Amoeblog

August 31, 2012: Celeste and Jesse Forever

Posted by phil blankenship, August 31, 2012 10:13pm | Post a Comment

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 8/31 - Modular Cowboy, Basic Soul Unit, Robert Hood, Theo Parrish on Running Back, & tons more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 31, 2012 12:21pm | Post a Comment
Cheap And Deep
Rides Again 12” (Norman Nodge / Jonsson/Alter rmx) 12"
Modular Cowboy

This inaugural release on Modular Cowboy features brand new material from Cheap and Deep (a.k.a. Jay Ahern) alongside two remixes of “Words, Breaths and Pauses,” a track originally released as a limited edition 12” via Berlin’s Hard Wax shop, just prior to Cheap and Deep’s live debut at Mutek 2010. The remixes come courtesy of Berghain resident DJ Norman Nodge as well as duo Jonsson/Alter (Henrik Jonsson and Joel Alter) from the Kontra-Musik label in Sweden. The release also marks Cheap and Deep’s return to the scene, with the new track “Beautiful,” a modern take on the Chicago acid house tradition, featuring vocals by Crissy Liu with additional production by Morgan Packard.

Purchase Rides Again here:





Basic Soul Unit
Swept Up 12”
Nonplus Records

A fixture on Toronto's techno scene for nearly a decade, with releases on MATHEMATICS, CREME ORGANIZATION, and MULE ELECTRONIC, this debut on BODDIKA's NONPLUS, marks the label's move toward 4/4 techno. The title cut & "MINDSTORM" are both engaging compositions of deep techno!

Purchase Swept Up here:






Theo Parrish
Hand Made 12”
Running Back

Theo Parrish's second release for Running Back features an extended version of "Black Mist," previously-released on the rare-as-hens'-teeth Sketches release on Sound Signature. Cut on 45, it's a hard punch in the gut. Previously unreleased tracks are "Pop Off" and "Wild Out.

Purchase Hand Made here:








Blakula
Back From Mystery City LP
Bearfunk

Finally on vinyl! This second album on BEARFUNK features 10 tracks that mix "70s funk, Giallo and horror soundtracks, psychedelia, rock, classical, the avant-garde, no wave, free jazz & blues". JOHN CAGE meets JOHN CARPENTER at Studio 54?? Very dark and very cool. Don't skip this.

Purchase Back From Mystery City here:





Ashes To Machines
Resistance – Vakula 12”
Leleka

The sounds of the African diaspora meet those of their European descendants on the original version. Remixes come from VAKULA, JI DRU & SANDRA NKAKE, and JUJU & JORDASH! Recondite Plan #004 12” Plangent Warm dubby techno tunes from the mysterious Berlin producer. Vakula Curves 12” Downbeat Opening with the jazzy downtempo goodness of "FOR KIRA NERIS" (actually a remix of "WITH ALL HIS MIGHT" by KIRA NERIS), this 3-tracker glides right into the luxurious, jazzy downtempo of "CURVE". "LBEAT" rounds things out with its slow experimental electronics.

Purchase Resistance here:




Kuba Sojka
Mysterious 12”
Mathematics

4 cuts taken from KUBA's debut double CD all previously unreleased on wax. The original version of "I CAN'T STOP" and "SO FAR AWAY" are on the A-side while "EL TROMPETISTA" and "GALACTIC RITUAL" fill the flip. All cuts show the producer's top notch skill and balance between house and techno.

Purchase Mysterious here:








122 BPM
122 BPM Compilation
Still Music

Stunning compilation from Chicago's Still Music featuring classic and lost tracks from Mitchbal Records and Chicago Connection. Gatefold DLP with beautiful artwork, 8 tracks pressed fat on vinyl - In most cases better than their original versions!

Purchase 122 BPM here:







Obtane & Giorgio Gigli
Hypothesis Of Objects Contruction (12")
Zooloft

Zooloft 00J is a collection of remixes taken from the label's hidden archive. Claro Intelecto, Svreca, and Brando Lupi make this release unique, bringing their own personal touch to rare and obscure recordings.

Purchase Hypothesis Of Objects here:








Robert Hood
Motor: Nighttime World 3 (3LP)
Music Man

After the legendary Nighttime World Volume 1 and Nighttime World Volume 2, Music Man is proud to be able to present you with the long-awaited Motor: Nighttime World 3. With Motor: Nighttime World 3, Detroit techno legend Robert Hood returns to the project he first started on Austria's Cheap label back in 1995 and subsequently continued in 2000 on M-Plant. Fusing his trademark minimal techno into jazz-inspired moods and inflections, Hood emerges from the smoke-lit shadows of a downbeat, but not beaten, Motor City metropolis. Inspired by Julien Temple's documentary Requiem for Detroit?, Robert Hood examines the life, history and future of Detroit's motor industry and its workforce, set against a backdrop of decay, despair, hope and re-birth. Julien Temple's film is a vivid evocation of an apocalyptic vision: a slow-motion Katrina that has had many more victims. Detroit was once America's fourth largest city. Built by the car for the car, with its groundbreaking suburbs, freeways and shopping centers, it was the embodiment of the American dream. But its intense race riots brought the army into the city. With violent union struggles against the fierce resistance of Henry Ford and the Big Three, it was also the scene of American nightmares. As Hood himself states: "The situation in Detroit is making people uncomfortable, but that's a good thing if we look at it in the right perspective. It's a shaking up and realization of the condition that Detroit has been in for so long. As it was a long and slow process, people became immune to what was happening, almost asleep at the wheel. This once progressive city is now half gone. To make a new future, Detroit needs to look deep within to be able to see a new vision and thrive once more. As long as there is a seed, there is hope." Now it is truly a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40% of the land in the center is returning to prairie. Greenery grows up through abandoned office blocks, houses and collapsing car plants, and swallows up street lights. There is no more rush hour on what were the first freeways in America. Crime, vandalism, arson and dog fighting are the main activities in once the largest building in North America. But it's also a source of hope. Streets are being turned into art. Farming is coming back to the center of the city. Young people are flocking to help. The burgeoning urban agricultural movement is the fastest-growing movement in the U.S. Detroit leads the way again, but in a very different direction. With the breakdown of 20th-century civilization, many Detroiters have discovered an exhilarating sense of starting over, building together a new cross-racial community sense of doing things, discarding the bankrupt rules of the past and taking direct control of their own lives. Still at the forefront of the American Dream, Detroit is fast becoming the first "post-American" city. And amid the ruins of the Motor City it is possible to find a first pioneer's map to the post-industrial future that awaits us all. So perhaps Detroit can avoid the fate of the lost cities of ancient civilizations and rise again like the phoenix that sits, appropriately, on its municipal crest. Includes a free CD. Three distinct inner sleeves inside 3 x 180 gram heavyweight vinyl package, housed in a deluxe outer cover.  Purchase Motor: Nighttime World 3 here:


Seahawks
Aquadisco (Gatefold) DLP
Ocean Moon

Spaced out aquatic afro jazz, interstellar funk, and new age disco are just a few of the ports of call on this album the SEAHAWKS describe as "SUN RA jamming with LEVEL 42 on a Caribbean yacht produced by CONNY PLANK"! One of the best chillout artists around! Limited to 1000 copies!

Purchase Aquadisco here:



Ricardo Villalobos: Dep&HapV1 2x12"
Ricardo Villalobos: Dep&HapV2 2x12"
Cos-Mes/LET'S GET LOST 17 12”
Jay Ahern & Morgan Packard: Mesa Sequences 12”
Vladislav Delay: Espoo 12"
Tiago: Soul Jam 12"
DIM: Living in Ad 12"
Square Room Heroes: Cra 12"
Gregor Tresher: About a Good 12"
Raiz/Derringer: Deception 12"
Matthew Jonson: Panna Cotta 12"
Paul Kalkbrenner, P: Das Geza 12"
J Jeweil: Bastard 12"
VA: In The City #2 12"
Boris Werner: Set It Off 12"
Olin: Finally 12"
Reggie Dokes/Child Of The Sun Cheapers: Amazeballs 12"
Anonym: Flivvers V2 12"
Xian Orphic: s/t LP
Emeralds/DOES IT LOOK (DAPHNI MIXES) 12"
Kambo Super Sound-Don Para/Kam
Larry Heard/Black Oceans
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble/Fire
Russell Haswell/Remixes
Obsolete Music Technology/Rela
EDMX/Cerberus
Airhead/Pyramid Lake
Forward Strategy Group/Labor
Forward Strategy Group/Labour2
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble/Bullet
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble/Bullet
Marcellus Pittman/Pieces
Clap Rules/THE GOLDEN REMIXES 12”
Various/RARE FUNK VOCALISTS VOL0 LP
Various/RARE FUNK INSTRUMENTALS VOL0 LP
Tiga/THE PICTURE - SUBB-AN REMIX 12”
DFRNT/EL SPIRITO 12”
Matthias Heilbronn/MERCY 12”
Indigo/AYAHUASCA 12”
Temo/SET THEM ALIGHT 12”
HNNY/FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME 12”
Andreas Gehm/WHAT'S ON UR MIND EP 12”
ED/BURNING - COUNTERFEIT PARADISE 12”
Brioski/LAST DAY HERE 12”
Tone Of Arc/SHAKING THE SKY 12”
Daat/ORANGE LINE (DEEP BLUE REMIX) 12”
Throwing Snow/CLAMOR EP 12”
DRS/I USUALLY DON'T LIKE MC'S BUT.. D12”

Local Stuff: Videos from Trash Talk, Army Navy, ESP. Tracks from Particle Kid, Sam Flax, Fresh & Onlys

Posted by Billy Gil, August 31, 2012 11:56am | Post a Comment
Trash Talk – “F.E.B.N.” video

In the spirit of Amoeba Hollywood’s new Punk section, I’ll post about Sacramento hardcore band Trash Talk and the first video, “F.E.B.N.,” from its upcoming album Odd Future Records, 119, on Oct. 9. Odd Future’s Tyler, The Creator directed this bit of black-and-white mayhem in some sort of parking garage. Everything about this music/video is probably upsetting to lots of people. Which means of course that it’s pretty great. The song is less than two minutes long and somehow builds unbearable anticipation in its extended intro — all you want to do is turn it up and face the noise you’re about to hear head on.
 

 

Army Navy – World’s End video
 
L.A. indie pop band Army Navy have a video for the song “World’s End.” I had never listened to this band before; I only knew I might like them because their band name shares a name with a Camera Obscura album. And I do! The song is really nice, kind of sounds like “Blue Bayou” but is less dramatic, more morose, and there’s a key change, which I am a sucker for. The video is awesome for a number of reasons — it’s an old fake talk show, which is a done premise but is done funnily here, as this bizzaro, kind of bleak ’60s swinger thing, and features Freaks & Geaks Martin Starr, who I had no idea could be kind of sexy. The singer also kind of looks like Steve Carell. You have to watch it on Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com; I guess this band is getting pretty big. The song appears on a seven-inch with a B-side cover of Yaz’s “Only You,” which is awesome, duh. Their new album is due early next year.

 
ESP – “Serenade” video

 
Who is this? Oh it’s a new band. ESP are a trio from Los Angeles whose singer sounds quite a bit like Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, while the music is dark electro-pop surging on analog synths and Gang of Four-style live beats. The video’s pretty throwbacky, too, with its dawn-of-the-music-video-age bright colors and cheesy effects, plus Grace Jones/Howard Jones style of dress. Apparently it’s an update/homage to Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Rydeen” video. Does anyone have a problem with any of this? I sure don’t.
 

 

Their ESP EP is out now. No idea if they’ll have an album anytime soon. All I get from googling “ESP Los Angeles” are conventions full of terrible people in L.A. who believe in ACTUAL ESP.
 
Particle Kid – “Mosquito”
 
This lo-fi folk track buzzes and whirs like the bugs J. Micah Nelson sings about. Sometimes these reviews just write themselves. Kind of Neutral Milk Hotel, but darker, dirtier. The So. Cal. singer’s Shapes EP is out now. Oh yeah, he’s also Willie Nelson’s son.
 

 
 
Sam Flax – “Child of Glass”

 
S.F. electro-pop artist Sam Flax named this track after a super-scary if you’re a kid ’70s TV movie called “Child of Glass.” I had this Disney video as a kid that had a trailer for “Child of Glass” and that alone scared the Mary Poopins out of me. Thankfully, this song is a lot more fun than that. Age Waves is due Sept. 17 from the Sweet Sounds of Nothing and Burger Records.
 

 
 
The Fresh & Onlys – “20 Days & Nights”

The Fresh & Onlys also released a new song from its upcoming new album, Long Slow Dance, “20 Days & 20 Nights.” They also released a new music video this week; read about it on BillyJam’s blog. Why would I write about this band again? This album effing rules, that’s why. It’s out next week.
 

 
This weekend is FYF Fest! Look for tickets at Amoeba Hollywood, they only charge $4 for a service fee. Set times are up now. Check out my interview with White Arrows, Allah-Las, The Soft Pack and Redd Kross, who will all be at the festival.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 08.31.12: Top 5, Chris Lighty, Freeway, Bill Ortiz, Labor Day W/E In Da Bay

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2012 05:15am | Post a Comment

Amoeba San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:31:12

1) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
3) REL Out of View (SWTBRDS)

4) Insane Clown Posse The Mighty Death Pop (Psychopathic)

5) Aesop Rock Skelethon  (Rhymesayers)

For this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart thanks goes out to Michelle at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store where, as at the other two Amoeba stores, the latest MF DOOM related release is selling extremely well.  The Lex Records  Key to the Kuffs  project, that was recorded over in London, finds DOOM teaming up with Jneiro Jarel similarly to how he had collaborated with both Madlib and with Danger Mouse on past projects. Other new releases include the ever popular Aesop Rock Skelethon  album on Rhymesayers (his first in five years) and the phenomenally popular 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story album on Def Jam that, like so many releases nowadays, comes also in a Deluxe Edition CD version.

August 30, 2012: The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

Posted by phil blankenship, August 31, 2012 12:21am | Post a Comment

August 30, 2012: Step Up Revolution

Posted by phil blankenship, August 30, 2012 10:22pm | Post a Comment

Redd Kross Live at Amoeba Photos Up Now

Posted by Billy Gil, August 30, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
L.A. original power-pop-punks Redd Kross showed up for one of the most fun sets at Amoeba Hollywood in recent memory. The band performed material from their new album, Researching the Blues, as well as from across their catalog, from “Annette’s Got the Hits” to “Stay Away From Downtown.” Fans shouted for favorites and obscurities like “Star Lust” while the brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald still looked and sounded youthful, whipping their long hair around and preening with rock star glee. The band, which also includes Robert Hecker and Roy McDonald, sounded as invigorated live as you might have guessed if you’ve heard Researching the Blues. The more sugary tracks have extra bite live, while songs like the new album’s blistering title track really are meant to be heard live. Amongst the irresistible wahoos and kicks and stick tossing, it became clear, if there’s one thing these vets could show the young guns, you know, besides songwriting and knowing how to play your instruments, is that when you look like you’re having a lot of fun onstage, that energy is infectious. See more photos from the set here; check out my interview with Steve McDonald here.



White Arrows Talk "Dry Land" as the Band Preps for FYF Fest

Posted by Billy Gil, August 30, 2012 02:03pm | Post a Comment
L.A. band White Arrows released their awaited debut album Dry Land Is Not a Myth earlier this summer. Songs like “Roll Forever” and “Coming or Going” hit hard and take off before floating through a summer cloud on the band’s throbbing beats, spacey vocals and swirling electronics. For a party rock record you won’t hate yourself for liking, look no further.
 
I spoke with frontman Mickey Church a bit before the band’s performance at FYF Fest, taking place at L.A. State Historic Park Sept. 1-2 — that’s this weekend, people. They’re playing at 12:30 p.m. on the main stage on Saturday, so get there early to check them out. You can see the full schedule, announced this week, at the show’s official site. And tickets are still available at Amoeba. Buy them here so you’re only charged at $4 service fee; check here for a full list of available concert tickets at Amoeba, although you can always ask and we may just have what you’re looking for. Enough plugs, onto the White Arrows interview:
 


PST: You guys have played live now for years all over the place and just now settled down to make your first album. Was it the kind of thing where stuff just started taking off and you got wrapped up in all the touring and festival shows and whatnot, or did you just want to give it time to develop your sound and figure out how and what to record for your first album?
       
Church: We've been a band for about two years now, and we did an EP, a 7-inch, a couple of covers and some remixes for people. Then it just got busy with touring ... we’ve been out now a number of times. Our first tour was with Cults, then we did a West Coast run with Those Darlins, a full U.S. tour with The Naked and Famous, Northern Europe with White Denim. These were all amazing tours that we couldn't turn down, so we’ve been very fortunate to have had those opportunities to tour the world, and now finally after two years of work, we’ve put out our debut full-length. In hindsight, we definitely didn’t have any idea of what direction we were headed, so it was good that we took that time to grow as a band.
       
PST: How did the band form? Mickey, you were writing songs all along, how did that change when the rest of the band came into play?
       
Church: Now it’s more collaborative. Andy (Naeve, keys) and I wrote all the songs on the record, but my brother, Henry (Church, drums), and JP (Caballero, guitar) played on the record. These are the first recordings with live drums, and all sorts of the other stuff that weren’t accessible to me when I first started writing.
       
PST: Having seen the band play live and hearing old recordings, it’s been a pretty intense evolution to the sound of the album. Can you talk a little bit about how the sound developed?
        
Church: Ah man, those old, old recordings were never meant to be heard ... ha. They were just demos that I gave away for free before I had any intention of being in a band, or trying music for a full time gig. Our first official release I consider it the 7-inch with “Get Gone” and “Save Me a Place on it.”
       
PST: In particular I remember hearing “Coming or Going” and thinking, this sounds a lot different! A lot more electronic, and a much more fun feel. The songs are pretty densely layered too. How did you decide what to edit and change as you went along?
       
Church: I don't know if it was conscious of specifics as to what to change, as much as just wanting it to go in that general direction. We worked with Remix Artist Collective (RAC) on that song as a precursor to see if it would be a good fit for him to produce the record, or at least some song son the record, and it was a perfect fit, I think.
       
PST: It’s very tempting to compare your upbringing, in which you were visually impaired and experienced things in an “impressionistic smear,” to the sound of the album, where things cut through sharply and then get more impressionistic. Like how “Roll Forever” starts so balls-out and has those penetrating riffs throughout, but also these lush verses. Is that something you try to do with your music?
       
Church: No, it’s not intentional. You just start with one rough idea and keep smoothing it out, and adding and subtracting things until hopefully you have something you're satisfied with.
 
PST: And speaking of your background, can you talk a bit about your degree in Ritualistic Shamanism and if/how your studies affected the music you were writing?
       
Church: When I went to school I was assigned an advisor, and it just so happened that he taught a course called Shamanistic Ritual. He encouraged me to take his class to get to him, and so I did. He showed up 30 minutes late to the first class, and was covered in dust with a flashlight on his head, and doctors mask around his mouth; and said, “True story, true story, I just got back from burning man. Janis Joplin was in eagle form flying over the RV the entire way.” Naturally, my mind was blown. Coming from a high school where I had no choice in electives, and got suspended for my hair being to unruly, or my shirt not being tucked in, it drew me to such left of center studies.
       
PST: One of my favorites on the album is “I Can Go.” I love the riffs and melodies but also those flutes at the chorus are just killer. It sort of transforms this more straightforward rocker on the album to have this otherworldly, nostalgic quality. With something like that song, or say the loping piano riff on “Golden,” do you usually start with a guitar-based song and then add those details, or do you get those ideas at the same time?
       
Church: Every song almost starts with something different. A piano line, guitar line, drum beat, synth sound, or bass line ... since we don't write in a live setting you kind of just lay something down and build off of that. “I Can Go” started with that guitar line you hear in the verses, and “Golden” started with that tinkering little piano melody and a drum bit
 
PST: Are you guys playing in LA again around FYF?
       
Church: I don’t think so, but we never really turn down house parties, so something usually comes up.

The Fresh & Onlys Premiere "Presence of Mind" Video

Posted by Billyjam, August 30, 2012 12:34pm | Post a Comment

The Fresh & Onlys "Presence of Mind" (2012)

San Francisco indie outfit The Fresh & Onlys today premiere the Dawn Carol Garcia directed, zombie themed, music video for "Presence of Mind" (the audio of the song was posted here by Billy Gil a few weeks ago) taken from the band's new album Long Slow Dance which is scheduled for release by Mexican Summer next Tuesday, Sept. 4th. In support of the new album by the band that features Amoeba SF's own Tim Cohen, who founded the group back in 2004, will kick off a North American tour that begins next Wednesday (Sept 5th) in Santa Ana and will include dates at The Echo in LA on Sept 7th and at The Independent in San Francisco on Sept 8th.

