Noise Pop Record Collective Party with DJ Dials! October 9th in SF.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 30, 2012 01:38pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop and Amoeba Music continue the ever-popular and biweekly Noise Pop Record Collectivevinyl party Noise Pop Record DJ DialsCollective on Tuesday, October 9th hosted by Dj Dials! The party goes from 8pm till midnight at San Francisco's  Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem.

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.

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.

Moon Block Party San Francisco Features Art & Music, October 13th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 30, 2012 01:19pm | Post a Comment

Moon Block Party is finally landing in San Francisco after many successful happenings downsleepy sun south! Join the party on October 13th at 8pm at Brick and Mortar and catch musical guests Sleepy Sun, Glitter Wizard, Juju, Al Lover & The Haters, and DJ sets from Al Lover. Plus, art presented by Sioux Magazine and a featured installation by Celeste Byers

Moon Block Party is curated and organized by a collective of musicians and artists who strive to gather and enliven the many through honest, thought-provoking music and innovative visual installations. 

Get your tickets HERE!

Septeber 29, 2012: Looper

Posted by phil blankenship, September 29, 2012 10:10pm | Post a Comment

September 28, 2012: Pitch Perfect

Posted by phil blankenship, September 28, 2012 11:09pm | Post a Comment

Amoebapalooza Hollywood, September 30th

Posted by Amoebite, September 28, 2012 02:16pm | Post a Comment

Join Amoeba for our annual night of musical mayhem, a.k.a. Amoebapalooza!! Our staff of talented and energectic music fans has put together bands for one night only, and will perform tributes, original music and, if previous years are any indication, there will be plenty more surprises. Join us for a full Sunday night of fun, 9/30, at The Dragonfly. Doors at 9 p.m. 21+ over, $5 at the door.

Amoebapalooza 2012 flier

Light In the Attic Road Trip Visits Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, September 28, 2012 12:37pm | Post a Comment
In the 2012 LITA road trip visiting record stores up and down the West Coast, the guys visited Amoeba Hollywood for a DJ set on Wednesday night. You can track their progress and glimpse all the cool record stores they've visited along the way in their road trip blog and video series. We're in the 4th episode. Check out their journey so far!

Light in the Attic

2012 Light In The Attic Road Trip - Episode 4 from Light In The Attic Records on Vimeo.

Weekly Roundup: Neverever, Rhye, Jason Lytle, DaVinci

Posted by Billy Gil, September 28, 2012 12:17pm | Post a Comment
Neverever – “100 and 1 Dreams”
How did you spend your summer? L.A.’s Neverever ask us on this upside-down poolside video for their song “100 and 1 Dreams,” directed by Eric Fisher. Shot at the gloriously lo-fi, mostly kid-free Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, where you can lounge amongst other PBR-fed whatever bodies and drink yourself silly at the pool (and where Neverever played at one of their shows this summer), it does capture smeared memories of summer. The song features cleaner production for their ’50s-pop inspired sound, so elegantly stated on this year’s Shake-a-Baby EP. “100 and 1 Dreams” is from a forthcoming LP, likely on Slumberland as that’s who released Shake-a-Baby, and though I can’t find out any other info on it at the moment, safe to say it’ll be something to look for, given the quality of their previous output and this song.

Neverever - 100 and 1 Dreams from Eric Fisher on Vimeo.

Rhye – “The Fall”
L.A.’s Rhye features a seductive female vocalist singing “Make love to me, one more time before you go, away,” lingering over every word like she knows it’s pointless to ask, over a syncopated soul backbeat with deft production flourishes that makes the whole thing move breezily instead of wallowing. This is the kind of thing that sounds effortless but isn’t easy to pull off — cushy indie soul that vibes Marvin Gaye and Stereolab equally. The Fall EP is out Oct. 9 on Innovative Leisure.

Jason Lytle – “Get Up and Go”
One of iPhone’s new OS features is that you can use a full song as an alarm rather than a ringtone. If you’re looking for a great get-up-and-go song that inspires without being too cloying, look no further than this new aptly titled Jason Lytle track. It’s on his album Dept. of Disappearance, due Oct. 16 on ANTI-. So glad to hear new music from Jason Lytle, after the disintegration of Grandaddy, can’t wait to hear the rest.


– “Ultimate Playaz” (ft. D-How the Money Mayka)
Bay Area rapper DaVinci has unfortunately delayed his upcoming album The MOEna Lisa until Nov. 6, but he’s offering a free EP in the meantime here, featuring the slow, psych-rappy “Ultimate Playaz.” Dammit this song is so good. If that’s what he leaves for the EP, this album should rule.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 09.28.12: Brother Ali, Art of Rap s/t, Murs & Fashawn, DMC World Champs, Special Delivery + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2012 09:09am | Post a Comment

Murs & Fashawn at Amoeba Hollywood this week in celebration of new album

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:28:12

1) Murs & Fashawn This Generation (Duck Down)

2) Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam)

3) V/A Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap Soundtrack (Sony Music)

4) Brother Ali Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

5) Blu & Exile Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them (Dirty Science)

Thanks again to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Hollywood Amoeba store for the latest top five chart of best selling new releases from the SoCal store with the brand new Murs & Fashawn collaboration, This Generation on Duck Down, in the number slot with a bullet since its release on Tuesday of this week. In fact to celebrate the new album on that very same day the duo did a live set (also a live webcast) on release day / Tuesday this week at the Hollywood Amoeba when a lot of fans bought the new album and helped them reach number  show at the same store.  That in-store concert was not just a celebration of their new release. It was also a Rock the Vote drive that Amoeblogger Billy Gil reviewed here yesterday in which he noted how Murs said to the packed crowd that “If you’re smart, you’ll be registered to vote and to get married by the time you leave here.” Check out the in-store/Rock The Vote/webcast concert video above.

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2012 Oakland Underground Film Festival

Posted by Billyjam, September 27, 2012 06:04pm | Post a Comment

Trailer for Smoked which screens both Saturday & Sunday @ Vitus/410 Ballroom
as part of the 2012 Oakland Underground Film Festival

Now in its fourth year the Oakland Underground Film Festival (OAKUFF), which kicks off this evening Thursday Sept 27th and runs through Sunday Sept 30th, is shaping up to be quite an impressive independent film festival boasting 17 different films (local and international) of varying budgets and styles (documentaries/features/shorts). Many of OAKUFF's entries, but not all, have some tie to the East Bay city that the festival calls home. Perhaps most "Oakland" of all of this year's entries is the Oaksterdam themed comedy/action feature Smoked (trailer above) which is described by its makers as a "dark comedy about the misadventures of three gutter punk stoners whose housewarming party ends in flames. In their desperation, they create a half baked plan to rob an Oakland Cannabis Club." The film is directed by Joshua Staley and Jamie DeWolf and today I caught up with director DeWolf to ask him how screening his film at the Oakland festival stands apart from other places where Smoked has been shown? "The screening of  at the Oakland Underground Film Festival is absolutely different because this movie is as Oakland as it gets; literally 15 pivotal scenes were filmed three years ago within walking distance of the theater we'll be showing it in. It's always been our goal to show Oakland in all it's wild raucous glory and where better to do it than from the heart of Oakland itself?"  Smoked screens twice during the festival: Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 8pm at Vitus / 410 Ballroom (Geoffrey's) at 410 14th Street near Broadway.

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Show Wrap: Animal Collective at the Hollywood Bowl; Beach House at the Wiltern

Posted by Billy Gil, September 27, 2012 03:30pm | Post a Comment
Animal Collective's crazy, toothy stage show
Two recent L.A. shows were a study of contrasts for two established and much-loved independent artists. Animal Collective played the Hollywood Bowl Sept. 23 after a set from Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison), whose Until the Quiet Comes streets Oct. 1 (preorder here). Fly Lo’s heady material isn’t exactly tailor-made for arenas (“You can stand up if you want,” Ellison quipped at one point), but with the help of spinning records from the likes of the Beastie Boys, he had a lot of the younger crowd at the sold-out Bowl standing in their seats and raising their hands. Animal Collective played a set that largely drew from their newest album, Centipede Hz. So how you felt about the show probably had a lot to do with how much you like the new album. I myself haven’t fallen for it yet, though I might — Animal Collective albums are known to be growers. But the difference was palpable when they’d play a song like “My Girls” from their much-loved Merriweather Post Pavillion vs. one of the newer songs, which hearken back to their murkier early days, rather than their more pop-leaning recent albums. The more clearly cut songs from the new album, such as the Avey Tare-sung "Today's Supernatural," translated best live. They threw in tracks like Merriweather’s “Lion in a Coma” and “Brothersport” and Strawberry Jam’s “Peacebone,” as well, but with nine-plus albums of great material from which to draw, greater variety would have been nice.
Beach House's Victoria Legrand rounded out the set by headbanging her glorious curls
Their Baltimore brethren in Beach House had the luxury of having recently put out their best-received album yet (still my No. 1 of this year), Bloom. But that didn’t stop them from playing a lot of songs from 2010’s Teen Dream at their Wiltern show Sept. 26, as well as a few from Devotion (I don’t recall them playing any from the first album). It’s difficult to put into words just how efficiently Beach House move from song to song, album to album without a hitch, stopping just a couple of times to say hello and sounding virtually pitch-perfect on every song. It’s also hard to pinpoint highlights — where to start? — especially since they seemed to attack both the older and newer material with equal glee. “Lazuli,” “Wishes” and “Irene,” with its extended build and excellent guitarwork from Alex Scally, all stood out to me from the new album. Victoria Legrand grew more commanding on the songs where her drawl could be held out for extended notes, such as on Devotion’s spine-chilling “Turtle Island.” This is to say nothing of touring member Daniel Franz’s drumwork, which despite the dreamy vibe of the music could sound like a gunshot through the haze, given the John Bonham force of his beat. It’s debatable if Beach House is the best band on the planet right now, but live, they were so assured of their sound, so skilled at mining their own catalog, that it’d be hard to dispute they’re in the running.
To read my rundown of Amoeba’s Rock the Vote event with Murs & Fashawn and Band of Horses, click here.

Rock the Vote With Amoeba!

Posted by Billy Gil, September 27, 2012 02:59pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba is helping to sign voters up before the Oct. 22 deadline to register or change your address information. You can register here if you haven't yet registered to vote in the Nov. 6 election, or Amoeba has voter registration forms at the stores you can pick up and we’ll mail it for you. Visit Rock The Vote for more voter information.

As part of Amoeba's Rock the Vote effort, Murs & Fashawn and Band of Horses turned out excellent live shows at Amoeba Hollywood and across the street at Space 15 Twenty. Murs & Fashawn's energetic live show, which was streamed live for a webcast on, drew a huge crowd, thanks to Living Legends member Murs’ loyal fanbase, Fashawn’s rising notoriety and their recently released collaborative album, the fine This Generation. The duo performed songs from the album, such as the uplifting “Heartbreaks & Handcuffs,” trading rhymes and pointing to one another and generally having a great time riling up an enthusiastic crowd. Murs picked up a baby at one point like a politician, remarking that there were a lot of babies in the audience, which there were, along with teenagers who shouted suggestions to Murs and clamored over one another to pick up free T-shirts they threw into the audience (one jumped on my head!). “If you’re smart, you’ll be registered to vote and to get married by the time you leave here,” Murs said at one point. “If a girl’s at our show, she’s probably pretty cool.” Later, Murs more pointedly said: “It doesn’t hurt to believe in something a little bit. Don’t be so apathetic.”
murs fashawn this generation“As I got older and evolved as a person, I realized there’s a point [to voting],” Fashawn chimed in. “Today, I’m gonna register to vote.”

For more photos from the event, click here. Back in 2008, Murs also performed at Amoeba as his album Murs for President was releasing; see a video and photos of that performance here.

The show continued with a performance from Band of Horses across the street at Space15Twenty. The lucky few who got tickets were treated to a stripped-down acoustic performance from the full band of classics and songs from their new album, Mirage Rock. “We’re just gonna let our beards down,” declared frontman Ben Bridwell, playing a set of songs some of which they made apparent hadn’t been performed acoustically before — still, they sounded great, playing songs from across their four albums such as “Laredo” (from Infinite Arms), “The Great Salt Lake” (from Everything All the Time) and a two-man, knockout version of Cease to Begin’s “No One’s Gonna Love You.” They joked that no one called out for new material, but I heard girls next to me pause from swooning to say they liked particular songs from Mirage Rock (of course, they still screamed when “No One’s Gonna Love You” came on). Bridwell and co. smiled and kept things loose during the hour or so performance, finishing with an acoustic yet still muscular version of Cease to Begin’s “Is There a Ghost.”
band of horsesBefore the performance, I coaxed a good friend of mine to register to vote at a table set up at Space 15 Twenty, which was really what this whole thing was about. You can still register to vote at Amoeba until Oct. 22. It’s super easy. Whether you’ve registered before and moved or this is your first time, you can pick up a voter registration form at any Amoeba Music location and we’ll send it in for you. Takes two minutes, tops. The election’s coming Nov. 6, guys. There’s no excuse not to vote. Do it!

Scroll down for more photos I took at the event!

September 26, 2012: End of Watch

Posted by phil blankenship, September 26, 2012 10:12pm | Post a Comment

Friday Night Frights: [REC] 3: GENESIS

Posted by phil blankenship, September 26, 2012 01:55pm | Post a Comment

Kick off the Halloween season this Friday with the new Spanish horror hit!

[REC] 3: GENESIS // Friday, September 28, 2012 at Cinefamily

Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero’s [REC] series has set the standard for “found footage” zombie horror, far outshining similar efforts by Hollywood and even zombie master George Romero himself — and [REC] 3: Genesis is the most giddy and playful entry of the series to date. The set-up is brilliant: a camera crew is filming a wedding when the zombie-cum-demon plague established in the former films erupts. The bride and groom are separated in the chaos, and the film tracks their crimson-soaked efforts to find each other in the sprawling, zombie-infested wedding hall. Part Evil Dead, part Four Weddings And A Funeral, [REC 3] is an all-out blast, with Plaza abandoning the restrictive first-person POV early on, letting the gruesome, gory events play out with the benefit of a “normal” camera view — and the results feel novel and fresh. This gorgeous film deserves to be seen on the big screen, where you can see every beautifully rendered dismemberment, and marvel at every dazzling head explosion. RSVP right away, because this is one wedding you’d be a fool to miss!
Dir. Paco Plaza, 2012, 35mm, 81 min.

$12, Free for Cinefamily members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036

Of Sound and Vision: An Interview with Hannah Lew of Grass Widow

Posted by Kells, September 26, 2012 12:25pm | Post a Comment
A few years back I fell for San Francisco trio Grass Widow pretty hard. Charmed by the inviting warmth of the "cosy practice space" image on the cover of their debut album I was primed to plunge headfirst into the rabbithole of Grass Widow's homespun, post-punk wonderland. Digging deeper I found bassist/vocalist Hannah Lew's contribution to the band to be greater than merely a sewing of sonic lines and hemmed-in harmonies. A true visionary, Hannah is dishes a triple threat of aesthetic ingenuity evident in her work as a a filmmaker, visual artist, and musician, whether playing solo or with an ensemble. She's just the coolest!

Hannah was gracious enough to answer some of my questions recently, for the interview read on below.

How did you come to be a musician, filmmaker, and visual artist? Did you naturally lean one way before the other? 

Hannah Lew: I have many useless talents and envy people that have the tunnel vision to be excellent at one or two things. I lean many ways and consider myself mediocre at many things. I came to these specific three mediums in very different ways. I always drew and painted as a child and actually went to college for fine art. I always felt frustrated with visual art because its very culturally exclusive whereas music and film are assessable to everyone and I've always felt like I can express myself better through these mediums. I actually lived in New York during 9/11 and totally freaked out about what I was doing with creative energy. It sounds cheesy, but those events had a profound effect on how I decided to spend my energy. Two days before 9/11 I had dresses on a runway at NY Fashion Week and was on my way to pursuing a career as a visual artist. 9/11 just kind of made me reassess what really mattered to me and I decided to find a more satisfying way to reach people with my ideas. The fashion and art world just suddenly felt very superficial and meaningless.

Later that year I moved to Philadelphia and started a band, but I just jumped around and sang and played Moog. Then, in 2003, I moved back to SF and my friend Frankie and I decided to start a band even though we didn't know how to play any instruments. We basically got in a room with our friends Wu and Raven and everyone casually picked an instrument. Our band was called Shitstorm mostly because we all thought is was a joke band. But then we ended up playing for five years and touring a lot and though we tried to change our name we just couldn't shake it. We really sucked at first, but it was in that band that we all learned how to play the instruments that we would go on to play for the next decade. I feel like I came into my style as a musician through the bass. 

Given that your vision seems to permeate your personal work as well as that of your band would you say that one comes before the other? How do you make it all work?

HL: Grass Widow is very much about the three of us. Our identities as artists have very much been shaped by our roles in the band, but we take care to have outside outlets where we can have more singular voices. I think being strong as an individual is very important when wanting to truly surrender your ego within a group. It involves a lot of communication and hard work-but the payoff is that all three of us are equally invested in every song. We naturally take on different responsibilities. 

Your work seems to reflect a very consistent visual style, was this always so? Can you trace it back to a single influence?

I really love Dada and Surrealism and I've always been inspired by those movements, but not really in any sort of overt way. There is an Italo Calvino short story from Cosmicomics that has become sort of a personal myth for me that has somehow been present in most songs I have written on my own. I also love Sci-Fi.

How long have you been using that font? I love it!

I wrote out the titles on our first record back cover and then we just decided to have all our album art be consistent so I kept it going. We've always been very intentional about the visual aspects of our band.

Can you remember the first time you wanted to make a film or a video? Can you pinpoint the genesis of your visual style?

I got a Super 8 camera when I was 18 that I would take random footage on, but it wasn't until I was 23 that I completed my first film The Ghostyards (which would have been 15 minutes shorter if I made it now). It was kind of an exercise in really expressing my own personal vision and seeing something through. I think I learned a lot about myself while making that film and, once I had that epic project under my belt, I felt empowered to make more films.

Of all your short films I personally find Sea Change to be particularly gripping. Could you share about the making of that film? How did it come about? How long did it take? What is your connection to New Orleans? By all means share anything you please.

Between the ages of 15 and 23 I lived in many places and traveled a lot. I spent a couple of months in New Orleans at a very formative time in my young life and returned there several times. Two weeks after hurricane Katrina I returned to film Sea Change with my friend and collaborator Lisa Van Wambeck. I think it was our way of mourning the city and somehow synthesizing the event. We did many ritualistic things like built an entire dollhouse from scratch and drown it. I didn't really know what I was setting out to make when I went to New Orleans, I just knew I wanted to help my friends there cope with what had just happened and maybe capture the intense feelings somehow.

Watching your latest video for your band Grass Widow, "Goldilocks Zone", is reminiscent of sketchy Sci-Fi flicks and MST3K -- which I adore! What are some of the things that influence your filmmaking? Are you a cinema nerd?

