Amoeblog

Ween May be no Longer but Their Music is Forever

Posted by Billyjam, May 31, 2012 05:10pm | Post a Comment

Ween "-Push th' Little Daisies" (Guava, 1992)

The one of a kind group Ween, introduced to many via their biggest hit - the 1992 single "Push th' Little Daisies" (video above) off their third studio album Guava, have just announced that they (as a group) are pushing up daisies. Yes, sadly, the wonderfully quirky "rock" group that, since forming in 1984, continually evolved and mutated stylistically in a musically diverse act with a dedicated cult following, are no longer together. The news was announced this week by principal member Aaron "Gene Ween" Freeman who formed the group almost three full decades ago with Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo, who reportedly learned about his group's breakup along with the rest of us by reading about it online. Ouch! Anyways Ween as a group hadn't done anything in a while and  Freeman recently released his solo album (Marvelous Clouds) sans the "Gene Ween" tag indicating that he might be moving on from the group.

But even though there now will be no more chances to see Ween play live again (they were great live too) we still have Ween's rich back catalog which is available at Amoeba. And what a diverse body of work Ween leave behind which is evident just from the sampling of their music in the five songs below. In fact, unless you were already familiar with Ween's catalog, you could hardly tell that these songs were all recorded by the same group - a group who might go from psychedelic rock to flamenco to speed metal in one set. Some of these diverse styles of Ween, as outlined below with highlighted links to buy corresponding album online, include the Brit folk-rock inflected "The Mollusk," the Pink Floyd-ish "Did You See Me," the booming reggae "King Billy," the honky tonk country of I Don't Want To Leave You On The Farm," and the Mexican ballad "Buenas Tardes Amigo." Click here to find all the Ween titles available from the Amoeba online shop. There will be even more available in each of the three Amoeba stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood.
 

Continue reading...

New Blood Diamonds Track "Phone Sex" Featuring Grimes

Posted by Rachael McGovern, May 31, 2012 02:28pm | Post a Comment

LA-based pop artist Blood Diamonds (a.k.a. Michael Diamond) has a new 12" coming out called "Phone Sex" featuring Grimes. Both artists are influenced by K-Pop and love big productions, and they decided to attempt the perfect summer pop anthem together during one long winter night in Vancouver. 

I noticed two things about the song right away: one, the sound of steel drums (which Diamond says are actually halo drums); and two, Grimes singing "hey daddy" over and over, which is a little disconcerting given her little girl voice and the fact that the track is called "Phone Sex," but maybe that's the point...Regardless, I like it.

The "Phone Sex" 12" will be out on transparent pink vinyl July 24th on 4AD.

Blood Diamonds and Grimes are at the Echoplex in LA on June 19 for Check Yo Ponytail 2 (18+ show). Or you can see Grimes for free at Make Music Pasadena on Saturday, June 16.
 

Lemonade Grimes at EchoPlex
 

Noise Pop Record Collective Vinyl Party! In SF w/ Andy Cabic of Vetiver, 6/12. Emeryville w/ Zach Rogue & Pat Spurgeon of Rogue Wave, 6/26.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 31, 2012 10:18am | Post a Comment
Noise Pop Record Collective

Noise Pop and Amoeba Music are excited to announce our new biweekly vinyl party, the Noise Pop Record Collective. Welcoming music and vinyl lovers of all ages, fans are invited to bring a record to be played at each Record Collective event. Our carefully selected cast of host DJs will collect and assemble all of these records each night, and play them over the course of the evening. 

The series starts at Bloodhound in San Franciso's SOMA on June 12th with Andy Cabic of Vetiver,and on June 26th at Prizefighter in Emeryville with Zach Rogue and Pat Spurgeon of Rogue Wave.There will be drink specials and chicken and waffle sandwiches from the Soul Groove crew.

Be sure to RSVP HERE and get an exclusive Record Collective coupon for $5 off vinyl at Amoeba Music San Francisco and Berkeley!

3 Leafs & A Syrian Wedding Singer: Live!

Posted by Kells, May 31, 2012 12:09am | Post a Comment

It's been almost a year since I first experienced the magic of Omar Souleyman's Syrian wedding party zone stylings, a right sweaty body-rockin' that I'd thankfully pay good money to re-live any day. As luck would have it the time is nigh! Souleyman once again takes the stage at the Mezzanine in San Francisco this coming Friday night and this time SF's very own warlocks of guru-level womb-rock, 3 Leafs, will be opening up this can of intergalactic whoop-ass. Get your tickets here and don't forget to get up, and get down down down...shoulders out. Need a visual? Feast your eyes:
 
 

Inspired By A Dream, 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle Winner DJ Sol Rising Returns Triumphantly to DJ Battling

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2012 06:34pm | Post a Comment
DJ Sol Rising, the winner of last month's Bay Area Regional DMC DJ Battle - the first Bay Area DMC battle to be held locally in six years, may have thought his battling days were long over: his last battle been eight long years ago. Back in both 2003 and 2004 the DJ, formerly known as Skwint, made it as far as the DMC US Finals, placing 2nd in the US Supremacy in 2003, Vinyl Kombat US Finals in 2004, and winning Scribble Jam in 2002. In fact the DJ had absolutely no desire nor any intention of ever returning to the DJ battlefield; at least was not until fellow Bay Area turntablist. Snayk Eyez invited him, in March of this year just a few weeks before the April 7th DMC Bay Area Regional battle, to showcase at Skratchpad - the monthly scratch party that Snayk Eyez is a part of along with founders Deeandroid and Celskiiii and others.

"I was really hesitant as I hadn’t practiced routines in years. But I guess it planted the seed," he said of DJ set he did at Skratchpad just weeks before the DJ battle that most entrants practice for all year long beforehand just to enter and do their short well-studied routines.

But still the Oakland based Sol Rising, who was born in Canada and grew up in the MidWest before relocating to the Bay some years ago, said he had absolutely no intention of entering the DMC battle this year. But then he changed his mind because of a dream - literally. "A week before the battle I had this crazy vivid dream about battling at the Bay Area regional. The next morning I woke up earlier than usual and just started messing around on the turntables before work. The whole day at work I couldn’t wait to get home and practice. In the evening I created two scratch routines and then came up with a beat juggle a few days later. So I came up with three usable routines in less than a week which would have taken me several months if not a whole year in the past," he said of the winning routines that qualified him to travel to the DMC US Finals in New York in August to represent the Bay Area. "Everything was super accelerated. I honestly can’t say that competition is the path I’m on but I feel the universe guided me to compete for a reason that has yet to be revealed." After this intriguing sharing I felt compelled to follow up and interview Sol Rising further for the Amoeblog on his career as DJ and his take on the Bay Area DMC battle that he won (second place was DJ Cocheze from SF and third was Primo from Santa Rosa) in which in the first round he did a two-minute routine and, in the final round, he did a six minute routine.

Continue reading...

L'80s Night in Oakland:Saturday, June 9th (and Every Second Saturday!)!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 30, 2012 05:19pm | Post a Comment



Amoeba Music Berkeley is proud to sponsor...
L'80s Night
The best of the '80s & '90s
More info HERE!

Second Saturday of every month! 
Next time: June 9th!

10pm-2am 
Bar 355
355 19th Street, Oakland

May 30, 2012: Lovely Molly

Posted by phil blankenship, May 30, 2012 03:58pm | Post a Comment

May 29, 2012: Battleship

Posted by phil blankenship, May 29, 2012 11:30pm | Post a Comment

Sunset & Dine in Hollywood, June 7

Posted by Amoebite, May 29, 2012 07:59pm | Post a Comment
Sunset & DineThis first-ever Sunset & Dine event on June 7th will be a community celebration of the amazing food, art, and businesses located in the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District in Hollywood.

Held at Academy Hollywood, the brand new outdoor movie amphitheater at AMPAS's (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) Pickford Center (Vine & Delongpre), the $20 admission gets you access to beer and wine, food from local restaurants, and an art exhibition of pole banner designs created by students at Helen Bernstein High School (HBHS). The top four winning designs will be turned into actual street pole banners to be installed throughout Hollywood. All proceeds from the event will benefit the HBHS art department.

Oscars Outdoors
The new Oscars Outdoors venue.
Running from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. we encourage everyone to come out and support this new spot in the heart of Hollywood. Stop by the Amoeba booth and say hello!

Academy Hollywood
6322 Delongpre Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Starting June 15th, AMPAS is holding Oscars Outdoors, film screenings Friday and Saturday nights through August 18th at the new outdoor amphitheater in Hollywood. They'll kick off the series with Casablanca (1942) on June 15th. Gates at 6pm, screenings begin at sunset. $5 general admission, $3 for Academy members and students.

Continue reading...

Ron English Showcases His Abraham Obama Image Via Electric Illuminati's "The Obama Song" Video

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2012 06:03pm | Post a Comment

Electric Illuminati "The Obama Song" (2012)

The ever-active, longtime street artist Ron English has just released the politically fueled new music video for "The Obama Song" by his rock side project the Electric Illuminati from their recently released Songs In English album. The video (above), which pays homage to a famous Dylan clip, showcases the "popaganda" artist's work - most notably his famous Abraham Obama piece which melded the two presidents images into one. Previous Amoeblogs on the artist and his guerrilla art style include Ron English's Brand New Homo Hunk Art Celebrates End of US Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy (Sept 2011), and Ron English's Pop Art  (Nov 2007). For more visit his website/blog The Art and Crimes of Ron English

New Smashing Pumpkins Album ‘Oceania’ Up for Preorder at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, May 29, 2012 05:36pm | Post a Comment
Smashing Pumpkins OceaniaOceania, the upcoming “album within an album” from The Smashing Pumpkins, is now up for preorder on Amoeba.com. The album is part of Billy Corgan’s ongoing Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, which has included two physical releases thus far, Vol. 1 and 2.
 
It’s been a tricky thing to navigate Billy Corgan’s post-breakup of the original Smashing Pumpkins career. For every good to terrific release — from the unfairly maligned, Cocteau Twins-esque Machina and especially Machina II, to the too-short-lived Zwan and its sole release, Mary Star of the Sea, to his promising Depeche Mode as shoegaze solo debut, TheFutureEmbrace — there’ve been missteps — the largely underwhelming Zeitgeist (save a few choice crazy guitar tracks), the pretty bad American Gothic EP, tossed off digital singles. Of the newer songs, released after the departure of longtime drummer and sole other original Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlain, I’ve only really liked a few. The psych-ballad “A Stitch in Time” knocks me on my ass when I hear it and leaves me hoping Corgan will continue pursuing more experimental territory, like he did to such success (at least in my mind, and that of a devoted cult) on Adore.
 
From what I’ve heard of Oceania so far, I’m cautiously optimistic. Though Pumpkins songs never sound the same on record as they do live, recent Pumpkins recordings have sounded increasingly stripped-down, which isn’t a problem, as long as the songs are strong. So just going by songs, then, the live tracks I’ve heard on YouTube from Oceania, as they’ve yet to release an official single from it, rock pretty hard, and do, as Corgan has alluded, sound like Siamese Dream, Gish and, actually, especially, Pisces Iscariot, their B-side album from the early era that’s at least as good as Gish. So far, opener “Quasar” reminds me a lot of “Geek USA,” one of my favorite songs from Siamese Dream —and ever, really — with its stop-start heavy riffage. The recording of “Panopticon” I heard has the kind of harmonic guitar playing that gives me goosebumps, kind of like Zeitgeist standouts “7 Shades of Black” and “Starz,” but with a better melody, like “Rocket.” “Pinwheels” aims for the heartstrings with its plinking keyboards and classic harmonic riff, sort of like a mellower “Today” or “Glynis,” one of my favorite Pumpkins B-sides.
 
So, we’ll see, fellow Pumpkins-heads. The album could end up being really awesome. Like most people for whom the Pumpkins are their all-time favorite band, or top 5 at least, I’ll definitely be getting it and there will be at least a few songs that renew my love for the band. But from what I’ve heard so far, this could be the return to form we’ve been hoping for.

Continue reading...

May 28, 2012: What To Expect When You're Expecting

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2012 09:33pm | Post a Comment

The short history of Asian-American television

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Since its earliest days, American television screens have never looked much like American reality. Network executives have apparently never been comfortable with too many Asians being on the small screen at one time. Asian sidekicks are cool, Asian guest stars too, maybe an Asian love interest (provided the character is female) There have been only a handful of television shows starring Asians and even fewer with primarily Asian casts. 


Meanwhile, the internet has become the great democratizer, allowing Asian-Americans (and Canadians) like 
Christine GambitoMichelle Phan, Freddie W, Fung BrosJessica LizamaKev JumbaKevin WuNikki LimoPeter Chao, Ryan Higa, Timothy Traphik DeLaGhettoWong Fu Productions and others to garner millions of followers each and in the process become internet celebrities, if not terrestrial television ones. Nowadays there are far more Asian-American (and Anglo-Asian diaspora) web series than network shows and while television slowly adapts, at this rate it may cease to exist before it even begins to resemble its audience. 

In one corner, consider the web series, which include Alfie the Office DogAway We HappenedAwesome Asian Bad GuysBaby MentalistBFFs, Boystown, Car Discussion with Sung KangChop Socky Boom, Flat3, The FoodThe Ho’s on 7th AvenueHome Is Where The Hans AreI Am Asian, How Are You?, Katana, K-TownKtown CowboysLumina, Manivore, Millions, Mixed Blooms, Model Minority, Mother Lover, Mythomania, Nice Girls Crew, Normal Gays, One Warm Night, On the Clock, Prison Dancer, Riley RewindSilent Terror, Slanted Show, SuperTwins!, The Switch, Trembling Void, That's What She SaidUrban Wolf, Video Game High SchoolWhen it Counts, and others. 

In the other corner, television, which though having existed for many more decades than web series, is rather more anemic. Consider this short timeline of Asian-American television, drawn from network, cable, and syndicated series:


THE GALLERY OF MADAME LIU-TSONG (1951)



The first American show with an Asian lead was obscure The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which ran only ten episodes from 27 August to 21 November in 1951 on the DuMont Television Network (which itself only existed between 1946 and 1956). It starred Chinese-American, former silent film superstar Anna May Wong as a detective. It was cancelled after one season and no episodes are known to exist today.


THE AMAZING CHAN AND THE CHAN CLAN (1972)

 

In 1972, CBS aired The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. It may've been a cartoon but many of the voice actors were Asian, including Keye Luke, who provided the voice for Chan (and was the only actor of Chinese descent to play Charlie Chan in any screen adaptation). In fact, when it debuted all of the voices were provided by Asian-American (and Asian-Canadian) actors except for the talking dog (this was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon so it had mystery, a band made up of kids, a magic vehicle and a talking dog). However, most of the voices were subsequently re-dubbed by non-Asian actors (including Jodie Foster). Sixteen episodes aired in all.


MR. T & TINA (1976)


The third American TV show starring an Asian-American had a very short run. Mr. T and Tina, a spin-off of Welcome Back, Kotter starring Pat Morita, ran for only five episodes in the fall of 1976. Morita starred as Taro Takahashi, a Japanese inventor married to a ditzy, white American, Tina Kelly. According to the recollections of the few that remember it, hilarity didn't really ensue.



GUNG HO (1986-1987)


The fourth TV series with mostly Asian-American stars was the short-lived Gung Ho, adapted from the Ron Howard film of the same name that opened earlier in the year (1986). In addition to Heidi Lawson, Scott Bakula, and Stephen Lee; the nine-episode series co-starred Gedde Watanabe, Patti Yasutake, Rodney Kageyama, Sab Shimono, and Scott Atari.


SIDEKICKS (1986-1987)


Sidekicks was the first Asian-American show made for and aired on cable television. It co-starred Ernie Reyes, Jr. as Ernie Lee, the Last Electric Knight, and Gil Gerard as Sergeant Jake Rizzo. It aired between 26 September, 1986 till 13 June, 1987. Disney would revisit the formula of Asian kid who masters martial arts with the training of an elder with their Brenda Song film, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2008).


OHARA (1987-1988)



Ohara
, was the second Asian-American television show to star Pat Morita, this time as Lt. Ohara. It ran for 30 episodes from 17 January, 1987 till 7 May, 1988. Of course Ohara used martial arts and spoke in fortune cookie/Charlie Chan-esque epigrams.


VANISHING SON (1995)



Vanishing Son was the first Asian-American show made for syndication. It ran from 16 January, following the airing of four Vanishing Son TV movies  in 1994. Hunky star Russell Wong played a foreigner – in this case a fugitive Chinese musician named Jian-Wa Chang. It was cancelled after thirteen episodes.


ALL-AMERICAN GIRL (1994-1995)



All-American Girl starred actress/comedian Margaret Cho and depicted her as and her family in TV’s second Asian-American sitcom. It's notable for being the first American TV show with an entirely Asian starring-cast (rounded out by Amy Hill, B.D. Wong, Clyde Kusatsu, J.B. Quon, and Jodi Long). It was also the first TV series to star an American-born Asian actually playing an American-born Asian rather than an Asian-born foreigner -- a fact underlined by the series's title. Nonetheless, an "Asian Consultant" was hired to teach the Korean-American star of the semi-autobiographical show how to “act more Asian.”  It ran for nineteen episodes between 14 September, 1994 and 15 March, 1995. 


RELIC HUNTER (1999-2002)



Relic Hunter wasn’t an American series – it was Canadian. However, it did star an Asian-American tough, in this case, Hawaiian-born Pinay, Tia Carrere. It ran much longer than its American predecessors, lasting three seasons and 66 episodes total between 1999 and 2002. One possibility is that Canadian network officials gave it a fairer shake. Of course, another possibility was Carrere's sex appeal. As Wayne Campbell expressed of Carrere's "Cassandra" character in Wayne's World, "She's a fox. In French, she would be called 'la renarde' and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her." I never watched the show but do remember it being promoted with billboards promising "dangerous curves ahead" so I reckon sex was a big factor.


THE CHANG FAMILY SAVES THE WORLD (2002 - unaired pilot)

The Chang Family Saves The World didn't make it past the pilot stage. That audition program was filmed for ABC in 2002 and never aired. The pilot, written and produced by John Ridley, starred the mixed race Nia Peeples (her maternal grandparents with Filipino mestizos) as "Pearl Empress." The rest of the cast was rounded out by Asian-Americans including Lauren Tom, Dante Basco, Byron Mann, and Melanie Jayne.


I GOT YOU (2002 - unaired pilot)

Another John Ridley effort for ABC that didn't make it past the pilot stage. I Got You was to have been a comedy starring Ming-Na Wen. Her co-stars in the pilot included fellow Asian actors Burt Bulos, Eric Kan, and Suzy Nakamura.


A SHOT AT LOVE WITH TILA TEQUILA (2007-2008)


Tila Tequila (née Tila Nguyen) was a popular import model who starred in the “reality” show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, in which she “played” a bisexual in search of love. She courted 32 contestants -- male and female. It debuted at No. 1 in its time slot and was MTV’s second highest-rated debut series that year (2007), seemingly disproving conventional TV wisdom about Asian-American leads (at least female) and simultaneously re-affirming the ancient adage, "sex sells."


THE CHO SHOW (2008)



Perhaps the producers of The Cho Show were encouraged by Tila Tequila’s success when they decided to give Margaret Cho another shot at TV with a reality series/sitcom. The Cho Show debuted 21 August, 2008 on VH1 and concluded seven episodes later, on 25 September.


NIKITA (2010-2013)



Half-Vietnamese actress Maggie Q stars in Nikita, a CW series that has, to date, aired for 45 episodes, beginning with its debut on 9 September, 2010. In it, Q plays a vengeful former assassin and spy in a role adapted from the French film of the same name.


HAWAII FIVE-0 (2010- )



Two of four stars of Hawaii Five-0 are Asian-American, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park (who, though born in the US, is a Canadian citizen). Reflecting the fact that Hawaii’s largest racial group is Asian-American, many of the recurring charaters and guest stars are also played by Asian-Americans. It debuted 20 September, 2010 and was an immediate critical and commercial success. In 2011, it entered the Guinness World Records for “Highest-Rated New Show in the U.S.” when the episode “Kai e’e” garnered 19.34 million viewers. And whereas there's a long tradition of fetishization of Asian women in American culture, the fact that a Google search of "Daniel Dae Kim" brings up related searches of "Daniel Dae Kim shirtless" and "Daniel Dae Kim muscles" probably reflects changing mainstream attitudes about Asian-American men as well... at least as far as objectification goes.


OUTSOURCED (2010-2011)



Another show that debuted in September, 2010 was NBC's Outsourced. Many of its stars were Indians from Canada, England, Germany, South Africa, and the United States (and in only a couple of cases, India). The plot concerned a white American being transferred to India, and thus Asians from several continents played Asian Asians (i.e. foreigners). I haven't seen it but it seems to have garnered a strong but small following. Nevertheless, it wasn't renewed for the 2012 season.


