On the last day of the year, I offer you one final best-of list: The best of the Amoeblog in 2012. Over the past year, our bloggers have fervently written about their idiosyncratic passions, and we’ve corralled some of the best posts here for your perusal. Enjoy a read through what was on our minds in 2012.
-Amoebloggers’ coverage of Record Store Day 2012.
Well, here we are. We weren't thrust into a new dark age oblivion, the world didn't end and neither did my workaday quest for the best music for the day. This year was rife with records that just had to be snatched -- reissues, compilations, and a fair few newbies too.
Here follows my personal, "show and tell" style best-of list for 2012: the year that didn't stop the big wheel a-turnin'. Rather than just dicing up a list of cold-cut favorites, I've included personal events and trends herein that shaped the music I sought and gravitated towards within the past year.
BEST NEW ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Jessica Pratt - JP. No contest. I have naught but the best of things to say about this disc of spun gold and I'm not alone. It seems every Barry, Rob, and Maurice in the blogosphere has been falling all over this record like autumn leaves in the rain. If you really want to know my take check out my real talk review of JP here, otherwise please do enjoy the album's opening track, "Night Faces" below.
It’s official: Our lists are in and we’ve compiled them to give you our combined knowledge in the form of a top 50 albums list. The following is Amoeba's top picks for 2012 based on those who submitted lists of their favorites of the year. (For world music picks, go here; for classical picks, check out Rubin's list; and see more best of 2012 fun here.)
Everyone seemed to be able to agree on Frank Ocean this year, from independent purists to mainstream fans. It’s no surprise that when compiling our top lists, Frank Ocean easily made No. 1.
“Outside the hype, this guy is the genuine deal. Orange is a cohesive old-school album with vivid modern snapshots of moving to the city and the characters he met there.” — Aaron Detroit
This is the third and final part in the 2012 Year End Best of Hip-Hop Amoeblogs in which I do my personal top ten albums of the year, plus some other highlights of the past twelve months in hip-hop music and culture. This is all from one person's perspective and includes some losses of 2012 like Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys who had been battling cancer since 2009 and passed on at the young age of 47. MCA joined the ranks of such other hip-hoppers as Camu Tao who also died from cancer. Coincidentally, 2012 was the year that Bay Area graffiti fan Sonae Ponce produced the Graffiti Against Cancer event. Within a week of MCA's passing, BK rapper Tone Tank recorded a great tribute to the Beatie Boy (with cool accompanying logo - left) based on the Beasties' "Shake your Rump."
Overall in 2012, we gained much more than we lost with such things as a resurgence in the art of the skratch DJ. Best evidence of the Return of the DJ in 2012? The return of the DMC DJ battle to San Francisco and releases such turntablists as DJ Needlz and DJ Moschops (who also raps). Also in 2012 artists began to specialize more in their own respective niches. These included Oh No's guest heavy tribute album to Dolemite, Ohnomite (Traffic Entertainment). In 2012 some of the best labels making music included Mello Music and Stones Throw.
#2 Zero Dark Thirty
#3 Django Unchained
#5 Moonrise Kingdom
Antonino D'Ambrosio's documentary Let Fury Have the Hour opens at the Balboa Theatre (3630 Balboa St., San Francisco) on January 18th, 2013. It's a one-week-only exclusive engagement, so you won't want to miss it! Plus, opening night features a live performance by Sean Hayes and a Q&A with Hayes and director Antonino D'Ambrosio after the 7:15pm show. The following night's screening (Saturday, Jan 19th) features a Q&A with director Antonino D'Ambrosio and Boots Riley after the 7:15pm show.
Featuring interviews with Shepard Fairey, Chuck D, John Sayles, Lewis Black, Eve Ensler, Tom Morello, Ian MacKaye, Billy Bragg, Edwidge Danticat, and Suheir Hamma, Let Fury Have the Hour is a charged journey into the heart of the creative counter-culture in 2012. In a time of global challenges, big questions and by-the-numbers politics, this upbeat, outspoken film tracks the story of the artists, writers, thinkers, and musicians who have gone underground to re-imagine the world.
Writer/director Antonino D'Ambrosio unites 50 powerful, of-the-moment voices who share personal and powerful tales of how they transformed anger and angst into provocative art and ideas. Mix-mastered with historical footage, animation, and performances, D’Ambrosio presents a visceral portrait of a generation looking to re-jigger a system that has failed to address the most pressing problems of our times . . . or human potential.
This second part in the 2012 best of hip-hop series is a Top 130 album chart that is based on sales at Amoeba Music over the past twelve months. It is comprised of nearly all 2012 releases, but since it reflects sales in 2012, there are a few previous year crossover releases such as late 2011 albums like The Roots' Undun (MCA).
The list is a combo of both CD and LP releases since more releases were issued on vinyl in 2012 than in the previous years. (Ironically, major labels who were the ones trying to kill off vinyl back in the early 1990's as they were pushing CDs heavily have issued a lot of vinyl versions this past year.) There are some EPs included here as well as full-lengths such as Homeboy Sandman's Subject Matter on Stones Throw and Azealia Banks 1991 EP (Interscope). The chart is compiled based on the weekly hip-hop top five sales charts from the three Amoeba Music stores (Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco) submitted to the Amoeblog over the past year. This is a good gauge of what was popular and selling at the three Amoeba stores and via the Amoeba online store for 2012. It also should be noted that the first top fifty chart entries far outsold the next eighty releases. Not surprisingly Kendrick Lamar topped the chart with his commercially / critically acclaimed Good Kid M.A.A.D City CD on Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In addition to such other as across the board (national commercial) hits like 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story, Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam), Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic), and Nas' Life is Good (both on Def Jam), Amoeba shoppers also picked up a lot of indie label releases in quantity such as Aesop Rock's Skelethon (Rhyemsayers Ent.), El-P's Cancer4Cure (Fat Possum), Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon), and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist (Macklemore LLC). As well as new releases the chart also features some reissues such as The Pharcyde's Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde [Expanded Edition] (Delicious Vinyl), Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, and RBL Posse 20th Anniversary (Rightway Productions) which was a reissue of their three 1990's albums.
Around this time of year (i.e. the end of it), film fans usually trot out their "Best of" Lists. As much as I'd like to do the same, I don't even think that I saw ten films this year. Of those I really enjoyed only a few which is why I don't ever make these lists but I'm always looking for more films to love.
Part of the problem is that I rarely see what end up being my favorites in the year that they're released -- does anyone? About 10,000 films were released on the planet so how do people find their favorites before the planet goes full circle around the sun... and how are those films supposed to find their fans that fast?
Of the films that I saw, I quite liked The master although though, as with most PT Anderson films, felt like it gave me more to hold onto than truly admire. Skyfall was mostly satisfying although the pacing allowed my mind to repeatedly dwell on Bond's waxed cotton jacket more than the story. I thought The Dark Knight rises, though deeply silly and self-serious, was really exhilarating. Flight, on the other hand, was deeply silly and self-serious yet not exhilarating at all after the opening scene -- for some reason I've seen nearly every Robert Zemeckis film despite having not honestly liked any since 1985's Back to the future. As someone who can't get enough Middle Earth I thought The Hobbit: an unexpected journey was flawed but enjoyable ...and frequently just... too much. I remember The campaign and Wanderlust both being pleasantly diverting when I saw them but now they've almost entirely extricated themselves from my memory. Tim and Eric's billion dollar movie was bizarre and should've been annoying but was mildly amusing. Casa de mi padre was bizarre and should've been amusing but was mildly annoying.
Someone once said that what you chose to do with the first day of the new year sets the tone for the entire year to come. If there is any truth to that, then you won't want to miss Amoeba Music's New Year's Day Sale on January 1, 2013! Each of the three Amoeba store locations is ready to fix you up for 2013 with amazing deals on t-shirts, headphones and select turntables.
Also, please note that our stores have special holiday hours on New Year's Day: SF and Berkeley are open 12-7PM; Hollywood 12-8PM.
Don't miss this ONE DAY ONLY sale on January 1 at our stores:
- 20% off all T-shirts and Headphones
- 20-25% off select turntables (limited to stock on hand)
Turntable models on sale at Amoeba San Francisco and Amoeba Berkeley:
- Audio-Technica USB (reg. $199.99, on sale for $159.99)
- Jensen JTA-460 USB (reg. $149.99, on sale for $119.99)
Turntable model on sale at Amoeba Hollywood:
- Crosley Black Suitcase USB CR6249A-BK (reg. $159.99, on sale for $119.99)
Mikhaylo Vityk released a slew of records under his Vakula moniker this year, but the album released by Dekmantel by his Vedomir guise really stood out. Slow burning, haunting shit from the Ukrainian producer.
