Amoeblog

New Amoeba Presents Show: The Growlers, Plus Amoeba Presents Revenge of the 80s

Posted by Billy Gil, November 30, 2012 10:49am | Post a Comment

Amoeba has been teaming with Goldenvoice to present some shows in Los Angeles, and the latest is one I’m pretty excited about: locally bred garage-rockers The Growlers are playing The Fonda Theatre Dec. 28. The band’s following has been steadily growing, following the release of two great, ramshackle records that strew together garage, surf and psych influences into a sound dubbed “beach goth.” They have a new album due in early 2013 called Hung at Heart. They’re joined on this date by another local band I love called Dirt Dress, a similarly surf-influenced band with more of a post-punk bent, as frontman Noah’s vocals are reminiscent of Talking HeadsDavid Byrne, while the band’s uneasy, angular way with a surf-rock track is anything but typical. Also appearing are The Abigails, who mine classic outlaw country for their analog-soaked lo-fi sound, as well as Sam Flax, whose sound is a blast of psyched out new wave-influenced lo-fi pop — this guy is seriously good, seek his stuff out.

 

Tickets for the show are $19, plus a $2 service fee. The show starts at 9:00 p.m., doors are at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are general admission, and it’s all-ages.

Tickets are limited to quantities on hand, until they sell out. Amoeba stops selling tickets for a show at 5 p.m. on the day of that show. Please call the store at 323-245-6400 for current availability or to purchase/hold.

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Rest In Peace Austin Peralta

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

As with everyone whose lives have been touched by Austin Peralta - the gifted young LA jazz pianist / composer whose sudden death last week shocked everyone who knew him - we here at Amoeba Music are similarly saddened greatly by this tragic news of the loss of our good friend who played at the Hollywood Amoeba just a few short months ago.

Austin is gone way too soon. But despite his young age, the talented artist had accomplished an incredible amount in his all too short time on this earth. He was only 15 years of age when he recorded and released his debut album of mostly jazz standards Maiden Voyage (on Sony/Japan) with respected jazz sidemen Billy Kilson (drums) and Ron Carter (bass). Then at age 16 the young jazz artist recorded another acclaimed album, Mantra for Sony/Japan, with respected seasoned jazz musicians Steve Nelson (vibraphone) and Buster Williams (bass).

Peralta, the son of skateboarder and film director Stacy Peralta, proved to be a tireless performer (check out this link to hundreds of YouTube clips) and recording artist. Two years ago he recorded his most attention getting album (Stateside) Endless Planets which was released by Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint back in March of 2011. Six months ago Ireland's All City Records released his Views of Saturn Vol. 2 - a shared vinyl-only 12" release with the late great Sun Ra who inspired the record. It was four months ago when Austin stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to perform as part of our Brainfeeder series  (picture above was taken at that Amoeba in-store in July). A week ago on November 22nd just four weeks after his 22nd birthday Peralta died - the result of as yet unknown causes. At this sad time our thoughts here at Amoeba are with his family, friends, and fans. Rest in peace Austin Peralta.


Fantasizing About Lottery Millions Is Next Best Thing To Winning (Dolla, Dolla, Bill Y'all)

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2012 05:04pm | Post a Comment

Abba "Money Money Money"

Waiting patiently in line yesterday afternoon behind a half dozen other dreamers at a downtown Manhattan 7/11 to buy a $2 Powerball lottery ticket for my (very slim) chance to win last night's jackpot drawing of a record $588 million, I fully understood that my chances of winning were almost zero. In fact with the odds of winning at an estimated 175 million to one, I stood a much better chance of been invited by Lil Wayne to make a rap cameo on his next (and final) album than my randomly drawn numbers coming up in last night's Powerball lottery drawing. But even armed with all of this knowledge, like millions of others across America - with that refrain "you got to be in it to win it" echoing in my head, I happily forked over money for a lottery ticket.

Yes even though I fully knew I didn't stand a snowball's chance of being a winner (two people were: one in Arizona and another in Missouri) for those few hours between when I bought my ticket and when the winning numbers were announced I had an opportunity to mentally bathe in fantasies of what I might do with my nearly six hundred million dollars (or $385 million after tax as I reminded myself). For a few escapist moments I imagined what and who I might spend all my easily earned money on and started thinking about all the songs along those lines like the Barenaked Ladies' "If I had $1000000" in which they sang "I’d buy you a house" and "I'd buy you an exotic pet like a llama or an emu" or "a monkey."
 

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Weekly Roundup: Julia Holter, Flying Lotus, Pacific Air, Allah-Las, Spaceships

Posted by Billy Gil, November 29, 2012 02:36pm | Post a Comment

Julia Holter – “Gold Dust Woman”

Julia Holter, who put out this year’s excellent Ekstasis album, sure to be on my top albums of the year list, has contributed a track to Rumours revisited, a Fleetwood Mac cover album (not to be confused with this one, also released this year) with current artists taking on songs from that iconic album. The album, put out with the current Mojo magazine, also includes tracks by Liars, Yeasayer and the Besnard Lakes. (What are the Besnard Lakes up to, anyway? I love those guys.) This cover remains faithful to the original by maintaining and amplifying the scary space in Stevie Nicks’ version, though Holter’s delivery is more slightly detached than Nicks’ sultry vocal. Still, it’s on the warmer end of Holter’s songs, which can range from icy and otherworldly to coy, playful art-pop. Anyone remember the Hole cover of this song (for The Crow 2 soundtrack!) where she messes up the lyric and goes “one less challeoonge” all crazy? Loved that. Find Mojo at Amoeba Hollywood. (See photos of Julia Holter's performance live at Amoeba Hollywood.)

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Ten Days of Savings! Special 10% Off Sale at Amoeba SF & Berkeley: 12/1 - 12/10

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 29, 2012 11:59am | Post a Comment

The Bay Area Amoeba stores are heating up your holiday shopping experience this winter with a special storewide sale! EVERYTHING will be 10% off at Amoeba San Francisco and Berkeley for the first ten days of December!

That's right! From December 1st through 10th, take 10% off everything in our Bay Area stores. That's ten straight days of savings in a row!

(Cannot be combined with any other discounts.)

 

Creator of Amoeba Window Display Art Discusses His Creations

Posted by Billy Gil, November 28, 2012 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Graham Moore is a graphic designer, teacher at FIDM, Art Center and Woodbury University, and artist. He said he visits Amoeba Hollywood weekly to purchase bargain bin vinyl for his art, which involves collage technique to reconfigure old LP covers — some famous, some forgotten — into the creations currently seen hanging in the Ivar St. window of Amoeba Hollywood. I spoke with Moore a bit about how he creates his pieces.

The Beatles' Abbey Road reimagined

PST: Did you find all the records you used at Amoeba? Were you looking for specific titles or was it more about the way they looked? What records did you end up using?

Moore: I would say that a good portion of them came from Amoeba (hurrah for the $1 vinyl sections), but I am also constantly scouring thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales, swap meets, etc. and even have friends find stuff for me when they are traveling or working in different parts of the country! I never look for specific titles, it’s more about the colors, shapes, textures and typography and having a vision as to how I can re-interpret the imagery!

PST: Tell me about the process you use to alter the covers.

Moore: My process is employing techniques that I use and teach in my design classes, techniques I learnt in art school applying the basic elements and principles of design and the technique of collage! My design guidelines are making my collages fit a square format, which ties in with the formats of vinyl packaging.

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Super Weekend Sale Plus Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood, 12/8

Posted by Amoebite, November 28, 2012 05:23pm | Post a Comment

audiotechnicaink'd earbuds

On Saturday, December 8thall Amoeba locations will hold a sale with 20% off all turntables (plus get a $10 coupon and goodie bag with your turntable purchase), 20% off all T-shirts and 20% off all headphones! It's the perfect chance to stock up on your holiday gifts, and save some cash while you're doing it.

And get this! Amoeba Berkeley is EXTENDING their sale into Sunday as well! So save big at Amoeba Berkeley all weekend long!

 

Sidewalk saleAlso on December 8th, Amoeba Hollywood is having a Sidewalk Sale from noon-5 p.m. Check out the great deals on CDs, DVD box sets, vinyl and more right outside the store on Sunset Blvd.

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

 

Amoeba Sidewalk Sale

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics

Posted by Rachael McGovern, November 28, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment

The ever-busy producer, songwriter, and filmmaker Dave Stewart visited Amoeba Hollywood recently for an episode of What's In My Bag?. I was most familiar with him because of his work in the Eurythmics and his recent project, SuperHeavy, featuring the unlikely combination of Mick Jagger, Indian film composer A.R. Rahman, British soul singer Joss Stone, reggae artist Damian Marley and himself. What I didn't know about Stewart was his extensive history producing albums for other artists, including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Neville Brothers, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bryan Ferry and many more. In fact, he won a Brit Award in 1986 for Best Producer.

During our shoot, he told a few stories about his experiences filming with R.L. Burnside for his 1991 documentary Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads; Mick Jagger being "Mick Jagger on stage" even in the recording studio; and the genesis for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

Watch our episode with Dave Stewart below and see his full list of picks.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #10: Yo Gabba Gabba! Live, Dinosaur Jr., Prop Anon/Outernational Live to D.I.Y. + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2012 11:36am | Post a Comment

For visitors to New York City with a limited time to explore the city that never sleeps (and neither should you if you only have a few days here) is at the Grand Central Terminal I Love NY Tourism booth in the main concourse area where you can get lots of info not just on this historic rail terminal (where they have 35 different eateries and six and a half dozen stores including the recommended MTA store) and on NYC in general, including such spots as the nearby New York Public Library Main Branch, Empire State Building, and the constantly-changing Bryant Park.

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog series on music and other entertainment and happenings in the Big Apple for both visitors and residents of New York.  As we head out of the post-Sandy devastation and further into the holiday period, things are looking really good here in New York with a lot of shows coming up in the week ahead as outlined below.
 


Brooklyn based Outernational's new video "Empty Lives" (2012)

Under the fitting show title of Live to D.I.Y. is killer lineup at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Thursday (11/29) featuring the super-talented, politically outspoken artists Prop Anon (a.k.a. Propaganda Anonymous, who has built a career out of attacking the social injustices in New York City housing, among other social inequalities), conscious rapper Mike Ladd, Rebelmatic, and hometown heroes Outernational (whose attacks on immigration in particular have won them a strong following and who have been written about here on the Amoeblog). Also on this talent-packed bill are Beans (of Anti-Pop Consortium fame), Sarcasmo, and Undeniable. The theme of the show, says Prop Anon, is "Elevation. Every artist on the bill seeks to elevate people's mind states; whether it be politically, aesthetically, or energetically. Thursday's show will elevate people."

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Amoeba Presents Alec Byrne Rock Photography Exhibition in Los Angeles Dec. 1

Posted by Amoebite, November 27, 2012 05:17pm | Post a Comment

Photographer Alec Byrne has been covering rock music since 1960s London, starting when he was just 17 years old. Over the next 10 years, he photographed everyone from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, David Bowie, and Mott the Hoople. Bryne's archive of 50,000 images has mostly been in storage for the last 40 years and has never been seen by the public. You can view some of these amazing photographs and meet the photographer himself one night only, December 1, at Smashbox Studios in Culver City. Admission is free and you can RSVP here.

Amoeba is proud to sponsor this incredible event, along with LA Weekly, Uber ARCHIVES, KCRW, Smashbox Studios, and BowHaus.

What: Alec Byrne: Rock & Roll Time Capsule
Where: Smashbox Studios, Culver City, CA
When: Saturday, December 1 7-10pm
Cost: Free

A pre-sale for limited edition archival quality prints will begin December 1, but you can buy limited edition show catalogs and lithographs online now.

Find out more about this one-night only exhibition.

Alec Byrne Rock & Roll Time Capsule

Bay Area Bands Plan Benefit for Sandy Devastated Norton Records

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2012 09:12am | Post a Comment
     

As reported here on the October 31st New York State of Mind Amoeblog NYC indie record label Norton Records was among the hard hit victims of Superstorm Sandy and at that time were reaching out to folks in the immediate area to help out in their recovery. The beloved label's Brooklyn warehouse suffered what they described in the days following the storm as "devastating destruction" (see the video by Dust & Grooves above to get an idea) from Hurricane Sandy that they sadly reported "destroyed most of Norton's catalog stock."  The revered record label, that celebrated its 25th anniversary this time last year when they revived the career of Dave "Baby" Cortez. boasts a rich and extensive catalog with lots of great  obscurities and a list of diverse artists that includes Esquerita, Charlie Feathers, Figures of Light, Flat Duo Jets, Rudy Ray Moore, Doug Sahm, Gene Vincent, Gino Washington, Andre Williams, Link Wray, and Roy Loney.

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Albums Out 11/27: Raime, Wu-Block, Alicia Keys

Posted by Billy Gil, November 26, 2012 06:45pm | Post a Comment

Albums out Nov. 27:

 

Raime – Quarter Turns Over a Living Line

Raime Quarter Turns Over a Living LineLP $29.98

Dubstep has been an intriguing if polarizing new genre thus far, at some point encompassing artists as disparate as Skrillex and Andy Stott, much in the same way a new, seemingly precise but ultimately nebulous genre like emo or grime ended up describing very different music. If Raime are dubstep, they’re the murky bottom of its pit. Songs like “Soils and Coils” offer little in the way of humanity or respite from the brutality of its funeral-march beats and stark, alien sounds. Which means it’s one of my favorite things from the genre I’ve heard yet. Anyone with a taste for bleakness should check this out.

 

 

Wu-Block – Wu-Block

Wu-BlockCD $14.98

Wu-Tang Clan and The Lox team for a hip-hop superstar collaboration, featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, GZA, Masta Killah, Jadakiss and Styles P.

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The Big Bang Theory of Jazz - Louis Armstrong Arrives

Posted by Sherwin Dunner, November 26, 2012 05:15pm | Post a Comment

In what might be dubbed the Big Bang Theory of Jazz, the world began in April 1923 when King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band with Louis Armstrong in tow stepped into the Gennett Recording studio and cut nine sides. The Oliver band had been knocking 'em dead for several months in nearby Chicago at the cavernous South Side dance hall Lincoln Gardens, and these recordings would become the gold standard for early New Orleans jazz. Even more significant for the future of jazz, although Louis would play his first recorded solos on these sessions, he would soon outgrow the limited space for him in such ensembles of collective improvisation. He just wanted to cut loose and blow, and as people heard him and his fame grew, he would evolve into the first star of jazz and almost single-handedly transform jazz from a dance music to that of improvising solo performance.

You can witness what Louis had become by 1933 in the first Louis on film – that year he was captured in a live performance on a Copenhagen concert stage – no Hollywood gimmicks or studio post-dubbing of music. And you can explore that transformation in Amoeba's new Vinyl Vault.  In honor of, and as tribute to Louis, we have added digital files of virtually all of Louis' early records from 1923 to 1928, remastered directly from the cleanest original 78s available. So have fun exploring the Louis Armstrong archive in Amoeba's Vinyl Vault.
 

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (April 1923 to December 1923)

When I first started collecting 78s, I avoided early “pre-electric” discs because the sound was a bit distant and thin compared to the electric process, which was still a few years off in the future, and I passed up many of these 1923 King Oliver Gennetts. Now I look back on my screwed up priorities and feel it was akin to throwing away a hundred dollar bill because it was too wrinkled. Musically, if not sonically, these early King Oliver Gennetts still hold up as some of the most exuberant discs ever recorded. Every player attacked the thread of melody at once, each adding fuel to the fire without getting in each other's way – never mind that you're not a jazz fan, and don't confuse these recordings with later derivative white revival “dixieland” (or “dorksieland” as some of my friends call it).  Early jazz was first and foremost dance music, the rock 'n' roll of its day, and New Orleans style was loud, brash, rock solid dance music, activating hormones and posing the same kind of threat to middle America that rock 'n' roll would in the 1950s. Check out this1925 headline from a Cincinnati newspaper zeroing in on the insidious influence of jazz.

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Amoeba Thanks Abbot Kinney First Fridays Retailers

Posted by Amoebite, November 26, 2012 03:02pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music participated in Abbot Kinney First Fridays in Venice Nov. 2, handing out flyers with discounts at various retailers. We’d like to thank those retailers for participating in the promotion. Check ’em out!

