New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 11/30 Pinch & Shackleton, RVDS, Mike Huckaby, Rush Hour, Seahawks, Stephen Brown, and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 30, 2011 11:50pm | Post a Comment

Pinch & Shackleton

Boracay Drift 12"
Honest Jon’s

A pulverizing, apocalyptic opening gives way to a menacing bass excursion, expertly putting on the frighteners dubwise, before dissolving ambiguously into the amazing, extended vocal treatment -- a thread of eerie, garbled sublimity, like a kind of black-magic plainsong. Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis' epic remix is more spaced and spooked, the dread of the original version in check but still body-rocking and driving out of its silences.

Purchase Boracay Drift here:

Moon Oddity 12"

RVDS presents with "Moon Oddity" the real house music soundtrack to a weekend's journey into outer space. This eccentric 12" is the result of playing his synths and drum computers virtually like no other. Dance music has never been so quirky, wacky, jacky -- far out deep inside.

Purchase Moon Oddity here:

Mike Huckaby
My Life With The Wave 12”

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Short Documentary About Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, November 30, 2011 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Dylan Neal, a student of the University of Texas Semester in LA Program, made a short documentary about Amoeba Hollywood as a submission for the 10 Under 10 Film Festival in Texas. The festival was created by Radio-Television-Film professor Ellen Spiro to feature short documentary and experimental films made by UT students. Here's the tricky part: the films must be under 10 minutes long and made for under $10.

The documentary was shot over several days in September and October 2011, and captures Amoeba moments like our in-store with Touareg band Tinariwen and our Halloween festivities, as well as interviews with staff and regular customers. I particularly loved Amoebite Cody in full costume (including face paint) being interviewed on camera with no reference to his appearance or explanation about it being Halloween. But, hey, you never know what you're going to find when you walk into Amoeba!

Amoeba Hollywood - 10 Under 10 Submission from Dylan Neal on Vimeo.

November 29, 2011: Rampart

Posted by phil blankenship, November 30, 2011 10:38am | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- A South Los Angeles Westside Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 29, 2011 08:54pm | Post a Comment

Just as Los Angeles has two Eastsides (one being the largely Latino enclave east of the LA River and the other being South Los Angeles east of the 110 and/or Main St) it also has two Westsides. One Westside is a collection of LA's westernmost neighborhoods (such as Bel Air, Brentwood and Venice) and the area's enclosed cities (like Culver CitySanta Monica and Beverly Hills).

The other Westside is the area of South Los Angeles (and the surrounding communities) that lie west of the 110, south of the 10 and east and north of the 405 (although some of those are can make the historical argument for being part of the South Bay, despite being separated from the Santa Monica Bay by miles of land and other cities). This westside, after white flight in the 1950s to the present, is also colloquially known as "The Black Westside" and indeed, it's still, as of 2011, home to most of Los Angeles's black residents and businesses despite changing demographics.

Pendersleigh & Sons' Map of South LA's Westside

The region of South LA's Westside is a large area bounded by South LA's Eastside to the east, The Harbor to the southeast, The South Bay to the west and south west, The Westside to the northwest and Midtown to the north. Definitions differ of exactly what communities constitute the region with several also claiming the South Bay and/or The Harbor. No doubt part of the reason these neighborhoods are in question are due to residents of and developers in those communities eager to disassociate themselves with South LA, which carries negative connotations for many.

Though the area is mostly Mexican-American, it's home to a large number of diverse black communities; working class, middle class and upper class. And though most of the black residents are of unspecified West African ancestry, there are large populations of Caribbeans, especially Belizeans and Jamaicans. In addition there are significant populations of Filipinos, GermansGuatemalans, Irish, ItalianJapanese, Koreans, Salvadorans and Vietnamese who all call the area home.


For thousands of years, the area that now makes up South LA's Westside, along with most of LA County, was part of the Tongva's 4,000 square mile homeland. It was later conquered by Spain. After Mexico's independence, it was part of Mexico. During the Rancho Period, most of what's now the Westside was set aside as public land, rather than state or privately-owned property. The area remained more agricultural for much of its history as LA and other communities developed around it. 



South LA's Westside is home to the University of Southern California, founded in 1880. In 1906, the approval of the construction of the Port of Los Angeles and a change in state law allowed the city to annex the Shoestring, or Harbor Gateway, a narrow and crooked strip of land leading from Los Angeles south towards the port. As the wealthy were building stately mansions in West Adams and Jefferson Park, the white working class was establishing itself in Crenshaw and Hyde Park


Development of South LA's Westside mostly began in the northern part of the region, around the turn of the 20th century. In the mid-1920s through the late 1930s, housing boomed in most of the areas north of Slauson.  During World War II, when LA turned into the major center for the production of aircraft, war supplies and ammunitions, thousands of immigrants, both black and white, moved to South Los Angeles from the Midwest and South to work in factory jobs. However, there were still large swathes of areas devoted to agriculture and oil extraction on the Westside up through the middle part of the century.


South LA's Eastside was home to two of LA's oldest black neighborhoods, South Central in the north and Watts in the south. Under racially restrictive covenants, blacks were only allowed to own property within the area hemmed in by Main, Slauson, Alameda and Washington; in Watts, and a few other small areas such as Oakwood in Venice. As a result of 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer, the Supreme Court banned used of racist restrictive covenants. As a result, the black population of both areas began to pour out of their overcrowded confines into the rest of South LA's Eastside, the southern parts (i.e. Mid-City) of Midtown Los Angeles, and the northern neighborhoods of South LA's Westside. According to Roy Porter and David Keller's There And Back, "During that time the west side was Vermont Avenue to Western, and there were very few black people living in the area. Where the Crenshaw Center is now was wilderness." Before long the area was predominantly black. 


The Harbor Freeway (the 110) began construction in the 1950s. It wasn't completed until 1970. Running parallel to Main Street, it supplanted it was that traditional dividing line between the Eastside and Westside in South LA. Meanwhile, construction of the San Diego Freeway (the 405) began in 1957 and was complete by 1969. As a result, the inland communities of Alondra Park, Del Aire, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, and Lennox were in some sense separated from the South Bay which they'd previously been considered a part of - despite all being landlocked.  


Most of South LA's Westside remained overwhelmingly white until the 1960s, when upwardly mobile black residents began to make their homes in Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw in significant numbers. As blacks moved into new areas, the name "South Central" was no longer only applied to the tiny, historically black neighborhood centered on South Central Avenue, but became racially coded shorthand for any black neighborhood south of Pico Boulevard. "South Central" was ultimately embraced as a badge of honor by many residents of the region -- no matter how far they were from the actual, historical South Central.

The construction of the Santa Monica Freeway formed the northern boundary of the "new" South Central, providing a boundary beween the mostly upper-middle class blacks of Midtown Los Angeles from the mostly middle and working-class blacks to the south.

After the Watts Uprising in 1965, many remaining middle class blacks left South LA's Eastside for safer areas. In 1969, the Crips formed and in 1972, the Bloods followed - both in the Eastside. Carson, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, View Park and Windsor Hills became the most popular destinations for blacks leaving the Eastside.

Also in the 1970s, South LA's manufacturing base declined precipitously. The workforce had, till then, primarily been comprised of unionized black workers. After many of them left for the Westside, their void was largely filled by newly-arrived Mexicans and Central Americans. In the 1980s, the black population of South LA's Westside continued to grow.


After the LA Riots of 1992, which began in the Westside intersection of Florence and Normandie, many black residents moved away from the most blighted areas of South Los Angeles. The Eastside was hit especially hard, with communities like Compton, South Central, Watts and most others losing their black majorities. The Westside, with the comparatively affluent communities in the greater Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw and West Adams districts remained desirable for blacks and most retained their black majorities. Today, South LA's Westside boasts the largest number of predominantly black neighborhoods in Los Angeles County although the poorer neighborhoods in core of the region have increasingly witnessed migration of Mexican, Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants in the last two decades.


For many years and for many residents of South Los Angeles, "South Central" or, alternately, "The Hood"... or even "The Ghetto" remain the preferred term, one despite its largely negative connotations in the media, that was embraced with affection and pride. In mainstream media, however, "South Central" became a blanket term for all black and Latino neighborhoods between the 10 freeway and the Harbor - one that lazily painted the many ethnically, economically, historically and culturally diverse communities in the area with the same brush. "South Central" was shorthand for gang violence, endemic poverty and urban blight. For the most part, the only time the local media bothers to venture into the area is when there's a car chase or if the LA Weekly is ranking Los Angeles's top ten Soul Food restaurants. Otherwise, for most Angelenos who don't live in it, it remains a place of the imagination and not reality -- an imagination has increasingly little to do with reality.

In the 2000s, the Eighth District Empowerment Congress began the "Naming Neighborhoods Project" began an effort to identify and celebrate South LA's varied neighborhoods with new designations that were meant to foster a sense of community pride and reflect local identity. The Westside neighborhoods that were born as a result include Angeles Mesa, Arlington Park, Baldwin Vista, Cameo Plaza, Crenshaw Manor, King Estates, Magnolia Square, Manchester Square, Morningside Circle, Vermont Vista, and Westpark Terrace.

and now for the neighborhoods:



Whereas many of the neighborhoods of south LA have fanciful names seemingly designed to maximize their appeal, Adams-Normandie is one of those neighborhoods unimaginatively named after the intersection around which it is centered. It's home of the Loren Miller Recreation Center, several churches and Mexican restaurants. Part of the Historic West Adams District, Adams-Normandie's Van Buren Place Historic District is home to many beautiful old homes. It's the most densely populated neighborhood in South LA's Westside and the population is roughly 62% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 25% black, 6% white and 5% Asian. 


Alondra Park is also widely referred to as El Camino Village, as it's the site of El Camino College. The population is 35% Latino (mostly Mexican), 26% white, 19% black and 15% Asian (mostly Vietnamese). It's sometimes considered South LA and sometimes South Bay


Angelus Mesa is a neighborhood in the Crenshaw area -- a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project." Its Angeles Mesa Branch Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It's also home to the Angelus Mesa-name-incorporating Angeles Mesa Park and Angeles Mesa Elementary - although their names are spelled in keeping with the rest of Los Angeles. I'm not yet sure what accounts for Angelus Mesa's odd spelling, but at least as early as 1920 there was the Angelus Mesa Land Co. The neighborhood is home to the tallest structure in the region outside the USC campus -- the 12-story Good Shepherd Manor, built in 1971.


Arlington Park is a narrow, Crenshaw area neighborhood between Leimert Park and King Estates. It's named after Arlington Ave and is a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


The population of Athens is 54% black (largely Belizean), 40% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 3% Asian and 1% white. I'm not sure what it's supposed association is the ancient, capital of Greece. Where that city has numerous ancient monuments, Athens, Los Angeles boasts Los Angeles Southwest College, Helen Keller Park, Chester Washington Golf Course and not a lot else - unless I'm missing something. The main destination for pilgrims to the neighborhood is the house at 1418 W 126th Street, which was Craig Jones's house in the film Friday.


Baldwin Hills is sometimes referred to as "The Black Beverly Hills" for his long-established, rich, black population. Today the area is 71% black, 17% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran) and 5% Asian. It's the home to the first Olympic Village, built in 1932 for the LA games. In 2007, BET began airing a TV program called Baldwin Hills, about the lives of rich, black teenagers from the area.


Within Baldwin Hills is subdistrict known as Baldwin Hills Estates. The mostly Modernist homes sit on streets like Don Felipe and Don Luis in the Baldwin Hills Estates subdivision, earning a portion the nickname "The Dons." 


Baldwin Village was originally nicknamed "The Jungle" for its tropical trees and foliage. In 1969, a member of the Chicago Blackstone Rangers known as T. Rodgers moved to Los Angeles and started a chapter in the West Adams/Jefferson Park area known as Black P Stone Rangers. Eventually there were hundreds of that gang's members in The Jungle. As a crime-ridden area sullying the otherwise posh reputation of the Baldwin Hills area, "The Jungle" took on a different meaning - that of a wild, dangerous and untamed place -- one of the cuts even became known universally as "Sherm Alley." As a result, in the 1980s people began promoting the use of the Baldwin Village name, hoping to gain more association with nearby, wealthy Baldwin Hills (and the nearby, by-then renamed Baldwin Hills Village). It was famously featured in the climax of Training Day


Baldwin Vista is a neighborhood in the Baldwin Hills area that lies north of Coliseum Street and west of La Brea Boulevard.  There are many mid-century Modernist homes built at the time of the neighborhood's development in the 1940s and '50s. It's designation is a result of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Cameo Plaza is a small neighborhood in the northwest corner of South LA, bordering the Westside. It's situated on the western edge of the Baldwin Hills range and is also known as Cameo Woods, after gated condominium complex within it's borders. It's another product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Canterbury Knolls is a primarily residential neighborhood. Although the name is not widely recognized, the near fatal beating of Reginald Denny by a group of six men took place there. It's also home of the Slauson Super Mall, featured in the Tupac video for "To Live and Die in LA." To read more, click here.


Chesterfield Square is home to Chesterfield Square Park. The population is roughly 59% black, 37% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 2% white and 1% Asian. At the time of writing it suffers from the highest rate of violent crime in LA county. It was formerly the home of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, it's where Good Fred Hair Oil was invented, and is home to a stove restoration place called Antique Stove Heaven. To read more about it, click here!


Crenshaw Manor is a primarily residential westside neighborhood between West Adams to the north and the Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw areas to the south. The population is roughly 71% black, 17% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran) and 5% Asian. It's also a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Del Aire is a South LA neighborhood that's sometimes considered part of the South Bay, although it's landlocked.  It lies at the interchange of the 105 and the 405. It has the lowest crime rate in the region and the population is 46% Latino (mostly Mexican), 34% white (mostly German), 9% Asian (mostly Filipino), 7% black. 


Exposition Park (originally known as Agricultural Park as it was an agricultural fairground where people raced camels) is home to the the California Science Center, California African-American MuseumLos Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles Swimming Stadium, Natural History Museum and the Exposition Park Rose Garden, to name a few. As with University Park to the north, some business owners and organizations are essentially trying to rip one of South LA's main cultural centers from the region by refining the area as part of Downtown Los Angeles, even though nearly 3 km separate the regions at their closest points. 


Gardena is an inland city with a long-established and pronounced Japanese-American presence and character. The population is highly diverse - 32% Latino (mostly Mexican), 27% Asian (mostly Japanese and Korean), 25% black, and 12% white. There are several stores with large selections of Japanese books, music and movies as well as popular and highly-rated Japanese restaurants. To read more about it, click here.


Gramercy Park is home to several churches, mini-markets, and auto shops. It's home to Jesse Owens Park, named after the famous black track and field athlete who famously annoyed Adolf Hitler by taking home four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, thereby calling into question some of the diminutive führer's theories about blacks' supposed physical inferiority. The neighborhood is 86% black (largely Jamaican), 12% Latino (mostly Mexican) and 1% white.


Hawthorne is a diverse city lying south of Inglewood with a population that's 44% Latino (mostly Mexican and Guatemalan), 32% black, 13% white, 8% Asian (mostly Filipino). The entirely landlocked inland city tends to represent the South Bay or Harbor Area despite lying almost entirely east of the 405. The city is most famous for having been the hometown of The Beach Boysdios (malos), and Emitt Rhodes of The Merry-Go-Round.


Established in 1887 as a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's Harbor Subdivision, Hyde Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA. It was finally incorporated as its own city in 1922, only to be annexed by LA in 1923. It's generally considered to be part of the larger Crenshaw area and is home to Crenshaw High School. The population is 66% black, 27% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 2% white and 1% Asian.


Although Inglewood was, as with its southern neighbors, traditionally considered to be part of the South Bay, due to its mention in songs by Westside-representers like Damani, Dr. Dre, Mack 10 and (East Harlem native) Tupac Shakur, "The Wood" is probably the most widely internationally recognized community in South LA's Westside. What's more, many films that are set anywhere in South Los Angeles are often, in fact, filmed in Inglewood I suspect because -- despite its nickname of "Inglehood," it's actually quite safe, well-kept and middle-class and looks sort of like the poorer communities that it stands in for albeit with larger, better maintained yards and houses and a slightly more traditionally urban feel in part provided by a couple of not-especially-tall skyscrapers: Inglewood City Hall, Comerica Building, and the La Cienega Business Center. Occasionally films are actually set in Inglewood, like The Wood

Ironically, Inglewood was once a hotbed of white supremacism and, as late as 1931, the Klan still maintained a chapter there. In 1960, there were 63,390 residents of Inglewood, only 29 of whom were black. Embarrassingly recently (22 July , 1970) Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Max F. Deutz ordered Inglewood schools to desegregate. Large numbers of Inglewood's white population left as a result and the black population grew significantly. Beginning in the 1980s, the Inglewood's Latino population skyrocketed. Today Inglewood's population is 46% black, 46% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran) and 4% white. 


The development of Jefferson Park began around the turn of the 20th century. Built on the hills, Craftsman and Neo-Georgian styles attracted wealthier Angelenos. After World War II, numerous creoles from Louisiana moved there and it was nicknamed "Little New Orleans." By the 1950s, the area attracted many black and Japanese-American families (who after their internment during World War II, often relocated to different parts of LA than where they had lived previously). Today the population is approximately 47% black, 45% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 3% Asian, and 3% white.


King Estates is bounded by Dr. Marting Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the south and Exposition Boulevard on the north. It's also home to the Frederick Douglass Academy High School, named afer another famous black civil rights activist. I couldn't find any demographic information for the neighborhood but the presence of Taqueria & Bakery Oaxaca suggest the likely presence of Latinos. It's existence as a neighborhood is a result of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Lawndale is a highly diverse city (52% Latino (mostly Mexican), 22% white, 12% black, and 11% Asian (mostly Vietnamese)). It is usually considered part of the South Bay or The Harbor despite being separated from both bodies of water by other coastal cities and neighborhoods. It was subdivided in 1905 by Charles B. Hopper who named it after a Chicago suburb. Lots sold slowly and different promotions were tried such as promoting Lawndale as a chicken raising area. By the 1980s, it (like most of the inland cities traditionally lumped in with the South Bay) was mostly home to working class people involved in nearby industries rather than wealthy beachfront property owners.


Leimert Park is often said to be the "Soul of LA." It was originally developed in 1928 by Walter H. Leimert. For many years the neighborhood has been a major center of the LA's black arts scene. There are several jazz, blues and hip-hop venues (Project Blowed was begun there) and the area known as Leimert Park Village has a quaint, small town feel. The population is approximately 80% black, 11% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), and 5% Asian. It's also the birthplace of rapper Dom Kennedy.


Lennox is a a Westside neighborhood next to LAX sometimes considered part of the South Bay, sandwiched between the much larger Inglewood and Hawthorne. The businesses include, as is the case in most of South LA's Westside, numerous mini-markets and auto shops. The population is also more aligned with the Westside than the South Bay - 89% Latino (mostly Mexican and Guatemalan), 4% black, and 4% white (mostly Irish). 


Magnolia Square hemmed in by Century, the 110, the 105 and Vermont. I'm not sure what the name is derived from (It's home to Little Green Acres Square). In addition to the usual selection of fast food chains, liquor stores, mini markets, churches, auto shops there's also It's All Good K'afe and Outdoors Bar B Que Grill. It's a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Although the name doesn't ring many bells for most, (or makes people think of the LAX-adjacent neighborhood in Westchester of the same name), Manchester Square is the birthplace of Art’s Chili Dog Stand in 1939, the 8 Tray Crips in 1974, the LA riots in 1992 and was the home of notorious serial killer known as The Grim Sleeper. The population is roughly 79% black, 19% Latino (mostly Mexican and Guatemalan) and 1% white. It's a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


Morningside Circle was the first neighborhood I blogged about after instituting a poll to determine which communities I would explore and write about, back in Season 2 (2008).  The neighborhood officially came into being as a result of the the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project." Some of the interesting spots include the Krst Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science and Smokee Joe's Bar-B-Q Grill. It's a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project." To read more about Morningside Circle, click here.


University Park was established around USC, which (founded in 1880) is California's oldest private research university. Today USC enrolls more foreign students than any other school in the US. Diversity is reflected in local population as well, 48% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 26% white, 16% Asian, and 7% black. 

Sadly (to me) there has been a movement led by several organizations and businesses to redefine University Park (and  Exposition Park) as being part of Downtown, which is visible in the distance and separated from catercorner University Park by the 10 and 110 freeways. Such a move would rob South LA's Westside of its heart and soul by carving out the region's birthplace and most diverse neighborhood.

