Amoeblog

Women of the Blues Part II

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2012 06:31pm | Post a Comment

Etta James "I'd Rather Go Blind" (live 1992)

As part of the ongoing Amoeblog series honoring Women's History Month (Which ends today, March 31st), this blog is the second part of the two celebrating women blues artists. The first, earlier this week, focused on women from the classic blues era (circa 1920s), while this one takes a look/listen at women blues artists spanning the decades since.


Koko Taylor "Blues Never Die" (1975)


Big Mama Thornton "Bumble Bee Blues" (with Muddy Waters Band, 1966)

"When you in trouble blues is a girl's best friend" sings Koko Taylor on her 1975 recording of "Blues Never Die" (audio above). Taylor, like many of the longtime blues women here (including Big Mama Thornton, whose track "Bumble Bee Blues" with Muddy Waters Band is also above) have also been categorized over the years as rhythm and blues, rock & roll, and jazz. The late great Etta James, who we lost just two months ago, is an example of a blues artist who was also classified as jazz, rhythm & blues, rock n roll, and gospel too. A 1992 concert version of her singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" - written by Ellington Jordan and co-credited to Billy Foster but first recorded by Etta James in 1968 - appears above. As we know, the moving song has in the years since become a standard for countless artists to cover.

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Oh, Thank the Seven: Game of Thrones is Back!

Posted by Kells, March 31, 2012 03:30pm | Post a Comment

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
Seeing as Game of Thrones returns to the small screen this Sunday I'd say that so-called real life is about to be injected with a dose of weapons-grade fantasy so sweet that even the most pragmatic of my must-see TV-viewing colleagues are welcoming the series' second season like a Stark previsions winter. As an avid fan of both the books and the nighttime telly adaptation I've been gagging in anticipation with each trailer, character featurette and behind-the-scenes peeks HBO has released, like so many ravens sent to tease the bannermen. I'm so chuffed to bits about the premier this Sunday I've got to channel my excitement before I lose my head! Read on for a list of people, places and things I'm looking forward to as Game of Thrones once again takes to the sky (now with more dragons)!

Haven't read the books? That's okay (though, as is the case with most adaptations, the books are better) - taken out of context these prospects are unloaded and weightless. That is, expect mild spoilers at best.

John Snow + Ygritte = "You know nothing"

Finally, we get to meet Ygritte! In an amazing turn of crossover interest for folks who esteem Downton Abbey, Rose Leslie - the actress who played a maid with a mind to realize a career dream of becoming a secretary in season one of the popular Masterpiece Classic series - will be gracing the icy wastes of the wilds beyond the Wall as fate twists the destinies of John Snow and co. on an extended ranging mission. "But will he get it in," you ask. At the risk of courting spoilers, which I am loath to do, all I can say further is that I'm sure to squeal little bit the first time this chick utters the words, "you know nothing, John Snow."


“Her name is Brienne,” Jaime said. “Brienne, the maid of Tarth. You are still maiden, I hope?”

Her broad homely face turned red. “Yes.”

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Royalty

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 31, 2012 03:15pm | Post a Comment

Zou Bisou Bis...aagghh! Make It Stop!

Posted by Kells, March 31, 2012 01:38pm | Post a Comment


Hey you! Tortured much by that little Gillian Hills ditty "Zou Bisou Bisou" sung by Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) in the Mad Men premier last week? Never fear mes amis, exorcise that demon by purchasing the super slick 45 rpm 7" vinyl single of "Zou Bisou Bisou" (sung by Miss Pare herself as heard in the show) with the RJD2 Mad Men theme on the b-side. What really floats my boat is the fact that one may spin this sweet baby at 33 & 1/3 speed to hear the super spooky "alternative" versions of these modern pop sensations. I have a feeling the theme's electro beat will translate oh so deliciously when played at the slower speed. In other words: get your goth night on cats and kittens! See the song and scene below!


Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 03.30.12: E-Lit, E-40, Gift of Gab, THEESatisfaction, Quakers, DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles

Posted by Billyjam, March 30, 2012 08:00pm | Post a Comment


Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending March 30th 2012


1) E-40 Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 1, 2 & 3 (Heavy On Grind)

2) DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles Kolexxxion (Gracie)

3) GIft Of Gab The Next Logical Progression  (Quannum Projects)

4) Quakers Quakers (Stones Throw)

5) THEESatisfaction awE naturalE LP (Sub Pop)

Most artists, as their lifelong music careers develop, tend to taper off in terms creating new material. Not longtime Vallejo rapper/Bay legend E-40 whose latest release in another multi-album release - the triple CD set Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 1, 2 & 3 that offers a stunning total of 60 new tracks! (You can buy as three individual CDs or as a single packaged 3CD set for $34.98,including free shipping, from Amoeba..com. ) 60 new tracks is a lot of new music from the ever innovative Bay Area legend whose been putting it down for a quarter of a century now and showing no signs of ever slowing down. In that same unique position (especially for rap music in which careers don't traditionally last beyond one decade) is fellow Bay Area rap pioneer Too $hort who is similarly prolific and even longer in the game - clocking three decades into his long successful career. Recently Too $hort released his 19th album  No Trespassing (Dangerous Music) on which coincidentally E-40 makes a cameo.  Another longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist with a new release is the Quannum Projects' Gift of Gab who just relased The Next Logical Progression.  Check music sample of this and all the chart entries in the videos below.

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Amoeba’s Monday Movies at Space15Twenty

Posted by Amoebite, March 30, 2012 07:34pm | Post a Comment

YOU ARE INVITED to our April screening series in Hollywood! We're bringing back our Monday Movie series at Space 15Twenty (up the street from Amoeba). Every Monday night in April you can see a different music-related film that we have selected and it's FREE! 

Sign up for the Amoeba newsletter at Space15Twenty on Monday Movie Nights and you could win our April Shopping Spree $100 gift certificate!!

What:  FREE Weekly Monday night films, curated by Amoeba Music

When:  Every Monday at 8pm – from April 2nd through April 30th

Where:  In the courtyard of Space15Twenty
1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Why: A neighborhood collaboration and a great way to spend a Monday night in Hollywood… and it's FREE!
 

Re:Generation Music Project April 2, 2012 – RE:GENERATION MUSIC PROJECT

The Re:Generation Music Project follows five electronic DJs/producers - DJ Premier, SkrillexPretty Lights, Mark Ronson and The Crystal Method - as they remix, recreate and re-imagine five traditional styles of music (Rock, R&B, Country, Jazz, and Classical). These five distinctive DJs collaborate with some incredibly talented (and some unlikely) partners - The DoorsMartha ReevesErykah Badu,Trombone ShortyMos DefZigaboo ModelisteNas,Leann RimesDr. Ralph Stanley - to discover how our musical past is influencing the future. The documentary was produced in association with the Grammys and presented by Hyundai Veloster. 



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Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, Sunday 4/1

Posted by Amoebite, March 30, 2012 05:21pm | Post a Comment
Record swap pasadena flea market amoeba music

On Sunday, April 1, Amoeba will be at one of the Southland's biggest and best record swap meets, the 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. And admission is always free and parking is $2.

The Flea Market and Record Swap is from 7am-3pm. Look for the Amoeba booth located in the Bonnie St. parking structure (Lot 5) on the third 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 info HERE.

Peanutsized

Posted by Charles Reece, March 30, 2012 04:01pm | Post a Comment

A portrait of yours truly, courtesy of my pal, David, tattooist extraordinaire at LA's Sunset Strip Tattoo.

I'm a little bit country...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 29, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment
By Kaitlin

Growing up, I was never allowed to fiddle with the radio in the car. I listened to whatever my folks were listening to and that was that. I knew kids who would get in the car and change the music, turn it up, and I was a little jealous. In retrospect, I realize that I received a huge musical education in those car trips that I wouldn’t trade for a pile of gold. Seriously!

In my dad’s car was where I first heard the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, and so on and so on. In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to share some of my memories about hearing these legendary, moving, and talented women.Loretta Lynn

I believe I first heard of Loretta Lynn when watching Coal Miner’s Daughter, the film based upon her life starring Sissy Spacek. She grew up dirt poor and skyrocketed to fame with an amazing voice and moving storytelling in her songs. She was a strong woman and sang about issues that real, working women dealt and still deal with such as cheating men, being a single mother, birth control, and divorce, among other themes.

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New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/29 - Magic Mountain High on Workshop, Kaseem Mosse, Kowton, Burial + Four Tet, Baaz, Hunee & tons more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 29, 2012 04:13pm | Post a Comment



Magic Mountain High

Schnitzel Box Vol. 1 EP
Workshop

Debut release from Move D / Juju & Jordash's new project Magic Mountain High, serious analogue grooves here. Heavy droning, warm sounding, acidic original House EP - TIP!

Purchase Schnitzel Box here:









Kowton / Juniper / Kareem Moser
Ominira 333
Ominira

Three hypnotic grooves of dusty housish/technoesque tunes from Kowton, Juniper and Kareem Mosser AKA Kaseem Mosse

Purchase Ominira 333 here:








Burial & Four Tet
Nova 12"
Text

Another extremely limited, black label 12" from this pair of underground superstar producers, with a lilting, melancholy melody that drifts over a shuffling bassline. Demand always exceeds supply on these BURIAL & FOUR TET releases on TEXT, so do not miss out on this!!

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ALL - Art for Locals in Los Angeles, Sat. 4/28

Posted by Amoebite, March 29, 2012 04:12pm | Post a Comment
ALL Art for Locals in Los Angeles

Amoeba Music is pleased to sponsor ALL - Art for Locals in Los Angeles on April 28th from 7pm - 11pm in North Hollywood.

ALL is a community event showcasing the work of local Los Angeles artists such as Ann Kim, Andrae
Ann Kim
Metamorphosis by Ann Kim.
Harrison, Krisztianna, Steven McAdam, Dian Cesena, CJ Browne, just to name a few. It will be a fun-filled event with food trucks, art enthusiasts, and so much more. Come out and support your local artists!

Admission is just $5 and 10% of all proceeds will go to the local non-profit A Place Called Home, a safe haven in South Central Los Angeles where underserved youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education, arts, and well-being; and are inspired to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world. 

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Earl Scruggs, 1924 - 2012

Posted by Job O Brother, March 29, 2012 12:01pm | Post a Comment
R.I.P.
Earl Scruggs


Dum Dum Girls' New Video for "Coming Down" Pays Homage to Yoko Ono's "Cut Piece"

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2012 11:41pm | Post a Comment

The Dum Dum Girls "Coming Down" (2012)

 
This week the wonderful band Dum Dum Girls released the video for their song "Coming Down" off of their latest album, Only in Dreams, which was released on September 27th by Sub Pop.  To celebrate release day, they did a live in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood. The "Coming Down" music video, which is directed by their new bass player Malia James, appears to be paying homage to Yoko Ono's "Cut Piece" (see below).

Dum Dum Girls are currently on tour in Europe with dates in several Italian cities over the week ahead, followed by dates in Spain and the UK through the end of April. Then they'll take the tour back to the States with numerous dates through the end of May including at the Echoplex in LA on May 18th, the Blank Club in San Jose on May 21st, Slim's in San Francisco on May 22nd, and at the Sasquatch! Festival in Gorge, WA on May 26th. In the meantime, buy Only in Dreams from Amoeba.com!
 
 
              
YOKO ONO CUT PIECE by TECHNOLOGOS

March 28, 2012: The Woman In Black

Posted by phil blankenship, March 28, 2012 10:20pm | Post a Comment

Saluting Women Artists of the Classic Blues Era

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2012 06:39pm | Post a Comment
In observance of the ongoing Amoeblog series honoring Women's History Month, this blog salutes women blues singers from the classic blues era. I will also post a second part celebrating women blues artists from later decades. But for now, I am focusing on the classic blues era of a century ago. It was a time when these women artists were pioneers by being both among the very first black singers and  blues artists to be recorded.

This first wave of recorded female blues was spearheaded by such American music legends as Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Mamie Smith (no relation to Bessie), and of course Ma Rainey.  Born in 1886, Ma Rainey earned the title “Mother of the Blues” for being instrumental in bringing the music to the public first. She is credited with both influencing all other female blues singers that came after her and with being the first to perform the blues on stage as popular entertainment. This she did when, at the turn of the century, she first incorporated blues into her broader vaudeville act that was built around comedy bits and show songs of the time. As legend has it Rainey would close every show with a song about a woman losing her man that she called “The Blues." Rainey, along with her husband Pa Rainey, is credited with discovering Bessie Smith on one of her early tours.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Wild Flag

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 28, 2012 01:07pm | Post a Comment

Wild Flag at AmoebaThe funny, talented women of Wild Flag sat down with us recently for a What's In My Bag? episode. Wild Flag is the first major musical post-Sleater-Kinney project for Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, and includes Mary Timony (Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders) to boot. The four members of Wild Flag had interconnected musical histories during the last decade, playing in various bands that toured or collaborated with each other, but somehow the formation of the Wild Flag was the first time the four of them ever played together at the same time. Wild Flag released their self-titled debut full-length in November 2011 on Merge Records.

You may also know Carrie (and her humor and wit) from the TV show Portlandia which she co-created and stars in with Fred Armisan (SNL).

Unfortunately Janet couldn't make it on the day of the shoot, but Carrie, Mary, and Rebecca shared their picks which included Lionel Richie, Yes, George Jones, Iron Maiden, Destroy All Movies, and more. They also put a call out for a Vinyl Nanny to take with them on tour...

Wild Flag - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Madge's MDNA Is Album Twelve in Illustrious Three-Decade Career

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2012 05:29pm | Post a Comment
Madonna's new album MDNA, which has been available via pre-order from Amoeba for the past five weeks, has finally been released (as of yesterday) by Interscope following a much hyped lead-in over the past couple of months that included her high profile Super Bowl halftime performance with new album collaborators Nicki MinajM.I.A., and LMFAO, plus a series of advance tracks & snippets off the new 12 track album (the Deluxe CD version has 16 tracks) being circulated online to both positive and negative reviews by bloggers and journalists - all eager to weigh in on the 53 year old Material Girl's latest album (her twelfth) in a 30 year career that is rarely too far from some degree of controversy.

In the latest Madonna controversy producer/DJ  deadmau5 just accused Madonna, via a Twitter attack, of promoting the drug ecstasy by using the term "molly" (slang for E) during concert banter at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami on Saturday. (read full story here) She flatly denies it although she does sing "MDMA" on one of the new album tracks whose title MDNA looks like MDMA (the technical term for the illegal club drug) at first glance. Of course regardless of whatever the case may be all deadmau5 essentially did was feed into the publicity machine and help further promote Madonna's new album and tour with this latest wave of free publicity for an artist whose career thrives off controversy.

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The San Francisco International Film Festival, 4/19 - 5/3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2012 05:15pm | Post a Comment
San Francisco International Film Fest Castro

The San Francisco International Film Festival returns From April 19th – May 3rd for two weeks of cinematic discovery. The International assembles world-renowned talent—such as awardees KennethThe Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller Branagh, Barbara Kopple, and Pierre Rissient—for Bay Area audiences.

This year's innovative events include Academy Award nominee Sam Green's latest live documentary project The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller with live music by Yo La Tengo (5/1 at SFMoma), Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs) with Buster Keaton shorts (4/23 at Castro Theatre), and so much more!

For a complete guide to films, venues, and tickets, visit festival.sffs.org, but here are a few more that we are excited about!
 
Bernie (Richard Linklater, USA, 2011)
Explaining the proper methods to superglue eyelids closed and adjust a corpse’s smile, Bernie Tiede Richard Linklater Bernie Jack Black(Jack Black) warns, “You cannot have grief tragically becoming comedy.” But can it be funny when someone dies and no one cares? A former evangelist who arrives in Carthage, Texas to take a job as an assistant funeral director, Tiede uses his magnetic personality, seemingly never-ending skill set and Harold Hill–style of confidence to become the most popular man in town. Tiede even manages to charm Marjorie Nugent (a maniacally frenzied Shirley MacLaine), the local rich widow whom everyone else despises and fears. Eventually, though, Nugent’s abuses become too much for someone in Carthage to take. Director Richard Linklater returns to the East Texas of his youth to showcase the strange heart of small town life, where, as one character puts it, “people will always suspect the worst, but they’ll also suspect the best.” Saturday, April 21, Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.

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The Touré-Raichel Collective, April 26th in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2012 04:09pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present The Touré-Raichel Collective featuring Vieux Farka Touré, Idan Raichel, Souleymane Kané, and Amit Carmeli on AprilThe Touré-Raichel Collective Vieux Farka Touré dan Raichel 26th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

Thursday, April 26, 2012
8:00PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
$25/$45/$65/$85
Get tickets HERE or call 415.392.4400
Group discounts available for 10 or more!

"...original guitar music of such fluidity, technique, rhythmic invention, and passion, that it is virtually unequaled..."
- AllMusic

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BOY BAR & Amoeba Music Present MDNA Official Album Release Party @ The Cafe in SF, Friday 3/30!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2012 03:09pm | Post a Comment
Madonna MDNA Boy Bar The Cafe Amoeba

Head down to San Francisco's The Cafe this Friday, March 30th at 9pm for a Madonna party to remember! It's the official MDNA release party and Amoeba Music will be there with plenty of copies forMadonna MDNA sale!

The festivities include:
- Madonna concert ticket giveaways!
- MDNA Photobooths!
- Limited edition mylar posers!
(with purchase of the MDNA CD onsite)
*limited space and quantities available*

Plus, resident DJ MATT will be spinning many unreleased remixes from current and upcoming singles, including remixes from Tracy Young and Offer Nissim!


March 26, 2012: The Raid: Redemption

Posted by phil blankenship, March 26, 2012 10:14pm | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- A Hollywood Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 26, 2012 09:42pm | Post a Comment
HOLLYWOOD SWINGING


Hollywood Boulevard in 1927 at the opening of Hells Angels at Grauman's Chinese

Hollywood is famous around the world as the one-time center of the American film industry. Although Hollywood isn't the original home of the west coast film industry (nearby Edendale in Echo Park and Sycamore Grove in Highland Park both have stronger claims to that distinction), Hollywood has for almost a century continued to serve as a metonym for that industry (and inspire portmanteaus like Bollywood, Dollywood, Ghallywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, Nollywood, Tollywood, etc); even though that most of the film industry mostly long ago abandoned the neighborhood, primarily for the San Fernando Valley. Hollywood has done an excellent job of branding though. After all, you don't have other countries referring to their film industries as "Bedendale," "Nycamore Grove", or "the Ghalley."


The Hollywood neighborhood has expertly continued to pimp its association with the American film industry that formerly called it home where the other neighborhoods did not. In Edendale, the oldest studio was torn down and is now a vacant lot where the 2 Freeway meets Glendale. The old Mack Sennet Studio where Charlie Chaplin and Keystone Cops movies were made is now a public storage facility unceremoniously tucked behind a Jack in the Box. Hollywood, on the other hand, continues to bill itself as "The Entertainment Capital of the World" and adds industry-related tourist attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was installed long after the last pieces of tinsel in tinseltown had blown over the hills.

Today there are relatively few vestiges of Hollywood's cinematic past not installed merely to attract tourists -- of the film studios, only Paramount remains. Of the major label music industry, only Capitol Records remains. The aforementioned Walk of Fame -- to me, at least -- serves primarily as a testament to the ephemeral nature of stardom. Not to be hopelessly cynical but the first time I saw the names like Bryan Adams, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Paula Abdul, I felt nothing but disinterest. However, for roughly ten million annual visitors it's presumably something terribly exciting and I honestly don't want to disparage that.



