December 31, 2012: Rust and Bone

Posted by phil blankenship, December 31, 2012 11:20pm | Post a Comment

Best of Amoeblog 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 31, 2012 02:43pm | Post a Comment
















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.


-The Bay Area Crew’s coverage of the Monterrey Jazz Festival.


-Eddie Muller of Noir City film fest's "What’s In My Bag?" (This year’s fest starts Jan. 25).


-Amoeba SF’s Halloween costume contest.


-Job O Brother’s post on Gay Pride.


-Rick Frystak’s post on early electronic music albums.

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Personal Picks: Kelly's Best of 2012 Year-End Recap

Posted by Kells, December 31, 2012 02:30pm | Post a Comment

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.

BEST 2012 REISSUE: It's a tie between two (Numero related) comps: WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze and & Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974 - 1984. Both platters piled high with private press oddments and rarities one could hardly go more wrong than to miss out on these two exemplary feats of the compilation arts. The former being a point of revision for many in that it is essentially a mix of largely unheard "yacht rock"/AOR triumphs of seventies song-writing sensibilities (man, is it ever sensibly sensitive) that confronts one's moral definition of guilty (listening) pleasures. The latter comp, Personal Space - a seemingly dark horse among the usual reissue fare fleshing out the the soul comps shelf space, made the rounds among Amoeba staff regularly thus enjoyed a healthy amount of in-store play as well. Chock full of rhythm-box workouts a la Sly Stone, Timmy Thomas and Shuggie Otis, it's a far-out soul/funk excavation of the highest order. Both of these are solid front-to-back listens for the home vinyl library/curio corner.

An honorable mention smoothing out the angles in this Bermuda triangle of smooth sailing comps would have to be that Tim Findlay (of Groove Armada) mix for the Late Night Tales series, Music for Pleasure. Holy horse latitudes is this mix ever the very essence of a guilty, yacht-rocking pleasurecraft. I'd swear it's been a banner year for harnessing the soft, ever-lilting easy breezes of boxed-wine status AM Gold.

REIUSSUE RADNESS: Thin Lizzy, Takeshi Terauchi, Judas Priest, Stan Rogers, Can, My Bloody Valentine and so, so many other reissues really lit up the old hi-fi this year. Of the pack I'd say that the Light in the Attic reish of Thin Lizzy's self-titled album and Allen Toussaint's Southern Nights (out via 4 Men with Beards) have been fighting it out for turntable dominance most of this past year. I'm still digesting the Can - Lost Tapes box set and don't even get me started on the glory that is the live at the '83 US Fest DVD that comes packaged with the latest remastered reissue of Judas Priest's 30-year-old masterpiece Screaming for Vengeance. Other notable reissues include the waves of fuzzy shoegaze nostalgia imparted to the middle bit of 2012 thanks to the My Bloody Valentine reissue tsunami, the continuation of the very long overdue reissue of Canada's working man's maritime-folk troubadour Stan Rogers' back catalogue (what began last year) and the release of Nippon Guitars -- a killer comp ofering an overview of the life and work of Japan's godfather of surf guitar, Takeshi Terauchi. It's so good we can't even play it in the store on a busy without selling out by the end of track three.

speaking of compilations...

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The Official Amoeba Top 50 Albums of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 31, 2012 06:33am | Post a Comment

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.)


1. Frank OceanChannel Orange

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





2. Light AsylumLight Asylum

A favorite among Amoebites, Light Asylum’s self-titled debut gripped fans of electronic music and ’80s-influenced synth pop.

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2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part III

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2012 05:07am | Post a Comment

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.

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December 30, 2012: Les Miserables

Posted by phil blankenship, December 30, 2012 09:31pm | Post a Comment

my top 10 films of 2012...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 30, 2012 07:37pm | Post a Comment
#1 Cloud Atlas

#2 Zero Dark Thirty

#3 Django Unchained

#4 Looper

#5 Moonrise Kingdom

#6 Argo

#7 Amour

#8 Headhunters

#9 The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

#10 The Cabin In The Woods

Let Fury Have the Hour, Documentary on Music & Activism, at Balboa Theater 1/18 - 1/24.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 30, 2012 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Antonino D'Ambrosio's documentary Let Fury Have the Hour opens at the Balboa Theatre (3630 Balboa Let Fury Have the Hour 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.

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December 30, 2012: Lincoln

Posted by phil blankenship, December 30, 2012 02:03pm | Post a Comment

2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part II

Posted by Billyjam, December 28, 2012 03:49pm | Post a Comment

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.

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No "best of" 2012, just "films I saw in 2012" and "films that looked good in 2012"

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 28, 2012 03:42pm | Post a Comment

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. 

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New Year's Day Sale at All Amoeba Stores

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 28, 2012 12:05pm | Post a Comment

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)

New Year's Day Sale at Amoeba


December 27, 2012: Parental Guidance

Posted by phil blankenship, December 27, 2012 11:57pm | Post a Comment

Handsome Club's favorite electronic albums of 2012

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 27, 2012 05:46pm | Post a Comment



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.

Purchase Vedomir

Robert Hood
Motor: Nighttime III
Music Man

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

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Jordan's highly subjective, in-no-particular order, top 10 (or 11) electronica releases that made the world a better place in 2012.

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 27, 2012 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Paranoid London
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

Fudge Fingas
Mass X
Firecracker Recordings

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

Petar Dundov
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

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Looking Ahead to 2013 ...

Posted by Billy Gil, December 27, 2012 10:29am | Post a Comment

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.

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December 26, 2012: Zero Dark Thirty

Posted by phil blankenship, December 26, 2012 11:12pm | Post a Comment

In Memoriam: 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 26, 2012 03:15pm | Post a Comment

As the year comes to an end, we pause to remember those who have passed this year. Click on the photos to see our bloggers’ tributes earlier this year.


Austin Peralta, pianist/composer



Whitney Houston, singer












Ravi Shankar, musician









Donna Summer, singer


Adam Yauch, rapper/musician (Beastie Boys)



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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #14: NYE in NYC, Earwax Records' Fabio Interview, Horse Drawn Carriages, Historic Williamsburg Bridge

Posted by Billyjam, December 26, 2012 11:41am | Post a Comment

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.
In this fourteenth installment of the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog I will do a run down of the pros and cons of ringing in 2013 at the "crossroads of the world." I will do a run down of other events (concerts etc.) happening in the week ahead, a look at horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, a look back at the historic Williamsburg Bridge, plus an Amoeblog video interview with record store owner/friend of Amoeba and longtime WFMU DJ Fabio who talks about his two-decade-old record store Earwax Records and the dramatically changed neighborhood of Williamsburg that surrounds his store, plus other things relevant to New York City.

December 25, 2012: This is 40

Posted by phil blankenship, December 25, 2012 09:26pm | Post a Comment

December 25, 2012: Django Unchained

Posted by phil blankenship, December 25, 2012 12:23pm | Post a Comment

Happy Hip-Hop Holidayz

Posted by Billyjam, December 25, 2012 02:28am | Post a Comment
For this holiday occasion here are four hip-hop Christmas songs/videos to celebrate the day. Two of them are old school 1980's flashbacks: Run DMC's 1987 Christmas classic (of all genres) "Christmas In Hollis," and the and "Santa's Rap" from the 1984 hip-hop movie Beat Street by The Treacherous Three and Doug E. Fresh. Note that is not the album version but the original film version of the song and hence a little more explicit (better too).

