Amoeblog

Show Recap: Savage Republic at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 31, 2013 07:05pm | Post a Comment

Savage Republic VarvakiosL.A. art-punk band Savage Republic have always existed on the fringe, but they've managed to hold on to that fringe well past their '80s supposed heyday. They reformed to release 2007's fine 1938 album and now have released Varvakios, recorded in Greece using field recordings, traditional Greek instruments and the band's own apocryphal noise.

The band's show at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 30 showed just how much fervor the band has, tearing through "1938" with its ominous opening lines "Wave of destruction, a wave of aggression, it's 1938 all over again" over searing, reverbed guitars and tribal drum beats. The band's percussionist/singer Ethan Port bumped into me from behind on his way to the stage, playing maracas over the din. Port banged on a tin-sounding box that added a desolate thump to the songs, beating it like he was leading a viking ship. The band traded instruments and vocal duty, with guitarist/bassist Thom Fuhrmann handling deeply intoned vocal declarations and Port barking like a barbarian. They played the Ceremonial record's gorgeous "Year of Exile," which led into the chaos of Furhmann beating his bass in unison with drummer Mark Erskine's rumbling roar before going back to the song's rubbery bassline. The band thanked Amoeba for having "a bunch of old guys" play, but they rocked like dudes half their age.

See all the photos from the in-store here.

 

Weekly Roundup: Wavves, Thee Oh Sees, Rhye, LIZ, Secret Circuit, Francisco the Man

Posted by Billy Gil, January 31, 2013 03:19pm | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Demon to Lean On”

L.A.-based Wavves has released the second single from his forthcoming album, Afraid of Heights, due March 26 on Mom+Pop/Warner. The big leagues haven’t softened Wavves’ crashing sound, but “Demon to Lean On” is also one of the most refined pop songs he’s released thus far, with nice touches like the occasional castanets and milky guitar in the verses. But those crushing Blue-album Weezer chords in the chorus should bring many more kids into the Wavves fold. Wavves previously released the “Sail to the Sun” single and video. They’ll be touring with FIDLAR in the Spring.

 

Thee Oh Sees Announce New LP

Another year, another Thee Oh Sees album. If that sounds like a knock, it isn’t — San Fransisco garage kings Thee Oh Sees have released three albums in the past two years (including last year’s Putrifiers II), all of them great, so there’s no reason to think this one won’t follow the same route. Between these guys and Ty Segall, there must be something in the water in San Francisco that makes garage bands incredibly prolific and solid at the same time. Acid, maybe. Floating Coffin is out April 16 on Castle Face.

 

 

 

Free Rhye Mixtape

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Come Crate Digging With Us at the Pasadena City College Flea Market & Record Swap 2/3

Posted by Amoebite, January 31, 2013 02:59pm | Post a Comment

On Sunday, February 3, 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.
 

PCC Flea Market & Record Swap 2/3

 


49ers Fans/Siblings Rapper Don V. & Video Maker Nick Tannura Rush Produce Their Latest Niners Anthem In Time For Super Bowl XLVII

Posted by Billyjam, January 31, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment

Don V. "Niners In It (49ers Super Bowl Remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools")"


San Francisco 49ers fans don't fool around when it comes to getting work done on a strict deadline in support of their beloved team. Instant proof of this lies with dedicated Niners fans/brothers Nick Tannura and Vince Tannura from San Francisco who recorded and produced their latest Niners rap video ("Niners In It") in a matter of days so as to have it done ahead of Sunday's (Feb 3rd) anticipated Super Bowl XLVII game in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens for which the Niners are the across-the-board favorites.

Vincent, aka rapper Don V., recorded the track "Niners In It" over a Kendrick Lamar instrumental last Thursday night and over the following couple of days did some post-production tweaking and mastering on the track. Then on Sunday last (Jan 27th) his brother, recent SF State University film school graduate / up-and-coming music video maker Nick came up with a storyboard and a list of San Francisco locations for Don V. and a group of their friends/fellow Niners fans from the Mission District (and their cool rides) to travel to and shoot some scenes at - including Kezar Stadium (former home of the 49ers), down near the Wharf (where I interviewed them), and on the Bay Bridge.  Then from Sunday night, between school work and other commitments, Nick put in as much time as possible to edit the music video to have it completed by late Tuesday night and uploaded to YouTube by early yesterday (Wednesday) morning - all in plenty of time for this Sunday's big game.

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Happy February -- here's your line-up of month-long observances and ways to celebrate with music, movies and games

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 30, 2013 06:27pm | Post a Comment

IT'S FEBRUARY

 


Gloomy Day 1565 by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder

As with all of the months of the year, even short February is packed with its share month-long observances. There are well-known observances, obscure ones and frankly some ridiculous ones whose very existence annoys me. If you live somewhere with a temperate climate in the Northern Hemisphere then by now you might be well over winter and in need of some levity. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, of course, it's summer and you're hopefully outside getting stink blown off. If you’re staying indoors, here’s a list of February’s month long observances and some of my favorite films relevant to the subject. What are yours?

 

AMD/ Low Vision Awareness Month

There are quite a few TV series and films where blindness has been a plot point. I bet that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of other good films to enjoy in February but here are a my recommendations: the Zatoichi (???) series, Wait until dark, The Color of paradise (??? ??), and See no evil (aka Blind terror).

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Amoeba Presents OFF! Live at the Fonda Feb. 8

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2013 05:27pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba, Goldenvoice and FYF are presenting punk supergroup OFF! live at the Henry Fonda Theatre Feb. 8, with Negative Approach, Bad Antics and a special guest. Tickets are $17.50, plus a $2 service fee.

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

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

Off! was formed in L.A. in 2009 by punk vets Keith Morris (of Circle Jerks/Black Flag) on vocals, Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides) on guitar, Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass and Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba. The band released a series of EPs, corralling them into the First Four EPs release in 2010 before releasing their official first album in 2012. The widely acclaimed releases each consist of 16 lightspeed hardcore punk songs at about a minute long each.

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Show Recap: Local Natives at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2013 03:55pm | Post a Comment

Local Natives AmoebaThe line wrapped around the block to see Local Natives play one of the biggest Amoeba in-stores in recent memory.

The L.A.-based band appeared Jan. 29 in support of their sophomore album, the epic Hummingbird, released the same day. Despite having released only one previous album, Gorilla Manor, in 2009, it was clear by the shouts of screaming girls and dudes alike that the band’s cult has grown sizably over the years.

The band opened with “You & I,” the majestic opening track of Hummingbird, with singer Kelcey Ayer booming his throaty voice through the store in the song’s opening lines and the band engaging in solid harmonies. “Breakers” sounded intense live, inspiring a clap-along.

From the get-go, it didn’t sound as though the band needed time to find their footing or were still trying to work out kinks in new songs; they sounded well-rehearsed and ready to go. They paused to sweetly give a shoutout to their hometown, offering gratitude and reflecting on the times they were on the other side of the stage.

In an offering to their fans, they launched into “Wide Eyes” from Gorilla Manor, a song they’re probably sick-to-death of playing, to huge response — a kind move in a show meant to promote their new album. They moved back to Hummingbird for standout “Heavy Feet,” which features some of the liveliest drumming and singing on the album, doubling that strength live in the show’s best moment.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #19: Photo Episode

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2013 11:26am | Post a Comment

For this special edition of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog, I'm posting a series of pictures (mostly taken in recent weeks around Manhattan as well as a couple of other spots not far from Manhattan) that tell a story of what New York City has to offer. If you move your cursor over the photos most of them have some accompanying text that will identify their location or offer other related information.
 








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Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in February

Posted by Amoebite, January 29, 2013 08:54pm | 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.

 

JUST ADDED SHOWS:

Klubfoot USA the Fonda

The Klubfoot USA
Fonda Theatre
March 15 - March 17

Netsky The Fonda

Netsky
The Fonda Theatre
April 5

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)
Hoodie Allen El Rey Theatre 03/24/2013 $23.50
The Black Lips El Rey Theatre 03/21/2013 $22.00
Billy Bragg El Rey Theatre 03/28/2013 $32.00
Cloud Cult El Rey Theatre 05/11/2013 $17.00
Daedelus
with Two Fresh, Ryan Hemsworth & Samo Sound Boy
The Fonda Theatre 03/29/2013 $17.50
Django Django The Fonda Theatre 03/23/2013 $23.00
Frightened Rabbit The Fonda Theatre 03/13/2013 $19.99
G-Eazy (SOLD OUT) El Rey Theatre 03/09/2013 $16.00
James Hunter El Rey Theatre 03/07/2013 $22.00
IAMX The Fonda Theatre 05/15/2013 $25.00
Killing Joke The Fonda Theatre 05/05/2013 $27.50
Kindess El Rey Theatre 03/14/2013 $18.00
Kip Moore El Rey Theatre 04/09/2013 $25.00
Klubfoot USA
with Frantic Flinstones, The Whammy, Gamblers Mark, The Mosquitos, Hayride to Hell, and Stumpwaller
The Fonda Theatre 03/15/2013 $60.00
Klubfoot USA
with Mad Sin, King Kurt, Rezurex, Graveyard Shift, Cold Blue Rebels, and The Quaranteds
The Fonda Theatre 03/16/2013 $60.00
Klubfoot USA
with The Klingonz, Coffin Nails, Spellbound, Los Gatos Locos, and The Mosquitos
The Fonda Theatre 03/17/2013 $60.00
KMFDM The Fonda Theatre 03/10/2013 $26.50
Lianne La Havas El Rey Theatre 3/19 & 3/20 $22.00
Living Colour El Rey Theatre 03/30/2013 $30.00
Los Amigos Invisibles The Fonda Theatre 04/26/2013 $22.50
Lotus
with special guest VibeSquaD
El Rey Theatre 03/22/2013 $20.00
Mavericks El Rey Theatre 03/26/2013 $30.00
Moe The Fonda Theatre 3/8 & 3/9 $30.00
Netsky The Fonda Theatre 04/05/2013 $28.50
Shuggie Otis El Rey Theatre 04/27/2013 $32.00
Josh Ritter The Fonda Theatre 03/19/2013 $27.00
Shlohmo The Fonda Theatre 04/06/2013 $20.00
Starfucker
(SOLD OUT)
The Fonda Theatre 03/02/2013 $22.00
Lindsey Sterling The Fonda Theatre 04/04/2013 $22.50
Texas Is the Reason The Fonda Theatre 03/30/2013 $19.99
Toro y Moi
(SOLD OUT)
The Fonda Theatre 03/03/2013 $25.00
Watsky/Cardboard Castles Tour El Rey Theatre 05/04/2013 $17.00

 

The Future Is In Our Hands: NAMM 2013 Report by Shing02, Exclusive to The Amoeblog

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2013 05:46am | Post a Comment

Shing02's Amoeblog Video Report from NAMM 2013

Once again my man Hip Hop Slam correspondent Shing02 graces the Amoeblog with another in his ever informative digests in the ongoing exclusive Amoeblog reports (video above, text and pics below) from NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) - the annual DJ/producer/music-tech trade show that happens each January at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year's was held over the past week/weekend: from January 24th to 27th, 2013. Thanks to Shing02 and all of the folks he talked to for their contributions to this piece including DJ Q-bert, OP-1, Yoga Frog, DJ Platurn, DJ Quest, Mista B, DJ P-Trix, DJ A-1, Vestax Spin2, PDJ, Numark Orbit, Apogee Quartet McDSP, Stylophone, Elektron AnalogFour, Gittler Guitar, Chord Dice, Wheel Harp, and Koichi Sanchez aka Nightshift.





Shing02's Amoeblog Report on NAMM 2013

The NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA proved to be on par with previous years as it featured hundreds of exhibitors showcasing digital and analog instruments,    complete with colorful participants who packed the convention floor. Despite the cloudiness for most of the days, the feverishly festive mood is an annual destination for music industry heads worldwide.

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Albums Out 1/29: Local Natives, Ducktails, Amor de Dias and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2013 06:20pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Local NativesHummingbird

HummingbirdLP $16.98

CD $12.98

Deluxe CD $16.98

Deluxe LP $24.98

The second album by Local Natives is such a lush expansion of their sound, it could as well by the work by another band. This is not to say they’ve ignored their strengths — the active percussion work is still there, on the drums of “Heavy Feet,” which rumble like old train tracks — but they’ve pulled back a bit energy-wise, allowing for a more mature and world-weary sound, especially lyrically and vocally, and they’ve filled out some of the empty space with keyboard warmth and renewed dedication to gorgeous vocal harmony. Opener “You & I” follows in Fleet Foxes’ recent tradition of glowing openers, the kind of music you want to wake up to. The time the band has taken to put Hummingbird together is apparent, in the way “Black Spot” unfolds unhurriedly or how “Breakers’” alternating surge and respite gives a sense of its oceanic setting without putting too fine a point on it. For fans who are willing to grow up with them, or for those just coming into the fold, Local Natives’ Hummingbird is simply stunning. Catch them at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m.!

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Amoeba to Celebrate Fat Tuesday Feb. 12!

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2013 03:21pm | Post a Comment

Every year Amoeba kicks off Mardi Gras with a Fat Tuesday celebration, and this year once again a portion of the proceeds from all three Amoeba stores will benefit relief efforts in New Orleans.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Taking place Feb. 12, the celebration will include a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at 2 p.m., DJs spinning New Orleans sounds starting at 1pm and our annual Second Line Parade follwing DDBB. The family-friendly event draws crowds every year.

This year Amoeba will be exclusively distributing the CD Congo Square Vol. 1, the first of six planned volumes tracing the development of New Orleans music, with all proceeds of the sale benefiting New Orleans relief efforts. Read more about The Congo Square Project in Billyjam’s interview with Congo Square producer Fabian Jolivet. Additionally we invite you to check out Amoeba.com’s Vinyl Vaults, featuring more than 100 remastered songs by blues great Louis Armstrong, from the years 1923 to 1932, many exclusively available from Amoeba to download for the first time ever. Read more about our Louis Armstrong archives here.

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Local Natives Set to Play Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2013 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Southern California’s Local Natives are playing Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. Prior to that, and the release of their much-anticipated second album, Hummingbird, that same day, I caught up with lead singer Kelcey Ayer about the band’s development, the nearly four-year break between their albums and what went into creating the band’s new album.

PST: Some bands force a second record out quickly, while you guys have seemed to take your time, refining and changing your sound over the past couple of years. Did you aim to take your time with this record, or was that a byproduct of touring or other priorities and obligations?

Ayer: It’s kind of both actually. People think we took all this time off, but we practically didn’t take any. We toured all of 2009 and 2010, and planned to start writing at the beginning of 2011, but then these offers came in that we just couldn’t say no to (opening for Arcade Fire, playing the Walt Disney Concert Hall with an orchestra, traveling and playing throughout Mexico, etc.). We finally locked down our own rehearsal/recording space together that summer, but diving into writing got postponed yet again because of a death in my family. From there we spent a year writing and making the record, and by the time it was finished last September, we decided it would be better to release it the beginning of this year. But none of that bothered us since we’d always told ourselves that we wouldn’t rush things. We thought if there was any way to avoid the sophomore slump, it would be by taking our time and not giving ourselves that unneeded pressure. We figured that it doesn’t matter when a record comes out if it’s not your best effort.

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Some Records That I Liked in 2012

Posted by Charles Reece, January 28, 2013 12:50pm | Post a Comment
I'm going to get back to my top 11 film list, but I'm interrupting it for the standout music of 2012, which was really a bunch of reissues of stuff that wasn't so readily available before (and because most of these reissues are limited, the music will continue to be not readily available in a few years).

Andrzej Korzyński - Possession (Finders Keepers)

The recent interest in the cinema of Andrzej Żuławski is a joke, but as far as it goes, Possession is probably this halfwit auteur's pretentious masterpiece, a risible prime example of Eurotrash art horror. Although the film oeuvre deserves to stay forgotten, Korzyński's electo-orchestral score is brilliant, and certainly the best argument for the director's faddish resurgence.

Fabio Frizzi - The Beyond (Mondo Tees)

One of the top 5 horror scores of all time. It doesn't get any better than the choral cues on this record.

John Carpenter & Alan Howarth - Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Death Waltz)

Forget how shitty the movie is and how disappointed you were upon first seeing it; this is the best score Carpenter ever did. With Howarth as his co-composer this time around.

Pierre Schaeffer - Le Trièdre fertile (Mego - Recollection GRM)

Really, the whole line of GRM electronic reissues should be on here, but my favorite so far is Schaeffer's first and only fully synthesized album. At a proper volume, his tones will turn your skeletal structure to warm honey. The sound quality of these LPs is as good as you'll ever hear.

Tod Dockstader - Electronic, Vol. 1 (Mordant Music)

Dockstader's never made a bad album. He's one of the best electronic composers, always creating a full aural environment. Here he proves himself to be one the best composers of library music, too.

January 27, 2013: Amour

Posted by phil blankenship, January 27, 2013 05:44pm | Post a Comment

The Art Of The LP Cover- Foggy Notions

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 27, 2013 03:25pm | Post a Comment

Interview with Producer Fabian Jolivet of New Orleans Benefit "The Congo Square Project" Distributed Exclusively By Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2013 03:02pm | Post a Comment
It may now be eight years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast but that does not mean that Amoeba Music has in any way abandoned its continued commitment to doing its bit in the still much needed recovery and rebuilding in the area. On the contrary; we've up the ante, and so this Fat Tuesday (Feb 12th) Amoeba invites you to celebrate Mardi Gras in style with us while simultaneously helping the city of New Orleans in its long, slow uphill road to recovery and rebuilding - with a portion of proceeds from all sales at Amoeba on Fat Tuesday going directly to NOLA and benefitting Tippitina's Foundation and the New Orleans Musician's Clinic. For Fat Tuesday at Amoeba Hollywood there will be  big celebration that will include a very special performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (they play UCLA later that night with Allen Toussaint), DJs spinning rich diverse mixes of New Orleans music, plus another popular Line Parade (see video below of last year's Line Parade at Amoeba Hollywood). And in its continued homage to New Orleans as cultural center of American music and in helping preserve and protect its musical legacy, Amoeba.com's Vinyl Vaults now feature more than a hundred remastered rare songs (circa 1923-1932) of N.O. legend Louis Armstrong. Additionally Amoeba will exclusively be distributing six volunteer/benefit releases compiled/produced by Fabian Jolivet for The Congo Square Project Foundation with all proceeds benefiting New Orleans relief efforts. 

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Concerning Hobbit Rock: Exploring A Beloved Micro-Genre

Posted by Kells, January 25, 2013 06:41pm | Post a Comment
Given all the hubbub this past holiday season surrounding the opening of Peter Jackson's newest venture into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I think it's time to shift the spotlight onto a little known sub-subgenre tucked away, much like a hobbit hole snugly abutting a hillside, within Amoeba Music's extensive Rock Various Artists section: Hobbit Rock.



Now, I have to admit the first time I clocked the Hobbit Rock bin card I was taken aback, gagging on the  question: what the heck is this? Browsing though the titles it began to make sense. Much like unfolding a map of Middle Earth to explore a visual representation of the diverse cultures and histories that Tolkien invented to people his fictional universe, browsing Hobbit Rock is to peruse a collection of music that either inspires sincere impressions of Middle Earth or is unequivocally informed by Tolkein's fantasy writings.

In other words, if an artist makes blatant Tolkien-esque references in lyric  (apparently Led Zeppelin couldn't resist slipping more than a little Middle Earthliness into practically every album) or otherwise artistic content (see my list below) then that, friends, is pure, gem mint ten Hobbit Rock.

For something of less Middle Earth-obvious influences to qualify inclusion into this very specific category a decidedly progressive folk (or folkish prog) sort of rock ensemble most definitely seems to characterize the sonic gateway to Hobbit Rock admission. But that's something of a foggy notion, unless one considers the significant formative influence that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had on the emergent hippie generation, taken together with the dewy-eyed archaisms of British folk of the same era (like Vashti Bunyan's Just Another Diamond Day or just about anything by Bert Jansch), the Prog-Folk wave that followed (think Lindisfarne or Renaissance) and in the more freakish, otherworldly strains of British psychedelia (like Incredible String Band and maybe a little Hawkwind before they went 200% galactic) that would, in time, saturate into the 1970's as Progressive Rock. Peering through the Hobbit Rock lens listeners could, fathoming the above passage, stumble upon some mainstream American Folk-Rock (think Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair/Canticle") and ultimately stub their big hairy toes on a little something called Acid Folk (like Forest or Jan Dukes de Grey).

Having seen the most recent motion picture adaptation of The Hobbit (or at least the first third of it so it would seem) I feel as though Hobbit Rock selections must and shall promote a hearty harp contingent, erring on the Celtic side of things. Alan Stivell comes immediately to mind as well as a little ditty called "Street Song" on Drag City's recent reissue of Carol Kleyn's Love Has Made Me Stronger, circa 1976. And lets not forget that little slice of Old Forest HoRo chicness Joanna Newsom served up on Portlandia last February, sitting in a little wilderness (with a bunch of crunchy kids) chanting "Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadil" in tune with the plucking of her harp, all awash in golden sunlight. I'd bet Tolkien himself would mistake her for Goldberry, the "River-maid" -- Bombadil's ladylove. In any case harps and their ethereal tones featured prominently in scenes from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Bilbo & Co. inevitably arrive at Rivendell for a spell. The only element I'd have liked to see incorporated into to the Elvish party scene: copious amounts of boxed Rosé. And maybe also a crystal soaking tub.

Then there is the whole Metal, particularly Death/Black Metal, element which could, or probably should fall into the spectrum of Hobbit Rock in that a Metric Fucktonne of the stuff claims inspiration from the deepest, darkest depths of Mordor, and pretty much Mordor alone. From band names (Amon Amarth, Burzum, Crebain, Cirith Ungol, Gorgorth, and Nazgûl just to name a few) to album titles (like Nightfall in Middle Earth by Blind Guardian, natch), lyrics (Summoning not only base all their albums on Lord of the Rings but also feature Orcish language lyrics), and artwork (like Summoning's second album, Minas Morgul, pictured right), headbangers worship the dark side of Tolkein's universe with as much fervent devotion as they do Lucifer and his brimstone domain. Plainly put, Mordor is Mecca for Metalheads.

But like any map of Middle Earth, there worlds within worlds and nooks crannied with nooks and crannies; Hobbit Rock may be one of the skinniest sections Amoeba stocks for the browsing, but the cap of its mushroom hovers dense, wide, and heavy.

Feeling adventurous? Here are some of my favorites harvested from the Hobbit Rock patch:


Gandalf the Grey - The Grey Wizard Am I

This is the first thing I ever pulled from Hobbit Rock and perhaps one of the most mega-obvious examples of what makes something Hobbit Rock-relevant. In 1972 Chris Wilson made his ultimate homage to Tolkien's literary opuses when he cut this acoustic folkadelica album chronicling his fantastical Greenich Village rambles under the name Gandalf the Grey. It's a treacly relic of bygone weirdness dripping with lyrics inspired by Tolkien's landscapes and shout outs to characters like Strider and Treebeard, particularly in "My Elven Home" and the title track. Definitely not a cup for everyone, but then again anything this chimerical is the kind of cherried obscurity that makes Hobbit Rock worthy of it's bin card.





Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps

I'll never know what compelled someone to file this in Hobbit Rock but it is definitely one of the most charismatic progressive folk records I've ever heard (reason enough, really). The eighteen minute title track is a sonically impressive piece that incorporates medieval, baroque, and classical-era influences in its shifting structure with nary a dull moment to be met. It is the thing listen to whilst tucking into the beginning of The Hobbit or any other tome of chivalric fantasy fiction. It would also provide a choice soundtrack for anyone gearing up for a Ren Faire, LARP meet, or a costume banquet where the only dining utensils are daggers. Remember: charisma isn't learned. You must roll for it when you initially create your character and then add the appropriate bonuses.





Gandalf - Gandalf

Anyone encountering this record for the first time would likely take no issue with it's being cross-filed under Hobbit Rock until they popped it on the ol' hi-fi for a listen. Gandalf's self-titled debut is about as Gandalf-y as The Hobbits' Down to Middle Earth LP is Hobbit-y. That is to say these two records are prime examples of Tolkien's influence on the 1967 rock scene and it's reduction of his work to light-minded ephemera best pinned to a jean jacket collar. Gandalf's psych-rock covers of Tim Hardin and Eden Ahbez songs and The Hobbits' sickeningly sunshiney corn nut of a pop record with songs like "Treats" and "Daffodil Days (The Affection Song)" are possibly better indulged when mega-baked. Or perma-fried.  





Bo Hansson - Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings

This may come as a surprise but there's nothing that can beat out Swedish instrumentalist Bo Hansson's 1970 record for best adaptation of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in both the Album Title (duh!) and Album Artwork (double duh!) Hobbit Rock categories. In fact, I urge you to check out the alternate covers of this release as they are all bad-ass, especially the 1977 reissue with a mounted Ringwraith on the front. While this record boasts zero vocal tracks it is a pleasant concept album based on Lord of the Rings. Plus it comes with a siiick LP sized insert of Tolkien himself posed on a stump. I wish there were an album of a similar calibur dedicated to The Hobbit that isn't the Rankin/Bass soundtrack with Glen Yarbrough singing "The Greatest Adventure (The Ballad of the Hobbit)".