Aside from Angeles Mesa and Inglewood (if one considers that to be part of the Westside), it's home to all of the region's tallest buildings: Waite Phillips Hall of Education (1968), Fluor TowerWebb Tower (Webb Tower), Radisson Midcity Hotel (1975), and Seeley G. Mudd Building (1982).

Other attractions in the neighborhood include the Lab Gastropub, the Hoover Recreation Center, St. Mary's College, St. James Park, Estrella Park, Bacaro LA Wine Bar, the Estonian House, Bing Theatre, Eileen Norris Cinema, the Spielberg Stage, and the George Lucas Building.


University Exposition Park West is home to establishments like Denker Recreation Center and James A. Foshay Learning Center. Although there is a good variety of local restaurants, there's also a higher-than-average number of fast food chains represented, as well as liquor stores.


The population of Vermont Knolls is about 55% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 43% Black, 1% White, and 1% Asian. There are several mini-markets, schools, fast food joints and churches.  It's where Paul Ferrara grew up, the director of the Jim Morrison-starring HWY - An American Pastoral and Doors photographer.


Vermont-Slauson is named after the intersection of Vermont and Slauson Avenues, the site of the Vermont-Slauson Shopping Center (established in 1981) and a Taco Bell. There are also several burger joints, auto shops and mini-markets, as is common with most of the region. The population is 61% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 37% black, and 1% white.


Vermont Square is home to Vermont Square Park - as well as Julian C. Dixon Park, named after the late politician. The Vermont Square Library is one of LA's three remaining Carnegie libraries. There are also many barber shops, beauty salons, auto shops, burgers, mini markets, and donut shops. The population -- 57% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 39% Black, 1% white, and 1% Asian -- includes many Belizeans, a fact reflected in the presence of Caribbean Market and Pelican Belizean Market. It's also home to the progressive Streetlight Cinema.


Vermont Vista is part of the Shoestring Annex. It's home of the Algin Sutton Recreation Area (not sure who Algin Sutton is), and the Bret Harte Preperatory Middle School (named after the poet, not the wrestler). Alongside the usual assortment of auto shops, small markets, there are several BBQ places. The current population is 52% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 45 % black, 1% white, and 1% Asian. It's a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project."


View Park-Windsor Hills is a wealthy, mostly black neighborhood -- approximately 87% black (including many Jamaicans), 5% white (mostly Italian), 3% Latino (mostly Mexican), and 2% Asian. It was originally developed in the 1920s and then largely redeveloped in the 1930s with many Modern, Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean homes (often with pools) constructed. Due to the large numbers of doctors, as with Los Feliz it was nicknamed "Pill Hill." The rich black Angelenos moved in after desegregation was finally enforced in today it's still the wealthiest neighborhood in South LA's Westside. It's also the oldest and most educated. It's home to several parks (View Park, Monteith Park, and Ladera Park). Adding to it's posh reputation is Windsor Hills Math-Science-Aerospace Magnet School. Adding to its desirability are Cafe Soul and Gospel and Gumbo.


Village Green is a condo community (and surrounding neighborhood) between the Baldwin Hills and the West Adams neighborhood. It was originally known as "Baldwin Hills Village" and ground broke on construction in 1941. The lead architect of the apartments was Reginald D. Johnson. In 1972, the apartments were converted to condos and renamed Village Green.


West Adams is a neighborhood with many art galleries and studios, boutiques and a busy commercial corridor. The West Adams neighborhood is located west of the larger Historic West Adams District (which includes several Westside and Mid-City neighborhoods). It's population is approximately 56% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 38% black, 2% white and 2% Asian. It's also home to the famous Club Fais Do-Do, which used to be a popular haunt for the likes of Billy Preston, John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, and yours truly.


People apparently can't seem to come to a consensus about what to call this neighborhood in the Historic West Adams District jeand it's often lumped in with Jefferson Park to the south. It's home to Gramercy Park, 2nd Avenue Park, Johnny's Pastramiand the lengthily named Exceptional Childrens Foundation School for Retarded Children. Its William Andrews Clark Memorial Library was built around the collection of rare books left by the son of a railroad baron/banker/politician. There are many nice Victorian homes, including the beatiful Joseph Dupuy Residence (now the South Seas House, for its Polynesian influence). There's also the Wilfandel Club House, the oldest black women's clubhouse in the city.


West Park Terrace is sometimes lumped in with its southern neighbor, Gramercy Park. It's a product of the Eighth District Empowerment Congress's "Naming Neighborhoods Project." As far as my research shows, there's no Westpark there, although there is Saint Andrews Recreation and Park. Local businesses that caught my attention include Toffee Sensations, Happy Fish Market, Bottom Line Cocktail Lounge, El Papagallo Bar, Mary and Junior Breakfast and Soul, M&M Soul Food, and Sassy Celebrity Weaves. Soul food, breakfast and toffee? Sounds like heaven.


Westmont is a neighborhood located just west of the Shoetring Annex, near the intersection of the 105 and 110. It's neighbored by Athens, Inglewood, Gramercy Park, Magnolia Square, Manchester Square, West Park Terrrace, and Magnolia Square. The population is roughly 58% black, 39% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 1% white and 1% Asian. It's home to many small markets, Kindle's Donuts, Ralph's Drive-In Liquor, Lucy's Drive In, Taco Vaquero, Factory, Monster Burger, and Salaam West Bakery


And so Westsidaz, to vote for any communities in the Westside or any other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Westside neighborhoods or any other Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here. Till next time, keep bumpin' and grindin' like a slow jam, it's Westside!


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Chatting with DJ Quest While Shopping at Amoeba Music Berkeley Today

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2011 08:13pm | Post a Comment

DJ Quest at Amoeba Berkeley; Nov 29th. 2011

Ran into DJ Quest at Amoeba Berkeley today. He was at the East Bay store along with DJ 2Fresh digging in the vinyl beats and battle records sections. The legendary longtime San Francisco DJ, who is a founding member of the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters that made history by putting out the first DJ battle record (Hamster Breaks), is a regular at Amoeba Music. If he is not shopping there he is performing or overseeing the youth group of aspiring DJs that he mentors and regularly perform at Amoeba.

In fact just two weeks ago (November 19th) he was back again at Amoeba San Francisco with the Horizons Unlimited-The DJ Project & Quest School Of DJ Arts collective as part of the Haight Street Amoeba's ongoing Mandala DJ Series. Quest talks about this and many other things including his new CD (Cosmic Parasite which is available on CD at Amoeba - one of the very few places to get it in physical format) in the interview above that was recorded this afternoon. 

More Journeys Off the Beaten Track

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 29, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Peter Michael Hamel
Vertigo 6641 055, 1972

2-Lp set on German Vertigo circa 1972 brings us a spiritual journey of minimalism and creative spark, alone in the studio…tape running and overdubbing, often not listening to the previously recorded material. Hamel was doing multi-tracked organ, synths, piano and percussion in Germany at the same time as Riley, Glass and those guys were, quite forward-thinking. He worked with maestros Joseph Anton Reidl and Luc Ferrari, but never went in that conrete’ or collage direction as a style musically. Terry Riley is still doing live organ pieces just like these herein, and classical composers have struggled with this style for decades. Here in these discs we have 2 luscious sides of organ and synthesizer pieces with each instrument “beating” or modulating the other, simple rooted tones yet always moving with melody and logic; 1 side of prepared piano with a Cage influence, yet Hamel shows his prog/pop and Indonesian gamelan inclinations rhythmically and tonally. Nice! The last side is synthesizer overdubs with water and breath sounds, owing to Hamel’s heavy spiritual side and his immersion in this new minimalism. This record is still fresh now, and vibrates with a wonderful, contemporary accessibility and creative spark even after nearly 40 years. And this 2-disc set on Vertigo vinyl is rarer than a 2-dollar bill at this point.


Pat Martino


Prestige 7547, 1968

Yes, the exclamation mark is in the title, as well it should be. Pat the jazz magician, folks saying “how (the hell) does he do that”?  Post-Wes Montgomerian bop-chops aplenty with a soaring, melodic style and body groove that shakes up the mind with every riff, the big sound is already here in the room, and he’s inspired on this gig. Joe Farrell plays reeds and flute here along with a burning rhythm section and piano (Walton), and his style compliments Pat’s guitar direction, his solos setting up the anticipation for the next guitar jaunt. Pat’s made many records, and these older straight-ahead titles tend to be overlooked, “Pat” being a name associated with guitar sainthood it would, wouldn’t it, with all the stuff out there. Shoudn't!  Blue label mono original, this one.  


Chico Hamilton

El Exigente (The Demanding One)
Flying Dutchman FDS-135 1970

A Chico live date with no information inside except the personnel, this one shimmers and shreds with live-gig improvisation and way-ahead-for-the-time sounds. Searing electric sax by Arnie Lawrence (never better), electric guitar by Bob Mann, and Steve Swallow on the electric bass. Lots of fuzz, and the horn sounds like a synth most of the time…maybe a Maestro attachment. As is Chico’s wont, the jams combine his tribal-like grooves with voodoo jazz vibe, and the soloists get to smoke away as Swallow does his usual thing with very melodic bass riffage. This begins to feel more like a monumental moment in time, as Chico and the men process Bitches Brew, White Room, A Love Supreme and Vaughn Williams all at once, gentle lyricism giving way to fire-y freakout. The guys are really listening to each other as well and the gig feels improvised and written out at the same time. Applause at the ends indicates immense satisfaction in the crowd. Never seen this on CD, either.


Jerry Goldsmith

ABC ABDP-848  1974

One of my favorite soundtracks and best themes of all time, Chinatown never ceases to enchant me. Echo-y strings, piano and trumpet vividly recall the imagery of the film, and no less make a musical journey of their own with each listen. Amazing arranging and color shaping of the musical pallette, with harps, zither and percussion guarding the narrative and supporting every emotion conveyed in the musical saga. Small descriptive segments of ecstasy and sympathetic sound brought together as a perfect whole. Goldsmith did this more than a few times in his career (Islands In The Stream comes to mind) but Chinatown remains an iconic piece of cinematic history, and continues to deliver the goods. John Huston must have flipped (in a good way) when he heard this.


Alvin Lucier

Music For Solo Performer (for enormously amplified brainwaves and percussion)
Lovely Music VR 1014  1982
2 people, Mr. Lucier and Pauline Oliveros, have electrodes attached to their scalps which are routed through amplifiers to loudspeakers, and solenoids controlling sticks and beaters. The speakers are placed on or near percussion instruments, and henceforth manipulated by the alpha waves of said performer, good bad and ugly. The sound manufactured is not composed or conceived. It is a result of the brian waves being transferred into sound by the near-by instruments beind vibrated by the speakers. A perennial party and sit-down dinner favorite, this record will  be your constant companion on road trips and beach parties. No, but yeah, but seriously, I’m “blown away” by the music that can be made just by thinking.  Sections of this piece are by turns calm and serene, and then popping with action and spirit, all in these performances sounded out percussively yet MUSICAL! What was Alvin thinking? Literally.

Timothy Leary Ph.D, Ralph Metzner Ph.D, Richard Alpert Ph.D

The Psychedelic Experience
Broadside Records BRX 601 1966 (Signed by Timothy Leary)

Fantastic document on LP record, of the principles and actions of the LSD experience, quite new in 1966. Recited by these 3 gents, this disc is the reading of portions of a text into the mind expansion and exploration of other states of consciousness via the cosmic voyage, in this case LSD, and the stages of change within the self and ego from the chemical and the "proper" way to attempt management of the ingestion of said drug and the results. It's a wonderful piece of spoken word and, the affecting delivery of each of the men’s tableaus on the quest for other forms of consciousness is hypnotizing and enthralling, especially Leary’s portions. Sound quality notwithstanding (as many Folkways pressings are sub-audiophile quality to say the least), the record is a compelling look at a time in our culture that changed history. This copy of the record was hastily signed by Leary, as related by the previous owner, whose father was an autograph collector.

Gucci Mane & V-Nasty's BAYTL Collaboration Causes Much Discussion

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2011 07:05am | Post a Comment
The recent surprise announcement that popular Dirty South rapper Gucci Mane had teamed up with relatively unknown Oakland rapper V-Nasty to record a full length street album (or mixtape) together - to arrive in Amoeba in two weeks - has already caused many raised highbrows and much discussion among hip-hop fans, especially diehard Gucci Mane fans, who are still scratching their heads in bewilderment - many of whom have weighed in via online comments that have ranged from "WTF?" to "This is a joke, right?"  And there is good reason for these types of reactions since this major label collaboration between the ATL rap star and the little known known Bay Area rapper, appropriately to be titled BAYTL, has to be the oddest pairing in recent memory since it partners the frequently incarcerated African American rap star with the Caucasian female rapper from Kreayshawn's White Girl Mob who is best known for the controversy she incited in recent months with her frequent and flippant (ab)use of the N word.

Gucci Mane & V-Nasty "Whip Appeal" (2011)

Even Gucci Mane, who is used to surprising people like when he incredulously tattooed an ice cream cone on his face, admits that this is a most unusual pairing and admitted via a recent press release that, “This by far is my most controversial mixtape to date.” and that “many people are going to be surprised by BAYTL.” Indeed!  But if that old adage about any publicity being good publicity is true then this is also a very shrewd marketing move on the part of VICE Music who are behind the BAYTL release - part of their new three-year deal with Warner Brothers. The twelve track BAYTL, which is being released on December 13th, features the viral single "Whip Appeal" (above) and the official lead single "Fuck You" that features Atlanta’s Slim Dunkin who also cameos on the track "Push Ups." Other album guests include the Bay Area's Mistah F.A.B. and Berner, and SoCal's P2theLA with the majority of the production being handled by regular Gucci Mane contributor Zaytoven along with additional production by studio duo Tha Bizness. One album track is titled "White Girl." Am hoping (but doubting) that it will be a lyrically engaging track between Gucci and the "Gucci Gucci" associated rapper that will address race and usage of the N word.

Anticon: A Love Story

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 28, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment
To know Anticon is to love Anticon. I’m sure casual Anticon fans exist; but by and large we are anAnticon obsessive breed; comparative, in some ways, to those that follow the Manson Family—you mention a trivial fact and eyes widen, speech accelerates with enthusiasm, rattling off dates, facts, and slogans. Anticon is that level of obsession without the creepiness—finding a fellow devotee is finding a new friend for life.

Anticon is an independent hip-hop record label, initially based in the Bay Area and founded in the late ‘90s. Similar to other hip-hop “crews,” they’ve released records as individual bands or performers, but other artists make guest appearances on nearly every release (of which there are MANY. Every artists is wildly prolific). Founding members of Anticon include Doseone, Jel, Sole, Alias, Pedestrian, Odd Nosdam, Telephone Jim Jesus, and Why?. Combined project acts of these individual artists include Themselves, Subtle, cLOUDDEAD, Greenthink, and Deep Puddle Dynamics. The combinations continue: Themselves + German indie band The Notwist = 13 & God, and Sole’s solo project that is now post-Anticon is Sole and the Skyrider Band.

Anticon is not gangster rap, nor is it minority self-empowerment hip-hop. It is surreal, experimental, why? elephant eyelash anticonand by far the most exciting music to emerge from any genre in the past ten years. Someartists that began with hip-hop have moved on to sounds more electronic or pop, like Alias’ Muted or Why?’s Elephant Eyelash. Doseone’s apocalyptic, rapid-fire poetics have been placed against both drum machine and electric cello. cLOUDDEAD created a singeable melody out of the lyrics “It's hard to stand the sight of two dogs dead under a sky so blue/You have to stop the blood to your head/to fit the breath in front of you.”  If anything, the maturity and spread of Anticon’s artists geographically and genre-wise has only enhanced their accessibility and confirmed their initial manifesto of Music for the Advancement of Hip-Hop.

The 4th Annual UNIQUE LA Holiday Show!

Posted by Amoebite, November 28, 2011 04:29pm | Post a Comment

Unique LA, the largest independent design show in the country, returns to the California Market Center Penthouse December 3rd - 4th from 11am-6pm.

Shop from over 300 hand-selected designers and artists and be sure to make a stop at the Amoeba Music Pop-Up Shop for some great deals in vinyl and more!

Buy local and support LA's economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast!

Buy tickets HERE or at the door! 
Admission includes:
• An exclusive, collectible cotton tote bag (each show features a tote designed by a guest artist)
• Unlimited re-entry for both days + our printed Vendor Directory & Mini Magazine
• Free drinks! (Holiday Punch featuring Sailor Jerry Rum, Blackstar Beer, The Naked Grape wine, IZZE, Honest Tea, GT’s Kombucha)
• Free DIY workshops + crafts by The Urban Craft Center and Craft and Folk Art Museum & Free portraits at the Oh Snap Photo Booth
• Access to Amoeba’s rockin’ exclusive downtown Pop-Up Shop!
• Two different cafe areas so you can grab a coffee or enjoy lunch, snacks or a treat

The Amoeba Pop-Up Shop at Unique LA!!
Unique Amoeba Pop Up Shop   Unique Amoeba Pop-Up Shop

Unique LA

AFI Fest Review: Melancholia

Posted by Charles Reece, November 28, 2011 04:00pm | Post a Comment

Much of Melancholia is structured similarly to Dogville, making its audience endure the tedium of von Trier's miserabilism for the inevitable big bang pay off. In Dogville, it was the heroine slaughtering an entire town for the various ways the citizens raped her in the previous two hours of screen time, but here it's literally the cataclysm of two worlds colliding -- that, I should note, makes the best use of low end frequencies in any film I've ever heard. (In the director's oeuvre, women have participated in the destruction of their own bodies, their family, their neighbors and now their entire civilization -- where will his heroines go from here?) This isn't a spoiler, since von Trier gives away the plot in the apocalyptic précis that constitutes the first 10 minutes or so of the film. Filmed in an ominously metaphysical slow-motion, this phantasmagoria is surely the best part of the film and a visual allusion to doleful Justine's ultimate fantasy. The film could only go down hill from there as it fills in her dreamy ellipses with the mundane drama that's the majority of the two acts that follow.

In the first act, we see Justine's melancholia destroy her new marriage during the wedding festivities. In "Melancholy and the Act," Slavoj Žižek argues melancholia is a pathological identification with a lost object that's being mourned before it's even lost. Because the identification is fundamentally narcissistic, about what Justine lacks, her husband (the object) can never fulfill what was the cause of the desire, namely a desire for her own desire itself. That is, melancholy "stands for the presence of the object itself deprived of the desire for itself -- [it] occurs when we finally get the desired object, but are disappointed with it." [p. 148, Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?] Once acquired, the husband loses his ability to fill the void -- to short-circuit the desiring feedback loop -- in Justine's life, so she loses her desire for him (which was actually lacking in the first place). She mourns having lost him before he finally gives up and leaves her.

By mirroring domestic drama in a cosmological transformation, Melancholia provides a much commented upon thematic connection to Terrence Malick's Tree of Life. More importantly, it seems von Trier's film shares Malick's Heideggerian concern (the influence of Martin Heidegger is discussed here, regarding Tree of Life, and here, regarding Thin Red Line). In his final two acts, von Trier (unsurprisingly) sides with Justine's depression against her sister's seemingly better-adjusted family with whom she's come to stay while the planet Melancholia moves ever closer to Earth. At first, Claire and her husband John take care of Justine: the sister bathes, feeds and encourages her to get out of bed while the husband provides the scientific analysis proving that Melancholia won't crash into them. Claire's sense of well-being is revealed to be a fraud, hiding behind the ratiocination of John's math: when Melancholia's unpredicted course proves him mistaken, the only one prepared for Earth's destruction is Justine.

This provides another way of looking at melancholia, as existentialist Angst, what Heidegger considered an authentic attitude towards Being itself by being-towards-death. By making nature seem controllable, reducing it to instrumentality -- what Heidegger called Enframing -- science and technology separate us (beings as such, living our lives) from Being itself (the ultimate basis of reflection), making Dasein (being-there) inauthentic. I have trouble with mystical-sounding jargon, but I hope my point will be clear: through Enframing, things become detached from their thingness (otherness), become objects for our control and manipulation -- as Malick might say, Nature loses its grace for us (Tree of Life reveals our everyday lives' connection to Nature). John rids Claire of any fear of the coming apocalypse by making the wayward planet out to be something under his control. In this way, John's approach to the planet is the same narcissistic identification as Justine's desire for her husband. When his calculations are proven wrong, he loses what he never had to begin with, control with its objective correlative being the planet Melancholia. spoiler warning! Thrown back into the world, he commits suicide. end spoiler. The buffer (short-circuit) having failed, his depression is the real (pathological) melancholia, since he's never authentically engaged his finitude (being-towards-death). Justine has been prepping her whole life for the end, and is now able to help her sister and nephew to calmly face their extinction. Unlike Malick, there's a irony here in that it takes the end of the world to confirm the philosophy.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Disturbingly Cute Debut!