Also on the tour will be Terry Malts, Grass Widow and Quilt. The new album has the distinction, according to the band, of been recorded on the same reel-to-reel that Warren Zevon recorded "Werewolves of London." There is a documentary on the making of the album in the works which you can get a sneak peek below. And for a preview of the album you can pick up releases from the Fresh & Onlys back-catalog here + stream a preview copy here c/o Hype Machine  Fresh & Onlys tour details.
 

The Making of new Fresh & Onlys album (2012)

IAW's Melonie Green & Aima the Dreamer on Importance of Independent Artists' Week

Posted by Billyjam, August 30, 2012 09:30am | Post a Comment
In this digital age artists are bestowed much more freedom than in any previous era to control their own destiny with precision, and to get their work out there to a much larger global audience. However this modern age gift can be a two edged sword since with its ease of communication comes a lot more competition into a market that is flooded with both good and questionable contributors. So to get one's work out there these days an artist must be extra innovative and knowledgeable with all of the tools available to help make their work stand apart from the crowd.  Hence an event like the upcoming Bay Area's Independent Artists' Week (IAW) - now in its fifth year - that kicks off next Monday (Sept 3)  is so important.

The San Francisco event bills itself as "a week long celebration dedicated to ensuring that artists, arts organizations, and the businesses that support them have a means to celebrate and network" and in its event-packed week it will offer lots of opportunities at networking /consulting, numerous panels and showcases, live performances, and other events which are all listed below - and all of which are completely free or very affordable with minimal charges. 

This week I caught up with IAW co-founder Melonie Green to ask her what initially inspired her event? "When Melorra - my twin and business partner - and I moved to the Bay we kept hearing about how San Francisco and the Bay is the mecca of independent art," she said. "It was a reverb that continued throughout our first couple of years in San Francisco attending Academy of Art University. We started hosting art mashup events in 2007/2008 called BYOA (Bring Your Own Art) featuring artists of just about any genre including Salsa dancing, break dancing, fine art hanging on the walls, clothes and jewelry vendors, etc. The momentum from these events sparked our desire to start something that boldly said Independent Artists." The next step, she said, was to make it official with the city. "We submitted a proclamation to [SF] Mayor Gavin Newsom's Office, listing all of the qualities the arts community provides to the betterment of San Francisco (and any city for that matter) and he signed it, proclaiming The first week in September as Independent Artists' Week"

Continue reading...

Secret Society of the Sonic Six Northwest Tour With Headless Lizzy September 7-14th

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 30, 2012 01:50am | Post a Comment

(((6)) is making the northward trek!!

September 7th
the Icebox
Oakland, CA
$5 21+ 9:00

September 10th
Psychopomp Presents @
Plan B

Portland, OR
$7 21+ 9:00

September 12th
THREAT @ the Mercury
Seattle, WA
$6  21+ 9:00

September 13th
Religious As Hell & SES presents @ New Frontier Lounge
Tacoma, WA
$5 21+ 9:00

September 14th
Cryptatropa Bar
Olympia, WA
$5 21+ 9:00



Of course, you can mail order (((6))) newest 12" Pick Up from Amoeba Music Hollywood.


Secret Society of the Sonic Six
Blame and Blood from Pick Up EP



Headless Lizzy & Her Icebox Pussy Chasm Creeper


August 29, 2012: Paranorman

Posted by phil blankenship, August 29, 2012 09:36pm | Post a Comment

In Search Of... is finally coming to DVD

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 29, 2012 04:37pm | Post a Comment
Back in June I hipped readers to the fact that one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Get A Life, is finally getting a proper DVD release after previously only being afforded two four-episode volumes from Rhino Home Video. Well, another great, mostly-forgotten, cult show has recently been announced, and that's In Search Of..., which is scheduled to be released on 23 October by VEI (Visual Entertainment Inc).

In Search of... was a quasi-documentary TV series that ran in syndication from September, 1976 through March, 1982. It focused on the paranormal; ufological, supernatural, and cryptozoological subject matter -- but it also included episodes about real missing persons, historical events, cults, &c.

Each episode included the disclaimer,“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine." Nonetheless, the "possible explanations" were often pretty absurd, which for me is part of the fun. In the 1990s, paranormal TV shows were often hosted like news shows, which is also fun.



Anyway, before In Search Of… launched as a TV series, there were three hour-long, made-for-TV specials; In Search of Ancient Astronauts (1973) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries, and The Outer Space Connection (both 1975). They were narrated by Rod Serling who was a logical choice for a narrator, having famously created and hosted the macabre anthology series The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.



Unfortunately, Serling died in 1975 so Leonard Nimoy (Mission: Impossible, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," and, of course, Star Trek) became the series’ host and was a natural replacement. The graininess and high contrast of the footage, the weird music composed by LA disco production team of Rinder and Lewis, and Nimoy’s authoritative narrative voice (and sometimes accompanying mustache) all exemplify the magical creepiness that characterizes my impression of the 1970s.




Before In Search Of…, CBS’s Somebody Knows (on radio in 1950) and Wanted (on TV in 1955) were both short-lived series that attempted to solve unsolved mysteries – specifically ones revolving around the commissions of various crimes. The syndicated series, One Step Beyond (1959-1961), was another predecessor. But although its producers claimed that the plots of the episodes were based on actual paranormal events, but the plots were thoroughly dramatized, making if feel more akin to shows like Outer Limits, Suspense and The Twilight Zone.

source: tvshowsondvd


It seems to me that the supernatural was rarely, if ever, addressed in documentary form before -- which might seem odd to a generation used to seeing psychics and mediums on daytime TV and ghosts and bigfeet being chased on “reality TV.” I pretty much think we can thank or blame In Search Of… for starting it all. If you’re a fan of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Unsolved Mysteries, The Extraordinary, Encounters, Sightings, Probings, Ancient Mysteries, Creepy Canada, and the like, this is where it begins so mark your calendar.

*****

Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!     


Set Times Announced for This Weekend's FYF Fest in LA + Tix Still Available at Amoeba

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 29, 2012 02:07pm | Post a Comment
FYF Fest released set times for this weekend's festival in downtown LA. Download the pdf version to help plan your days (and get damp in your sweaty pockets). Still don't have tickets? Get 'em while you can at Amoeba Hollywood! They're $89 +$4 fee and you can pay with cash or credit card.

FYF Fest set times

Album Picks: Wild Nothing, Swans, Divine Fits, Plus Albums Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, August 28, 2012 07:37pm | Post a Comment
This is it, we're entering the hot season for new releases. Next week sees the release of new albums from Cat Power, Animal Collective and Deerhoof, to name a few. But plenty of great releases snuck up on us this week too; here are a few of my favorites:

wild nothing nocturneWild Nothing - Nocturne
 
Wild Nothing’s Gemini was a warm, digitally enhaned indie-pop love letter to its inspiration, college rock of the 1980s. Since that release, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum has had a couple of releases, the Golden Haze EP and the Nowhere single, that have further proven Tatum an equal to his forebears, and that continues with Nocturne, which sands down any outlier sounds and offers a solidified statement of purpose for Wild Nothing. As you might guess from titles like “Nocturne” and “Midnight Sound,” the album is full of swooning nighttime pop, with swirling, delayed guitars, lovelorn vocals and synth washes lapping underneath it all. While the album’s opening three songs (“Shadow,” “Midnight Song” and “Nocturne) set the tone thematically, the more you listen to Nocturne, the more the shier songs stay with you, like “This Chain Won’t Break,” with its freestyle beat and bassline a weirdly perfect fit to its twee synths and melodies, or “Paradise,” a glorious New Wave totem that sounds like whitewashed memories of an ’80s prom. However, Nocturne doesn’t fall into the trap of sounding overly reverential to the ’80s because Tatum’s songs have become more confident, as he pulls off a refrain like “only Heather makes me feel this way” on the Cure-ish “Only Heather.” Nocturne gets so many things right, with its sneaking melodies, dreamy guitar textures and dreamier lyrics are Tatum’s alone, that everything feels like inspiration rather than pastiche.

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"Rap is like the lowest art form of art on the planet earth," Says MURS in latest WIMB

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2012 11:40am | Post a Comment

MURS What's In My Bag? (2012)


  Since the above What's In My Bag? (WIMB?) Amoeba video clip with MURS was uploaded to YouTube yesterday it's been drawing a lot of strong, mixed reactions mostly focusing on the bold statement on the art of rap made by the longtime Cail emcee. "Rap is not good enough to be associated with great music," said MURS when asked if he might sample an Ethiopian album he had picked up at the Hollywood Amoeba store. "Rap is like the lowest art form of art on the planet earth," he continued, semi-apologizing, "Sorry. I love it. But it's true." He then qualified this statement by saying that, "There's no other form of music in the history of music that totally denigrates women and promotes violence and killing of one another for senseless reasons." "We have to call it what it is and hopefully by calling it what it is we can improve it." he said adding, while he sincerely felt that way, that he was also a fan of rap and was about to pick up a Waka Flocka Flame album. YouTube comments related to this video, which rated 67 likes to 1 dislike at time of posting this Amoeblog, ranged from "haha this guy is awesome! best explanation of rap ever" and "this guy seems really cool. his views on his own genre are really interesting," to "Completely idiotic point of view" and "WTF?….if you think that murs why the fuck do you want a Wocka Flocka cd?"

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood, Sept. 15th: Soundtrack Clearance, Classical Blowout, Latin Sale & More!

Posted by Amoebite, August 27, 2012 04:47pm | Post a Comment
SidewalkSaleJoin us in front of Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday, September 15th from 12pm-5:00pm for our next Sidewalk Sale! Pick up some awesome deals on CDs, vinyl, box sets, books, and more - all at great savings.

Look for our Soundtrack Clearance Sale with some great offerings at CHEAP prices as well as some nicely priced Latin titles.

The sidewalk sale will also feature a Classical blowout with vinyl for 50 cents or three for $1 and CDs at $2.99 and $3.99 that are buy-one-get-one-free! What a deal! There are many great bargains among these titles, but we just need to clear them out for new merchandise. 

Come out and see the many other deals to be had at the sidewalk sale. Can't make it? Shop our Clearance section online for some sweet finds.

All sidewalk sales are final. Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale. Prices apply to sidewalk sale stock only and this offer is only while supplies last.

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba    Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

King Khan Tells Your Future Before His SF Show, Sept. 4th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 27, 2012 02:40pm | Post a Comment
King Khan knows all! Are you a big fan of King Khan & The Shrines AND tarot cards? Want King KhanKing Khan to read your future? If so, please email the folks over at Great American Music Hall at  [email protected] and describe why you want King Khan to do your personal reading.

If you win, the reading will take place on Tuesday, September 4th before their Great American Music Hall show in SF. All entries must be received by Great American Music Hall by noon this Friday, August 31st. 

Get tickets to the show HERE!

King Khan shows off his tarot skills to Tim Cohen


King Khan live at Amoeba SF

Poster Sale at All Three Amoeba Stores this Labor Day Weekend

Posted by Amoebite, August 27, 2012 12:16pm | Post a Comment
All three Amoeba store locations are having a giant poster sale over Labor Day Weekend! All posters will be 25% off September 1-3, 2012. Poster sale is for in-store purchases only and does not apply to online posters.

With our amazing selection of vintage and modern concert posters, movie posters, and reprints from all music genres, we have something perfect for dorm rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, and everywhere in between. Plus, we've handpicked a few new images especially for the sale that have never been in-stock before.

Types of Posters We Carry
Vintage · Blacklight · 3D · One-Sheets · Cult · Head Shop · German Subways · European · Concert · Mexican Film Prints · Historical Reprints · Fillmore · Goldenvoice · Avalon · Autographed · Framed · Limited Edition & Collectible

Sample Poster Artists We Carry
Kozik · Emek · Kii Arens · Coop · Tara McPherson · Randy Tuten · Darren Grealish · Wes Wilson ·
Bonnie MacLean · Chuck Sperry · Shepard Fairey

Poster Sale at Amoeba


Velvet Underground & Nico Lips Poster   Born in the USA poster


movie promos

The Art Of The LP Cover- Accordions, Accordéons, Acordeóns, Akkordeons, Fisarmonicas...

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 26, 2012 03:20pm | Post a Comment

Most of these LPs came from the recent east coast and latin blowout events.  We still have great product left from both events, stop by the Hollywood store and dig up some treasures.

The Amazing Rufus Thomas

Posted by Joe Goldmark, August 26, 2012 02:39pm | Post a Comment
Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!


Rufus Thomas led a storied life. He started in show business in the late 1930s with a traveling minstrel show. By the early ‘50s, he was a renowned DJ on WDIA Memphis and was also recording on Meteor, Chess, and Sun Records.  

rufus thomas rufus thomas

“Bear Cat” - Sun Records 1953 

 
His daughter, Carla, had one of the first hits on the fledgling Stax Records with “Gee Whiz.”  Two years later in 1963, Rufus had a monster crossover hit with “Walking The Dog.” Later he recorded “Jump Back,” which became a R&R standard. 

“Walking The Dog”


"Jump Back" (live)

In the late ‘60s, Rufus had many R&B hits and some of the first funk hits. 

"Memphis Train"

He also headlined at Wattstax, as shown below. Rufus died at age 84 in 2001.

“Do The Breakdown” (live)


“The Funky Chicken” (live)

Noise Pop Record Collective Party w/ Pat Spurgeon of Rogue Wave & Churches! Tuesday, August 28th.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 26, 2012 01:40pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Everything you've heard about the vinyl resurgence is true...and we're celebrating! Noise Pop and Amoeba Music continue the biweekly Noise Pop Record Collectivevinyl party Noise Pop Record Collective on Tuesday, August 28th in Oakland at Bar Three-Fifty-Five!

Here's how it works: fans are invited to bring their own record for the carefully selected celebrity host DJs to play over the course of the evening. When you come, just check your records in at the DJ booth with the Record Collective Librarians and you'll be all set to party. 

On Tuesday, August 28th, we welcome special guest DJ and host Pat Spurgeon of Rogue Wave and Churches! The party goes from 8pm till midnight!

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

PS: Sorry young vinyl fans, but Record Collective is 21+ only.



Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up 08.25.12: Top 5, Summer Park Jam, JJ Doom, LL Cool J, RTB, Nas, Humpty Hump's Head, KnowItAll's Kickstarter Drive

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
JJ Doom Guvnor (2012)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:24:12

1) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)

3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
4) DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring (Cash Money)

5) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

Thanks to Edwin in the Hip-Hop department at the Amoeba Hollywood store for this week's top five chart which includes with a bullet in the number one slot care of Lex Records  Key to the Kuffs  which is the highly recommended new album from JJ DOOM (aka the collective talents of Jneiro Jarel and DOOM along with some special guests) which is excellent from start to finish with tracks like "Winter Blues," "Banished" (the first track leaked from the album early this year), and "Guvnor' (single - see video above).  This latest MF Doom project follows in the tradition of such previous killer Doom collaborations as when Doom teamed up with Madlib as Madvillain and with Danger Mouse as DangerDoom. The 15 track new JJ DOOM project was conceived over the past twelve months while Doom was "in exile" over in London, England (something he references on the release including on "Borin' Convo" when he raps "The super villain get kicked out your country"). As well as the two main artists the album features such guests as Damon Albarn, Khujo Goodie and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. The album's distinctive cover art (above) is by Steve Powers (aka ESPO).

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Amoeba Hollywood Unveils New Punk Section! Check Out 10 Classic Punk Records.

Posted by Billy Gil, August 24, 2012 03:15pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Following the lead of Amoeba San Francisco and Berkeley, Amoeba Hollywood has debuted its own punk section. The section, located in the main room, straight back and on the left from when you walk into the store, has loads of CDs, LPs, Punk T-shirts and patches. Genres include Punk, Hardcore, Oi, Crust, Thrash, Metalcore, and more.









The video below shows some of the shirts you can find at Amoeba.

 
Check out a list of classic punk and hardcore records you can find in the store, many of which have their roots right here in our little corner of the country (more specifically, L.A., especially The South Bay, and Orange County).
 
adolescentsAdolescents – Adolescents (CD or LP)
 
A supergroup of sorts formed in Fullerton, with members of Agent Orange and Social Distortion, Adolescents’ first album influenced legions with a sound that remained tuneful and dynamic within the hardcore punk rock frame of mostly short songs played hard and fast. It’s difficult to imagine Orange County descendants like Pennywise, The Offspring and No Doubt solidifying the So. Cal. punk sound without this first combustible blast of a record. Plus, their first single was called “Amoeba,” so that’s awesome too!
 

 
bad brainsBad Brains – Bad Brains (CD or LP)
 
How to describe Bad Brains and their first originally cassette-only release? Fucking insane. Former jazz fusion guitarist Dr. Know formed the band as a crossroads between punk and reggae, but DC-based Bad Brains hardly held back from extremes, as tracks like “Supertouch / Shitfit” and “Pay to Cum” are hardcore at its rawest, with singer H.R.’s banshee wail sailing over power-chord surge, sandwiching songs like the six-minute plus straight-faced dub of “I Luv I Jah.”
 


 
black flagBlack Flag – Damaged (CD or LP)
 
Despite their tough image — just look at that cover art — Hermosa Beach-based Black Flag were and are so beloved because they had the best songs, catchiest riffs and most charismatic frontman in hardcore. Henry Rollins’ infectious chants and grunts make “Rise Above” the fist-pumper above all others, and songs like “Six Pack” and “TV Party” are the ultimate dude-party anthems — “I’ve got a six-pack and nothing to do!” Its effects are still felt in unexpected ways — brainy indie rock band Dirty Projectors’ breakthrough was a full-album cover of Damaged, from years-ago memory.
 
 
Circle Jerks Group SexCircle Jerks – Group Sex (CD or LP)
 
Of all the original hardcore bands, Circle Jerks seemed to be having the most fun. Their “Live Fast Die Young” credo still rings true today because they didn’t seem like they were so serious about it, or anything, for that matter. Formed by Black Flag’s original vocalist, Keith Morris, and ex-Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson, Group Sex churning out hard, very fast and very short (no song breaks the two-minute mark) party-rock songs that tear down L.A. douchebags (“Beverly Hills, Century City/Everything so nice and pretty/All the people look the same/Don’t they know they’re so damn lame?”) and tell the world to go right up their asses.
 
 
descendentsDescendents – Milo Goes to College (CD or LP)
 
If The Descendents are the nerdiest hardcore band, they’re also one of the cleverest. Milo Goes to College taps into angst from high school to college to work and relationships, kind of making everything seem shitty but also worth laughing at. From taking the piss outta rich kids (“I’m Not a Loser”) to parents who won’t shut up (“Parents”) to wanting marriage over sex (“Marriage”) to writing a punk song about not being a punk (“I’m Not a Punk”), The Descendents’ music was funny but also was poignant in some ways.
 


 
fear the recordFear – The Record (CD)
 
Led by wild man (and Clue actor!) Lee Ving, Fear weren’t particular fond of being tasteful with songs like “Fuck Christmas” and lyrics that weren’t so nice to gays, women or anyone. However, confrontation is Fear’s M.O., and playing into aggression in order to expose it is a brilliant part of that — take “Foreign Policy’s” lyrics: “Hatred is purity! Weakness is disease! Where we bury you! It’s manifest destiny!” Fear also sang a lot about beer and trying to get laid. This record is full of bile but also some really well-written songs — “I Don’t Care About You,” “I Love Livin’ In the City.”
 
 

The Germs – M.I.A.: The Complete Germs (CD)
 
My favorites. The Germs always seemed to me like a punk band for the rest of us, maybe because frontman Darby Crash was gay and was more interested in hating himself than gays or women (self-mutilation; suicide), and bassist Lorna Doom was a girl and had a cool name. They could barely play their instruments at first and yet produced some of punk’s most idiosyncratic and cool music, like the infectious “Lexicon Devil” and beautifully doomed “We Must Bleed.” They only really had one album, G.I. (available on LP); for a collection that includes nearly all of their recordings, M.I.A. is startlingly consistent and crucial.
 

nofxNOFX – Punk in Drublic (CD)
 
NOFX remained quintessentially punk by avoiding major labels and staying true to their ska-tinged post-hardcore pop-punk sound, reaching its zenith on this 1994 album. White high school kids in So. Cal. love this shit like no other!
 

 





rise againstRise Against – The Unravelling (CD or LP)
 
Many emo bands could do right by returning to listen to Rise Against’s The Unravelling. The band was one of the best to update Husker Du and Rites of Spring’s fusion of hardcore sensibilities with pop melodies without the former just being a badge of honor — Tim McIlrath’s vocals shred on true hardcore gems like “Great Awakening” while opening the sound to radio-friendly choruses.
 



 
youth of todayYouth of Today – Can’t Close My Eyes (CD)
 
Viscerally demanding second-wave straight edge purveyors Youth of Today helped make not eating meat or drinking alcohol seem cool. They recently reunited for shows, so listening to Can’t Close My Eyes needn’t be an exercise in nostalgia — hopefully you can see them live or maybe get some new Youth of Today some day soon!
 