I am extremely bad with names and titles which prohibits me from being a true cinema nerd. I have worked at Lost Weekend Video for the past five or so years and am constantly going on movie kicks. I am very inspired by science and science fiction. I just like imagining things that may or may not exist. It gives me hope. 

Were you influenced much by growing up during MTV's golden years? If so, what are some of your best loved music videos/programs?

I grew up with a 13" TV but would sometimes go to my Bubbie's house on weekends and watch MTV. I was really into Madonna. My mom would always be playing Madonna cassettes in the car. I did like her videos a lot and also Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses videos. 

Your music videos are amazing! Do you have a dream band/artist you would love to make a video for? Have you ever seen a music video/film and thought, "shit! I should've made that!"?

Thanks! Well, I really like Michel Gondry. I like how he uses real special effects and not computer BS. I also really love Norman Maclaren. He is my favorite animator. It's hard to say who I would love to make a video for. I approach music videos like portraits so I guess it'd have to be an artist with a nice budget who knows who they are and I can have a good dialogue with. I make my best work when I feel trusted.

Speaking of music and television, I couldn't help but notice you in Portlandia's "Small Hatchback" sketch with Joanna Newsom, whatever was that like? 

I'm much more comfortable behind the camera but It was fun. Those guys are so funny!

Grass Widow has to be one of the most singular band's around right now -- no one else really sounds like you. How did you all come together?

Raven and I have been playing together for over ten years. She was in Shitstorm with Frankie and Wu and I. Then after that we played quieter music where I played crappy upright bass and she played acoustic guitar. At that time I was in four bands including one called Ghost Family that had toured up to the Northwest where I played a show with Lily's band. Lily came down to play as Frankie's replacement in Shitstorm and then when Wu moved away the three of us had this one day when we just jammed on a harmony thing I wrote and we realized we could do some cool stuff together. Lily returned to the Northwest, but I started feeling urgent about us really starting a band so I climbed on top of a mountain and called her (on a phone) and somehow convinced her to move down to SF. I guess the rest is history.

Did you all have a similar vision of the music you wanted to make? How did you discover your sound?

We knew we could harmonize together, but we didn't want to make mellow music. Raven and I had been making mellow music together, and Lily on her own as well. But we wanted to play loud and fast and mix that with our harmonies. We never had a real design about our sound besides that we didn't want to sound twee. 

Was there anything in particular that inspired you all to sing/play in the style that you do?

Our band really is an honest product of the three of us bouncing of of each other. We're very inspired by each other and have just been trying to utilize each of our individual skills as much as possible in this band.

When did you write your first song? Do the same things that inspire your visual works also inspire you as a musician?

We wrote our first song, "To Where",  in the fall of 2007. I would say that there is a landscape that is sort of like a shared hallucination that we three share and are constantly describing in our songs and album imagery.

What influence would you say San Francisco has on your music? 

My family is here and I have a very specific relationship to the city. Sometimes I feel like there are ghosts on every corner and it can feel very heavy with memories and associations. Its hard to make ends meet here and maybe that struggle ties into our vibe. I wish it didn't though. We've been fantasizing about moving to Portland as a band. Is that a cop out?

What are some of your favorite local bands?

Scrapers, Rank/Xerox, The Mallard, Bad Backs to name a few...

What have you been working on lately? Is there anything in particular you've been into?

I've been working on some solo songs (check them out here), but in a very non-serious way. I have tons of unfinished songs that aren't really GW material that I'm letting rot in Garageband. I'm also working on some photography ideas. I have some music video projects on the horizon too. I recently went to see the Man Ray exhibit and the Cindy Sherman exhibit and felt very inspired. I'm synthesizing a lot of stuff like that. I also watched a Martha Graham movie that I love. Grass Widow will be doing a live DJ set to some silent films at Public Works October 9th so we've been working on that.

Grass Widow toured a bit this summer in support of your latest album Internal Logic, how was being out there on the road?

I just can't tell what kind of band we are sometimes. We do really well in some towns and then kinda crappy in others. I know we have some real fans, but its hard to tell.

What are your plans for the immediate future? New album? More touring?

We are touring the East Coast in November with some Northwest dates coming up in the winter. We're also going to start working on new songs soon. We've been on a sort of creative hiatus lately, but we have a couple writing retreats coming up.

And lastly, three questions I really like to ask everyone I interview: what song best describes your life right now?

"I Have Known Love" by the Silver Apples.

What are your thoughts on karaoke?

I know the world is divided on this, but I really dislike karaoke.

And lastly, what are some of your best record store finds ever?

My boyfriend found Neo Boys' Crumbling Myths for me. I thought I would never see the actual vinyl.

Thank you so much for your time Hannah!

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #1

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2012 11:44am | Post a Comment

Times Square Subway Station entrance Sept 2012 (move cursor over pic for NYC info)

Welcome to a New York State of Mind, the new weekly Amoeblog series in which I will report on music and other things from a New York City perspective via text, photos, and videos. Each week in the New York State of Mind Amoeblog, which will be a kind of NYC music/entertainment-report-meets-budget travel-guide, you'll find info on new music coming out of New York, events unique to the city, artists doing shows here (with a focus on touring Cali artists), plus a sample of the fun events that are always happening in "the city that never sleeps." Actually, this is something I have done intermittently over the past five years for the Amoeblog anyway by blogging about such things as Saul Williams "Chorus" show at Joe's Pub in NYC a few weeks ago, the True School  NYC Summer Park Jam free annual series, the music at Occupy Wall Street a year ago (just before it was shut down), the DMC DJ battles in NYC - both national finals and NY regionals, the John Lennon and New York City Amoeblog report from Strawberry Fields Central Park on the 2009 29th anniversary of his tragic death, and the 2010 NYC Summerstage guide.

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Album Picks: Melody's Echo Chamber, Chris Cohen, The Soft Pack, Lavender Diamond, Plus Albums Out Tuesday

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2012 04:30pm | Post a Comment
Album Picks:
Melody's Echo ChamberMelody’s Echo ChamberMelody’s Echo Chamber
My favorite new band out right now is Melody’s Echo Chamber, whose enchanting self-titled debut is a study in ebullient dream-pop perfection. The story goes that Melody Prochet hooked up with Aussie psych-rock greats Tame Impala, calling on the band’s Kevin Parer to beef up her beauteous, French-pop-inspired arrangements with the kind of soaring sonics employed by that band. What comes out is indeed a perfect marriage. It’s one of those records where the cover perfectly captures the mood: mysterious, colorful and ethereal, you get lost in the folds of this record and don’t want to come out. Fans of Broadcast and Blonde Redhead, take note. The only downside is that aside from a few strong standouts, like the garage rocky opener “I Follow You” and lush (and Lush-esque) “Endless Shore,” the record blurs together. No matter — for fans of this kind of thing, you won’t know where the time has gone. As with like-minded peers A Sunny Day in Glasgow, the emphasis is more on album as experience, following dissociative dream logic in which melodies and arrangements are allowed to meander and linger and flow into one another in a singular happening. In a word, divine.
Chris CohenChris CohenOvergrown Path
Chris Cohen is one of the great underappreciated guitar players of our generation — listen back to Deerhoof records from when he was in the band for proof of his and John Dieterich’s insane riffery and interplay. Since leaving that band, he’s spent time with projects such as Cryptacize, but now on his first solo album and John Cale Paris 1919 moment, we get to see what a strong singer, songwriter and arranger he is, as well. “Monad” opens the album with the sort of skewed guitarwork that will make early Deerhoof fans squeal, but that quickly fades into a brisk, smart soft-pop track punctuated by splashy drums, not unlike one of Yo La Tengo’s more ornate songs. Cohen packs his intricate guitarwork into skilled compositions, such as the Latin-psych vibing “Caller No.99,” in a way that was never as apparent in his flashier Deerhoof contributions. Though his voice is unremarkable, its nice-guy pleasantness carries listeners swiftly through mellow but tricky compositions, avoiding the sort of fussiness that could have resulted with punchier performances. By the time you arrive at the sweet “bum bum bum bums” of the irresistible “Optimist High,” you’re floating on a cloud of contentment and ready to follow Cohen just about anywhere. Overgrown Path is really the perfect fall album, cozy and warm and subtly, almost magically, life-affirming.

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Kyle Eastwood & Tierney Sutton at the Mini-Amoeba Tent at the Monterey Jazz Festival

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 25, 2012 03:46pm | Post a Comment

On Sunday, September 23rd at the Monterey Jazz Festival, we hosted bassist (and Clint's son) KyleKyle Eastwood Eastwood and jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton at the Amoeba tent to sign their latest albums.

Kyle Eastwood grew up in Carmel, California as the eldest son of actor Clint Eastwood. His father hadbeen attending the Monterey Jazz Festival since it began in 1958, and when his children were born it became a yearly family outing. Initially studying film, Kyle soon realized that jazz was his true passion. After years of paying his dues gigging around Los Angeles and New York, his debut album From Here to There was released on Sony in 1998. Showing his ability as an accomplished composer, Kyle began working in film with a contribution to the score for Mystic River. The film later won two Academy Awards.

Today, Kyle Eastwood is less known as the son of Clint Eastwood and more of a universally respected musician and leader in his own right. Dynamic and pulsing, full of swing, great rhythms and memorable melodies, his 2011 release, Songs From The Chateau, is Eastwood’s fourth US effort. With this new album Eastwood set out to capture the sounds and energy with which his band regularly tours the world to sellout crowds.

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(In which we go north, young man.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 25, 2012 12:29pm | Post a Comment

The author, the boyfriend, the other dude

Oh, hello! Where the heck have you been?

I myself have split the last two months between Nevada City, California and New York State; I’ve been away from home so much that when the boyfriend made himself a latté in our kitchen I was pleasantly surprised to remember we had an espresso machine at all.

“I love this place!” I exclaimed.

“Uh, yeah…” he said, “It’s our home.”

“Well I’m totally going to give it a good Yelp review.”

We flew in yesterday after week-long preparations for the wedding of our friends, Cameron and Anna. It was a very romantic ceremony, even to someone like me who hates love. (I’m being hyperbolic – I don’t hate love, I just think it’s difficult to wear well and makes most people look fat.)

That our dear friend Cameron got married is nothing short of a small miracle. This is the man who spent nearly every day I knew him locked in his room playing cello - not exactly the best way to meet chicks. Only occasionally would he leave his bedroom to make Blanquette de veau and watch Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Despite his young age and good looks, his social life was like that of a senior, upper-middle-class, Jewish couple – Friday nights spent at LACMA seeing rare showings of socially significant films about oppressed lower classes (played by gorgeous actors, of course) of some foreign country, or else sipping champagne at some new sculpture garden somewhere. It was at such a sort of event he met Anna.

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Dum Dum Girls' "End of Daze" EP Out Today

Posted by Billyjam, September 25, 2012 11:45am | Post a Comment

Dum Dum Girls "Lord Knows" (off their new EP End of Daze - released today Sept 25 2012)

Friends of Amoeba Dum Dum Girls, who did a memorable in-store at the Hollywood Amoeba  almost exactly a year ago on Sept 27th, 2011 for their second full-length album Only In Dreams, are today releasing their anticipated latest EP; End of Daze on SubPop which is the SoCal  female noise pop quartet's fourth EP since they formed a few years back. In celebration of the EP yesterday the band unveiled the new Christin Walker directed video for the track "Lord Knows" (Amoeblogger Billy Gil posted an audio preview of the song several weeks ago). It's a great retro-flavored track that embodies many of lead singer/guitarist Dee Dee's stated musical influences (inc. Mazzy Star, The Jesus and Mary Chain, & the Ronettes) in addition to both a Cocteau Twins and Boys Next Door vibe to it. 

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Django Django Talk Self-Titled Debut Album

Posted by Billy Gil, September 24, 2012 07:19pm | Post a Comment
Django DjangoUnfortunately, this in-store show has been canceled due to travel delays. You can still catch them at The Independent later tonight. 

For a new band without an album out in the U.S., British psych group Django Django already have a lot going for them. A band that began in drummer/producer David Maclean’s bedroom after the band met in art school in Edinburgh, Scotland, earlier this year Django Django (which also includes singer/guitarist Vincent Neff, bassist Jimmy Dixon and synth man Tommy Grace) released their debut, self-titled album, a whirling stew of spaghetti western guitars, Middle Eastern-inspired synthesizers and psych-pop structures, to universal acclaim in the U.K., putting them up for the esteemed Mercury Prize. As their album is set to release in the U.S. Oct. 9, they’ll play Amoeba San Francisco Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. Catch them before they blow up stateside, and preorder their album here! I caught up with Maclean as the band was in Chicago, settling into its U.S. tour, which also will put them at S.F.’s The Independent the night of Sept. 25 and L.A.’s The Echo Sept. 26.
PST: You guys haven’t done many interviews in the U.S. press yet, but there’s already a lot of chatter about this album. We’ve been hearing about it from the U.K. for some time now! Are you excited to come here and take over.
Maclean: Yeah, it’s good to finally have a label sorted and have it coming out in America. As you say, it’s been out in Britain since January. To finally have a release over here and get to come over and do some proper shows is amazing. We’ve been itching to do it all year really. It’s taken a while to but it’s good to finally get here.
PST: U.S. audiences seem to have become more amenable to psych pop as of late with the success of MGMT, Hot Chip and the like. Why do you think that sound is resonating with so many more people now than, say, in the ’90s?
Maclean: People like Beck have had the time to grow a long career now. I guess he would be someone who has influenced a lot of bands in the moment with the kind of way he mashes up psychedelia and funk and hip-hop. I guess since he broke out, there’s been a lot of bands both in America and Britain that are interested in pop music and making it slightly weird, whether its MGMT or Hot Chip, there’s a certain kind of strain of bands that have been doing that for quite a while, so I guess that it’s starting to resonate with people and sort of spread throughout pop culture.
PST: I’ve read you are sort of the aesthetic director of the band. How do you decide, amid all the musical ideas presented, which is a good fit for this band?
Maclean: I guess yeah, it’s different sometimes because we can sit down and start a track that ends up sounding completely different. From that starting point, it gets twisted and manipulated and the more people who get involved with it, it ends up sounding like us. I guess we’re happy just to take a starting point from anything, whether it’s a rockabilly riff or a drum machine beat. We just take it and work it ’till it’s something we’re happy with. So many songs … have started out sounding like garagey and ended up sounding electronic or started off techno-y and ended up garagey. They just go through a lot of phases and we end up happy where we’re at. … A lot of the ideas, we wanted a big psych sound and would aim toward that and end up with something else in the process. It’s just a mixture of playing around and also pushing limited resources — one mic and floor tom and guitar. For me a lot of the fun of making the album was pushing the sounds, not even pushing but just letting the music come out. … I think they all kind of are jangle but they come from sort of disparate places. For us that was just a fun thing to do, let the music sort of take us on a sort of trip.
PST: The aesthetic of the record sort of reminds me of steampunk. Like it makes me want to play Final Fantasy or something. What are some of your non-musical influences?

Maclean: We all went to art college, so probably a lot of art. Personally I was into a lot of ’60s art, pop art, people like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and Kurt Schwitters, and Fluxus a lot as well, and I guess that aesthetic ended up being a big influence on the album because it was made with a lot of cutting and pasting and collage on the computer. A lot of movies as well and soundtracks. The opening to the album is very spaghetti western. I think we’re influenced by a lot of things around us as well as music. Even being in this suburb of Chicago today, places like that can sort of plant a seed in your head.
PST: I could see your band’s association with classic psych-pop groups as being a double-edged sword. On one hand, there’s a real fondness for groups like The Beta Band (Maclean is the younger brother of The Beta Band’s John Maclean), Clinic and Super Furry Animals. On the other hand, that could potentially be limiting. Does it bother you at all to be compared to those bands?
Dave Maclean
Maclean: No, not really. I guess they are bands that we grew up with, and I guess they are bands that probably their record collections are similar to us — lots of dub and folk and psych-rock. I guess it’s inevitable, especially with The Beta Band connection, and then we get compared to Hot Chip a lot, and I guess — no, it doesn’t re really bother us to be associated with other bands, whether they’re around now or not. I guess when we made the album, it was just in a bit of a bubble making music. We never thought about bands we’d be lumped in with, I don’t think we thought about it like that. To be likened with bands like The Beta Band and Super Furry Animals is good for us because we like those bands.
PST: I also wouldn’t want to limit you either by this description. Truthfully I see it more as exotic pop than psych pop — pysch to me implies sort of extended passages, improvisation and disassociation. Django Django to me sounds very present, grounded and pretty well-edited. Is that an important element to your sound — control, brevity — vs. kind of allowing yourself to meander?
Maclean: I think it was possibly to do with the fact that we made it in a way that there were only really two of us in a room in a time looping things on a computer or four-track or whatever. If you have these kind of 12-minute long tracks where everything is sort of freaking out on a track, that would come from all of us in a room together playing together. The record was made with more of a dance music sensibility, with looping and layering. I guess it makes sense for us to keep what works. I guess a lot of the songs we’ve been listening to like The Beach Boys and The Beatles or whatever, it’s like this psychedelic influence, but it’s pop and it’s concise, and I guess that’s what we want the songs on this album to be like — to the point and poppy. … The other thing from a dance music perspective I’ve always loved is when people do a 12-inch version. … When you find those records that’s an extended dance version of a song, I think that’s where we see ourselves, with 12-ince maxi mixes and live as well, live we extend things.
PST: On the other side of it, nothing is too over-the-top on the record, and it’s catchy but not in an overtly obvious, singsongy kind of way. Do you also try to actively steer away from the sort of arena-pleasing thing?
PST: I think it’s natural for us. I guess a lot of the songs were built around a simple groove and then things just get layered and added. I don’t think we sit down with an acoustic guitar ever and try to write a song like that, like a standalone song. Generally it’s messing around with loops and samples and seeing what kind of comes out of it. I think where we’re at is actually quite on the poppy side. I think we could have just as easily made a weird kind of record without any hooks on it. I don’t know if stadium rock or anything really does it for me. … It kind of reminds me of some sort of cultish experience. I’d rather go to a sweaty basement bar and a good environment with 20 people there. I prefer to go to little clubs. I don’t think you’ll find us trying to write songs in the hope to headline festivals or getting more fans or have a hit single. If a song on the record strikes a chord with people and takes off like “Default” did in Britain to a certain extent, we’re happy with that.