SULLIVAN & SON (2012-2014)



Popular half-Irish/half-Korean stand-up comic Steven Byrne co-wrote and co-created the pilot for Sullivan & Son with with Rob Long. In it he stares as the son of an Irish-American father (played by Dan Lauria of The Wonder Years) and a Korean-American mother (played by Jodi Long of All American Girl). His sister is played by Vivian Bang (best known as Soo-Mi in Yes Man). TBS ordered ten episodes in February, 2012 with a premiere date set for this coming summer.


*****


POST-PUBLISHING UPDATE SECTION:

ANGRY LITTLE ASIAN GIRL (2012)


Actress/cartoonist Leela Lee's comic Angry Little Asian Girl is set to air on MNET America as an animated series debuting Fall 2012.


THE MINDY PROJECT (2012- )



The Mindy Project stars Tamil-Bengali-American actress Mindy Kaling as a physician named Mindi Lahiri. The plot was greenlighted by FOX in May, 2012. The series is due to debut on 25, September, 2012.


FRESH OFF THE BOAT (2015- )


Fresh Off the Boat follows a Taiwanese-American family in the 1990s and is based on the memoir of Eddie Huang. The first episode was co-written by Sanjay Shah and Nahnatchka Khan. The Taiwanese family is played by Korean-American actor Randall Park and Chinese-American actors Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, and Lucille Soong. The series debuted in 2015.


*****


So there you have it, a handful of mostly-obscure American shows (and one Canadian) in roughly 65 years of TV. The frequency with which Asian-Americans star in television series has increased in the recent past but neither kept pace with the internet nor demographic trends. In Los Angeles, where most American television series are filmed (and many are set), Asian-Americans make up roughly 14% of the population -- the city's largest racial minority and it's fastest growing. Color may've been introduced as a technology to television more than 60 years ago but today, for the most part, it remains frustratingly black and white.


*****

May 27, 2012: Moonrise Kingdom

Posted by phil blankenship, May 27, 2012 05:13pm | Post a Comment

Happy 75th Birthday Golden Gate Bridge and Thank You for your Inspiration in Music, Film, and the Arts

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2012 12:23pm | Post a Comment

This Memorial Day Weekend in the Bay Area there are lots of fun events happening such as the annual San Francisco Carnaval celebrations in the Mission District, but the main event everyone seems to be talking about is the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Year Anniversary, which culminates this evening (8pm to 10pm) with a big fireworks show over the iconic span that links Marin and San Francisco.

Yep, it's party time for sure in the Bay... especially in SF. Stretching along the San Francisco waterfront, from Fort Point to Pier 39, the main locations of the celebrations are at Crissy Field and the Marina Green with activities and events happening at the Presidio, Fort Mason Center, Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39. [Drivers note that not only will the Golden Gate Bridge itself be closed for two hours starting at 8pm this evening, but also the Marin Headlands will be completely closed off by CHP and park police. Traffic (especially on the Marin side) will be disrupted from approximately 6pm onwards.]

Continue reading...

K-Town goes to Youtube - Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2012 10:32am | Post a Comment
 

After two years of shopping around to various TV networks, the Jersey Shore-inspired Korean-Americanreality show K-Town has just been picked up -- not by any of them -- but as a Youtube exclusive set to debut July 2nd.




Although the trailer describes it as “The most anticipated reality show of all time” and “the reality show no TV network could show you,” I have to wonder if the people behind it (who brought us Jersey ShoreMob Wives and The Hills, the trailer informs) aren’t trying to put a positive response on network disinterest. With shows like the Skinemax-meets-Magic the Gathering softcore dorkfest that is Game of Thrones barely raising an eyebrow and what with Youtube’s ban on sexually explicit material, animal abuse, drug use, underage drinking and smoking, and bomb making, I doubt that there’s anything on K-Town that wouldn’t fly on cable… except that the enitre cast is entirely Asian-American.

Continue reading...

May 26, 2012: Bill W.

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2012 10:58pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 05.25.12: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5: El-P, Psycho Realm, Killer Mike, House Shoes, Three Loco, 45 Sessions + other Memorial Day Weekend happenings in the Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2012 07:17pm | Post a Comment

El-P "Stay Down (feat Nick Diamonds)" live on Letterman last week (May 2012)


Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 : Week Ending May 5th, 2012


1) El-P Cancer4Cure (Fat Possum)

2) Psycho Realm Presents Sick Jacken & Cyni In Terror Tapes 2 (MB Recordings)

3) Killer MIke R.A.P. Music (William Street)

4) House Shoes Time EP (Tres Records)

5) Odd Future The Of Tape Vol. 2  (Odd Future)

Lots of great new releases on the brand new Amoeba Hip-Hop Top Five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store this week including in the number one slot El-P's welcome return, after 5 years with no new releases, with his all killer, twelve track album Cancer4Cure (aka C4C which is avail in both CD and LP formats) via the Fat Possum record company (he folded his Def Jux record label a while back). The Amoeba website store calls this latest El-P release "his strongest work since his debut, Fantastic Damage" and praising the supertalented East Coast producer/emcee for sounding "as energized as he did on that decade-old debut, matching Killer Mike (whose own excellent R.A.P. Music also recently came out and was produced by El-P) rhyme for rhyme on standout “Tougher Colder Killer,” also featuring fellow Def Jux alumnus Despot."

Continue reading...

out this week 5/15 & 5/22...violens...craft spells...gossip...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 25, 2012 05:53pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 3 years since the last Gossip album. Music For Men came out in the UK in July of 2009. It eventually came out domestic a couple of months later. I I talked a bit about that release already. So you can read about it here if you want. It really is not fair to make us wait that long for a new album. Music For Men was one of those albums that I think I listened to all summer and fall that year. It really takes me right back to that year when I think about it. I have been watching the career of Beth Ditto and the Gossip for so many years now. It has been really fun to watch their journey. And I have seriously been on that journey with them. The new album is called A Joyful Noise. And this has nothing do do with the latest movie of the same name starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. But "a joyful noise" is sort of the perfect description for the sound of the Gossip. Beth Ditto has one of those ridiculously amazing voices. So it really doesn't even matter what is going with the music behind it. I would listen no matter what. But of course it does matter with the Gossip. Back in their more punk days their music was still incredibly catchy and dancey. They have just embraced the dance and electro sound more and more as the years have gone by. They also now have a more polished and produced sound. But there ain't nothing wrong with that. This new album could seriously be a Donna Summer or Pointer Sisters album. It also makes me think of the Flashdance soundtrack. It is incredibly fun. I think I still will always love Standing In the Way of Control and Music For Men the most. But this album is growing on me more every day. And it might just become my album of the summer of 2012. 

Violens have returned with their second album now on the label Slumberland. I am huge fan of Slumberland and the jangly twee shoegaze revival. I will always love it. It seriously never gets old to me. I was a fan Amoral, the first album by Violens. But this new sound seems to make more sense for them. It seems a better fit. Gone are the big sort of anthems of the first album. "Acid Reign" was a super catchy song. And I do remember being all caught up in a Violens sort of frenzy. So I was looking forward to this album. They have mellowed out quite a bit and now fit more into that Slumberland sound. They are similar to The Drums in that dudes from Brooklyn trying to sound British kind of way. But I really don't have a problem with it. The new album is called True. It really is one of those albums that is very enjoyable to listen to. I do keep going back to it. None of the songs really stand out as much as their last album. But something about it makes me keep coming back for more. It does remind me a bit of the Pale Saints or maybe The Lightning Seeds mixed with some Ride. You can close your eyes and pretend it is the early 90's and Sarah Records is still putting out records.


Craft Spells have just released a new EP Gallery. Their debut album, Idle Labor came out in April of last year on Captured Tracks. I am assuming that this label will eventually do something wrong. But they are still managing to impress me and put out great stuff over and over again. They did some great reissues on Record Store Day of album from The Cleaners From Venus, Medicine, and The Wake. They also released a second 7" tribute to the Wake. The first tribute from last record store day was Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils. This time it was Craft Spells and Blouse. This new EP is more of the same from Craft Spells. This is catchy shoe gaze. It is highly addictive. I look forward to another album from these guys.

out 5/15...






Bloom
by Beach House











Only Place
by Best Coast











Ufabulum
by Squarepusher











True
by Violens











Family Perfume
by White Fence







out 5/22...






I Predict a Graceful Expulsion
by Cold Specks











Gallery
by Craft Spells











Passage
by Exitmusic











Joyful Noise
by Gossip











Light The Dead See
by Soulsavers






Weekend Passes to Silverlake Jubilee Tickets On Sale at Amoeba for $25!

Posted by Billy Gil, May 25, 2012 12:03pm | Post a Comment


Starting today Amoeba Hollywood is selling tickets to the Silverlake Jubilee for $25 (plus $2 in service fees) — that's $10 off the regular price for a weekend pass. The show is on Saturday and Sunday, on Santa Monica Blvd. between Commonwealth and Sunset; find out more information here. Check out some of the performances from Silverlake Jubilee bands at Amoeba below, and pick up the latest albums from the artists online or in-store.

Abe Vigoda live at Amoeba Hollywood




The Soft Pack live at Amoeba Hollywood


Albums from Silverlake Jubilee artists:

Aloe Blacc - Good Things (soulful jams on Stones Throw Records)
La Sera - Sees the Light (sweet power-pop from Vivian Girl Katy Goodman)
Abe Vigoda - Crush (nighttime nouveau coldwave)
Fidlar - No Waves/No Ass 7" (whet your appetite for the drunk punks full-length with this one-two waveless/assless punch)
Autolux - Transit Transit (dark alt-rock goodness)

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 5/25 Trevino, Cassegrain & Tin Man, Amir Alexander on Argot, Keith Worthy, Innerspace Halflife & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 25, 2012 11:26am | Post a Comment


Trevino

Backtracking 12”
The Nothing Special

The house/techno alias of D&B producer MARCUS INTALEX sees him in fine form with a raw, stripped back groove on the title song, while "JUAN TWO FIVE" is clearly a Detroit-influenced house gem. Limited to 300 copies worldwide, this is the 2nd release on CRAIG RICHARDS' THE NOTHING SPECIAL label.

Purchase Backtracking here:






Cassegrain & Tin Man
Carnal 12"
Killekill

The tracks that resulted from this very special collaboration, are exactly what you might expect: An ideal and unique combination of modern dark techno as it comes from labels such as prologue or stroboscopic artefacts and classic acid. Some of them aim directly at the dancefloor, some come along rather dreamy and spaced out.

Purchase Carnal here:







Amir Alexander

Gutter Flex (12”)
Argot

Continue reading...

Fundraiser to Help Keep Moon Block Party Pomona Free, May 26

Posted by Amoebite, May 24, 2012 12:13pm | Post a Comment
Moon Block PartyMoon Block Party hosts several music festivals each year and they need help raising money to keep their June 23rd event FREE. You can help out by joining them at a fundraiser on Saturday, May 26 at the Fox Theater in Pomona, CA!

Moon Block Party Fundraiser

Saturday, May 26, 2012
5pm - 2am
18+
$5 (all proceeds will help keep the June 23 event free)

Fox Theater (on the rooftop)
301 South Garey Avenue
Pomona, CA 91766

9pm: Screening of Desert Daze, a short film by Anthony Ferrara

Live performances by:
Juju
Ahkiyyini
Corners
Blackfeet Braves
Runson Willis (of Blac Jesus)
Mysterious Everything
...more TBA

Live art by:
Katherin Bingley
Corina Corrina
Charlie Banowetz

View the Facebook Event for the fundraiser.

Each Moon Block party event is curated and organized by a collective of musicians and artists from Pomona who strive to gather and enliven people through honest, thought-provoking music and innovative works of art. Check out the June 23rd Moon Block Party:

Moon Block Party Flier

Total Recall Remake Begs the Question, Why? Why, Hollywood? Why?

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment
 
Total Recall 2012 trailer

Ever since word of the 2012 remake of the 1990 movie Total Recall (starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston) began circulating via various publicity vehicles including the above movie trailer, it begged (no screamed) the question, why? Why, Hollywood? Why do you need to remake already well-made movies like this one? The original Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox, and loosely based on the 1966 Philip K Dick short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, was made only 22 years ago and was just fine to begin with...better than fine in fact since any movie strong enough to distract from Arnold's poor acting is one very good movie!  Additionally, it is not like the original Total Recall was a foreign language film that needed an English language/Americanized version. Of course that excuse for remaking foreign language films based on the premise that Americans won't read subtitles is ridiculous anyway, but even so why not simply dub foreign movies into English for Stateside release? The rest of the world sits through American blockbusters dubbed in their native tongue, so why not the other way around?

Already, movie fans - all of whom have not seen the new version - are slamming the remake saying that Hollywood should have left well enough alone. Meanwhile, the new movie's makers contend that Total Recall Version 2012 is not simply a straight remake; it alters the storyline, leaving out all the Mars scenes and adding more of a modern era international political backdrop. Personally, I am with these other movie fans in believing that they should not have remade Total Recall. Why not just adapt another good SciFi story to the big screen? There are so many great SciFi novels that should be given the film treatment.

Continue reading...

Memorial Day Weekend in Los Angeles

Posted by Rachael McGovern, May 23, 2012 12:47pm | Post a Comment

If you're staying in town over Memorial Day, there are bunch of fun options happening in LA over the three-day weekend. Namely, lots and lots of festivals.

Silver Lake Jubilee

What:  A two-day street festival in Silver Lake featuring Aloe Blacc, KINKY, Autolux, La Sera, Abe Vigoda, Allah-Lahs, Eastern Conference Champions (one of my favorite local LA bands), The Soft Pack, and a bunch of other bands. Plus, food trucks, comedians, and a general committment to eco-consciousness. Remember to bring your own water bottle so you can fill up for free at their water fountains.

See full schedule

When:  Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27

Where: Santa Monica Blvd between Commonweath & Sunset

Tickets:  You can get two-day passes at Amoeba Hollywood now or get tickets at the gates. If you're buying tickets at the gate, you can save $3-$6 by presenting your LA Metro card/receipt.


The JazzReggae Festival

What:  The 26th annual festival features The Roots, Shaggy, Booker T. Jones, Thundercat, and Gary Clark Jr. Sunday is "Jam Day" and Monday is "Reggae Day" (where's the Jazz Day?). Admittedly I'm not much of a reggae fan so Sunday would be my pick anyway, but with The Roots, Thundercat and Gary Clark Jr all one bill it's gonna be pretty amazing.

Continue reading...

(In which we opine on the issue of Pride.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 23, 2012 12:21pm | Post a Comment


June is Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTel-em-el-oh-pee community past, present and future.

Writing on the subject is intimidating, because as someone who identifies with one of the letters in LGBT, the issues of equal rights feel raw, impassioned and profound. I am not an unbiased voice on the matter.

Growing up queer was almost indescribably difficult, and so much of who I am today was shaped by the negativity I experienced, not merely “often” – self-hate, fear and crippled self-esteem made it scary and gross for me every waking moment; thinking I needed to hide and obfuscate my unwanted inclinations meant that many of those I loved were kept from helping me, or even fully knowing me, which made for a special kind of awful loneliness.

In nearly every aspect of my life I see how I’m still "recovering" from being queer. For example: growing up, sports and physical fitness seemed like a test of manliness; I was so terrified of failing (which, I feared, would subsequently shine a light on my queerness) that exercise and playing outdoor games became something scary and intimidating, which in turn affected my fitness habits for life. It’s only in the last decade that I could drum up the courage to start exercising. This may sound ridiculous, but it really does cut that deep – that jogging around the block isn’t just something to get my heart-rate up, but something I’ve had to push myself to do in spite of a fear of being targeted for some form of ridicule. That’s just one example – there’s many more, equally pathetic and utterly unnecessary.

Continue reading...

The Basic Instinct of Amazons? Wonder Woman, Masochism & Totalitarianism

Posted by Charles Reece, May 23, 2012 09:08am | Post a Comment


It took me a while to finish, but Part 1 of my essay on the Golden Age Wonder Woman is up over at The Hooded Utilitarian, so check it out: "On Second Thought, I Really Don't Like Wonder Woman." Part 2, where I also talk about Game of Thrones, serial killers, and the great Basic Instinct, is here.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Mount Washington

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 22, 2012 07:01pm | Post a Comment

One of the Mount Washington neighborhood signs    

                  A typical Mount Washington street

This here episode is all about Mount Washington -- a hilly and almost entirely residential neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA). Its neighbors are Highland Park to the east, Cypress Park to the southwest, Glassell Park to the northwest and Eagle Rock to the north.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Mount Washington (sold)


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Northeast Los Angeles

On this adventure I was accompanied by frequent traveling companion, Tim Shimbles.

*****

I can’t find any authoritative record of how Mount Washington got its name. At least one source claims it was named after a surveyor, Colonel Henry Washington, who spent time in Southern California in 1855. I wasn't able to find out when the name even first appeared but I'm skeptical about that explanation.


After recently watching Stephen Fry in America I learned about another Mount Washington, the highest peak in New England. In its heyday it was was topped by a pair of resort hotels and served by a funicular train line. Los Angeles’s Mount Washington was also topped by a resort hotel and served by a funicular train line. Even if it wasn’t originally named after the peak in the east, it seems it’s development was inspired by it.


HISTORY OF MOUNT WASHINGTON

Northeast LA was been inhabited constantly for about 8,000 years. The ancestors of Tongva arrived from the Sonora Desert and had inhabited the land for thousands of years before the Spanish conquest. Spain ruled the land from 1769-1821. It was granted as part of Rancho San Rafael to José María Verdugo in 1784. From 1821 till 1848 it was part of Mexico. When the US defeated Mexico and took California but the hill that came to be known as Mount Washington remained undeveloped until the Los Angeles Railways "yellow cars" arrived in the area between 1904 and '06.


Nickel-Leong Mansion

There were very few homes in the area prior to 1910 and they were situated around the base of the hill. One of the first was the Nickel-Leong Mansion for restaurateur Max Nickel and later lived in by the well-known Leong family of Chinatown. 


Wachtel Studio-Home

Another early home was the idiosyncratic Wachtel Studio-Home, designed by Elmer Wachtel and built in 1906 as a studio/exhibition space and home for Elmer and his fellow Plein Aire painter wife, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel.



LOS ANGELES & MOUNT WASHINGTON RAILWAY COMPANY 


The development of the Mount Washington neighborhood was begun in earnest in 1909 by developer Robert Marsh, who built the resort Mount Washington Hotel at the summit which was served by a train, the L.A. & Mt. Washington Ry. Co. -- until the line’s closure in 1919. Today, Avenue 43 and Canyon Vista Drive run along the path of the former railway.
The Mission Revival train station on Marmion Way is now a duplex


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

THE MOUNT WASHINGTON HOTEL 


The hotel was long ago reincarnated as the headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship movement. Besides the hotel, a few, expensive first residences were sold to half a dozen wealthy men, mostly a collection of real estate men and big company presidents and managers.





Views from, of and around the former Mount Washington Hotel

The Mount Washington Hotel opened its doors in 1910. With Pasadena and South Pasadena offering much larger and more accessible resort hotels, its perhaps not surprising that most of Mount Washington’s guests weren’t out-of-state tourists. At the base of the hill, seven film studios used in Highland Park’s Sycamore Grove to shoot films and actors, verifiably including Charlie Chaplin, often gathered and stayed in the nearby hotel. When the movie industry abandoned Highland Park and Edendale for Hollywood, the hotel suffered. As mentioned earlier, the train stopped running in 1919 and the hotel afterward went through short stints as a military academy and respiratory hospital before being purchased by Parmahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship movement, in 1925. The train tracks weren’t removed until 1930. 



ELDRED STREET



 
Steep Eldred Street and the rickety wooden stairs

At a height of 279 meters (considerably smaller than its 1,917 namesake), Mount Washington has some steep streets. Eldred Street is LA’s steepest, at a grade of 33%. Yes, there is a stretch of a San Pedro’s 28th Street that briefly attains a 33.3% grade but Eldred is apparently steepest from the base to its dead end. There, the adventurous climbing enthusiast can continue further up the hill on a rickety-looking wooden staircase. The street was laid by Delos W. Eldred in 1912 – It wasn’t until the 1950s that Los Angeles started limiting streets to grades below 15%. (Despite what is commonly claimed by Mideast Siders, the steepest streets in Echo Park and Silver Lake are officially listed as 32% and below.) The street’s residences’ mailboxes are all located at the bottom of the hill and almost everyone who lives on the hillside drives a large truck.


SOUTHWEST MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN



The entrance and museum

The Southwest Museum of the American Indian was originally opened in 1907 in Downtown Los Angeles by noted anthropologist/journalist/historian/photographer Charles Fletcher Lummis. It moved to its current location in 1914.