 

 

Local Stuff: The Soft Pack, Pinback, Ariel Pink

Posted by Billy Gil, August 24, 2012 12:14pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
The Soft Pack – “Tallboy”
 
Every taste we’ve gotten thus far of the new Soft Pack album, Strapped, has been an indication that the album presents a leap forward for the band in terms of songwriting and production. “Tallboy” is no exception, with its gently tugging melody and subtle horns that come in halfway through. Strapped is out Sept. 25 on Mexican Summer (preorder here). They're also playing FYF Fest Sept. 1-2; tickets are still on sale at Amoeba Hollywood!











 

 
 

Pinback – “Proceed to Memory”

 
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Pinback, since their last album, Autumn of the Seraphs, in 2007. I grew up loving this band and am excited to have them back with a new song and album, Information Retrieved, out Oct. 16 from Temporary Residence Ltd. The same elements I fell in love with before are still intact — great guitar and vocal interplay, intimate sparseness — but I haven’t heard a soaring chorus like the one on “Proceed to Memory” before in a Pinback song. Leaves me hungry to hear the rest of the new album!
 



 


Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Only in My Dreams” video

 
More fun from the Ariel Pink camp — the video for “Only in My Dreams” from Mature Themes, out now, features Pink connecting with various ladies after being kicked out by his girlfriend (played by fellow L.A. goodie Geneva Jacuzzi). You’ll just have to watch to see this soap opera ends.
 

 

This weekend is Echo Park Rising in Echo Park. Tons of great local bands are playing all day Saturday, including Voxhaul Broadcast, Betty White, High Places, Black Apples, Amy Jo Williams, Dante vs. Zombies, NO, Gothic Tropic, Fool's Gold and more. Check out their site to find out more; see set times here; or just stroll around Echo Park haunts like 826LA/Time Travel Mart, Barragan’s, The Echo/Echoplex, Origami Vinyl, Taix, Little Joy, Short Stop, Echo Country Outpost, Bedrock Studios, Lot 1 Café, Masa and more.

Show Recap: Everest Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, August 23, 2012 06:10pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
L.A. psych rockers Everest proved they’re really a band to be seen live, with a set at Amoeba Hollywood to promote their new album, Ownerless. Beginning with the first song off of that album, “Rapture,” Everest’s five members hit the harmonies close to perfectly that softly line the song, but the real showcase comes with a heavy guitar freakout that appears in the last third of the song. Such guitar noise breaks are sometimes difficult to convey on record; Everest does, as Ownerless attests, but live, the reverberations from their three-guitar psych attack are more even more untamed, lacking compression and studio sheen. The same went for the band’s second song, and second on the album, “Into the Grey,” whose heartfelt vocals and whistling melody make it a hooky, easy to latch onto song in the band’s catalog. Russell Pollard’s vocals, which compare favorably with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, make the song a standout, but live, again, guitars take center stage, with the song’s freakout part a lot freakier, lifting off the song’s nicely building momentum and great underlying guitar ambience. Pollard switched to acoustic guitar for some of the set’s relatively lighter numbers, including “Give a Little,” highlighted by nicely ascending melodies. “It’s always nice to come back home,” Pollard said, who used to work at Amoeba. A head-bobbing crowd welcomed him back warmly, appreciative of the band’s lush melodies and spirals of guitar noise. (See more pics here.)





Amoeba Music Sponsors the 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21-23

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 23, 2012 05:53pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
monterey jazz festival
Amoeba Music is proud to once again be an official sponsor of the Monterey Jazz Festival and to be on-site with a Mini-Amoeba store!

The 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) includes a stellar line-up of more than 500 artists performing on eight stages over the course of two days and three nights. See live sets from Tony Bennett, Eddie Palmieri, Esperanza Spalding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Trombone Shorty, Pat Metheny, and so many more!

Swing by the Mini-Amoeba between sets for tons of rare, collectible, and out-of-print CDs and LPs for sale from our vaults. Plus, look for a host of artists who will be signing copies of their catalog CDs at our booth after their performance. We have confirmed signings with these stellar musicians at the Mini-Amoeba:

Friday Saturday Sunday
Tammi Brown -- 8:00pm
Pedrito Martinez -- 9:30pm
Robert Randolph -- 3:00pm
Ali Ryerson / Mimi Fox -- 4:00pm
Trombone Shorty -- 5:00pm
Mingo Fishtrap -- 5:45pm
Tierney Sutton -- 8:15pm
Christian Scott -- 9:00pm

Ambrose Akinmusire --  2:30pm
Esperanza Spalding -- 4:45pm
Kyle Eastwood -- 7:30pm
Meklit Hadero -- 9:30pm

Please check back for updates on our signing schedule and further coverage! Also, check out out interviews and coverage from last year's MJF HERE!

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4th Annual Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Festival, September 2012

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 23, 2012 04:43pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Mission Creek Oakland (MCO) returns in September for a month-long festival packed with shows featuring dozens of local bands and showcasing fifteen venues such as the Uptown Nightclub, The Stork Club, and even AMOEBA BERKELEY!

The festival will feature many exciting bands that were selected from a public call for entries, such as DempseyWindham FlatCoast Jumper, and  ++++. Highlights include an all-ages in-store performance from Micachu & the Shapes at Ameoba Berkeley on September 22nd at 2pm, a short film night at Rooz Café, and an art show curated by “Oakland Under $100.” Plus, several shows will feature local standup comedians as opening acts! What more could you ask for?! 

For the complete calendar, click HERE!

More info on the festival HERE!

Micachu & the Shapes


Windham Flats:

Detroit's Stereo Boyz Build Via Underground Releases, Tours, & "Monkey Barz" Cipher

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2012 10:20am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Stereo Boyz "RayBanz (feat. Shoua Kue)" (2012)

Detroit underground hip-hop crew the Stereo Boyz just dropped a new single/video (above) titled "RayBanz" with a vocal feature from Shoua Kue and production by Nick Speed (G-Unit) with scratches and cuts by DJ Los. "RayBanz" is the lead single off the upcoming album Carz, Clubz & Theaterz (the follow up to last year's Live from the Ghettoblaster EP) from the Michigan duo that features the two MCs Mixo (aka Applauze Beetz) and Mic Audio (aka Perfect Hell) who for close to a decade pre-Stereo Boyz were part of another Detroit group called Rhyme Asylum. Wholeheartedly embracing the  DIY hip-hop ethos the Stereo Boyz have traveled round the US and also over to Europe to do a series of underground shows - all the while slowly building their rep and fan-base. I met up with the pair a few months ago when they traveled by car from Detroit to New York City to do a series of shows including one at the Bowery Poetry Club and another in the park. That (informal) park set was one of their infamous Monkey Barz cipher sessions - a true traditional hip-hop event that they hold on a weekly basis back in their hometown. See the video below of their first 2012 Monkey Barz session. For the one-off NYC Monkey Barz session the visiting Stereo Boyz headed to Union Square on a balmy Saturday afternoon with their big white boombox in tow to provide beats, and there attracted a huge crowd - many of them also emcees who joined in the freestyle session.

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Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, Sunday 9/2

Posted by Amoebite, August 22, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
On Sunday, September 2nd, Amoeba will be at one of the Southland's biggest and best record swap meets, the Pasadena City College's Flea Market and Record Swap. With over 500 vendors, the Flea Market features antiques and collectibles, records, tools, clothes, toys and much more, not to mention food and good company. And admission is always free!

The Flea Market and Record Swap is from 7am-3pm. Look for the Amoeba booth located in the Bonnie St. parking structure (Lot 5) on the third level. We always have a great selection of vinyl, from dollar records to collectibles in every genre. Come out and enjoy your Sunday with us!

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

More info HERE.

   

PUSSY RIOT Benefit Show Held at The Smell With Vivian Girls and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2012 05:38pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share


At some point in the past few weeks, Pussy Riot became the most important band in the world. They’re not “important” in the 9.0 review on Pitchfork kind of way. Rather, Pussy Riot is a band that reminds us that music can, and does, have a very real worldwide impact.
 
I won’t attempt to re-report the tons of great coverage the Russian feminist punk band has received since reaching international attention, but here’s a summation: the Moscow-based band has held public performances wearing colorful masks and clothing while playing songs that directly criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the politics of the Russian Orthodox Church. These quick concerts are filmed and then put online, having appeared in places like the band’s livejournal page. One such performance, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, on Feb. 21, 2012, landed three of the collective’s members in jail, and after a widely publicized trial, they were found guilty of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred against the church. 
 
The verdict has been widely criticized as overly harsh. The United States State Department, The U.S. Embassy in Russia, U.S. President Barack Obama, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, among others, have expressed disappointment or disgust with the decision. Artists including Bjork, Madonna, Tim Minchin, Zola Jesus, Patti Smith, Paul McCartney and others have expressed public indignation over the decision, while on Aug. 16 a demonstration was held in New York, where actress Chloë Sevigny, writer Eileen Myles and others read writings and court statements from the detained members of the band — Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich. Vice Magazine editors got tattoos of the word “hooligan” in Russian to show their support. The Guaridan (U.K.) edited together a montage of Pussy Riot supporters with their song “Putin Lights Up the Fires.” Marches and protests have been held around the globe, with supporters donning similar attire to that worn by the band during its performances.

 

 
 

Over here in L.A., local bands have come together for a benefit show at the Smell, taking place this Monday, Aug. 27, at 8 p.m. The all-ages show will feature Vivian Girls, Pangea, Haim and Kremlin Head (with members of Bleached/Mika Miko and No Age playing punk covers), as well as DJ sets. Tickets are $10 and will go on sale at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23. All proceeds will go toward the Pussy Riot Defense Fund. Buy tickets here and visit http://pussyriotla.tumblr.com/ for more information.
 
I sat down to speak with Vivian Girls and La Sera’s Katy Goodman about the show and what a band like Pussy Riot means to her.
 
Amoeba: So let’s talk about Pussy Riot a bit. Where did you first read or hear about them and what did you think?
 
Goodman: I heard about it a few months ago. One of my bandmates was like oh man, have you heard about this? I did some research and it seems crazy to me. The fact that they just got sentenced – I didn’t think they’d get two years. So I’m glad to be able to participate in this.
 
Amoeba: I wasn’t sure what to expect of the music, but it’s really ferocious, reminds me of Bikini Kill. Are you guys going to try to cover any songs?
 
Goodman: No, we’re not going to cover any of their songs. I feel like for us, in America, we get to play and sing about anything we want. And especially because we’re an all-girl band, we can play pretty much wherever and whenever we want to without risk of imprisonment. We’re just doing our songs, I think all the other bands are too. I don’t think we could do one of their songs.
 
Amoeba: The Russian might be tough to tackle.
 
Goodman: That would be hard. I guess we could look up the English translation. … We just want to play a show and show our solidarity to them, and hopefully they realize how many people around the world support them.
 
Amoeba: How did this benefit show come together?
 
Goodman: I don’t want to go too into detail. It’s somewhat anonymous, kind of in the vein of Pussy Riot. I feel like there is gonna be a series of shows … of people who support the cause.
 
Amoeba: Will you guys be donning the masks the band wears?
 
Goodman: I don’t know, I guess you’ll have to come to the show to see! I think … there will be stuff like that going on.
 
Amoeba: It’s been really amazing to see what an impact this has had worldwide. It’s sort of a reminder to all of us who work with music that it can be a lot bigger than just the day to day. What do you think about that — these women putting their lives on the line with their music because of what it can represent? Does it make you think about what people’s goals are with their own music?
 
Goodman: I definitely have taken for granted throughout my music career, I take for granted that I’m allowed to say whatever I want. I can write songs about politics or I can write songs about having a crush on someone. And I can play in public, no matter what I’m saying, without fear of going to jail. These women understand the situation in Russia is very different. It’s amazing they’re putting themselves out there this way with their message. Not all of their messages are about being women — they went to jail for saying Putin and the church, that there should be more of a separation between church and state. We’ve had that since day one in America. They’re still fighting that today. I think different people use art in different ways to express themselves. Some people use music to express their political views, which is what these women are doing. And I think what they’re doing is amazing.

Rapper Cozzy: Who You Know Helps, but it Ultimately Comes Down to Talent & Hard Work

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2012 10:19am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
In the music business who you know helps but it isn't enough to get you ahead. You have to have substance to back it up. 20 year old Pensacola, Florida rapper Cozzy found this out when, first starting out recording hip-hop a few years ago, the burgeoning young rapper hit up his successful uncle in the rap biz - Tobin "TC" Coston who was Master P’s manager and VP & GM of his No Limit Records label - thinking his well connected relative would get him a record deal right away. But that was not the case initially.

"I have had many relatives hit me up for record deals," said TC who has turned them all down including Cozzy, at first. But he liked how consistent the young rapper was in both his work ethic and his "promising" vocal flow even though it still had a ways to go. "I told him to keep working because it was really raw. He continued to send me music and I heard something from him I liked." Then after several goes around TC heard his nephew freestyle over some popular tracks that Cozzy totally made his own. So impressed was his uncle he that he signed him to Me & Mine Entertainment; the label known for releasing (among many others) Lil’ Troy’s platinum Sitting Fat Down South. He also signed his rap crew F.B.N. (Fresh By Nature) to the label and is committed to sticking by both and developing them as artists over a long term - something you don't hear of much these days in the financially stressed & ever fickle music biz.

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Discostan Returns Wednesday, August 22nd

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 21, 2012 11:22pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
 

D I S C O S T A N
Music from Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay

***

DISCOSTAN returns with a unique brand of glamorous shadow disco, drawn from the cross-cultural sounds that stretch from the eastern edge of the Bosphorus, throughout the Maghreb, under the Balkans, down the Bekaa Valley, and all over the Subcontinent. 


Golden-era Bollywood filmi tunes
Turkish funk and disco
Arabic dabke stompers
Balkan brass attacks
Dangdut edits
Bhangra bangers
Hot soukous

...and endless more.

*** 

SPECIAL GUEST DJ:

Bei Ru (Musa-Ler Music)
www.beirumusic.com


RESIDENT SELECTORS:

DJ Aruna Irani (Radio Sombra, Sublime Frequencies)

Gomez Comes Alive (Radio Sombra/Discos Inmigrantes)

Alky Holovic 

Ají 

***

Footsie’s
2640 North Figueroa St.
LA, 90065


Every 4th Wednesday
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.


Free all night for you and yours ... ♥

Album Picks: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Bill Fay, Lorelei, Plus Albums Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2012 06:46pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
ariel pinkI haven’t had any picks per se over the past couple of weeks. Truth be told there just wasn’t that much I was excited about. Then this week comes Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s new album, Mature Themes. I was concerned about this one — reports of the band breaking up, then not; an inter-band lawsuit; and a lovely yet somber cover (“Baby”) chosen as the first single. But not to worry; Mature Themes proves to be a tongue-in-cheek title, though its title track does tuck quarter-life crisis neatly into clever lines and jaunty ’70s AM Gold (“I wish I was taller than 5-foot-four/Thirty-five years old/My life spent computing it all”). Ariel Pink has a way of making even self-destruction sound amusing, bouncing lyrics like “Who sank my battleship? I sank my own battletrip” off gooey guitar riffs and organs on Mature Themes’ opener, “Kinski Assasin” (another sample lyric: “suicide dumplings dropping testicle bombs”). It’s as much fun as its predecessor, Ariel Pink’s lo-fi pop breakthrough, Before Today, but with more of a focus on songcraft. “Only in Dreams” has its fair share of neat production flourishes, but it wouldn’t need them to send its ’60s pop hooks into your brain. And with repeated listens, the breadth of bargain-bin pop and forgotten sources reconfigured through Ariel Pink’s art school lens becomes more apparent, and more bewildering. Is “Live it Up” meant to sound like the dream-pop soundtrack to an early NES game? Is “Symphony of the Nymph” both the name and theme song to a sexy straight-to-VHS ’80s comedy? Is “Schnitzel Boogie” actually a boogie, and does that mean I should learn more about boogie? With Ariel Pink, every song seems to occupy its own little sound wave, and surfing between their brilliant colors makes all others seem monochromatic in comparison.
 
bill fayAlso out today is the first album in 40 years from British singer-songwriter Bill Fay. I hadn’t heard Fay’s music previously, but after hearing the stunning Life is People, I’ll be sure to check out his earlier work. “There is a Valley” is a spiritual of sorts personifying the trees, sheep and flowers that surround humanity, detailing how they’ve born witness to the destruction caused by humanity. It doesn’t come off as preachy, but rather, when taken with the album’s title, allows its listeners to see the bigger picture of humanity as one element that impacts its environment more than any other. It helps that Fay’s voice evokes rare wisdom, like a subtler Leonard Cohen or calmer Patti Smith. While many of the songs on Life is People invite somber meditation, based around ominous orchestration, there’s also a fighting spirit that saves Life is People from too much cynicism — even as lines call to mind the struggles of the working poor on “This World,” a collaboration from admirer Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco, who covered Fay’s “Be Not So Fearful” in their documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart), the song benefits from a sunny, alt-country delivery. Similarly, “The Healing Day” is so lush that even its bittersweet tone feels comforting, as Fay sings a simple line like “it’ll be OK” and sends shivers down your spine. But you don’t have to take my word for it — listen to a full album stream below and pick up a copy of Life is People.
 

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Amoeba Holds Listening Party for The Darkness' "Hot Cakes"

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2012 06:15pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Amoeba Hollywood held a listening party for the release of the glamtastic new album from The Darkness, Hot Cakes. Auntie Em’s provided hot cakes of their own with its delicious mini cupcakes, and attendees were encouraged to enter into Amoeba’s Darkness contest, in which one winner gets a signed guitar from the band, an autographed CD booklet, a white label vinyl copy of Hot Cakes, two tickets to the band's show Oct. 24 at Club Nokia and a cowbell! Five runner-ups win autographed CD booklets. Winners will be chosen tomorrow. There’s still time to enter!






Another contest will be held for tickets to the Club Nokia show closer to the show date via Twitter. Those who buy the album in store also will get a free Darkness patch while supplies last. Read more about Hot Cakes and order it here

"Push Girls" Needs to Push Back! By Guest Amoeblogger Leroy Moore

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
As a Black, disabled, community activist, journalist and lover of disability and music history, I’m always sitting on my hands when mainstream media gets on the disability wagon or more like it picks out the flavor of the year / month / day, or minute. As a columnist of Illin-N-Chillin on Poor Magazine and founder of Krip-Hop Nation (an international project of Hip-Hop and other musicians with disabilities), I have written about movies, artists, and journalists who write, act, and sing about disability and many times it has been from non-disabled artists. On the other side you have what I call “Me Too Media,” where people with disabilities in lead roles lack any politics or anything that is representative of the vast disability community. This happens just to get two seconds of bling bling or because the media can’t handle it and have control over what is produced.

Taking what I’ve said above, when the Sundance Channel network's Push Girls first appeared on my Google Alerts long before the show came out, I was worried because it was under the mainstream media cloud that does not have a good record of representing disability issues. That shaped my assumptions way before it came out. I have to say, I don’t have cable and, like so many people with disabilities, I can’t afford living in reality television. Today mainstream media likes to play in other’s shoes without the real life issues, like the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. I saw only the first episode of Push Girls because it was on the Internet for free for a very short time, so I can only talk about my short contact with Auti Angel, one of the Push Girls way before the show, the pre-media frame around the show, and the time before the first episode.

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A happy birthday, of sorts, to radio

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 20, 2012 08:56pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

As regular readers of my blog (if there is such a thing) probably know, I’m a bit of a radio junkie – spending many hours every day listening to Old Time Radio dramas, public radio, AM radio and podcasts. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 20 August is a pretty big deal to me because it was on this day, back in 1920, that the first radio station began regular broadcasting. Back then, 8MK (now WWJ) began operation in Detroit, Michigan and in doing so it became (by my definition) the first real radio station -- regularly and ultimately continuously broadcasting news, religious and sports programing.



BIRTH OF RADIO
 


The idea of using radio waves to transmit information was first proposed by Serbian-American inventor and geek god, Nikola Tesla, in 1892. He applied for the first radio patents in 1897. Tesla’s main rival, Thomas Edison, backed Guglielmo Marconi, who in 1901 conducted the first successful transatlantic experimental radio communications. As a result, Tesla’s patent was reversed, thus depriving him of royalty payments. On Christmas Eve of 1906, Reginald Fessenden reportedly (accessible documentation is questionable) broadcast the first radio program, consisting of some violin playing and passages from the Bible and thus invented AM radio. Shortly after, in 1907, Marconi went on to establish the first transatlantic radio service between Clifden, Ireland and Glace Bay, Canada.