PST: What has been one of your most surreal moments thus far, especially as the band has gotten more notoriety?
Maclean: The Fuji Rock Festival was sort of one of those moments where we had to pinch ourselves. It seemed like we’d come a long way from the album in five months, it’s kind of crazy. Getting a Mercury Prize nomination in Britain was quite weird. I think every month really since we released it, we try to take stock. It surprises us when we made this album in our bedrooms a year ago and didn’t think anyone would care that much about that album. … We try to take everything with a pinch of salt and take it in stride. We’re always thinking of the next thing rather than this album. This album is gone and behind me really, and at this point I really want to be more working on the next one and making a better one.
PST: Where does the name Django Django come from?
Maclean: I guess in a roundabout way, it comes from the Django westerns, the spaghetti westerns. I kind of like the word because to me it conjures up images of African things and Jamaican things and the fact that a lot of Jamaican guys were getting into westerns and naming things after Clint Eastwood. I always thought it was kind of funny. To be honest, it was one of those things where we had a MySpace page and a song and thought we’d put up a song for a laugh. I never thought I’d be talking about it years later. We probably meant to change it down the line, but I guess with a name, once you’ve done it, you’ve done it. I guess it owes itself to Django the western really.
PST: Which of these things would you like to happen, and which could you see actually happening: writing a James Bond theme song, getting sampled by Kanye West or recording a song with Ke$ha?
Maclean: They’re all very weird things. I think maybe as a side project, I would get involved with something like a James Bond theme. I mean that would be nuts, but it would be fun. It would be the ultimate get for a band to do a James Bond theme because people would think … I don’t know what people would think. What was the second one? Kanye West? That would be great. To be sampled by anyone — well, not anyone — but I grew up with hip-hop and I have a lot of hip-hop vinyl and DJ it a lot, and I was always a crate digger and trying to find out who sampled who. So yeah, to be sampled by a big hip-hop act would be brilliant. And I don’t know who is Ke$ha is. Rihanna, I think she’s great. I would love to get into in the future producing for someone like Missy Elliott, thatwould be my ultimate dream. Or Rihanna or Kelis or somebody like that would be a sort of dream. I can’t see any of these things happening ever, but you never know.

Making Art Out of Records with Colton Tran of TransylVinyl & Broken Vinyl Record Art

Posted by Billyjam, September 24, 2012 10:49am | Post a Comment
People buy records from Amoeba for more than one reason. While most record collectors buy vinyl to spin it on their home turntables or perhaps out at DJ gigs, and some simply to add directly to the shelves of their prized collections, there are others who buy albums from Amoeba for aesthetic reasons. These are mostly the folks who will buy vinyl strictly for art's sake: buying LPs simply for their wonderful cover art - regardless of the music  contained within the record's grooves. And then there is Amoeba Hollywood regular Colton Tran who literally makes art out of his Amoeba vinyl finds. This the mixed media artist does not in the traditional Steinski cut-and-paste type approach of sampling sound bytes off records and transforming them into new pieces of collage audio art. Rather the prolific independent artist/filmmaker makes art directly out of the actual vinyl that he cops on his regular trips to the SoCal Amoeba's bargain bins, and takes home to his studio to painstakingly transform into pieces of art like his “Jason” titled & inspired piece above (48" by 36" in size) which was made out of all vinyl: ten black vinyl 12" records plus four red colored 12" records to create the blood effect. Recently I caught up with Coltron to ask him what exactly goes into creating his art, getting the right records, who the market for his pieces (which sell from $50 to $500) are, and also about his in-the-works feature length project Gloom.

Amoeblog:  Rob Galluzzo from Amoeba Hollywood was into your work before I heard of you and wrote about your art on the wonderful Icons of Fright website where he called it "horror art."  He was referring to specific pieces but is that a fair tag of your overall work or is "Broken Vinyl Record Art," as I have seen written on your site, more how you describe your medium?

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Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire Says Amoeba Played Role In His Musical Development. Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 23, 2012 11:28pm | Post a Comment

Trumpeter and 28-year-old Oakland-native Ambrose Akinmusire (pronounced ah-kin-MOO-sir-ee) has

Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire and the Amoeba crew

delivered nothing less than a manifesto with his Blue Note debut When The Heart Emerges Glistening. It is a personal statement of such clarity and vision that it’s bound to turn heads around towards this startlingly fresh young talent.
By the time the lone standard “What’s New?” arrives, 11 tracks into trumpeter-composer Ambrose Akinmusire’s tour de force the song’s title has become a rhetorical question. The unneeded answer: Everything. Akinmusire
The Los Angeles Times recently named Akinmusire one of their 2011 “Faces to Watch” and we have to agree! He tells here us how Amoeba Music helped shape his musical development.

Jazz Singer Catherine Russell Talks With Amoeba at Monterey Jazz Festival

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 23, 2012 10:15pm | Post a Comment
Vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker born to musical royalty. Her father, the late LuisCatherine Russell Russell, was a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader and Louis Armstrong's long-time sidekick. Her mother, Carline Ray, is a bassist, guitarist, and vocalist, who has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Catherine’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she embarked upon a rich journey backing artists like Carrie Smith, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, and Rosanne Cash.

Catherine has been on various compilations, including the soundtrack album for the award winning HBO show Boardwalk Empire, NPR’s The New Jazz DivasPutumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues, and Walkin’ and Swingin’ from the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

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Christian Scott Hearts Amoeba…And We Heart Christian Scott! Live at Monterey Jazz Festival.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 23, 2012 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Edison Award-winning trumpeter/composer/producer/bandleader/all-around-handome-and-hip guychristian scott Christian Scott graced the Amoeba tent at the Monterey Jazz Festival Saturday at 9pm to sign his latest album, the compelling new double album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, which is an inspired and provocative two-CD collection that spans a range of beyond-jazz influences as he continues to make strides into uncharted jazz territory. With Scott’s trumpet at the heart of most of the tunes, the album features reflective ballads, light and dreamy soundscapes, guitar-edged and rock-inflected cookers, trumpet ecstasies as well as clarion calls and anguished wails.

Scott describes what he plays on Christian aTunde Adjuah as “stretch music,” much like he introduced on his 2010 album, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Scott likens his “stretch music” to a musical version of a cubist painter’s rendering of an object. In cubism, objects are taken apart, analyzed, and reassembled in an abstracted form that depicts the object from a multitude of perspectives. This gives a more global viewing of what the object is comprised of—a more clear representation of what the object (or in Scott's case, sentiment through sound) is.

See MJF talent coordinator Bennett Jackson interview Christian Scott and Scott’s glowing review of Amoeba Music!

September 23, 2012: The Bullet Vanishes

Posted by phil blankenship, September 23, 2012 02:21pm | Post a Comment

The Art Of The LP Cover- Smokers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 23, 2012 02:05pm | Post a Comment

It's truly amazing how many smoking themed covers there are out there!
Click here to browse some of my other smokey galleries.

Sunday at the Monterey Jazz Festival!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 23, 2012 01:45pm | Post a Comment

It's Sunday, the final day of the 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival, and we have another action-packed day ofesperanza spalding all-star signings at the Mini-Amoeba tent! We've had a few schedule changed, so please make note of our new, revised schedule and join us for the fun!

Tierney Sutton -- 1:30pm
Ambrose Akinmusire --  2:30pm
Esperanza Spalding -- 4:45pm
Kyle Eastwood -- 7:30pm
Meklit Hadero -- 9:30pm

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Robert Randolph, Mimi Fox & Mingo Fishtrap Love Amoeba! We Are Live from the Monterey Jazz Fest.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 22, 2012 10:59pm | Post a Comment

It's a been busy day here at the Mini-Amoeba tent! Check out what pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph jazz guitarist Mimi Fox, and Mingo Fishtrap said about their favorite record store, Amoeba Music.

Robert Randolph...don't make fun of his wallet.

Mimi Fox, guitar goddess, can't get enough Amoeba.

Mingo Fishtrap get menacing.

Sparare un paninazzo nel gargarozzo - a look back at Paninari

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 22, 2012 04:10pm | Post a Comment
Pet Shop Boys "Suburbia"

On this day (22 September), 1986, the Pet Shop Boys released the single "Suburbia" b/w "Paninaro," which introduced an Italian subculture to the wider world. It was certainly my introduction. 


Paninari - che è il gran gallo?

Paninari (the plural of Paninaro) were an Italian youth subculture in the 1980s. Their name came from the word "panino," Italian for "bread." La Stampa branded them that due to the fact that their original, preferred hang-out was the Al Panino, a sandwich joint in in Milan's Via Agnello, where they first congregated in 1983.  

In 1985 the now defunct Burghy, an Italian chain specializing in American fast food, opened a location on Piazza San Babila, that became their home base.

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Day Two at the Monterey Jazz Festival! Lots of All-star Signings at the Mini-Amoeba!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 22, 2012 12:59pm | Post a Comment

It's the second day of the 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Fest and it's going to be a very busy and excitingday at the Mini-Amoeba tent! We've got all-star signings all day long, so come by and meet some legends. Here's today's schedule:

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
Catherine Russell -- 9:45pm

Young Til They Die: 7 Seconds Play 924 Gilman Tonight

Posted by Billyjam, September 22, 2012 09:25am | Post a Comment

You gotta love a band like 7 Seconds who continue to gig and passionately play the music that they love three plus decades into their career - even if they have gone through several lineup changes and some musical style changes too over the years. The Reno Nevada hardcore punk band, who formed 1980, are playing 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley tonight on a bill along with Bastards of Young, Heart Sounds, and City of Vain. And based on reports of their recent shows they should kick some serious ass at tonight's East Bay show.

Above is a classic old school era live performance of "Young Til I Die" and below is a more recent performance by 7 Seconds from a European tour a few years ago when they did an inspired cover of a Sham 69 song. While some members have split over the years both Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth have remained consistent members of the band who, over their 32 year career, have released a lot of music that includes 15 albums and a half dozen EPs plus numerous compilation appearances. With the exception of some rare 7" EP releases by the band much of 7 Seconds catalog can be found in the three Amoeba Music stores (be sure to check the new punk section at Amoeba Hollywood).  You can also find some  online at the Amoeba.Com store  where you can cop such 7 Seconds albums on CD as Walk Together, Rock Together, The Crew (both on BYO Records), Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over on Side One Dummy Records, and Old School on Headhunter Records.
Tonight's Sept 22nd, 2012 7 Seconds headlined show at Gilman Street is at 7pm. It is
an all ages show. $12 at the door. Find 7 Seconds on Facebook

7 Seconds - If The Kids Are United (Eastpak Resistence Tour) (2009)

Jazz Singer Tammi Brown and Afro-Cuban Beat Bandleader Pedrito Martinez Visit Amoeba Tent at the Monterey Jazz Fest

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 21, 2012 11:49pm | Post a Comment
The first night of the historic three-day Monterey Jazz Festival is coming to a close as the late night air
tammi brown
Tammi Brown and fan.
chills the Monterey Fair Grounds, but the sounds of Eddie Palmieri's Salsa Orchestra are still blazing from the Jimmy Lyons Arena and jazz fans are still scooping up the deals on CDs, LPs, DVDs, and books at the Mini-Amoeba tent. Today's big seller was Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Melody Gardot, who performed on the Jimmy Lyons stage this evening.

It was a full first night for us at the 55th Monterey Jazz Fest as we
Pedrito Martinez

Pedrito Martinez and Araicne Trujillo
had two dynamic special guests by for signings. At 8pm, we hosted the sultry jazz singer Tammi Brown before she was whisked away for a VIP meet and greet, and at 9:30pm we had Afro-Cuban beat bandleader Pedrito Martinez and his keyboard player/vocalist Araicne Trujillo, fresh from an exhilarating set on the Night Club stage. 

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We Are Live From the Monterey Jazz Festival and It's Opening Night!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 21, 2012 06:45pm | Post a Comment
monterey jazz festival
For the second year in a row, we are live from the Mini-Amoeba tent at the 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival! We’ll be here everyday of the festival (September 21 - 23), offering rare and popular CDs and vinyl, special edition jazz t-shirts, books, AND up-close and personal signings with some amazing artists!

This year's line-up includes more than 500 artists performing on eight stages over the course of two days and three nights
Monterey Jazz Festival
The calm before the jazzy storm.
at the Monterey Fair Grounds! The Amoeba on-sight team is overjoyed to greet the stream of fans who streaming through the gates RIGHT NOW and listeining to Tammi Brown soundcheck at the Garden Stage, not 20 steps away from our Mini-Amoeba!

Tonight, Friday, is opening night of the festival and the shows start rolling at 6:30pm. We have two stellar signings at the Mini-Amoeba tent tonight, so stop on by and meet these jazz luinaries!

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Weekly Roundup: The Soft Pack, Cold Showers, Chelsea Wolfe and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 21, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
The Soft Pack – “Bobby Brown”
Sweet song from The Soft Pack’s excellent new album, Strapped, coming out next week! Preorder it here. Love the chantalong vocals and reggae swing, but the best part is easily the psych-sax solo breakdown in the middle.

cold showers
Cold Showers
– “Violent Cries”
The second song from L.A.-based Cold Showers’ upcoming debut album, Love and Regret, oozes cool blue menace from beneath a synth-rock veneer. Love and Regret is due Oct. 9 from Dais. It’s streaming over at Stereogum.

Gangi – “Gold”
This new song by L.A.-based Gangi starts out mellow and psychy and catchy and just keeps getting better as it goes, with fuzzed out guitars and warbled gospel-style backup vocals that make the “put your hands up” lyrics sound like a religious plea. The folks at Filter have it up to stream. Their album Gesture Is comes out digitally Oct. 2; if you like what you hear, help them out at their Kickstarter to get a physical release and distribution! They’ve also got the following upcoming local shows:

09/22 Apple Valley, CA - The Full Moon Desert 2012
09/30 Fullerton, CA - Commonwealth Lounge
10/01 Santa Monica, CA - Central SAPC
10/02 Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite (Record Release Show)

Chelsea Wolfe – “Appalachia”
A while back Chelsea Wolfe premiered "The Way We Used To" from her upcoming acoustic-based album, Unknown Room: A Collection of Acoustic Songs. Now the California-based “doom-folk” artist has unveiled “Appalachia,” which sounds less like Appalachian folk to me and more like a beautiful death march, accompanied by exquisite viola. The album is due Oct. 16. Preorder it here.

Sweet ValleyEternal Champ mixtape
The more electronic-based side project of Nathan Williams of Wavves and his brother Kynan has debuted the hip-hop vibing Eternal Champ mixtape. You can download it free at their Bandcamp. Their album Stay Calm was released last month, and they’re on tour now with GZA and Killer Mike. Nathan Williams will play guitar for GZA as he performs the hip-hop classic Liquid Swords in its entirety. That tour hits S.F.’s Fillmore Sept. 25, Sacramento’s Ace of Spades the 26th, Santa Ana’s the Observatory the 28th, L.A.’s El Rey Sept. 29 and Solana Beach’s Belly Up the 30th.
pinbackPinback – “His Phase”
San Diego’s Pinback are back with a new album and we have the second new song released from it now. “His Phase” has the propulsiveness of a Pinback track like “Fortress” with a pretty lush chorus. Loving the sound of this new Pinback! So glad this band is back. Information Retrieved is out Oct. 16. Preorder it here!

Earlimart – “10 Years”
L.A.-based Earlimart’s first album in four years, System Preferences, is coming out physically Oct. 16. Here’s the second song we’ve heard from it, the shoegazey “10 Years.” Sounds like they haven’t lost any of their splendor.

Death Grips – “@deathgrips”
Sacramento-based hip-hop-noise group Death Grips earlier this year released the absolutely pulverizing The Money Store and have their second album of the year, No Love Deep Web, due Oct. 23. I’m not sure what the album or song have to do with Twitter or the Web, but I do know that Death Grips’ music tends to assault you from every angle with dizzying sound until you can’t think straight. That is sort of what the Internet is like. “@deathgrips” was produced for Adult Swim's Singles Program; find it here. It sounds great, and if No Love Deep Web is anywhere near as good as The Money Store, they’ll have two of the best albums of the year.

Tamaryn – “Heavenly Bodies” video
S.F.-based shoegaze songstress Tamaryn has Tender New Signs, Oct. 16 from Mexican Summer (preorder it here!). Her first album, The Waves, was a winner, and the slow-motion psychedelia of this video and song is getting me pumped for the next one.


– “Blackout”
S.D.-based punk outfit Plateaus will release their self-titled debut record Oct. 30 on Art Fag (preorder!). The sound is pretty basic melodic lo-fi rock and a lot of fun, pretty straightforward with lyrics like “We’re comin’ out!” that you can only get away with on a debut record/song. Which means everyone can drop their pretentions and enjoy that sort of thing. I know I do! They’ll be at S.F.’s Thee Parkside Sept. 28 and L.A.’s The Smell Sept. 29.

ESP – “Serenade” video
Speaking of cults, L.A. electro-rock experimentalists ESP have premiered their second video, “627,” a creepy visual expression of their synth-ballad that sees the band performing some sort of ritual before a crystal that projects cool fluorescent images before these kabuki yetis steal their souls or something. These art school kids! It’s not all image though; the song and band are really good. Their EP is available at Bandcamp; hopefully we’ll see a full-length in the near future!

ESP - 627 (Official Video) from Chris Coats on Vimeo.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 09.21.12: E-Lit, Kanye West, Murder Dog, Homeboy Sandman, DJ Shadow, DMC World Championships + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 21, 2012 08:38am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:21:12

1) Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam)

2) Casual Respect Game Or Expect Flames (Nature Sounds)

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

4)  Homeboy Sandman First of a Living Breed (Stones Throw)

5) Brother Ali Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Thanks again to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the latest lowdown on all the new hip-hop releases via the above video clip in which he runs through all the new CD and vinyl releases for this week. And a good week it is! New releases include Brother Ali on Rhymesayers with the album Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color that comes with production by Jake One, and Homeboy Sandman (who I will be interviewing here on the Amoeblog in a couple of weeks) on Stones Throw with the album First of a Living Breed that follows two EPs from the prolific NYC artist currently on tour with Brother Ali (they will play the Fillmore in SF on Oct 25th). Other new releases in the store include the brand new Kanye West along with his G.O.O.D. Music crew who finally dropped their awaited first compilation album  Good Music Cruel Summer (note its title includes Summer - not Fall). The 12-track album features along with Kanye such artists as Big Sean, Pusha T, Common, Kid Cudi, Cyhi the Prynce, John Legend, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, 2 Chainz, Raekwon, and Marsha Ambrosius. Of the new album wrote, "like Watch the Throne, his full-album collaboration with Jay-Z, it’s also a chance to loosen up without having to fully shoulder the expectation set by his solo output (and his ego). …..The non-Kanye songs have their appeal, as well, as on the appropriately faded sounding “Higher,” featuring The-Dream; and the fun, hard-hitting “Sin City,” featuring a pack of artists, including John Legend, singing and rapping over a big beat and sheets of synthesizer. West can’t help be the star of his own show, though, coming back in with what can only be described as a megaballad: 'The One.'"

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Damon & The Heathens Plan Extra Special Show For Mission Creek Oakland Festival

Posted by Billyjam, September 20, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment
The fun month-long Mission Creek Oakland Music and Arts Festival (MCO), of which Amoeba Music is one of the proud sponsors, is well underway and now into week three with some great shows scheduled over the next few days. These include an Amoeba Berkeley in-store with Micachu & the Shapes on Saturday afternoon (2pm, all ages, no cover - Sept 22), a wonderful showcase at the Uptown tonight (Thursday Sept 20th) with Antwon, Spaceghost, and others, a Sunday afternoon all ages Mosswood Park Rock Show featuring talented young bands from local rock camps (free noon - 6pm), and a recommended MCO show at Cafe Van Cleef tomorrow (Friday) with Damon & The Heathens headlining.