I would be very surprised, however, if much of Hollywood doesn't disappoint the celebrity or glamor-chaser because it really has little of either. Along a particularly acrid stretch Hollywood Boulevard, low-end shops hawk photos of celebrities alongside stripper-wear, I Love Lucy lunch boxes, tacky cell phone cases, novelty license plates, T-shirts and other chintz. People dressed rather unconvincingly as superheroes attempt to bully clueless tourists into tipping them for posing in pictures. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's saddened by the spectacle. 


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Hollywood (available on T-shirts from Cal31.com)

But that's only Downtown Hollywood. Though a relatively small district of Los Angeles County, Hollywood has about as much wealth disparity as your average banana republic and there are many diverse neighborhoods within the district.

Hollywood can generally be divided into three (or four) sections: Hollywood proper, East Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills (which are sometimes further divided into Hollywood Hills East and Hollywood Hills West).The Hollywood Hills neighborhoods nestled in the hills and canyons above Hollywood proper have long attracted the slightly bohemian wealthy of LA. Gritty East Hollywood is home to two of LA's many officially-recognized ethnic enclaves, Little Armenia and Thai Town. The whole community boasts a diverse ethnic mixture, with large populations of Armenian, English, German, Guatemalan, Mexican, Russian, Salvadoran, and Ukranian-Americans. (Note: North Hollywood is a distinct district in the Valley which neither borders Hollywood nor is considered part of it. West Hollywood is an independent city and thus not part of Los Angeles.)

There are other bright spots too. Amoeba Music, for one! The Egyptian Theater is another treasure. The city's stand-up and theater scenes continue to be centered there still. It's also conveniently located geographically in Central LA alongside its neighbors Midtown to the south and the Mideast Side to the east. In addition, the San Fernando Valley lies to the north and the Westside lies to the west.


*****


EARLY HOLLYWOOD


Hollywood in 1903

In 1853, a lone adobe hut stood in what's now Hollywood but was then known as Nopalera. 17 years later the then-known-as Cahuenga Valley supported a growing agricultural community. It was named Hollywood by the so-called "Father of Hollywood," H. J. Whitley. The town grew into a largely Mormon community in the 1880s although its population remained small and separated from Los Angeles by a two-hour train ride. Hollywood incorporated as its own city in 1903. The following year, a majority of 113 voters voted to prohibit alcohol, except for valid medical purposes.


Hollywood in 1910
 
Director D. W. Griffith was the filmmaker to shoot in Hollywood with his film, In Old California, released on March 10, 1910. No matter that it couldn't initially be seen in Hollywood, since the town squares had also seen fit to ban movie theaters. Later in 1910, the sleepy town was annexed by LA, primarily lured by their their reliable water supply. Once part of Los Angeles, movie theaters could open there too.


Nestor Sudios in 1913

Nestor Motion Picture Company
was the first Hollywood studio to shoot a film locally -- an unnamed one, apparently -- on October 26, 1911, directed by Al Christie and David and William Horsley. Nestor was started by New Jersey–based Centaur Company to crank out low budget westerns. They established their west coast studio at the corner of Sunset and Gower, in what was nicknamed the Gower Gulch, after a nearby roadhouse. The studio was demolished in 1936.


HOLLYWOOD'S GOLDEN AGE


By 1915, most American films were made in Los Angeles (displacing New York City). From the 1920s to the 1940s it was the center of American film production. It continued to be the center of the American pop music industry through the 1950s.


AFTER "THE INDUSTRY" LEFT


Hollywood and Vine in 1965

By the 1960s, both of those industries had for the most part completely abandoned the neighborhood. Nonetheless, even today, it still draws tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of its long-faded glamor, thanks largely to savvy marketing. The first stars on the Walk of Fame had been installed a few years earlier, in 1958. Also in the 1960s, in the name of modernization, most of the beautiful art deco buildings in the area were destroyed to make way for boxier, less-stylized, modern structures. This move did little to attract tourists. However, head shops moved into the neighborhood and attracted hippies, who had at least as much a part in keeping Hollywood vibrant as the destructive redevelopers. 


YEARS OF DECLINE


Darby Back Stage Cut Up (1978) by Ruby Ray

By the 1970s, most of the old hotels had become flophouses. Newly arrived, largely Latino, residents began to move in, attracted by the cheap rents as most remaining whites moved out. Around the same time, many of the sex stores, stripper-wear merchants and porn theatres moved in, followed by an influx of prostitution and drugs. The punk scene arrived not long after, centered around venues like The Masque.


CULTS, CRACK AND CRIME

The once luxurious Garden Court Apartments, later nicknamed Hotel Hell (demolished 1984)
In the 1980s, the cults arrived. First, The Night People took over an abandoned bank, which came to be known colloquially as Hotel Hell. Soon after, Scientologists and Screamers joined them on the increasingly dystopian scene. During the Crack Era, community groups like the Ivar Hawks, Cherokee Condors, Las Palmas Lions, Wilcox Werewolves, Whitley Rangers and Hudson Howlers fought to reclaim a neighborhood that included areas known as Crack Alley and a bar outside of which some two dozen people were murdered over a very short period of time. Hollywood suffered even further from looting during the 1992 LA Riots


A COMEBACK OF SORTS


After decades of decline, the area has recently cleaned up considerably -- some would argue at the cost of its character. It is undeniably safer and more bustling than it has been in some time. Once vacant lots are now covered with parking structures, malls, apartments, high rises and restaurants. By the the mid-2000s, a number of nightclubs began attracting the trustafarian/hipster crowd and came to be known as the Cahuenga Crawl. Old fixtures like The Spotlight, Hollywood's last old school gay bar, have fallen by the wayside as gentrification and homogenization continues. In another sign of the times, some at the LA Film School have waged an all-out war on the older, beloved, and arguably more useful Hollywood Farmers' Market.

Although Hollywood today may have very little to do with its film history past, and although hallowed institutions are regularly demolished and shut down, it remains an vibrant region with diverse neighborhoods and thriving energy. And for every slick, hangar-sized sushi joint or chain restaurant, there's usually something more street level happening around the corner.

And now for the neighborhoods:


****
 
 
BEACHWOOD CANYON


Beachwood Canyon refers to a neighborhood nestled In the Hollywood Hills at the lower end of the actual Beachwood Canyon. Though mostly residential, it does have a small area known as Beachwood Village which includes a market, a coffee shop and stables. It has long been a popular neighborhood for celebrities, beginning with movie stars of the silent era. It's also home to the Lake Hollywood Reservoir, created by the 1924 construction of the Mulholland Dam.


BRONSON CANYON


The Bronson Canyon neighborhood lies beneath a Griffith Park-adjacent park of the same name. The nearby Bronson Caves have for many years been a popular shooting location -- primarily for low budget serials and films. The neighborhood itself is almost entirely residential.

 
CAHUENGA PASS


The Cahuenga Pass neighborhood is located in the lowest pass through the Hollywood Hills. Cahuenga was a Tongva village and the name means "place of the hill." It was the site of two Mexican skirmishes, the Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1831 and the Battle of Providencia or Second Battle of Cahuenga Pass in 1845. 


CENTRAL HOLLYWOOD


Less touristy than Downtown Hollywood to the north, Central Hollywood is nonetheless home to Amoeba Music and the Cinerama Dome, built in 1963 and located across the street. It's also home to Hollywood's tallest building, Sunset Vine Tower, which was featured prominently in the 1974 disaster film, Earthquake. Later it was plagued with problems including the presence of asbestos, electrical fires and the popular perception of it being the world's biggest crackhouse. Nowadays it's been nicely, if expensively, refurbished. Central Hollywood is also home to the Gower Gulch shopping center and a Ross that continually looks like it was looted during a massive earthquake. 


CRESCENT HEIGHTS


Crescent Heights is the name of a tiny, mostly residential neighborhood located just above West Hollywood's Sunset Strip and below the mouth of Laurel Canyon.


 DAYTON HEIGHTS


Dayton Heights is a small neighborhood with a highly diverse scene, it would seem, as evinced by Chilean food (Rincon Chileno), Caribbean food (Cha Cha Cha), Japanese institutions (Bento Xpress and Fujiya Food Market), a leather bar (Faultline), a playhouse (Moth Theatre Company), Koreaninstitutions (Garam restaurant and the headquarters of the Korean Christian Press), the Slavic Baptist Church of HollywoodRomero's Rotisserie Chicken-N-Donuts, and Pizza Pauls.
 
 
DOWNTOWN HOLLYWOOD


Downtown Hollywood is centered around the intersection of Hollywood and Vine (aka Bob Hope Square). At the other end is Hollywood and Highland Center. Downtown is where most of the tourist traps are, including the Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, whose forecourt famously features about 200 handprints, foot prints and autographs left by celebrities over the years. Across the street is the Egyptian Theatre, which opened five years earlier, in 1922.

 
FRANKLIN VILLAGE


One of Hollywood's several, nominal "villages," this one located at the base of Bronson Canyon. Unlike Virgil Village, Franklin Village actually feels a tiny bit more like village... or at least a cohesive collection of businesses and residents distinct from its neighbors. It's the home of Upright Citizens Brigade, Scientology’s Celebrity Centre [notice the "r" before "e" spelling which is posh, OK?] InternationalCounterpoint Records and Books, the 101 Coffee Shop and Hollywood Tower -- the inspiration for Disney's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which itself inspired the first of Disney's based-on-a-ride films, 1997's Tower of Terror (followed by 2002's The Country Bears, 2003's The Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise).
 
HEL-MEL


Hel-Mel is an East Hollywood neighborhood named after the intersection of Heliotrope Drive and Melrose Avenue. It's home to LACC. And even though Pure Luck Vegan sadly closed (and is much missed), it still has the Bicycle Kitchen, Scoops, and tattoo and tobacco places. Plus there are several art galleries and hip here-today-gone-tomorrow music venues and thus it attracts a certain element... you know, militant bikologists.


 
HOLLYWOOD DELL



Hollywood Dell is a Hollywood Hills neighborhood that was home, at various times, to Mary Astor, Charlie Chaplin, Roy Rogers, members of The Rolling Stones, Minnie Driver, Marilyn Manson, Davy Jones, Goldie Hawn, Lindsay Lohan and Doris Roberts. One of the residences was prominently featured in the film, Double Indemnity, as the location of Philip Marlowe's home.

HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS


Hollywood Heights
is roughly bounded by Highland Avenue, Outpost Drive, Franklin Avenue, and south of the beloved Hollywood Bowl. Within it is Frank Lloyd Wright's Samuel Freeman House, The Magic Castle, Yamashiro Restaurant, and the Highland-Camrose Bungalow Village. It's also home to the Highland Gardens Hotel, where Janis Joplin died. The High Tower Apartments were featured in films including The Long Goodbye and Villa Bonita.


HOLLYWOOD STUDIO DISTRICT


Only one major film studio remains in the Hollywood Studio District - Paramount, which moved into the facility in 1926. Sunset Bronson Studios, formerly Warner Brothers Studios, are occupied by KTLA, which was originally owned by Paramount. Other studios include Nickelodeon, EastWest, and Sunset Gower.


HOLLYWOODLAND


Hollywoodland
is home to the 45 foot tall Hollywood Sign mounted on Mount Lee. It was originally erected in 1923 to advertise Woodruff and Shoults's then-newly-developed Hollywoodland subdivision. The "land" part of the sign was removed in 1949 so that the remaining Hollywood sign could serve as an icon of the entire Hollywood district and entertainment industry. The Hollywood sign that stands today was erected in 1978 and quickly became popular in establishing shots for films set in LA. Because of its exposure, it attracts tourists eager to stand near a big sign. And the people living in the neighborhood, knowing this fact full well, often tear their hair and flesh, beat their breasts, and wake other pitiable demonstrations because of it.


KINGSLEY VISTA


Kingsley Vista
is a small, residential neighborhood hemmed in between Normandie, the 101 and Santa Monica Boulevard. It's home to a couple of restaurants including El Nuevo San Salvador Restaurante #1, Maria's Ramada, and Sasoun Bakery.

 
LAUREL CANYON


Laurel Canyon came to life as home of some of the burgeoning film industry's key photo-players and filmmakers. Subsequent generations of hippies in the '60s, cocaine cowboys in the '70s and yuppies in the '80s later moved to the continually desirable location. To read more about Laurel Canyon, click here.
 

LITTLE ARMENIA - Լիթլ Արմենիայում


Physically-speaking, Little Armenia is one of the grayest, grimmest and grimiest corners of largely gray and grimy East Hollywood. Boxy and outwardly undistinguished strip malls dominate the commercial corridors but close your eyes and open your nose and ears. Home to a large Armenian-American population (and other ethnicities), it boasts numerous Armenian restaurants and bakeries as well as other businesses.  To read more about Little Armenia, click here


LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN


Above Laurel Canyon is the neighborhood of Lookout Mountain. It was formerly home of the Air Force-managed 1352d Motion Picture Squadron who used it to make films for the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947 to 1963.

 
MELROSE


The Melrose District (or simply, "Melrose") attracts tourists and shoppers in search of subcultural uniforms and vintage clothing. Behind the busy shopping district are streets of modest, attractive bungalows mostly built in the early 1920s. There are currently efforts to re-name the neighborhood "Melrose Village" ...everything needs to be designated a village.

 
MELROSE HILL


In January 2003, Los Angeles Magazine named Melrose Hill one of LA's "10 Great Neighborhoods." With cultural establishments limited to the porn-showing Tiki Theatre porn theater and the Met Theatre, it wouldn't exactly rocket to the top of my list but it does have a healthy assortment of cuisines represented by Bangkok Market, La Casita Colombiana, Catalina's Market, Choeng Wun, Cinderella's, Khun Dom, Lucky Grocery Market, Mi Lindo Oaxaca, and now, Tid Lom Thai. There's also the Lemon Grove Recreation Center and park overlooking the noisy, smoggy 101 freeway.

 
MOUNT OLYMPUS


Mount Olympus
is a Hollywood Hills neighborhood developed by Russ Vincent in 1969. It was featured in the mercifully little-seen film, Hollywood Homicide. It's entrance is announced by a sign held aloft by faux-ancient-Greek columns that some want to destroy because they think it's tacky. And?

 
NICHOLS CANYON


Nichols Canyon is named after John G. Nichols, who served as mayor of LA twice and built the first brick home in the city, which he was also the first to expand the borders of. The Hollywood Hills neighborhood is entirely residential and is centered along winding Nichols Canyon Rd. One of the more famed residents was Father Yod, an ex-marine who founded the Source Family cult, which counted amongst its members, Sky Saxon of The Seeds.


 
OUTPOST ESTATES


Outpost Estates is a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills centered along Outpost Drive. It was developed in the 1920s by by Charles E. Toberman. As with its neighbor, Hollywoodland, Outpost Estates also advertised itself with a large sign. Unlike Hollywoodland, whose sign (after the removal of the "land") remains a tourist destination, the once neon-lit Outpost sign lies in ruin, obscured by weeds.
 
 
SPAULDING SQUARE


Eight block Spaulding Square's borders are Fairfax Ave on the west, Stanley Avenue on the east, Sunset Blvd on the north, and Fountain Avenue on the south. Almost entirely residential, it is nonetheless home to Sam's on Sunset. It's named after architect Albert Spaulding, who developed the area between 1916 and 1926. Many of the early residents were silent film stars and filmmakers. In 1993, it was designated a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.


 
SUNSET FLATS (aka HOLLYWOOD-SUNSET FLATS)

I'm not entirely sure about the location and boundaries of Sunset Flats - I think it refers to the neighborhood between Hollywood and Sunset, north of Spaulding Square. I'll add more when I'm positive. 


SUNSET HILLS

Sunset Hills is a tiny celebrity enclave looking down from the western Hollywood Hills region onto West Hollywood. According to its Wikipedia entry, "Now [when?] Sunset Hills boasts the largest concentration of celebrities residing in Los Angeles [citation needed]."
 
SUNSET JUNCTION



Sunset Junction, originally known as Sanborn Junction, is named after a Pacific Electric Railway stop on the border of Silver Lake and Hollywood. Several neighborhood staples such as the Akbar, El Cid, Solutions(with the "Elliot Smith Mural") and the Sunset Junction Street Fair are almost always considered to be within Silver Lake but according to both the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and the placement of the City of Los Angeles's Hollywood neighborhood signs suggest otherwise. Further west in the neightborhood are the Little Temple, Point-Point Joint and Sheila Klein's outdoor lamppost installation called Vermonica, which appeared fifteen years before Chris Burden's similar and better-known Urban Light sculpture at LACMA.


SUNSET PLAZA


Sunset Plaza
is a Hollywood Hills West neighborhood presumably centered along Sunset Plaza Drive which winds up just about the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood all the way to Wonderland Ave.

 
THAI TOWN - ไทยทาวน์


Los Angeles has the largest Thai population outside of Thailand. It is also home to the world's first Thai Town which is the cultural, commercial and culinary heart of Thai-America. Every year the streets are closed to cars for a large-scale Songkran festival/สงกรานต์. To read more about Thai Town, click here.


THEATER ROW


The film industry may have long ago abandoned Hollywood but live theater continues to flourish there. Theater Row is home to Artworks Theater, Celebration Theatre, Elephant Theatre Company, Hudson Theatres, McCadden Place Theatre, National Comedy Theatre, Open First Theatre, The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre, The Complex Hollywood, The Lounge Theatre, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, Theatre East at The Lex Theatre, and Unknown Theatre
 
 
VIRGIL VILLAGE


Virgil Village is a neighborhood in East Hollywood with significant numbers of Pinoy and Central American-Americans. It's located between Hoover, Santa Monica, Vermont and the 101 (bisected by Melrose). It's home of Amalia's Guatemalan Restaurant, Cafe 50's Hollywood, California Bowl, Wah's Golden Hen, Golfo De Fonseca Restaurant, La Luna Banquet Hall, and Taqueria El Charrito. It's served by several tiny markets including Lee & Oh Foodmart, Reny Market and Virgil Market. It's also home to the attractive Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St Vladimir and the well-known karaoke dive bar, the Smog Cutter. The designation was coined around 1994 and soon after, Huell Howser filmed an episode of Visiting... with Huell Howser devoted to it. 


So hooray for Hollywood! Now, armed with a few tantalizing facts about Hollywood, vote for Hollywood (or any other Los Angeles neighborhoods), by clicking here. To vote for any Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. And finally, to vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here. And remember -- you're never too hood for Hollywood!

*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

San Francisco's Switchboard Music Festival, April 1st!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 26, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Now in its fifth year, the Switchboard Music Festival will again present some of the Bay Area's most exciting musicians on April 1st at the Brava Theater!

The Switchboard Music Festival is an 8-hour, non-stop music spectacle presenting composers and musicians who push the boundaries of their respective genres—be it rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop, world, or something less defined. It is a showcase for innovative, accessible local music that easily traverses disparate musical worlds, a physical analog for a borderless, digital world. In that regard, Switchboard has joined the likes of New York's famous Bang on a Can Festival, and an international trend toward bridging the gap between art and popular music.

Check out this marathon of talent!
Faun Fables Switchboard Music Festival
Faun Fables to play at the Switchboard Music Festival.

2:00 -- Danny Holt
2:50 -- The Living Earth Show + Nonsemble 6 and Grains
3:25 -- Jeff Anderle
3:50 -- Dominique Leone's "Les Noces"
4:30 -- Dan Cantrell
4:55 -- Ramon and Jessica
5:30 -- Cornelius Boots & Friends
5:55 -- Beep
6:35 -- Mercury Falls
7:15 -- SFCM Guitar Ensemble
7:40 -- The Hurd Ensemble
8:20 -- Volti
9:20 -- Faun Fables

Continue reading...

Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ Available for Pre-Order

Posted by Billy Gil, March 26, 2012 01:31pm | Post a Comment
Best Coast’s new Jon Brion-produced album The Only Place is available now for pre-order at Amoeba.com. Not only that, the California-lovin’ title track and first single is available to download. I heard it this morning on KCRW and am pretty pumped about it — everything sounds shiny and shimmery but still straightforward and not too clean, like finding a beautiful ring in the sand.


Free download of "The Only Place" by Best Coast.

The Only Place comes out May 15. Who isn’t excited about this? “Why would you live anywhere else?” After hearing the first track, I can’t wait for summer and I can’t wait for The Only Place.
 
Best Coast plays The Wiltern in LA on May 18th with Abe Vigoda. Go to it!

In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand: Hunger Games (2012)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 26, 2012 12:33pm | Post a Comment
  
Presidential beards were popular in the 19th century and they become popular again sometime in our dystopian
future. On the left is President Coriolanus Snow of Panem and on the right, President Ulysses S. Grant.

When blond-haired, blue-eyed Jennifer Lawrence was cast last year as the dark-haired, olive-skinned and grey-eyed heroine Katniss for the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy the decision was met with outrage from some bloggers. Perhaps they hadn't considered hair dye or contact lenses, but that doesn't diminish the fact that it's much more rare to see Hollywood go darker than lighter when casting films. One exception was Will Smith in I Am Legend, which suggested cross-racial casting is rooted just as much in the stupidity of star power as it is racism. Lawrence had just been nominated for playing a hillbilly in Winter's Bone, so she was as obvious a choice for the role of the Appalachian Katniss as Peter Dinklage is for any character under 5 feet, or Hayden Panettiere a cheerleader. Having just seen the movie, what's baffling to me is why anyone would find it preferable -- as in less offensive -- to have a black or mixed-race girl in the role given the fantasy world that's been (re-)constructed.

Panem is what's left of North America after much of it was submerged under a rising shore line (here's a fan-made map that isn't revealed in the movie). The country was once unified under the rule of the Capitol until the Districts (akin to our states) rebelled, because of unfair treatment (which isn't specified in the movie). This war is referred to as the Dark Days. The rebellion was eventually quashed and, as punishment, the Districts (12 at this point) were forced to pay tribute to the Capitol by giving up a boy and a girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, each year for the Hunger Games. These 24 contestants fight to the death as a form of entertainment for the Capitol's wealthy citizens. Furthermore, each of the Districts has certain natural resources, which are produced largely for the consumptive habits of the Capitol, while the producers are made to go without (similar to the underground workers providing for the needs of the city-dwelling leisure class in Metropolis). All of this is closely monitored by the dictator, President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

For the Game that forms the basis of the present movie, the audience only really gets to know (and thusly identify with) the Tributes from the two poorest Districts, 11 and 12, roughly corresponding to Georgia and Appalachia, respectively. The former seems to be largely comprised of black sharecroppers and the latter white coal-miners. Race matters little in this world; the problems are all about class. There are black citizens of the Capitol (Lenny Kravitz plays a significant example) while Katniss seems no better off than Rue (Amandla Stenberg), the black District 11 Tribute she teams up with during the Game. One might be tempted to read this story as a political allegory appealing to the libertarian fears of central planning and the totalitarian control of capital -- that is, the attempt to mete out all cultural needs from a central committee will inevitably put the majority on, in Friedrich Hayek's phrase, a road to serfdom. Katniss and her kin, after all, have no control over what they produce. But consider the parallel that goes with this reading, which shows why the current libertarian-oriented presidential candidate Ron Paul would suggest that the American Civil War wasn't about slavery per se, but about the Union trying to control Confederacy's production and distribution of capital. President Lincoln could have just bought all the slaves and freed them, rather than going to war, which was much more costly. Yeah, that's right, freedom would've been maximized by buying men from other men. The irony is lost on Paul, of course:


By taking race out of the equation, The Hunger Games provides us with a pretty good picture of what a dystopian America might look like to Paul, or would've looked like to the early 20th century historians of Reconstruction known as the Dunning School. Led by the thinking of William Archibald Dunning, they viewed Reconstruction as the Dark Ages of American politics (sound familiar?), in which the corrupt radical Republicans (rabid abolitionists -- the horror!), such as President Grant, used scalawags (turncoat Southerners supporting the North), carpetbaggers (Northerners put into power in the South) and the newly granted voting power of freedmen (ex-slaves) to spread the North's dominion over the South, i.e., to make the latter bend at the knee. Capitol has its scalawags (e.g., Haymitch Abernathy, a former winner of the Games from District 12; played by Woody Harrelson) and carpetbaggers (e.g., Effie Trinket, in control of District 12's lottery; Elizabeth Banks), too, but no freedmen, making the sympathy for fantasized Southern-styled victimization easier for modern audiences (watching former plantation owners fight to the death would be a harder emotional sale). All the injustice in this allegory is on the part of the Union stand-in. That the freedom curtailed in Reconstruction was the ownership of another man as property mattered little to Dunning; it was the right to control one's own property that was being infringed. As he explained, Grant failed in his thinly-veiled, "Caesarist" attempt at a third term. Had he succeeded, again and again, we might've got something like President Snow and the Hunger Games, where hard-working, free Southerners are reduced, as with Katniss, to the property of the Capitol (i.e., to mere capital, like black slaves). And when she succeeds in toppling the centralized government -- as she inevitably will (foreshadowed here by an uprising in District 11 when she provides a symbolic gesture of proletarian solidarity at the loss of their Tribute) -- whose fantasy is getting fulfilled?

En Fuego: Iron Maiden's latest LIVE album/DVD drops today!

Posted by Kells, March 26, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment

I know a lot of folks will be stopping by to pick up Madonna's new record MDNA today (which I recommend doing as it is packed front-to-back with sweaty Ray of Light meets Confessions on a Dancefloor energies), but - sorry Madge - M is for Maiden and that's good enough for me. Iron Maiden that is, and today's double live CD (or double LP) plus DVD concert release En Vivo! showcases a very indefatigable band from a very fan oriented perspective filmed live during the Final Frontier World Tour at Santiago, Chile's Esatdio Nacional. The extras, especially the 88-minute Behind the Beast documentary, are boss and the artwork rules inside and out. Celebrate En Vivo! day with "The Wicker Man" and Behind the Beast trailer below, click here for everything Iron Maiden available via Amoeba.com. Up the irons!!!





La Santa Cecilia's El Valor & Selena's Enamorada De Ti

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 26, 2012 07:51am | Post a Comment
If you couldn’t make it to La Santa Cecilia’s record release party at the La Fonda over the weekend (especially those under 21) you have another chance. La Santa Cecilia will be doing an in-store performance at Amoeba Records Hollywood on Monday, March 26th at 7pm in celebration of their latest release, El Valor.

El Valor finds the band interpreting songs by such artists as Caifanes, U2, Lhasa De Sela, and Soft Cell. Each song is given the La Santa Cecilia treatment: part Cumbia, Mariachi, Bolero, Ranchera, and Latin Pop. Much like one of my favorite cover albums, Café Tacuba’s classic Avalancha De Exitos, El Valor is sincere without the trappings of being ironic. Each song is an attempt not only at reinterpretation, but a challenge to top the original.

La Santa Cecilia musicianship is sublime, without a doubt. Still, it would be hard not to single out their lead singer, La Marisol. She is often quoted as being the soul of the group. Her sound is unique in that one can hear generations of influences yet she manages not to sound derivative. When I hear her voice, I feel like a cook trying to guess the ingredients of a great dish only to come to the conclusion that the food is great.

On Tuesday, April 3rd, a new collection of reinvented Selena will be released to commemorate what would have been her 40th birthday. The songs that make the Enamorada De Ti album are some of her biggest hits redone with modern pop artists, including Samo from the group Camila, Don Omar, and Selena Gomez. According to the producer, Selena’s brother and main songwriter A.B. Quintanilla III, it was a way to imagine what Selena would be doing musically if she were alive.

I had a conversation with Lady Imix, host of Heartbreak Radio on Radiosombra.org. We agreed that the best thing about Selena, like other iconic pop stars that died young, is that she never had time to tarnish her career. She died before she lost her innocence, never having to cave under the pressure of mainstream success. I can only see Selena as the down to earth Regional Mexican superstar on the verge of becoming a mainstream superstar. She never had to change her musical style or image. She was never forced to change her body type to meet the mainstream standards that we have for pop artists today. There were no drugs or bitter divorce drama. She died before she could sing a hook on a rap song or sing duets with mainstream pop artists. She died before TMZ and American Idol.

Much like we didn’t have to hear a Jimi Hendrix fusion album or Bob Marley post-Dancehall, or even a sober Kurt Cobain, I don’t feel the need to hear an imagined Selena album without her input. Sure, perhaps her true potential was never met but the best thing about Selena’s premature death is that her career got off scot-free. I understand the desire to introduce Selena to a new generation but the legend is already there without Enamorada De Ti.

I feel her songs will continue to be blasted from radios, clubs, and quinceneras around the world with this release or without it.

The Art Of The LP Cover- Rainy Day (Umbrella Gallery Pt. 2)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 25, 2012 02:49pm | Post a Comment


We've had so little rain this year in L.A. that I figure I had better take advantage of today's damp weather to launch this blog. Although, I must admit that I cheated with a few parasols and a dude in rain slicks.  Click here to check out the first umbrella gallery, posted back in 2010.


Juggalo Family Values

Posted by Kells, March 25, 2012 01:02pm | Post a Comment

I believe in "Miracles", I really do. And I know what fun is, or at least I know what fun is supposed to look like. I mean, still have jingles from Saturday morning commercial bumpers still stuck in my head. Like most modern Americans I've had my brain beaten in by mass-marketed programming since my senses acknowledged personal taste as an option and though media feeding and regurgitation has come a long way I still respond to images of glowing, day-to-night bright colors, the hypnotic blur of carnival rides in motion and slo-mo vignettes of teens splashing around a swimmin' hole in high summer. In short, I never expected a mini documentary about the subculture of Juggalos (hardcore Insane Clown Posse devotees) and their annual summer homie hoedown, The Gathering of the Juggalos, to move me so. Honestly, watching this akin to riding an emotional Scrambler, a real stunner in the way that a beautifully-shot and framed social commentary should be. Nothing quite defines or celebrates the compound word "alternative-lifestyle" like Sean Dunne's American Juggalo. Talk about magic all around you, imagine yourself just a "fuck it! I'm going!" away.

Plus, I can't think of anywhere else one might get the "you should never put spray paint on your face" life lesson. Check it:


Psychopathic Records have announced that the Gathering will be held at the usual Cave-In-Rock location and the family reunion will have a fifth day added to the annual outing: details and more for all those curious can be found here. And be sure to peep the list of ICP titles available via Amoeba.com here and other ICP/Juggalo-related Amoeblog posts here.


March 24, 2012: The Hunger Games

Posted by phil blankenship, March 24, 2012 10:05pm | Post a Comment

Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Che-Cherry Bomb: Women Rockers in the Seventies

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2012 03:50pm | Post a Comment

          

The Runaways "Cherry Bomb" (Live in Japan 1977)

In honor of Women's History Month I have gone back and dug up some of my all time favorite female rockers from the seventies via the series of music videos above & below. An obviously subjective list; it is based on both quality of artist and availability of corresponding YouTube video clips on said artist. Including both all female bands and female fronted bands these videos are culled from sometime in the decade of the '70's and range from hard rock to punk rock. Topping this list of artists/videos is the pitch perfect Runaways timeless hit "Cherry Bomb" from a show during a 1977 tour of Japan.

Others included below are the late great Poly Styrene with X-Ray Spex performing "On Bondage! Up Yours!" (from 1977 Punk In London documentary), Patti Smith and band doing a spine-tingling version of "Gloria" live in Germany in 1979, American born, British rocker Suzi Quatro's 1973 hit "48 Crash," and the early 70's killer American female rock quartet Fanny (who I saw Job O Brother also highlighted in a recent Amoeblog) doing two songs on the UK TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test. The other female rockers spotlighted below are Penelope Houston with the Avengers live in SF in 1978 care of Target Video, Siouxsie  (Sioux) and the Bansheesin 1978 doing "Hong Kong Garden," and The Slits from their 1979 debut album Cut and their song "Typical Girls" - featuring the late great Ari Up (Ariane Forster) who died of cancer two years ago.

Continue reading...

How to Dance Goth

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 24, 2012 11:05am | Post a Comment
How To Dance Goth


Ever find yourself at a goth club feeling like you had two left buckle boots? Hearing some boss Sisters of Mercy tune and wishing you knew how to cut a rug with the hot goth chicks? Well, search no further as this is THE instructional video you have been looking for...
 


How to Dance Goth from APBS on Vimeo.

This video debuted at Hubba Hubba Revue's Goth Show, March 22nd, 2012 at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco and was made by their video masterminds Lara Miranda, Joyce Tang, Jim "Kingfish" Sweeney, and Brett Stillo. Starring Balla Fire, Mynx d'Meanor, DJ Fact50, and Audra.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 03.23.12: E-Lit, Odd Future, Tanya Morgan, Copywrite, De La Soul, Rock The School Bells + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 23, 2012 06:34pm | Post a Comment

           
 

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 03:23:12

1) Odd Future The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 (Odd Future)

2) Ecid Werewolf Hologram (Fill In The Breaks)

3) WZRD wzrd (Universal Republic)

4) Madlib Medicine Show No. 13: Black Tape (Madlib Medicine Show) 

5) Too $hort No Trespassing (Dangerous Music)

Thanks to E Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the latest Top Five Chart and for the run down, in video above, of the new & recent arrivals in the hip-hop section of Amoeba. Number one is the brand new release Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 - the second collaborative album to date from the phenomenally popular young LA hip-hop collective Odd Future (aka OFWGKTA as in Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) who five years ago first came into being when 17-year-old Tyler (The Creator) Okonoma assembled his crew of close friends and collaborators (rappers Hodgy Beats & Casey Veggies, and producers Left Brain & Super 3). That was back in 2007 when the collective merged creative forces to create the original The Odd Future Tape. Fast forward half a decade to now, March 2012, and we have the very high profile sequel to that very underground release. In addition to their profile growth, Odd Future's lineup has also grown. Newer members (all of whom contribute to the new release) include MCs Mike G & Domo Genesis, jazz duo The Internet, and singer Frank Ocean The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 features such standout tracks as "Analog 2," "50," "White," and the lead single (video below) "Rella." You can buy the CD version of this album in each of the three Amoeba stores as well as from the online Amoeba store. Note that the vinyl/LP version of this album will be available in Amoeba on the upcoming Record Store Day; next month on Saturday April 21st.

Continue reading...

Local Bits: Grass Widow, Dante vs Zombies, Races Album Stream

Posted by Billy Gil, March 23, 2012 04:06pm | Post a Comment
Grass Widow – “Goldilocks Zone”

San Fran trio Grass Widow have a new album coming out May 22 on HLR called Internal Logic. The first song from it, “Goldilocks Zone,” sports the casual girl cool of The Breeders with a bit more post-punk angularity and noise-rock sound effects. Definitely excited to hear the full-length!

 



Dante vs Zombies – “Natural Disaster”

L.A.’s Dante vs. Zombies are set to release their first full-length April 10 from Neurotic Yell, called BUH. This is a band I wasn’t sure I’d like from reading about them, seeming kinda kitschy. Listening to “Natural Disaster,” I hear exquisitely polished, noir-ish indie rock with style to spare, reminding me a bit of another L.A. band, Fool’s Gold, and also recent Yeasayer. Plus singer Dante White-Aliano has killer pipes. Love the speed-up at the end. (Download via RCRDLBL.com)

 

 

Races – Full Album Stream

Races are a band I’ve written about a couple of times here as their sweeping orchestral pop showed major promise. Now their first full-length, Year of the Witch, is imminent, and they’ve put the whole thing up for streaming via SoundCloud. Sounds awesome!

 

Continue reading...

The Women I've Loved

Posted by Job O Brother, March 23, 2012 03:07pm | Post a Comment

In honor of March being Women's History Month, I've created the following list of female musicians (with a smattering of bands consisting of, or fronted by, women) who have rocked me, rolled me, and everything in-between. Presented from A to Z, I hope you'll waste your employer's time and/or ignore your children's needs long enough to peruse this list and find some swell new chanteuse to make your knees sway...


Laurie Anderson


Ruth Brown


Wendy Carlos


Karen Dalton


Missy Elliott


Fanny


Bobbie Gentry


Nina Hagen


Janis Ian


Kim Jung Mi


Genoa Keawe


Lisa Lisa


Mirah


Jessye Norman


Esther Ofarim


Dolly Parton


Suzi Quatro


Minnie Ripperton


Yma Sumac


Sister Rosetta Tharpe


Galina Ustvolskaya


Sarah Vaughan


Dionne Warwick


Xmal Deutschland


Y Pants


Sarolta Zalatnay

March 22, 2012: 21 Jump Street / Project X

Posted by phil blankenship, March 22, 2012 11:10pm | Post a Comment

Marathon Runner/Rapper T-K.A.S.H. Records "Run" To Encourage Physical Fitness Among Oakland Youth

Posted by Billyjam, March 22, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment

T-K.A.S.H. "Run" (2012)

Oakland rapper/runner T-K.A.S.H., who will be among those running 26 miles in this Sunday's (March 25th) marathon at the Oakland Running Festival, has decided to utilize the event as a way to help bring awareness of the epidemic of gun violence in Oakland by recording the above song "Run" as heard above. "Oakland had 2000 victims of gun violence in 2011," noted T-K.A.S.H. who recorded the song as way to motivate young people to stay focused and fit, and hence maintain a more positive (IE non violent) outlook on life. The Hip-Hop Chess Federation, which is run by Adisa Banjoko, is among those sponsoring T-K.A.S.H. in the upcoming marathon. You can also sponsor him in the Marathon (as well as find out other info) by visiting the artist/activist's Facebook page. And for general info on the two day (Sat 24th & Sun 25th) Oakland Running Festival with the marathon on day two click here. 

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/21 - Panabrite LP, Monolake, Barker & Baumecker, John Tejada, Vakula, Conforce & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 22, 2012 06:55am | Post a Comment
Panabrite
Soft Terminal LP
Digitalis

Panabrite is the project of Norm Chambers -- not a household name to most people, but for those who have been reveling in his music for the last few years, he is absolutely adored. He is also, we should add, the man responsible for one of the most-loved synth albums of the last few years, although that's a journey he took incognito and we just aren't at liberty to divulge that identity quite yet. Some will be quick to chalk Soft Terminal up as just another Kosmische record, but that's just the surface dressing. There is something deeper happening here: vivid, liquid dreams are sculpted into intricate fantasy landscapes, each layer revealing another aspect of Chambers' production prowess. The thing with Chambers, is that he has an innate ability to write richly-textured, melodic compositions that have as much in common with vintage electronic library music as they do with minimal synth-pop and '70s prog. Soft Terminal opens with "Rainbow Sequence" and "Index Of Gestures." The former remains understated, moving simply and slowly while pulling open the curtain on the rest of the album. With "Index Of Gestures," Chambers opens up the sequencers and lets them fly. Dizzying passages resonate and when the piece finally feels like it will lift off, he tightens the reins and dives straight into an underwater sequence. But that's only a small part of the story. "Janus" opens with finger-picked guitar arrangements augmented with synth chords and rising leads. The guitars return on "Sound Softly" while Chambers' ghostly, robotic vocals float away unscathed. On "Beta Axis Terminal," pointillist tones flutter in and out before sharp, sequenced chord progressions overtake them. As the piece continues to build, vocoder hovers above thickened basslines and you feel lost in a dystopian sci-fi novel. But ultimately, Chambers' pop sensibilities are most evident on the mini-masterpiece, "Camembert Symphony." Pushed along by the constant thrum of a drum machine, multiple melodies are interwoven, wrapping themselves tightly around you. Each soaring synth glues the song deeper into your mind before fading away into the sonic ether. Cut to vinyl at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Limited to 500 copies only.