Posted by Kells, November 28, 2011 12:12pm | Post a Comment
Harajuku superstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's debut mini-album, Moshi Moshi Harajuku, was spotted recently among the new releases in the J-Pop section at Amoeba Music SF and, like a saccharine-laced shroom-hazed acid flashback citing the fallout that was my impression upon viewing her now-long gone viral music video for the single "PONPONPON", many intriguing questions about the psychedelic limits of Japan's popular Kawaisa and Decora cultural aspects immediately bubbled up. Chief among them: how much Pon could a Pon Way Way if a Pon Way could Way Pon?

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - "PONPONPON"

That, and where can I get that giant box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Has Pee-Wee Herman seen this? Some of the realizations spawned during the review: there really can never be too much pink and, something I had forgotten since, say...1997, Doc Marten's pair well with just about any ensemble. But I guess it took this Tokyo model and blogger fashionista turned J-pop wunder-gyaru to hip me to that fact, or re-hip me I guess, as the case may be. Seriously though, speaking of Kyary's fashion blog, this is the face that greets you when you arrive at her site:

Initial reactions to this visual recall that silly Allison Harvard x Sifl & Olly "Fake Blood" video by Rich of FourFour fame and spur a barrage of imaginary taglines like: "cute kills (or at least causes internal bleeding)." Poke around long enough -- skipping her posts about insomnia, mini M&M manicures and dining out with friends, etc. -- you'll understand that Miss Kyary shares something of little Edie Beale's enthusiasm for achieving the best look for the day, every day. I mean, somebody has to think up these things, you know...


I wonder what you'd get a girl like Kyary for Christmas -- a new computer? Or perhaps a teaching job?

Maybe all she really ever longs for is a new DO, you know, something special and highfalutin that pairs well with eau de Christmas Tree for the holidays. Something like THIS:

Doesn't she just look so happy?! There's just no help for it, I think she's hypnotizing me. While I still possess a barely-there thread of psychic defense against the two-pronged attack that is Kyary-chan's  techno-candy ear-wormage (produced by Yasutaka Nakata of Capsule) juxtaposed against the je ne sais quoi appeal of her terrifyingly cute aesthetic I urge those of you who have made it this far into this post to come on down and check out Kyary and friends in our J-Pop selection at Amoeba Music! ピースアウト!

Filmmaker Ken Russell Has Died at Age 84

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2011 08:39am | Post a Comment
Ken Russell, the British filmmaker and writer whose most popular films included his 1969 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, The Who's Tommy (1975), and the 1980 science fiction film Altered States, died yesterday following a series of strokes it has been reported. He was 84 years of age. An ever controversial figure Russell was known for pushing the envelope with his films' focus on sexuality and the church and stirred up perhaps the most controversy with his film The Devils. The content of this 1971 film about a seventeenth century outbreak of religious hysteria resulted confrontation with censors - something that Russell relished in since he clearly enjoyed pushing buttons and eliciting provocation from what he saw as staid film goers. His film Women in Love ably achieved this with its naked wrestling scene that featured stars Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in full-frontal nudity. As a compromise with the irate British censorship board Russell edited a few of the these shots to get the film in British cinemas. The film would earn Russell his sole Academy Award nomination for best director and would win Glenda Jackson an Oscar for best actress. Other films by Russell, many available on DVD at Amoeba (ask for help if you cannot locate), include his 1970 Tchaikovsky biopic The Music Lovers, 1967's Billion Dollar Brain with Michael Caine, and 1971's The Boy Friend starring Twiggy.

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The Descendents

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2011 11:43pm | Post a Comment
To compliment (or balance out) Phil Blankenship's Amoeblog below on the new George Clooney movie The Descendants, here is the legendary, influential 1980's SoCal pop-punk band The Descendents at a 1997 San Francisco concert after they had reformed. One of the greatest groups of all time in my mind. Love em. Now I must go see the movie with a similar name.

November 27, 2011: The Descendants

Posted by phil blankenship, November 27, 2011 08:33pm | Post a Comment

The Art of the LP Cover- Wicker Men And Women, Pt. 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 27, 2011 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Check out last year's gallery for more wickery, click here.

Ain't no party like a Rammstein beach party!

Posted by Kells, November 25, 2011 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Gearing up for the December 13th release of their greatest hits retrospective titled Made in Germany 1995-2011, Neue Deutsche Härte darlings Rammstein have channeled their inner Hasselhoff and outdone themselves again with the kooky, retro beach party themed video for "Mein Land" (directed by renowned videomeister Jonas Åkerlund - creator of Rammstein's most pornographic, er, controversial music video "Pussy" as well as the greasy, all-nude male revue that is the "Mann Gegen Mann" body slam and the award-winning "Ich tu dir Weh"). The single, with the exception of the b-side "Vergiss Uns Nicht," is the only previously unreleased song slated for inclusion among the collection of heavy hits celebrating the body of work of a band that has seen zero changes in their line-up since 1994 and continues to flaunt an outlandish style what combines boundary-pushing tomfoolery with impressive pyrotechnic stage antics much to the delight of their fan-base though said accolades often cause a rift among critics who more often than not seem perfectly pleased to acquiesce to confoundation and mild annoyance. But then everybody loves a beach party, ja? It's difficult to imagine anyone laughing at Rammstein more than they are laughing themselves, spray-tanned tits out and all. Check it below:

Panama-By-Way-of-Oakland Hip-Hop Duo Los Rakas Talk to the Amoeblog

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2011 02:30pm | Post a Comment

If ever there was a Bay Area hip-hop act ready to go big time it is Los Rakas, who tonight (Friday, 11/25) play the New Parish in Oakland along with Nima Fadavi. Truly a most unique East Bay hip-hop group, they have an instantly identifiable sound and image, a great logo, and their own philosophy ("the Raka Rules" they say are simple but sound; "Be yourself"). 

Comprised of the two cousins Raka Dun and Raka Rich (both now in their mid twenties) they grew up in Panama where they soaked up reggae, dancehall, samba, soca, and salsa before immigrating to the US a decade or so ago. Upon arrival in the Bay Area they each fell in love with the then burgeoning homegrown hyphy sound whose quirky production values  influenced the talented duo's music - a unique blend of traditional Panama sounds, reggae dancehall, reggaeton & Bay Area beats plus some other musical flavors too, all rapped & sung in Spanish that has been labelled "Panabay." While so far they've been rapping pretty much exclusively En Espanol they've recently done a series of collaborations with English speaking (American rapping/singing) artists including E40 and Goapele - all of which, no doubt, will assist in the pair gaining their deserved mass appeal.

A few months ago Los Rakas released their first official CD release (the recommended, independently released eight song EP Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada which is available at Amoeba Music) but the talented duo have been busy recording & releasing a steady stream of songs for several years now - most of which they gave away as free song or mixtape downloads. These have included 2006's Panabay Twist and 2009's Panabay Twist Vol 2.: La Tanda Del Bus. Together with a series of popular music videos posted online, most notably the viral video for "Soy Raka" that showcased Oakland's turfin' dance craze, Los Rakas have been grabbing the attention of music fans near and far. Still unsigned they've been creating the kind of buzz typical for an act with a major label push.

Last year Los Rakas won a prestigious Discovery Artist award from the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC). They've gotten airplay on such influential commercial radio stations as KMEL San Francisco, Latino 96.3 Los Angeles, and La Mega 97.9 New York and shared concert bills with such national stars as Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, ?uestlove, Outkast, and Nas & Damien Marley. In fact over the past year and a half they've been gigging non-stop. Last Saturday night they headlined a packed show at S.O.B.s in New York City.

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Black Friday...Price Tag Gallery 18

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 25, 2011 02:01pm | Post a Comment

 Celebrating RSD pt. 2 with another batch of price tags!

Bay Area Hip-Hop TV Show "Distortion 2 Static" Calls It Quits After Ten Years

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment

For the past decade the Bay Area half-hour, hip-hop TV show Distortion 2 Static (D2S) has been diligently covering the wide world of hip-hop with an emphasis on both homegrown and national hip-hop, from each element of the genre and providing viewers with a steady stream of talent. Additionally, as its website states, it "offers an intimate perspective into a progressive Hip Hop culture by highlighting the current events within the community and profiling those who are committed to advancing its art forms. The D2S brand also extends itself into fashion, music, and nightlife entertainment." But this week, after one long decade, D2S will call it quits (ten years is "the perfect time to move on" they say) and rather than mourn will celebrate the departure of the show that began in 2001 with a big party on Friday night (Black Friday 11/25) at club Mighty, 199 Utah Street in San Francisco in a farewell party that they are dubbing All Black Everything: Celebrating 10 Years of D2S. that will include sets by DJ Neil Armstrong.

What I personally liked about D2S, which aired on the WB channel in SF, whenever I caught it, (and I watched it mainly in the first half of its decade run on TV and online in clips for the second half of its run) was its genuine love of hip-hop culture in all its elements from graffiti to b-boying and DJing and rapping: and how it lovingly covered so many areas from classic underground 1990's hip-hop videos to (then) new hyphy artists - and amazingly managed to squeeze it all into a half hour show with commercial breaks. The impressive list of artists who appeared on the show is so long that it might be easier to list those who did not grace the screen of D2S. Even more impressive to me was how, despite its budget restrictions, the hard working folks behind D2S did a super slick job on editing and graphics etc. etc.  I have talked to many other fans of the show over the years who similarly thought highly of its commitment to hip-hop's legacy with many comparing it to Yo! MTV Raps back in its early days. Clearly the show was a labor of love with its makers going out of their way to make a quality show for little or no profit.

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Thanksgiving Mix

Posted by Billy Gil, November 24, 2011 12:22pm | Post a Comment
I had really wanted to make a Thanksgiving Day mix for this blog. Really I did. Then I got lazy. But my good friend Daiana Feuer at LA Record isn't so lazy, and she made a killer mix of tunes both old timey (Dee Dee Sharp, Nancy Sinatra) and new timey (Mika Miko, Kimya Dawson). It's like gravy! (kill me.)

Listen below or head to YouTube to watch individual vids.

November 23, 2011: The Smurfs

Posted by phil blankenship, November 24, 2011 10:29am | Post a Comment

Thanksgiving Rap By The Regulars Band

Posted by Billyjam, November 24, 2011 10:14am | Post a Comment

Fire Chief Opens Telegraph Ave to Traffic - Amoeba Berkeley Re-Opens its Doors

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 23, 2011 04:14pm | Post a Comment

After a terrible five-alarm fire in the Sequoia Building at 2441 Haste Street on the evening of Friday November 18, Amoeba Berkeley was able to open for business on Monday. Traffic has been rerouted and now access by foot, car and bus is a whole lot easier than it has been over the past few days.

The fire broke out about 8:45pm on Friday night, and at first did not seem all that serious. But by the time employees left the store at 10:30, it was really starting to spread. There were fire trucks from many surrounding precincts that had been called in to help extinguish what was by now a five-alarm fire. The fire was brought under control at about 3:15am, but it was clear that the building was entirely gutted, leaving only the facade. Because the facade is brick and could topple any time, the street was cordoned off for two blocks while they conducted their investigations, and unfortunately, that meant Amoeba Berkeley was closed on Saturday and Sunday. In all 39 apartments and two businesses (Raleigh's and Cafe Intermezzo) were lost, along with a lot of jobs. Thankfully, though, there have been no reported injuries or loss of life at this point.

Watch video here.

The building has been slated for demolition, which has been fast-tracked and should take place soon.

Amoeba Berkeley was able to re-open on Monday, just in time for an in-store performance by Kimya Dawson. It was a truly special event, with Kimya playing for about an hour and even bringing Aesop Rock on stage to perform a few songs together at the end of her set. See photos from the in-store.

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Massive LP Collection Hits the Floor at Amoeba Berkeley on Black Friday!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 23, 2011 12:20pm | Post a Comment
LP collection
Amoeba Berkeley recently bought a large LP collection from a Bay Area collector of mostly Rock and Oldies (with some Soul and Jazz) going back as much as 50 years. It includes many unusual titles and deep catalogue all brought at very fair prices. It's a collection for the imagination to run wild. These titles hit the floor for the first time on Black Friday (November 25) at Amoeba Berkeley!

"This collection is somewhat of a time capsule in nature. A mostly rock collection that I might have seen in the early '80s. Lots of interesting/unusual items that were probably passed by at that time, but now hold intrigue. Some wall items are mega-rare, mostly in the rock/psych rock arena." - Amoeba Kent

LP Collection   LP Collection

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 11.23.11: Drake, Childish Gambino, Pusha T, J Cole, Kanye West & Jay Z, RSD Black Friday @ Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2011 10:30am | Post a Comment
                         Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 11:23:11

1) Drake Take Care (Cash Money/Universal)

2)  Childish Gambino Camp (Glass Note)

3) Kanye West & Jay Z Watch The Throne (Def Jam)

4) J Cole Cole World (Columbia)

5) Pusha T Fear of God II: Let Us Pray (Fontana)

Special thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Amoeba Music Hollywood store for this week's Amoeba Hip Hop Chart which includes for the second week in a row Drake in number one slot with his latest, the artist's second album, Take Care on Cash Money/Universal which is also doing extremely well on a national level having similarly topped with a bullet the latest Billboard Top 200 Album charts, selling an impressive 700,000 units (a lot by today's standards), which were announced today (November 23rd). Late last night the artist known as Drizzy was so happy with the news of debuting at number one that he Tweeted to fans  "I can't even find the words to express my appreciation. ... 'Thank you and I owe you' is all that comes to mind ... truly."

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November 22, 2011: Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

Posted by phil blankenship, November 23, 2011 12:09am | Post a Comment

Jazz Drummer Paul Motian Dead at 80

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2011 06:22pm | Post a Comment
Influential jazz drummer Paul Motian died earlier today in New York City as a result of the bone-marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 80 years of age. Described by Jazz Times as a creator of "one of the most singular and identifiable styles in all of jazz" Motian was a jazz drummer, bandleader, and composer and widely considered one of the genre's most influential musicians of the last half century.  The Philadelphia born Motian's rich history included playing drums in pianist Bill Evans’ trio in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the 1970's he was a member of Keith Jarrett’s quartet in the US and over the years, in addition to been a band leader & composer, performed regularly alongside such musicians as Bill Frisell, Greg Osby, Joe Lovano, Masabumi Kikuchi, and Mark Turner. One of Motian's most recent recordings was last year's Misterioso by they Paul Motian Quintet on Soul Note that featured Bill Frisell, Alex Lodico, Jim Pepper, and Ed Schuller. Motian lleaves behind a deep catalog of both his own recordings and others that he contributed to including Keith Jarret's. Below is a video clip of Motian performing with The Electric Bebop Band in Brazil eight years ago at a jazz festival with a lineup that included Jakob Bro on guitar, Steve Cardenas on guitar, Chris Cheeck on tenor sax, Anders Christensen on acoustic bass, and Tony Malaby on sax.

Paul Motian & The Electric Bebop Band "It Never Entered My Mind" 
Live at Chivas Jazz Fest Brazil (2003)

FELA! at Curran Theatre in SF! Now - 12/11! Plus Knitting Factory Fela Kuti Reissues on Sale!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 22, 2011 04:35pm | Post a Comment
runs from November 15th through December 11th at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. His story inspired a nation. His music inspires the world. FELA! tells the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation.

Motivated by his mother, a civil rights champion, he defied a corrupt and oppressive military government and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity.

FELA! is a triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, featuring Fela Kuti's captivating music and the visionary direction and choreography of Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones. FELA! was nominated for 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

These Fela Kuti reissues from Knitting Factory also on sale at Amoeba Music San Francisco:

Original Suffer Head
Live with Ginger Baker
He Miss Road / Expensive Shit

Also on sale from Knitting Factory:
Fela Kuti - Best of the Black President
Seun Kuti - From Africa With Fury: Rise
Femi Kuti - Africa for Africa
Lijadu Sisters – Danger
(Sale ends 12/13/11)

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Amoeba Hollywood Classical Event: 12/3

Posted by Rubin Meisel, November 22, 2011 04:26pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba has purchased a large Classical collection from a well-known collector. This unique collection has many thousands of rare Classical CDs and LPs along with many collectable soundtracks. This is without doubt the finest collection of Classical Music that Amoeba Hollywood has ever acquired. Collection will be highlighted in our classical music department through 12/31!

  • Thousands of titles 
  • Rare Classical labels, including Hyperion, Chandos, Lyrita, Naxos, Marco Polo, Dutton and many others.
  • Enormous range of composers particularly those that are hard to find. Special emphasis on Romantic and 20th century mainstream composers along with an array of film composers.
  • Collection is in pristine mint to near mint condition
  • Significant amount of CDs are currently not in print
  • Many rare soundtracks from private labels
  • Competitively priced

Any questions regarding the collection should be sent to [email protected]

Here is a sampling of the items available for sale in this Classical collection. See more titles available from this collection in our Classical Buy Stuff section on

Stokowski/Houston Symphony
Gliere: Symphony No. 3/Loeffler: A Pagan Poem (CD)
EMI Classics

Leopold Stokowski’s brilliant Capitol 1957 recordings of Gliere’s "Ilya Morametz Symphony," along with Loeffler’s "Pagan Poem." These are early stereo audiophile treasures that were used to test the mettle of early tube stereo systems.

Philharmonia Orchestra/New Philharmonica Orchestra
The Klemperer Legacy: Mahler/Wagner/Strauss (CD)
EMI Classics

Mahler’s "Symphony 9" in a great recording by Mahler disciple Otto Klemperer along with equally profound recordings of Strauss’s "Metamorphosen" and Wagner’s "Sigfried Idyll" played by the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.  

Bamert/BBC Philharmonic
Dohnanyi: Symphony No. 2/Symphonic Minutes (CD)

Erno von Dohnyani was a brilliant composer/Pianist from the late romantic era whose work should be better known. This Chandos recording of "Second Symphony" and "Symphonic Minutes" are true finds as conducted by Matthias Bamert.  

Soundtrack (CD)

Two almost unknown TV soundtracks: Jericho, one of the rarest of Jerry Goldsmith scores from a failed 1985 series; and a very rare John Williams score from a 1966 Sci- Fi pilot The Ghostbreaker when he still was professionally known as Johnny Williams (his "Lost in Space" period).

We have aquired a number of the Classic Recordings label Audiophile LP reissues of RCA Famed "Shaded Dog" recordings from the early days of stereo.
The Age Of Gold Ballet Suite / Symphony No. 1
[Living Stereo] (LP)
RCA Victor

Jean Martinon’s highly sought 1958 recording of Shostakovich "Symphony # 1" and "Age of Gold Suite."  

Fritz Reiner / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Strauss Waltzes (LP)
RCA Victor

The most famous of the "Shaded Dogs" are conducted by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony. One of the rarer ones is "Strauss Waltzes" from 1961.  

(In which we research the magic of 3.14.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 22, 2011 02:09pm | Post a Comment

[insert terrifying caption here]

Unlike many, I look forward to Thanksgiving not because of what I get to eat, but what I get to cook. For this reason, I love to host the holiday. In a village like Los Angeles, it’s usually easy to find many lost little lambs who’ve no place to eat (and no ability to manage kitchens themselves). Honestly, it’s like flunking Home-Ec is a requirement to moving to the City of Angels; I guess Type-A personalities don’t have a lot of patience for braising.

Nothing makes me feel more like a magical wizard than when cooking-challenged people like my boyfriend watch me prep food. Am I roasting zucchini or casting a sleep spell on the whole kingdom? Because his reaction would be interchangeable in either event.

I learned to cook from my Mom; sometimes instruction was direct, but mostly I just hung around the kitchen while she cooked and made a nuisance of myself, learning by observation. I was hypnotized by corn starch and its ability to turn any liquid in to a thick sauce. Separating an egg seemed like a delicate and ancient Chinese dance, and gee whiz…! See what you can do when you whip those egg whites?

