that is also a BBQ?” If you think that’s a joke, check this out.

LastSundays Presents Telegraph’s Halloween Haunt in Berkeley, 10/30

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 19, 2011 04:55pm | Post a Comment
LastSundays presents Telegraph’s Halloween Haunt on October 30th in Berkeley fron noon to 6pm!

Monsters, zombies, and mummies of all ages are invited to this Halloween party. Enter the costume contests at 3pm for a chance to win cash prizes! Enjoy the circus cabaret entertainment hosted by Coventry and Kaluza and diverse musical performances throughout the afternoon.

Just check out this line-up!

Telegraph's Halloween Haunt Berkeley

Strangelove's Día De Los Muertos Celebration, 11/4

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 19, 2011 04:27pm | Post a Comment

Join Amoeba Music and Strangelove for a Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on November 4th at the Cat Club in San Francisco!

Enjoy the sounds of Dark Electro, Industrial, New Wave, and Goth with DJs Tomas Diablo, Joe Radio (Deathguild), Prince Charming (Pleasure Principle), and Fact 50 (Kinky Salon). There will also be skull face painters on hand to put a ghoulish grin on your face and a community altar to the dead, so bring some offerings!

And dont miss the piñata filled with goodies! Whoever cracks that open gets tickets to see VNV Nation AND and an Amoeba gift certificate!

The spooky details:
Just $3 before 10pm ($7 after)
Cat Club: 1190 Folsom St., SF

Entertaining, Absurdist Rendition of "Ticket To Ride" Prompts Some Digging For Other Interpretations of The Beatles Classic

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2011 09:29am | Post a Comment

Cathy Berberian "Ticket To Ride" (1977)

I thought I had heard every imaginable cover version and reinterpretation of The Beatles' music but this operatic rendition of the Fab Four's "Ticket To Ride" by Cathy Berberian, which is done in all seriousness, outdoes them all in absurdity as well as in sheer entertainment value. It reminds me of when I first heard Mrs Miller who in the 1960's recorded a series of high-pitched, off-key covers of popular songs of the day. Mrs Miller's music promptly got filed under "novelty" while the Dutch operatic singer Berberian, who recorded the above Beatles cover for the Dutch TV show Cathy's Songbook in 1977 with Harold Lester on piano, is definitely a better singer - but no less entertaining than Mrs Miller.

Watching/listening to Cathy Berberian's version of the song prompted me to dig for some other covers of "Ticket To Ride" which, with production by George Martin, was originally released by The Beatles on their 1965 album, Help! as well as a single. These covers of "Ticket To Ride" (videos of a few of which appear below) range in quality and include The Carpenters' 1969 slowed down ballad version and Hüsker Dü's mid-eighties true to the original live version - my two personal favorites. Other versions, done from the years immediately following the original up until recently include The Bee Gees, Vanilla Fudge, Sly and Robbie who renamed it "Free Ticket To Ride," The 5th Dimension, Atomic Kitten, The Punkles, Kids Incorporated, and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame who did a concert (not a recorded) version on his solo acoustic tours both last year and earlier this year.

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Follow AmoebaMusic on Twitter to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Amoebite, October 18, 2011 07:49pm | Post a Comment
Breast Cancer Awareness Month October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime?  

Like so many people, our Amoeba family has been personally touched by breast cancer. We read about Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's Twitter campaign to help raise money and awareness about breast cancer in honor of his mother's memory. We were inspired by Larry's efforts and wanted to help build awareness of this disease. 
So to encourage each of you to get educated and get involved we will donate 10 cents for every new person who begins following AmoebaMusic on Twitter through October 31!
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
All donations will go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.  Please help us help those in need! 

October 18, 2011: The Thing

Posted by phil blankenship, October 18, 2011 03:13pm | Post a Comment

Visit Amoeba at the Budget Rock 10 Record Swap, Hangover Breakfast & Dance Party!!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 18, 2011 02:38pm | Post a Comment
This Sunday, October 23rd, Amoeba Music will be selling the best in rawk n' roll at the Budget Rock 10 Record Swap, Hangover Breakfast & Dance Party at Thee Parkside is SF!! Come by and visit our table for deals, steals, and collectables. 

The record swap goes from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, but the party goes on and features a ton of bands! Just look at this line-up:

Phantom SurfersLegendary Stardust CowboyLaTeenosHarold Ray Budget Rock RevueMidnite Snaxxx, The Okmoniks, The MothballsCity Deluxe, and MC Drunk Magic by the Great Salmagundi.

Plus DJs Chris Owen & Mitch Cardwell will host The Dance Party after The Phantom Surfers!

Get your tickets HERE.

Budget Rock 2011 San Francisco

A Day In The Life With DJ Amen Begins With a Visit to Amoeba Music, As Captured by Thizzler On The Roof

Posted by Billyjam, October 18, 2011 02:28pm | Post a Comment

Further proof that Amoeba Music is, and has long been, an integral part of the Bay Area's hip-hop culture is this brand new video (just uploaded to YouTube last night) that focuses on Bay Area hip-hop ambassador and KMEL mixmaster DJ Amen who begins his busy day (as seen in above Thizzler On The Roof produced video) by stopping into Amoeba Music San Francisco on Haight Street. The video then follows DJ Amen, who did a great job spinning an exclusive Bay rap set at the recent Hella Fresh Festival at the Fillmore few weeks back, on his event filled day with a burrito stop at Papalote, and then down to KMEL radio and that part of town where he interacts with such artists as visiting hip-hop acts The Cool Kids and Dorrough Music.

Today I caught up with the video's executive producer Matt Werner, who worked on the video piece in conjunction with videographer Left Lane & motion graphics expert Tyler Metzger, to ask him about his company, Thizzler On The Roof, and its mission? It was set up, he said, "In response to the lack of mainstream love the Bay Area hip-hop scene has traditionally received," adding that "Our website was established as way to give local artists an outlet to be heard by as big an audience as possible. In addition to regularly posting the best and most recent releases from the vast talent pool of Bay Area artists, Thizzler started a video interview series and corresponding mixtape series entitled Under The Bay." Many may already be familiar with their collaboration with KMEL: the influential The Bay Area Freshmen 10 as well as with the company's hip-hop productions that include the Under The Bay concert series, The Adidas Earn Your Stipes monthly cyphers, and the Fight Club battle series.

Album Picks: Real Estate, Twin Sister, M83

Posted by Billy Gil, October 18, 2011 02:10pm | Post a Comment
Real Estate DaysReal Estate – Days
Real Estate have helped usher in a contemporary appreciation of bands with clean guitars and hushed vocals, perfect for a summer day or autumn night. But Real Estate still do it better than anyone, as they prove on Days. From opener “Easy” and on, Days floats on breezy simplicity of melody and atmosphere that you could explain away as through line of Byrds by way of R.E.M. jangle pop informed by reverbed-out, dream pop aesthetics, but that would paint Real Estate as a throwback band when really their sound is their own. Country hues underpin even the spaciest of tracks, like the way winsome sliding guitars sway beneath the shivering, tremoloed star-shooting guitar lines of “Green Aisles,” and more obviously so on tracks like the springy, Smithsy “It’s Real,” which works some clever chord changes into a straightforward guitar-pop setting. Singer Martin Courtney’s voice is always plaintive but never intrusive, and the whole thing moves with subtle evocation, like a sepia-toned suburban home movie reel. It’s no coincidence a great, sunlit song on the album is titled “Wonder Years.”
Twin SisterTwin Sister – In Heaven
Twin Sister’s debut full-length delivers a band still emerging from chrysalis (their average age is now about 23, so says Wikipedia) but born with some pretty impressive power already. Roughly, Twin Sister are an indie pop band fronted by some froggish, androgynous vocals (singer vocalist Andrea Estella and guitarist-singer Eric Cardona both sound a little like the spawn of Sigur RosJonsi and St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, the latter band of which they also sound a bit like on the lite-jazzy “Stop”). They touch on chillwave (the shimmering and strange chords of “Kimmi in a Rice Field” is the album’s absolute highlight) without committing to it, seemingly more interested in vibing late ’80s indie and video game music — the gentle “Luna’s Theme” has Sega Genesis written all over it, something that might be playing in some anime space station. But whatever Twin Sister ends up doing —be it cool Britpop, neo-futuristic electro or something else entirely — it ends up sounding great, if not entirely unified.
M83 Hurry Up We're DreamingM83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
After a decade’s worth of brilliant albums that have been increasingly epic in scope, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has delivered the masterpiece he has hinted at for years. Gonzalez builds off the life-embracing yet ’80s nostalgic pop of 2008’s Saturdays=Youth across this double-album. Taking a hint from the Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Gonzalez sweeps through childlike wonder (the children’s story as Kraftwerkian computer-pop of “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”), adolescent angst (the two and a half minutes of skyscraper-sized orchestral rock in “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”) and young adult excitement (Gonzalez cries “The city is my church!” in the neon-backlit “Midnight City”) to capture the wide-eyed energy and naiveté of youth. There’s newly an emphasis on the kind of shuffling ‘80s funk-pop of the likes of Huey Lewis & the News and Hall & Oates in songs like “Claudia Lewis,” but it actually feels less throwback-ish than some of his previous work, perhaps in part due to contemporaries like Toro y Moi and Neon Indian similarly fusing such sounds with shoegazer aesthetics. Indeed, with the kinds of sonic dreamscapes of albums like Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us also in tow on songs like “This Bright Flash,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming presents us with all of Gonzaelz’s best tendencies, all at once, and at their utmost potential.

October 17, 2011: Wrong Turn 4

Posted by phil blankenship, October 17, 2011 11:28pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to the New 78 Blog

Posted by Sherwin Dunner, October 17, 2011 06:05pm | Post a Comment
We'll be keeping you up to date here with news related to our expanding activity with those breakable pre-vinyl artifacts sometimes referred to as “shellac” records.

As a point of interest, shellac is not just an arbitrary tag pinned on 78s. Just like shellac's well-known use as a furniture finish, the secretion of the Asian Lac bug was also the primary ingredient for 78s from the beginning of the industry in the early 1900s up 'til around 1950, when vinyl began to replace it. It takes approximately 100,000 Lac bugs to produce one pound of shellac, so this species is owed a special debt of gratitude among fans of the 78 rpm record. 

Upcoming entries might offer tales of amazing 78 finds or "fish that got away" stories dredged from ancient 78 lore. We'll highlight overlooked 78s or artists you should hear. We'll invite contributions from guest collectors. As the next advance in digital technology hypes storing music collections in the cloud, we'll delve into the lingering appeal these arcane fetish objects still have for some of us.

We recently added a batch of 78s to the Buy Stuff section of, which now allows 78 surfers to select “78” from the drop down menu to view all the 78s together by date added. Items can also be selected by specific category of interest. We will continue to add 78s to the site and encourage you to check back regularly. As with other items purchased on, shipping is free on 78s (USA only), saving 78 buyers at least $4.00 or $5.00 on shipping charges they would normally have to foot on an eBay or private mail order purchase. We grade 78s conservatively. Find out more about our 78 grading codes

Recent additions to include pre-war blues 78s:

Leroy Carr

Baby Don't You Love Me No More / Tired of Your Low Down Ways

Jazz Gillum
 with Big Bill Broonzy on guitar
Tell Me Mama / My Big Money

Ida Cox
Lovin' Is The Thing I'm Wild About / Bama Bound Blues

and a super clean, primitive post-war blues:

Buy a Turntable at Amoeba & Get $25 Worth of Used Vinyl!