Motor: Nighttime III
Raw minimal rhythmic funk music.
Purchase Motor: Nighttime III
Voices From The Lake
Voices From The Lake
Collaboration between the Italian duo of Donato Dozzy & Neel, beautifully crafted atmospheric techno album.
Purchase Voices From The Lake
Paris Dub 1
Paranoid London Records
Not all hardware acid jams are created equal. The vocals by Paris Brightledge (best remembered for "It's All Right," with Sterling Void) put this one over the top.
Purchase Paris Dub 1
Russian producer Vakula released a large quantity of stunning music in 2012, not least of which was his sparkling, dubbed-out version of this Fudge Fingas tune- and the Juju & Jordash remix on the flip ain't bad either.
Purchase Mass X
Ideas From The Pond
Music Man Records
A pristinely produced album fusing Dundov's melodic techno with an updated take on the sounds pioneered by the likes of Tangerine Dream.
Purchase Ideas From The Pond
It’s still December 2012, but there’s plenty to get excited about heading into the new year, music- and movie-wise. Check out the preorders we have available below.
In addition, new records hitting shelves early in the year include new records by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Spring), the late, great Broadcast (The Berberian Sound Studio [Soundtrack], Jan. 8), Frightened Rabbit (Pedestrian Verse, Feb. 5), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (II, Feb. 5), Azealia Banks (Broke With Expensive Taste, Feb. 12), Veronica Falls (Waiting for Something to Happen, Feb. 12), Beach Fossils (Clash the Truth, Feb. 19), Iceage (You’re Nothing, Feb. 19), Girls Names (The New Life, Feb. 29), Johnny Marr (The Messenger, Feb. 26), The Mary Onettes (Hit the Waves, March 12), Low (The Invisible Way, March 19), Wavves (Title TBA, March 26), The Knife (Shaking the Habitual, April 9) and, of course, Guided by Voices (English Little League, April 30). My Bloody Valentine are supposedly releasing their long-awaited follow-up to 1991’s classic Loveless, the favorite album of many a music nerd, as they’ve just announced via their Facebook page that they finished mastering their new album. Any MBV fan knows that recording, let alone mixing, let alone mastering a new album by the shoegaze titans is a painfully long and arduous process at best, so this is very exciting news! Though supposedly the record will come out on their website first, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything about a new, physical My Bloody Valentine LP.
It wasn't a white Christmas in New York City this year, but it was a good one for most folks with people demonstrating compassion for those less fortunate, including their fellow New Yorkers who survived Sandy - the superstorm that ravaged a good deal of the area less than two months earlier leaving some homeless and others still trying to get their damaged homes/lives back on track. Meanwhile, New York City's Times Square Alliance is gearing up for the big New Year's Eve celebrations on Monday.
Meanwhile the two new 2012 Christmas rap/hip-hop songs, which are both a bit more cynical than their 80's rap predecessors are from Duck Down Music's Sean Price (the animated "How Sean Price Stole Christmas") and KRS-One (featuring Mad Lion and Shinehead) and the great new song/video "Holiday Gift Style." Happy Hip-Hop Holidayz!
KRS-One, Mad Lion, Shinehead "Holiday Gift Style" (2012)
Run DMC "Christmas In Hollis" (1987)
My critique is coming soon, but in the meantime here's Howard Stern's recent interview
with Quentin Tarantino about his new film (among other subjects), Django Unchained.
Be sure to tune into KPFK radio tomorrow when Amoeba Hollywood's own Rick Frystak will spin a special two hour set of some of what the ever knowledgeable Amoeba buyer, avid music collector, musician, composer, DJ, and Amoeblogger promises will be a mix of his "favorite internationalist esoterica along with a bit of obscure holiday sounds and greetings." Frystak, who hosts the weekend morning KPFK show Roots and Beyond every second Saturday, will be filling in for Derek Rath's on The Global Village tomorrow Monday, December 24th from 11am to 1pm.
One of the go-to buyers at Amoeba Rick Frystak, who helped open the Amoeba Hollywood store eleven years ago, is a four-decade strong music business veteran who lives and breathes music. Hence he makes for the perfect radio DJ in a setting like Pacifica's KPFK that's not restricted by rigid formats but rather allows its DJs the freedom to program their own shows and take them into whatever direction they see fit during each live broadcast. Today I caught up with Rick Frystak, who also DJ's party gigs - most notably a string of year-end parties for the World Arts and Culture Department of UCLA, to ask him about his approach to putting together music sets, and what to expect during tomorrow's show on KPFK.
Amoeblog: Who are some of the artists you will be playing?
DJ Earworm Mashup - United State of Pop 2012 (Shine Brighter)
Mashup master DJ/producer DJ Earworm's annual “United State of Pop” mashup mixes of the year's 25 biggest Billboard Hot 100 pop hits have become an anticipated event at the end of each year since the San Francisco based DJ began doing them five years ago. Earworm's brand new United States of Pop 2012 (Shine Brighter) mix, which was premiered last Saturday night at 11:30pm atBootie SF at their weekly party at the DNA Lounge in San Francsico (tonight's thier Post Apocalypse Bootie party), finally got uploaded for fans to hear on Tuesday (Dec 18th) on both SoundCloud and on YouTube. DJ Earworm, born Jordan Roseman, does the great video mixes too, and in the four days since he posted the new mix has gotten close to million and a half YouTube views. Subtitled Shine Brighter the United States of Pop 2012 is an exercise in how to seamlessly inter-weave all of these disparate 25 tracks and make them sound like one perfectly cohesive track. Peep the video above and see how of the songs/artists you can name. Below is a complete list of them all and yes it includes "Gangnam Style." Follow DJ Earworm on Facebook and Twitter, and mashups on Bootie's website.
1) DJ Nu-Mark Broken Sunlight (Hot Plate Records)
After releasing a series of sought after 10” singles, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 drops his long-awaited official long-player. The album pits Nu-Mark’s simple funky production next to a diverse range of soul and hip hop artists, including Charles Bradley, Aloe Blacc, J-Live, Quantic, and Large Professor! Soul with a twist. Broken Sunlight on Hot Plate Records is a triple disc release that includes a second disc with instrumentals, acapellas and clean versions and a DVD with a feature film on Nu-Mark’s life on the road. All in time for the holidays!
2) S3 Supa Soul Shit (Melting Pot Music)
This new import CD/LP is the brainchild of Kansas City soul singer Miles Bonny and European beat maven Brenk Sinatra. Miles Bonny croons some smooth soulful tunes over Brenk’s equally buttery production, which mixes dreamy electronic beats with some nice soul samples. Fans of Frank Ocean will likely lose their shit over this one!
Are you as sick as I am of seeing “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” quoted on Facebook? Here are some newer tunes inspired by the end of the Mayan Calendar.
Dent May – “2099”
Just released this week, Mississippi indie pop great Dent May has released a dance-pop track inspired by the end of the world — which will take place in 87 years, apparently (actually that seems sort of plausible). “Are you afraid of what tomorrow’s gonna bring?” he asks before declaring “If we all die by a nuclear war/We’re gonna go out on the dancing floor.” Dent May’s Do Things was released this year on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label, it’s great and super underrated, check it out!
Hunter Hunted – “End of the World”
L.A. band Hunter Hunted have released this video to their KCRW-touted track “End of the World.” Despite its Road Warrior look, they make the apocalypse seem like a lot of fun. They’re at the Troubador Feb. 12.
Amoeba.com’s growing free downloads section had a ton of great stuff this year. Here are some highlights.
Sufjan Stevens – “Justice Delivers Its Death”
This delicate ballad comes from Sufjan Stevens’ latest Christmas opus, Silver & Gold, Songs for Christmas, though its delicate beauty would fit on any of Stevens’ early, more acoustic releases.
Pissed Jeans – “Bathroom Laughter”
Pennsylvania punks Pissed Jeans’ latest album, Honeys, is due Feb. 12 on Sub Pop. The first taste from the album is a ferocious blast, with singer Matt Korvette scream-talking lyrics quickly as the band bashes out two-and-a-half minutes of hardcore bliss.
A tam o' shanter is a 19th century nickname for a traditional sort of brimless, usually wool, Scottish bonnet topped with a toorie (pom-pom). It, in turn, is named after "Tam o' Shanter," the eponymous hero of the poem by the late, great Robert "Robbie" Burns written in 1790.
"Tam o' Shanter" is part of a once-popular, comic, chiefly British poetic subgenre known as the "Wild Ride." The best known example of which is Lord Byron's "Mazeppa. " A later example is William Cowper's "The Diverting History of John Gilpin."