Memorial Pole dedicated to Henry Hunt (by Richard Hunt) 

 A sculpture of a Tongva ti'at by Gerardo Hacer

The building, designed by architects Sumner P. Hunt and Silas Reese Burns, isn’t up to current seismic standards and is thus has been closed for renovations since 2006. As of 19 May, 2012, the upper and lower lobbies will open on Saturdays only.


A garden designed and cared for by Don A. Philipp since 2000


F. RONINSON'S HOOCH RACKET

Development of Mount Washington really began to take off in the 1920s and one early, notorious resident was F. Roninson. I can’t find any information about him and his bust except on a piece that appeared on the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance’s website called The Weird, the Wonderful and the Wacky Mt. Washingtonso I’ll just quote them:

"In February, 1924, a squad of officers of the Lincoln Heights Police Division climbed to a mansion at the top of Mount Washington on San Rafael Drive. They arrested F. Roninson, alleged proprietor of a 500-gallon still. They seized 200 gallons of moonshine and 50 barrels of whiskey mash, and exposed what they believed was one of the main sources of illegal liquor in the county."


LOUISE HUEBNER - LOS ANGELES'S OFFICIAL WITCH 

 

In the 1960s, Mount Washington resident Louise Huebner (wife of artist/Hollywood production illustrator and Boyle Heights native, Mentor Huebner) was a regular fixture on KLAC and KTTV where her taped astrological spots were credited to “the staff witch.” In the summer of 1968 promoted a series of Sunday happenings at the Hollywood Bowl. At the first of them, the Folklore Festival, she was given a certificate (signed by then- Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, Ernest Debs, whom she presented with a golden horn for his own benefit) designating her “the Official With of Los Angeles County.” In front of 11,000 people, she cast a spell to increase the sexual vitality of LA County’s residents. It sounds strange today but this was an era that produced celebrity Satanists like Anton LaVey, Jimmy Page was obsessed with Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Anger began to develop a following, and the Doors' Jim Morrison married a witch. 

 

In 1969 she published a book titled Power through witchcraft as well as an spoken word album (with electronics from Louis and Bebe Barron!) on Warner Brothers titled Seduction through witchcraft


Then County Counsel John D. Maharg asked her to rescind her title -- they claimed that their designation was meant as a joke and completely unofficial. Huebner responded by organizing a press conference at which he threatened to reverse the spell. The county backed off and its residents remained sexually vital. Huebner went on to write more books and release more records and, as far as I know, still lives near the top of the neighborhood.


HOLYLAND

In 1989, Bret Waller and Ralph Eaton began renting a house in the shadow of the Museum of the Southwest at 500 Museum Drive where they installed an artists’ shrine and sculpture garden they christened Holyland. There they held services/BBQs on Sundays. In 1991 they gained media attention after acquiring a 1,400 pound, twelve-foot bust of Elvis originally built for a State of Mississippi float in Pasadena’s 1990 Tournament of Roses parade. First the bust – made of steel, wire, fiberglass, flowers and birdseed -- had been transported by DJs Mark and Brian to Graceland but Elvis’s estate keepers were not amused. It then spent time in a Jackson, Mississippi mall until it was sold to a Cash for Cans for the kingly sum of $13.10. Waller and Eaton were artists who also worked as float-builders and caught wind of the increasingly tattered bust’s existence through the float-builders grapevine. They purchased it for $75 and Holyland unveiled it at the King’s 56th birthday service at which Dr. Brett and Rev. Ralph distributed bits of bacon -- Elvis's favorite food. Holyland ultimately closed in 1991 when the church’s landlord sold the house and gave the duo the boot.



MOUNT WASHINGTON TODAY


The population of the neighborhood today is about 13,000 and approximately 61% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 21% white (mostly German), 13% Asian and 3% black. Owing to its hilly topography, there are no major arteries passing through it. There are only a few scattered businesses along its base; therefore, there aren’t any neighborhood restaurants, theaters, music venues, or any of the other things I typically list in these neighborhood blog entries.


I spotted a neon sign that said "Ray's Market" and thought that this would be Shimbles's and my chance to grab a bite to eat. When we walked in the door it was immediately apparently that Ray's Market is no longer -- and a woman in a cubicle chimed on cue, "There's no Ray's Market."

I also know of neither any films or TV series filmed there, nor any actors or directors who were born there... nor any bands that formed there. Dear readers, if you do, please let me know and I’ll add links to this blog entry!


SIGHTSEEING IN MOUNT WASHINGTON


Another view from Mount Washington 


Most of the sights to check out in Mount Washington are the great views it affords, the flora and fauna in the parks, and the homes.



FUNG + BLATT


Fung & Blatt residence


Schmalix residence

Fung + Blatt are an architectural firm founded in 1990 by Alice Fung and Michael Blatt with a focus on sustainable living and building practices. Mount Washington is home to several of their strikingly-designed homes. We stopped by their own private residence and the Schmalix Residence but there are also Fung + Blatts at 705 N Rome and 4223 Sea View Lane.



NOB HILL HAUS


In 2011, German immigrants Frank Pasker and Grant Leiphart designed and moved into a home on Nob Hill Drive that they christened the Nob Hill Haus. It is designed to be an exemplar of sustainable living using xersicaping, gray water, a cistern and other green features. They have a blog and offer occasional open houses but on the day we stopped by (unannounced) they weren't home. The home has been immediate sensation, written about in the LA Times and receiving a certificate from the city honoring it for “outstanding creativity in architectural and sustainable design.”



PARKS OF MOUNT WASHINGTON

Mount Washington is home to several parks that are varied in character and function but are all charming in their own way. We skipped Greayer’s Oak Park (dedicated to Greayer "Grubby" Clover, an aviator who served in France during World War II). We also passed Cleland Avenue Bicentennial Park, where we saw a child swinging.

MOON CANYON PARK and HEIDELBERG PARK




We did check out 4.5 acre Moon Canyon Park and adjacent 18 acre Heidelberg Park. The parks were slated for development which met stiff resistance from Mount Washington's residents. As a result, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy bought the land and created the parks in 2003.


CARLIN G. SMITH RECREATION CENTER


Carlin G. Smith Recreation Center was built in a narrow canyon donated to the city in 1929. After a long period of neglect, it was rehabilitated by volunteers in the 1970s. It also has an outdoor basketball court.

JESSICA TRIANGLE 


Jessica Triangle is a tiny, but attractively-landscaped pocket park in the middle of an intersection. It was completed in 2011.

ELYRIA CANYON PARK



 



We saved the largest (35 acres), Elyria Canyon Park, for last. It's home to one of the LA area’s last stands of black walnuts and I snapped pictures of the flowers that were blooming. We walked around a bit and only crossed paths with one person, a middle-aged Asian-American woman walking a small dog who smiled and said, "Nice day for a walk, isn't it? It was.










It was also a nice day for a meal! The only time I've ever heard Shimbles express an opinion about where he'd like to eat was when we were exploring Burbank... where he really wanted a sandwich (the place we went to was closed for renovations at the time). Since there's no where to eat in LA, I vacillated between King Torta in Lincoln Heights or Palm's Thai in Hollywood. We ended up at Sage in Echo Park. As we were leaving we saw the Eastside Tomato King's car... or one of the car's he's painted at least.



*****
As always, you can vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, by clicking here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here. For the record, there's currently a three way tie between Altadena, El Monte and El Sereno. Until next time!



*****


Follow Eric's Blog and check out more episodes of California Fool's Gold

Make Music Pasadena, Saturday 6/16

Posted by Amoebite, May 21, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Make Music Pasadena

Southern California's largest FREE and ALL-AGES music event is coming!  With four main stages and hundreds of spontaneous performances, June 16th's Make Music Pasadena promises to be one of this summer's most eclectic festivals. Amoeba sponsors this afternoon jam-packed with performances from great artists including Grimes, Cults, Grouplove, Dengue Fever, Dam Funk, and loads more. See the full line-up HERE!

And don't forget to look for the Amoeba booth. We'll be selling music and mingling!

Make Music Pasadena Flier

Dengue Fever at Amoeba Berkeley, 2008:

Hester Street Fair "Goes Hollywood" starting Saturday, 6/2

Posted by Amoebite, May 21, 2012 03:40pm | Post a Comment
Time Out New York's #1 Thing to Do is coming to Hollywood & Argyle for the Summer with a series of four fun-filled events!

The Hester Street Fair series will kick off on Saturday, June 2nd from 11am - 7pm with the Bite Size Food and Craft Festival, a handpicked selection of LA restaurants, indie chefs, and food trucks transforming their most popular dishes into bite sized portions. Mini portions mean maximum plate-hopping. Over 120 amazing arts and crafts, vintage vendors and collectors will be on hand for their premiere event, tapped off with a craft beer garden and live music.

Amoeba is delighted to sponsor a day filled with bite-size delights, arts and crafts, shopping, music performances, and microbrews. Come on down and join us and stay tuned for info on upcoming Hester Street Fair events!

More info HERE!

Hester Goes Hollywood

Hester Street Fair
 

Violence Girl By Alice Bag

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 21, 2012 07:23am | Post a Comment
Violence Girl is what Alice Bag calls a "Chicana Punk Story" For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alice Bag (Alicia Armandariz) she is a singer/musician that in her teens was part of the early punk scene in Los Angeles. She along with Patricia Morrison formed The Bags, who are not only a seminal L.A. punk band but in my opinion paved the way for many people who would have never thought of becoming musicians themselves.
 
Violence Girl covers her years growing up in East Los Angeles, a daughter of Mexican immigrants. It is in her youth that she starts to become aware of the disparagement of growing up poor and Mexican, from having to live in sub-quality housing to being ridiculed for not speaking English by unsympathetic schoolteachers. Alice grew up in a house full of love and was told by her father that she could become anything she wanted to be. Yet all the positive energy was for not as she had to witness years of abusive of her mother by the hand of her father.

In her teens, Alice love of music and education carries her through tough times. She discovers Glam Rock and starts venturing into Hollywood, where she would meet other like-minded youth. They would eventually not just become the pioneers of the L.A. punk scene, but of punk music in general. For a punk historian and a L.A. honk like myself, Alice’s stories of punk’s inception in Los Angeles are a real treat. Alice shows that it was misfit kids like her that created the origins of L.A. punk. It was a community that despite the differences in class, race, gender or sexuality that found a bond with each other. To me, that is what makes L.A. punk so influential worldwide. If you look at the origins of punk in other U.S. cities such as Chicago or D.C., you’ll see very little diversity.

The Bags were started as Alice and her friend Patricia wanted to start an all-girl band in the mists of all the male dominated bands. Although The Bags had male band mates, Alice’s songs and presence on stage influenced many women to start their own groups. The Bags as pushed punk in a faster, more chaotic style that was later adopted by the next wave of hardcore bands. The Bags, in the relatively brief history, manage to record a few singles and made an appearance in Penelope Spheeris iconic documentary, The Decline Of Western Civilization. For the movie, the band name was changed to The Alice Bag Band, as Patricia threaten Spheeris with a lawsuit if they used the name “The Bags” once she quit the band.

Alice concludes her book with stories from her post-Bags days. She continues to play music, graduates college and becomes a teacher. She also resolves issues with her father, who had become ill. She travels to Nicaragua post-revolution and works with youth there, getting an eye-opening perspective on how the rest of the world exists. So much more could have been written about Alice’s life, but perhaps that can be left for another book.

What is amazing about Alice is that not only that she paved the way for the rest that followed her in the punk scene and manage to get through college. She manage to accomplish all this in her teens and early twenties. Today, I witness youth today struggle with identity issues of not knowing what they want to be, thus living in suspended growth. More and more younger people live at home until they are in their late twenties with little ambition to leave. Certainly in Alice’s days it was cheaper to live in Los Angeles but like most of us at the time, we lived in places with less than satisfactory conditions and with multiple roommates to keep the rent low. But in the end, the standard of living that was compromised was a necessity to be a part of the adventure, which I feel today’s generation is missing out on.

On Tuesday, May 22nd at 8pm PST, I will be conducting an interview with Alice Bag on my radio show, Discos Inmigrantes. We will discuss her successful memoir, Violence Girl, which has her traveling across the world speaking to old fans and new fans alike and inspiring a whole new generation of artists. We will discuss her past, the whirlwind year since the release of her book and what it means to be a Chicana Feminist in 2012. Hear it live on radiosombra.org 8-10 PM PST

You can pick up a copy of Violence Girl At Amoeba Hollywood

May 20, 2012: Bernie

Posted by phil blankenship, May 20, 2012 05:52pm | Post a Comment

Happy Belated Birthday, Joey Ramone! (May 19, 1951)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 20, 2012 01:29pm | Post a Comment
Joey Ramone Happy Birthday The Ramones

 On May 19, 1951, Queens birthed a legend. Happy birthday, Joey Ramone

Although he passed away in 2001, the Ramones singer's second solo album, ya know?, will be posthumously released on May 22nd. It is a collection of demos and unreleased tunes that he recorded over the last 15 years of his life. 



-- Audra

The Art of the LP Cover- Leather

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 19, 2012 05:05pm | Post a Comment
 

Amoeba Holds Bear Family Sale on Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and More

Posted by Billy Gil, May 18, 2012 03:33pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood is holding a sale on recordings released by Bear Family Records, which specializes in re-releasing recordings by such rock ‘n’ roll pioneers as Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills, Bill Haley, Bill Monroe, Webb Pierce, Leslie Gore and Carl Perkins. Now through Friday May 25, Bear Family boxed sets are marked up to 60% off.
 

The German label was founded in 1975 and has come to be known for specializing in Americana, releasing extravagant boxed sets complete with books and rare recordings. Come in to the store and look for the display to check out some sweet Bear Family sets like Tex Ritter’s High Noon, Hank Snow’s The Singing Ranger Vol. 3 and The Osborne Brothers’ 1968-1974!

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 05.18.12: E-Lit, REKS, I Self Devine, Mac Mall, Foreign Legion, Bay Area Freshmen Class of 2012, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2012 02:42pm | Post a Comment
           

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 05:18:12


1) I Self Devine The Sound of Low Class America (Rhymesayers)

2) Big K.R.I.T. Return of 4Eva (Greenstreet Ent)

3) ) Death Grips The Money Store (Epic)

4) B.O.B. Strange Clouds (Atlantic)

5) KA Grief Pedigree (Iron works)

Good to catch up with my man E-Lit again over at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store where the tireless ambassador of underground, indie hip-hop brings his vast knowledge and shared a run down (in video above) of all the new releases available at Amoeba - with the new chart topper being from Rhymesayers crew veteran member I Self Devine and his brand new album The Sound of Low Class America which includes a great track with Brother Ali. Other new chart entries include ones from the ever popular B.O.B. (Strange Clouds), Big K.R.I.T. who is readying for his official major label release next month, and the beautifully twisted rap/rock hybrid  Death Grips' The Money Store - the Sacramento crew's lo-fi major label masterpiece on Epic.

Continue reading...

Cinema Exotica: Green Mansions (1959)

Posted by Kells, May 18, 2012 12:23am | Post a Comment

From here we embark upon a new adventure in film.


I've spent countless, happy hours fantasizing the paradisiacal ideal while imbibing perilous quantities of rum disguised as exotic cocktails courtesy of my favorite local tiki temple --- an activity that always serves to spur my desire to explore the visions of other folks who, like me, possess a natural inclination for romanticizing the genre Exotica in all it's mythic and delightfully bogus configurations. Specifically, a designated fantasy realm as glamorized almost as much as it is spoofed by the so-called civilized world, or tropical ersatz: the non-native, pseudo experience of Oceania and other enticing ports of call.



Until now I've kept these mental meanderings mostly to myself, only occasionally sharing my ruminations with whomever occupies a bar stool nearby and all the while becalmed beneath the warming fog of grog. From this day forward, however, I seek to nourish my untiring preoccupation with genre by delving into a more conceptual, considerate means of satisfying these vivid tropical itches I keep having. The time has come to put some sober thought into this journey beyond the music in favor of a more lively, animated intoxication I like to call Cinema Exotica (not to be confused with that mid-nineties Canadian film about a Toronto strip club).


But where do we begin? Perhaps with a question: if Exotica, the musical genre, provides the adventure-seeking listener an array of quasi-tropical aural impressions with which to induce a mini mental holiday, then how would these cerebral spells manifest if they could be fully realized? That is to say scripted, financed, and committed to film for the ages. Mulling this query has inspired a sort of personal silver-screen safari: my quest to find films that I feel qualify for classification into a logical Cinema Exotica film genre -- a genre that doesn't really exist as far as I can surmise. I mean, research suggests that the words have more to do with adult entertainment than anything else (google it any way you can and see what I mean).

No matter, this is the first of what I hope will be many forays into the exciting world of theatrically produced Exotica and seeing as this maiden voyage was inspired by none other than the verdant, au natural allure of the album art for Stanley Wilson's Pagan Love and others (see above), the first and thus far only genre compliance guideline is that films which bear no resemblance whatsoever to images related to the Exotica musical genre are to be considered categorically inadmissible. Meaning I have a rather broad net to cast, so let's get to fishing for this exploratory series with the inaugural Cinema Exotica post celebrating the 1959 romantic adventure (rom-venture?) film and critical box office failure Green Mansions.




Let me first begin by saying it amazes me that this film ever got made, but then time has not at all been kind to it. I knew from the start that most of the movies that approach Cinema Exotica levels of qualification would, in theory, pack a heady punch of stunning visuals but toe the line taste-wise and Green Mansions is no exception. It is at times visually pleasing but taken together with the stilted, emotionless acting and the deliriously bogus, soft-focus forested Hollywood set where the bulk of the "action" takes place, not to mention the racist, "ooga-booga" portrayal of the enemy jungle natives, the picture plays like a decayed dwelling --- a mouldering green mansion if you will --- creaking with age. Not even Audrey Hepburn's intrinsic charm as the mysterious jungle "bird woman" Rima could save it from being panned as an early-career disaster, though in my opinion any film that pairs Hepburn's doe-like demeanor with the actual animal-actor potential of a real live deer has to be regarded as something of a casting triumph, the proof is in these off-set candids:



While Hepburn serves born-this-way aesthetic realness as nymph-like denizen of the woods, the casting of an obviously Japanese man as the chief of an Indian tribe living deep within the South American jungle is only a sample of the distractions which further confuse the already wildly incoherent plot. The story of Green Mansions, based off of the 1904 novel, Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest written by William Henry Hudson, revolves around a traveler Abel (played by Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame), who, after escaping from the political strife of Venezuela, travels deep into the jungle exploring for gold, only to discover a strange girl of the forest, Rima (Hepburn) and the two fall in love. One of the many convoluted plot-wrenches stems from the jungle tribes desire to kill Rima, but there is no apparent explanation of why this must be so. Also, there is a whole mess of further disorienting story details like Rima's hang up about her mother being killed and/or finding out her true identity via the old hermit she lives (shacks up) with but none of these are ever fully explained. But, dang does it look every bit the Cinema Exotica head trip, starring Audrey Audrey Audrey...


All in all, it is really too bad this film was such a flop. I imagine that the themes and ideas inherent to the novel are chock full of poetic beauty potential and, given the right creative reigning, could've been rendered into a classic cinematic precursor to Fern Gully (sorry Mel Ferrar). Unless you unconditionally love Hepburn this film is just plain painful to watch what with the continuous plot holes and the errant miscasting and if Green Mansions isn't an altogether long forgotten blunder it is surely one of her lesser known films. Still, I have to rate this one at...well, how about a rating scale? I hadn't counted on figuring that part of this exercise out yet. What shall it be? A recommended cocktail remedy to dull the blow of, or, enhance the viewing experience? That's easy!

for Green Mansions: pour thee a Painkiller, times three.

Video: Mariachi El Bronx Live at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, May 17, 2012 06:09pm | Post a Comment
Mariachi El Bronx stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to play their uniquely American take on traditional Mariachi music. Bedecked in black mariachi garb and with horns in tow, the band played a set of tracks from their 2011 album Mariachi El Bronx II.

Mariachi El Bronx started as post-hardcore band The Bronx before incorporating mariachi elements for this side project, which began when the band was asked to do an acoustic version of the song “Dirty Leaves” from The Bronx’s self-titled second album for a television show and they turned it into a mariachi dirge.

“We never wanted The Bronx to be a soft, quiet band,” says frontman Matt Caughthran, “but this freed up a whole new realm. Sometimes you don’t realize the barriers around yourself until you step outside them. It was a big moment in our career, breathing new life into the band.”