Posted by Amoebite, October 17, 2011 11:37am | Post a Comment
When you buy a turntable from any Amoeba store now through November 15, you'll get $25 worth of USED vinyl - for FREE - to jumpstart your collection! 

Vinyl promo

To help determine which turntable is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself before you purchase and some handy factoids that might help with that decision.

To DJ or Not to DJ
If you want to DJ with your turntable, you need a Direct Drive turntable. This means that you can scratch, mix, cue up your records, and do everything else DJs do without ruining your record player or the stylus.

If you don't plan on using your turntable for DJing, Belt Drive Turntable will work perfectly well for you.

How Are You Going to Hook Up Your Turntable?
Do you have a component system already? Do you have a receiver? If so, does it have a "phono" input selection? If your receiver doesn't have a phono input (and a lot of them don't these days), you will need a pre-amp.

If you have powered speakers (speakers that have their own power source), you can connect your turntable directly to the speakers if you want (and skip the receiver altogether). 

What the Heck is a Pre-Amp Anyway and Why Should I Care?
The pre-amp boosts the sound of the cartridge on your turntable up to the "line" level of an iPod, CD player or cassette deck. A lot of turntables come with built-in pre-amps these days and if that's the case, you don't need to worry about it. But if your turntable or receiver doesn't have a built-in pre-amp, you'll need to get one (you can get a decent one for around $30 at Radio Shack). Then your turntable will connect into the pre-amp which will then connect to your receiver (or your speakers if you have powered speakers).

October 16, 2011: Trespass

Posted by phil blankenship, October 16, 2011 10:41pm | Post a Comment

The Marriage Plot: Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum's The Woman (2011)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 16, 2011 10:29pm | Post a Comment

Having never seen Offspring (Andrew van den Houten and Jack Ketchum's adaptation of the latter's novel about a Northeastern cannibalistic kin, who first appeared in the book Off-Season), I took its sequel's opening pre-credit sequence to be a phantasmagoric continuation of I Spit On Your Grave where the eponymous Woman retreated into nature after having escaped the tyranny of Man and patriarchal culture. Surely, Lucky McKee and Ketcham's The Woman is more than an accidental synecdoche for the original title of Meir Zarchi's classic, Day of the Woman. Their film is, at its core, another rape-revenge film, but with the twist that the victim is feral, so outside of man's law. The misogynistic repression perforce comes from a different place than horror's generic South, since its resident hayseed hordes are uncultured and would likely sympathize with the bestial Woman. Zarchi's victim-protagonist Jennifer HIll, on the other hand, was an urbane writer who had culture stripped from her by barbarous rednecks. The Woman has just as much dirt under her fingernails as those rednecks, her language isn't much more than a growl, plus she's a cannibal (a taboo even greater than the use of the contraction "y'all"). Therefore, her victimization is a form of structural violence, that which is the repressed base of the status quo. The central fear expressed by The Woman isn't in having the Woman's culture dismantled (as it was for Jennifer) -- for she is pure cultural Other and has none -- but that cultural normativity is structured around the primordial violence she represents. Hillbillies can't victimize her any more than animals can victimize other animals, but the nuclear family can in the same way that a suburban adolescent might torture a cat.

With the family as the go to metonym for repressed violence,The Woman is but the latest example of a thematic trend in contemporary American horror films that Robin Wood noticed back in the 70s as beginning with the influence of Pscyho (It's Alive and Texas Chainsaw Massacre being two prominent examples). Because of their clearly feminist intent, McKee and Ketcham have constructed a familial dynamic most closely resembling that of Joseph Ruben's The Stepfather. The patriarch has nothing but contempt for femininity (e.g., repulsion at any sign of the teenaged daughter's sexuality, complete domination of the mother's voice) which develops from a regimented order at the beginning to explicit violence by the end. As Patricia Brett Evens has argued, what makes The Stepfather feminist is that patriarchal repression is overcome through the female bond (between the mother and daughter) rather than the influence of some other male who restores the patriarchal order. Because she's psychoanalytically inclined, Evens sees this outcome as a celebration of the pre-Oedipal stage when the identification with the mother is most prominent. Likewise, the law of the father is dismantled in The Woman when the daughter identifies with the captive female cannibal, freeing her to take dietary vengeance on the monstrous father-son dyad. (It's hard not to get Freudian here, since an injunction against cannibalism accompanies the Oedipal stage.)

If one wants to play white knight, then Lars von Trier's Antichrist makes for better sport. Identified only as She, the wife in his family horror is regressing to a pre-Oedipal stage, shown through her obsession with Wiccan mythology and a strong identification with nature. The feminine is pre-culture, pre-law, and pre-order. Despite her husband He's attempt to reestablish order through an endless stream of rationalizing gibberish, "chaos reigns." It's likely that She participates in infanticide (by letting her child die) in addition to nailing He's ankle to a heavy object. The feminine is truly monstrous and to be feared by civilized folk (re: the patriarchy aka von Trier). The Woman is where Antichrist meets My Fair Lady: you can remove Eliza Doolittle from the brutish East End, but you can't take barbarism out of culture. The Woman has no language, no (recognizable) voice, so the father intends on teaching it to her like the colonialists brought culture to the savages. He'll continue to keep her chained up, to rape her, and to threaten her at gunpoint until she internalizes the domination, speaks with his voice, becomes part of his symbolic order. Only then will the fear of chaos qua femininity be rationalized, repressed and safe.

spoiler warning

As with the visitor in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Teorema or Takashi Miike's Visitor Q, the introduction of the Woman dialectically destabilizes the status quo. The anemic, emaciated mother witnesses her husband's obvious attraction to the full-bodied, child-bearing curves of the feral Woman, realizing how she's been used up over the years. But, rather than free their captive, the mother remains faithful to her Stockholm Syndrome-marriage until its too late. And you'll get your face eaten in this movie for betraying the sisterhood. The son seems fairly normal at the beginning, but after his first voyeuristic encounter with the nude Woman chained up in the shed, he proves to be a chip off the old patrilineal block. Dad tells him not to do anything he wouldn't do, so his first sexual encounter involves applying needle nose pliers to her flesh. Little wonder, then, why the two daughters desert the remnants of their family and follow the blood-soaked Woman back into nature.

end spoiler

The dipshit who was so morally outraged at the film's Sundance screening couldn't have been more confused: it isn't anti-feminine, but anti-masculine. However, what should've really offended him is the relentless and assaultive use of emo as the soundtrack, which is the worst choice for music in a horror film since hair metal in the 80s.


Essays referenced:

Patricia Brett Evens, "The Stepfather: Father as Monster in the Contemporary Horror Film," from The Dread Difference, ed. Barry Keith Grant

Robin Wood, "The American Nightmare: Horror in the 70s," from Hollywood: From Vietnam to Reagan ... and Beyond 

October 15, 2011: Rosewood Lane

Posted by phil blankenship, October 15, 2011 11:04pm | Post a Comment

New Films About Punk Rock Dads, Mott The Hoople, The Re:Generation Project, & Serge Gainsbourg

Posted by Billyjam, October 15, 2011 03:35pm | Post a Comment

The Other F Word Official Trailer (2011)

It's a good time for music at the cinema as there are several very interesting looking music documentaries or music themed films that have just been released or are about to be released in both theaters and on DVD. These include Re:Geneartion in which live DJs/producers (including DJ Premier & Mark Ronson) "turn the tables on the history of music" by teaming up with artists that you would not normally expect them to work alongside (including members of The Doors), The Ballad of Mott The Hoople about the early 70's Dylan-meets-The Rolling Stones styled, Bowie-affiliated rock group Mott The Hoople (this is in select theaters currently but will be out on DVD next month), Andrea Blaugrund Nevins' The Other F Word about punk rock dads with Family repsonsibilities and lil kids to nurture which opens in theaters on November 2nd, and Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. This film, which is just one of a few films in recent years about the unique French musical talent of Serge Gainsbourg, is having a special screening at the Lumiere in San Francisco this coming Thursday (Oct 20th) that Amoeba Music is giving away free passes to. More information on how to win here. Meanwhile above and below are trailers for each of these four new music themed movies that you may want to check out.

Re:Generation preview (2011)

Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:14:11: Video Version with E Lit, Murs, J Cole, Eligh & AmpLive, Indecent the Slapmaster & 1 Vallejo, Lateef the Truthspeaker, 9th Wonder, The Knux, Danny Brown, & DJ Drama

Posted by Billyjam, October 14, 2011 11:20am | Post a Comment

E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley Wk ending Oct 14th, 2011

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 10:14:11

1) Murs Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation (DD172)

2) J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation)

3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)

4) Dessa Castor, The Twin (Doomtree)

5) Danny Brown XXX (Fools Gold)

Thanks to ever-knowledgeable E-Lit at the Amoeba Berkeley store for the latest Top 5 Hip-Hop chart and in-depth overview of the many new hip-hop releases: many underground ones that you may not otherwise hear about.  These include Top Five entrants from both one-of-a-kind Detroit emcee Danny Brown (XXX) and Doomtree female artist Dessa (Castor, The Twin CD which comes with a limited edition fiction book Sleeping With Nikki - if you pick it up at Amoeba Berkeley). Also on the new Top Five are the ever popular J Cole album (#1 in the US this past week), the brand new Ski Beatz produced Murs album (Love & Rockets Vol. 1), and 9th Wonder The Wonder Years.  Other artists with brand new or recently released hip-hop releases include Bored Stiff's White Mic, Madlib,  The Knux, RJD2, DJ Drama, Boom BipEvidence (Cats & Dogs), and maker of the new album This Is Our Science - Astronautalis who, as E Lit was mentioning in the above interview about his Bay Area concert earlier this week, is a truly gifted freestyle artist. Below are a slew of new videos from some of these hip-hop artists as well as some other ones including  the brand new videos from Indecent the Slapmaster along with the best of Vallejo rap talent and  Eligh & Amp Live that is taken from their forthcoming collaboration album Therapy at 3. Oh and don't forget that today (October 14th) at 6pm at the San Francisco Amoeba store that Mayer Hawthorne will be doing a live in-store DJ set and signing of his new second album How Do You Do (note on Universal this time out for the former Stones Throw act) . Details here.

Murs "Remember 2 Forget" (from Love & Rockets Vol. 1, 2011)

Tegan and Sara Prepare to Release Cool New DVD/CD Set, All Along

Posted by Billyjam, October 13, 2011 07:58pm | Post a Comment

The ever popular Canadian pop-rock duo of Tegan and Sara are about to release a really cool new DVD/CD pack on Warner Brothers in the coming weeks. Entitled Get Along the two disc set will arrive in Amoeba on November 15th where no doubt it will be a popular item with both customers and staff alike since the musical pair have built a strong relationship with Amoeba following many in-store performances over the years dating back eight years including ones at both Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba Hollywood last year.  Songs on the new set include "I Hear Noises," "Back In Your Head," "Divided," "Knife Going In," and "Not With You."