An in-depth and costly university study may not have been necessary in determining that the rock and roll lifestyle can be hazardous to one's health but the results of a newly released study, published today (Dec 19th) in the BMJ Open medical research journal confirmed this fact. The study was done by researchers at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University who determined that being a rock or pop star results in "a nearly one in ten chance of dying prematurely."
The study, which looked at the lives of approx 1500 UK and European, and US music stars between the years of 1956 and 2006 in pop and rock music, determined that 9.2% (137 artists) of them died prematurely. Furthermore the study determined that solo artists, compared with members of bands, had a twice as high chance of dying prematurely. The study also found that the average age for American artists to die prematurely was 45 while it was six years younger for the average British and European artist.
Detention "Dead Rock N Rollers" (7" single, Rigor Mortis Records, 1983)
Trying to narrow down my favorite 2012 "What's In My Bag?" videos is a little bit like asking me to choose my favorite children. Each one is special and unique in its own way. But 'tis the season of "Best Of" lists, so here is my attempt at naming the top WIMBs from 2012, listed according to date posted because, really, picking 10 was hard enough.
Peanut Butter Wolf - January 3, 2012
We kicked off 2012 with a monster of a WIMB featuring DJ, producer, Stones Throw founder and Amoeba regular Peanut Butter Wolf, who had so many items he renamed the episode "What's In My Boxes." Missed some of his selections? Check out his full list here.
John Flansburgh - March 5, 2012
The guitarist and co-founder of They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh, did a "show and tell" at Amoeba Hollywood, selecting reissues by The Zombies, Blossom Dearie, and The Hollies, plus California funk by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Band. After posting the video, we found out that half of John's picks from this Amoeba trip, and other records he'd picked up while on tour, were unfortunately burned in a trailer fire. See John's full list of picks here.
In all the end of 2012/the world list-making, smaller releases tend to get ignored in favor of the ones everyone knows about. So I decided to do a list, in no particular order, of my favorite albums by L.A. artists this year that were released on small labels or were self-released — and which didn’t get as much press as others. That means no Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Best Coast or Ariel Pink, even though the releases by those people are great and you should listen to them, too. (Read my top 50 albums of 2012 here, with more L.A.-based artists like Miguel and Julia Holter.) All of these are great up-and-coming artists, seek them out!
Kim Free’s minimalist bass playing, ethereal voice and starkly beautiful violin playing come together to cast an entrancing spell on Angel Shadow. See her live to witness her virtuosic looping at work. Check out photos from her Amoeba Hollywood performance here!
A hot dog for only a dollar? Don't make me holler! Yes, despite its reputation for being an extremely expensive city New York City can be surprisingly cheap to grab quick eats while on the go round the bustling streets of Manhattan, like this dollar hot dog stand - one of ten that line the block of 34th Street alongside Macy's between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog series! In this post, I'll run down some other hella cheap eats in NYC, plus give an overview of the many cool ice skating rinks, museums, art on exhibit, shows, and concerts to come in the week ahead.
As well as the inexpensive hot dog stands that are dotted around the city, there are endless halal food stands where you can get a filling feed for a steal. For example, there is one right outside the Trader Joe's on 14th Street near Union Square where you can get a tasty gyro sandwich (chicken, lamb, or veggie) plus soda or water for just $4, or a plate of meat and veggies with rice plus drink for $5. More healthy, cheap eating can be had by going inside Trader Joe's for an apple, banana, and small bottle of water for about a dollar (just like in Cali). There are also lots of sidewalk food stands around Manhattan that sell hot pretzels or hot roasted nuts. Typically, a bag of roasted nuts goes for $1.25 to $2 a bag. Then there are oodles of hella cheap pizza joints all around the midtown and downtown areas of Manhattan, such as the 2 Bros Pizza chain, where you can get a slice for only a dollar or two slices plus a soda for $2.75. Sure, it is not the thickest, greatest pizza nor is it the healthiest food, but if you are hungry and on a budget then this is a great quick fix to satisfy your tummy.
ROCKY IV // Friday, December 21, 2012 // Midnite
Merry Christmas, kid! Rocky IV goes (beyond) the distance with more patriotism than a lifetime of Fourth of Julys, a lovably wacky robot, and the most heart-pounding montages/mind-spasming freeze frames of the ‘80s. This Part IV out-Part IVs all other franchises’ Part IVs, distilling the series’ iconography to song-length blasts of unbridled ENTERTAINMENT. Following the devastating loss of best bud Apollo Creed, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote & directed) must fight Cold War super villain Ivan Drago (Fulbright scholar Dolph Lundgren, making a bone-shattering impact in his first starring role) on Christmas Day, to determine the fate of the free world. Will Rocky pummel this Russian Frankenstein, who looks like he uses Italians as dental floss? Join Rocky’s pals Carl Weathers, Burt Young and James Brown(!) at ringside, to see their main man get the holy bejeezus beaten outta him by the biggest damn commie you’ll ever lay your eyes on — and join Cinefamily as we screen a 35mm print of one of our favorite holiday treats!
Dir. Sylvester Stallone, 1985, 35mm, 90 min.
$12, Free For Members
Cinefamily // 611 N Fairfax Avenue // Los Angeles // 90036
Sometimes life may seem like a movie but in the case of Graham Parker, who recently reunited his old band The Rumour after three plus decades, life literally is a movie, or actually two movies - a documentary and a feature film. Those two new Graham Parker movies are the Gramaglia Brothers' documentary Don't Ask Me Questions and the Judd Apatow feature film, This is 40 starring Paul Rudd, that opens this week. The Apatow film, which has been described as a spinoff of Apatow's 2007 hit comedy Knocked Up, heavily features the legendary British pub rock/new wave band who kicked ass musically from '75 to '81 when they broke up prematurely but amicably. The recent reunion of Parker and the Rumour can be credited to the documentary which led indirectly to the Rumour's five accomplished musicians (guitarists Brinsley Schwarz and Martin Belmont, keyboardist Bob Andrews, drummer Steve Goulding, and bassist Andrew Bodnar) all rejoining their former frontman last year to record the new album Three Chords Good on Primary Wave Records which arrived in Amoeba last month. Shortly after the band reunited last year, in a perfect act of synchronicity, film director Judd Apatow (a longtime fan of Parker) approached the singer to invite him to make an appearance in his next film project This Is 40. Parker agreed and brought in the Rumour too into the film project (see above featurette).
Celebrate the new year's first Friday with First Fridays! Once a month, Los Angeles's Natural History Museum stays open late and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours as part of the First Fridays program. Amoeba is excited to sponsor this fabulous series of live music, discussion, concessions, tours, DJs, and more.
Join us on January 4th from 5-10pm for live performances from Lord Huron and Wildcat! Wildcat!, special DJs, and a guest lecture from Dr. Kirk Johnson ("Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies").
Find out more HERE!
On Sunday, January 6th, Amoeba returns to 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.
Catchiest damn hip-hop song of 2012: MaLLy & The Sundance Kid "Shine" from The Last Great….
Another year over, a new begun - well almost - so it is time to look back at 2012 in hip-hop, which in my opinion has been a really incredible year especially in terms of indie releases. I will focus primarily on indie releases in this first of a two-part hip-hop 2012 retrospective. Indeed 2012 was a great year for the genre with a wide and rich variety of hip-hop being made by artists from all over, including some incredibly well-made videos - all done on tight budgets. Year-end lists are by their very nature subjective and this one is certainly no exception. Like all year end "best of" lists, it is wide open to change and alterations (additions or deletions) at a moment's notice. Odds are I wont even agree with my own picks this time next month since my tastes are constantly changing and since there is just so much good music that I am constantly catching up on.
However with that said if I had to pick one hip-hop song based on pure catchiness of both production and lyrics, a song that grabs me as much today as when I first heard it eight months ago, it would be MaLLy & The Sundance Kid's "Shine" (video above) from their 2012 album The Last Great….
A seer is traditionally thought of as a clairvoyant, a prophet of things to come. Whether you believe such an ability exists, has existed or never did, the 30-minute “The Seer,” the centerpiece of Swans’ excellent return album after more than a decade of dormancy, amazes for its ability to convey such a madness, either by being plagued by visions or the deception, either of self or others, that would come along with proclaiming oneself to be a seer. Michael Gira intones “I see it all” rapidly, without emotion, like someone being driven mad, exploding into an orchestral explosion that lodges itself among the year’s most affecting musical experiences. The rest of the album moves between no wave noise rendered dramatic (“Mother of the World”) and frighteningly beautiful chamber folk, such as the stunning “Song for a Warrior,” abetted by a vocal from Karen O. Though it’s a harrowing experience, The Seer feels entirely essential, even as it sometimes also feels like a thousand ancient hands pulling you into the abyss.