 

LF Abbot KinneyLF Abbot Kinney
1312 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KoluKolu Clothing
1653 Abbot Kinney Bl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

primitivo wine bistroPrimitivo Wine Bistro
1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local 1205Local 1205
1205 Abbot Kinney Bl.

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Cyber Monday World Music Picks of 2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 26, 2012 06:13am | Post a Comment

Today (Monday, November 26th, 2012), Amoeba.com is offering 20% off all purchases along with free shipping for Cyber Monday. Here is your chance to take advantage of the discount offered to expand your horizons. Today, we feature the hipster bar room vallenato of Very Be Careful and the lush anthem rock of Mexico’s greatest rock band, Café Tacuba. Check out Brazil’s equivalent of Sly Stone, Tim Maia. Also recently released is Latin Jazz legend Poncho Sanchez’s Live In Hollywood and African reissues from Tunji Oyelana and Super Biton De Segou.

Perhaps you want to take a chance at the incredible "indigenous meets futuristic beats" of The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires? How about Jukebox Mambo, a collection of Latin inspired R&B from the '50s and '60s? What to try some Funk and Boogie from the country of Surinam, a former Dutch colony located in northern South America?

These are a few of my picks but the choices are endless at Amoeba.com




Out Now

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November 25, 2012: Cloud Atlas

Posted by phil blankenship, November 25, 2012 06:23pm | Post a Comment

Piko Piko - A look at Picopop on the 34th birthday of Yellow Magic Orchestra's debut

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 25, 2012 12:44pm | Post a Comment

Back in 1978, on 25 November, pioneering Japanese group, Yellow Magic Orchestra released their influential, eponymous, debut full-length. The album and group are widely credited with being very influential on the development of several music genres, including ambient, chiptune, electrohip hop, house, J-pop, synthpop, and techno, to name a few. 





The band (also known as YMO) were also on influence on another Japanese scene that emerged around the dawn of the 21st Century, picopop (or ピコポップ). Bands and performers such as EeL, Hi-Posi, Motocompo, Plus-tech Squeeze Box, Sonic Coaster Pop, and Strawberry Machine updated the shibuya-kei (渋谷系) style popularized in the 1990s by Cibo MattoCorneliusFlipper's Guitar, Pizzicato Five, and Original Love by adding some good, old fashioned, electro elements with a sensibility that often recalls YMO.


 
Capsule in shibuya-kei mode --> Capsule in picopop mode

Shibuya-kei had initially drawn largely on bossa novajazz, lounge, and yé-yé. In the late 1990s and early 2000s it began to evolve into "picopop" for for the "piko" sounds of classic game sound effects and scores.  Some acts, like Capsule (カプセル), began their careers making shibuya-kei before thoroughly transitioning into picopop. Others, like Yukari Fresh Colorful System, combine elements of both closely associated scenes.


  

Usagi Chang (Little Bunny) Records is the label most associated with pico pop although Motocompo's Shibuya-based label, Poplot and Columbia Nippon's J-Pop branch, Heat Wave, also released popular picopop albums. In the past few years, abcdefg* have released (and re-released) picopop recordings.

The amount of electro elements vary from performer to performer and often song to song. Perhaps the sometimes ridiculously twee, kawaii, visual aspect is almost as important as the music. Judge for yourself by sampling the following picopop videos and happy birthday Yellow Magic Orchestra!

Plus-Tech Squeeze Box




Capsule


Cubismo Grafico


The Aprils


Macdonald Duck Eclair


Hazel Nuts Chocolate


Omodaka



Strawberry Machine 



Hi-Posi



Motocompo



Sucrette



naivepop or petitfool



YMCK



Laugh &
 Peace



Marino


Other artists to check out for those so inclined include: ColtemonikhaMisswonda, EeLSonic Coast PopNagisa Cosmetic, and Copter4016882. Ja!

Update: In 2013 American singer from San Gabriel, Joanna Wang, released an album (Galaxy Crisis: The Strangest Midnight Broadcast) that marks a stylistic shift into Picopop -- probably one of the first Americans to work in the genre.




*****

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11.23.12: Too $hort & E-40, 9th Wonder & Buckshot, RZA + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 24, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:23:12

1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City  (Aftermath)

2) E40 & Too $hort  History: Function Music (Heavy On The Grind)

3) 9th Wonder & Buckshot The Solution (Duck Down Records)

4) E40 & Too $hort History: Mob Music (Heavy On The Grindl)

5) RZA The Man With The Iron Fists Score (Soul Temple Entertainment)

If you have not already been over to Amoeba Music (Hollywood, Berkeley, or San Francisco) this Black Friday weekend (through Sunday 25th) be sure to do so to avail of the many great deals and bargains like turntables on sale, the exclusive Black Friday RSD releases, and all of the releases on this latest hip-hop chart from the San Francisco Amoeba store.  These include Kendrick Lamar's phenomenally popular Good Kid M.A.A.D City which is selling equally well in its DeLuxe CD format (bonus tracks) of the Dr. Dre presented release on Aftermath that has put Compton back on the music map. Meanwhile across the country in NYC Duck Down Records, who have had both a very prolific and successful year to date, are back in the charts again this week with the 9th Wonder and Buckshot collaboration that finds the producer and emcee as the perfect match. The 12 track album includes a couple of guest spots on two different tracks: "You" with Dyme-A-Duzin, and "Shorty Left" with a nice feature from North Carolina female rapper Rapsody who is signed to Wonder's label.  Scroll down below to see the video for this track.

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The Late, Great Larry Hagman

Posted by Charles Reece, November 24, 2012 09:32am | Post a Comment

One of the more fascinating shows about gender politics from the 60s, I Dream of Jeannie. In this episode, Tony (Larry Hagman) basically prevents Roger from raping Dr. Bellows' wife by molesting her himself in a closet. And he blames it all on Jeannie, making her stay in the bottle! J.R. isn't the biggest cretin Hagman ever played. He died yesterday.

Shopping for Black Flag, Black Sheep, and Black Sabbath on Black Friday

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2012 07:35am | Post a Comment
1) Black Flag       

2) Black Sheep

3) Black Sabbath

4) Black 47

5) Black Grape

6) Black Bug

7) Black Madonna


Inspired by the wonderful Black Friday appropriation of Black Flag's famous logo (above left) I started thinking that, in addition to all of the great exclusive releases issued for this Black Friday Record Store Day that you will find today and over this Black Friday weekend at Amoeba (through Sunday Nov 25), while in one of the three Amoeba stores look out for some of the numerous other bands/artists whose names begin with the word Black because there are a lot of talented artists in that category that span different genres. Along with the punk legends Black Flag (whose T-shirts as well as music you will find in the new Amoeba Hollywood Punk Section) these include hard rock pioneers Black Sabbath * (check for such other Sabbath items as their Sabbath Bloody Sabbath poster), and golden era hip-hop trailblazers Black Sheep. - especially their albums Non Fiction and Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.  Then there's the Irish tinged rockers Black 47 whose Home of the Brave is not half bad, 90's UK rock group Black Grape featuring former members of Happy Mondays, Black Bug who released the 7" "Shard of Glass" / "Police Helicopter" on Hozac Records last year, and Black Madonna who released the 12" "Alright This Morning" a month ago. And of course at Amoeba you could also pick up Steely Dan's album Katy Lied with the opening track "Black Friday."

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November 22, 2012: Silver Linings Playbook

Posted by phil blankenship, November 22, 2012 01:30pm | Post a Comment

Weekly Roundup: Kowloon Walled City, Incan Abraham, Jessica Pratt

Posted by Billy Gil, November 22, 2012 01:14pm | Post a Comment

Kowloon Walled City – “Container Ships”

Kowloon Walled City

I can read about megastructures, proposed and existing, and other urban oddities for hours. Yemen’s Shibam, King Abdullah Economic City, the Burj Khalifa and the Ultima Tower have taken up significant amounts of my time. These San Franciscans go a step further by naming their band, album and its flagship song after such things — Kowloon Walled City has a long and fascinating history as a densely populated continuous cluster of buildings in Hong Kong evicted and demolished after years of lawlessness. It’s a perfect name for a post-rock-style outfit, coming from a genre that seems to relish in the wonders and horrors of real life, compared with say the fantastical nature of black metal. “Container Ships,” from their album of the same name, due Dec. 4 on Brutal Panda, creates a grounding out of croaking fuzz and seems to shoot out from the ground like said structures in bursts of ugly yet contained noise. It does sort of feel like driving down the 710 and failing to exit the freeway before arriving in the Los Angeles harbor and being surrounded by these alien and massive ships carrying loads of seemingly pointless cargo, like grotesque tumors of excess — but in musical form. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Giving Thanks For Music

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment
Between celebrating today's Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones I take a break to give thanks to all the great music in my life; for if it were not for that music my life to date would be a whole lot emptier. Come think of it my home would be a hell of a lot emptier too since it is packed (literally) with a life filled with record, tape, and CD collecting. But regardless of the square footage my physical music collection may take up I am so grateful to have had all this music in my life that has helped get through the bad times, and enhanced the good times. And so for this Thanksgiving blog I want to play a few loosely themed give thanks to music songs/videos - all on the classic soul/funk tip - below and all available at Amoeba. See you tomorrow, Saturday, or Sunday at one of the three Amoeba stores - Hollywood, Berkeley, San Francisco - for this special Thanksgiving Record Store Day / Black Friday Weekend @ Amoeba 11/23 - 11/25. Thank-you!


Sam & Dave "I Thank You"


The O'Jays "I Love Music"


Sly & The Family Stone "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #9: Macy's Parade, 12-12-12, Buckyball, Tracy Morgan, John Cage, Madison Square Park, Rev Billy +

Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2012 02:08pm | Post a Comment

Now in week four of Superstorm Sandy recovery mode New York City takes another major stride in its return to normalcy by making a significant statement this week that things are well on their way to getting back on track with the big 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade all set and ready to go this week. Since this past weekend, when I took the photo above from the Herald Square front of the the world's largest department store (well until 2009 when the South Korean chain Shinsegae opened an even larger store) Macy's parade organizers had everything in place - much to the approval of the business minded Mayor Bloomberg who knows the bottom line dollar value of such tourist attractions for his city that will attract an estimated 3 million sightseers along its route.

Expect to hear many references to Sandy and the resilience of its victims during Thursday's big parade TV broadcast that an estimated 50 million will watch. If you are in NYC on Thanksgiving Day the parade starts at 9am in the Upper West Side at 77th Street by Central Park West and heads down to Columbus Circle, then left onto Central Park South, right on Sixth Ave and down to Herald Square by Macy's. This year’s performers and celebrities will include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trace Adkins, Big Apple Circus, Chica and the crew from Sprout, Colbie Caillat, Rachel Crow Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, Karmin, Kidz Bop, Mannheim Steamroller, Miss USA 2012 – Olivia Culpo; the Muppets and cast of Sesame Street, The Wanted and many more. More guests and general parade info here.

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Show Report: Lord Huron at Amoeba Hollywood; Tame Impala at the El Rey

Posted by Billy Gil, November 20, 2012 08:12pm | Post a Comment

Western-themed rockers dressed for the part Lord Huron began their set Nov. 19 at Amoeba Hollywood with “Ends of the Earth,” the opener of Lonesome Dreams, the band’s recently released debut record. The fact that the band brought the bongos that appear on the song to the crowded stage shows what detail means for the band, who didn’t skimp on additional instrumentation beyond the typical guitars-and-drums setup. That attention paid off, as Ben Schneider and his band’s music was nicely layered without sounding cluttered. The set made the most of the band’s five-man makeup, utilizing starry guitar lines and soaring harmonies to great effect. The band turned in a splashier version of “I Will Be Back One Day,” rocking out a bit harder while making the vocals less of a priority. The sound of ocean opened to the galloping rhythm of “Time to Run,” a clear crowd favorite. “The Man Who Lives Forever” proved the band’s most impressive song live, beautifully syncopated and stuffed with gorgeous guitar work, complete with slide guitar and harmonic playing. It was amazing to hear what they could accomplish with just a handful of guitars, echoing the sounds of banjo, southern rock and Eastern-influenced tonality. See more photos of the show here. Read my interview with Schneider here.

Friday I caught Tame Impala at The El Rey Theatre. I’ve been sick for over a week with a stupid head cold that makes my eyes start to shut around 10 p.m., but I was determined to see my favorite current band — and El Rey shows end early. The first thing I noticed was that the show was packed, and not entirely with your garden-variety hipsters. Older folks and lots of BROS. But like, cool, sensitive ones. Cause Tame Impala have left their Australian lily pad of coolness with their latest album, Lonerism, which has garnered the band great widespread acclaim and support from Pitchfork, KCRW and the like. So they upgrade to The El Rey from The Echo, where I think they played the last time they were in these parts.

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Nature's a language, can't you read? -- Seasons in the Southland

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 20, 2012 03:45pm | Post a Comment
A FEW GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT ANGELENOS

While I caution anyone attempting to make generalizations about a group as diverse and large as the 13 million or so people known as “Angelenos,” I have nonetheless made a couple of observations about a much smaller subsection, my Los Angeles friends, that I have to assume share more widely-held views with Angelenos with whom I'm not personally acquainted. Just one example; as far as I can tell, only in Los Angeles do people say things like “only in LA” about things that happen pritnear everywhere.

In this entry I'd like to address and reflect upon another completely nonsensical but widely held view – that Los Angeles (and presumably at least the entire Southland and possibly all of SoCal) has no seasons or weather.


Los Angeles's The Byrds weighing in on seasons...


IN ONE CORNER -- THE SPOILED BABIES


As far as most people are concerned, temperatures in Los Angeles are usually quite pleasant. The daytime average is 24 °C (75 °F). The warmest days rarely exceed 32 °C (90 °F) and rarely dip below 15°C (59 °F). When temperatures deviate from this narrow comfort zone, legions of thoroughly-spoiled (and acclimated) complainers express their indignation on various social media and to their friends. As someone who has truly suffered through 48 °C (118 °F) heat and -42 °C (-44 °F) I have little sympathy for our weather whiners -- we have it so easy!



IN THE OTHER CORNER -- THE BLIND HATERS 


The other camp express the exact opposite opinion. They complain about the lack of seasons and weather (to which they are seemingly either willfully blind and/or ecologically monolingual). When it’s hot in November, for example, they typically post things on Facebook like “Really LA? 85 degrees in November?! I’m so over this city!” They're continually threatening to relocate (or move back) to London, New York, Portland, or San Francisco but never seem to leave Los Angeles, instead remaining and inflicting complaints upon their friends year after pleasant year. This group whiners concerns me even more than the former because it's a bit like a monolinguist dismissing all languages other than theirs as meaningless noises. Both groups of fools need to get wise...



TIME OF THE SEASON 


Image from Matt Jaffe


There are all kinds of indicators of seasons to those with open eyes, ears, minds, mouths and noses. What vegetables are at the farmers' market, what sort of parties are happening, what type of movies are in theaters, what people are wearing, &c. There are also, of course, meteorological indicators but many people are maddeningly unable to recognize them.

When I moved to Los Angeles, I was often asked by friends back home if I “missed having seasons.” Sure, I miss breezy, cool spring days with flowers popping up through the fragrant, soggy, thawing soil and swimming in the just-thawed pond. I even miss sticky, sweltering summer nights spent drinking on a porch with a fan in the window and watching fireflies and heat lightning – and swatting mosquitoes. I miss the Rivendell-vibe of Autumn twilights, when cool winds carry dead leaves and the comforting smell of fireplaces -- perhaps following a visit to an apple orchard. I even miss the brittle, arctic chill of icy winters when I used to take deep breaths, play hockey, go camping, and go ice diving. Despite all of that and the fact that I rarely experience anything similar in Los Angeles, I don’t miss seasons. Mainly because I still have them. For that matter, everyone in every climate on Earth does. 


LEARNING TO READ 


When people visit California for the first time (including yours truly), they often remark with surprise that it’s a desert. The popular tropical icons of the region – palm trees – suggested to me that it would be more like the city in Florida where I briefly lived than the town in Languedoc where I did for an even shorter period. I was pleasantly surprised, mind you, by this surprise.