The DVD/CD package includes two mini-documentaries plus both audio and video footage of a live concert by the duo in their homeland. Recorded over two nights at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC for an intimate audience of 75 invited fans it is a seventy minute concert titled For The Most Part. Meanwhile the first of the two 30-minute documentary films follows Tegan and Sara on an American tour, focusing on their history tracing back to their early music-career beginnings plus a look at their close relationship with their fanbase - something that was quite evident at their Amoeba instores. The other documentary film is a 25 minute piece called India since it follows them on first-ever tour of India - as seen in the above trailer clip.

Pasadena City College - Flea Market & Record Swap, 11/6

Posted by Amoebite, October 13, 2011 01:31pm | Post a Comment
Record swap pasadena flea market amoeba music

On Sunday, November 6th, Amoeba makes a repeat appearance at one of the Southland's biggest and best record swap meets, Pasadena City College's Flea Market and Record Swap. With over 500 vendors, the Flea Market features antiques and collectibles, records, tools, clothes, toys and much more, not to mention food and good company.
The Flea Market and Record Swap is from 8am-3pm. Look for the Amoeba booth located in the Bonnie St. parking structure (Lot 5) on the 3rd Level. We'll have a great selection of vinyl, so come out and enjoy your Sunday with us! 

The LA Weekly calls the show “the best source for used records in all of Southern California.” 

More HERE.


out this week, 9/13 & 9/20: the drums...wild flag...girls...neon indian...jens lekman...veronica falls...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 13, 2011 01:01pm | Post a Comment
Hello! Welcome back to my new release blog. I am so sorry that I have been neglecting you. It has been a busy two months of new releases! Maybe you didn't notice...but it is already October. Not sure how that happened. It is already October 13th actually! This is absolutely one of my favorite months. I wish it was October every month!  Although I was not exactly enjoying the warm weather yesterday. Although we did not really have a crazy hot Summer this year in Los Angeles. So I can't blame Summer for trying to squeeze a couple of more days into October. But October is most certainly here and November is quickly approaching. All of the music labels are rushing to get their best new albums out to you before the end of the year. And all the movie studios will soon be rushing to get their best movies out before the end of the year! So lets go back in time and catch up a bit on what has come out the last couple of weeks. Then we can actually move onto October! First up is the week of 9/13 and 9/20...

I fell in love with The Drums when they put out their Summertime EP last year. How could I not love this band. It was the perfect pop record. Brilliantly pop friendly songs heavily influenced by The Smiths and Joy Division. But adding more modern sounds and synths. I fell in love. They also released their debut self titled full length album last year. Which was also fantastic. And now they have unleashed their second album called Portamento. You can never capture that excitement of a first record. But I am still loving this new album. The songs are catchier than anything and they just make me happy. A nice way to end my summer for sure. If you have still not joined the cult of The Drums. You should start with their first album The Drums or the Summertime EP. You will not be disappointed.

Check out the video for "How It Ended" by The Drums from the new album Portamento...

Neon Indian have also just released their second album. The new album is called Era Extrana. They put out their debut album Psychic Chasms in 2009. That album was also reissued in 2010. This new album is simply a super fun album. The songs are catchy and electronic and will keep you coming back for more. I compare them to bands like Human League and Pet Shop Boys. Maybe a more dreamy and ethereal version of those bands. Somewhere in between Cocteau Twins and Spandau Ballet.  Everyone will obviously not like this band. Some people will think the songs are ridiculous and not real music. Some people might make fun of you for listening to this band. But that only makes me like them more. These songs would not be out of place on the soundtrack to Drive. But I will get to that later. Era Extrana is exactly the kind of album that I want it to be. Nothing more and nothing less. Neon Indian has created the perfect second album.

Check out this video for "Polish Girl" by Neon Indian from the new album Era Extrana. This is of course not the actual video but a clip from the amazing movie Breakin'. I highly suggest that you pick up a copy of this new album by Neon Indian and that you also watch the movie Breakin'. It is just as amazing as you remember it to be....

There are many more albums that came out on 9/13 and 9/20. A fantastic new little EP from Jens Lekman. Everyone's favorite Swedish genius songwriter is back! An Argument With Myself is exactly what you would expect from Jens Lekman. He is witty and funny and ridiculous but super talented and brilliant. I just can't get enough of Jens Lekman. And I can't wait for his next full length album! We also get new albums from St. Vincent, Ladytron, Toro Y Moi, Shimmering Stars, Tori Amos, Wooden Shjips, Patton Oswalt, Nurses, Wild Flag, & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Something for everyone. Almost too many albums for me to keep up with. I still have not given my final verdict to the debut album from Wild Flag. I love Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney and I love Mary Timony from Helium. So it is great to see these amazing ladies back in action. But I really am just waiting for the next season of Portlandia and hoping that Wild Flag makes a guest appearance at an instore at the women's book store. This debut album is fun and playful and I think they sound great on it. If nothing else, this new album has made me go back and listen to my old Sleater-Kinney and Helium records. It has made me remember why I fell in love with them in the first place!

It really is the year of the second album. Girls have also just released their second album. The new album by Girls is really really good. It took me a couple months to actually get into them after the first album came out. I actually saw them live and didn't know what to think of them. But the Broken Dreams Club EP from last year pushed me over for sure. I was then a fan of Girls without a doubt. This new album Father Son Holy Ghost is worth your time and money. I know there are a ton of albums this last couple of months. But this is one that you should not miss! This band is straight out of the 90's. They are sort of a mix of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Posies and the more lighter side of the grunge sound of the 90s mixed with a more British Primal Scream shoegaze 90s sort of sound. Imagine the Beach Boys if they had discovered Shoegaze or Dreampop.

Check out the video for "Honey Bunny" by Girls from the new album Father Son Holy Ghost...

One of my other recent favorites is Veronica Falls. Their debut album has just been released by Slumberland. They are a band made for people like me who still wish every band sounded like either Twee or Shoegaze or something in between. This album is still blowing me away every time that I listen to it. And I have listened to it many many times. I still get sad when I think about the fact that we will probably never get another album by the band Lush. But Veronica Falls sound very close to what I would have loved for Lush to turn into. They are a little less shoegaze and a little more Twee than Lush. But just as amazing and brilliant. You really should be loving the band as much as I do. I almost can't believe how great they are. This album is magical. It really is. I will be listening to it over and over again for many months to come.

Check out the video for "Bad Feeling" by Veronica Falls from their debut album....

also out 9/13...

American Goldwing
by Blitzen Trapper

Dreams Come True

by The Drums

Father Son Holy Ghost
by Girls

by The Human League

Junk Of The Heart
by The Kooks

Gravity the Seducer
by Ladytron

by Memoryhouse

Earth Division
by Mogwai

Era Extrana
by Neon Indian

Green Naugahyde
by Primus

Violent Hearts
by Shimmering Stars

by Slow Club

Strange Mercy
by St. Vincent

Freaking Out
by Toro Y Moi

Wild Flag
by Wild Flag

by Wooden Shjips

also out 9/20...

Night of Hunters
by Tori Amos

by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

In Animal Tonque
by Evangelista

by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Argument With Myself
by Jens Lekman

by Megafaun

by Nurses

Finest Hour
by Patton Oswalt

Veronica Falls
by Veronica Falls

by Weekend

Best of Bop City: Celebrating 50 Years of Impulse Records, 10/15!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 13, 2011 12:54pm | Post a Comment
San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center Larry Vuckovich Noel Jewkes Jeff Chambers Lorca Hart Jamie Davis

The San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center presents Best of Bop City: Celebrating 50 Years of Impulse Records, this Saturday, October 15th.

Hosted by KCSM's Sonny Buxton, this evening is part of our the San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center's series Best of Bop City, featuring great music from the high flying days of IMPULSE! Records. Called the "House that 'Trane Built," Impulse was at the forefront of the jazz avant garde and graphic design. Join our quintet of fine musicians as they interpret the great sounds of that immortal time.

Pianist Larry Vuckovich brings tenor saxophonist Noel Jewkes, bassist Jeff Chambers, and upcoming drummer Lorca Hart (son of famed jazz drummer Billy Hart). Jamie Davis will perform the great vocals of Johnny Hartman as heard on Hartman's famous recording collaboration with 'Trane.

This special concert is in conjunction with the San Francisco Jazz Heritage Center's new exhibition that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Impulse with iconic album covers and images of musical history giants captured by the legendary photographer Chuck Stewart.  These images tell the label's story as vividly as its music does.

Select music, provided by Amoeba Music, will also be on sale. 
Best of Bop City:  Celebrating 50 years of IMPULSE!
The Blues and the Abstract Truth - Tributes to 'Trane, Hartman, Oliver Nelson, Hawkins, and Ellington
Saturday October 15th 
7:30 pm  &   9:30 pm
Jazz Heritage Center Lush Life Gallery
1320 Fillmore St., SF CA  94115 

Preorder Now...This Mortal Coil Box Set...Out 11/8/2011

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 12, 2011 09:39pm | Post a Comment
I can't even believe to explain how excited I am about this box set. All three This Mortal Coil albums have been remastered and repackaged into a beautiful box set by 4AD. This is a limited edition box set, so you shoud reserve a copy right now if you want it. I really can't imagine my life without 4AD and these beautiful albums. We all have those albums in our lives. I can remember when and where I bought each of these albums. I can remember who I listened to them with. I spent many nights falling asleep to these albums. These albums will stay with me forever in my memories. And they sound just as amazing now as they did when I first heard them. I love you, This Mortal Coil. Thank you for the amazing memories.

Check out the link for more details and to preorder a copy at

deluxe limited edition

Preorder it now at
$99.98 w/ FREE SHIPPING!

"Song To the Siren" by This Mortal Coil from It'll End In Tears (1984)

"Strength of Strings" by This Mortal Coil from Filigree & Shadow (1986)

"Mr. Somewhere" by This Mortal Coil from Blood (1991)

The Spooky Show & a Monster Party

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 12, 2011 05:45pm | Post a Comment
On 15 October, 2011 (this Saturday if you're reading this in a timely fashion), the very cool indie toy store & gallery, Monkeyhouse Toys and Gallery (for kids whose sensibility is more Roald Dahl/Tim Burton than Bratz/Hannah Montana) is opening an art exhibit, The Spooky Show.