There were some causalities, from which I grew wiser. One sneaky bite of unsweetened chocolate taught me that some of life’s greatest pleasures can come from something so foul. I learned Tupperware cannot be used like a pot on the burners, and soon after I learned how hard it is to clean cooked and melted plastic off a grill. One of the few scars I have on my body is on the knuckle of my left thumb from the first time I learned how to use a peeler – I don’t remember what fruit I cut myself on, but I’ve always remembered how to hold the instruments securely since then. Oh! And I learned it doesn’t take very many bittersweet chocolate chips to destroy an appetite.

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Rolling Stones 1978 Album "Some Girls" Gets Reissued This Week In Remastered Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and LP Editions

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

This week, 33 years after its original release, the Rolling Stones' critically and commercially acclaimed 1978 album that topped the Billboard 200 album charts and spawned the crossover disco-blues fused worldwide megahit "Miss You," Some Girls is being re-released in a newly remastered form that is now available at Amoeba Music in three versions: the Some Girls remastered LP pressing, Some Girls Deluxe edition CD, and the Some Girls Super-Deluxe edition CD which include unreleased songs and a single for "Beast of Burden."

As aptly noted by the Amoeba Online Store reviewer of the Some Girls Remastered 2-CD Deluxe Edition, "The remaster gives the drums especially a terrific crispness. And the bonus disc is far from inessential, showing a range of different tacks the band could have taken on Some Girls, including the country jangle of “Claudine” and the rollicking “Do You Think I Really Care,” in which Jagger outsneers the punks coming up behind him."

That comment makes reference to the fact that Some Girls was released at a time when punk was in its prime and established rockers like Jagger were seen as old fogies past their prime and creativeness. Recorded between October 1977 and March 1978 Some Girls, with its obvious punk influences, was seen as Jagger's reaction to this attitude. But beyond punk and its even more obvious disco/dance influences Some Girls was really Jagger's paean to New York City (the song "Shattered" with lyrics like "Life's just a cocktail party on the street, Big Apple people dressed in plastic bags directing traffic" "or "Miss You" with Jagger singing how "I been walking Central Park" - are among the album's many examples) with countless references and nods throughout to the Big Apple which, at the time, was in its most run-down, albeit decadent, best.

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Dave "Baby" Cortez Makes Comeback After Four Decades, Thanks to Norton Records

Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2011 02:46pm | Post a Comment

Dave "Baby" Cortez at Norton 25 Year Anniversary Party, Bell House, Brooklyn NY(2011)

Echoing LL Cool J's famous lyrics many artists will defensively say "Don't call it a comeback" when their seeming return to the music biz after an extended hiatus warrants talk of "a comeback" among fans and/or the media. But in the case of Dave "Baby" Cortez, who has not been heard from in the music biz for four long decades, his return can most definitely be called a comeback. And this most welcome comeback by the legendary Detroit artist, who has the distinction of scoring the first ever instrumental No. 1 hit single on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart back in 1959 with his single "The Happy Organ" (from the album Dave "Baby" Cortez and His Happy Organ (RCA Records) featuring the electronic organ as lead instrument, is thanks to the good folks at Norton Records who next week (November 29th) will officially release on CD and vinyl Dave Baby Cortez With Lonnie Youngblood & His Youngbloods - the artist's first album since 1972's Soul Vibration. Thanks for bringing back Cortez also goes out to fellow Detroit musician Mick Collins from the Detroit garage bands The Dirtbombs and The Gories who was instrumental in bringing back the artist and also is the one responsible for production on the new return release. In celebration of the new release Cortez, now 73, recently performed a great set at the Norton Records 25 Year Anniversary party at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. My man Mr Fine Wine from WFMU was at the show and met him, calling him "a great sweet natured unassuming guy and great musician." Look for the new album (CD and vinyl) at Amoeba Music next Tuesday onwards.

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Radio Sombra Debut & The Future of Internet Radio In East L.A.

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 20, 2011 11:50pm | Post a Comment
Last Thursday, I took part in the debut of, a new Internet radio station based out of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. My show was one of several that debuts that night as part of a new collective. Among the debuts were The Tao Of Funkahuatl hosted legendary Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara, Art & Grooves, an aptly titled show by art curator and deejay Reyes Rodriguez. Another show is Merkado Negro, hosted by Nico from Los Poets Del Norte and DJ Libre. their show concentrates on everything underground in the real Eastside from subversive art and music to community –building projects. My personal favorite is the brilliant Heart Break Radio, hosted by Lady Imix from Imix Books. Just like the title insinuates, it's a collection of songs to cry yourself to sleep.

Discos Immigrantes is the name of my show. It will focus on the migration of records and people, which in some cases are quite similar. In future shows, I will have interviews from folks who have either immigrated to the U.S. or who are the product of immigration (i.e. first generation Americans) The show will focus on their stories and music they have brought with them, whether in the physical form or in their memories.

Radio Sombra is the brainchild of Marco Amador, a musician and long time community activist, who set up the station and for the time being, is financing the operation. I spoke to him briefly on why he felt the need to start an Internet station in the heart of East L.A.

What made you start this station?

I felt although the technology to start an Internet radio has been around for some time now, it was not something common in our neighborhood. Sure, people have access to join other Internet radio stations around Los Angeles and that is good, but we wanted to create radio programming that is unique to our community. I feel that it is important to have our own space, our own voice. Our goal is that our station would be defined by the community its in.

What was behind picking the hosts for the debut?

All the hosts are people have spaces for creativity or create great art themselves. The hosts have created spaces such as Imix Books and Tropical De Nopal, events such Eclectica and CaminArte, or in the case of Ruben Guevara, have been creating music and movements for decades. It is important to introduce them to the community that may not know them. The best thing about Internet radio is that it is worldwide, in a sense; we are introducing some of the most creative minds of our community to the rest of the world. I want to give a voice to those who have been doing great things in the community for a while. 

As you mentioned earlier, there are many great avenues for people to have radio shows in Los Angeles. Dublab.Com has been strong for 10 years. Killradio.Org opens its doors to new programming on a regular basis. Even KPFK 90.7, allows some sort of community programming. Why not them instead of starting another radio station?

Our primary objective is to make it available to people in the community of East Los Angeles and not only offer them the chance to broadcast but a space to create as well. Yes, you can find other avenues but you can’t find it in East Los Angeles, and that’s a problem. Most community programs offered in East L.A. are geared towards children, which is great, but what about adults? What avenues are given to artists or the community organizers to express themselves? There needs to be something for them as well. A way to express themselves artistically as well as socially. Some of the other progressive stations have an all-talk format throughout the day, with a few music shows at night. We want to have a balance of both. On top of that, Internet radio is great for learning to link with other community through out the world. Our voices will be globally as well as locally.

What is next for Radio Sombra?

We will continue to build our programming; we also will be broadcasting live from Eastside Luv on November 30th. It will be musical performances by some special surprise guests & myself. It will also feature DJ sets from our Radio Sombra DJs. That will be from 8 pm to 2 am. PST

AFI Fest Review: Carré Blanc, Into the Abyss

Posted by Charles Reece, November 20, 2011 11:18pm | Post a Comment

Writer-director Jean-Baptiste Leonetti's first feature-length is a re-imagining of Soylent Green by way of Children of Men. That is, the poor are used as food, but there is a pervasive concern for keeping the world populated (represented by an omnipresent count, the 'white square' of the title being most literally the recurring digitized zero). Instead of being the structural underbelly of bourgeois society (white-collar squares), in this dystopia, violence has risen to the surface as their defining privilege to act out the most barbarous of urges while the disadvantaged (those paradoxically less inclined towards sociopathic behavior) are left to hold up a genteel appearance. Violence is the master signifier here: corporate training consists of a variety of sadistic tests to see if the employee has what it takes to move up the latter. He or she has to think outside the (white) box to pass onto the next level (shitting on others who haven't made it as high). Understandably, no one wants to have children in such a world.   

Werner Herzog's new documentary is thoroughly described and critiqued by Lorrie Moore over at the NYRBlog, so I don't have much to add. Despite being ardently opposed to the death penalty himself, Herzog manages to portray the various lives involved in the execution of Michael Perry for the murder of three people in the Texas town of Cut and Shoot without polemics. It's expected of Herzog to make great documentaries, and Into the Abyss is no exception. What I enjoyed the most was the way his patented drollery complements what his subjects have to say. As he stated in the Q&A, he had no wish to condescend against Texans, and there are no narcissistic "gotcha" moments with which Michael Moore made his reptuation. Instead, Herzog understands the depressive redneck milieu, laughing at the more surreal stories rather than at the people doing the telling. These are people who've known little but violence, death and crime, so they tend to share the director's bleak view of life. 

Pasadena City College - Flea Market & Record Swap, 12/4

Posted by Amoebite, November 20, 2011 02:46pm | Post a Comment
Record swap pasadena flea market amoeba music

On Sunday, December 4th, 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.


November 19, 2011: Footloose

Posted by phil blankenship, November 20, 2011 07:43am | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 11.18.11

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2011 04:31pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Eleven Week Ending 11:18:11

1) Drake Take Care (Cash Money/Universal)

2) Lateef The Truthspeaker Firewire (Quannum)

3) DJ Shadow The Less You Know The Better (Verve)

4) Wale Ambition (Warner Bros.)

5) Celph Titled & Buckwild Nineteen Ninety More (No Sleep)

6) Locksmith Embedded (Dd172)

7) Webbie Savage Life 3 (Trill)

8) Flash Bang Grenada 10 Haters (Hellfyre Club)

9) Hired Hand Hired Hand (Fake Four Inc.)

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Amoebapalooza 2011: Two Tons of Fun in the Bay Area! 12/4 & 12/11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 17, 2011 05:00pm | Post a Comment
Attention citizens of the Bay Area:
We hope you like to party and we hope you like to rawk, because Amoebapalooza is back on BOTH sides of the bay! Twice as nice AND too much to handle! But that's how we do in the Area by the Bay. These celebrations of homegrown music and the enduring human spirit are open to the public, so come on down!

Cafe Du Nord
, 8pm!
Hey, it's San Francisco and everyone knows that we buit this city on...the musical styling of Gabi Beck, Liquid Karma, SCHNITZELKLIT, Aqua Buddha, Soda Jerks, James Taylor Marked For Death, The Tree Skirts, Windham Flat, Shark Taint, and Vanishing Breed. Shake your things on the dance floor between sets with DJ Kindle! And guiding you through it all is MC Tarin.

RSVP on Facebook & spread the word:

Special thanks to our friends at SIR SF for donating the backline for the second year in a row! Contact SIR for all of your equipment needs. DO it!

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out this week 11/8 & 11/15...Atlas Sound...Korallreven...Sigur Ros...This Mortal Coil...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 17, 2011 12:23pm | Post a Comment
It looks like we are in the middle of November. I hope you all are ready. The releases keep coming throughout this month. But will soon be slowing down a bit. It has been a busy couple of months. We now need to all take some time and cherish these music releases and give them the time that they deserve. You might need to go back a couple of months and catch up on some new releases you have missed. Or spend some more time with some of the albums that you just didn't have time to listen to. I know that is how I feel. I am in the middle of compiling my top 50 albums of the year. And probably more than half the list will be filled with albums out the last couple of months.

I finally broke open my This Mortal Coil Box set today and I couldn't be happier. I still think it is a bit too expensive for what you get. But it is almost worth it. I guess. I do love This Mortal Coil. I have loved them for so long and spent so much time with these three albums over the last 20 years or so. I guess they deserve me spending some money on them after all they have done for me. I can't really imagine getting through the 90's without This Mortal Coil. They were really not like much else that I listened to. But I needed them. These albums helped me go to sleep at night. They helped me get through the rough times and heartache. The albums are all dark and dreamy. But I never looked at these albums as depressing. There are actually some pop songs on these albums too. They are just all beautiful pieces of art. The artwork is amazing and perfect. And the songs flow great on the albums. I think I actually picked up my first This Mortal Coil album based solely on the artwork. And I may have actually gotten into This Mortal Coil before The Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. This Mortal Coil was sort of like my gateway drug to 4AD. It was all over at that point. I was hooked for life on 4AD. I posted some info on preordering the box set last month. Here is the info on the This Mortal Coil box set preorder. However, It is of course out now. And I am proud to be in the same company of those of you who preordered the box. I did give you a chance to get it early! We are currently sold out of the box at Amoeba Hollywood. But hopefully will be getting more stock in the next couple of weeks. The albums sound fantastic. Just as great as you remember but better.

atlas sound
Atlas Sound also just put out a new album. Atlas Sound is the solo version of Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. I really have not given this new Atlas Sound album enough time yet. But it is a fantastic album. I would expect nothing less from this guy. I have been interested in this dude for a while now. Here is my review of Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel from the blog back in February of 2008. He also released Logos in 2009 as Atlas Sound. And has just put out Parallax. I do love the album cover. One of my favorites of the year. Very simple. But I think it is perfect cover for this album. The album is dreamy and a bit weird. Exactly what I would expect from this dude. He is like a dream pop crooner. It might take a couple listens to grow on you. But you will love it.

Check out "Lightworks" by Atlas Sound from the new album Parallax...

Yet another album has been released to make me fall in love with Sweden even more. I am a huge fan of the Radio Dept. So I was of course excited to find out that two of its members were starting up a new band called Korallreven. Johan Duncanson and Daniel Tjader are Korallreven. They have been slowly releasing some singles over the years. But the full length album has finally just been released. An Album by Korallreven is worth the wait. Another fantastic dream pop album from Sweden for us to enjoy. Another reason for me to be obsessed with Sweden.

Check out the first song on the album "As Young As Yesterday" by Korallreven from An Album by Korallreven...

I am still hoping for another Sigur Ros album at some point. I love Jonsi. But I was a bit disappointed with his solo album. It just had me hoping for a new Sigur Ros album. So we don't really have a new album by Sigur Ros. But this is close enough. They have just released Inni. A live album. But a live album is almost better than a studio album by Sigur Ros. If you have ever seen Sigur Ros live then you know what I am talking about. They are amazing live. It is a visual experience as much as an audio experience. So this new live album of course comes with a DVD. There are three different ways that you can choose to own this new album. There is an LP version that comes with the 2LP live album and then also with the DVD. There is a Blu-ray version in Blu-ray packaging that comes with the Blu-ray and then also the 2CD. Then there is a CD version in CD packaging that comes with the 2CD and the DVD. I actually wish that there was a fourth version that came with the LP and the Blu-ray. The first pressing of the LP is on clear vinyl so I recommend that you get your copy sooner rather than later. And yes the album is just as great as you would expect it to be. If you love Sigur Ros then you will love this live album. I have not had a chance to watch the Blu-ray yet. But the audio portion of this album is fantastic.

also out 11/8...

by Atlas Sound

Crazy Clown Time
by David Lynch

Humor Risk
By Cass McCombs

by Oneohtrix Point Never

Carrion Crawler/Dream
by Thee Oh Sees

This Mortal Coil [Box Set]
by This Mortal Coil

Smoke Ring For My Halo [Deluxe Edition]
by Kurt Vile

also out 11/15...

by Childish Gambino

Radiant Door
by Crystal Stilts

Both Ways Open Jaws
by The Do

An Album by Korallreven
by Korallreven

Hello Sadness
by Los Campesinos

by Odonis Odonis

by Sigur Ros

Keak da Sneak Returns with "Keak Hendrix"

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2011 10:24am | Post a Comment
Longtime Bay Area rap sensation Keak da Sneak will be dropping his first official album in two years when, early next month, he will release Keak Hendrix on EHustl Records. As a Bay Area artist Keak Da Sneak has enjoyed two separate runs of success & fame in his two-decade spanning career. First he was part of the duo Dual Committee with Agerman which morphed into the renowned Oakland hardcore rap trio 3X Krazy (Keak, Agerman, and B.A.).

3X Krazy arrived in the latter half of the nineties on the Bay rap scene; at first as an indie act but soon after picked up by Virgin Records' Noo Trybe imprint to release a series of albums including their well received debut Stackin' Chips. This led to Keak's high-profile, prolific solo career that included such solo albums as Sneakacydal, Retaliation, and Town Business to name but a few. More significantly Keak da Sneak became the premier artist of Bay Area bred Hyphy movement, being widely credited with coining the actual term "hyphy" and, not surprisingly, consequently going on to become one of the ill-fated regional rap sub-genre's most recognizable stars.

In addition to his numerous solo albums and guest spots on other artists' releases and compilations Keak has also collaborated over the years with many other artists on full-length projects such as 2004's Dope Game with B.A., The Jacka, Husalah & Verstyle, and 2008's stellar Welcome to Scokland with veteran Fillmore rapper San Quinn.

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November 16, 2011: Real Steel

Posted by phil blankenship, November 16, 2011 11:56pm | Post a Comment

Get it Girls! The Sandwitches: New Single, New Videos, New Tour!

Posted by Kells, November 16, 2011 05:20pm | Post a Comment
Ever saunter past that dive-y drag joint on 16th between Mission and Valencia and find yourself wondering just what is up, er, goes down all night and all day at Esta Noche? Devotees of local darlings the Sandwitches caught a peek of the ladies' very own savory stage show à la Noche in their new Ryan Brown directed video for "In the Garden" -- the lead off track for this year's stellar full-length LP Mrs. Jones' Cookies (brought to you by the fine folks at Empty Cellar Records) -- featuring more than a few fab familiar faces of Amoeba Music SF. Work it out, ladies, werrrrrrrk!

This vid release comes hot-off-the-heels of another stellar Sandy jam: the girls' new two-song 7" single "The Pearl" (out on Hardly Art) dropped last week, a video for the b-side "Benny's Memory Palace" also having just been released, and with Grace and Heidi embarking on a Sandwitches European tour it would seem that our little hometown trio is poised for some long-overdue appreciation and recognition. From here on out let there be no mention of their beginnings as back-up singers (even if it is, tsk, one of the better aspects of them Fresh & Onlys). Come get the single (it's naught but $4.98), enjoy the vids (try not to over-ogle) and, if you can, get off your duff support the Sandwitches' local color-stories as they paint the Old World gold this November. Sophia McInerney's video for "Benny's Memory Palace" follows below:

Free Screening of Desperate Teenage Lovedolls at Berkeley's Local 123 Cafe Tonight

Posted by Billyjam, November 16, 2011 09:31am | Post a Comment

Desperate Teenage Lovedolls trailer (1984)

For this week's Cinematheque 123 film series at Berkeley's Local 123 Cafe on San Pablo near University tonight's screening will be of David Markey's 1984 campy, cult film Desperate Teenage Lovedolls that was shot completely on super-8. As the trailer above states, the low budget Desperate Teenage Lovedolls takes place in a world "where drugs and cheap thrills fill the date book" and "where rock & roll means death & destruction." Lovedolls' basic story line follows the rise and fall of the three teenage runaways Bunny, Kitty, and Patch - who make up The Runaways-like female rock trio The Lovedolls.

The movie, which has a great soundtrack including Redd Kross, Black Flag, and the Nip Drivers, was chosen for tonight's screening by curator/brewmaster Alexa Pantalone. Desperate Teenage Lovedolls screens at 7pm this evening (November 16) at Cinematheque 123 which meets Wednesday evenings at Local 123 Cafe at 2049 San Pablo Ave  Berkeley, California 94702 (510) 647-5270. No cover and $1 popcorn bowls, in addition to plenty of beer and wine to chose from. And rather than attend a screening of someone else's work if you want to screen your own film, or showcase your band or host a community event at this wonderful, community driven, cultural crossroads email [email protected] and visit the Local 123 Cafe website.

November 15, 2011: The Muppets

Posted by phil blankenship, November 15, 2011 11:46pm | Post a Comment

Exclusive RSD Black Friday Releases

Posted by Amoebite, November 15, 2011 07:40pm | Post a Comment
Black Friday exclusives

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is fast approaching. The folks at Record Store Day have helped to organize a series of exclusive items just for indie record stores to be released on Black Friday. The list is pretty big, so we wanted to highlight some of the titles and give you the chance to view or print the entire list (PDF) so you can be prepared on Friday November 25. Just a heads up that the stock may differ between the three stores as well. 

Amoeba Hollywood
We will hold exclusive RSD releases behind our front counters. Line will form outside the store no earlier than 8 a.m. on Saturday. Product is limited to stock on hand and available to customers on a first come, first served basis. Limit one per title per customer. Store opens at 10:30 a.m.