The Damon & The Heathens show, with Clangin' And Bangin' as the opening act, is an extra special show for the punk-inflected, horn driven Oakland six-piece band since it coincides with both the release of their forthcoming CD (the six track The Liar, The Bitch & No Wardrobe) plus the weekend wedding of trumpet player Jeremy Goody who will wed Stephanie Turner on Sunday. "We are considering it a "pre wedding reception" for those we could not invite [along with] lots of out of town friends and family," laughed the longtime East Bay musician/engineer & studio owner (Oakland's Megasonic Sound), and groom-to-be. Along with pre wedding revelers and regular band followers, Goody says he expects an extra large crowd due to both the Mission Creek Festival attendance factor coupled with the Animal Collective show a block down at the Fox Theater that will let out about the time they are on stage.

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New Preorders: Ty Segall, Muse, Bat For Lashes, Taylor Swift and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 19, 2012 04:50pm | Post a Comment
flying lotusFlying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes – Oct. 2
The latest from the L.A. sound maestro features contributions from Erykah Badu, Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat and Thom Yorke.


the vaccinesThe VaccinesCome of Age – Oct. 2
The second album from the NME-touted Brit punks.

MuseMuseThe Second Law – Oct. 2
The Britpop group turned arena rockers’ next album may have an electro edge, given its first single, “Madness.”

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Late Night Tales' Latest: Smooth Sailing with Groove Armada's Tom Findlay

Posted by Kells, September 19, 2012 02:52pm | Post a Comment

If Amoeba Music were a theme park I'm pretty sure the Electronica section would be our version of Tomorrowland. I mean, for a section so chock full of retro-futuristic realness and fad-tastic appeal it shouldn't really come as a surprise that this year's best mix of backyard barbecue/SoCal beach-walk roller-skating/AM Gold yacht-rockin' jammers is currently filed under the Groove Armada bin card, humbly packaged not unlike any other CD/LP bearing the Late Night Tales standard. That's right, UK-based compilation master-curators have issued this flawless assortment of deep cuts and legit hits from the 70's and 80's Soft Rock heyday, assembled by one Tom Findlay of the aforementioned Groove Armada, under the title Music for Pleasure. The fact that the word "guilty" didn't find it's way between 'for' and 'pleasure' in the title is perhaps saying something about how these songs have come to be appreciated and accepted as a now relatively shameless sonic indulgence (unlike, say, endless deep house mixes for Burning Man survivalists which, for me, summon full-body dry heaves).

Featuring artists like Todd Rundgren, Electric Light Orchestra, Gerry Rafferty, Sugardaddy, The Doobie Brothers, Ambrosia, Robert Palmer, Boz Scaggs and so, so many more this is surely the cheapest ticket to the Indian Summer sunset vibe-ride in your mind. Put it on, turn it up, and feel your cares fade clean away, for, what a fool believes...he sees and no wise man has the power to reason away what seems to be, etc.

Heavy Hitter Midnites: PURPLE RAIN

Posted by phil blankenship, September 19, 2012 12:33am | Post a Comment

Purple Rain // Friday, September 21, 2012 at Cinefamily
Before scientists confirmed the formal discovery of the Higgs boson, Prince had already located the key to limitless sexual frenzy in this Oscar-winning crowning achievement of ‘80s culture. In his semi-autobiographical film debut, Prince plays The Kid, a Minneapolis club musician as alienated by his tumultuous home life as he is talented on stage. Sharp-dressed & quick-tongued scene-stealer Morris Day (from the band The Time) is his rival, both in music and in affection for sultry singer Apollonia. As the competition heats up, shirts are removed, hips gyrate, guitars ejaculate and Prince and the Revolution scorch the soundtrack with hits “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and of course, “Purple Rain.” But will the power of music be able to transcend & transform The Kid’s life as well as our own? Find out for yourself when a rare 35mm print of this energizing musical phenomenon lights up the Cinefamily screen!
Dir. Albert Magnoli, 1984, 35mm, 111 min.

$12, Free for Cinefamily members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036

Six Organs of Admittance Frontman Discusses Heavy New Album ‘Ascent’

Posted by Billy Gil, September 18, 2012 04:40pm | Post a Comment
Six Organs of Admittance main man Ben Chasny is a prolific sort, logging nearly 30 releases over the past 14 years, counting seven-inches and EPs (but not compilations and collaborations). In all actuality, it’s tough to even keep track of his work, which includes psychedelic folk music (at one point called “freak folk” or any other number of silly things); experimental, drone and ambient music; as well as straight-up psych rock, which comes out in full force on his latest album — and one of his best — Ascent. Recorded with members of his much-loved psych-rock band Comets on Fire, who released a couple of awesome albums in the mid-2000s, Ascent is a trip, firing off from the Comets-style wordless guitar assault of “Waswasa” into the ’60s style psych of “Close to the Sky,” the swirling drone-based “They Called You Near” and folkier passages like the lovelorn “Your Ghost.” It’s a nice entry point for Chasny’s work, encompassing many of the sounds with which he’s been associated over the years, and signifies a reunion of sorts for that band, which went on hiatus in 2008 and which formed with Chasny over a decade ago. I caught up with Chasny as the album was releasing in August. Six Organs of Admittance play The Echo Friday, Sept. 21, with Matt Kivel (of indie pop group Princeton) and Colossal Yes.
PST: How do you approach a new album? Does it come from whatever you happen to be playing and writing at the moment, or do you go in with a specific notion of what you want to do?
Chasny: It’s usually sort of a specific notion sort of thing. This record, it just seemed time to do it. I like to do the opposite of whatever the last record was. Asleep on the Floodplain was so acoustic. I thought the best thing would be to do a more loud record. Then I realized we never did the record we would have done 10 years ago and I thought it would be the perfect time.
PST: What inspired the heavier rock sound of the new album? Were you inspired by anything you were listening to at the time, or was it really more a reaction to what you had previously recorded?
Chasny: I think, that’s always been a side of Six Organs that’s been more of a live thing but that’s never really been captured on record. So I’ve done tours with a live band that was all electric, but I’ve just never done it as a record. And I didn’t want to do a live record to capture it, I just wanted to get into the studio to do that. I just thought it was time to record it in the studio.
PST: Who plays on the new album and is in the live band?
six organs ascentChasny: On the album it’s all of the Comets guys — it’s just basically Ethan [Miller] and Utrillo [Kushner], Ben Flashman and Noel [von Harmonson]. The touring band is gonna change because everyone does so many different things all the time. If we could get everyone back together, we would probably just tour as Comets or do a Comets record. One of the reasons we don’t play together anymore is just everyone is always doing something different. On the West Coast, all the California shows are gonna have me, Ben Flashman, Utrillo on drums and Noel’s gonna be on guitar. So it’ll be three other Comets guys besides me. The Northwest will have a couple of Comets guys. When we do Europe, it will be a couple of the Comets guys.
PST: Did these songs mostly come from jams, from songs you had written at least part of beforehand or both?
Chasny: A couple of the songs are older songs that were on older records, on Holy Mountain. Before I joined Comets, all the Comets guys used to back up Six Organs, because Six Organs and Comets would play shows together, but Comets would always play in reall loud bars and no one could really hear the acoustic guitar, so we were doing sort of loud, electric versions before I joined Comets. So we took that idea for the older songs, and then I wrote a bunch of the newer songs in December and sent the guys the demos, and then we worked on those before we recorded.
PST: The album does have a live, sort of freewheeling feel. How many takes did you usually do? Did you record it live and/or use overdubs?
Chasny: It was all recorded live. There are some overdubs on a couple of songs just to beef it up, some of the slower pieces have overdubbed guitar solos. Most of the tracks were recorded live, and all the guitar solos were record live. I’d say anywhere between four and seven takes on some of the songs. It was pretty spontaneous. We had them all down. It’s not like the songs have hyper complicated time changes or key changes or anything, so it was more about getting a really good feel to the songs.
PST: What inspired putting “Your Ghost” on the record, this acoustic number amongst the heavier, live-band material?
Chasny: When I was doing the demos, I did all the demos on acoustic guitar anyway. We just transferred them to an electric thing. It was everyone’s opinion that maybe that one should just be acoustic. We were kind of fooling around with it different ways, and we just thought it might kind of break up the record a little bit if we kept it solo acoustic.
PST: I really love “Even If You Knew” on the new album. Was the goal with songs like that one and “Waswasa” to just have a great forum to be able to let loose and explore band interplay?
Chasny: “Even If You Knew” was a song we used to do 10 years ago. That’s the one song that has co-credit writing for all the Comets guy. Ethan came up with bassline when I lived in Santa Cruz. We all wrote the song together a long time ago. It’s never been recorded. And then “Waswasa,” I wrote when I was at a friend’s house in England, and he had his guitar tuned really strangely in a tuning I’d never used before. I picked it up and that was the song that came out of it. I kind of thought this should be a rock song kinda thing. That was one of the pushing points to make the whole record more of a rock record. I came up with the riff on this acoustic guitar and thought the record should have more of this rock kind of sound. That’s why it’s first on the record and kind of key to it being loud.

PST: I guess that leads into my next question of what makes it a Six Organs release vs. a Comets on Fire release? Are there plans at this time to do another Comets on Fire album?
Chasny: What really makes it a Six Organs record, besides the fact that, usually with Comets everybody writes all the parts and riffs and it seems like every song in Comets has everybody contributing to different riffs, or somebody will come up with a riff and somebody will come up with another riff. On this record I wrote all of the chord progressions and stuff, except for that one song. Everybody added stuff though, everyone had ideas once we were in the studio. So that’s one thing that keeps it different. And also just the process is different, how we went about recording it. The process was just different, it’s just a different thing. And then on this record, I pretty much do all of the guitar solos, and in Comets, me and Ethan always traded off, and we would pan each other in the stereo, Ethan would be on the left and I’d be on the right or something. Ethan didn’t work on any of the lyrics or vocals, Ethan usually spends days working on vocals for Comets. So yeah it was just a totally different process, different vibe. As far as Comets getting back together, it’s always open. We had a really, really good time recording, so I think that’s opened it up to something. It would probably be on a different level, just because everyone we don’t live in the same city anymore. I don’t really know. We’ve actually never all sat around and talked about it. It’s definitely open, but there’s no real plans right now.

Farewell New Orleans Musical Great James "Sugar Boy" Crawford

Posted by Billyjam, September 18, 2012 10:07am | Post a Comment
As reported yesterday by the New Orleans' Times-Picayune website  New Orleans rhythm & blues legend James “Sugar Boy” Crawford passed on Saturday while under hospice care following a brief illness. He was 77 years of age. The  New Orleans singer will live on through his music and through one song in particular; the song that most folks know as "Iko Iko" which was a rendition of his song which, in turn, was his interpretation of much earlier N.O. traditional music.  Crawford recorded it under the title "Jock-A-Mo" which he borrowed from traditional Mardi Gras Indian chants. The song was later remade into “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups who, among many others, won acclaim with the song. The numerous others who have covered it over the years include Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, The Radiators, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Willy DeVille. The Grateful Dead and Cyndi Lauper have also done versions of the song.  Of course James "Sugar Boy" Crawford's musical legacy goes a lot deeper than that one song and I have included a few selections below (audio only video clips) from the artist's rich career which peaked in the fifties and sixties (he retired in the mid 1960's - reportedly after getting beat up by the cops but had returned to the public eye in recent years). Look for many of these songs, that include the 1956 Imperial Records single "She's Gotta Wobble (When She Walks),"  on CD at Amoeba Music's three stores. His music so worth seeking out even if, at times, it can be perceived as sexist. 

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Album Picks: Grizzly Bear, James Iha, Allah-Las, How to Dress Well, Plus More Albums Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 17, 2012 05:23pm | Post a Comment
Grizzly BearGrizzly Bear – Shields

One of the year’s finest rock albums comes with Grizzly Bear’s Shields, improbably even even more consistent album than 2009’s excellent Veckatimest. Beginning with the soft explosion of “Sleeping Ute,” in which Daniel Rossen sings of his “wanderings dreams” amid regal electric guitars, fluttering synths and acoustics, Chris Taylor’s grounding basslines and Chris Bear’s dynamic drumwork, Shields continues through a back-and-forth between the more immediate pop thrills of Veckatimest and more ambient feel of their older material. “Speak in Rounds” has the same sort of glorious harmonies we heard on “While You Wait for the Others” but with more rock propulsion than the band usually employs. Meanwhile, tracks like the wordless “Adelama” and slowly shuffling “The Hunt” highlight their placid side. But Shields is also a progression of their sound in addition to a refinement of it. “Yet Again” scales back the grabbiness of an older song like “Two Weeks” for a lushly expansive take on the rock single, perhaps showing some influence from Radiohead, with whom they toured a few years back in a dream bill. Similarly extended and confident, “A Simple Answer” is one of Daniel Rossen’s finest showcases to date, building on his typically mysterious melodies to a gratifying, grandiose chorus. An addictive listen, it’s easy to lose yourself in the layers of Shields and find something newly impressive each time.
james ihaJames Iha – Look to the Sky
Anyone who’s been a big Smashing Pumpkins fan knows the pleasures the Pumpkins’ “George Harrison” could bring with his subtle guitarwork and gorgeous songs like “Go,” “Blew Away” and “Take Me Down.” Fourteen years after his first solo album released while still in the Pumpkins, James Iha is back with a fuller sound that capitalizes both on his folky Neil Young-inspired leanings and his ability to create spectral space rock soundscapes. Both qualities are in full flair on the beautiful “To Who Knows Where,” which features a typically beautiful Iha chorus and an awesome space-folk breakdown in the middle. Classic Pumpkins fans can find plenty to sink their teeth into in songs like “Gemini,” which moves from eerie folk to swoony big-chord rock. Elsewhere, he breaks from his past more decisively, as on the ’60s by way of ’80s pop “Till Next Tuesday” and the addled blues of “Appetite,” moments that show Iha has more tricks up his sleep than at first appears. Some of his folkier tracks veer toward sappy, but Iha’s smart production, learned from the interim years of producing for acts like Cat Power and Isobel Campbell as well as various remixes, usually saves things with orchestral flourishes and surprises like the twinkling synths that pop up at the end of the Karen O duet “Waves.” It’s an assured work that speaks to the talents of Iha as a guitarist, producer and songwriter who knows how to paint wonders from a modest palette.

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Show Report: Lianne La Havas at Amoeba Hollywood; Eternal Summers at the Bootleg; Mac Demarco at the Echo

Posted by Billy Gil, September 17, 2012 04:45pm | Post a Comment
Young British singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas stopped by Amoeba Hollywood, singing tunes from her debut record, the fine Is Your Love Big Enough? She launched right in, singing her sweet duet “No Room for Doubt” solo, smirking and garnering laughs when she reached the lyric “we all make mistakes” after flubbing a chord. From there, she took to a spread of songs from the album, moving from the dark, funky “Tease” to the robbin’ the cradle jam “Age,” drawing “woos” from the girls in the audience with the lyric “I fancy younger men.” La Havas let her guitar and lyrics do most of the talking, wisely, as the audience seemed to respond to individual lyrics more than anything — though she answered her fans “I love yous” when they came through between songs. Her fourth song, the single “Forget,” which she said was about some poor ex-boyfriend, became almost a country ditty sans the song’s big beats — except when she belted the chorus like a madwoman, then growing extra hushed for the verses, making use of dynamics to creepy effect. She closed out with the album’s title track, displaying the breadth of sound she gets from little more than her powerful voice and beautiful electro-acoustic guitar, summoning the power of a full band with a clapalong from the audience. See more photos from the performance here.
Friday night I also caught a show at the Bootleg Theater featuring Eternal Summers, DZ Deathrays, Bleeding Rainbow and Drug Cabin (featuring Nathan Thelen of Pretty Girls Make Graves). Drug Cabin started the set nice and mellow before Bleeding Rainbow (formerly Reading Rainbow) shoegazed things up with great male-female vocals and buzzing guitars. Australian power-duo DZ Deathrays tore it up with a lot of thrash, while, despite their lovable indie hit “Millions,” Eternal Summers kept up the noise with a powerful set. All in all, a fine night of indie pop gone wild.

Saturday I got too lazy to catch Hunx and his Punks at Los Globos, but Sunday I managed to catch Mac DeMarco at Part Time Punks at the Echo. Demarco’s Rock and Roll Nightclub has been a favorite of mine this year, but that album’s taking the piss out of rock ‘n’ roll tropes via lo-fi antics is given a real rock ‘n’ roll makeover live, with DeMarco’s band eschewing any sort of self-conscious intellectualism for a real good times rock show. His new song “My Kind of Woman” played to a dedicated and appreciative crowd, speaking to the potential of his new album, 2, due Oct. 16 on Captured Tracks (preorder here). Whatever the song Demarco ended the set with was, turning from goofy garage guy to crooning balladeer, it was killer. He was supported by Catwalk, a delightfully jangly up-and-coming guitar-pop band akin to Beach Fossils or older bands like The Go-Betweens and Let’s Active, as well as the punishing, My Bloody Valentine-style guitar noise of Ringo Deathstarr.

Dog Adoption Day at Amoeba Hollywood with the Beagle Freedom Project

Posted by Amoebite, September 17, 2012 03:09pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood is partnering up with Beagle Freedom Project for a Dog Adoption Event on Sunday, October 7th from Noon-4pm.

Beagle Freedom Project rescues beagles used in animal experimentation in research laboratories. Beagles who have spent their entire lives in labs used for research are usually killed after they have served the purpose of the agency, facility or company. Beagle Freedom Project connects directly with these research labs and is able to remove and transport healthy, adoptable beagles to place them in loving, forever homes.

BFP will have some of their amazing, adoptable dogs on site at Amoeba Hollywood on October 7. All dogs will be spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated.

Come down and meet your new best friend and find out how you can make a difference in the lives of these kind and special animals. 

Beagle Freedom Project is a service of Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME)  a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education and outreach. 

For more information about volunteering, fostering or donating to the Beagle Freedom Project please visit:

Dog Adoption Day Poster

September 16, 2012: Bachelorette

Posted by phil blankenship, September 16, 2012 08:26pm | Post a Comment

September 16, 2012: Stolen

Posted by phil blankenship, September 16, 2012 01:53pm | Post a Comment

The Coup Prepare To Drop New Album "Sorry To Bother You"

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2012 08:35am | Post a Comment

The Coup "Land Of 7 Billion Dances" (Yak Films 2012)

This week Boots and The Coup, with help from some of the The Town's best turf dancers, unveiled the Yak Films produced music video for the brand new track "Land Of 7 Billion Dances" to be featured on longtime Oakland revolutionary rap group's soon to drop forthcoming album Sorry To Bother You to be released by Epitaph late next month. In advance of the financial planning of the new album's corresponding tour budget (an expensive venture especially when you have a full live hip-hop band) Boots has set up a Kickstarter fund drive to help make it all happen.