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)

December 24, 2012: Jack Reacher

Posted by phil blankenship, December 24, 2012 09:52pm | Post a Comment

No Feet in Django Unchained: Tarantino on Stern

Posted by Charles Reece, December 24, 2012 12:26am | Post a Comment

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.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, December 23, 2012 07:05pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood's Rick Frystak Talks About DJ'ing On KPFK

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2012 04:20pm | Post a Comment

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's Annual Top 25: The United States of Pop 2012 (Shine Brighter)

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2012 07:48pm | Post a Comment

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.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 12:21:12: Yancey Boys, DJ Shadow, DJ Nu-Mark, RBL Posse, Hieros, Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2012 08:40pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 12:21:12

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!

New End of the World Music!

Posted by Billy Gil, December 21, 2012 01:33pm | Post a Comment

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.



Prince Rama – “Those Who Live for Love Will Live Forever”

20 Super Rad Free Downloads from 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 20, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment’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.




Buy the album



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.



December 19, 2012: The Intouchables

Posted by phil blankenship, December 19, 2012 10:24pm | Post a Comment

And drouthy neibors, neibors meet - Drinking and dining and drinking at the Tam o' Shanter Inn

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 19, 2012 09:55pm | Post a Comment
Tomorrow I'm dining at the Tam o' Shanter Inn in the Northeast LA neighborhood of Atwater Village. I needed to write about something and haven't yet been able to finish my piece about Irvine so here you go...

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." 


In the Our Gang films, Spanky wears a tam o' shanter. In the opening sequence of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the titular heroine wears one -- known (because she's a woman) as a "tammy" or "tam."

The Tam o' Shanter Inn was opened by Lawrence L. Frank, Walter Van de Kamp, and Joe Montgomery in 1922 as Montgomery's Country Inn and is one of Los Angeles's oldest restaurants. In 1923, though Montgomery left the partnership, the restaurant was re-named Montgomery’s Chanticleer Inn. In 1925 it was transformed into a Scottish restaurant (although the restaurant also serves English cuisine such as Yorkshire pudding) called The Tam o' Shanter Inn.

Not Exactly News But Now It's Official: Rock N Roll Lifestyle Can Cause Premature Death

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2012 07:00pm | Post a Comment

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)

Top "What's In My Bag?" Episodes of 2012

Posted by Rachael McGovern, December 19, 2012 04:48pm | Post a Comment

WIMBTrying 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.

10 Great L.A. Indie Albums from 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 19, 2012 04:25pm | Post a Comment

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 FreeAngel Shadow (LA’s Fine)

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!




New York State of Mind Amoeblog #13: Ice Skating, Cheap Eats, Concerts, Butero, Warhol, Klee, Guggenheim For A Dime + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2012 03:59pm | Post a Comment
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.   

Heavy Midnites: ROCKY IV at the Cinefamily!

Posted by phil blankenship, December 19, 2012 12:42pm | Post a Comment

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

Life Is A Movie For Graham Parker and The Rumour

Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2012 10:40am | Post a Comment

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).

First Fridays at LA's Natural History Museum with Lord Huron & Wildcat! Wildcat! 1/4/13

Posted by Amoebite, December 18, 2012 03:56pm | Post a Comment

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, excitingFirst Fridays, NHM, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, LA scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours as part of the First Fridays program. Amoeba is excited to sponsor this fabulous series of live music, discussion, concessions, tours, DJs, and more.

Join us on January 4th from 5-10pm for live performances from Lord Huron AmoebaLord 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!

Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, Sunday 1/6/13

Posted by Amoebite, December 18, 2012 03:39pm | Post a Comment

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.

2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part One

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2012 11:00pm | Post a Comment
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….

My Top 50 Albums of 2012 - Part II

Posted by Billy Gil, December 17, 2012 07:25pm | Post a Comment

25. SwansThe Seer

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.


24. The MenOpen Your Heart

Brusque rock ’n’ roll abandon made a comeback in 2012, in the form of great records like The Men’s Open Your Heart, a riotous post-hardcore record with a big, beating heart.

My Top 50 Albums of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 17, 2012 07:24pm | Post a Comment

50. Purity RingShrines

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.



49. Cold ShowersLove & Regret

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.)


48. Django DjangoDjango Django

Best Of World Music For 2012, Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 17, 2012 01:09am | Post a Comment
Best Artwork:
Chicano Batman-Joven Navegante

Best World Music Album Title:
Very Be Carefu
l -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 & 
People of Palenque

Best World Music Compilation:
-Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires

Best Retro African Compilation:
- Ivory Coast Soul 2 – Afro Soul In Abidjan From 1976 to 1981

Best Retro African Release:
Francis Bebe
y- African Electronic Music 1975 – 1982

Best New African Release:
Janka Nabay
- En Say Ya

Best Usage Of World Music Without Being A World Music Album
Rocket Juice & The Moon-S/T

Best LP That I Wish I Bought But Now Is Sadly Out Of Print:
V/A-African Guitar Box
Comeback Player(s) Of The Year
Chicha Libre -Canibalismo

Best New Brazilian Release:
Criolo-Nó Na Orelha

Best Retro Brazilian Release
Dom Salvador -Dom Salvador Trio

Best Brazilian Compilation:

V/A- Soul Braza – Brazilian 60s & 70s Soul Psych Vol 2

Best Salsa Reissue

Cortijo y Su Combo Con Ismael Rivera- La Quiniela Del Dia

Best Salsa Compilation

V/A-Subway Salsa: Montuno Records Story
Best New Salsa Release Of 2012
Freddy Cruz Y Su Fuerza Latina- La Solucion

Best Middle Eastern Release:
V/A-Dabke – Sounds Of The Syrian Houran

Best Of The Many Retro Middle Eastern Releases In 2012
- Khana Khana – Funk, Psychedelia, & Pop From The Iranian Pre-Revolution Generation

Best Of The Many Retro Chicha Releases In 2012

Los Jharis De Naña-Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central

Best Of The Many Retro Asian Releases in 2012
Shin Joong Hyun & Yup Juns-S/T

Best Of The Many Retro Indian Music Releases In 2012

Ilaiyaraaja -Fire Star – Synth-Pop & Electro-Funk From Tamil Films 1985 to 1989

Best Retro European Compilation:

V/A- Skanish Sound

Best New European Album:

Taraf De Haidouks & Kocani Orkestar -Band Of Gypsies 2

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Café Tacuba- Objeto Antes Llamado Disco

Rookie Of The Year:


Best World Music Album That I Raved About Last Year That Got Popular This Year:

Sistema Bomb-Electro Jarocho

Best World Music Album Of 2012 Sadly Not Available At Amoeba:
La Excelencia- Ecos Del Barrio

Best In-Store Performance By A World Music Artist:
La Santa Cecilia - El Valor

Best World LP Lifesaver When You Didn’t Bring Enough Records To The Club:
Diablos Del Ritmo – The Colombian Melting Pot – 1975 to 1985

Cinefamily Holiday Party / Telethon All Weekend!

Posted by phil blankenship, December 15, 2012 08:54am | Post a Comment

Hi Everyone,

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.

Of course -- don't forget about that Kickstarter.

And, if you aren't able to make it down to the theater itself -- or, if you're out of town -- you can still watch the entire 24 hours of festivities on our live stream, found here!

OPENING (1:00pm-4:30pm)
- Robert Downey Jr. opens a time capsule!
- A mindblowing multimedia performance by Miwa Matreyek!
- Mark Mothersbaugh talks synths & soundtracks in a disembodied digital discussion, live via Skype!
- Phil Lord and Chris Miller (directors of "21 Jump Street") present Lego fan films!