Band members Caughthran, Joby J. Ford (guitar), Jorma Vik (drums) Brad Magers (trumpet), Ken Horne (jarana/guitar), and Vincent Hidalgo (guitarrón) then studied up on YouTube, no less, while touring with The Bronx to make Mariachi El Bronx happen. Learning all the mariachi styles, such as norteno, jorocho, juasteka, bolero, and corridos was essential.

“Mariachi has rules,” Caughthran says. “We learned everything we could out of respect, especially as we’re a bunch of white guys — well, except for Ken, who’s Japanese.”

The band eventually came to include Ray Suen on violin and satellite members Alfredo Ortiz on percussion styles and guitarrón player Karla Tovar. Caughthran says the merge of styles isn’t so strange to him, having grown up in the gringo minority in East L.A. neighborhood Pico Rivera.

“My two favorite bands were always Black Flag and Los Lobos, so it all makes sense,” he says.

The band launches its summer tour this week. Dates are below:

05/18/12 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room *
05/19/12 St. Louis, MO Firebird *
05/20/12  Chicago, IL  Sailor Jerry’s Presents * 
05/21/12  Cleveland, OH  The Beachland Ballroom * 
05/22/12  Philadelphia, PA  Sailor Jerry’s Presents * 
05/24/12  New York, NY  Rocks Off Cruise Aboard the Princess *  
05/25/12  Hartford, CT  Comcast Theatre * 
05/26/12   Buffalo, NY The Mohawk Place * 
05/27/12  Toronto, Canada  Sound Academy # 
05/28/12  Montreal, Canada  Metropolis # 
05/31/12  Portland, ME  State Theatre # 
06/01/12  Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion # 
06/02/12  Hunter Mtn, NY  Mountain Jam &  
06/03/12  Washington, DC  9:30 Club $ 
06/05/12  Charlottesville, VA  Jefferson Theater $ 
06/06/12   Asheville  The Orange Peel $ 
06/10/12   Manchester, TN  Bonnaroo % 
07/22/12   Dover, DE  Firefly Festival ^ 
* with Two Gallants
# with Gogol Bordello and Two Gallants
& with Ben Folds FiveGov’t Mule and more
$ with tUne-yArDs
% with RadioheadRed Hot Chili PeppersBad Brains and more
^ with The KillersThe Black KeysJack White and more

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 5/18 Mix Mup, Kassem Mosse, Special Request, Wbeeza, RTX, October, Alex Israel, Jimmy Edgar & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 17, 2012 12:38pm | Post a Comment
Mix Mup
Drive-By 12”
Mikrodisko

With his latest release “drive-by” mix mup suspends the principle of causal relation. Together we travel down a road that has lost its destination. the road becomes the actual reason for our motion. Past connecting elements we cruise from one possible interpretation to the next: a view from a car. Mix Mup offers us a plot on the way from A to B, which could be a piece of a secret, perhaps even a great story. in order to decide on this, we must lose ourselves first. lose ourselves in disorder and early sorrow.

Purchase Drive By here:




Special Request
Deflowered 12”
Special Request

Second in a series of releases based on capturing the energy and culture of UK pirate radio but going way beyond that as the project unwinds. Limited press. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted which celebrated producer is behind this excellent, killer two-tracker - he has had releases out on Planet E, Hot Flush and Phonica too! From the first highly coverted 12", "Lolita" makes a return here, but in 'Warehouse Dub' form (rather than the Warehouse Mix off the first EP - very mysterious). Luckily its a complete re-hash of the track, adding layer upon layer of jungle percussion, half-tempo breaks and twisting the original riff around a mulitude of filters and distortion units. A ridiculously long arrangement unfolds slowly and with purpose, totally sucking the dancefloor into its buzzing plasma ball of electricity. Like a super nova bursting into a black hole right before our ears. New track, "Deflowered" is tweaked here by the in-demand Kassem Mosse and joined by Mix Mup. Mosse is fast becoming synonymous with the slo-mo-techno sound along with Vakula and Juju & Jordash. Sinking the BPMs below the 125 minimum standard of yesterday, These new smacked-out techno cuts will find favour amongst hardened cosmic heads and Detroit beatdown lovers alike and this particular offering is no exception. Unique drum sounds and machine-code rhythms converge on clattering sonic bursts and a rabid energy.

Purchase Deflowered here:




Wbeeza
Peckham Fly / Billy Green Is 12”
Third Ear

Two more live jams mixed canned and pressed. Wbeeza has been hassled wherever he goes to release these. First limited pressing comes in silver glitter disco bag.

Purchase Peckham Fly / Billy Green Is here:









RTX
Untitled 12”
Deeply Rooted House

A brand new 12'' filled with some very introspective and deep tracks, of what we consider simply pure & honest house music! With a slight techno feel that is... By the mysterious French producer 'RTX' Sweet!

Purchase RTX Untitled here:





Jonsson/Alter
Mod Mixes 12”
Kontra Musik

Finally the remixes of the celebrated Jonsson/Alter Mod album is here – featuring no less than Minilogue, Donato Dozzy and Dorisburg (half of Swedish duo Genius Of Time). My God, that took some time. But no harm is done. All remixes has some kind uplifting and sunny trance mode to them, so as it turns out, this is actually the prefect spring release. Inhale… Exhale… Minilogue starts out with the track Kyrka 2.0 and ads both speed and length. Donato takes on the track Acapellan and does everything right. Keeping the beautiful vocals of the original, Donato adds bass line and new drums. The EP closes with another Swedish contribution. Alexander Berg aka Dorisburg from duo Genius Of Time reworks Djup House, and does it well. A solid bass line keeps us grounded to the dance floor while dreamy melodies and harmonies gently lift our serotonin levels. Enjoy!

Purchase Mod Mixes here:



October
Planets Of Minds 12”
Tanstaafl

After the success of the first release, Tanstaafl returns for their second wax adventure, this time with the musical renegade Dj October at the helm. October has entered a new phase of production for the TANSTAAFL series and has focused himself firmly on a reduced, stripped and effective formula for the floor. His productions are heavy, smoked out narcoleptic dub infused journey's, and his latest 12 offers more or less of the same opaque vibe but with his sights firmly set on the floor, with one foot in the past and the other in the future - drawing from his usual Detroit, NYC and Chicago influences. So we kick off 2012 with a future classic, 'Singularity Jump', which douses you in synthesized Saxophone hooks, chopped vocal samples and a meaty Juno Hip-House inspired bass-line. 'Planet Of Minds' is more of a inner space affair very much inspired by acid and dub. Successfully combining the two, October injects more of an airy feel into the mix and delivers a moody cosmic acid jam that will not fail your dancing feet or tripped-out mind. Definitely one for the later hours... This is going to be an anthem, hands down, so get it before it's gone for good.

Purchase Planet of Minds here:


Jimmy Edgar
Majenta DLP
Hotflush

After a two-year break, Detroit producer and wayward star-child Jimmy Edgar debuts on Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings armed with an album full of futuristic sleaze. Known for his unique take on jacking house and electro funk, he’s recently been splitting his time between the US and Berlin, exploring transcendental meditation and the boundaries of the non-physical. This offering is an extension of that journey, bringing eleven tracks of erotic robo-pop to the table. Titled Majenta, this LP is a departure from his past sound, marking a shift in his own ever-expanding consciousness, as well as another exciting chapter of his musical career. Each track is an aural manifesto, giving well-deserved nods to his varied musical influences. Close encounters with Detroit legends Derrick May and Juan Atkins, Jimmy’s 2004 signing to Warp Records, and his early exposure to Kraftwerk have all acted as lynchpins in the cultivation of his sound. With a number of releases on Glasstable, Semantica, Nonplus and long player releases on both Warp and !K7, Majenta reflects Jimmy’s evolution as both artist and child of the cosmos. According to Edgar, the making of the album was steeped in countless synchronicities, continuously reminding him he was on the right path. In contrast with his last LP, XXX, for !K7, which took five years to make, Majenta is more raw, more spontaneous and in his words, “more futuristic … than my other music, which played a lot with retro, especially R&B.” From the outset, Jimmy’s flexing his Kraftwerkian muscle, with vocoder complimenting his own unadulterated voice and ‘80s synthlines bubbling away alongside jazz-funk keyboard riffs. From the raunchy and sexually explicit ‘Take Me on a Sex Drive’ (“windows down, legs up high”) to the low-lit, hypnotic feel of ‘Attempt to Make it Last’, to the UK garage rhythms of ‘Let Yrself Be’, to the Kiss-era Prince vibe of ‘I Need Your Control’, it’s clear that the postmodern is Edgar’s domain. The Frampton-esque vocals of ‘In Deep’ close out the LP and further cement his enviable place in the intergalactic community. Spring/Summer 2012 will see Jimmy playing a number of live shows across Europe and the US in support of Majenta (including major festivals such as Glade, UK), as well as his continued exploration into the world of LEDs and synchronized light technology.

Purchase Majenta here:



Alex Israel
Front Butt 12"
Creme Organization

Alex Israel, Chicago's own overlord of deranged deep house comes to Creme with a rip-roaring four tracker in said style. Lush pads meander over swampy bass lines and drum patterns that wash over you like a sweet Monsoon. Hard to imagine it was conceived in the Windy City, but we guess the allure of the unattainable is a potent one.

Purchase Front Butt here:

Continue reading...

Queen of Disco Donna Summer Dies at 63 of Cancer

Posted by Billyjam, May 17, 2012 10:10am | Post a Comment

Donna Summer "I Feel Love"

Donna Summer, who was the reigning "Queen of Disco" during that dance genre's pop era, died earlier today following a long battle with cancer according to a recent report from the Associated Press. She was 63 years of age. During her incredibly successful career (mostly in the '70s but into the '80s too), the Boston-born singer scored Grammy awards, and ruled the radio and dance floors with such hits as "I Feel Love," "Love To Love You Baby," "Bad Girls," "On The Radio," "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff," and the "She Works Hard For The Money." That latter 1983 hit been one of her few '80s chartbusters.

Arguably her best and most successful work was with producer Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Among the disco diva's followers was a large segment of gay fans who took offense when rumors circulated that she had made negative statements about gays. See my article (The "Gay Myth" that Still Haunts Donna Summer)  on the Amoeblog on this topic, posted four years ago before Summer was about to play in San Francisco. Of the numerous albums and collections of Donna Summer's music released over the years, ones available from Amoeba online include Bad Girls, The Wanderer LP, the Once Upon A Time.... CD collection, and the Disco Queen DVD collection released four years ago. But if you head into one of the three Amoeba stores and dig in the vinyl and CD crates, you will find many more including tons of Various Artists disco and dance compilations featuring hits by the artist who was only 63...too young to go.  Rest in peace Donna Summer!

Continue reading...

May 16, 2012: The Dictator

Posted by phil blankenship, May 16, 2012 10:36pm | Post a Comment

This is Your Library with Cheech Marin, Lol Tolhurst, and more! Downtown LA Central Library, 6/2

Posted by Amoebite, May 16, 2012 06:10pm | Post a Comment
Join Amoeba and the Library Foundation for the sixth installment of This is Your Library, a series of late-night talk show-style events occurring after-hours at the historic Central Library downtown. June 2nd's event will feature actor, comedian, and art collector Cheech Marin; founding member of The Cure Lol Tolhurst; Taschen's Sexy Book editor Dian Hanson; and poet and UCLA Professor of English Harryette Mullen

There will be DJs, live bands, a bar, food, and librarians too! Special musical guests: Wildcat! Wildcat! and Boys School (aka Brett Farkas and the Library All Star Band).

More info HERE!

This is your library

Show Review: Light Asylum at the Echoplex

Posted by Billy Gil, May 16, 2012 05:17pm | Post a Comment
“Fuck Pitchfork!” was the clearest message Light Asylum’s Shannon Funchess got across in her stage banter while playing the Echoplex on May 15th with Tearist, Chelsea Wolfeand Violet Tremors. She was referring to the so-so review of Light Asylum’s self-titled debut full-length, with which she (and many, like myself) disagreed.

That she would address the review in such a public setting with such abandon speaks largely to what is great about Funchess and Light Asylum, and why reviews of the band, either glowing or mediocre, are sort of irrelevant. The DGAF nature of her outburst or gruff addressing of the sound guy to lay off the “fucking” effects (immediately followed by a sort of apology) matches the no bullshit appeal of her delivery, whether she’s giving it all in emotional techno-ballads (“Shallow Tears,” which boldly opened the show, or their modern classic “A Certain Person,” which came next to last) or pulverizing audiences with an all-engaging persona of aggressive dancing and an awesome, sometimes terrifying growl in songs like personal fave “Pope Will Roll.”

The show was a huge improvement over the last time I saw them at the Echoplex with Salem, during which the room’s sonics washed out the sound a bit, while Funchess and cohort Bruno Caviello’s stage presence is even stronger than before. Funchess absolutely commands, singing powerfully with some combination of self-choreographed or ad libbed militaristic moves, inching toward the edge of stage and singing in people’s faces without coming off as antagonistic. The feeling gotten by listening to Light Asylum on record and watching them perform is a “bigger picture” thing that can’t be distilled into track-by-track album breakdowns — that’s what some reviewers missed.
 
Chelsea Wolfe performed her brand of brand of gothic noise-folk admirably, though her inclusion was slightly misplaced compared with the other three acts. Violet Tremors provided Minimal Wave Tapes-esque robotic pop that nicely whetted the appetite for Light Asylum’s more humanistic take later on. L.A.’s Tearist’s performance proved the closest in kinship, with singer Yasmine Kittles headbanging and lending her smoky drawl to industrial dance soundscreens, though the band still calls for clearer songs (like the skittery “Headless,” one of its best thus far, which sounded amazing Tuesday) to match their impressively theatrical performances.

Check out the photos from Light Asylum's in-store at Amoeba Music San Francisco HERE!

John Waters Hitchhiking In Ohio. No, Not the Name of An Album, Movie, Book, or Band

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2012 03:14pm | Post a Comment

Word's been circulating on the Internets this afternoon that famed film director / friend of Amoeba Music John Waters was hitch-hiking in Ohio earlier today and that, coincidentally, indie rock band Here We Go Magic picked him up, as reported on the DCist website this afternoon. Van passenger Jen Turner has been posting updates via her Twitter account. In one post from a little over an hour ago she wrote, "He's the real deal. He just wanted an adventure! Imagine! A true artist." In a later post after dropping off Waters, she tweeted, "What an utter gentleman, as natural and observant of people as one might imagine. A total joy, full of stories. Thanks JW, be safe out there."

Meanwhile, earlier today band member Michael Bloch recalled first noticing the director of such cult classics as the 1972 film Pink Flamingos starring Divine. "Getting back on the highway this morning, there was a man at the side of the on-ramp with a sign that read 'to the end of Rte 70.' Jen wanted to pick him up, but we drove past him. As we passed by, our sound guy said 'John Waters!' Luke said, 'Yep, definitely John Waters.' We got off at the next exit and circled back. He was still there. We pulled up, opened the door and asked where he was coming from. 'Baltimore,' he said. And we said 'Get in, sir.' "

Continue reading...

Happy Birthday, The Whistler! - rated by independent research the most popular West Coast Program in radio history

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 16, 2012 12:25pm | Post a Comment
Adventures of the Lone RangerMy introduction to old time radio was listening to a 1957 Decca 12” The Adventures of the Lone Ranger that my dad presumably procured as a child. As a kid growing up in the 1980s, I don’t think I ever made the connection that the album’s tracks were old radio episodes… I don’t think I even knew about radio dramas until I think I became vaguely aware of – but not interested in -- The Shadow sometime later.

It must’ve been around 2000 when I was hanging out with my friend Josh Beckman one night and he excitedly turned his radio on and dialed in to AM 1260 KNX to catch The Whistler. I’d never heard ofThe Whistler before but Josh was obviously a fan and whistled the Whistler’s theme as the program began. I listened and was entertained and surprised at how much more mature the story was – having previously assumed that all old time radio consisted of nothing but adolescent serials.

*****

The Whistler debuted on CBS on 16 May, 1942. For most its run it was sponsored by Signal Oil Company, an oil company founded in The Harbor’s Signal Hill community. Regular fans from any era feel their ears prick up when they hear the sound of clicking shoes, the haunting, whistled theme and the announcement, "That whistle is your signal for the Signal Oil program, The Whistler.”


In 1944, it was adapted into a Columbia Pictures film, The Whistler, directed by the great William Castle and launched a franchise that ultimately included The Mark of the Whistler (1944)*, The Power of the Whistler (1945), Voice of the Whistler (1945)*, Mysterious Intruder (1946)*, Secret of the Whistler (1946), The Thirteenth Hour (1947), and The Return of the Whistler (1948).


The signature whistle was provided by Dorothy Roberts, who was backed by the theme’s composer, Wilbur Hatch and his orchestra. The voice of the titular Whistler was provided variously by Bill Forman, Bill Johnstone, Everett Clark, Gale Gordon, Joseph Kearns, and Marvin Miller but regardless of the actor, the opening announcement was always the same, “I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes... I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak.”


Unlike most programs, the protagonists of The Whistler were criminals and most episodes began with their having committed a serious crime. Ultimately justice is served thanks to a twist in the final act or something that was overlooked in the beginning having been overlooked. The Whistler’s shadowy narrator was undoubtedly inspired by the Shadow but was no superhero -- rather an omniscient narrator who provided ironic commentary and programs it was more in line with mystery anthology programs like NBC’s Mystery House, the Blue Network’s Inner Sanctum Mysteries, and Mutual’s The Mysterious Traveler and The Strange Dr. Weird -- but in my opinion it’s superior to all of them. 


For the shows first two seasons it was overseen by writer/producer J. Donald Wilson. He was succeeded in 1944 by director/producer George Allen. The scripts were written by Joel Malone and Harold Swanton. Directors included Sterling Tracy and Sherman Marks (who went on to direct episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.GrindlTammy and other TV series). 

  
                       Bill Johnstone                                          Cathy Lewis                                    Elliot Lewis


    
            Gerald Mohr                         Hans Conried                     Jack Webb                        Lurene Tuttle

Strangely, whereas its fellow and-not-dissimilar CBS anthology Suspense frequently featured famous Hollywood guess stars, most of the actors who appeared on The Whistler were better known as the stalwarts of Hollywood’s so-called “Radio Row,” e.g. Bill Johnstone (The Shadow, The Line-Up, Cavalcade of America, Suspense, Lux Radio Theatre, This Is Your FBI, Dragnet), Cathy Lewis(The First Nighter Program, My Friend Irma, Suspense, Voyage of the Scarlet Queen), Elliot “Mr Radio” Lewis (The Amazing Nero Wolfe, Voyage of the Scarlet Queen, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, The Adventures of Maise, Broadway is My Beat, Suspense, Crime Classics), Gerald Mohr (The Adventures of Bill Lance, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe), Hans Conried (The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show, My Friend Irma, Suspense), Jack Webb (Dragnet, The Jack Webb Show, Pat Novak for Hire, Johnny Modero, Pier 23; Jeff Regan, Investigator; Murder and Mr. Malone, One Out of Seven), and Lurene Tuttle (The Adventures of Sam Spade, Suspense, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Great Gildersleeve, Brent House, Dr. Christian, One Man’s Family, The Red Skelton Show, Hollywood Hotel, Those We Love, Duffy’s Tavern).


Its final episode aired on 22 September, 1955 -- at a time when radio audiences were flocking to TV, where its influence can certainly be seen in anthology TV programs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone (and later series like The Hitchhiker, and Night Visions). More than 200 of the 692 episodes are currently considered lost. Most of the rest are available on online, on LP, on cassette, on CD and other formats. 

*directed by William Castle 

May 15, 2012: Tonight You're Mine

Posted by phil blankenship, May 15, 2012 10:34pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks: Beach House, Best Coast, My Bloody Valentine

Posted by Billy Gil, May 15, 2012 06:08pm | Post a Comment
Beach House BloomAnticipation has been high for the new albums from Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House and Cali-cool pop-rock duo Best Coast, and luckily neither disappoints. Beach House continues the upward trajectory set by their previous three album — the haunting, murky lo-fi of their self-titled debut, the more grandiose Devotion and its modern classic follow-up, Teen Dream —with an even fuller, more confident statement on Bloom. The album jumps from the springboard set by Teen Dream’s “Norway” into more definitively pop territory, albeit the sort of cerebral goth-pop pioneered by Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins. Like that song, “Lazuli” emits a sky-searing chorus of Victoria Legrand’s cloudy vocals that is simply glorious, the kind of thing directors dream about hearing in their film’s opening sequences, eliciting sudden and unspeakable emotion. The band combines this with verses that are more mysterious and harder to recall — it’s a perfect example of the band’s strength in fusing archness and pop structure, retaining their intrigue while delivering hooks. Every song on Bloom is a highlight, as the album moves from the cascading keys and chiming guitars of opener “Myth” to propulsive “The Hours” and “New Year,” perhaps their clearest stabs yet at radio-ready pop-rock, through closer “Irene,” which stretches its music-box arrangement to epic proportions, boosted by Alex Scally’s hauntingly spare yet melodically uplifting guitar lines. Every song on Bloom somehow sounds strange and new, yet somehow feels intimately familiar upon first listen. Listening is like unearthing someone else’s memories, each song like a glittering diamond that has just been waiting to be found.
 