Comus - First Utterance

Sounding like a blend of everything one could imagine being beautiful and terrifying about  embarking upon an unexpected journey through Middle Earth, Comus' 1971 debut is a fascinating, otherworldly (thus timeless) danse macabre blend of acoustic folk, progressive rock, and pagan psychedelia. Heavy themes pulse like a doom tattoo beneath a skin of acoustic guitars, violin, flute and quasi-elven, almost Arcadian, lyrical female vocal harmonies that cloak tracks like "The Herald" -- a sprawling epic that clocks in at twelve-plus minutes. Though this isn't straight up obvi Hobbit Rock, it more than conveys the sort of Dark/Acid/Folk/Prog/Rock compositional sound/vibe clash that makes it nothing if not a requisite HoRo title.





Starcastle - Starcastle

I think this one was accidentally filed in Hobbit Rock as it is crystal cut, lost seventies progressive Camelot Rock, if anything. I like to think that this wasn't necessarily a mis-file as it was a wishful symbolic gesture cast by someone who longs for similarly sprawling, Yes-like proggy fantasies mirroring Starcastle's excellent lead off track "Lady of the Lake" but with a more Tolkien-inspired take. Or something. At any rate, any track from this record could do worse than to be book-ended with any song from side two of Wishbone Ash's Argus or perhaps the greater part of Rush's Caress of Steel when creating a mix of music to read Tolkien to. Taken all together, with everything else covered here, that Tolkien mix'll surely dominate.


Interested in yet another, totally different take on what Hobbit Rock could be, please see the What's In My Bag? interview video below featuring actor Elijah "Frodo" Wood of The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings fame walking us through some of his digs, treasures and choice selections found at Amoeba Music.


Show Recap: FIDLAR at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 25, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

LA’s FIDLAR ripped through most of their new self-titled album at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 24 with hardly a pause for breath.

From the outset, when they broke into the four-chord, “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone”-style stomp of “Stoked and Broke,” things were loud, loud, loud. That continued through the next couple of songs on their album, the breakneck-speed “White on White” and quirky surf riffery of “No Waves.” It was a shame that you could hear barely a word of vocals from the band and its two singers, Zac Caper and Elvis Kuehn, whose true-to-life detailing of being in your mid-20s, in a band, without a proper job and getting drunk every night is a big part of FIDLAR’s appeal. Musically, though, the band never faltered, inducing trance with the looped opening notes of “Whore” before smashing through the song’s nasty, Sabbathy punk rock. Things came through loud-and-clear enough for the band’s shout along chorus to closer “Cheap Beer,” echoed by the sizable audience: “I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! Fuck! You!”

The show was a perfect example of FIDLAR’s ethos (“Fuck it Dawg, Life’s a Risk,” is what their name stands for). They don’t play the volume they should. They don’t wait to make sure their vocals are loud enough or fuss with the sound guy. They just play. And the kids went wild.

Read my interview with the band here. See more photos of the performance here.

Get a Ticket to See Tegan and Sara on Jimmy Kimmel With Purchase of 'Heartthrob'

Posted by Billy Gil, January 25, 2013 04:05pm | Post a Comment

Tegan and Sara are releasing a new album, Heartthrob, Jan. 29, and Amoeba Hollywood is giving away tickets to see the band Jan. 31 on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Limit one guest list spot per album purchased (limit two per person). As these are guest list spots, you must have the name of the person attending the show at the time of purchase. This works with in-store Amoeba purchases only — sorry, no online orders or holds. The offer is good while supplies last — there are 100 guest spots available, so get your butt to Amoeba early if you want in.

Tegan and SaraInfo for the show:

When: Thursday, January 31 – 5:45pm check-in

Where: El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd. Check-in located off Hawthorn Ave.

How: You'll be on the House Guest List and will get a wristband when you check in.

Details: All guests must be 16+ (must show ID at venue). No cameras or bags are allowed.

 

Hip-Hop That Encourages A Healthy Diet

Posted by Billyjam, January 25, 2013 12:34pm | Post a Comment

Sam Stomach "80 Bites" (2013)

Rap may have a bad rap for being negative but there are lots of positive raps out there including ones about diet and healthy living: the latest of which is the song/video above - "80 Bites" by Sam Stomach in which the cartoon character encourages healthy eating habits while wisely suggesting limiting ones intake to the amount of bites on a daily basis. "80 Bites, 80 Bites, 80 Bites" repeats Sam in his advice rap on only eating 80 bites of food throughout the day, and thereby retraining your stomach container to return to its original size which in turn will lead to fewer cravings for food / calories. "Puff said it's all about the Benjamins. He was wrong. It's all about the bites my friend," raps Sam who disses most diets. However he instead encourages downloading the "80 Bites" App and signing up for the new diet (at a $50 membership no less!). So really the video/song is just an ad. But still it's coming from a good place and it got me thinking about hip-hop and healthy eating. Beyond movements like the kids oriented Healthy Hip-Hop organization and individuals like "The Hip-Hop Chef - Cooking Tyrone"  who cross-pollinate hip-hop with cooking and who endorses vegan diet and healthy cooking/living, there are numerous hip-hop tracks that rap about diet.

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Weekly Roundup: Alexander Spit, Warm Soda, Feeding People, Deap Vally, Painted Palms, Wildcat! Wildcat!, FIDLAR

Posted by Billy Gil, January 24, 2013 04:15pm | Post a Comment

Alexander Spit – “Artesia” (ft. Action Bronson)

Like most with the travel bug, my desire to visit faraway places takes a backseat to a lack of funds or time to go anywhere. So I’m glad to have this new song by SF rapper Alexander Spit, who along with Action Bronson, “got the summer planned” and takes us on a train across Europe to eat, drink and flirt around the continent, ending up in Queens and Boise. I love how the end goes all Blade Runner cyberdelic with robot voice effects and eerie keyboards. It takes you on a trip, even if you’re just chillin’ in Artesia, California! His album A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside is out Jan. 29 on Decon. Check out the recently released "That's Spit" as well.

Alexander Spit - Artesia feat. Action Bronson by Decon

 

Warm Soda Announces Debut LP and Tour

Warm Soda albumGreat power-pop isn’t easy to come by, and Warm Soda spray out fuzzy guitar confection like it’s been bottled up and shaken — how’s that for an overblown metaphor? The Oakland band’s debut LP, Someone for You, is due March 26 on Castle Face Records. Their tour kicks off Jan. 25 at Oakland’s Night Light; they’ll be at SF’s Hemlock Feb. 1, Hidden Temple Feb. 16 and LA’s The Smell Feb. 20. Check out all of their dates on Facebook, and hear their song “Reaction” below.

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Free Tickets to Two Gallants at The Fillmore in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 24, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

We have a very limited number of FREE tickets to the Two Gallants show at the Fillmore on February 2nd! Hurry down to Amoeba San Francisco and buy a Two Gallants album to get your free ticket TODAY! These are going to go fast! ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

two gallants fillmore san francisco

 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 01.25.13: E-Lit, A$AP Rocky, Moe Pope & Rain, DJ Toure, Mod Sun, Let's Side fanzine, Bay Area shows +

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2013 10:45am | Post a Comment
       


AMOEBA MUSIC BERKELEY HIP-HOP TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JANUARY 25, 2013


1) A$AP Rocky Long.Live. A$AP (RCA)

2) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)

3) 2 Chainz Based On A T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)

3) Moe Pope & Rain Let The Right Ones In (Brick Records)

5) Mixed Blood Majority S/T (Mixed Blood Majority)

Special shout-out to E-Lit from Amoeba Berkeley who, despite being under the weather with a nasty cold, took time to do the above video of the detailed run-down of what's new in hip-hop at Amoeba and supplying the latest top five chart. Topping the chart (no surprise) is the hotly anticipated new A$AP Rocky official debut release following the hella hyped Harlem rapper's mixtape. Note that A$AP's major label outing, care of RCA, comes in regular CD version of  Long.Live. A$AP plus DeLuxe CD version, as well as the vinyl LP version. Other new chart entries include the brand new self-titled release from power trio Mixed Blood Majority that is made up of Crescent Moon of Kill The Vultures, Joe Horton of No Bird Sing, and Doomtree producer Lazerbeak.
Other new releases (non chart entries) mentioned by E-Lit include MF Grimm's Good Morning Vietnam
and The Dag Savage EP - both vinyl releases. Be sure to check out E-Lit's two KALX shows this weekend when he will be playing some of the aforementioned new releases. On Friday, Jan 25th, he will be doing a best of 2012 show on the UC Berkeley station from 9am to noon and then on Sunday night (Jan 27th) at midnight for the one-hour Yo! KALX Raps show he will be playing the best of 2013 so far. Tune into KALX on the radio dial if you are in the Bay Area on 90.7FM or online at kalx.berkeley.edu

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Jessie Ware at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, January 24, 2013 09:43am | Post a Comment

British songstress Jessie Ware emerged dressed down, looking like Stevie Nicks in a black ensemble and hoop earrings, Jan. 22 at Amoeba Hollywood. It’s only worth mentioning as it coincided with the difference between her live show, raw and organic, and her more digital records, on the covers of which she appears glossy and glammed up.

Ware, known as kind of the hipster Sade, began with “Devotion,” the title track to her Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, which will see a physical release in the U.S. later this year. Her voice sounded quiet against her band’s booming basslines, but by the set’s second song, the title track to her EP, “If You’re Never Gonna Move,” everything locked into place as she began loosening up, and tried to loosen up the audience too, who laughed when she called out their serious faces. “Sweet Talk,” which appears on both the album and EP, sounded lush and bassy as her four-piece created an approximation of the recordings, with one guy handling both guitars and keys. Her voice sounded incredible on “Sweet Talk” as well as “What You Won’t Do for Love,” a cover of the Bobby Caldwell quiet storm classic.

Ware’s voice and manner grew more confident over the course of the show, with each subsequent song, like “Wildest Moments,” sounding better than the last. She hurriedly introduced her band and gushed about playing with The Roots on “Jimmy Fallon,” pulling the audience in with endearing gratitude for her success. The show demonstrated how Ware is still developing as a central performer (she rose to prominence guesting on tracks by Joker and SBTRKT) and learning how to work a stage, but her voice was impeccable, reserving her belting for a spine-tingling finish in “Running.”

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring El Monte, the End of the Santa Fe Trail (or at least some trails)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 23, 2013 08:00pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION TO EL MONTE 


Valley Boulevard and Peck Road -- Welcome to El Monte


El Monte is a city in the middle of the San Gabriel Valley. As of the last census (in 2010), its population was 113,475. It contains the neighborhoods of Arden Village, the Auto District, Downtown, Five Points, the Flair Business District, Hayes, Maxson, Mountain View, the Northwest Industrial District, Norwood Village, and Park El Monte.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of El Monte



El Monte is neighbored by Temple City, North El Monte, and Arcadia to the north; Irwindale to the northeast; Baldwin Park to the east; City of Industry to the southeast, Avocado Heights and South El Monte to the south; and Rosemead to the west. Although El Monte's top three employers are school districts, its economy seemed to me to be dominated by auto shops and smog checks as well as nail and beauty salons.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO EL MONTE


Aerial view of old El Monte Station and freeway


El Monte has long served as a crossroads and transportation hub. It is believed that the Tongva made camp in the area when travelling between villages. Later, Spanish missionaries and soldiers used to rest in the area. Even later, some have claimed that it's the end of the Santa Fe Trail.


El Monte Metrolink station with lions and film motif 


Today El Monte is still a crossroads -- it's served by two freeways, the Los Angeles Metro's rapid transit Silver Line, Southern California Regional Rail Authority's Metrolink train, a 38 mile bike trail that connects the San Gabriel Mountains to Alamitos Bay, and two rivers (that aren't terribly reliable ways of getting around for most). It's also home to the largest bus station west of Chicago (and served by many bus lines) and Longo Toyota -- the number one auto dealer in the US (by sales and volume) and El Monte's fourth largest employer. I was accompanied on this episode, the debut of Season 7, by librarian Matt Patsel, first and last seen in Season 4's episode, "Gardena - The South Bay's city of opportunity."


*****

EARLY HISTORY OF EL MONTE

The land that is now part of the city of El Monte was something of an oasis in the middle of the semi-arid San Gabriel Valley as it is situated between the banks of both the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers and thus has relatively fertile soil. Somewhat surprisingly, El Monte is one of the oldest towns in Los Angeles County and yet seemingly few vestiges of its rich past remain today. Despite its current appearance (very few buildings remain that were built before the 1950s and almost none from before the 1920s), El Monte has a rich history.


EL MONTE IN THE SPANISH ERA


End of the Santa Fe Trail or End of the Gila River and Old Spanish Trails?


Spaniards named the area "El Monte" -- an archaic Spanish term which describes an uncultivated scrubland and not, as is probably often assumed, "mountain." It was part of The Old Spanish Trail, which originated in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As of 1821, The Santa Fe Trail (which connected Kansas City, Missouri to Santa Fe) was extended to El Monte. This is why El Monte is said to be "The End of the Santa Fe Trail" -- a claim that is rejected by the Official Santa Fe Trail Association.


El Monte - The End of the Santa Fe Trail (1923)


At the time El Monte was referred to by several variations including "El Monte," "The Monte," and simply "Monte."  In 1826, explorer Jedediah Smith led a party that stopped in the area. One of the members of his party, Harrison Rogers, referred to the area as "Camp Monte" and "Monte Camp" in his diary entry about it.


EL MONTE IN THE AMERICAN ERA


Oldest home in El Monte as it appeared when photographed in 1922

Sources vary on exact dates and names but Americans began to permanently settle in El Monte around 1850. The first non-Native-constructed home was built for Nicholas Schmidt. Other early settlers included were G. and F. Cuddeback, J. Corbin, and J Sheldon. Mostly farmers, they came from Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas. Around 1851 the Thompson Party (led by Ira W. Thompson) settled there. Captain Johnson, was from Lexington, Kentucky and he convinced the villagers to rename their settlement "Lexington" after his hometown. 


Plaque commemorating Southern California's first Evangelical church


Shortly after the settlement was founded, the structures of a small town followed. In 1852 the first schoolhouse was erected. That same year John Prior organized the first Evangelical congregation in Southern California (a plaque was installed in 1930 to commemorate the site). By 1855 the town was rounded out by the Old Cecil Saloon and a Masonic lodge. In 1858, El Monte became a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route. By then El Monte's economy was based around the production of bacon, castor oil, cotton, fruits, grains, honey, hops, and wool.
 

VIGILANTISM IN EL MONTE

El Monte was very much a Wild West town in the mid-19th Century and frontier justice was the law of the land. A notorious vigilante militia, the El Monte Rangers, was established in 1854 to impose their brand of justice (namely in the form of trial-less lynchings). They later evolved a group which called itself The El Monte Boys.


EL MONTE DURING THE CIVIL WAR

Although California was a free state, by 1861 El Monte was a stronghold of CSA sympathizers. A. J. King, an undersheriff of Los Angeles County and former member of the El Monte Rangers, formed a secessionist militia company, the Monte Mounted Rifles in 1861 (taking after the pro-Confederate Los Angeles Mounted Rifles). After he marched through the streets of El Monte carrying a portrait of Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard he was arrested by a U.S. Marshal. In 1862, Union troops established New Camp Carleton near El Monte to suppress any rebellion by southern sympathizers.


EL MONTE TOWNSHIP

In 1866, the California State Legislature divided up the state into governmental units known as townships. The village of Lexington was made the governmental seat of the new El Monte Township but the residents soon after voted to change the name of their town to El Monte. As the town continued to establish itself, the Willow Grove Inn was constructed by the Thompson family to serve travelers on the Butterfield Stage Route between Riverside and Los Angeles.


RAILROAD ARRIVES

El Monte in 1889

The Southern Pacific built a railroad depot in El Monte in 1873. In 1875 W.L. Jones built the El Monte Hotel (which was sold and renamed the Lexington Hotel in 1875). In 1876, El Monte began publishing its own newspaper, the El Monte Gazette (later the El Monte Herald). In 1888, B.F. Maxson and P.F. Cogswell planted El Monte's first crop of walnuts. El Monte soon grew to become the walnut-growing capital of the world. The first local drug store opened in 1892.


EL MONTE IN THE 20TH CENTURY


El Monte's Main Street in 1908


In the early 20th century; dairy, fruit, hay, vegetable, walnuts and truck farms dominated El Monte's economy. Arden Farms (a dairy) and Bodger Seed Ltd were two of the largest operations. The El Monte Union High School District was organized in 1901. In 1907 the Pacific Electric Railway (the so-called "Red Cars") expanded its reach to El Monte. In 1910, refugees from the Mexican Revolution arrived in significant numbers and most found work in El Monte's agriculture sector. In 1911, D.W. Griffith filmed a western, Was He Coward? In El Monte. El Monte was finally incorporated as a municipality in 1912.


More than "knee high by the Fourth of July" -- El Monte corn crop in 1914


"Welcom to Friendly El Monte"
 -- the Welcome Wagon in 1920


By 1920, El Monte's population had grown to 1,283. That year The Son of Tarzan, starring Kamuela C. Searle as Korak, Son of Tarzan, was filmed at Woodland Park.


  


In 1934, another Tarzan film, Tarzan and his Mate (starring Johnny Weissmuller ) was also filmed there.


THE RIALTO



The front and back of the Rialto as it appears today

El Monte's first movie theater, The Rialto, opened in 1923 at 10818 Valley Mall (then Main Street). It was built for local developer Walter P. Temple and was designed by Walker & Eisen. For sixteen years, the Rialto was operated by Arthur Sanborn. In 1940, the Rialto was sold to James Edwards and became part of the Edwards chain until it closed in the early-1950s.


GAY'S LION FARM


Postcard from Gay's Lion Farm - El Monte


Gay's Lion Farm opened in 1925, offering visitors an alternative to the usual ostrich and alligator farms of Los Angeles and its suburbs. It was operated by Charles Gay and his wife -- two retired circus performers. Gay's pride of more than 200 African lions was used in film productions -- including more Tarzan installments. Metro Goldwyn Mayer used El Monte lions "Jackie" and "Slats" in their logo from 1924 until 1927. El Monte High School adopted "The Lions" as their mascot in 1925. The lion farm was featured in the documentary Lions for Sale (1941). The lion farm closed in 1942 due to a wartime meat shortage and the lions were given to zoos.


The orignial lion from Gay's Lion Farm -- in front of El Monte High School

Today, the original lion statue from the farm is situated in front of El Monte High.


Marker identifying site of Gay's Lion Farm

In 2000, another lion statue was installed beneath the freeway at Valley and Peck to commemorate the original site of the lion farm -- behind bars and just below the 10 Freeway.


THE DEPRESSION  


By 1930 the population of El Monte reached 3,479. By then the population was roughly 75% white, 20% Mexican-American, and 5% Japanese-American. Most of the Mexicans lived in El Monte's barrios (Granada, Hayes Town, Hicks, Las Flores, Medina Court, and Wiggins). Most of the Japanese residents grew berries, melons and vegetables on small tracts after the Great Depression hit in 1929 and forced many larger operations to sublet their land to tenant farmers. Schools were segregated with Anglos attending class with Anglos, and Japanese and Mexicans attending class together. Theaters were segregated along similar lines but there were occasional tensions between the town's main minorities, such as with the famous strike of 1933.


THE EL MONTE BERRY STRIKE OF 1933

Thousands of Mexican berry pickers, organized by the Communist Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union (CAWIU) demanded a raise (nine cents per hour wasn't unheard of). The Mexicans' employers were Japanese. Due to alien land laws, Asians weren't allowed to own land so the 80% of El Monte's agricultural land that they farmed was leased. It was the largest agricultural strike in California at that point. The Japanese and Mexican consuls, and the US and California Departments of Labor intervened but a settlement wasn't reached for a month.


Small Farm Homes in El Monte, CA -- 1936 (by Dorothea Lange)


During the 1930s, the city became a vital site for the New Deal's federal Subsistence Homestead project, instigated in 1933. Many of the new arrivals were Dust Bowl refugees and their new ranch homes built as part of the project were photographed by Dorothea Lange.


THE EL MONTE AIRPORT



The El Monte Airport, built in 1936, is the last remaining one in the San Gabriel Valley; Alhambra, Arcadia, Monrovia, Rosemead and San Gabriel's airports have long since closed. It was founded by New Jersey-transplant Nick Lentine. In 1931 he became the first Californian to land a plane on a city street (in Pasadena) due to fog.



Matt and I checked it out. Not only was it filled with small airplanes but the smell of food being prepared and consumed at Annia's Kitchen. Annia's has an outdoor patio which offers a view of the San Gabriel Mountains and arriving and departing airplanes. We looked at some of the displays but opted to eat later.


THE EL MONTE COMMUNITY AND CIVIC CENTER


The El Monte Community Center

The El Monte Community and Civic Center also opened in 1936 and initiated the annual Pioneer Days festival. Because they were too rowdy, the festival was ended in the 1940s. A new Civic Center was built in the 1950s. The complex also includes the El Monte Historical Museum, headquarters for the El Monte Historical Society (established in 1989).


The El Monte Historical Museum


The El Monte Aquatic Center

Up the street is the El Monte Aquatic Center. I couldn't find out what year it was built but in 2012 it made the news when fourteen of the lifeguard staff were fired for filming an homage to Korean musician Psy's music video for "Gangam Style" whilst wearing their uniforms (despite the fact that they did so off hours).



El Monte Lifeguards' parody of Psy's hit music video





The El Monte Library

Just a little bit further up the street is one of El Monte's two public libraries, the El Monte Library. It was founded in 1890 (although the current building is obviously much newer). The other is the Norwood Library -- which we didn't visit.


MORE EL MONTE THEATERS


The old El Monte Theater



The Tumbleweed

In 1939, the El Monte Theater, was built in 1939 for Arthur Sanborn after he sold the Rialto to Edwards. That same year the Tumbleweed Theater opened on Garvey. The building was designed by S. Charles Lee and was designed to look like a barn (with a windmill on top of the marquee). It was demolished sometime in the 1960s.


EL MONTE DURING WORLD WAR II

By 1940 the population of El Monte reached 4,746. Throughout the decade the population nearly doubled. The advent of World War II saw small aircraft parts factories spring up on the west side of town. World War II also saw El Monte's till-then-prominent Japanese population forcibly rounded up and sent off to concentration camps. The berry fields went into decline and never recovered.


THE EL MONTE DRIVE-IN


The El Monte Drive-In Theatre

The El Monte Drive-In opened in 1948 at the corner of Lower Azusa Road and Ellis Lane. It was featured in the films Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (the 1993 remake), Bikini Drive-In (1995), and the stop motion short, Wazzock (2006). In 1980, reflecting the change in El Monte's demographics, it became a Spanish language theater. Around 1999 it was torn down and replaced with a Home Depot.


EL MONTE LEGION STADIUM


El Monte Legion Stadium


One of El Monte's most-missed treasures is the El Monte Legion Stadium. Construction of the stadium began back in 1927 and was completed in 1929. It was originally built as the gymnasium for El Monte High School. It was used as an Olympics venue in 1932. The Long Beach Earthquake of 1933 damaged it and most of the campus and it sat vacant until it was bought by American Legion Post 261 in 1945 at which point it officially became known as the American Legion Stadium in El Monte and unofficially as "The Pink Elephant."


THE EL MONTE COUNTRY SCENE


After buying the old El Monte High School gym in 1945, the American Legion first used the hall for little more than meetings. They had little success with it as a basketball venue but more with boxing, wrestling, roller derbies, mini-car racing and dances. Then came Cliffie Stone. KTLA's famed country music program Hometown Jamboree (produced and hosted by Stone beginning in 1949). It ended up being recorded at the stadium. Country acts who played there include Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Tex Ritter, to name a few. Along with Compton's Town Hall Party (which debuted in 1952), El Monte was one of the major hubs of country and rockabilly music on the west coast.


MEMORIES OF EL MONTE


Art Laboe in El Monte with his people


Famed DJ Art Laboe had originally tried to organize rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues concerts in Los Angeles but ran afoul of those who objected to race-mixing minors and the then-widely detested music. He (and fellow DJ Huggy Boy) began promoting concerts at the El Monte venue beginning in 1957 with as part of a series billed as Oldies But Goodies. Brenton Wood, Dick Dale and his Del-Tones, Jackie Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Otis, Ray Charles, Ritchie Valens, Rosie & The Originals, Sam Cooke and others performed at the popular Friday night dances. The house bands were The Phantoms and The Romancers. The song "Memories of El Monte" (written by Frank Zappa and originally recorded by the doo-wop group, The Penguins in 1963) celebrates the once vibrant scene.



The scene extended beyond just music to other Eastside subcultures. El Monte was a hotbed of lowriding culture. Whereas many other venues had strict dress codes, the diverse El Monte crowd fostered varied sartorial expressions. Sir Guy plaid shirts and khakis became cholo fashion and young black men favored velvet or satin-trimmed suits (de rigeur for the Continental look).