Purity Ring make Cocteau Twins-style dream pop by way of Salem’s hard-hitting witchhouse on an album more notable for its smooth blending of related genres than for its actual songwriting, but they’ve got a sweet sound nonetheless.
Cold Showers’ short and sweet debut heralds the arrival of a great new L.A. band, beaming shoegaze guitars over darkwave synths and goth-style vocals. (Read my review of Cold Showers' show here.)
Chicano Batman-Joven Navegante
Best World Music Album Title:
Very Be Careful -Remember Me From The Party?
Best Of The World Music Releases That NPR Likes:
Ana Tijoux-La Bala
Best World Fusion Album:
Fanga & Maalem Abdallah Guinea- Fangnawa Experience
Best Retro World Release:
Tim Maia- Nobody Can Live Forever
Best Retro World Release On LP
Myrian Makenwa —La Extraodinaria
Best New World Release On LP
Best World Music Box Set:
Jende Ri Palenge - People of Palenque: the Music &
Best World Music Compilation:
V/A-Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires
Best Retro African Compilation:
V/A- Ivory Coast Soul 2 – Afro Soul In Abidjan From 1976 to 1981
With all this talk of fundraising relating to the Cinefamily Telethon, we absolutely don't want you to forget that what's happening this weekend is also a holiday party -- one with vittles, libations, live music (by such diverse folks as Cut Chemist, YACHT, John Hawkes, Tearist, Daedelus, and more), crazy ephemera from all of Cinefamily's five-year history, live comedy (from Cinefamily faves Eric Wareheim, Nick Offerman, Neil Hamburger, Rob Schrab & Dan Harmon, Jon Daly & Brett Gelman, Everything Is Terrible, and much more), Q&As and casual chat (with fantastic folks like Robert Downey Jr., Wayne White, Mark Mothersbaugh, Pablo Ferro, Udo Kier, Guy Maddin, Jason Schwartzman, and more). Really, it wouldn't be a Cinefamily shindig with stuff coming at ya from all angles, now, would it? The folks listed in the descriptions above are really just the tip of the iceberg.
We're going to be going all day and night -- 24 hours straight, as a matter of fact. We really look forward to seeing you, whether it's just for a little bit, or for the whole damned thing.
Below is the final lineup for the show, just in case you wanted it. Keep in mind that all scheduled guests' times are subject to change -- because such is life. As well, seating is first-come, first-served.
1) Big Boi Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)
2) The Game Jesus Piece (DGC/Interscope)
New one from ex Dr. Dre protege. Questionable rapping in my opinion (seems like he's style biting whoever guests on each song...?), but Game picks good beats and ropes in a lot of huge names to guest on his songs, including Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, and a cool verse from Pusha T.
Like so many jewels that cannot stay buried in the deep forever, Jessica Pratt has risen above the morass of the San Francisco music scene like a diamond atoll emerging from an ocean of acts drowning in their own in reverb, reciprocity, and relative "esoteric" influences. A momentous feat for any solo musician, let alone any woman, struggling just to tread water in the threadbare, barely-there music industry these days.
That Tim (White Fence) Presley launched his label Birth Records just to put Ms. Pratt's record out speaks to the immediacy of her music. It's a sound that cannot help but conjure familiar feelings upon first listen (for any vinyl junkie anyway), and the comparisons are flying. Presley himself has oft been quoted as saying she brings to mind "Stevie Nicks singing over David Crosby demos" and others have pointed to the way in which her vocal stylings bait and switch Nicks, Joanna Newsom, and Karen Dalton among many others. While we're at it, I'd like suggest the inclusion of Dolly Parton to pinch hit in this approximation game as the fluttery trails Pratt punctuates her lyrical lines with in songs like "Hollywood" and "Half Twain the Jesse" resemble Dolly's vocal filigree.
I have to admit, however, I find all these comparisons tacky and terribly trapped-in-the-90's buzzbin in the sense that any woman that ever flaunted a decidedly "unique" voice back then was appraised by nineties alterna-trinity: Björk/Tori Amos/P.J. Harvey. For me, it's offensive to struggle to assay the impression of a fresh voice with those we already know and love because burdens the emerging artist with the luster, or shadow, of an others' work. While I cannot deny the correlation of Jessica Pratt's magic to that Newsom or any other would-be contemporary, it should be noted that as far as patently "unique" voices go s. Pratt's is just about as unequivocal as they come.
Julie’s Theme 12”
More cut up disco house madness.
Purchase Julie's Theme here
Warm, intimate, sub heavy, psychedelic tripping House bombs.
Purchase Workshop 16 here:
Next up on Ben Klock’s Klockworks imprint is from Trevino aka Marcus Intalex with 3 tracks of dark techno.
Purchase Forged here:
FIDLAR – “Gimme Something” video, album up for preorder
Of all the scuzzy, sloppy, boozey garage bands in L.A., FIDLAR is the skuzziest, sloppiest and booziest. OK, they might not be the sloppiest any more now that they’re hitting it big, judging by the sounds of “Gimme Something,” a cleaned-up, jangly country-style track that highlights just how good this band’s actual songwriting is. As if to hammer the point home, the “Gimme Something” video either sees the band dolled up like Creedence Clearwater Revival playing some state fair in the ’70s, or it’s very cleverly edited video of some ’70s band made too look like they’re playing FIDLAR’s song. Either way, it rules! FIDLAR’s self-titled debut is due Jan. 22, preoder it on CD or LP here.
Widowspeak – “The Dark Age,” album up for preorder
Anything that comes out on the Captured Tracks label immediately gets my attention, and one of their newest signees doesn’t disappoint. Widowspeak pair Western jangle-rock riffs — like real ones, not limp little guitar doodles — with sultry, breathy vocals from Molly Hamilton. She reminds me a bit of the late, great Trish Keenan of Broadcast, and similarly Hamilton’s grounded vocals serve as a wise counterpoint to her partner Robert Earl Thomas’ wild guitar work. “The Dark Age” comes from their upcoming album, Almanac, due Jan. 22 on LP and CD.
Dan Deacon - True Thrush (2012)
Tonight Dan Deacon will make his national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC at 11:35pm when he will do a live version of "True Thrush" off his current album America on Domino Records that arrived in Amoeba Music a few months back. Above is the entertainingly fun official video for the song which was the first single off the album. Meanwhile below is one of the very first live television clips seen of the artist when he made a bizarre performance (by local morning news TV show standards) on NBC affiliate WSAV Savannah's Coastal Sunrise morning show back in 2006. That was a solo set but an ensemble will join Deacon on tonight's Jimmy Kimmel Live! set.
Known for involving audiences in his shows, tonight will be no exception when the electronic artist will be incorporating the recently launched smartphone app that he has been using in concerts lately whereby audience members' phones become an interactive part of the light show. See the video down below for more about this unique interactive app, and pick up Dan Deacon's America on CD and/or on LP from Amoeba.
In case you missed the live stream of last night's big 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Benefit concert from Madison Square Garden in New York City that benefited the Robin Hood Relief Fund to continue their aid to the victims of Sandy, above care of Fuse TV is the non US encore / replay stream of the concert highlights. Included are Billy Joel (yes his set included the classic "New York State of Mind") Alicia Keys, (the only woman performer of the night), Michael Stipe (last minute surprise performer), Chris Martin (who joked about been one fourth of Coldplay since it was well past boy band One Direction's bedtime) Bruce Springsteen (whose set suffered sound issues), The Who, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney (whose late set, with the surviving members of Nirvana, included rousing renditions of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" and "I've Got A Feeling"), Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, and The Rolling Stones. Unfortunately, in addition to some sound issues during the show, about halfway through the event the 12-12-12 website crashed and the phone lines got so overworked that they could not connect. Consequently many folks could not get through to donate. However anyone can now via the info in above video or directly via the Robin Hood Relief Fund website.
Munch was born 12 December in the village of Ådalsbruk in Løten, in 1863. His father was a doctor named Christian Munch and his mother was Laura Catherine Bjølstad. He was often ill as a child and reportedly drew to occupy his considerable time spent in bed.
In 1881, Munch enrolled at Den kongelige tegneskole. Along with fellow students, he had his first public exhibition in 1883. Some of his early work was in the Naturalism and Impressionism traditions. After falling in with nihilist/philosopher/writer/anarchist Hans Jæger, and his circle, Kristianiabohêmen, Munch began attempting to paint from his soul.