Monkeyhouse Toys and Gallery The Spooky Show

It's curated by Terri "Tooter" Berman and features Halloween-appropriate works by Grace Albelda, Douglas Alvarez, Kim Bagwill, Brooke Bearup, Terri "Tooter" Berman, Airom Bleicher, Julie Bossinger, Jonathan Bueno, Michelle Caplan, Deryke Cardenaz, Marcel DeJure, J Fuchs, Cristian "Smear" Gheorghiu, John Michael Gill, Harrel Goldstein, Dan Goodsell, Kio Griffith, Patrick Haemmerlein, Walter Hall, Mary J Hoffman, Lisa Hull, Jinxed Art, Billy Kheel, Aaron Kraten, Supersmash Max, Isabella Electra McGrath, Marlon McWilliams, Jon Measures, Sal Mendez, Yuki Miyazaki, Delphia Nikolaus, Tom Oliver, Jerry Paeff, Vera Paras, Carol Powell, Sarah Ramirez, Shannon Rowland, Uddon Soup, Mike Street, Paula Tade, Mayumi Tanaka, Kelly Thompson, Paul Torres, Jessica Valencia, David VonDerLinn, Susan Catherine Weber and more...

It's scheduled to take place from 6pm to 9pm (although it might very well go a few hours later). There will be tarot card readings outside the store too~~ 

Meanwhile, next door at Brightwell (the only men's shop of it's kind in Southern California), starting at 5pm there's going to be a Halloween themed shindig... a haunted open house, if you will. Brightwell doesn't have any Halloween-themed art but will be featuring several DJs spinning music appropriate for a monster party. 

From 5:00 pm till 7:00, Gonzi Merchan will be spinning giallo scores, 80s goth, Penderecki, scary ambient and more

From 7:00 till 8:00, Matthew Matsel will play Goblin scores, Misfits, Samhain and non-Glenn Danzig related stuff like Freaks-era Pulp (if Cheryl gets her way).

From till the end, Modernbrit of Club Underground and Amoeba fame will be DJing who-knows-what!

From the History Channel -- oops, I mean Mr. Show

There's no guarantee of "bobbing for brains" or plasma pizza… but candy and wine are promised!

October 12, 2011: The Dead

Posted by phil blankenship, October 12, 2011 03:17pm | Post a Comment

TAMBOURINE MAN: Interview with Joel Gion of The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted by Joe Goldmark, October 12, 2011 01:50pm | Post a Comment
The VinylBeat expands its focus this week to present a fun interview with Amoeba’s own Joel Gion, tambourine man with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  Joel hips us to the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of tambourines as he shares his collection with us.  Enjoy. 

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

Album Picks: Veronica Falls, Björk, Zola Jesus

Posted by Billy Gil, October 12, 2011 12:29pm | Post a Comment
Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
While listening to Irish Grimestep or whatever genre happens to be unfathomably cool at the moment is great and all, sometimes you need meat and potatoes. In my case, that would be C86, shoegaze, college rock and that sort of thing, and Slumberland Records keeps serving up bands like sloppy joes that fulfill this particular hunger. Their latest band is Veronica Falls, which, despite their late-‘90s CW Network show sounding name, are actually a great garage pop band in the vein of Slumberland alumn Crystal Stilts, Girls Names and Black Tambourine. “Right Side of My Brain’s” bouncy pop gets C86 so right that it could have been on the original tape that spawned that genre. “The Fountain” is delectable guitar goth pop that displays one of the band’s best and at first easily overlooked tricks — pristine harmonies. “Beachy Head” injects a welcome bit of surf-rock meanness to an otherwise well-mannered album. It’s pretty much candy all over.
Björk – Biophilia
With all the hubbub surrounding Björk’s latest album (corresponding iPad apps to songs, a street date delay and rejiggering of sound), it may be easy to dismiss the album beneath it all. That would be a shame, because Biophilia is as brilliant as anything in Björk’s catalog, but that brilliance is quieter and takes repeated listens to understand compared with some of her previous efforts. Whereas she tried to recreate the violently happy turns of Debut and Post in 2007’s Volta, here she’s back to forging new sonic territory, using newly invented instruments (such as the gameleste, which combines Indonesian gamelan instruments with the key-based celeste instrument) and employing iPad-made music and programmed beats. Of course, none of that matters if it doesn’t end up sounding great, and you probably don’t need to know any of that to enjoy the songs on Biophilia, but it helps to understand the otherworldly nature of a song like “Crystalline,” which relies on the strange gameleste to build atmosphere before breaking into a hyper-intense hardcore breakbeat section. That that song and “Cosmogony,” a musical cousin to Björk classics like “Isobel” and “Bachelorette” that builds beautifully before disintegrating into a sea of descending vocals, are the most accessible songs tells you more. At its core, Biophilia is a wildly strange, even disturbing album, from the dissonant and gibberish-laden “Dark Matter” to the blood-curdling electronic sounds and ghostly vocals of “Hollow.” Then there’s “Mutual Core,” in which Björk tosses her fans a bone (although one on which the meat is tough and sinewy) with more typically “Björk” musical movements and more overtly clubby beats. But there’s something new to uncover with each listen, despite a somewhat hollow-sounding veneer, such as unusual time signatures, haunting lyrics and hidden, loping melodies. Biophilia really sounds nothing like anything else Björk has done, or anything anyone else has done, for that matter, and will probably upset some fans and detractors alike. For its gutsiness alone, it’s great; and for its more inspired moments, it’s something no music fan should miss hearing.
Zola Jesus – Conatus
For those who were expecting Zola Jesus aka Nika Roza Danilova turn around from last year’s winning Stridulum II with an album of glossy pop, think again. Sure, Conatus is her most accessible statement yet, but the album is still teaming with the experimental electronic music and ethereal vocals on which she built her name, only with slightly more of an emphasis on the electro balladry she exhibited so well on Stridulum’s “Night” and “Lightstick.” “Hikikomori” begins with throbbing synths and Danilovato’s yearning vocals intoning “blisters on my hands,” underpinned by subtle strings. On this track and several others on Conatus, you can hear the effort Danilova has put into carefully considering the album’s every movement, building songs gradually and deliberately, pulling at the heartstrings but always from afar, sometimes coming through clearly, sometimes unintelligible in a vocal styling reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. Her best songs manage to do it all at once, such as in the soaring “Seekir,” in which she aims for the gut (“Is there nothing left of the mess we made?” she asks in a moment that clears the sonic din to cut through) as well as the dance floor, although the result, with intertwining, ghostly backup vocals, is too complex to simply label a dance song. You sometimes long for more moments like that on Conatus (the epic choral build of “Lick The Palm Of The Burning Handshake” being another), but its balancing act of restraint and putting it all out there makes for intriguing listening that will keep fans happy and pull in plenty of new ones.

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

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

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

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

West Oakland's Annual Hip-Hop Themed "Life Is Living Festival" @ DeFremery Park Was A Peaceful, Positive, Uplifting Event

Posted by Billyjam, October 11, 2011 06:00pm | Post a Comment
Further proof that a hip-hop event in Oakland can be a peaceful, positive & uplifting, as well as extremely entertaining occurrence was offered up once again this past Saturday (Oct 8th) at the annual hip-hop themed Life Is Living Festival in West Oakland's historic DeFremery Park. Now in its third year the multi-faceted hip-hop themed event, that featured live music performances (including Los Rakas, Pete Escoveda, Jennifer Johns, and ?uestlove), interactive art, graffiti art (Estria's 5th Annual Graffiti Battle Finals), and lots of speakers and booths disseminating information on healthy living. It was just fantastic, as was balmy Bay Area Indian Summer weather that accompanied it.  I arrived mid afternoon at the event that began at 11am and unfortunately missed the set by Latin music legend Pete Escovedo and his orchestra. Luckily however I was there in time to catch another Latin flavor East Bay group: the hip-hop duo of Los Rakas who live in Oakland but are from Panama and rap mostly in Spanish. Their set, while not quite as long their recent one at the Hella Fresh festival at the Fillmore, was pure energetic fun with the audience of several hundred grooving to their infectious melange of contemporary Oakland hip-hop and reggae flavors.

Meanwhile scattered around the grounds of the East Bay park, which as one of the speakers on stage reminded folks features as its centerpiece a beautiful century old Victorian building, were drummers, art tables, food and clothing vendors, and various live graffiti installations. These various vibrant live aerosol art installations were all part of the weekend long 5th Annual Estria Graffiti Arts Festival which began two nights earlier with the Can Film Festival in SF and an exhibit at Oakland's SMSHBX Gallery, and continued the night before in downtown Oakland with various events that coincided with First Fridays and included the Pecha Kucha Night at the Oaksterdam University with all women artists under the title "Women Creating Public Art." The graffiti artists on Saturday, as part of the Life is Living Festival in DeFermery Park, included Doves (NY), Meres (NY), Woier (LA), Level (LA), Katch (HI), Ckaweeks (HI), and Vyal (LA) who took the title this weekend for the second year in a row.

Wild Beasts Trekking Through California

Posted by Billy Gil, October 11, 2011 05:49pm | Post a Comment
One of my favorite bands of the past few years has to be Wild Beasts. Captivatingly beautiful yet harrowingly strange, there just aren’t many bands around like Wild Beasts. If you haven’t heard them, think Talk Talk/Talking Heads style percussive yet atmospheric rock with the theatrical falsetto of singer Hayden Thorpe and intoning howl of bassist Tom Fleming booming and flooding over everything.
Their earliest stuff had a freewheeling quality that made it seem like they were daring you to turn it off or keep listening to find out where they’d go next. First single “Brave Bulging Buyoyant Clairvoyants” from Limbo, Panto starts as this bouncy guitar jam until you hear the weirdest voice ever, like razors on chalkboard — that would be Thorpe’s dandified growl. That song used to be like a litmus test for me to see how much people would be willing to hear something that kind of smacks you around a bit and can’t sit nicely in the background.

“We were kind of small town boys really,” Fleming says of their early days. “It’s a bit of naiveté. We just thought people would get it.”

Things changed for 2009’s Two Dancers, which saw the band rein in the ruckus and focus on grooves and tunefulness. People took notice — the formerly renegade and challenging band suddenly appeared on year-end lists aplenty and got the band nominated for a Mercury Prize.

“It didn’t change a thing in terms of the music we’re making,” Fleming says. “But when you’re heading people like Mark Ronson saying they like Wild Beasts, it’s like, what on earth? When did this happen?”

Fleming says people told him they expected Wild Beasts to take that hype and make a self-consciously “big” album. They didn’t. This year the band released Smother, a nocturnal, literary and just as weird, if more mature, album compared with what they’ve done before. Though it shaves off some of the harder edges that made their early material so fun, it’s a more honed version of what they put forth on Two Dancers. And fewer people will make a face when you put it on.

“I think a lot of people get lazy making leftfield music,” Fleming says. “It comes off as a bit ungenerous and uninviting. We want to find a balance.”

Smother is by far the prettiest thing the band has put to tape, as the hanging, loping guitarwork of “Loop the Loop” and horn-laden balladry of “Invincible” will attest. You can hear a bit more of their avant-pop influences in a song like “Bed of Nails,” a sexy sister song to “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush (an admitted influence), and Thorpe’s feminized voice doesn’t sound so far off from Thom Yorke’s in the soaring beauty of “Albatross.”

“I think one of the things that kind of makes us the band we are is no one gets to do completely what they want,” Fleming says. “It’s always a collective struggle.”