As rock 'n' roll became more accepted and racial hostility cooled in Los Angeles, big acts started opting to play there instead of in El Monte. By the late '60s the stadium was losing money and was occasionally rented out for weddings (boxing and wrestling continued to be popular). Grateful Dead recorded a live album there on 28 December, 1970 that only saw the light of day as a bootleg. The venue was bought by the US Post Office for the site of a new post office and subsequently demolished in 1974.


EL MONTE IN THE 1970s


Plaque marking the execution of Flores Gang members


The population of El Monte reached 69,837 in 1970, following biggest decade of growth. Even after Anglos became a minority, the Nazi Party still had an office there. After many young Latino lives were lost in the Vietnam War, gangs proliferated. The largest, El Monte Flores, and several others had roots in the old barrios of El Monte's agricultural past and even further back. A survey undertaken at the time estimated that there were ten to twelve separate gangs operating in that decade with roughly 1,500 gang members. Author Benita Bishop's books, Escape from El Monte and The Lost Girl from El Monte recount her experiences as a young Latina in that decade.


EL MONTE STATION


Approaching the new El Monte Bus Station



Inside the new El Monte Bus Station



Map of El Monte Bus Station Services showing connections

The old El Monte Bus Station opened in 1973. The new one opened to the public on October 14, 2012. It is currently the largest west of Chicago. [Click here to read about my misadventures there on 2012's Election Day].


EL MONTE IN THE 1980s

By 1980, the population of El Monte had reached 79,494. Faced with a serious gang problem in the '70s and the attendant influx of heroin and violence, the El Monte Police Department Gang Employment program was initiated in 1980 with the aim of finding proper jobs for gang members. By most accounts, the programs met with limited success. However, by 1988 only 40 active gang members were counted -- a considerable decline from the bad ol' days of the '70s. Despite this huge decrease in gang activity, as the population of El Monte has grown increasingly Latino, many El Monte old-timers have since taken to internet comment sections to moan about how gangs are taking over El Monte in what (as far as I can tell) is nothing more than not-so-thinly-veiled racial hysteria or at best, cognitive dissonance.


THRIFTY ICE CREAM


Thrifty Ice Cream in El Monte

Thrifty Ice Cream has its roots in a chain called Thrifty Cut-Rate Drug Stores, run in the 1930s by a pair of siblings known as the Borun brothers. In 1940 they decided to start making their own ice cream at their Hollywood factory. It moved to its massive El Monte facility in 1976. 

Beginning in the 1970s, realtor Frederic Hsieh had begun marketing another San Gabriel Valley city -- Monterey Park -- as "The Chinese Beverly Hills." As Monterey Park's population grew much more Asian in the 1980s, political pressure from hostile old timers drove some Monterey Park's newer immigrants into neighboring cities in the valley. El Monte remains primarily Latino but there was a significant influx of Asians in the 1980s and '90s.



EL MONTE's STATUE OF LIBERTY



In front of El Monte's City Hall is a thirty-foot tall fiberglass replica of the Statue of Liberty, donated to the city by Dr. Jung T. Wang, Paul Mu, and Victor Chiang on July 4, 1986. In 2012, sixty rose bushes, Japanese boxwood shrubs, and two purple leaf plumb trees were planted in front of it in commemoration of the city's 100th anniversary of incorporation.


EL MONTE IN THE 1990s

In 1990 the population of El Monte reached 106,209. The Edwards El Monte 8 opened in 1992.


Outside the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club


Inside the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club

The San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club started in September of 1995. The club was Matt and my first stop upon visiting the city. The rates are quite reasonable and, with a few exceptions, most players didn't seem intimidatingly skilled. The facility itself is a huge building which seems likely to have been a factory in some previous incarnation.


Freed Thai sweatshop slaves in El Monte


In 1995, 72 undocumented Thai workers were discovered working in an El Monte sweatshop where they worked sixteen to eighteen hour days, seven days a week for less than $2 dollars an hour making High Sierra, B.U.M., Anchor Blue and other brands for Miller's Outpost, Nordtsrom's, Target, Sears and other stores. Ultimately, in 1999, seven companies paid out more than $3.7 million to 150 El Monte sweatshop workers, many of whom were also granted citizenship.


HEAVEN'S GRACE MAITREYA BUDDHA SOCIETY



The Heaven's Grace Maitreya Buddha Society was built in 2001. Maitreya is the future Buddha, presently a bodhisattva residing in the Tushita heaven.


EL MONTE TODAY

113,475. 73% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran with a smaller percentages of Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Honduran, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Peruvian), 19% Asian (mostly Chinese and Vietnamese with a smaller percentages of Filipino, Cambodian, Burmese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai, and Pacific Islander), 7% white, 1% Native American, and 1% black.


MUSIC OF EL MONTE



El Monte was the birthplace of Gregg Myers, Joe "Country Joe" McDonald, and singer/guitarist Mary Ford.




John Paul Larkin
was born March 13, 1942. As Scatman John he released the hit "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)" when he was in his early 50s. El Monte was formerly home to Pate's Tapes and Records and is still home to Musica Latina. There used to be a county music club, the Nashville West, in Five Points. The house band, also known as Nashville West, released an eponymous album in 1967.



EL MONTE IN FILM & TV




A palomino named Bamboo Harvester was born in El Monte in 1949. He later gained fame as the star of Mr. Ed. Actor-filmmaker Timothy Carey filmed much of The World's Greatest Sinner (1962) in El Monte. Actors Glenn Corbett, Mark Idda, and Virginia Gilmore were all born there, as was screenwriter Sam Rosen.



In addition to the aforementioned films, El Monte served as a filming location in Back to the Future II (1989), Back to the Future III (1990 -- the McFly residence in 2015 is the home at 3793 Oakhurst Street), Falcon Crest (1981 -- two episodes featured the El Monte Police Station), Shocker (1989 -- at Legg Lake Park), Death Ring (1992), L.A. Sheriff's Homicide (2003), and Songs Like Rain (2006). The Circus Clown (1934), Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936), Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (1992) and A Test of Will (2005), were filmed primarily or entirely in El Monte.

There are a couple of mom 'n' pop movie stores in El Monte that one might consider supporting -- Video 1 DVD & Game, Video Sales and Video Plus.


OTHER STUFF TO DO IN EL MONTE

Cyclists of all ages can ride or walk The San Gabriel River Trail (if they can find an entrance) which connects Azusa and Duarte in the north with Seal Beach in the south. El Monte is home to few proper bars. My research and exploration turned up the Oasis Club and the Silver Dollar Saloon. There's live music, karaoke, gambling (and probably smoking) at Babyface Restaurant & Bar. Pool players have KBC Champion Billiards. Karaoke fans can go to Happy KTV. El Monte sports clubs include Badminton Fan Club, San Gabriel APA, and the Los Angeles Table Tennis Association. There's also a Moose lodge.


EL MONTE PARKS

There are several parks in El Monte with a variety of services.


Tony Arceo Memorial Park


The first park that Matt and I visited was Tony Arceo Memorial Park. The park originally opened as "El Monte City Park." It was dedicated in 1974 to Ton Arceo, a policeman who was killed that year in the line of duty.


Tony Arceo Park Bandshell

In the summer the park hosts a short series of free summer concerts. Last year's line-up included cumbia, mariachi, ranchera, rockabilly, and rock 'n' roll sounds.



Pioneer Park and Santa Fe Historical Park

We later went to Pioneer Park, which includes Santa Fe Trail Historical Park (which opened in 1989). Matt and I walked around it -- not surprised that it was closed on Martin Luther King Day. However, one half of a couple of day drinkers told us that it's never open (and then laughed maniacally). 

Other parks include Baldwin Park, Fletcher Park, Lambert Park, Lashbrook Park, Mountain View Park,  Rio Vista Park, and Zamora Park





Though not parks -- there are these things called "Tree Power Towers." According to the legend there are twelve along Valley. The mascot is "Monty." A search on the internet yielded absolutely nothing.


EL MONTE EATS

One of the most popular pastimes in El Monte is dining out -- there's even a culinary club, The Medina Court Men's Breakfast Club, who meet once a month. There's a wide selection of eateries offering the cuisines of Mexico, Vietnam, and China. There are additionally a lot of taquerias and bakeries. However, the number of burger and donut joints is simply staggering. The first drive-thru burger joint was Big D Enter-Out Restaurant, which opened in the late 1960s (after the similarly-named In-N-Out). Since then it opened it moved to a larger location. The old location is now the home of Art's.


Outside Jolly Jug


Watching the inauguration at Jolly Jug

Matt and I ate at Jolly Jug. The restaurant (and bar) was established in 1947, making it one of, if not the, oldest restaurant in El Monte. The ambiance was charming, we both quite enjoyed our food.

Here's a list of the rest:

Ajos y Cebollas, Alberto's, Alfredo's Mexican Food, Amigo Donuts, Angel Bakery, Antojitos, Apple Jack's Coffee Shop, B & B Ice Cream Wholesale, BBQ Express, Baby Bros Pizza & Wings, Bamboo Wok, Basileia Cafe, Best Noodle House, Big Famous Burgers, Bill's Drive In, La Barca Restaurant, Brothers Burgers, Burritos La Palma, CG Italian Bakery, Cafe Rosemead, California Sushi & Teriyaka, Carlton's Market, Cate Japan Teriyaki & Sushi Exp, Cerezo Bakery, Cha Cafe,

Chanos Restaurant Number Two, Chillin' Thai Cuisine, China Express, China Great Buffet, Chinatown Bakery, Chinese Restaurant, Chinese Taste Fast Food, Chopsticks Kitchen, Christy Donuts, Corita Bakery, Cyber Yogurt, Da Cheng Vegetarian Food, David Son's Meat Market, 
The Deli Box, Diana's Restaurant & Tortilleria, Donut Capital, Donut Galore, Doublz, Douglas Drive-In, Dragon Restaurant, Dulceneas Tacos y Bionicos, Eat Low Taqueria, El Bukanas, El Burrito Grande, El Caney Market,

El Chamango, El Comalero Pupuseria No 2, El Gallito Market & Restaurant, El Gordito Taqueria, El Huarache Restaurant, El Jacalito, El Patio Bar and Grill Restaurant, El Salvadoreno Pupuseria, El Siete Mares Restaurants, El Sol de Acapulco, El Sombrero, El Taco Man, El Taquito, Fanta Chinese Food, Flames X Press, Flo's Coffee Shop, Fogo de Andre, Foody Goody, Fortune BBQ Restaurant, Fu-Xing Bakery, Gardunos Restaurant, George's Produce, Golden Ox, Golden Ox Burger, 

The Good Donut, 
Goody's Restaurant, Green Produce Market, Happy Bakery, Havana Club, Ho Ho Kitchen, Hoa Binh Restaurant, Hot Space Restaurant, I Love Pho, Italiano's Restaurant, Jack's Sub, Jade Cafe, Jim's Burgers, Joy's Market, Juan Colorado Meat Market, Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant, Kim Long Hue Restaurant, King Taco, Kirin's House Chinese Restaurant, LOL Cafe, La Blanquita, La Blanquita Tortilleria, La Fruta Feliz, La Lonchera, La Mexicana Bakery, La Michoacana,

La Michoacana Bakery, La Pizza Loca, La Pradera Market, La Principal Bakery, La Reyna de Michoacan, La Sirena Restaurant, Las Islas Marias Restaurant, Las Mas Meat Market, Liang's Kitchen, Links Hot Dogs, Little Malaysia Restaurant, Lorena's Mexican Restaurant, Los Toros Meat Market, Louisiana Fried Chicken, Love Sandwiches, Malaysia Kitchen, Maria's Bakery, Mariscos Cancun Restaurant, Mariscos La Quebrada, Master Fresh Donuts, Menos Pinches Burgers,

Mexicali Grill, Mi Pueblo Market, Mitchell's Donuts, Mr. Chopsticks Seafood & BBQ, Mr Pizza & Pasta, Mr Steve Donuts, New Nature Food Co, New Wok, Nick's Burgers, Ocean Bo, Palermo Pizza, Paleteria Y Neveria, Peck Market, Pepe's Mexican Seafood Restaurant, Pho Hai Phong Noodles, Pho Hien Mai Restaurant, Pho Huynh, Pho Kim, The Pizza Oven, Point Dume Chinese Food, Pollo Mania, Qi Lu Restaurant, Queen's Donuts, Ray-Ray Restaurant, Restaurante De Mariscos Altata,

Rice Wok, SIR Pizza'n'Chicken, Sk Donut, Shrimp House Original, Shun Fat El Monte Superstore, Sunny Restaurant, T & M Market, TC Bakery, Taco N Tento, Tacos Don Chente, Tacos La Bufadora, Tacos Los Betos, Tacos del Chino, Tacos el Arco, Tai Pan Chinese Food, Taqueria Azteca, Taqueria La Cabana, Tasty Express, Tay Do Quan Hy, Thai Excellente Restaurant, Thanh Diem, Thanh Loi Tofu, The Sandwich Place, Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant, Thrifty Maid Ice Cream Co,

Tina's Bakery, Tito's Market, Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers, Tommy's Burgers, Tommy's Restaurant, Top Donut & Sandwich Shop, Triple J Burger, Universal Donuts, Valenzuela's Restaurant, Viet Huong, Wing Lee Fresh Poultry
, and Yummi Chinese Fast Food



For a great hand account of El Monte, visit Richard's History of El Monte. Please share your own memories and impressions of El Monte in the comment section as well as any additions or corrections. 


*****

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*****


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Get a $20 Gift Certificate for Just $10 at Amoeba Happy Hour, January 30th!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 23, 2013 07:14pm | Post a Comment

Back by popular demand...it's the return of Amoeba Happy Hour! Swing by any of our three Amoeba locations on Wednesday, January 30th between noon and 2pm and buy a $20 gift certificate for just $10! That's enough savings to make anyone happy!

Please note: limited to two gift certificates per person. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Amoeba Music Happy Hour

 

Cinefamily's Friday Night Frights: NEAR DARK w/ Special Guests IN PERSON

Posted by phil blankenship, January 23, 2013 10:51am | Post a Comment

NEAR DARK // Friday, January 25, 2013 // Midnite

1987 was an amazing year for young vampire love stories, with the release of both the flashy, angsty The Lost Boys, and this gritty ‘n gory western — one of the best fanged flicks ever filmed. Written by Eric Red (The Hitcher, Body Parts), and directed by Kathryn Bigelow (who would later win a Best Director Oscar with The Hurt Locker, and might again with Zero Dark Thirty), Near Dark was underappreciated at the time of its release, but is now regarded as a bona-fide cult classic, thanks in no small part to Bigelow’s muscular direction and Red’s crackling, ultraviolent script. Drawing from James Cameron’s stable of character actors (he and Bigelow were married at the time), the film boasts career-high performances from Lance Henriksen, Joshua Miller, Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright and a scene-stealing Bill Paxton as arguably the greatest loose-canon psycho redneck vampire of all time. Wrap it all up with an ethereal Tangerine Dream score and you have one of the best horror films of its time. Join us in re-appreciating this blood-soaked gem from a director still on top of her game! Co-stars Joshua Miller & Jenette Goldstein will be here for a Q&A!
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 1987, 35mm, 95 min.

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

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #18: Jamie McCormick @ Abraco Espresso, Former Mayor Ed Koch, Transit Exhibit & other Events/Shows

Posted by Billyjam, January 23, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment
     

For this week's installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I interview East Bay to NY transplant and old friend of Amoeba Music Jamie McCormick of renowned East Village coffee mecca Abraço Espresso (including some of Jamie's top five music lists and picks), discuss the new documentary Koch on former NYC mayor Ed Koch, take a look at a transit themed exhibit inside Grand Central Terminal which turns 100 years old in two weeks, and a quick rundown of some of the shows and events in the week ahead in the city of New York. These include the free, all ages NYC Parks Winter Jam this Saturday, Jan 26th from 11am to 3pm in the Bandshell area of Central Park. More info here.

Although her track record for concerts has  been sketchy to put it nicely Cat Power has left all that erratic behavior behind her nowadays reportedly. And the artist born Chan Marshall plays Terminal 5 at 610 W 56th St. next Tuesday (1/29), in support of her current highly recommended album Sun. Angel Haze is the opening act. 8pm show. All ages. Tickets $25. More info.

Meanwhile on 125th Street in the heart of Harlem the Studio Museum, always offers some wonderfully engaging exhibits with an emphasis on art and artists of African descent,  currently on exhibit is the excellent photo show: Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967 that follows one family around on their daily grind and features such shots as the one below. Note that Sundays is free day at the Studio Museum.

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'Beware of Mr. Baker' Celebrates One of Rock's Greatest (And Wildest) Drummers

Posted by Billy Gil, January 22, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

At the beginning of documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, we’re introduced to the titular character when the misanthropic elderly man bashes his biographer in the face with a cane. Filmmaker Jay Bulger gets out of the car to show us his bloody nose, and from there we’re whisked back through not only the story of Ginger Baker, famed drummer for Cream, but also the story behind the creation of the film.

Bulger bills himself as a writer for Rolling Stone in order to get an interview with the reclusive Baker — this is a lie. However, the article Bulger comes up with once he meets with Baker in his South Africa compound does get published in Rolling Stone, providing the catalyst for the film. The brash Bulger, and his interactions with Baker, become a hilarious side story to that of Baker, the red-headed wild man who helped pioneer rock drumming as a member of Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Baker’s unique, African and jazz-influenced style would go on to be widely used in hard rock and heavy metal in years to come. But Baker’s personal life is beset by drugs, family issues, several wives and money problems.

However, Beware of Mr. Baker is no predictable “VH1 Behind the Music” story, nor is it a sob story. It’s more a celebration of a life thoroughly lived, and of a character whose lust for life and for drumming supersedes his ability to live normally and care for anyone else. It’s riveting viewing, even (and perhaps especially) for those unfamiliar with Baker. The film’s editing, full of animated bits, stock footage and interview footage, jump-cutting and fading with psychedelic aesthetic, is nothing short of brilliant. It also includes enlightening, often funny interviews with the likes of Clapton, Steve Winwood, Carlos Santana, Lars Ulrich and Neil Peart.

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New Deftones Vinyl Release of The Sac-Town Alt-Metal Band's "Koi No Yokan" Out Today

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2013 11:20am | Post a Comment

In addition to all the exciting new releases listed by Billy Gil in the Albums Out Jan 22nd Amoeblog (immediately below this) there is also a new vinyl release by alt-metal kings the Deftones (pictured left) being released today. It is a vinyl version of the longtime hard rocking NorCal band's current Koi No Yokan album that dropped a couple of months ago on CD and, most agree, is a return to form for the band that ruled things in their sphere of metal back in the 90's.

The new vinyl format of Koi No Yokan, being released by Warner Brothers, is a limited edition (3,000 units) pressing in 140-gram black vinyl. There are some other exclusive pressings too including an international edition (import) of the record that is being pressed up a on 180-gram vinyl configuration. The CD version of Koi No Yokan is still readily available at Amoeba and worth picking up. The Sacramento band's seventh studio album, it debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart when it was released November 13th and was equally popular at Amoeba for such songs as its first single "Tempest" (lyrics video below). In support of Koi No Yokan the Deftones are currently gearing up for a spring headlining tour of the East Coast, the South, and Canada that spans the whole month of March. No West Coast dates announced as of yet but check out the Deftones' official band website for updates on that.

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Albums Out Jan. 22: FIDLAR, The Growlers, Toro y Moi and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 21, 2013 08:55pm | Post a Comment

It’s the first big release date of the year, with tons of much-anticipated albums hitting shelves.

 

Album Picks:

FIDLAR - FIDLAR

CD $12.98

LP $19.98

FIDLAR’s long-awaited debut album is a Pabst-soaked party record with strong songwriting anchoring its punk attitude. Pulling from hardcore, surf rock and pop-punk, and with the immediacy of The Clash’s first record, the foursome, made up of singer/guitarist Zac Carper, Brandon Schwartzel (bass), and brothers Elvis Kuehn (guitar) and Max Kuehn (drums), sing about being young and dumb and getting fucked up in songs with names like “Cheap Beer” (the chorus of which consists of the shouted lyrics “I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU!”). But all the funny lyrics in the world wouldn’t mean a thing if the songs themselves didn’t captivate you, and they do, across FIDLAR’s 14 tracks. There’s nary a hint of cynical sneer, and though they play with sloppy punk abandon, their hooks are tight as a six-pack ring. FIDLAR sing about who they are and what they do, whether that’s waking, baking, skating in mechanical hedonism on the ferocious “Wake Bake Skate” or reflecting that said young hedonism can “kind of suck,” on the exhausted-sounding closing track. That’s a telling moment — for all of FIDLAR’s gleeful celebration, the record’s honed hooks are the sound of very hard work, and it pays off in spades.

 

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Amoeba SF's Dog Day Afternoon: Bring Your Dog & Save on February 9th!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 21, 2013 05:38pm | Post a Comment

Update! See the photos from this event HERE!

 

Amoeba loves your dog! In fact, we want to celebrate man's best friend with our first-ever Dog Day Afternoon on Saturday, February 9th! Bring your doggie down to Amoeba SF between noon and 4pm to get a valuable coupon for $5 off $25 or more AND get your dog photographed in our special Doggie Photo Booth

Alan Bishop Of Sublime Frequencies Joins Discostan This Wednesday

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 21, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment
 
Wednesday, January 23rd, Discostan invites you our first party of the year. We are proud to present two very special guests, Alan Bishop from Sublime Frequencies and Son Zoo of Ethio Cali. 

Alan Bishop was the bassist of The Sun City Girls, a legendary rock/experimental trio that had hundreds of releases, from rock covers, surf instrumentals, psychedelic freak-outs, puppetry, Asian-inspired theater, just to name a few excursions. From the absurd to the most magnificent, the unpredictability of The Sun City Girls made music fans either love or hate them, but never left anyone lukewarm. 

Alan is also the co-founder of Sublime Frequencies, a label that releases music from all over the world in the tradition of  Alan Lomax. The music that Sublime Frequencies releases is not for the pretty, easy-listening Sunday morning "world music" set.
Likewise, it's collections of international artists performing western pop covers would make any ethnomusicologist cringe, which makes me like them more.

Whether it's music from North Africa, pop covers from Thailand or wedding music from Syria, it's music that would leave most people from those regions scratching their heads wondering, "why would you like that?" I always find the exchange of regional music fascinating. Whether it's westerners getting down to Dabke, Germans dancing to Norteño or Japanese having Chicano oldies nights, once we are exposed to a wider palette of music it only serves to enrich our lives past the mundane. It becomes a springboard for the love of other cultures and a deeper appreciation of ones own culture as well. 

Also joining us is the always-dope Son Zoo from the group Ethio-Cali, who is ready to unveil a mother lode of hypnotic dancefloor bangers from east Africa for your pleasure. Get ready for the madness!


DISCOSTAN Style

Retro-glam Bollywood tracks 
Turkish funk and disco
Bhangra bass
Gypsy boogaloo
Arabic shaabi and dabke
Balkan bangers

*** 

SPECIAL GUESTS:

Alan Bishop (Sublime Frequencies) 

Son Zoo (Ethio Cali) 

*** 

RESIDENT SELECTORS

Aruna Irani (Radio Sombra/Sublime Frequencies)

Gomez Comes Alive (Radio Sombra)

Alky Holovic 

Ají 

***

Footsie's
2640 North Figueroa St.
LA, 90065

10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Free all night for you 

One of my favorite films from 2012: Lincoln

Posted by Charles Reece, January 20, 2013 10:16pm | Post a Comment

Intellectual critics tend to hate Steven Spielberg's films, and Lincoln is no exception. The nastiest laceration I've come across is from one of my favorite social critics, Thomas Frank


Spielberg & Co. have gone out of their way to vindicate political corruption. They have associated it with the noblest possible cause; they have made it seem like harmless high jinks for fun-loving frat boys; they have depicted reformers as ideological killjoys who must renounce their beliefs in order to succeed. This is, in short, what Lincoln is about.

It is true that the film dramatizes Lincoln's greatest achievement by showing the less than pure, even immoral, underbelly of the politics involved: the cajoling, lying, shaming, threatening and bribery. In doing so, it also argues that a radical "killjoy" like Thaddeus Stevens has to publicly repress his own views in order to get things done -- in this case, passing the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery. (Imagine radical voices not being heard in this country! Hard to believe.) Frank condemns the film for what it doesn't show: those times when such morally compromised methods lead to or support political corruption. But he never really gets around to the fundamental point here: politics is always compromised, even when on the side of angels. And contrary to his take, the film does make distinctions in compromise: Lincoln goes beyond the law with the intention of freeing the slaves (who are legally enslaved), but doesn't compromise with the Confederates in order to end the war when it wouldn't serve his (very moral) goal of changing the law. And, more importantly, the film shows us what's needed when democratic compromise breaks down. Adam Smith argued that slavery could be more easily ended under a "despotic" rather than "free government" when it was the "freedom of the free" that was "the cause of the great oppression of the slaves," that is, when "every law is made by their masters, who will never pass any thing prejudicial to themselves." [quoted in Liberalism: A Counter-History, p. 6, by Domenico Losurdo] Sure enough, it was extra-legal measures that vanquished slavery: a war and Lincoln's temporary dictatorship (e.g., his suspension of habeas corpus). For this, his critics called him a despot. They weren't entirely wrong, but he proved to be the kind of despot we needed. We haven't really had Abe the Dictator presented to us in the movies, for which I found the film -- whatever creative license Tony Kushner took with the script -- refreshingly honest.