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Creators Project: A Fun Interactive Event

Posted by Billyjam, March 21, 2012 03:44pm | Post a Comment

"The world’s epicenter of technology and innovation for a colossal two-day art and technology festival featuring towering multimedia art installations, live music performances, film screenings, and panel discussions," was how the Bay Area Crew enticingly previewed this past weekend's Creators Project at San Francisco's Fort Mason (The Creators Project Brings Two Days of Art & Technology to SF, 3/17 - 3/18). After reading this, I made a note of the dates on my must-do list to attend this cool sounding music, art, and cutting-edge high-tech event, and one that was free thanks to sponsorship by Intel and Vice. Additionally, the Creators Project had gotten a good response when it traveled to London, Paris, Lyon, New York, Beijing, Sao Paulo, and Seoull on a global tour last year. 

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Album Picks: Daniel Rossen, Julia Holter, The Men, Tanlines

Posted by Billy Gil, March 20, 2012 02:20pm | Post a Comment

daniel rossen silent hour/golden mileDaniel Rossen’s Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP came out today, and true to form for Grizzly Bear’s Rossen, it doesn’t disappoint. Though he’s perhaps the lesser-known entity of Grizzly Bear (the other being gravy-voiced Ed Droste), everything Rossen has released to this point, both within the band (his gorgeous “Deep Blue Sea," for instance”) or without it (as part of Department of Eagles) has born an unmistakable stamp. It’s a tribute to his talent that you can say that without being able to describe just what that stamp is. It’s a certain mysteriousness that is part of what makes Grizzly Bear so alluring, where you’re very much hearing folk-rock with a kind of doo-wop vocal delivery — sounds simple enough — but everything is curiously out of reach. Lyrics are more suggestive than descriptive, intimating nostalgia and loss without really being forthright about it, and arrangements tend to spiral out rather than circle back to where they’ve started. Silent Hour/Golden Mile is actually more direct than some of Rossen’s other work. “Up On High” wouldn’t be out of place on a Grizzly Bear album, while “Silent Song” and “Golden Mile” are relatively straightforward rock songs that still spin off from typical construction, with spindly guitars and high, cooing vocals that remind me a bit of mid-period Radiohead without actually sounding anything like that. Both songs also benefit from hummable moments — not something Rossen is always known for — as well as the kind of high, lap steel guitar lines found famously in Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” or George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” At five songs, Silent Hour/Golden Mile leaves you wanting for much more, which I’m guessing we’ll get in the form of the next Grizzly Bear or Department of Eagles album, but the EP is far from a departure or indulgence. It’s more like a treat, an appetizer for something bigger.

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Jasiri X's Song & Video in Outrage Over Florida Teen Trayvon Martin's Murder

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2012 08:54pm | Post a Comment
       
 Jasiri X "Trayvon" (March 19th, 2012)

In response to the recent shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin at the hands of a trigger-happy, self-appointed neighborhood watch leader named George Zimmerman who believed Martin looked "suspicious," rapper Jasiri X today released the song and video "Trayvon." The Chicago-born, Pittsburg, PA-based artist/activist recorded the song and its accompanying video in protest of and outrage over the unjust killing combined with the fact that Zimmerman, who did not deny shooting the unarmed youth, was not arrested at the scene nor has he been charged (at the time of this post) since the killing that took place over three weeks ago on February 26th.

In  "Trayvon," Jasiri X gives a detailed play by play of the events that went down three weeks ago when the 17-year-old was visiting his father for the weekend in the gated Florida community. He stepped out of his dad's house, taking a break from watching basketball on TV, to walk to the store to buy Skittles and ice tea. An excerpt of some of these lyrics follow below. In the video above you will see how the aritist also weaves in other incidents of young, black males being victimized, including that famous video footage of an unarmed Oscar Grant been shot by BART police on New Year's Day a few years ago. To get a free download of this song click here.

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Celebrate Earth Hour on 3/31 by Turning Off Your Lights!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 19, 2012 06:11pm | Post a Comment
earth hour 2012

We only have one planet. You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour.

It starts by turning off your lights for one hour at 8:30pm on March 31st in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet. Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause!

Sign up to participate and turn off all non-essential lights at 8:30pm, your local time.
Find out more: http://www.earthhour.org/

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood, 3/24

Posted by Amoebite, March 19, 2012 05:09pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood is breaking out the balloons, the crates, and the deals for a sidewalk sale on Saturday, March 24th from noon-5pm (weather permitting, of course). There will be plenty of bargains on CDs, vinyl, DVDs, box sets, toys, and more! 

All sidewalk sales are final
Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba    Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

March 18, 2012: The FP

Posted by phil blankenship, March 18, 2012 05:44pm | Post a Comment

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Celebrates 10th Anniversary, 4/10 - 4/15

Posted by Amoebite, March 18, 2012 05:10pm | Post a Comment

Indian Film Fest Los Angeles


Amoeba is delighted to sponsor the 10th Anniversary of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles! With 33 features, documentaries, and short films from around the world, 2012 promises to be their biggest year yet! 
 

Agent Vinod Indian Film Festival Los Angeles
Pictured: Agent Vinod (2012, directed by Sriram Raghava)

Among the offerings are three world premieres, nine U.S. premieres, and twelve Los Angeles premieres, plus engaging panels, musical performances,  special anniversary events and more. The festival runs from April 10th through 15th at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the home of IFFLA since its very first year. Look for the Amoeba booth in the courtyard of ArcLight on Friday 4/13.

All-Access & VIP pass experiences available. For more information and tickets, visit indianfilmfestival.org 

Here are a few of the films featured this year:

Decoding Deepak
LOS ANGELES PREMIERE
Director: Gotham Chopra
English

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With Support of Fans San Francisco Artist Mochipet Bounces Back From Gear Theft

Posted by Billyjam, March 18, 2012 01:01pm | Post a Comment
MOCHIPET's LIST OF PRECAUTIONS FOR MUSICIAN'S WITH LAPTOPS:

1) Tracking  Software (these track your laptop in case it is stolen)
- Project Prey (free)   
- Lojack  - Apple iCloud (will track your Mac)

2) Always keep a copy of your Serial Number so you can report to police

3) Always report your stolen laptop to the police department. (if you bought your computer with a credit card come companies will give you money back if it is stolen)



When, a few week ago, San Francisco electronic music artist Mochipet’s laptop was stolen during his ongoing Pet Your Godzilla Tour 2012 while in New Orleans he did two things. First, he warned other artists who use their laptops for their music of what precautions to take in case of a similar theft. This he did by posting online the list that is republished above here. Secondly he set about trying to raise some funds towards purchasing a replacement laptop by going online and seeking donations in exchange for new tracks of his music. The response was even better than anticipated which greatly pleased the artist born David Wang whose laptop is more than simply a device to send emails and update blogs etc. Rather Mochipet's laptop is one of his main musical instruments. It is also his mobile recording studio, and where he stores a lot of his music and music on his label, Daly City Records. Hence it is an integral part of his career and life.

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March 17, 2012: 21 Jump Street

Posted by phil blankenship, March 17, 2012 10:34pm | Post a Comment

St. Patrick's Day Spotlight on Irish Hip-Hop & Rap Music

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2012 11:31am | Post a Comment

Sons Phonetic "Isolation (feat RíRá)"


Rob Kelly "Crazy"


Street Literature "Products of the Environment"


Lunitic "Stacy's Story"


Class A'z "Who Shot Ya"

In honor of St Patrick's Day today I have included a little sampling of Irish hip-hop (focusing on rap) care of the above videos that include Wexford's Rob Kelly with the song "Crazy." and the Waterford based hip-hop crew Sons Phonetic from their album Twelve Labours and featuring a cameo from Ireland's greatest emcee in its hip-hop history spanning past few decades - RíRá who in the years since his role in the pioneering Irish hip-hop group Scary Eire has built a strong solo career that includes collaborating with countless up-and-coming Irish hip-hop acts like Sons Phonetic, and the late great Dublin rapper Lunitic from his album Based on a True Story on the song "Celtic Funk."   Above is the video for another song off that same Lunitic album. It is for the song "Stacy's Story."Also above is the video from about 3 years ago for "Who Shot Ya" by Dublin super-rap group Class A'z featuring Nucentz, Redzer, Terawrizt, and Rawsoul.

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Four Inch Focus- Foodstuffs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 17, 2012 11:30am | Post a Comment

Check out my collection of fruit labels from 2009, click HERE

I Got 5 On It: A Guide to Beyond Wonderland 2012

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 16, 2012 11:59pm | Post a Comment
5 Must-See Artists at Beyond Wonderland 2012

By Scott Butterworth

Beyond Wonderland 2012 Banner

Music is in the air this month as March is the official start of festival season!  Austin has South By Southwest, Miami has Ultra and Winter Music Conference, and Los Angeles Electronic Dance Music (EDM) promoter Insomniac brings us it's third installment of Beyond Wonderland to Southern California.  Insomniac has made a name for itself throughout the world for curating some of the most successful and sought out festivals by audiences and artists equally, right in our own back yard.  This time they get a little help, as three current national/international tours converge on the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino this Saturday, each curating one of the festivals five stages.

Armin Van Buuren's "A State Of Trance 550"
Armin Van Buuren; Gareth Emery; Arty, Aly & Fila, etc.
- Celebrating the 550th episode of his A State Of Trance worldwide radio show, Armin curate a stage of Trance music's freshest talent.

"Hospitality Tour": 
Netsky, High Contrast, Camo & Krooked

 - UK Drum & Bass label, Hospital Records, brings its top talent across the pond to take over the festivals Drum & Bass/Dubstep/Bass stage

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 03.16.12: E-Lit, Too $hort, 14KT, Maxilla Blue, Headnodic, billy woods, 4th Pyramid, Truth Universal, and more

Posted by Billyjam, March 16, 2012 05:08pm | Post a Comment
            


Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 03:16:12


1) Too $hort No Trespassing (Dangerous Music)

2) Maxilla Blue Volume 3 (Galapagos4)

3) 14 KT A Friendly Game of KT ( A-Side Worldwide/Mello Music)

4) Busdriver Beaus $ Eros  (Fake Four Inc.)

5) Lee Bannon Fantastic Plastic (Plug Research)

E LIT'S PICK of the week: Ecid Werewolf Hologram LP

Special thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for taking time to give us the new Top Five list and to record the above video at the Telegraph Ave. store with a nice run down of all the new arrivals in Amoeba. E Lit will do reports each week on the latest hip-hop for the next three weeks here on the weekly hip-hop rap up Amoeblog. In the number slot this week is the latest (19th studio album) from Bay Area's godfather of rap Too $hort: No Trespassing on Dangerous Music.which includes such tracks as the lead single "Money On The Floor (feat E40)" (video below) the weed anthem "Cush Cologne" and the cautionary tale on cheating, "I Got Caught" with guest vocals by Bay Area soul singer Martin Luther.

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SXSW Hip-Hop Showcases A Plenty This Year

Posted by Billyjam, March 16, 2012 11:46am | Post a Comment
        
Truth Universal's "Paper Chase" (2012) produced by DJ Def D 

And finally I leave you with two brand new videos: one for Truth Universal's "Paper Chase" - video directed by Mark Lester and music produced by DJ Def D. s weekend. Above is the new Mark Lester directed video for "Paper Chase" by Truth Universal who is one of the countless hip-hop acts performing this weekend at the ever-expanding South by Southwest music and film festival. (click SXSW. for details on Truth Universal's shows). Better known as SXSW this big annual event is going on this week/weekend down in Austin Texas. And while many complain that the festival, which started out as a grassroots more alternative type affair all about the art, has just gotten too big and too corporate in recent years. Of course this week's story about a phone company exploiting local homeless folks in using them as WiFi hot spots didn't help SxSW's image. But regardless SxSW still manages to attract underground artists (of all genres) in droves to the city of Austin every March.

Some of the (way too many to mention here) hip-hop themed events happening at this weekend's SXSW long list of happenings include tonight Raekwon along with such guests as JD Era, Kofi Black, Young Cliff, Dustin Cavazos, Dre Marley, Grey Matter, JLD 8, and 8Earcub are doing what's been billed as "The SXSW Kickoff Party" at the Prophet Bar - formerly known as the Gypsy Tea Room. Meanwhile fellow Wu Tang warrior GZA will headline tomorrow night (Saturday March 17th) along with an impressive showcase that includes M.O.P., Jet Life, Flatbush Zombies and many more at the Haven night club  at 409 Colorado Street. More info here.

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Pat Thomas signs "LISTEN, WHITEY! Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 – 1975" at The Booksmith in SF, 4/10

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 15, 2012 04:46pm | Post a Comment
Listen Whitey Sounds of Black Power Pat Thomas Booksmith Amoeba San Francisco

On April 10, 2012 at 7:30pm, our friends at The Booksmith will host reissue producer/music scholar Pat Thomas for a signing of his new book LISTEN, WHITEY! Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 – 1975 and the companion album (out now on Light in the Attic Records), which is being called the definitive Black Power aural document!

Over a five year period, Pat Thomas befriended key leaders of the seminal Black Power Movement,Elaine Brown Huey P Newton Black Forum Motown Records dug through Huey Newton’s archives at Stanford University, spent countless hours and thousands of dollars on eBay, and talked to rank and file Black Panther Party members, uncovering dozens of obscure albums, singles, and stray tapes. Along the way, he began to piece together a time period (1967-1974) when revolutionaries like Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, and Stokely Carmichael were seen as pop culture icons and musicians like Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon were seen as revolutionaries.

LISTEN, WHITEY! chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records; from 1970 to 1973, Motown’sBlack Forum Motown Records Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby and Ossie Davis, and many others, and explores the musical connections between Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Graham Nash, the Partridge Family (!?!) and the Black Power movement. Obscure recordings produced by SNCC, Ron Karenga’s US, the Tribe and other African-American socio­political organizations of the late 1960s and early ’70s are examined along with the Isley Brothers, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Clifford Thornton, Watts Prophets, The Last Poets, Gene McDaniels, Roland Black Forum Motown RecordsKirk, Horace Silver, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stanley Crouch, and others that spoke out against op­pression. Thomas further focuses on Black Consciousness poetry (from the likes of Jayne Cortez, wife of Ornette Coleman), inspired re­ligious recordings that infused god and Black Nationalism, and obscure regional and privately pressed Black Power 7-inch soul singles from across America. The text is ac­companied by over 200 large sized, full-color reproductions of album covers and 45 rpm sin­gles, most of which readers will have never seen before.

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Michael Krouse interview - How I Got Here series Part III with Dave Paul

Posted by Billyjam, March 15, 2012 11:15am | Post a Comment
























Michael Krouse shares his journey to becoming owner/operator of the Madrone Art Bar in SF

This is part three in the ongoing guest Amoeblog series with Dave Paul called How I Got Here that has already featured an interview with Robbie Kowal of SunsetSF promotions company and Dave Paul himself. The series profiles various folks in the entertainment industry from doormen, DJ’s and promoters to venue owners etc. This third interview is with Michael Krouse who runs the Madrone Art Bar on Divisidaro Ave in San Francisco - a place described by the SF Chronicle as looking like "it were interior-decorated by Jeff Koons and Banksy."  Paul knows him because he's been throwing his successful dance parties at Madrone for years and hence knew all the right questions to ask his subject. Additionally Krouse, who is a really interesting guy with a great history from growing up in Sin City in the 70's and 80's to becoming an artist to someone who totally emerged himself in SF night culture to get a feel for what makes the city by the Bay so unique, offers up some great insights into his life's journey thus far. A really good read!

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out this week 3/6 & 3/13...julia holter...everything is terrible...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 15, 2012 10:51am | Post a Comment
Every once in a while an artist seems to come out of nowhere. They of course have not really come out of nowhere. They usually have been working on music for years and probably have an album or two out. There is just so much music out there. It is impossible to listen to it all. It is hard to even have time to listen to the albums that you know you will probably like. Even harder to take the time to find new bands and spend the time necessary to fall in love with a new artist or album. Julia Holter is my new obsession. She has just released her brilliant new album on RVNG International. She released the album Tragedy last year in a sort of limited release. But now she is ready for the world to know who she is. I hope she is ready. Because this album is fantastic. It took my years to finally get into Joanna Newsom. And I am so glad I did. That Joanna Newsom show at the Orpheum is still one of my favorite concerts of all time. This new Julia Holter does remind me a bit of Joanna Newsom. Her new album is called Ekstasis. RVNG Intl. has been around for a while. But they just found a new home with the Secrectly Canadian family. I think this is a perfect place for this new album and for Julia Holter. This new album is a mix of ethereal and folk music. It reminds me at times of Kate Bush, Rasputina, and Joanna Newsom. Imagine all this mixed up with the Blade Runner Soundtrack by Vangelis. Her voice is ridiculous. And beautiful. And just the right amount of weirdness. I really have fallen in love with this album. I have a certain coworker who runs the Handsome Club blog who I often don't agree with about music. We both love good music. Our tastes just often don't intersect. But he actually introduced me to magic of Julia Holter. And we both love this new album. I always know an album is good when we both like it. You should like it too.

Check out "Marienbad" by Julia Holter from the new album Ekstasis...



Julia Holter will be doing an instore at Amoeba Hollywood on next Tuesday March 20th at 7pm!


There have also been some great DVD and Blu-ray releases over the last couple of weeks as well. The Skin I Live In was just released on Blu-ray last week. I have loved Almodovar for a long time. He really just keeps getting better. And this film might be me new favorite of his. It is dark and twisted but very Almodovar. Another one of my favorites last year has also just been released. Young Adult is amazingly sad and hilarious at the same time. The perfect movie for those of us still trapped in the 1990's and in our 30s of 40s. Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt are both fantastic.

The brilliant Everything Is Terrible! have just released their new masterpiece on DVD. Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! You really need to stop what you are doing and check out these DVDs. Similar to the TV Carnage DVDs that collect and mash up of various TV and film and public access clips. Everything is Terrible collects found footage and puts it all together brilliantly. And this time they have done a serious piece of work here. They have recreated Holy Mountain using only clips and scenes of dogs! Yes. It is true. I know it sounds too good to be true. These DVDs are not for everyone. But I got obsessed with them a couple of years ago. And now I can't stop watching them.  I just patiently wait for for the next one to come out. The time has come. This is the third Everything Is Terrible DVD. I highly recommend all of them.

Pick up you copy of Everything Is Terrible! from amoeba.com right here.

Check out the trailer for Everything Is Terrible! Presents Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!...




And coming up next week is the new album from The Shins! And also new albums from Tanlines and Thieves Like Us. I can't wait!


out 3/6...






Break It Yourself
by Andrew Bird











Clearing
by Bowerbirds











Noctiluca
by Dunes











Ekstasis
by Julia Holter











Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
by The Magnetic Fields











Open Your Heart
by The Men











One Second of Love
by Nite Jewel











Always
by Xiu Xiu






out 3/13...






We All Raise Our Voices To The Air
by The Decemberists











Long Distance
by Holly Golightly











SSSS
by VCMG



The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls: SF ShEvil Dead vs Berkeley Resistance - March BADness, 3/31

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 14, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment
Bar Area Derby Girls March Madness Bad girls

The B.A.D. Girls return to San Francisco on March 3st at the Fort Mason Center Herbst Pavilion, Pier 2. Longtime B.A.D. Girls fans will remember last season’s nail-biter when the Berkeley ResistanceShevildead defeated the S.F. ShEvil Dead 182-112.