Best Coast The Only PlaceMeanwhile, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino documents the process of entering adulthood and looking for lasting love the way few singer-songwriters can on The Only Place. Her sophomore full-length album is a more grown-up affair than the anxiety-pinned sunshine pop of Crazy For You, aided by springy, shimmering production from Jon Brion, but luckily Cosentino hasn’t changed too much. The longing Cosentino communicated in songs like Crazy For You’s “Boyfriend” is still present in songs like the swaying countrified ballad “No One Like You,” asking “if I sleep on the floor, will it make you love me more?” The simplicity of her lyrics belies their cleverness, as she pleads with her subject by offering to leave in order to make him stay. Throughout The Only Place, Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno reference ’50s and ’60s country starlets and girl groups, creating Phil Spector-style melodrama with crystalline guitars and lyrics yearning for individualism within codependence in songs like “How They Want Me To Be.” Throughout, Bruno and Brian keep things chugging along nicely in order to allow Cosentino’s personality to shine and not wallow too much in sentimentality, giving the haunting, Julee Cruise-style ballad “Dreaming My Life Away” some nice propulsive drum work, an improvement from an earlier, sparer recording, while “The Only Place” and “Let’s Go Home” burn with college-rock energy to spare. And Cosentino has never sounded better, her voice now brimming with confidence and pulling the heartstrings directly rather than from behind a shield of reverb and lo-fi sonics. It’s impossible not to be affected as she sings simple lines like “I wanna see you, for ever and ever” in the show-stopping “Up All Night.” She makes us feel the simplest sentiments as deeply as the first time we felt them, a hallmark of a truly great songwriter and performer. (The LP comes with a free bonus 7" while supplies last.)
 
My Bloody Valentine Loveless And I would be remiss not to mention the reissues of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Isn’t Anything and EPs 1988-1991, including songs released between those two albums, plus previously unreleased songs from that era. I’m not the biggest reissue person — often seems like a money grab with few good unheard songs and tweaks only an audiophile can hear, but this is My Bloody Valentine we’re talking about. The band’s two shoegaze classics sound better than ever, as only the most delicate nob twiddling has taken place at the hands of Kevin Shields. Anyone who doesn’t own these two albums, two of the best ever in my humble opinion, should get these import CDs right now. Even if you don’t buy CDs anymore. It’s time. Meanwhile the EP collection is a no-brainer for any fan of the band, as My Bloody Valentine’s throwaways tend to be better than most bands’ entire catalogs. Superfans may have the material Tremolo and You Made Me Realise EPs already, all excellent of course, but not songs like “Good For You” and “How Do You Do It,” terrific jangly pop songs gnarled by shuddering noise that sound nearly as good as anything on Isn’t Anything.

Azeem Takes Himself & His One Man Show "Rude" To New York City

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2012 10:07am | Post a Comment
Although considered an integral part of the Bay Area's hip-hop scene for the better part of the past two decades, emcee Azeem (aka Ismail Azeem) who the East Bay Express once crowned "Best of the Bay: Hip Hop Artist" and who built a rep for his string of solo releases, recently up and left the East Bay to relocate to the East Coast - Brooklyn, New York to be exact. And it is New York City where Azeem, who was actually born and raised in nearby New Jersey before migrating West to the Bay Area all those years ago, will likely stay for good, and for good reason too. Since his relocation there in February, things have been going extremely well for the acclaimed emcee/champion slam poet who has been busy recording and working with different producers, and who tonight will present his one man performance piece Rude at the Bowery Poetry Club.

"New York has been too good for me to return to the Bay permanently," Azeem said when I asked him if he would be returning to the Bay Area soon. "As the Rastas say: forward ever, back never. But Oakland will always be my home. And I do come home to party - often [laughs]," he added. For the past few weeks he has been focusing all his energies on tonight's performance of Rude which played at the Marsh Theater in the Bay Area some years back to rave reviews. The Bay Guardian for example praised the one hour, one man show for its,"combination of raw energy, deft delivery, beautifully honed characters, and inspired narrative flow was so transporting."

Continue reading...

May 14, 2012: Monsieur Lazhar

Posted by phil blankenship, May 14, 2012 11:18pm | Post a Comment

The 9th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival, June 2nd

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 14, 2012 06:46pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music is proud to once again be part of the Berkeley World Music Festival, which offers a FREE full day of live concerts in Berkeley, starting from 12pm at People's Park and ending at 9pm at the Village. Performances are featured in Telegraph Avenue cafes and shops, near UC campus, and at People’s Park. This year, the Festival celebrates nine years of showcasing the Bay Area’s rich world music scene with an amazing line-up!

At Amoeba Music Berkeley:
Fely Tchaco
Fely Tchaco - Live at Amoeba Berkeley 6/2 at 6pm

Join us at Amoeba Berkeley at 6pm for a special Berkeley World Music Festival performance from Fely Tchaco! The Ivory Coast-born singer, who now resides in San Francisco, delivers the best music of both cultures, a bridge between where she comes from and where she lives now. More details HERE!

At People's Park:
Six-time Grammy nominee Maria Muldaur and Bay Area’s premier Cuban bandleader, Fito Reinoso, headline at the People’s Park dance party. Druid Sister’s Tree Party opens the party with a riveting display of Celtic and Gypsy tribal grooves. A colorful crafts bazaar (Noon to 6pm) adds to the festivities in the park.

Continue reading...

Digging the scene at "This Ain't a Scene" with a gangsta lean

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 14, 2012 02:08pm | Post a Comment

This past Saturday, I went to the 1650 Gallery in Echo Park to check out the opening of This Ain’t a Scene: The Vibrant Music Community of East LA which was co-presented by Radio Free Silver Lake and compiled by Jackie Lam. Radio Free Silver Lake is a website focused on Indie music in Los Angeles.
*****
    
Pendersleigh maps

Note: The “East LA” of the subtitle could be construed as a bit misleading.. East Los (whose vibrant music community produced performers like Black Eyed Peas, Cannibal & the Headhunters, Hope Sandoval, J-vibe, Kid Frost, Lalo Guerrero, Los Lobos, Los IllegalsLouie Perez, Luis Villegas, Quetzal, Suzanna Guzman, Taboo, The Bags, The Blazers, Thee Midniters and Tierra and  supported live venues like Club 469Eastside Nightclub, El Club BaionKennedy Hall, The Lamp Lighter, The M ClubRudy's Past House and Vex) is not represented here. The bands and venues depicted in this show are, if I’m not mistaken, all from Echo Park, P-Town and Silver Lake -- three neighborhoods in the eastern portion of Central LA that belong to a region that no one has named with a widely-accepted term.) Enough quibbling about geography and nomenclature from me… let's start the show.
*****


The participating photographers include Angela Holtzen, Ben Hoste, Carl Pocket, Gabriela Gonzalez, George Tapia, Jeff Koga, Laurie Scavo, Levent Buyukgural, Michael Gomez Burton, Michele Evans, Miriam Brummel, Olivia Hemaratanatorn, Rollence Patugan, Sterling Andrews, Timothy Norris, and Zoe-Ruth Erwin. Click here for mini bios on Radio Free Silver Lake.


Live acoustic music was provided by Andrew Spitser from Radars to the Sky, Kelli Noftle from Miniature Soap, Rob Danson from Death to Anders, Ryan Fuller of Fort King, and The Smugg Brothers

Of the bands depicted, I only recognized The Warlocks and Dios as acts that I can say I’ve knowingly heard before -- some of the names sounded familiar too. For someone who’s worked at and for record shops for over ten years, my ignorance of indie rock is vast... and judging by the prevalence of beards and plaid shirts in the photos, I’m guessing that’s what kind of music most of the subjects make. (Also, I recognized The Echo and Echoplex, Pehspace, Satellite, Silverlake Lounge and Spaceland).

Kelli Noftle performed Prince's "When You Were Mine"


Some would find my lack of knowledge a hindrance, I liked to think that allowed me to evaluate the photos as art and not get bogged down by the subjects. The exhibit includes band portraits as well as snapshots of rehearsals, behind-the-scenes photos, and photos of live performances. Although I didn’t recognize the subjects, I liked George Tapia’s use of color, Levent Buyukgural’s command of atmosphere and the sense of immediacy in Jeff Koga’s pictures. However, I was most taken with the photographs of Zoe-Ruth Erwin. You can see them on the galleries website here – or better yet, go to the gallery and check them out for yourself! And check out future art openings in this charming gallery space too. Next up is Wanderlust: Travels Near and Far... I'm planning on being there.


The Smugg Brothers doing their version of "Sin City"

*****

Long Gone But Not Forgotten KFJC DJ Spiderman's Monday Beatdown Honored Today by Japanic on KFJC's Month of Mayhem

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2012 08:25am | Post a Comment

As noted recently here on the Amoeblog totally unique, non-commercial, Bay Area radio station KFJC is currently in the midst of their annual Month of Mayhem - when each May they pull out all the stops and break out more special programming and related events than any other time of the year on the never boring Foothill College radio station in Los Altos Hills. And today's (Monday May 14th) planned programming from 10am to 2pm is no exception. It is when longtime KFJC DJ Japanic will present The Monday Beatdown in honor of the late great (and much loved) producer of the bygone KFJC show, The Spiderman who was truly a champion of underground local music and a hip-hop fanatic (as well as all good music) but who tragically was killed in a car accident December 22nd, 2000.

Of the still greatly missed KFJC DJ and music director, who was born Ken Hamilton, today's host Japanic described his KFJC show, that ran from 1995 to 2000, and its influence as thus, "During its time, The Monday Beatdown (and Spiderman) garnered much respect and a dedicated following - both in the Hip-Hop community & the independent music community in general. The Monday Beatdown was definitely a unique listening experience. For those that tuned in, they definitely got their fix of hardcore underground Hip-Hop, but it wasn't uncommon to hear the likes of Voivod dropped in a set with Non Phixion, Third Sight & El Stew or Godstomper in the mix with Pharaohs of Funk [D-Styles & DJ Flare], Organized Konfusion & The Derelicts."

Continue reading...

William Friedkin on The Exorcist

Posted by Charles Reece, May 13, 2012 11:41pm | Post a Comment

I go to so many Q&As that I decided to start recording them with my trusty iPhone. The first in the series is
William Friedkin discussing his classic horror film after an Arclight screening on May 1, 2012.

City Scenes: Vetiver and Chuck Prophet's San Fran Flick Picks! 5/31 & 6/1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 13, 2012 06:40pm | Post a Comment
Vetiver foul play   Chuck Prophet the conversation

On May 31st and June 1st, Cinema SF and folkYEAH present the first two installments of their new series, City Scenes, that invites local musicians to curate a night of music accompanied by a screening of their favorite San Francisco movie.  

On Thursday, May 31st,  local indie-folk darlings Vetiver present beloved comedy-caper Foul Play (1978), starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. Next, on Friday, June 1st troubadour Chuck Prophet, whose recent SF-inspired album Temple Beautiful has been storming the nation, brings us Francis Ford Coppola’s paranoia masterpiece The Conversation. Both screenings will be preceded by a 40 minute acoustic performance by the evenings curators. These unique events offer audiences a rare and wonderful chance to hear some of the Bay's most exciting new music while celebrating the history of San Francisco’s city scenes on the silver screen. 
 
CITY SCENES INSTALLMENT 1:
THURSDAY, MAY 31ST
An evening curated by Vetiver with a screening of Foul Play.
Live performance at 8PM.
Film screening at 9PM
 
CITY SCENES INSTALLMENT 2:
FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST
An evening curated by Chuck Prophet with a screening of The Conversation.
Live performance at 8PM
Film screening at 9PM
 
Get advance tickets at www.cinemasf.com/vogue or at the Vogue Theatre box office!

Photography Journal Moholy Ground Magazine Holds Free Reception at Photobooth SF, 5/19

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 13, 2012 05:49pm | Post a Comment
Moholy Ground Magazine

Photography journal Moholy Ground Magazine celebrates their 4th issue with a FREE reception on May 19th from 6pm – 11pm at San Francisco’s most happening photo studio and supply shop, Photobooth, located in the heart of the Mission!

Issues of Moholy Ground Magazine will be available for purchase while you sip wine and peruse the work of the magazine’s featured photographers. Musical guests for the night include Matt Pankuch and Meridians, as well as DJs Boom Bostic and Gabuchan
 
Issue 4 features the photography of Nicholas Albrecht along with Todd SanchioniJaime BeechumRyan Chard Smith, Mike Narciso, Jeff McElroy, and Scott Finsthwait

RSVP on Facebook HERE!

May 13, 2012: Zombie Dawn

Posted by phil blankenship, May 13, 2012 05:44pm | Post a Comment

OFF!'s Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Show Yesterday Was OFF! The Hook

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2012 09:41am | Post a Comment
Just as OFF!'s Amoeba Hollywood in-store was back in October 2010, yesterday afternoon's (May 12th) energized set by the SoCal punk rock super-group at Amoeba Music Berkeley was equally off the hook (pun intended) with a sound mix that was perfect, a set list that included lots off the recommended new album (OFF! avail on LP and CD), and between song banter by Keith Morris that was at once entertaining and enlightening.


Check out the official Amoeba Music photos HERE.

As lead singer and former member of the influential and iconic West Coast punk outfits Black Flag and Circle Jerks, Keith Morris has done in the past, again at Amoeba Music yesterday he reiterated how he and his bandmates [Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt)] like to distance themselves from the term "punk" but rather consider themselves simply "human." He made that statement right before OFF! jumped into another five song set of high-energy, fast delivered, short n satisfying punk rock sounding songs. He even made a joke about how their songs are so short, typically one minute in length (like on their new 16 minute, 16 track album), that five songs take five minutes to play.

Yesterday's in-store show was more packed than I have ever seen one at Amoeba Berkeley (easily at, or close to, the 300 maximum capacity mark) and was made up of a wonderful cross-section of people of all ages from new younger teenaged/20 something fans to folks who were followers of Black Flag and the other bands OFF! were in from when they first started out - many of them bringing their kids along with them. Knowing how loud an OFF! show can get parents of some of the kids came prepared by placing muffler headphones (like the guys guiding planes at the airport wear) over the little ones' ears. This became fodder for Keith Morris in one of his many entertaining between song mic breaks when, before he would curse out loud some oppressive power, he advised parents to cover their kids' ears so as not to hear the "FUCK" word. "Oh I see they already have their ears covered," he quipped, pointing to the headphones kids in photo above. Morris, who in his October 2010 Amoeba interview noted that the band's name means "Get the fuck OFF! my back," spoke out against many issues including how the US government needs to stop policing the world and stay the hell out of other countries' political problems and wars (to applause). He had no good words to say about Republicans, but the current administration didn't fare much better either. He admonished Barack Obama, even if he is "a good guy" he said, noting how rather than working on saving the country the prez was busy down "in Studio City hanging out" with Hollywood celebrities for fundraising purposes solely.

Continue reading...

OFF! Play Free Show At Amoeba Berkeley At 4pm Today, Saturday May 12th

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2012 11:01am | Post a Comment

OFF! playing Amoeba Hollywood In-Store in October 2010

The West Coast hardcore punk super-group OFF! play Amoeba Berkeley today at 4pm but if you are a fan of this amazing band you know this fact already, probably attended their anticipated Slim's show last night, and more likely have already snagged your Amoeba wristband for today's free in-store show and signing line that follows which you got from buying the band's just released self-titled official debut album - simply entitled OFF!, on Vice Records at Amoeba (only 300 wristbands available).

Comprised of Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt) OFF! epitomize the term "super group" but unlike so many so-called super-groups who fall short of their collective parts - OFF! somehow manage to push the music to new heights. Simply put; OFF! are off the fuckin' hook! Truly an amazing band!

Around the time OFF! played Amoeba Hollywood (see concert video above + interview below of their October 2010 in-store at the SoCal Amoeba) Vice Recordings released the 4-record set OFF! The First 4 EPs (with artwork, like the just released LP, by Raymond Pettibon). I wrote about OFF! and their 4EPs for the Amoeblog at that time. And, since I am in the East Bay right now, you can bet your ass I will be over at Ameoba Berkeley today at 4pm for their in-store & signing. Note that the capacity of the Berkeley Amoeba is 300 people - hence why 300 wristbands were issued - and that, as of time of publishing this Amoeblog (11am on Saturday morning) there were still wristbands (which guarantee entrance) available.

Continue reading...

Your Tuesday night planned... Echo Park or Little Saigon -- what's it going to be?!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 11, 2012 07:43pm | Post a Comment
So I'm slated to DJ at the Short Stop in Echo Park on 15 May, 2012 (this coming Tuesday unless you're pulling this from the archives). I'll be splitting the music slanging chores with Joe Skyward (Sky Cries Mary, The Posies, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jean Jacket Shotgun), Jimmy James and Greene Candy Machine




Of my comrades I only know Joe but I don't even know what kind of music he's planning on DJing. As for me, he only told me "No techno!" so I'll ignore anything '80s Detroit just to be safe. I do plan on focusing on the '80s, however -- chiefly Baggy, Bass, Bounce, Electro, Eurodisco, Freestyle, Garage, Italo, Spacesynth, SynthpopVietnamese New Wave -- that sort of thing. 

*****




If you don't go because your typical Tuesdays are too packed with choice you should probably go see
SISU in Santa Ana at the Constellation. They're quite possibly the best band in LA currently -- especially if you like Blonde Redhead, Broadcast, Midnight MoviesRuth Hohmann & Erbe-Chor or perhaps early Pink Floyd

So you're spoiled for choice, really. LA or OC, which is it going to be?


out this week 5/1 & 5/8...My Bloody Valentine...Isn't Anything...Loveless...EP reissues...Aphex Twin....

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 11, 2012 06:25pm | Post a Comment
My favorite time period for music will always be the late 80s and early 90s. This was the era in which my high school and college years took place. I know I am not alone in loving this period of music. And I know that most people are sentimental about their high school and college years. These are the years when you really start making up your own mind about what you like. When you start buying your own music and making up your own mind about what albums to listen to and what shows to go see. I was of course very influenced by my friends during this period. But I also made my own informed decisions about what music that I wanted to listen to. I wasn't going to get obsessed with just what was on the radio and MTV. That is what I did throughout most of the 80s. I was searching for stuff that was different. Stuff that made me feel different. Or stuff that somehow made me feel normal. I got really into both shoegaze and dance music in the 90s. And two of the bands that I got most obsessed with both have reissues out in the last couple of weeks. Both My Bloody Valentine and Aphex Twin became a big part of my 90s and have had a huge influence on my life then and now. They are two of those bands that I can't really imagine my life without.

aphex twinSelected Ambient Works Vol. II by Aphex Twin has finally gotten officially reissued on LP this week. Moby Ambient was probably the first album that got me obsessed with ambient music. It came out in 1993. Selected Ambient Works Vol. II came out in 1994. Two years after Selected Ambient Works 85-92. I got into both these albums eventually. But it was really Vol. II that got me obsessed with Aphex Twin. I am not really sure that I could have handled these albums in high school. But I was full on ready for them in my early 20s. I really couldn't even believe that music like this existed. I remember being so excited at the time to hear these albums for the first time. They really did change my life. They sort of became my thinking music. I spent aphex twincountless hours listening to them on my headphones or listening to them before I went to sleep. Every time I listen to these early Aphex Twin recordings they take me right back to that point in my life. I can't even really describe the feeling. But I cherish these albums. I seriously have some crazy obsession with them. They helped me through some tough emotional times. So I sort of feel grateful to them. Like I owe them something in return.  The label 1972 has just reissued Vol. II  as a gatefold triple LP. And I hope that Selected Ambient Works 85-92 will soon get an official reissue as well. It looks fantastic and sounds just as amazing as it did the first time I listened to it. I only ever had this album on CD. So it was exciting to hear it on vinyl for the first time. This album is tragic and heartbreaking and beautiful and dreamy all at the same time. I can't get enough of it. Aphex Twin went into some different directions throughout the rest of the 90s. Some of it I liked and some of it I did not like. But these albums will always be close to my heart and near the top of my list of my favorite albums of all time.

my bloody valentineI wish I could remember the first time that I listened to My Bloody Valentine. But I just can't figure it out. I became a huge fan and quickly bought every CD of theirs that I could find. But I am really not sure when it happened! But I do know it didn't happen until the early 90s. Isn't Anything was released in 1988. And Loveless came out in 1991. And the EPs came out in between their only two albums. They will always be a 90s band to me. Even though most of their stuff was recorded in the late 80s. Loveless was for sure the first time I heard My Bloody Valentine. I was hooked right away. I know I got into This Mortal Coil by just picking up one of their albums at a record store. I was intrigued by the cover. It might have happened the same way with My Bloody Valentine. I was seriously just blown away by this band. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I always think of Isn't Anything as their second album since I heard it for the first time after I had already been obsessed with Loveless. I didn't get the chance to see them in the early 90s and I never thought I would. I was so happy to get the chance to see them a couple of years ago for their reunion tour. And with a new album on the way another tour is probably also on the way.

my bloody valentineThe two albums have both been finally remastered and reissued. The band does not have the best relationship with their American Label. So these reissues will most likely remain imports forever. But they are great to look at and sound better than you remember. They are well worth it. They are only reissued on CD at the moment. But the LP reissues are probably coming later in the year. But maye not. Loveless has been reissued as a 2CD. It includes a remaster from the original tape and a remaster from the original 1/2" analog tapes. The four EPs have also been remastered and finally put together on one CD. EP's 1988-1991 includes the EP's You Made Me Realise, Feed Me my bloody valentineWith Your Kiss, Glider and Tremolo. The new EP collection also includes some instrumental tracks and "Sugar", "Angel", and "Good for You." I really do love this band and it makes so happy to finally have these remastered versions in my collection. I seriously can't really tell the difference between the two versions of Loveless. One of them is slightly louder. Maybe I need to spend some more time with them. I have already spent so many hours of my life with these albums. But they never get old. They are just as good and relevant today. They have influenced a ton of bands over the years. And have had a huge impact on my life as well.