8MK AND THE BIRTH OF COMMERCIAL RADIO

By 1920, radio had been used for many occasional broadcasts, communications and by ham operators for more than a decade before a teenaged radio aficionado and pioneer, Michael DeLisle Lyons, founded the first permanent radio station with radio broadcasts. He was assigned the call sign 8MK by the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Navigation and began broadcasting from the Detroit News building. Later the same year, Michael, his brother Frank, and Ed Clark created the first police radio.



GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO
 

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Behind the Scenes with Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 20, 2012 06:33pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Dave Stewart shot an episode of What's In My Bag? at Amoeba Hollywood recently. Atlhough he may best be known as half of the Eurythmics, he is an incredibly accomplished producer and songwriter, not to mention being an author and filmmaker on top of all that. The man has worked with legends, from Nelson Mandela (on the 46664 campaign) to Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and a ton of others. Oh, did I forget to mention that Mr. Stewart also started a band called Super Heavy with Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman, Damian Marley, and Joss Stone?

Needless to say, he had a lot of great stories to share with us, including how Mick Jagger can't help but behave like "Mick Jagger on stage," complete with all his signature dance moves, even when he's in the recording booth. Can't wait to see the video when it's finished!
 

Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Rest in Peace Phyllis Diller

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2012 01:05pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
         

Rest in peace to actress and comedian Phyllis Diller (age 95) who died this morning (Aug 20th) at her Los Angeles Home as reported by her longtime manager Milt Suchin to The Hollywood Reporter.  Above is a clip of her on the Liberace Show in 1969 and below is a stand up bit (a non-stop flow of funny one liners) from her farewell tour released on DVD six years ago as part of the recommended documentary on Phyllis called "Goodnight, We Love You." Look for it at Amoeba and for such other Phyllis Diller items as her album Laughs on Verve Records.


Phyllis Diller from Goodnight, We Love You (2006)


The Late, Great Tony Scott

Posted by Charles Reece, August 20, 2012 06:26am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share


People don't fuck standing up any more, nor do they fuck while driving cars. They certainly did in Tony Scott's Revenge, the perfect capstone to 80s cinema. So here's to the ridiculous sublime in his art. (And how about that clothes closet with billowing curtains?) He jumped off a bridge yesterday.

August 19, 2012: Side by Side

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2012 08:06pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

August 19, 2012: The Expendables 2

Posted by phil blankenship, August 19, 2012 01:05pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Herman Stein - Architect of the Sound of Science-Fiction

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 19, 2012 07:45am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Though his name isn’t widely recognized, Herman Stein was a very influential American composer. Though he composed hundreds of film scores, he was most influential in for his work within the genres of horror and science-fiction. Some of his most recognized scores were created for Creature from the black lagoon, The incredible shrinking man, It came from outer space, Love slaves of the Amazons, The Mole People, The Monolith MonstersRevenge of the Creature, and This island EarthTarantula.



Herman Stein was born 19 August, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began playing piano at the age of three and made his concert debut when he was six. Reportedly he was almost entirely self-taught, having spent many hours studying scores at his local public library.
He became a professional arranger when he was 15. In the 1930 and ‘40s he arranged for bands, including those of Blanche Calloway, Bob CrosbyCount Basie, David Rubinoff, Don RedmanFred WaringGus Haenschen, and Red Norvo. He also composed for radio programs, cartoons and commercials, as well as absolute music like 1967’s A sour suite.







During World War II he served in the army. In 1948, he moved to Los Angeles, California. There he studied with Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In 1949 he wrote Suite for Mario for his mentor, although it  wasn’t recorded until 2008. In 1950 he married Anita Shervin, a violist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In 1950 he was hired by Universal-International Studios, where the writing staff also included Hans J. Salter, William Lava, and Frank Skinner. He's said to have ultimately worked on the scores for about 200 films, usually uncredited, and often collaborating with fellow greats like Salter, Skinner and most often, a young Henry Mancini, who was hired by Universal in 1952. For the scores on which they collaborated, Stein would handle the opening titles and dramatic scenes whilst Mancini would handle the lighter moments and “Mickey Mousing.”

Stein also scored comedies, dramas and westerns such as
Abbott and Costello go to Mars, Has anybody seen my gal?,
Drums across the river, Horizons west, The intruder, Willie and Joe Back at the front as well as about half of the Ma and Pa Kettle films. He left Universal in 1958 and went on to score other films and primarily TV. One of his last film score's was for William Castle’s 1966 film, Let's kill Uncle.
For TV he composed for such series as Daniel Boone, Gunsmoke, The life and legend of Wyatt Earp, Lost in space, M Squad, The time tunnelVoyage to the bottom of the sea, and Wagon train. His very last film score was for Al Adamson’s 1975 comedy western, Blazing stewardesses. After composing 1979's Mock march, he retired.




       Credit: 
Kathleen Mayne, 1996 



Stein's wife, Anita, died in 2001. On 15 March, 2007, Stein died of congestive heart failure in his home
at the age of 91.
Dick Jacobs - Theme from Horror Movies

My introduction to him (and Hans J. Salter and William Lava, for that matter) was as a child listening to an vinyl copy of Themes from horror movies (1959) performed by Dick Jacobs and his Orchestra and quirkily narrated by voice-over actor Bob McFadden (to text written by Mort Goode). At the time I hadn’t seen any of the films whose scores were included so I’d just listen to Stein's themes, look at the posters, and let my imagination take over. Almost inevitably, once I would get around to seeing the films they usually disappointed but Stein’s themes still managed to elevate even the worst of them. 

*****

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Meta P Shares Insights on Heartfelt Tribute to His Late Twin Sister Lindsay Sbardella

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2012 04:14am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Meta P “Dragonfly (My Other Heartbeat)" (2012)

Some of the greatest pieces of art come from a place of pain and hurt and the new Matty Mischief produced track by Rhode Island rapper Meta P (aka Metaphysics) is a prime example of this. "Dragonfly (My Other Heartbeat)" (song/video above) is dedicated to his twin sister Lindsay Sbardella who passed two months ago on June 23, 2012 at age 28. The hip-hop song is a heartfelt, truly touching tribute with the surviving sibling rapping lines to his "best friend" like "nobody loves you like your twin brother in the womb together….I can't believe you're gone….. I can see you in the stars. I can see you in my mom …I hold you in my heart till me meet on the other side."  Meta P, who recently got named Providence Phoenix's "Best Rap Act 2012," is giving the song away for as a free download but he encourages people to donate in Lindsay's name to the RISPCA. "She loved animals," said the artist who has dropped such albums such as 2010's Off the Rock and Edison's Ink earlier this year. His forthcoming project is called Evolution and will such tracks as "Kill Swag" featuring Celph Titled (Demigodz). I caught up with the artist to ask him more about this touching tribute to his sister.

Amoeblog: What was the most difficult thing and what was the most rewarding thing about writing & recording this song?

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Dreamy Shoegaze reissue from your new old favorite band Dreamscape...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 17, 2012 03:46pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

I always hope that there will be another reissue of some sort of some band that I never even knew existed. I figure that there has to be at least a couple dozen bands of the dreampop or shoegaze era that I have never heard before. Some band that only put out a couple of limited 7"s and EPs . I know they are out there! I just rely on some label such as Captured Tracks, Darla or Slumberland to reissue them and bring them out of their obscurity. Kranky has gone and done it this time. The band is Dreamscape. A perfect name for what the music sounds and feels like. I will be honest and tell you that I had absolutely never heard of this band until this week. Kranky is putting out a collection from Dreamscape called La-Di-Da Recordings on both CD and LP. The previously had an EP on the label La-Di-Da. This collection comes out next Tuesday 8/21. And you can pre-order them now on amoeba.com.

I really probably should have known who this band was. Two of its former members went on to be one of
my favorite bands of the era, Secret Shine. Dreamscape was around in the very early 90's and basically done being a band by the time I would have been into them. They are the perfect mix of all the best of shoegaze. A mix of The Cocteau Twins and Lush. Not as heavy as My Bloody Valentine. Not as amazing as Slowdive. But still a band that deserves your attention. Much more on the lighter and more ethereal side of shoegaze. This band obviously deserved much more recognition then they had at the time. I am glad to now have them in my life and I look forward to see what other barely known shoegaze bands might be out there. Thank you Kranky for bringing this album to us! Here is what Kranky has to say about the contents of this collection from Dreamscape...

"The first four songs on this album comprise the unreleased EP that was to be named “Greater Than God”, a title that was used later by Secret Shine for a Sarah extended play. Tracks five through eight come from their only 12” release, the Cradle EP on the La-Di-Da label. As a bonus, the final track is the only remaining demo of what was to be a series of new recordings, which never came to fruition. There are a few small glitches from the original source tape on this last track, but it was decided to leave it as is when mastering instead of fudging corrections."







La-Di-Da Recordings by Dreamscape






Local Stuff: Flying Lotus, Deerhoof, King Tuff, The Soft Moon, Cold Showers, Ty Segall

Posted by Billy Gil, August 17, 2012 12:30pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Flying Lotus feat. Erykah Badu – “See Thru to U”
 
This sumptuous, propulsive track comes from L.A. beat maestro Flying Lotus’ new album, Until the Quiet Comes, due Oct. 2 on Warp (preorder here). Expect more excellent pair-ups, such as another with Thom Yorke, on the album.
 

 

Deerhoof – “Fête d'Adieu”

 
So excited to share a new track from S.F.’s Deerhoof, one of my all-time favorite guitar bands. For a while there, it seemed minus guitarist Chris Cohen, the band was losing steam on the lackluster Deerhoof vs. Evil. “Fête d'Adieu” is very promising, however, employing the poppier balance of melodicism with awkward time signatures and chirpy vocals that they moved toward on the Cohen-less but still excellent Friend Opportunity. Here’s hoping Breakup Song is awesome! (Preorder the album here.)

 

King Tuff – “Alone and Stoned” video
 
As if I didn’t love L.A. garage pop dude King Tuff enough already, his video for “Alone and Stoned” from his totally great self-titled album is a lot of fun. All you really need to know is the title of the song and you can see where it goes from there. I need that girl’s cat painting.
 




 

The Soft Moon – “Die Life”
 
S.F.’s The Soft Moon put out a fantastically bleak, uncompromising self-titled first album in 2010 and are due back with a a second album, Zeros, Oct. 30 on Captured Tracks. Listening to that first album feels felt like driving through a dark tunnel with no end. And that rules! This sounds great too.
 

 

Cold Showers – “BC”
 
Been salivating over L.A.’s Cold Showers for some time now. They posted a killer Cars cover a while back. Now here’s the first taste of their first album, Love and Regret, due Oct. 9 on Dais. It’s sort of the sunnier (or at least more humanistic) side of the post-punk coin to The Soft Moon’s life of dying. “BC” really does feel like a blast of cool air during this heat wave, the way it stays calm and collected until that guitar solo dives through and makes way for shimmery guitar knives to follow. Digging all of it.
 

 

Ty Segall – “The Hill”
 
“The Hill” is the first single from Ty Segall’s third album of the year, Twins, due Oct. 9 on Drag City. This starts about a million miles from the rip-your-ear-off distortion of the yet-to-be-topped this year rock of Slaughterhouse, starting with a sort of electro-gospel, female led vocal before, you know, ripping your ear off again with distortion. It’s decidedly dialed back, though, from that of Slaughterhouse, instead focusing more on propulsion, dynamics and melody, as that chorus comes back filtering through the din every once in a while. It’s the most interesting thing Segall has unveiled yet. I love the sound of it so far and bodes well for the rest of Twins.
 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 08.17.12: 2 Chainz, Dopestyle, Nas, La Coka Nostra, Ron Artiste, Has-Lo + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2012 07:07am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:17:12


1) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
3) Nas Illmatic (Columbia)

4) Aesop Rock Skelethon (Rhymesayers)

5) Nas Life Is Good Deluxe edition (Def Jam)

Nas rules everything around him this week at Amoeba Hollywood where life is good for the legendary Queesnbridge NY artist. The emcee once known as Nasty Nas' latest album Life is Good on Def Jam is both number one and number five on the SoCal store's latest Top Five Hip-Hop Chart. The latter entry is the Life Is Good Deluxe CD edition of Life Is Good which boasts four bonus tracks over the regular version. Note that there is also a Life Is Good LP vinyl version (it has exact same 14 tracks as regular CD version) available of this tenth studio album by Nas with featured appearances by Rick Ross, Mary J. Blige and the late great Amy Winehouse. On top of this Nas' landmark 1994 critically acclaimed debut Illmatic has re-entered the chart where it is on the number three slot this week. The other two chart entries are 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story on Def Jam from the Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy,(see his new video for album track with Nicki Minaj cameo down below) and Aesop Rock's much heralded return after a five year hiatus with Skelethon on Rhymesayers Entertainment which is also available from Amoeba in LP/vinyl format. 

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Redd Kross' Steve McDonald Talks to Amoeba About "Researching the Blues"

Posted by Billy Gil, August 16, 2012 04:02pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Redd Kross have been the quintessential underground band for the past three decades. The band has nearly always eschewed both pop and indie convention by staying true to its sound, likely angering as many pop fans with its snottiness and random references to Tatum O’Neil and Shonen Knife as they would indie purirsts with its insistence on lacing its acidic songs with undeniable pop hooks.
 
From Hawthorne, Calif. and based around the duo of brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Redd Kross first released music in 1980 with a self-titled EP, after opening for Black Flag as teenagers for its first gig. Other musicians came and went as the band released records throughout the ’80s and ’90s, hitting their stride with 1987’s Neurotica and 1990's Third Eye. Following 1997’s Show World, the band all but disappeared, with its members occasionally surfacing for other projects — Steve McDonald famously added bass parts to The White StripesWhite Blood Cells, redubbing it Redd Blood Cells, which saw thousands of downloads and press hubbub. The brothers McDonald separately produced albums by other artists as well.
 
The elusive band returned in 2006 to play a set at REDCAT in Los Angeles covering the band’s entire catalog, featuring the Neurotica-era lineup of the McDonalds, Robert Hecker and Roy McDonald. They toured and played a killer set of the entire Born Innocent album opening for Sonic Youth, who played all of Daydream Nation (I was there! Yessss.), at the Greek Theater in L.A. In 2008 they played Coachella, among numerous other festivals and appearances over the past few years. Now, finally, Redd Kross have released an album of new material, entitled Researching the Blues. The album has seen some of the band’s best reviews, garnering an 81% on reviews aggregator Metacritic, and it’s not hard to see why, hearing the enlivened swagger the band displays on songs like the title track (download free here), while maintaining the dynamism that has always set the band apart, also including shimmering power-pop ballads like “Dracula’s Daughter” and “Winter Blues.”

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College Radio Day A Grassroots Movement As Much as A One Day Celebration

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2012 06:13am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
In the aftermath of the US losing several key college radio stations over the past couple of years including KUSF 90.3FM at the University of San Francisco and Rice University's equally beloved college station KTRU in Houston, TX - parties directly affected along, with the countless others that are similarly endangered, have banded together to protest these injustices are still fighting the good fight.

Many of these same individuals are also celebrating the stations they still have while simultaneously building awareness of the cultural value & importance of college and community radio as an independent media voice. This they are doing via College Radio Day which for its inaugural event last year witnessed the participation of over 350 different radio stations. And this year's College Radio Day, taking place seven weeks from now on October 2nd, is shaping up to be an even bigger event in every way with approximately 500 radio stations already signed on to participate in this grand scale broadcast event.

Just as Record Store Day was started by struggling brick and mortar record shops round the country who joined forces, College Radio Day was begun in a somewhat similar vein. The main man responsible for College Radio Day is Rob Quicke of New Jersey's William Paterson University station WPSC who, in celebration of the second edition of this annual event, is compiling a special benefit compilation album by a wide array of artists. Side A reportedly will feature unsigned artists selected by a committee of stations while Side B will feature signed/known artists that are down for the cause and want to acknowledge the support they received from being played on College Radio over their respective careers.  All proceeds will go directly to a transparent College Radio Defense Fund established by Quicke. This week I caught up with Rob to find out more about College Radio Day and this compilation which will be available through Amoeba upon its release.
  
Amoeblog: For those who don't know the full background on College Radio Day; how did it come about?

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Amoeba Hollywood Vinyl Insider- Huge Latin Collection Hits Store Friday Morning!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 15, 2012 12:14am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Check out Gomez Comes Alive's write up regarding this amazing batch of records, click HERE.


August 14, 2012: Killer Joe

Posted by phil blankenship, August 14, 2012 11:22pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

New Albums: Dead Can Dance, 2 Chainz and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 14, 2012 06:47pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
just tell me that you want meVarious ArtistsJust Tell Me That You Want Me                 
 
Starting out with a slice of guitar nirvana as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis joins Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and his band for a trip through the early instrumental Fleetwood Mac jam “Albatross,” a highlight of the period before Stevie and Lindsay joined the band and helped launch them to worldwide fame, Just Tell Me That You Want Me hits all the marks as a tribute album. Ubercool artists are called upon to tackle an intimidating catalog full of both iconic songs and gems buried beneath those tall trees. Antony takes a done-to-death cover with “Landslide” and somehow breathes new life into it with his quivering shivery croon. Up-and-coming singer Trixey Whitley puts on an extraordinary performance of Peter Green’s “Before the Beginning,” while Best Coast provides not her cover of “Storms” — that honor goes to Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who put their own Appalachian spin on the Stevie Nicks torch song — but instead inverts the darkness of “Rhiannon” and makes it into a jaunty, piano-led singalong. Artists like Washed Out, MGMT and especially Tame Impala infuse Mac classics with psychedelic eletronics, and the collection also excels by its possibility of introducing bands who more obviously follow in Fleetwood Mac’s footsteps to fans of Fleetwood Mac, especially L.A. darlings Best Coast and Haim. Just Tell Me That You Want Me succeeds by taking a few chances while staying true to the band it covers.
 
dead can danceDead Can DanceAnastasis
 
Dead Can Dance’s music is one of high concept, sewing various world musics across centuries into its black cape of 4AD goth glory. So given the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard haven’t released an album since 1996’s Spiritchaser, and the demise of their relationship as lovers, it seems only fitting to hear Anastis (Greek for “resurrection”) in terms of the band as a concept. The death march drums and elegiac stringed instrument that open “Kiko” give way to a powerful, mournful vocal from Gerrard. Similarly, “Anabasis” moves on the sound of relentless, clanging percussion and unsettling melodic lines that rise to a climactic cry from Gerrard, but it’s also a perfect example of DCD’s ability to appeal both to world music and underground rock fans — both goth and gothic, if you will — as its synths blend with stringed instruments that predate the use of electricity, and its melodies would sound perfectly fitting played on electric guitars. However, despite the music’s usual grimness, there’s also that sense of revival hinted at by the title, and it comes through on tracks like opener “Children of the Sun,” which builds an expansive chamber sound on which Perry intones “We are the children of the sun/Our journey’s just begun.” Perry has said Anastasis is the beginning of a new era for the band, which will continue with a “regeneration” period; if Anastasis is the sound of death, it is one draped in the most beautiful attire and stately ceremony.
 
2 chainz2 ChainzBased on a T.R.U.Story
 
The onetime Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy knows he’s no youngin. The MC went through a number of difficulties before breaking through with Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag,” which featured then rising star Lil Wayne, and now sees his own star rising at the age of 35 following a string of successful guest spots. His solo debut bears these past experiences but doesn’t force itself on its listeners with excessive boasting or self-seriousness; rather, Based on a T.R.U. Story is excellently executed and a lot of fun. “Birthday Song,” featuring Kanye West, gets by on the line “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.” All of the guest spots are heavy hitters (save for up-and-comer Cap1) who bring something to the table, from The-Dream’s lushness on “Extremely Blessed” to Nicki Minaj, who comically saves the otherwise repetetive “I Love Dem Strippers,” even if she rehashes in part “Beez in the Trap,” on which 2 Chainz previously guested. 2 Chainz’ flow is dynamic throughout, occasionally breaking into faster passages, as on the awesomely strange “Dope Peddler,” though he usually keeps things mellow, favoring economic phrases and quick jokes, perhaps most effectively on “No Lie,” rapping over creepy theramin and sparkling synths before Drake takes over and lends the song his trademark singing-into-rapping style. By playing it cool, surrounding himself with equal talent and not overreaching, 2 Chainz creates a highly effective debut that establishes him not just as a righthand-man rapper but a skillful creator of a consistent hip-hop album.

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Berkeley's LastSundaysFest on Telegraph, August 26th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 14, 2012 03:55pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Sunday, August 26th, from 12pm - 6pm, kicks off the fourth season of Berkeley's LastSundaysFest, a showcase of the hottest indie bands, street food, artisan crafts, and handmade jewelry. Telegraph Ave. is closed to traffic from Dwight and Durant for shopping, strolling, and festivities.