Will the wily and wicked ShEvil Dead army of zombies defend San Francisco from the Berkeley Resistance hippies? Or will peace and flower power once again stifle the stink of the Dead?

Enjoy the brutality while indulging in tasty local eats and throwing back a cold one. 

Berkeley Resistance

Checkout the goods and grub in the vendor village featuring Cruz Skate Shop, Leppard Lady Fashions, Dottie Brand Accessories, A Spoonful of Sugar Cakes, Schulzie’s Bread Pudding, Senor Sisig & Donna’s Tamales!

Be sure to enter the raffle for a chance to win an Amoeba swag bag including a $25 Amoeba Music Gift Certificate

Lana Del Rey and How Symbols are Sometimes More Important than their Meaning

Posted by Billyjam, March 14, 2012 10:45am | Post a Comment

In this fast paced online information age - with its non-stop constant overload of new facts (and fiction) been Tweeted and shared in some digital fashion every single micro-second of the day - it is often hard for individuals to get beyond that condensed 140 characters version of a particular story. But yet, based solely on that short (often editorialized) synopsis of a much longer in-depth story many will embrace that opinion put forth and jump on the bandwagon of popular thought on said topic. A case in point I believe was back in mid - late January when singer Lana Del Rey suddenly trended (around the time of fellow trending items as Rick Santorum and Jeremy Lin)  as one of the most talked about individuals of that week or so. The trend was all related to her reportedly bombing on Saturday Night Live during her January live concert performance on SNL.

However her presentation on SNL was is secondary though since most folks who joined in the public mud throwing at this new pop star did so without having seen the actual TV show. Some did (mostly after the fact and in edited form) but a great many of these self-appointed critics who joined in the cacophony of critique (haterism?) hadn't even seen her SN: bit at all.  But that didn't stop them from joining in and critiquing the artist for such things as appearing stiff and nervous and just standing still as she sang during her SNL performance. They also echoed the other criticisms leveled against the artist  to such as she came from a privileged background, or that she changed her name and her image in her makeover bid of becoming a pop star.

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Silver Lake Jubilee 2012 Tickets Available at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, March 13, 2012 05:27pm | Post a Comment

Silver Lake JubileeThis year's Silver Lake Jubilee in Los Angeles is on Memorial Day weekend May 26 and 27. The two day neighborhood festival may be its biggest yet with more than 35 bands, 40 comedians and performers, food trucks, craft vendors, and beer/wine for the 21-and-overs.

You can purchase two-day passes to the Jubilee at Amoeba Hollywood for $37 (this includes a $2 facility fee). 

One of the cool things about the festival, aside from all the great bands, is its focus on environmental sustainability. You are very much encouraged to bring your own container and pour water for FREE from the fountains provided on site (that's a lovely change from other festivals that charge ridiculous amounts of money for very small bottles of water). Vendors use compostable food containers, and recycling and composting happens during the festival. Big no-nos inside the Jubilee include single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam, balloons, or other non-recyclable containers. 

When: Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 & 27

  • 12 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 26
  • 12 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 27

Where: Santa Monica Blvd., with entrances from Sunset Blvd. and Commonwealth

Here is the lineup (so far):



Abe Vigoda performing at Amoeba Hollywood in 2008:


March 13, 2012: Bending The Rules

Posted by phil blankenship, March 13, 2012 03:23pm | Post a Comment

All-Female Bands of the Early 20th Century - Happy Women's History Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 12, 2012 02:43pm | Post a Comment


Female singers have been popular since ancient times. Earlier this year a tomb was discovered in Egypt housing the earthly remains of Nehmes Bastet, a singer who lived and died some 2,900 years ago -- around the time of Carthage's founding and that the Iron Age was making big waves in Central Europe. To date, she's the only known woman buried in the Valley of Kings who wasn't related to the royal families.

Nearly 3,000 years after her death, female singers were still undeniably popular. Although female musicians have long been celebrated in the rest of the world, in the west most were limited to either the piano or harp -- and strictly in a non-professional role -- until the dawn of the 20th Century.

An important development in all-female bands was Lee De Forest's invention of Phonofilms in 1919. Before then, a few early attempts at marrying music to short films were made with Kinetoscopes but were hampered by their short length of 22 seconds. Phonofilms, which were essentially music videos, were longer and often featured female musicians.

Predictably, many of these pioneers were apparently valued more for their looks and/or novelty than their cultural contributions but that, of course, isn't a reflection on their technical or artistic merits. It's just that, as Sherry Tucker's book Swing Shift (one of the few books on the subject) put it, the public "looks first and listens later."

*****

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Surrealist Women, Martha Gonzalez & Quetzal's Imaginaries & The Politics Of The World Diva

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 12, 2012 08:46am | Post a Comment
I couldn’t help but think while viewing LACMA’s new exhibit, In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, How many people spent more time at the paintings made by Frida Kahlo than any of the dozens of excellent surrealist artists featured at the exhibit. Certainly, Frida is the rock star. Her artwork is used in advertisements for the exhibit that are plastered all over Los Angeles. So much so that I heard at least a dozen people refer to the exhibit as “The Frida Kahlo Exhibit” and were disappointed over the fact that there were only seven pieces of her work in the show. Still, it didn’t stop the multitude of women in rebozos wearing ethnic jewelry and posing for pictures in front of Kahlo’s artwork, sharing in Frida’s pain and heartbreak.

I don’t want to sound like a hater, because I do appreciate Kahlo’s artwork and to not acknowledge what she has meant for women artist and the art world in general would be unjust. Not only was she a great artist but also her artwork was superior to many of her male counterparts. Her art forced the inclusion of her and many other great female artists that weren’t given much respect beforehand. But as I continued through the exhibit, marveling over the great surrealist art of Maria Izquierdo, Remedios Varo, Dorothea Tanning, Gertrude Abercrombie and Francesca Woodman, it was evident that people for the most part, were more hung up on Frida’s biography than the art.

This is who we are as a society. We love our icons. We like our revolutionaries handsome and strong and we like our suffering artists to be tragic. You can’t be a multifaceted. You can’t be a tragic icon who met someone nice and settled down. You can’t be a revolutionary that decided, “Eh, I rather get a steady job” We admire them because unlike many of us, they are all or none and they are who they are until their death. Even if it is a perceived notion, we want our icons to make us think they are not like us. Nothing speaks volumes than modern pop music. Was 2Pac really a thug or a very talented rapper/actor who made us believe he was harder than he was?

One World Music term that I hate to hear being used is “World Diva” It is a marketing term used by lazy record industry people and booking agents who book international female singers into festivals. It is a homogenous title to say the least. It doesn’t tell you where the singer is from, is about or what style of music they perform. You just lump them into one category and market it to the suckers that feel like getting “ethnic” for a day. The result of that term is that many of the artists feel thy have to play into that role. You can be a tee shirt and jeans Nigerian singer but if you put on the headdress and wood-beaded necklace you will be perceived as legitimate African singer. Once again, it’s perception. We want Lila Downs in her Frida meet Carmen Miranda wear. We are more comfortable with Susana Baca wearing traditional Afro-Peruvian clothing. We want Angelique Kidjo to wear a thousand gold bracelets and big hoop earrings than to look like western pop star. It's not to dismiss the artists pride in their culture, it just plays into what people want in their World Divas. We want you to dress in ethnic clothing. We want you to sing in a language that we don’t understand. We will think you are more authentic that way. We want you to be from a country that we know nothing of. We will put you on a pedestal as something we wish we could be, but never really take the effort to understand.

I have followed the work of singer Martha Gonzalez. She has performed in the group Quetzal for close to fifteen years. They have released five albums. The latest, Imaginaries, was released a few weeks ago. When I heard it, I thought, “Why isn’t Martha name ever mentioned as a great international singer?” Names like Lila Downs, Angelique Kidjo, Maria Rita, Ana Moura, Carmen Consoli, Azam Ali and Lira are marketed as “World Divas” They are mentioned are all over the press. They play all the world music festivals and are revered by audiences across the world. They have all had some great moments but have become inconsistent at best. Martha just keeps getting better and better with time.

Imaginaries is an example of Martha Gonzalez’s ever-expanding talent. As a writer, (along with husband and long time collaborator, Quetzal Flores) Gonzalez continues to explore complex social issues with storytelling that recalls great songwriters like Ruben Blades. Both Gonzalez and Blades writing are social/political in nature but never overt. Both have ability to getting one singing and dancing first before realizing the subject matter.  An example of that is a song like “Dreamers, Schemers” a blueglass ode to the freestyle movement of the 80’s that also serves as example how a creative force was able to thrive in the barrios of East L.A. during the years of Reaganomics. Another song in the same vein is “Estoy Aqui (I Am Here)” A song that questions the privileges one has living in the U.S. when even the poorest pueblos in Mexico have more self respect and dignity living in squats constructed by found material. Martha’s songs inspire as well as serve as a way to check one self.

Musically, the band continues to grow. The song, “Duermete” recalls the classic Fania-era Son Montuno in both musical styling and in storytelling ability. “Tragafuegos” is the continued evolution of Son Jarocho beyond the traditional, with an organ that takes Jarocho out of Vera Cruz and into the streets of East L.A. “Witness” could comfortably fit in Earth, Wind & Fire’s set list and everyone would rave it’s the best thing they’ve done in years.

Many of Gonzalez’s best songs are often given to other singers to perform. “Time Will Tell’ features the R&B crooning of Quincy McCrary and “Luz & Miel” a Charanga that recalls the great Cuban groups of the eighties, is given to her brother Gabriel Gonzalez to sing. Both Quincy & Gabriel perform commendably but it isn’t that Martha couldn’t shred on those songs. It’s Gonzalez’s sense of community, a desire to give the opportunity for other musicians to share the spotlight rather than to take all the glory.

The underlying theme of Quetzal’s music has always been about community. For that reason, perhaps Martha Gonzalez will not get the same respect as an individual artist would. Perhaps that she is from East Los Angeles and not from the Caribbean, South America or rural part of Mexico like Oaxaca or Vera Cruz, which people see as more “exotic” Perhaps because she is down to earth and you won’t see her playing the game of “World Diva” It’s a shame that most that would appreciate her will miss her in the hype of World Diva-ness, much like Dorothea Tanning’s powerful painting “Birthday” gets overlooked as people rush by it to get to a Frida Kahlo painting.





The Late, Great Jean "Moebius"? Giraud

Posted by Charles Reece, March 11, 2012 09:34am | Post a Comment

French comics master Jean "Moebius" Giraud is dead. Here's an interview from last April and
a much longer one from a 1987 issue of The Comics Journal. His official site.

March 10, 2012: Silent House

Posted by phil blankenship, March 10, 2012 10:24pm | Post a Comment

Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" regular version vs the looooooong version

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2012 08:24am | Post a Comment
          


Above is the recently extremely-extended remixed version of Kate Bush's big 1978 hit "Wuthering Hieghts" (an historic song because in 1978 when it topped the UK charts it was the first time a woman had a UK number one with a self-written song - and Bush was only 19 at the time) which has been stretched out to about nine times its original length - clocking in here at about 36 minutes. This remix method which takes the Chopped & Screwed remix style to a whole other level (that style, associated with the late great Texas DJ Screw, would slow down the BPM of rap songs to about half the original speed & add in various effects) slows down the original by stretching it out to six or eight times the original time. Hence why Kate Bush's song, which originally clocked in at about 4 and a half minutes, is now almost 36 minutes long in the "Ultra Slow" remix.

This stretched-style of remixing, which is pretty easy (and fun) to do, can make for some great remixes - although it is often hit and miss. I have personally done a bunch, using Peak Pro program and extending or stretching out the time to usually 8 times the original length, and come up with some good results. One that worked great for me was Joni Mitchell's "Blue" which, like the Kate Bush remix above, becomes transformed into this other-worldly mood-piece taking two minutes for MItchelll just to sing the opening five words of the song's lyrics - "Blue, songs are like tattoos." For those wishing to hear the original version of "Wuthering Heights" below is a 2011 remastered version of the Kate Bush recording which was number one on the UK charts in 1978. Look for it and Kate Bush's other music at the Amoeba online shop.

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March 9, 2012: John Carter Of Mars

Posted by phil blankenship, March 9, 2012 11:53pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 03.09.12: Too $hort, Madlib, WZRD, Malik Work, Timbo King, Dregs One, Notoriois B.I.G., Illmaculate, Cash Money & Marvelous + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2012 06:08pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 03:09:12

1) WZRD wzrd (Universal Republic)

2) Drake Take Care (Cash Money)

3 Tyga  Careless World: Rise Of The La (Cash Money)

4) Too $hort No Trespassing (Dangerous Music)

5) Madlib Medicine Show No. 13: Black Tape (Madlib Medicine Show)

Thanks to Michelle at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for this week's new hip-hop chart which, with the exception of Drake's steadily selling sophomore album Take Care which was released four months ago, is packed with all brand new releases that dropped last week on Feb 28th. These include the number album of the week at the Haight Street store and the number 3 Billboard albums chart across the country this week: the self titled album from WZRD which is the highly anticipated and slightly overdue new new rock project from Kid Cudi along with producer Dot da Genius which draws inspiration from Pink Floyd and The Pixies.  and featuring songs like "The Upper Room " and "The Dream Time Machine" - both of which are below. Note this is technically not hip-hop music but rather more alternative/prog/rock music made by a rapper. I stress that because there's already been a lot of Cudi fans (ones used to his genre-bending) who are not feeling this album. But even if you are not you are not into the music you gotta give the guy props for always trying new things.

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Lincoln Heights, The Pueblo's Bedroom

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 8, 2012 09:09pm | Post a Comment
LINCOLN HEIGHTS


Lincoln Heights one of the main neighborhoods of LA's Eastside. Across the LA River it's neighbored by Downtown's Chinatown, North Industrial District (Dog Town), Civic Support, and the Mideast Side's Elysian Park and Elysian Valley to the west and northwest, respectively. It's neighbored the NELA's Cypress Park and Montecito Heights to the north; and fellow Eastside neighborhoods Boyle Heights, El Sereno, and Happy Valley, to the south, east, and north, respectively.

  
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's maps of Lincoln Heights and The Eastside

For this blog, I was accompanied by Genevieve Liang, making her second appearance after her season 6 debut in "Pasadena - The Crown City of Roses."


HISTORY OF LINCOLN PARK

Present day neighborhood of Lincoln Heights, like all of Los Angeles, was for thousands of years home to the 
Tongva, later conquered by the Spanish, part of Mexico
after its independence, and ultimately the USA.

For its first fifteen years, Lincoln Heights was merely known, along with it's east-of-the-river neighbors as East Los Angeles. In 1863 there was an outbreak of smallpox. Then city health inspector and county coroner Dr. John S. Griffin, was offered 2,000 acres of land at the reduced price of 50 cents an acre instead of his normal $3,000 salary by the cash-strapped city. In 1874, the Virginian doctor and his nephew, Hancock Johnston, began selling the land to LA's first suburbanites. 


The Albion Cottages were built in 1875 (the Milagro Market was added later) to serve workers on the Southern Pacific Railroad.




EARLY LINCOLN HEIGHTS

Along with Angeleno HeightsBunker Hill and Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights was one of LA's first suburbs. In its earliest years most of the residents were English and Irish-Americans, who nicknamed the budding community "The Garden Territory." The downtown was laid out along Broadway, which begins there and ultimately runs 28 kilometers south, finally terminating in Gardena.

Residence at 2054-2056 Griffin Avenue built in 1887 

Not pictured historic home of the era: Residence at 3110 N. Broadway built in 1880 (now HM 157) 


EAST LOS ANGELES PARK -> LINCOLN PARK

 

A portion purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company was left undeveloped and instead set aside as a park in 1881. It was first named East Los Angeles Park and subsequently re-named Eastlake Park in 1901 as an Eastside counterpart to Westlake (now known as MacArthur Park). It quickly became one of the city's major attractions and, due to a petition, was renamed Lincoln Park in 1917. (Click here for KCET's excellent history of the park).

It was at the park that Charlie Chaplin filmed A Woman (1915), Harold Lloyd filmed Haunted Spooks(1920), and in 1921, Laurel and Hardy appeared, not yet as a team, in The Lucky Dog, their first cinematic appearance together.


CHURCH OF THE EPIPHANY

The Church of the Epiphany was built in 1883. In 1913, it was expanded and a large window designed by Tiffany Studios was installed. Decades later, in the 1960s and '70s, it was an important center in the Chicano Rights movement. The Brown Berets routinely met there and the newspaper, La Raza, had its offices there.


GERMAN IMMIGRATION -- LINCOLN PARK IN THE 1890s


The 1890s saw an influx of immigrants from Germany, many of whom worked as bakers. One such company, Mrs. Cubbinson's, still manufactures Cubbison's Croutons and other products today. The East Los Angeles Church of the Brethren was built on Broadway and opened its doors to mostly German-American worshippers in 1896. As Lincoln Heights filled up with more immigrants, some of the wealthy citizens of the neighborhood began to decamp to Arroyo Seco and Hollywood communities. 

Lemberger - Sigler Residence (2800 Manitou Ave.) built in 1897

Historic homes of the era (not pictured) include: Stoltenberg Residence (2901-2907 Manitou Ave.) built in 1890, Foyen Residence (2242 Workman St.) built in 1895, Clark-Doody Residence (2139-2141 Parkside Ave.) built in 1896, Schliebitz Residence (2063 Griffin Ave.) built in 1903, Binford Residence (2200-2212 Eastlake Ave. & 3201 Baldwin St.), Nicol Residence (2309 Hancock St.), Todd Residence (2808 Manitou Ave.), Olin Residence (2622-2624 Mozart St.), and Girard-Vai Residence (2113-2113½ Parkside Ave.) 



LINCOLN HEIGHTS IN THE 20TH CENTURY

1900s

Around the turn of the 20th Century, the area of and around Lincoln Heights developed in an increasingly industrial direction. As land values decreased, an influx of Italian-Americans arrived from across the river, where a Little Italy had been established in the 1880s. Many of the Italians were involved in wine-making, which had first been established by French immigrants across the river in the 1830s. Wine-making would later peak with some 20 wineries operating in the area. 



One newly-arrived Sicilian-American family in Lincoln Heights was the Capras, who bought a home at 240 S. Ave 18 in 1904. Their son, Francesco Rosario, would late pursue a career as a film director, debuting with 1922's The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding House. Calling himself Frank Russell Capra, he later achieved fame with It happened one night, Mr. Deeds goes to town, Lost horizon, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Arsenic and old lace, and especially It's a wonderful life.



EDISON ELECTRIC COMPANY


The John B. Parkinson-designed Los Angeles No. 3 Steam Power Plant was built for the Edison Electric Company in 1903. The site later became a Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery. It's somewhat fitting that the place that once brewed the swill enjoyed ironically by hipsters is now a live-and-work artists' colony. The space itself is impressive but isn't without controversy. Unneighborly efforts have been made by some to distance the colony from the Lincoln Heights neighborhood and art scene and instead forge an association with the Downtown Arts District, located on the opposite side of the river and several kilometers away. 



THE LOS ANGELES OSTRICH AND ALLIGATOR FARMS


Following the lead of America's first ostrich farm, Cawston Ostrich Farm, which opened in not-too-distant South Pasadena in 1886; the Los Angeles Ostrich Farm opened in Lincoln Heights in 1906. Located opposite Eastlake Park, the farms visitors gawked and posed with the large birds and rode in ostrich-drawn carriages. Ostrich Parks were quite the rage back then Rancho Los Feliz (now Griffith Park) was home to the Ostrich Farm and the Ostrich Farm Railroad.