I had no interest in living in the glamorous, celebrity-obsessed, semi-tropical (or alternately gang-plagued war zone) that I’d seen depicted in film after film. I was pleasantly surprised that Los Angeles was more Latino, more Asian, more varied, more diverse, more cultured, and all around more interesting than I’d expected. I was also surprised that it was less black, less white, and less vertical than I’d expected, based on my experiences with other cities. I was absolutely grateful that it was less plastic, less violent... and not semi-tropical.


Having grown up in the South and Midwest, I didn’t arrive to Southern California fluent in the language of its seasons. I arrived in the summer and Christmas caught me off guard -- I hadn't noticed any snowstorms. When it started raining heavily almost every day I made an effort to learn the  native language.


CHAPARRAL

Image source: Larisa Stow


The lingua franca of the Southland is Chaparral (or Mediterranean). I’ve never really liked the term “Mediterranean” because it suggests to me that the climate found in parts of Southern California, Argentina, Australia, Chile, and Mexico is somehow a version of that found in sea between Europe, the Levant, and North Africa (as if Europe's climate is the original) rather than an indigenous phenomenon. It also suggests the kind of Eurocentrism that's gotten the region into serious trouble.



REMAKING SOCAL IN ANOTHER'S IMAGE


Image Source: Title Insurance and Trust / C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, USC Libraries


Today roughly 54% of Angelenos trace at least some of their ancestry to Europe. The largest European ethnicities in Los Angeles are SpanishGerman, Irish, English, Italian, and French. Of those, only two countries of ancestral origin (Spain and Italy) are dominated by a similar biome (whilst the southern parts of France have it too). In the past Los Angeles was even more European-American -- even sold as the implicitly Protestant "White Spot of America." European immigrants as well as American ones from the Midwest and the Northeast, often attempted to adapt the landscape to their tastes rather than adapt their tastes to their new home. Native plants were largely replaced by homeowners who desired thirsty, manicured, useless grass lawns and rose gardens like those of their temperate homelands. 


Image source: huval

Developers were crazy for palm trees -- only one species of which, Washingtonia filifera (the California fan palm) is actually native to California. Despite the fact that they further tax our already taxed water supply and provide little shade, they were popular as they gave the impression of Los Angeles being an "exotic" desert oasis or tamed bit of semi-tropics. The palm tree fad peaked in the 1930s and now many of the iconic trees are nearing the end of their lives (or being killed by weevils). Thankfully, the LADWP is now in the habit of replacing them not with more palms, but rather with more water-wise trees adapted to the chaparral.


THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE



The area occupied by the City of Los Angeles is not a desert although parts of Southern California and  the Los Angeles County are. The Mojave and Colorado Deserts are just over the hills. One of the reasons California is so-often miscategorized as a desert is because back in the day water barons wanted to justify their huge engineering projects that redirected water from other regions, casting themselves as the city's saviors in the process. Their projects did truly transform the environment. For example, the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys were mostly dry grasslands with trees mostly growing along the banks of streams and in the surrounding foothills -- although they'd by then been transformed by centuries of use by the Spanish as grazing pastures. Major transformation of the Southland's landscape began with the Spanish Conquest of not just the indigenous people but the indigenous environment. The Spaniards planted palms, eucalyptus, mustard and crops for both their animals, their slaves and themselves. 

The hills and much of the Los Angeles Basin are still dominated by sclerophyll shrublands. In other parts of the world this biome is referred to as fynbos, kwongan, mallee, maquis, and matorral. Although I'm thankful for the shade and water, they come at a cost. I'm even more thankful that (and hopeful because) many people are increasingly embracing native plants and at least water-wise xeriscaping which often utilizes non-natives but less thirsty specimens. And while I'm at it, why don't we have more extensive green roofs, permeable roads and river beds?

And now a look at the seasons of the Southland...


*****


CHAPARRAL WINTER


image source: Rodney Ramsey


There are several indicators of winter's arrival to SoCal. The year usually begins with a short but occasionally intense rainy season. A desert usually receives less than ten inches of rain whereas Los Angeles usually receives between fifteen and twenty. As a result of the rainfall, vegetation flourishes, the chaparral (and distant desert) blooms, and the pollen count rises – resulting in people with allergies becoming measurably crankier.

The air becomes amazingly clear and distant snow-capped mountains emerge. The nights are long and cold. Not inland cold, thank heavens, but legitimately cold -- especially if you don't have a proper coat in your possession. On average the temperature drops to about 9°C (48°F). The record low, −6 °C (21 °F), was recorded on 20 January, 1922.

Winter begins with the Winter Solstice, which comes between 21 and 22 December and the sun sinks beneath the horizon around 16:45. For the indigenous Chumash, Winter Solstice meant honoring the sun with several days of feasting and dancing and it was the biggest religious ritual of their people. Winter solstice also marked the beginning of the calendar of the Tongva, who arrived some 10,000 years later. 

California grows about 80% of the USA's vegetables and fruits. In winter, asparagus, avocados, blood oranges, cabbage, carambola, cardoons, collards, grapefruit, green peas, kale, kiwis, kumquats, leeks, lemons, lettuce, Medjool dates, mushrooms, mustard, navel oranges, passion fruit, pears, pommelos, rutabaga, satsumas, scallions (good year round), spinach, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tangelos, tangerines, treviso, and turnips are all in season.








CHAPARRAL SPRING


image source: LA Observed

As winter transitions into spring, the days begin to grow warmer, longer, and usually drier with most rainfall ending around April. The first day of spring is the Vernal Equinox, which occurs around the 20th of March. Like autumn leaves elsewhere, in Los Angeles we get colorful, falling spring flowers (and flower-like spring leaves) from Bottle BrushesBougainvilleas, and Jacarandas which add a pastel beauty to the landscape yet are received with moaning from haters of beauty for the "mess" they make... on the ground... in nature. 

Around the middle of the year, in late spring, the cold waters of the Pacific current known as the California Current meet a high pressure formation known as the California High. The result is a thick, sticky marine layer known colloquially as June Gloom (as well as, depending on the month: GrayprilMay GrayNo-SkyJuly, or Fogust). The weather is typically hot but the sky is overcast although rain is fairly uncommon. Instead, the thick marine layer usually burns off later in the day.

Many crops remain in season but are joined at the market by newly seasonal apricots, Asian pears, artichokes, arugula, basil, black-eyed peas, cherries, cucumbers, fava beans, fennel, fiddle heads, figs, grapes, green beans, green garlic, maize, melons, mint, morels,  nectarines, nettles, new potatoes, okra, parsley, peaches,  peppers, radishes, ramps, raspberries, rhubarb, snap peas, snow peas, spring onions, strawberries, summer squash, sweet onions, tomatoes, and Valencia oranges.

 







CHAPARRAL SUMMER


image source: Ricardo DeAratanha for the Los Angeles Times

Summer begins on the Summer Solstice, which falls between the 20th and 21st of June. At Burro Flats in the Simi Hills is a painted cave that served as a gathering place for the Chumash, Tataviam, and Tongva. As the sun moves across the sky on the longest day of the year, a notched sandstone peak casts a shadow across a carving of a bear claw surrounded by carved indentations. To the south, the Acagchemem looked to the stars of Orion's belt and the Pleiades to forecast summer's return. 

Summers tend to be long, dry and hot… hot but usually not that hot. Summer highs average in the high 20s  low 80s °F) although the inland areas and valleys especially are usually quite a bit warmer than the coastal areas. At night it can be surprisingly cold -- well, cold if you've acclimated to a climate where high teens (low 60s °F) counts as "surprisingly cold." Not too bad really and probably the reason a large percentage of the population has chosen to live here for thousands of years.

The days are sunny and long, ending in some beautiful sunsets and moonrises. Under those long sunny days, bell peppers, blackberries, boysenberries, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupes, carrots, cherries, chickpeas, chili peppers, cilantro, figs, eggplant, garlic, gooseberries, limes, marionberries, onions parsnips, pineapple guava, Plums, pluots, radicchio, ramps, sapote, shallots, shelling beans, soybeans, sweet peppers, tomatillos, and zucchini (and zucchini blossoms) flourish.







CHAPARRAL AUTUMN



Fall begins with the autumnal equinox, which occurs on the 22nd or 23rd of September. For the Chumash it fell during the month of Hutash, and was observed with a harvest ceremony which seems to have been marked with a degree of solemnity. 

In autumn, the dry, hot, violent Santa Ana Winds sweep across Los Angeles as the nights grow longer and more orange. Fires are common – caused by both lightning and firebugs. Some years the hillsides burn on all sides, the sky turns ashy and it begins to feel like something from the imagination of  Dante Alighieri or Hieronymus Bosch. When the winds finally subside, the less-feared Santa Ana Fog often replaces them.

Although many are available in other times of the year, Autumn is when apples, a second crop of artichokes, Belgian endive, broccoli, carambola, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, cherimoyas, daikon, escarole, fennel, a second crop of figs, frisée, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, lemongrass, persimmons, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, quinces, and rapini are all at their best. 



Tom Russell - "Santa Ana Winds" (live)








...and, as seasons are cyclical, winter returns. So to repeat my earlier statement, I do miss the seasons of my youth but I don't miss seasons. I'm enjoying them every day.

*****

Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, Sunday 12/2

Posted by Amoebite, November 20, 2012 02:39pm | Post a Comment

Pick up some stellar holiday gifts on Sunday, December 2nd, when Amoeba will be at one of the Southland's biggest and best record swap meets, the Pasadena City College's Flea Market and Record Swap. With over 500 vendors, the Flea Market features antiques and collectibles, records, tools, clothes, toys and much more, not to mention food and good company. And admission is always free!

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

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

More info HERE.
 


WONDER-FULL SF 9: A Tribute to the Wonder of Stevie featuring DJ SPINNA

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 20, 2012 02:36pm | Post a Comment

wonderfull

Bay Area, get ready for some kinda WONDER-full! KeiStar Productions, fresco, and Massive Selector present WONDER-Full SF 9: A TRIBUTE TO THE WONDERS OF STEVIE on Saturday, December 8th, 2012, at MEZZANINE (444 Jessie St, SF).

For the past nine years, Brooklyn's DJ SPINNA has blessed us with songs in the key of life. in return, stevie wonderwe've has embraced the event with beautiful energy and love that has made San Francisco’s WONDER-Full one of the best on the planet! Please join us for a special evening celebrating soulful music in all forms inspired by the genius of Stevie Wonder. If you've ever been to a WONDER-Full, you know it's more than just a party… It’s an experience!

Get your tickets HERE!

New 12"s at Amoeba Hollywood, 11/19 - Anaxander, Ike Release & Hakim Murphy's Innerspace Halflife project & much more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 20, 2012 12:16pm | Post a Comment

Anaxander
Dirty South of France 12"
Love What You Feel

Following up his killer cut "Moons of Jupiter" from LWYF-003, Anaxander is back on Love What You Feel with a full EP of his crazy French twist on house and techno. Titled "From the Dirty South (of France)", this record will solidify his standing as one of underground dance music's up and coming stars. Rocking out his distinctive arrangements and flexing his feel for mixing classic house sounds with modern production aesthetics, Anaxander shows great poise across the diverse cuts on display here.








Innerspace Halflife

Astrodynamic 12"
Episodes

Following successive solo outings on EPISODES, Chicago-based producers Hakim Murphy and Ike Release come together as Innerspace Halflife for the 'Astrodynamics EP.' Cold, raw, and cosmic. Limited quantities.

Purchase Astrodynamic here:








Funkineven
Cha 12”
Apron

Whereas "CHA" is a slice of proto-techno which goes heavy on the unfiltered analog bass & galloping drum machine beats, B-side "DRACULA" is a stuttering 303 acid jam reminiscent of the brilliant "ROLAND'S JAM". Pressed on red vinyl.

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7" Record Releases for Black Friday, Record Store Day 2012

Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2012 08:40am | Post a Comment

This year's Black Friday Record Store Day (RSD) - the day after Thanksgiving - brings with it a slew of  new 10" record releases, as well as a bunch of RSD exclusive 7" singles.  Below please find a list of ten recommended 7" records from all different artists.

Many are new reissues of older recordings. For example, there's a new  David Bowie picture disc of "Jean Jeanie!" The Rolling Stones have a four song 7" EP. There are three Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band singles being released. The White Stripes also have three different 45's for this Black Friday's RSD:  “Fell in Love With a Girl” b/w “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself" + “Hotel Yorba” (Live at the Hotel Yorba) b/w “Rated X (Live at the Hotel Yorba)" + "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” b/w “Stop Breaking Down.”

The Rolling Stones 7" EP cover artwork/layout (above) is real nicely presented: a great old black and white photo of the Stones with song titles done in throwback 7" EP font style, classic Decca logo, and the "mono" tag. The record features the songs "Poison Ivy," "You Better Move On," "Money," and "Bye Bye Johnny."  Meanwhile, the three Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band 7" singles for RSD are "Abba Zaba/Yellow Brick Road" + "Plastic Factory/Where There's A Woman" + "Upon The My-O-My/I Got Love On My Mind" - all released by Sundazed.

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Sweet Honey in the Rock: Celebrating the Holydays, December 8th in Oakland

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 19, 2012 06:49pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present Sweet Honey in the Rock: Celebrating the Holydays on December 8thHoney in the rock at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.

Internationally renowned a capella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock presents a one-of-a-kind seasonal concert, celebrating music from many faiths and religions of the globe through stunning vocal prowess rooted in the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions. With American spirituals, Latin, Chinese, African, and Hebrew influences, this program honors the holiday spirit from Christmas to Kwanzaa. Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 (with Mie, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson) at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock has been a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of Washington, D.C., and in communities of conscience around the world.
 

CIISDon't miss your chance to see this dynamic group! Get your tickets HERE!
 

Albums Out Nov. 19: Led Zeppelin, Tim Hecker/Daniel Lopatin, LA Vampires/Maria Minerva and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 19, 2012 05:48pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Tim Hecker, Daniel Lopatin - Instrumental Tourist

Tim HeckerCD $9.98

LP $19.98

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never’s Instrumental Tourist brings out the best in two major figures in electronic music, producing a musical endeavor that’s as interested in pleasing its audience as it is turning over new stones. “Uptown Psychedelia’s” mechanical noise ebbs in and out while an eastern-influenced synth line wriggles chaotically. While more glacially paced, “Scene From a French Zoo” eschews the notion that ambient music need be peaceful or serene; its foreboding tone indicates some unstated melancholy. “Vacation for Thomas Mann” grows more ethereal as the pair set their synths skyward. Appropriately titled “Intrusions” tracks back to themes introduced in “Uptown Psychedelia” with industrial noise bursts, though it retains the ethereal feel of “Vacation for Thomas Mann,” until it gradually gets nastier and disintegrates. “Whole Earth Tascam” builds tension with noise and synthesized vocals before breaking apart to the sound of birds chirping, but then it gets even tenser than before. The song’s intriguing push-and-pull makes it the most soundtracky song on the album and definitely a highlight. “GRM Blue II” makes for a quick, strangely melodic respite full of glassy tones, while the more aggressive “GRM Blue III” is full of squelching sounds like an alien response to earthling radio signals, challenging the listener as the song stretches to nearly six minutes. The albums final tracks continue pushing the album’s ethereal and unsettling qualities in seemingly equal measure, particularly on the Eastern touches and wind instruments of “Grey Geisha,” never losing listener attention, though Instrumental Tourist can be a demanding listen. By keeping things unfussy and not overly layered, Hecker and Lopatin create excitement in their interplay. Their union proves not to be a collective patting on the back but rather another notch in the post of excellence for both artists.

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Amoeba Holds Black Friday Sale Nov. 23-25

Posted by Billy Gil, November 19, 2012 03:00pm | Post a Comment

The day after Thanksgiving perennially brings the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. This year Amoeba will hold a sale with limited Record Store Day vinyl releases (see a list of highlights here, or download the full list [pdf file] here). And the sale goes through Sunday, Nov. 25, though if you want any of the exclusive RSD releases, you better get in early!
 

Skullcandy Ink'd Buds

All headphones will be 15% off the regular ticket price. A special sale will be held on Skullcandy Ink'd Buds, which will be on sale for $12.98 (normally $19.98), while Skullycandy’s Lowrider headphones will be on sale for $29.98 (normally $39.98).

Select models of turntables will be on sale for up to 25% off.