Munch's first "soul painting," Det Syke Barn (The Sick Child) depicted his sister Johanne Sophie on her deathbed -- she died from TB when just fifteen.
Bartoli's latest album, as is her custom, explores uncharted areas with the music of the little-known but brilliant Italian Baroque composer and diplomat Agostino Steffani. The deluxe album has extensive notes reviewing Steffani's amazing career.
The former conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is also a brilliant composer and recently composed an adventurous violin concerto for the celebrated violinist Leila Josefowicz. The music incorporates pop elements but is in no way a crossover piece and is a deeply personal statement by Salonen.
With Hanukkah underway and less than two weeks left until Christmas Day, New York City is in full holiday mode right now. It is also in a positive post-Sandy recovery mode due to near all local transit being back on schedule this week (LIRR finally got running again a few days ago) and the success of the 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden tonight. Sure the actual show hasn't even started yet but already a lot of money has been raised with all the tickets selling out well in advance. Many scalpers have been strongly criticized for profiting from in-demand, overpriced tickets fetching thousands of dollars for the show that will feature Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Kanye West, The Who, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, and others too! Additionally, a big donor response is anticipated from folks watching tonight's live stream of the show on 34 U.S. and international television, radio, and Internet outlets across six continents where folks can enjoy the show and donate to the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help those hit by Sandy.
Upcoming shows for the week ahead include Aaron Lewis and opener Randy Montana at Irving Plaza near Union Square on Friday, December 14th at 7pm. More info here. Then on Sunday December 16th, there's a special Feliz Navidad show with Jose Feliciano at BB Kings on 42nd Street in the Times Square district. Showtime is 8pm. Get tickets and more info here. That same night, rap star Rick Ross (on a bill with Meek Mill and Wale) will headline the Roseland Ballroom at 239 West 52nd Street near 8th Avenue. Show starts at 8pm. More info here.
Ravi Shankar & (daughter) Anoushka Shankar "Raga Anandi Kalyan (live)"
Yesterday news surfaced that Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, who came to widespread fame thanks to his association with The Beatles, had died after undergoing surgery at a San Diego hospital. He was 92 years of age. Born in India, where in 1999 he was bestowed the highly revered Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India) award, Shankar (originally a dancer) began studying the sitar at age 18 and soon excelled in the instrument going on to perform countless concerts and recording many film soundtracks over the years. Although he had been touring the US and Europe, playing Indian classical concerts, since the 1950's it was his introduction to Western audiences in the 1960's by The Beatles (thanks to George Harrison who he taught how to play sitar - see video below) that helped gain him widespread recognition among younger Western audiences - something that was further cemented when he played at both Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Over the years Shankar's numerous notable musical collaborators included John Coltrane, and Philip Glass. Shankar's daughter Anoushka Shankar , who he performed with in more recent years (see video above), is a renowned sitar player. Even better known is his other daughter; the singer Norah Jones. Look for a nice selection of Ravi Shankar's numerous recordings at Amoeba Music.
George Harrison - sitar lesson with Ravi Shankar
Win a pair of tickets to attend the Hollywood premiere of Django Unchained December 18th at the Arclight Cinerama Dome! Enter in-store at Amoeba Music Hollywood only. Winner will be notified Monday, 12/17.
Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained Original Motion Picture Soundtrack comes out 12/18. Get a free limited-edition movie poster with purchase of the soundtrack at any Amoeba store (while they last).
In celebration of the recent release of The Dark Knight Rises on DVD and Blu-ray, I decided to go back and explore Christopher Nolan’s filmography, rewatching bits or all of the films, as I usually couldn’t stop myself from watching the things all the way through once I started. Nolan has directed and written or adapted eight films (not including his short films) in the past 14 years, making him not only one of the best (or arguably the best) of directors of the 21st century, but also one of the most prolific.
Starting from the bottom and working up to the best, this is my personal list of favorite Christopher Nolan films.
Because we appreciate symmetry, visit any Amoeba location this Wednesday, 12/12/12, between noon - 2:00pm and purchase a $20 Amoeba gift certificate for just $12!! Hint, hint: these make GREAT gifts!
Please note: one gift certificate per person only. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
The Killers "Don't Shoot Me Santa" (2007 Def Jam)
After recently checking out the funny-but-dark humored Bargin Bin Blasphemy Tumber page featuring some Christmas / Santa Claus album covers like the one left that have been adjusted with some simple sharpie and paint to make Santa look more like Satan (there's many other non-Santa ones but equally "blasphemous") I began thinking about instances when Santa is portrayed as the opposite of his usual kindly benevolent self. The first thing that came to my mind of course was the 2003 film Bad Santa starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, and the two late greats Bernie Mac and John Ritter, which you can find at Amoeba in Blu-ray. This film, which people seem to either love or hate, has been released in two versions: the regular original version and the later unrated version. Yes if the original theatrical version didn't portray Santa behaving badly enough for some viewers the unrated version took the badness up a notch with even more cursing, nudity, and criminal activity. See clip below from original version - but be forewarned it has explicit language.
Next in terms of Santa going to the dark side I thought of those group Santa Claus bar/pub crawls where guys (and some women too) dressed up as Santa go out in a large group and get their collective swerve on - usually civilized but oft times getting stinking drunk and getting into fights. Then there's The Killers non-album track "Don't Shoot Me Santa" from five Christmases ago which the Las Vegas band recorded as a digital download-only track with all proceeds going to AIDS charities as part of the (PRODUCT)RED campaign. The entertaining video (above) and great song, delivered in the band's usual Springsteen-esque style, portrays Santa far from his normal North Pole residence but as a kidnapping killer deep in the desert who lives in a tore up old trailer. "Well the party's over kid cos I've got a bullet in my gun!," warns bad Santa (played by Ryan Pardey who has taken Brandon Flowers captive) and is about to kill the Killers main man. But fear not it has a happy ending when our kidnapped hero is rescued and the video ends with the note 'Merry Christmas from The Killers."
Jawbreaker – Bivouac [20th Anniversary Edition]
Unlike some of its alt-rock contemporaries (call it emo or whatever, Bivouac is firmly 1991 in sound), Jawbreaker’s Bivouac is ripe for reissue because A) it can’t be found in your average record store, B) it was overlooked during its time and C) it has aged better than your average album of the era. Beginning with the roaring “Shield Your Eyes,” the album still hits hard, thanks to Blake Schwarzenbach razor vocals and the band’s scrappy attack. “Chesterfield King” echoes the boozy swagger of their elders in The Replacements, while “Sleep’s” sheet of guitars and hushed melodies place them as both Husker Du’s heir and as a band making music akin to their shoegazing brethren across the pond. For new listeners, especially those interested in some of the roots of emo, the brutal “Parabola” and the title track, which balances delicate passages with high-octane chunks of ferocious noise for 10 breathtaking minutes, should be elucidating in and of themselves. If only emo had stayed as good as Bivouac, we’d all be better off! The LP has four fewer tracks than the CD (as it did in the original pressing); the Chesterfield King EP also is reissued, including those four tracks (“Tour Song,” “Face Down,” “You Don’t Know…” and “Pack it Up”).
Amoeba is delighted to offer these extremely limited, original Louis Armstrong prints designed by renowned artist Robert (“R.”) Crumb. These hand drawn collector pieces are an Amoeba exclusive and are available in full color ($100, 20" x 25 1/4") or black-and-white ($50, 20" x 25 1/4"). We also have a limited amount of numbered full color posters signed by R. Crumb himself for $600.
|Robert Crumb - Louis Armstrong [Color]|
R. Crumb is a long time supporter of Amoeba and a huge collector of the antiquated 78 shellac record format, and also a huge fan of Armstrong (read more about Louis Armstrong's legacy here). Crumb was aware of Amoeba’s ongoing vinyl preservation and remastering process (more about that here) and was introduced to Amoeba co-founder Dave Prinz through a mutual friend, director Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World, Bad Santa), another avid 78 collector. Amoeba asked Crumb if he would create a piece for the store to commemorate its work in preserving Armstrong’s music, and he obliged. In December 2010 he drew the amazing piece that would become this print. You can own these one-of-a-kind pieces only from Amoeba.
We made it onto The Simpsons last night! Or rather, Protozoa Records did... :) So rad. Thanks Matt Groening & co!!
The episode was called "The Day The Earth Stood Cool" and featured The Decemberists (who also wrote and recorded original music for the episode), Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Patton Oswalt. The A.V. Club posted a great review of the episode here.