Wild Beasts play the Echoplex Oct. 13 with angeleno EMA (get tickets here). Check out her “What’s in My Bag?” feature below! And don’t sleep on her excellent debut Past Life Martyred Saints, a pure pleasure for fans of '90s female-fronted rock (echoes of PJ Harvey, Björk, Liz Phair). Meanwhile, Wild Beasts play Santa Cruz’s Rio Theatre tonight, then LA, before playing Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco on Sunday. Check out the rest of the amazing lineup for that show and buy tickets here.

Early Days of the Classical LP

Posted by Rubin Meisel, October 11, 2011 04:05pm | Post a Comment
On June 21st, 1948, CBS engineer Dr. Peter Goldmark introduced the new Columbia long playing record at a press conference. In the previous 15 years, there had been attempts to make a commercially viable long play album with no success. As with the concurrent development of television, the post-war boom made the project commercially viable. 33 1/3 rpm was considered the optimum speed to play the 12 inch long play microgrove records. And being made of a new plastic called vinylite they were virtually unbreakable. For shorter pieces and recitals, there were 10 inch records, but these only survived till the 1950s.
The new LP was considered a huge leap forward for listening to pre-recorded Classical music. A pop song took, on average, two or three minutes to play, which was just perfect for a 10 or 12 inch 78 rpm record. A symphony required up to 5 or 6 records on 78 rpm and had to be changed 10 to 12 times with the music often interrupted in the middle of a musical phrase. There were automatic 78 rpm record changers, but they were clunky and could damage your records. You also had to account for the amount of storage space needed for the brittle, breakable shellac 78s. The most dramatic part of Goldmark’s demonstration was when he was photographed holding a few dozen LPs while the equivalent in 78s were stacked six feet high next to him.
The introduction of the LP was not without controversy. Columbia’s great rival RCA Victor was developing its own system of 7” short playing vinyl records that played at 45 rpm. RCA engineers insisted that quality control problems with LPs would doom it. This started what was to be known as “The War of the Speeds” in which both companies spent a ton of money on print ads to woo the public before RCA conceded and converted to LP. When it was settled, it set up the paradigm that lasted for nearly 40 years: LP for albums, 45s for pop singles.

The LP created a sudden demand for classical recordings. Columbia and RCA, besides putting their new recordings on LP, transferred their classic recordings from 78s. Retailers like Sam Goody sold LP turntable attachments that could be attached to an existing standard record player. Steel or fiber needles and heavyweight tone arms couldn’t play LP microgrove records, so you needed to buy needles with precious stones like sapphire or diamond tips and a tonearm that could track lightly.

RCA and Columbia, who dominated classical in the 78 era, could not fill the demand for classical LPs. The first big new player to enter the market was English Decca. Since there was a well-known label that was once allied with them, Decca USA, they created an American division, London Records. They were one of the first companies that promoted HI-Fi with their recording system ffr (Full frequency recording), which captured low and high frequencies that were not captured before. They had a strong roaster of artists led by the Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet, whose recordings of Ravel, Stravinsky, and Debussy were considered definitive. Pianist Wilhelm Backhaus was perhaps the most eminent of living German pianists. Erich Kleiber, Eduard Van Beinum, and Clemens Krauss, celebrated in Europe but not well known in America, handled the Austro/German repertoire. London had perhaps it greatest success with a series with Puccini and Verdi operas sung by soprano Renata Tebaldi, often partnered by the charismatic tenor Mario Del Monaco.

American Decca mostly concerned itself with pop music and soundtracks, but they got into the act with guitarist Andres Segovia. They were also the American distributors for Deutsche Grammophon, which was hardly the preeminent label it was to become. With post-war sensitivities, the origin of the recordings were in small type.

The other new player was Mercury Records from Chicago. Mercury was primarily a pop company who had hits with Frankie Laine and Patti Page, but they started a classical series called Olympian in 1951 and hired record critic David Hall to run it. Their first recording was Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with the Chicago Symphony under Rafael Kubelik. MG 5000 was so astonishingly realistic that a critic reviewing it said it was like listening to a "living presence" and not a recording, which became the motto for Mercury Classics. After fifty or so records, they made their famous first recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with conductor Antal Dorati, which features cannon and church bells that helped sell thousand of HI-Fi sets.

The major minor players in the early days of the classical boom were a far more colorful lot. Here are some of the major minors:

Vox - George Mendelssohn, a distant descendent of the composer and a conductor who emigrated from Hungary, wanted to explore repertoire (particularly Chamber and Instrumental music) that was untouched and major performers like conductors Otto Klemperer and Jascha Horenstein, and pianists Noaves, Wuhrer, and Horowiszki, to build up a huge catalog. He marketed many of them in the bargain two and three LP Vox Box. They also had eminent scholars like Joseph Braunstein to write extensive liner notes. Vox, unlike the other indies, had a half century life.

RemingtonDon Gabor (no relation), another Hungarian émigré who had worked at an RCA pressing plant, created Remington in 1949. Gabor felt that what RCA and Columbia were charging for an LP --  $5.95 (2011 equivalent more than $40) -- was too high for the average consumer and he developed a $2.99, no-frills label. Since post-war musicians in Vienna were mostly impoverished, he was able to make dozens of recordings there for next to nothing. Remington’s early pressing though microgroove were pressed using brittle material that were noisy. They also had tiny 78-style labels that he was able to buy up in surplus. A few years later, Gabor created the super budget label Plymouth to sell at records at $1.99 with even less production value. They did manage to release a performance of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas by the great composer and violinist Georges Enesco, which are worth a small fortune in the used market.

Westminster – The classiest of the indies they featured superb sound and packaging under the musical supervision of yet another Hungarian -- the demanding R. Kurt List, a music critic and conductor. Besides launching the careers of pianists Paul Badura Skoda and Jorge Demus, the label took the eminent 60-year-old German conductor Hermann Scherchen (who was virtually unknown in America) and turned him into a cult figure with his many recordings of Bach and Haydn. They also helped revive the career of a famed Polish/American conductor who got blackballed in America for fighting with orchestra boards in New York and Chicago.

Vanguard – Two recent Columbia graduates Seymour and Maynard Solomon had a love for FolkMusic and Early Classical Music. They went to Vienna and recorded Bach, Vivaldi, Tartini, and other Baroque minor masters. They made a number of recordings with counter tenor and conductor Alfred Deller that introduced so many to Purcell and other English early music composers. The bulwark of these recordings were conducted by the Austrian Felix Prohaska and an Italian Mario Rossi. The Solomon brothers, to their everlasting credit, recorded the blacklisted The Weavers and Paul Robeson when no one else would touch them.

Cetra - Italian recording company recorded most of the Italian operatic repertoire during the forties and the early-fifties. Music executive Dorle Soria got the rights to release them in America. Most of the performances were idiomatic and a little rough but most of this stuff couldn’t be gotten any other way. Soria also launched the Angel label when EMI Columbia separated from American Columbia. Angel had the good fortune to have among its first releases the recordings of Maria Callas. Angel was eventually absorbed into Capitol/EMI.

There are other minor minors like Bruno, Allegro, and Period, who specialized in bringing out recordings from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Allegro got into trouble for putting out the entire Wagner Ring, pirated from the 1953 Bayreuth Festival, under artist pseudonyms. Haydn Society, as the name would indicate, specialized in Haydn with forays into Mozart and was run by the great Haydn expert H.C. Robbins Landon when he was barely out of his teens.

Classical music had a 30% share of the LP market in the early '50s. Additionally, Broadway shows and Light Classical like Kostelanetz and Mantovani were put out by Classical labels. Every large city had its classical stores but New York had the most. Sam Goody’s, The Record Hunter, Liberty Music, and King Karol all battled it out in Midtown Manhattan.

As a teenager in the late-1960s, I saw the tail end of this amazing subculture. In the '80s, I got to meet the men who started the LP business. They themselves were hardly classical buffs or, for that matter, music buffs, but they were great businessmen who knew their customers. Each store complimented each, and they had the inventory and the staff to make them a destination for their customers. It was a special time and place.

Creole Choir of Cuba Performs at Herbst Theatre in SF, 11/3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 11, 2011 01:40pm | Post a Comment
CIIS Public Programs & Performances and Amoeba Music present Creole Choir of Cuba in concert atCreole Choir of Cuba San Francisco CIIS Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on November 3rd!

With soul to burn, each member of this rocking ten-person group is directly descended from Haitian immigrants. The choir energizes their singing with a variety of percussion instruments from congas to clave, and enriches their tunes with movement and costumes that reflect Caribbean and African sources.

Don’t miss your chance to see this dynamic choir!

For tickets and more information, visit them HERE. (Group discounts available for 10 or more.)

Get Free Passes to GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE Screening in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 10, 2011 01:15pm | Post a Comment
Gainsbourg A Heroic Life poster
Come into Amoeba SF to get passes to a sneak preview screening of Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.

Preview passes are available at the Amoeba San Francisco info counter and in the DVD room...but only while they last! Limited to one preview pass per person (each pass admits two)!

Screening Info:
Thursday, October 20, 7:00PM
Lumiere Theater
1572 California Street at Polk 
San Francisco, CA 94109 

About previews:
Please arrive early to the screening and bring the pass. The theater is overbooked to ensure a full house and seating is first-come, first-served (the pass does not guarantee seating).

**César Awards 2011 - Best Actor, Best First Film**
**Tribeca Film Festival 2010 - Best Actor**

Renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar’s Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a completely original take on one of France’s greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Gainsbourg evolves from a precocious child in Nazi-occupied Paris, to small-time jazz musician and finally international pop superstar. Along the way, he romances many of the era’s most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). With a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack showcasing many of the musician’s greatest hits, the film is a sensual delight and a quintessential time capsule of the eras he enjoyed.

Choking Whiteness: Bone aka Housewife (1972)

Posted by Charles Reece, October 10, 2011 03:21am | Post a Comment

Given my recent essay on Whiteness in alien invasion flicks, I can't think of a better film example than Larry Cohen's Bone (aka Housewife) that demonstrates the way Whiteness is defined negatively through its imaginary other, Blackness. So here's a review from the past of that movie:

Replace the repressed white male anger of Fight Club with that of the repressed white housewife’s in order to explore the terrain of Jungle Fever and you get the gist of writer/director Larry Cohen’s debut. Instead of fitting squarely within the genre of blaxploitation, the film examines some of the stereotypical representations of the black male which helped make the genre possible to begin with. 

October 8, 2011: The Ides Of March

Posted by phil blankenship, October 8, 2011 11:45pm | Post a Comment

The Art of the LP Cover- Ladies In Red, Pt. 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 8, 2011 08:40pm | Post a Comment

Check out my 2009 gallery here.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:08:11: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5, DJ Vajra wins DMC World Championship, ?uestlove in the Bay, Jive Records RIP, A-Plus Salutes Chili Peppers, G-Stack, Murs & Ski Beats, J-Boogie, A3C, DJ Shadow, Lupe Fiasco, + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2011 10:06am | Post a Comment

Ray Ricky Rivera @ Amoeba Hollywood with Hip-Hop Top 5 Week Ending 10/7/11

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five for Week ending 10: 07: 11

1) J. Cole Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation)

2) Evidence Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers Ent.)