Turntables on sale include:

 

The Audio Technica LP 60 (Non USB) –  $99.98 (regularly $139.98)

The Jensen “All In One” – $119.98
(regularly $149.98)

Record Store Owner Discovers Rare Robert Johnson Record Amid $50 Box of Records

Posted by Billyjam, November 19, 2012 08:15am | Post a Comment

It is the sort of thing that record collectors and buyers at record stores dream about; accidentally stumbling upon that very rare, extremely valuable record, and for a steal. Such was the case for Pittsburgh, PA record store owner Jerry Weber who recently uncovered an ultra-rare Robert Johnson record ("I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" - that his son Willie is seen holding up in accompanying pic c/o Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) that he called "the holy grail of 78s." Weber, in an interview with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said he discovered a copy of the second song ever recorded by Mississippi blues legend in a box of old albums that he picked up for just $50 for his store - Jerry's Records. In good condition the record is valued at anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 to $12,000 - depending on who you talk to.  There are estimated to be about two dozen to thirty copies total of the record out there in similar condition. Weber has no plans of selling the record according to the Post-Gazette and to another report run by the Associated Press who wrote that instead of selling the record his son WIllie will spin the rare Robert Johnson record for Jerry's Records customers at exactly 2 p.m. every Saturday afternoon from now through the end of the year.

The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires-A Review By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 19, 2012 08:04am | Post a Comment
There will always be an argument about where the whole “Digital Cumbia “ movement started. Did it arrive from German electronic composer Uwe Schmidt, (aka Señor Coconut) forays into tropical music that merge German electro-sensibilities with Latin American rhythms? Was it Toy Selectah’s production, mixing urban Hip-Hop with Sonidero that made Celso Piña’s massive hit, “Cumbia Sobre El Rio”? Was it British world travelers, Up Bustle & Out, whose journeys into Mexico led them to discover Sonidero, mixed with Reggae and Hip-Hop? Was it 2005 white label 12” release of Cumbia Mash-Ups made by Chico Sonido & Toy Selectah, mashing up Missy Elliot and Rick Ross acapellas with Cumbia Rebajada? One can argue it was ZZK’s landmark ZZK Sound Vol.1 Cumbia Digital, which received tons of international press which led every remixer who had an account of SoundCloud to add guacharaca on every insignificant remix they made.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what is good and what isn’t. All those names mention above has its place in the creation of Nu Cumbia, Electro-Cumbia, Digital Cumbia, Moombaton and every-related sub-genre that was created to describe a new sound that mixed the barrios of Latin America and it’s counterparts from academia and entitlement. In the end, barrio kids and the college kids created a baby and that’s what we have now.

Nothing more exemplifies this than ZZK’s latest release, The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires. Besides defying what it means to be a Digital Cumbia artist in 2012 beyond creating dance floor jams, it is an example of the modern day Argentina. Argentina has been criticized as being the most European of all the Latin American countries, mainly for embracing the culture of their conqueror that other Latin American cultures are quick to dismiss it. When we think of the music of music of Argentina, we think of the Eurocentric Tango, or the thousands of Latin Rock groups that imitated the sounds of whatever was happening in Anglolandia, whether it was the Kinks and The Beatles in the 60’s, Led Zeppelin and Queen in the 70’s or The Police and Depeche Mode in the 80’s. It’s hard to remember that such brilliant artists as Mercedes Sosa, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Facundo Cabral, all who embraced the indigenous roots and incorporated it with their European influences, came from Argentina.

The Future Sounds of Buenos Aires doesn’t hide its European roots. Yet the latest roster from the ZZK label shows more of their indigenous leanings and immigrant roots. Cumbia Viera, a street Cumbia coming from the barrios of Buenos Aires via the Ecuador and Peru, still lay heavy on the ZZK roster, but now those rhythms are mixed with native flutes from the Andean mountains and folk instrumentation from Bolivia and Venezuela. The mixture of Argentine folklore with Cumbia, Glitch and Dubstep, makes perfect sense. The experimentation from this release may comes at a cost to the dance floor, but in the end, it makes for a better listen. The chances that you will have The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires stuck on repeat is far greater than finding the next Cumbia re-edit banger on SoundCloud, and more rewarding as well.    

AFI 2012 - The ABCs of Death (2012)

Posted by Charles Reece, November 18, 2012 10:41pm | Post a Comment

Lets just say this film is NOT for the morally conscious.
-- Timo Tjahjanto on his "L is for Libido"

The ABCs of Death
is a collection of humorous horror shorts from around the world, each based on a letter of the alphabet -- so you know going in that, percentage-wise, some of it won't be very good. However, there are a truly inspired few that make enduring the whole worthwhile. What you'll learn, if you didn't already know, is that Americans aren't very good at making horror these days, Asians are the best, with the French and Mexicans falling somewhere in between.

The best of the bunch is undoubtedly from Indonesia, Timo Tjahjanto's "L is for Libido."  Two men are chained to chairs, forced to masturbate to whatever's put before them on a stage. The last one to ejaculate gets gruesomely eliminated, while the winner goes on to the next round, with something even more heinous being put before him and his new opponent. Without giving any of the shock value away, I'll just say that the forced fetish spectacle was sufficiently evil to get the asshole sitting next to me who couldn't stop playing with his cell phone (a video arcade was coming from his seat) to finally pay attention and leave in disgust. A good horror film can't be ignored. Despite Tjahjanto's claim of amorality, there's actually quite a bit going on here. I'm thinking about the assumption of passivity in gaze theory, both on the part of the spectacle and on the part of the spectator. What's being shown in front of the camera is under its controlling gaze (typically, this is thought to be women, objectified and fetishized), while giving the viewer the false impression of being in control of that gaze, when in fact the gaze has been ("always already") structured for him (men tend to be assumed to be in the role of the scopophiliac). The short manifests this theory as horror: the men are actually subjugated to a spectacle beyond their control. But it's unlikely to win many feminist converts, because it's played for laughs (of the gallows humor variety). The problem in gaze theory is that the spectator isn't passive, a mere product of interpellation, which is made comically apparent through sanguine literality. Intentional or not, Tjahjanto has created a perverse satire of Laura Mulvey's theory.

The other two most memorable entries were Xavier Gens' body horror "X for XXL," about a fat girl's willingness to do anything to be thin, and Noboru Iguchi's "F is for Fart," about how two lesbian lovers in cute school uniforms (of course) face off against the demonic crepitant apocalypse. Overall, about a 6 to 20 hit/miss ratio, but I admire the attempt.

The red band trailer and a list of the entries.

Amoebapalooza Berkeley 2012!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 18, 2012 06:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music's annual tradition of musical mayhem featuring bands comprised of Amoeba Berkeley family members returns on Sunday, December 9th.

This celebrations of homegrown music and the enduring human spirit is open to the public, so come on down to Bar 355 (355 19th Street, Oakland)! Doors open at 8:30pm and the bands start promptly at 9:00pm. And get this...no cover! (21+ please.)

Here are the Berktastic bands you'll see that night:

ARTIFICIAL LIFE (A tribute to Operation Ivy with members of Eastern Span, Gnarboots, 100%, and Die Hard)

CABERNET VOLTAIRE (A tribute to Cabaret Voltaire with members of Poontang Wranglers, Sutekh Hexen, Larva, and Petit Mal)

THE TENTH PLANET (Avant-rock jams that are way far out, Baby)

SOFT TUG (A potpourri of sonic interludes, covers, and more from members of Musk)

TOTAL FAILURE (A psychedelic head-trip of originals and covers)

 

amoebapalooza berkeley

November 18, 2012: Alex Cross

Posted by phil blankenship, November 18, 2012 01:44pm | Post a Comment

The Art Of The LP Cover- Headphones!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 18, 2012 01:20pm | Post a Comment

The 90s...the best albums of 1993...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 18, 2012 12:38pm | Post a Comment
1993 and 1994 are probably two of my favorite years of the 90s. These were the best years of Britpop. Some amazing years for British music. Suede, Blur, Pulp, & The Verve all had amazing albums out these years. I had always been into British music since I remember ever being into music. New Wave & Goth in the 80s. And now Shoegaze & Britpop in the early and mid 90s. I gave myself a couple of rules when making these lists for the top ten of each year. I made sure to only pick one album for each artist. I didn't want the list to be a Blur and Suede album every year. So I picked my favorite album from each of those artists. And for the most part my favorite album was the album that introduced me to the band. Not necessarily the bands first album. But my first album by that band. The album that I think of when I think of that band. There are three American bands on my list this year. Still outnumbered by the British bands of course. I had for the most part stopped listening to the radio in 1993. Most of the bands I found out about were from 120 Minutes or Alternative Nation. I was also heavily influenced by my friends and roommates in 1993. This was the first year that I heard Suede, Slowdive & The Verve. I think I probably saw a Suede video when I heard them for the first time. I was hooked within the first couple seconds of the video. This was the band for me. I couldn't get enough of them throughout the rest of the 90s. I was already familiar with Blur but 1993 was really the first year that I really got obsessed with them.  Saint Etienne and Catherine Wheel were probably the albums that I listened to most this year. Where You Been by Dinosaur Jr.Star by Belly just barely didn't make my top ten this year. They were also both listened to a lot by me in 93 and 94. Here it is...my top 10 albums of 1993...

The Verve-A Storm In Heaven (Vernon Yard)
The Verve were like Suede in that they both released debut albums in 1993. They also went on to put out two more successful and critically acclaimed albums in the 90s. I would never call The Verve Britpop. But they often got lumped together with the other Britpop bands of the era. The Verve were more psychedelic and dreamy. They had more in common with the Shoegaze and Dream Pop bands of the early 90s. The Verve also were not as popular as Suede in 1993. It took until their third album for everyone to really notice them. A Northern Soul was released in 1995. Urban Hymns was released in 1997. Urban Hymns got ridiculously big and I feel like that album was everywhere. But I think all the old fans still loved it too. It was a fantastic album and deserved all the praise. I remember being happy that they had finally made it. But they would unfortunately break up in 1999 and then end up reforming in 2008 for their forth album called Forth. Everything started for me with A Storm In Heaven. This album was released in June of 1993. But it sounds just as good now as it did then. This album quickly became one of my favorites. Another band from 1993 that I would become obsessed with throughout the rest of the 90s. A Storm In Heaven featured the songs "Slide Away," "Blue," "Butterfly" & "Starsail." This album would also be near the top of my list of my favorite albums of the decade. I could listen to this album all day long.

modern life is rubbishBlur-Modern Life Is Rubbish (Food)
Blur had already released Leisure in 1991. This album featured "She's So High" & "There's No Other Way." I was already a fan of those songs but had not really taken the jump into full on Blur until Modern Life Is Rubbish was released in 1993. Blur is probably the most popular of the British bands on this list. They managed to put out six albums in the 90s and one last album in 2003. Modern Life is Rubbish quickly sold me on Blur. I also loved Parklife in 1994 and The Great Escape in 1995. Modern Life is Rubbish featured "For Tomorrow," "Chemical World," "Sunday Sunday," "Star Shaped" & "Miss America." This album was really their first britpop album. This was after all the inaugural year of britpop. Their first album fit more into the end of the madchester scene. The battle of Oasis Vs. Blur was just around the corner from this album. The debut Oasis album would come out the following year in 1994. The media quickly whipped up a sort of rivalry between Blur & Oasis. I was a fan of Blur first so I always sided with Blur. I did enjoy those first two Oasis albums. But I was always a bigger Blur fan. Blur was made up of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James & Dave Rowntree. Both Blur & Suede were probably the first bands of the 90s who I knew everything about. I know each band member independent from the other. Most of us had our favorite. Damon & Graham were the Dave Gahan & Martin Gore of the band. Or the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Graham was my favorite. I loved these guys. I loved how very British they were. And this is the album that started it all. I really do feel like Blur & Suede sort of took over my life in late 1993.

Slowdive-Souvlaki (Creation)
I like to think of my life as pre and post Slowdive. There are just some of those albums that change your life forever. This is one of those albums for me. My Bloody Valentine did it a couple of years before. But this is the band that did it for me in 1993. As much as I loved Blur, Suede & The Verve. I probably listened to Souvlaki more than all those albums combined. This album was released in the UK on Creation in June of 1993. It was not released in the US on SBK until early 1994. The artwork was changed on this album cover for the US release. They made the image a really small little image on a mostly black cover. Not really sure why they changed it. But they did add some bonus tracks for the domestic release. Souvlaki included "Alison," "Sing," "Machine Gun," "When The Sun Hits" & "Dagger." This album is a shoegaze classic. If you have heard this album then it is mostly likely one of your favorites. The album was the perfect end of the night album. I listened to this album almost every night before I went to sleep for probably about a year or so. Slowdive had released Just For A Day in 1991. SBK released it in 1992 in the US. But I had never heard of this band until a friend introduced them to me in 1993. So I always think of Just For A Day as their second album since it was the second for me. Just For A Day is a perfect companion album to Souvlaki. Just as good and magical. They went on to release Pygmalion two years later in 1995. It just doesn't get much better than Slowdive. There is really nobody like them. Many bands who try recapture that amazing sound of those first two Slowdive albums. But it simply could not be done.

SuedeSuede-Suede (Nude)
This might just be my favorite album of the 90s. Britpop just doesn't get any better than this. This band and this album seemed to come out of nowhere. This album put them all over the British press. It ended up on many end of the year lists. I think I probably didn't first get into this album until late in 1993. Even though it was released in March. "Metal Mickey" was the first song I heard by them. And the first time I head it was when I saw the video. So it just really hit me over the head. I really couldn't believe how awesome they were. I loved everything about them. And I don't even really think I fully understood what I was watching. I didn't know how important this band would become to me and my friends in the following years. But I knew that I loved it. This album is just one of those perfect albums that defines the era. It is often thought as the album that started Britpop. This album was the fastest selling debut album in British history. The album included "Metal Mickey," "So Young," "Animal Nitrate," "The Drowners," "Sleeping Pills" & "Pantomime Horse." I can honestly say that I love every song on this album. It was such a fun and completely new sound for me at the time. It was somewhere between an album by David Bowie and The Smiths. But it was really like nothing I had heard before. They were like my new Duran Duran. They would go on to release Dog Man Star in 1994 & Coming Up in 1996. Those first three albums are an essential part of my music collection. They released two more albums after that. I saw this band live a couple times over the years. They were one of my favorite bands to see live. They really conveyed the magic of those albums live. This is also one of my favorite album covers of the decade. I always thought it was two dudes on the cover. But I found out years later that it was a drawing of two women! It was an androgynous cover that you could really imagine to be whatever you wanted it to be.

saint etienne so toughSaint Etienne-
So Tough
(Warner)

Saint Etienne! I love these guys. I really feel like if you know about Saint Etienne then you probably love them. By 1993 I was already a fan of their first album Fox Base Alpha and the song "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But I think that So Tough was actually the first entire album that I owned by them. And it is most certainly my favorite. One of my friends first played me this album and it quickly became both of our favorites. I loved all the sampling. I loved that it was dancey but also super cool and mellow in parts. It was the perfect combination of UK indie and dance. I had really heard nothing like it before. The samples really meant nothing to me. They were most likely from British movies and TV shows that I had never seen before. But this album was just such a complete wonderful collection. You really have to listen to it from beginning to end. The best song was the last song after all. Saint Etienne is Bob Stanley & Pete Wigss. The first album had a couple different female vocalist. But Sarah Cracknell had become the permanent third member by the time this second album came out. So Tough featured the songs "Mario's Cafe," "Calico," "Hobart Paving," "Avenue" & "Join Our Club." Saint Etienne went on to release six more albums after So Tough. They are still a band and actually just put out an album this year and toured with it. I just saw them live a couple of weeks ago! This band will forever remain one of my favorites. Putting on this album brings me right back to 1993. And for some reason it only makes me remember the good memories. I love these guys. There is really nobody like them. This album was just reissued recently as a deluxe 2CD edition along with the rest of their catalog.