After years of grinding away with recording and tirelessly performing the pair suddenly went from playing small clubs to headlining and selling out big halls like tonight's Bay Area show. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis managed to build their wide fan base with songs/videos like last year's hit "Wings" (an excellent statement on consumerism) and the their viral hit "Thrift Shop:- the hilariously entertaining video featuring Wanz (video below) which has racked up almost 28 million YouTube hits since its release three and a half months ago. Then there's the much talked about video for "Same Love (feat Mary Lambert)," which takes a stand against discrimination against gays and a stand for marriage equality. Since its release two months ago this video has grabbed nearly 9 million views. More importantly the powerful video has not only won high praise from many groups and individuals but it has instigated discussion and (often heated) debates on the topic.
The one-of-a-kind (very expensive) celebratory box set, that is fittingly been billed as the Ultimate Box Set, will include that single as well as pretty much everything else the band has done, and all in their original pressings ("563 songs...40 vinyl LPs, 50 CDs, and dozens of singles, EPs, DVDs, and CD-ROMs plus other releases" - they promise in their press release).
The Residents' "Ultimate Box Set" (see video below with full breakdown) will not come in a box but in a refrigerator packed with over a hundred items that include early era music videos and a Residents' trademark eyeball-with-top-hat. But before you plan on adding this set to your collection be forewarned of the sticker price of $100,000 for the set! Yes one hundred thousand US dollars! And no the unique box set, which will only be issued in ten sets, will not be sold at Amoeba Music. It will go on sale on Christmas Day exclusively on the avant-garde group's website. However if like most of us who cannot afford to fork over a hundred thousand for a cool collection you can still get the much more affordable individual Residents releases from Amoeba Music: releases such as 1987's Hell! CD or 2005's Animal Lover LP or the very recently released Eskimo album (pictured right).
#1 Chromatics - Kill For Love
(Italians Do It Better)
I have been waiting for this album for 6 years! I was a huge fan of their last album in 2007. Both Night Drive by Chromatics and Beat Box by Glass Candy made it into my top 50 that year. That was also the first year of the Amoeblog and my first top 50 for Amoeba. Glass Candy will have a new album out in 2013. But in 2012 we got a brilliant new album by Chromatics. These guys are from the beautiful town of Portland. They have been around for about a decade. But really became a different kind of band back in 2007. Another perfect album of dreamy electronic love songs. These songs are seriously breathtaking and they make it seem so easy. These guys can do no wrong and always manage to create exactly what I need from them.
Listen to "At Your Door" by Chromatics...
#2 DIIV - Oshin
The band formerly know as Dive is now called DIIV. This was another album that I was highly anticipating this year. Captured Tracks has done it again this year and released another group of amazing albums. They had two albums in my top ten last year and they have two more in my top ten this year. DIIV is Brooklyn based Zachary Cole Smith of the band Beach Fossils. I actually like this project more than Beach Fossils. DIIV is exactly what I have come to expect from this label. This is shoegaze and dreampop in the year 2012. It brings me right back to the early 90s. I never really wanted to leave that period of music. So I am happy to revisit if often.
1) Black C Still Ruthless (Rightway)
2) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Aftermath)
3) E40 & Too $hort History: Mob Music (Heavy On The Grindl)
4) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)
5) Wu-Block Wu-Block (Entertainment One)
Thanks to Michelle at the Haight Street store for the above latest Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five chart which features in the number one slot the brand new release from longtime hometown rap hero Black C of RBL Posse fame whose new solo album is Still Ruthless on Rightway Productions. As you know RBL Posse, who hailed from the Hunters Point district of San Francisco, released some popular rap albums back in the nineties including their 1992 debut A Lesson To Be Learned on In-A-Minute featuring the hit and future dank anthem "Don't Gimme No Bammer" (Black C's brand new video below for the new album track "I Smoke" is a kind of sequel to that classic even referencing its lyrics), and RBL Posse's second album Ruthless By Law" on In-A-Minute in 1994. Their next album, An Eye For An Eye on Big Beat came out in 1997, a year after Black C's partner in rhyme Mr Cee was shot and killed in cold blood on New Year's Day 1996.
L.A. original punks Redd Kross performed a blistering set earlier this year in support of their excellent 2012 album Researching the Blues, and now Amoeba.com has an exclusive download of the title track from that performance! You know it’s legit because Redd Kross bassist Steve McDonald did the mixing himself. Buy it now on MP3, M4A or WAV file.
See photos of the performance here.
Don’t forget about Amoeba’s other exclusives:
Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Original Score by Alex North) — Alex North’s famously rejected score for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is available now, for the first time ever, as an Amoeba.com digital download exclusive.
Local Natives, Christopher Owens and The Growlers Albums Up for Preorder!
I blogged a while back about the first songs from the upcoming Local Natives and Christopher Owens albums. Local Natives are originally from Orange County and put out a great first album, Gorilla Manor. The first song from Hummingbird is called “Breakers,” and it’s the most lush thing they’ve done yet. Meanwhile, former Girls frontman Christopher Owens of S.F. has unveiled the single “Here We Go,” a delicate ballad stripped of much of the distortion and reverb that caked a lot of Girls song to reveal a vital core. It’s the first song from Lysandre, due Jan. 15 on Fat Possum, which you can now preorder here!
Additionally, locally grown garage rockers The Growlers will release their new album Hung at Heart Jan. 22. Before that, check them out as part of an Amoeba Presents show at the Henry Fonda Theatre Dec. 28 with Dirt Dress, The Abigails and Sam Flax. Get your tickets at Amoeba Hollywood! Preview the new Growlers album below.
Jazz icon Dave Brubeck, who died yesterday (Dec 5th) in Norwalk, Conn of heart failure, just one day shy of his 92nd birthday, may well always be most remembered for his huge crossover hit of his long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond's composition "Take Five" that he and his quartet recorded for the groundbreaking 1959 album Time Out. But the Bay Area born jazz pianist/composer's legacy goes far deeper than that one incredibly popular song from an equally popular album Time Out, which also featured "Blue Rondo a la Turk" - another song that would go on to become a jazz standard, was the first jazz album ever to sell a million copies. Time Out was just one release in an incredibly prolific and rich recording career by the artist who recorded over 50 albums (many more when you include all the compilations and collections such as Dave Brubeck: Twenty Classic Albums that was coincidentally released on Tuesday this week by Real Gone/Primetech). Check the JazzDisco.Org site for a complete listing of Brubeck's long discography and check the Amoeba online store for what is currently available from Brubeck's back catalog: about three dozen Brubeck releases in total, found under the three categories: Dave Brubeck solo, Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Dave Brubeck Octet. Above and below are a few videos capturing some great moments in the artist's long illustrious career including that song that he will be most remembered for. Rest in peace Dave Brubeck.
SAVE THE DATE!
The Cinefamily’s Fantastic, Elastic 24-Hour Holiday Telethon is BACK!
On December 15th & 16th (from 1pm-1pm), The Cinefamily will incrementally lose what’s left of our minds on a national scale, AGAIN, over one 24-hour period of non-stop programming.
This year, we’re raising money for both our 2013 annual fund and some much need renovations -- but doing a telethon is so much fun, it’s almost a reason unto itself, no? And this one is going to be extra special, ‘cause we’re also celebrating five years of wild, weird, and wonderful programming by stuffing as much of the careful curation and gonzo fun we’re known for into one uninterrupted day -- one guaranteed to provide something terrific for every member of our audience.
We want you to join us in what’s going to be the best holiday party / fundraiser / celebration of cinema / slate of programming-as-performance-
Or, come FREE to the Silent Movie Theatre, to be part of our live studio audience.
And check out our Kickstarter video -- it’s actually pretty fun. Watch this, share this, get the word out.
It comes as something of a dismaying surprise to me how casually many seemingly intelligent Angelenos freely dismiss Orange County. Iv'e grown used to (if still somewhat surprised by) the out-dated chauvinistic attitude of New Yorkers and San Franciscans. But while those widely and rightly shrugged off by knowing Angelenos, many of those same sorts of hollow, outdated mis-characterizations tend to be freely expressed about regions like LA’s Westside and Orange County without apparent irony. This blog entry, then, will focus on the communities of North Orange County with the hopeful aim of introducing readers to some of what makes it a region worthy of reexamination and exploration.
Jim Morrison - "Orange County Suite"
Atoms for Peace, the new band featuring Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco, have announced their debut record, Amok, will be released Feb. 26 from XL. The band released their first single, Default, this week, which also includes the song “What the Eyeballs Did,” which does not appear on the album.
