Songs By Thom Limited Edition Cassette-only Release

Posted by Amoebite, March 31, 2013 07:49pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood employee Thom Petrizzo's band Songs By Thom has just released a limited edition songs by thomcassette called Love...Unrequited. Get it HERE on before they're all gone!

"Local L.A. musician and Amoeba's very own Thom Petrizzo (a.k.a. Songs By Thom) presents Love...Unrequited, a limited edition cassette-only release. This album is a whimsical and wistful collection of catchy ditties with simple but universally-relatable topics: longing, yearning, and hard-won love. Thom builds upon guitars, keyboards, and drums, with heartfelt, confessional lyrics and layered vocals, such as on album opener "May I?" or the kaleidoscopic treat "It's Nice To Dream." This is bashful bedroom pop at its most charming!" - Brian G.



March 31, 2013: Olympus Has Fallen

Posted by phil blankenship, March 31, 2013 04:18pm | Post a Comment

15 Months After The Death Of The Conscious Daughters' Special One, Fellow TCD MC CMG Has "Regrouped And Reinvented" Herself

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2013 01:32pm | Post a Comment

Coming to terms with, and starting to get over the death of someone close takes time. For each person this amount of time can vary. For Carla Green, aka femcee CMG of legendary Oakland female hip-hop duo The Conscious Daughters, it has taken up until now, 15 months since the sudden death of her longtime partner in rhyme Karryl "Special One" Smith, to feel like she has come to terms with the sudden passing of her "sister" and musical partner of two decades.

For The Conscious Daughters' CMG, whose rap name is an acronym for "Cash Makin Girl," it was only earlier this month when she felt fully ready to go out and perform the Daugther's music again. The show was a special show celebrating National Women's History Month two weeks ago at Yoshi's San Francisco on a bill along with Suga T, Yo-Yo, Lady of Rage, and The Coup's DJ Pam The Funkstress.

The concert was the first show that CMG felt ready to do since Special One's passing but it wasn't the first show she had  done. "That was the second show I did without Special One," she told the Amoeblog recently. "The first was when I had opened up for Too $hort back in March of 2012 and it was just too soon for me to perform.  I felt so empty and “not there”.  I was onstage but I was 100% absent. It was like I was in a dream and just standing there rapping. It wasn’t a good look!," she shared. But fast forward to March 2013 and CMG was finally ready, she says.  "I am [now] at peace with Special One’s death. I have regrouped and reinvented myself. I have a new DJ (Deeandroid) and she is fabulous.  We have been rehearsing and vibin’ – so, for this last show with Rage & DJ Pam, Yo-Yo and Suga-T, I was in rare form, feeling good, and really feeling juiced about performing again." Part of that reinvention and regrouping for CMG is realizing that she now has the responsibility "to carry on the legacy of Conscious Daughters" but that she is not doing it alone.  "I do feel that Special One is there on stage with me and most definitely watching over me….and I always hear Spesh’s voice in the back of my mind telling me what to do," she said adding that having DJ Deeandroid up on stage with her as her new partner is a real positive as a performer. "I don’t feel all alone and I can vibe off of her," she said of the gifted turntablist who many know as one half of the DJ duo Deeandroid & Celskiii.

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My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys ...

Posted by Charles Reece, March 31, 2013 09:51am | Post a Comment

Willie on gay marriage.

New 12" Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 3/29 - Pittsburgh Track Authority, Four Tet, L-Vis 1990, Enrico Mantini, E.R.P., and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 30, 2013 06:42pm | Post a Comment

Pittsburgh Track Authority - StrenfPittsburgh Track Authority


Work Them

Big release from the prolific Pittsburgh crew, the latest on Spencer Parker's new Work Them imprint. Well-received releases on Uzuri, Further, Argot and their own Pittsburgh Tracks imprint have demonstrated the trio of producers are creatively restless, offering fresh takes on dub techno, rhodes-driven house, boogie and bass music in their relatively short run. On Strenf, PTA continues to keep listeners guessing. A1 "Strenf" finds PTA plying the uptempo analog techno sound which made Untitled such a big track. "The Standard" is peaktime madness, with a deceptively simple synth vamp filtering over a powerhouse rhythm. The B-side eases up slightly, dropping into the dub house territory of their previous Further release Archipelego, and indulging their documented love of classic effects modules. Closer "It's Time" represents the unlikely meeting ground of Basic Channel and classic Dancemania productions, and goes a long way to describe the group's growing popularity in the underground; while hundreds of producers clamber over each other to mimic the classics in fascimiles of varying worth, the Pittsburgh crew's collective decades of voracious record collecting and studio time allows them to push the music they love forwards.