PRIMETIME (4:30pm-8pm)
- Trailers From Hell, live!
- Neil Hamburger presents the stars of tomorrow!
- Dave Franco & Brian McGinn's comedy shorts!
- "Cracked Out", with Jon Daly & Brett Gelman!
- The legendary Pablo Ferro talks "Madvertising"!
- A slideshow presentation from pop-art renaissance man Wayne White!

MIDNIGHT MADNESS (8pm - midnight-ish)
- CINEFAMILY CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA! feat. a sneak peak at Everything Is Terrible's Holiday Special 2012, "Simpsons" director David Silverman's Flaming Tuba, and an intergalactic yuletide interview w/ Zorak from "Space Ghost: Coast To Coast"!
- Rob Schrab & Dan Harmon's Found Crap!
- Nick Offerman shares his talents...and mustache!
- Usher in midnight with an audio/visual odyssey from Cut Chemist!
- Cinefamily's signature "Total Madness" DJ/VJ set, live!

THE NITE OWL (midnght-ish - 6am)
Presented by VICE

- A late night visit from Eric Wareheim!
- An acoustic set by John Hawkes!
- A holiday reading by Udo Kier!
- One-Minute Movies with Guy Maddin!
- Special Christmas presentation by Tearist!
- Found footage mayhem unleashed by TV Carnage!
- A special holiday appearance by Brie Larson!
- Daedelus performs live & demonstrates his homemade electronic instruments!
- VICE crashes the party with exclusive, brand new original films!
- Crazy-ass footage from Burger TV!
- Sublime Frequencies presents ethnographic musical oddities!
- Hadrian's mom teaches spoon-bending and interviews Hadrian!

- YACHT celebrates the dawn with film, music, yoga & breakfast!
- Cat Film Festival, featuring a web-cast Q&A on web cat culture with Lil Bub!
- The Bob Baker Marionettes and Screen Novelties' Christmas Extravaganza!
- Fuzzy Felt Films (warm n' fuzzy 16mm ephemeral film rarities of the '60s & '70s)
- Jerry Beck presents silent cartoons & kids' shorts w/ live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick (the Cinefamily's regular silent film accompanist!)
- "Adventures of Pete & Pete" creators Chris Viscardi & Will McRobb talk inspiration and deconstruct "A Christmas Story"!
- Screenwriting guru Robert McKee skypes in and talks with Nicholas Jarecki (writer/director of "Arbitrage")!

FINALE! (12pm-1pm)
- A Tribute to Ben Gazzara, featuring archival footage of his fantastic, legendary Q&A appearance at the Cinefamily
- NEW & RENEWING MEMBERS' POTLUCK: "My Lunch with Schwartzman": a brunch feast/on-stage interview with Jason Schwartzman!

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 12:14:12: Big Boi, The Game, The Coup, Edison, Ill Bill, and more

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2012 07:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 12:14:12

1) Big Boi Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)
Latest material from Outkast.  More commercially friendly than Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Song of Chico Dusty, but the Big Boi talent's still there. Features A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, Killer Mike, and multiple collaborations with Little Dragon (!)

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.

These Streets of Hers: Jessica Pratt is All But Owning Her Home Turf

Posted by Kells, December 14, 2012 07:10pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco songstress Jessica Pratt is blowing up. She's on fire. She's on fire and blowing up. Since her debut album of lush, hand-picked folk melodies dropped a just few months ago demand for Jessica's debut, simply titled JP, has become as difficult to keep up with as the multitude of glowing reviews surfacing all over the interwebs lauding Ms. Pratt's ability to make everyone mistake her bewitching, home-brewed folkways for that of retro private press obscurities. If you think this isn't going to be yet another reverent review let me get right to the point: believe the hype.

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.

Then there are the songs themselves.

Culled from recordings made over the past five years (which, I hope, means the songs that comprise JP are likely only a small sample of Pratt's acoustic drifts) Ms. Pratt's songwriting is neither cryptic or contrived offering instead informal delivery of personal meanderings whether they seemingly sprung from wakefulness ("Midnight Wheels") or the reflecting upon the changes that come of a passage of time ("Bushel Hyde"). Plus, it's difficult to put into words the comfort that lives within the sound of a track opening up with the punch and click of analogue tape gently purring into "record" mode as can be heard on Side A's "Mountan'r Lower". Taken all together, this record is an intensely satisfying listen through and through (and over and over again - I haven't taken this off the turntable for more than a half-day since I copped my copy back in October) JP will no doubt continue to fly off the shelves here at Amoeba Music just as sure as the cult of Pratt enthusiasts continue to find themselves rapt, downing the kool-aid at first, and with each subsequent, listen.

As of this morning Birth Records announced the arrival of the second pressing and the impending fulfillment of back orders so if you've been waiting to get your paws on some tangible JP -- hang in there kittens! The LP comes packaged with a lovely insert featuring a collage made by Ms. Pratt herself  with a digital download of the full album included so you can roam these streets of hers with her, you know, if you're into that kind of thing.

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 12/14 Soundstream, Marcellis, Trevino, Portable, Electric Street Orchestra, and tons more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 14, 2012 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Julie’s Theme 12”

More cut up disco house madness.

Purchase Julie's Theme here

Workshop 16

Warm, intimate, sub heavy, psychedelic tripping House bombs.

Purchase Workshop 16 here:

Forged 12"

Next up on Ben Klock’s Klockworks imprint is from Trevino aka Marcus Intalex with 3 tracks of dark techno.

Purchase Forged here:

Weekly Roundup: FIDLAR, Widowspeak, Wavves, How to destroy angels_, The Congos / Sun Araw / M. Geddes Gengras

Posted by Billy Gil, December 13, 2012 03:18pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR – “Gimme Something” video, album up for preorder

FidlarOf 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 Continues To Build Fanbase With National TV Debut

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2012 12:44pm | Post a Comment

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.

12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief Stream

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2012 04:04am | Post a Comment

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.

Happy birthday, Edvard Munch

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 12, 2012 05:43pm | Post a Comment
Today is the 149th birthday of Norwegian painter and printmaker, Edvard Munch

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.

(l-r) Munch's original Munch's last ...and parodies

Munch's piece(s) titled Der Schrei der Natur (usually known as The Scream in English) is his most recognized work and has been referenced, parodied and copied countless times. The first version, done with pastels, was completed in 1893. He created three more versions, one more pastel and two paintings. 

Munch passed away on 23 January, 1944 at the age of eighty years. He is quoted as having said, "Fra min råtnende kropp skal blomster vokse, og jeg er i dem, og dét er evighet" which Google translates as "From my rotting body flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity."

In college I had the opportunity to see Peter Watkins's 210 minute long biographical film, Evard Munch. In addition to my date and I, there was only one other film attendee in the audience. I was utterly enthralled but by the time the film ended, my girlfriend had fallen asleep and the other film-goer had long since taken off. If you'd like to purchase a copy, it is available on DVD


Top 5 Classical Albums of 2012

Posted by Rubin Meisel, December 12, 2012 04:31pm | Post a Comment

1. Cecelia Bartoli - Mission

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.





2. Esa-Pekka Salonen - Out of Nowhere: Violin Concerto

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.





3. Max Richter - Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Richter, who is British of German birth, is quickly becoming a leading composer of experimental music. Recomposed is his brilliant and witty electronic take on Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The violin solos are done superbly by famed English violinist Daniel Hope.


New York State of Mind Amoeblog #12: 12-12-12, Paolo Pivi, Quay Brothers, A$AP Rocky, Bleecker Bob's, Deep Space + more

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

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.

Rest In Peace Ravi Shankar

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2012 06:07am | Post a Comment

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 Tickets to Django Unchained Hollywood Premiere

Posted by Amoebite, December 11, 2012 08:28pm | Post a Comment

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).