The band debuted in 2009, performing the entirety of Yorke’s The Eraser at Los Angeles’ The Echoplex (the band shares its name with a song on The Eraser, as well as a speech by President Dwight D. Eisenhower). Since then, the band toured opening for Flying Lotus and played the 2010 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, while Radiohead released their eighth album, The King of Limbs.
You can here Yorke singing over an eerily beautiful electronic instrumental on the band’s official website, where you can also scroll over an apocalyptic L.A. landscape that includes many local landmarks (no Amoeba, although everything’s on fire so I guess that’s okay).
Noise Pop and Amoeba Music present Noise Pop Record Collective, on Tuesday, December 11th. This month the party is hosted by Thao from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and goes from 8pm till 11pm at The Knockout in San Francisco.
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.
Amoeba San Francisco makes holiday shopping fun again!
Are you ready for a crazy Christmas? A hilarious Hanukkah? A kwazy Kwanzaa? Sure, we all are...but what should we get everyone?! 'Tis the season to shop for those we love, after all.
Browse our new gift section full of groovy music-themed lamps and mugs, album frames, games, toys, and music storage and carrying solutions.
Want to surprise the music lover in your life with a gift they'll flip over? Get them a box set! Check out our newly expanded box set section to see tomorrow's collectible today!
Likelihood of a Billy Joel and Alicia Keys duet at the 12-12-12 Sandy Benefit, NY Beard and Mustache Competition open to both men and women, 32nd anniversary of John Lennon's murder expected to draw large crowds to Strawberry Fields, DJ legend Danny Krivit does a special holiday styled dance party for his long running 718 Sessions, Bay Area artists The Coup and DJ Shadow visit NYC this week, copping last minute tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, a review of last weekend's 8-Ball Zine Fair, Cannibal Ox reunion, and an NYC-themed rap music video by Ja Rule are among the items covered in this installment in New York State of Mind - the weekly Amoeblog series in which I report, from a New York City perspective, on music and other entertainment and happenings in the Big Apple.
Open to both men and women, The 3rd Annual NYC Beard and Mustache Competition is happening this weekend in Williamsburg. Not to be confused with the equally popular 5th Annual Coney Island Beard and Mustache Competition that took place a few miles further out in the borough of Brooklyn (home to many a mustachioed fellow), this Saturday evening's event is being presented by the Gotham City Beard Alliance whose mission statement is "To promote tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair. The GCBA desires to help our local community, through donations from events planned by GCBA or volunteering at non-facial hair related events." At this weekend's GBCA event there will be a series of facial hair competitions that anyone can sign up for on the night. Just get to the venue by 6:30pm for the 7pm start time of the the three hour event. And note that the male leaning competition is not for men exclusively. Women are also encouraged to enter by making their own beard and mustache creations that will be judged in such categories as Most Realistic and Most Fantastic. Saturday, Dec 8th, 7pm at Warsaw: 261 Driggs Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Phone: 718-387-0505 Tickets and more info here. Club directions + general info here.
Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 - at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.
50 Essential Albums of 2012
1. SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD)
The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.
Beginning December 10, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles will launch The Library Store On Wheels, a mobile version of downtown LA's Central Library store. Much like the main store, the truck will feature a unique, curated collection of literary-inspired gifts. We're excited to announce that The Library Store on Wheels will visit Amoeba Hollywood during its inaugural week on Wednesday, December 19 from 2-6pm!
In addition to finding gifts for your literary loved ones (or yourself!), your purchase will directly benefit the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, which helps support free and critical library programs, resources and services for millions of people across Los Angeles.
If you can't make it to Amoeba Hollywood on 12/19, check out the Library Store On Wheels' complete schedule for its first week. Be sure to follow The Library Store on Twitter for updates about the truck's locations and hours.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I will. Spencer (Yule Logs' lead shredder) would like a deviled egg-pomegranate milkshake, Marty (Log frontman extraordinaire) would like a Line 6 alarm clock that only plays phased-out midi files of Steven Tyler’s scat solo on “Rag Doll,” and Kirt (Bass Log) would like to win a date with Tad Hamilton. Me? I just want what every boy wants: A vinyl copy of Electro-Acoustic Music by Ianis Xenakis.
With the recent release of your fourth album, Double Live, it seems apparent to me that at least one of you attended the School of Rock, which begs the question: did you graduate? If so, what was your thesis, or theses as the case may be?
Are we talking about Jack Black?
Musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates hosted the December charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood. This was actually their second time hosting the auction and, once again, their zany and "in-yer-face-perfectly-appropriate-for-a-Saturday-afternoon-at-the-record-store" humor proved that they ain't just pretty faces. The girls drew a really great crowd of about 70 to see them perform a couple of songs and then launch into the rapid-fire auctioning frenzy.
Ya had to be QUICK to get a bid in 'cause they weren't kidding around about this auction. They were HIGHLY entertaining and definitely hilarious -- and they had more than a fair share of people wondering, "wait did they just say....??? "
Here are some of the highlights from the auction:
- Beatles lunchbox with Trader Joe's Gift Card - $80.00
- Tiny Furniture Blu-ray signed by Lena Dunham - $30.00
- John Waters Holiday Show tickets + Hairspray DVD - $40.00
- Public Enemy and Sufjan Stevens concert tickets - $97.00 (Awesome!!)
- Urban Outfitters Gift Card - $ 65.00
- Led Zeppelin package - $20.00
- Beatles collectibles (in a Rolling Stones bag) - $25.00
- Limited edition Record Store Day bag - $70.00
- Special Amoeba in-store VIP pass - $80.00
- Polyphonic Spree tickets with Hit Record book signed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt - $50.00
- Amoeba special gift bag with random crazy stuff - $40.00
- Yo Gabba Gabba package - $20.00
- John Cale and Ty Segall concert tickets - $25.00
Cool stuff and some great bids! All together Garfunkel and Oates (and you guys!) helped raise $652.00 in bids, and together with the Amoeba match it comes to $1,304.00 to the wonderful organization Five Acres, which helps families and kids in need over the holidays. All in all it was a ROCKIN' good time. Thanks so much to Garfunkel and Oates for coming back to our charity auction and making this one of the most memorable Saturday auctions ever!
Amoeba Hollywood regularly sells 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:
The Pharcyde & Souls of Mischief
Lianne La Havas
Here is a full list of tickets we currently have for sale at Amoeba Hollywood:
|Show Name||Venue||Show Date||
(fee not included)
|Cockney Rejects||El Rey Theatre||02/18/2013||$20.00|
|Dr. John||The Fonda Theatre||02/09/2013||$40.00|
|Eels||The Fonda Theatre||02/15/2013||$32.00|
|Father John Misty (SOLD OUT)||El Rey Theatre||12/29/2012||$20.00|
|Femi Kuti and the Postive Force||El Rey Theatre||01/18/2013||$30.00|
|Frightened Rabbit||The Fonda Theatre||03/13/2013||$19.99|
|Galactic||El Rey Theatre||02/28/2013||$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|
|Amoeba Presents: The Growlers||The Fonda Theatre||12/28/2012||$19.00|
|IAMX||The Fonda Theatre||05/15/2013||$25.00|
|KMFDM||The Fonda Theatre||03/10/2013||$26.50|
|Lianne La Havas||El Rey Theatre||03/20/2013||$22.00|
|Moe||The Fonda Theatre||03/08 & 03/09||$30.00|
|Nikki & The Dove||El Rey Theatre||01/28/2013||$17.00|
|NOMEANSNO||El Rey Theatre||02/21/2013||$17.00|
|OFF!||The Fonda Theatre||02/08/2013||$17.50|
|Pentatonix||The Fonda Theatre||01/24/2013||$25.00|
|The Pharcyde + Souls of Mischief||The Belasco||12/27/2012||$20.00|
|Pinback||El Rey Theatre||01/17/2013||$22.00|
|Quicksand||The Fonda Theatre||01/22/2013||$27.50|
|Amoeba Presents: Ra Ra Riot||El Rey Theatre||02/12/2013||$20.00|
Amoeba Presents: Revenge of the 80s
Amoeba Hollywood can be an overwhelming place in terms of volume, with close to 700,000 CDs, DVDs, LPs and Blu-rays alone. So it may be easy to overlook some of the many other items we have on sale. For instance, did you know we sell Hello Kitty glasses? I didn’t, and I pass by these things every day.
I was going to do a list of 10 gift items at Amoeba, but really there is just too much to keep it to 10. Read about 15 gift ideas beyond regularly price/used CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, video games and vinyl … (See a gift guide of CDs, vinyl and DVD/Blu-ray here. Buy gift certificates here. Check out our turntables here. More gift ideas here.)