Buy Strenf

El Prevost

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Watch the Throne, Charge it to the Game: Getting to Know Game of Thrones 3.0

Posted by Kells, March 30, 2013 04:10pm | Post a Comment

Whether you're a fan of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series or just a nighttime TV junkie jonesing for HBO's explicit tits, violence, and wine approach to adapting Martin's opus into their small screen "prestige" drama, you're likely as fired up as I am for the season three premier of Game of Thrones this Easter Sunday night. Having enjoyed reading the books immensely, I'm itching with anticipation for the faces, places, and expirations, however abrupt, yet to receive HBO's patent sexpository book-to-show treatment. For those interested in getting to know the new additions to the series this season, I've compiled my own top ten anticipated new faces set to appear in Game of Thrones 3.0 (expect mild spoilers at best), including a smattering of other related hopes and fears I have concerning the page-to-performance transition (e.g. I'm beginning to think that we're not gonna hear anyone say "R'hllor").

Also, NERD ALERT! if you're in San Francisco on Sunday and you're looking for some Throner-related nightlife I urge you to check out the Game of Thrones viewing party presented at Stage Werx beginning at 8pm with a screening of GoT season two, episode ten to get everyone up to speed. Episode one season three will screen at 9pm immediately followed by a live recording of Boars, Gore and Swords (the "third greatest," and my favorite, Game of Thrones podcast) by Red Scott and Ivan Hernandez so stick around, mingle with ye bannermen, and partake in some top-shelf insightful and opinionated infotainment.

And now, as if you won't be scrambling to figure out who's who on during the show anyway, here is my top ten fresh faces of GoTs3:

The Queen of Thorns
“That Varys creature seemed to think we should be grateful for the information. I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.”

— The Queen of Thorns, from A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book III) - George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones gets its equivalent to Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) this season with the entrance of Lady Olenna Redwyne, grandmother of queen-to-be Margaery Tyrell, aka the Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg, perhaps best known for her Avengers and James Bond years). Sure to be throwing shade and reading friend and foe alike to absolute filth like any queen mum worth her barbs, I have no doubt the Queen of Thorns will have just as many zingers to deliver as Violet Grantham, but be warned that this Game of Thrones' newbie is one scheming meemaw.

Mance Rayder
“Free folk don’t follow names, or little cloth animals sewn on a tunic. They won’t dance for coins, they don’t care how your style yourself or what that chain of office means or who your grandsire was. They follow strength. They follow the man.”

— Mance Rayder, from A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book III) - George R. R. Martin

Aside from having one of the most bas-ass monickers in the series, Mance Rayder, the "King-Beyond-the-Wall" (played by Irish actor Ciarán Hinds of Excalibur and Rome fame), seems to be already one of the most bitched about portrayals. Come on guys, I know there's no signature cape, but did anyone out there get there panties in a twist when Renley's "Rainbow cloaks" were nixed? Besdies, with a man like Mance it's not so much how he looks, but rather what he does. And who he rolls with.

For example:

Tormund Giantsbane

See, lad, that’s why he’s king and I’m not. I can outdrink, outfight, and outsing him, and my member’s thrice the size o’ his, but Mance has cunning.’

— Tormund Giantsbane, from A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book III) - George R. R. Martin

While we're on the topic of bold names and hard aliases, a bushy new face making the scene by means of Mance's entourage is Tormund, better known as Tormund Giantsbane or Tormund Thunderfist, the self-styled Tall-talker, Horn-blower and Breaker of Ice, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts (played by Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju). I refuse to believe any casting quibbles exist concerning Mance's right hand man, especially given his rather stunning, ice-climbing introduction in the season three trailer. I look forward to lusty feats of violence punctuated with wild-eyed recollections copulating with bears from this braggart.

Blue grey feathers filled his eyes, as sharp talons buried themselves in his face… Can a bird hate?

—  from A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book III) - George R. R. Martin

I think I slapped myself with giddyness when I learned that Mackenzie Crook (of the original UK inception of The Office as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean boxoffice juggernauts) had been cast to play, well, anyone in Game of Thrones. I mean, look at this guy! He just needs to be a part of this. In the role of warg, or skinchanger or beastmaster Orell (think Bran and how he has the ability to inhabit the body of his direwolf except swap that spirit animal out for an eagle), Crook takes on on of the freakier roles among Rayder's wildling brigade. I'm excited to see him in the mix no matter how annoying his character promises to be.

Daario Naheris
That night Daario had her every way a man can have a woman, and she gave herself to him willingly.