So Tonight That I Might SeeMazzy Star-So Tonight That I Might See (Capitol)
Mazzy Star had already released She Hangs Brightly in 1990. But I didn't first notice them until So Tonight That I Might See was released in 1993. You really could not avoid the song "Fade Into You" that year. I was hooked by that song. I was not alone. It was hard not to like them. Mazzy Star is Hope Sandoval and David Roback. David had played in the Rain Parade in the 80s. He was also a member of Opal. Opal recruited Hope Sandoval after the vocalist left and soon turned into Mazzy Star. These guys were are mix of psychedelic rock and dream pop. Mazzy Star are one of the few bands from these lists not from England. They were actually formed in Southern California just like Medicine. Hope has one of those voices like no other. The band put out Among My Swan in 1996 and then took a long break. Hope Sandoval has put out a couple of solo albums over the years. But Mazzy Star is back and will soon be releasing an album of new material any day now. This album is dark and dreamy. It can easily lull you to sleep. The album features the songs "Fade Into You" & "Into Dust." It is one of those albums that just might break your heart in two. But it is worth it. A beautiful masterpiece of the 90s.

catherine wheelCatherine Wheel-Chrome (Fontana)
Catherine Wheel released Ferment in 1992. This album featured "Black Metallic." One of the best songs of the 90s. But it was their second album that I really got obsessed with. I listened to Chrome probably hundreds of times. Chrome featured "Crank," "Fripp," "Pain," "Show Me Mary" & "The Nude." I can listen to "Fripp" over and over again. Catherine Wheel were yet another band from England for me to become obsessed with. They shared much in common with many of the shoegaze bands of the era. But they were a bit harder and shared much in common with some of the grunge bands of the era. They were like Shoegaze Grunge. Somewhere between The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Soundgarden, Lush, Slowdive & Ride. I listened to an album every night before I went to sleep throughout much of the 90s. This album was one of those albums in rotation. The album still holds up after all these years. It was the bands best album without a doubt. They went on to release three more albums after this. But they could never capture what they had done with Chrome. Another one of my favorite album covers of the decade. Very similar to the cover for Nevermind.

The The-Dusk (Sony)
The The has already released three albums in the 80s. But I didn't know anything about them until 1993. Dusk was released in 1993. The same year as Songs Of Faith & Devotion by Depeche Mode. The The opened up for Depeche Mode on their tour for this album. I think I first bought that Depeche Mode album on cassette. But when I later bought it on CD it included a cassette copy of Dusk by The The. I was basically forced to listen to this album. Depeche Mode were one of my favorite bands after all. It probably would have found its way into my collection regardless. I still remember that first time that I listened to it. I really didn't know what to expect. The The were also from England. So it made sense that I would like them. Matt Johnson really took me over with that voice. I became a huge fan of this album and have gone back to it many times over the years. I eventually went back and explored the previous albums of The The. But Dusk will always remain my favorite. It is a weird mix of genres but it somehow works. It is a mix of new wave and alternative. Maybe a bit of country music and showtunes thrown in there. It is very theatrical. Matt Johnson is really more of a storyteller than a singer. The The are sort of a combination of a bank like R.E.M. with Nick Cave. The album features the songs "Slow Emotion Replay," "Dogs Of Lust," "Helpline Operator" & "Love Is Stronger Than Death."

Medicine-The Buried Life (American)
Medicine are the second American band on my list this year. And they were also on the label American! Medicine were from Los Angeles. They just might be the only band from Los Angeles that I actually liked in the early 90s. This was yet another band whose second album I liked better than the first. But it was again mostly because that was the album that I was first introduced to. Medicine had released Shot Forth Self Living in 1992. The Buried Life was released in 1993. Medicine were sort of viewed as the Los Angeles version of My Bloody Valentine. They were our version of shoegaze. The album featured "Babydoll," "Slut," "Never Click" & "Fried Awake." I actually forgot how much I like this album until I listened to it again last year. It just got reissued by Captured Tracks along with Shot Forth Self Living. This album is loud and full of messy and noisy guitar. But is somehow beautiful beneath all that. Which is why they are more similar to My Bloody Valentine than anybody else. Medicine went on to put out two more albums after this. But they are perhaps most famous for appearing as themselves in the movie The Crow.

Smashing Pumpkins-Siamese Dream (Virgin)
The Smashing Pumpkins had released Gish in 1991. But it was Siamese Dream that really broke this band. This album was unavoidable in 1993 & 1994. It was released in July of 1993. This was most certainly the best selling album on my list of 1993. It was sort of my Nevermind of this year. I couldn't leave it off this list. Smashing Pumpkins went on to release many albums over the years. But I sort of lost interest after Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness was released in 1995. But from 1991 to 1996 I was a big fan of this band. Siamese Dream featured "Cherub Rock," "Today," "Rocket," "Disarm," "Soma,"  "Mayonaise" "Spaceboy" & "Luna." It really is crazy to think how many great songs were on this album. Today was probably my favorite of the big singles. But I can really listen to "Mayonaise" and "Luna" over and over again. Billy Corgan was obviously the man behind Smashing Pumpkins and this album. But he could not have put this album together without James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlain & D'arcy Wretzky. Smashing Pumpkins was one of those bands that you either loved or hated. This album somehow combined all the things I liked from shoegaze, dreampop and grunge. It was the perfect album for 1993. This was the bands best album by far. They would never create anything that would come close to Siamese Dream.


Check for these albums here on Amoeba.com

up next...1994

New Johnny Marr Song Indicates Anticipation Well Justified for His 2013 Solo Debut

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2012 08:30am | Post a Comment

Johnny Marr "The Messenger" title track from Marr's 2013 solo debut

As reported here on the Amoeblog influential guitarist Johnny Marr recently announced that he will release his first solo album in the new year. The artist, who came to fame as the backbone of The Smiths sound and who has been listed as one of the top ten best rock guitarists by such entitles as Virgin Media, will both sing and play guitar on the album that he recorded earlier this year in both Manchester and Berlin. This week Marr unveiled a teaser from the album in the form the above music video for "The Messenger." The killer song indicates that the anticipation for the album by fans is well justified. "The Messenger' is the first single from the Marr debut solo album of the same name that will arrive care of Sire/ADA in Amoeba in late February 2013.

What's In My Bag with The Fresh & Onlys' Tim and Shayde

Posted by Kells, November 16, 2012 05:29pm | Post a Comment

The Fresh & Onlys, besides presenting in name one of the best bandtonym-worthy word combinations, are without a doubt one of the most pimped-out live performers reppin the Bay Area these days. Currently on tour, and they tour a lot, The Onlys pack plenty of dirty raw party rockin' vibes into every sweaty show. I'd go so far as to say they bring a guaranteed good time to any venue; unadulterated fun at it's most arrested stage of development. What's more, the minds that inform the Fresh and Onlys' sound are like rich wells of music knowledge, deeply dug and flowing wide. I can say this with a certain degree of confidence having known and worked with three quarters of the band off and on for many, many years. That being the case, as happens with colleagues of any sort, their opinions on all things music, film, Amoeba or otherwise have abutted, aggravated, enhanced and influenced mine over time. It's one of those really good things about the working-at-Amoeba experience that I wish we could share more easily. But I suppose that territory best captured and exposed via our What's In My Bag video vignette series.

But before we get into that, get into this:

A lovely, pastoral portrait of the boys in pastels, looking petal fresh and Easter Sunday garden party pretty in contrast to the live-action, imagery of sloshed, sudorific revelry, above left. Say what you will about the Fresh & Onlys workaday aesthetic, they clean up nice. And though Fresh & Onlys frontman and guitarist Tim Cohen is caught trashing Amoeba SF's Hip Hop section in the video below (for the record: tending said section used to be his responsibility) and bassist Shayde Sartin's picks skewed towards "white guy rock" and his years spent living in Florida on the day this little scene was recorded, I cannot speak more highly about these two dudes' astronomical taste levels when it comes to music, nevermind their particular genus of dusty, road tested rocker species. BUt don't take my word for it, find out for yourself -- check out the video below:


Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11.16.12: Meek Mill, Sean Price, Kendrick Lamar, Vinnie Paz + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 16, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:16:12

1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City  (Aftermath)

2) Meek Mill Dreams and Nightmares (Warner)

3) Sean Price  Mic Tyson (Duck Down Records)

4) Vinnie Paz God Of The Serengeti (Enemy Soil)

5) Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic)

Hard to believe that it is already mid November, just a week away from Black Friday Record Store Day, and a little over six weeks to 2013! For me this year has flown by but along the way 2012 has blessed us with a bounty of non-stop, quality hip-hop releases from such artists as Saigon, Homeboy Sandman, El-P, Aesop Rock, Casual, Killer Mike, and Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.A.A.D City  on Aftermath which is number one on the Amoeba chart for the third straight week in a row.  Other releases on this week's hip-hop top five, courtesy of the Hollywood Amoeba store, include Vinnie Paz's God Of The Serengeti (on Enemy Soil), Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 on Atlantic), as well as the two brand new chart entries from Meek Mill (Dreams and Nightmares on Warner Brothers) and Sean Price (Mic Tyson on Duck Down Records).

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Happy Birthday Amoeba Music San Francisco!

Posted by Kells, November 15, 2012 11:23pm | Post a Comment

Today Amoeba Music San Francisco turns fifteen years old! Fifteen, that awkward age where all associations with mom make for endless trials of embarrassment and your kid sister's crack attempts at one-upping your status as "family favorite" are just, ya know, not cute.

To celebrate the occasion tributes were made and obligatory pizza pies and butter creme sheet cakes were enjoyed by staff and regulars, not a small number of whom contributed to an immensely successful pot luck style lunch comprised of porchetta sandwiches with cole slaw, eggplant mango sushi, wild rice and mushroom pilaf, vegetable curry, savory meatballs, chips and homemade salsa, cinnamon-y apple crisp, coconut milk rice pudding, ginger snaps, and succulent peanutbutter fudge. Although we refrained from transforming the info counter into a champagne fountain (there's always next year kids!) we managed to keep it classy and sassy for the greater good with plenty of good fellowship and cheer. Happy 15th Amoeba SF! Keep on truckin'!

Weekly Roundup: Poolside, The Fresh & Onlys, Captain Murphy, Cayucas, Trash Talk, Madlib, Starred

Posted by Billy Gil, November 15, 2012 03:06pm | Post a Comment

Poolside – Seasons Change mix

The last band I expected to hear from this fall/winter was Poolside. Their Pacific Standard Time album was so perfectly suited for the sunshine that it would seem perverse for them to go wintry, but that’s just what they’ve done with their Seasons Change mix, which the LA-based duo said they put together while driving through the Northeast in October. Listen below. On initial scan, it actually sounds pretty similar in spirit to their other album’s moody electronics, making you realize the power of suggestion. Also it sounds great no matter when you put it on.

 

The Fresh & Onlys Film “What’s In My Bag?”

SF garage-pop greats The Fresh & Onlys filmed a “What’s in My Bag?” feature with Amoeba, and we have it up to stream now. Check out their album Long Slow Dance if you haven’t yet, one of my favorite rock ’n’ roll records released this year.

 

The Fresh and Onlys - What's In My Bag?

Lord Huron's Ben Schneider Talks to Amoeba, Band Plays Amoeba Hollywood Nov. 19

Posted by Billy Gil, November 15, 2012 01:49pm | Post a Comment

On Lonesome Dreams, Lord Huron’s Ben Schneider creates a soundtrack for travel. Opener “Ends of the Earth” finds him telling his lover “There’s an island where everything is silent/I’m gonna whistle a tune,” among other evocative lines about getting the hell out of dodge. From there his Americana-fueled journey touches on hints of the exotic — the clanging percussion of “Time to Run” calling to mind the East while he sings concurrently about finding a life way out West. Along the way he discovers the loneliness of wide-open space on the spare title track; harmonicas haunt him on “The Ghost on the Shore,” hinting at nostalgia born from hitting the edge of the land and looking back. The whole thing gallops along with country jangle, nightsky atmosphere and Schneider’s throaty, impassioned vocals, and it’s nearly impossible not to get swept in its romanticism.

The whole thing could be thought of as a travelogue for Schneider’s own journey out west, travelling from his home in Michigan to New York, around the world and eventually to Los Angeles, where while pursuing a career in visual arts, his Lord Huron project took off. Comprising songs he recorded back in Michigan at Lake Huron, where he formatively would strum the guitar in his youth, his first EP Yours, Truly gained traction in the blogosphere, and Schneider formed a band to begin playing live in 2010. His debut record, Lonesome Dreams, is out now via IAMSOUND. Lord Huron play Amoeba Hollywood Monday Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. I took a minute to speak with Schneider about his journeys, musical and otherwise.

PST: How much of the lyrical content of Lonesome Dreams was inspired by your journey from Michigan to different places and eventually west to Los Angeles?

Continue reading...

Prince Vs. Le Petit Prince

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


Prince,
whose unprecedented name change to an unpronounceable symbol back in the 90's that I wrote about here a couple of days ago, is back in the news this week. This news headline grabbing time the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (1993-2000) is unhappy with the work of Prince fanboy/toy maker Troy Gua - the creator of the cute and clever  homage Tiny Artist and the Le Petit Prince project all of which he created a year ago. But, following a no-nonsense cease and desist order this week by the Purple One, tomorrow afternoon (Nov 16) at 6pm (Minneapolis time) Gua will legally have to erase all online content related to Le Petit Prince. On his Facebook wall this week the Seattle based Gua wrote of his musical hero's unexpected shutdown. "I simply do not wish to fight with my hero, and it is terribly disheartening to think that he may hold ill will towards me and this project" Troy Gua, who is a major Prince fan, blended his appreciation of his favorite artist with his appreciation of the puppetry of Thunderbirds creator / super-marionation pioneer Gerry Anderson.

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7" Fix: Violent Change - Suck on the Gun EP

Posted by Kells, November 14, 2012 10:32pm | Post a Comment
Say what you will about the confluence of punk and pop music, the truth is it doesn't suck.

Well, okay, so what even if most of it does suck eggs, local SF punkers Violent Change straddle the void between the punk as fuck and the pop rocks with adroit elan. In an as yet unpublished interview, Violent Change frontman and brainchild "Gladys" describes the VC sonic experience as the Sex Pistols meets the Bee Gees. And, after taking their Suck on the Gun EP for a spin, I'd have to say I agree though I'd map the distance between the Pistols and the brothers Gibb assessment with a little Revolver era Beatles, especially that "I'm only Sleeping" song, doused with the studio version of "Alcohol" by G.B.H.. Add to that some classic Damned jams plus a hint of Vic Godard & the Subway Sect a la "Make Me Sad" and you've got some good-ass, never-say-die punk rock stock.That Violent Change is obviously informed by highly commendable musical tastes and a natural inclination toward the aural obtuseness that comes with the whole basement/bedroom recording routine is a ultimately good thing, all of this ultimately evidenced by the record. Thus (duh!) it's my current favorite new four-song 45. I talked to a guy who bought this on sight the other day because "the safety pin letters look cool" -- don't they though? In any case, bands with an eponymous theme songs pretty much always totally rule.

Suck on the Gun is out via Melters Records.

G.B.H. - "Alcohol"
   

November 14, 2012: Skyfall

Posted by phil blankenship, November 14, 2012 09:52pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Presents John Cale, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Shows

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2012 05:41pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba has teamed with Goldenvoice to present a number of upcoming shows, starting with John Cale and Cass Mccombs at the El Rey Theatre Dec. 11. Tickets for that show are $30 (plus a $2 service fee). Then on Dec. 19, Amoeba presents Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at the Fonda Theatre; tickets are $22.50 (plus a $2 service fee).

Tickets are limited to quantities on hand, until they sell out. Amoeba stops selling tickets for a show at 5 p.m. on the day of that show. Please call the store at 323-245-6400 for current availability or to purchase/hold.

See a full list of tickets available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood here.

John Cale at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 26, 2005

Shifty AdventuresFamed Welsh singer, songwriter, viola player and former member of The Velvet Underground John Cale is performing in support of his latest release, the adventurous Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood. That album finds Cale trying on a number of new guises, occasionally augmenting his baritone voice with autotune and building out his futuristic love songs with electronic production and lyrics about vampires and other strange beasts. He’s also recently been playing songs off of his classic Paris 1919 record.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #8: Tatzu Nishi's Discovering Columbus, Annie, Oorutaichi, MellowHype, Brooklyn + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2012 12:12pm | Post a Comment

The Discovering Columbus (aka The Columbus Circle Living Room) public art installation (pictured above), MellowHype bringing that LA Odd Future flava to New Yawk, Wyclef Jean's new New York restaurant, the CCW convention, a nod to Brooklyn including some of entertaining bygone era Bensonhurst nicknames, Fear's classic's "New York's Alright," and the musical Annie returning to Broadway are among the items covered in this eight installment in the New York State of Mind Amoeblog series on music and other entertainment and happenings in the Big Apple. 