Django Unchained contest



Ranking Christopher Nolan's Films

Posted by Billy Gil, December 11, 2012 06:48pm | Post a Comment

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.

(All of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies are available in a box set, on DVD or Blu-ray.)


8. Following (DVD, Criterion DVD or Criterion Blu-ray)

Christopher Nolan’s first film represents the chrysalis of ideas Nolan would explore in later films. A lonely writer who follows people on the streets of London for research has the tables turned when one of his subjects asks why he is following him. The writer discovers the suave man he has followed is a burglar and invites the writer to come with him on a job. The ensuing movie, which weaves elements of classic film noir (Diabolique comes to mind), is notable for its new wave feel — black-and-white, naturalistic acting — as well as its non-linear plot structure. It also introduces subjects over which Nolan would seem to obsess throughout his career, such as that of duality and unreliable narrators. Some elements feel contrived — the writer’s willingness to engage in burglary and violence isn’t entirely convincing — and it suffers a bit from having had the superior and similarly minded The Usual Suspects released near it. But it would have been an ambitious, exciting first film for any director, and it features some of his best dialogue, something similarly strong in Memento but that I felt was a weak point in the otherwise masterful Inception, for instance. And for Nolan fans, it’s essential viewing to see how his ideas would be shaped better once he had more money, for starters — Nolan also photographed and produced the film himself, taking the money out for the expensive film stock from his own salary. Side note: look for the bat symbol in the movie, a funny bit of foreshadowing that, given the layering in Nolan’s films, you have to wonder about.

The 12/12/12 Sale: Get a $20 Gift Certificate for $12!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 11, 2012 02:29pm | Post a Comment

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. 


Santa Claus: The Dark Side

Posted by Billyjam, December 11, 2012 08:09am | Post a Comment

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."

Albums Out Dec. 11: Jawbreaker, Green Day, Bruno Mars and More

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2012 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Jawbreaker – Bivouac [20th Anniversary Edition]

Jawbreaker BivouacCD $12.98

LP $18.98

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 Presents R. Crumb-Designed Louis Armstrong Prints

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2012 02:07pm | Post a Comment

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 [B&W]

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.

Amoeba on The Simpsons!

Posted by Amoebite, December 10, 2012 12:02pm | Post a Comment

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.

Protozoa Records Amoeba Music Simpsons


Decemberists Simpsons


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Incredible Year

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2012 08:55am | Post a Comment
To say that this has been a good year for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis would be an understatement. 2012 has been an incredible year for the Washington State hip-hop emcee/producer team whose widely popular new, independently released album The Heist has been a top five hip-hop release at Amoeba since its October 9th release, and whose San Francisco concert tonight (Mon Dec 10th) at The Regency Ballroom, similar to other dates on the Seattle pair's current tour, sold out well in advance. Also this year Macklemore & Ryan Lewis got a feature on the cover of XXL’s Freshman Class of 2012.

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.

December 9, 2012: Dredd

Posted by phil blankenship, December 9, 2012 03:38pm | Post a Comment

December 9, 2012: Fun Size

Posted by phil blankenship, December 9, 2012 12:37pm | Post a Comment

December 8, 2012: Red Dawn

Posted by phil blankenship, December 9, 2012 12:07am | Post a Comment

December 8, 2012: House at the End of the Street

Posted by phil blankenship, December 8, 2012 10:05pm | Post a Comment

The Residents To Release The "Ultimate Box Set" For 40th Year Anniversary

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2012 09:04am | Post a Comment
There are box sets and then there is The Residents Ultimate Box Set - an extremely limited and most unique box set (technically a "fridge set") that the mysterious, longtime San Francisco experimental music/art act will be releasing on Christmas Day (Dec 25, 2012) to celebrate their 40th anniversary that began with their first ever release, 1972's "Santa Dog" single.

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).

December 7, 2012: Wreck-It Ralph

Posted by phil blankenship, December 7, 2012 09:40pm | Post a Comment

my top 50 albums of 2012...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 7, 2012 06:48pm | Post a Comment

#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.

#2 DIIV - Oshin
(Captured Tracks)

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.

#3 Trust - Trst
(Arts & Crafts)

I fell in love with this band the first time that I heard them. They are a band made for me. This is the spooky and dark goth music that I love. A perfect blend of synthpop and dark wave. I really could not get enough of this album when it first came out. A perfect album for driving around in your car at night. One of the most disturbing album covers of the year. This is the kind of album that will forever remain one of my favorites. There is not a bad song on the album. Trust is Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski from the band Austra. The best thing to come out of Canada since Skinny Puppy. "Shoom," "Chrissy E," "Sulk" & "Bulbform" are some of the best songs of the year.

#4 Mount Eerie - Clear Moon
(PW Elverum & Sun)

I never really paid much attention to Mount Eerie or The Microphones. Mount Eerie was formerly known as The Microphones. Mount Eerie is Phil Elverum from the wonderful state of Washington. I was not really expecting much from this album since I had never really liked much he had done in the past. But this album seriously surprised me and quickly became one of my favorites of the year. It might just be one of the most beautiful albums that I have ever heard. I put Phil Elverum right up there with Mark Kozelek. These songs will break your heart in two. A seriously beautiful album. This is a vinyl only album pressed on beautiful clear vinyl. He put out two albums this year. Ocean Roar was released later in the year. Both are amazing albums. But Clear Moon stands out as my favorite.

#5 The Twilight Sad -
No One Can Ever Know (Fat Cat)

This is the third album from this Scottish band. This album marks a new direction for these guys. Their first two albums were more on the emo side of things. They were sort of a Scottish mix of Idlewild and At The Drive-In. But this new album is more darker than anything they have done before. It also uses a lot of keyboards. That is really all that I need to like an album! This album is still very much an album from Scotland. I can't really understand anything coming out of this man's mouth. But it does not matter. This album got down deep inside of me after the first time I heard it. I keep coming back to it over and over this year. A fantastic dark album. I feel like they finally lived up to their name.

#6 Crystal Castles - III

This is the third album by Crystal Castles. And the third self titled album by the band. So they are just calling it "III" to simplify things. Crystal Castles are the second of three Canadian bands in my top ten this year. I have loved these guys since their first album released in 2008. Their second album was released in 2010. And they have now gifted us with a fantastic third album in 2012. You will not be disappointed in this album if you are already a fan of this band. I knew I would love this album as soon as I got through the first song on the album. A perfect dark electronic album for these winter months. These guys always make me think of Bikini Kill mixed with a band like Aphex Twin. These are some dark songs. But beneath them is a fun and vibrant energy.

#7 Light Asylum -Light Asylum
(Mexican Summer)

I think I was a fan of Light Asylum before I even first heard them. I just knew that I was going to love this band. They put out an EP last year and I was hooked on Light Asylum right away. I was a huge fan of Yaz in the 80s and these guys sound exactly like them. Like a modern Brooklyn version of Yaz. Shannon Funchess has that deep powerful voice like Alison Moyet. And Bruno Coviello plays those keyboards like only Vince Clark can. It is the perfect mix of dark and haunting lyrics and new wave electronics. It is really hard to believe that this music is from 2012. And I am sure you could fool your friends by pretending that they are some overlooked synth band from Berlin in the 80s.

#8 Emeralds - Just To Feel Anything
(Editions Mego)

I have been a fan of these guys for a couple of years now. But this new album is sort of a new direction for them. It is more accessible. More fun. They experiment in the world of John Carpenter and Klaus Schulze. But this is not a dark horror soundtrack or a new age album. I really think this might be the most fun album that I have heard in a while. I can just imagine these guys having such fun sitting in a room and coming up with these compositions. The album will make you think you are in the 70s. Sitting in a room with a hundred synthesizers. I have had this album on repeat since I first heard it a couple of months ago. This album is not for everyone. But if you like this kind of stuff you will love this album.