Go Niners....To Super Bowl XLVII - Rap Music To Celebrate Today's Victory by The San Francisco 49ers Over The Atlanta Falcons

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2013 10:15pm | Post a Comment
Was today's important victory over the Atlanta Falcons for the Niners one of the better games played by the San Francisco team? No it certainly wasn't as any San Francisco 49ers fan will readily admit after watching today's game with that nail-biting first half when the Falcons held a 17-0 lead and the 49ers defense looked far from strong.

In that stressful first half many SF fans secretly feared that today's game just might end up being a replay of last year when the 49ers fell a game short of the Super Bowl with a stunning loss to the NY Giants. But all ended well today with the Niners beating the Falcons with a 28-24 victory which means, for the first time in almost two full decades that the San Francisco 49ers will go to the Super Bowl when, on Feb 3rd in New Orleans, they will face the Baltimore Ravens (who defeated the New England Patriots 28-13 today) in Super Bowl XLVII.

In celebration of today's victory by the 49ers here are some Niners rap songs/videos to salute the Bay Area team and wish them the best in New Orleans next month. They range from the 1986 "49ers Rap," when team members including Jerry Rice got on the mic to spit some fly old school verses, up to the brand new "Niner Nation" rap by 5 year old Niners fan Sarah Redden. Also included are three rap songs from last year when hopes were high for the team. These include "City Of The Niners" by Rappin 4 Tay, San Quinn, and Tony Tag, the ever popular "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" by Bailey, and the J-Def produced "Faithfully" by Equipto, Baldhead Rick, Shag Nasty, Curt Sak, Ike Plump, and Sellassie. These are just a handful of the numerous rap songs about the Niners recorded over the years. And you can bet, in the two weeks ahead leading up to the big game, that there will be a slew of even more new rap songs about the San Francisco 49ers being recorded. GO NINERS!

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February at CIIS Public Programs & Performances: Suzanne Vega (2/8) and Eric Bibb & Habib Koite (2/16)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 20, 2013 07:25pm | Post a Comment

CIIS Public Programs & Performances have an action-packed month this February with two amazing shows:

Catch Suzanne Vega on Friday, February 8thsuzanne vega at the Herbst Theatre in SF. Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world's best-known halls. Get your tickets HERE!

On Saturday,  February 16th, Eric Bibb and Habib Koite join the rhythms of their guitars and voices in some transatlantic blues at the Herbst Theatre in SF.

"I watched my parents and it rubbed off on me", this is how Habib Koite traces the origins of his profession and talent as a 20th century griot. He is the heir to an ancestral knowledge set to song that places him among the most influential voices of contemporary Africa. Eric Bibb, who also absorbed some of his talents from family, is the god son of Paul Robeson and has established his name in the new generation of blues-men without renouncing the legacy of folk and gospel. Get your tickets HERE!

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Hard French Winter Ball in Santa Cruz, February 2nd

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 20, 2013 06:34pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba's good friends over at Hard French, the all-vinyl 60′s soul dance party experience, present their third yearly weekend Winter semi-formal getaway by the sea. Join them on Saturday, February 2nd for the Third Annual Hard French Winter Ball, an extravaganza made of live performances, all-vinyl soul music, and a formal dance party at The Cocoanut Grove Grand Ballroom -- a turn of the century grand ballroom on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Check out what the Winter Ball has in store for you this year:
The Hard French DJs Brown Amy & Carnita
Live singing performances by Dulce De Leche, Rotimi Agbabiaka, DavEnd, and Ebony Jett
Special guest performance by Glamamore
Coronation of the Hard French King and Queen hosted by Lil Miss Hot Mess
Photobooth by Shot In The City, design by Tommy Tuff
The Hard French Jiggalicious Dance Babes

Get your tickets now for the event of the season.

And nominations are now open for King and Queen, click HERE to vote! Nominations end on Wednesday, January 23rd.
 

HARD FRENCH WINTER BALL 2013: ¡SACAMELO! from Dirtyglitter on Vimeo.

The Art Of The Lp Cover- Magic From The Mystic East

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 20, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

January 20, 2013: The Last Stand

Posted by phil blankenship, January 20, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment

See a 'Backbeat' Performance at Amoeba Hollywood and Win a Pair of Tickets to See the Show at the Ahmanson

Posted by Billy Gil, January 18, 2013 03:15pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood is hosting the cast of the stage show Backbeat direct from London Feb. 4 at 7:00 p.m for a performance and CD signing. You can also win tickets through Amoeba to the show, which is running now through March 1 at the Ahmanson Theatre. Enter to win a pair of tickets for the Feb. 7 show here. You can buy tickets as well at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/RINGO or call  213.972.4400 and mention code RINGO — special pricing runs through Feb. 3.

The show tells the story of The Beatles before they were famous, when there were five members (even before Ringo was a member) and they were five working-class lads from the docks of Liverpool, playing seedy nightclubs while honing their epic new sound. The London press loves the show, calling it “edgy and cool” in the Sunday Express. The hit show is written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys and directed by five-time Tony award nominee David Leveaux.

The show features renditions of Beatles songs such as “Twist and Shout,” “Love Me Do,” “Long Tall Sally,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Rock and Roll Music” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Sample two songs from Backbeat below.

 

Montage: Love Me Do, PS I Love You, Twist and Shout by Center Theatre Group
Long Tall Sally by Center Theatre Group

He's My Brother, She's My Sister to Celebrate Album Release With Show

Posted by Billy Gil, January 18, 2013 02:05pm | Post a Comment

L.A.-based outfit He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister are seeing their album Nobody Dances in This Town get a wide release Jan. 22 via Park the Van. The album features the brother-and-sister vocals of Rob and Rachel Kolar singing over an amalgam of outlaw country, folk-rock and rockabilly that should tickle the fancy of any fan of such genres. At times they sound like Johnny and June; others, Exene and John. To kick it off, the band, which also includes Lauren Brown (tap-dancing drummer), Oliver ‘Oliwa’ Newell (upright bass) and Aaron Robinson (slide guitar), is performing an album-release show at L.A.’s The Troubador Jan. 19 (with Jenny O., Tommy Santee Klaws and Ramshackle). I caught up with the band, whose will take their twangy sound up the West Coast and around the country in the coming months.

PST: Is the first thing people usually ask you about your name, even though it’s usually spelled out right in the press material (much less the band name) that you are indeed brother and sister?

Rob: Yes, Rachel is my brother and I am her soul sista’.

Rachel: They do. I think The White Stripes made journalists question the authenticity of the sibling band.

The Kolars. Photo by Zane Roessell/LA Record

PST: Do you think there’s something particularly special about sibling vocals and the way they mesh?

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Show Recap: Yo La Tengo at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 18, 2013 11:24am | Post a Comment

The line wove down the block to see Yo La Tengo at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 17, on the heels of their 13th album release, Fade. Ripping chords and solos greeted the full house, which may have not expected such noise, given Fade's somber feel. But this is typical of Yo La Tengo, who read an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" and covered songs by The Urinals the last time they were in L.A. Yo La Tengo mixed a couple of rougher cuts with Fade's mellower songs like the rolicking lo-fi of "Is That Enough?" A hush fell over the entire store during acoustic country ballad "I'll Be Around" and its extended atmospheric passage. "Ohm" found the trio singing in unison to the song's wandering melody and insistent thump. Lead singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan went apeshit on the guitar and returned to singing with the others nonchalantlly while still whammying away in the show's most thrilling moment. The band plays Amoeba SF Saturday Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. See more photos from the Hollywood performance here.

 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 01.18:13: Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Sean Price, E-40, A-1, Agerman, Cool Hand Lukey + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2013 08:38am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JANUARY 18, 2013
 
1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City DeLuxe CD (Aftermath)

2) Big Boi Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)

3) Wiz Khalifa O.N.I.F.C. (Atlantic)

4) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)

5) 2 Chainz Based On A T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)

This latest hip-hop top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store features all current releases from the past month or more including the latest Big Boi and Wiz Khalifa albums (Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors and O.N.I.F.C. respectively) both released last month. Note that this week Def Jam also released a vinyl version of Big Boi's Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors. The other top five entries include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' runaway indie success story The Heist, Kendrick Lamar's universally popular Good Kid M.A.A.D City --, and 2 Chainz' official debut Based On A T.R.U. Story which, since its release last August has been a steady seller at Amoeba. Both 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar are among the guests on the new A$AP Rocky full-length album Long.Live.A$AP on RCA: another hot new rap artist, whose official (as distinct from mixtures) debuted this week. More on it in the weeks ahead here on the Amoeblog. Another new release this week is DJ Mugg's Bass For Your Face on Ultra Music which finds the longtime hip-hop production talent venturing off into some electronic territory in addition to straight up hip-hop beats and includes cameos from a nice mix of talented emcees including Public Enemy's Chuck D, Dizzee Rascal, Freddie Gibbs, Danny Brown, and Roc Marciano.

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Weekly Roundup: Victory, Tera Melos, The Little Ones, Wax Idols, Ty Segall, Julia Holter, Papa, Houses

Posted by Billy Gil, January 17, 2013 05:25pm | Post a Comment

Whew, there was a ton of crap released this week. I’ll have to make this snappy.

 

Victory – “Play It” video

I have never heard of Victory before, but he’s LA-based multi-instrumentalist Robert Fleming and he makes really catchy, well-produced lo-fi pop. His video for “Play It” is similarly minded with its VHS vibes. It’s not just more ’80s worship, though — there are some serious psych waves moving through that fuzz bass. His self-titled EP is out now; his first full-length record is due April 23, just after SXSW! That’s kind of coming up, guys, we’re into 2013.

VICTORY - "Play It" from Victory on Vimeo.

 

Tera Melos – “Tropic Lame”

Sacramento-based Tera Melos have a new album called X’ed Out coming April 16 via Sargent House. “Tropic Lame” is streaming now via RollingStone. I’m such a sucker for this tasteful, shoegazey alt-rock via Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. but also lesser-known bands like American Analog Set, Lilys and Ides of Space. “Tropic Lame” is not lame. It seriously rocks.

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Heavy Midnites: The Neverending Story at Cinefamily Los Angeles

Posted by phil blankenship, January 17, 2013 04:29pm | Post a Comment

THE NEVERENDING STORY // Friday, January 18, 2013 // Midnite

For everyone that has ever made a wish, believed in a fantasy, or had a dream — hold on tight as an atom bomb of imagination, innocence & amazement bursts onto the Cinefamily screen in 35mm! As an existential Nothingness threatens the land of Fantasia, a young hero is assigned to complete a hazardous quest. As much a magical fairytale as it is about the magic of how an epic tale unfolds, The NeverEnding Story remains one of the most exciting and idea-filled adventures of the 1980s. Experience a pre-CGI fantasy trip of dazzling wonder (brought to you by the director of Das Boot) and revisit your old friends Bastian, Atreyu, Artax, and Falkor (the cuddliest flying dog monster this side of your deepest slumber), as they brave the most unforgettable journey of them all. C’mon, who doesn’t want to ride a luckdragon?
Dir. Wolfgang Petersen, 1984, 35mm, 102 min.

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

FIDLAR to Take Amoeba, 2013 in General by Storm

Posted by Billy Gil, January 17, 2013 02:57pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR's long-awaited debut album is a Pabst-soaked party record with strong songwriting anchoring its punk attitude. Pulling from hardcore, surf rock and pop-punk, and with the immediacy of The Clash's first record, the foursome, made up of singer/guitarist Zac Carper, Brandon Schwartzel (bass), and brothers Elvis Kuehn (guitar) and Max Kuehn (drums), sing about being young and dumb and getting fucked up. But all the funny lyrics in the world wouldn't mean a thing if the songs themselves didn't captivate you, and they do, across FIDLAR's 14 tracks. There's nary a hint of cynical sneer, and though they play with sloppy punk abandon, their hooks are tight as a six-pack ring. FIDLAR sing about who they are and what they do, whether that's waking, baking, skating in mechanical hedonism or reflecting that said young hedonism can "kind of suck."

The band has been selling its debut record at shows for some time now, but it's officially out in stores Jan. 22. FIDLAR is playing Amoeba SF Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. and Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. They're also playing a release show at LA Fort Jan. 22 with Pangea, Meat Market and Spaceships. I caught up with Carper as the band was set to play SF. WARNING: This will be a bit NSFW (Not Suitable for Wussies). There's poop involved.

PST: Fidlar has some of the best song titles in recent memory (such as “Cheap Beer,” “Stoked and Broke”). Do those usually come first before the lyrics and sort of guide them, or do you guys kind of joke and throw stuff around to see what sticks once the songs are written?

Carper: It kinda matters. Sometimes the title will just pop out and we’ll think of a chorus with the lyrics and base it around that. Sometimes we’ll jam it out and think of a topic to sing about. I remember with cheap beer, I said “I dunno, I just wanna write a song that says I drink cheap beer so what fuck you,” and someone said “why don’t we just yell that?” Sometimes we’ll just hear someone talking and say something funny and we’ll use that. It’s all a collaborative process and super fuckin’ fun.

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Author Of "Keep On Pushing" Denise Sullivan Celebrates MLK Day With Reading & Singalong @ YBCA in SF

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2013 08:01am | Post a Comment
When the Amoeblog last caught up with Denise Sullivan in September 2011 it was to have an in-depth discussion with the Northern California author about her then recently published book Black Power Music (From Blues To Hip-Hop). At that time the Crawdaddy columnist and self-described "record geek" discussed her engaging book that effortlessly intertwines American history of the past numerous decades. The book nicely covers a wide range of protest/revolutionary music from early folk-blues, through the musical soundtrack of the civil rights movement (soul/funk/rock), and up to the contemporary hip-hop protest music. In that earlier Amoeblog interview Sullivan discussed many things including how she went from writing a book on the White Stripes to a book on Black Power Music. "Matters of race and the sexes, the Great Migration, what was once called the "American Dream," industry, ingenuity, and the entire great American songbook are of deep interest to me and all are tied up in the White Stripes story," she said at the time. "Keep on Pushing is a similar story, only it has a lot more people (many of them black, others are Native American, women, or economically strapped, most all of them are trying to survive America), and music is big part of their toolkit. Specifically though, in the case of both books, it was fine art photography that initially inspired me to launch my investigations: American Ruins by Camilo Jose Vergara, and The Black Panthers by Stephen Shames."

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #17: Up in Harlem @ Apollo & Lenox Lounge, GZA, Dessa, & The Relatives, Concerts & Events

Posted by Billyjam, January 16, 2013 02:50pm | Post a Comment

In this installment of the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a visit up to Harlem where the Apollo Theater (left) is holding strong. Unfortunately, another African American cultural landmark, the nearby legendary Lenox Lounge jazz club, recently faced eviction. In addition to a run down of some of the concerts and events (including NY Restaurant Week and free national monument admission day next week) in the week ahead, I also report on last weekend's WFMU benefit concert with The Relatives and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the Bell House, and the GZA headlined show at Stage 48.
 
"This is where it all started. Before American Idol. Before Star Search and before all of these other great shows that are on, it was the Apollo Theater that really was the springboard to jump everything off," Vanessa Rogers, producer of Amateur Night at the Apollo, told me when I stopped by the Apollo Theater in the heart of Harlem. For close to eight decades (two of them televised on "Showtime at the Apollo") the legendary Harlem theater has been fueling dreams and jump-starting a seemingly never ending line of careers that have been kick-started at the Apollo. Since Superstorm Sandy hit, the Amateur night got put on hold. It will resume in early March with national regional auditions to get to Harlem taking place in the interim. Over the decades countless greats came to shine courtesy of the Apollo.  Billie Holiday, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys,and Dave Chappelle are all among those who came to the historic uptown Manhattan venue on 125th Street as unknown 'amateurs' but left as future American superstars.

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The Craziness of the Golden Globes and Finding the Winners on DVD/Blu-ray

Posted by Billy Gil, January 15, 2013 02:41pm | Post a Comment

For whatever reason — more alcohol, fewer fawning montages and less strictness in general — the Golden Globes are looser, funnier and generally better TV than their big brother, the Oscars. Years of Golden Globes shows have seen their fair share of nuttiness, from Elizabeth Taylor’s sadly strange yelling of “Glaaaadiator!” in 2001 to the Rat Pack hijacking the show in 1958. Read about more embarrassing moments here.

 

This year, the big story was Jodie Foster and her sprawling, sort-of coming-out speech upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. Whether from the pressure of being in the spotlight for nearly the entirety of her cognizant life, and/or the added pressures of those pushing her to reveal details of her personal life and the criticisms of her friend, Mel Gibson (whose googly eyed expression took to memesville), Foster chose to use her time at the podium to air her frustrations in a defensive, almost bitter but fiercely real speech.

Sorry about my jenky screen grabs. Celeb photos 'R' expensive.

I’m still processing what happened — regardless of how blase it may seem when a famous person whom everyone presumes is gay comes out of the closet, it’s still a big deal for its ripple effects. Foster’s speech didn’t make me feel sorry for her, but it did make me like her even more. It’s clear she’s reached the don’t-give-a-fuck stage of her life and career, at age 50, after starring in more than 70 films, directing three and producing several more, and winning two Oscars. Her candidness and awkwardness was a big breath of fresh air during a televised awards show, most of which tend to be rife with unrelenting ass-kissing. Read her entire speech here. See more coming-out speeches here.

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 26

Posted by Amoebite, January 15, 2013 01:50pm | Post a Comment

SidewalkSaleJoin us in front of Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 12 p.m.-5:00 p.m. for our next Sidewalk Sale! Pick up some awesome deals on CDs, vinyl, box sets, books and more all at great savings.

Shop DVD box sets in all genres priced to move at two for $10. Pick up some $5 T-shirts and browse through our Electro table, with CDs and 12" vinyl priced at buy one get one free.

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

Sidewalk Sale

 

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

 

SF Sketchfest Returns! January 24th - February 10th.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 15, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment


San Francisco’s comedy festival SF Sketchfest runs January 24th - February 10th and features over 150 shows with some of the top comedians and best up-and-coming talent around.

SF SketchfestSF Sketchfest, the most prestigious comedy festival on the West Coast, celebrates their 12th year with a tribute to Portlandia with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, evenings with Bruce Campbell and Patton Oswalt, Drew Carey, Futurama Live, and so much more!

See the amazing line-up and get your tickets HERE!

Here are a couple of nights we here at Amoeba recommend!

Judge John Hodgman LIVE with John Hodgman & Jesse Thorn, musical guest John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats
Friday, January 25, 10:30pm at Marines’ Memorial Theatre
Join bestselling author and self-appointed judge John Hodgman as he listens to real- life disputes and weighs in on such pressing issues as “Is chili a soup or a stew?” This live version of the popular Maximum Fun-produced podcast features Bullseye host and Maximum Fun founder Jesse Thorn and musical guest John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

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Jimmy O'Neill - LA Radio DJ & Host of Shingdig! - Dies

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2013 08:29am | Post a Comment

Jimmy O'Neill hosted short-lived 60's TV show Shingdig!

As reported by the LA Times Jimmy O'Neill, one time top rated Los Angeles radio deejay and famed host of early days rock'n'roll TV show Shindig!, died on Friday last at his West Hollywood home following medical issues that included diabetes and heart problems. He was 73 years of age.  When KRLA AM switched from country and western to rock formats in 1959 the first DJ heard on their airwaves was Jimmy O'Neill. Still in his late teens he was also the youngest DJ at the station. The phenomenally successful rock radio station helped propel O'Neill into television as host of the 1960's rock'N'roll show TV show Shindig!. Although it only ran for one year and three months on ABC TV it included in its relatively short lifespan such performing guests as The Beatles (see video below in which the Hollywood show based producers traveled to the UK to record), the Rolling Stones, Jackie WilsonBobby ShermanSonny & Cher (see video above), and the Righteous Brothers, to name but a sprinkling of its many impressive musical guests. Read the full report by the LA Times' Elaine Woo here.

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Amoeba Presents Adam Green & Binki Shapiro and La Sera at Bootleg, January 29th

Posted by Amoebite, January 14, 2013 08:12pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music presents Adam Green & Binki Shapiro and La Sera performing live on Tuesday, adam green binki shapiroJanuary 29th at the Bootleg Theater in downtown LA.

Adam Green has been recording and releasing music since the age of 18. He has enjoyed critical and commercial success around the world, both as a member of the influential New York folk duo The Moldy Peaches and as a solo performer. Green gave away his experimental movie “The Wrong Ferrari” (his directorial debut starring Macaulay Culkin and filmed solely on iPhone) as a free download on his website in 2011. It was downloaded over 300,000 times. Adam will be releasing a new album in the Fall of 2012 with Binki Shapiro (Little Joy) entitled Binki Shapiro & Adam Green.

La Sera is also known as Katy Goodman (Vivian Girls, All Saints Day). She has released two full-length lps, the second being 2012's Sees The Light , which features ten new tracks of peppy break-up pop brimming with defiance and bitter sweetness. 

Get your tickets at Amoeba Hollywood! And come on down and look for us at the show. Event is 21+. More info HERE!

Amoebapalooza San Francisco, January 27th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 14, 2013 07:16pm | Post a Comment

amoebapalooza amoeba

Amoebapalooza SF, Amoeba Music's annual tradition of musical mayhem featuring bands comprised of Amoeba San Francisco employees & friends, is back! 
 
Join us on January 27th at Cafe Du Nord for this celebrations of employee creativity. The doors open at 8:00pm and the show starts promptly at 8:30pm. Admission is just $5! Can you believe it?! Just $5 to see all of these bands:
 
Born Petrified
Hank Aaron Williams (featuring the one and only Joe Goldmark)
Sparts
Ceiling Eyes
Death Pajamas
Cliff Diver
Shore Leave

Special thanks to our friends at SIR SF for donating the backline for the second year in a row! Contact SIR for all of your equipment needs. DO it!

Director of 2003's The Hebrew Hammer Raises Funds for Sequel

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 14, 2013 03:02pm | Post a Comment

Ten years after director Jonathan Kesselman blew our minds with The Hebrew Hammer (a spoof-driven hebrew hammer"Jewsploitation" made in homage to the great Blacksploitation films of the '70s), he's ready to do it all again with a sequel titled The Hebrew Hammer vs Hitler.

In the original 2003 film, the crime fighter known as the Hebrew Hammer (played to perfection by Adam Goldberg) is on a mission to save Hanukkah from the evil son of Santa Claus (Andy Dick in a role he was born to play) who plans to outlaw the Jewish holiday. If you thought Santa's son was formidable, get a load of this...in the sequal, the Hammer takes on non-other than the most-hated man of modern history...Hitler. See, when Hitler gets his hand on Time Sukkah technology™ and begins rewriting Jewish History, The Hebrew Hammer and his partner Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim set out through time to stop him. 

As Goldberg told The Hollywood Reporter, "You want to see him go after the big one. Who’s the Jewish Joker? Hitler. It’s implicit that if we are going to take on Hitler, there’s a time-travel element, so once that widened the scope infinitely, I thought it was important that we hook up with the other big Jew in history: Jesus."

Well, he's got my attention, but the film needs your help to get made! Help fun The Hebrew Hammer vs Hitler by donating on their fundraising page and by spreading the word.


Albums Out Jan. 15: Yo La Tengo, Christopher Owens, A$AP Rocky and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 14, 2013 01:35pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Yo La TengoFade

CD $12.98

LP $16.98 [out 1/29]

Deluxe LP $20.98

Digital $9.98

Even within their warm, now familiar sound, we’ve seen many guises from Yo La Tengo over the years, from grounded noise rockers to Burt Bacharach enthusiasts. This latest incarnation of the band on Fade, their 13th album, pulls from several of these but is most in line with their mellowed out 2000 album And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. This is great news for fans, as that was one of the band’s classics. Fade begins typically with a long, contemplative piece entitled “Ohm” that sets things up for a subdued affair. The next couple of tracks are consummate minimalist pop pieces, but the band turns up the guitars for “Paddle Forward,” a gorgeous slice of indie guitar pop that reminds us why young bands like Yuck and the Slumberland clan pull liberally from Yo La Tengo. By the time we’re halfway through the album, the droning, breathtaking “Stupid Things,” it’s clear we’re listening to one of the better Yo La Tengo albums, an improvement over 2009’s Popular Songs. Its release couldn’t be better timed, either. You just want to curl up with Fade like an electric blanket and relish in its radiance. Catch Yo La Tengo at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

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Upcoming Electronic 12" Releases

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, January 14, 2013 12:36pm | Post a Comment

Listen to some of our upcoming releases...
 