—  from A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book V) - George R. R. Martin

Oh Daario, Daario Naheris (played by English rapper Ed Skrein). You know, I don't even care that your made-for-TV looks do not include a three prong forked blue beard or that your costume is suspiciously bereft of shiny things. You look just like a slightly sleazy, ready to teaze n' pleaze Miss Dany like late 80's Hollywood rocker on the prowl. Expect hot hot "swordsmanship" from this Tyroshi captain of the Stormcrows mercenary company.

Dany had grown very fond of Missandei. The little scribe with the big golden eyes was wise beyond her years. She is brave as well. She had to be, to survive the life she’s lived.

—  from A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book III) - George R. R. Martin

Now, Nathalie Emmanuel cast in the role of a ten-year-old Missandei isn't so startling when you consider that Daenerys Targaryen was supposed to be about fourteen when she married Khal Drogo in season one. I, for one, am thankful that many of Martin's children were aged-up for HBO. Anyway, former child slave Missandei is a welcome addition to Dany's crew in that her role as translator and go-bewteen with local honchos dealing in armies-for-hire in the slave-trade armpit called Astaphor is integral to Dany's prerogative (i.e. claim to total domination of the seven kingdoms by birthright). Do I smell come-uppance?

Beric Dondarrion
"He's here, he's there, he's everywhere, but when you send men after him, he melts away like dew. One day you hear the man is dead, the next they're saying how he can't be killed."

— Ser Daven Lannister,  from A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book IV) - George R. R. Martin

I don't know much about Australian actor David Michael Scott aside from the fact that I'm dead excited (pun intended) to see him light up the night as "Lightning Lord" Beric Dondarrion in Game of Thrones this season. You may remember him from season one, if you're a total geek like me, when Ned Stark ordered a knight to go capture Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, who had won a bit of infamy for raping and pillaging and things. Welp, Dondarrion (I just love that name, it sounds like he and Robin Hood could be total bros) is back and guess what kids?! He has found religion in the Red God (you know, R'hllor) and dispenses justice with none other than his very own, very special, flaming sword! Speaking of R'hllor, keep an eye out for another new face in Dondarrion's eclectic "Brotherhood Without Banners" entourage, the red priest Thoros of Myr played by Paul Kaye. There's an epic showdown brewing here that's gonna be as intense and raw as the Bear and the Maiden Fair, I'm talkin' popcorn missing-your-face-for-flying-over-your-head moments, people.

The Reeds
“You are the winged wolf, Bran. I wasn’t sure when we first came, but now I am. The crow sent us here to break your chains.”
— Jojen Reed,  from A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book II) - George R. R. Martin

For the record, the Reeds should have been introduced last season as they were integral to the Bran and co.'s  clandestine escape from Winterfell, but I'm not gonna nit-pick because frankly I'm a little surprised they're joining the show at all. The Reeds are the children of Ned Stark's best friend and they live way out in the sticks in what is essentially a swamp settlement. Derided as "frogeaters," the Reeds supposedly have green eyes and mysterious powers possibly related to their off the grid way of living. Meera (Ellie Kendrick, above right) is a skilled hunter, and Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) can see the future: handy!

Ser Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully

“You must be blind as well as maimed, ser. Lift your eyes, and you will see that the direwolf still flies above our walls.”
—  Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully, from A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book IV) - George R. R. Martin

First off, Game of Thrones costumers deserve an A++ for that fish scale inspired leather armor (Catelyn Stark's family, House Tully, has a leaping fish as its symbol). Catlyn's no-nonsense uncle Brynden, having had a falling out with her powerful father Hoster, declared himself the Tully family's black sheep by way of adopting the alias Blackfish. Self-imposed exile hasn't stopped this hard-as-nails warrior from becoming one of Westeros's deadliest, even if he is a sweetheart compared to his nephew Edmure. The Blackfish will, of course, be integral to his great-nephew Robb's King-in-the-North status.


“He smiles less often now, I may have broken some of his pretty white teeth.” 

—  Lord Ramsay Bolton, from A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book V) - George R. R. Martin

Reek. Reek. Rhymes with... I'm not going to talk about Reek. Just like I'm not going to talk about Whitebeard or any other character joining the cast that deserves their own true and proper dramatic introduction. This show is one of the best shows currently airing due in part to it's acrobatic plot points and shocking revelations. So why the picture of Reek? Well, for one, he's one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-him characters from the GoTs3 trailers and, secondly, it'll do for the show's Easter premier, no?

Happy Game of Thrones Easter 2013 everybody!