The wonderful group that is the Public Art Fund, who have been responsible for some truly inspired creative art installations around NYC parks and other public spaces, have outdone themselves with their latest presentation: Tatzu Nishi's Discovering Columbus exhibition which is simply amazing!. Also known as The Columbus Circle Living Room and located at Columbus Circle on the South West corner of Central Park, near 59th Street, this exhibit is surreal. It is a temporary living room that the Japanese artist carefully constructed around the iconic monument of Christopher Columbus.  When you go it not only feels like you are in someone's furnished living room with windows - albeit with the 13 foot high, 120 year old marble statue in the middle of it, but it also offers an amazing view of Central Park - from six flights of stairs up to the exhibit.

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November 13, 2012: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Posted by phil blankenship, November 13, 2012 10:29pm | Post a Comment

Prince's Love Symbol Moniker

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2012 07:32am | Post a Comment
As an artist the multi-talented Prince has always marched to his own beat. Of the many unique and unprecedented things he has done in his long and illustrious career was two decades ago when he changed his name a newly created symbol. 1993 was when he officially changed his name to that unpronounceable symbol that was dubbed "Love Symbol #2" since it coincided with the copyrighted title/symbol of the Prince and The New Power Generation's 1992 album of the same name/symbol (the symbol was engraved into the actual CD case in gold on the outside and silver on the inside of case cover).

As well as being the work of a tirelessly creative mind it was also Prince's way of getting a dig in at his record label (Warner Brothers) who he made it well known he was quite unhappy with. Disgruntled with his contract and wanting to get out of it, he was further aggravated when he discovered that he could not do so. However when he realized he could contractually change his name, this he did as a sort of revenge act. Prince used that symbol, which was a combination the symbols for female () and for male (), up until he finally got out of his Warner contract seven years later.

However the change from word to unheard of (and unpronounceable) symbol presented a headache for his label and a problem for many at the time including radio DJs, record store clerks, and journalists who did not have this unique character on their keyboard in their computer. Hence his label's publicity department sent out floppy disks (like the one pictured below) with a custom font of the unique symbol attached. However most journalists ignored using it altogether as it was troublesome for use in most computers at the time. Instead they called it "Love Symbol" or "Love Symbol #2" - as in the 1992 album that the symbol first appeared on.

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My maiden voyage on the RMS Queen Mary

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 12, 2012 08:49pm | Post a Comment

The other day I went to the RMS Queen Mary for birthday drinks for Lynn Garrett’s birthday. Lynn is the founder and head honcho at Hidden Los Angeles. As the name suggests, Hidden Los Angeles is a highly useful guide to Los Angeles for Angelenos and visitors who presumably have no interest in (or interests beyond) celebrity culture, “The Industry,” or the beaten path in general. It’s also the perfect riposte to Los Angeles’s haters complaints about our fair city. Lynn was staying on board the ship for three a three day non-cruise and the visit to the ship was my first.

View of Long Beach from the Queen Mary



The RMS Queen Mary is an ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic from 1936 (when it was known as the Cunard-White Star) and 1967, when it retired to Long Beach.


She was built in Clydebank, Scotland and held the Blue Riband (an accolade granted to ships with the fast average speed when crossing the Atlantic) from 1936 to 1937 and then from 1938 to 1952.

RMS Queen Mary hallway

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Albums out Nov. 13: Crystal Castles, The Weeknd, Lust For Youth and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 12, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Crystal Castles III

Crystal Castles IIICD $12.98

LP $17.98

Early interviews about Crystal Castles' stunning third album have seen frontwoman Alice Glass discussing oppression at length with Bono-ish fervor — not something typically associated with an image-conscious electronic duo known more for its antagonistic records and brawling live shows than its politics. But Glass and synth stud Ethan Kath can have it both ways, as III is another visceral attack of a record from Crystal Castles that ups the meaning behind their furor, both explicitly and implied, without losing any of their hedonistic attitude. In fact, III, while lacking some of the shock value of the first two records, is Crystal Castles’ most consistent statement to date. Tracks like “Plague” and “Wrath of God” still pack walloping beats, but they are more of mood pieces than, say, something like II’s “Baptism,” full of moody, heaving passages that draw you in and keep you rapt across the record. III is also smartly paced, keeping some of its more crowd-pleasing moments for later in the record, whereas previous albums were front-loaded. The fourth song in, “Affection,” shares a chord-scheme with MGMT’s “Kids,” though its warped vocals sound like they’re echoing from an abyss — not exactly radio-friendly material. Glass quits whispering and unleashes her trademark echoed yelps on the spare “Pale Flesh,” sure to be a live favorite, while “Sad Eyes” charges forth with unabashed club glee and hard-hitting beatwork. The album’s final quarter features some of its most remarkable moments, full of seedy club bangers, while its last song, “Child I Will Hurt You,” is a typically gorgeous closer from the band, layering Goblin-style keyboards over Glass’ haunting vocals, which often sing of pain inflicted upon the vulnerable, echoing the statement of that album cover, calling to mind suffering and comfort in equal doses. That concept isn’t as overt as it could have been, but when it does come through, as when Glass sings “I’ll protect you from all the things I’ve seen” on “Kerosene,” Crystal Castles create the aural equivalent of gunfire and a helping hand.

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10 Black Friday Releases to Look For

Posted by Billy Gil, November 12, 2012 03:21pm | Post a Comment

As with Record Store Day, the list of exclusive releases this year for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, typically the biggest shopping day of the year) is staggering. A list of the available titles is here. I’ve pulled out 10 releases that are particularly interesting — to me, and perhaps to you. Show up at Amoeba Nov. 23 for your chance to own any one of these.

 

Lee HazlewoodYou Turned My Head Around: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1967-1970 (11 x 7 box set)

Lee Hazlewood You Turned My Head AroundNamed after an awesome duet ’60s psych-folkie Lee Hazelwood did with singer/actress Ann-Margret, this set collects forgotten records issued on Hazelwood’s label, Lee Hazelwood Industries. The singer-songwriter was also a notable producer, perhaps most famously writing and producing Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made For Walkin.’” The set includes 11 45s from such artists as Suzi Jane Hokom, Honey Ltd., Kitchen Cinq and Hazlewood himself. From psych to country-pop, the set offers a view of Lee as an aesthetic director of sorts, setting forth a cultish sound that would come to be oft mimicked and appreciated far greater in later years than during its initial run.

 

 

Captain BeefheartAbba Zabba; Plastic Factory; Upon The My-Oh-My

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Thoughts On The Passing Of John Napier

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 12, 2012 11:03am | Post a Comment
I know many people will be writing about John Napier, who passed away last week. So here are my thoughts. This is not a biography, just thoughts about the times we spent together on earth and the thanks I never got to say to him in person. To read a more thorough account of the greatness (and flaws) of John Napier through the eyes of Carla Bozulich, go here

I met John in 1991.He was in a group called Ethyl Meatplow, together with Carla Bozulich and Harold Barefoot Sanders III (AKA Biff) Ethyl Meatplow was fun and disturbing at the same time. They were an electro-queer-pop-industrial group with occasional nudity and urine flow. It was nothing that Los Angeles had seen before or since. Ethyl Meatplow was a band for several years before I got to know them and  were ready to break out nationally. I had a band that would often play on the same bills as them. John especially liked my band and helped us get gigs and convinced people to release our records.

John was a strange cat, but in a good way.If you were friends with John, you often had to endure long phone conversations with the first fifteen minutes of him speaking in an Elmo-like voice with Tourette's Syndrome. Once in awhile a body part that usually covered would suddenly be exposed, as he’d be laughing in a high-pitched child’s laugh. Normally I’d find that kind of behavior intolerable, but from John, it was endearing. It meant he was comfortable with you. That’s one way he showed he loved you.

Another way he’s shared his love was through music. If he knew you had the same thirst for music that he did, he would stop at nothing to share his vast musical taste with you. It meant a lot to me, being just as thirsty as John for new music in the days before the internet, He introduced me to Can, Neu, Stereolab, The Flesheaters, Sun Ra and countless other artists. He forced me to listen to Pet Sounds from The Beach Boys because I told him I hated The Beach Boys. He made me a fan.

The best thing that John did for me was giving me my first push out the door into making music not just a hobby, but also a career. At a time when my band broke up, I lost my job and my then girlfriend moved away, he offered me a job going on the road with them. I was hesitant at first, because I felt so tied down to Los Angeles. He reminded me that I didn’t have anything to tie me down, so why not? I didn’t realize how green I was until I went on that tour. It was the first time I traveled past the Northwest. It was the first time I really felt cold weather and the endless hours of driving and doing nothing while waiting for the band to play.

Ethyl Meatplow was popular in gay communities across the U.S. I got a crash course in gay culture across the U.S., something I wish all people could experience. It changed my thought process about gays in general. It’s when I started to correlate the similarities between race, gender and sexuality. I remember the best shows were in places like Wichita, Kansas and Little Rock, Arkansas, which had strong, close-knit gay communities. It was something the big cities could learn from.

The second half of the tour was opening for Front 242. It was an exhausting schedule that started to wear us all down. Front 242 road crew were a bunch of road professionals that were used to working with groups like Van Halen and The Backstreet Boys, Front 242's crew gave me so much crap at the beginning of the tour. They had one rule were I had to breakdown Meatplow’s gear, have it out of the venue and in our van in fifteen minutes after the band finished their set or they would dock the band’s pay 100 dollars for every minute I was over. I remember asking John for help breaking down the gear and he refused, because, “This is what we’re paying you for!”  It was a lesson that in business, if a friend hires you for a job, you are still their employee, no matter how close you are. I never forgot that. After a few days I got breaking down the gear to a science and Front 242’s crew never gave me grief about that again.

After the tour, Carla got me a job, playing bass for Beck. That same year, John started a record label with his then girlfriend Melanie called Basura, which was distributed by Priority Records. Priority was making tons of momey from their Hip=Hop releases and was probably looking for the next Nirvana, Instead, John gave them Foreskin 500, Congo Norvell (With Kid Congo Powers) Bakamono and Timco. As we used to say, "just send the bill to Ice Cube." During the time I was on tour with Beck and John was running the label, we recorded an album together under the moniker Buccinator, along with my friends Evan and Amery “AWOL” Smith, who used to play with Suicidal Tendencies and The Beastie Boys. Our album, The Great Painter Raphael, didn't set the world on fire but we got to do short tour in the beginning of 1995. It was the most fun I had on any tour. It’s said that the best way to start a band is with your friends, because if the band doesn’t work, you still have friends. That is why the tour was fun. Playing was icing on the cake. It was more like a vacation with several of your buddies.

To be honest, I haven’t been that close to John in recent years. We were friends on the dreaded Facebook and I kept up with his recent developments. He kept up on any new that I did. He gave me a ‘like” when I posted about completing a ten mile run a few weeks ago. I congratulated him when he graduated college. It now occurs to me how odd and sad that is, that the only communication people we were once very close with is “liking” each other’s accomplishments; finished required courses to become a counselor? “Like” Opened up a store? “Like” I didn’t even know he had moved back to Los Angeles until I heard of his death.

Since 1993, I have worked with music in some fashion of another. I worked in record stores, record labels, road crew, musician, deejay and writer. Going on twenty years, I’ve never had a boring corporate job and I’ve mostly loved going to work. Recently I helped open a new spot called Espacio 1839, which is a retail store, an internet radio station and an art gallery all in one space in Boyle Heights.

I think John would have dug Espacio 1839. It is right up his alley, and I have him to thank for it.

Daniel Edlen's Vinyl Art Creates "On The Artifacts Of Creativity"

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2012 07:15am | Post a Comment

Thanks to Arizona based vinyl artist Daniel Edlen stumbling upon the recent Amoeblog on the work done by fellow vinyl artist / Amoeba Hollywood customer Colton Tran (Making Art Out of Records with Colton Tran of TransylVinyl & Broken Vinyl Record Art) I was introduced to the equally (although very different in composition) vinyl art of the SoCal born and raised Edlen. "Good to see someone else do something distinctive with records," posted Edlen in the comments of that Amoeblog on Colton Tran. Since then I have been fully introduced to Edlen's amazing vinyl art, like the Prince piece above, for which he utilizes straight acrylic paint and, as he jokes, "a cheap brush" to painstakingly create this beautiful art on 12" records. Edlen, who accurately describes his work as "creating art on the artifacts of creativity,"  has much of his art on view via his main website.

Dave Paul (Bomb Hip-Hop/The Prince & Experience) is among the vinyl artist's many fans/collectors. "The appeal to me of Elden's work was the artist's face hand painted on the record," said Paul who has bought two pieces of Edlen's art. Like fellow vinyl artist Colton Tran, Edlen is also a major Amoeba Music fan: one of the things I asked him about when I caught up with him recently to talk to the Amoeblog. In that interview, that follows below the video clip of him making his art, I also asked him about the details of creation of his vinyl art, his musician subjects, and his work with both the David Lynch Foundation and VH1 Save The Music.

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Scooters!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 11, 2012 01:25pm | Post a Comment

I so want Count Basie's ride!


November 11, 2012: The Sessions

Posted by phil blankenship, November 11, 2012 01:24pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 11.09.12: Paul Wall, Saigon, Lushlife, Hip-Hop & Obama, Too $hort Hip Hop Dance Experience, Genie Does Wu + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 9, 2012 08:43am | Post a Comment
Amoeblog Hip-Hop Rap Up Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:09:12

 
1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City  (Aftermath)

2) Paul Wall No Sleep Til Houston SMC Recordings

3) P.O.S. We Don't Even Live Here (Rhymesayers)

4) Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic)

5) MellowHype Numbers (Columbia/3 Ent)

There was a lot of celebration in hip-hop circles this week since the man known to many as "the first hip-hop president" got re-elected on Tuesday. Among those celebrating the loudest was longtime Obama supporter emcee/mogul Jay-Z who had performed at the president's Ohio rally (along with Bruce Springsteen) on the eve of the election. During his set Hova did his ever-popular "99 Problems" song (off 2004's The Black Album) but when he got to the line “I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one" he replaced the word B word with “Mitt." And when he go the line "I got 99 problems and Mitt ain't one" the packed Democratic audience roared in loud approval. Throughout social networking sites this past week the support for both parties was accelerated to an unprecedented level with hip-hoppers (almost) unanimously showing support for the candidate dubbed "the first hip-hop president" four years when he won the first time. Loose knit Obama supporters included "DJs for Obama" who shared the photo below on social networking sites over the week leading up the election day.

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Heavy Midnites: James Cameron's ALIENS at The Cinefamily

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2012 10:12pm | Post a Comment


ALIENS // Friday, November 9, 2012 // Midnite

Before tackling giant ocean liners or the future of 3D, James Cameron blasted out this masterpiece of technical marvel, high tension and peace through superior firepower. Sidestepping the horror focus of Ridley Scott’s first film, Aliens ratchets up the action, full-blooded machismo and mechanical fascination, all while cementing Sigourney Weaver as the female action hero of the ‘80s (garnering her an Oscar nomination and a Time magazine cover) and serving as a critique of America’s involvement in Vietnam. Jam-packed with a sci-fi dream team cast (Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton & Jenette Goldstein as badass space marines; Lance Henriksen as android Bishop; Paul Reiser as an oily corporate representative), thoroughly entertaining, eminently quotable and featuring an impressive array of physical visual effects (pre-CGI overload!), Aliens remains one of the most exciting adventures ever sent into space.Dir. James Cameron, 1986, 35mm, 137 min.

$12, Free For Members
www.cinefamily.org
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036

Weekly Roundup: New Videos from Crown Plaza, So Many Wizards, IO Echo, Line & Circle

Posted by Billy Gil, November 8, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment

A whole batch of awesome videos from LA-based artists were released this week. Check ’em all out like it’s 1994 and you’re home watching MTV.

Crown Plaza – “Reactor” video; So Many Wizards’ “Lose Your Mind” video

The solo project of So Many Wizards’ Nima Kazerouni, Crown Plaza, is dreamier and lo-fier than his band’s indie power-pop. “Reactor” is lonely and lightly melancholic bedroom pop of the finest order, while the video calls to mind visiting your hometown and feeling like a stranger. Chem Waves Volume 1 is out now on tape on LA’s Vanity Projects, while So Many Wizards’ fine Warm Nothing was released earlier this year. That album’s “Lose Your Mind” video was also released this week. Crown Plaza play a free show at the Bootleg Theater Nov. 12. So Many Wizards will be all over LA this month and next, starting with a show at USC with the Allah-Las tonight; see all their dates here.