3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)

4) Madlib No.12-Raw Medicine-Madlib Remixes (Stones Throw)

5) Blu Open (Nature Sounds)

Thanks for this week's Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart go to hip-hop recording artist & recent dad Ray Ricky Rivera (aka RRR) who really looks quite well rested (as you can see in above video) despite his sleep patterns been drastically altered of late -ever since he and his wife Lily had their young son Diego born a little over two months ago. Again congrats man! As RRR mentions the number one album at Amoeba, which is also the number one top selling album (of all genres) in the country this week, is the brand new J. Cole album Cole World: The Sideline Story on Roc Nation. In close second is supertalented LA hip-hop artist Evidence who came to fame as part of Dilated Peoples and is now down with the revered Rhymesayers crew with whom he was touring recently and who just released his recommended new album Cats And Dogs which also comes in a vinyl format. Another LA hip-hop treasure, Madlib, is among the other entrants in this week's Top Five (with Medicine Show #12) which is rounded out by releases from both 9th Wonder (The Wonder Years) and Blu (Open).

October 7, 2011: Thunder Soul

Posted by phil blankenship, October 8, 2011 01:02am | Post a Comment

Cirque du Soleil Meets Cinema With IRIS

Posted by Amoebite, October 7, 2011 08:21pm | Post a Comment
Iris logoI recently saw the new Cirque du Soleil production IRIS, a show created specifically for its venue, the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Home to the Academy Awards, the Kodak Theatre itself is an ode to cinema. Before you even enter the venue proper, the columns in the Hollywood & Highland mall leading up to the Kodak's doors are chiseled with the names of Best Picture winners of years past. Inside the Kodak lobbies, large photos of memorable moments in Oscar history line the walls. So basically, IRIS has pretty big cinematic shoes to fill. 

It had been many years since my previous (and only prior) Cirque show and I had sort of forgotten that Cirque du Soleil is, above all, a circus. The costumes are more magnificent, the sets are more elaborate, and there aren't any animals to pet or hay on the floor, but at its core it is a circus. Cirque du Soleil started as a small group of street performers in Quebec 27 years ago. Today it employs 5,000 people from around the world and has shows all over the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia (including a forthcoming Michael Jackson show in Las Vegas called The Immortal World Tour).
Iris Praxinoscope
As an adult, I have seen a fair amount of shows, plays, and musicals, but not a lot of circuses. While we were waiting for the show to start, our section was visited by two women from the cast - one with a very thick French accent and large padded rear who crawled across the seats and somehow managed to stick her bum in everyone's face along the way (oh, a clown!) and a woman wearing a circulating praxinoscope as a sort of tutu. The clown was my first clue that we were on a journey with the circus, and she reminded me of going to the circus in New York City with my grandmother, something I hadn't thought about in years. (My only recent experience with the circus was Water for Elephants - don't waste your time, but if you must, read the book over the movie.) 

Mahssa's Massive CD Round Up - Theo Parrish, Walls, Plaid, Lawrence, DJ Shadow & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 7, 2011 05:05pm | Post a Comment

Theo Parrish
Ugly Edits
Ugly Edits 

Hello world, they're here. Unavailable for like, ever, now in one package complete with a hand-painted cover. Theo Parrish is one of Detroit’s most wanted exports especially in the past few years, but not too long ago, like many future techno-rebels that came before him, he was just another hustling Detroit DJ trying to make waves in the shadow of the city’s rich techno history. His indelible mark on the underground were highly limited, hand-labeled bootleg edit records of some of his favorite classic funk and disco tunes. The series of edits appropriately titled Ugly Edits, became highly desired rarities on the DJ and collector’s circuit. Rarities no more... as everyone should and can now hear his versions of Jil Scott, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Freddie Hubbard, and Sylvester edits just to name a few somewhere other than YouTube. Cool.


Sure the techno mix CD might seem to some as a maligned format. But as long dope jams like these keep coming, well, better this than most. The port city of Hamburg is not only Germany's gateway to the world, but home of DIAL label boss Peter M. Kersten aka Lawrence which he runs with Carsten Jost, quality brand for all value-conscious cultivation of high-quality melancholy Techno. In a fit of celebration and after seven albums under his producer aliases Lawrence and Sten, his vision of sound (especially as a DJ) is manifested in his new mix, TIMELESS. Crafted with a kind of instinct only a seasoned producer/DJ upholds, and in flawless role reversal from spectator to participant, a romanticism of clubbing and its relation to electronic dance music as a crucially timeless sensual component is vivid and alive. Milestones of minimalized deep house are found here, cuts by Chez Damier, Ron Trent, Isolee, Rob Hood, and Thomas Melchior/Baby Ford to name a few.

Stefan Goldmann & Finn Johannsen
Stefan Goldmann & Finn Johannsen

Welcome to the first Macro label compilation, where first hand you can reap the awesomely weird fascinations of all things left-of-techno-field, as groomed by these avant-gardeners. In this world it is normal for minimal techno patterns and rhythms be paired with atonal choir chanting, or being inspired to stich 146 sections from over a dozen classic recordings of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps in order to create a "fully realized" version. Features cuts and remixes by Oni Ayhun, Elektro Guzzi, Oliver Ho, Villalobos, and Goldmann himself. Impressively at the forefront of everything stylistic, and perpetually cool, Macro has musical material and inspiration to be seriously reckoned with and celestially absorbed.

Warp Records is undoubtedly the worlds leading electronic brand of quality, and not so much quantity. And ill gladly wait 1-15 years for a new album by Seefeel, or in this case, Plaid. In this piece of sonic sci-finery, the main thing (out of all the cool things one can say about this album) is hearing how the ideas you hear in modern dubstep have their roots in and with these classic artists... old school Artifical Intelligence and UK post-techno. Its also interesting to hear how the modern dubstep sound has also influenced the old order. Generations melding. Speaking of the old order, there are also some cuts here that still runs hot with IDM in a true to from 90s Warp steez, reminiscent of not just Plaid/Black Dog's early days but also of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Generously melodic and even poppy at times, this is a wonderful Plaid album, with chamber instrumentations and Stereolab-isms to boot.


The State of Turntablism/Skratch Music in 2011: Part 2 with Christie Z Pabon, DJ Slyce, DJ Quest, Snayk Eyez, DJ ALF, DJ Needlz, ThatKidNamedCee, & Jimmy The Hideous Penguin

Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2011 12:26pm | Post a Comment
Coinciding with the ongoing 2011 DMC World DJ Championships happening currently in London, England at the 02 Arena's Indig02 this is the second in a two-part Amoeblog series on the current state of turntablism/skratch music (here's yesterday's Amoeblog). Note that the results for the DMC World DJ Championship battles (which end by midnight Friday, Oct 7th, UK time = 4pm West Coast time) will be published tomorrow in the Hip-Hop Weekly Rap Up Amoeblog. As you know turntablism is a musical form born out of hip-hop by the DJ but not given an actual name until  the mid nineties when DJ Babu coined the term turntablism to describe the DJ as a turntable manipulation artist - one as worthy of respect as any other musical instrumentalist. By that stage I personally had already been a convert for a good decade and a half to this infectious component of hip-hop music. In fact when I first heard hip-hop in its formative days I was drawn more to the DJ than the MC. And ever since I've been hooked on the sound of scratching and spellbound by beat juggling and all the other skilled moves that the DJ as mixer & turntable master so effortlessly throws down. To me this musical style, unique to hip-hop and whose pioneers included Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizzard Theodore (creator of the scratch), has always been deserving of its own genre or at least sub-genre.  And as a diehard fan and supporter of DJ scratching from hip-hop's earliest days when I first heard in the late 70's through all the years later up to and beyond including that point when QBert altered the spelling of the word from scratch to skratch, I have thoroughly enjoyed closely following its evolvement; warmly witnessing turntablim/skratch music's creative growth as it blossomed with a seemingly never ending array of new sounds generated by an ever-progressing arsenal of new styles and techniques been added to this vibrant art form. 

Brightwell vs Club Underground vs Sunday

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 7, 2011 12:25pm | Post a Comment

If you find yourself free this Sunday, DJs Larry G (Supercrass) and Timothy L (Modernbrit) of Club Underground (and Amoeba, in the latter's case) are going to DJ a set of post-punk, indie and more at Brightwell between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00.


Club Underground bills itself as "LA's Premiere indie/britpop/new wave/electropop/twee/60s/soul party since 2001. It occurs most Fridays at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown.


Brightwell is a men's shop which bills itself as "LA's premiere men's shop specializing in luxury and craft objects for the discerning, grown-ass man since 2011." The High Street shop is the only one of its kind in Southern California and is located on the corner of West Silver Lake and Rowena in Silver Lake's fashionable Ivanhoe district.


So whether you're an avant-garde Dandy or a nostalgic Anglophile, you're liable to find something to your liking (even if it just turns out to be free wine, cheese and crakcers). Stop by, say "hullo" and pick up something for the men in your life.

Amoeba Sponsors SHOCK-IT-TO-ME! HALLOWEEN SPOOKENANNY At Café Du Nord in SF, 10/31

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 6, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Haunting San Francisco's historic Café Du Nord on October 31st, the SHOCK-IT-TO-ME! HALLOWEEN SPOOKENANNY will, claws down, be the most insidious show in San Francisco this Ghoultide Season! Bringing back a real sense of old skool All-Hallows-Eve fun, event promoter August Ragone (columnist for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine), has sewn together a monstrous fright night of horror hosts, maniacal music, creepy contests, and more tricks ‘n treats than you can shake a bloody stake at!
After a ten-year ban in thirteen countries, Ragone is proud to announce the triumphant return of theJohnny Legend Rockabilly legendary Rock n' Roll Rasputin, straight from his heart-stopping performance at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans: JOHNNY LEGEND & HIS NAKED APES! Johnny's latest musical incarnation (featuring members of The Mummies and The Chuckleberries) will be seizing Café Du Nord’s sinister stage with fellow maniacal maniacs THE UNDERTAKER & HIS PALS, and the organ-blitzing madmen of BEACHKRIEG!
Demonic DJ, OMAR PEREZ (Popscene, Shutter, Leisure, Sixxteen) will be spinning the wicked wax through the dark Samhain Eve, from The Cramps to Screaming Lord Sutch, to fulfill your sinister garage-stomping urges! Ragone boasts that in case of sudden monster attack, a team of Resuscitated Nurses will be on stand by, while each and every putrid patron will be insured for $1,000,000 by Wm. Castle & Sons of Hollywood against death by fright. And he warns, “Come early! No one will be seated during the final 15 minutes of the show!”
Your horrifying hosts for this night of ghoulish guising are MISS MISERY (Creepy KOFY Movie Time) and THE MONSTER MELONS (Ms. Monster & Her Monster Melons), who will MC the “Scary Screaming Contest” for a crawling cache of putrid prizes — including a real “Dead Body” — and the $200 Cash PrizeCreepy Costume Contest”!