Huge Black Friday Turntable Sale at Amoeba Hollywood! All turntables 20% off, plus even bigger deals on Audio-Technica LP 60 and Crosley Keepsake turntables. Limited to stock on hand. Friday 11/25 only.

Amoeba San Francisco & Berkeley
We will feature exclusive RSD releases on our sales floor. Product is limited to stock on hand and available to customers on a first come, first served basis. Limit one per title per customer. Stores open at 10:30 a.m.

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New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 11/16 Jurgen Muller, John Daly, Marcel Dettmann, Elektro Guzzi, Lowtec, Untold and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 15, 2011 05:32pm | Post a Comment
Jurgen Muller
Science Of The Sea LP

New and perhaps final repress, all copies are on a marbled metallic sky blue vinyl. Jürgen Müller was a self-taught amateur musician who, while studying oceanic science at the University of Kiel, purchased some electronic instruments and set up a mobile studio on his house boat, docked along the town of Heikendorf, on the North Sea. He held a life-long fascination with the ocean, the expansive and endless inner-space of the deep, where he felt many ecological miracles had yet to be discovered, and which kindled a love for the unknown. This love of all things nautical started early in his youth and eventually led him to study the oceanic sciences. For one week in 1979, Jürgen took up with a film crew on a mission to document some sea-water toxicity testing that was being performed by a couple of notable biologists, only a few kilometers offshore. At the end of the expedition, he decided that he would make music to capture the strange feeling conjured by these experiences. Utilizing only a handful of barely-remembered childhood piano lessons, Jürgen set about creating his marine-influenced vignettes with some electronic instruments he had gathered through friends, as well as borrowing some new equipment from a local school's music department. As a general music lover, earlier in the '70s he had taken note of several avant-garde electronic composers who he felt simultaneously captured a purity of sound and sense of wonder that was lacking in other music. He dreamt of fusing this ideal with the synthetic recreations of nature. In a sense, one could say he stumbled onto an early "new age" aesthetic through pure ignorance and coincidence. Mixing relaxing ambient tones and spooky, otherworldly sounds, he came up with a unique approach. After filling several reels of home recordings, he held ambitions of becoming a film composer. He decided to start his own publishing company, Neue Wissenschaft, and hoped to compose albums to sell as production music to various film companies for use in documentaries and television programs. As he was simultaneously hard at work on his studies to finish school, he had to work on his music in short intervals, and often had to put it aside altogether. As a result, it took several years for him to actually realize his sole full-length recording, Science Of The Sea, the sessions for which began in late 1981, before finishing a year later. Less than 100 copies were pressed, and few of them were even sent out to potential clients. Most copies were eventually given to friends and family. Jürgen's musical gamble never quite paid off as he had hoped, and without any outside interest or connections in the music world, he soon abandoned any dreams of a musical existence and instead chose to further his oceanographic career. Remastered from the original tapes by Brad Rose. Cut to vinyl at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin and pressed in Germany.

Purchase Science of the Sea here

Lions Of Judah
Rhythmatism 12"


Steadfast Records presents three smoking tracks of deep, chunky techno from a collaborative project featuring John Daly and the mystery man known as 19.454. Actually, it seems like there's only two tracks, but if you weren't blazed enough to forget 19.454.'s (wtf?) deep RA podcast, you should smoke this!

Purchase Rythmatism here

Marcel Dettmann

Conducted Sampler 1 & 2 12"
Music Man

Music Man Records is proud to present a sampler of the second mix CD from Marcel Dettmann. The tracklist of Conducted (MM 036CD) includes a mixture of new-to-be discovered talents, old-to-be re-discovered gems, and a few usual suspects. Conducted is a timeless mix from one of the most important players in today's techno scene. This is the first of two vinyl samplers, including tracks by Bluemoon Productions (1990!), Morphosis, Signal and FBK, the second of two vinyl samplers, includes tracks by Cheeba Starks (1996!), Vril, The Analogue Cops and Answer Code Request.

Purchase Sampler 1 here
Purchase Sampler 2 here

Elektro Guzzi

Parquet 2x12"

Elektro Guzzi deliver one of the most thrilling live performance models for techno and an innovative leap in the art of band performance at the very same time. It's almost the antithesis to what a band is supposed to be. While they use guitar, bass and drums only, they take the most unusual playing techniques and put them together into a rigid mechanical form where it all makes instant, evident sense. Yet, if they had not performed live extensively, becoming audience favorites from Mutek to Sónar or Berghain to Fabric, it would be hard to believe this is really how the music is created. Parquet, their second studio album, sees them in an unprecedented monomaniacal techno mode. Throughout the nine tracks, the distinctions between instruments and roles are totally vaporized. While their instrumental approach is at the core of their aesthetics, it really doesn't matter anymore if one sound comes from a guitar or bass or drum -- it has all been merged into one sonic unit and all there is, is the music as a unified entity. While all the qualities of live performance are at hand -- real-time interaction, visual plausibility, instant miniscule adaptations -- it is a radical break with what group performances have been about so far.Parquet is as much a straight-up club music record as it is rich with nuances and details. Astonishingly, while being their most rigid and dance-centered work to date, it also holds outbursts of beauty with tonal lines, ringing overtones and warm resonances. The rhythms are stripped down to the core and structured for affecting longer stretches of perception. Every track comes with a distinctive, almost "branding" feature -- like the hypnotic meter-shifting line of "Affumicato," the gated chords of "Pentagonia" or the abridged rhythm of "Absorber." Actually, it all was recorded directly to analog tape. No edits, no overdubs. It's the man-machine in real time and a hint at the love Elektro Guzzi put in the process.

Purchase Parquet here


Colored 12”

The title cut is a slice of edgy Berlin tech house that pumps along from the outset. "DARRYNANE" is an uncomfortably jittering beat compression over subtle, swirling synths and vocal samples that make for a hypnotic groove. "TWIZEL" is a lush, minimal deep house groove.

Purchase Colored here


Little Things Like That 12”
Clone Basement Series

Untold dropping two big tracks that will let no dancefloor unimpaired! After many amazing releases in the past years we have been impressed many times by his work. Now somehow everything falls at place for a Clone release, with Untold somehow bridging the gap between uk Bass music and the more 4/4 spectrum of music that we think must be experienced in a no-nonsense setting with a proper soundsystem (which is the main inspiration for the Basement series). Enjoy!

Purchase Little Things Like That here

Inertia #1 & #2
Ann Aimee

Part one consists of four modern techno tracks on this first release of an Ann Aimee compilation series. All four new and exclusive tracks deal in techno urgency. Delta Funktionen goes deep and dramatic, Peter Van Hoesen offers up his usual dub-wise textures, while Lindau pairs icy hi-hats with a heavy, stomping beat. Sawlin offers the trippiest techno with his delightfully disheveled "Excipidial." Part Top of Form Part two of the four-part Inertia sampler. Previously unreleased. First up is Frenchman Marcelus, who offers a heavy house and techno fusion, before London's Sighagoes deep and ominous with "Finding Myself." Redshape and Area Forty_One close out the package with frozen, static-coated sounds and textured techno, respectively.

Purchase #1 here
Purchase #2 here

Claude Young & Takasi Nakajima
Roland S Faber/Gegen Den Strom
HNNY-Kornel Kovacs/Barn 006
De-Lite-Desiya/Wild Times Rmx
DMX Krew/Broken SD140
Erik Travis/Big Spender
Creative Swing Alliance/CSA EP
A Sagittarium/Circle Stops Som
Dax J & Chris Stainford/Progra
Altered Natives/White Label #1
Ivano Tetelepta/Smokin' G
Joseph Bacchilego/Human Form
Rich Oddie of Orphx/SFLTD001
Violet Poison/Violet Poison
Obtane & Giorgio Gigli-Tin Man
B Bravo/KISS 'N' TELL EP 12”
Il Bosco/EP 1 12”
Kassem Mosse/ENOHA EP 12”
Lee Scratch Perry vs Digital Mystikz/12"
Craggz & Parallel/FUTURE SHOCK-JUBEI 12”
Kyoto Jazz Massive/MOONSTARR EDITS 7”
COTTAM: Deep Deep Down EP 12"
TIGER ROSE: Food For Dreams 12"
INKSWEL: Glass Tear Groove EP 12”
SCNTST: Monday 12”
KEVIN GORMAN: Cast (Jonas Kopp Remix) 12”
EFDEMIN: Chicago Remixes (2) 12"
KEZ YM: Stride EP 12"
KOLSCH: Speicher 70 12”
CARLOS NILMMNS: Subculture 12”
RAUDIVE: Love Is The Devil 12"
SHIMMY SHAM SHAM: Shimmy Sham Sham 04 12"
WILLIAM FOWLER COLLINS: The Resurrections Unseen LP

Amoeba Hollywood Celebrated 10 Years With a KCRW Live Broadcast

Posted by Amoebite, November 15, 2011 03:53pm | Post a Comment
Anyone who's been to Amoeba Hollywood on a Saturday knows that it's always the busiest day of the week. Saturday November 12, 2011 was a reflection of this simple fact, with one major addition: Amoeba Music celebrated 10 years of serving the Hollywood community!!! Amoeba Hollywood officially opened its doors on November 17, 2001 and we decided to celebrate a few days early: filling the store with colorful balloons, conducting trivia contests, and doing what we do best - helping locals, regulars, and visitors find the music, movies, and memorabilia they can't get anywhere else.

Chris DouridasThis Saturday was also extra special with the help of the crew from KCRW 89.9FM, who were broadcasting live all day from Amoeba's famous stage. This was the first time KCRW ever did a live radio broadcast and the first time Amoeba ever hosted one.

KCRW DJ Chris Douridas kicked things off from 12-2pm, playing a broad mix of tunes from the wonderfully bleak "My Autumn's Done Come" by Lee Hazelwood to the sweet and honest vibes of Michael Kiwanuka's "Tell Me a Tale;" from Ray Charles' pitch perfect version of Sam Cooke's "Laughin' and Clownin" to a brand new Black Keys single, "Lonely Boy" (new album El Camino out Dec. 6th!). KCRW had some challenging trivia questions about the station, with winning answers receiving KCRW hats and Amoeba gift certificates. KCRW also held a Willy Wonka style scavenger hunt with staffers and DJs hiding "golden tickets" among the Amoeba racks: tickets to their December 3rd "Are Friends Eclectic?" concert.

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Raleigh Moncrief's Wonderful New Anticon Album "Watered Lawn"

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Raleigh Moncrief "Cast Out for Days" (2011)

Often times it is the artists who defy category (the ones who can be filed under more than one section) who are the most exciting ones to listen to. Such is the case with Sacramento producer/instrumentalist/vocalist Raleigh Moncrief whose genre-defying full-length debut debut, Watered Lawn, has been creating a bit of a buzz since it was released three weeks ago by Anticon receiving attention all over including on The Onion website's AV section this week where an inspired remix by Deerhoof (and featuring LA emcee Busdriver) of the new album track "In This Grass" was posted. The ever engaging eleven track Watered Lawn's sound runs the gamut from folky to electronic to glitchy and manically layered seductive chopped up beats with soothing melodies, and even more other styles and sounds that shift through various moods and incorporate everything from psychedelia to West African guitar riffs, and the artist's unique falsetto thrown in the mix too.

Standout tracks on Watered Lawn include the cinematic "Lament For Morning" (video below), and "Cast Out For Day" (brand new video above). The album, the long time artist's first official solo (although he has released under the radar some solo music over past few years), finally puts this behind-the-scenes player in center stage where he deserves to be and on a label that commands respect.

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The Berkeley Arts Festival presents OFF Festival, 12/9 & 12/10.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 14, 2011 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Off Festival Berkeley Arts

25 musicians, 6 bands, 2 nights! Whoo-hoo!

Amoeba Music is a proud sponsor of the Berkeley Arts Festival's OFF Festival, whichRalph Carney highlights the best of the 1990's Bay Area creative music scene with a power packed line-up featuring the Rova Saxophone Quartet playing a tribute to Bay Area tenor saxophone great Glenn Spearman, local legend Ralph Carney, Pluto, Pamela Z, Gino Robair's Improvcore Orchestra 3000, Dan Plonsey’s New Monsters, and a reunion of the avant jazz group The Manufacturing of Humidifiers, all in two action-packed nights.

The festival runs Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th at 2133 University Avenue - just off the corner of Shattuck, in beautiful Downtown Berkeley. Sliding scale admission (suggested donation $10-20).

Fall 2011 San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival Presented by Peaches Christ & Sam Sharkey, 11/19 in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 14, 2011 05:58pm | Post a Comment

The Fall 2011 San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival (SFUSFF), presented by Peaches Christ and Sam Sharkey, hits the Victoria Theatre on Saturday, November 19th!  

SFUSFF is dedicated to supporting underground cinema from Bay Area filmmakers. This raucously, thrilling evening will include 33(!) short films spread out over two programs:  
ACT 1 begins at 7:30pm and ACT 2 (Shorts After Dark) at 10:30pm.
Tickets are $15 for each individual program, $20 for both, and Peaches Christ Fan Club members will receive a $2 discount offer. Buy tickets and become a member at!

The SFUSFF will be a physically immersive event with Christ and Sharkey kicking off the night with a Live Rock Show, followed by special appearances from some of the filmmakers themselves and the stars of the films. What’s special this season is ACT 2 of the evening, or as it’s called this season, Shorts After Dark. This 2nd program will feature the more adult content of the festival (basically all the blood and sex), so you know you have to stay for both!

SFUSFF celebrates the underground, overlooked, avant-garde, and ultra outrageous films of the Bay Area. SFUSFF has run since 2003 as the concluding event of the Midnight Mass screening series, which began in 1998.

San Fran SF Underground Film Fest Peaches Christ

Races Release EP, Play the Echo

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2011 04:17pm | Post a Comment

Races: Lucas Ventura, Devo Higgins, Wade Ryff, Breanna Wood, Oliver Hild and Garth Herberg. Photo by Bryan Sheffield.

L.A.'s Races will release their Big Broom EP tomorrow on Frenchkiss Records. To commemorate that release, they'll play the Echo tonight at 10 p.m. with dark dancers The Chain Gang of 1974 (as part of their November residency there) and Polaris at Noon — the show starts at 8:30 and it's free.

Atmospheric rockers Races played their first show just two years ago in October of 2009, haphazardly assembled from friends playing in other bands, and already have drawn a following with their big sound, built from the ground up by six members playing smoothed out classic rock licks with a gentle percussive roll and Asiatic synthesizers, something like an indie-minded update of Fleetwood Mac's hevenly pop.

Frontman Wade Ryff, whose warm vocals wrap his songs like a wool sweater, said he'd been frustrated with trying to fit his songs into other bands and spoke with his friend, guitarist Garth Herberg, about forming a one-off band. The band now features Devon Lee on vocals/percussion, Breanna Wood on piano/vocals, Oliver Hild on bass/moog and Lucas Ventura on drums/percussion.

“I think we all sensed that there was something really special there and we just kept playing together because it felt good.,” Ryff said.

With so many members in one band spread across our great city — in Mt. Washington, in Chino Hills, in the Valley — it can be tricky to find all of Races in one place. The band members also keep busy in other projects, with Ryff, Herberk and Ventura backing up bands like Peter and the Wolf as a rhythm section, for example. But this is very much a locals' band, working with local label Jaxart and playing in and around Echo Park often. Ryff said his favorite local spots are Stories “because its one of the few coffee shops where you can still smoke on the patio, Tribal Cafe for the juices, Prado for the babes, and the portabello mushrooms at Elf are off the chain.”

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*NEW* in J-Pop this week: Tokyo Jihen's Great Discovery!

Posted by Kells, November 14, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank heavens! J-pop superstar Shiina Ringo's slinky jazz-rock unit Tokyo Jihen (or Tokyo Incidents if you prefer your English full-on, 100%) are back with Dai-Hakken/Great Discovery -  their fifth television-themed record to date (i.e. Education, Adult, Variety, Sports, and now Discovery [Channel] television)!

I have to say, it's comforting to see a well-established artist who has grappled with fumbles and triumphs alike throughout their career still making the sort of music and displaying their particular taste for showmanship with grace and aplomb. Shiina Ringo is a little bit like Prince in my mind, even if it's purely for the fact that her successful side project, Tokyo Jihen, is not only peopled by her hand-selected collection of uber-talented, male musicians but also once released a record packaged with it's very own original cologne for men. I mean, the recent music video for Dai-Hakken b-side --「ハンサム過ぎて」("Too Handsome") wherein Ringo "directs" her band of fellows to put on their most comely date-night behavior -- kinda says it all. Ringo is a dom-ballerina and all the world, well all of Japan and many locals otherwise anyway, are her stage.

(Like you've never licked your TV screen) Pretty! But I digress, this post is about the new full-length record, not the new-new single. To my delight this record is a great deal more satisfying at first listen than the last two Incidents' incidents but I'm sure the end payoff will be the same in that it stands alone as a great album in as much as it further gilds the worth of the greater part of Ringo's works, with or without her Incidents. It's always been all about her, you know, as the video for 「女は誰でも」(or "Any Girl" -- Ringo's own twisted English translation of said title being "Fly Me to Heaven" which I feel is really more indicative of the flutterings and spasms "any girl" might feel playing dress-up in an extensively sequined vintage  wardrobe as Ringo does waltzing through this self-indulgent vignette of a musical interlude) suggests, check it out:

And that's why we love her, no? I really like that too legit hand-signal for the phrase "like a virgin" but it might be difficult to work into casual conversation. Then again, it might not. Incidently speaking (forgive me) my favorite track from Dai-Hakken is without a doubt "Les Adultes Terribles" - it's everything that is appealing about this band in general. It's got a stone-solid groove and a sensual quality that marries late night skate jams with the sort of prowling sound that you just know a super model longs to unwind with after a drug-addled, high-heeled youth spent working it endlessly on catwalk after glittering catwalk. Les Adultes Terribles indeed! Enjoy and remember Tokyo Incidents Dai-Hakken is available at Amoeba Music!

Tokyo Jihen - "Les Adultes Terribles" (「恐るべき大人達」)

The Art of the LP Cover- Boxing

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 14, 2011 10:50am | Post a Comment

In honor of this weekend's epic &  controversial Pacquiao / Marquez bout, I offer up this batch of boxing themed LP covers.

New World Music Releases on LP!!!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 14, 2011 12:28am | Post a Comment

There has been an amazing amount of new World Music releases on LP over the last three months. It has become so overwhelming that I thought I’d better call attention to it. Whether you like reissues of obscure World Music albums, hits collections, compilations, or new music, we have plenty of recent arrivals for your turntable. Not only do we have lots of new releases, but at the Hollywood store we have plenty of used LPs and two rows of collector LPs on the wall just above the Country/Bluegrass section. Listed below are some of my favorite new releases, broken down by geographical regions. 


La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 (plus download) - 
Na Hawa Doumbia
Danger - 
Lijadu Sisters
Wake Up Your Mind - 
Joni Haastrup
Give The Beggar A Chance & Dawn Of Awareness - 
Jealousy/ No Discrimination / No Accommodation For Lagos  / Progress - 
Tony Allen
Bambara Mystic Soul – The Raw Sound Of Burkina Faso 1974 to 1979 V/A
S/T El Rego
Obi Agye Me Dofo Vis-A-Vis

Latin America:

Revolucion Psicofasica En Bolivia 1969 to 1975
  - V/A
Dreaming - Sabrina Malheiros
Original Sound Of Cumbia – History Of Colombian Cumbia & Porro As Told By The Phonograph 1948 to 1979 – Compiled By Quantic -  V/A
Constelacion Los Destellos
Rhythms Of Black Peru V/A


Roses Rouge Sang / Electro Rapide 
Jean Claude Vannier
Movimento Perpetuo / Guitarra Portuguesa Carlos Paredes

Asia/South Asia:

Beautiful Rivers And Mountains – The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958 to 1974 - Shin Joong Hyun
Nippon Guitars – Instrumental Surf, Eleki, & Tsugaru Rock 1966 to 1974 - Takeshi Terauchi
Bollywood Bloodbath – The B-Music Of The Indian Horror Film IndustryV/A
Life Is Dance – Plugged In Sounds Of Wonder At The Pakistani Picture House V/A

Middle East/Turkey/Afghanistan:

Hip 70s Afghan Beats Ahmad Zahir
Istanbul 70 – Psych, Disco, Folk Classics V/A
Mechul – Singles & Rarities Erkin Koray

  Can't make it to our store or find it at You could always use our mail order!