Next door to the Ostrich Farm and operated by the same owners was the Los Angeles Alligator Farm, which opened in 1907. As with the ostrich farm, vistors gawked and posed with the large crocodilians... and yes, were pulled along in alligator-drawn carts! Both existed until 1953, at which point the alligators relocated to Buena Park. I'm not sure what happened to the ostriches -- leather and steaks?


HISTORIC DOWNTOWN LINCOLN HEIGHTS


Lincoln Heights' Neher & Skiling-designed Federal Bank Building was built in 1908 and is now (possibly) the nation's only Italian Renassance El Pollo Loco. The Broadway Street Clock was erected in 1910. Frieden's Department Store is possibly the oldest family-owned department store in Los Angeles.
Lincoln Heights Library (1916)

The Lincoln Heights Branch Library was built in 1916, inspired by Michelangelo's design for Rome's Villa Guilla, and is the second oldest library in LA.



The Art Deco Light and Power Building was built in the 1930s.


SELIG MOVIE STUDIO AND ZOO


Selig and a chimpanzee sharing a smoke

In 1913, pioneering West Coast film director William Selig acquired 32 acres of land in Lincoln Heights, two years after his partner Francis Boggs was murdered by their janitor at their film studio in Edendale/Echo Park. The old studio was sold to William Fox, founder of Fox Film. At his new property, Selig erected a zoo for the use in his jungle serials at the former site of a previous tourist attraction, the Indian Village (which opened around 1909). The Lincoln Heights Carousel was added in 1914. It was designated an historic monument in 1976 but was gutted by fire and demolished the same year. In 1925 the zoo was sold and re-named Luna Park Zoo. Soon afterward it closed and the animals were sold to Los Angeles, which had opened a zoo in 1912.


LOS ANGELES COUNTY HOSPITAL


Construction of Los Angeles County Hospital (formerly located on Marengo Street) began in 1913. Today the old administration building still stands and is the home to the LA County Coroner’s office. When the hospital still stood it served as a filming location for Charlie Chaplin’s Police (1916), Hank Mann’s The Janitor (1919), Stan Laurel’s Detained (1924), and Laurel & Hardy’s The Hoose-Gow (1929).


THE SAN ANTONIO WINERY 

The most famous winery in Lincoln Heights is the San Antonio Winery, established in 1917 by Santo Cambianica, an immigrant from Lombardy. After Prohibition was enacted in 1920, other wineries sold "wine bricks", legal grape concentrates that helped fuel the bootlegging industry as well as alcohol with supposed health benefits like North Cucamonga Winery's "Padre's Wine Elixir Tonic" and "Padre's Bitter Wine." Lincoln Heights and Little Italy were notorious for their bootlegging and Avenue 19 was nicknamed "Shotgun Alley."


The San Antonio Winery, on the other hand, survived by producing communion wine. In 1966, it was listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Nowadays the winery relies on grapes grown in in Monterey, Napa Valley and elsewhere.



1920s - LITTLE SICILY 
Bank of Italy - Now Bank of America (1924)

At the turn of the century, large numbers of Mexican-Americans began to make their homes in Lincoln Heights, many having relocated from other Eastside neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights/Boyle Heights and East LA. Still more arrived as refugees from the Mexican Revolution. However, through the 1920s the predominant ethnic group continued to be Italian-Americans and some nicknamed Lincoln Heights "Little Sicily," a cross river neighbor to LA's Little Italy neighborhood (now the site of Chinatown). The combined Italian population of Little Italy and Little Sicily reached around 8,000 people at its height. 


THE WINEVILLE CHICKEN COOP MURDERS


Walter Collins (left) and Arthur Hutchins (right)

In 1928, a series of kidnappings and murders of young boys rocked Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. Then nine-year-old Walter Collins disappeared from his Lincoln Heights home (located at 217 N. Ave 23) on March 10, 1928. A twelve-year-old from Iowa, Arthur Hutchins Jr, pretended to be Collins, primarily motivated by his desire to come to LA and meet cowboy star Tom Mix. The events were retold (with the names changed to protect the innocent) in the 1951 Dragnet radio series episode, "The Big Imposter" and a 1952 TV episode of the same name. The events were also depicted in 2008's Clint Eastwood film, The Changeling. Eventually, Canadian serial killer Gordon Northcott was caught, confessed to the killing (and several others - although he was suspected of more) and hanged.


LINCOLN HEIGHTS IN THE 1940s

Fire Station No. 1 - a classic Streamline Moderne built in 1940

After the conclusion of World War II, many of Lincoln Heights' established Italian-American and Mexican-American residences moved east into the suburban San Gabriel Valley, particularly towns like Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel and Temple City. Those that stayed behind were mostly less-wealthy and as a result Lincoln Heights grew increasingly working class.


GANGS OF LINCOLN HEIGHTS 

Accounts of when gangs first appeared in Lincoln Heights vary, with dates routinely being pushed back decades further and further and are hard to verify. By some accounts, East Side Clover and Varrio Lincoln Heights date back to the first decade of the 20th century. Clicks include Parkside Locos, Calle Sichel Locos, Thomas Street, 28th Ave/Calle 28, and Workman Street. Other active Lincoln Heights gangs include East Lake Locos, and Happy Valley Rifa. Whenever they formed, it's generally accepted that most were active by the 1940s.


LINCOLN PARK STADIUM

  Jalopy pit, 1951, Lincoln Park Stadium

I couldn't find the exact dates of Lincoln Park Stadium's operation but it at least existed between 1946 and 1952 (by which point it was renamed "The New Lincoln Speedway"), when it hosted both midget car and jalopy races. It was located on the grounds of the former Zoo, which closed in 1933 after damaging floods. 



LINCOLN HEIGHTS JAIL

The Lincoln Heights Jail that still stands opened in 1931. As early as the 1850s there had been jail buildings there. Charlie Chaplin’s Police (1916), Harold Lloyd’s Take a Chance (1918), and Laurel & Hardy’s The Second Hundred Years (1927) were all filmed at earlier incarnations of the jail.




In 1950, Chief William Parker was appointed Los Angeles's chief of police. One of his primary obsessions was with LA's gay community which he antagonized with raids of gay bars and entrapment -- paying aspiring Hollywood actors to serve as bait for cruisers. An entire wing of Lincoln Heights Jail was reserved for those guilty of being gay and was nicknamed "The Fruit Tank."




One such criminal, Nancy Valverde, was a Lincoln Heights barber who, due to her short hair and habit of wearing pants, was routinely dragged in on charges of "masquerading."


In 1951, a group of young Mexican-American men (Danny and Elias Rodela, Raymond Marquez, Manuel Hernandez, and Eddie Nora) were picked up at the Showboat Bar bar in nearby Frogtown, dragged back to the jail and severely beaten by a large group of drunk cops in an incident that came to be known "Bloody Christmas" and inspired the book and film LA Confidential. The cops were responding to a call about underage drinking. All of the victims were of legal age and produced valid ID. Unfortunately, LAPD had a tradition of getting rip-roaring drunk on Christmas and the victims suffered paralysis, ruptured and punctured organs, broken bones and in one case required three blood transfusions.


The jail was closed in 1959 but some businesses have operated in parts of it. The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts began operating out of it in 1979. Later portions of Nightmare on Elm Street and Night Train (as well as the Blink-182 video "Feeling This") were filmed there. In 1993 it became the home of the no longer-extant Aztlan Cultural Arts Foundation. It was closed to filming in 2010 but parts were reopened in 2012. 



DANNY SANTIAGO


Daniel Lewis James, was an Irish-American former Communist who grew up in Kansas CityMissouri. Though having left the party in '48, he was blacklisted in 1951 after being called before HUAC. He and his wife moved to Lincoln Heights where they became active in the formation of theater groups and youth activities. He died in 1988. For decades, beginning in the 1950s and employing the pseudonym "Danny Santiago," he wrote Eastside fiction that was widely praised for it's authenticity. 1983's Famous All Over Town, won the prestigious 1984 Rosenthal Award for literary achievement. After he failed to claim his $5,000 reward, James revealed the truth.



THE 5 FREEWAY 

In 1953, the California Highway Commission proposed building the 5 Freeway through the Eastside. Not surprisingly, Eastsiders reacted with resistance. Then-city council member Edward R. Roybal chaired the Boyle-Hollenback Anti-Golden State Freeway Commission but in 1956, the freeway cut through, displacing families and encouraging the accelerating departure of many of their neighbors. By the 1960s, the middle class had departed, leaving Lincoln Heights a thoroughly working class, mostly Latino, barrio, albeit one with a significant Chinese-American minority, due to the neighborhood's location next to Chinatown, which had opened in the 1930s.


LACY STREET STUDIOS






Lacy Street Studios occupies a former textile mill built in 1885 that became a shooting location in 1976. Nowadays it's a frequent stand-in for New York and other 19th century metropolises. One of the building's claims to fame is that the TV show Cagney and Lacey was shot here, as were the TV series Alien Nation, Mafiosa, and Scream Play. 





The films The Addams Family, Ballistic, Beethoven, Cage II, Cobb, Dark Wolf, Dead Presidents, Don't Look Up, A Gothic TaleThe Girl from the Naked Eye, Gridlock'd, Hollywood Kills, JadeLA Confidential, Little *ucker, Lord of Illusions, My Family, Out for JusticeRadio Free AlbemuthSaw, Sparks, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Torture Room, Tumbleweeds, Twin Falls Idaho, and Winning London were also filmed there in part or in whole.

On the day of our visit, Genevieve and I walked into the sprawling, 88,000 square foot property and didn't see anyone for some for a bit -- turns out there are only five employees. After we were asked if we were scouting for locations, we were directed to an office. Operations Manager Tony Churchill kindly took time out of his day to talk with us about the history of the building, and the company. He also told us about his days as Tyne Daly back in the Cagney & Lacy days. He also showed us regaled us with humorous tales about his days in the 1970s funk band New Birth, whose roots go back to Kentucky's The Nite-Liters, which he co-founded in 1963.




LINCOLN HEIGHTS TODAY

Nowadays the population of Lincoln Heights is roughly 71% Latino (mostly Mexican), 25% Asian (largely Hoa Chinese) and 3% white. Subdistricts include the Auto Glass District, Clover Heights, The Hills, and Lincoln Heights Estates.


LINCOLN HEIGHTS IN TV AND FILM



In addition to the aforementioned film and TV series Lincoln Heights has appeared in many others. For an in depth feature on silent films shot in Lincoln Heights, click here.

OTHER HISTORIC BUILDINGS


Sacred Heart Church


Albion Street School

Lincoln Heights, being as old as it is, is home to numerous, beautiful old buildings including many private residences. It's also home to the Sacred Heart Church (2210 Sichel St) and the Albion Street School - designed by T. Beverly Keim Jr. (322 South Avenue 18) and built in 1924 and 1936.


LINCOLN HEIGHTS EATS 


Los Angeles Baking Company

Lincoln Heights is home to numerous highly-regarded restaurants, especially Mexican ones. El Huarachito is rightfully famous for their breakfasts. Lanza Brothers Market is one of the few culinary vestiges of the neighborhood's Italian past. On the day of our visit we ate at LA Bakery which I thought was decent.

Other local establishments include Armex Kabob Restaurant, Ave 26 Taco Stand, Boda Restaurant, Cafe in the Heights, Cake Girl, Carnitas Michoacan, Champion Donuts, Chinatown Express, Corn Man, Dino's Burgers, Honey Donuts, Kacin's Tulip Cafe, King Taco, La Estrella Mexican Food, La Morenita Restaurant, La Naranja Taqueria Restaurant, La Playita, Lencho's Mexican Restaurant, Llamarada, Los Paisas Taco Truck, Los Tres Cochinitos Restaurant, Maracas Cafe, Maya's Restaurant, Mom's Tamales, Mr Steve Donuts, Natural Fruit Los Reyes, Pablo's Fruit Stand, Palace Bakery, Rancho Meat Market, Raspados Nayarit, Tacos Chapalita, Takoyaki Tanota Truck, Troy's Burgers No 10, and Wendy's Tortas.


LINCOLN HEIGHTS ART & CULTURE


Chicano Time Trip

Lincoln Heights has a vibrant art scene. There are purely artistic and commercial murals adorning many building walls. One of the best known is Chicano Time Trip, painted by Los Dos Streetscapers (Wayne Healy and David Botello) in 1977.

The Brewery includes the I-5 Gallery, the LA Artcore Brewery Annex, Arts Refoundry, Bruce Gray Gallery, Mia Gallery, RAID Projects, and Salerno Michael. It also hosts the Brewery Artwalk.


The Lincoln Lawyer


Statue of Florence Nightingale

In Lincoln Park, the Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for Arts and Education has served the community since 1970. Also in the park is Julia Bracken Wendt's sculpture, The Lincoln Lawyer, made in 1926, and David P. Edstrom's statue of Florence Nightingale, done in 1937.


PARQUE DE MEXICO






Nearby, at the Parque de Mexico, there are even more sculptures of figures associated with Mexican history, including Efren de los Rios's El Cura Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1938), Ernesto E. Tamariz's Lazaro Cardenas del Rio (1970), an anonymous Benito Juarez (1976), an anonymous Pancho Villa (around 1980), Ignacio Asunsolo's Emiliano Zapata (1980), Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon's Julian Martinez (1980)...






...Victor Gutierrez's Venustiano Carranza (1980), Francisco Zuniga's General Ignacio Zaragoza (1981), an anonymous Emperor Cuauhtemoc (1981), Humberto Peraza's Agustin Lara (1984), Ayda's J. Jesus's Gonzales Ortega (1987), Francisco Zuniga's Ramon Lopez Velarde (1988), Velarco's Dona Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez (1994), and an anonymous Guadalupe Victoria (1997).


Pieter Performance Space





The Airliner

Other, newer cultural institutions include Lincoln Heights the Pieter Performance Space (since 2009) and HM157. The neighborhood also puts on an annual Christmas (or alternately "Community") parade. Another well-known local venue is The Airliner (which used put on the popular Low End Theory). 


KWAN YING VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION/CHUA QUAN ÂM

Figuring out what the temple on Broadway is known is is surprisingly challenging.  The sign on the building next door says America Vietnam-Chinese Friendship Association. Other directories list the place's name as Kwan Ying Vietnamese Buddhist Association. Some of the confusion can probably be chalked up to the use of Vietnamese, Chinese, and romanized Chinese. The sign at the entrance says, "Chùa Quan Âm," Vietnamese for Quan Âm Pagoda. Quan Âm is one of the bodhisattva venerated in East Asian Buddhism. Look up "Chùa Quan Âm" and the nearest result is the temple of that name in Little Saigon (specifically Garden Grove. I've actually been the that temple, incidentally). Perhaps it's changed its name even though I believe it only opened in 2003. In front of the temple, I once encountered a guy selling barrel cacti, who assured me that they were the best I'd ever see. They looked fine.



There's also the Ultra Violet Social Club and The Office Club. One place that I've long been curious about but never seen the inside is the bunker-like California Nigth [sic] Club, the sign on which is constantly shedding more and more letters.


*****



Aright! Until next time. Hope you enjoyed this one and check again for the next one (right now it's looking like El Monte). To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here.


*****

Soweto Gospel Choir – African Grace, April 5th in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 8, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present  Soweto Gospel Choir on AprilSoweto Gospel Choir CIIS San Francisco 5th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

Thursday, April 5, 2012
8:00PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
$25/$35/$50/$75
Get tickets HERE or call 415.392.4400
Group discounts available for 10 or more!

"(The choir) has a cornucopia of remarkable voices: sharp, sweet, kindly, raspy and incantatory leads above a magnificently velvety blend.....the music was both meticulous and unstoppable.....the songs were both spirited and spectacular" - New York Times

They're back! With their vibrant dance and dynamic vocal harmonies, the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir is a worldwide phenomenon. The choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African gospel music. The twenty-six-member-strong ensemble draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto, South Africa. The choir has performed to sell-out crowds at major concert halls across the globe, and alongside such superstars as Bono, Queen, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. The ensemble is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world.
CIIS

Don't miss your chance to see the dynamic Soweto Gospel Choir!
Get your tickets today!


Decolonize Oakland Mural Reactionary Art To The Occupy Movement

Posted by Billyjam, March 8, 2012 02:19pm | Post a Comment

If recently you've either been on BART near in the vicinity of the Fruitvale station or driven along 880 in East Oakland odds are you've already spotted the big wide bright new mural bearing the word "DECOLONIZE" that takes up a wide wall at 12th Street and 16th Ave. The monumental mural is the latest politically charged artwork by the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP). To catch the eyes of  the thousands of daily commuters that pass by the piece is strategically positioned near both the freeway and the BART tracks to get the message of the monumental mural to as many people as possible. “Decolonize is a universal message to all people of the earth to reconnect to their ancestry, the earth, to their traditional medicines and knowledge, and to a global consciousness that we are all related. Everyone on the planet has indigenous roots to somewhere,” said artist Lavie Raven - one of the ten contributors to the large scale mural that is 200 feet wide and 30 feet high and took two and half days of concentrated work to complete. The other artists are CRP regulars Mike 360, Release, Beats 737, Desi, Rate, Abacus, Pancho, Yesenia, and Dora.

Continue reading...

Remembering March 11, 2011: For What It Is Worth

Posted by Kells, March 8, 2012 12:34pm | Post a Comment

Everyday I think about what it would mean to suffer the panic of a disastrous earthquake. Sometimes the thought is latent, residing somewhere in my metal recesses. But at other times, like a few mornings ago when a magnitude 4 earthquake centered a few miles away literally shook me out of bed at 5:33am, it glows at the front and center in my mind like a warning fire. Can anyone ever really be ready for a seismic shift of any size? How does one prepare for the aftermath? Is there a price you wouldn't pay for hindsight?

 

It has been almost a year since the Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis and during that time there has been a great deal of giving, in terms of fundraising and charity, so that those in Northern Japan affected by the calamity may bolster their hope and know whatever relief may reach them while muster the strength to move forward and rebuild their communities. This Sunday, March 11 marks the one year anniversary of the natural disaster and I urge everyone to seek out and participate in local memorial events that honor those whose lives were claimed while maintaining awareness and providing support for organizations that continue in their effort to provide relief to survivors still striving to carve out an existence in the wake of such a catastrophe. For example, I will be heading to San Francisco's Japan Town for the community remembrance fundraising events featuring live performances and street sale (the Rise Japan booth will have all kinds of artwork on sale, including totes by Kelly Tunstall) then afterwards to Sushi Zone where owner, chef and Amoeba Music regular customer Kimiyaki Aoyama will have the restaurant open from 1-5pm -- mind you, they are never open before 5pm or on Sundays -- selling sake, beer and sushi with all profits to benefit the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation. However, you can make a contribution and score some new vinyl at the same time.


If for no other reason than to acquire some beautiful music, Kazu Makino of the band Blonde Redhead has recently released a charity compilation on her newly founded Asa Wa Kuru label (meaning "Morning Will Come" in Japanese) with proceeds to benefit the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund and Architecture For Humanity (a list of these and other groups, individuals and institutions active in the disaster hit areas in Northern Japan can be found here). The vinyl-only compilation, titled We Are The Works In Progress, features some of the most hauntingly 4AD-esque broken-yet-crystalline pop-synth clarion calls to be heard of all the relief offerings put together by musicians with a mind to support Japan's post-tsunami healing process. The collection, spread over two LPs, features Blonde Redhead of course, plus an impressive array of singular artists like Four Tet, Ryuichi Sakamoto teamed up with David Sylvian, Broadcast, Deerhunter, John Maus, Interpol, Terry Riley, Pantha du Prince and many more - it is available for purchase through Amoeba Music here. Simply put, it is a gorgeous effort created to further a worthy cause - one that shouldn't provoke a pause to contemplate the value of music, but rather the value of hope.