The hottest, most talented East Bay and San Francisco-based bands are playing this year, so get there by noon to hear the music! Oakland's Dark Beach features original material by songwriter Faith Gardner on lead vocals and guitar, and Melissa Dale on drums. The world’s youngest rock band HAUNTED BY HEROES,  Miss Lonely Hearts, The Fashion Slaves, and The Dandelion War will all play the LastSundaysFest stage for a day of all-ages fun. A surprise guest band will be announced on LastSundaysFest's Facebook and Twitter pages on Saturday, August 25th!

Find out more: www.lastsundaysfest.com


Saluting San Francisco's Subterranean

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Flipper at Amoeba San Francisco, Feb 2008

The 1980's was a good decade for Bay Area indie rock music - especially the first half of the decade with labels like legendary small but influential San Francisco record label Subterranean Records who gave the world one of the greatest albums from one of the greatest bands of all time: Flipper's Generic Album which will forever have a welcome place on my record shelf. In recent years when the legendary SF band got back together again and played at Amoeba San Francisco in February 2008  (see video above) they played "That's The Way of The World" and "(I Saw You) Shine" off the influential 1982 album.

Other artists that were released by Subterranean back in the day included the Inflatable Boy Clams (their song "I'm Sorry" - a 7" was a mainstay on KALX and KUSF radio for years) and Polkacide (the polka punk beer fanatics who recorded such songs as "In Heaven There Is No Beer"). The label, that can be found nowadays online here, mainly released music by San Francisco Bay Area artists, Subterranean Records was formed by Steve Tupper in 1979 and immediately became central to the burgeoning wonderful post punk era in San Francisco music - a great time both in the clubs and in recording studios.

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MASSIVE METAL Vinyl Collection Acquired by Amoeba SF Hits the Shelves This Weekend!

Posted by Kells, August 14, 2012 01:05pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share


Attention all METAL heads
: last weekend a behemoth metal vinyl collection descended upon Amoeba Music's San Francisco location!!! Hundreds of records spanning from roughly 1980 to the early-1990's era of vinyl production disruption, including virtually every style of metal imaginable from heavy, hard, hair (glam), thrash, speed, sleaze, and everything in between, including some far-out regional private press pieces. This hoard of remarkable bangers are in excellent condition or maiden (i.e. factory sealed). We're busy readying the beast for release in stages with the first wave to be presented for sale this weekend on Saturday, August 18th. Come feast your eyes, and beware of Stevil and metal Ben's "Buy Or Die" maxim!


The images that follow are only a taste of the overall scope and breadth of this collection, from Accept to Znöwhite. While details concerning the who, what, and whyfores behind the collection remain deliciously mysterious, I can relay (on a personal note) that confronting the prowess and megaforces latent in this darkened pain cave's worth of vinyl treasure is enough to render one's powers physical regulation helpless. I went rogue. And much like attempting an impromptu dual-impression of Nitro's Jim Gillett and Michael Angelo Batio, I found myself short of breath, overwhelmed, and somehow unworthy.

For me, one of the two most impressive pieces to surface in this collection are Mötley Crüe's debut Too Fast For Love,  independently pressed on the band's own Leathür Records label. These were the records that the band purportedly tossed out into the audience during their earliest gigs... you know, back when Nikki Sixx used to light his legs on fire. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have, at one time, considered giving my life for a chance to be among those who actually scored this record that way. But then that is the kind of thinking that comes of teenage years bookended by cheesey plastic rock 'n roll and proto-punk thrash metal, ever heeding liner notes that warned of "masked backwards messages."

The other record that made me do a double take was Odin's Don't Take No For An Answer EP. Perhaps most widely known for being featured in Penelope Spheeris' documentary The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Odin was a band seemingly poised to claim the "Next Big Thing!" status in the late-80's Hollywood rock scene. A memorable moment of the rockumentary depicts sleazy promoter Bill Gazzari, along with his newly crowned rock 'n' roll bimbo, er, winner of the 1987 Miss Gazzari Dance Contest, exhibiting an uncomfortably detached squareness as they chant "Odin! Odin! Odin!" heralding vocalist Randy O. & co. to the stage for a live performance. Trotting out in a maelstrom of constructed glamor, Randy's leather-framed naked ass thrusts in to the rhythm of his best Tom Keifer impersonation (nobody and I mean nobody does Tom Keifer like Tom Keifer, nevermind that Cinderella still resides at the very height of under-appreciated cornerstone acts of the era), caterwauling the lyrics to "Little Gypsy" with a level cocksuredness that only comes of a personal belief that one's band is about to become multi-millionaires. Back then, when MTV used to regularly air Decline after Headbanger's Ball, I too believed the hype and it is likely that I would have bought the record from the local soundhole if I could. Knowing that the band would never really "make it" only compounds the attraction to this rare relic of throwaway trashiness and broken dreams that characterized the once-upon-a-time Hollywood rock scene.

ANYWAY, enough about my interests, here's more shots of the collection. Get there early and LET THEM EAT METAL!




Latin LP Blow-Out Sale Starts Friday, August 17th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 13, 2012 10:30pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
 

Ok, so the title is a little misleading. This is really not a blow-out sale in the classic sense. It's not like we are trying to discard a bunch of stock that has been sitting in the store for awhile. Rather, I like to think of this sale as a perfect storm of Latin LPs that has built up at the Amoeba Hollywood store and is ready to downpour on Friday, August 17th. The sale, which will be located at the bin west of the information counter, continues until August 23rd.

The selection is as incredible as it is diverse. Great selections of Salsa, Rancheras, Boogaloo, Corridos, Flamenco, Cumbia, Spanish Pop, early Latin Rock & Roll, many in pristine condition. Plenty from all your favorite Latin record labels such as Fania, Tico and Discos Fuentes, as well as others that most aren't that familiar with. Labels such as the classic Cuban label, Kubany and old school Corridos from the label, Anahual. Other record labels, such as Musart and Caytronic, which released a variety of Latin Music from Mexico and the Southwest. Lastly, great records out of Central American from the labels Profono and Dicesa.

Many records are old stock that are still sealed. Some are leftovers from the Queens collection that were saved specifically for this sale. Most of the Salsa/Cumbia titles came from separate collection acquired around the same time as the Queens collection. Prices range from $4.99 up to $25.00 for some of the rare collectables. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a perfect storm of  Latin LP stock all coming at once, probably the biggest I've seen in my eight years at Amoeba.

I browsed through the stacks to report on the sale,
I saw many great records by the likes of Joe Arroyo, Justo Benecourt, Vicente Fernandez (Pre-CBS) early Raphael (editions from Spain) La Playa Sextet, Joe Quijano, Lou Perez and Los Corraleros De Majagual. 

As always, these sales are first come, first serve. Hope to see you Friday at 10:30am! 

For more pictures of some of the albums we will be selling, check out The Gone World With Mr. Chadwick

August 13, 2012: The Bourne Legacy

Posted by phil blankenship, August 13, 2012 10:19pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Jovanotti Amoeba Performance Up for Streaming

Posted by Billy Gil, August 13, 2012 09:07pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
Italian rapper extraordinaire Jovanotti just performed at Amoeba Hollywood, and the performance is up to stream now. For the unitiated, the dapper performer raps over over loungey Italian pop-rock, with the swagger of both a rapper and an Italian baladeer. In his words, "I mix romantic flavor in a typical Italian melody with the hip people sound of global technology." A best-of compilation of sorts called Italia 1988-2012 was released stateside last week. Watch as he wins over an enthusiastic crowd, speaking both Italian and English "like a New York City taxi driver" and even a bit of Spanish, performing songs like "Tutto L'Amore Che Ho," "Fango" and a molto italiano cover of "Rapper's Delight" near the end. Bravo!



"The Rolling Stones: Some Girls, Live in Texas" Plays SF's Balboa Theatre, 8/14 & 8/16

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 13, 2012 05:08pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls, Live in Texas captures a stop on the Rolling Stones' 1978 Americanrolling stones some girls tour in support of that year’s Some Girls album. The tour followed immediately on the release of Some Girls and by the time the band arrived in Texas in mid-July, the album had hit the No.1 spot on the US charts. The tour took a “back to basics” approach, with the band and their music very much at the forefront. Filmed on July 18th, 1978 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, this concert is typical of the tour, with The Rolling Stones delivering a raw, energetic performance in front of a crowd that is clearly loving the show. This is undeniably the Rolling Stones at the peak of their form!

See it at San Francisco's Balboa Theatre Tuesday, August 14th and Thursday, August 16th. Get your tickets HERE now!

Register to Vote at Amoeba Music

Posted by Amoebite, August 13, 2012 02:06pm | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

Register to vote at AmoebaThe 2012 general election will be here before we know it. On Tuesday, November 6 people will enter the voting booth to decide who will be the next President, as well as our Congressmen, Assemblymen, and many important ballot initiatives.

Are you registered to vote? If not - or if you've moved or changed your name or political party choice - it's time to register. Pick up a voter registration form at any Amoeba Music location by October 22 in order to be eligible to vote on November 6. We'll even send it in for you. Or, even easier, register to vote online. Stand up and be heard!

Not sure if you're registered? Check your California registration status online.
 

 

Registering to vote is sexy

You've Got Another Thing Comin': 30 Years of Screaming For Vengeance!

Posted by Kells, August 13, 2012 11:45am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share

When it comes to metal, whether it be heavy, hard, or hairy, the one thing that really hurts my feelings is a poorly mastered recording. While I admit I possess very little knowledge on the subject of mastering (however informative this link should prove) it would seem that time and inevitable technological developments have redefined what a properly mastered record should sound like, nevermind that my reckoning of a ill-mastered metal record has everything to do with volume control. Putting on an exemplary recording like Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance only to discover the maximum volume setting worthy of a dental visit is an insult to the ear and the slap to the id; "why can't I make this any louder", you lament. I feel your pain, people. I too am screaming for vengeance!


Which is why I am particularly stoked about the upcoming September third celebratory reissue of Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance - the 30th Anniversary Special Edition, containing not only the remastered original album plus six bonus tracks, but also a live DVD from the 1983 US festival show filmed in San Bernadino, CA on May 29, 1983.I know, you're probably thinking, Priest has already seen to the digital remastering of most of their catalog in 2001, no? Sound hounds and intense listens have generated a clash of opinions concerning just how beneficial the overall remaster treatment was. While I don't pretend that my ears are trained to recognize minutiae apparent in the thankfully LOUD 2001 Priest remasters, my favorite complaint directed at the "creepy, crawly knob-twiddling" Jon Astley inflicted upon the reissue of British Steel compares the end result to "Edith Bunker being gang raped by a swarm of castrated locusts" -- an observation that potentially bodes ill for any serious audiophile.

However, run-of-the-gauntlet banger chicks, like me, can get down with the good stuff no matter how it's broken off (*coughs* vinyl, preferably) and I am ever hopeful that this particular 2012 reissue (albeit CD only) signals a trend in reigniting an appreciation for the pioneers, turbo lovers, and defenders of the metal faith, NWOBHM or otherwise,  like Halford & co. It must be stated, as a standalone inclusion, the footage of Priest performing at the 1983 US Festival that accompanies this anniversary presentation is amazing! Having only recently enjoyed viewing their live in Dallas circa 1986 Priest...Live! VHS I would be lying if I said I wasn't ready to light my couch on fire while watching this crispy new, almost thirty-year-old footage while spending a quiet night in very soon [see promo below].

Fun fact: the US Festival was intended to be a celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people - organized by Steve Wozniak formerly of Apple Computer. This show was filmed at the second, and what turned out to be last, US Festival in 1983. The Sunday was the "Heavy Metal Day", i.e. "It was the day new wave died and rock n' roll took over". It set the single-day concert attendance record for the US with an estimated 375,000 people - insane!

Judas Priest have this to say about this memorable day in metal history:

'On the day that we performed, we flew in by helicopter - and the first sight we saw was that of thousands of abandoned cars piled up around the crests of the hills that surrounded the festival arena, which as we went over took our breath away. For there below us, spread throughout hundreds of acres was a massive crowd – over three hundred thousand strong! The summer heat was raging and combined with the hot Santa Ana winds made for a scorching metal furnace on stage.'


Outernational's Music Takes On New Significance With Announcement of Ryan as Romney Running Mate

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2012 03:36am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
In celebration of their brand new Tom Morello produced Future Rock EP (available at Amoeba Hollywood) the group Outernational are currently on a two month tour with stops this week in Texas, Arizona, and California where they will play Fulton 55  in Fresno on Thursday (Aug 16), El Callejon in Salinas on Friday (Aug 17), and at The Satellite  in Los Angeles on Saturday (Aug 18) along with Las Cafeteras and Los Hollywood - all before traveling up to Canada, down South, and back East for more dates on the current tour that goes through the third week of September.

Along the route of this tour Outernational have been attracting new and old fans of their instantly likable world music flavored revolution rock. This is the second tour in the past few months by the hardworking Brooklyn NY based band. Their earlier 2012 concert trek was a unique two month, 2000 mile, tour along the Mexican border when they played venues not typical for touring rock bands including "the farm fields of California" as part of their Todos Somos Ilegales: We are All Illegal' tour 

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Near Perfect LPs from Death Waltz

Posted by Charles Reece, August 13, 2012 01:42am | Post a Comment Bookmark and Share
I'm pretty much committed to getting every release so far announced from Death Waltz Recording Co.. They're putting out LPs for great cult scores, which are either newly remastered for these editions. Some are appearing for the first time on vinyl (e.g., Zombi 2 and Let the Right One In). I'm really happy that the additional cues from Carpenter and Howarth's Escape from New York can now be heard sans dialog interludes on vinyl (the inclusion of which was what I didn't like about the Dagored release from about 10 years ago). The company has also hired a great bunch of artists to do the covers:

Out Now:


Johan Söderqvist's Let the Right One In - art by Candice Tripp


Fabio Frizzi's Zombi 2 - art by Graham Humphreys


John Carpenter & Alan Howarth's Escape from New York - art by Jay Shaw


Michael Andrews' Donnie Darko - art by Tom French

Not Yet Released:


John Carpenter & Alan Howarth's Prince of Darkness - art by Sam Smith


Giuliano Sorgini's The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue - art by Luke Insect


John Carpenter & Alan Howarth's Halloween 2 - art by Brandon Schaefer


John Carpenter & Alan Howarth's Halloween 3 - art by Jay Shaw


John Carpenter & Alan Howarth's They Live - art by Gary Pullin


Jeff Grace's The House of the Devil - art by Tom Hodge


Justin Greaves' The Devil's Business - art by Jay Shaw

All of Death Waltz's releases are limited to 1000 with a subset on colored vinyl that's only available through the label's website. But everyone knows black sounds better. My only beef is why get artists to create such beautiful designs only to reduce the image within a hideous label frame, e.g.:


Man, that's seriously fucked up. How could anyone make such an obviously dunderheaded decision? Regardless, these sound great, which is the most important thing (and why I'm not going to get any of the colored versions, no matter how nifty they look).

The Art Of The LP Cover- Wacky Packages!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 12, 2012 02:04pm | Post a Comment

August 11, 2012: The Campaign

Posted by phil blankenship, August 11, 2012 11:45pm | Post a Comment

Local Stuff: Earlimart, The Fresh & Onlys, Kisses, Thee Oh Sees, Kim Free, Wavves

Posted by Billy Gil, August 10, 2012 01:12pm | Post a Comment
Earlimart – “97 Heart Attack”
 
Earlimart is back! You may remember the Elephant 6 associated band’s 2000s releases like Everyone Down Here and Treble & Tremble. Well the L.A. band based around singer/guitarist Aaron Espinoza and keyboardist/singer/bassist Ariana Murray is back with a lovely, somber new track called “97 Heart Attack” and an accompanying album called System Preferences, which is due on physical CD and LP Oct. 16 from the band’s label, The Ship. So glad to have them back, although they never really went away — after releasing their last album, 2008’s Hymn and Her, they collaborated with Grandaddy members for the 2010 release of Admiral Radley’s I Heart California, followed by headlining tours and a support slot on Band of Horses’ tour. The band had kept busy composing soundtrack work and producing other artists, but now they’re back in full force and will appear with Grandaddy (Who are back too? Hell yes!) at the Henry Fonda Theater Aug. 13. So into all these L.A. indie pop bands getting back into the fold. 
 

 
The Fresh & Onlys – “Presense of Mind”
 
Here’s another new track (after the previously unveiled “Yes or No”) from The Fresh & Onlys upcoming Long Slow Dance, due Sept. 4 on Mexican Summer. I liked their last album, Play It Strange, but from the sound of these two songs, this is a huge step forward for the band, with a newfound confidence in its vocals and songwriting.
 



 
Kisses – “Funny Heartbeat”
 
Cute as a button L.A. electro-pop duo Kisses has a new track out that features production work from Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne, who pretty much wrote the book on this sort of thing, and Tim Larcombe. No word yet on a new album; check out 2010’s The Heart of the Nightlife, if you haven’t yet. They’re at the Echo Sept. 27 and La Cita Oct. 4.
 

 

Thee Oh Sees – “Flood’s New Light”

 
Thee Oh Sees are that garage band that makes all others seem a bit less authentic in its wake. The S.F. band released two great albums last year, Castlemania and Carrion Crawler/The Dream, and they’ll release their 14th this year, called Putrifiers II, due Sept. 11 from In the Red. Pretty excited about this one, given “Flood’s New Light’s” simple, hook-laden perfection.
 

 

Kim Free – “Guantanamo” video

 
Lovely L.A. singer/bassist/violinist Kim Free has a new video from her album Angel Shadow, out now on LA’s Fine Records. The ghost story director Brad Breeck perfectly suits the sometimes Zola Jesus violinist’s wandering, spacious vocal and violin drone. She will be at Pehrspace Aug. 24.
 




 
Wavves – “Hippies is Punks”
 
This new Wavves track for the Adult Swim Singles Series is basically alt-rock heaven. Where have you been hiding, fuzz pedals? Come out and play. Don’t forget about Nathan Williams’ project with his brother, Sweet Valley, too, which premiered its first track a couple of weeks ago.
 

 

Shows this weekend:
 
Friday: Gap Dream, Cosmonauts, Team Ugly, Lindseys at The Smell (9 p.m., $5, all ages)
 
Saturday: Thinkture Fest with Babies on Acid (former Dios Malos members), So Many Wizards and more at Jones Gallery (4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, 2 p.m.-12 a.m., $5, all ages)
 
Sunday: Sigur Ros at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (7 p.m., $47.50, all ages)

 

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in August

Posted by Amoebite, August 10, 2012 12:47pm | Post a Comment
Tickets at AmoebaAmoeba Hollywood has started regularly selling tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you're into saving money and who isn't really?).

All tickets can be purchased at the registers (while supplies last) for a $2 service fee.

If you have a question about whether we've sold out of a specific show, please call the store at 323-245-6400.


JUST ADDED SHOWS:
Gossip

Gossip

The Fonda Theatre 
October 12
All ages
 
tiger Army

Tiger Army
Tigerflame V
The Fonda Theatre
October 26
All-ages

Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:

Show Name
Venue Show Date
Ticket Price
(fee not included)
Afghan Whigs The Fonda Theatre 11/10/2012 $37.50
Ariel Pink The Fonda Theatre 10/05/2012 $22.50
Austra El Rey Theatre 09/15/2012 $19.00
Ben Howard The Fonda Theatre 10/06/2012 $25.00
Dan Deacon El Rey Theatre 10/20/2012 $17.00
Dr. Dog John Anson Ford 10/05/2012 $30.00
Easy Star All Stars El Rey Theatre 09/20/2012 $20.00
First Aid Kit The Fonda Theatre 10/16/2012 $25.00
FYF Fest Weekend Pass Historic State Park, DTLA 09/01 & 09/02 $89 (+$4 fee)
Gossip The Fonda Theatre  10/12/2012 $27.50
Grimes El Rey Theatre 10/10/2012 $20.00
Kimbra The Fonda Theatre 10/04/2012 $25.00
Owl City The Fonda Theatre 09/24/2012 $25.00
The Raveonettes El Rey Theatre 10/08/2012 $25.00
Rodriguez El Rey Theatre 09/28/2012 $25.50
Swans The Fonda Theatre 09/11/2012 $30.00
Thee Oh Sees El Rey Theatre 09/09/2012 $17.00
The Walkmen John Anson Ford 09/12/2012 $30.00
Tiger Army
(Octoberflame V)
The Fonda Theatre  10/26/2012 $28.00

FYF Fest Poster
 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 08.10.12: Amoeba Top 5, Rick Ross, MA Doom, Karriem Riggins, Kool Keith, Keith Jones + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2012 12:30pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Top Five Week Ending August 10, 2012



1)   Rick Ross God Forgives, I Don’t (Def Jam)

While not pulling quite as huge numbers as anticipated, Rick Ross still takes the crown as this week’s hip hop best-seller and ain’t showing any sign of slowing down in sales with God Forgives, I Don't on Def Jam.  Rick Ro$$ the boss gets my vote as one of the most requested rappers from Amoeba Berkeley customers, so naturally his new official solo joint is a mover. Features songs with Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Wale and Drake plus the prime cut beat selections you’ve come to expect from Rozay.  The special deluxe edition of album also features bonus jams with Nas and John Legend. As far as mainstream hip hop goes, this album’s loaded so don’t sleep.