Vril

8-10 12"
Giegling




Luke Hess

Keep On LP
FXHE


Lamar

Guilty Pleasures 12"
Aesthetic Audio




Doubleheart

Roca EP 12”
Shipwrecked





Traumprinz

Say Or Do 12”
Traumprinz




EMG

Points Of View 12”




Desert Sky

Desert Sky 12”
Desert Sky




Scherbe

Jardin Du Midi EP 12”
Uncanny Valley




John Daly
Pandora 12”
One Track Records




Frits Wentink
Mary's Pony (12")
Triphouse




Patrick Sjeren

Untitled 12"
FIT



Scott Grooves

Bitter Sweet 12"
Modified Suede





Andres / Mike Grant
Moods & Grooves Classics v1 12"
Moods & Grooves



Trusme
Treat Me Right LP
Prime Numbers
 
 

You can add these to your Amoeba.com wish list as seen below! Once available you will receive a one-time email notification.



 

sOuL, Woodstock, and Headnodic Team Up To Pay Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment
         

Oakland emcee sOul recently teamed up with fellow Oaklanders Crown City Rockers members Woodstock and Headnodic to write and record a tribute to the influential late great Gil Scott-Heron. Simply titled “Gil Scott Tribute” the song was recorded in one take (captured in the video above - a video blog session recording with Headnodic who mixed the track) and features Woodstock playing the beat live on his MPC and sampling Gil Scott Heron's “We Almost Lost Detroit” (off Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's 1977 album Bridges) as well as recreating previous hip-hop interpretations of the original sample. Intricate stuff, and it works nicely too, with sOul on the mic spitting socio-political commentary along personal life monologue.

The song was recorded simply as a tribute to Gil Scott Heron and is not for sale but available as a free download here. Gil Scott Heron, who died at age 62 in May 2011, has been called the "godfather of rap" - a term he himself dismissed, preferring to label himself a "bluesologist." After the artist's sudden death a couple of years ago Chuck D of Public Enemy saluted Scott-Heron as a highly influential figure saying, in a heartfelt tribute to the man, that, "We do what we do and how we do because of you!" I agree with Chuck D as to the impact on hip-hop and music in general that Gil Scott Heron has made.

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Co-Founder of ZZK Records El G In Los Angeles This Week

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 13, 2013 10:08pm | Post a Comment
 
Back in 2008, after reading many blogs about a happening party in Buenos Aires, Argentina that played Electro-Cumbia music, one of the persons responsible for that party showed up at Amoeba Hollywood with CD copies of The ZZK Sound Vol. 1-Cumbia Digital. We were the first U.S. store to carry any of their product and it quickly became one of my favorite releases of that year. Since then, ZZK Records has released many great CD/LPS/Downloads from such artists as Chancha Via Circuito, Fauna, Tremor and last year's excellent compilation, The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires, which was my favorite release of 2012. 

The sound of ZZK Records combines several electronic movements, such as Electro-Cumbia, Dubstep and other forms of experimental Electro with a sound that goes back to the folkloric groups of Argentina's past. If Atahualpa Yupanqui and Mercedes Sosa grew up listening to Dancehall Reggae, Cumbia Villera and Electro, maybe it would sound like this.

That person that came into the store back in 2008 is Grant C.Dull, also known as El G. He is currently on tour promoting The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires and has three shows in the Los Angeles area. Be sure to check out one or all of them.

You can check out El G's shows at:

Wednesday, January 16th
In-Store Performance at Espacio 1839
1839 E. First Street
Los Angeles, Ca. 90033 (Boyle Heights)
From 6-9pm
Live broadcast on radiosombra.org
7pm-9pm PST
All-Ages/Free

After the event at Espacio 1839, the party moves two doors down at Eastside Luv for one of L.A.'s most happening club nights, Subsuelo

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The Art Of The Lp Cover- Dogs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 13, 2013 09:35pm | Post a Comment

January 13, 2013: Texas Chainsaw

Posted by phil blankenship, January 13, 2013 08:19pm | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Irvine, Orange County's City of Innovation

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 13, 2013 12:13pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION


Irvine skyline

For a while now Irvine has shared the top spot on my poll (see the end of the post to vote) but I’ve put it off because of the time required to explore such a sprawling, distant city. There was also a time when most of my blog’s non-LA fans were Irvine residents, which intrigued me. All of my business conducted there in the past involved getting lost several times and this time would prove to be no different.



Irvine - the Dead End Capital of Orange County

Irvine is a large (170 km2 – the largest city in the county, area-wise), planned, suburban city near the center of Orange County but generally considered to be part of the South County region. In 2008, CNNMoney.com named Irvine the fourth best place to live in the country. It has topped the FBI’s list of safest American cities with populations of over 65,000 for the last eight years.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of South County


When I told people that I was writing about Irvine, most people expressed the view that -- because it's a planned community -- it's an awful, boring place. Now some of the world’s great (or at least interesting) cities are planned communities: Brasília, Islamabad, Kyoto, New Delhi, and Washington, DC. I’m not going to suggest that Irvine is on the same level as those cities but there’s something uniquely attractive and Utopian about planned cities (I know I attempted many ambitious ones whilst playing Sim City). At the same time, there's a lot that's inhuman about them – which can be attractive to if you’re into artifice. But even if one considers Irvine to be the blandest, most sterile place on earth, where there are people there is life or, as a girl from Tustin recently said when we were discussing Irvine, "Well, people like me come from places like that."


  
                      Irvine planners                                                                Aerial view of West Irvine



GEOGRAPHY and LOCATION

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Irvine

Irvine is neighbored by Tustin to the north, Santa Ana to the northwest, Costa Mesa to the west, Newport Beach to the southwest, Laguna Hills onto the southeast, and Lake Forest to the east. San Diego Creek is the city’s primary watercourse and its largest tributary is Peters Canyon Wash. Most of Irvine is situated on a broad, flat valley between Loma Ridge in the north and the San Joaquin Hills in the south although the northern annexations of previously unincorporated Orange County is characterized by its hills, plateaus and canyons.

While Irvine is undoubtedly safe, its completely planned character and restrictions seem to have effectively stifled most unofficial, unsanctioned expressions of culture and individuality. Every neighborhood (subdivisions euphemistically referred to as villages) has its chosen, specific character and the same sorts of strip malls, commercial centers, churches, schools, and parks designed to make them self-contained and cut down on unnecessary commuting. People have come up with joking mottoes for the city including "Irvine: We Have 62 Different Words for Beige," "Where Bland is in Demand," "Sixteen Zip Codes, Six Floor Plans," "Sorry, I Thought This Was My House," and "City by the Beige." It's widely referred to as "The Bubble." In 2011, the OC Register ran a story titled, "Breaking News: Non-beige homes approved in Irvine."

A side effect of this is that it’s hard for the casual explorer. How to prioritize visiting one neighborhood over another? The overall effect is very samey (in spite of the attempts at varied village identities) and center-less. Few buildings rise above two stories and from the street I continually couldn't see much besides trees, walls, and rooftops. Few things caught me eye and piqued my interest.


View of Irvine from jet pack


Since it’s so spread out and mostly flat, the best way of exploring Irvine might be by bicycle -- or jet pack. There are 454 km (282 miles) of bike lanes and 71.6 km (44.5 miles) of off-road bike trails. The city is also served by Metrolink’s Orange County Line. Additionally, since 2008, Irvine has offered four bus lines as part of its appley, sorry, aptly-named iShuttle bus service.


Irvine's iShuttle (image source: So Cal Metro)

IRVINE SKYLINE

There are a few taller buildings. The tallest building in Irvine (and third tallest building in Orange County) is the 20-story Park Place Tower, completed in 2007. The previously tallest building in Irvine, the 19-story Jamboree Center, was completed in 1990. The third tallest skyscraper is the 14-story Opus Center Irvine II, completed in 2002. The fourth tallest structure is the 17-story Waterfield Tower, completed in 1987. The Irvine Marriott is also 17-stories and the 2600 Michelson is 16 stories.


As with everywhere, there is culture in Irvine, though it seems to occur in a controlled manner in pre-determined locations. Finding it was a challenge but one I relished undertaking. After all, when the OC Weekly trots out its annual “Best of OC” lists, Irvine always takes a lot -- maybe most -- of the honors.

First a bit of history…

*****

ANTIQUITY TO THE MEXICAN ERA


Ranchos of Orange County, California


Archaeological evidence suggests that the area now occupied by  Irvine has been inhabited for between 12,000 – 18,000 years. Around 2,000 years ago the Tongva arrived from the Sonoran Desert to the east. Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà arrived in 1769 and claimed the land for Spain. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the Spanish ranchos. Portions of three of the ranches – Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Rancho San Joaquin and Rancho Lomas de Santiago – would later become Irvine Ranch.


Map showing Irvine Ranch


EARLY AMERICAN ERA

In 1848, the Mexican-American War ended with Mexico’s defeat and California was admitted to the Union in 1850. In 1864, a calamitous drought convinced Rancho San Joaquin’s owner, the extravagant Jose Andres Sepulveda, to sell 200 km2 to Benjamin and Thomas Flint, Llewellyn Bixby, and Irish immigrant James Irvine (whose portion was by far the largest). In 1866, the group purchased the 190 km2 Rancho Lomas de Santiago. In 1868, lands of Ranch Santiago de Santa Ana were divided among the group, which founded Irvine Ranch as a sheep operation. Irvine Ranch’s lands included those of modern day Irvine as well as most of Newport Beach (aside from Newport Bay), Crystal Cove and Laguna Coast wildernesses, and more surrounding land.


James Irvine house, built in 1868 (image source: Irvine Historical Society)

Irvine commissioned a home to be built in 1868. It was ultimately demolished in 1961. Today, the oldest building on Irvine Ranch (built around 1877) is home to the Irvine Historical Museum and the Irvine Historical Society (established in 1977). Today the building is the oldest wooden home between Anaheim and San Diego

In 1876, after another devastating drought, James Irvine bought his partners’ interests. Irvine died in 1886. In 1887, the Santa Fe Railroad (actually the San Bernardino and San Diego Railroad subsidiary) extended its line south to Fallbrook Junction and a station was added on Irvine Ranch. In 1888, Orange County split from Los Angeles County. Irvine’s son, James Irvine, Jr, incorporated his father’s holdings as The Irvine Company when he inherited it on his 25th birthday, in 1892. He later began shifting the ranching focus from sheep to cattle. He also oversaw the diversification of the ranch's agriculture by planting olives, citrus crops, and lima beans. Irvine also began subdividing some of the land and allowing tenant farmers to work it.



THE VILLAGE OF MYFORD 


Irvine Service Station (source: First American)


Around 1909 a town arose around the new stop named Myford (“Irvine” was already taken by a stop and town in Calaveras County, named after another Irvine in the family), after Irvine’s son when houses began to appear. A blacksmith’s had been built in 1888. In 1889 a barely warehouse was constructed, as was Myford’s first school. The Irvine General Store was added in 1912 after proprietor Kate Munger finally convinced Irvine to allow her to do so over his objections that working was unladylike. In 1913, the Irvine Hotel was built behind the general store. 



The Irvine Hotel (source: First American)



TOMATO SPRINGS BANDIT

In 1912, a drifter named Joe Matlock asked Irvine Ranch resident William Cook for work and was told that there was none. He later returned and tied up Cook's thirteen-year-old daughter and attacked his sixteen-year-old daughter. He then retreated to Tomato Springs (now Portola Springs) and a posse was formed to pursue him. The next morning he forced a rancher at gun point to feed him. When the posse caught up with him, Matlock killed deputy sheriff Robert Squire after shooting him six times. Three other deputies were shot and wounded before Matlock was felled, most likely by his own hand. Unrecognized, his corpse was paraded around Santa Ana before his identity was discovered. It turned out he was son of a onetime Eugene, Oregon mayor. He was buried as Ira Jones to save his father from embarrassment.



EARLY IRVINE


Railroad passing through Irvine with bean packing plant (source: Dissent the Blog)

In 1914, after the death of William Irvine (the Irvine that the Irvine in Calaveras County was named after), that town was renamed Carson Hill. Soon after, the residents of Myford renamed their town Irvine. By the 1920s, the Venta Spur of the railroad shipped citrus from the many then-new processing plants in what’s now Northwood to the rest of the county. (The plants began to close in the 1970s and the line was finally abandoned in 1985 and converted to a bike trail in 1999. Another railroad spur, the Irvine Industrial Spur, is also currently being considered for conversion to bike path.) A second school was built in 1929 and the original school became a community hall. The second school was later destroyed by arson.


Irvine Ranch Historic Park avocado grove



Irvine Ranch Historic Park buildings -- tenant housing?



EL TORO 



The Marine Corps Air Station El Toro circa 1947


During World War II, 4,000 acres of lima bean fields (Irvine was once the world’s largest producer of the legume) government for the establishment of the MCAS El Toro and the Tustin Marine Base. The loss of land to military bases, the loss of farmers to the war and the resultant changing tax base marked the end of Irvine’s agricultural period. James Irvine, Jr, died in 1947 aged 80. At that time, Myford assumed the presidency of the Irvine Company and began allowing for limited urban developments of select areas.


JAMBOREE ROAD


Jamboree Road


In 1953, Irvine Ranch hosted the Boy Scouts’ third National Jamboree in what’s now Newport Beach. Jamboree Road, which connects Orange to Newport Beach, was thus named in honor of the event. On 11 January 1959, Myford Irvine commit suicide by shooting himself with a .22 revolver, first in the abdomen and then the head.


UC IRVINE



After Myford’s unexpected suicide, the University of California asked The Irvine Company for 4 km2 on which to build a new campus. Most of the land was basically donated (sold for $1) and an additional 2 km2 were purchased for a larger amount. University of California Irvine (UCI) opened in 1965 and is the second newest of the University of California’s campus, after the one in Merced. The UCI campus includes many of Irvine’s most interesting attractions. There’s Aldrich Park, Anteater Recreation Center, Beall Center for Art & Technology, Bren Events Center, CAC Gallery, Irvine Arboretum, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Room Gallery, The Hill, University Art Gallery, and the University Club. In 1967, famous photographer Ansel Adams photographed the campus, designed by futurist architect William Pereira -- best known for designing LACMA and later, San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid. (Click here to see a slide show of both Adams's photos and recreations called In Ansel Adams' Footsteps).

OTHER SCHOOLS IN IRVINE

Nowadays UCI is joined in the field of academia by Brandman University, Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California, and satellite campuses of Alliant International University, California State University Fullerton, University of La Verne, Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Irvine, and Pepperdine University


BIRTH OF A CITY


Ray Watson (in black hat) on the Irvine Ranch (source: Raymond L. Watson Papers) 


In the 1960s, Irvine Ranch employee Raymond Watson and the UCI’s consulting architect, William Pereira, drew up plans for a 50,000 population City of Irvine to surround the new school. The small agricultural town (formerly Myford) that had grown up around the train station and post office was re-named East Irvine. The early "villages" (again, Irvine's designation for neighborhoods) included Culverdale (now Westpark), El Camino Real, NorthwoodTurtle Rock, University Park, and Walnut. They were all incorporated along with Irvine on 28, December, 1971 with a combined population of about 10,000 people. Science-Fiction fan and idealist Pereira was quoted as saying of the planners' approach “An ounce of farsighted planning is worth a pound of urban renewal a generation hence.” 


William L. Pereira amongst renderings


OTHER IRVINE VILLAGES

Watson described each of the villages as “a series of pearls, each special in its own way.” Although obviously a booster of his planned community, the neighborhoods are all close to numerous recreational features like lakes, parks and open spaces as well as schools and shopping centers. A few, like Turtle Rock, are named after the natural features around which they are built.

Nowadays other villages include College Park, Columbus Grove, Deerfield, El Camino Glen, Greentree, Harvard Square, Heritage Fields, Irvine Groves, Irvine Spectrum (yes, the big mall is a village), Laguna Altura, Lambert Ranch, Northpark, Northpark Square, Oak Creek, Old Towne Irvine, Orangetree, Orchard Hills, Park Lane, Parkside, Planning Area 40, Portola Springs, Quail Hill, Racquet Club, Rancho San Joaquin, Rosegate, Shady Canyon, Stonegate, The Colony, The Ranch, The Willows, Turtle Ridge, University Hills, University Town Center, West Irvine, Windwood, Woodbridge, Woodbury, and Woodbury East.


Grand entrance into one of Irvine's currently-under-construction villages


Entry into each village is marked by triumphal arches with unused seating areas, towers, gates, or sections of walls that monumentalize the mundane – the same way Irvine does its shopping centers. This kind of architectural practice isn't unique to Irvine. I’ve seen many mid-century apartments with Polynesian elements billed with names like “The Sleepy Lagoon” or mock Tudor complexes named things like “Cavalier Arms Manor” or what have you. I often amuse myself with the hoity-toity names of banal strip malls... but Irvine does it on an almost Disney/Vegas/Dubai scale with a lack of whimsy that suggests to me a completely straight face. 


IRVINE IN ITS SECOND DECADE


  
                                       Wild Rivers                                                                      The Marketplace - Irvine


The population of Irvine surpassed the planned 50,000 figure in its first decade of existence and surpassed 62,000 by 1980. That decade witnessed the formation of several new institutions. The Ayn Rand Institute was founded in 1985, three years after the founder of Objectivism’s death. Rand had earlier founded The Foundation for the New Intellectual but it was dissolved when the ARI was founded. A year after the ARI was established, the water park Wild Rivers opened on the site of the former Lion Country Safari, a drive-through zoo. Following the expiration of its lease with the The Irvine Company, it closed in 2011 but after a sale, is set to reopen in 2014. In 1988, the Irvine Company opened The Marketplace, a mall that straddles the border of Irvine and Tustin. It was designed by my least favorite architect (nothing personal), Ricardo Legorreta. Legorreta also designed the Camino Real Hotel in Mexico. Angelenos are probably more familiar with his brutalist/post-modern hybrid structures in Downtown's Pershing Square.


IRVINE AT THE END OF THE CENTURY

1990 saw Irvine’s population pass the 100,000 mark. A sort of downtown was constructed to serve the surging population, the Irvine Spectrum Center.

IRVINE SPECTRUM CENTER


Moroccan minaret at the mall - a muezzin makes the call to shop five times a day




Before there were similar outdoor mall/ersatz downtowns like Fairfax's The Grove, Glendale's The Americana, Monterey Park's Atlantic Times Square, or San Gabriel's The San Gabriel Square and there was The Irvine Spectrum Center. The first part of it opened in 1995, when most suburbs were still in love with indoor malls. The final phase was completed in 2006. As with Irvine's villages, different areas of the mall have different architectural themes. There's also a merry-go-round, a Ferris wheel, and in winter, an ice skating rink.





HAN TWINS MURDER CONSPIRACY


Intro to Evil Twins (including tacky "Asian" music)

The other big news of the '90s was the so-called Han Twins Murder Conspiracy. In November, 1996, Jeena Han supposedly conspired to murder her twin sister, Sunny. The Han sisters were born in South Korea and moved to Orange County when they were twelve with their mother, Boo I. Kim. Kim was a cocktail waitress and compulsive gambler who left the girls to fend for themselves sometimes for days at a time. After being sent to live with an uncle, they became co-valedictorians at their high school in Campo. After high school, however, their lives both went pear-shaped, culminating in a sensational series of events covered on an A&E documentary, Sister Against Sister: The Twin Murder Plot (1999), The Investigators episode "Evil Twin" (2001), the Snapped episode “Jeena Han” (2005), and the pilot episode of the Investigation Discovery show, Evil Twins. Meanwhile, the sisters have reconciled and many mostly Korean-Americans (including Sunny) have attempted to secure Jeena's freedom -- some apparently chalking up the whole affair to so-called "K Rage."


21st CENTURY IRVINE


Orange County Great Park hot air balloon 


After a decline in Irvine’s growth in the 1990s, it once again increased in the 2000s. In 2003, the 19 km2 of land occupied by the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (until 1999) was re-annexed by Irvine. It is currently being transformed into Orange County Great Park which will, when completed, be Orange County’s largest municipal park. Since 2007, visitors can visit and board a hot air balloon that climbs 500 feet into the air.


THE BIOFERM SHOOTING

High profile crime returned to Irvine in 2000 when the Biofem, Inc’s chief executive, James Patrick Riley, was shot in the face at the firm's offices by a masked gunman who sped away in a van that turned out to be owned by Dino D’Saachs. Phone records showed that D’Saachs had spoken with one of Riley’s co-workers, Larry Creed Ford, that morning. After the police questioned Ford about the crime he commit suicide at his home in the Woodbridge village. A suicide note professed his innocence but added that there were things of interest to the police in his home. Upon investigation, the authorities discovered vessels buried in his yard containing C-4 and assault rifles. His refrigerator contained 266 bottles and vials of pathogens including Clostridium tetani and Clostridum difficile. It turned out that the company were close to developing a new female contraceptive and also had ties to South Africa’s biological weapons program. Suffice to say, it was all very odd. (Read a much more in-depth account here).


NEW HOUSES OF WORSHIP


Pao Fa Temple (image source: Anita L.)


Pao Fa Temple (寶法寺), one of the largest Buddhist monasteries and temples in the US, opened in 2002. It was founded by Taiwanese abbot, Venerable Jen-Yi (真一法師), on advice he received from Venerable Master Hsuan Hua of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas back in 1990.


The Islamic Center of Irvine (source: Tashfeen B.)


The Islamic Center of Irvine was founded in 2004. It’s one of the largest Muslim congregations in California. A con man from Tustin, Craig Monteilh, claimed to have spied on the congregation on behalf of the FBI. The story was covered on PRI’s This American Life episode, “The Convert.”


IRVINE TODAY

The most recent population estimate, that of the California Department of Finance, estimates it to be 223,729. One time Irvine resident Zack De La Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine) once raged against Irvine, stating that it was "one of the most racist cities imaginable. If you were a Mexican in Irvine, you were there because you had a broom or a hammer in your hand." De La Rocha moved there in 1971, when the population was barely over 10,000 and the racial demographics were very different. Today Irvine is a fairly diverse city with a population that is roughly 45% non-Latino white, 40% Asian, 9% Latino, and 2% black.

*****

ARTS & CULTURE IN IRVINE


Performers at the Irvine Global Village Festival 


The most celebrated cultural event in Irvine is the Irvine Global Village Festival, which takes place every annually and celebrates the ethnic diversity of Irvine’s populace. It began in 1998 as the Multicultural Festival and took its current name in 2001.


Outside the Irvine Fine Arts Center


Artists' Tales - Erin Dunn exhibit


Inside the Irvine Fine Arts Center

I actually started my exploration of Irvine at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. It opened in 1980 and offers both exhibition and education spaces. On the day that I visited the exhibit was titled “Artists’ Tales” (although the sign above the entrance said “Artist’s Tales.” It was a group exhibit featuring installations, video art, drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces, dioramas, sculptures and more from Erin Dunn, Kristi Kent, Nathan Margoni, and Siobhan McClure. In a classroom, adult students were busy making their own art.


PARKS


Heritage Park 


After I left the Arts Center I strolled around Heritage Park, on which it is located. There was a multitude of Canada Geese and other species of goose as well as a large variety of ducks, and therefore an astonishing amount of guano to dodge. Heritage Park is a community park and includes the Heritage Park Community Center.


Heritage Park Community Center


The center is home to swimming pools, soccer fields, tennis courts, racquetball courts, grills, play areas, basketball courts, concession stands and (with reservation only) bounce houses.


Northwood Community Park soccer fields


Whatever criticisms one might have of Irvine, it is decidedly not park-poor. In addition to Heritage Park there is Alton Athletic Park, Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, Deerfield Community Park (which includes a nine-hole Frisbee golf course), Harvard Athletic Park, Harvard Skatepark, Hicks Canyon Park, Jeffrey Open Space Trail, Lakeview Senior Center, Las Lomas Community Park, Lower Peters Canyon Community Park, Northwood Community Park, Oak Creek Community Park, Portola Springs Community Park, Quail Hill Community Park, Rancho Senior Center, Turtle Rock Community Park, University Community Park, Windrow Community Park, Woodbridge Community Park, and Woodbury Community Park.


Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial


Northwood Park includes the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial – the first war memorial erected in the country before the wars in question were over. In 2010 it listed the names of over 5,700 Americans who’ve died in the current military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s updated with the names of more deceased soldiers yearly and I stopped by. Other public spaces not part of Irvine’s parks department include the aforementioned Aldritch Park in the UC Irvine campus, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, and William R. Mason Regional Park.

There are also, by design, neighborhood parks (as opposed to the aforementioned public, community parks) for the various villages including Alderwood Park, Blue Gum Park, Brywood Park, Canyon Park, Carrotwood Park, Chaparral Park, Citrusglen Park, College Park, Comstock Park, Coralwood Park, Creekview Park, Dovecreek Park, Flagstone Park, Hoeptner Park, Homestead Park, Knollcrest Park, Meadowood Park, Orchard Park, Pepperwood Park, Pinewood Park, Plaza Park, Presley Park, Racquet Club Park, Ranch Park, San Carlo Park, San Leandro Park, San Marco Park, Settler's Park, Silkwood Park, Sweet Shade Park, Sycamore Park, Trailwood Park, Valencia Park, Valley Oak Park, Willows Park, and Woodside.