2011 DMC World DJ Championships, Happening Today & Tomorrow In London, Generates Both Interest & Discussion

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2011 01:47pm | Post a Comment

Today and tomorrow (Oct 6th & 7th) one of the most important events in hip-hop and DJ culture takes place in London: the 2011 DMC World DJ Championships at the 02 Arena's Indig02 in which the top hip-hop battle DJs from 21 countries (reppin' the USA is DJ Vajra - full DJ battle details above) battle it out in this Turntablist World Cup in three major battle categories: DMC World Final, DMC Battle for World Supremacy, and DMC World Team. Additionally this two day scratch DJ event will present a bunch of great showcases including ones by last year's DMC World Champ DJ Ligone from France, the 2003 Supremacy Champ DJ Tigerstyle, three time DMC World Supremacy Champ DJ Switch (who'll perform the piece: Concerto for Turntables), plus an anticipated triple threat set from the revered X-ecutioners' Total Eclipse, DJ Precision, & Rob Swift.
This year's DMC battle comes at a time when turntablism or skratch music seems to be on a comeback in popularity on a global level. It's always been popular but after its honeymoon with the mainstream in the late nineties it seemed somewhat dormant (in actuality it had just gone underground). But lately there's been a noticeable increased interest in DJ battles like the DMC and turntablist events like Ireland's annual Community Skratch Games of the past few years or the recent Thud Rumble presentedFader Fest in San Francisco with the reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz as trio (QBert, D-Styles, Shortkut) and showcases from the likes of US DMC representative DJ Vajra. There seems to be a flurry of new turntablist releases lately too including ones from DJ ALF, Teeko, DJ Needlz, ThatKidNamedCee, Jimmy the Hideous Penguin, and DJ Quest who is about to release this month his latest turntablist album Cosmic Parasite (a collaborative effort with the two former bandmates from his original DJ crew Bullet Proof Scratch Hamster (BPSH) - DJ Cue and Eddie Def).

2 More Days Until Walrus Day!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 6, 2011 11:26am | Post a Comment
Sensuously flummoxed? Follow this link, vital human!

4 More Days Until Walrus Day!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 5, 2011 12:49pm | Post a Comment
Craving investigation? Follow this link, lyrical human!

Western Music - Kind of a Latino Thing - Happy Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 4, 2011 04:46pm | Post a Comment

I love Western music. Not "Western music" as in "music rooted in European traditions," but rather the "Western" of "Country & Western." Cowboy Music. In many ways, Country and Western is an odd pairing. The two genres seem to be at complete odds. Sure, the performers evince a similar sartorial sensibility, but the subject matter of Western music is about hard-working buckeroos following honor and dogies out under the wide open sky.

Country, which I love too, is quite the opposite. Country celebrates the sedentary life - working and dying in the same small town, farm, or trailer court in which you were born -- and to hell with ethical codes of conduct; get drunk, cheat on your wife, and show up for your crappy job hungover.

Musically speaking, they're only distant cousins - no more closely related than Bluegrass and Jazz, House and Rap, Rock 'n' Roll and the Blues  -- but of those examples, only Country & Western get so invariably lumped together as a single genre that people usually omit the "Western" altogether.

Country's - or Hillbilly's - roots are in EnglishIrishScottish, and Welsh ballads although Africans brought banjos, Germans brought dulcimers, Italians brought mandolins, and Spanish brought guitars into the volatile mix. Hillbilly music was traditionally often played by small string bands that thoroughly blended their influences into something recognizably American.

In Western music, on the other hand, the solo guitar is much more prominent. Cowboys weren't known for traveling with a whole orchestra to be whipped out around the campfire. In Western music, the same ballad traditions of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are still easily discernible but the main influences are Hispanic, coming from Mexico and Spain.

Sure, there's some musical overlap between Country and Western -- especially in the Southern Plains, which produced artists like Marty Robbins and Tex Ritter -- but for the most part, Country and Western existed and developed independently, separated geographically by many miles until some citified marketing genius stupidly shoved them in the same slot.

To some historians, the first published Western song was "Blue Juaniata" in 1844. At the time, anything west of Appalachia was "The West" and "Blue Juanita" was about a young Native woman waiting on the banks of Pennsylvania's Juaniata River for her brave. Over a century later, it was recorded by one of the biggest acts in Western music, The Sons of the Pioneers. By then, manifest destiny had long ago necessitated European-Americans invading and displacing all indigenous people from sea to shining sea.

As various Europeans conquered what's now thought of as the West, Western music became intrinsically bound to that most indelible symbol of the West, the cowboy. The roots of the cowboy are in northern Mexico's vaquero traditions, not surprising when you consider the ankle deep Rio Grande as the imagined division between Americ'as "The West" and Mexico's "El Norte." 

Naturally, western bound Anglos and northern bound Mexicans' traditions combined to a large extent. "Vaquero" was Anglicized as "Buckaroo" in the West, but the vaquero tradition itself could be traced to medieval Spain's hacienda system. In Mexico there were several types of vaqueros, perhaps most recognizably the charro of the Michoacán and Jalisco (where Mariachi developed).

Ranchera is another old form of Mexican music (LA has only one Ranchera station, La Ranchera 930). If Western has a sibling, it's its Mexican half-brother, Ranchera, not Country. In Ranchera, a solo guitarist usually sings about love, nature, honor, work… the same subject matter of most Western music.

There are also ballads about heroic and villainous gunfighters, which developed (with pronounced influence of German and Czech immigrants in northern Mexico) into Corridos and Norteños (or Conjuntos) that are much more popular today. "Norteño," meaning, "Northern," merely reflects the different geographic orientation of Mexico, which lies to the south of what we call "The West." And where would cowboys be without their "yeehaws" and "yahoos," which are merely their take on the "grito Mexicano " that features so prominently in Ranchera and Norteños.


Western music's commercial heyday was in the 1930s and '40s, when something like 75% of films made in the US were Westerns. The hard-working cattlemen and gunslingers were both highly romanticized and almost completely whitewashed. Hollywood's version of the West included a few Mexicans, most often as opportunistic-but-not-especially-effective villains, rather than the Cowboys' equal. Not to mention on the Silver Screen there were far fewer Asians and blacks than populated and developed the actual West of the 19th century.

The biggest singing cowboys in film were Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, whose formulaic movies were primarily constructed around performances of Western songs. Popular female Western performers included Billie Maxwell, The Girls of the Golden West (Millie and Dolly Good), Patsy Montana, and Texas Ruby.

Western music incorporated sophisticated harmonies with The Sons of the Pioneers.

Western Swing, developed and popularized by Bob Wills, absorbed Jazz and (with greats like Harry Choates) Cajun music too.

TV and Radio shows continued to evince Americans' love of the old west through the 1950s. With the decline of Old Time Radio and film Westerns' popularity toward the end of that decade, Western music also faded and today you find very few Western groups out there (such as little-known Sons of San Joaquin and Riders in the Sky), where as commercialized Country had flourished financially (if not creatively). However, scan your FM and you'll likely hear some Norteños or Bandas that keep the Western flame alive more than some Cashville mannequin in a cowboy hat. Ayyyyaaah ha haaaaaa!

Longtime Bay Area Hip-Hop Artist Celsius 7 Returns With "Life Well Spent"

Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2011 06:06am | Post a Comment

Celsius 7
is a longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist who has stayed true to the underground over his two decade long career. Most Bay Area music fans were first introduced to him 16 years ago when he arrived on the local underground hip-hop scene as part of the heralded group Psychokinetics.  Since then he's carved out a rep as both a member of that revered indie group and also as a solo artist. Four years ago, when the Amoeblog last caught up with the artist, he had just released his solo debut album Wanderlust. Last week he released the follow up: the album Life Well Spent that can be found at Amoeba Music. This week I caught up with Celsius 7 to ask him about his personal hip-hop history, all the traveling he's done in recent years, his latest album Life Well Spent, the John Lennon Songwriting Award he won a while back, and how his own life has been going since we last chopped it up.

Exactly how well spent has your life been?

Celsius 7: Well, I've lived the better part of the last thirteen years cubicle-free, and have gotten to travel and perform my music on four different continents. I've fallen in love and had my heart broken a few times. I've eaten well, laughed heartily, and I've followed my dreams. I've learned a whole bunch and still have a thirst and passion for life. It's definitely been an unorthodox approach, and it's been rough at times, but let me put it this way, if I died tomorrow I would feel like I played the game very well.

Ozzy Osbourne Signing at The Booksmith in SF, 10/22!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 3, 2011 05:05pm | Post a Comment
Meet the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ozzy Osbourne onOzzy Osbourne signing san francisco booksmith Amoeba Trust Me I'm Dr. Ozzy October 22nd at 3:00pm when the Prince of Darkness himself graces our good friends over at The Booksmith on Haight Street in San Francisco!

Ozzy will be signing copies of his new book, TRUST ME, I'M DR. OZZY: Advice from Rock's Ultimate Survivor, and select albums that Amoeba will have on sale at Booksmith. Based on his ongoing, hilarious Rolling Stone column, his new book finds him embracing his status as a medical marvel to tell incredible stories not found in his memoir (I Am Ozzy), offer advice that no human should follow, and shed light on his seemingly superhuman ability to stay alive.
TRUST ME, I'M DR. OZZY includes some of the best material from the columns as well as longer memoir-style survival stories that Ozzy has remembered since writing I Am Ozzy, his answers to celebrities’ medical questions, charts and sidebars, and much more.  Part humor, part memoir, and part bad advice, the best way to describe this book is 100% pure Ozzy.
More info about the signing event:
No memorabilia will be signed; NO exceptions.
Candid snapshots from the line only; NO exceptions.
Books must be purchased from Booksmith in order to be signed; no exceptions. Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy will be available in the store beginning October 11th. You may place an advance order in person, by phone, email ([email protected]), or online prior to that date.
Selected albums will be available, courtesy of Amoeba Music, at the event and may be purchased for signing as well. No previously purchased music will be autographed.
For more information, visit

Artist Billy Sprague's Space-Themed Album Cover Installation

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 3, 2011 03:13pm | Post a Comment
Billy Sprague As Is Gallery Oakland Space Music Album Covers LP Vinyl

Amoeba Berkeley
's own Billy Sprague is launching an immersive space and music-themed installation at Oakland's As Is Gallery from October 5th through November 1st. Sprague has covered the gallery from floor to ceiling with over 150 space-themed album covers from the '60s and '70s, which he has collected over the past ten years. Call that an occupational hazard of being an Amoebite! This is a must-see for any vinyl fiend or space age enthusiast.

The opening reception is Friday, October 7th (part of Oakland's First Fridays) from 7:00pm to 10:30 and features Scott Caligure performing live synthesizer music in the gallery’s bay window! Plus fog machine and mood lighting will be in full force to add to the moonscape!

As Is Gallery is located at 4707 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, Ca. 

5 More Days Until Walrus Day!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 3, 2011 12:11pm | Post a Comment
Gaily curious? Follow this link, fancy human!