2)    La Coka Nostra Masters of the Dark Arts (Fat Beats)

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In Praise of the “Troubled” Artist and Bloated, Overreaching Album

Posted by Billy Gil, August 9, 2012 05:21pm | Post a Comment
Today I woke up with the song “Raindrops + Sunshowers” by The Smashing Pumpkins in my head for no particular reason. I was grateful — despite the dubious quality of that syrupy, electro-shoegaze song, the tunes that usually populate my head first thing in the morning aren’t usually the kinds of things you actually want to hear upon waking. Nu Shooz's “I Can’t Wait” is great and all, but waking up humming it, as I often do, is like being slowly slapped awake. But I digress. Why the hell I was humming a not-great song from my favorite band’s worst album, who knows. But I relistened to Machina later in the day, trying to avoid fast-forwarding to the good bits and listening to the regrettable parts, just as I had with the recently released (and recently troubled) Oceania, and realized part of the fun of a band like The Smashing Pumpkins is the digging. Make no mistake, digging is not necessary on Siamese Dream (or Adore or the recently reissued Pisces Iscariot, in my book), but even on their other great albums, Mellon Collie, Gish and Machina II, yeah, there are parts you want to skip past. I’d say that’s true of most bands. But what sets the band apart is not only how frustratingly uneven they can be, as I’ve had to admit over the years, but how much you still care about that band anyway.

OK, enough with the Pumpkins rant. My point is that I’ve always been drawn to these sorts of “imperfect” artists, and am a little bothered by what I see as the sort of iPod-ization of the album, and bands themselves, that continues to proliferate. There seems to be a desire for our artists now to put out perfectly formed, no-frills albums, often at the expense of character that comes when bands and artists make bad choices, careless edits or experiment past their means. Take Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded, for instance. The album currently holds a 60/100 rating on reviews aggregator Metacritic, meaning “mixed or average reviews.” The Observer’s Kitty Empire, in her 3/5 star review of the album, says “Roman Reloaded’s triumphs all come early, on the album’s hip-hop front end. In full flow, Minaj remains a delight.” I couldn’t agree more. Roman Reloaded’s quality is as split as Minaj’s on-record personality, between Nicki and her imagined male counterpart, Roman. On the first half, you get the bad child spazz-out of “Roman Holiday.” You get the fucking blistering “Come on a Cone,” one of the best things anyone has released this year, as Minaj surpasses her hero, Lil Wayne, in terms of producing hip-hop that is eminently brutal but ear-tuggingly catchy, as Minaj makes a winning refrain out of the reverse-sexist rant “put my dick in your face.” I made a Spotify playlist out of the good songs on Roman Reloaded, including the aforementioned plus “I Am Your Leader,” “Beez in the Trap,” “HOV Lane,” “Roman Reloaded,” “Champion” and “Stupid Hoe.” The rest of the album? Starting from the Chris Brown collab “Right By My Side” and only broken up by “Stupid Hoe,” the album continues on a streak of bland pop R&B tracks that reach their nadir on “Starships,” a huge single that takes a quality Nicki rap and tosses it into a generic hard-dance hitmaking machine. It sounds like five songs smashed together, maybe six if you include that “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” aside. Blech. Still, when looking at that Spotify playlist, I have eight songs at 29 minutes. Basically close to the length of most albums I hear these days. And if it were just those eight tracks, Roman Reloaded would be one of the best albums of the year.

About that last point — because it isn’t one of the best albums of the year, Minaj risks disrespect and disregard as an artist. Some of that is warranted; the choice to release Roman Reloaded as is was ultimately hers, and she has intimated that she did so out of a desire for it to sell well, as it has, on the strength of the pretty terrible “Starships.” But I say Minaj is still one of the most exciting artists around. Who cares that more than half of the album sucks! The half that is good completely rules! And she’s made it into my pantheon of great artists who don’t always make great albums. Whenever Minaj announces she’ll be releasing music, I’ll probably listen to it, regardless if every bit of it fulfills my wishes for her as an artist.

Let’s talk about Guided By Voices for a minute. I don’t have to tell most fans of the band how wildly uneven their albums can be, even their great ones, because they’re designed that way. On their most consistent album, Bee Thousand, they even mash their incomplete songs together into the awesome, two-minute “Her Psychology Today.” (And to link it back, Smashing Pumpkins did that, too, on the 23-minute “Pastichio Medley.”) I’d hate to think what modern critics and listeners would say about Guided By Voices today if they were a new band. Would people sit through 20-song albums by Guided By Voices and Sebadoh now, if they were new bands, given the capacity to skip past them on your phone or computer? Admittedly, it’s hard for me to sit through their last two albums, at 21 songs each and with most tracks pretty throwaway-ish, but that’s probably because they were both released this year. And there’s another one on the way this year. Neither Let’s Go Eat the Factory nor Class Clown Spots a UFO are among the band’s best, but they're true to the band's ethos and have enough classic GBV moments to keep me interested. You better believe I’ll be listening to their next album, The Bears for Lunch, when it comes out — also this year, slated for November.

Maybe the first artist who comes to my mind when I think of the unevenly tipped rewards-to-opposite-of-rewards ratio is Ryan Adams. In the 2000s, Adams made many a heart flutter with his first two albums, the unbeatable Heartbreaker and its also excellent, though overly long (just like this blog entry!) follow-up, Gold. From there, to say it’s been hit-or-miss would be a bit of an understatement — anyone want to sit through all 16 tracks of Love is Hell again? No? Personally, I’d rather re-listen to 2003’s Rock N Roll, a kind of fascinatingly bad-good album where Adams tried to sound like The Strokes, Interpol and the like of early 2000s “garage rockers,” as they were dubbed even though those bands sounded more like Television and The Cure than any garage rock. It’s a little generic, but it’s also pretty fun. The compressed riffs and ’80s beats of “This Is It” and “So Alive” both begged to be blasted in the car, but like, in secret. I really hope a cult following develops around this album in 10 years. The point being that even though some of his albums suck and all of them are too long, every time he does something, we pay attention because of how great “Answering Bell” and “To Be Young” were.

Part of the reason I talk about any of this, besides to take you and myself on a fun-filled trip down memory lane, is to talk about new artists trying to break through in 2012. Specifically in indie rock, I’m always wary of the caginess that seemed to creep up at the turn of the millennium and continues to be both a plague and a blessing. On one hand, every week there seems to be some cool new band releasing albums where you know that even if every track isn’t stellar, they’re at least going to be pretty consistently OK and sound pretty similar. On one hand, you might get a perfect indie rock capsule like Diiv’s Oshin, in which only one song breaks the four-minute mark. There aren’t too many audible lyrics to make fun of, no too-short or overly long tracks you end up skipping past, no ill-fated experiments. Another recent album like this is The ShinsPort of Morrow, in which singer James Mercer hired a new band and perked up a bit from the low-key Wincing the Night Away. But wow, is that album boring. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t any actually bad tracks, and that’s part of the problem. It’s streamlined to the point of being a hairless, indie-rock fembot. Zzzzzz. I like the Diiv album quite a bit, but even then, I wish it broke its careful mold a bit. I’m still listening to Light Asylum’s self-titled debut, a fucking beast of an album built on Bruno Coviello’s pulverizing synthesizers and Shannon Funchess’ thundering voice. It’s not perfect, but it’s such a jolt to listen to among some of the sleepier albums released this year that it’ll probably go down as a favorite for me at least. I want more Light Asylums to love and defend past their 6.1 Pitchfork review, which Funchess has hilariously lambasted on Facebook. I want more Nicki Minajs to cringe over but ultimately love for refusing to fully hide her weirdness, even while trying to appeal to the masses.

I asked a few Amoeba associates who they thought of when I brought up this idea of artists we continue to follow despite their missteps and got a shortlist of artists including Iggy Pop, The Pretenders,The Strokes, Jack White, David Bowie, Marianne Faithfull, The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Bjork, Hole and Neil Young. Sure, all of those artists are amazing, but all of them have some bad albums. It seems harder to pick bands that are or were really consistent, I could really only think of The Beatles, New Order, Portishead, Radiohead (minus Pablo Honey), PJ Harvey (minus White Chalk) and bands that released one or two albums and then stopped — My Bloody Valentine, Television and Joy Division. Beach House and M83 are too new. Yes, I know there are way more examples in both of those categories, so tell me: Who’s an artist that you continue to support, even when you don’t love all of the music they make?

YouTube Hurting Stand-Up Comics, Battle DJs, & Other Artists

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2012 05:05am | Post a Comment
Thanks to the oft-quoted 1979 Buggles hit, we all know that "Video killed the Radio Star"  but increasingly YouTube is killing, or at least significantly hurting, the careers of many contemporary artists including battle DJs, musicians, and stand up comics. This was addressed by Chris Rock on last night's The Daily Show. During Wednesday night's interview with Jon Stewart on the Comedy Central show, the comedian/actor (on to promote his new movie 2 Days in New York) talked about how difficult the stand-up comedy area of his career is these days. The increasing problem, he said, is due to the proliferation of video recording devices that feature easy and instant upload to YouTube that fans abuse when he is testing new material. "It's hard to go to the clubs because people [video] tape your sh*t all the time, and before it's ready," said Rock clearly frustrated. "I don't mind if I'm at Madison Square Garden or somewhere and people want to tape it, but I'm at The Cellar working on a bit and it ain't ready. Then it's on YouTube!"

Rock's criticism of YouTube has been echoed by many other artists including musicians who are still working out the kinks in new material only to discover that unfinished, unperfected, and unauthorized live versions of songs have been uploaded to YouTube.

Continue reading...

Join Amoeba at Susan Feniger’s STREET Aug. 26

Posted by Billy Gil, August 8, 2012 01:15pm | Post a Comment
On Sunday, August 26 Amoeba will be on hand at Susan Feniger’s STREET, spinning global beats from 5-10 p.m., for the renowned restaurant’s Street Food Cookbook Celebration and Feast event. Feniger will be signing copies of her book Susan Feniger’s Street Food and highlighting recipes from her book, which was inspired by her travels and eating street foods in various countries. In addition to ethnic cocktails and agua frescas, Silverback Coffee of Rwanda CEO Jack Karuletwa will be pouring his coffee, and you’ll leave with samples of street treats and coffee for the next morning.

The event is $50 per person and $70 if you buy a signed book. Call Street to make your reservation at (323) 203-0500.

Susan Feniger’s STREET is located at 742 N. Highland Ave. The restaurant boasts such dishes as chicken and waffle croquettes, Korean BBQ short ribs and spicy black bean veggie burgers. LA Weekly’s award-winning food critic Jonathan Gold calls it “a virtual museum of street food, snacks and savories from every part of Asia.”
 

 




Watch the trailer below to hear what’s in store from Feniger herself.

now in stock...new vinyl from death waltz recording co...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 8, 2012 12:28pm | Post a Comment
We just got copies of these awesome LP soundtrack reissues from Death Waltz Recording Co.!

The Soundtracks for Escape From New York, Zombi 2 & Let The Right One In have all been reissued with new artwork!

Death Waltz Recording Co. was founded by Spencer Hickman manager of Rough Trade East in London. They will concentrate on delivering high end collectors vinyl that will include extensive liner notes from composers and directors as well as brand new and exclusive artwork from a variety of fine artists.


these 3 LPs are all available now at amoeba and amoeba.com...

Zombi 2

CAT NO DW001 LP
The first time this classic soundtrack to the notorious Lucio Fulci video nasty has ever been made available on vinyl to collectors. This soundtrack is one of the holy grails of Italian cinema with the maestro Fabio Frizzi delivering a dizzyingly brilliant soundtrack that can hold it’s own with anything released by John Carpenter or Goblin.Cover art by legendary UK poster artist Graham Humphreys who was responsible for the original cinema posters for the Evil Dead, Nightmare On Elm Street 1-5 and Return Of The Living Dead.
Exclusive sleeve notes from composer Fabio Frizzi, renowned Italian horror expert Stephen Thrower and artist Graham Humphreys.



Escape From New York

CAT NO DW002 LP
Exclusively re-mastered for this vinyl release including 6 tracks that never made it into the original film. John Carpenter not only directed Escape From New York but also composed and recorded all of its music too. Laden with brooding electronic pulses, flashes of Krautrock and healthy dose of nu disco ensures that this soundtrack sounds as happy on the dance floor as it is in your headphones.Exclusive cover art by Jay Shaw (aka Iron Jaiden) one of the most in demand poster artists working today.
Sleeve Notes from Alan Howarth
Black Vinyl edition comes with a poster.

Continue reading...

Author Mark Katz Discusses "Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ"

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2012 03:08am | Post a Comment
There's already quite a number of books out there on the subject of DJs and/or DJing but Mark Katz's recently published Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ is a most welcome addition to the book shelf of any fan or student, or practitioner of the art of the hip-hop DJ. The 333 page Oxford University Press published  book exhaustively explores every aspect of the hip-hop DJ from an academic perspective with an emphasis on the history and development of scratch music - delving into technical & cultural areas.

In the book the Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a DJ himself, goes all the way back to chronicle in detail hip-hop's beginnings in the Bronx from hip-hop godfather DJ Kool Herc through Grand WIzzard Theodore (creator of the scratch) and all the way up through the years of this (relatively) new art form to the present. He spends a lot of time on DJ battles and includes interviews with countless DJs and folks affiliated (myself included) with his subject along the way. 

Recently I caught up with Katz to talk about his book that no doubt will be required reading for a long time to come for students of the modern musician that is the DJ


Amoeblog: What was your personal initial introduction to turntablism and when?

Mark Katz: I first encountered turntablism in 1983 when I heard Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” with Grandmixer D.ST on the decks. I was 13 at the time and that wicki-wicki scratching sound just blew my mind. As I learned when I wrote Groove Music, some of the greatest DJs of all time—Rob Swift and Qbert, to name just two—had that exact experience at about the same age. Now if I could only scratch like they can.

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New Albums Out Today: Lianne La Havas, Antony and the Johnsons, Niki & the Dove and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 7, 2012 07:14pm | Post a Comment
liane la havasLianne La HavasIs Your Love Big Enough?
 
Liane La Havas’ debut is the kind of globally appealing pop record that comes along so rarely. The title track has the funky bounce of a Meshell Ndegeocello track with a big pop vocal that could land it on radio stations across the dial, while the catchy “Forget,” with its alternately belted and cool chorus, suggests a rockier Kelis. It’s La Havas’ ballads, though, where she often shines brightest. On “Lost & Found,” her lyrics are so bleak that it’s almost shocking (“You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself,” begins the chorus), given how sprightly she sounds elsewhere. Shades of classic soul (“Au Cinema”), bossa nova (“No Room For Doubt”) and jazz (“Age”) color other tracks, while somehow it avoids becoming a mishmash of unmatched ideas — everything sounds ideally effortless and true to La Havas’ identity. It’s a dynamic and addictively listenable debut that poises the 22-year-old as one of 2012’s breakout stars and one who could deliver quality records for years to come.
 
antony johnsons cut the worldAntony and the JohnsonsCut the World
 
Antony Hegarty’s latest release consists of live performances of his work with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra. As a collection it is a consummate summation of the incredible work put forth by Hegarty and his collaborators over the course of four albums, as well as some of the messages threaded throughout Hegarty’s music. The title track, which begins the album, is a stunning piece created for The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a theatrical representation of the life of the renowned performance artist. Hegarty then launches into a speech labeled “Future Feminism” which puts forth ideas Hegarty has represented in his music — of ecology, queer identity and feminism, exploring the idea of matriarchal forms of government being the hope for a humanity, even with the rise of Sarah Palin, as it ties to the moon, menstrual cycles and religion. It’s a fascinating, sprawling discourse that provides a setting for highlights from Hegarty’s catalog, including “Cripple and the Starfish,” “Another World” and “I Fell in Love With a Boy,” the long pause of which grows more chilling given the song’s more lush presentation. It’s by no means a greatest hits selection — no “Hope There’s Someone” or “Aeon,” for instance — but it’s a great reinterpretation of material that actually calls for such orchestration. Antony’s quivering voice soars over ballooning strings, and we’re reminded of the healing power possessed by these songs of loss and hope.
 
niki and the doveNiki & the DoveInstinct
 
Niki and the Dove create a sort of fantasy pop on Instinct. It sounds beamed in from an alternate futuristic universe of space tribes and robotic unicorns. In a more corporeal sense, the electronic pop duo drum out tribal beats electronically and unleash claustrophobic chants on “The Gentle Roar,” one of their strongest tracks. Vocalist Malin Dahlström sounds lost in the forest of metallically lush sounds created by keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf on “Mother Protect.” She comes on like one of Prince’s many protoges on the slow funk of “Last Night,” singing intoxicatingly, “last night we got married in a back seat.” Niki and the Dove share some qualities with their Swedish brethren — the warped, chirpy vocals of The Knife/Fever Ray; the space-age disco of Robyn; the alternately dark and naïve introspection of Lykke Li; and yes, the operatic drama of Welsh band Florence & the Machine. However, lyrically and vocally, Dahlström harkens back to Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks in a truer sense than some of her contemporaries — when she’s left spinning through a digital wilderness among the lovely surroundings of “Tomorrow,” you feel like you’re out there with her.
 
elle varnerElle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
 
Glossy yet classy pop R&B with some surprises — take the fiddle (!) running throughout “Refill.” That song and its refrain (“Can I get a refill of your time?”) are a lot of fun, while other tracks leave a more lasting impression, like the incredibly soulful “Sound Proof Room,” in which Verner’s vocals sound like they could burst through any sound proof that would hold her.
 



 
redd krossRedd KrossResearching the Blues
 
Red Kross return after a 15-year absense from releasing music with Researching the Blues. The album balances its tunefulness and bite as well as on classics like Third Eye, sounding beamed in from another time as the album finds the band doing what they do best — no ill-fated electronic experiments here, just heavy melodic rock, from the garagey title track to the surprisingly delicate power pop of “Dracula’s Daughter.” Kneel before Redd Kross! 
 



JovanottiItalia 1988-2012
 
Italian singer, songwriter and rapper Jovanotti gets the retrospective treatment on Italia 1988-2012. Producer Ian Brennan selects songs and remixes some from across Jovanotti’s 12 albums to present a modern presentation of the Italian superstar. As you might expect from such an expansive time period from someone most American audiences haven’t heard, the sounds vary quite a bit here. “Con la luce negli occhi” is a haunting, spare acoustic rap of sorts that feels removed from time — its folksiness and eerie asides make it feel like something out of a Spaghetti Western. Just a song later, we get the bouncy, Gorillaz-esque pop of “Sulla frontiera.” The wild ride across Italia’s 12 tracks gives us just a snippet of his legacy, but the glimpse they offer make the case for Jovanotti as the rare artist of another language who can connect to English-speaking audiences, given the widely appealing nature of the production and Jovanotti’s ease with meshing folk, rap and classic Italian pop.

 
janka nabayJanka Nabay & The Bubu Gang En Yay Sah
 
Sierra Leonean singer Janka Nabay teams up with a bunch of Brooklyn musicians (from Chairlift, Skeletons and other bands) to create hypnotic “bubu” music, a rare form of African music built around quick pulsing beats. The other musicians add backup vocals, throbbing bass, African-inspired guitar lines and vibrant organ and synth sounds to Nabay’s songs. Doing the research is fine and all, but you don’t have to in order to enjoy tracks like “Eh Mane Ah.” Put it on and you won’t be able to sit still.
 


 
this mortal coilThis Mortal CoilBlood, It’ll All End in Tears, and Filigree & Shadow
 
The remasters of This Mortal Coil’s excellent three albums are released on CD.
 

 

 



 
antibalasAntibalasAntibalas
 
The afrobeat ambassadors’ first album in five years is their first on Daptone Records. Read more here.
 







 
pharcydeThe PharcydeLabcabincalifornia
 
Reissue of the alternative hip-hop group’s second album. Read more here.
 







 
eraserheadEraserhead Soundtrack
 
Reissue of the soundtrack to David Lynch’s first film, including Peter Ivers’ haunting “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song).”










WEIRD AL-STRAVAGANZA! All Weird Al Burlesque Show & Look-A-Like Contest! August 13, Oakland.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 7, 2012 02:40pm | Post a Comment
Calling all Al Heads! It's time to bust out the checkered Vans and don the aloha shirts for what couldweird al al-stravaganza possibly be the first ever all Weird Al-themed burlesque show. Seems overdue, right? Well, finally Mr. Yankovic is getting his due on Monday, August 13th at Oakland's Uptown as The Hubba Hubba Revue and Pickles Kintaro present The Al-Stravaganza!