#9 Mac Demarco - 2
(Captured Tracks)

This is my second Captured Tracks album on this list. And there are still four more to go. I seriously do love this label. But Mac Demarco is not what I have come to expect from this label. He is more along the lines of a Kurt Vile than Wild Nothing or Soft Moon. I actually didn't even like this album the first time I heard it. I think just because it was different than I was expecting. But like that Kurt Vile album from last year. It worked its way over to being one of my favorites of the year. It is dreamy but also jangly. Mac Demarco is from Montreal and Vancouver. The third Canadian in my top ten! He is sort of a combination of Pavement and Ariel Pink. This album is seriously addictive and I like it more every time that I listen to it.

#10 Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
(Def Jam)

I was a huge fan of R&B in the 80s and 90s. But had really lost interest in most of the stuff coming out in the last ten years. But Frank Ocean changed that all for me. This album is really just too good for anyone to ignore. It just doesn't get much better than this. Frank Ocean was born in Long Beach, California! My hometown! But he grew up in New Orleans. I imagine that he still would have been an amazing musician if he had stayed in Long Beach. But he probably would have been a much different musician. This album is full of one great song after another. The longest and best song is stuck in the middle of the album. "Pyramids" really stands out as my favorite. But this album is so good that I can easily listen to it all day long.

#11 Beach House - Bloom
(Sub Pop)

This is their fourth album. Their first two were on Carpark. The last two on Sub Pop. I always liked these guys but didn't really become a full time fan until Teen Dream was released in 2010. They have only gotten better as the years go by. I think Bloom is my favorite of theirs so far. The singer has one of those deep voices. Imagine Marianne Faithfull singing with Mazzy Star. These songs are beautiful and dreamy and can easily take you over.

#12 Dream Boat - Eclipsing
(Cloud Recordings)

This album was a last minute addition to my list. The album just came out a couple of weeks ago. Another dreamy album made for me. It reminds me of Azure Ray and Maria Taylor. The second track on this album is "Sea To Sky." It is one of my favorite songs of the year. Seriously one of the most beautiful and haunting songs that I have ever heard. I listened to it about ten times the first time that I heard it.

#13 Husky - Forever So
(Sub Pop)

Sub Pop still manages to put out a couple of albums that I love every year. They still manage to bring us a couple of debut albums every year that end up impressing me. These guys are from Melbourne, Australia. I am not even sure how to explain this band. Imagine Shout Out Louds mixed with The Shins. "History's Door" is one of my favorites from the album.

#14 Black Marble -
A Different Arrangement (Hardly Art)

I am a big fan of the label Hardly Art. But this is not the kind of album they usually release. Dreamy and dark coldwave. They are from Brooklyn of course. They could easily be on Captured Tracks.

#15 The Soft Pack - Strapped
(Mexican Summer)

Finally an LA band on my list. Well they are from San Diego. But they live in LA now. I love these guys. How can you not. This is really the album that turned me into a super fan. This is their second album. Garagey catchy indie rock.

#16 Sun Airway - Soft Fall (Dead Oceans)
Second album by these dudes from Philadelphia. But the first album for me. Lies somewhere in between New Order and The Verve. The singers vocals do really remind me of Richard Ashcroft from The Verve. Big dreamy songs.

#17 Mirrorring - Foreign Body (Kranky)
I seriously listened to this album every day for a couple of months! Mirrorring is Liz Harris from Grouper and Jesy Fortino from Tiny Vipers. This is a sparse and delicate album. And like any Grouper album it is both dark and haunting and beautiful and fluffy all at the same time. There are only six songs on this album. But they are all great. And your heart will be fully broken in half by the time you get to the last song "Mirror Of Our Sleeping." It is one of those songs that makes me cry every time I listen to it. Yet I keep going back for more.

#18 The Tallest Man On Earth -
There's No Leaving Now (Dead Oceans)

I was not really sure about this dude for a while. It took him a while to grow on me. I kept hearing everyone talk about how great and brilliant he was. And he is all of those things. Kristian Matsson is The Tallest Man On Earth. He is from Sweden. I was really obsessed with all things Swedish a couple of years ago. It seemed like every band I liked came from Sweden. My love of Sweden had died down a bit until I started listening to this guy. He reminds me a bit of Jose Gonzales. But not as dark. He is clearly influenced by Nick Drake and Bob Dylan.

pye corner audio#19 Pye Corner Audio - Sleep Games (Ghost Box)
Pye Corner Audio is British producer Martin Jenkins. We got two great albums from him in 2012. The Black Mills Tapes collection earlier in the year. And then we got Sleep Games. This album reminds me a bit of Aphex Twin. Maybe Aphex Twin mixed with Booka Shade. An album meant to sound old. It sounds like an electronica album that came out in the mid 90s mixed with a synth album from the 70s.

#20 Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

Yet another album on my list from New York. This is her third album. But I think it took me that long to really give her the time she deserved. There were seriously so many great albums this year that could have been in my top ten. She is the female equivalent of the Tallest Man on Earth. A bit darker though. Dark and dreamy folk music. She has an amazing voice. This is one of those albums that I forget how much I like until I listen to it again. I almost forgot to include it on my list this year. But this album is really one of the best of the year. You can't listen to "Give Out" or "Serpents" and not fall in love with this album.

#21 Billow Observatory -
Billow Observatory (Felte)

There are usually about 5 to 10 instrumental or ambient albums that make it into my top 50 every year. These albums are an important part of my life every year. I need them to survive. They sort of balance me out and help my through the year. They usually find their way into my life some way or another. Billow Observatory is an ambient album that you might just forget is playing after you put it on. But if you turn it up loud you notice all the intricate details of one of the most amazing albums of the year.

#22 A Place To Bury Strangers - Worship (Dead Oceans)
This is the third album from this band. They made it to the top of my top 50 back in 2007 with their debut album. That was my last year in SF before I moved back to LA. I have liked everything these guys have put out. But nothing can top the brilliance of that first album. They are the New York version of The Jesus & Mary Chain. The louder side of shoegaze.

#23 The Soft Moon - Zeros (Captured Tracks)
Their debut album was my #5 album of 2010. And now here they are again with their second album. This is about as dark as Captured Tracks gets. It is gloomy and weird and dark. I didn't love this album right away like the first album. But it finally did grow on me after a couple of listens. Imagine Bauhaus mixed with Joy Division and Xmal Deutschland.

#24 Cold Showers - Love & Regret
Another Los Angeles band on my list. These guys sound like they are from England and this album could have easily been released in the 80s. They sound like the more experimental side of new wave music. Another dark gloomy album good for the winter months.

#25 Lemonade - Diver
(True Panther Sounds)

I am still not sure how I feel about the name of this band. But I do love this album. It was in heavy rotation in my car for a couple of months this year. These guys are form SF but now live in New York. Seems like most everyone I know has moved from SF in the last couple of years. This band is sort of all over the place. This is very dancey record for sure. It will sit nicely along with your Neon Indian, M83, Tanlines & Rapture albums. I actually liked this album a lot more than I thought I was going to. There are some seriously catchy songs on here.

#26 Purity Ring - Shrines

This album could have easily been in my top ten. But I already had too many albums from Canada up there. It is true. Another Canadian album that I was obsessed with this year. I still don't like the term Witch House for this genre. But this band sort of fits in there with Grimes. I think of this album as a combination of Fever Ray and Heavenly. They are dark and electronic but also a bit Twee with the vocals. It is dark and dreamy and sort of adorable at the same time.