 

 

IO Echo – “Berlin, It’s All a Mess” video

LA electronic pop band IO Echo have teamed with filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) and photographer Polly Borland for this incredible video, screening on MOCA TV, an Internet contemporary art channel started this year by LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Right from the start, you know you’re seeing and hearing something truly unusual. I want more of this! IO Echo’s debut album will be out in early 2013 on IAMSOUND. Look out for it, everything I’ve heard so far from this band has been great.

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LA Hearts NY Benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief Sunday Nov. 11

Posted by Amoebite, November 8, 2012 01:00pm | Post a Comment

LA Hearts NY logoIt's been a week and a half since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey and the cities and beach communities there are still working to recover from the storm. To top it all off, they have just been hit with a snowfall and many homes that just had their power restored are back without electricity. A group of Los Angeles residents have formed a collaborative to help grassroots organizations in New York with their relief efforts.

LA Hearts NY is throwing an emergency benefit this Sunday, November 11 at Space 15Twenty in Hollywood (right across from Amoeba). The event runs 2-6pm and will feature DJs from KCRW (Chris Douridas), Cat Power (Gregg Foreman and Nico Turner) & others, along with a silent auction, bake sale, Intelligentsia coffee and more. They still need help too so if you want to donate anything (including auction items) please email them at [email protected].

 

LA Hearts NY flier

 

New Fusion of Afrobeat and Moroccan Gnawa Unveiled

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2012 06:08am | Post a Comment

Fangnawa Feature: Fanga + Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa Fuse Afrobeat & Moroccan Gnawa

As outlined in the engaging mini documentary above from Strut Records Fangnawa Experience is a unique musical hybrid that fuses two distinct African musical styles; North Africa's ceremonial Gnawa Music with West Africa's Afrobeat. This new cross cultural fusion, that sounds totally natural, comes care of the French collective Fanga and Moroccan master musician Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa who each wanted to do something new and uncharted with their respective music. This they ably accomplished with this new cross pollination that they originally unveiled at the Détours du Monde festival in Montpelier, France last year when they realized they shared a musical common ground.

Both forms consist of trance like qualities that seemed destined to go together. The enriching results of their naturally compatible collaboration (even though they don't speak the same language) is seen/heard in the above short documentary film. The artists call their music and their hybrid project the Fangnawa Experience - the title that Fanga and Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa will be releasing their joint project next week (November 13th) via Strut Records. Look for it at Amoeba in the World Music section.

Amoeba Music Holiday Food & Toy Drives! Make a Difference! Get a Coupon!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2012 10:00pm | Post a Comment

This holiday season, Amoeba Music makes giving even more rewarding! Each Amoeba store location is partnering with a worthy charity and will give YOU a coupon for givingAs a thank you for your donation, get a coupon for 10% off on Amoeba.com or $5 off your $25 purchase in-store! Everyone wins! Find out what your local Amoeba is up to...

AMOEBA HOLLYWOOD:

Amoeba Hollywood and Five Acres invites you to share the joy with our annual HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE!

Bring in a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a child through December 23rd. Toy should be suitable for ages 7 – teenager (no violent or weapon-based toys, please).

Founded as an orphanage in 1888, Five Acres is the oldest non-sectarian child abuse and neglect prevention, treatment, and education center located in Altadena. 

 

AMOEBA SAN FRANCISCO:

No one in our community should go hungry. Yet every day, about 1 in 5 people in San Francisco and SF food bank logoMarin do not have enough to eat. This holiday season you can make a difference in the life of a family by giving Food: The Perfect Gift.

Amoeba San Francisco joins forces with the San Francisco Food Bank to collect canned goods and nonperishable items for singles and families in need this holiday season. The drive starts Friday, November 23rd and ends December 21st.

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Remastered Beatles Catalog Releasing on Vinyl Nov. 13

Posted by Billy Gil, November 7, 2012 04:40pm | Post a Comment

The BeatlesAll 14 albums by The Beatles will be released in remastered stereo on vinyl Tuesday, November 13, following their previous release on CD (remember Beatles Day 9/9/09?) and digitally.

The 12 original UK albums, plus Magical Mystery Tour and B-sides collection Past Masters Volumes One & Two, will be released on vinyl and will include such goodies as a reproduction of the White Album poster. Additionally, a limited-edition box set includes every album and a hardbound book by radio producer Kevin Howlett, with a chapter on each album’s creation and remastering, as well as photographs from across the band’s career.

These vinyl releases mark the first time that The Beatles’ first four albums will be available in stereo on vinyl in North America. Watch for the mono vinyl releases coming in 2013. Each record is available for $22.98, except for Past Masters, The White Album and the box set. Links to preorder each of the releases are below:

 

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Beatles for Sale

With the Beatles

Abbey Road

Let it Be

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New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 11/5 - Joey Anderson, Fishermen, Professor Genius, Norm Talley, Jus Ed, Andy Stott, Hakim Murphy...

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 7, 2012 04:19pm | Post a Comment



Joey Anderson
Earth Calls 12”
Deconstruct

New Jersey’s Joey Anderson with some heat on this hand stamped 12” from Levon Vincent and Anthony Parasole’s Deconstruct imprint.


Purchase Earth Calls here:







Fishermen
Fishermen 12”
Skudge presents

"Skudge is proud to present the first release in a new series called Skudge White. Fishermen is a new project created by Martin (MRSK) and his friend Thomas. Inspired by the sea."

Purchase Fishermen here:







Steve Moore
Panther Moderns 12”
L.I.E.S

Massive new ep from Steve Moore which hits hard straight from the get go, as the title track Panther Moderns sees Moore moving into bleaker, mid-tempo musical territories with this brutally haunting, sparse, yet, funk ridden cut. Beyond Tykens Rift is the light at the end of the tunnel with its melodic and uplifting techno/new age leanings while the b-side's Ancient Shorelines I., which opens with heavy arpeggios and a plodding kick, creates desolate landscapes of still to be discovered planets as the song's dramatic narrative unfolds. 

Purchase Panther Moderns here:



Andy Stott
Luxury Problems LP
Modern Love

Following on from a pair of extended players released in 2011 (Passed Me By/We Stay Together) Andy Stott returns to Modern Love with Luxury Problems, an eight-track album of new material recorded over the last 12 months. Five of the tracks on the album feature the voice of Alison Skidmore, Andy's one-time piano teacher whom he hadn't seen since he was a teenager back in 1996. There was no grand gesture in mind, it just sort of happened -- but after almost a year of studio work, the result is really quite unlike anything you'll have heard from him before. "Numb" opens the album with Alison's voice; layered and looped, but essentially left bare and exposed, tumbling into a dense shuffle, sort of somewhere between Theo Parrish and Sade, but more fucked. "Lost and Found" follows and deploys a growling rave bass line and a disturbed vocal, the beat assembling itself around a squashed Linndrum like a submerged Prince/Cameo production, haunted and impenetrable, but full of funk. "Sleepless" started life as an African drum edit that sooner or later succumbed to Stott's intense rhythmic shifts. It's a sound that's been imitated countless times since the release of Passed Me By, here re-tooled and re-built for its next evolutionary phase. "Hatch the Plan" ends the first half of the album with some heavily treated location recordings and a low-end grind that probably doesn't quite prepare you for the vocal arrangements that follow -- it's just a beautifully inverted pop song. The second half opens with "Expecting," the most recognizably "Stott" moment on the album: a wrecked, deliriously knocked-out 4/4 shuffle deployed at half-speed; those heavy kick drums sucking in everything around them. "Luxury Problems" offers up the album's most quietly euphoric moment; conventional arrangements and drum loops are disrupted by sharp disco bursts that mess with what you know: it's straight and beautiful and unbalanced and damaged, somehow all at once. "Up the Box" fucks with the narrative and goes somewhere else entirely, an extended intro that seems to build continuously for 3 minutes before breaking off into a slowed-down amen edit, creating a kind of narcotic jungle variant that fragments everything and ends just at the point you think it's going to go off, before "Leaving" finishes the album with an almost unbearably-beautiful arrangement of voice and synth and a final key-change that takes you from joyful to forlorn in an instant.

Purchase Luxury Problems here:




Hakim Murphy
Darkness 12”
Sound Black Recordings

Three track experience dives deep into the Chicago ethos, specifically made for underground jocks who like to bang jack tracks.

Purchase Darkness here:






Professor Genius
Hassan LP
L.I.E.S.

Composing an entire electronic album around the notorious 15th Century Cult Of Assassins, New Jersey based producer Jorge Velez (Italians Do It Better, Thisnotanexit), better known as Professor Genius, has created a unique and ambitious piece of work, under the guise of Hassan, which strongly stands apart from his previous efforts. Check! Largely based around layered atmospheric Arabic-styled synth work and sparse percussion throughout, Hassan employs an entirely electronic palette to bring listeners into a secret world filled with darkness, drama, triumph and chaotic dissonance. Bridging the gap of Velez's atmospheric originals on the second disc come remixes from Steve Moore (Zombi) who contributes a massive 9 plus minute epic re-working of Time of the Assassins, Marcos Cabral (of Runaway's) dancefloor treatment of Merciful and Blessed as well as Steve Summers slo-motion, plodding nu-beat inspired interpretation of The Valleys of Paradise.



Sha-Lor
I'm In Love 12"
Rush Hour

Unlike Dream 2 Science, which remained an obscure record at the time, Sha-Lor became an international club hit and a Summer Of Love staple song. The timeless feel of this innocent, heartfelt vocal song sounds as fresh as it did back then and is sure to fill people's hearts with joy again. This reissue features the Caught Up Version, which was the most popular mix from the original.

Purchase I'm In Love here:






Norm Talley
Riviere D’etroit 12”
Rue de Plaisance

Superb new release by Norm Talley on Varoslav's imprint Rue De Plaisance. 110% geared for the dancefloor, Norm Talley delivers a solid three tracker of deep Detroit flavoured grooves. Limited to 300, no digital, don't sleep.

Purchase Riviere D’etroit here:





Jonas Kopp
Reforce 12”
Deeply Rooted House

For our 40th release we are very pleased to welcome on Deeply Rooted House Argentina's own Jonas Kopp (Ostgut Ton, Curle, Krill Music, Ear to Ground, Traut). This 4 tracks ep gives a good example of his diverse and still very defined techno recording skills. A side goes from the very straight forward and somehow mental 'Reforce' to the deep and abstract journey of 'Proteus 81', while B side kicks of with the somehow balearic and positive 'Green fingers' to end up with the quest of 'Light'!

Purchase Reforce here:






Jus-Ed
Blaze 12”
Underground Quality

As featured on Levon Vincent’s Fabric mix cd


Purchase Blaze here:





Sensate Focus: 2.5 12”
Vedagor/Untitled 12”
SWZK/Varient Express 12”
Mohn/Ebertplatz 2020 Remixes 12”
Nick Hoppner/ Speicher 12”
Benedikt Frey/Running in circles 12”
Split Secs/SLAVE (FEAT. ALONA) 12”
U/EAH EP 10”
Various/MACADAM MAMBO EDITS VOL.2 12"
L.A.S.'s Crime/DISPHORIA 1985-1989 LP
Sam Rosenthal/TANZMUSIK LP
Mushy/MY LIFE SO FAR 12”
David Vunk & Ben La Desh/TURNER 12”
Unspecified Enemies/MULTI ORDINAL... 12”
Jorge C/EL EFFEKTO EP - H.BEING 12”
Jamie L/WHAT WE SAW IN THE BURG 12”
Paranoid London/PARIS DUB 1 12”
Behling & Simpson/WHERE THE OH'S 12”
Librah/2BWU 12”
Ron Hardy/RON HARDY EDITS #9 12”
Consequence/NOISY SPIRITS IN THIS... 12”
Various/REMAKE MUSIQUE #13 12”
Slow It Down & E. Collins/ALRIGHT EP 12”
Burton Rathod Shepheard/RETROFIT #10 12”
Chris Carrier/ZULU SPINS 12”
Kez YM/BLIND SPOT EP 12”
Damien Zala/LONELY HAPPINESS DLP
Felix Lenferink/FORLANE EP 12”
Myriadd/THE WAY WE WERE-JOHN HECKLE 10”
Ikenga Project/SNOW EP 12”
Edanticonf/FOREST ECHO 12”
Four Tet/LION & PEACE FOR EARTH 12”
DJ Steaw/EVERYDAYZ EP 12”
Jose Manuel/EP 12”
Nathaniel X Project/FIRST SUPPLEMENT 12”
Ben Pearce/WHAT I MIGHT DO 12”
Tuccillo/SABOTAGE EP 12”
Various/SUMMER SPECIAL 2012 12”
Various/SELECTED WERKS VOL 1 LP

Noise Pop Record Collective Party with Nathan Blaz of Geographer! Nov. 27th in Oakland.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2012 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop and Amoeba Music present the record party everyone is talking about, Noise Pop Record CollectiveNoise Pop Record Nathan Blaz GeographerCollective, on Tuesday, November 27th. This month the party is hosted by Nathan Blaz of Geographer and goes from 8pm till 11pm at Oakland's Bar Three Fifty-Five.

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

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.
 
See photos from the Geographer in-store at Amoeba Music in SF!

'Dual Form' Cassette Out; Golden Ticket May Be at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 7, 2012 10:11am | Post a Comment

A little while ago, I blogged about a new release from Leaving Records and Stones Throw Records called Dual Form, a cassette-only compilation of Leaving Records artists to kick off Stones Throw serving as a distributor for Leaving Records. The cassette is on sale now at various LA record stores including Amoeba Hollywood, and a few lucky buyers of the Dual Form cassette will get a golden ticket for an exclusive Leaving Records mixtape! The LA labels are throwing an all-cassette DJ night tonight to celebrate the release at The Virgil (4519 Santa Monica Blvd.), hosted by Leaving Records co-founder Matthewdavid and Dublab's Frosty. If you get the golden ticket, you can redeem it there. It starts at 9 p.m. and is free, though it's part of Dublab's Proton Drive, so donations are welcome. The event will be streamed live at Dublab.com.

Read more about Dual Form here, which includes The Cyclist's "Visions."

 

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #7: NYC's Rapid Road to Recovery, Grand Central Terminal, Fresh & Onlys in NYC + much more

Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2012 06:19am | Post a Comment

Compared to this time last week when the New York State of Mind Post-Hurricane Sandy Blues was posted to the Amoeblog in the devastating couple of days following the unprecedented impact of the storm that hit the region with a vengeance and brought the city that never sleeps to a standstill, things are looking a lot better in New York City (albeit far from back-to-normal in all places, most notably in the hard hit Staten Island and the Rockaways section of Queens).

Now the majority of power has been restored in most parts of NYC and a large percentage of public transit service (about 85%) is back up and running. In most places, NYC is getting back on track as fast as it can. However, the fallout of Sandy will still be felt here for a quite some time, especially in places that need to rebuild and/or tackle the daunting task of major flood damage repair. Plus, there's the nor'easter / second storm coming this week. Despite all of this, New Yorkers have worked together and around the fallout of Sandy to get things running despite the obstacles presented to them.

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Preorder Albums Due in the Holiday Season

Posted by Billy Gil, November 6, 2012 09:40pm | Post a Comment

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time for some blockbuster releases from the likes of Green Day, who are releasing their second two of three albums this year; pop stars Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Lana Del Rey; and high-profile indie releases from Scott Walker, Brian Eno and Atoms for Peacel. See highlights of albums up for preorder at Amoeba.com below; a full-list of available preorders is here.

Brian EnoLux

Brian Eno LuxCD $14.98 available now

LP $25.98 due 12/11

Consisting of four LP-side-length pieces, the latest from the electronic music pioneer (and one-time Roxy Music member) falls into Eno’s ambient canon. Eno also recently developed an iPhone app called Bloom, which allows the average person to construct their own ambient music without knowledge of how to program or play an instrument.