It doesn't matter if you are a "My Bologna" purist or just "White and Nerdy;" the hits will be dropping as fast as the clothes at this burlesque bonanza. And make sure you dress for success to enter the Weird Al look-a-like contest! Can you believe that you get all this quality entertainment for just $5! Cheap!

Hosted By Weird Kingfish & Weird "Kevin" Hancock
With: Honey Lawless,Pickles Kintaro, Lady Satan, Odessa Lil, Lola Martinet, Pearl E. Gates, Mistress Marla Spanks, and JD Limelight.

Doors 9PM -- Show 10:15PM
21 & Up w/ID

THE UPTOWN CLUB
1928 Telegraph Ave, Oakland (just 1 block from 19th Street BART!)

Here are some of Al's finest moments in no particular order, so says the Amoeblog!



















Higashi Honganji Obon Festival 2012

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 7, 2012 10:44am | Post a Comment


Obon
(お盆) is a Japanese holiday on which observers honor the spirits of their ancestors. Within Japan as well as the Japanese diaspora, Obon has been observed on different dates since Japan’s adoption of the Gregorian Calender in 1872.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Little Tokyo

In LA and Orange County there were also Obon festivities on different dates that took place not only in several Little Tokyo venues but also in Anaheim, Gardena, Little Osaka, Venice, and West Covina. I attended the Obon Festival at Little Tokyo’s Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple (ロサンゼルス東本願寺別院).



Higashi Hongan-ji (or, 'the eastern temple of the original vow') is one of two dominant sub-sects of Shin Buddhism. LA’s congregation is the oldest Buddhist congregation in the city, founded as Rafu Bukkyokai in 1904 by Reverend Junjyo Izumida at 229 1/2 East Fourth Street.

 

The congregation moved around Little Tokyo and the Eastside several times over the decades that followed. In 1907 they relocated to a nearby location on San Julian Street. In 1911, the temple moved to a building on Savannah Street in Boyle Heights, which historically had a large Japanese-American population. In 1921, it became a Higashi Honganji branch temple. In 1926, staying within Boyle Heights, it relocated to 118 North Mott.


The temple with Little Tokyo Towers in the background


It remained there until 1976, when it moved back to Little Toyko in the shadow of newly-built Little Tokyo Towers, erected in 1975.


all-day bingo


somen-eating contest


taiko drummers


more taiko drumming


happyfunsmile


Local Mojo

The 2012 Obon Festival included all-day bingo, dance, drink, food, games, music, performances, a somen-eating contest, Obon Hatsubon services and a tea ceremony, among other activities. Performers and performances included Bodhi Tree Band, Bombu Taiko & Kitsune Taiko, Fujima Kansei Odori Kai, Garvey Ranch Park Dojo, Halau Hula ‘a’ ala Anuhea, happyfunsmile, hereandnow, Kinnara Taiko, Live 4 Today, Local Mojo, TAIKOPROJECT, and the Lumbini Kids (the children that attend the temple's daycare). It was free and open to the public.


Bon Odori

I missed the Manto-e lantern lighting ceremony, a tradition begun about 1,200 years ago. I also missed teamaster Matsumura Shachu’s Ogasawara-ryu Sencha-do Tea Ceremony demonstration. However, I did catch the Bon Odori (盆踊り) – literally “Bon dance” – a dance meant to welcome the arrival of spirits.

I also watched a performance by Higashi Zumba Class, which fuses Latin music (including Cumbia Trival!) with dance and exercise.


bake sale


plant sale

the farmers market

The temple also hosts (and hosted on that day) bake sales, plant sales, farmers market, bingo, and child care. Additionally there's a choir and a golf club, although I didn't see any sign of them on that particular day.

 
          Rodney Kageyama and Rex                                           Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple

The festivities were MCed by well-known Nissei actor/director/costume designer/community activist Rodney Kageyama, veteran of San Francisco’s Asian American Theater Company and LA’s East West Players who is probably most recognized for his appearances in The Karate Kid Part II, The Next Karate Kid, Gung Ho (the film and TV series) and numerous guest appearances on TV.

Later in the day a group of friends showed up. As the Obon festivities wound down, we headed to Little Tokyo Shopping Center where, after killing a bit of time at Japan Arcade, we dined at Izakaya Honda Ya. As always, happy holidays… and 乾杯!

*****

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Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Festival, August 18th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 6, 2012 06:59pm | Post a Comment
On Saturday, August 18th, Amoeba and The East Bay Express present a night of rock and roll from three up-and-coming East Bay bands to benefit the Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Festival

Warm Soda (featuring ex-members of Bare Wires), Bam!Bam!, and Pang will play upstairs at Jack London Square's newest lounge, The Night Light, starting at 9pm! RSVP on Facebook HERE!

While this benefit show has a 21+ restriction, The Mission Creek Oakland Festival, happens throughout the entire month of September and features countless all-ages events. Keep your eyes peeled for updates about September's festivities!

SHOWGIRLS: The Peaches Christ Experience 2012, August 25th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 6, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Peaches Christ brings San Francisco the 15th anniversary screening and pre-show extravaganza ofpeaches Christ showgirls SHOWGIRLS: The Peaches Christ Experience on August 25th at the historic Castro Theatre! For one special night, your hostess Peaches Christ (starring as Cristal Conners) and her company of dancing ghouls, will kick-off the night with the “Volcanic Goddess” pre-show, featuring Rena Riffel (the original Penny/Hope from Verhoven’s film) as Nomi Malone. This musically interactive evening also features a Showgirls costume contest for exclusive prizes that will satiate your inner Vegas diva AND you get personalized lap dance by Peaches’ legion of "live dude-girls” with every large popcorn purchase! 

And darlin’, you'll be seeing DOUBLE on August 25th because in addition to the 8pm show, Peaches Christ will also present a 3:30pm matinee screening: a San Francisco premiere of Showgirls 2: Penny's from Heaven, directed by and starring Rena Riffel and featuring Glenn Plummer and Greg Travis (Jimmy and Phil from the original Showgirls). Please note: the 3:30pm show will not have a live pre-show. But get this: if you grab a specially priced THE GODDESS EXPERIENCE VIP TICKET at just $45, you’ll have early entry, preferred VIP seating, cocktails at the Cheetah Lounge, an autographed program, AND admission to the matinee. 

Get your tickets HERE!

The Great Chavela Vargas, Dead At 93

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2012 08:01am | Post a Comment
A few weeks back, while browsing the Queens collection, a private LP collection recently purchased and currently being sold at Amoeba Hollywood, I noticed several Chavela Vargas LPs were a part of it. At this point, I am pairing down my music to the bare necessities. When I see vinyl that I want to buy, I ask myself first, will I listen to it or will it sit in the shelf? Can I play it at a club or on my radio show, Discos Inmigrantes? If not, I don’t buy it.

After a few days of the collection being on sale, with some of the better international vinyl long gone in the selves of various record collectors, the Chavela Vargas records were still in the bins. I saw it as a sign. I had to get them. The day I bought them I had my radio show. I didn’t get to play the records on air, but I played one of the records as I was preparing for the show. Instantly as soon I dropped the needle on the recent purchase, I was glad I went back and bought the Chavela Vargas LPs.

As you read the various obituaries about Chavela Vargas, you will read the same facts. That she was a great interpreter of Mexico’s ranchera music. That she was contemporaries of many Mexican legends, including Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Augustin Lara, Diego Rivera and of course, Frida Kahlo, who she was rumored to have an affair with. That she was overtly gay but not out. She often dressed in men’s clothing and her sexuality was a secret that everyone seem to know. When she finally came out in 2000, it was an afterthought. She lived rough for a while, which only added to the pain in her voice. She recorded over 80 albums, dropped out during the mid-seventies only to have resurgence in the 1990’s, thanks to being included in a few Pedro Almodovar films as well as the movie, Frida. Recently, Spanish singer Concha Buika teamed up with Chucho Valdez to make a tribute album to Chavela called, El Ultimo Trago, in which Buika credits Vargas for teaching her how to "make a monument out of loneliness."

As I sat alone listening to Chavela version of “Volver, Volver” backed only with the solo guitar of  Antonio Bribiesca, I thought of Buika quote. I had read in an interview back when El Ultimo Trago was released in 2010. I remember thinking that the quote captured the essence of Chavela Vargas’ music. Some people say when they hear great Mexican music that they want to have a drink. But it’s usually in a group setting. It's either sharing a bottle of Tequila or a round of Margaritas. Even if there are tears flowing from your cheeks as you remember past lost loves, in that setting, you have your friends to commiserate with. That is not Chavela’s music. You listen to Chavela’s music alone. It’s music you listen to when you sit alone at the end of a bar, far from the others. It’s music you play alone in your apartment at 3 am. It’s music you listen to after heartbreak and personally, the only company I think you should you commiserate with is a bottle, period.  It’s blues music, albeit Mexican blues music, but still, blues music. Chavela just didn’t make monuments out of loneliness, she created universes out of it.



Recap: August 2012 Charity Auction

Posted by Amoebite, August 5, 2012 07:44pm | Post a Comment

rock the vote logoOn Saturday, August 4, 2012 we had another great auction at Amoeba Hollywood with mister funnyman, Jason Boggs, who cleverly wooed the people into bidding on crazy and zany items. The energy in the store was amazing, with the sidewalk sale happening at the same time and the buzz of the shoppers and the great music in the store.

This month's auction benefited Rock the Vote, which is a little different for us, but it is timely and anything that gets people involved in understanding the issues and being involved is a GOOD thing. Jason, as always, was patient and urging at the same time and even though some folks were being a bit stubborn--he got the bids out of 'em.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Star Wars lunchbox with Lando Calrissian action figure inside - $10.00 (score!)
  • Dark Knight LP with passes to the show, etc. - $25.00
  • Signed Lana Del Rey 7" single - $15.00
  • Hollywood Bowl tickets to Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and Jazz Night - $60.00
  • Natural History Museum passes - $22.00
  • KISS collectible glass set with Metallica shirt - $12.00
  • Grimes tickets - $30.00
  • Madonna mug and poster - $10.00
  • Beatles bag with patches, stickers and poster - $35.00
  • Trader Joe's gift card with lunchbox - $55.00 (!!)
  • Amoeba VIP in-store all-access pass - $15.00
  • Brew Coffee gift certificate with mug - $10.00
  • Record Store Day gift bag - $12.00

All together $311.00 was raised for Rock the Vote, and with Amoeba's match it will be $622.00!! Nice work everyone!

Noise Pop Record Collective Party w/ John Vanderslice! August 14th, SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 5, 2012 06:13pm | Post a Comment
Attention vinyl hounds! Noise Pop and Amoeba Music continue the biweekly Noise Pop Record Collective
vinyl party Noise Pop Record Collective in August!

Here's how it works: fans are invited to bring their own record for the carefully selected celebrity host DJs to play over the course of the evening. When you come, just check your records in at the DJ booth with the Record Collective Librarians and you'll be all set to party. 

August's fun starts in San Francisco at Mr. Smith's on August 14th with musician and owner of Tiny Telephone Recording Studio, John Vanderslice! The party goes from 8pm till midnight!

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

PS: Sorry young vinyl fans, but Record Collective is 21+ only.

The Darkness "Hot Cakes" Listening Party in SF & Hollywood, August 21st!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 5, 2012 05:50pm | Post a Comment
The Darkness return in all their glam glory with the release of Hot Cakes on Tuesday, August 21st. In celebration of the band that knows the true meaning of rock and roll, head on out to either Amoeba Hollywood at 5pm or Amoeba San Francisco at 6pm for a listening party that will rock your world. Not only will you be able to revel in the majesty of Hot Cakes, but you can also enter to win some killer prizes (the only way to enter is to be there live and in person)!

The Darkness Hot Cakes
GRAND PRIZE:
Signed guitar 
Autographed CD booklet
White label vinyl
A cowbell!!!



Five runner-ups get autographed CD booklets!!




 
Darkness patch Plus, you'll get a free Darkness patch with purchase of Hot Cakes (while supplies last) at Amoeba Hollywood & Amoeba SF.
Auntie Em's Logo
And as if that wasn't enough, there will also be cake on hand in case you get hungry while rocking out to Hot Cakes.

August 5, 2012: The Watch

Posted by phil blankenship, August 5, 2012 04:31pm | Post a Comment

Remembering Norma Jeane

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2012 01:52pm | Post a Comment
On this anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe (who died exactly fifty years ago today on August 5th, 1962 at age 36), I thought it only fitting to post links to a sampling of some of the items related to the famed actress/singer/model born Norma Jeane Mortenson that are available from Amoeba Music both in the stores and here at Amoeba online. These include the movie poster (left, 24" x 36") of Marilyn In Bathtub, and such movies on DVD as the 1954 big budget musical There's No Business Like Show Business.

The Irving Berlin musical No Business also stars Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Richard Eastham, and Johnnie Ray with Monroe playing the part of Victoria "Vicky" Hoffman who is a hat check girl that gets a break with her singing career singing "After You Get What You Want, (You Don't Want It)." See the clip below!

Other Marilyn Monroe movies include DVD versions of the star-studded 1952 screwball comedy Monkey Business, which co-stars Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Charles Coburn, and the thriller Don't Bother to Knock with Richard Widmark (also released in 1952). Over her lifetime, Monroe appeared in almost thirty movies. These included the 1956 drama Bus Stop and the popular 1953 thriller-film noir Niagara.

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We Have a Winner! Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable Given Away at Amoeba Berkeley.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 5, 2012 01:25pm | Post a Comment
In July, Amoeba Berkeley ran a promotion of historic proportions: if you bought at least $75 worth of vinyl there, you would be entered into a drawing to win a white Pro-Ject Debut III turntable! The Pro-Ject Debut III is a high-quality manual turntable with great sound quality and ANYONE would be besides themselves with joy to go home with a prize like that. Well, we are happy to announce that a winner has been chosen...ladies and gentlemen, congratulations to Mollie Downs, who won the Pro-Ject Debut III! 

In the market for a groovy turntable and need more info about which kind is right for you? Check out our trusty Turntable FAQ.

DJ Precision Wins 2012 DMC US Finals

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2012 02:47am | Post a Comment
The winner in the 2012 DMC US Finals DJ battle at Le Poisson Rouge in New York last evening was DJ Precision of the X-ecutioners, which means that as the new US DMC champion the New York-based DJ will travel to London England next month to represent the USA in the world DJ battle that was won last year by  American DJ Vajra.

Coming in second place last night was Virginia DJ I-Dee, while the third place slot was taken by Manwell, who was one of four California DJs out of the eleven contestants in New York last night to partake in the prestigious, long-running DJ competition that US DMC organizer Christie Z Pabon called "the best battle yet."

The other three DJs representing Cali were DJ Cocheze, DJ Lodus, and DJ Sol Rising (formerly known as Skwint), who represented the Bay Area after winning the 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional back in April and came in fourth place in a tie with New Hampshire's DJ Fascinate. All eleven turntable contestants delivered strong sets in a close competition that judge and 1986 DMC champ DJ Cheese called "the best I seen in years" and was rounded out by Florida's DJ Concept and DJ Immortal, Washington State's Waystyles, and Texas DJ Donnie Dee. The 2012 DMC World DJ Championships takes place in London on September 28th.

Jacked Up on the Irons: top ten reasons NOT to miss the Maiden England 2012 tour!

Posted by Kells, August 4, 2012 03:07pm | Post a Comment

Iron Maiden may be senior classmen in the school of rock but they manage to keep outperforming (while, in most cases, shaming to filth) touring rockers the world 'round with their professionalism and showmanship. Last night's show at the Shoreline Amphitheater (even singer Bruce Dickinson seemed perplexed as to just where the venue was supposed to represent, resorting to, "Scream for me Shoreline!" after asking, "Where the fuck are we supposed to be? San Francisco? Oakland?") was so phenomenally epic, a two hour an epoch in my life. And, according to further Bruce banter between songs, due to the limitations of the venue -- I believe he referred the Shoreline as an "old hippie bandshell" -- the band wasn't able to fully bring their show to life. Nevertheless, they certainly seemed to pack as many pyrotechnics, flames and Eddies on stage as they could in the hopes that, as per Bruce's comments, "burn fucker down to they can build a better one!". Here's hoping they achieve their fully realized set up tonight in Sacramento.

Anyway, find yourself on the fence about hopping the Maiden train this summer? Here's ten good random-order reasons (i.e. every reason could and should be reason number one anyway) to drink the kool-aid!

Reason number one: event tees! The Maiden England 2012 California event tee, pictured above, features Eddie riding an unchained bear, ripping the Golden Gate a new one? Yes please! I'm lucky I got me one of these last night as they were sold out even before the show began. Looking forward to wearing this sweet baby out. 

Reason number one: love that patent twin axe-attack "guitarmony" sound? Man do I ever. And Maiden one-ups the advance with the promise of a triple threat what with Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers on guitar. Add to that the galloping bassmageddon of founding member Steve Harris and there you have the classic recipe for a flaming face-melting of harmonized rifflines.

Reason number one: here comes Eddie!


Reason number one: Christian soldiers and Jesus freaks still congregate outside shows like this. One of them brandished a "Get out of HELL free" coupon. In retrospect I feel should've taken it, just in case.


Reason number one: Dave Murray's facial expressions during guitar solos


Reason number one: the setlist includes "The Prisoner", "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son" (first time played live since Dec. 12, 1988 for both songs) and "Phantom of the Opera" which Bruce calls "une petite histoire française" in this here footage captured during Maiden's most recent pillaging of Motreal.



Reason number one: being more that a bit of an aeronautical nerd myself, I feel Bruce deserves the compulsory mention of his being not only Iron Maiden's vocal frontman but also piloting Ed Force One, the band's personal flying carpet thus allowing them bring their show to fans in far flung locales like Bali. Two paychecks Bruce, good on you.


Reason number one: this!


Reason number one: this!



Reason number one: this...



and this:


UP THE IRONS!!!

Look for the Amoeba Table at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday

Posted by Billy Gil, August 4, 2012 02:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba will be representing at Tuesday’s Hollywood Bowl show, where explosive Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel will be conducting the LA Philharmonic and renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a performance of Schumann’s “Cello Concerto” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” Amoeba is proud to sponsor the show and will be present at a table near the Bowl entrance, offering coupons, totes, buttons, free samplers, T-shirts and more, including a chance to win a $100 Amoeba shopping spree. Stop by and say hi!




















If you need to brush up on your classical, check out Amoeba’s wealthy classical section.

Another long overdue Lizzy vinyl reissue finally sees the Light (in the Attic)!

Posted by Kells, August 4, 2012 01:25pm | Post a Comment

We the people of Amoeba Music mayn't always hear ear to ear when it comes to mutual enjoyment of preferred musical genres and styles but it would seem that roughly ten out of ten Amoeba employees agree that Thin Lizzy is the hardest, heaviest most essential band of rockers, Irish or otherwise, ever assembled. Though they are perhaps more widely appreciated for their mid-career jukebox jammers like "The Boys Are Back In Town" (c'mon, who hasn't heard this one), the Bob Seger penned rocker "Rosalie" (oft covered by Motörhead), and new takes on traditional tunes like "Whiskey in the Jar" (Metallica, schmeh-tallica), Seattle-based label Light In The Attic Records has lately seen to the proper vinyl reissue of Lizzy's 1971 self-titled debut, an album that plays like a slightly psychedelic folk tinged early dawn portrait of singing bassist Phil Lynott, drummer Brian Downey, and guitarist Eric Bell

 
Thin Lizzy - "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle"
 
Dropping the needle on this long sought reish (I've had nothin' but bad luck procuring an original Decca copy for myself over the years) that a full-on night-before-Christmas-ish feeling came over me as the album's familiar portal opened once again with the simple poetic strains of lead-off track "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" --- a sentiment that I was pleased to discover mirrored by the extensive liner notes penned by Kevin "Sipreano" Howes (see also the Jamaica-Toronto series, Rodriguez Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, Monks, Mowest anthology) featuring a recent in-depth interview with Eric Bell, and unseen archival imagery. The lowdown on the rest of the product specs exclusive to this LITA joint are as follows: original master tape transferring by Sterling Sound and re-mastering by Dave Cooley (Elysian Masters), 180-gram virgin black vinyl, original album art reproduction (both UK and US versions, the latter included on the reverse of the gatefold - excellent!). Also, it comes with a tasty poster depicting a long, lean Lynott in profile (fun fact: mine came with two of these - score!).

In an attempt to close out this post by summoning up the prose what best expresses my esteem for this record, I elect to share a little of what the LITA folks stated so succinctly concerning Thin Lizzy:

Don’t worry rock freaks; this one is for the black and blues lovers, midnight ravers, and parking lot bangers. We don’t take this mammoth responsibility lightly. Phil, Eric, and Brian and the legions of diehard Thin Lizzy supporters deserve the best and our best we’ve given. It’s funny how 1971 can sound so contemporary, a testament to the music, power, strength, feeling, and sensitivity of Thin Lizzy, three out-of-their-heads Dublin rockers who gave their heart and soul for a monster dose of rock and roll, influencing thousands upon thousands right up to the present. Thanks for the music good fellows.