And if you have any question of value on that score I suggest viewing the following hour-long BBC documentary which chronicles the events of March 11, 2011 and weeks and months following as it was seen through the eyes of children. The accounts captured here are nothing if not the essence of hope in its purest form. Please do whatever you can to help Japan's healing, for what it is worth. がんばれ日本。

March 7, 2012: Project X

Posted by phil blankenship, March 7, 2012 10:10pm | Post a Comment

John Flansburgh of TMBG Talks Reissues in His "What's In My Bag?" Video

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 7, 2012 12:50pm | Post a Comment

John Flansburgh at AmoebaThe guitarist and co-founder of They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh, gave us a really thoughtful, interesting "What's In My Bag?" video. His selections are mostly reissued Jazz, soul, and British Invasion rock LPs. The stories he tells about the artists, how educated he is in their history, and why he chose each record is very compelling. Not to mention he fondly refers to two of his Jazz picks - Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie - as "nut"s.

On a heartbreaking note, last night on Twitter John mentioned that half of his picks from this Amoeba trip and other records he'd picked up while on tour, were burned in a trailer fire. 

John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

For its 14 Year Anniversary, New York Hip-Hop Radio Institution WNYU's The Halftime Show Will Not Feature Live Guests. Instead, They Take it Back to the Pay-Your-Dues School

Posted by Billyjam, March 7, 2012 05:33am | Post a Comment
For its fourteen year anniversary show tonight at 10:30PM (7:30PM Cali time) on NYU college radio station WNYU (heard in NYC at 89.1FM on the radio dial and all over streaming online at wnyu.org) the much loved & respected New York hip-hop radio institution The Halftime Show will break tradition and not have any live guests come through the studios to freestyle. Why? Because the quality is not that good anymore. So instead it will present previously recorded material from its deep archives of 14 years of weekly shows. 14 Years of Rap is how tonight's special is being billed by the show's main producer DJ Eclipse; but the show will draw mainly from its earliest years - circa the late 90's - a time when hip-hop was in a whole other state of mind & creativity. Artists' live on-air sets to be played back tonight will include Redman, Cage, Hieroglyphics, Method Man, A.G., Dilated Peoples, Talib Kweli, and many many more (see flyer down end for full listing). It should be top notch quality stuff too since the respected radio show, when it began in 1998, essentially carried on the baton - in New York City underground hip-hop radio terms - from Stretch & Bobbito who did their legendary NYC radio show from 1990 to 1998 on uptown Columbia University college station WKCR.
 
"Usually for the anniversary shows on Halftime Show we have two or three producers come up with beat machines. We have about thirty MCs come through and we have a couple of DJs come through and they all do like live stuff because to me that's when radio's at its best - when you don't know what you are going to get. But this year I decided to reflect on the earlier years of the show and I'm going back to the first two or three years of the show and pulling old freestyles from some of  the acts that came through in those first years," DJ Eclipse told me recently when I stopped by his Queens NY record filled home. The veteran hip-hop DJ, who is a member of Non Phixion, and a longtime hip-hop industry insider, who has worked for Fat Beats NYC and before that Wild Pitch Records, has been with the radio show from day one with an evolving crew of fellow radio show producers/DJs including DJ Riz, Lynn Gonzalez, and DJ Skizz to name but a few.

Continue reading...

Amoeba Bloggers Answer: What Was Your First Album?

Posted by Billy Gil, March 6, 2012 07:09pm | Post a Comment
I recently was at Amoeba Hollywood and overheard a customer telling an employee Davy Jones had died. I hadn’t heard the news yet. She brought it up because she was buying Katy Perry records for her daughter. She said her daughter didn’t even have a record player — she just wanted every bit of Katy Perry merchandise she could get her hands on.
 
The only artist I can ever remember being that obsessive about was The Smashing Pumpkins, but that was in high school. But it got me thinking about those first tapes, records, singles etc. that everyone got as a kid.
 
For me, the first album I ever bought on my own was Ace of Base’s The Sign on cassette. I had always liked music, but at 11, I had just started to pay attention to what songs were on the radio. A friend made me a tape from the radio and “The Sign” was on it. I loved it. In the coming weeks and months, albums by Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and my beloved Pumpkins would follow, but really it all started with Ace of Base for me. Though if I’m being technical, I had a cassette single of Paula Abdul’s “Promise of a New Day” that I listened to constantly when I was like 9, but I didn’t buy that — I won it at a cousin’s music-themed birthday party, at which my dad dressed himself and me as Simon & Garfunkel. I had no idea who they were. I think I was Paul Simon.
 
While I’m embarrassing myself, I thought I’d extend the question to the other Amoeba bloggers: What was your first album? Not kids’ music, but not just the cool stuff, either — the tapes we once listened to repeatedly and then put away in a drawer somewhere once we realized how lame they were, though I’m still on the hunt for The Sign on vinyl. Here are their answers:
 
Eric Brightwell
the cure kiss me kiss me kiss meMy first record was Luciano Pavarotti's My Own Story, a compilation of “musical highlights of his spectacular career.” They used to heavily advertise it on TV when I got home from school, and I was hooked. My first cassette was Peter Gabriel's So. I'd liked the singles from it, but when “Big Time” came out, I was obsessed. My first CD was The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. I was introduced to it by a German exchange student named Ina. Before she left I rode my bike into town to a Wal-Mart to get a blank cassette to dub it. I loved it so much, I thought it warranted being purchased on CD. 
 


Job O Brother

First vinyl album: Chipmunk Rock The Chipmunks
First vinyl single: Crush On You The Jets
First 8-track: Street Player Rufus
First cassette: Mesopotamia The B-52's
First cassette single: Been Caught Stealing Jane's Addiction
First CD: Upstairs at Eric's Yaz
First CD single: Makes No Sense At All Hüsker Dü

I still listen to and love all of these albums. I would be remiss if I didn't give an honorable mention to the Superscope Storyteller Series, whose fairy tales were backed by beautiful classical music, which made me the lover of the genre forevermore.
 
Ricky Frystak
My first single was “The Cattle Call” by Eddie Arnold. My mother got it for me in the late ’50s.
 
As I was completely enthralled by the yodeling on the record, and as I had a record player of my own already at the age of  5 or 6,  I played the hell out of it. The other thing around that time was a Sandy Nelson album called Let There Be Drums, as I had been given a snare drum and cymbal by my parents, and was playing percussion on all the pots and pans in the house to boot.
 
Then The Beatles hit and the rest is history.
 
Joe (The Vinyl Beat)
Paul Revere and the Raiders Here They ComeI'm a little older than most of the bloggers, so I'm going back a little further. The first album that I bought was Paul Revere & The Raiders Here They Come.  I still think it’s a great album.  It had tunes like “Louie Louie,” “You Can't Sit Down,” ”Money,” and “Do You love Me,” and it rocked real hard. I listened to it over and over because it was the only album I had! I got a few more while in high school, but couldn't afford many. I didn't start collecting until I went to college at UC Berkeley. On Sunday a few of us would go to the Alameda flea market at a drive-in near the Oakland Coliseum. I'd come home with a pile of scratched up LPs that I had spent a total of $5 on. Soon I had many crates full and I never looked back.
 
Gomez
kiss destroyerMy family did not have much money. So whatever one of us got we all shared. When I was in first grade, my father took my sisters and I record shopping. I wasn't into music and I remember all the surfer/hippie freaks in the record store scared me. Together, my sisters and I decided on getting KISS Destroyer over Aerosmith's Toys In The Attic. We eventually got the “Walk This Way” single from Zody's, so that sufficed our need for Aerosmith.
 
We would play the album when our parents weren't home and grab some tennis rackets to play air guitar while Destroyer blasted in the background.
 
The first single I bought was years later when I was in eighth grade. It was Fun Boy Three's “The Telephone Always Rings” I saw the video on MV3, a local new-wave video show that I couldn't stand but would watch daily. I liked the song because it was weird and it had the guys from The Specials in it. By then, I was into buying LPS and cassettes. I couldn't find the The Fun Boy Three album so I settled on getting the single. I bought it at Spider Records in Gardena, Calif., where later I got all my early punk records.

Rachael McGovern

I remember CDs being expensive — or at least perceiving that they were expensive — when they were first introduced. It was just me and my mom for many years when I was growing up, and CDs were not something we could afford, as much as we both loved music. My mom remarried when I was 12 years old, and we moved to New Delhi, India, where my stepfather was working on assignment. This is important for one reason — the accessibility to new American music was pretty slim during that time overseas. The details are a little hazy, but I remember my stepdad coming back to India after a business trip to the States with two CDs for me and my stepsister to choose from — EMF's Schubert Dip or Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony. She and I shared a room so, in effect, we got to share the albums. But I choose Cooleyhighharmony. “Motownphilly back again...” Oh man, did I love that record. Still do. It was way, way better than that EMF album.
 
(Also of note that year: During a stay in a New Delhi hotel while our house was under construction, I was able to watch Asian MTV, and that's where I first heard/saw Right Said Fred's “I'm Too Sexy” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”)

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The Creators Project Brings Two Days of Art & Technology to SF, 3/17 - 3/18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 6, 2012 02:35pm | Post a Comment
Creators Project San Francisco Yeah Yeah Yeahs Zola Jesus

What a perfect love connection! The Creators Project comes to San Francisco—the world’s epicenter of technology and innovation— for a colossal two-day art and technology festival featuring towering multimedia art installations, live music performances, film screenings, and panel discussions. They will be kicking off the 2012 event series with a heck of a weekend celebration on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th at the historic Fort Mason. And it's FREE with RSVP!!

Now get a load of the line-up for this weekend of fun:Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O Nick Zinner
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
 bring the post-punk rock from beloved creators Nick Zinner and Karen O, fresh off their recent psycho-opera collaboration, Stop the Virgens

Squarepusher debuts his new live show, marking one of his first US performances in more than seven years.

HEALTHThe AntlersZola JesusShabazz PalacesThe Hundred in the Hands, and Teen Daze will also perform, plus an audiovisual spectacle from Chinese punk rock band New Pants alongside visuals from Feng Mengbo’s Bruce Lee VJ Project. 

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Mix Masterpiece: Yoshi's San Francisco's Monthly Art Expo, 3/13

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 6, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Mix Masterpiece Yoshi's San Francisco

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:00pm - 1:30am
Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St.
FREE!
Full Info HERE!
Reply on Facebook HERE!

Yoshi's San Francisco is hosting a multi-media extravaganza of talented Bay Area artists. These cutting-edge artists will have their fresh work on display and some for sale. It is FREE to the public with proper DJs and drink specials to boot. Old Russian Embassy House of Legends San Francisco Matthew Dara

Here's the superstar line-up!

Video: 
House of Legends: The Old Russian Embassy 
Footage from the documentary by Matthew Dara Alavi

Souls of Splendor 
Trailer and clips from the short film by Audra Wolfmann & Desmond MillerSouls of Splendor San Francisco Desmond Miller Audra Wolfmann

R.I.P. Robert B. Sherman

Posted by Job O Brother, March 6, 2012 12:21pm | Post a Comment


Robert B. Sherman
December 19, 1925 – March 5, 2012



Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman and Walt Disney


 
Robert Sherman, half of the sibling songwriting team known as The Sherman Brothers, passed away in his London, England home, yesterday, at age 86.

His credits read like a beautiful memory encompassing an entire childhood. In addition to his film work, he and his brother wrote many of the famous songs played at Disneyland, including the (some say) most-played song of all time, "It's a Small World".

It's entirely appropriate to feel bummed out about this.












Major film scores

  • The Parent Trap, 1961
  • In Search of the Castaways, 1962
  • Summer Magic, 1963
  • The Sword in the Stone, 1963
  • Big Red, 1963
  • Mary Poppins, 1964
  • The Happiest Millionaire, 1967
  • The Jungle Book, 1967
  • The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, 1968
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968
  • The Aristocats, 1970
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971
  • Snoopy, Come Home, 1972
  • Charlotte's Web, 1973
  • Tom Sawyer, 1973
  • Huckleberry Finn, 1974
  • The Slipper and the Rose, 1976
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, 1977
  • The Magic of Lassie, 1978
  • Magic Journeys, 1982
  • Winnie the Pooh and a Day For Eeyore, 1983
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, 1992
  • The Mighty Kong, 1998
  • Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving, 1999
  • The Tigger Movie, 2000

The Roots Breakthrough Album: "Things Fall Apart"

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2012 09:18am | Post a Comment

For many artists it is often their first album or their second album that puts them on the map and becomes their career's finest work. But for longtime Philly crew The Roots their breakthrough album came a dozen years after they had first formed (and gone through some personnel changes in the interim) in the form of their fourth album, Things Fall Apart. The album, which was released in 1999 by MCA, was as much of a critical as a commercial success for the group. Additionally its recording overlapped with several others by members of the extended Soulquarians collective that included Erykah Badu and Common - both of whom made memorable contributions to Things, as did others such as Mos Def, Ursula Rucker, and J-Dilla (a.k.a. Jay Dee). See the music video for the Erykah Badu featured album track "You Got Me" below.

        

While Things Fall Apart was unmistakably The Roots' breakthrough album, it is just one of many must-have releases by the ever-prolific group whose many late night TV viewers have come to know as the Jimmy Fallon house band. Others include The Roots Come Alive and all the ones released just over the past couple of years by the group. These include 2010's How I Got Over (Island/Def Jam) and the excellent concept album released late in 2011, Undun. The Roots also collaborated with both John Legend on Wake Up and with Betty Wright for Betty Wright and the Roots: The Movie.  Additionally, there is great compilation of the Roots' tracks that dropped four months ago -- the J. Period & Black Thought presented Best Of The Roots.

The Late, Great Ralph McQuarrie

Posted by Charles Reece, March 6, 2012 08:26am | Post a Comment

Ralph McQuarrie, the designer of Darth Vader, the light saber, and many other Star Wars entities, has
died.
Here is a bunch of good resolution reproductions of his art for the original trilogy.

Aloe Blacc Unveils New Video for "Good Things" Album Track "You Make Me Smile"

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2012 08:19am | Post a Comment

Aloe Blacc "You Make Me Smile"

Yesterday Stones Throw Records unveiled the brand new Aloe Blacc video, "You Make Me Smile" - the latest music video from the SoCal neo-soul artist's ever-popular album Good Things. Although the album was originally released back in the Fall of 2010, when the Orange County native celebrated its release with a record release party/in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood, it continues to sell well due to the popularity of such tracks as "Green Lights,"  "Hey Brother," "Loving You Is Killing Me," his version of the Velvet Underground & Nico's "Femme Fatale," and of course the album's standout soul-stirring track "I Need A Dollar," which many people discovered as the theme music for the HBO television series How To Make It In America. That song, which immediately confirms why Aloe Blacc has been heralded as a modern day Marvin Gaye, sounds like classic '60's/'70's soul but simultaneously acts as the perfect soundtrack to these economically challenging times for many in America.

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Would the REAL Criterion Please Stand Up?

Posted by Kells, March 6, 2012 08:08am | Post a Comment
Any film can be a DVD but it has come to be accepted as common knowledge that a Criterion Collection DVD is important. And don't we all know by now that the discerning film aficionados manning the helm of the goodship Criterion don't scrimp when it comes to a figuring "wow factors" into their packaged feature presentations - that's why one expects only the best in classic and contemporary cinema when glimpsing said particular 'C' word, right? WRONG! Welcome to the new world of Criterion Collection realness, created for the people by the people, shining like a grand DIY roadside attraction just off the information superhighway: the Fake Criterions tumblog! Okay, so maybe I'm just getting on board with this trend, which would be still considered fairly new by all accounts if the year were 2002, but seeing as it's 2012 and this blog has only been around for a year and a half and has already amassed extensive content of admin and fan-made Criterion Collection DVD artwork (often highlighting Criterion's sophisticated approach to graphic design by treating lowbrow, low-budget films in a like manner) it seems to me that film geeks are taking the argument for the appreciation of tangible media into their own hands. I mean, what movie enthusiast wouldn't be romanced into acquiring something as ridiculously awesome as this:

Here's to Andrew Ihla who designed this nugget of Criterion Collection fool's gold! All I can say further is that scrolling through the entries can be painful at times for there is so much goodness in the Fake Criterions stacks that I believe truly should exist. Really, it hurts my feelings to see these things and know that I cannot possibly enjoy the full cinematic experience house within faux Criterion offerings like these:

 



So good! If only I could beg Fake Criterion to consider rendering choice titles from my DVD collection with their super-dope graphic treatment skillz. In case my plea for art therapy gains attention I'm officially submitting a request for any of the following films (that happen to be of great personal value to me) to be given the Fake Criterion treatment - please, oh pretty please. And thank you!

John Guillermin's Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1984)
Trent Harris' The Beaver Trilogy (2001?)
Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973)
Ron Howard's Splash (1984)
Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Juzo Itami's Tampopo (1985)
David Winter's Space Mutiny (1988)
Emile Ardolino's Dirty Dancing (1987)
Renny Harlin's Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
John Boorman's Excalibur (1981)
Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man (1973)
Neil LaBute's The Wicker Man (2006)

March 5, 2012: Monday Morning

Posted by phil blankenship, March 5, 2012 10:18pm | Post a Comment

Is There a 78 Revival Going On?

Posted by Joe Goldmark, March 5, 2012 05:00pm | Post a Comment
To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

One reaction to the digitization of our world has been the resurgence of vinyl and record collecting. People say it’s because a record feels real and sounds better than its CD or MP3 counterpart. Also dropping a needle on a turntable feels like a throwback to simpler times. Some people are taking it even further.

Some collectors are going to the roots and discovering 78s. BTW, these aren’t vinyls; they’re actually made out of a shellac mixture and are pretty fragile compared to vinyl. 78s have a broader tonal spectrum of 400hz to 10,000hz and they sound noticeably better than a 45, LP, CD, or MP3. There’s more music in their grooves!

However, there are some prerequisites for collecting 78s. First you need a turntable that can play them. A good portable ‘50s electric tube record player that can be bought at a garage sale for $50 - $100 will suffice. Purists will get an old wind up Victrola from the ‘20s or ‘30s that’s a real piece of furniture. Some prefer the cheap new designer players. They’ll work, but only until you get something better. The next step is to get a 78 needle if needed and to get your player in working order. Finally, you need to appreciate some of the music from before 1956, because there ain’t no Madonna 78s.

            


The rest is fun. There’s plenty of ways to find cheap 78s, such as garage sales, thrift shops, Craigslist, Amoeba (see Amoeba's online selection of 78s), and record swaps. Select the genres that resonate, and then start collecting and listening. There’s nothing like hearing Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline,” for instance, played on a 78. It’s a visceral experience.

There’s been articles written about 78 collectors like John Heneghan (pictured below), there’s references in movies like Ghost World (pictured to the right) to collecting, and famous collectors like R.Crumb and Terry Zweigoff. There are also dealers like John Tefteller and Kurt Nuack who specialize in high-end 78 collectibles such as some of the pre-war blues records, which can go for up to $5,000 each.

Here at Amoeba, we’ve been selling 78s inexpensively ($1 and up) since we opened and we’re now also archiving some of them for our future web site.

Speaking of 78s, if you have some to sell or know of a collection, Amoeba is always buying

First Fridays at LA's Natural History Museum: 3/30 with Matthew Dear, Songodsuns & more!

Posted by Amoebite, March 5, 2012 03:50pm | Post a Comment
Once a month, Los Angeles's Natural History Museum stays open late and features live music, excitingFirst Fridays, NHM, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, LA scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours as part of the First Fridays program. Amoeba is excited to sponsor this fabulous series of live music, discussion, concessions, tours, DJs, and more.