I have so many favorite My Bloody Valentine songs. But this is one of my favorites..."Drive It All Over Me" from the You Made Me Realise EP now included in the collection EP's 1988-1991...



And here is one of my favorite tracks from the Aphex Twin album Selected Ambient Works Vol. II. This is the first track on the album know as track #1 or Cliffs...


out 5/1...






Europe
by Allo Darlin'











Drokk
by Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury











Aufheben
by Brian Jonestown Massacre











Fear Fun
by Father John Misty











Ghost In The Daylight
by Gravenhurst











Light Asylum
by Light Asylum











Born Villain
by Marilyn Manson











EP's 1988-1991
by My Bloody Valentine











Isn't Anything [Remastered]
by My Bloody Valentine











Loveless [Remastered 2CD]
by My Bloody Valentine











Master of My Make Believe
by Santigold











Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything
by The School











Out Of The Game
by Rufus Wainwright











Time's All Gone
by Nick Waterhouse







out 5/8...






Dr Dee
by Damon Albarn











Selected Ambient Works Vol. II
LP by Aphex Twin











Hoyas
by S. Carey











A Different Ship
by Here We Go Magic











Hello
by Karmin











World You Need A Change Of Mind
by Kindness











Diver
by Led Er Est











OFF!
by OFF!











Neck Of The Woods
by Silversun Pickups











Dopesmoker
by Sleep












Stranger Mercy
by St. Vincent



Bay Area Homo-Hop Artist/Activist Juba Kalamka on Obama's Historic Endorsement of Gay Marriage

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2012 09:03pm | Post a Comment
                   
Since President Barack Obama made his historic endorsement of gay marriage yesterday, everyone has been weighing in on the hot topic from all angles. In an article posted a couple of hours ago under the heading "President Obama's influence on gay marriage will be tested," the LA Times wrote how "Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state are expected to vote in November on allowing same-sex marriage. Proponents hope he'll help change minds; opponents say he won't."  A little earlier today I ran into one of Obama's proponents, Juba Kalamka - the talented East Bay based homo-hop /queer rap artist who is a longtime friend of Amoeba Music.

A decade ago Juba and his pioneering, now-defunct homo-hop crew Deep Dickollective appeared on the Independent Sounds Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. III, and three years ago Juba was one of the artists to perform at the Amoeba Music San Francisco in-store Pride '09 Celebration, which was also a DVD release party for the seminal "homohop" documentary Pick Up The Mic. I interviewed the artist/activist for the Amoeblog at that time.

Continue reading...

SOUL SLAM SF 7: Michael Jackson & Prince at the Mezzanine, 6/9

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 10, 2012 06:12pm | Post a Comment
Soul Slam SF 

A Bay Area summer dance tradition returns! SOUL SLAM SF 7: Michael Jackson & Prince rocks the Mezzanine in San Francisco on Saturday, June, 9th with DJ SPINNA spinning the best of both Michael Jackson (and his Royal Clan: Jackson 5, Janet Jackson, Jermaine, Rebbie, MJ covers, and more) and Prince (and all his Disciples: Sheila E, The Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alexander O'Neal, Vanity 6, Apolonia, Morris Day, and more).

While it's not a "battle," DJ Spinna plays MJ and Prince back to back to see who reigns supreme on the dance floor. Whether you're a Michael Jackson fanatic or a Prince afficionado, your feet will be begging for mercy on the dancefloor during SOUL SLAM!


Continue reading...

New JD Samson + MEN Video, Plus LA Show Tonight at the Echoplex

Posted by Amoebite, May 10, 2012 02:19pm | Post a Comment
JD Samson + MenJD Samson + MEN are performing tonight at the Echoplex in Los Angeles and Friday at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. The band, formerly called MEN but recently renamed for clarity (try searching just MEN and see what you come up with!), is a Brooklyn-based art/performance collective led by JD Samson (of Le Tigre) and Michael O'Neill, with Le Tigre bandmate Johanna Fateman and artist Emily Roysdon contributing as writers, consultants, and producers. When MEN performed at Amoeba Hollywood last year, they were joined by Tami Hart on bass and guitar. For this West Coast tour, they are performing as a four-piece for the first time.

Watch their full performance from Amoeba Hollywood:


Samson, who is a leader in the LGBT community, wanted to create dance music that also spoke to her Men Talk About Bodypolitics, beliefs, and passions. Formed in 2007, MEN released their debut full-length album, Talk About Body, on IAMSOUND Records in February 2011. This February, the band released Next, the first in a series of four EPs to be released this year that further mix dance floor beats with politics and life issues. They also recently performed at Occupy Wall Street on May Day.  

Continue reading...

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 5/11 - Timothy Fairplay, Claro Intelecto, Vedomir, Dream 2 Science, Actress, Shackleton, Traxx & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 10, 2012 12:32pm | Post a Comment

Timothy J. Fairplay
The Final Reel 12”
Bird Scarer

ANDREW WEATHERALL's new vinyl only imprint, BIRD SCARER, launches with this epic 11+ minute piece of electronic music - think JOHN CARPENTER or DORIS NORTON. On the flipside, WEATHERALL himself takes on the composition and remixes it into a consolidated 7 minutes journey.

The Final Reel 12" here:






Claro Intelecto

Reform Club 2LP
Delsin

After something of a hiatus, Manchester's Claro Intelecto is back to release his third full-length album, Reform Club. Throughout his career, the man known as Mark Stewart has always created lush deep house and techno soundscapes awash with dubby undercurrents. They have previously come on Boomkat's boutique label Modern Love, while his Second Blood EP marked a Delsin debut. It was his first real outing in some time, bar the odd remix for the likes of Depeche Mode, The Black Dog and Delphic, and was well-received by fans of Stewart's past work, including the likes of his stripped-back Warehouse Sessions 12" series. This new album deals in all the usual moods and textures you'd expect from Claro Intelecto -- it's warm and cuddly, comforting and inviting right from the first track, despite the rough edges and well-defined analog details which pervade throughout. Building slowly but surely, it progresses through kick-driven deep house, bounces along on top of stretched-out synth lines and forever keeps the mind occupied, shape-shifting before your very ears like something with a life all its own. There are blissed-out and sun-kissed moments that look to the future right at the heart of the album, but the thing slowly rebuilds to more kinetic but just as soft-edged techno peaks flashed with acid, icy hi-hats and ambient static in the ensuing tracks. Though the whole album is dreamy and sounds deeply submersed in some foggy subterranean world, it stays dynamic and lucid with plenty of serene melodies and celestial emotions offsetting the gently churning beat-tumbles below. Like all the full-length works of Stewart, Reform Club makes most sense when listened to from start to finish: getting lost in its midst is surely to be one of 2012's greatest listening pleasures.

Purchase Reform club here:


Vedomir
Vedomir 2LP
Dekmantel

Dekmantel proudly presents the return of Vedomir to their imprint with nothing less than a full-length album this time. The Ukraine-based producer shows he's getting more mature with every release, delivering a comprehensive artist album that crosses over genres easily. Ranging from downtempo, almost jazz-like slowburners to haunting Chicago house with a true analog feel, and from dark electro stuff to beautiful ambient soundscapes: this record is a piece of stunning musical versatility.

Purchase Vedomir here:



Dream 2 Science
Dream 2 Science LP
Rush Hour

Official re-release of this "lost" 6-track mini album by New Yorker Ben Cenac (of Newcleus fame). Recorded and released in 1990, this is an absolute gem of a record -- very much in the vein of Larry Heard's best recordings. Electronic soul classic! Now available again for the first time in 22 years, remastered plus full artwork. A truly dreamy, beautiful classic deep-house mini-album from the golden post-Larry Heard era. New Yorker Ben Cenac, who was also member of electro pioneers Newcleus (and part of Sha-lor, who had a cool, jazzy garage-house hit in the late '80s), shows a great sensibility and delicacy here in following Mr. Heard's path. His approach is perhaps slightly more sci-fi in the synths and pad sounds, and perhaps a tad less crafted and mercurial in production than the master (i.e. less timeless), but this adds in realness and charm. So, past the classic deep-garage dream "My Love Turns To Liquid" (in the vein of these sultry garage productions from Peter and Vanessa Daou), the rest of the record shows constant quality, with song titles that could have been (or actually have been) used by Mr. Heard himself. There is a content oscillating between warming deep house, sweet acid, lush garage and relaxed space-jazz piano parts, the whole thing also evoking the Beloved's better "rave" moments ("The Sun Rising" etc.)

Purchase Dream 2 Science here:




Actress & Convextion

Lost In The Streets of NY 12”
Rush Hour

The now out-of-print Actress remix finds its way onto vinyl again and an unreleased Convextion re-slap of Terrence Dixon is dug out from the vault -- mad drama style.

Purchase Lost In The here:










Shackleton

Woe To The Septic Heart

1 of 3 EP's from "THE DRAWBAR ORGAN" series, full of darkly contemplative sonic journeys into all manner of music, but with a generally very menacing downtempo vibe throughout. Beautifully intricate artwork unique to each sleeve.

Purchase Drawbar Organ #1 here:






Mutant Beat Dance
Let Me Go 12”
Hour House Is Your Rush

Traxx and Beau Wanzer team up for another Mutant Beat Dance release. Together they have produced arguably "the best '80s Chicago house record not made in the 80s." The Mutants call it "jakbeat," inspired by the early days of house music. "Let Me Go" is as intense and rhythmically-inclined as they come. Naughty Wood's sparse vocals cry desperation, almost nearing insanity, which makes up for a pressure cooker-like warehouse anthem. "Rottonfunk" is another intense workout which has a killer groove

Purchase Let Me Go here:







Nacho Patrol
Lineas 12"
Kindred Spirits

New Nacho Patrol aka Legowelt. Shangaan Electro's BBC on the remix, burning it at 180 bpm!

Purchase Lineas here:






Skudge
Remixes 5 Cosmin TRG / Boddika 12"
Skudge

Skudge Special forces move on Skudge. Boddika and Cosmin TRG are called up for remix duties. In the hands of Cosmin TRG, "Ursa Major" goes from being a swirling synth experiment into a very heavy and focused piece. Cosmin TRG's remix is similar to a tunnel, where everything never seems to end. Boddika seems to have fallen into a very special mind-set while creating his remix for "Below," where his own attitude and elements mix perfectly into Skudge's stripped and laidback style.

Purchase Skudge remixes #5 here:






Endian

Birdhouse 12"
Nonplus

1/2 of the D&B outfit COMMIX, ENDIAN delivers some chugging 4x4 business, with the pulsing techno of the title cut paired up with the chugging slo mo tech-house of "DBPLT01".

 

Continue reading...

Vote Now & Nominate Your Fave New Bay Area Hip-Hop Artist for the Bay Area Freshmen 10 Class of 2012

Posted by Billyjam, May 9, 2012 05:18pm | Post a Comment


Hey Bay Area hip-hop fans: there's still time left to nominate your favorite new Bay Area hip-hop artist in the prestigious Bay Area Freshmen 10 Class of 2112  that will determine who will follow in the footsteps of such previous winners as  Kreayshawn, Roach Gigz, Moe Green, and DaVinci. The cut off date for nominations is May 21st and just before then, on May 17th, there will be an invite only Bay Area Freshmen 10 "tastemaker mixer" event at which local journalists, DJs, producers, and tastemakers, including myself representing the Amoeblog, will gather at SOM Bar in San Francisco and further review many of the nominees and prepare to post our collective votes based on the sum of nominations from Bay Area hip-hop fans who've been submitting their picks for best new artists from the Bay either online @ Thizzler's website or else via Twitter or Facebook.

Not surprisingly, like all music industry awards, the Bay Area Freshmen 10, the annual hip-hop by the Bay event that presents awards to the the most noteworthy & promising ten up-and-coming rap/hip-hop artists, is both embraced and dismissed. Those who don't make the cut dismiss it saying it doesn't really make any difference to sales or their careers while those who are lucky to make the grade lavish praise upon the institution and make a point of including their win in every press release they send out. But whatever side of the fence you are on, and provided you are somehow interested in Bay Area rap/hip-hop music, you should weigh in and nominate your favorite new Bay Area hip-hop talent.

Continue reading...

May 9, 2012: Mother's Day

Posted by phil blankenship, May 9, 2012 04:01pm | Post a Comment

May 8, 2012: The Raven

Posted by phil blankenship, May 8, 2012 09:07pm | Post a Comment

New 12" / LPs @ Amoeba Hollywood 5/8 - Shackleton, Madteo, Actress, Soft Rocks, Untold, Kowton and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 8, 2012 07:14pm | Post a Comment


Shackleton
Music Drawbar Organ CD
Woe To The Septic Heart

The spaciously dark and minimalistic 5 parts from his "MUSIC FOR THE QUIET HOUR" project, as well as cuts from his 3 EP's comprising "THE DRAWBAR ORGAN"

Purchase Music Drawbar Organ CD here:








Madteo
Recast 12”
Meakusma

Brooklyn's Madteo has been seeing his profile grow considerably after some serious releases on Meakusma, Workshop, and most recently Joy O's Hinge Finger label. Here the leftfield dance producer gets remixed by Kassem Mosse, Marcellus Pittman and Shake!

Purchase Recast here:








Actress

R.I.P. LP
Honest Jons

Between sleep and the void lies the electronic interzone of Actress. Following the noted 2010 album Splazsh (HJR 049CD/LP) (voted #1 in The Wire magazine's "Top 50 Releases Of The Year") South London producer Darren Cunningham returns with a suite of electronic laments, tone structures and dream-time rhythms which all carry his unmistakable fingerprint. R.I.P. comprises 15 tracks painstakingly crafted by Cunningham in his London studio over recent years, with a conceptual arc taking in death, life, sleep and religion. Right from the debut album Hazyville, Actress' music has carried deep tinges and pockmarks of London's rave music heritage. But after the angular dynamics of Splazsh, R.I.P. heads out into deep space. The rhythms and pulses are smudged or blurred, or are hinted at by their absence. Two-step garage is collided into gamelan, and freeform interludes explore microtonal spaces and imagined string instruments. The fifteen chapters of R.I.P. begin with ascension and the Book of Genesis, played out through gardens, serpents and mythological caves. Appropriately for exploring the myths of creation, the sounds Actress creates are completely sui generis. There are no soft synths or plug-ins, and instead he uses meticulous manual sound-tinkering to create tones, tunings and textures. The ghosted rhythms and free tunings of these tracks live in a parallel universe to the conventional rigors of the dancefloor. Unlike the sterile sound-spaces rendered in so much laptop sound-product, these tracks carry traces of the endless mouse strokes that made them. The album begins with the title track, a short tonal requiem for the dead, before drifting into another beatless meditation, the rippling minimalist structure of "Ascending." "Holy Water" and "Marble Plexus" introduce rhythm, although these percussive tics could be equally sourced from sub-bass speaker stacks or marbles rolling around a bowl. "Jardin" and "Serpent" are origami-like constructions which orbit around what could be pizzicato strings or harps. Last-but-one is "IWAAD," whose pulsing 4/4 rhythms and warm hits of low-end vibration hint at a return to the real. R.I.P. underlines Actress's reputation as one of the most eloquent voices to emerge from the sub-bass nexus of London dance music.

Continue reading...

A very short Silver Lake Art Walk... on Malcolm X Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 8, 2012 01:35pm | Post a Comment
Pencil this in gang – this Malcolm X Day (19 May, 2012) there’s going to be a closing reception at the gentlemen’s shop, Brightwell, for artist Douglas Walker’s Aesthetic series. Douglas Walker was a member of Little Egypt’s (Southern Illinois) screamo/hardcore band, The Livingston Project, and Secretary.




Douglas’s series includes a selection of collages and sculptures which, to me, recall the assemblages of John Chamberlain, Joseph Cornell and especially Robert Rauschenberg. At least one viewer suggested David Lovejoy. I can see that. Come see for yourself between now and then and see for yourself. 
Music will be provided by Amoeba’s own DJ Modernbrit (who is also well known as a frequent traveling companion on my LA and OC neighborhood blog series) as well as Diana (from the band, Sweater Girls) and Larry – both also from Club Underground, “the premiere Britpop, Indie, Eletro Pop, Twee, Post-Punk, Soul, Sixties and New Wave party in Los Angeles.”
Meanwhile, next door at Monkeyhouse Toys, there’s an art opening – Just Desserts. (It’s a bit of a very short Silver Lake art walk -- 33 feet -- you can do it!). The theme is dessert and exhibiting artists include Ashley J. Long, Beth Sleven, Brianne Drouhard, Carlos San Diego, Cache, Cheri Ong, Claire Lenth, Crowded Teeth, Curioddities, Denise "Dee" Chavez, Douglas Alvarez, Elizabeth Ito, Erin Longstocking, Frankie Peak, Fubear, Heather Sybil Chavez, Heather Hayes, J. Fuchs, Jason Leung, Jeff Victor, Jenny Harada, Jessica Ebner, Jessica Miranda, Jonathan Keiser, Josie Trinidad, Julie B., Kevin Dalton, KitCameo, Kalypsokrystal, Lenore Smith, Lori Lane, Mari Inukai, Mary J. Hoffman, Megan Kelly, Michal Wright-Ward, Nicole Brown, Nicolette Davenport, Oscar Rosales, Paula Tade, Queenie, Ryan Hungerford, Selina Phanara, Sara Lanzillotta-Devout, Shellie K., Skull City Crafts, Stephanie Unson, Steve Guerra, Story Sabatino, suzi boneshaker, Tabitha Hayes, Tara Nicole Whitaker, Tasha Kline, Tea Thyme, Terri Berman, Thomas Perkins and Vera Para.
Pastry chef Megan Paonessa and Crème Caramel LA will be serving up sweets. Sweets, art, wine and song in Silver Lake. 


*****

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!  

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino Talks 'The Only Place,' Dad Rock

Posted by Billy Gil, May 8, 2012 10:26am | Post a Comment
Best Coast's The Only Place comes out next week (pre-order from Amoeba here). Without spoiling it too much, I can say Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno and producer Jon Brion have produced the album you hope for, with Cosentino's voice maturing markedly over gorgeous cleaned up sonics, while the lyrics retain the directness and charm that made Crazy For You so appealing. I spoke to Cosentino a bit about what went into making the album, and asked her to produce a list from her beloved "Dad Rock" genre, which she graciously did. (See Best Coast with Abe Vigoda at the Wiltern May 18!)

PST: How has the way the vocals are presented on record changed? Does the way that has changed have to do with confidence, or was it always an aesthetic choice?
 
Cosentino: The vocals are just more present and up front — which has a lot to do with confidence and me just learning how to use my voice in other ways. Singing on stage every night for the last three years has given me the confidence to sing differently, and I wanted that growth to be showcased n this album. I’m a singer — that’s what I’ve always been, and I want people to hear that.
 
PST: “The Only Place” (download free from Amoeba) to me sounds like what I want to hear when I cross the state line into California. It has a similar vibe to a number of California songs but I think feels more L.A. specific because of its punkier feel, kind of like a fantasy of California mixed with the real thing. What was the goal with that song?
 