Too right.

What Sight & Sound (Mostly) Missed: My Personal Top 20 Films of All Time

Posted by Charles Reece, August 3, 2012 06:49pm | Post a Comment
Sight & Sound has released its "Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time" list for the decade. The good news is that Hitchcock took over the number 1 position from Welles and Eisenstein was kicked out of the top 10. About time. The top 20 from the list are: (1) Vertigo (2) Citizen Kane (3) Tokyo Story (4) The Rules of the Game (5) Sunrise (6) 2001 (7) The Searchers (8) Man with a Movie Camera (9) The Passion of Joan of Arc (10)  (11) Battleship Potemkin (12) L'Atalante (13) Breathless (14) Apocalypse Now (15) Late Spring (16) Au hasard Balthazar (17/18) Seven Samurai and Persona (tie) (19) Mirror (20) Singin' in the Rain. This got me to wondering: which films do I always feel like watching, regardless of what I'm reading, thinking about or feeling? After about an hour (which is more time spent than these kind of lists are probably worth), the following is what I came up with as the films that have and will likely continue to provide me with the most enjoyment, discarding any historical concern for the aesthetic enrichment of the cinematic commonweal. In no particular order, my 20 list:


Blade Runner - Ridley Scott


Sweet Smell of Success - Alexander Mackendrick


High and Low - Akira Kurosawa


Once Upon a Time in the West - Sergio Leone


Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Don Siegel


Toby Dammit (from Spirits of the Dead) - Federico Fellini


Jackie Brown - Quentin Tarantino


Le Trou - Jacques Becker


Dazed and Confused - Richard Linklater


Mulholland Drive - David Lynch


The Third Man - Carol Reed


Children of Men - Alfonso Cuarón


Touch of Evil - Orson Welles


Playtime - Jacques Tati


The Naked Spur - Anthony Mann


Ichi the Killer - Takashi Miike


Monty Python's Life of Brian - Terry Jones


Les Espions - Henri-Georges Clouzot


2001: A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick


Rear Window - Alfred Hitchcock

Three of my favorite directors, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder and Shôhei Imamura, aren't represented, because there isn't any one of their films that I'm quite as obsessed with as those listed above (although The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Kiss Me, Stupid and The Insect Woman, respectively, come really close). And I could've just as easily picked any number of Hitchock and Kubrick films to fit the bill (since they're the best), but I limited myself to no more than one choice per director.

Although this is my own somewhat idiosyncratic list,* I think it's just as aesthetically defensible as Sight
& Sound
's. It's hard to believe anyone prefers the experience of watching Eisenstein's propaganda to any of the above or, for that matter, to Lang, Wilder and Imamura. I suspect that there are at least a few choices based on estimated historical importance, which tends to make such lists conform to a consensually derived notion of objectivity where it becomes feasible that only a few critics might actually enjoy watching some of what they've chosen as the "greatest." Historical import does not necessitate great art: D.W. Griffith made shit films, for example, but made it onto the list back in 1952 (for Intolerance), only to disappear. Eisenstein was an important theorist, but his films just ain't that good. He will continue to drop down the list, I predict. Also, Tarkovsky is much more fashionable right now than Antonioni, so supporting the consensus as "intersubjective objectivity" tends to influence the rise of one existential hero over another, even when the former's new age earnestness is far more risible. Likewise, the inclusion of The Tree of Life and In the Mood for Love. Antonioni and Resnais are just too much?

-----------------------------------------

[*] Of my represented directors, these made S&S's list: Fellini (10 & 39), Hitchcock (1 & 35), Kubrick (6), Kurosawa (17 & 26), Lynch (28), Tati (42), Welles (2). Of my chosen films, these made the list: 2001 (6),Mulholland Drive (28), Playtime (42).

-----------------------------------------

Blade Runner poster is by Sam's Myth; Children of Men is by Noah Hornstein;  Dazed and Confused is by Adam Juresko; High and Low is by John Scarratt; Invasion of the Body Snatchers is by Daniel Norris; Jackie Brown is by Olly Moss; Life of Brian is by Williams and Lim; Mulholland Drive is by Grzegorz Domaradzki; Rear Window is by JoE Chiang; Sweet Smell of Success is by Sean Phillips; The Third Man is by Jordan Gray; not sure about the origins of the Ichi the Killer design; the other posters are from foreign releases of the films, mostly Polish, because their designs are so wonderfully kooky.

-----------------------------------------

Most of my selections are readily available for home viewing: Rear Window2001Life of BrianIchi the KillerThe Naked SpurPlaytime, Touch of Evil, Children of Men, The Third Man, Mulholland Drive, Dazed and Confused, Le Trou, Jackie Brown, Toby Dammit, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Once Upon a Time in the West, High and Low, Sweet Smell of Success, Blade Runner. Les Espions has unfortunately never been domestically released in the States.

Local Stuff: Allah-Las, Dum Dum Girls, The Deadly Syndrome

Posted by Billy Gil, August 3, 2012 03:38pm | Post a Comment
Allah-Las – “Don’t You Forget It”
 
The natty L.A. lads in Allah-Las premiered a new track today called “Don’t You Forget It,” from their upcoming self-titled debut full-length, due from Innovative Leisure Sept. 18. Dig the way the drums come in halfway through and make the bonfire jam into a dance party. They’re on tour this fall with Nick Waterhouse, whose own Time’s All Gone came out earlier this year, and both will play FYF Sept. 1-2.










Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
 
I’m among those who will pause to listen any time San Diego’s Dum Dum Girls release music. So it’s with great joy that I hear “Lord Knows,” a knockout, mid-tempo ballad that shows lead singer Dee Dee’s growth as a songwriter over the bands couple of albums. The song will appear on the End of Daze EP, due in the fall.
 


 

The Deadly Syndrome – “Whatever Comes Our Way”

 
This first taste from Los Angeles’ The Deadly Syndrome’s third album, the self-released All in Time, due Aug. 7, sounds very L.A. — get up, go to work, traffic, in bed by 10. The song has a way of humanizing an increasingly inhuman existence. Maybe that’s just what I’m drawing from it, but for relatively unassuming indie rock, it’s pretty affecting.
 

The Deadly Syndrome - Whatever Comes Our Way from The Deadly Syndrome on Vimeo.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 08.03.12: Dark Time Sunshine, Batsauce, GZA, Blu & Exile, MURS & Fashawn, Zion-I @ Oaklandish + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 11:54am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:03:12


Dark Time Sunshine Dark "Never Cry Wolf (feat. Reva DeVito)" (2012)


1)  Dark Time Sunshine ANX (Fake Four Inc)

The biggest mover for this week is none other than the new album from rapper Onry Ozzborn and producer Zavala, which gets my vote for best hip hop album of 2012 thus far.  The music that these two craft together is something very special, and taps into the edgiest and most provocative elements of the genre in a way that few groups can. Zavala’s beats are like transmissions from a different futuristic dimension where people still bump old school hip hop on occasion, and Onry’s deep vocals fit perfectly in the mix.  Features from Aesop Rock, P.O.S, and Busdriver amongst others. Very highly recommended!



The Chicharones "Burn It Down" (2012)



2) The Chicharones Swine Flew (Camobear)

This new album from Josh Martinez and Sleep delivers more of the fun, clever, infectious hip hop you’ve come to expect from these two. These guys have a rep for amazing live shows that landed them a headlining spot on this year’s Warped Tour, and Swine Flew is an album years in the making that balances their bouncy party songs with some serious songwriting. Great hooks, intricate verses and terrific beats from Smoke of Oldominion make this an album worth checking for.  Bacon.

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NYC's Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend: DMC US Finals, Roc Raida Memorial Gong Battle, & Stylus Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2012 04:47am | Post a Comment


In New York City this weekend there's a real treat in store for scratch DJs and fans of scratching and hip-hop DJ battles. Tomorrow (Saturday Aug 4th) the 2012 DMC US Finals National DJ Battle is taking place at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village. The winner of this anticipated DJ battle will go onto London, England next month to represent the US in the 2012 DMC World DJ Championships on September 28th. This Sunday (Aug 5th) in New York at the same Bleecker Street club will be the 2012 Grand Master Roc Raida Memorial Gong DJ Battle - bearing the name of the much loved X-ecutioner DJ who began the event years before he passed on in 2009. And to top things off for this NYC DJ weekend, that is been dubbed Ultimate DJ Battle Weekend, later today (Aug 3rd) will be the DubSpot Stylus Sessions # 2. Curated & produced by turntablist scholar John Carluccio this event will be video streamed live from the West 14th Street DJ school's headquarters.

At tomorrow's big US DMC battle, where competing DJs from all round the nation  will include DJ Sol Rising who won the 2012 Bay Area DMC Regional Battle back in April, the host will once again be the ever funny & entertaining Lord Finesse (of D.I.T.C. fame) while the Bay Area's DJ Snayk Eyez,  who is the 2001 DMC US Supremacy Champion, will do be among three DJs doing a special turntable routine performance. The others will be legendary 1986 DMC World Champion holder DJ Cheese, who after a long absence is back performing and recording over the past couple of years, and DJ Total Eclipse of The X-ecutioners. Meanwhile DJ Spictakular of the legendary Allies DJ crew will be doing a long partyrocking series of sets throughout the day long event that begins at 2pm and ends by 930pm tomorrow.

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Beachwood Sparks Reignite

Posted by Billy Gil, August 2, 2012 04:35pm | Post a Comment
A new band is poised to take over L.A. this weekend. No, it’s not some band of upstarts on Slumberland or Captured Tracks, it’s the recently reformed, reenergized Beachwood Sparks. Hot on the tracks of their excellent new album, The Tarnished Gold, the Sparks are playing The Echo Friday night with Tomorrows Tulips, The Abigails and DJ Kevin Fitzgerald. The show kicks off Saturday’s The New LA Folk Festival, at Zorthian Ranch in Altadena (about which Eric Brightwell recently blogged). That show takes place from 1:30 p.m. to about 1 a.m. and also features He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, White Magic, Spindrift, Sea of Bees and Restavrant, among others.
 
You may recall Beachwood Sparks’ early 2000s output, their self-titled debut, 2001’s breakthrough Once We Were Trees and the 2002 EP Make the Robots Cry, which poured psychedelic touches and smoggy haze over faithful country-rock, encapsulating certain histories of California music — 1950s Bakersfield rough country rockers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Laurel Canyon hippies like Buffalo Springfield and Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds, and the San Francisco psychedelia of bands like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. But Beachwood Sparks didn’t feel derivative, and were more in line with contemporaries Wilco and The Flaming Lips for their incorporation of neo-psychedelic sounds. They also played in a web of related bands like The Tyde, Mystic Chords of Memory, Frausdots and All Night Radio, while founding member and bassist Brent Rademaker, his brother, Darren, and guitarist Christopher Gunst were in the beloved ’90s cult band Further.
 



Then they all but disappeared for a decade. Members joined various bands — Gunst had Mystic Chords of Memory with partner Jen Cohen (of The Aislers Set); Brent Rademaker had The Tyde with his brother, as well as his own band, Frausdots; drummer Jimi Hey and guitarist “Farmer” Dave Scher had All Night Radio; Scher toured and played with Interpol, Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello; and drummer Aaron Sperske joined Ariel Pink’s (now defunct) Haunted Graffiti. Rademaker says, simply, the band needed a break.
 
“We had been touring under really bad conditions and kind of living the life of the band but without any really kind of financial support,” Rademaker says. “… None of us were married, a lot of us lived together in close quarters like monkeys. … We had done a really, really successful tour, our first kind of one that really felt like, wow, things are really starting to happen.”
 
Exhausted, the band took a break, and life events started taking precedence — some members got married, some moved, Rademaker included, to Tampa, Fla. Consistent members Gunst, Scher and Rademaker couldn’t schedule a time to get together as Gunst went to school to get his master’s degree, Scher toured and Rademaker worked at Ikea in Florida. But things finally lined up: Gunst was off from school for the summer, Scher needed a break from touring and a health issue forced Rademaker to take a break from the Swedish furniture giant. The band’s cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” appeared on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World soundtrack. And Sub Pop had asked the band to play its 20th anniversary show in 2008, and that showed the band it still had places to go. The three reformed along with Sperske, Cohen, Ben Knight and Dan Horne. The lineup now also includes drummer Andres Renteria, though it seems to be a revolving lineup that centers around Gunst, Scher and Rademaker.
 


“We went through that whole thing that new bands go through — growing pains,” Rademaker says. “… [But] we came out on the other side. It kind of makes you feel young to do that shit. You know what I mean? It’s like you’re in a punk band and you’ve just opened for a heavy metal band and the crowd has been throwing bottles at you, but then you’ve won them over.”
 
The quality of The Tarnished Gold attests to that. Starting with the somber “Forget the Song,” we’re instantly time-portaled back to early 2000s California indie-rock heaven. Following is the jangly “Sparks Fly Again,” a sort of fight song Scher wrote for the band as it regrouped, with lyrics like “sparks fly again for you.”
 
“When we play it life, there’s no irony,” Rademaker says. “Public Image Ltd. had the song ‘Public Image,’ and there’s ‘Clash City Rockers.’ It’s kind of cool to have a theme song. It’s fun to be on stage and sit there and get on the mic with all the guys. It’s like telling you what we’re gonna do. Only Farmer Dave could come up with that.”


 
The album is loaded with gems, like the ’70s AM gold of the title track and spaced-out mariachi-style of “No Queremos Oro,” which is sung in Spanish with an English dub floating over it.
 
“Dave, Chris and Ben [Knight] are all of Spanish descent, and their families go way, way back, generations and generations in L.A.,” Rademaker says. “This is the first full-length we’ve recorded in L.A. … Whenever we go to Spain and Europe and stuff, they always say we’re ambassadors for the L.A. sound. I was like, this is the L.A. sound right here. … Even The Tarnished Gold, the album artwork, it’s supposed to represent the heritage of Los Angeles.”
 
Rademaker says he’s excited to play The New LA Folk Festival, which he calls “crucial … People should put on folk festivals every day.” He’s also excited to play the new songs, just as long as the band has learned them.
 
“It’s really surprising, people are shouting out new songs more than the oldies,” he says. “It was like, we haven’t learned those yet! We’re gonna make sure we know the whole new album for the shows in L.A.”
 
Something else that’s been shouted out at shows, Rademaker says: “California Bummer,” that unbeatable summer song by his former band, Further. So … what about that, speaking of reunions?
 


“I’d do it in a heartbeat,” Rademaker says of the possibility of a Further reunion, though extenuating circumstances prevent it from becoming a reality at the moment.
 
For now, Rademaker’s glad to be back in L.A. and to be a part of its music scene once again, even hearing his own music spinning recently upon entering Amoeba Hollywood.
 
“You don’t know how that feels until that happens to you,” he says. “Nothing compares to walking into your favorite record store and your record’s playing. It’s really radical.”
 
 

New Preorders: Grizzly Bear, The XX, Bob Dylan, Two Door Cinema Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 2, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment
grizzly bear shieldsGrizzly Bear have thus far released two songs from their upcoming album, Shields (preorder here), which comes out Sept. 18 and is now available to preorder at Amoeba.com. Whereas Daniel Rossen sings on the first single, the bizzaro country-jangle of “Sleeping Ute,” warm-voiced Ed Droste lends his vocals to “Yet Again,” which the band debuted today. Like most Grizzly Bear songs, it’s a grower and takes a few listens for everything to sink in. I’m picking up some Radiohead vibes on this one — nice downward-angling melody and shuffling drums, with some of GB’s now trademark harmonies and vocal acrobatics in the background. Judging by these first two songs, there could be a more laid-back vibe than on Veckatimest, which always suits this band quite well.
 
 





The XXAlso, The XX have begun the promotional push for their new album, Coexist (preorder here), out Sept. 11, debuting its first single, “Angels,” and playing it on the late-night circuit. The XX are pretty weird to have gotten this popular, but I think that says something good about people’s taste, right? The first time I heard this song, I thought it wasn’t so great. Kind of too slow and spacious for a single, even for them. Today I listened again and it had me within the first seconds, even before that hallowed out drum roll comes in and lifts Romy Madley Croft’s vocals skyward. Pretty, simple and pure. The fact that it will probably soundtrack a lot of breakup scenes in movies or whatever is irrelevant; the song sounds written from the gut, and that’s why people respond to this band.
 
 


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Mix Masterpiece Features Bay Area Artists, DJs, and Musicians this Friday, August 3rd.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 2, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Mix Masterpiece showcases the vast and vibrant communities of art and music in the Bay Area. Join them on Friday, August 3rd at 144 King Art Cafe in San Francisco for another sparkling showcase of over 20 artists, Djs, and musicians. This show is not to be missed and... it's FREE!
 
Featured artists include Tim Cohen, Leo Docuyanan, Jeff Bostic, June Eng, Ben Needham, Six Nolasco Morsch, Jake Frye, Markus Lin, Katy Vawter, Gabriel Wheeler, Michael Valenti, John Coyne, Berlin Tomas, and more!
 
Featured music and DJs with The selector Dj Kirk (The Revival/Sweater Funk), Boom Bostic (Bostic Arts and Music), Chan Chan (Valencia Radio 87.9 fm), Doug Pagan (Voltage Music), and Psychic Sidekicks (Apollo Records).
 

OFWGKTA's Pyramid Vritra Preps for Debut LP with New Video

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

Pyramid Vritra ft. Frisco "Drain" from BEARDS + BLACK EYES on Vimeo.

OFWGKTA collective member Pyramid Vritra is gearing up for next week's dropping of his full-length debut Pyramid with the release this week of the new Stella Kae directed video above for the album track "Drain" that features a guest spot by Frisco. Pyramid is the fifth release to date by Pyramid Vritra, the LA artist otherwise known as Hal Williams of NRK (Nobody Really Cares), and Odd Future's Jet Age Of Tomorrow and The Super 3. The 13 track album was recorded over the past two years and features cameos from the likes of Speak!, Gary Wilson, Odd Future's Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians, and NRK's Andre McCloud and KC 2.0. Pyramid will arrive in Amoeba on Tuesday, August 7th.

The Dark, Sexy Sound of Minneapolis' Polica

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 1, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment

A good friend of mine from Minneapolis introduced me to a local band called Poliça earlier this year via a performance video from Minnesota public radio station The Current. I loved the song (the name "Wandering Star" also caught my attention as it's the name of one of my favorite Portishead songs), but what really got my attention was the double drummers!

But I have to admit I didn't follow through to discover more about the band until I went back to Minnesota this spring. I heard Poliça on the radio there and responded to the music again, this time vowing to listen to the whole album when I came home. Which I did, on repeat.

The band consists of vocalist Channy Leaneagh (formerly Channy Casselle), bassist Chris Bierden and drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson. But the other important person involved with the band is not technically a band member. Instrumentalist Ryan Olson, who was in Gayngs with Leaneagh, helped shape the band from its very start. The two started working on songs together, with Olson providing electronic beats and Leaneagh singing the melodies, even before there were actual words and lyrics. Then Olson brought in Beirden to lay down bass lines, and contacted Ivascu and Christopherson about being the new band's drummers. Together, they became Poliça.

A few things strike you right away when you listen to their music. One is that Leaneagh's vocals are manipulated by effects pedals and auto-tune, which she says adds drama and allows her voice to be viewed more as an instrument. The second, is the overall mood of the album - dark, slightly aggressive, and beautiful. And slinky, if that could be considered a mood. See the video for "Lay Your Cards Out" as an example.

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PhilaMOCA to Present Celebration of the group Sparks featuring Artist Submissions

Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2012 05:27pm | Post a Comment

Sparks "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" (1974 from Kimono My House)

The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art
(aka PhilaMOCA) is presenting a tribute to the group Sparks on October 6th titled Sparkstacular. In addition to an evening entirely dedicated to the music and career of the Sparks' brothers Ron and Russell Mael, the event will also include Sparks related art submissions (visual and musical) from artists who send in work over the next seven weeks to be chosen by the curator for inclusion in the exhibit. Apparently PhilaMOCA's director/curator Eric Bresler is an obsessive Sparks fan who not only has every release by the duo throughout their long & varied career that began in 1971 but also travels around the world to catch his favorite band perform live. Over the years he has seen Sparks play in such cities as London, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.

The one-day only Sparkstacular event will feature a Sparks-themed art show/memorabilia reception followed by live performances of Sparks songs from local musicians and a screening of rare Sparks performance footage and television appearances presented by Video Pirates. And Bresler is inviting artists to submit Sparks-related work "that either depicts the brothers Mael or was inspired by their work."  Submissions are due by Friday, September 22nd with a submission fee of $25 per artwork. The PhilaMOCA is inviting musicians with an admiration for the music of Sparks to reach out and reserve their spot in the parade of live Sparks covers.

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