Actor Andre Royo visits Amoeba Hollywood for a "What's In My Bag?" Episode

Posted by Amoebite, March 29, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment
Andre Royo

Andre Royo is famously known for his role as "Bubbles" on the hit TV series, The Wire. If you are a fan of the series then you know that Bubbles keeps it real! If The Wire's not your thing, you've probably seen Royo on other television shows including Third Watch, Party Down, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Key & Peele, Prime Suspect, and most recently Elementary.

In this "What's In My Bag?" episode Royo keeps it very real and drops an impromtu Hip Hop history lesson, giving us a few of his classic picks. He also shares the story of how the ultimate '80s boxer flick, Rocky, inspired him to become an actor. Andre also does a little shopping for his daughter, grabs a few Rock & Roll LPs, and tells us about his "first introduction to white people." The dude is funny, see for yourself!  

Andre Royo - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Andre Royo as "Bubbles" on the series The Wire.
Bubbles headshot

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 03.29.13: Blu, Uptown XO, Eric Lau, Lil Wayne, Paid Dues, Dead Prez, Kyle Rapps, Planet Asia

Posted by Billyjam, March 29, 2013 05:59am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending March 29: 2013

1)   Blu No York! (New World Colour/Greenstreets)

This long lost experimental album from Blu finally gets an official
release.  The album No York! was originally supposed to be released by Warner Bros Records, but a change of staff got it lost in the woodwork and the project was eventually shelved.  The album has been floating around as a bootleg for some time now, but this is an official fully mastered version of it that’s sure to satisfy Blu fans worldwide. Features production from Exile, Flying Lotus, Samiyam, Daedelus, Dibia$e and more.  Get it!

2)        Eric Lau Makin’ Sound (Octave)

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Tricky's Return To Form With New "Does It" Video From Anticipated Album "False Idols"

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2013 12:44pm | Post a Comment

Tricky "Does It (feat.  Francesca Belmonte)" (2013)

Based on both the advance album track "Nothing's Changed," that was leaked last month as a free download, and the brand new video (above) for "Does It (feat. Francesca Belmonte)" - that was unveiled today - the accurate consensus is that  UK artist Tricky is back in force and on top of his musical game again. Hence the collective anticipation by longtime fans of the artist, who first came to fame as a member of Massive Attack, for his new album False Idols: to be released on his own label of the same name and slated to arrive in Amoeba on May 28th. Diehard Tricky fans agree that False Idols should be his best in years and a welcome return to that dark, ethereal, pleasing sound that Tricky carved out on his early career, nineties releases such as his 1995 debut Maxinquaye and 1996's Pre-Millennium Tension.

Apparently the musician/producer and sometime actor has had time to sit back and reflect and honestly examine on where he had gone creativity. The outcome of that mediation? A definitive decision to keep it real and keep it simple, and bring things back full circle in a return to his 90's musical roots. "I was lost for ages," he admitted in a prepared statement from his label. “I was trying to prove something to people, trying to do something to please other people and also myself at the same time, which is never going to work. To be honest with you, I’ve been floating around since Chris Blackwell and Island.

Weekly Roundup: Classixx, Hanni El Khatib, Bleached, IO Echo, Mikal Cronin

Posted by Billy Gil, March 28, 2013 10:36am | Post a Comment

Classixx Announce Remix EP; Preorder Hanni El Khatib's 'Head in the Dirt'

Leading up to the May 14 release of their long-awaited debut LP, Hanging Gardens, L.A. duo Classixx have announced an EP with remixes of their recent single, the infectious disco jammer “Holding On,” will be released April 2. It features this slightly slowed down yet no less shimmering remix by Jerome LOL, among others. You can download the original “Holding On” here.

Speaking of remixes, Classixx also recently remixed fellow Angeleno and garage rocker Hanni El Khatib’s track “Penny”; check out the remix, the original and preorder Hanni El Khatib’s Head in the Dirt (CD or LP), due April 30, also on Innovative Leisure.


Bleached Premiere “Dead in Your Head,” Album Out Next Week

Bleached have been steadily garnering attention since sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin formed the band in L.A., following the dissolution of their great punk band Mika Miko. Following several 7” releases, their debut LP Ride Your Heart is out April 2 on Dead Oceans; preorder it on CD or LP. While first single “Next Stop” rode fast on three-chord punky attitude, “Dead in Your Head” represents the Clavins’ first step toward becoming the next Bangles, forging their punk roots into hooky power-pop.

Shop Vinyl at Amoeba's Next Sidewalk Sale, April 13th

Posted by Billy Gil, March 27, 2013 04:55pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale is coming up, and this time it's all about VINYL. On Saturday, April 13th, from 12 - 5pm, we'll have a huge assortment of goodies, including:

- 45s

- Hip-Hop and Dance 12" records

- Full-length LPs from from $1 and up

- Classical LPs

In addition, we'll have our usual DVD deal — buy three, get one free — sales on DVD box sets (two for $10), CD bargains, and more, including toys and collectibles.