Who doesn’t love toys? Star Wars, The Simpsons, Kiss and other toys appear near the info counter and behind the registers, many of which are in the $10 range.
It seems fitting that in the same week that the Alfred Hitchcock biopic Hitchcock, which opens Friday and is set during the making of Psycho and includes a scene on how the film's famous shower scene soundtrack was orchestrated, is released that so too is Scott Walker's bleak but musically powerful and sonically unnerving new album Bish Bosch on 4AD which includes a musical segment with screeching unsettling sounds quite reminiscent of the aforementioned famed shower scene. In fact Walker, in an interview about the new album on BBC Radio this week (scroll down to hear) mentions how his music is always somewhat cinematic because, he said, "from a very young age my first love has been cinema and I think I think in images like that."
After being on pre-order from Amoeba since the week of Halloween (which would have been the perfect week to release this dark nine-song, industrial leaning musical collection) the much anticipated Bish Bosch, which rounds out the trilogy of Scott Walker’s Tilt and The Drift and takes listeners on a compellingly twisted musical ride, is finally out today Stateside (December 4th) in both CD and LP physical formats as well as digital downloads. As accurately noted by Amoeblogger Billy Gil the album, which has been garnering positive reviews all over, is both a "challenging" and "daring" release but that it "ultimately does what Walker does best: provoke." Indeed it does this tenfold and is a must get for not just for Walker fans but for those who are fans of truly adventurous, other music, that blends such things as twisted Hawaiian guitar sounds, and sampled fart sounds, with Throbbing Gristle like industrial, bleak leaning dark rock, and with an appetite for horror soundtracks. In fact it might be fun to play this album along with Hitchcock's Psycho with the sound down on the film for the ultimate mashup.
Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
Bish Bosch not only completes a trilogy of some of the most remarkable albums of the past 20 years — Scott Walker’s Tilt and The Drift — it makes three astonishing, dense and challenging (yet rewarding) albums released this year, alongside Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s post-rock opus Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! and Swans’ divinely nasty The Seer. The album begins at its most difficult, with Walker wailing about “plucking feathers from a swansong” over brutal industrial beats and metallic guitars. This gives way to the surely divisive “Corps de Blah,” a 10-minute song that starts with Walker alone, singing with minimal accompaniment by electronic noise before he’s joined by atonal strings, relatively comforting guitar ambience (given the company its in), dogs barking and, finally, Walker singing about “sphincters tooting a tune” and picking scabs while actual fart sounds squelch in the background like horns. The song may leave some wondering if Walker has truly lost it — horror-movie lines like “nothing clears a room like removing a brain” don’t help — but it ultimately does what Walker does best: provoke. After all, why not use flatulence, something every person lives with daily, as a percussive instrument, and treat a lover as a scab lyrically? Amid lyrics which tough on the historical, histrionic and philosophical, “Corps de Blah” clears the air (ahem) a bit on Walker’s pretensions. It is painfully real, to the point that many will likely dismiss the song as infantile when its taboo subjects represent basic, ugly human elements those same people would wish away into non-existence. But this is still a rock album of sorts, and songs like the bleak-rock of “Phrasing” and heavy avant-jazz of “Epizootics!” offer more immediately grabbing moments than, say, “SDSS14+13B (Zercon, A Flagpole Sitter),” perhaps the aural equivalent of flagpole sitting (an early 20th century practice of sitting atop a flagpole for days, hoping to break the last man’s record) as it runs past 20 minutes of Walker’s id run wild. Much more instantly pleasurable albums have been released in 2012 than Bish Bosch, but perhaps none is more daring.
Amoeba Music wants to turn your holiday shopping trip into an adventure of savings!
This Saturday (December 8th), all Amoeba locations will hold a special celebration of savings with:
-- 20% off all turntables (plus get a $10 coupon and goodie bag with your turntable purchase!!)
-- 20% off all T-shirts
-- 20% off all headphones
And get this! Amoeba Berkeley is EXTENDING their sale into Sunday as well! So save big at Amoeba Berkeley all weekend long!
As if that weren't enough, Amoeba San Francisco and Berkeley are running Ten Days of Savings through December 10th, which means you can save 10% off EVERYTHING in the store (not to be combined with any other discounts, like the Saturday Sale on turntables, t-shirts, and headphones). SO, go on and get some Pro-Ject speakers or anything else you want while you’re here too!
With these kinds of savings, you can't afford to stay home!
From Fantastic Four #42, p. 15. Art by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta
I knew Federico Fellini was a fan of 60s Marvel Comics, but was surprised to learn from Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story that not only was Alain Resnais a big fan, he also had plans on making a film with Stan Lee. Fellini was a former cartoonist and I can easily imagine the Marvel Method guiding an Italian production: film a bunch of scenes, then have actors overdub whatever lines Lee wrote after seeing the completed visuals. Resnais, on the other hand, seems snootier and a lot more abstract in his work. Nevertheless, what he and Lee came up was this (as described by The Man himself): "The Monster Maker is a realistic fantasy about a frustrated movie producer who overcomes his frustrations through trying to solve the problems of pollution [...]. There will be lots of symbolism -- and garbage." [quoted in Howe, p. 114] Sounds like they were breaking even with their combined cultural capital. And it's certainly true that both men shared a love for portentous dialogue. Man, I'd love to read this script.
The Film Noir Foundation, dedicated to preserving films in danger of being lost or irreparably damaged AND the organization behind the Noir City film festival, presents the third annual Noir City Xmas show on Wednesday, December 19th at San Francisco's majestic Castro Theatre! Get your tickets HERE!
The Yule-themed double bill pairs The Lady in the Lake (1947), a subjective camera adaption of Raymond Chandler's novel set during the holidays, and Holiday Affair (1949) with noir icon Robert Mitchum hot on the trail of nubile Janet Leigh.
The evening will also feature the unveiling of the full schedule for NOIR CITY 11 (1/25 - 2/3/13), the spectacular new NOIR CITY poster, and the latest Ms. NOIR CITY herself! Defying all the latest media death knells regarding repertory cinema and 35mm, NOIR CITY 11 will present its most expansive schedule yet with29 films, including three brand-new 35mm restorations funded by the Film Noir Foundation . . . and the noir lovers of San Francisco!
But here's a little more about the films you will see at Noir City Xmas:
HOLIDAY AFFAIR 7:30pm (1949, RKO, dir. Don Hartman. 87 min.) Big bad Bob Mitchum is on the run from one of his RKO noir thrillers when he gets a job as house dick at a department store and busts adorable Janet Leigh, who's spying for the competition. Okay, it's not noir. It's a warm and witty romantic Christmas movie minus all the sappy sentiment. Hey, a little love never killed anybody!
San Francisco's favorite film hostess Peaches Christ already knows exactly what you want for xmas: a not-at-all silent night of goth holiday glory at San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre! With that in mind she has concocted a ghoul-tide extravaganza like none other. Saturday, December 15th marks the world premiere of THE NIGHTMARE WE CALL CHRISTMAS, an all-new Antichristmas Pageant featuring a screening of the only holiday movie with skintight leather bodysuits, a fervent appreciation for hair styling and topiary maintenance, and Winona Ryder in a blonde wig! Yep, it's Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands.
But that's not all! Edward Scissorhands is just one of many unforgettable characters Tim Burton has given the world, and the spectacular NIGHTMARE WE CALL CHRISTMAS pre-show will pay tribute to a wide range of Burtonian weirdos, featuring guest appearances from the likes of Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee Herman, The Queen of Hearts, Mrs. Lovett, a chorus of oompah-loompahs, and so much more. Peaches Christ will be steering this sleigh ride to hell as "Peach Boggs" alongside her very "special" sidekick "Martiny Scissor-claws."
And make sure to dress up in your gloomiest holiday look for our HOLIDAY MACABRE COSTUME CONTEST.
Get your tickets HERE!
1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Aftermath)
3) Pitbull Global Warming (RCA)
3) 9th Wonder & Buckshot The Solution (Duck Down Records)
4) Wu-Block Wu-Block (Entertainment One)
5) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)
This latest hip-hop top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store continues the trend of the past seven weeks at Amoeba in that it has Kendrick Lamar's universally popular major label debut Good Kid M.A.A.D City once again in the number one slot. That's the regular CD version with the album's Deluxe CD version (with five additional tracks) version also selling well too.
Other new chart entries include Wu-Block's Wu-Block on Entertainment One which Billy Gil Amoeblogged about earlier this week when he wrote "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." Another brand new release this week is the ever popular Miami rapper Pitbull's seventh and latest album Global Warming on RCA which is packed with one hit-sounding track after another like "I'm Off That" below.