Cosentino: I wanted to write an homage to this place that makes me so happy and relaxed and I wanted to make other people feel the love I have for California. In a way too, I wanted To write a song that would make people be like “whoa wait — California seems awesome.” I’m trying to get the state tourism board to accept it as the new CA anthem!
 
PST: “Dreaming My Life Away” sounded really cool and different in its earlier version, sort of more overtly melancholy and somber than some other Best Coast songs. How does the new recording change things?
 
Cosentino: It has a pretty creepy feel to it, almost like David Lynch or something. The original recording had the same sort of feel, I just think the new recording includes a few new elements and sounds better than the first because it’s sonically better and my singing is stronger.
 
PST: What influences did you tap into on this record that you think are new influences or you didn’t tap into as much before?
 
Cosentino: I listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac while making this record, and though they were a band that I loved while recording Crazy For You, I don’t think the influence was very obvious. It might be a bit more on this record. I also just got really inspired by female vocalists, and I used those influences to sing to he best of my abilities.
 
PST: You stayed as a three-person live band sans bass for a long time but recently switched to a four-piece and worked with orchestral pop maestro Jon Brion. Was that important to keep Best Coast as its original form for as long as you could? How do you think you’ll continue to expand upon what Best Coast means, either live or on record?
 
Cosentino: We stayed as a three piece because we didn’t have time to add another live member — we literally toured for two years straight, and we knew we wanted a bass player, we just were like — when the fuck are we going to find the time to do this? When we went in to record the new record, we wanted to change it up, and we had the time to put together a new line up and we wanted to have a stronger live show, so we worked on that a lot. The band all always be Bobb and myself — we will never add another permanent members. That’s something we agreed upon from the start.
 
PST: Speaking of Jon Brion, he certainly makes the list of producers (like Steve Albini, Alan Moulder, Dave Fridman etc.) who really make their presence felt on a record. How did you balance what he brought to the record with your own style?
 
Cosentino: Jon didn’t want his fingerprint on this record — he didn’t want it to sound like a Jon Brion record — he just wanted to make a Best Coast record with a more sonically enhanced sound, and I think that’s exactly what he did.
 
PST: Would you consider making us either a list of songs or top 10 albums of your favorite Dad Rock?
 
"Dust in the Wind" - Kansas (from the album Point of Know Return)











eagles one of these nights"Lyin' Eyes" - The Eagles (from the album One of These Nights)











steely dan gaucho"Hey Nineteen" - Steely Dan (from the album Gaucho)











fleetwood mac rumours"Go Your Own Way" - Fleetwood Mac (from the album Rumours)











saturday night fever"How Deep is Your Love" - The Bee Gees (from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack)










"Sister Golden Hair" - America (from the album Hearts)











bob welch french kiss"Sentimental Lady" - Bob Welch (from the album French Kiss)











boston don't look back"A Man I'll Never Be" - Boston (from the album Don't Look Back)











bruce springsteen born in the usa"Born in the USA" - Bruce Springsteen (from the album Born in the USA)











"Right Down the Line" - Gerry Rafferty (from the album City to City)

Maurice Sendak Remembered

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2012 07:49am | Post a Comment

Maurice Sendak, who passed today at age 83, interview from few years ago 

With the sad news today of the passing of famed children's book artist Maurice Sendak (Splendid Nightmares), I remembered this enlightening video clip interview from a few years ago of the illustrator talking in detail about his childhood, his work, and his inspirations. Rest in peace!

Read full story on Sendak's passing here c/o New York Times.

Patrick Watson at the Bootleg Theater in LA, June 8th

Posted by Amoebite, May 7, 2012 06:00pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music is proud to present Patrick Watson at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on Friday, JunePatrick Wilson 8th at 9pm!

Patrick Watson first broke through to audiences in 2006 with his album Close to Paradise. The album went gold in Canada and won numerous awards, including the Polaris Prize. It saw international release in September of 2007 and has since sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. His core four-piece band began to take shape in the wake of the self-released Just Another Ordinary Day in 2003, and before long buzz on their live show had lead to performances with an impressively diverse group of artists, from Phillip Glass and Steve Reich to Feist.

Patrick Watson Adventures In Your Own BackyardWatson's latest album, Adventures In Your Own Backyard, was just released May 1, 2012 on Domino Records, and was recorded entirely in his Montreal apartment after a whirlwind five-year tour. The result is an album that is still ripe with the touchstones one has come to expect from Patrick Watson and his collaborators, but permeated with a greater sense of patience and confidence. It's an attempt by Watson and the band to simplify their sights—to make music a bit more close to home in every sense of the phrase.

Continue reading...

First Fridays at LA's Natural History Museum: 6/1 with Cut Chemist & Superhumanoids

Posted by Amoebite, May 7, 2012 05:15pm | Post a Comment
It's time for June's First Fridays! 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 June 1 from 5-10pm for live performances from Cut Chemist and Superhumanoids, KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez, and a guest lecture with Jonah Lehrer called “The Imagination Is Made of Other People!”

Find out more HERE!



Superhumanoids "Black Widow" - AllSaints Basement Sessions. from AllSaints Spitalfields on Vimeo.

Thanks for Supporting the 5th Annual Amoeba Art Show!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 7, 2012 03:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Art Show 2012 Oakland
 
All photos by Kaitlin Layher.

On Friday, May 4th, Amoeba celebrated the diverse talents of the Amoeba family with over 20 Amoeba artists from all three of our stores (and even a few Amoeba graduates) at the fifth annual Amoeba Art Show.

Finding the perfect location for the event turned out to be a breeze as former Amoebite Ryan Stark
Ryan Stark
generously donated the site of his future cafe Black Spring on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. The cafe isn't scheduled to open until mid-summer after Ryan gets back from touring with his band ++++ (you can see them play at The New Parish with Ceremony on May 27th, by the way), so the spacious and empty future home of Black Spring was ideal for filling with art, DJs, and friends of Amoeba. Ryan even provided a special drip coffee preview for those curious about what's to come in a few months and spoke about plans to feature a new artist every month on the walls of Black Spring.

Guests arriving to the Art Show were greeted by The Postcard Machine (Possibly From The Future), who dispensed original art postcards for just $2. This crafty "machine" also made small talk via microphone to passers-by. Inside, the joint was jumping from 6pm to 11pm, and was punctuated by a couple of performances by glamorous belly dancers Julie Rea and Jessie Loring.

  The Postcard Machine (Possibly From The Future)


Julie Rea and Jessie Loring

DJ Spencer
As DJs Spencer, Rob, and Michael Henning played all vinyl sets (of course) and vegan cupcakes (works of art themselves)were sold by Fat Bottom Bakery, guests
DJ Michael Henning
perused the diverse collection of Amoebite art that adorned the walls of the entry hallway and main room. The range in both style and format throughout the collection was truly stunning, from collage and mirror work by Dereck Donohue to oil painting on wood by Lori Beth Katz to a surfboard collaboration by Billy Sprague and Shahram Imen to photography by Gabriel Wheeler, Kaitlin Layher, Kelly Sweeney Osato, Roberto, Jonah Tice, and Rick Frystak.

Continue reading...

Italo sensation Den Harrow returns (sort of) for New Wave 80's Memorial Weekend in Huntington Beach

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 7, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
   


Den Harrow
, the Italo disco star famous for such timeless '80s classics as "Bad boy," "Charleston," "Future brain," "Mad desire" is coming to perform for his first time ever in California... sort of. Actually, Den Harrow was an invented character but the sources of the voice and music behind him, Tom Hooker and Miki Chieregato, respectively, are set to perform on Sunday, 27 May 2012 at Avec Nightclub in Huntington Beach’s New Wave 80’s Memorial WeekendDJ BPM from Keep on Music will be DJing. Tickets are $20 and the bottle special is $200 for Martell VSOP.  It'll be hosted by Truc Quynh.




More than an actual person, Den Harrow was a musical project of the aforementioned composer Miki Chieregato, fronted by Milanese model Stefano Zandri with vocals initially provided by several singers before Tom Hooker was brought in -- Chieregato's PR partner, Roberto Turatti, was another integral aspect. Together they enjoyed considerable popularity in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden during the golden years of Italo-disco -- the 1980s. In the UK and US, the practice of hiring a model to lipsynch at shows and in videos was almost unheard of until the exposure of the likes of  C + C Music Factory, Technotronic (from Belgium), Boney M (from West Germany) and most notoriously, Milli Vanilli (also from West Germany). In European pop produced during the golden age of music videos, however, it was a fairly common practice. To be Den Harrow's face, Chieregato and Turatti hired Stefano Zandri and invented a perhaps needlessly but humorously complicated back-story. 

*****


According to their fictional history, Zandri’s name was Manuel Stefano Carry and he was born in Boston to an architect father. His family moved to Italy when Carry was a toddler and then, at just seven-years-old, Carry learned to play guitar and piano. His parents divorced and Manuel, his brother and sister stayed with their mother. They only spoke Italian in the home so, despite his birthplace, English presented him with some difficulty in school. Although he’d always dreamt of pursuing a career in show business, in high school, “Carry” additionally started practicing bodybuilding, break dancing and judo (as seen in the video for “Mad Desire”). Then he met Turrati, who was DJ-ing at the club, American Disaster. Turatti and his friend, Miki Chieregato gave Manuel a new stage name, "Den Harrow," meant to suggest denaro, the Italian word for money. Den Harrow then took extensive vocal lessons and recorded his first two songs, “To Meet Me” and “A Taste of Love” on Hole Records.










The voice behind the first two singles was provided by Chuck Rolando, a singer and songwriter at Durium. The singles were moderately successful in some European markets but due to Rolando’s contractual obligations, his partnership with the project ended, necessitating their recruiting a new voice.



For “Mad Desire,” released on Gong Records, Silvio “Silver” Pozzoli provided the vocals and the single was a massive success, selling over a million copies. Pozzoli’s voice was adequate but heavily-accented so the producers sought out American expat singer, Tom Hooker.
 
Tom Hooker


Thomas Beecher Hooker was a Greenwich, Connecticut native who’d moved to Europe when he was less than a year old. After living in Switzerland, in 1980 he moved to Italy where’d he’d released music with various labels first at Harmony with 1980’s “Flip over” followed by a three year stint at Full Time. After recording “Give it to me” for Sensation Records, he moved to Merak Music and released the Italo ode to football, “Real men” in 1984.




In 1985, Chieregato and Turatti bought out Hooker’s contract. Their first collaboration was 1985’s “Cry (urban remix)” b/w “Don’t forget (to buy this record)” which was simply attributed to T.H. and released on Baby Records subsidiary, For Sale (and later re-recorded and released by Den Harrow).





Chieregato, Turatti and Hooker all then moved to Baby Records, most significant for being home to Italo superstar, Gazebo hit-maker Albert One. Hooker sang vocals on Den Harrow’s next single, “Future brain,” also in 1985.




For consistency’s sake, Hooker re-recorded “Mad desire” for Den Harrow’s debut album, Overpower (1985-Baby Records).




It was a big hit in Switzerland and Sweden and spawned two more hit singles, “Bad boy” and “Charleston.”






The album, single and Den Harrow won several awards, at Festivalbar, Vota La Cove and Bravo’s Silver Ottos


In 1986, Hooker’s proper (as in attributed to Tom Hooker, not Den Harrow) debut full-length, the Claudio Donato-produced Only One, was released on Heaven Records, which also included the title track single.



That same year, using yet another alias, Lou Sern, Hooker released the cuckoo clock-sampling “Swiss boy” on Esquire which was, funnily enough, released as a “split single” with Den Harrow’s “Charleston.” Back at Baby he released “Looking for love” and “Help me” as well as the schmaltz ballad “Highway to freedom” with Maruizio Vandelli and Dario Farina under the handle, “Fahrenheit 104.”




Back recording for Den Harrow, the next single, “Catch the fox,” showed up on the full-length follow-up, Day by day (1987-Baby Records).


Den Harrow Day By Day


It was proved to be another solid collection of melodic synthpop. It produced another single, “Don’t break my heart,” which became their biggest success to date.




The album too was an even bigger success than its predecessor, reaching number one in Germany and the Top Five in Italy, Spain, Greece and Benelux. It also went gold in France, platinum in Canada, and earned a Golden Otto. Behind the scenes of the success there was some discord. Hooker had wanted to record the single under his own name but Freddy Naggiar, the head of Baby Records was reluctant to tamper with the Den Harrow cash cow. Although Hooker continued writing lyrics for Den Harrow, he stopped providing the vocals. Meanwhile, as himself, he released the single “Atlantis.”




Harrow’s next single, “Born to love” again won at Festivalbar in 1987 and appeared, in a dance version, on his album Lies (1988-Baby Records).




For the vocals, Turatti and Chieregeto employed the services of an English singer with a much higher register, Anthony James. Zandri, although he never sang, wasn’t even particularly adept at lipsynching and with another undeniable vocal shift, the true nature of Zandri’s role became one of the worst kept secrets in music – for those who cared. The album and singles “My time” and “You have a way” were less successful but nonetheless appeared in European commercials for Adidas and Coca-Cola.


 

The same year, 1988, Chieregato and Hooker recorded Hooker’s proper sophomore release, Bad reputation (1988-Baby Records), which included the singles “Feeling okay” and “No more Heaven.” Not surprisingly, the voice sounded more like the voice of Den Harrow than Den Harrow himself had on his album.








After the release of “Holiday night” and “Take me back” in 1989, Zandri decided to strike out on his own, ending his relationship with Turatti, Chieregato and Baby Records. After several years of considerably less commercial success, Zandri moved to California to take part in Aaron Spelling’s mostly-forgotten Baywatch-inspired soap opera, Sunset Beach.  


After Hooker’s 1990 single, “Living in the sunshine” he and Chieregato also ended their collaboration. 1992 was Baby’s last year (they reappeared, reorganized as Baby Records International in 1994) and Hooker’s Fighting for our love (1992-Baby Records), was recorded without Chieregato. The same year, as “TH & The Funk Guitar,” Hooker released “Sex-o-phone & funk guitar” on Pop In Baby. Hooker went on to work with other musicians, releasing music as Elastic Band, Cool Jack and Defect. After a final solo single, “Runaway,” released in 1994 by ZYX there was a long period of silence. That year Hooker moved to the US to start a family and changed his name to Thomas Barbèy (taking his mother's maiden name) so that his wife's name wouldn't be "Mrs. Hooker."







Then, in 2011, Hooker and Chieregato joined forces as Tomik Productions and released their first collaborations in about twenty years, “Change your mind,” which was released on Flashback Records and "No elevation."






And as I said in the introduction, they're finally coming to California. I'll be there but if you can't, you can watch it live streaming here!
*****

KFJC's 32nd Annual Month of Mayhem Packed With Must-Hear Radio Specials

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2012 10:15am | Post a Comment
It's already one week into May which means it's already one week into the Month of Mayhem at the revered Bay Area institution that is radio station KFJC 89.7 FM  in Los Altos Hills. "We're really proud of our annual Month of Mayhem station tradition," said spokesperson Jennifer Waits from the highly respected student and volunteer-run Foothill College radio station, noting how each May since 1981 that KFJC DJs have been pulling out all the stops when they craft a rich range of specials on a variety of topics.

Indeed in light of the danger that so many community radio stations across the US like KFJC have found themselves in of late (see KUSF story) it seems more important than ever to embrace and appreciate the truly unique radio stations like the 53 year old KFJC which is always a treat to tune into at anytime. But during Mayhem month KFJC is even better than usual.

Over the weekend I found myself tuning in to see what audio treat was on and catching such specials as a really excellent and most unique Elvis Presley special on Saturday that steered clear of the well known hits by "The King" but instead offered an offbeat look at Presley's music and its influence. That Elvis Presley special is one of approximately sixty different special programs planned for the Month of Mayhem.

Continue reading...

Three New Cumbia LP Releases, Via Colombia, Peru & England

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 7, 2012 12:30am | Post a Comment
Three very interesting Cumbia vinyl releases are now available at Amoeba. Each one with it different takes on the Latin Music genre that only seems to get stronger as others start to fade into obscurity.



From Peru, we have Los Jharis, Los Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central, out on Masstropica Records. These gems by Los Jharis reflect a period in the eighties when Cumbia had the time to travel outside of South America and returned as Sonidero, with its Sound System shout-outs and echo effects that reminds me of the great Jamaican Sound Systems. With this newer element, Los Jharis sound is straight from outer space, with all the Cumbia rhythms and surf twang that one expects from a good Chicha release.

Also included with the LP is a bonus seven-inch of Sensacion Shipibo, playing what they called Masha music, a Peruvian style of Cumbia from Pucallpa, where the Shipibo-Conibo people are located. They are the indigenous people that lived along the Ucayali River in the Amazon rainforest. The two tracks on the seven-inch are in Spanish but usually the group sang in the Shipibo language. Whether intentional or not, listening to this, I can see the connection between early Chicha and the likes of people like Ecuador’s Delfín Quishpe are doing today.

When I play tracks from last years Quantic Y Los Miticos Del Ritmo, Hip-Hop En Cumbia during my DJ sets, it still blows some club goers minds. To hear Dr. Dre or Missy Elliot in an authentic traditional Cumbia style is a mini- mindfuck. Some people have asked if perhaps those Hip-Hop artists borrowed those licks from old Cumbia songs! That is a testament on how well England's own Will Holland (Quantic) pulled it off.  Here is another collection of traditional Cumbia from Los Miticos Del Ritmo, this time along with covers of Queen, Michael Jackson and The Abyssinians are some original songs that sound like they could have been made in the Discos Fuentes studios back in the day. The combination of great Colombian musicianship and Holland's vision makes for another club classic. (Not to mention that Holland is becoming a mean accordeon player himself) This is not another mash-up or remixes of classic Cumbia tracks. Los Miticos Del Ritmo will do for retro-Cumbia what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Hepcat did to revive Soul and Rocksteady.


Speaking of traditional Cumbia, Domino Sounds released a second volume of Cumbia gem entitled, Remolino De Oro. This is a follow-up to the excellent (and now out-of-print) A Orillas Del Magdalena, released a few years back. It’s a collection of the Discos Fuentes Records pre-orchestra Cumbia with plenty of accordion and percussion from legendary Cumbia icons such as Andres Landero, Alejo Duran and Los Corraleros De Majaual. New school Cumbia DJ’s; this is a must for your collection and a way to catch up on the rest of the crate-diggers who long fished out the water. Old-School Cumbia DJs; it’s a great collection that would save some of the wear and tear on your valuable seven-inches and LPS. For everyone else, it’s a great collection of classic Cumbia from another golden era of Discos Fuentes.


May 6, 2012: The Avengers

Posted by phil blankenship, May 6, 2012 06:34pm | Post a Comment

May 6, 2012: Warriors of the Rainbow - Seediq Bale

Posted by phil blankenship, May 6, 2012 06:33pm | Post a Comment

A Tribute To MCA & The Beastie Boys

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2012 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Beastie Boys "Jimmy James" (1992) from Check Your Head

In the two days since the shocking news of the sudden death on May 4th of Adam Yauch - aka MCA of the Beastie Boys - everyone has been sharing how much the artist and his group influenced their lives. On my WFMU radio show on Friday guest/longtime emcee Azeem recalled how when he first heard the Beasties he didn't even realize they they were not black and then recalled how in the early 90's during Lollapalooza he "went on tour a long time ago with the Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, George Clinton" and how he had a debate with members of fellow touring act The Pharcyde on the merits of the Beastie Boys as "hip-hop artists."

"At the time hip-hop still had its racial sensitivities and I had to argue on the Beastie Boys' side been from the East Coast, or been from New Jersey, hearing Licensed to Ill. When we [first] heard that record we didn't know if they were white kids. We just heard good hip-hop." recalled Azeem noting that the fact that the group never stopped creating and evolving & consistently making good music for well over a quarter of a decade is a testament to the greatness of the Beastie Boys.  

Continue reading...

The Brothers Comatose Will Get Naked for You...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 6, 2012 03:27pm | Post a Comment
File this under creative marketing!
Native San Franciscans The Brothers Comatose will get naked for you. Really. But they are no easy date! You have to buy tickets to their May 19th show at The Great American Music Hall first! In what they are calling Operation: Buck Wild, the string quintet will be uploading a new photo - with one more item of clothing removed - for every 50 presale tickets sold.

Here is photo #1:

The brothers comatose naked

Intrigued? You should be. What's under that poncho? What happens to the cat? Follow the saga here and get your tickets here!

The Late, Great George Lindsey

Posted by Charles Reece, May 6, 2012 10:06am | Post a Comment

Goober learns about the mysteries of Woman from Barney. George Lindsey, star of both The Andy
Griffith Show
and Hee Fuckin' Haw, has died. I love Goober Pyle!