#27 Heavenly Beat - Talent
(Captured Tracks)

Heavenly Beat is John Pena. This guy is from Texas. I can barely believe it. Another great discovery by Captured Tracks. This album doesn't really sound like anything that I can compare it to. But it is also at the same time instantly recognizable. The music is dreamy just like I like my music. Imagine The Smiths if they were a dancey dream pop band.

#28 Frankie Rose - Interstellar (Slumberland)
This is the second Frankie Rose album. The last album being by Frankie Rose & The Outs. She was also a member of The Vivian Girls. This is another album that I kept going back to all year long. It fits nice right up against the new Beach House. I do love this lady and she seem to just keep getting better. Slumberland is one of my favorite labels. They have managed to make a sort of comeback over the last couple of years. They always put out a couple of albums every year that end up being my favorites.

#29 The Raveonettes - Observator

It does sort of seem too soon for another album by my favorite band from Denmark. They were on a schedule of putting out an album every other year since 2003. But they had just released Raven In The Grave last year. Which I think was one of their best. But they have put out another great album just a year later. These guys also sound like they are stuck in the 90s. But in a good way. I love them and would be happy if they put out an album ever single year.

#30 Twin Shadow - Confess

Twin Shadow is George Lewis Jr. This is his second album. Another seriously addictive synthy album. And another album from Brooklyn. He is sort of a combination of Stephin Merritt and Marc Almond. This album will get you dancing. Or will at least make you imagine yourself dancing. More fun than what you might expect from 4AD. A fantastic second album from this dude.

#31 Majeure - Solar Maximum
(Temporary Residence)

Majeure! I pretty much love anything this guy puts out. Majeure is A.E. Paterra from Zombi. These are modern space rock jams. Imagine a band like Trans Am mixed up with some Tangerine Dream. This is my thinking spiritual music. My new age music. When they remake Blade Runner they should get Majeure to do the soundtrack! This is one of those albums that I could listen to all day long. I love this album almost as much as I loved the Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom album Days Of Mars from 2005. And I loved that album a lot.

#32 Unison - Unison

Unison is Julien Camarena and Melanie Moran. They are the leaders of French Witch House! I first heard them when I listened to the track "Brothers & Sisters." Sometimes I like a song so much that I tend to listen to it over and over again. I usually wear it out. But I can't get over this song. It's that good. I really wish this album had come out on a larger label and had gotten more exposure. This album deserves for more people to listen to it. It is dark and ethereal and haunting. Beautiful vocals over 80s 4AD type musical styles. I can hear obvious influences of Cocteau Twins and Lush.

#33 Zelienople -
The World Is A House On Fire (Type)

I finally found a band that sounds like Slowdive. This album sounds like the third Slowdive album. This was sort of the direction the band was going when they put out Pygmalion in 1995. Another beautiful haunting album on my list! These guys have been around for a bit. But this album was my first introduction to the band. This album is really beautiful. You might need to prepare yourself before you venture into the world of Zelienople. They also remind me of the great Bark Psychosis. And the classic Bark Psychosis album is getting reissued on vinyl very soon!

#34 Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

This is the third album for Natasha Khan. Also known as Bat For Lashes. This is a really good year for third albums. It is sometimes all downhill after an artists third album. But there have been some really great third albums this year by Crystal Castles, Twilight Sad, Sharon Van Etten, A Place To Bury Strangers and Bat For Lashes have all had their third album released this year. I still remember the first time I heard this lady. She plays dreamy synthpop. So of course I would like her. Another quality album from a unique and amazing performer.

#35 Wild Nothing - Nocturne
(Captured Tracks)

This is the second album for Jack Tatum and Wild Nothing. He has created another beautiful album. Dreamy bedroom pop. This is really what dream pop is all about. I fell in love with this guy all over again when I heard this album. This label is so consistent with their output over the last couple of years. If no other label put out anything decent in the next couple of years. I know that I can at least rely on this label to give me what I need.

#36 Grimes - Visions

This is the year of Canada! Another new Canadian in my life. This is the third album by Grimes. But the first time most of us are hearing her. Grimes uses that baby voice that sometimes does not work. But if worked for The Cranes. And it works for Grimes.This is a spooky electronic pop album. Not for everyone. But I became a big fan of the album when it came out in January. It has been out so long that I had forgot this was the year it was released. But after revisiting I remember that I did really like this record. I don't take it too seriously. But it is a fun and spooky album. Her first two albums were also reissued this year but I have not had a chance to check them out yet.

#37 Memory Tapes - Grace/Confusion

This is the third album for New Jersey based Memory Tapes. I was a big fan of Seek Magic in 2009. And the second Memory Tapes album was my #11 pick from last year. His music is considered Dreambeat or Chillwave. It is dreamy. It is a modern mellowed out new wave kind of album. This album might not hit me over the head like that first album did. But it is still a great album. It might sound a bit too similar to his previous songs. But I have no problem with that.

#38 Liars - WIXIW

The Liars have been around for about 12 years now. This is their sixth album. I have always been a fan of this band. Some years more than others. I do love that this band keeps managing to reinvent themselves. This new album is sort of a dark electronic gospel record. It reminds me at times of Spiritualized or The Tindersticks with heavy electronics. I am happy to have this band back in my life. They have created another great album for us to enjoy. WIXIW is pronounced "Wish You" in case you were wondering.

#39 Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky

This is probably the oldest band on my list! This is their tenth album and they have been putting out albums since the mid 80s. I didn't really get into them until the early 90s. And I honestly have not really listened to most of their new albums after 1994. But this album made me so happy. I was happy to have them back in my life. And happy that they had made another great album. This is very much a Dinosaur Jr. album. There is no mistaking that voice of J Mascis.

#40 Echo LakeWild Peace

Great debut alum from these guys. Another great album from Slumberland. An album of foggy and dreamy shoegaze. One of those albums that puts me in a good mood every time that I listen to it. I just feel lucky there is so many albums like this coming out in 2012. I never would have thought that in 2012 shoegaze and dream pop would be making such a comeback. There really is so much music out these days in so many different genres that I really think everyone can find something. Millions of people have no idea what shoegaze or dream pop even is. Which is part of the reason this music can remain so great. It exists in its own little bubble.

#41 Thieves Like Us - Bleed Bleed Bleed
(Captured Tracks)

This is the sixth and last Captured Tracks album on my list this year. I think that makes a record of the most albums from one label in my top 50. But I just can't help it. This is their third official album. Their first album blew me away back in 2008. And they still get me excited with their third album. I don't think they will ever be able to be as good as that first album. They play electronic pop music. These guys are for the most part Swedish. And it has that feel. Swedish electronic dream pop. And something about these guys makes me feel like I am on drugs. That feeling might be left over from their first album.

#42 The Garlands - The Garlands

This album is straight up Twee. There is no denying it. This could be a long lost Go Sailor or Heavenly album from the 90s. Another album that just puts a smile on my face. These guys are also from Sweden. This album is seriously pop perfection. I always love a good jangly female fronted twee band. You just can't go wrong with an album like this.

#43 Teen Daze - All Of Us Together

This is Mr. Teen Daze's second official album. And he is yet another Canadian on my list. You may be starting to realize that I only like music from Brooklyn, Sweden or Canada. Some people might blow this off as another insignificant dream shoegazey electronic chillwave album. But I find it too be all those things and more. I really do love these all instrumental albums. They make great background music. I seriously think this might be new age music for dudes in their 20s. So while I might feel like I am listening to my younger brothers new age relaxation music at times. I don't really care. The music makes me feel good.