This week I reached out to DJ Pam The Funkstress, who co-founded the group back at the start of the nineties along with Boots and former member E-Roc, to ask her opinion on the new album. "It's really good but it's quite different from what I'm used to from hearing from Boots," she stressed calling the album's sound "more alternative." Additionally she said that Boots shows a lot more of his personality. "Boot's character is funnier but [he] still has the same message. There is more emotion from him and more involvement with him and the band," said Pam adding that she loves having the full band. "Yeah the band brings out so much energy in Boots, and in me, and in everyone. Live music is the best!" Because of its more alternative sound Pam said that she thinks that this album could reach an even broader audience than the Coup have previously reached.

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September 14, 2012: The Master

Posted by phil blankenship, September 14, 2012 11:13pm | Post a Comment

Band of Horses To Perform at Space 15Twenty in Hollywood September 25

Posted by Amoebite, September 14, 2012 08:36pm | Post a Comment
Band of Horses are set to play a very intimate show at Space15Twenty across from Amoeba Hollywood on Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30pm in celebration of National Voter Registration Day!

Band of Horses Mirage RockTo get into this amazing show be one of the first 100 people on Tuesday, September 18 to purchase the new Band of Horses album, Mirage Rock, in-store at Amoeba Hollywood on CD, limited-edition CD or LP and sign the ROCK THE VOTE pledge. Your ticket to the show will admit 2 and we'll need the name of your guest at time of purchase. Limit one ticket per person.

This event is brought to you by Rock the Vote, Amoeba Music, Space15Twenty and the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

Want to preview the new album? You can listen to Mirage Rock in its entirety before it's released on 9/18 here.

Not registered to vote yet? Fill out a voter registration form at Amoeba Hollywood (we'll even mail it in for you) or register to vote online.

What: An intimate performance with Band of Horses for National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday, September 25
Doors: 7:30pm
Show: 8pm

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Killing Miss Daisy - An History of Autonomous Autos

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 14, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Back when I was working on the mezzanine at Amoeba Hollywood, I sometimes amused myself by bundling together DVDs with a similar theme in crudely decorated box sets. Some that I remember were Aquanauts, Cop Dogs, one with age switcheroos -- the name of which escapes me, and Killing Miss Daisy. Using the magic of white-out and a copy machine, the cover pf Killing Miss Daisy was of a horrified Miss Daisy staring bug-eyed at the empty driver's seat. The writing on the box was meant to look like dripping blood. It contained four or five films about killer cars with minds of their own and, although the price was the same as buying all of the titles separately, it quickly sold.

It was probably because I recently spent two weeks in El Sereno that I found myself thinking back to these self-determining sedans of cinema. During my stay I spent time under a bridge where a killer car, Christine, long ago killed someone in the eponymous film. I've still never watched entire picture but I scanned through it to find the scene and remembered the Killing Miss Daisy box set. I wonder where it is now? Anyway, I also began trying to compile a list of films about cars with consciousness and figure out where this all began.

I figured that the premise of a buggy with a brain had to be almost as old as cars themselves. Car owners routinely anthropomorphize and fetishize their rides. And what driver hasn't experienced seemingly random occurrences such as windshield wipers turning on by themselves, prompting them to wonder if their machine is possessed or has a mind of its own.

                 Gremlins on a Plane by Gustaf Tenngren                                       The Gremlins by Roald Dahl

Airplanes had scarcely gotten off the ground before British pilots starting blaming mechanical irregularities and failings on imps they named "gremlins." I reckon most drivers are less knowledgeable about the mysteries under the hood than military pilots so people's complicated emotional relationship with their cars is understandable. 


I think a self-aware sedan would've been a natural subject for Dziga Vertov or any other early director in love with the possibilities of film in the silent era. However, early animators in the 1920s and '30s were the ones who seem to have given birth to the idea of anthropomorphic autos. With their eye-like headlights and four tires instead of limbs, cars, along with every other conceivable inanimate object, were transformed into speaking, dancing, bouncing characters in the vertiginous animations of the era. Since then, there've been many animated examples such as Speed Buggy, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Magic School Bus, and Pixar's Cars films, to name a few cartoon car stars, but this entry is about their live action counterparts -- which are usually much nastier.


I won't be surprised if someone points out earlier examples, but near as I can tell, the first live action "car with a mind of its own" first appeared on television on the Twilight Zone episode, "A Thing About Machines."  It first aired 20 October, 1960. The plot concerns a witty but unpleasant food critic who is tormented by machines. Ultimately he is killed by a driver-less 1938 Lagonda LG6 Rapide Drophead Coupe.


My Mother the Car debuted on 14 September, 1965. When remembered at all, it s generally remembered with loathing. In fact, the NBC show, has topped several lists for the worst show of all time -- a TV equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

The show starred Jerry Van Dyke and the voice of Ann Southern, his mother. The series explains that she passed on in 1949 and was reincarnated as a 1928 Porter. Never mind being reincarnated as a car, how does one come back as something that was born almost 20 years before one's own death? Having watched only one episode, I found it rather average for the time. Just as I think Hollywood turns out at least 20 films a year worse than Plan 9 from Outer Space, any Disney Channel or Nickelodeon tween comedy in history is far more odious than this inoffensive, old clunker. 

Even in its day it was unpopular with critics and audiences alike. It ran for 30 episodes before its cancellation the following year.  Its failure is somewhat surprising when considering some of the people that worked on it. It was created by Allan Burns (co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, writer on The Bullwinkle Show) and Chris Hayward (creator of Dudley Do-Right). The writers were Burns and Hayward as well as James L. Brooks (director of Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, and As Good As it Gets), Phil Davis (writer on The Bob Newhart Show), George Kirgo (president of the Writers Guild of America West from 1987 to 1991), Arnold Margolin (writer on The Andy Griffith Show and That Girl), and Jim Parker (also a writer on The Andy Griffith Show and That Girl).


Two years after the cancellation of My Mother, the Car, the folks at Walt Disney decided to adapt the 1961 book Car, Boy, Girl into a film, Love Bug (1968). The star, Herbie, was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle who takes a shine to a has-been race car driver. It was the third highest grossing film of 1969 and spawned numerous sequels: Herbie Rides Again (1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), The Love Bug (1997), and Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005). 

As a kid I was a big fan and owned several Scholastic novelizations (of a film franchise adapted from an actual novel). It also spawned the short-lived TV series, Herbie the Matchmaker (1982) which I have no memory of.


Killdozer! (1974) is as far as I know, the first entry into the horror genre (although the Twilight Zone episode paved the way), where it has remained parked ever since. The plot concerns a Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer that is possessed by a meteorite and goes on a killing spree. In the 1970s, many violent horror films showed on on the small screen.

Although Steven Spielberg's earlier TV movie, Duel, wasn't strictly part of this subgenre I'd wager it was probably an influence. In Duel, the driver is never seen clearly and the anthopomorphic features of the truck were played up to the point where the conflict was more "man against machine" than "man against man" and is largely seen as part of the "Road Terror" subgenre that includes films like The Cars that Ate Paris, Mad Max, Death Race 2000, Death Proof, The Wraith, The Highwaymen, &c).


Why this transition from  mostly helpful sentient autos to nearly always mass murderous machines? Perhaps it's because in the 1960s and before, people loved their cars. They were beautiful, you could take them to drive-ins and drive-thrus. Hot-Rodders found new levels of thrills and the newly constructed freeways flowed even as the much of the nation's public transportation was dismantled.


came out the year after the 1973 Oil Crisis, which marks the moment when people stopped driving for pleasure and started languishing in gas station lines moaning, choking on smog in gridlock, shooting each other in drive-bys  and often moaning "I have to own a car" instead of "I get to own a car." I await your treatise.


In 1977's Crash! (not to be confused with David Cronenberg's James Spader vehicle or Paul Haggis's Oscar-winning/comically-awful LA racial fantasy of the same name), this one is directed by Charles Band of the Puppet Master series. It follows the attempts by a jealous invalid husband to possess a car and use it to kill his wife.


The Car (1977)  is about a a customized 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III that terrorizes the residents of Santa Ynez, Utah. Derided for its acting, writing and premise ("Jaws in the desert"), The Car (and The Swarm) terrified me as a kid when they aired regularly on TV. If they enjoy it, most adults did so more for the unintentional laughs it elicits than anything else. 


The Hearse (1980) stars Trish Van Devere, who moves into a house owned by her deceased, Satan worshipping aunt. It seems on the way to the cemetery the hearse had an accident in which both the driver and cargo seemingly vanished. From what I gather, it sounds like it's more of a haunted house movie but the Hearse gets titular priority.


Nightmares (1983) was an anthology consisting of four short films. In one, The Benediction, a priest loses his faith and sets out on the road. There he is terrorized by a supernatural, evil black Chevrolet pick-up truck.


Knight Rider was a TV series that ran from 1982 to 1986. It starred David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff as Michael Knight and his customized 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am that equipped with artificial intelligence named KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). KITT, being benevolent, was a throwback to an earlier age, and being programmed with intelligence instead of powered by possession, was an anomaly. His older brother, KARR (Knight Automated Roving Robot), had more in common with the growing pack of killer cars.
Knight Rider spawned several sequels and remakes, including: Knight Rider 2000 (1991), Knight Rider 2010 (1994), Team Knight Rider (1997), and the 2008 revived series, Knight Rider (as well as a host of imitators).


Christine (1983) is a John Carpenter-directed film set in 1978 about a killer 1958 Plymouth Fury. In the film version, Christine is shown to be evil from her birth on the assembly line whereas in Stephen King's original novel of the same year, she was possessed by the spirit of a previous owner. I'm not going to actually look it up but I'm pretty confident that this film is the most commercially successful killer car film of the lot.


Maximum Overdrive (1986) saw Stephen King revisit his 1973 story "Trucks." It's premise wondered, "What if all machines came to life because the earth passed through the tail of a comet?" Most notable of said objects are a group of trucks, who wage murderous battle with their meatbag adversaries at a truck stop. King later admitted to being coked out of his mind throughout production of his only directorial effort which is not shocking at all.


In Wheels of Terror (1990), a mixed black Dodge Charger is abducting, molesting, and murdering young girls in Copper Valley, Arizona. From reader reviews it seems that it's not meant to be clear whether or not the car has a driver. From the reviews it is clear that I won't be forming an opinion on the subject.


Trucks (1997), was the second time Stephen King's "Trucks" was adapted into a movie. Despite Maximum Overdrive's mostly negative reviews, Trucks was even more poorly received.


In Phantom Racer (2009), a race car possessed by the soul of its former driver hellbent on revenge -- apparently drawing inspiration from My Mother, the Car, The Love Bug, and The Wraith.


In Super Hybrid (2009), a car involved in a deadly hit-and-run is impounded by Chicago PD in garage. The car then proceeds to kill people in said garage. I don't think that the car is a hybrid in the normal sense although the thought of a predatory Prius would be an injection of fresh fuel into the field.

Considering how many films and TV shows have featured autonomous (usually killer) cars, its perhaps surprising that it has been relatively unparodied. All I know of is the Futurama episode, "The Honking" (2000) and Rubber (2010). Then again, given the level of obscurity most of these movies are mired in and the fact that most new entries appear to be running on fumes, maybe they're sufficiently, if unintentionally, self-satirical.


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Master Drummer Obo Addy Dies

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2012 01:51pm | Post a Comment

Obo Addy and Okropong

As reported by the Oregon Music News, Portland based, Ghana born, 76 year old master drummer Obo Addy died yesterday (Sept 13, 2012) following a prolonged five-year battle with liver cancer. Read full report here and above check out the video of Obo Addy with Okropong. And look for his music at Amoeba.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 09.14.12: E-Lit, Dark Time Sunshine, Indecent the Slapmaster, Diggaz With Attitude, De Camp, Son-Ray +

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2012 01:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:14:12

1) Casual Respect Game Or Expect Flames (Nature Sounds)

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

3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)

4) Blu & Exile Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them (Dirty Science)

5) Thavius Beck The Most Beautiful Ugly (Plug Records)

Thanks to the ever knowledgeable E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba for this latest top five chart and run down of many of the great new hip-hop releases dropping around now. These include the highly recommended new Casual album Respect Game Or Expect Flames on Nature Sounds in which he wisely teams up with skilled producer J-Rawls (J-Live, Black Star, Count Bass D etc.) plus some mic collaborators like fellow Hiero crew member Del The Funky Homosapien who appears on the title track of Respect Game or Expect Flames.  As usual E-Lit has many great tips on new music in both CD and vinyl formats, including lots of indie/underground hip-hop, in this week's video clip above. These include the new A-Trak 12" single (one side has a collab with Danny Brown), the new anticipated Blu & Exile album Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them on Dirty Science, Dark Time Sunshine's full length (scroll down to see newly released music video from this Four Tet released ANX album), and the very underground CD (at a budget price too) from Mind + US & DJ Hoppa Everything is A-OK which, as E-Lit points out, includes tracks such as one dedicated to a dead cat and another to girls who like to smoke weed.

For his latest release the ever-evolving San Francisco turntablist / producer and "synth-freak"  Teeko Shimon (aka DJ Teeko) has taken things a little further and deeper into the land of funk via his new collaboration with fellow San Francisco artist B. Bravo (of Bayonics and solo fame): The Starship Connection EP on Frite Night. Teeko describes the collab, that drops next week on September 18th, as " West Coast-inspired funk, modern dance music and classic analog electronics."

Teeko has really advanced and grown as an artist over the years from his days on the skratch DJ scene to his role in 4OneFunk and F.A.M.E.   B. Bravo has appeared on compilations from Gilles Peteresonʼs label, Tokyo Dawn as well as solo release on Londonʼs Earnest Endeavours label and together with  Teeko (for this new Frite Nite release) he finds good company. Together B. Bravo and Teeko serve up a nice fat slab of funk on The Starship Connection EP which is being released by Frite Nite next Tuesday.

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Weekly Roundup: The Soft Moon, Horrid Red, Oh No/Chris Keys, Paw City; Videos from Julia Holter/Nite Jewel, Ty Segall, Luna is Honey

Posted by Billy Gil, September 14, 2012 01:24pm | Post a Comment
The Soft Moon – “Insides”
More new Soft Moon! “Insides” is gloriously creepy, with its sustained, Gremlin-style whispered vocal hovering in the background like a ghost, while the foreground finds piercing new wave sound and Luis Vasquez stepping out of the shadows just a bit with a wordless sounding but emotive vocal. Along with the recently debuted “Die Life,” Zeros sounds like a winner; it’s out Oct. 30 on Captured Tracks (preorder here). Boy, all this great goth from S.F. Isn’t it like beautiful and everyone is nice there?

horrid redHorrid Red – I’m Terribly Hurt

I don’t know much about S.F.’s Horrid Red, but I’m incredibly intrigued after hearing “I’m Terribly Hurt,” a goth pop song that hits both sides of the coin thanks to that droning organ and soaring synths and breathless vocals both creepy and romantic. Nightly Wreaths is due Oct. 9 on Terrible Records.

oh no chris keysOh No/Chris Keys – “Devastation” (ft. Guilty Simpson and Montage One)
This is awesome — producers Oh No (who is Madlib’s brother) and Chris Keys pair up for Ashes, which comes out Oct. 23 on Heavy Keys. “Devastation” gets some guest appearance from Cali brethren Montage One and Detroit rapper Guilty Simpson, who offer pretty psychedelic rhymes about ligers and Santeria over paranoid production and vocal imitations of guns and helicopters — then there’s a random outro about a volcanic eruption, which is sure to lead into the next track, whetting our appetites for the rest of Ashes. The track premiered over at Pitchfork.

GRMLN – “Stand By Me”
Kyoto, Japan-born and Southern California-raised Yoodoo Park recently released the excellent, Beach Fossils-ish “Coral,” from the upcoming Explore EP, due Oct. 23 on Carpark Records. Now he’s releases a pretty straightforward cover of “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. The beguiling lo-fi surf take on the classic sounds like a perfect end-of-summer mixtape track, and when taken with “Coral” speaks to the potential of this young artist.

Paw City – “Lonely Machine”
When was the last time you heard boy/girl vocal indie pop that managed to be this tasteful but also have like a big fucking alt-rock chorus? It helps that Paw City has Ariana Murray of Earlimart, who do that sort of thing, and her husband Michael Orendy of indie-pop group Frankel at the helm. Their self-titled EP is on Bandcamp. Listen if you love Grandaddy and cool forgotten bands of the mid-90s.

Julia Holter live at Amoeba
Nite Jewel & Julia Holter – “What We See”
As natural a pairing as you could ask for, L.A. electro art-pop artists Nite Jewel and Julia Holter team for this hypnotic outing, accompanied by a soft-focus video that looks like an impressionist painting moving. After watching and listening to this, I don’t want to do anything at all but lie in a field and stare upward. I love how the song sounds vaguely disturbing at the end, like something just broke up some perfect feeling. The song comes from a multimedia collection of artists called Dublab Presents: Lights From Los Angeles, out Oct. 23. The collection also features ESP, Dntel, Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Farmer Dave Scher, Sun Araw and more. The nonprofit Internet radio station and multimedia collective also has a 13th anniversary show Sept. 22 at Freak City (6363 Hollywood Blvd.).

Light From Los Angeles: JULIA HOLTER + NITE JEWEL from dublab on Vimeo.

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New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 9/14 - Ricardo Donoso, Silent Servant, John Tejada, Innerspace Halflife, Steffi, Pacific Horizons and tons more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, September 14, 2012 11:13am | Post a Comment

Ricardo Donoso
Assimilating The Shadow 2LP

In the time since Ricardo Donoso delivered his debut album Progress Chance, he's been pursuing his take on morning music even further. Informed by deep house, slowed-down trance and club influences, this new album unfolds to reveal elaborate sonic labyrinths that emerge out of the burning embers of dance music. Assimilating the Shadow has been designed to be consumed at sunrise, at the party's end. It assembles dark, carefully-considered sequences layered in a way that seems on first listen to be a fusion of opposites. Sacred geometry sets the stage for these intricate, emotional structures, illustrating tonal passages that appear divergent on first listen but which become coherent the further into the album you delve. It's an album that harks back to the beginnings of dance music but which somehow sidesteps the usual revivalist signatures that have become all too familiar in recent years, instead opting for a rhythmically complex variant that echoes early Jean Michel Jarre, Cluster, Manuel Göttsching and Speedy J but with a strange compositional quality quite unlike any of its influences. 2LP deluxe gatefold pressing limited to 500 copies. Mastered by James Plotkin and cut to vinyl by Lupo at Dubplates + Mastering, Berlin. Artwork by Lee Tindall. 

Purchase Assimilating here:

Silent Servant
Negative Fascination LP
Hospital Productions

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Noise Pop Record Collective Party with Yalls! Sept. 25th, Oakland.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 13, 2012 04:09pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop and Amoeba Music continue the ever-popular and biweekly Noise Pop Record Collectivevinyl party Noise Pop Record YALLS BerkeleyCollective with a show this Tuesday, September 25th hosted by Berkeley-based beat maker YALLS! The party goes from 8pm till midnight at Oakland's Era Art Bar.