May 5, 2012: Safe

Posted by phil blankenship, May 5, 2012 10:31pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 03.16.12: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5 + Hip-Hop In The Park

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2012 12:59pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 : Week Ending May 5th, 2012


1) J Dilla "Think Twice" & "E=Mc2" (BBE) 7" single

2) Apollo Brown & OC Brown Trophies (Mello Music/Fat Beats)

3) B.O.B. Strange Clouds (Atlantic)

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

5) Notorious B.I.G.  Ready to Die reissue (CNR)

Record Store Day is still in the air at Amoeba Music where in this week's number one slot of the latest hip-hop chart from the Hollywood Amoeba is the highly anticipated BBE recently released 7" inch single by the late great J Dilla of "Think Twice" and "E=Mc2." But in reality it is Record Store Day everyday at Amoeba Music where there is always something music fans are fiending for whether it's some reissue like the recent Notorious B.I.G.  Ready to Die reissue or brand new releases like  Apollo Brown & OC Brown Trophies care of Mello Music and Fat Beats or Madlib's Medicine Show No. 13: Black Tape.  On this final installment of his elongated Medicine Show series, Madlib serves up a total of 35 remixes in the one hour long release described by Amoeba.com as, "His wild mixes fly by, a million ideas at once, and leave your head spinning — true to form for someone who would undertake an endeavor as crazy as this.

Continue reading...

out this week 4/10 & 4/17 & 4/24...grouper...mirrorring...unison...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 4, 2012 05:05pm | Post a Comment
I became a fan of Grouper a couple of years ago when I first heard Dragging A Dead Dear Up A Hill. That was Grouper's album from 2008. Grouper is Liz Harris. And Liz Harris is amazing. Her music is not for everyone. You really need to turn these albums up and probably be by yourself when you listen to them. This is not music really meant for the radio. And you for sure will not be hearing this in any bar or club. Grouper will not be playing over the speakers at your gym.  She will most likely be playing in your house while you sit in the middle of your room crying. Or maybe just contemplating life. I live for albums like these. Luckily there are not that many people out there like Grouper. As much as I love these albums. I just could probably not take too many of them at a time. Grouper has released a couple of things over the last couple of years. She released two albums last year titled Dream Loss and Alien Observer. These were released only on LP. But they are now available together on one CD titled A I A. This is brought to us by the fantastic label Kranky. They also released another album called Mirrorring that came out a couple of months ago. More on that later.

A friend told me about Grouper a couple of years ago. I think I was hooked on Grouper before I even listened to the album. That cover of Dragging A Dead Dear Up A Hill is something else. I really could not stop staring at it. I had not really paid much attention to her in the last couple of years. But I am once again hooked on Grouper. The album took me a couple of listens to get into it. I listened to it as background music a couple of times. But then all of a sudden I just got super into it. The songs are haunting and super mellow. She falls somewhere between goth folk and ambient experimental. It is some beautiful stuff. It really just makes be happy to have albums like this in my life. They sort of mellow me out. It balances out all the other stuff I listen to. It grounds me somehow. 

mirrorringI am also really obsessed with this Mirrorring album Foreign Body. Mirroring is a collaboration between Grouper (Liz Harris) and Tiny Vipers (Jesy Fortino). They are both from the pacific northwest and have toured together. So it makes perfect sense for them to do an album together. I have seriously been listening to this album about once a day. Another album of dreamy and haunting dark folk. Everyone seems to be spelling the name of the group incorrectly as the word Mirroring should be spelled. But the band name is misspelled on purpose as Mirrorring. Which is just another thing I love about this project. These albums really have the power to change your mood. They sort of just take over what is going on in the room. This album is heartbreaking. But I can't get enough of it. Every year I need a couple of albums in my life like these. I am happy to have found them.


Check out the song "Silent From Above" by Mirrorring from the album Foreign Body...




Another album I have been really into lately is the new album by Unison. Their self titled album has just been released by Letonia Records. They are supposedly the leaders of the "Witch House" movement of France. Not sure if that is really the case. But this album is witchy and spooky for sure. It does sound similar to the recent album from Grimes and Trust. I have not really been a fan of the term witch house to describe the music. But I have been a fan of most of the bands that seem to fit into the new genre description. I have always liked the darker side of shoegaze. I have always liked my music spooky and electronic. I prefer the term darkgaze or deathgaze over witch house. This new album from Unison is somehow catchy while also being  super dark and synthy. This album fits somewhere between Chapterhouse, Lush, Siouxsie, & The Cranes. The catchiest of the songs is "Brothers & Sisters." I have been put under the spell of this album. I am seriously hooked. The year is not even half over. And there are still a ton of albums right around the corner. But I have already found a couple of my favorites of the year in these last couple of weeks.

Check out the video for "Brothers & Sisters" by Unison from the new album Unison...



out 4/10...






Boys & Girls
by Alabama Shakes











Ataraxia/Taraxis
by Pelican











Unison
by Unison











Light Far Out
by The Wake











A Wasteland Companion
by M. Ward






out 4/17...






A I A
by Grouper











Heartbreaking Bravery
by Moonface











Sweet Heart Sweet Light
by Spiritualized






out 4/24...






R.I.P.
by Actress











This Machine
by Dandy Warhols











Money Store
by Death Grips











Into The Night
by The Raveonettes











Hair
by Ty Segall & White Fence











Blunderbuss
by Jack White



See Silversun Pickups on Jimmy Kimmel Live! May 8th or at Amoeba SF on May 9th

Posted by Billy Gil, May 4, 2012 04:24pm | Post a Comment
Neck of the WoodsAmoeba is giving away wristbands to see L.A.’s Silversun Pickups on May 8th on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The band is celebrating the release of their new album, Neck of the Woods, which comes out May 8th. To get a wristband to attend the show, purchase the CD or LP at Amoeba Music Hollywood.

One wristband will be given per CD/LP purchase while supplies last, so get to Amoeba Hollywood starting at 10:30 am on Tuesday, May 8th to get yours. All attendees must be 16 years or older and have a valid ID. No exceptions y’all. The wristband will identify you as a priority guest at the show for entry before the other ticket holders are allowed in. You can line up any time after 12 pm on Tuesday at Jimmy Kimmel Live! for admittance. You’ll get directions and full info with your wristband. 

In San Francisco? Check out Silversun Pickups at Amoeba SF on May 9th at 6pm! As always, our in-store performances are free and open to all ages!

New Videos, Shows: Nick Waterhouse, Hanni El Khatib, Cass McCombs

Posted by Billy Gil, May 4, 2012 02:12pm | Post a Comment
Checking in on Friday once again, this week saw new videos from LA/CA acts Nick Waterhouse, Hanni El Khatib and Cass McCombs. Nick Waterhouse’s Time’s All Gone was released this week, it’s a soul-huggin’ good time of a record with pitch-perfect production. Check out the video for the rollicking “Some Place.”
 

Nick Waterhouse - "Some Place" (Official Music Video) from Urban Outfitters on Vimeo.

 
Hanni El Khatib released a video for “Roach Cock,” a B-side to a limited edition 8” he did with a cover of The Cramps’ “Human Fly.” I think this song rocks harder than anything he’s done yet. Check out his album Will the Guns Come Out for more good times rock ’n’ roll.
 

 
Dusky singer-songwriter Cass McCombs released two excellent albums in 2011, Wit’s End and Humor Risk. He follows that prolific output with a song and video inspired by alleged army whistleblower Bradley Manning. Domino has released a 7” of the song. Check out the video below.
 

 
Shows this weekend:
Friday: First Fridays @ The Natural History Museum with AA Bondy and Father John Misty (5 p.m., FREE)
Saturday: Washed Out @ The Fonda Theater (8 p.m., $20)
Sunday: The Weeknd @ The Fonda Theater (8 p.m., $32)

14th Annual Los Angeles Film Noir Festival- Final Weekend!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 4, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

 

This weekend brings the 14th Annual Los Angeles Film Festival to a close with a bang.  Nine screenings will be presented over 3 days, with a couple of interviews & a book signing thrown in for good measure!

Friday May 4th brings a great Dashiel Hammett double in The Maltese Falcon (1931) / City Streets. This pairing continues with Thursday's pre-code, proto-noir theme, City Streets is a newly restored print courtesy of UCLA and is a must see for Gary Cooper fans.



Saturday offers up two separate events.  A special 3:00 matinee showing of The Postman Always Rings Twice featuring a discussion with award winning noir novelist Denise Hamilton.  The evening presents a Geraldine Fitzgerald double Three Strangers / Nobody Lives Forever.  Fitzgerald's son, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, will be discussing the films and signing his book Luck & Circumstance:  A Coming Of Age In Hollywood, New York & Beyond.  

Rounding out the weekend, Circumstantial Evidence / Sign Of The Ram has the Sunday matinee slot & Mary Ryan, Detective / Kid Glove Killer will finish off the evening.  Leading lady Marsha Hunt will be on hand to discuss her roles in these not-on-DVD rarities.





Friday May 4th 7:30 Maltese Falcon (1931) / City Streets
Sat May 5th 3:00 The Postman Always Rings Twice
Sat May 5th 7:30 Three Strangers / Nobody Lives Forever
Sun May 6th 3:00 Circumstantial Evidence / Sign Of The Ram
Sunday May 6th 7:30 Mary Ryan, Detective / Kid Glove Killer


14th Annual Film Noir Festival @ 
the Egyptian Theater 
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-4605
(323) 466-3456


 

Shield For Murder trailer
 
 

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch (47) Dead from Cancer

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2012 10:14am | Post a Comment
According to several unconfirmed sources over the past hour and a half word was circulating that Adam Yauch (aka MCA) of the Beastie Boys had died from throat cancer. And just now, according to Rolling Stone, who just published a confirmed report based on "a very credible spokesperson" have confirmed that this news is indeed sadly true. 

When Yauch was diagnosed three years ago he made the following video (below) to announce the throat cancer and its implications in the Beastie Boys' then impending tour and record release - Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. - which both got postponed until last year. At the time of the 2009 video announcement however, as seen in the clip below, the Beastie Boy was good humored and making jokes about it all and clearly confident that the throat cancer was "treatable" as he was told by doctors at the time. Read more from Rolling Stone here. Adam Yauch  was 47. Rest in peace!


        
2009 video from Adam Yauch announcing (good humoredly) his diagnosis of throat cancer
- which at the time he said was "treatable"

Songs & Gift Ideas for Mother's Day: Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2012 09:24am | Post a Comment

2Pac "Dear Mama" (1995) [from Me Against the World]

Mother’s Day 2012
(Sunday, May 13th) may soon be upon us but there's still plenty of time left to get mom the gift of music from Amoeba, whether you order something online from our website shop on Amoeba.com (and have us mail it directly to mom) or if you stop into one of the three Amoeba Music stores. With the endless choices of CDs, DVDs, records, posters, and more, you're bound to find something just right for mom.


Kanye West "Hey Mama" [from album
Late Registration]


Macka B "Respect to Our Mothers" [from the album Roots Ragga]
 
There is some excellent music that would make a great Mother's Day gift, including new/recent/current Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Societyreleases from Norah Jones' Little Broken Hearts or her 2002 album Come Away With Me, Adele's 21, Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society, The Civil Wars' eight track Live at Amoeba CD, Nanci Griffith's Intersection, Rumer's Season of My Soul, a new solo release by Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) called Sun Midnight SunBruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball, and Janis Joplin (including reissues). There's oodles of older titles too for sale on Amoeba.com including, for the budget conscious shopper, the Clearance Section offerings.

Continue reading...

B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls Double Header, May 12th!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 3, 2012 08:25pm | Post a Comment
Join the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls on Saturday, May 12th at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason in San Francisco for their first double header of 2012!

Come see the Berkeley Resistance take on the Oakland Outlaws at 6pm, followed by the Richmond Wrecking Belles against the San Francisco ShEvil Dead at 8pm!

The evening will be packed with action so arrive early to get the best seats. Doors open at 4:30pm! There will be plenty of local food vendors and drink specials too!

Get your tickets HERE!
 

Berkeley Resistance Oakland Outlaws
Berkeley Resistance Oakland Outlaws
Richmond Wrecking Belles
Richmond Wrescking Belles ShEvil Dead

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood, 5/19

Posted by Amoebite, May 3, 2012 07:01pm | Post a Comment
SidewalkSaleJoin Amoeba Hollywood in front of the store on Saturday, May 19th from noon-5pm for our next sidewalk sale! Pick up some awesome deals on CDs, vinyl, DVDs, box sets and more all at great savings.

For those who can't make it out to the sale, shop our Clearance section online for some sweet finds. It's just like being there!

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

The 26th Annual JazzReggae Festival, 5/27 & 5/28

Posted by Amoebite, May 3, 2012 06:21pm | Post a Comment
jazzreggae festival

Join us at UCLA's Intramural Field on May 27th and 28th for the JazzReggae Festival -- the largest, entirely student-produced and run event of its kind on the West Coast! Enjoy live performances from The Roots, Booker T. Jones, Gary Clark Jr, Shaggy, Don Carlos, and more! And look for the Amoeba booth on Sunday!

Jam Day - Sunday, May 27 Reggae Day - Monday, May 28
The Roots
Gary Clark, Jr.
Thundercat
Booker T. Jones
Selah Sue
Sonnymoon 
Shaggy
Tarrus Riley
Collie Buddz
Alison Hinds
Don Carlos
Cris Cab

UPDATE: Amoeba Hollywood is sold out of JazzReggae Fest passes, but tickets should be available at the gates on Sunday and Monday.

JazzReggae Festival Flier


Digging Numero Group's Solid Bronze

Posted by Kells, May 2, 2012 11:16pm | Post a Comment
This year, as with every year since 2008, Record Store Day was a huge success. My mind still boggles at the shear scope and breadth of this years' list of limited Record Store Day releases and I think it's safe to say there really was a something-for-everyone vibe to the offerings made available this go 'round. Yet there be a fair amount of slept-on nuggets still glistening in the stream and perhaps none of them more deserving of a mining undiscovered ore metaphor than the mellow moods latent in yet another stellar comp from the smithies of smooth at Numero Group, the same folks who hit it outta the park last year with a double LP sister compilation to their Boddie Recording Company box set. What makes this Record Store Day remainder so friggin' essential is, well, as one Amoebite put it, "think AM Gold meets modern soul meets yacht rock...with a glass of boxed wine and a joint full of shitty weed."

Think WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze!
Honestly, I can't think of any better description of this light 'n easy mix than that offered by the Numero Group folks themselves, who had me at "Fans of the Dans -- Folgelberg, Steely, Seals and Hill -- this is your Numero record." An essential slice of delightfully less filling (tastes great!) soft rock chipped from Record Store Day treasure fissure, snatch yours up before they become a fabled piece of RSD history.

Take the plunge with this self-explanatory yet somewhat puzzling video for Archie James Cavanaugh's blue-eyed soul meets disco Beach Music jam "Take It Easy" -- a standout number among a comp comprised of freshly exhumed singular sensations.


Here's the story behind the magic from the Numero Group website:

May 2, 2012: Damsels in Distress

Posted by phil blankenship, May 2, 2012 10:05pm | Post a Comment

The Perfect Graduation Gift!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 2, 2012 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Congratulations to all the 2012 grads out there!graduation cat

To make shopping for your grad a little easier, swing by any Amoeba Music store, purchase a $50 Amoeba gift certificate, and receive a FREE $10 Amoeba gift certificate!

It’s simple, just tell us who it’s for and where they are graduating from. Keep the extra $10 for yourself OR put it toward your grad’s gift. Offer expires 6/30/12. 

We have TONS of great gift ideas from turntables to posters, tees to books, headphones, vinyl, and of course the biggest selection of music and movies you’ll find anywhere.

graduation gift certificate

Graduation Gift Poster

Amoeba Berkeley
Amoeba Music Berkeley
2455 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 549-1125
Amoeba San Francisco
Amoeba Music San Francisco
1855 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 831-1200
Amoeba Hollywood
Amoeba Music Hollywood
6400 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 245-6400

Album Picks: Death Grips, Light Asylum, Santigold, Lower Dens

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2012 03:09pm | Post a Comment
death gripsLots of great new stuff came out on Tuesday, and I’ll get to that, but I need to talk about Death Grips a bit first. The Money Store is surely one of the best things anyone has recorded yet this year, a discordant fusion of early hip-hop energy and noise-rock chaos. Hella and Marnie Stern’s Zac Hill is on production duty, along with Andy Morin, and Hill brings the same mania to Death Grips as he does obliterating the drum kit. Stefan Burnett’s guttural spit cuts through but get processed and falls into the background when it needs to, pulling you in and pushing you back simultaneously. Study music, this is not. The entire album feels exactly like this moment:
 


Check out the dubsteppy “Lost Boys” and head-spinning electro-rap of “Get Got” for a taste.


 

Coming out Tuesday was the first full-length release from light asylumdarkwave purveyors Light Asylum, who floored us with 2010’s In Tension EP. Light Asylum delivers as frontwoman Shannon Funchess growls over black rainbow of electronic sound — like freestyle dance music put through the industrial meat grinder. Fuchness and collaborator Bruno Coviello are as capable of extreme aggression (the chilling “Pope Will Roll”) as they are of creating pop thrills with real bite (“IPC” and “Heart of Dust”) and genuinely affecting electro-ballads — “Sins of the Flesh” and “Shallow Tears” dig past their electronic veneers given Funchess’ operatic howl, a Grace Jones-meets-Trent Reznor monster of a voice that can break your heart just as it can make you cower. This is the real deal, an enthralling and sometimes harrowing listen, and a must-hear for any fan of bitterly great music.



 
santigoldMeanwhile, Santigold’s second album also was released Tuesday, and while some reviewers crowed about its supposed unevenness or spent too long talking about the “indie landscape” or something — honestly who cares about any of that? —  her first album was the undisputed summer album of 2008 and Master of My Make-Believe will probably be the same for 2012. Though her most oft-used backdrop is dancehall reggae-tinged electro pop, she wisely scuffs things up her melodies — which are notably strong, as she started as a songwriter, collaborator and A&R rep before striking out as a solo artist — with freak-out moments. “Go!” begins the album powerfully with Santigold and Karen O spinning and screeching like witches over fast and furious punky ragga beats and eerie theramin. She follows up with a comedown of great slow jams, namely with “Disparate Youth,” seemingly a follow-up to her breakout single “L.E.S. Artistes” — which bittersweetly called out hipsterdom — with a more gratifying “99% generation” statement of unity. Her songs continue to be brilliant when covering what it is to be young and creative and striving, from trying to put forth the things you’ve created without fear of failure (“God From the Machine”) to struggling with the idea of notoriety vs. anonymity (“Fame”). And despite any unfavorable comparisons to M.I.A. in the past, she proves she can hang with songs like “Freak Like Me,” which is not an Adina Howard cover but rather a twisted, Indian-flavored hip-hop jam that could have been on M.I.A.’s Kala. She occasionally tries too hard to be widely appealing, but even then the results are usually at least fun to listen to, such as “Keeper,” a tribal-sounding update of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” or the Nicki Minaj-ish “Look at These Hoes.” Mostly the album comes across as a masterful, confident pop statement from someone who is primed to accept the praise she deserves. Speaking of Nicki Minaj, don’t sleep on the troubled-but-still-amazing-in-its-first-third Roman Reloaded.







Sadly, summer’s not here yet, and on a softer note, the new album from Lower Dens has been a blessing on these days of shitty-ish weather. The songs exude a glorious haze but don’t wash out everything in reverb. They build slowly and majestically over five-minute running times, too calm to be labeled epic, but by no means dull. Jana Hunter’s brusque voice pops in and out, the kind of thing that could overshadow the band if misused, instead generating a wonderful lull of loopy vocal lines and melancholy melodies, especially on songs like standout “Brains,” which builds its tower of sunny krautrock slowly but assuredly. The more straightforward songs are a bit buried here and are all the more powerful for it — “Propagation” is a beautifully dark pop song, similar in feel to Beach House, as is “Lamb,” in which Hunter really lets loose and gets torchy, while the arrangement unveils small surprises at every turn. It’s a grower not a shower, for sure, but it’s well worth your time.

May 1, 2012: Headhunters

Posted by phil blankenship, May 1, 2012 10:37pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2012 Contest Winners

Posted by Amoebite, May 1, 2012 05:09pm | Post a Comment
Record Store Day 2012 may be over, but we are still celebrating with the winners of the AMAZING contest we ran for which the grand prize was a Pro-Ject Debut III turntable and a stack of vinyl!

Announcing our grand prize winner of the Pro-Ject Debut III turntable and oodles of choice vinyl..MONICA!

And our lucky runners-up, Denis and Eva, won bags of vinyl and rad headphones!

Record Store Day forever!