November 13, 2011: The Skin I Live In

Posted by phil blankenship, November 13, 2011 08:22pm | Post a Comment

On Invention: Frank Zappa vs. Baby Boomer Favorites

Posted by Charles Reece, November 13, 2011 10:16am | Post a Comment

Mojo's collector's edition dedicated to Frank Zappa is a year old, but I chanced across it the other day at my local newsstand. Having found myself in more than one geeky debate over whether Zappa has tended to receive short shrift in evaluations of pop innovation and importance relative to The Beatles (e.g.: "In June 1968, Newsweek declared him second only to John Lennon as pop's 'leading creative talent.'" -- p. 27) or The Beach Boys (Leonard Bernstein called Brian Wilson one of the 20th century's greatest composers) or even The Grateful Dead (recall the days of coverage of Jerry Garcia's death versus the brief blurb accorded to Zappa's), this bit from British writer Miles' remembrance ("Inside Dr. Zircon's Secret Lab") proved satisfying:  

At the London press launch of Absolutely Free Frank told me he wanted to meet The Beatles to get their permission to parody the Sgt. Pepper ... sleeve on his next album, We're Only In It For The Money. I had been seeing a lot of Paul McCartney who was involved with IT [International Times, a British underground magazine that Miles co-founded] and my bookshop, Indica, so I went to a back room and called him. Paul liked Freak Out! very much, and in fact, just before The Beatles began recording Sgt. Pepper ... he told me, "we're going to do our own Freak Out!, but not like Zappa's of course." -- p. 40-1

Regarding Absolutely Free's sound collages, critic Mark Paytress ("Hungry Freaks") has it right:

Light years ahead of The Beatles' Revolver and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, only the inscrutable complexity and rich textures of The Beach Boys' autumn hit, Good Vibrations, could compare. But, born of Zappa's gnarly nature and recorded in the immediate aftermath of the teenage riots on Sunset Strip, Absolutely Free was the antithesis of Brian Wilson's sun-kissed bliss. -- p. 25-6

But, just to keep it all in perspective, former Mother keyboardist Don Preston sums up Zappa's musical legacy:

Frank's a strange phenomenon. Some people regard him as one of the new, innovative classical composers, but I think his work suffers in comparison to, say, Xenakis or Takemitsu. -- p. 29

And while the British Invasion was listening to American Blues, here's a shot of Zappa's high school-era band:

It's a good issue, so check it out if you can still find a copy.

November 12, 2011: Jack and Jill

Posted by phil blankenship, November 12, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment

Secret Society Of The Sonic Six Bay Area Shows November 18th & 19th

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 12, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
The Secret Society Of The Sonic Six will bring their darkened disorientations to the bay area this coming week with performances in San Francisco and Oakland.  The group will be performing tracks off their next 12" release, The Pick Up, due out in Feb on 4:2:2v2, a new label out of Denmark.

Friday November 18th finds (((6))) at the Retox Lounge, a small watering hole in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.  This is the 5th anniversary of the Death Rock Dive Bar night and features locals Nezzy Idy and Headless Lizzy as well as the DRDB DJs. Make sure to head downstairs as the performance space is in the basement.

Saturday November 19th (((6))) will be visiting their gestation grounds for the first time since relocating to Los Angeles many years ago.  Katatonik is an underground monthly featuring dark experimentalists, mostly of the electronic variety. The nite is organized by the Katabatik label / soundsystem crew.  Check out the intense comps that the label has put out @

This nite happens to be the 6th Katatonik so alignments are in place for a magikal (((6)))  evening.  Vancouver based Animal Bodies and Monsters of the Id will also be performing, along with DJ's R.M.S., Pink.Noise. and Mattreya.  The location is a tightly held secret so please contact a Katabatik representative @ [email protected] for addess specifics.  I can tell you that it's not too far from Jack London Square.

Animal bodies- Venus Transit from Animal Bodies on Vimeo.

Die Antwoord Play Damage Control in Advance of Potentially Controversial Content of New Single/Video "Fok Julle Naaiers"

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2011 11:02am | Post a Comment

In the above video uploaded yesterday, Die Antwoord member Ninja, in a display of advance PR damage control for the US market for their anticipated forthcoming new album TEN$ION, addresses the South African electro/rap group's use of certain language (namely member DJ Hi Tek's use of the word "faggot") used in their new album's lead single and video (see below) for the song "Fok Julle Naaiers."

The song, when roughly translated means "fuck all y'all," is from their soon to drop album TEN$ION, which will be released in 2012 on their own independent label, ZEF RECORDZ (formed after the group departed Interscope Records who, they complained, tried to interfere creatively with the group). As well as member Hi-Tek's repeated usage of the word "faggot" (he's gay), Ninja addresses the topic of white people using the word "nigga" in casual conversation. "The word faggot doesn't hold any power over him. Hi Tek says faggot all the time. He's taken that word and made it his bitch," says Ninja of the F word. Below is the brand new video for the forthcoming album track that brought about the discussion. Note: DJ Hi-Tek's verse is the final one in song.


Occupy Wall Street's Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2011 10:14am | Post a Comment
Earlier this week folk-rock legends Graham Nash and David Crosby stopped by Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan to do an impromptu, politically charged acoustic set for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters that included “Long Time Gone,” “They Want It All,” and “Teach Your Children."

Note that Stephen Stills, who was also in town for the trio's Beacon Theatre concerts this week did not join them @ OWS, but Crosby and Nash sure represented and were the latest musicians in a long list of artists to have either performed at or stopped by and visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Others who have shown solidarity for OWS or have visited the relatively small, privately owned Zuccotti Park in the downtown Manhattan, Wall Street/financial district that began back in September, have included Pete Seeger, Talib Kweli, and Immortal Technique (see video below). 

A week ago, while in New York, I stopped by OWS a few times to talk with several occupiers including a member of the (OWS house band) percussion based Pulse band whose daily hours of drumming were curtailed following complaints by the immediate lower Manhattan community. My questions were about music and the role it plays in the Occupy Wall Street movement and specifically what music acted as the perfect soundtrack for OWS.  Many of the folks I talked with, that included occupiers camped out every night at OWS and some protesters who stopped during the day only, are included in the video clips below. These include Kyle who took a break from volunteering at the main food kitchen to chat, telling me that he has been at Occupy Wall Street since day one. And like many of the residents who have apartments downtown, he too is sick of the drums going non-stop. "Trust me, it's annoying," he laughed, "I just zone them out of my head. I don't even pay attention to them." he said. The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin,  "old protest songs, maybe something like Country Joe [McDonald] and Arlo Guthrie" are among the twenty something protester's musical faves along with System of A Down and Rage Against The Machine.

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Bay Area Rapper Killa Keise Shot & Killed On Interstate 80 in Vallejo

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2011 06:11pm | Post a Comment
Bay Area rapper Killa Keise was found shot to death last night inside a crashed Pontiac off the side of the Interstate in Vallejo after been fired at several times while driving eastbound on 80. The 28 year old San Francisco rapper, who has an address in Benecia, was born Markeise Henry and started his rap career with care of his brother, Frisco rap legend Cellski. Despite citing as his main influences Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, and Ice Cube Killa Keise was a Bay Area artist through and through and a prolific one too who will be remembered for recording such projects as Turfed Out,  Killa Squad, Trap City & Talk Of The Streets !

Killa Keise was found at around midnight last night after Vallejo police responded to a traffic collision on the highway shoulder between Tennessee Street and Redwood Parkway. They found the rapper slumped over, already dead with numerous gunshot wounds to his upper body but it wasn't until today that the body was properly ID'ed. As of posting this Amoeblog no suspects have been arrested in the case which is under investigation by both the Vallejo Police Department's Major Case Squad and Crime Suppression Unit. The homicide counted as Vallejo's 13th this year.

Killa Keise "My Block" from
Turfed Out

"...these go to eleven" - it's Nigel Tufnel Day!

Posted by Kells, November 11, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment
It's official - today, November 11, 2011, or "eleven, eleven, eleven" if you're quoting Christopher Guest's Jeff Beck-inspired character from the cult, mock-rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, is Nigel Tufnel Day!
Not too long ago a movement started via a very dedicated Tumblr page and a now nearly 22,000 member strong facebook page to declare 11/11/11 officially Nigel Tufnel Day. Well, we the people of Amoeba Music will not be waiting around for any authority with the proper jurisdiction to take the necessary actions to declare this day, November 11, 2001 officially Nigel Tufnel Day when we have every right to do so by the power invested in us by St. Hubbins - the patron saint of quality footwear, jazz blues/blues jazz enthusiasts and big-bottoms everywhere. Happy Nigel Tufnel Day already!

And so accordingly we honor a man who is not only a master of the saddest of all keys but Spinal Tap's six-string juggernaut and herald of heavy metal innovation with his custom amplifiers set to the eleventh volume setting instead of the standard ten, i.e "one louder", by tapping into a list of 11 memorable Nigel Tufnel quotes from This Is Spinal Tap. And while we've got you hooked into the spirit of the holiday, why not stop by one of our stores in person or online at and pick up a copy of Tap's Smell The Glove (a.k.a. the This Is Spinal Tap soundtrack), or Break Like The Wind featuring hits like "Bitch School" and their singular, seasonal single "Christmas With The Devil", or perhaps Tap's latest release Back From the Dead - a CD/DVD combo packaged with a fold-out diorama featuring nineteen tracks, including essential Tappage Jazz Odesseys I-III.
Amoeba's Top 11 Nigel Tufnel quotes from This Is Spinal Tap

[On a review that says Spinal Tap is "treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry"] "That's just nitpicking, isn't it?"

"This is my exact inner structure, done in a tee shirt. Exactly medically accurate."

"It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."

"You can't really dust for vomit."

"We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening."

"Well, so what? What's wrong with bein' sexy?"

"Look, this. This miniture bread, it like... I've been working with this now for about half an hour and i can't figure out... let's say I wanted a bite, right."

[on what he would do if he couldn't be a rock star] "Well, I suppose I could, uh, work in a shop of some kind, or... or do, uh, freelance, uh, selling of some sort of, uh, product."

"I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really."

"Well, this piece is called Lick My Love Pump."

Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

[pause] These go to eleven.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 11.11.11: E-Lit, Lateef, PUTS, Wale, Creme De La Ultra w/ Azeem, League 510, Dub Esquire, K.O. The Legend, Mac Miller + more

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

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

1) Wale Ambition (Warner Bros.)

2) Black Milk & Danny Brown Black and Brown (Fat Beats)

3) Lateef The Truthspeaker Firewire (Quannum)

4) People Under The Stairs Highlighter (Piecelock 70)

5) Mac Miller Blue Slide Park (Ingrooves)

Thanks to my man E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for taking time out of his day in video above to run down all the new and recent hip-hop releases for this week's Hip-Hop Rap Up which includes longtime Oakland emcee & Solesides/Quannum star Lateef The Truthspeaker's first solo outing: the star-studded Firewire on Quannum which includes such Bay Area hip-hop greats (and longtime collaborators) as DJ Shadow, Dan The Automator, Lyrics Born (his partner in Latryx), The Grouch, Del the Funky Homosapien, Headnodic, and Chief Xcel (who handles production). The new Lateef the Truthspeaker album track "Oakland" that features Del The Funky Homosapien & The Grouch and appears below in audio play mode, I predict will soon become the new Oakland anthem.

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(For which you're cordially invited, mofo.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 10, 2011 11:48am | Post a Comment

"Excuse me, but is this vegan?"

I drank too much wine last night. I ate too much cake, and too much food in general. I stayed up too late and had too much caffeine. So how come the amount of fun I had was just right?

The boyfriend and I threw a small dinner party last night. Because I love to cook, I enjoy the preparation of dinner parties sometimes more than the event itself (which wasn’t the case last night, but I’ll admit I’ve sweated over a meal for days only to provide it to its intended guests, then wished I could hide upstairs with some hummus and carrot sticks and original Star Trek.)

Catering provided by Play-doh

Last night’s meal consisted of curried vegetable pasties, asparagus with nutmeg hollandaise, and a raspberry-chocolate flourless cake with homemade whipped cream. Naked ladies dancing with abandon beneath a decaying Sun*. I was most proud of the cake. You know how sometimes you’ll taste a dessert and you immediately feel that you’re doing something so wrong but it feels so right? I guess the word is sinful. You’re stomach screams “This is blasphemy!” but your taste-buds whimper, “Do it again…!” (If you’re interested, I’ve included the recipe below.)

As my regular readers would assume, I have a ready-made playlist for just such an occasion. The right music for a dinner party is a tricky thing – you don’t want anything that stands out too much and distracts the conversation, however, if talk does cease and there’s silence, whatever music playing should be delightful enough to remark upon. In a world where tastes differ so wildly, it’s important to stick to genres that some may not be enthusiastic over, but few are offended by. So no polka. I know, I effwording love polka. Who couldn’t love this…

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring San Gabriel, A City with a Mission

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 10, 2011 09:00am | Post a Comment


For this blog entry, I ventured to the city of San Gabriel. Accompanying me were veteran three traveling companions. Cheryl Anne, a designer, hadn't appeared since her Season 4, episode 10 debut, "Gardena - The South Bay's city of opportunity." Artist Chris Urias made his debut appearance and regular audiences are well acquainted with Club Underground's DJ Modernbrit, aka Tim Shimbles, who has appeared in numerous episodes, debuting back in Season 2, episode 4, "Morningside Circle" in which we first discovered South LA's Westside.

To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote forLos Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote vote for Orange County neighborhoods and communities, vote here.

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November 9, 2011: Beyond The Black Rainbow

Posted by phil blankenship, November 9, 2011 09:24pm | Post a Comment

November 9, 2011: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Posted by phil blankenship, November 9, 2011 09:22pm | Post a Comment

November 9, 2011: Silver Bullets

Posted by phil blankenship, November 9, 2011 09:20pm | Post a Comment

November 9, 2011: Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Posted by phil blankenship, November 9, 2011 09:18pm | Post a Comment

Hollywood Customer Trent Surprises Us with an Amazing Cake for our 10th Birthday

Posted by Amoebite, November 9, 2011 04:21pm | Post a Comment
Shortly before 3pm on November 9, 2011, a regular Amoeba Hollywood customer named Trent walked into the store bearing a white cake box. Inside were two cakes in the shape of a "1" and a "0" celebrating our 10th anniversary! Trent has worked for 20 years at Sweet Lady Jane bakery in Los Angeles and made the cakes himself. We were floored and totally blown away by this creative, unexpected, and delicious(!) gift.  

We had to take a few photos before it was devoured by our hungry staff. 

Trent with his cake

Cake close-up

Thanks Trent

Thanks for kicking off our birthday festivities with a sweet bang, Trent!

Album Picks: Atlas Sound, Blouse, Tom Waits

Posted by Billy Gil, November 9, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment
My favorite releases of the past few weeks, although I've also been spinning Era Extraña by Neon Indian nonstop lately, get that shite if you haven't yet!

atlas sound parallaxAtlas Sound - Parallax

“Found money and fame/But I found them really lame” Atlas Sound's Bradford Cox says at the outset of his latest release, Parallax. As an ambient-minded artist who also supplies his talents to a more overarching rock band (Deerhunter), Atlas Sound is usually an outlet for Cox's more spectral, less effusive leanings. But, judging by that line, the album cover depicting him as some rockabilly crooner and the still very pop-structured songs on Parallax, Cox doesn't hide his personality behind noise and indechipherable vocals, as some of his contemporaries do. Rather, Atlas Sound seems to be a venue for Cox to try out difference guises — the electro-calypso of “Te Amo,” the, okay yes, croony and swoony “Mona Lisa” and the voiceless but not persona-free ambience of tracks like “Quark Part 1” and “Part 2,” which close out the album on dreamy notes of fluttering piano and gurgling synths, creating a sort of auditory representation of a beautiful aquatic landscape. But mostly, Parallax sounds very much like Cox, with his trademark three-to-four-chord choruses and ability to sneak in clever lines and noisey details where you least expect them.

Blouse - Blouse

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November 8, 2011: Bullhead

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2011 04:31pm | Post a Comment

Rest In Peace Heavy D

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2011 03:36pm | Post a Comment

Heavy D & The Boyz "Is It Good To You"

The tragic news that golden era rap star Heavy D suddenly died earlier this afternoon is sending shock waves within hip-hop circles since the news broke in the past hour. The heavy set frontman of Heavy D and the Boyz, who was only 44, was reportedly rushed to an LA hospital this afternoon where within a short time he was pronounced dead at approximately 1 p.m. PST. According to most reports the artist born Dwight Arrington Myers collapsed after walking up stairs at his Beverly Hills apartment building.and police, who are investigating, say that there were no signs of foul play.

As well as hip-hop, often with a poppy rnb flavor like "Is It Good To You" (above) Heavy D also had a love of reggae and recorded a lot of reggae fusion tracks in addition to straight up hip-hop. Rest in peace to the self described "Overweight Lover." Your music will live on.

Amoeba Music Featured in New Documentary VINYLMANIA

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 8, 2011 12:04pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music is proud to be featured in the upcoming documentary VINYLMANIA, a 75 minute feature length film about an object that has never lost its soul: the vinyl record. But the film needs your help TODAY! Go to VINYLMANIA's Kickstarter page to find out how!

An epic love story, the film is filled with fascinating characters and internationally recognized artists including Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project), Winston Smith (Dead Kennedys, Green Day record sleeve artist), Peter Saville (Joy Division, New Order record sleeve artist), and DJ Kentaro (2002 DMC World DJ Champion).  

Devotion, ecstasy, infatuation, agony – these are all feelings that the director of the film, Paolo Campana, has experienced from childhood and shares with like-minded record collectors, DJs, musicians, and artists (the "vinylmaniacs") featured in the documentary. Set in 11 different cities and seven countries worldwide, the director sets out on a global road trip to find out what role vinyl records play in the 21st century.

2011 SF Funk Fest Celebrates 10 Years with 12 Shows Including Morris Day & The Time

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2011 09:40am | Post a Comment

Morris Day & The Time "Jungle Love" (1984)

Now in its tenth year the annual SF Funk Fest (SFFF) is already underway from November 4th - 26th with Dam Funk & Master Blazter having played over the weekend at this three-week, various-venue festival. This year has an excellent line-up that includes Morris Day & The Time along with DJ Dave Paul opening at the Mezzanine Friday November 11th, The California Honeydrops at The Brick & Mortar Music Hall in SF on Saturday, Afrolicious feat Nappy Riddem plus Motion Potion at the Elbo Room in SF on Thursday November 17th, the Budos Band with Afrolicious at Mezzanine on Sat, November 19, DJ Platurn's 45 Sessions on Nov 18th at Disco Volente in Oakland (the only non SF show), the S.O.S. Band at Yoshi's SF on Friday, November 25.  For a complete listing on all 2011 SFFF shows for the month of November visit the Sunset Promotions website.

Based on the academic work of UC Berkeley and KPFA’s “funky professor” Dr Rickey Vincent and author of the landmark book Funk: The Music, the People and the Rhythym of the One (read Rickey Vincent's Amoeblog interview) the SFFF was founded by Robbie Kowal and John Miles of Sunset Promotions back in late 2001. The first SFFF that year featured Mandrill and a reunion of many of the original members of Sly & the Family Stone (listed as SF Funk All Stars) and over the years performers have included George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Rebirth Brass Band, DJ QBert, Z-Trip and many others. The festival has also featured a cool retro Funk on Film series that included such films as Wattstax. For full details on all shows click  2011 SFFF and  for general information here.

November 7, 2011: Extraterrestrial

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2011 02:14am | Post a Comment

N.A.S.A.:The Spirit of Apollo Documentary Screens at Roxie Theater in SF, 11/16

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2011 05:24pm | Post a Comment
POP/ROX (Noise Pop + Roxie Theater) present a screening of the rockumentary N.A.S.A.:The Spirit ofNASA Apollo at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco on November 16th at 7:30pm and again at 9:30pm.

The filmmakers and the band will be there in person for a post-show party DJ-ed by N.A.S.A.!!! 

A look behind the making of N.A.S.A.’s globetrotting debut album, The Spirit of Apollo, featuring a truly staggering array of talent: David Byrne, Karen O, Tom Waits, Kool Keith, Nick Zinner, Lykke Li, M.I.A., Kanye West, George Clinton, Chuck D, Seu Jorge, and the RZA. The movie features design and animation collaborations by Syd Garon, Shepard Fairey, Splunny, Sage Vaughn, Marcel Dzama, The Date Farmers, Logan, Didiu Rio Branco, Three Legged Legs and Lorenzo Fonda.