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.

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.

Divine Discs of the Electronic Continuum

Posted by Rick Frystak, September 13, 2012 02:28pm | Post a Comment

I am a searcher, never quite satisfied with music and sounds that already exist. There are many like myself out there. I am consistently persuing electronics-based records like these herein that testify to the pioneering spirit of those musicians, composers and scientists in search of the newest “musical “sounds available via technology of all levels of sophistication. Throughout history the primitive object or idea will lead the way to a monumentally sophisticated one, and visa-versa, as long as one is paying attention. Take thefuzzbox for example. That thing lead a revolution of little boxes that one plugs one’s instrument into to get big, wild (and conversely subtle) effects on said instrument ranging from fuzzy distortion to multiple octave voices to…God knows what now, huge racks of processing gear for a single riff.  At the same time in another part of the culture, guys and gals in long white lab coats were fiddling with room-sized computers to get a single tone that was not produced by a musical instrument, but alas, hallehlujah, a machine did it! And other folks were stringing audio tape across rooms and cutting inches of tape recordings to compose new recordings (Musique Concrete) to make other recordings to manipulate and, well, you get it.

The sense of experimentation and the ability to manifest those ideas has never left the true creative artist. There are sonic “searchers” among us that will never be satisfied with what already exists in the known sound worlds, and it is this motivation that fuels records like these. The daring ones, without concern of peer’s criticisms or naysayer’s pessimism, have forged ahead with whatever tools available to take these ideas and run with…no, FLY with them to the edges of reality.

Fortunately, labels like Creel Pone, EM, Wergo, DGG, edition RZ, Sub Rosa and many others have lovingly reissued some of these treasured  discs and simultaneously introduced new audiences to these sounds and accompanying legend. These LPs below are all original issues that Amoeba has miraculously acquired over the past 6 months and I present these as a sort of holy offering by clicking these titles and being taken to for purchasing. Truly, these are sacred documents.

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Remembering Tupac 16 Years After His Death

Posted by Billyjam, September 13, 2012 02:15pm | Post a Comment

2Pac "Keep Ya Head Up" (from Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.)

On this date, September 13th, exactly sixteen years ago Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac) died following being shot a week earlier in his well documented (but still unsolved) shooting in Las Vegas, NV on September 6th, 1996.  The iconic NY born rapper/poet/actor is much loved the world over but in the Bay Area he seems to be especially beloved since it was in the Bay that he began his illustrious rap/hip-hop career. Back on June 16th, when the slain rapper would have celebrated his 41st birthday, there were several parties dedicated to him thrown in the Bay Area including one at Yoshi's with a performance from Digital Underground (the group he rose to fame with) while the two Bay Area Amoeba Music stores witnessed an increased interest in his music on that day.

But then 2Pac is always a hot item at the record store where record collectors are constantly digging for those countless 12" singles released during his lifetime and posthumously.  As well as in the three Amoeba stores fans can check for Pac material online from the Amoeba Music Online Shop where you can find such classic 2Pac releases as All Eyez on MeMe Against the World2Pacalypse Now, and  Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z) featuring the single "Keep Ya Head Up" (video above). There's lots more 2Pac items available from the Amoeba Online Store Tupac Page including the dope 2Pac poster pictured left. This B+W commemorative poster, which sells for $12, is 24" by 36" and is shipped by Amoeba in a sturdy. durable poster tube. Rest in Peace Pac.

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring El Sereno, The Last of the Independent

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 12, 2012 09:41pm | Post a Comment


Normally for my LA and OC neighborhood blogs, I spend a day (two in the case of Highland Park) exploring and seeing as much as I can and then write about it. For El Sereno, however, I had two whole weeks to explore.

I was house-sitting for a couple, staying in their 1959 mid-century home and taking care of a dog and two cats. Before this excursion I was fairly unfamiliar with El Sereno, having once visited the couple I was house-sitting for, twice visited musician Johann Bogeli (Moving Units), passed through on my bike, eaten at King Torta a few times, and just once purposelessly peregrinating (during which time I came across the Mazatlan).

A hawk seen from the window

The first night I spent in El Sereno, one of my hosts and I attended a mescal party in Eagle Rock. Aterward, joined by the other host, we all relaxed in their yard, absorbing the sounds of banda music and partying taking place nearby.

After my hosts embarked on their road trip I would almost always be accompanied in my rambles by their trusty dog, Dooley. I’m not sure if people were especially friendly because I was walking a dog and not just a suspicious guy walking around taking pictures or if people in El Sereno are just generally amongst the city’s most friendly. Whatever the reason, the average day involved so many exchanges of “good morning,” “buenos dias” and hand-waves with complete strangers (and one unintelligible between Dooley and a woman that seemed to have something to do with her ankle monitor and maybe a lighter). As a result, El Sereno has for me deposed Compton as the friendliest community to strangers. (For those wondering, Laurel Canyon and Cambodia Town seemed the coldest).

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Punk: An Aesthetic Captured in New Book & Exhibit "Someday All The Adults Will Die: Punk Graphics 1971 - 1984"

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2012 11:41am | Post a Comment

The Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage curated exhibit Someday All The Adults Will Die: Punk Graphics 1971-1984, which will open at the Hayward Gallery Project Space in the Southbank Centre over in London, England this week (tomorrow, Thursday September 13, with an opening party and the official public opening Friday ) and run through November 4th 2012, is an exhibition that offers a comprehensive overview of punk graphic design, highlighting imagery before, during and after the punk years, drawing upon previously unseen public and private archives and collections and illuminated by examples of homemade cassettes, fanzines, posters, handbills, records and  clothing from the UK and USA. And from what I have previewed it is heavy on the punk flyers which, from this high tech age perspective, are so charmingly primitive.

Highlights of the exhibit, which offers free admission to everyone, include original artworks from such folks as Jamie Reid, Gee Vaucher, Linder Sterling, Penny Rimbaud, Gary Panter, and John Holmstrom along with numerous anonymous artists. Note that if, like most folks Stateside, with no plans of traveling to the UK over the next few weeks and catching this art exhibit, worry not as Kugelberg and Savage are also simultaneously putting out a corresponding book titled Punk: An Aesthetic (above - published by Rizzoli) that will include many (plus some additional) imagery from the exhibit. To give you a flavor of it all, below I have included a sample selection of several of these wonderful images (a lot of flyers) that capture the simple yet striking punk & post-punk graphic design. More info here.

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Return to Beyond the Black Rainbow

Posted by Charles Reece, September 11, 2012 11:54pm | Post a Comment

There were only 11 films from 2011 to make my illustrious 'best of' list earlier this year and one of my favorites, Panos Cosmatos' Beyond the Black Rainbow, has finally received a blu ray release as of today. Before home video, digital recording devices and illegal file sharing provided us the liberty of watching pop culture when we want as our founding fathers had promised (control of property being the basis for liberty), a drug-addled consciousness, in the early morning hours, would be retuned to reality through a forced choice of bad cable movies or informercials -- the remote control providing only the remotest semblance of control. The mind was in a particularly susceptible state during such inert periods and, having so little control on media saturation (like having to listen to an entire side of an LP all the way through), it became shaped, one might say enamored, by televisual junk. Set in the time of Orwellian dystopia, Cosmatos' film captures this shaping of the android mind as telepathic domination. The editing feels like pushing the button on the remote at random, which eventually coalesces into something of a cross-channel narrative thread between a self-help guru with a narcoleptic delivery and the final girl sequence in a slasher film. The 80s sci-fi hues turning into hypnotic visual patterns accompanied by Wendy Carlos drones and John Carpenter melodies pull the viewer into the nostalgic abyss. The laissez-faire decade was when most Americans were rebuilt by aliens; only a few escaped.

Amoeba's patented What's in My Bag? with the writer-director of Beyond the Black Rainbow

Album Picks: Thee Oh Sees, The XX, The Raveonettes, Plus Albums and Blu-rays Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 11, 2012 05:45pm | Post a Comment
thee oh seesThee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II
S.F. psych-rockers Thee Oh Sees’ cult seemed to overflow with two great albums released last year, the scuzzy lo-fi pop of Castlemania and its more acid-tinged follow-up, Carrion Crawler/The Dream. Putrifiers II works off that momentum and delivers on its promise, scaling back the noise of their more rambunctious moments to offer hypnotic, low-key psych-pop. “Wax Face” features some of Thee Oh Sees main man John Dwyer’s idiosyncrasies, with wacked out harmonic guitarwork and echoing, screechy vocals, but with that familiarity out of the way, the album’s next two songs feel new for Dwyer, as “Hang a Picture” is nostalgic, even sweet jangly pop, and “So Nice” takes a Velvets-inspired trip through stately drone. “Flood’s New Light” sounds like a cleaned-up version of the off-kilter Turtles-style garage rock the band previously produced, and with its cleaner production, Dwyer’s pop songwriting smarts come through more clearly, as does his way of subverting his pop arrangements with slightly atonal melodies. As the album’s noise-and-space epic title track flows into the ethereal, strange ’60s pop of “We Will Be Scared,” it becomes clear this is Dwyer’s strongest material to date. For all his prolificacy, Putrifiers II is remarkably consistent and a fine statement of purpose moving forward for Dwyer.
the xxThe XX – Coexist
The XX dig further into their shrouded corner of the universe with Coexist, an album that finds the trio even more assured in producing their minimalist, romantic sound. “Angels” opens the album breathtakingly as Romy Madley Croft’s vocal coaxes intensity with just a few simple refrains. Co-vocalist Oliver Sim pulls a similar trick on the yearning “Missing,” while “Chained” is one of the best examples yet of how Jamie Smith’s production meshes perfectly with Madley Croft and Sim’s simple yet divine vocal interplay and subtle guitarwork, its beats coming in offtime to break the spell at just the right time. Coexist works when its trio supports each other with the just the right amount effort, such as on “Reunion” and “Sunset,” in which Smith’s lush keyboards and muffled beatwork provides a perfect backdrop in which the vocalists can swim, or when Smith largely removes himself for the first half of the haunting “Tides” before coming in with his most pronounced beat of the album. At times it threatens to blow away in the wind, given its lightness of touch. But taking the view that there’s a time and place for most music, Coexist plants The XX firmly in nighttime music territory, and for such times — for sleep, romance, introspection — there’s nearly nothing better to suit the mood.
the raveonettes observatorThe Raveonettes – Observator
After spending the better part of a decade producing huge, wall-of-sound, Jesus & Mary Chain-style guitar noise, The Raveonettes continue the scaling back of their sound begun on the darker, unfairly maligned Raven in the Grave on Observator. Though it still eschews the campiness that marked much of The Raveonettes earlier work, Observator is a sunnier affair than Raven, full of sparkling guitarwork and Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo’s twinlike harmonies. The beginning songs on Observator sound like a back-to-basics approach to their sound, Buddy Holly melodies over tinny beats, but the Ride-like rush of “Sinking With the Sun” and lovelorn single “She Owns the Street” display an interest in jangle pop, without as much of the shoegaze sheen the band used to coat their songs with. This is a more melody-focused rendition of The Raveonettes’ sound, and thus its emotional quality comes through more clearly. Observator’s noise-flecked pop in songs like the glorious closer “Till the End” relay a lonely sense of wonderment, like staring at the stars alone.
Also released today:
st vincent and david byrneDavid Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
An old art school meets new art school dream collaboration comes to us from David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Love This Giant, which plays to the strengths of both artists with a dynamic, eclectic sound, immaculate production and deft arrangement. The Byrne-led “Who” calls to mind classic Byrne/Talking Heads with its quizzical delivery, while “Weekend in the Dust” makes St. Vincent’s Annie Clark into a worldbeat dance diva. “Dinner for Two” is a sublime duet, nicely interrupted by horn-work that dots the album and holds it together, especially coming into play on the funky pop of “The One Who Broke Your Heart,” featuring Antibalas and The Dap-Kings. “I Am an Ape” and “I Should Watch TV” find Byrne at his most satirical, while Clark shines on “Optimist,” one of her sweetest vocal performances to date. Some of the album’s middle tracks mesh Byrne’s and Clark’s styles so well, such as the clockwork sound of “Lazarus,” that a future collaboration to see how these two could get into even more interesting territory seems like a sure thing — at least we can hope, because Love This Giant already is a slyly rewarding gift from two artists, one over many years and one in just a short time, who have given us plenty already.
calexico algiersCalexico – Algiers
Calexico’s noir folk sound grows even more majestic on Algiers. The band’s eighth album finds them as confident in their sound as they’ve ever been, becoming more soulful, more embracing on tracks like opener “Epic,” which balances warm verses with a darker chorus. In particular, Joey Burns’ and Jacob Valenzuela’s vocals mesh beautifully on the propulsive “Splitter,” and Burns carries “Sinner in the Sea” through its spooky, spiritual setting of sparkling piano and minor-key guitar, suggesting the New Orleans setting the band has said helped inspire the record. Calexico have often evoked various times and places, namely the desert setting of their namesake, and Algiers can’t help but feel like the work of a band at some mysterious port-town dive, whether that be in New Orleans, Algiers or any number of Spanish-speaking cities, calling out Santo Domingo and strumming Spanish guitar in “Puerto” and going back to their mariachi-inspired roots on the Spanish-sung “No Te Vayas.” Surprisingly, Calexico’s globe-trotting, more pronounced than ever, holds together and doesn’t feel like dilettantism; rather, it helps not define Algiers by one specific time or place, instead conjuring unspeakable feelings of nostalgia and becoming lost in another culture. Wherever Algiers puts you, you know the feeling.
bob dylan tempestBob Dylan - Tempest
Over the opening sounds of steel guitars and a bouncing bass, Bob Dylan’s ever-growlier voice comes in like a train conductor from another time and we’re whisked away to an Amierca of yore in Tempest opener “Duquesne Whistle.” Tempest is classic Dylan, full of his trademark detail and skillful incorporation of various threads of classic American styles. Dylan and his band tunnel through the country blues of “Narrow Way,” as Dylan delivers irresistible lines in his rambling fashion like “It’s a long and narrow road/If I can’t work up to you/You’ll surely have to work down to me some day.” Tempest isn’t all dusky blues, though, as its ballad “Long and Wasted Years” is one of its best, Dylan offering romantic lament (“I wear dark glasses to cover my eyes/there’re secrets in them that I can’t disguise”). Tempest’s strongest moments come in its closing tracks, the immaculately detailed murder ballad “Tin Angel,” hopeful album closer “Roll on John,” and sandwiched between them the title tracks, an already much-discussed near-14 minute tale of the Titanic “sinking into the underworld” (and also, “Leo and his sketchbook”), over a stately mix of country blues and sea shanty, buoyed by transcendent violins that give pause to Dylan’s depiction of tragedy and what it brings out of ordinary people, good and bad. Tempest ends leaving listeners with renewed interest in the complexity of humanity, as the best of Dylan’s work often stokes our desire to know ourselves and others more deeply.
guano padanoGuano Padano – 2
Along with Calexico’s Algiers, this week has seen a wealth of Western-inspired rock released. Guano Padano are an instrumental three-piece who move from nourish country (“One Man Bank”) to Middle Eastern-inspired surf rock (“Gran Bazaar”) to glitchy jazz (“Lynch”) and just about anywhere else their instruments can take them, incorporating your basic guitar, piano, bass and drums, plus banjo, eerie steel guitar, Chinese instrumentation (“Miss Chan”) and anything else that might seem appropriate while retaining their Spaghetti Western sound. Mike Patton shows up to lend his howling vocals to the dark “Prairie Fire,” and the band turns in a dreamy cover of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk,” but these moments aren’t even necessary diversions — Guano Padano’s cool, kitschy sound stands on its own, soundtracking imagined, unmade films and allowing the listener to explore their own interpretation or simply bask in the sound.
amanda palmerAmanda Palmer – Theatre is Evil
Amanda Palmer drops some of the theatricality of Dresden Dolls for this synthier, poppier album with backing band The Grand Theft Orchestra.

chris robinson brotherhoodChris Robinson Brotherhood – The Magic Door
The Black Crowes singer (and ex-Mr. Kate Hudson) is back with his band’s second album of the year, The Magic Door, a seven-song trip down jam rock lane.

sea wolf old world romanceSea Wolf – Old World Romance
L.A.-based Sea Wolf returns with a morose album of nostalgic, lovelorn indie pop.

avett brothersThe Avett Brothers - The Carpenter

The North Carolina-based brother-folk band's sixth album.

lewis black in god we rustLewis Black - In God We Rust

The satirical comedian takes on politics and other maladies in a performance at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

helio sequenceThe Helio Sequence - Negotiations

The latest from the psych-pop band is full of lush, reverb-laden glory.

dave matthews bandDave Matthews Band – Away From the World

New Blu-rays & DVDs:

30 Rock Season 6 (DVD)

Beyond the Black Rainbow

Lola Versus

Snow White & The Hunstman

Remembering Matthew Africa Through the Music He Loved

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2012 10:30am | Post a Comment

"RIP to one of the best beat diggers, djs, and all around nicest dudes in the game. You will be missed, but your spirit will live on brotha."

The above comment, posted by Tha Megatron online yesterday, is just one of the literally hundreds of tributes  that have been written about beloved Bay Area DJ Matthew Africa who was tragically killed last Monday (9/3) in a car crash. Since Thursday last, when the shocking news of this well-known and well-liked DJ's sudden death began circulating, friends and fans from the Bay and beyond have been mourning his passing through memories of the music that Matthew himself loved so much and happily shared via his radio shows, blogs, 2 Busy Sayin’ Yeah or Stay Hatin podcasts, club sets, and mixtapes. That comment by Tha Megatron was posted on the MixCrate page for Matthew Africa's final mix, "Matthew Africa: Plays Seven Inches," made a few weeks ago. On August 14th, the tireless crate-digging Bay Area DJ made what would be the last entry on his blog. And in true Matthew Africa fashion, it was all about music and records, and about how he was really looking forward to spinning 45s at the upcoming weekend's 45 Sessions - both to play records and to hang out with fellow music fanatics/DJs like DJ Platurn, E Da Boss, DJ Enki, and Joe Quixx.

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in September

Posted by Amoebite, September 10, 2012 11:12am | 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. We take cash and credit cards for all ticket sales.

Please note that on the day of the show, we will stop selling tickets for that show at 5pm.