 

 


Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

Due 11/19Led Zeppelin

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Albums Out Nov. 6: Prince Rama, Emeralds, Lindstrom and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 6, 2012 10:30am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Prince RamaTop Ten Hits of the End of the World

Prince Rama Top 10 hits of the end of the worldCD $13.98

LP $15.98

For their latest release, Brooklyn duo Prince Rama invented 10 separate entities to sing pop songs to soundtrack the end of days. Prince Rama’s apocalyptic thing might be shticky, but it also serves to highlight how the Brooklyn duo’s second album represents the strongest statement yet of their inverted pop aesthetic. “Those Who Live for Love Will Live Forever” channels ’70s and ’80s schlock like “The Hussle” and “Physical” through an art-pop lens that ends with a tribal background and the girls shrieking “forever” until the floor falls beneath them. “No Way Back” resuscitates forgotten new wave pop groups like Shakespeare’s Sister and Strawberry Switchblade in its girlish pop ambition, but the sound of it finds kinship with outsider sounds like the lo-fi pop of Ariel Pink. The way Prince Rama blends simplicity, as on the bare-bones riffery “So Destroyed,” with otherness, as in that song’s exotic call and response, takes them farther than the album’s admittedly fun premise. Hopefully whoever or whatever finds Prince Rama’s Top Ten Hits of the End of the World jammed in someone’s tape deck after mankind is long gone thinks we were pretty cool ’cause of it.

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Johnny Marr To Release First Ever Solo Album

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2012 06:08am | Post a Comment

Johnny Marr stops into Amoeba Hollywood and does "What's In My Bag?" (2011)

Influential British guitarist Johnny Marr, who originally came to fame as the backbone of The Smiths sound and songwriting partner to Morrissey, will be releasing his first ever solo album in the new year. To be titled The Messenger, the 12-song, self-produced album will be released by Sire/ADA in late February, 2013. The long-awaited solo release will follow years of Marr recording with such other artists, besides The Smiths, as The The, Talking Heads, Electronic, Pet Shop Boys, The Cribs, and as a member of the 2007 Modest Mouse line-up for the number one Billboard Top 200 hit We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Marr recently announced that he would join Dinosaur Jr. onstage at Terminal 5 when they play that NYC venue in early December for the 25th anniversary of You're Living All Over Me.

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Tickets On Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in November

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2012 06:45pm | 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.

JUST ADDED SHOWS:

John Cale at the El Rey

Amoeba Presents: John Cale
Cass McCombs
El Rey Theatre
December 11

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Amoeba Presents: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
The Fonda Theatre
December 19

 

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

Show Name Venue Show Date Ticket Price
(fee not included)
3LAU The Fonda Theatre 12/14/2012 $17.50
Bad Brains (SOLD OUT) The Fonda Theatre 12/01/2012 $27.00
Paul Banks The Fonda Theatre 12/05/2012 $22.50
Borgore (18+ show) The Fonda Theatre 12/7 & 12/8 $30.00
Amoeba Presents: John Cale
with Cass McCombs
El Rey Theatre 12/11/2012 $30.00
Cockney Rejects El Rey Theatre 02/18/2013 $20.00
Father John Misty El Rey Theatre 12/29/2012 $20.00
Femi Kuti and the Postive Force El Rey Theatre 01/18/2013 $30.00
Gojira with the Devin Townsend Project
and The Atlas Moth
The Fonda Theatre 01/25/2013 $22.00
Graveyard El Rey Theatre 02/17/2013 $20.00
Anthony Green with Geoff Rickly The Fonda Theatre 12/15/2012 $18.00

How the Grouch Stole Christmas 2012:
The Grouch & Eligh with Mistah F.A.B,
Prof and DJ Fresh

Recap: November Charity Auction

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2012 05:54pm | Post a Comment

Auction RecapOn Saturday, November 3 we were all excited to have the inimitable Billy Calhoun step up to the mic and charm the dollars out of the peeps....and....he....DID ! :) Billy did an amazing job of being funny, sincere, and charming while reminding people WHY we do this and what it means---and how each dollar is matched so it feels good. He was also gracious enough to donate several cool, kitschy vintage items from his own collection to spice it up even more. This month's recipient was a new partner for us, Good Neighbors, and they do amazing work around the world. Billy made sure to educate us about the works they do as he was auctioning off Dennis Rodman dolls (with switchable heads, no less! :). So it is even better since we are happy to be involved with what these guys are doing.

 Here are some of the highlights, which are especially impressive since there was a small crowd this time around. Several people overbid and doubled their own bids---which was just the spirit we needed:

 
** Pee Wee Herman Vintage T-shirt and Button Pack  -- $17.00

** Cat Power Concert Tickets and Signed CD -- $30.00

** Patti Smith Signed Horses CD and Poster -- $17.00

** Steve Martin T-shirt -- $5.00

** Monkees Concert Tickets -- $40.00

** Urban Outfitters Gift Card -- $45.00

** Lana Del Rey Signed 45 -- $25.00

** Dolly Parton Doll -- $30.00

** Minus The Bear Concert Tickets -- $25.00

** Gene Simmons Mask -- $25.00

** Amoeba VIP In-Store Pass -- $35.00

** Signed Doctor Who Blu-ray -- $40.00

** Trader Joe's Gift Card with Lunchbox -- $55.00

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Another Reason to Vote!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 5, 2012 05:16pm | Post a Comment

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day!

Bring in your voting stub into any Amoeba store on Tuesday and get $3 off your purchase of any item $4.99 or more!

Cannot be combined with other discounts. Only valid in stores on Tuesday, November 6th.

Now get out there and VOTE!
 

Jazz Trumpeter Ted Curson Dead

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2012 12:36pm | Post a Comment

Ta-Tu featuring Ted Curson "Serenade To A Cuckoo" (2010)

Sad news for jazz fans: famed trumpeter Ted Curson, who was perhaps best known for his membership of Charles Mingus' band circa 1960, died yesterday November 4th at age 77. The Philadelphia born jazz musician began his musical career after relocating from Philly to New York City in the mid 1950's. There he recorded with Cecil Taylor before going on to collaborate with Charles Mingus. Along with Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Dannie Richmond, and "special guest" Bud Powell, he performed at the Antibes jazz festival in 1960. That session was officially released as the double album Mingus At Antibes many years later in 1976, and re-released in recent years as a single CD set. In 1960 Curson also collaborated with Mingus on his album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus. From that period on through the following two decades Curson recorded a series of albums as band leader and solo artist including such releases as 1965's The New Thing and the Blue Thing, 1971's Pop Wine, and 1976's Blue Piccolo.  Although not recording as much Curson continued performing up until this year. Above is a recent day live recording of Curson in Finland from a couple of years ago with the line up known as Ta-Tu performing the Roland Kirk song "Serenade To A Cuckoo." And below is the track "Better Git It In Your Soul" from Mingus At Antibes
 

"Better Git It In Your Soul" from Mingus At Antibes

California Fool's Gold -- A San Fernando Valley Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 5, 2012 10:55am | Post a Comment

WHERE THE WEST BEGINS AND THE SUNSET ENDS -- THE VALLEY 


San Fernando Valley State College postcard (1973)

_THE_ VALLEY - A SAN FERNANDO VALLEY PRIMER



San Fernando Valley panorama


There are numerous valleys in Los Angeles County: the Antelope, Crescenta, Hungry, Peace, Pomona, PuenteSan Gabriel, Santa Clara River, and Santa Clarita, to name a few of the better known ones. However, when one hears mention of The Valley it is almost universally recognized as a reference to LA County's San Fernando Valley.

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AFI 2012 - Interview with Olivier Assayas

Posted by Charles Reece, November 5, 2012 06:49am | Post a Comment

Olivier Assayas discussing his student radicalism and new film about those years, Something in the Air
(which has a better French title translated as After May, but we're not supposed to know to what the
"May"refers over here, I guess).

Amoeba Believes in Halloween Family Values

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 4, 2012 07:46pm | Post a Comment

Plymouth can have Thanksgiving and Bethlehem can have Christmas, but Halloween belongs to San Francisco. As you can see from these historic photos (taken in 1921 and 1946, respectively), San Franciscans can't help but parade in costume every October 31st. It's as natural an instinct as rooting for the Giants or complaining about Muni.

Halloween san francisco 1921

Amoeba San Francisco upholds this civic tradition every year with our annual Halloween employee costume contest. If you thought last year's costumes were good, wait till you get a load of this year's collection!

The festivities began with the dynamic DJing duo of Jamie Lee Roth and The Ancient Mariner spinning truly spooky tunes, such as the vocal track to "Running with the Devil" (see the end of this post for that special trick/treat). As customers in a variety of different stages of disguise browsed the aisles, a team of official costume contest judges was assembled (Tarin, Kathy, Suzanne, and Derrick) and Marketing and Promotions rep Tarin Muir took the stage to introduce the staff contestants. 

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8-track Tape Cartridge Nostalgia at Amoeba with NPR/KCRW'S Tom Schnabel

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 4, 2012 06:57pm | Post a Comment

 "....Yet Another Reason Why  amoeba Rules."

 
Our pal Tom Schnabel, NPR and KCRW-FM icon and music wizard, posted a  cool remembrance of his day with 8 track cartridges. Remember those? They were cartridges with 1/4-inch tape inside that was divided up into 4 stereo programs (8 tracks) and were looped to play continuously inside of a small plastic...well, cartridge. I had one in my Chevy after the 4-track craze and before the cassette boom. I loved it when a song would fade out mid-chorus and start up again on the next track!
 
Ahhh...where's my dictaphone?
 
Check out his post here!! And, Tom's website is right here!!

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11.02.12: Kendrick Lamar, P.O.S., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Lupe Fiasco + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 2, 2012 09:23am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:02:12


1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City  (Aftermath)

2) Macklemore The Heist (Macklemore LLC)

3) P.O.S. We Don't Even Live Here (Rhymesayers)

4) Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic)

5) MellowHype Numbers (Columbia/3 Ent)

This latest hip-hop top five chart from the San Francisco Amoeba store includes many of the same new releases that have been selling well in recent weeks at both the Berkeley and Hollywood Amoeba stores including Odd Future spinoff MellowHype Numbers , Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 - the sequel to the Chicago emcee's 2006 debut Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, and Kendrick Lamar's universally popular major label debut Good Kid M.A.A.D City   on his mentor Dr. Dre's Aftermath label via Interscope. The album, which looks set to bring Compton back to the center of the rap map, is not only extremely popular at each of the Amoeba stores where it went straight to number one since its recent release but also across the nation. It debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop and rap albums charts, and at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart (Taylor Swift's latest mega-hit Red edged it out for the number one pop chart position).

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Irish Group Take Stand By Rejecting Opportunity to Open For Chris Brown

Posted by Billyjam, November 1, 2012 04:35pm | Post a Comment

The Original Rudeboys doing their popular Irish single "Written Songs (Feeling Good)" (2012)

Up and coming Irish pop group The Original Rudeboys have turned down the enviable career opportunity plus a bucket of cash to be the opening act for visiting US pop star Chris Brown's upcoming Irish concert at Dublin's 23,000 capacity O2 arena concert venue. The reason? The hip-hop/r'n'b/pop trio, whose latest single "Blue Eyes" off their new album Grand Social addresses their opposition to domestic violence, are vehemently opposed to Brown's 2009 physical mistreatment of his former girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna.

"Even though it’s a huge opportunity to play in the O2 with a major hip hop star and a substantial fee was offered, we are completely against Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna," said band member Sean Walsh in a prepared statement adding that, in keeping with the content of their new single, "It goes against everything we are about as a band and supporting Chris would send out the wrong message to our fans." 

Weekly Roundup: DaVinci, Feeding People, Plateaus

Posted by Billy Gil, November 1, 2012 12:40pm | Post a Comment

DaVinci – “Cheeba” (featuring Ammbush, Main Attrakionz and The Jacka)

“Walk with a limp like Jason Voorhees.” Perfect line for just after Halloween. That comes from this spacey hip-hop track by Oakland’s DaVinci, with some great fluctuating production sounds from producer Keyes. He’s already released tracks such as “Nothin Finna Stop Me” as well from the upcoming The MOEna Lisa, due Nov. 6 from SWTBRDS.

 

Feeding People – “Island Universe”

Feeding People released a 7” of their sweet indie pop tune “Island Universe” last month, and now that song has gotten the remix treatment by Free the Robots featuring Phil Nisco. It’s the rare remix that completely reimagines the song and does so successfully — this time highlighting the song’s sci-fi potential, given that title, reminiscent of camp classic This Island Earth. Listen to it at LA Record. Both the original and remix are available to download at Amoeba.com.

 

dual formThe Cyclist – “Visions”

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Amoeba Vinyl Engineer Shai Fishman Talks About Amoeba Vinyl Vaults

Posted by Billy Gil, November 1, 2012 11:54am | Post a Comment

Shai Fishman is a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer. He has composed music for museums, feature films and is one of the creators of The Voca People, an international a capella group that has appeared on the Italian X-Factor and has had millions of YouTube views for clips of its performances.

At Amoeba, he’s helped to digitize Amoeba’s collection of vintage vinyl and 78s for exclusive download at Amoeba.com’s Vinyl Vaults. Right now Amoeba is featuring more than 100 remastered songs by jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong, first released from 1923-1926. I spoke with Fishman about the digitizing and remastering process.

Amoeba: Can you take me through some of the basics of converting vinyl to digital? What are some of the concerns when dealing with older vinyl?

Fishman: As far is converting vinyl to digital media, the main concern is high-fidelity digitizing. We need to make sure that the analog recording process is done in such quality that it reproduces the signature vinyl sound we all love so much, in an authentic way, while still enjoying all the benefits of digital media.

Our digitizing allows for 96 KHz and 24 bit audio sampling resolution, which is more than enough to reproduce vinyl and at the same time allows us to have some room to manipulate the wave file, if need be.

When dealing with old vinyl the main concern is eliminating the noise that exists on copies that are older than 30 or 40 (roughly) years. That noise profile may be a simple surface noise, clicks, pops, crackle or any other intricate profile that we have to deal with in order to produce a digital copy that is in keeping with today’s sound standard.

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Dia De Los Muertos 2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 1, 2012 07:44am | Post a Comment
As I mentioned in previous blogs about Dia De Los Muertos, I look forward to this celebration more than other holidays. The older I get, I feel the best way to celebrate life is to celebrate death without fear; with the same celebratory spirit one would have for a birth or an anniversary. The ritual of Dia De Los Muertos, the ofrenda (altar) the food and drink, and having the time to reflect those who have passed on are all-important components of this celebration. This is the day we party with the dead as we would with the living, some we knew intimately and others we admire and wish we knew better.

Besides celebrating family and friends that have passed on, I like to include musicians and artists who have inspired me in some way. This year, many great musicians have passed. Consider this a digital ofrenda to them. I hope these musicians have inspired you as much as they have I.


The Bass Players

Two amazing bass players passed this year. Bob Babbitt was a member of the infamous Funk Brothers, the backing group of musicians that played on many of the best Motown recordings of the 60’s and 70’s. Donald “Duck” Dunn did the same damage for Stax Records as a member of Booker T And The MG's, playing behind many of the greats on the Stax Records roster. You may not know their names but I bet you can hum their bass lines by heart.

Babbitt played bass on such Motown classics as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder, "War" by Edwin Starr, "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye, "Band Of Gold" by Freda Payne, "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" by The Temptations.

Dunn played on such Stax classics as Otis Redding's "Respect" and "I Can't Turn You Loose", Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'", and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" Later, he played on Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and was a member of The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Both Dunn and Babbit played until their deaths this year.

The Organ Players:

Jon Lord was probably the most infamous of rock organ players. His signature distorted organ is what made Deep Purple unique. If you dig deep into Deep Purple’s sound, you realize that it wasn’t Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar sound that made their sound “heavy”; it was those deep distorted chords layered throughout their songs that created their sound. Listen to any cover band that tries to play “Smoke On The Water” without a distorted organ and notice how thin it sounds. Lord made that group.

Leon Spencer recorded a few solo albums of what they now called Acid Jazz or Rare Groove. Before his groove was rare, Spencer played on many funky jazz recordings, playing behind Lou Donaldson, Melvin Sparks, Gene Ammons, Rusty Bryant and Sonny Stitt. His style was modeled after the legendary Jazz organist Jimmy Smith and he is often unfairly compared to him. Still, Spencer being younger than Smith reached out and took influence from younger organ players outside of the Jazz circuit such as Brian Auger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors and implemented their style into his sound. The result was a somewhat out-sounds that Smith never realized. 

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