#44 Chrome Canyon - Elemental Themes
(Stones Throw)

I was of course first attracted to the cover of this album. I was obviously going to like this album just based on the cover. Just look at it! I was a bit confused by this album coming out on Stones Throw. I was worried it might sound like some arty new agey hip hop. But I was pleasantly surprised to find an album that John Carpenter would be proud of. It does venture into some ridiculous cheesy territory every once in a while.  But it makes me love it more.

#45 Niki & The Dove - Instinct
(Sub Pop)

Niki & the Dove are from Sweden. They sound like Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush singing with The Knife. So you should probably stay away from this record if you don't like any of these things. I was a bit disappointed in the new Ladyhawke album this year. Because I really loved that first album. So Niki & The Dove sort of took their place in my top 50. The album is pure fun dancey pop music. But with some arty Kate Bush type songs thrown in there.

#46 Cemeteries - Wilderness
(Lefse Records)

This is on the same label as the Teen Daze album. But really sounds nothing like it. This album would not be out of place on Captured tracks. It is more of the same dreamy bedroom pop that I can never get enough of. He reminds me a bit of Bon Iver or Grizzly Bear. A shoegaze version of Bon Iver. I am happy to tell you that Cemeteries is neither from Sweden or Canada. But they are from New York.

#47 2:54 - 2:54
(Fat Possum)

I really thought these ladies would become crazy popular this year. They found their audience. But they never got as popular as they should of. This album is honestly much better than the latest album by the XX. I was such a huge fan of that first XX album that I guess I was bound to be disappointed in their second. They probably have more in common musically with Warpaint than the XX. However 2:54 are also from England like the XX. And one of the girls in the band does look like the girl from the XX. This band clearly is fans of The Cure. They are a sort of a swirly and female fronted version of The Cure. This is one of those albums that I could never really decide if I fully loved. But whenever I put it on I do love it.

#48 The Holiday Crowd - Over The Bluffs

I really had no idea these guys were Canadian until right now. And I really had no idea how many bands in my top 50 are from Canada. The Holiday Crowd are yet another band from Toronto. I tend to love most things that this label releases. Shelflife is the label that introduced me to Thieves Like Us. You might think that this band is ripping off The Smiths. They do sound an awful lot like them. A male fronted jangly pop band. Sexually ambiguous. At times dreamy pop music. Other time sad and morose. I fell in love with this record back in January. And I am still loving it almost a year later.

#49 Violens - True

This is not the Violens that you might remember from a couple of years ago. It is the same band but just with a different sound. They found a new home at Slumberland and a new sound as well. Their first album had big pop anthems in the spirit of The Killers or Bravery. But they are now jangly and in the style of dream pop. These guys are from New York. But clearly wish they were from England. They clearly wish it was the early 90s and they were opening for The Pale Saints & Chapterhouse. It will be interesting to see what these guys come up with next. I like them more as what they have now become. It is a great little album.

#50 Exitmusic - Passage
(Secretly Canadian)

I can't believe I finally made it to the end. You must be really bored by now if you have read this entire list. I thought Exitmusic was an appropriate end to my top 50. Exitmusic is from New York. But don't hold that against them. Aleksa Palladino has an amazing voice. This is a seriously dark album. Reminds of the reasons that I love Zola Jesus so much. An amazing voice combined with loud dark dreamy music. I imagine David Lynch would also be a fan of Exitmusic. Thanks for joining me in my journey through my favorite albums of 2012. There have been some seriously great albums out this year. And I hope you have all found your own favorites of the year!

Hip-Hop Rap-Up Week End 12.07.12: Black C's "Still Ruthless" #1, Cannibal Ox Reunion, R Mean Reps LA & Armenia, 45 Sessions + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2012 09:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 12:07:12

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)

) 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.

Redd Kross Added to Amoeba Exclusive Downloads

Posted by Billy Gil, December 6, 2012 04:33pm | Post a Comment

Redd kross amoebaL.A. original punks Redd Kross performed a blistering set earlier this year in support of their excellent 2012 album Researching the Blues, and now 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:


2001 alex northMusic 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 digital download exclusive.

Weekly Roundup: Local Natives, Christopher Owens, The Growlers, Radar Bros., Maston, Cold Showers, The Ross Sea Party

Posted by Billy Gil, December 6, 2012 12:20pm | Post a Comment

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.

Take Five To Salute Dave Brubeck

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2012 08:38am | Post a Comment

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.

Cinefamily Telethon Line-Up: Round 1

Posted by phil blankenship, December 5, 2012 09:28pm | Post a Comment


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-endurance-art you’ve ever seen. Watch it all online at (thanks to a live stream brought to you by our friends at Cinespia).

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.

There will be special guests. There will be vittles and libations. There will be Dublab DJs on the patio. There will be a live band with us the entire time to play folks on and off, like a real variety show. In fact, we’re STILL programming the thing right up to the last minute, and the guests keep rolling in.

Hell, if you know someone who’d be incredible to have in this year’s telethon, let us know! (We still love that YouTube clip where Bob Dylan and Harry Dean Stanton just showed up at the Chabad Telethon.)

Are you there, God? It’s me, Cinefamily. Please send us Bill Murray. We’re putting that on the marquee.

TELETHON Confirmed Guests & Events, Round One (with MUCH MORE to come, all subject to change):

California Fool's Gold -- A North Orange County Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 5, 2012 07:00pm | Post a Comment

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"


Orange County Panorama - source: Yashar Sahaleh

Atoms For Peace's 'Amok' Up for Preorder

Posted by Billy Gil, December 5, 2012 03:46pm | Post a Comment

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 Record Collective Party with Thao from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down! Tuesday 12/11 in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 5, 2012 03:29pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop and Amoeba Music present Noise Pop Record CollectiveNoise Pop Record thaoCollective, 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's Holiday Gift Selection & Expanded Box Set Section

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 5, 2012 12:59pm | Post a Comment

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!

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #11: Beard & Mustache Competition, Letterman Tix, Alicia Keys, Lennon Anniversary, The Coup + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 5, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment

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.

50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

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.  

The Library Store on Wheels Visits Amoeba Hollywood December 19

Posted by Amoebite, December 5, 2012 10:39am | Post a Comment

left my  heart in the libraryBeginning 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.


Library Store on Wheels


Library Mobile Store Truck

Get Ready to Get Christmas'd All Over Again with The Yule Logs!

Posted by Kells, December 4, 2012 09:42pm | Post a Comment

It's that most magical time of year again when I connect with a Log or two and get down to Christmas business. I'm talkin' Yule Logs of course! The toast of Chico California's holiday pops, the Yuletide surfin' jingle bell rockers that spin so many party poppin' twists on Christmas (and Hanukkah and New Year's Eve) that I bet Chubby Checker would happily choke on the cheer these Santa babes dish out come "the most wonderful time of the year". With the Yule Logs smack in the middle of their eighth season drummer Jake Sprecher was naughty nice enough to take the time to respond to this year's probing interview for Amoeba Music (where fresh, hot Yule Logs recordings are available for sale and gift-giving).
First things first: Happy Holidays, Yule Logs! What's on your wish list this year?

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?

No, the "Foghat Principle", but you're right: Jack Black was the School of Rock guy.

There’s actually a real School of Rock right here in Chico for kids like 12 and under. If we are indeed talking about ol’ J. Black, I’ll just say that he peaked in Bongwater, and that it’s been a steady decline ever since. 

While we're on the subject, what sort of educational/learning experience would you say you pass on to your fans?