Amoeba Music Holiday Food Drive Starts 11/25! Make a Difference! Get a $5 Coupon!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2011 04:39pm | Post a Comment
 Extended through December 27th!

In San Francisco and Marin, 225,000 people live with the daily threat of hunger. This holiday season you can make a difference in the life of a family by giving Food: The Perfect Gift.

Amoeba Music San Francisco joins forces with the San Francisco Food Bank to collect canned goods and nonperishable items for singles and families in need this holiday season. The drive starts Friday, November 25th and has been extended through December 27th.

You can also make a monetary donation to the San Francisco Food Bank online HERE. For each $1 donated you create $6 worth of food!
Everyone who donates in the store at Amoeba Music San Francisco will receive a $5 Amoeba coupon as a thank you.

Happy holidays! 

Ellie Goulding CD Signing at Amoeba San Francisco on Nov 20th for EP "Ellie Goulding: Live at Amoeba Music San Francisco"

Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2011 07:20am | Post a Comment
UPDATE 11/18 AT 7:45PM: The Ellie Goulding signing has been moved to MONDAY NOV 21 at 3:30pm!

Popular British singer / songwriter Ellie Goulding will return to Amoeba San Francisco where, seven months ago, she recorded what is being released as her new EP, Ellie Goulding: Live at Amoeba Music San Francisco! She will do a special CD signing at our Haight Street location at 3:30pm, November 21st (the official release date of the live EP from Cherrytree / Interscope Records, which was recorded at Amoeba SF on April 14th, 2011).

This will truly be a historic day for Amoeba Music and a highly anticipated event for the legions of Goulding fans who helped propel her acclaimed debut album on Interscope, Lights (released last year in the UK and in March of this year in the US), to popularity. Goulding fans, both Stateside and back in Britain, have been fiending for a follow-up release from the unique and powerful vocalist, so you can bet that this Amoeba in-store will be a packed event.  Be sure to try and arrive earlier than the 3:30pm official start time if you plan on attending!

In her native Britain, the 24-year-old Goulding, whose Lights album ranked as the biggest and fastest selling debut album of 2010, has scored a series of Top 20 hits including "Starry Eyed," "The Writer," and her popular version of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic "Your Song." She also racked up a slew of industry awards upon her critically and commercially acclaimed arrival last year including a BBC Sound of 2010 award, a Critic's Choice 2010 BRIT Award, and a 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards for "Best UK & Ireland Act of the Year." After conquering Britain, Goulding turned her sights  (Lights?) to the US where her electro-folk-pop debut album Lights was officially released in March this year (before that it was an in-demand import-only album), followed by the artist doing a series of concerts and showcases including the incredibly well received Amoeba San Francisco in-store - all of which helped her score a US club and radio hit with the Lights title track. The infectious pop song (video below) has also enjoyed a deluge of remixes and studio reworkings including NorCal artist/producer Bassnectar's charged remix of "Lights", while mash-up master DOSVEC did a cool remix mashed up version by digitally teaming up the UK singer with Florida rap star Flo Rida that he titled "Feeling Lights." 

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Japan Tour 2011: Part 2 By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 7, 2011 12:36am | Post a Comment

Joe Bataan Tokyo Show Poster
After our Shenanigans in Shibuya, we rested most of Saturday. The next day was the Joe Bataan show and load-in was at 10 a.m. Joanna and I spent most of the day resting and taking walks around Chofu. There is a small river/reservoir that runs through Chofu. The water level was low but it’s full of lush greens. Giant crows and cranes dive into the water to pick up the smaller fish that were making their way downstream. There were many cats that hung out by the reservoir. I would see the same cats everyday, hanging out in their favorite spots. The cats in Japan are much bigger than the cats in the U.S. A good word to describe the cats is “beefy” They are not necessarily fat, just thicker than the average U.S. cat. In the evening, once Shin and Miho were done with their duties with Joe Bataan, we took Shin’s bikes and rode to one of his favorite “hole in the wall” to eat. The best places to eat anywhere in the world are the neighborhood spots that only locals know about. This place was no exception. Shin & Miho were concerned that some of their favorite dishes wouldn’t go over with us but those were the dishes we liked the most. Fresh sardines to start off followed by fresh cucumbers, Miso soup with small oysters, ginger pork, octopus and many other great homemade Japanese delicacies. The place had a few drunken locals hanging around; include one drunken guy that kept asking us to move from our table so that he could look for his lost cell phone. It reminded me of being in one of those great taco spots in L.A. and being harassed by the local tecato. It made me feel at home.

The next morning we were up early to get ready for the show. By then, my internal clock was all messed up, having to adapt to Japan time followed by staying up until 7 am then having to go to bed early for Sunday’s show. Shin’s company is a record label but from time to time he serves as a promoter. The venue was a big empty room. There was no sound system or stage and all had to be constructed before sound check. Joanna and I used this time to walk around Asakusa, another part of Tokyo, were the venue is located. The club, Super Dry Hall, is inside the Ashai Beer Building that is famous for it’s Philippe Starck sculpture on top of the building. It is supposed to look like golden beer foam coming out on top of the building that is shaped like a pint glass.  Almost everyone that looks at the sculpture thinks of the same thing, “ is that a piece of poop on top of that building?” The Japanese has given it a nickname, kin no unchi, which translate into “The golden poop” The building is now know by locals as unchi biru (the poop building)

Sensoji Temple
Nearby kin no unchi is Sensoji, a Buddhist temple dating back to the year 645 and is Tokyo’s oldest. The following day was a national holiday so the temple was extremely packed with tourist. We didn’t go into most of the temples, as there seemed to be services in many of them. We walked around the many vendors, including a street called Nakamise, somewhat outside of the temple. From there we walked around Asakusa and watched a somewhat unusual marathon. They didn’t block the streets for it. The runners had to obey the traffic lights and run on the sidewalk. They ran in groups of a fifty at a time so they wouldn’t talk over the whole street. Every so often runners, many of them in Halloween costumes, would overcome us as we walked.

Joe Bataan (center) & Willie-San (left) at soundcheck

We returned to the venue and everything was up and running. I’m always amazed by the efficiency of Japanese workers. In less than a few hours they had constructed a stage, set up lights, a sound system and were already sound checking the band. Having worked for sound companies in the past, I know how long a job like that should take and it was pretty impressive they did it so quickly. We said hello to Joe and his wife Yvonne, as well as Willie-San, getting ready to shred on his timbales. The hired band from Japan wasn’t well prepared. They were sloppy and forgetting parts. You could see the frustration in Joe’s face. Other than Willie-San and a few other musicians, the band lacked the swing that most of Joe’s backing bands have. It looked like a potential disaster waiting to happen. At the end of sound check, Willie-San took all the members of the group backstage and had a half-time style meeting with them.

Gomez With A Japanese Lowrider
At this point, I was sound checking the levels on the turntables when the other DJ showed up. It was Masaki Motomiya or DJ Motomix, a Japanese Lowrider from Sapporo, located in the northern part of Japan. I met him randomly on the street the last time I was in Japan. He and his friends were in Tokyo to catch the Quetzal/Luis J. Rodriguez shows and he saw us eating in a restaurant. We had food together and took photos outside the restaurant. Later, some of his crew came to the show. Masaki is the president of the Esmeralda Car Club in Sapporo and it’s main DJ at the car club events. Shin said he was expecting him to bring a few members of his car club with him, but at the end they were about twenty-five deep. Pretty impressive I must say, coming all the way from Sapporo.

Motomix had the Lowrider set down! He could easily kill it at any Lowrider show in the states. I liked how he mixed in some non-traditional Lowrider jams and made it work. He played Los Amigos Invisibles “Mentiras” a song on its own I wasn’t too crazy about but worked well with all the Zapp and Gangster Hip-Hop tracks he played. It was one of those sets that you start subtracting in your head all the bangers that you can’t play because he got to them first. At this point, I didn’t know what to play. His entire crew is dancing around the DJ booth as people start to pour in.

It didn’t matter. People were there to have a good time. The crowd kept moving and the Lowriders high-fived me anytime I played a song they liked. Random people came by to thank me or to check out what I was playing. It was a pretty easy going set. Shin came up a played a few bangers as well before the show started. A group of Japanese Salseras did a choreographed dance to Joe Bataan’s “Subway Joe” just before Shin played an advertisement for his up coming releases on the video screen. I was happy to hear that the loudest response came when they played a Chicano Batman song and album cover came on the video screen.

Joe Bataan hit the stage and immediately you could tell that the band was on fire. Whatever nerves or forgotten parts the band members had were now long gone. They started off with “Gypsy Women” and played all his biggest hits like “Subway Joe, “Afro-Filipino”  “When Sunny Gets Blue” “Mestizo” and many others. Joe was part James Brown, part Sinatra crooner, part Fania/Salsoul legend and all Joe. The band swung hard as well, with Willie-San leading the charge on percussion. All in all, the band blew the doors off the poop building.

Joe Bataan, Gomez Comes Alive, Joanna, Yvonne & Records!

After the set was complete, I went back on the turntables while Joe signed autographs. As the line formed, I also signed a few autographs of my own and took some pictures with the Lowriders. I was happy that people bought some copies of my new mix CD, as well as some of my past releases. After my set, Motomix took over and I got in line to get my Joe Bataan singles autographed and to take pictures with Joe. After we were done, we drove back to Shibuya to drop of Joe & Yvonne, who were leaving the next day. I also had another after party to play. By then, everyone was beat, including myself. Joanna left with Miho back to Chofu and I stuck around with Shin.

We met up with Shunsuke, who catered the Joe Bataan show and whose restaurant was hosting the after party. At the Joe Bataan show, Shunsuke made his version of a taco, made from a Brazilian chorizo sausage with guacamole in a tortilla. It wasn’t the prettiest dish. It looked like a weenie inside of a tortilla with some green sauce. But to my surprise, was quite tasty. His spot, Yagi Ni Kiku wasn’t as swinging as Friday’s event. It was more of “kickback” with couches and a laid back vibe. Some of the Japanese Lowriders came by but soon all of us were all drained of energy and fading fast. I was expected to play until early morning but there was no way I was going to make it. To top it off, Shin was staying in Shibuya to take Joe back to the airport. That meant after my set, I would have to wait until the 5am train to make my way back to Chofu. Lucky for me, Willie-San was there and lived near Chofu. He offered me a ride back. He had the smallest car and it was full of percussion instruments, but there was just enough room for my records and me. I played a short set before a one-man reggae dub artist went on. He had a drum machine, an organ and tons of delay petals. I left as a sea of echo hit my ears.

I can’t remember what Willie and I were talking about. It was a tripped out conversation. I was so tired and Willie-San English was limited. We drove around the empty streets of Shibuya looking for the expressway back to Chofu. It seemed like Willie-San was lost. There were many police out and Willie-San seemed nervous, which made me nervous. Willie-San does not drink so he was fine on that front. Perhaps he had that same nervousness I have when I see cops in Los Angeles. The feeling that even though you are legal and not intoxicated that they still will find something to harass you. Even though I had only been in Japan a few days, until that moment, I had forgotten how it was to feel that way. In Japan I felt free. I felt appreciated and free from some of the everyday fears some of us have living in Los Angeles. In my head I was telling Willie all this, but the words never came out. I was too tired to talk.

By the time Willie-San found the expressway I was out. I slept until we got to Shin’s office, a mile or so from his place. He dropped me off there and I walked the rest of the way home, records in tow. As I walked next to the river/ reservoir that went through Chofu, I could hear the birds’ dive-bombing into the water to get the unsuspecting fish. It was an odd sound because it was so dark that I couldn’t see the birds but could hear them. There wasn’t a single person out except for me. It felt like the whole world was asleep. Soon, I crept into Shin’s place. I took off my shoes at the door and tried not to make too much noise. I didn’t want to disturb the sleeping world. I only wanted to join them.

Joanna and I would like to thank the following people for making our trip so great. Shin Miyata and Miho for bringing our hosts in Japan Joe Bataan and Yvonne for letting me open for their show. Thanks to the great Willie-San, for being awesome and giving me a ride back to Chofu. Thanks to Sundaland Café and Yagi Ni Kiku for throwing the after parties and Hajime Oishi (El Parrandero) and Shunsuke for hosting them. Thanks to all the great DJ’s I played with in Japan. Thanks to The Esmeralda Car Club of Sapporo and the lovely Chise, Sanae and Catane for helping us at the Joe Bataan show. See you next year Japan!

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Wonder-Full SF 8 with DJ Spinna, 12/10 at Mezzanine in San Francisco

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 6, 2011 03:51pm | Post a Comment

A San Francisco winter tradition returns! Keistar, Fresco & Massive Selector present WONDER-FULL
Stevie Wonder Wonderful San Francisco 2011 SF 8: A TRIBUTE TO THE WONDERS OF STEVIE on Saturday, December 10, 2011, at Mezzanine (444 Jessie St, SF).

For the past seven years, DJ SPINNA has blessed the Bay Area with this special evening celebrating soulful music in all forms inspired by the genius of Stevie Wonder

If you were one of the lucky ones who made it to WONDER-FULL in the past, then you know that this event is more than just a party… it’s an experience!

Saturday, December 10, 2011
WONDER-FULL SF 8: A Tribute to the Wonders of Stevie

Mezzanine - 444 Jessie Street, San Francisco
9pm-4am | $20 | 21+

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp & Holiday Toy Drive at Amoeba Berkeley, 12/3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 6, 2011 03:39pm | Post a Comment
Bay Area Girls Rock Camp guitars kids

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is an Oakland-based non-profit whose mission is to empower girls ages
 8-18 through music education, creation, and performance. On December 3rd at 4pm, experience members of their Advanced Music Program (AMP) -- a program designed for teenage musicians who want to form bands, write original music, and take their music to the next level -- as they perform on the Amoeba Berkeley stage!

Four AMP bands will be featured at Amoeba Berkeley, as well as the alumni band  Gnarwhal and the Sheeps! Born out of the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Summer 2011 Internship program and made up of high school students from all over the Bay Area, Gnarwhal and the Sheeps blew us away with their killer song "Silver Lining" at the BAGRC Session 2 showcase. These industrious musicians not only worked hard as the interns for summer camp, but they also managed to put together a band that has been practicing and writing songs via SKYPE since July of 2011. 
The Bay Area Crisis Nursery will also be on hand to collect toy donations for the holidays! You can help by donating new, unwrapped, non-violent toys, representative of all races, ethnicities, and cultures. Ages Newborn to Teen!

Halloween at Amoeba Berkeley, 2011

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 6, 2011 02:38pm | Post a Comment
Halloween was a mellow affair at Amoeba Berkeley, but several of the East Bay Amoebites were in the holiday spirit! Get a load of these get-ups!

Bean is spot on as "The Doctor!"
Dr. Doctor Who costume

Mondia's "Snookie as Elvira" costume...perfect!
Snookie Elvira costume

Kaiser, a convincing priest.
Priest costume

Ranon as "Boltman." (It's a Chargers' thing, right?)
Boltman Chargers costume

Los Rakas, the Panama-by-way-of-Oakland Hip-Hop duo, Play Roxy in Hollywood Tonight

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2011 12:59pm | Post a Comment
Los Rakas "Cueria" Official mini-film (2011)
The extremely talented (and sure to blow up huge) Panama, by way of Oakland, duo Los Rakas travel south to SoCal today to perform at the Roxy in Hollywood tonight when they will do songs off their highly recommended Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada EP which has been a popular item at Amoeba (especially Amoeba Berkeley) since it was released a few months ago.

I have seen this duo, whose unique sound is a blend of Oakland/Bay hip-hop, dancehall grooves, and Panama flavored reggae, and salsa (nearly all delivered exclusively en Espanol), perform a couple of times already over past couple of months (the Hella Fresh Fest in San Francisco and Life is Living Hip-Hop Fest in Oakland ) and each time they put on an inspired show that got people moving and also thinking. The thought-provoking, sure to cause controversy, brand new short revenge film (above) is set to the song "‎Cueria" and is the second official video from their Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada EP whose accompanying cover art is by EP, is by Mexico City-based artist, Alejandro Núñez Ferrara.

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November 5, 2011: Kill List

Posted by phil blankenship, November 5, 2011 10:16pm | Post a Comment

The Residents Present "Sam's Enchanted Evening" at The Marsh In Berkeley

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2011 04:05pm | Post a Comment

For their latest art project veteran Bay Area avant garde group The Residents, in association with The Marsh in Berkeley, present the stage production Sam's Enchanted Evening. The workshop production piece, which runs through November 26th, stars (as seen in video clip above) a hobbling older gentleman named Sam the Stranger who with the use of a walker, enters the stage slowly and rather awkwardly maneuvering his way towards center stage where he proceeds to engage the audience with tales of his misspent life. This he does via singing and storytelling; all the while employing self effacing humor, as he relives the ups-and-downs of his younger days through vivid reminiscing. As he does this he discards his walker as he morphs in the Sam of his teens and twenties when his life was wine, women, song, and cars (namely a Pontiac GTO).

The story twists and turns from good to bad and progresses to his time in Vietnam and getting captured by the enemy, and the road that his life took to take him up to this point. While presented as a Residents' production it is just the Residents' lead singer Randy Rose who is in the play, along with  talented veteran Marsh contributor Joshua Raoul Brody. Both Bay Area theater goers and Residents fans will find something of interest in this production which is accurately being toted as "the first all-acoustic Residents show."

Sam's Enchanted Evening, which opened two weeks ago, runs through November 26th with shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  The Marsh in Berkeley is located at 2120 Allston Way (between Shattuck Ave & Oxford St) Berkeley, CA 94704.  Tickets and more info here.

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 11/4 - Shoebox, Yoav B, Space Dimension Controller, Mike Parker, Kevin Reynolds, Jackmate and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 4, 2011 11:41pm | Post a Comment

Jasmine 12"

Shoebox is proud to present their debut release, a four-track EP called Jasmine. Shoebox comes from deep within, creating soul's pastiches.

Purchase Jasmine here

DJ Yoav B
Spacetrips 12”
Syncrophone Recordings

Lovely futuristic spaced out house tunes that slowly build and take things into orbit!

Purchase Spacetrips here

Space Dimension Controller
Pathway To Tiraqoun6 D12"

This 11-track EP (pressed on limited blue vinyl)is a prequel to the SPACE DIMENSION CONTROLLER full-length "WELCOME TO MIKROSECTOR-50" coming in 2012. Alternating between beautiful ambient and robotic electro, this is for fans of DREXCIYA style electro and the likes. Tip!

Purchase Pathway To Tiraquon6 here

Mike Parker
GPH17 12"

Mike Parker is back with a new addition to his unique Geophone label. GPH17 contains 4 tracks that will burn up rooms with sizzling analogue frequencies!

Purchase GPH17 here

Kevin Reynolds

Liasons / Port 12"

Showcasing his savvy for deep mesmerizing grooves, he brings us two tracks for the mind, the body and the soul, ready to conquer dancefloors worldwide.

Purchase Liasons / Port here

Specter-Aroy Dee-HieroBeing
Elusive Triumph EP

Phat jacking tracks from Specter (remember his Sound Signature release?) Aroy Dee (aka M>O>S, label head) and Jamall Moss aka Hieroglyphic being... first release of this new american label! Ultra limited edition.

Purchase Elusive Triumph here

Don's Rainbow 7"
Ocean Moon

Like MICHAEL MCDONALD's "SWEET FREEDOM" crossed with "NITE FLIGHT" era WALKER BROS. A fantastic piece of hazy avant pop with JAN HAMMER pulse wave synths, YAH MO B THERE drums & fuzz-drenched spirals of soprano sax and guitar colliding with outer space soul. With AUTRE NE VEUT.

Purchase Don's Rainbow here:

Oval 12"
Phil E

Michel Baumann aka Soulphiction returns to his Jackmate guise for two tracks of warm analog grooves.

Purchase Oval here


The Story About You 2LP

Only once in a while you would enter the real magic of House Music. How rare are those club nights, festivals, releases or tracks you get totally mesmerised, you feel like something changed. You want to take home that one party, the sound or a special moment to keep it forever.