Last Night's Fun Amoebapalooza Hollywood 2011 Delivered All That It Promised & More

Posted by Billyjam, October 3, 2011 09:36am | Post a Comment

Last night's Amoebapalooza Hollywood, which was accurately billed as "one night only annual celebration of musical mayhem" with acts including Byrdsol Taylor II, Prince Kajutu, The Hounds of Hell, Idol Eyez, Tease, Ghouls Night Out, Destination Unknown, Myklehar, and Vum, was first and foremost just a really good fun gathering of co-workers & friends for conversation, laughs, and of course music. Held at the well chosen venue, The Dragonfly on Santa Monica (about six blocks from Amoeba at 6400 Sunset), Amoebapalooza Hollywood Version 2011 showcased an impressive array of bands, all assembled just for the night and each comprised of Amoeba staffers exclusively, displaying such a caliber of talent that several should seriously consider expanding the lifespan of bands beyond last night's Amoebapalooza one-off performance.

Note that over the next few days you can expect many more detailed postings on this Amoebapalooza event (with lots of photos and video clips) on including here on the Amoeblog since there were lots of photographers and videographers capturing the event all night long. With an emphasis on fun and music a total of a dozen acts, each allocated 15 minutes to perform - and all sharing the same drum kit, systematically made their way on and off stage throughout the music packed night.  The live music kicked off following an introduction from Jason Boggs who, with his equally entertaining co-host "Jesus Cat Superstar," provided witty between set banter all night. Jason also became a last minute addition to the musical lineup during the evening when, in one of his numerous drag costume changes of the night, he busted out a hilarious rendition of the theme song from Bye Bye Birdie.  Opening band Bikini Whale (pictured above just as they broke out the glitter) did a truly inspired set, that got everyone charged up and dancing, in which they effortlessly channeled the B52's and simultaneously set the tone for a non-stop night of really tight musicianship that included T.Rextasy's head-nodding, rockin' set of Marc Bolan & company's music, and Topographic Lotion's channeling of Yes, Fragile era that sounded exactly like the original prog rock band's recordings. Adding to their authenticity they even had, as the perfect ontage backdrop, a huge banner of Roger Dean like Yes cover art.  Impressive! For more news and photos on the Amoebapalooza Hollywood check back here over the coming days for more reports.

October 2, 2011: Shark Night

Posted by phil blankenship, October 2, 2011 09:15pm | Post a Comment

All Enchanting Audio Artifacts Considered

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 2, 2011 01:02pm | Post a Comment
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  Welcome to The Choice Bin, where only thee most "choice" long-play records traded in over our magnificent buy counter in Hollyweird are considered and discussed as art and a most logical slab of entertainment and inspiration. Now and again a noteworthy compact disc or book will slide across the buy counter, blip my radar and fall into my orbit, but it's 2011, so O.K.  I'll be your host as we ponder the spectacular and the insane. And if we're really fortunate, and nobody's glommed the goods, most of these gems will be available in Amoeba's "Buy Stuff" section, 'cuz after all....we're also a store! Follow the linkage...

Michel Redolfi

Sonic Waters
Hat Art 2002

Mr. Michel Redolfii is, among other things, an architect of wondrous underwater acoustic installations...sometimes pools, sometimes oceans. This is a 2-LP set on the Swiss Hat Art label in a sweet little cardboard box package with lots of notes that documents Michel's electronic compositions done on a Synclavier II in the studio, and then being performed in a heated pool and in an underwater aquatic parks. The studio recordings are broadcast under the water through underwater speakers, while hydrophone mics pick up the transformation through the liquid medium, and it's natural mixing with underwater natural sounds. The stuff is eerie, gelatinous sonic stew that totally delights me with every listen. He calls it an "aerodynamic and amphibian" music. Indeed, Sire!

Glass Orchestra

The Glass Orchestra

Music Gallery Editions 10

Here's a remarkable record of a Canadian group in the late '70s composing and performing music for beverage glasses, glass gamelans, glass tubes and pipes, and some other tidbits. Quite ethereal and harmonious in the waves of dissonant and heavenly frequencies that transpire here. Lots of variety, but leaning mostly towards the strange, sensational glass phonics as if you were rubbing the lips of 20 glasses and making a piece out of it. I was in a trance and realized I must turn the record over! A very special disc on clear, glass-like vinyl, with a booklet inside.

Check out the leader's stage set-ups and philosophy.

Marion Brown

In Sommerhausen

Calig CAL30605

Featuring Jeanne Lee, Gunter Hampel, Steve McCall and others, this very scarce record on the German Calig label documents a time in "jazz" music that has never been equaled. The late '60s is reflected here musically in much of the dynamics of the individual voices on the instrumental arrangements and improv. Percussion groups, swinging jazz ensemble and some discreet free blowing sum up the elements. Very much 20th century classical and sound texture, Marion Brown takes the gang away from what others were doing to make his own hybrid style here...similar to the Art Ensemble but with his own freaky integrity flying. Lee's voice adds a sensuousness to the group sound that's unlike anything else. Awesome live sound on this production, with a glossy black and white cover.

Guy Lafitte
Colombia France 10"
FP 1124

French jazz tenor man Guy Lafitte does the Don Byas dance on this poppy, straight up date from French Colombia on a cool 10" flip-back EP. This guy is good, and he plays the changes and rips his chords in and around the Legrand-ish arrangements. I haven't heard that much Lafitte, and I dug this whole project as it progressed. Lots of huge Euro jazz cats on the session. If you like Byas, Pres and Lucky, you'll really get into this guy. These original French 10" records are stone f'n rare, so jump on it if you can.

Mauricio Kagel
Heterophonie 1959/1961

Wergo  WER60043
Rundfunks Symph/Michel Gielen

Mauricio Kagel hands over a wonderfully mysterious, dense yet spacial piece (2-sides!) on this precision-made original German pressing from the iconic Wergo imprint. This company has provided me with hours, weeks, months and even years of audio excitement throughout my life. Whenever I see their generic, clean Euro-balanced cover designs pop up,  I run to see what title it is and if I have it already. This disc is no exception, as Kagel takes us on a 20th century orchestral (and organ, too) audio drama that has it all. Dissonance, beauty, darkness, peppy percussive pulses of storyline and activity. Tiny episodes of sound fit together to make the whole. Kagel is a master at arranging emotion, and covers lots of territory here. A New-Music must!

The Enchanted Tiki Room
Original Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise Soundtrack

Disneyland 3966

Yes, the original soundtracks from Disneyland. This is the record of what you hear when you go into the rides and then their soundtracks surround you. In the case of the Jungle Cruise, you get the narration too and have to imagine the mechanical tiger lunging out at you. The Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Room? Aw, heck... I have no problem blurting out in tears of sentimental nostalgia every time I hear this. The joy of those little  mechanical birds and the looks on the kid's faces in the seats slays me every time. Yes...enchanting!

Preview: Maya Jupiter Record Release Show 10/6/11

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 2, 2011 10:19am | Post a Comment

Maya Jupiter is a classic example of the international influence of Hip-Hop. She was born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican father and a Turkish mother. Her family moved to Australia where she lived until a few years ago. Her first release in 2003 received much critical praise that lead to steady career both as a rapper and a radio host for the better part of ten years. Wanting to explore her Mexican roots, Maya moved to Los Angeles where she started to collaborate with L.A.’s Chicano/Latino community. Her new self-titled album is a result of those collaborations. It is a mixture of Soul, Dancehall and Son Jarocho, which she calls, “World Hip-Hop” Maya Jupiter will be performing on October 6th at the Little Temple in Los Angeles with an all-star band that includes Aloe Blacc, Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores of the band Quetzal, and many other great L.A. based musicians. I caught up with Maya to discuss her new album, her upcoming show and about life in Los Angeles.

Your new album takes a different route than your previous releases. What was behind that?

I wanted to push myself vocally and artistically and I wanted to make an album that reflected all the music styles that I enjoy, not just Hip-Hop. My brother-in-law, Victor Valdes, is a harpist from Xalapa, Vera Cruz and introduced me to the world of Son Jarocho ten years ago. I knew it was a style I wanted to incorporate as well as Soul and Dancehall. All of these genres come from the community and have a history of being socially conscious.
There are many Afro-Caribbean influences in your album such as Son Jarocho, Dancehall Reggae and Cuban Son. What was the process of writing like?

We had some jam sessions with Aloe Blacc as well as Quincy McCrary (keyboard player for Mayer Hawthorne) Juan Perez (bass player for Son De Madera)
Quetzal Flores made songs out of the jams. The music came from the heart and is a reflection of everybody involved.
You left behind what seemed to be a promising career in both music and radio in Australia. At one point you were a host of a Hip-Hop show on Australia’s Triple J Radio network. What was behind that move? What do your fans in Australia think of the new album?

I needed a new challenge and felt I wasn't growing as an artist in Sydney. I also wanted to be around the Mexican community; I felt it was something I missed out on growing up in Sydney. Even though we are very multi-cultural, I couldn't speak my musical language with many people there. I feel that I'm much better understood in LA, in terms of music. I'm not sure what people think in Australia but they are very open-minded people so I'm sure they'll give the album a listen!
You recently posted on Facebook that you were “so excited to perform this album the way it's supposed to be performed. That's you threw away the CD in favor of real humans. Will you try to keep a band together for future performances?

I would love to always play with this current band. They are truly all-stars.  Making live music is so much more rewarding, you can't deny the energy on stage.

You’ve toured the better part of two years with Aloe Blacc, both as an opening act and as part of his group. Now that you have seen more of America than most Americans have, what do you think of it?

I think the United States is a beautiful big country, full of opportunity. There are many people who really care about the world and their fellow human beings. I think there's a great movement happening across the world right now, an awakening of sorts where people are coming together for a better quality of life. 

Now that you have lived in Los Angles for a couple of years, what do you think about it? What do you love about it and what would you change?

I love L.A. I'm lucky that I am a part of a loving community of conscience thinkers. I love that it is a crossroads to the world. All kinds of people come through LA, you never know who you can meet or what can happen. It is very exciting in that way. It is also cheap living; rent and food prices are much lower.

I would improve the public transportation system; it is a joke right now. People should be able to walk and ride their bikes safely. There should be more parks and spaces for people to gather. When you travel around the world you realize how LA lacks public spaces. The health care system is ridiculous and the public school system worries me. Those are things I think about if I were to move here permanently.

You can buy Maya Jupiter's S/T release at the Amoeba Hollywood store (in the Hip-Hop section) or via mail order
Maya Jupiter Will be performing on Thursday, October 6th
at Little Temple
4519 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90029-1906
(323) 660-4540

Nu-Thursdays presents
Maya Jupiter Album Release Party
Thursday October 6, 2011 Live Performance by
MAYA JUPITER w/ special guests Quetzal Flores, Martha Gonzalez, and Aloe Blacc, Marisa Ronstadt & The Know-It-Alls
DJ Destroyer & Ethos 21+ 9pm-2am $10 cover

6 More Days Until Walrus Day!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 2, 2011 08:31am | Post a Comment
Sincerely intrigued? Follow this link, magic human!

7 More Days Until Walrus Day!!!

Posted by Job O Brother, October 1, 2011 08:48pm | Post a Comment
Delightfully baffled? Follow this link, sexy human!