Spencer usually does his best to educate fans by dishing the straight story on Hanukkah, though I’m not sure how seriously he’s taken due to the fact that the rest of us are godless heathens. 

 This being your eighth season together as "the hardest working band in snow business," one might wonder as to the secret of your staying power. How do you make it work? Is it difficult to keep the wheels greased and rolling on the Yule Logs' rockmobile?

At this point I think it would actually be more difficult to say goodbye to the proverbial rockmobile than to keep it going. Eight years is a long time for any band, and at a point you can’t picture yourself not being involved. I guess it’s like a relationship in that regard, except none of us have ever wept in the dead of night over any Yule Log-related matter. Unless of course you count the time Kirt found out he had to miss that Bieb show at HP Pavilion.  

Would you say the band has changed much over the last eight years?

Well, considering that we were in our early twenties when it started up, I’d say we’ve certainly progressed as musicians. We also had lineup changes in Season 3 and Season 4, which at the time changed some of the dynamics of the band. But for the most part, we’re still a bunch of good time Charlies on the hunt for yet another wheel of cheese. 
 I've heard tale of your annual gig at Duffy's in Chico being the pinnacle of the Yule Log's seasonal showcase. What makes that night the "greatest night of the year" for you guys?

It’s the drunken Valhalla of all Yule Log gigs. Every bit of excess that we indulge ourselves in, or even joke about indulging in, seems possible at the Duffy’s show, whether it happens or not. And I don’t mean that in a weird way—or maybe I do? But in a nutshell, it’s this incredibly loud, wasted, packed-to-the-last-gill local time at the only rock ‘n’ roll bar in town. The whole thing is so incredibly gratifying that it’s almost hard to put into words. In fact, if I had to live one night over, and over, and over again, Groundhog Day-style, the Duffy’s show would be it, hands down.   

As far as your live show goes, what are you most looking forward to this season in terms of your traditional or as-yet-unwrapped Yule Logs performance staples?

Well we strive to take it up a notch every season, with Season 8 being no exception. Spencer is going to get beard extensions that go past his crotch so he can perform nude, Kirt has hired Geddy Lee to play bass so he can focus on his steel cage interpretive dance routine, and Marty doesn’t know it yet, but I plan to shiv him with a pen and then stomp him onstage at our next all-ages show. 

Do you Logs have any all-new holiday hits stuffed in your, erhm, stockings this year?

We’ve got a new one called “Ain’t Got Nothing (On Christmas Day)” that’s bound for hit status. Spencer originally brought the song in as a ballad, but we reworked it into an up-tempo groove in the vein of Otis Redding and old James Brown. We’re proud of it, and it’ll be on our next record come 2013.  

When you're not working on party rockin' Christmas and Hanukkah jams, what do the Yule Logs listen to?

I took a quick poll of the boys’ latest pleasures…
Kirt: Prince Rama Top Ten Hits of the End of the World
Marty: Fountains of WayneSky Full of Holes
Spencer: The Who - The Who by Numbers
Me: Menahan Street BandThe Crossing

I love the cover of Lindsay Buckingham's "Holiday Road" that made the cut for Double Live -- are there any other not necessarily Christmas-ish song you'd consider Log jamming?

We grapple with songs like that every season…some make the cut, and some just fall flat. We tried “Mr. Postman” in rehearsal this year and it just wasn’t coming together in any sort of faux-Christmas way, whereas “Holiday Road” was just-add-water.
We also did the same with “Michael and the Slipper Tree” by The Equals, which we simply changed one word to (you can probably guess which one); it’s become something of a deep-cut favorite at shows.  

In my opinion you guys are probably the most criminally overlooked, sensational seasonal ensemble ever. Considering how much effort you put into keeping everyone's spirits bright, do you all feel like you've yet to un-wrap the ultimate Christmas gift, exposure-wise? What would that be?

I think everybody in the band would answer that question somewhat differently. Chico, despite being a college town, is somewhat isolated and the realities of exposure in a smaller community are what they are. But I for one will remain pleased with everything we do so long as it continues to be as much of a good time as it’s always been, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 

Aside from all the time and effort that goes into fully realizing each Yule Logs season, what do you dream when you dream your perfect Christmas and/or Hanukkah dream?

 I dream of a snowy cabin someplace wooded that resembles Tahoe but may or may not actually be Tahoe. Octagonal living room, sunken from the kitchen by three or four steps, with a fireplace and windows from floor to ceiling and divided only by support beams. I’m married, with children, drinking coffee on the deck in my robe while listening to Nat King Cole, pondering whether to drive the ‘69 Coupe or ‘70 El Dorado to the market for hot chocolate. 

I don’t know what the other guys’ dreams are, but they can’t be as good as that.     

I'd say that's legit. Thank you so much for your time Jake!

For Yule Logs tour dates go here and for a veritible avalanche of Yule Logs music videos 'n' things see below. Get ready to get Christmas'd!!!!

Recap: December Charity Auction with Garfunkel and Oates

Posted by Amoebite, December 4, 2012 05:06pm | Post a Comment

Garfunkel and Oates at AmoebaMusical 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!

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in December

Posted by Amoebite, December 4, 2012 03:44pm | Post a Comment

Tickets at AmoebaAmoeba 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.


The Pharcyde

The Pharcyde & Souls of Mischief
The Belasco
December 27

Lianne La Havas El Rey

Lianne La Havas
El Rey Theatre
March 20

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)
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
Midge Ure (Ultravox) and Bow Wow Wow
with Right the Stars and Gene Loves Jezebel

15 Gift Ideas From Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, December 4, 2012 01:43pm | Post a Comment

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.








Amoeba’s got a score of headphones from low- to high-end, from subway-style earbuds to DJ-booth big boys. Skullcandy, Urbanears, Sony, eskuche and more, from under $20 to around $60.


Record Store Day Releases

We got our second helping of Record Store Day releases on Black Friday this year, and there are still plenty of titles in stock, including M83’s “Reunion” remixes. Look for the Record Store Day display to see what else we still have in stock.

Scott Walker's "Bish Bosch" Takes Listeners On Compellingly Twisted Musical Ride

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2012 01:14pm | Post a Comment

Scott Walker's "Epizootics!" from Bish Bosch available now at Amoeba

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.

Albums Out Dec. 4: Scott Walker, Memory Tapes, Dream Boat and More

Posted by Billy Gil, December 3, 2012 05:55pm | Post a Comment

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker Bish BoschCD $13.98

LP $29.98


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.

Super Weekend Sale and Even More Chances to Save at Amoeba SF & Berkeley!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 3, 2012 04:25pm | Post a Comment

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!


Negative Zone, Mon Amour: Stan Lee Wrote a Screenplay with Alain Resnais

Posted by Charles Reece, December 2, 2012 09:37pm | Post a Comment

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.

Noir City Xmas at SF's Castro Theater, December 19th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 2, 2012 06:55pm | Post a Comment
noir city noir film foundation xmas lady in the lake holiday affair

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!

Peaches Christ Presents THE NIGHTMARE WE CALL CHRISTMAS: Edward Scissorhands at The Castro Theatre, 12/15

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 2, 2012 05:59pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco's favorite film hostess Peaches Christ already knows exactly what you want for xmas: a edward scissorhands peaches christnot-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!

December 2, 2012: The Collection

Posted by phil blankenship, December 2, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment

December 1, 2012: Killing Them Softly

Posted by phil blankenship, December 1, 2012 10:01pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11.30.12: Wu-Block, Pitbull, Cypress Hill, Substantial, Madlib, Freeway + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2012 10:14am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:30:12

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.