Join us on March 30th from 5-10pm (even though it's the LAST Friday of the month!) for live performances from Matthew Dear and Songodsuns, KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Eric J. Lawrence, “The Dinosaur Hall: the language of exhibit design” tours with Dan Keeffe (Manager, Informal Learning), and a guest lecture from Dr. Jared Diamond  (“Is it Good or Bad that the World has so Many Languages”).

Find out more HERE!

March Charity Auction Recap

Posted by Amoebite, March 5, 2012 02:42pm | Post a Comment
Doug Benson at Amoeba AuctionOn Saturday, March 3rd we held our monthly charity auction, which was hosted by funnyman Doug Benson! His droll and dry wit propelled us to raise almost $1,500 for the LA Regional Food Bank! The auction was also part of our week-long food drive to benefit the LA Food Bank. 

Highlights from the auction:

Trader Joe's gift card and Family Guy lunchbox - $55

Guns N' Roses tickets which spurred a FURIOUS bidding war (thank you Goldenvoice!) - $120.00

Stevie Nicks clock signed by the Queen herself - $45

R. Crumb Robert Johnson T-shirt with limited edition trading cards - $26

David Bowie T-shirt and Station to Station CD w/tour book - (1989!) - $39.00

Limited edition Record Store Day 45s with a 2011 RSD T-shirt and...surprises - $26

Doug Benson movie picks package (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Attack the Block, Die Hard, The Dark Knight) - $40

Fabiolus
gift certificate - $45

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Hollywood's Hypocrisy on Piracy Meme

Posted by Charles Reece, March 5, 2012 09:34am | Post a Comment



[Thanks to Stephen Parkes for finding this.]
 

Jende Ri Palenge, A Recording & Documentary on The Afro-Colombian Community of Palenque, Out Now

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 4, 2012 11:05pm | Post a Comment
I’m a fan of the group, Bomba Estereo. Recently, I have become even more of a fan for how they represent their home country of Colombia through their art. Their Electro-Dub influences mesh well their Cumbia, Champeta and Colombia Salsa references. Along with such artists as Frente Cumbiero, also from Colombia, Bomba Estereo brings a fresh take on Colombian music to the rest of the world.

I was happy to read about a project that a couple of members of Bomba Estero, Santiago Posada and Simon Mejía, were a part of. Jende Ri Palenge is the result their three month stay in San Basilio De Palenque. Not only is San Basilio De Palenque the birthplace of Afro-Colombian music but also it’s a town famous as being the first free slave community in Colombia. During their stay, Santiago and Simon built a studio in the town of San Basilio De Palenque and recorded the various artists that live and work there. At the end of their stay, Santiago and Mejia left the studio for the people so that they can continue to record themselves.

The culmination of their stay is a 3 disc/5LP + DVD box set, released by Soul Jazz Records. Jende Ri Palenge features the music recorded with the Palenque community, as well as remixes of their original compositions by some of South America’s best remixers. Each version includes a documentary film of the recording process, also made by Mejia and Posada

According to the Soul Jazz website, Posada and Mejía chose to focus on three artists: Panamá, León, and Sikito, who put together various line-ups to play music typical of the region. The Afro-Colombian sound that the musicians of Palenque recorded for Jende Ri Palenge is the origins of Colombian music and quite frankly, of many Latin America musical styles today.



The CD version includes a disc of original music and the documentary. It also includes a separate disc of remixes by electronic artists such as Osunlade, Matias Aguayo, and Kromestar.

The LP version will be limited to a 1,000 worldwide. It's a 5-LPs set that include both original music and remixes with the documentary on DVD.

This Moment's Glory With ECM Records

Posted by Rick Frystak, March 4, 2012 05:56pm | Post a Comment
ECM Records has always been one of my favorite labels, peerlessly rich in variety and deeply honest with it's mission and intent of quality. I remember my first ECM LP was an unplayed white-label promo copy of Terje Rypdal's What Comes After, which really set me up to fall in love and get on board with the vision of Manfred Eicher, the label's owner and director. The sound on that record, with it's reverberant, creamy echo and crystal clear, dissonant music and the impression it made on me shall never be forgotten (and I can revisit it at will). Was this Jazz music? Rock? Classical? I didn't care at all to label it, only to consume as much as possible of this new sound, and start down the path to discovery of each title I could find in my town and towns around Los Angeles.

Of course, I didn't love everything that the label released, but I always listened with very open ears. Just the cover art direction alone still fascinates me and is the subject of multiple design books. Manfred has also become the preeminant Classical music producer since I've been a listener, not an easy coup, resulting in a perfect fit with his sound and the composer's vision. It still applies that ECM is a creative energy second to none with no cliches, no boundries, and no borders as to what can be done within it's domain, Year after year, which totals over 40 now, the ECM label has been there for me, re-igniting my passion for music, and with a quality like no other.

Here, fellow travellers, are some of my favorties of this moment's newest CD releases form this wonderful treasure. Click on the titles to see if they are available for purchase at Amoeba.com.

And what's your favorite ECM release?

Visit www.ecmrecords.com

 
Boris Yoffe
Song of Songs
ECM 2174

Mr. Yoffe writes impressive volumes of music and this record unveils his lovely genius in the form of exquisitely floating, pensive and dissonant sound for string quartet and 4 voices. Integrating many short pieces assembled to form substantial moods and direction, Yoffe is, to my ears, a major “new” composer of interest. Hovering harmonic heaven in an audioworld somewhere stylistically between Takemitsu and Gesualdo.



Enrico Rava Quintet

Tribe
ECM 2218

Italian trumpeter Rava triumphs once again with this set of gorgeous, bubbling Euro-jazz spirit. Haunting yet accessible. Nostalgic yet cutting-edge melodic storytelling with jabbing, sensuous improvisation. Pianist Giovanni Guidi astounds with his sensitive, harmonic chops. Unique rhythm-section affects equal innovations of the very memorable sort. Mr. Rava never ceases to impress as he continues to write his own legend.  5 stars.


 Gurdjieff Folk Intruments Ensemble
Music of Georges I.Gurdgieff
ECM 2236
Fascinating and sonically splendid collection of late 19th century spiritual music performed by this wonderful 15-member group.  Ethnic potpourri ascending to heights imagined by the composer, with ouds, duduks, santur, tar, saz etc. The flowing continuity of all this with the simplicity of Gurdieff’s composition is entrancing.  Pass the kif.




 Stefano Battlaglia Trio
The River of Anyder

ECM 2011

Stefano delivers a modal style, like a mini-raga, on his piano as this trio pushes and pulls around him to create a glorious coming-together of emotions. The nuance and attention to each sound give this music a unique, spellbinding style. Interplay between the trio fuses the sound into one entity. 5-star sound.




 Ricardo Villalobos/Max Loderbauer
Re:ECM
ECM 2-CD 2011/12

An amazing record. The guys took titles in the ECM catalog, and cut them up and sliced and diced them into new pieces of their own with only said ECM catalog as their sound sources. Small dramas play out with mystery and intelligence. What's that sound? And that? One of the best ambient/concrete/ electronica records I've ever laid ears on. The bar has been reset.



 Keith Jarrett
Rio
ECM 2-CD 2198/99

Keith's in love, and he calls his sigificant other each night before he steps on stage. It shows, as this is one of his best solo piano records he's ever played. ECM rushed it out so we could dig it and I do very, very much. Supreme chops, style, world wisdom, jass knowledge, all in a dramatic improvisation. Breathtaking. Go here.


March 3, 2012: This Is Not A Film

Posted by phil blankenship, March 3, 2012 10:42pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 03.03.12: Gangrene, V-Nasty, Busdriver, Andre Nickatina, Drake, Dolla Will, ESG, MUMBLS + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2012 09:20am | Post a Comment
  Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 03: 03:12

1) Drake Take Care (Cash Money/Universal)

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

3) Gangrene Vodka & Ayahuasca (Decon)

4) Busdriver Beaus $ Eros  (Fake Four Inc.)

5) Blu & Exile  Below The Heavens (Fat Beats)

This week's hip-hop chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store reflects the state of the current hip-hop market - one in which many titles have a long shelf life including the most recent releases from both Drake (Take Care on Cash Money/Universal) and Kanye West & Jay Z (Watch The Throne on Def Jam) - two major label releases that were originally released in early November and August respectively but have been steadily selling/charting ever since. Meantime another steady seller is  Blu & Exile's  Below The Heavens on Fat Beats which is technically a five year old album but, due to public demand, was reissued recently. The other two album entrants on the new hip-hop chart are the 2012 releases from both LA alt hip-hop talent  Busdriver (Beaus $ Eros on Fake Four Inc. featuring the Loden produced track below "Kiss Me Back To Life") and Gangrene's Vodka & Ayahuasca on Decon.  Featuring Oh No and Alchemist Gangrene are pretty darn good and this is one recommended album; one of those records that you hear something new in every time you play it. 

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Local Bits: Haim Free Download, White Arrows, Pangea Live Session

Posted by Billy Gil, March 2, 2012 12:45pm | Post a Comment
Haim offers Forever EP free.

This trio of sisters spins out serious pop (not pop-inflected goth or whatever) with the kind of easy, a capella style harmonies that come easy to siblings. I like to picture Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim, all in their early 20s, singing along to Hanson in their parents’ car together as kids. Then, like, they grew up and moved to L.A. and started making music that references ’80s pop curios like Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. I don’t actually know their real story — I’ll have to investigate this further. For now, I can’t stop listening to their three-song EP, particularly the dancey “Forever.” Get it free here.

 


White Arrows – “Fireworks of the Sea” 

White Arrows have been making it happen for a while now with superb live shows and a handful of released recordings hinting at the cool things they’d be doing down the line — I once called them “Paul Simon in space,” and I can’t really think of anything better than that at the moment to describe their sound, so we’ll just go with that. Their new song, “Fireworks of the Sea,” certainly fits that mold, with swirling synths intimating some digital acid trip over Mickey Schiff’s snaking vocal. Their debut EP hits April 3 from Votiv Music. They’ll be at the Roxy March 27. Listen over at Spin

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Black History Month Leap Year Review: the Good, the Sad & the Bizarre

Posted by Billyjam, March 2, 2012 11:40am | Post a Comment

Among the "good" of this year's Black History Month was Robert Glasper's excellent
Black Radio album on Blue Note released Feb 28th, 2012


Maybe it's because this is a leap year that Black History Month 2012, which ended two days ago, seemed a little out of whack. Or maybe it was because it was a Black History Month that started on a really bad note when, on the morning of Feb 1st, the tragic news that Don Cornelius of Soul Train fame had taken his own life was the first thing we were to read about. That was bad enough but this tragic news came hot on the heels of the world losing a string of other black music/cultural icons, including in just the preceding two weeks both Etta James and JImmy Castor.  And then, of course, ten days later, on the eve of the Grammys, the whole world was taken aback with the shocking news that Whitney Houston had died at age 48. Not exactly a great time to joyously celebrate black history!

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Ty Segall's Flying Circus to Blow Through L.A.

Posted by Billy Gil, March 1, 2012 02:30pm | Post a Comment
In a short amount of time, Ty Segall has provided us with so much musical goodness in the recorded form that it’s hard to believe he’ll be releasing two (well, two-and-a-half-ish) albums this year. He’ll release a mini album on In the Red in June under Ty Segall Band, recorded with his touring band, which includes Charlie Moothart guitar (“He’s a complete shredder and dominator, he taught me everything I know about playing guitar,” Segall says), Mikal Cronin on bass and Emily Epstein on drums. The record will be mixed in Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios — where Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded, Segall points out — and recorded with Eric Bauer, who has recorded with Segall several times, including his most recent studio album, 2011’s Goodbye Bread.

A regular full-length also is due on Drag City under his own name in the fall. On top of all that, he’s releasing a collaboration LP with White Fence on Drag City in April, which he’s currently touring behind. Ty Segall and White Fence appear together March 3 at the Troubador.

I took some time to speak to Ty, who’s S.F.-based but was born in Laguna Beach, about his upcoming tours, release schedule, and how many songs he’s recorded.


PST: Last year, around the time Goodbye Bread was released, you said you wanted the next album to sound like Satan in Space, Hawkwind meets Sabbath and that sorta thing. Is that the direction the new material has ended up taking?

Segall: Well, there’s a couple different directions. This is really fun for me because this new record with White Fence I did is not that. It’s like totally weird new thing that Tim (Presley, of White Fence) and I kind of did. It doesn’t sound like either one of us, and it definitely doesn’t sound like [the earlier description]. It sounds pretty all over the place. It sounds almost like a mixtape, almost like a weird comp of some kind, which I’m way into. Working with Tim was great because we both bring something totally different to the table.

There’s this record I’m gonna be recording starting [in February], and that’s totally heavy, fuzzed-out Sabbath, Blue Cheer-like noise rock kinda stuff. Which is rad. And I’m doing that with the whole band. It’s kind of more how we sound live than a lot of the records sound. That’s the weird, heavy, fuzzed-out record. And then I’m working on another one that’s gonna come out in September/October on Drag City. It’s not as heavy or punk or anything. It’s still loud fast rock ’n’ roll. It’s kind of channeling these three different things in these records.

PST: You seem pretty prolific. Is there a steady flow to your songwriting? How often do you write?

Segall: I kind of write whenever I can at home. A lot of the stuff is really bad. I throw away most of the stuff I write, to be honest. I try to write a song a day. If you write 10 songs, there’s gonna be one of them you think is pretty OK that you’ll keep around. That’s kind of my rule. A lot of times you’ll have a riff and it’s like, I’m gonna toss this riff.

PST: If you had to guess, how many songs have you written? How many bands have you been in?

Segall: Aw man, I don’t even know! There are 12 songs on average per record, I’d probably say I’ve released 180-200 songs. There are about 300 throwaway songs that will never see the light of day.

PST: You’d never release them in some form?

Segall: No way. They’re bad, man. They’re real bad. Like me trying things that are out of my comfort zone. It’s like, yeah, there’s a reason it’s out of your comfort zone, man.

PST: Goodbye Bread saw you trim the fuzz a bit. Should we expect the sound to continue to get cleaner and/or more focused, or is it more that that’s just what you happened to want to do then?

Segall: Definitely not cleaner. I think, no maybe you could say it’s recorded better, because Eric [Bauer], who recorded Goodbye Bread, got a new tape machine and it’s technically more high-fidelity. I don’t think it’s cleaner. We’re just using it in different ways. It’s definitely not part of that trajectory. It’s a totally different thing that’s not following that path. It’s a whole different thing, you know what I mean? Which is what I like doing. I like starting over for each record. To be honest I’m not the best at explaining where my head is when I’m making my records. The main idea is to make something different than before and make something that is better. Hopefully better.

… The Drag City release will be more song-focused than fuzz-focused. It’s kind of like the left and right sides of your brains. One is getting really loud and fucked up live and try to sonically hurt people. Like hurt their ears. And that’s something I want to achieve. And the other side is trying to write songs. … I had to get the band that I’m playing with in the studio because I really do feel like they’re a special group of people. We gotta record them because I feel so lucky to be playing with them. … Everybody rips so hard. And it’s totally different than on record. So I’m just super psyched to have them make a record.

PST: As far as the White Fence collaboration goes, how did that come about? And how will those live shows with the two of you play out — one at a time, and then together or something like that?

Segall: I just asked him, dude, we gotta do a record together man. I was like, I bet you I could get Drag City to do it. And they were like, yeah man, just go ahead and do it, and when it’s done, we’ll do it. So Tim came up like four diff occasions for two days, and we just wrote a lot of songs together and already had two each. It was super fast and really fun. He’s just insane at what he does, and it was really cool to have a different perspective on songwriting and push you to do things you’re not used to doing. He plays guitar like Jimi Hendrix, man. He’s a psychotic guitar player. … We’re basically gonna pick two or three of our favorite songs from the record and maybe play it in the middle of my set, Tim’s just gonna walk up and play it in my set, but it’s basically gonna be White Fence set and then my set after, and then in the middle of it we’re gonna play two or three songs from the record.

PST: When did you start playing music? What was your first band?

Segall: I started when I was like 15. I started playing drums. My first band was this like no wave dancepunk band called Love This. (laughs) We only played house parties. It was a ridiculous band. And Mikal Cronin was in that band. He played saxophone.

PST: I loved the Ty Rex mini album (a six-song T. Rex cover EP, released last year for Record Store Day). Would you do another for another artist?

Segall: Yeah man. Totally. I don’t know which artist. It’s not on the top of my agenda right now. I’d like to do a Bowie one. … Basically I tried to think of the most ridiculous thing I could think of that you’re not supposed to do. … It was like really fucking scary, man. You’re not supposed to do that. I think it turned out pretty good. I tried to do like 10 songs, but I ran out of time.

PST: Speaking of covers, I also really like the “Bullet Proof Nothing” [by Simply Saucer] cover you did and the Sabbath cover I saw you play in Eagle Rock last year. What covers are you playing lately live? Or would that ruin it?

Segall: We don’t really have any new covers. Usually we just throw in a couple of things — we covered “The End” by The Doors the other day. I haven’t figured that out yet. But hopefully something will come. Something ridiculous. I wanna cover that song “Moonage Daydream.”

Ty’s World
Ty Segall has some seven albums, two splits LPs, nine EPs/45”s, five split EPs and countless collaborations to his name, in addition to the albums he’ll release this year. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best releases from Ty and his collaborators.
 
Ty Segall SinglesSingles 2007-2010
 (2011, Goner)

A great overview of his records, singles et al. and as good a place as any to start with Segall’s catalog. It’s also a great place to pick up non-album tracks, like his screamy, nasty cover of OG punks Chain Gang’s “Son of Sam.”






Goodbye Bread
(2011, Drag City)

His most put-together record, aided by slightly cleaner production and slower tempos, which allow his hooks to shine through. Segall taps into late-era Beatles territory in songs like the spare title track and glam rock with the terrific “You Make the Sun Fry.”




 
ty segall meltedMelted
(2010, Goner)

As usual, Melted sports a variety of sounds, from sludgy rockers (the title track) to Beatles-esque folk rock (“Caeasar”), but it feels like his most cohesive and well-considered release to this point. And it has perhaps Segall’s catchiest song yet — the acidic “Girlfriend.”






Ty Segall LemonsLemons (2009, Goner)

 
Psych-folk adds to the lineup of rockers for a rough-and-tumble set. Maybe his most psychedelic record.







Ty Segall Ty SegallTy Segall
(2008, Revolver)

This is lo-fi rock ’n’ roll at its finest. Like early White Stripes or Jay Reatard, it’s raw and unpolished in the best way possible, but you never get the sense he’s just dicking around — there are great tunes under the din.







Horn the UnicornHorn the Unicorn (originally released on tape in 2008; reissued in 2010 on Captcha Records)

Segall’s first solo release wears its influences more proudly on its sleeve, from the Nuggetsy organ on songs like “Apples” and “Skin” to the old school punk of “Shoot Me in the Head” to the T. Rex stomp of “Can’t Talk to You.” If it’s less cohesive than other releases, it shows the scope of what Segall would undertake with future releases.



Mikal CroninMikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin
(2011, Trouble in Mind)

This beautiful psych-pop record from Segall’s longtime friend and collaborator was released last year and was a little too slept-on for my taste. A great and tuneful rock record with some gloriously heavy moments (“Green and Blue”).





White FenceWhite Fence – Is Growing Faith
(2011, Woodsist)

Super weird psych-pop from Segall’s current collaborator. “And By Always” sounds like a C86 tape left in the wash, while “Enthusiasm” makes compelling listening out of hearing a catchy garage-rock song try to escape the copious noise piled atop it. Recommended for fans of Elephant 6, ’80s college rock, weirdo garage rock — everyone, really.