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

Saint Etienne at the Fonda

Saint Etienne
The Fonda Theatre 
November 3
Paul Banks at the Fonda

Paul Banks
The Fonda Theatre
December 5
Father John Misty at El Rey

If Alain Resnais Had a Cat

Posted by Charles Reece, September 10, 2012 03:00am | Post a Comment

Henri 2, Paw de Deux, winner of the Internet Cat Video Festival

September 9, 2012: Branded

Posted by phil blankenship, September 9, 2012 06:33pm | Post a Comment

September 9, 2012: The Inbetweeners Movie

Posted by phil blankenship, September 9, 2012 12:32pm | Post a Comment

Sic Alps' Mike Donovan Takes Us Through the Band's New Album

Posted by Billy Gil, September 8, 2012 11:24am | Post a Comment
Sic Alps have long been an S.F. favorite, fusing the hippie aesthetic of the San Francisco of lore (Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane) with the newer noise-garage ethos similarly employed by acts like Ty Segall, who played in Sic Alps for a time, and Thee Oh Sees, with whom they’ll play at the the El Rey Theatre Sept. 9. The band boasts a prolific career in a short time — the band formed in 2004 and has released over a dozen EPs, three regular albums and another, A Long Way to a Shortcut, compiling their singles. Now, they’ve chosen to give their fourth album a self-titled name (out Sept. 18; preorder here), and with that comes a somewhat cleaner sound, complete with strings, courtesy of Ryan Francesconi, who arranged strings for Joanna Newsom. I spoke with frontman Mike Donovan about the new album and the band’s trajectory.
PST: One of the most noticeable new sounds on the record is the strings on songs like “Glyphs” and “Rock Races.” Can you talk about how that came about and working with Ryan Francesconi?

Mike Donovan fronting Sic Alps
Donovan: [It was] Dan [Koretzky] from Drag City’s idea to work with someone who could put together an arrangement on a couple of tunes. He put us in touch Ryan Francesconi, who does stuff for Joanna Newsom, does her string arrangements. That’s like a great thing about Drag City, what makes them a great label. They threw down for the budget. It’s not like there’s gonna be a huge return on that investment (laughs). But we got really nice players to come in an play on it. Cheers to Drag City for that.

We basically sent him a couple of songs and then just started sending him like YouTube videos —  Colin Blunstone’s One Year record … “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles … just to give him kind of touchstones. And then we worked from there, he’d send a MIDI track, a computerized version of what it’s gonna sound like, and I’d be like “Oh yeah that sounds so cool but let’s not go so soaring on verse two and can you do a cello that goes like that.” A couple of the melodies are Sic Alps, melodies, but most of it is his take on the guitar track. And three of the four girls from Real Vocal String Quartet came down to Eric Bauer’s studio in Chinatown called Bauer Mansion, where we recorded the whole album. And they read the music right off the charts in one take and did it. It was pretty amazing.

PST: The progression since the last album is really remarkable. It almost sounds like a new band on the self-titled album. Was that the goal somewhat with giving this album a self-titled name, to rebrand the band or restate its purpose?

Donovan: Exactly. Just like a new start. A clean slate, you know.

PST: Did part of that, too, come from releasing a compilation that sort of put your earlier work into perspective (A Long Way Around to a Shortcut)?

Donovan: Yeah. There might be another one of those coming up, we’re at about 20-something unreleased little doo-dads. Maybe next year we’ll have a No. 2 — A Longer Way Around.

PST: There are a lot of odds and ends to pull from I guess with your catalog.

Donovan: Especially of late because I blasted out those four singles.

PST: I think the recording sounds pretty interesting. Parts of it sound lo-fi while parts like the strings seem to come through clearly. How did you record the album?

Donovan: Everything we recorded up to that point was recorded at home on an 8-track. And then over those four singles that preceded the self-titled record, we kind of did half and half, half down at Eric’s and half at home, kind of getting acclimated to the full studio thing. Everything up until the self-titled, except for a couple of songs, were recorded on a 388-TASCAM. There were a couple of exceptions, we brought a couple of tracks recorded at home into studio and dumped it onto the one-inch tape, but everything [else] was recorded on 16-track one-inch tape with all kinds of nice old gear that Eric has tracked down over the last decade or so.

PST: Do you think that’s something you guys would keep doing in the future — record in the studio rather than at home?

Donovan: Yeah, because I played it for my old buddy Paul and he was like, “it’s kind of fucked up, dude. There’s something wrong about it.” I feel like we haven’t totally crossed over into some other world, you know? But the next thing I think we’re gonna do is after this tour — we’re bringing like four songs out on tour that we just wrote, which is a new thing — and the band is gonna play for six weeks. The plan is at the end of that is we’ll go into a studio and knock those out. Maybe build an album around that or maybe make an EP, I’m not really sure. That’ll be a new thing, and that’ll be a studio thing. If all goes well, we’re gonna do it. Also the Vedley record we did, it’s really lo-fi, it’s like 23 songs spread over two sides of a 7-inch. I kind of want to do like an hour-long version of that instead of a 10 minute version of it. Just more experimenting to see what happens. That aspect of Sic Alps. But I still really want to do stuff like that. So to answer your question in a long, way I guess we’re still in both worlds.

PST: I thought the “Glyphs” video was really cool, sort of this evil hippie vibe with the flowers and destroying this effigy or scarecrow. I sort of get that vibe from the music too, it seems to find some inspiration from the San Francisco of lore but also is interested in expressing the sort of in-betweens or darker sounds. Do you think about that sort of thing when constructing a video, tying it to the sounds? How did that come about?

Donovan: It’s funny, the fellow I made the video with, I think we’ve done like four videos with now, John Harlow, as the video sort of progresses, because there’s always some sort of genesis, this idea just kind of develops as the days are going by — “what do we do now?” type of thing. As he put it, there’s a very strange continuity to this video. It’s like, “what?” There’s a continuity but it’s sort of hard to tell what it is. We kind of made it up on the fly. Initially the video was supposed to be making fun of hippies in the ‘60s, like Haight/Ashbury, Haight and Clayton, or whatever — Amoeba (laughs). Striped shirts, like Grateful Dead, top hats. I was trying to figure out how to costume that and going into costume shops on the Haight to find rentable hippie gear. So that sort of devolved as the day of the shoot approached. It’s just kind of weird what ended up happening. As we were looking for inspiration from old videos, like let’s check out this old Pink Floyd video. It’s just like three guys walking around. They’re not doing anything. There’s a keyboardist in the tree – boom! Let’s do that. We’ll put Noel in the tree. Then it was like, let’s do a scarecrow – OK. Let’s burn the scarecrow because it’s the past, let’s fucking hurl it into the street – with all respect.

PST: The vibe on the album too is a lot warmer than before, seems more laid-back. I’m thinking of a song like “Polka Vat” that could have easily been played for big thrashing chords and is instead pretty delicate. Was that an aim, to play up the softer side of your sound, and was that in reaction to anything in particular?

Donovan: You know I think a lot of the softness of the record is part of the continuity of the record and a lot of it is the mixing of it, which is an aspect that is scary about making a hi-fi record but is also kind of liberating in a way because you have to kind of let things go. Sic Alps has always been the smallest of production by design — small, small, small, like let’s do one bass track today and we’ll come back in three days. With this album there’s much bigger production, so things like the overall sound, you have to make a leap of faith. But I’m really happy with it.

PST: Has that given you cause to revisit and rework earlier material for the tour?

Donovan: Yeah, I mean we always do the old stuff. Actually it’s always been totally different. We’ve never been like, let’s make this sound like the recording. A lot of times the songs won’t really sound like they do on the album anyway. We’ve just accepted the fact that it’s a completely diff thing anyway. So I guess no more than ever really.

PST: In particular I thought “See You on the Slopes” was a nice surprise at the end of the record. Not something you’d expect to hear from a band who’s often lumped in with garage rock. Did you want to make a statement by including that, or you just thought it was one of your better songs?

Donovan: That’s a song that my friend Darius wrote like 20 years ago and never released it. I went to the University of Maryland, and there was this band there called Gluey, just playing shows around college, basement shows. That band was amazing, straight up amazing band. Anyway, I just played that song on guitar for so many years. It used to sound like Dinosaur Jr., and it was like, let’s make it a piano song. Tim Hellman, ex-Amoeba employee, did all the piano on the record, every 12-string guitar you can hear.

Animal Shelter Donation Drive at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, September 7, 2012 04:22pm | Post a Comment
Wanna show some love to the homeless cats and dogs at your local shelter and save $3 off Amoeba Music at the same time? Amoeba Hollywood is collaborating with Los Angeles County Animal Shelters to collect much-needed supply items for the care and comfort of homeless animals in our community. Animal Shelters in LA are in desperate need of donations due to of lack of government and community funding. These trends are likely to continue until the economic situation improves, but we can help! Donations, food, blankets, and cleaning supplies can go a long way to help to sustain homeless, abandoned and unwanted animals.

For each one shelter item donation, we will give you a $3 off coupon to use on any purchase at Amoeba Music! It's that easy. Bring in an old towel, a can of cat/dog food or a cleaning product and we'll give you three bucks!

The Animal Shelter Donation Drive runs through
Monday, October 8th.

We can help change the heartbreaking situation of needing to euthanize healthy animals because of a simple lack of donations and resources. Stand up for underdogs everywhere by spreading the word that shelter animals need our help! And please remember to always spay and neuter your pet!

For more information on helping homeless cats and dogs or if you are interested in adopting a companion animal visit: 

Stay tuned for more animal education and adoption coverage in October, when Amoeba Hollywood will be teaming up with the Beagle Freedom Project.

Local Roundup: New Tracks from FIDLAR, SFV Acid, Vex Ruffin, Whirr; New Videos from Chris Cohen, Spaceships

Posted by Billy Gil, September 7, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment
FIDLAR – “Cheap Beer”
Like some unholy marriage between Black Flag and The Cramps, FIDLAR’s “Cheap Beer” is pure aural fuck  — “I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU.” There’s more subtlety there within than that would imply — sweet little surf riffs, excellent solo, smart dynamics, perfect production without being self-consciously lo-fi. But the thing the L.A. band offers uniquely is that clear-cut dynamite party chorus, a rarity in the days of reverb-awash garage rock. FIDLAR’s deubt album will be released in early 2013 on Mom & Pop.

SFV Acid – “Ashland Slumber”

This nasty bit of indie electro-house comes from L.A.’s SFV Acid, who sound like they’re coming into their own with this latest slab of sublimely grimey dance music. “Ashland Slumber” sounds a bit like Detroit house blasted out of shitty speakers and garnering extra feedback and reverb in the process. I love how lush the synths are vs. the brutality of the beats. Harsh, weird fun stuff. The Neighborhood Archives EP is due Oct. 15 on UNO.

Vex Ruffin – “Take It”
Gnarly, nasty one-man-band punk out of L.A. Vex Ruffin’s “Take It” rides its bone-simple riff and drum machine (I think? It might as well be.) to great heights on Ruffin’s balls to the wall vocal. It’s kind of the punk inverse of Dirty Beaches’ one-main rockabilly noir. His debut LP is due next year on Stones Throw.


Whirr – “Twist”
Of course I have to write about Whirr, the great new shoegaze band from S.F. whose Pipe Dreams LP earlier this year had fans of Swervedriver and Ride jumping for joy. Whirr sets apart from the nu-shoegaze set with a defined tunefulness underneath the din and a punkier aesthetic to its distortion, which wraps around “Twist” like a warm blanket. I’m ready to call it a day, too, on listening to this dreamawayyourlife extended outro. It’s due on a double 7” release with fellow dream poppers Anne Oct. 16 on Run For Cover. The track debuted earlier this week via Pitchfork.

Chris Cohen – “Optimist High”
Former Deerhoof and Cryptacize guitarist and handsome guy Chris Cohen has a video for “Optimist High,” from his forthcoming album Overgrown Path (preorder here), due Sept. 25 on Captured Tracks. The L.A. native now lives in Vermont, but we still love him. This is one of those “I played every instrument” kind of psych-pop things. It’s also one of the best things I’ve heard in some time. If you weren’t already a sucker for Cohen’s beautifully intricate guitarwork in his previous bands, you will be after hearing “Optimist High,” on which he proves himself an incredibly skilled songsmith and singer as well. He’ll be at S.F.’s Hemlock Tavern Oct. 18 and L.A.’s Public Fiction Oct. 19.

Spaceships – “inTheSun” video
Spaceships are an awesome unsigned band from L.A. that play acidic lo-fi pop. If you liked early Best Coast and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and L.A. faves Giant Drag, you’ll probably enjoy Spaceships, although their brand of noise-pop is a bit more aggressive than Best Coast and dreamier than the Yeahs. I got the chance to watch this two-piece last month, and they’ve got the goods; frontwoman Jessie Waite shreds over Kevin LaRose’s steady, heavy beat. Their self-released Spaceships EP is out now.

Spaceships "inTheSun" (OFFICAL MUSIC VIDEO) from Spaceships on Vimeo.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 09.07.12: Top 5, Matthew Africa, Love Vibes, Hieros @ Oakllandish, Los Rakas @ Independent + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2012 08:20am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:07:12

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)  Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

5) Aesop Rock Skelethon  (Rhymesayers)

The latest top five hip-hop chart from Amoeba Hollywood this week is pretty consistent with the last few weeks at each Amoeba with the top sellers including the highly recommended new albums from Nas ( Life is Good), Aesop Rock, (Skelethon ), and DOOM's (formerly MF Doom) latest outing with producer Jneiro Jarel as JJ DOOM - Key to the Kuffs which I was surprised to hear some DOOM fans were not feeling upon first listen. I really like it and believe it stands side by side in quality with his previous work and that Jneiro's production compliments DOOM - and the other guests - perfectly. My personal favorite tracks are "Banished," "Guv'nor," "Borin' Convo," Dawg Friendly," and the opening sample heavy, album intro track "Waterlogged."  Again on this week's Amoeba chart are both versions of 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (regular and the Deluxe Edition) from the ever popular artist who was among those featured performers at last night's MTV's Video Music Awards (VMA).

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Saul Williams on his new book "Chorus," the Shit we Dance to, Obama ain't Jesus, & More

Posted by Billyjam, September 6, 2012 10:25pm | Post a Comment
In celebration of Saul Williams' new book Chorus, a collection of the work of 100 poets joining Williams in his "literary mixtape," the poet/actor/activist/musician launched a tour (also dubbed Chorus) a week ago with dates over the long Labor Day weekend in Baltimore, DC, and New York City. On Monday (Sept 3) night, I met up with the New York-born Williams, who currently lives in Paris, backstage at Joe's Pub before he went onstage alongside ten contributors to his new book.

Considering our interview was on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama's run for a second term was foremost on his mind, as it was on mine so I was curious to know the outspoken artist's views on the upcoming election. "To me this upcoming election is super clear because the policies are so, for lack of better words, so black and white," he said. "The policies are so clear just in terms of women and what I believe in progressiveness. I mean, the past two thousand years in a nutshell have everything to do with controlling women and enforcing cheap labor; that's what Christianity, all this shit boils down to in my perspective." Williams minced no words when he said, "I would hate to see Romney win. I hate the idea of taking a few steps forward only to get pushed back. It's like the weed fight in California. All of this progress and then all of a sudden it's like people get scared." 

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Fur!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 6, 2012 07:25pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop Record Collective Party with Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets! Sept. 11th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 6, 2012 04:56pm | Post a Comment
Noise Pop and Amoeba Music continue the ever-popular and biweekly Noise Pop Record Collectivevinyl party Noise Pop Record sonny smith sonny & the sunsetsCollective with a show this Tuesday, September 11th hosted by Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets! The party goes from 8pm till midnight at San Francisco's The Homestead.

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.

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.

Sylvie Simmons talks about "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen" at SF's Booksmith, Sept. 12th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 6, 2012 04:29pm | Post a Comment
British music journalist Sylvie Simmons will appear at Haight Street's The Booksmith on Wednesday,Leonard Cohen I'm your man September 12th at 7:30pm to talk about her new book I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Based on a wealth of research, including exclusive interviews with Cohen himself, I'm Your Man is the definitive work on Leonard Cohen’s life and career. Simmons also spoke to over a hundred key figures in Cohen’s life -- among them Cohen’s main muses: the women in his life, close childhood friends, producers and artists who have worked on his albums, and contemporary artists that have worked with Cohen or have been influenced by his work (such as David Crosby, Philip Glass, Judy Collins, Rufus Wainwright, Jackson Browne, and many more).

Starting in Montreal, Cohen's birthplace and where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, I'm Your Man follows his trail via London and the Greek island of Hydra to New York in the sixties, where Cohen launched his career in music. From there, it traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat when, in the mid-nineties on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop. He returned to find his bank accounts bled dry and was forced back onto the road at age seventy-three for a wildly successful three-year world tour.

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"Media Assassin" Harry Allen Unveils Affordable, Hands-on Hip-Hop Music Biz Course: GrindXDesign

Posted by Billyjam, September 5, 2012 07:48pm | Post a Comment
Hip-hop scholar / activist Harry Allen - the man perhaps best known as the "Media Assassin," recently launched a unique educational series on the business of hip-hop: a series of conference call workshops designed for people who are trying to break into hip-hop. The course offers at an affordable price a chance to talk one on one with an array of seasoned hip-hop artists, producers, and executives. The series is called GrindXDesign which means "grind by design" and it launched last Wednesday, August 29th. Earlier this evening (Sept 5th) Allen hosted  the second of the intensive eight weekly, live, one-hour, conference calls that run each Wednesday evening (8pm EST, 5pm PST) through October 17th. Each week features  Allen interviewing guests for 15 to 20 minutes on music publishing, touring, production, publicity, and other areas of hip-hop business for 15-20 minutes. Then he opens it up to questions from callers for 30 minutes. The conference call course is billed as "aimed at people in hip-hop who are taking their music careers into their own hands. They're doing this, not just by working hard, but by also working smart."

Last week's opening session featured none other than DJ Premier on the conference call along with Young Guru (engineer for Jay-Z). Other panelists of the 8 week course include Chuck D, Questlove, DJ Drama, Wendy Day (Rap Coalition), Jamie Purpora, Dan Booth, Arthur Wylie, XXL's Vanessa L. Satten, and Kim Osorio from The Source. Considering that so many music biz courses charge a lot the cost of this phonier course is quite affordable working out at only $12 a session: not bad to talk to Premier or Chuck D directly.

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Kiss My Sassafrass - Notes on Root Beer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 5, 2012 05:42pm | Post a Comment

"Rally at Dandelion Hill" by Charles Wysocki, 2001
"Rally at Dandelion Hill" by Charles Wysocki, 2001

I really didn’t know what to blog about today. No milestones, holidays, events, birthdays, &c interested me so I meditated for a few seconds and thought “Root Beer.” It is, after all (to paraphrase the Fresh Prince) “just a little somethin' to break the monotony of all that heated political rhetoric that has gotten to be a little bit out of control.”

From a young age I loved root beer and at some point when I must’ve been about nine or ten, I started collecting root beer cans from as many makers as I could find. I specifically remember A & W, Barq’s, Best Choice, Dad’s, Fargo, Faygo, Hires, Hy-Vee, IBC, and Schnuck’s were represented, although there were others. Most were represented by both diet and regular options. Root beer almost never has caffeine -- in fact, it more often contains natural mellowing agents.