Purchase Story About You here

KINK & NEVILLE WATSON: A Saturday In November 12"
BNJMN: Black Square LP
Ron Hardy/RON HARDY EDITS #6 12"
L-Vis 1990/LOST IN LOVE 12”
ARTTU: Transfiguration 12"
BOOF: Joi Is Smiling/Now She's Jumping 12”
MOOMIN: The Story About You 2LP
STL: Me And The Machines 12”
MR RAOUL K: Remixed Vol. 2 12"
INDIGNANT SENILITY: Consecration Of The Whipstain 2LP
AUTHOR: The City/Teacher 12”
DISTAL: Angry Acid/French Science 12"
SEUIL: Late Call 12"
Tangula/Eye Of The Beholder
Damon Bell/Kush Music
Italo Johnson/Italo Johnson 4
Terrance Parker/Music Works V3
Mateo & Matos/Hypnotized EP T
SAFEWORD: You Can You Will 12"
FINGERS INC.: Music Take Me Up/Feelin' Sleazy 12"
Calibre/RENO 12”
Legendary 1979 Orc/DINER CITY SOUNDS 12”
Manolo/NIGHT RHYTHM '11 12”
Altered Natives/LOVE SWITCH OFF 12”
Sare Havlicek/VIBE ON YOU 12”
High Contrast/FIRST NOTE IS SILENT 12”
Popcorn Ska/GOLDEN OLDIES VOL 2 7"
Rio/RIO EDITS 09 12”
Percy X & Alex Smoke/SOMA 20 LTD001 12”
Various/TUSK WAX EP TWO 12"
Chairman Kato/SCIENCE & ROMANCE EP 12”
Fretless/LET GO THE PAST EP 12”
Radiohead/BEST OF... REMIXES VOL. 2 12"
Red Astaire/EARLY YEARS VOL. 1 EP 12”
Kramer/HOUSE REVENGE 2 12”
Various/HOUSE SOUND 3 12”
Drive Me Home/FAST LIFE EP 12”
L-Vis 1990/LOST IN LOVE 12”
Eliphino/MORE THAN ME 12”
Alain Ho & Alex Arnout/DEEP INTO...12”
Various/TUSK WAX EP TWO 12”
Roots Panorama/THREEE 12"

So Many Wizards Level Up

Posted by Billy Gil, November 4, 2011 12:03pm | Post a Comment

L.A. indie pop heroes So Many Wizards take the stage at The Echo tonight as a four-piece rather than a three-piece band for the first time, opening for wonderful britpop weirdos Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The show's at 8:30 p.m., and it's 10 bucks. Buy tickets here.

Frontman Nima Kazerouni started So Many Wizards as a solo project in Long Beach around late 2008, recording the Tree EP. Drummer Erik Felix from neighboring San Pedro came aboard shortly thereafter and the two started quickly evolving the sound.

Since then, the band added third member Frank Maston and now have added Geoff Geis of local goodies Pizza! and Big Whup. It's a long way from back in 2009, when Kazerouni played live while old TVs rigged with LCD screens played his backup parts.

“The vintage TVs really threw people for a loop, which was cool, but it got old fast (super fragile and hard to set up),” Kazerouni explains. “These days, as the bands grows with members and hence new sonic possibilities, focusing on honing those possibilities is the primary goal.”

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 11.04.11: Freestyle Fellowship, Idle Warship, M.E.D., Wale, Statik Selektah, Dessa, Platurn + John Coyne, & Peace Out to Amoeba's Luis F. Soria

Posted by Billyjam, November 4, 2011 07:44am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six Week Ending 11:04:11

1) Freestyle Fellowship The Promise (Decon)

2) Idle Warship (Talib Kweli & Res) Habits of the Heart (Element 9/Blacksmith Records)

3) M.E.D. Classic (Stones Throw)

4) Wale Ambition (Warner Bros.)

5) Statik Selektah Population Control (Duck Down)

6) Dessa Castor the Twin (Doomtree)

Special thanks to Luis F. Soria (aka Lou) at the Amoeba San Francisco store for this week's top six chart which sadly will be Lou's final contribution to this Amoeblog and to Amoeba Music too since he has just announced that he is moving on from Amoeba for good to focus all his time and energies on the other worthwhile projects he has going in his life. Like so many of his co-workers at the Haight Street store, who counted on Lou for not just music knowledge, but genuine friendship and support when things troubled them (he's one of that rare breed that actually give a damn about his fellow humans), I always enjoyed dealing with Lou. Whenever we spoke we would talk at length and in great detail about something we both love, hip-hop music. And it is that genuine love and passion for hip-hop by Lou, who is also a DJ, that will be missed the most. If it were not for Lou the hip-hop isles at Amoeba on Haight Street would not have showcased so many amazing (often well under the radar) hip-hop releases. And of all the regions represented none got more love from Lou than San Francisco and the Bay Area. Responsible for getting in so many homegrown hip-hop acts into Amoeba Lou will be missed not just by his co-workers at Amoeba Music on Haight but by the Bay Area hip-hop community at large. Good luck in all you do Lou and thank-you for being you! And please stop by Amoeba Music from time.

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Remembering Cory Smoot

Posted by Kells, November 3, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment
Cory Smoot August 25, 1977 - November 3, 2011
I sometimes have difficulty recalling birthday celebrations but I'll never forget my fourteenth as it was without a doubt the heaviest of them all. It was 1991 and basically still heads and preps all the way, socially speaking, and if you rolled with the heads yours was most likely a metalhead. That year my birthday party pretty much resembled any old home-spun celebration save for the fact that I obtained permission from my mother to invite my friends over to jam as loud. and for as long, as they liked. To this day I cannot fathom what my mothers thoughts could have been while she watched my friends and I bang our heads along to deft renditions of Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" and Megadeth's "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" wrought by the likes of a then thirteen year-old Cory Smoot and friends, the sheer multitude of amplifiers and other necessary equipment crammed into the tiny den guaranteeing almost certain instant deafness. I can say I have never ever experienced a bang-over as intense as the useless lolling-melon that hung from my sore neck and shoulders for days after that singular house party thrasher.

Though time has put quite the crook between the Cory I knew then and the Cory who was found dead this morning on GWAR's tourbus - a band he's been lending his sick licks, shreds and metalhead essence to for the last decade as lead guitarist Flattus Maximus - I feel an obligation to pay proper tribute to his memory. I do this not just because he was a homie from way back nor for the fact that he's managed to impart his humor and wizardry to our most notoriously messy hometown band but simply because Cory's technical prowess and musical influences heavily informed my tastes from an early age.

There being little means of truly satisfying one's kicks in sub-suburban Richmond Virginia in the late 80's/early 90's, aside from the weekly pilgrimage to the skating rink, junior high afternoons and weekends consisted of finding oneself playing at the embodying the rocker or the groupie, often both. Bands like those that Cory formed or played in were often frankestein incarnations of each other, spanning a strata of sound from metal to punk, thrash to trash - the music nevertheless devoured. The first time I heard Deicide was with Cory right after he'd gotten the cassette; I can still picture him brandishing that tape towards me, his gesture and the the sinister artwork featured on the cover being one of those queer moments that for whatever reason has always been lodged in my memory bank. Along with that warm, slightly worn-sounding fuzzy voice of his. For me, imagining Cory audition for GWAR is to envision him playing and singing his way through Scumdogs of the Universe in it's entirety because that's how well we all knew that record. Add to that the fact that most everyone in our crew of metal miscreants have, at one time or another, sported undergarments forever dyed with faded shades of GWAR's on-stage excretions. Some of us still do.

A sad day for GWAR fans, GWAR babies, and Richmonders, Southsiders especially. Cory Smoot will be missed but not forgotten. Looks like it's time to dig through some dusty VHS tapes for a slightly less embarrassing peek at the old days.

From GWAR lead vocalist Dave Brockie, a.k.a. Oderus Urungus:

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November 3, 2011: Tower Heist

Posted by phil blankenship, November 3, 2011 10:31pm | Post a Comment

PPM Records Celebrates 10 Years With Weekend Show

Posted by Billy Gil, November 3, 2011 01:15pm | Post a Comment
Post Present Medium, or PPM Records, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this weekend with a kickass show at the Smell featuring Abe Vigoda, High Places and more on Friday; Dunes, Tearist and more on Saturday; and No Age, SFV Acid and Bleached, among others, Sunday. The shows start at 7 p.m. each night, and it's 8 bucks a night.

No Age's Dean Spunt started the label in 2001, first releasing a 7” by a band called The Intima. From there, the bands PPM has released records of reads like a who's-who of breakthrough artists from the area over the past decade, including the aforementioned artists, plus such local luminaries as Best Coast, Mika Miko and Wavves. He'll release No. 50 in December and has up to No. 56 planned so far.

Spunt said there's not ruling sound for the label, given its variety, but rather it's an outlet for friends' bands and uncompromising artists, and to document the L.A. underground music scene. I asked Spunt to highlight a few landmark records from the PPM library.


Spunt: My first adventure into making records, such a good band. I probably let them down, I had no idea how to sell a record. I got the hang of it though! Find it if you can!

Spunt: First full length from the now legendary and defunct MM! They were a bomb that exploded and affected everyone

Spunt: This is the first record by Olympia Washington's Gun Outfit. They are still one of my favorite bands. So punk.

Spunt: An EP after Skeleton, and before Crush ... this was Reggie's last record for them on drums, it is perfect.

Spunt: Such a great record. I was so pleased to release this band comprised of great friends. It always reminded me of “Cough/Cool” era Misfits meets a demented Joy Division, with perfect aesthetics. (Pick up more Silk Flowers from Amoeba here.)

Spunt: A really good A-side and B-side. This was when there was a drum machine, very early on in their career. Killer. (Pick up more Best Coast from Amoeba here.)

Spunt: Andy from Wrangler Brutes, he was in a bunch of other amazing bands too, but he teams up with Jared, who was in Karp, currently in Melvins ... so many cool dudes here .. anyway, this record kills it!


Spunt: I was honored to put this record out. Chalk Circle was an all female punk rock band from Washington DC in the early '80s. Amazing amazing amazing.

Spunt: Zane Reynolds aka SFV ACID is an incredible song writer. His MPC is where he spends most his time. The most exciting thing happening in the SFV!

Spunt: You heard it here first, this 7" rules. We have been releasing 7"s by Eric non stop, he has more planned, don't miss these things, Eric is breaking ground below us.

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Halloween 2011 at Amoeba Hollywood! Pets! Costumes!

Posted by Amoebite, November 3, 2011 11:32am | Post a Comment
Monday . . . October 31 . . . 4pm Halloween Afternoon . . . Amoeba Music Hollywood . . .

Among the spooky decorations, howls, and festive tunes provided by DJ Frankenfurn, DJ Die Die My Darling, and DJ Annityvill Horror, Amoebites roam the aisles and the registers in a variety of spooky and hilarious costumes. 
Pet Costume Contest

The clock strikes 4pm, it's time for Amoeba Hollywood's first ever Pet Costume Contest!!! Dogs of all sizes (and even one cat!) surround the stage in an array of festive looks. 

The largest dog contestant is Punk Rock Charlie. This goofy floppy mop top seemed right at home, ready to shop the used rock section with his pink & green hair and Ramone's T-shirt.

Next, a tiny chihuahua named Bootsy Collins comes flying in as a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz. Bootsy's mini face holds up a tiny blue pillbox hat. The powder blue uniform and mythical blue wings appear to grant Bootsy the ability to fly...FLY MY LITTLE PRETTY!!!Bootsy Collins pet costume contest

Word has it Lady Gaga was seen with none other than Eazy-E. Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix Lola devours the runway as Lady Gaga. Her homemade meat dress is complimented nicely with her plaid mini-top-hat, toxic blue side pony tail and plenty of attitude. Lola's partner in crime, Eazy-E, comes dressed as...EAZY-E! Representin' straight outta Compton in trademark black & white apparel, jerry curls, and black cap. Don't be fooled by his height, one look at him will tell you he hangs with the boyz in the hood.

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out this week 10/25 & 11/1...Blouse...The Soft Moon...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 3, 2011 10:52am | Post a Comment
I have been a huge fan of the label Captured Tracks since I first heard anything on that label. There are just some labels that you can always count on. You can trust them to bring you the best of a particular genre. I can honestly say that I love Captured Tracks. They released two of my favorite albums last year by The Soft Moon and Wild Nothing. They both ended up in the top ten of my Top 50 Albums of 2010. I have been closely following this label ever since I first discovered them. If you are a fan of shoegaze and what it has evolved into in the recent years then this label is for you. The releases on this label tend to be on the dark side of things. The label really is as consistent as a label like 4AD. Maybe even more so. I have yet to be disappointed. In November of last year Captured Tracks released the Golden Haze EP by Wild Nothing and the Land & Fixed album by Blank Dogs. Idle Labor by Craft Spells was released by Captured Tracks this last April. And I of course fell in love with this album as well. It is dreamy and gazey and just a beautiful little album. A bit more pop music than the releases from The Soft Moon and Wild Nothing. But still a fantastic album. The excellent Soft Metals album was released in August of this year. Captured Tracks has done it again and released two new albums this first week in November. A new EP from one of my favorites The Soft Moon. And the debut album from Blouse.

I am really happy to have some new songs by The Soft Moon. I really have probably listened to the self titled album too much. I just couldn't stop. But now we have a new EP from the brilliant Soft Moon. It is dark and weird and the perfect album to get you ready for these winter months. The Total Decay EP is out on CD and LP.

Check out the video for "Total Decay" from the new Total Decay EP by The Soft Moon...

Also out this week is the debut album from Blouse. They have released a couple of 7"s over the last couple months. But the time has finally come for their debut album. Blouse are more Pale Saints meets Glass Candy than the Joy Division meets Trans Am sounds of The Soft Moon. A more dreamy and less electro version of Ladytron. They are the more dreamy side of Captured Tracks. They also have a fantastic female singer in Blouse named Charlie Hilton. I really love this new album. Which is not surprising. I really end up sounding like a broken record with my going on about my love of Captured Tracks. I just can't get enough. And this new Blouse album is beautiful. You should love it with me.

Listen to "In Black" by Blouse from the album Blouse...

also out 10/25...

Let The Poison Out
by The Beets

Mylo Xyloto
by Coldplay

Howl of the Lonely Crowd
by Comet Gain

Audio Video Disco
by Justice

by Phantogram

A Very She & Him Christmas
by She & Him

by Skinny Puppy

Essential Phil Spector
by Phil Spector

Live Music
by Strange Boys

Tarot Classics
by Surfer Blood

Fac. Dance
by Various Artists

by VNV Nation

Bad As Me
by Tom Waits

also out 11/1...

by Blouse

Long Live The King
by The Decemberists

by Florence & The Machine

Exits & All the Rest
by Girl In A Coma

by Lou Reed & Metallica

Total Decay EP
 by The Soft Moon

by Tycho

Ignoring Haters & Dismissing Cancer Rumors, Adele Continues Her Rise to Become the Top Selling Artist of 2011

Posted by Billyjam, November 3, 2011 08:17am | Post a Comment
At each Amoeba Music as well as at near every music store around the world one of the consistently most popular albums of this year has been Adele's phenomenally successful second album 21 on XL/Columbia which in this past week hit (again) the number one slot on the Billboard album charts for the second week in a row - and repeating the feat of capturing the number slot that it has accomplished on thirteen previous chart weeks throughout 2011.

The popularity & corresponding sales of the album, which was released back in February (it was released the previous month in her native UK), have been driven by the success of its singles including the latest "Someone Like You" (see video below), "Set Fire To The Rain," and the incredibly popular, raw blues driven, album lead-off single "Rolling In The Deep."

From its early 2011 release the album has been heralded as an instant classic by everyone including such folks at Amoeba Hollywood as Ray Ricky Rivera, L.L., and Super Cooper who said of 21, "I’m not going to be the first or last to tell you that this record is stunning. Just listen to “Someone Like You” and try not to cry. If you can’t cry, I feel sorry for you. That song can change you, if you let it in. Let it in."

But despite the non stop accolades and all of Adele's success things looked bleak for the singer after it was announced last Friday that she suddenly had to cancel the remaining concert dates of her 2011 tour. This news immediately fueled much speculation and rumors that Adele was suffering from throat cancer. But these rumors were dismissed by the artist and her spokesman who this week made this statement, "We would like to reiterate that Adele is to undergo surgery for a hemorrhaged vocal chord. All reports regarding any other condition are 100% false."

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November 2, 2011: Saigon Electric

Posted by phil blankenship, November 3, 2011 12:14am | Post a Comment

SF at the AFI Fest

Posted by Charles Reece, November 1, 2011 09:37pm | Post a Comment

Among the standard schlocky dramas (J. Edgar), this year's AFI Festival has surprisingly quite a few works of speculative fiction. Here are the trailers:

Beyond the Black Rainbow


Carré Blanc



Overall, there's a lot more decent genre material than in years past, and it's free.

Show Report: Zola Jesus at the Echoplex

Posted by Billy Gil, November 1, 2011 06:06pm | Post a Comment
LA Vampires started this Halloween show at the Echoplex with a psych-dance set that perfectly set the stage for Zola Jesus. Amanda Brown’s post-Pocahaunted project, in which she collaborates with artists such as Matrix Metals and Zola Jesus (aka Nika Roza Danilova) to fashion dubbed out psych-tronica that belies its goth veneer by injecting with positive vibes and beats from early techno. Brown’s freaky dancing and faded vocals pull you into the trance created by her collaborators’ loops and synths. Her bleached-blonde mop perfectly matched that of Danilova, who came out during a sick cover of The Cardigans“Carnival” to dance and sing alongside Brown. In the dark venue, the two looked like tiny wraiths writhing around onstage intoxicatingly.


Danilova, meanwhile, dug into a gauzy set that relied heavily on her recently released Conatus. Songs like Conatus’ “Hikikomori” and “Seekir,” the poppier songs on the record, came through with as much or more power than on record, their hooks amplified to new extremes. The Echoplex tends to add a lot of natural reverb to shows, and this at times added to the already soaked songs to the point that it was a deluge, almost overpowering. I haven’t seen Zola Jesus play live before, but I’m willing to bet her shows are always this dreamy. The music just sort of pours over you, and Danilova swings her arms and dances in flowy garb. Everything feels the way Fleetwod Mac’s “Gyspy” video looks.

Part of it may have been the Halloween vibe, but it’s almost scary how powerful her voice can get, especially near the end of this set, when she let loose her operatic howl and cut through the din.  I could have stood to hear more from Stridulum (she did play “Night,” getting one of the best responses of the night) and The Spoils. But I was really glad to hear Conatus’ “Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake,” a particularly moving track on the album that concludes with a powerful choral section that was still effective recreated digitally, though it begs to be heard with backup singers in a more open setting. Let’s hope for a show someday at the Bowl or the Walt Disney Concert Hall, hmm?

Brian Wilson/Beach Boys Fans Have Good Reason to Smile Today with the Release of the Smile Sessions in Three Versions

Posted by Billyjam, November 1, 2011 05:33pm | Post a Comment

Talk about a highly anticipated & long delayed release! Brian Wilson and Beach Boys fans are no doubt rejoicing today with the arrival in Amoeba Music of the 2 CD  set The Smile Sessions. Released by Capitol/EMI the new release is culled from what was originally supposed to be released as the Smile album back in the latter half of the sixties as the follow up to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Ofttimes spelled with the typeset SMiLE (based on the original artwork by Frank Holmes) the new release is  culled from the long lost legendary 1966/67 Smile sessions.

As is long part of music lore, the master tapes for Smile got shelved due, as most report, to Wilson's deteriorating mental state and the album never saw the light of day. Well not exactly; it never got released as originally intended by its creator Wilson at the time. Portions of the project have surfaced as bootlegs, snapped up by diehard Wilson/Beach Boys fans, over the decades since its initial intended release date. Additionally many of the original songs found their way onto various other official Beach Boys releases. But then eight years ago the Smile project was brought back to life by Wilson himself who went about rerecording it as he had intended. That fully completed version was released in 2004.

But The Smile Sessions released today, which features a reconstructed version of the album pieced together from those original '66/'67 studio recordings, is definitely one to have for any true Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fan. Vinyl collectors will be happy to know that there is an LP version of The Smile Sessions also available from Amoeba. As well as the reconstructed album Smile the new 2 CD  version of the collection (see image of contents right) includes a lot more gems from the vaults; early song drafts, alternate takes, vocal only & instrumental only mixes of songs, as well as snippets of studio banter between the band members. Also included is a 14.5" x 20" poster of the Frank Holmes cover art, and a 37 page booklet with liner notes by Wilson. There is also a collectible one inch scale Smile button included.

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