LIBRARIES

Irvine has three public libraries: Heritage Park Regional Library (the collection of which is largely focused on business), University Park Library (the collection of which includes a substantial Chinese collection), and Katie Wheeler Library. Most of UCI’s libraries are open to the public as well.


Katie Wheeler Library


On the day of my visit I checked out the latter. Katie Wheeler was the granddaughter of James Irvine and the library is a replica of the home in which she grew up. I tried to glean what I could from the book Irvine Ranch – different by design: images 1960 – 2000 but couldn’t dally because I still had much ground to cover and the December day was short.


PERFORMING ARTS


The marquee of the Irvine Improv


There aren’t many proper music venues for a city of Irvine’s size. There’s the whimsically-named Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre (opened as Irvine Meadows in 1981) and performers sometimes pop in at Bacchus' Secret Cellar Wine Shoppe and Bar but that seems to be about it. Irvine Barclay Theatre & Cheng Hall and Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center both feature a wider array of performing arts. As far as proper theater there’s New Swan Theater. As far as dinner theater, there’s the annual Madrigal Dinner at UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. For comedy there's the Irvine Improv.



Emily Sassy Lime from Sadie Shaw on Vimeo.

10 Records You May Have Missed in 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, January 11, 2013 01:39pm | Post a Comment

We’ve already done our fair share of end-of-the-year lists, but with all the hooplah about Kendrick Lamar this and Beach House that, we were bound to miss a few records that some of us really loved. Below are 10 you can download from Amoeba.com.

 

Iris Dement - Sing The Delta

$9.98

Dement’s woozy voice and salt-of-the-earth lyrics have please roots country fans for years, and in 2012 she released one of her best collections yet, Sing the Delta. She can sing a blues ballad to break your heart (“Before the Colors Fade”) or a rollicking country rocker (“The Night I Learned How Not to Pray”) with equal ease, her voice carrying a remarkable tone that pierces through like a biting wind chill.

 

 

 

 

Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe

$9.98

Former Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn produced this welcome return from soul legend Bobby Womack, not treating him overly reverentially but instead offering here-and-now electro-blues soundscapes for Womack’s voice, wizened yet raw after years of tribulations, to scrawl his memories over. A duet with Lana Del Rey (“Dayglo Reflection”) comes off better than anyone could have hoped. Womack is at his best on the bold title track and rave-up “Jubilee (Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around).” Watch a teaser of our interview with Bobby Womack below; see the full interview here.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 01.11.13: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5, Bay Area Concert Picks, New Kounterclockwise Video + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment
Kounterclockwise "Outside The Lines"

Krip-hop crew Kounterclockwise, comprised of husband and wife Kaya Carine Gabriel and Deacon Burns who were interviewed here on the Amoeblog about a year ago, have just released their latest music video. For the duo's engaging track "Outside The Lines" the music video is animated and directed by Jim Lujan and features Deacon spitting such attention-grabbing, emotionally charged lyrics as: "I'm at the bottom of the great black pit covered in piss and shit, can't do a damn thing about it except call out to Kaya,  drowning in fire water, but i can't breath without it. When you're a never was, hard to remember what it was that made you want to do music. I'm being punished for my habits but I can't control what I inherit. I feel like a hobbit trying to get to Mordor in a fuckin wheelchair, i can't make it. I'm form without content, only content when i'm wasted nothing but abuse and substance. I'm giving you my two-week notice, emotional sickness life makes me nauseous. I feel so useless like the dick on a full-blown paraplegic, life's a bitch!"  The MidWest based Kounterclockwise will be in the Bay Area next month for the Krip-Hop Nation Bay Area mini tour.  More instant info, and also here on the Amoeblog at that time.
 
AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JANUARY 11, 2013
 

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

January 10, 2012: A Haunted House

Posted by phil blankenship, January 11, 2013 12:31am | Post a Comment

Weekly Roundup: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Bleached, Local Natives

Posted by Billy Gil, January 10, 2013 02:59pm | Post a Comment

This inaugural Weekly Roundup features some great new tunes by Bleached, Local Natives and more. Just a refresher: This is the place where I highlight local and up-and-coming artists from around the LA and SF area, mostly. Email me at [email protected] if you would like to be included!

 

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “We the Common (For Valerie Bolden)”

SF resident Thao and her Get Down Stay Down have released the first song from their upcoming new album We the Common. It’s a bigger, more fully produced sound and more politically charged song than her previous work, and I think the changes suit her music well. We the Common is due Feb. 5 on Ribbon Music.

 

Bleached – “Next Stop”

LA punks Bleached, lead by the Clavin sisters Jessica and Jennifer (formerly of Mika Miko), released one of my favorite songs of last year, “Searching Through the Past.” Now their first full-length record, Ride Your Heart, is up for release April 2 on Dead Oceans. “Next Stop” is the first taste of that record and features the hard-charging surf punk guitars and scrappy sister harmonies of their previous singles, honed down into a hearty two-and-a-half minutes.

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Where My Ears Went in 2012

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 10, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment

SANDRO PERRI Impossible Spaces
(Constellation Records)

Easily the most confounding sound I heard this last year. In all truth, this record was released in late 2011, but I didn't find any indicators pointing towards it until this year. Perri is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer from Toronto, Canada who also creates electronica under the name Polmo Polpo. On Impossible Spaces, Perri presents a light, meandering soul in a voice that sometimes reminds me of Michael Franks, sometimes Antony, sometimes Christopher Cross. It's a strange tone to hear in 2012, but it is all couched and wrapped in, levitated and nudged along by a busy production of electronica, (fretless?) bass, warped keyboards and processed saxophone that keeps pulling my ear deep into its sheer inventiveness. Guaranteed to confuse.








MOUNT EERIE Clear Moon
((P.W.Elverum & Sun)  

One of this year's two "sister" releases (with Ocean's Roar), Clear Moon, is issued, as it should be, on clear vinyl. Phil Elverum, the creative force behind Mount Eerie and its former incarnation, Microphones, is a master of mood. His albums are for headphones, for closed eyes, akin to sitting alone (or with silent friends) in the forest or on some chilled rocky outcropping from where you can see no sign of civilization and yet always aware that its there.




From the lyrics of "Through The Trees Pt.2":  

I meant all my songs
not as a picture of the woods
but just to remind myself
that I briefly live.

The gleaming stone,
the moon in the sky at noon
there is no other world
and there has never been.









TY SEGALL Twins
(Drag City)

There's truly been enough said on many, many other posts about this record and I don't have much to add. It's a clear fruition of a current Bay Area vibe that blends a brutal garage attack with savvy, almost sing-songy melodies. It gets under your skin and deep into your booty bones. After that, well, nature just takes its course.












This appearance on David Letterman shows what we're dealing with here: probably one of the most ferocious performances to hit that stage in years!






THEE OH SEES Putrifiers II EP
(In The Red)

Close akin to Ty Segall, but working the Bay Area garage mines much longer are John Dwyer and his amazing THEE OH SEES. In my opinion the greatest freak-your-butt-off-on-the-dancefloor band currently working. They keep making really, really great records and they keep putting on really, really great shows. The attack is huge, the melodies are weird and pretty and infectious and if you get in sonic range you will sprain your tail feather! They are quickly becoming my "most seen live" band. Purtrifiers definitely does not fit the traditional meaning of the term "EP," as it contains 10 songs. The track "Lupine Dominus" is a real high point in their career packed with high points and its video is great wordless, short-story film making that all film students should study: sex-sturbing!









LED ER EST The Diver
(Sacred Bones)

Sacred Bones has become a really excellent label. You can go to their stable and pretty much pick a winner with your eyes closed. Led Er Est's latest is digging through the minimal wave sound that has become the flavor with which I would most identify 2012's reigning underground trend. However, except for a few darksynth dancefloor nods ('Kaiyo Maru,' 'Divided Parallel,' 'La Lluvia Y Memoria') the rest of the album is much more Coil than Gary Numan. Brooding and beautiful collage structures for night scenes.









COSMONAUTS 
If You Wanna Die Then I Wanna Die
 (Burger)  

I saw these guys open for THEE OH SEES last year in Long Beach and was stunned. Apiece with the evening's blistering garage vibe, but with a little more of the SoCal surf vibe in the mix. Remember when Jesus & Mary Chain really knew how to drive a garage/surf anthem off the tracks? You don't? Oh, right...I'm old.














SOFT MOON Zeros
 (Captured Tracks)  

Zeros is, for the most part, an instrumental album. Even what vocals appear are there as more texture to layer on the darkness. There's a clear line of philosophy between mid-80s 4AD recordings by Cindytalk (hear "It's Luxury") and the oeuvre of this one-man band, Luis Vasquez. The bass is very Cure and the atmosphere is dark and gothy and only sometimes danceable ('Zeros,' 'Die Life,' 'Lost  Years'), and that might even be a stretch as the atmosphere is so thick. Great deep layers of bass, guitar, drum-machine and lots of electronic textures to get buried beneath. 






MERIDIEN BROTHERS Desesperanza
 (Sound Way)

Sometimes you just need something that weirds you out clear to the bone.

You can read another review by AMOEBA's World Music Buyer here: https://www.amoeba.com/blog/2012/10/los-angeles-me/meridian-brothers-desesperanza-.html

I, too, was reminded of the Latin Playboys on first listen. So playful and funny and spooky and just plain weird. The title track is a real stand-out for me, clearly revealing the traditional rhythms beneath Eblis Alvarez' near dead-pan delivery. 








HOLOGRAMS Holograms
(Captured Tracks)  

Ultimately nothing new going on on this record, but sometimes its just exciting to taste that old wine from new bottles. Joy Division, very early Killing Joke, lots of different influences that these Scandinavian kids wear on their sleeves, but the raw sparks they throw make it one of the year's better rides.















TWIN SHADOW Confess
(4AD)  

It shouldn't work. There's something very Corey Hart "Sunglasses At Night" about George Lewis Jr.'s TWIN SHADOW output.  He uses the word 'heart' more often than should be allowed and it's all so expectedly painful, these workings and mis-workings of love. But it's all handled with the right amount of swagger and brattiness and truly elegant panache. There's such balance to these songs; never too beaty, never too whispy, the tuneful balanced by the crude, the near-whispered offset by the shout. The rhythms are clearly 80's (the opening bass and drums of 'The One' seem a direct tribute to Pat Benatar's 'Love Is A Battlefield'), and Lewis clearly has a way with lyrics that find a way to retell the old story. All in all a significant accomplishment that deepens as the songs settle in over repeated listens.





 Re-Issue and Re-births:




Various Artists ITALIA NEW WAVE
(Spittle)

Subtitled, "Minimal Synth, No Wave & Post Punk Sounds From The 80's Italian Underground." OK. I'm on board. Who knew? The insipid "Days" by Jeunesse D'Ivoire is to be avoided, but otherwise not a throw-away track in the bunch. Stand-outs include N.O.I.A.'s funk-synth "Forbidden Planet,"  "Your Eyes" by State Of Art and the deep pulse of Fockewulf 190's "WeAre Colder."









TIM MAIA Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul Of Tim Mai
a (Luaka Bop)

This Vol. 4 of Luaka Bop's 'World Psychedelic Classics' series was 10 years in the making. Very little here I would classify under 'psychedelia' (other than the lyrics), but it is all super groovy latin-tinged, funk-soul, proto-disco not too far afield from Funkadelic's classic recordings. Maia's vocals have a gravelly undertone reminiscent of Taj Mahal in the lower registers and the overall thickness of his delivery, for some reason, seems of a piece with the funk. All four sides of this release are gem-studded, but the very last track, 'Rational Culture' is the stunner; a bubbling funk-disco universal consciousness realization manifesto that should be on every disco night playlist. "We're gonna rule the world. Don't you know? Don't you know?"







Various Artists PERSONAL SPACE: Electronic Soul 1974-1984
(Chocolate Industries)  

Could this be the best collection ever made?! God love the bin-diggers! It starts strong and then just lifts up and away! If Guitar Red's "Disco From A Space Show" doesn't blow you right out of the room you betta' check a pulse! Funk-eologist Dante Carfagna has compiled a masterpiece of off-kilter, early electronica-steeped funk that just gives and gives. SERIOUSLY! Hear this! 









                                                

First Fridays at the Natural History Museum with Mary Roach and Adventuretime!

Posted by Amoebite, January 10, 2013 01:28pm | Post a Comment

It's time for February's edition of 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 February 1st from 5-10pm for live performances from Adventuretime featuring Daedelus and Mark Frosty McNeil from dublab and The Gaslamp Killer, special DJs, and a guest lecture from Mary Roach ("Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex").

PLUS: Check out the Amoeba Music booth to purchase a $20 Amoeba Gift Certificates for just $10! Limit 2 per person. Valid only at First Fridays on 2/1.

Find out more HERE!




Gaslamp Killer - What's In My Bag?


New Justin Timberlake Album Coming Soon?

Posted by Rachael McGovern, January 10, 2013 11:12am | Post a Comment

 

Justin Timberlake has the internet (and me, who am I kidding?) in a tizzy this morning after what appears to be hints that he has a new album coming soon. After a simple message on his Twitter last night telling people to tune in this morning, he tweeted saying just "To Whom It May Concern...I'm Ready" and a link to a video with the same name.

 

 

Justin Timberlake Twitter

 

The clip features the artist walking through many rooms with his voice over answering the question about whether he is done making music and explaining his process making music. The video ends with him going into the booth in a recording studio, putting on a pair of headphones, and saying "I'm Ready."

Unfortunately it's just a tease as we apparently have to wait until Sunday for the next announcement. I want details! Confirmation that this is actually happening would be nice. Then a first track, album date, tour dates...Is that too much to ask?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, JT has been working on a full album with Timbaland. Their work together on his first two albums was pretty amazing, so I have pretty high expectations, but I'll try to keep my excitement in check. For a few more days at least. Come on JT, the music world misses you!

Boston Actor/Rapper Slaine of La Coka Nostra Balances Active Hip-Hop And Movie Careers

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2013 11:11am | Post a Comment

Slaine "The Boston Project" sneak peak (will arrive in Amoeba in March, 2013)

More than any other popular musical genre hip-hop seems to be the one that artists frequently and effortlessly transition from music into acting. The long list of those hip-hop artists who have successfully done so includes (to name but a few) Ice Cube, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, Common, LL Cool J, Ice T, Ludacris, EminemSnoop Dogg, and of course the late great 2Pac/Tupac Shakur. Add to that list Slaine of rap super group La Coka Nostra. The Boston rapper, born George Carroll, is in the recently released Andrew Dominik directed film Killing Them Softly (starring Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini) and has also recently completed his second solo album, The Boston Project on Suburban Noize/Commonwealth Records, which will arrive in Amoeba Music in March, 2013.

Slaine considers his forthcoming album (the follow up to 2011's World With No Skies 2.0) his way of giving a little bit back to the city that he loves and that has given him so much over the years. He says that, "When most people think of Boston, hip-hop usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but the level of talent that is coming out of this city is insane. I wanted to create a record that highlights what this city has to offer musically and show how diverse the talent is. This record embodies something much larger than just a Slaine record." To further prove that point he enlisted many of Beantown's finest talents on the The Boston Project including Termanology, Reks, Esoteric, Ed O.G., Smoke Bulga, Lou Armstrong, Jaysaun, and Millyz along with Boston based producer Lu Balz.

Continue reading...

And the Oscar nominees are...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 10, 2013 08:01am | Post a Comment

The Oscar Nominees were just announced this morning at 5:30 AM. I seriously can't believe some of these nominees. And I am seriously blown away that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow were not nominated for Best Director. I know that a lot of people are freaking out right now. I knew that Cloud Atlas would get nothing but I was really hoping a miracle could happen but it did not. The acting categories were all pretty much what we had expected. See how Jackie and I did with our predictions below. I put a "J" for Jackie and a "B" for Brad if we predicted the correct nominee. I gave us a lower case "j" and a lower case"b" if we picked it as one of our strong possiblities...

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Amour” B J
  • “Argo” B J
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” b J
  • “Django Unchained” B J
  • “Les Misérables” B J
  • “Life of Pi” B J
  • “Lincoln” B J
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” B J
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” B J
JACKIE=9 OUT OF 9
BRAD=8 OUT OF 9 + 1 POSSIBILITY

Moonrise Kingdom missing out in the 9 picks. It should have been 10 nominees!

Achievement in directing

  • “Amour” Michael Haneke b
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Ang Lee B j
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg B J
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell J
JACKIE=2 OUT OF 5 + 1 POSSIBILITY
BRAD=2 OUT OF 5 + 1 POSSIBILITY

Continue reading...

New Preorders: Jim James, Beach Fossils, Veronica Falls and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 9, 2013 07:17pm | Post a Comment

Read below for preorders recently made available at Amoeba. I've linked to vinyl LP on all of these, but they're all available to preorder on CD as well. See all of the albums up for preorder here.

 

John Paul White - The Long Goodbye

Out Jan. 22

The Civil Wars man is embarking on a solo release. Check out The Civil Wars' live show at Amoeba here. Download the performance here.

 

Ra Ra Riot - Beta Love

Out Jan. 22

The latest from the indie-pop band features the melancholy synths and vocoder jam "When I Dream."

 

Tomahawk - Oddfellows

Out Jan. 29

Continue reading...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a Day On, Not Off. Your Guide to LA, SF & Oakland.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 9, 2013 05:39pm | Post a Comment

Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since 1986, every third Monday in January is dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. In 1994, Congress named MLK Jr. Day as a national day of service in honor of his objectives. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?" Although you may get the day off of school or work, MLK Day can be seen as "a day on, not a day off."  

If you are looking for a way to be part of the soultion and do for others, or want to observe the great man with a parade or concert, please see our list below of events in the Los Angeles area and in the Bay Area.

Los Angeles Area:

Lancaster: Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day on Jan. 19
The year 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of Lancaster's annual Day of Service event in honor of Dr. King.
Various locations
661-723-6077

Santa Monica: Soka Gakkai International Auditorium Presentation on Jan. 19
Hosted by the Santa Monica College, the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration is free of charge to attend. It is billed as a "multiethnic interfaith program" that features readings, presentations, music and community news. 
525 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica
310-434-4000

Continue reading...

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #16: Andy Kaufman, WFMU Benefit, GlobalFEST, No Pants Subway Ride, Beatles @ Carnegie Hall

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2013 10:32am | Post a Comment

Now at the end of month four in our weekly reports from New York City, this is the New York State Of Mind Amoeblog #16 with updates on such events in the week ahead as the GlobalFEST 2013, the unique new Andy Kaufman exhibit/show On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman, the Improv Everywhere's annual No Pants Subway Ride NYC, the Beatles 1964 Tribute at Carnegie Hall, and the post-Hurricane Sandy Recovery WFMU Mini Record Fair and Benefit Concert.

Of all events in New York in the week ahead, the most important one is this Sunday's anticipated WFMU Mini-Record Fair and benefit concert with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Arrington Di Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, Dot Wiggin Band (The Shaggs affiliated act), and The Relatives happening at The Bell House in Brooklyn. The big one day make up event (due to Sandy) is split into two parts: the record fair is from 11am to 5pm and the concert is from 7:30pm to 11pm. 11am is the recommended time to arrive at the record fair because it is expected to be mad packed since the original fair was cancelled and also by the fact that it is being held in the smaller space than where it normally takes place. At the very latest, get there by 3pm when doors close and no more admissions to the record fair will be allowed due to space constraints.

Continue reading...

(Wherein we wish woved ones well!)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 9, 2013 10:25am | Post a Comment



Here's a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal spitting out sea water and a dead unicorn.
You're welcome.

The day after Thanksgiving I was returning my home to its normal layout. (We’d transformed our living room into a banquet hall; it looked good, but I still don’t know how I’m going to repair the dent in the floor left by the wind octet.) In the process of carrying the pool with live swans upstairs to the sewing room (you have to make due when living in the city) I heard a sound come from my lower back that sounded like an excerpt from a composition by Harry Partch


Yes, Christmas came early and Santa brought me sciatica. (Even though I specifically asked for a pony. With sciatica.)

What is sciatica? It is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that give rise to each sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the left or right or both sciatic nerves, the source of which typically stems from tiny devils prodding the inside of your bowels after the neighborhood witch has cursed you.


This is exactly what my leg looks like now.

As a result, I haven’t been able to sit at my desk for a month and I’ve been doped up on pain-killers, steroids and craziest of all, smoking those reefer cigarettes.

Continue reading...

January 8, 2013: Seven Psychopaths

Posted by phil blankenship, January 9, 2013 12:45am | Post a Comment

January 8, 2013: Life Of Pi

Posted by phil blankenship, January 8, 2013 10:43pm | Post a Comment

HOMER's WIMB? (What If Homer Simpson Did an Amoeba What's In My Bag?)

Posted by Billyjam, January 8, 2013 05:00pm | Post a Comment

Ever since Amoeba fan/Simpsons creator Matt Groening recently paid tribute to Amoeba Music by including an Amoeba Music Hollywood fashioned building (renamed Protozoa Records) in the Season 24, Episode 7 Simpsons show titled "The Day The Earth Stood Cool" that aired in early December I have been scratching my head and wondering what if Homer Simpson were to stop into Amoeba for some music shopping? What would he buy? What would be included in a Homer Simpson's WIMB (What's In My Bag?) episode if he were to go crate digging at Amoeba Music? Based on the numerous songs Homer has cited (most well worn Top 40 pop/rock hits that the cartoon character supposedly grew up listening to) and have been featured in episodes in the long running animated series, now in its 24th year, this is my stab at what Homer's WIMB might look like.

Bear in mind that this list only scratches the surface since over the years Groening and company have incorporated such a long list of hit songs into The Simpsons. In fact the show must have racked up quite a bill in copyright fees to license all this popular music for the show. But it is worth it since music often plays such an important role in so many episodes of The Simpsons - especially the Homer related songs. For example, when Homer and Marge pop into the open house next door to them and he imagines buying the house and what it would be like living next door to himself, just how horrible that would be, as he visualizes himself always playing Journey's "Separate Ways" and at way too loud volumes.

Continue reading...

Unleashing My Essay and a Few Others on Django Unchained

Posted by Charles Reece, January 8, 2013 07:44am | Post a Comment

My essay, "Snowball's Chance in Hell," on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is up. I had some problems with the film:

So, instead of a critical reflection of Django’s narrative, complicating his own generically derived existence as black performativity (cf. blaxploitation), Stephen is treated as little more than a blackface projection for white fantasy. As Tarantino has stated over and over in interviews, he clearly wants his audience to take sides, cheer at the ending — not, I conclude, reflect on the problematic that the house negro presents. Django is the oppressed that white folk would like to be in such a situation, fighting for freedom (just as they would now, of course), with Stephen’s freely working for subjugation the negation that gives such freedom meaning — as if chattel slavery and its concomitant subjugation of black identity were a choice made by the subjugated!

Ishmael Reed
really didn't like the film:

Throughout the movie,Tarantino reminds us that the Foxx character is unique. Comic book white racists, when reacting to Django, say things like “I ain’t never seen a n—– like you.”Or “I ain’t never seen a n—– on horseback.” In case you didn’t get the message it’s said twice in the movie that Django is “one in ten thousand” blacks. It might have been Django producer Reginald Hudlin who introduced Tarantino to the “Talented Tenth” concept originated by W.E.B DuBois. I wish that Hudlin had written the movie. As it stands, Foxx is chained to this stupid screenplay.

Tarantino, despite the history of black resistance, apparently believes that progress for blacks has been guided by an elite, which doesn’t explain the hundreds of revolts throughout this hemisphere which weren’t guided by German bounty hunters nor Abraham Lincoln, nor a Talented Tenth Negro.

Regarding Samuel Jackson's Stephen, Jelani Cobb gets it exactly right:

Django’s true nemesis is not the slaveholder who subjects Hildy to cruel punishments but Stephen, the house slave devoutly allied with the slaveholder. The central conflict is not between an ex-slave and a slaver but between two archetypes—the militant and the sellout. But in creating Stephen, Tarantino necessarily trafficked in the stereotypes he was ostensibly responding to. Samuel L. Jackson plays Stephen’s overblown insouciance and anachronistic mf-bombs to great comedic effect. There are moments, however, when ironies cancel each other out, and we’re left with a stark truth—at its most basic, this is an instance in which a white director holds an obsequious black slave up for ridicule. The use of this character as a comic foil seems essentially disrespectful to the history of slavery. Oppression, almost by definition, is a set of circumstances that bring out the worst in most people. A response to slavery—even a cowardly, dishonorable one like what we witness with Stephen—highlights the depravity of the institution. We’ve come a long way racially, but not so far that laughing at that character shouldn’t be deeply disturbing.