I also had the video game Root Beer Tapper for ColecoVision, adapted from the arcade came, Tapper, in which the player was originally a bartender sliding dizzying numbers drinks at demanding patrons. For much of my time in California I rode a root beer brown ’72 Raleigh Sprite 27 (until I put it to pasture). Because of its  paint job, I named it "Root Beer." Since I'm an adult, I rarely drink soda anymore, although when I do, it's occasionally root beer.

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City Scenes: The Brothers Comatose Present "It Came from Beneath the Sea," Sept. 20th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 5, 2012 04:11pm | Post a Comment
On Thursday, September 20th, Cinema SF and folkYEAH present the sixth installment of City Scenes, theit came from beneath the sea on-going series that pairs musicians with their favorite San Francisco films.

This month, local folk string-band The Brothers Comatose, who Brothers Comatoserecently sold out the Great American Music Hall for their album release show, have picked a winner with one of the only monster distruction movies based in San Francisco! Yes, it's Ray Harryhausen's It Came from Beneath the Sea! Preceding the screening, The Brothers Comatose will play a set of vintage sea-shanties, maritime folk numbers, and their own homespun Americana-tinged originals.

Get advance tickets at or at the Vogue Theatre box office!

More about It Came from Beneath the Sea:

Hollywood has put San Francisco through a lot. From Pod People infesting the Civic Center in Invasion of the Body Snatchers to Steve McQueen’s automotive carnage in Bullitt, audiences and filmmakers alike have always taken a certain glee in seeing havoc run amok in the picturesque hills and dollhouse neighborhoods of San Francisco. But in 1955, Columbia Pictures’ It Came from Beneath the Sea took SF destruction to Godzilla-like proportions. The plot is classic cold-war sci-fi: nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean has roused the ire of a giant octopus that starts sinking submarines and the odd cargo liner before setting its sights on the Golden Gate Bridge. With stop animation by special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, It Came from Beneath the Sea is a classic of the golden-age of monster movies and a rarely screened San Francisco treat.

September 4, 2012: Searching For Sugarman

Posted by phil blankenship, September 4, 2012 09:17pm | Post a Comment

Heavy Hitter Midnites: 1990 THE BRONX WARRIORS

Posted by phil blankenship, September 4, 2012 03:59pm | Post a Comment

Heavy Hitter Midnites: I screen my favorite films so other people can see them the way they were meant to be seen - loud & large on the big screen! This week I screen the Italian post-nuke classic 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS!

1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS // Friday, September 7, 2012 at Cinefamily

Welcome to the future: in a catastrophic uprising, where the Bronx is declared a high-risk district and the cops have officially washed their hands of the whole enchilada, the dregs of society inhabiting a colorful post-Escape From New York/post-The Warriors urban wasteland have violently rebelled. Armed with spikes, blades and skull-adorned choppers, “Trash” and his Riders engage in a nonstop war against cannibals and other sentient crud — and the results are killer! Marauding manimals, sci-fi thug weaponry, cutthroat gangs (bikers! hockey players! pimps! tap dancers!), flamethrower-wielding police on horseback, and all-time performances by Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and teenaged Marco di Gregorio (Thunder Warrior aka Italian Rambo) make this vicious “re-imagining” of the John Carpenter and Walter Hill classics a high point in the Enzo G. Castellari (The Inglorious Bastards, Keoma) canon. Delivering everything you want from an early ‘80s post-nuke adventure, this unforgettable descent into the futuristic inferno screens from an insanely rare original 35mm print!
Dir. Enzo Castellari, 1982, 35mm, 86 min.

$12, Free for Cinefamily members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036

Album Picks: Cat Power, The Fresh & Onlys, Jens Lekman, Deerhoof; Plus Albums and Movies Released Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 4, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment
OK, too much amazing music was released today, but for me, the new albums by Cat Power, The Fresh & Onlys, Jens Lekman and Deerhoof shined above the rest. However, don’t sleep on great new albums by Animal Collective, Stars, Bob Mould, Two Door Cinema Club and Two Gallants, plus Blu-rays of Arachnophobia, Child’s Play, The Five-Year Engagement, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Hocus Pocus, Man on a Swing, Piranha 3DD, Safe and Umberto D., among others.
cat power sunCat Power Sun
Cat Power’s personal life — her admitted alcoholism, her erratic live shows — is a favorite topic of discussion such that it often threatens to overshadow talk of her brilliant music. Perhaps in an effort to curb that, Chan Marshall has created her least intimate, most globally accessible album with Sun. Marshall produced and performed almost everything on the album herself, but in lieu of the sort of austerity of an album like Moon Pix, we get a dark synth-pop record, spurred by Marshall’s desire to make something unlike anything she had done before. However, underneath the synths that spiral around the title track, for instance, this is still very much a Cat Power record — worry not, fans. In fact, the beginning of opener “Cherokee” begins in what sounds fairly typical for Cat Power — a simple, repeating guitar line, light piano touches and a steady beat — but it becomes clear that this is new territory as Marshall comes in with distorted, direct lyrics: “Never knew love like this.” However pop-oriented the song, with a beautiful synth melody making it sound a bit like ’80s Fleetwood Mac, Marshall’s meanings are still obscured: “Marry me to the sky … bury me upside down.” First single “Ruin” is similarly grabbing, but ultimately strange, unique; it’s piano lines and disco bassline dance up and down a bouncing beat while Marshall sings about various global locales like an indie rock “Kokomo,” but she’s singing about poverty, not vacation or the awesomeness of getting to travel while touring. It’s fun to hear her go pop-rock on “3,6,9,” which bounces along with chanted choruses and even sees Marshall take on the ubiquitous vocoder. Marshall can’t help but become increasingly personal as the album progresses, as live drums interrupt the digital beats of “Manhattan,” which glitters with heartfelt searching; “Silent Machine” returns to the bluesiness of her last few releases, but also has a startling computerized breakdown halfway through; and “Nothin But Time,” a duet with Iggy Pop, makes for the most beautiful, 10-minute Kraftwerkian ballad you’ll hear anywhere. The rock guitars and hip-hop delivery of “Peace and Love,” which closes the album, show Marshall is willing to go just about anywhere with her music if it provides new inspiration for her stirring voice and incisive lyrics; thankfully, on Sun, it nearly always does. She's signing copies of Sun today at 6 p.m. at Amoeba Hollywood for the first 100 people who buy the record!
The Fresh & Onlys Long Slow DanceThe Fresh & Onlys Long Slow Dance
The Fresh & Onlys were are always good, but Long Slow Dance takes the S.F. garage rockers to epic heights, with a newfound clarity to their vocals and straightforwardness of songwriting. “Yes or No” is divine romantic guitar pop, stringing a beautiful upward melody along a chugging backbeat that develops into a swooning chorus. The title track is the kind of campfire-friendly indie pop that bests the Shins at their game. “Presence of Mind” swirls around a picturesque college-rock backdrop but loops in perfect surf-rock riffs and another irresistible chorus. Every song seems to have some “how can that be new” moment, whether it’s a memorable line like “Dream girls don’t know what they’re doing/They go around doing anything they want,” or some elegant guitar riff, or laying out yet another perfect guitar ballad with “Executioner’s Song.” You just don’t want Long Slow Dance to end.

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Fall at the Fillmore Line-Up Announced! Get Your Tickets!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 4, 2012 02:50pm | Post a Comment
With Summer coming to a close and Fall just around the corner, Amoeba Music and San Francisco’s historic music venue The Fillmore are pleased to announce the annual Fall at the Fillmore concert series. The Fillmore presents over 40 amazing shows in September, November, and December, and tickets go on sale Sunday, September 9th!  Get your tickets HERE!

Now get a load of this line-up:

9/19 & 9/20: CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
aimee mann
Aimee Mann

Performing Copper Blue & Silver Age
9/24: SERJ TANKIAN with Viza     
9/25: GZA with Sweet Valley, Killer Mike, Bear Hands 
9/29: AIMEE MANN  
10/1: GROUPLOVE with Alt-J

Back to School with Agent Ribbons' new "Family Haircut" video & Let Them Talk EP

Posted by Kells, September 4, 2012 10:30am | Post a Comment
It's been a minute since we've heard from Agent Ribbons and I am pleased as planter's punch to begin this back-to-school Tuesday with a repeat viewing of their genial music video for "Family Haircut"!

Directed by Melissa Cha and shot in the kind of creepy abandoned schoolhouse that keeps local ghost hunters over-employed, the video meanders in tandem with Natalie and Lauren depicting the duo in variety of dressy attitudes as they camp and vamp casually through broken classrooms ---  like ya do. Accompanied by lushly layered girl-group harmonies sewn over their patent rough-hewn garage rock melodic base, the song's structure seems to hearken back to the band's raucous early days, much in the same way the dark allure of their lyrics always do. Add all that up, pair it with a definitive alabaster brow or two, and you've got a recipe for ardent heartache of the loveliest degree. But you don't need to take my word for it, see for yourself:

"Family Haircut" is the title track from Agent Ribbons' current limited run cassette-only release on the Portland-based Cassingle And Loving It label, not to mention the upcoming September 11th release of their seven-inch teaser Let Them Talk on Antenna Farm records, a harbinger for the Missus Ribbons' upcoming full length LP set to drop in 2013. Now, if you haven't already seen Amoeba Music's exclusive video interview with Agent Ribbons do yourself a pretty favor and check it out by clicking here, you'll also find videos comprising their excellent live show performed at Amoeba's Berkeley store. Can't get enough? Do, then, check out my interview with the Ribbons babes here and my review of their Chateau Crone LP here. Cheers!

p.s. Living in the middle bits? Agent Ribbons could be bringing their live business to a venue near you - get into it! Check out these tour dates middle westerners:

Sep 07 at Bernadette's - Austin, TX
Sep 08 at 502 bar - San Antonio, TX
Sep 15 at Studio B - Corpus Christi, TX
Sep 20 at Mango's - Houston, TX
Sep 22 at Circle Bar - New Orleans, LA
Sep 24 at Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
Oct 03 at Melody Inn - Indianapolis, IN
Oct 04 at South Park Tavern - Dayton, OH
Oct 21 at The Lone Wolf - Brooklyn, NY
Oct 23 at Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
Oct 24 at Vaudeville Mews - Des Moines, IA
Oct 26 at Lemmons - St. Louis, MO

DJ Woody's Excellent New Video Mix Shows His Love of '90's Hip-Hop & Pop Culture

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2012 10:03am | Post a Comment

           Big Phat 90's Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.

DJ Woody  is an amazingly gifted DJ who works in both audio and  video formats - and expertly in each. The UK DJ, who came to fame as an accomplished battle DJ (ITF, DMC, Vestax), not only impressively utilizes the the video scratch/mix format in the hip-hop DJ turntable tradition but this this gifted guy manages to take it  to a whole other next level. This skill he instantly demonstrates in his latest mind-blowing audio/video production above, Big Phat 90's Mixtape which is a pleasing flashback to the highlights (hip-hop and pop culture) of that bygone decade's years with many featured tracks from the first part of the decade - aka the latter half of hip-hop's much heralded Golden Era.

The instantly engaging, brand new, intricately assembled 45-minute, audio visual production is made in "video mixtape" format and, as such, is equally enjoyable to just listen to or watch and listen. Big Phat 90's Mixtape is also the 35 year DJ's salute to his favorite decade: the 1990's - hip-hop and beyond.  Fresh back in the UK from some doing some gigs in Russia over the weekend I caught up with the British talent born Lee Woodbine to ask him a few questions on hip-hop in the 90's,  and also what went into making this impressive video music mix.

Trannyshack: Folsom Weekend Kylie Minogue Tribute, Sept. 21st in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 3, 2012 05:15pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba music is proud to be a sponsor of the Trannyshack salute to the Aussie pop queen Kylietrannyshack kylie minogue Minogue! Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest drag club night, incorporates everything from low brow trash to high brow performance art and has become famous (or infamous) worldwide as the quintessential San Francisco experience.

Join Heklina, DJ MC2, and a host of amazing drag performers on Friday, September 21st at the DNA Lounge for this Minogue fest! Get your tickets HERE!

kylie minogue showgirl

[email protected]: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA Starts Sept. 14th with a John Cage Celebration!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 3, 2012 03:59pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba is proud to be partnering again with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive to present a whole season of [email protected] night programming on Friday nights! This year's schedule has really expanded on the groundwork laid last year with over ten events from September through December!

It all kicks off on Friday, September 14th with a celebration for John Cage's 100th birthday featuring video artist John Sanborn’s PICO (Performance Indeterminate Cage Opera), a sprawling, circus-like environment incorporating multiple aspects of Cage’s work, from Fontana Mix to the Europeras. Get your tickets HERE!

The following weeks will see performances from Devendra Banhart (9/21), The Dodos (9/28), Weekend (10/5), Terry Riley with Tracy Silverman (10/12), and much more throughout the entire Fall season!

The Friday night programs typically begin at 7:30 pm in Gallery B. Doors open at 5pm with DJs in the lobby or Gallery B at 6:30pm. Admission is $7; free for BAM/PFA members and Cal students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available exclusively to members, students, faculty, and staff until one week before each event, at which time tickets go on sale to the general public. If a show is sold out, rush tickets may be available at the door beginning at 8pm.

Pop Cultural Feminist Icons and Why I Really Don't Like Wonder Woman

Posted by Charles Reece, September 2, 2012 11:48pm | Post a Comment

My interest in Wonder Woman has always been lukewarm, with a back issue collection ranging somewhere between Dazzler and She-Hulk. This essay was the result of an invite from Noah Berlatsky over at the Hooded Utilitarian who's currently working on a book devoted to William Marston and Harry Peter's Golden Age run on Wonder Woman (they created the character). Noah had blogged his way through every issue of the comic, and was celebrating with a roundtable on the final issue (#28). Since it was clear that I pretty much loathed Marston's ideas, Noah figured it would be fun to get a negative take, and the following was what I delivered. At one time, the bondage theme had led me to try a volume from the DC Archive editions, but the mind-numbing repetition of  “oh, you’ve bound my bracelets” and “now, I have you tied up with my lasso” only proved what I thought impossible: how meek and boring sadomasochism could be. I imagine what Suehiro Maruo might do with the character -- questionable as feminism, true, but free of tedium. This is a roundabout way of saying I prefer my feminist icons with teeth. And Marston wasn’t interested in artistic ambiguity, but propaganda:

[That w]omen are exciting for this one reason — it is the secret of women’s allure — women enjoy submission, being bound [was] the only truly great contribution of my Wonder Woman strip to the moral education of the young. The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound. … Only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for a stable, peaceful human society. [quote from p. 210, Jones]

Submission as an essential quality of womanhood might sound dubiously feminist, too, if not for Marston’s insistence that what is woman’s by nature should be a virtue for man to follow. There was no Sadean intent for us perverts. Submission was Marston’s end to violence, not a subset. When moralizing critics of his day objected to the overtly fetishistic nature of Wonder Woman, Marston’s response was that bondage is a painless way of showing the hero under duress. Unfortunately, he was correct: his and Peter’s depiction is about as troublingly kinky as the traps laid for Batman in his sixties TV show. As issue 28 indicates, even the villains use physical force only to subdue the heroines, never for torture: When Princess Diana and her mom are bound by burning chains, Eviless makes it clear that the flames don’t actually burn. [p. 20] As fetish or drama, this is about as flaccid as it gets.

September 2, 2012: Premium Rush

Posted by phil blankenship, September 2, 2012 09:42pm | Post a Comment

Recap: September Charity Auction

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2012 07:33pm | Post a Comment

Doctors Without BordersOn Saturday, September 1, 2012 we had a command performance from our good friend, mister funny Jason Boggs, as our guest auctioneer! Though the store was pretty quiet due to the weather and FYF Fest, Jason came out of the gate with the quips and the patter and started off the bidding with a signed Sarah Silverman DVD box set (from her recent signing) and that went for $20 BUCKS. And we were off...

The rest of the highlights were:

  • Coffee cup and Brew Coffee gift certificate - $10.00
  • DJ Lance Rock figure and Amoeba VIP in-store pass - $15.00
  • FYF Fest passes - $35.00 (such a deal)
  • Trader Joe's gift certificate and Star Trek lunchbox - $48.00
  • Animal Collective at the Hollywood Bowl tickets - $45.00
  • Record Store Day grab bag and Marilyn Monroe cup - $35.00
  • Wilco tickets - $45.00
  • Smashing Pumpkins signed canvas and Smog messenger bag - $65.00 (!!!)

All together, Jason was able to inspire the people to bid and we raised $320.00 for Doctors Without Borders - which when doubled is $640.00 - going to a very worthy organization which continues to do amazing work. Another successful auction Saturday at Amoeba Hollywood.

September 2, 2012: The Day

Posted by phil blankenship, September 2, 2012 04:41pm | Post a Comment

September 2, 2012: Compliance

Posted by phil blankenship, September 2, 2012 12:39pm | Post a Comment

Hiero Day Shows Love For Oakland By Keeping It In "The Town"

Posted by Billyjam, September 1, 2012 07:48am | Post a Comment
It is only fitting that the setting for this Monday's (Labor Day) Hiero Day 2012 will be Oakland, CA. After all "The Town" (Oakland) is where the members of the globally respected, two-decade strong, hip-hop collective The Hieroglyphics came up in and, more importantly, stayed in. "We are lovers and supporters of our hometown. We have never left it, and have built a business empire that has hired many over the years. It is only right that we celebrate the positive in our own community as a form of tribute and to give back to a place that has nurtured and supported us," event organizer Tajai Massey of Clear Label Media Group Hieroglyphics Enterprises told the Amoeblog.

Massey is perhaps better known to most hip-hop fans simply as Tajai of the mighty Souls of Mischief crew who over the years, along with such fellow Hiero members as Casual, Del The Funky Homosapien, Pep Love,  Domino, Extra Prolific, and DJ Toure,  helped build the Hieroglyphics into an internationally recognizable and respected contemporary cultural entity. Indeed travel to any corner of the globe and odds are folks will instantly identify the Hiero's famous logo that was designed over 20 years ago by Del The Funky Homosapien.

Unfortunately due to his ongoing Deltron 3030 tour date commitments it seems like Del may not be able to make it on Monday for Hiero Day but (fingers crossed) reportedly there is a slim chance he may be able to make it. Regardless all of his other Hiero brethren will be there Labor Day in Downtown Oakland for Hiero Day which goes from 11am to 6pm and happens on San Pablo Ave. between 17th + 18th Streets (near the New Parish). "Members of Hieroglyphics performing Monday will include Opio, DJ Toure, A-Plus, Tajai, Pep Love, Casual, and Souls of Mischief," said  Walasia Al-Noor Shabazz - the General Manager at the Hieros' Clear Label Media company. And in addition to the Hieroglyphics first family of hip-hop there will be some of the very best of the Bay Area on stage too including Blackalicious, Planet Asia (technically from Fresno), Equipto, Moe Green, and Z-Man (who is still an honorary member of the Hiero camp since he put out a release via the Hieros a few years ago). Also performing will be the Kev Choice Ensemble and Honor Roll, plus DJ D Sharp.