And, if that's not enough, Armond White gets really nasty with his summation of Jackson's performance:

In Django Unchained Jackson is to Tarantino what Stepin Fetchit was to John Ford -- the actor who personifies his director’s sense of the Other. This is not an alter-ego thing; it transfers detachment into “sympathy.” Roles like Jules in Pulp Fiction, Ordell in Jackie Brown and now Stephen the ultimate Uncle Tom display Jackson’s patented shamelessness -- his Nigger Jim flair. Jackson reverses the anger that 70s black militants felt toward the Uncle Tom figure into an actorly endorsement. He embodies the dangerous Negro stereotypes harbored by Tarantino and every Huck Finn wannabe.

Finally, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has an interesting discussion with Tarantino, where the director explains his hatred of John Ford:

Oddly enough, where I got the idea for the Klan guys [in Django Unchained] -- they're not Klan yet, the Regulators arguing about the bags [on their heads] -- as you may well know, director John Ford was one of the Klansmen in The Birth of a Nation, so I even speculate in the piece: Well, John Ford put on a Klan uniform for D.W. Griffith. What was that about? What did that take? He can't say he didn't know the material. Everybody knew [Thomas Dixon's] The Clansman at that time as a piece of material.

One of my American Western heroes is not John Ford, obviously. To say the least, I hate him. Forget about faceless Indians he killed like zombies. It really is people like that that kept alive this idea of Anglo-Saxon humanity compared to everybody else's humanity -- and the idea that that's hogwash is a very new idea in relative terms. And you can see it in the cinema in the '30s and '40s -- it's still there. And even in the '50s.

Despite the film's profound flaws, I think it has more to say about America's racial history than any other film in recent memory. But, minimally, the film is worthwhile simply as the cause of that Armond White review.

January 7, 2013: Not Fade Away

Posted by phil blankenship, January 7, 2013 09:48pm | Post a Comment

Albums Out Jan. 8: Broadcast, Solange and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2013 04:53pm | Post a Comment

It's a pretty light release week leading into the new year, but a few notable releases are hitting stores, including Solange Knowles' much-anticipated True EP as well as some big soundtrack releases.

Broadcast Berberian Sound Studio

CD $13.98

LP $19.98

This posthumous Broadcast album is the soundtrack to an upcoming independent film about a sound engineer who loses his mind while soundtracking an Italian giallo film — think Suspiria. True to its background, the soundtrack is full of ominous organ tones, whispered Italian and the terrifying sounds of screaming into madness. This may not sound like the recipe for a Broadcast album, which typically are more subtly haunting works of droning electonic pop, featuring the ethereal vocals of the late Trish Keenan. It is instead more in line with the “in betweens” in Broadcast’s work — the interstitial instrumental tracks, their instrumental collaboration with The Focus Group — which serves to show just how much depth there was (and is) to Broadcast’s work. Though Keenan’s trademark voice only appears occasionally, mostly as wordless breathing over the proceedings, their ghostlike quality further the foreboding tone of the album. Barberian Sound Studio’s dissonant tones and frightening utterances aren’t for anyone, but Broadcast fans (and fans of giallo films and Italian soundtrack kings like Goblin) won’t be let down by the vampiresque sound world created in Berberian Sound Studio.

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2013 Oscar Nomination Predictions by Brad & Jackie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 7, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

We are once again right in the middle of awards season. The Golden Globes are on Sunday, January 13th. The Oscar Nominations usually come out after the Globes are aired, but they are out a bit earlier this year. The Oscars take place on Sunday, February 24th this year. The Oscar Nominations come out this Thursday, the 10th of January. They came out last year on the 24th of January! So this is the time of year when I like to get together with my coworker Jackie and talk about what we think will be nominated. And also what we hope is nominated. I basically like to pretend that we are members of the Academy putting in our votes for the various Oscar categories. If you are feeling nostalgic for last year's Oscars, here is our Oscar Nominations Predictions from 2011. We both did pretty good last year. If you include our possible picks, Jackie beat me in her predictions by 5 picks. She got 45 out of 49 nominations correct. I got 40 out of 49 correct. I never imagined that Extremely Loud would have made it into last year's top 9 Best Picture nominations. But there is always a movie like Crash or Finding Neverland that somehow sneaks into 5 or 10 nominations for Best Picture. I don't think there will be a movie like that this year. There are simply too many good movies this year. But you never know! Jackie and I both see a ton of movies every year and of course have our opinions about what our favorite films and performances were.

Are you ready? Here we go...

Brad: OK Jackie. Here we are again. Rushing to see a ton of movies in December. I saw Rust & Bone a couple of weeks ago. And saw Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty & Django Unchained during the Christmas week. I just saw Amour last week. I still have not see Life of Pi or The Impossible. But I don't really want to until I have to. So I will wait to see if those two get nominations. I have seen pretty much every other film with acting contenders aside from The Sessions & Hitchcock. But I will also probably only see those if they get nominations. I really do try and see all the best picture nominees before they even get nominated.  I just finished my top ten films of the year list. That list is here. My top ten is Cloud Atlas, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Looper, Moonrise Kingdom, Argo, Amour, Headhunters, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, & The Cabin In The Woods. There are still a couple films that might have ended up on my top ten but I have not had a chance to see them yet. This is why Jackie is still waiting to post her top ten list. She really wants to see everything before she comes up with that final list. There are some movie that I really enjoyed this year that did not end up in my top ten. I was a big fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. And I did enjoy the The Dark Knight Rises. I also loved a lot of animation this year. Wreck-It Ralph, Brave, Paranorman & Frankenweenie could have all ended up in my top ten. I am just happy that Tim Burton made a good movie again!

OK. Lets get to the nomination predictions. This is how we are going to do it this year. We will pick our 10 or 5 predictions in order of likelihood. And then pick 2 alternates that we think might possibly be nominated. Then we will discuss possible spoilers and films we would like to see get nominated.

Best Picture...
Brad
Zero Dark Thirty
Argo
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Django Unchained
Silver Linings Playbook
Life Of Pi
Moonrise Kingdom
Amour
The Master


strong possibilities:
Beast of the Southern Wild
Cloud Atlas



Jackie

Lincoln
Les Miserables
Zero Dark Thirty
Argo
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Amour
The Master


strong possibilities:
The Sessions
Anna Karenina


possible spoilers: 
The Impossible
Skyfall
Moonrise Kingdom
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 

deserves a mention: 
Cloud Atlas

Brad: I think that five of my favorite films of 2012 will be nominated for Best Picture. Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are basically guaranteed to get nominated. And I also think that Django Unchained and Moonrise Kingdom will get in there as long as there are 10 films that make it in. And I really do think that Amour is going to sneak into the Best Picture category. Every once in while a foreign film does sneak into the Best Picture category. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was nominated for best foreign film and Best Picture in 2001. It won the Foreign Film category that year. I just saw Amour so it is very much on my mind. It was a powerful amazing film. I think it will obviously get nominated for Best Foreign Film and possibly for actress and actor. But I think if enough people see it. It just might sneak into the Best Picture category. Especially if they see it the weekend before they have to pick their best picture nominees. I am still holding out a glimpse of hope that Cloud Atlas gets nominated. I know that nobody thinks that it will. But it was my favorite film of the year. And I think that enough people saw it they might pick is as their #1 or #2  film of the year. I know Jackie would also love to see it sneak in there. The Master could easily take the 10th spot away from Beasts of the Southern Wild. And there very well might only be 7 or 8 nominees this year. There were 9 nominees last year. Anna Karenina was another one of my favorites of the year. And I would love for it to also sneak in there. Maybe in the place of Life Of Pi. I think The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall also have a chance of sneaking in there.

Best Director...
Brad
Kathryn Bigelow/Zero Dark Thirty
Steven Spielberg/Lincoln
Ben Affleck/Argo
Quentin Tarantino/Django Unchained
Ang Lee/Life Of Pi


strong possibilities:
Michael Haneke/Amour
Paul Thomas Anderson/The Master



Jackie

Ben Affleck—Argo
Kathryn Bigelow—Zero Dark Thirty
Tom Hooper—Les Miserables
David O. Russell—Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg—Lincoln


strong possibilities:
Quentin Tarantino—Django Unchained
Ang Lee—Life of Pi

possible spoilers: 
Ben Zeitlin—Beasts of the Southern Wild
Michael Haneke—Amour
Paul Thomas Anderson—The Master
                                      
deserves a mention: 
Ben Lewin—The Sessions


Brad: The first three are all pretty much guaranteed to be nominated. Bigelow, Spielberg, Affleck, Tarantino & Lee were also all nominated for best director at the Globes. The Globes don't always match the Oscars in this category but I think they will this year. David O. Russel could sneak in here for Silver Linings Playbook. But I honestly do not understand the hype around this movie. I thought is was just an OK movie. A well made rom-com. I would really love for Silver Linings Playbook to get no nominations this year. It would be a big upset. I know Jackie would be upset! But nothing would make me happier to see Cloud Atlas take its place in the Picture and Director category. I think Michael Haneke also might sneak into this category and take Ang Lee's spot. A foreign director does sometimes sneak into this category. I know a lot of people either loved or hated The Master. It is sort of like this years Tree of LIfe. Terrence Malick did sneak into the director category last year and I could see Paul Thomas Anderson doing that this year. The movie was not one of my favorites. But I would not be surprised to see it show up here. I really think that Tom Hooper is going to be left out of this category.

Best Actor...
Brad
Daniel Day Lewis/Lincoln
Denzel Washington/Flight
John Hawkes/The Sessions
Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix/The Master


strong possibilities:
Jean-Louis Trintignant/Amour
Bradley Cooper/Silver Linings Playbook


Jackie

Bradley Cooper—Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis--Lincoln
John Hawkes—The Sessions
Hugh Jackman—Les Miserables
Denzel Washington—Flight


strong possibilities:
Joaquin Phoenix—The Master
Jean-Louis Trintignant—Amour


deserves a mention: 
Jack Black—Bernie
Denis Lavant—Holy Motors



Brad: I didn't really enjoy The Master, Les Miserables or Flight. But I recognize that these actors all gave good performances in these movies. I think that Joaquin Phoenix or Hugh Jackman could easily be replaced by Trintignant. He was amazing in Amour. A truly heartbreaking performance. Nothing over the top. Just a restrained beautiful performance. I would really hate Bradley Cooper to show up in this category even though I am usually a fan of his. I just really don't want this movie to get any nominations! Jackie is correct in giving a shout out to Jack Black in Bernie. I really did love Bernie and Jack Black was perfect in that movie.


Best Actress...
Brad
Jessica Chastain/Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence/Silver Linings Playbook
Marion Cotillard/Rust & Bone
Emannuelle Riva/Amour
Naomi Watts/The Impossible


strong possibilities:
Rachel Weisz/Deep Blue Sea
Quvenzhane Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jackie

Jessica Chastain—Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence—Silver Linings Playbook
Marion Cotillard—Rust and Bone
Quvenzhane Wallis—Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts—The Impossible

strong possibilities:
Helen Mirren—Hitchcock
Maggie Smith—Quartet

deserves a mention: 
Halle Berry—Cloud Atlas


Brad: I will try and stop talking about Silver Linings Playbook soon. I really didn't hate the movie. I just don't think it deserves any nominations. Jennifer Lawrence is almost guaranteed to get nominated here. But I am still holding out and hoping that Quvenshane or Rachel Weisz takes her place. But really only Lawrence and Chastain are my solid predictions here. I am hoping that Riva and Cotillard get in there. And Naomi Watts will most likely get in there too. But Emannuelle Riva was just so amazing in Amour. She really deserves to win this category. She might just do it if Chastain and Lawrence divide up the votes of everyone else. I could also see Keira Knightley sneaking into this category. Like most years, there were just not a lot of amazing Oscar type roles for women this year. Helen Mirren could also sneak in here for Hitchcock. She got a SAG and Golden Globe nomination for Hitchcock. But the movie is getting such horrible reviews. I am a huge Hitchcock fan but I have stayed away from this movie. And I think the Academy will also avoid it. I would love for Cloud Atlas to somehow sneak into ever category. And Halle Berry could do it here. But I am sure that she won't. But like Jackie said, she does deserve a mention!

Best Supporting Actor...
Brad
Tommy Lee Jones/Lincoln
Christoph Waltz/Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman/The Master

Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained
Alan Arkin/Argo

strong possibilities:
Matthew McConoughey/Magic Mike
Robert Deniro/Silver Linings Playbook


Jackie

Alan Arkin—Argo
Robert De Niro—Playbook Silver Linings
Leonardo Di Caprio—Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman—The Master
Tommy Lee Jones—Lincoln

strong possibilities:
Javier Bardem—Skyfall
Christoph Waltz—Django Unchained

possible spoilers:
Russell Crowe or Eddie Redmayne—Les Miserables


Brad: I really don't know what to think of this category this year. I am positive that Tommy Lee Jones will get nominated. But I am just not sure about the rest. Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio & Samuel L. Jackson were all amazing in Django Unchained. And it would be fun to see all three of them get nominated. Both John Goodman and Alan Arkin were also great in Argo. And I could see either of them get nominated. I also thought John Goodman was great in Flight. John Goodman is just always so amazing. And I am really hoping that someday he will get nominated and win Best Actor or Supporting Actor. I would absolutely love to see any of the dudes from Cloud Atlas get nominated in this category. Jim Broadbent was great. But so was Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant & Tom Hanks. They all played multiple roles in the movie and it would be nice to see at least one of them get recognized. I could see Matthew McConoughey sneaking in this category for Magic Mike or Killer Joe. I thought Jude Law was fantastic in Anna Karenina and would love to see him get nominated here. But his character was not showy and he was not very likable.

Best Supporting Actress...
Brad
Sally Field/Lincoln
Anne Hathaway/Les Miserables

Helen Hunt/The Sessions
Amy Adams/The Master
Nicole Kidman/The Paperboy

strong possibilities:
Maggie Smith/Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Ann Dowd/Compliance


Jackie

Amy Adams—The Master
Sally Field—Lincoln
Anne Hathaway—Les Miserables
Helen Hunt—The Sessions
Maggie Smith—Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

strong possibilities:
Judi Dench—Skyfall
Samantha Barks—Les Miserables

possible Spoilers:
Jackie Weaver—Silver Linings Playbook
               
deserves a mention: 
Shirley MacLaine—Bernie
Moon Bloodgood—The Sessions

               
Brad: I am positive that both Sally Field and Anne Hathaway will get nominated here. I was sure that Anne Hathaway would win as soon as I saw the trailer for Les Miserables. But now that I have seen the movie I am really not so sure. I was not a fan of the movie. I thought she was one of the great things about it. But she is in the movie for such a very short time. I have not yet seen The Sessions or The Paperboy. But they are both nominated for Golden Globes and SAGs in this category. I would love to see Doona Bae get nominated in this category for Cloud Atlas. But I just don't think it will happen. In my ideal Oscars of having Cloud Atlas sweep I would also put Susan Sarandon in this category for Cloud Atlas. Maggie Smith could very easily take the place of Amy Adams or Nicole Kidman for her work in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I have not seen the movie but she is always great in whatever she does. Ann Dowd could also sneak in here if enough people see Compliance. I really liked the movie even though it was difficult to sit through. But she is great in it. I thought Jennifer Ehle was great in Zero Dark Thirty. I would love for her to show up in this category.

Best Original Screenplay
Brad
Zero Dark Thirty
Moonrise Kingdom
Amour
Django Unchained
Looper


strong possibilities:
The Master
Flight


Jackie

Amour
Django Unchained
Flight
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty

strong possibilities:
Arbitrage
Moonrise Kingdom

possible spoilers: 
The Impossible
Looper



Best Adapted Screenplay
Brad
Argo
Lincoln
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

strong possibilities:
Anna Karenina
Beasts of the Southern Wild


Jackie

Argo
Les Miserables
Lincoln
The Sessions
Silver Linings Playbook

strong possibilities: 
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi

possible spoilers: 
Anna Karenina
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

deserves a mention: 
Cloud Atlas


Brad: I am pretty confident with my picks for original screenplay. But something could easily sneak in here like Arbitrage or Promised Land. I am not so sure about the adapted screenplay category. I would love for Cloud Atlas to get nominated here. I am really hoping that it at least gets a couple nominations. I am hoping it will at least get Art Direction and Score. But I could also see it sneaking into this category. It was a complicated script adapted from a well liked novel. I would seriously love nothing more than for Cloud Atlas to take the place of Silver Linings Playbook in this category. The Perks of Being A Wallflower was one of my favorite movies of the year. And this is really the only category it has a chance of getting a nomination in. It would be well deserved. Anna Karenina, The Sessions or Best Exotic Marigold Hotel could also sneak into this category.

Best Animated Film
Brad
Brave
Frankenweenie
Wreck It Ralph
Paranorman
Rise Of the Guardians


strong possibilities:
Hotel Transylvania
The Pirates: Band of Misfits


Jackie

Wreck-it Ralph
Le Tableau (The Painting)
Brave
Rise of the Guardians
The Rabbi’s Cat

strong possibilities: 
From Up on Poppy Hill
Zarafa

possible spoilers:
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
ParaNorman

Last year two virtually unknown animated films--A Cat In Paris and Chico & Rita—nabbed nominations.  I’m banking that will happen again.


Brad: I saw all five of the movies that I am predicting to be nominated here. I don't think Pixar will win this year but I do think they will be nominated. I really liked Brave. And I actually liked all my predictions here except for Rise of the Guardians. Hotel Transylvania could easily take the place of Paranorman as it did for the Golden Globe nominations this year. I could also see The Pirates sneaking in here. This category often surprised me. As Jackie said, a foreign animated film also sometimes gets in here. A Cat In Paris & Chico & Rita were both nominated last year in this category. And The Illusionist was nominated the year before that. The Painting could be that movie that sneaks in there this year. This category can have between three and five nominees. But I think it will have all five this year.

One of my favorite categories is Best Original Score. I am a huge fan of scores. I always notice them in movies. And sometimes a score can really make me fall in love with a film. It is seriously one of my favorite categories of the night. I was so happy to see Trent Reznor win for the Social Network in 2011 and Ludovic Bource to win last year for The Artist. I really hope that Cloud Atlas is nominated in this category. It was one of my favorite scores of the year. I think the five nominated will be..Jonny Greenwood/The Master, Reinhold Hell & Johnny Kilmek/Cloud Atlas, Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin/The Beasts of the Southern Wild, John Williams/Lincoln & Alexandre Desplat/Zero Dark Thirty. I could also see Alexandre Desplat getting nominated for Argo if not Zero Dark Thirty. But I did think that the soundtrack to Zero Dark Thirty was more interesting and memorable. I could also see Mychael Danna/Life of Pi, or Dario Marianelli/Anna Karenina getting nominated.

That is our predictions for the Oscar nominations! I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Cloud Atlas!  They come out this Thursday morning 1/10. So check back to see how we did!

That's not amazing -- California's Gold, Huell Howser, has passed away

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 7, 2013 01:49pm | Post a Comment

Huell in the Antelope Valley amongst California Poppies (source: Cameron Tucker)

I am utterly gutted to hear that Huell Howser has passed away.



I heard the news as I was writing about my exploration of Irvine for this blog, and simultaneously planning on exploring the route of the Expo Line Phase II tomorrow. If it weren’t for Huell, I may not have had the idea of doing either. (When I was approached about working for KCET, one of the names I proposed was California's Fools Gold, a self-deprecating homage -- they went with Block By Block instead). I’m sure he inspired a lot of other people to go on adventures in their back yards too (this page has a map showing the communities he visited). Even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I will miss him terribly.


Huell canoeing on Mono Lake (source: Cameron Tucker)

Back in November, Huell announced that he was retiring amid rumors that he was seriously ill. Just last week I was chatting about him with a customer at my shop and the customer expressed his dismay. I too was saddened by his retirement but expressed that he'd earned it and that even his biggest fans have, in most cases, hundreds if not thousands of episodes to catch up on. Still, the customer hoped that someone would soon fill his shoes. I expressed doubt that any single person could.


At the amazing Gourmet Cobbler Factory in Pasadena -- in the San Gabriel Valley (image: KCET)

It's impossible to know how many adventures Huell Howser inspired. I suspect that he's one of John Rabe's biggest heroes. (Check out Rabe’s episode with him here). I loved his earnestness, enthusiasm, unpretentiousness, boundless sense of adventure, energy, and intelligence. Despite the fact that Angelenos are constantly told that we are obsessed with celebrity, glamour, fame and fortune; Howser showed thankfully little interest in any of that. He even seemed to hint at a healthy disgust with politicians and ambivalence for authority.

Instead he championed the everyday, the immigrant, the ignored, the uncelebrated and in doing so showed what really makes California truly special. 


Huell's hometown

Huell Burnley Howser was born 18 October 1945 in Gallatin, Tennessee, a small town in the Upper South near the border with Kentucky. His name was a portmanteau of his parents' names, Harold and Jewell. He received a BA in history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.





After serving in the Marines he began working Nasvhille’s WSM-TV, where he traveled around the central part of the state and Kentucky in a motor home filming what he called "happy features." 

Huell with Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn in the 1970s


After spending some time at WCBS in New York where he hosted a show called Real Life! (and later, To Life!). In the age of Candid Camera, The Gong Show, Real People, and That's Incredible, New Yorkers seemed confused by segments on window washers and "turkey mavens." Howser was later told that New Yorkers were uncomfortable being touched. In 1981 Howser moved to hug-friendly Los Angeles where there's no shortage of people happy to be on camera. It was in Los Angeles that he stayed.


Huell Howser with the Del Rubio Triplets in 1987 (source: KCET)

His career in LA began with him reporting for KNXT (now KCBS). He then briefly worked on Entertainment Tonight which is kind of remarkable since when he next moved to KCET (then a PBS affiliate) in 1987 and began producing his Videolog segments, he showed himself to be a one man antidote to ET -- and the other shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Access Hollywood, Extra!, and all the other shows that seem so determined to make Los Angeles look awful.





The first episode I remember seeing was Visiting… With Huell Howser episode #903, in which he visited Iwasaki Images of America in Gardena to learn about how plastic food commonly seen in the display windows of Japanese restaurants is made (something I was and am fascinated by as well). The previous episode had been about visiting Cambodia Town in Long Beach. The following was about Downtown's LA Barber College. The most recent episode I watched was episode 104 of California’s Gold, “Cornish Christmas.” 


Howser with a construction crew underground in L.A. (source: Cameron Tucker)

In an interview with the LA Times’ television critic, Robert Loyd, he expressed “Let's explore our neighborhood, let's look in our own backyard, let's go down to Koreatown and buy some kimchee. We won't do a story on what it's like to spend the night in a $10,000 hotel suite.” I thought he had the best job in the world and the best attitude to boot. Though he once claimed to be a Methodist, he had the soul and outlook of Laozi.


Huell Howser in his former residence in Midtown's Hancock Park neighborhood (source: Kevin Hively)


Though outgoing, friendly, and on TV all the time, Huell was guarded about his private life – which I really respected. He was one of the few people on TV who didn’t seem interested in promoting himself as a celebrity, even though he was one. He never bothered to go out of his way to deflate tired, cynical stereotypes of California, he just ignored them. Likewise, he understood that Californians come in all shapes, colors and accents and in a culture where southern accents are almost always equated with stupidity and/or bigotry, he was not only proudly southern, but unprejudiced, and intelligent. 




He was often parodied albeit more-often-than-not, lovingly. I'd bet that all of his self-professed fans have an imitation of him. He turned up on The Simpsons twice, the Beverly Hills, 90120 episode "Jobbed," as well as Thoughts of Suicide on an Otherwise Lovely Day and Who Killed the Electric Car? He leant his voice to Winnie the Pooh, and was mentioned on Weeds. He has a hot dog named after him at Pinks, a honey ham & pineapple cheeseburger at Peggy Sue's 50s Diner (in Yermo), and his face on a bottle of milk from Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy (in the Southeast LA County city of Montebello).


He passed away at his Palm Springs home on 7 January 2013, aged just 67. We should all honor him by undertaking adventures at the next opportunity and keep our eyes open the what's amazing all around us. In 2000, Huell said "I have this theory that when I die, my tombstone will say, 'Huell Howser: he did the pig story,'" -- a reference to a profile he did of a 500-pound pet pig named Porky who then lived in a Powderly, Kentucky. In a 2003 story in Los Angeles Magazine he was quoted saying, "Seriously, what I want to do is to be saying 'Good night' and fall over dead in a sand dune and have the credits with the sand blowing over my body and the people at home just going, 'Well, I guess that's Huell's last show.' That is the way I would like to die." RIP Huell!

Click on this link to share your memories on KCET's page

*****

Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order) at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 7, 2013 01:49pm | Post a Comment

Join Amoeba Music, Boing Boing, Noisepop, and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on peter hookThursday, January 31st in welcoming legendary bassist Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco! Mr. Hook will interview live that evening with David Pescovitz, Co-Editor of Boing Boing, and sign his new book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division.

Godfathers of alternative rock, Joy Division, reinvented music in peter hook unknown pleasures inside joy divisionthe post-punk era, creating a dark, hypnotic, and intense sound that has influenced rock ever since. Founding member Peter Hook’s propulsive bass guitar melodies came to define an era and inspire a generation. After iconic lead singer Ian Curtis’s suicide, the remaining members went on to form New Order, creators of synth-pop and one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s.

Amoeba Music is proud to be in attendance with an Amoeba Pop-Up Shop, providing copies of the new book for sale as well as loads of CDs, vinyl, DVDs, and t-shirts sure to captivate Joy Division and New Order fans!

This event is FREE but Advance reservations are required. Call 415-292-1233 or email [email protected] More info HERE!

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Recap: January Charity Auction with Don Barris

Posted by Amoebite, January 7, 2013 11:51am | Post a Comment

Don Barris at Amoeba HollywoodOn January 5, we had our very first auction of 2013, with the inimitable hurricane orator, Don Barris, who managed to rock, rattle and cajole bids out of unsuspecting Saturday Amoeba shoppers. Even though it came on the heels of people being broke from the holidays they still reached down deep and gave, mainly because Don was so damn funny. And his determination to beat his last auction totals helped to keep the competitive spirit going at full throttle. It was raucous and rollicking - and a great success with all of this month's proceeds benefiting the Rainforest Action Network.

Here are some of the key highlights from the day:

  • Herbie Hancock signed LP with Patti Smith signed book (and Madonna postcards!!) - $50.00
  • Bow Wow Wow / Midge Ure tickets - $15.00
  • Ra Ra Riot / Mouse on Mars tickets - $20.00
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! VIP tickets - $110.00
  • Record Store Day special limited edition package - $50.00
  • Trader Joe's Gift Card with Jimmy Kimmel lunchbox - $110.00
  • Signed Cat Power poster / headphones / action figures - $20.00
  • Bob Marley pack - $10.00
  • Pink Floyd pack - $12.00
  • Beatles bag with Beatles trinkets - $40.00
  • Monkey & Son organic coffee with Amoeba mug - $20.00
  • Amoeba in-store VIP ticket - $42.00

All together Don helped raise $526.00 in bids, which means a total of $1,052.00 for our friends at the Rainforest Action Network. We have been working with the good folks at RAN since we opened our first store in Berkeley in 1990. We share concern about the dwindling rainforests and the global environmental impact and we are thankful for the work they do each year.

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DJ Mixing and Scratching Without Turntables Or Records: The Art of the Tape-Jockey

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment
        

These two early 90's video clips (above and below) explain and demonstrate the inspirational Soviet Union "tape-jockey" duo from Latvia featuring Pasaules and jeb Modris Skaistkalns known as Mr Tape. In the above 22 year old clip from the 1991 DMC Finals and introduced by DMC top man Tony Prince the two tape jockeys from Latvia (back then still part of the Soviet Union) demonstrate their craft. In the video below, from the same early nineties time period and produced in Amsterdam by Dutch TV, the two Latvian tape jockeys break down how they do what they do. Both loved techno house and hip-hop music with a passion. They also loved the concept of DJing (spinning & mixing beats, scratching, and beat-juggling etc.). The only problem was that, due to the market restrictions of their communist homeland, they literally had absolutely no access to the three main components that went into doing being a DJ in 1991:  Technics 1200 turntables, records, and a mixer. Most would give up at that point but not them. Instead in an inspired DJ McGyver like move they got two reel to reel tape decks, recorded songs onto individual reel-to-reels, and manually tweaked the tape machines to do some extra tricks: including building in a cross fader, and then then tapping their finger tips on the tape heads to get effects normally achieved on turntables and a mixer. In the DMC video they have no mixer but in the demo from Dutch TV they utilize a simple small mixer. I find this to be truly inspirational stuff because it proves that with a strong unstoppable passion for something coupled with a good imagination that you can overcome lack of resources and achieve your goals. 

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Amoeba Music Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For 2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 7, 2013 06:48am | Post a Comment

TOP 15 WORLD MUSIC NEW RELEASE BEST SELLERS FOR 2012

1. Jovanotti - Italia 1988-2012 (CD only)
2. La Santa Cecilia - El Valor ((CD only)
3. V/A - Original Sound Of Cumbia (CD/LP)
4. Tim Maia - Nobody Can Live Forever (CD/LP)
5. Los Miticos Del Ritmo - Los Miticos Del Ritmo CD/LP)
6. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Area 52 (CD only)
7. Cafe Tacuba - El Objecto Antes Llamado Disco (CD only)
8. Ondatropica - Ondatropica (CD/LP)
9. Chicano Batman - Joven Navegante (CD only)
10. Los Cafeteras - It’s Time (CD only)
11. Anoushka Shankar - Traveller (CD only)
12. Ana Tijoux - La Bala (CD only)
13. Jenni Rivera - La Mas Completa Collecion (CD only)
14. Yuridia - Para Mi (CD only)
15.  Carla Morrison - Dejenme Llorar (CD only)


TOP TEN LP SALES FOR 2012

1. Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire De Melody Nelson
2. V/A - Thai Funk Vol. 1
3. Serge Gainsbourg - Initials B.B.
4. Tim Maia - Nobody Can Live Forever
5. Los Miticos Del Ritmo - Los Miticos Del Ritmo
6. V/A - Remolino De Oro (currently out of print)
7. Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (180 gram version)
8. V/A - Roots Of Chicha
9. Atomic Forest - Obsession
10. Ondatropica - Ondatropica

 

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January 6, 2013: Promised Land

Posted by phil blankenship, January 6, 2013 10:26pm | Post a Comment

Four Inch Focus- Ladies Of The Labels Pt 5

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 6, 2013 09:40pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 01.05.13: E-Lit's Picks N Predictions, BPos, First Light (Opio + Pep Love), Sean Born, Skillz

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2013 04:20am | Post a Comment
The music business may close down for the holidays with hardly any new releases in early January but there are still new videos coming out like the three below.  Also below E-Lit at the Amoeba Berkeley store shares his top ten picks of the past year as well as his predictions for 2013 in hip-hop. Skillz just dropped "2012 Rap Up" but announced publicly and in the song that it will be his very last annual "rap up" after ten years and doing his anticipated year in review songs - and seen others enter the year-rap up field like popular YouTube rapper DeStorm

The videos below include the new Kev Brown produced track from Sean Born "Grandeur," and the brand new (two day old) video for the newest Hiero joint: Opio + Pep Love's (aka First Light) song "Lighters" from the duo's forthcoming debut album Fallacy Fantasy which will arrive in Amoeba March 12th. Immediately below is  the new video from SF hip-hop crew BPos for their song "Balance" (from the group's last release Pos Tapes Volume Three). The video was filmed by Inkfat and BPos during BPos' 2012 Super Hero Pool Party Tour, and the song's beat is by Aspect McCarthy (ghosNOTES) while the video itself was made by BPos member Goodword.

       
BPos "Balance" (2012)
E-Lit's Predictions for 2013:

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in January

Posted by Amoebite, January 4, 2013 04:35pm | 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.

JUST ADDED SHOWS:

Daedelus at the Fonda

Daedelus
The Fonda Theatre
March 29

G-Eazy at the El Rey

G-Eazy
El Rey Theatre
March 9

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
Daedelus
with Two Fresh, Ryan Hemsworth & Samo Sound Boy
The Fonda Theatre 03/29/2013 $17.50
Django Django The Fonda Theatre 03/23/2013 $23.00
Dr. John The Fonda Theatre 02/09/2013 $40.00
Eels The Fonda Theatre 02/15/2013 $32.00
Feed Me
with Teeth & Mord Fustang
The Fonda Theatre 02/16 & 02/17 $25.00
Frightened Rabbit The Fonda Theatre 03/13/2013 $19.99
G-Eazy El Rey Theatre 03/09/2013 $16.00
Galactic El Rey Theatre 02/28/2013 $30.00
Gojira
with the Devin Townsend Project & The Atlas Moth
The Fonda Theatre 01/25/2013 $22.00
Graveyard El Rey Theatre 02/17/2013 $20.00
IAMX The Fonda Theatre 05/15/2013 $25.00
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe El Rey Theatre 02/01/2013 $25.00
KMFDM The Fonda Theatre 03/10/2013 $26.50
Lianne La Havas El Rey Theatre 03/20/2013 $22.00
Living Colour El Rey Theatre 03/30/2013 $30.00
Lotus
with special guest VibeSquaD
El Rey Theatre 03/22/2013 $20.00
Moe The Fonda Theatre 03/08 & 03/09 $30.00
NOMEANSNO El Rey Theatre 02/21/2013 $17.00
OFF! The Fonda Theatre 02/08/2013 $17.50
Amoeba Presents: Ra Ra Riot El Rey Theatre 02/12/2013 $20.00
The Residents El Rey Theatre 02/25/2013 $27.00
Josh Ritter The Fonda Theatre 03/19/2013 $27.00
Starfucker
with Blackbird Blackbird
The Fonda Theatre 03/02/2013 $22.00
Lindsey Sterling The Fonda Theatre 04/04/2013 $22.50
Texas Is the Reason The Fonda Theatre 03/30/2013 $19.99
Tomahawk The Mayan 02/19/2013 $27.50
Toro y Moi
with Sinkane and Dog Bite
The Fonda Theatre 03/03/2013 $25.00
Trombone Shorty El Rey Theatre 02/08/2013 $27.00
Victor Wooten El Rey Theatre 02/22/2013 $25.00

 

Amoeba Hollywood's Top 50 DVD/Blu-ray Sellers of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, January 4, 2013 03:19pm | Post a Comment

Here’s a list of our top movie sellers of the year, combining DVD and Blu-ray sales.

1. Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn’s brilliant thriller, many people’s favorite movie of 2011, featuring one of the bestselling soundtracks of the year, came out on DVD and Blu-ray in January 2012 and sold better at Amoeba than many movies with much bigger box office takes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Avengers

 

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers managed to deliver summer thrills and smarts in equal measure, breaking several box office records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bronson (2008)

Refn’s 2008 film starring Tom Hardy as notorious prisoner and fighter Charles Bronson sold well, perhaps with the release of Refn’s Drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

 

The classic film noir was released on Blu-ray in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Sparkle (1976)

 

The release of a new Sparkle movie and its star Whitney Houston’s tragic death sparked interest in the 1976 original film.

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"Texas Chainsaw 3D" May Have a Bigger Budget and Special Effects, but Is it Scarier?

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2013 08:38am | Post a Comment

Texas Chainsaw 3D trailer (2013)

Opening in theaters today (January 4th, 2013) is Texas Chainsaw 3D - the seventh and latest in the long running horror flick franchise that began with the extremely low-budget, yet phenomenally successful and influential Tobe Hooper produced and directed 1974 slasher B-movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So how different (better or worse, or more importantly, scarier) will it be from its six predecessors, especially compared to the original that when it was released four decades ago was billed as "the horror movie to end them all"? 

For one thing the producers have noticeably dropped the word "massacre" from the title: the reason for which I am guessing is either A) to distinguish it from the others in the series or B) the more likely reason, in my skeptical mind, that the producers feared offending the American public with the word "massacre" given this very real and tragic age of mass shooting massacres that we live in.


Compared to all its predecessors Texas Chainsaw 3D, starring Alexandra Daddario and singer/rapper Trey Songz among its young cast, was the most expensive to make. But will Texas Chainsaw Version 2013, given all the high tech film technology and 3D special effects of today at its disposal, pack that same edgy intensity of the low-budget original of almost 40 years ago? Will it be scarier? Compare the trailer for the new and original (above and below respectively) to get some idea and judge for yourself.

Amoeba's Top 50 Selling Albums of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, January 3, 2013 01:17pm | Post a Comment

 

The following is a list of Amoeba Hollywood's top CD and vinyl sellers (combined) for 2012.

 

 

 

1. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die

All the Internet backlashes and a disastrous SNL performances in the world couldn't wash Ms. Del Rey away. Her Born to Die was Amoeba's bestselling album of 2012 by a longshot. See her Amoeba performance below.

 


2. Jack White - Blunderbuss

The main man behind The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs stepped out solo in 2012 with a winner in the blues-lovin' Blunderbuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 


3. Adele - 21

Despite being Amoeba's top seller in 2011, Adele's indominable 21 kept selling right on into 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


4. The Black Keys - El Camino

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Noir City Film Festival Keeps It Reel in San Francisco, 1/25 - 2/3!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 3, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

Noir City, the most popular film noir festival in the world, is BACK! Defying media reports regarding the Noir city film festival audra wolfmann eddie mullerdemise of repertory cinema and 35 millimeter film, the 11th edition of the Noir City film festival (at the Castro Theatre from January 25th - February 3rd) will present its most expansive schedule yet! Over ten days, Noir City will screen 27 films, including three brand new 35mm restorations funded by the Film Noir Foundation and the noir-loving moviegoers of San Francisco!

This festival kicks off with a tribute to special guest star Peggy Cummins, legendary for her ferocious performance as carnival sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr in Gun Crazy (1950). Ms. Cummins, traveling all the way from her home in London, will be interviewed onstage by host Eddie Muller following a screening of the film!

As always, NOIR CITY will present both celebrated classics and wonderful rarities: some newly rescued from extinction and presented in glorious new 35mm prints, others screening for the first time in gorgeous 4K digital restorations. Opening weekend will feature the world premiere of two of the Film Noir Foundation's latest film restoration projects Try and Get Me! (1950) and Repeat Performance (1949).

But that's not all! The hugely popular Noir City Nightclub returns on Saturday night, February 2, 2013. Partiers will time travel to 1949 for an extraordinary evening of scintillating music, sexy striptease, dancing, and drinking ($5 cocktails— beat that price!), all in a new vintage venue, the Regency Lodge (1290 Sutter Street at Van Ness). This year's show, emceed by "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller, includes the sizzling jazz of the Dmitri Matheny Group (unveiling its "Crime Scenes Suite"), the sultry pop-noir stylings of Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires ("The Hitchcock Suite"), the return of international striptease sensation Evie Lovelle, torch song temptress Laura Ellis, and the uniquely soulful and sinister serenades of El Radio Fantastique! Best of all, festival screenings are arranged so NOIR CITY attendees can attend the soiree without missing a single film!

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With the Cast of The Sarah Silverman Project

Posted by Rachael McGovern, January 3, 2013 11:41am | Post a Comment

The Sarah Silverman Program DVDWe recently had the entire cast of The Sarah Silverman Program - Sarah Silverman, Laura Silverman, Brian Posehn, Steve Agee and Jay Johnston - visit Amoeba Hollywood for a signing of the new Complete Series DVD Box Set. The television series, which lasted three seasons on Comedy Central from 2007-2010, featured Sarah Silverman as a fictionalized version of herself with real-life older sister Laura playing her younger sister, Brian Posehn and Steve Agee as her geeky gay neighbors, and Jay Johnston as "Officer Jay."

Before their signing, they chatted with us about some of their favorite DVDs including Doctor Who and The Royle Family, comedy LPs, and "some devil things."

Missed some of their selections? Check out their full list of picks on Amoeba.com.

 

The Sarah Silverman Program - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

 

Sarah Silverman Cast at Amoeba Hollywood

"Dublin" Theme of This Year's "Vibe For Philo" Honoring Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott

Posted by Billyjam, January 3, 2013 09:09am | Post a Comment

Thin Lizzy "Dublin" (1971) song + Dublin slideshow

Tomorrow, January 4th 2013, marks the 27th anniversary of the death of Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott who died from complications of an apparent drug overdose at age 36. It also marks the 27th year back in the artist's Dublin hometown that the beloved legendary Irish rocker will be honored again with the big Vibe For Philo celebration. Begun as a humble, heartfelt low-key gathering by fans and friends to mourn his tragic passing in the days following his January 1986 death, Vibe For Philo morphed into an annual event that has steadily grown over the years. It is now a three-day, mini festival like celebration with a slew of Thin Lizzy tribute acts that draws Lynott and Lizzy fans from all over to the Irish capital of Dublin. Coincidentally the theme of this year's Vibe For Philo, which begins today (Jan 3rd), is "Dublin."

According to Vibe For Philo organizer Smiley Bolger this Lynott-hometown named theme was inspired from the song "Dublin" off the 1971 New Day 7" EP on UK Decca. "Philip got it spot on when he wrote: How can I leave this town that brings me down, Has no jobs, is blessed by God and makes me cry. Dublin." Indeed considering the current dire economic state of the recession era Ireland (one that makes today's US economy look almost robust) this 2013 Vibe For Philo theme is most fitting.  

Like the early 1970's era Dublin with "no jobs" that Lynott sang about the current dismal Irish economy is back at that same unfortunate place. The once boisterous Irish economy took a double whammy of a blow when it crashed and burned about five years ago. After enjoying the almost surreal dozen plus years of the bubble that was Ireland's so-called "Celtic Tiger" (1994 - 2007) it crashed hard and fast. To make a bad situation worse this economic collapse coincided with the global banking scandals that brought down other countries. Currently Ireland, which during its Celtic Tiger years was for the first time experiencing an influx of immigrants, is now back to its old status when emigration (usually to the US, UK, or Australia) was the only option for survival for many Irish. So high were those numbers (76,000 for the 12 months leading up to April 2012) that they are now at the highest point since the devastating Irish potato famine of the 1800's.

Pump Up the Jam: Songs to Jumpstart Your New Year's Resolution

Posted by Billy Gil, January 2, 2013 05:56pm | Post a Comment

I, like many others, engaged in the cliche practice of going to the gym the day after New Year’s Day (which is reserved for hangovers) in order to “start the new year right” and “get on the right track.” During this delusional first couple of weeks — or if you decide to actually stay with an active workout routine (good for you!) — you’ll need some tunes to get you through the slow crawl back to fitness. Here are some of my favorite workout jamz, most of which you can download at Amoeba.com.

 

Technotronic“Pump Up the Jam”

Despite its inclusion on questionable Jock Jams albums, this late ’80s banger is a brilliant slab of early minimalist house pop.

 

Prodigy“Smack My Bitch Up”

The only Prodigy song I ever liked. Its misogynistic overtone is unfortunate, even with the “shocking” video they used to try to counter that (which I think made it worse), but its mid-’90s MTV “Amp”-era beats surprisingly hold up.

 

LCD Soundsystem“Us V Them”

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Happy (belated) birthday, Joe Orton

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 2, 2013 05:14pm | Post a Comment

Yesterday, had he not died in 1967, would've been the 79th birthday of my favorite, English, comic playwright, Joe Orton (provided he didn't pass away for some other reason in the intermediate years).


Saffron Lane council estate being built in 1927

John Kingsley "Joe" Orton was born 1 January in Leicester to William A Orton and Elsie M Orton (nėe Bentley). Joe's father worked as a gardener for the Leicester County Borough Council whilst his mom was in footwear until tuberculosis (and the subsequent removal of a lung) led to an early retirement. When Joe was two his family moved from Clarendon Park to the Saffron Lane council estate where the family was soon rounded out by the addition of Douglas, Marilyn, and Leonie.

After several serious bouts of asthma, Orton left school and took a position as a junior clerk making £3 a week in 1947. Over the next couple of years he developed an interest in improving his physical state and in theater. In pursuit of the former he took up body building, in pursuit of the former he joined several dramatic societies and local, amateur productions. He also wished to continue his education and began attending Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London on scholarship in 1951.

At school Orton met a well-off aspiring writer, Kenneth Halliwell. The two fell in love and moved in together, sharing a flat in West Hampstead flat with two other students. After graduation, Orton worked for a stint as an assistant stage manager in Ipswich whilst Halliwell's work to him to Llandudno, Wales. When they both returned to London, they collaborated on several novels in imitation of Ronald Firbank. In 1957, when their last collaboration, The last days of Sodom was just as unpublished as their previous works, they decided to work solo. Orton wrote his first play, He wrote his first play, Fred and Madge, and his last novel, The vision of Gombold Proval, in 1959.



The couple lived off Halliwell's shrinking inheritance, unemployment and occasionally worked proper jobs to afford a small flat in Islington (N1, Noel Road, 25). During this period they also borrowed books from the local library and altered the dust jacket art and blurbs on more than 70. They were caught in 1962 and the incident was reported in the Daily Mirror in an article titled, hilariously, "Gorilla in the roses." Their sentence was a fine of £262 and a six month stint in prison. Ironically, today some of the book covers (some of which are very much in the vein of subversive surrealist collage) are exhibited in the Islington Museum



Orton's was wit was darkened and honed by his harsh treatment for his and Halliwell's prank and when he was released his writing had an increased sense of urgency. In 1963, the BBC paid him for The ruffian on the stair, which was broadcast the following August. By then, Entertaining Mr. Sloane had premiered to a mixture of rave reviews and moral outrage -- some of which was fanned by Orton, who would sometimes write letters to publications under the guise of the easily-scandalized alter egos, including Edna Welthorpe.

His next play, Loot, was rushed into production to capitalize on Orton's growing fame and received mixed reviews (and re-workings). What the butler saw followed, along with other plays, and even a screenplay for a Beatles film, titled Up against it. Some works, such as The good and faithful servant and Funeral games aired as teleplays on ITV.

As Orton was celebrated for and propelled by his success, Halliwell plunged into deep depression, which was likely exacerbated by his glaring and total lack thereof. There was also word that Orton had found a new boyfriend and was planning on leaving Halliwell. On August 1967, Kenneth Halliwell beat Orton to death with nine hammer blows to the head before fatally overdosing on 22 pentobarbital tablets washed down with the syrupy juice of canned grapefruit. Halliwell left a note that his actions would be explained by reading Orton's diary. Their bodies were discovered by a chauffeur, who'd come around to take Orton to a meeting with Richard Lester, director of The Beatles' films. Orton was cremated and at the service, the great Harold Pinter read the eulogy and a recording of "A day in the life" played.




In 1978, John Lahr wrote a biography of Joe Orton titled Prick up your ears. In 1987 it was adapted into a great Stephen Frears-directed film starring Gary Oldman as Orton and Alfred Molina as Halliwell. The phrase, "prick up your ears," had originally been conceived by Orton as "prick up your erse" as an unpublishable title. In the Adam & the Ants song, "The Magnificent Five," Ant sang "Long ago in London town/A man called Ant sat deeply sighing/He was wondering/Which side of the fence he was on/Prick up your ears." In the 1990s, someone once remarked that Pulp's Jarvis Cocker was a mix of Joe Orton and Alan Bennett.



Great film, mildly unpleasant trailer for the US release on VHS

Although Orton's humor is sometimes compared to that of Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, the two authors' tones are recognizably different enough to warrant the existence of both "Wildean" and "Ortonesque" as non-interchangeable terms.  


Orton Square, Leicester with the Curve Theatre and Athena (source: Steve Cadman)

In Leicester, a former industrial area has been redeveloped as a cultural quarter. The pedestrian concourse in front of the Curve Theatre opened as "Orton Square" in 2008.


Orton and Halliwell's former residence, marked by a circular plaque between the windows


*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

Heavy Midnites: REPO MAN at Cinefamily this Friday!

Posted by phil blankenship, January 2, 2013 01:32pm | Post a Comment

REPO MAN // Friday, January 4, 2013 // Midnite


The life of a repo man is always intense — INTENSELY AWESOME! When deciding which film to kick off a new year of cult midnights, the answer was obvious: Alex Cox’s punk rock odyssey perfectly encapsulates our city and our attitude better than nearly any other film of the last 2,000 years. Emilio Estevez revolts from his no-future Reagan-era life, wanders the streets of L.A. and joins forces with Harry Dean Stanton to repossess cars, do speed, get into tense situations and generally live by the Repo Code. When a mysterious cop-zapping Chevy Malibu enters the picture, things truly get weird. Cox’s debut feature remains his ultimate genre smash-up of post-punk spunk, offbeat philosophy, teenage humor, wild sci-fi and biting satire. Featuring career-great performances from character actor legends Tracey Walter and Sy Richardson, and a raging soundtrack from Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Iggy Pop and Fear, this iconic thrill ride is still as epic as it ever was — and we are flipping pumped to present it in 35mm!
Dir. Alex Cox, 1984, 35mm, 92 min.

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

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #15: The New Year In New York, NYC: From Gritty to Disneyfied, Concerts, Take The A Train + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 2, 2013 11:52am | Post a Comment

By early afternoon on Tuesday (January 1st), the estimated 50 tons of garbage left behind by the crammed crowds of approximately one million partiers, who had descended upon Times Square the night before to ring in the new year, had been cleaned up and by this morning when I passed through the "crossroads of the world" you could not tell that such a large scale, multi-faceted event had taken place there at all. Instead, on this first day of business of the new year for most, New Yorkers were rushing in every direction returning to work or maybe to the gym to live up to their New Year's resolution, many clutching newspapers with front page stories on 2013 predictions. At least two NYC papers reported on changes New Yorkers and New York can expect in 2013. These include a better prepared NYC for another Sandy, and a return of the NY Marathon. Also coming in March is the dreaded but inevitable public transit fare increases when flat train/bus fares will increase from $2.25 to $2.50 and monthly unlimited passes increase from $104 to $112, which still not bad compared to the BART or most other US public transit systems. Another much talked about change to take place this year is in mid-March when the new law banning "big gulp" soda drinks from being sold in NYC goes into effect. This has been both controversial and fodder for late night talk shows since the law was pushed in 2012 by the health conscious mayor Michael M. Bloomberg.

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