For those who can't make it out to the sale, shop our Clearance section online for some sweet finds.

All sidewalk sales are final. Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale.




New York State of Mind Amoeblog #25: Northern Dispensary, Vampire Weekend, Nail Art, Coney Island, Lady Gaga Foundation +

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

In this 25th installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a look at the new Vampire Weekend video, "Step," which has a Souls Of Mischief connection as well as other Bay Area references, the new Bronx graffiti indie film Gimme The Loot, a cool piece of public art by sculpture WIll Ryman that is constructed out of industrial nails, a look at Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation that rolled through Times Square last weekend, concerts in the Big Apple for the week ahead, and the interesting tale of a historic building in the high-priced Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Above is a photo taken yesterday of the historic Northern Dispensary building that is located in northern Greenwich Village. Originally, it was established by The City of New York in 1791 as a Dispensary for the treatment of the poor when it was located further south on the island of Manhattan in the neighborhood of City Hall. But as New York City rapidly grew, this current structure was established in 1824 and fully built seven years later in 1831 as a provincial branch to the north - hence named "Northern Dispensary."  The unusual Y-shaped building now sits in Waverly Place where Grove Street and Christopher Street intersect on its own little island of land. The photo lower left was taken of the building in 1885.

10 Releases to Check Out on Record Store Day

Posted by Billy Gil, March 26, 2013 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2013 takes place April 20, featuring new releases, reissues of out-of-print albums and other rarities. I’ve pulled out 10 titles or sets of releases that jumped out to me personally. If it’s anything like last year, you’ll have to get here early to get those in-demand releases (check out last year’s coverage here).

You can view a listing all of the releases that will be made available that day here and find more information on Record Store Day's official site. Check out my picks below.


The BatsBy Night

The debut release by The Bats, part of the Flying Nun clan of New Zealand jangle-pop bands. The Bats are fronted by Robert Scott, sometime bassist of The Clean, a band whose cult infamy has helped lead to their brethren being rediscovered by a new generation. I haven’t heard By Night, but having quite enjoyed 1987’s Daddy’s Highway, I’m sure their debut is just as chockfull of jangly delights. Seriously, I want to just jump on an airplane slash time machine and live in New Zealand in the ’80s and listen to awesome bands like The Bats, though they’re still around making fine records today.



Best CoastFear of My Identity b/w Who Have I Become

Albums Out March 26: Wavves, The Strokes, The Cyclist, and More

Posted by Billy Gil, March 26, 2013 11:07am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:


Wavves - Afraid Of Heights

CD $13.98

LP $22.98

Wavves’ latest album album mostly ditches the “King of the Beach” surf-punk notions of previous releases for a big, warm, alt-rock embrace that does wonders to highlight the quality of Nathan Williams’ songwriting. “Sail to the Sun” starts out with sparkling synths and moves into a thumping, surging rocker. “Demon to Lean On” is built for rock radio, with a catchy, two-note riff leading into its soaring chorus. It’s reminiscent of mid-’90s radio gems from the likes of Weezer and their brethren, but it’s also smartly built, with watery guitars and castanets seeping beneath the surface of its Pixies-inspired, quiet-to-loud dynamics and Nathan Williams’ paranoid lyrics. After starting out boldly, the album takes dark turns that should please fans of Wavves previous work, including the lo-fi attack of “Mystic,” which buries Williams under stacks of distorted sound before engaging with a singular synth riff. But he always brings it back to some of his hookiest songs yet, like the soaring title track, which makes use of backup vocals by Jenny Lewis and delivers another instantly recognizable, could-be radio hit from 1996. If only all pop-punk, surf-alt or what have you was this catchy, smartly written and unafraid of hooks! Afraid of Heights succeeds as Williams’ clearest bid yet for crossover success, yet it doesn’t sacrifice his essential slackery appeal. File it next to your Dookie, Blue Album and Doolittle records and embrace the fuzzy pop of Afraid of Heights.

Rock On Their Own Terms: Japanese Women Making Music Beyond J-Pop

Posted by Kells, March 25, 2013 06:06pm | Post a Comment

"Rock You in a Tatami Room" by artist Yumiko Kayukawa

It's Women's History Month and, as time would have it, I am missing the Underground Japanese Rock section that I used to upkeep at Amoeba Music's San Francisco location. Having dedicated not a small amount of my life to the study of Japanese language and culture over the last thirteen years, caring for and discovering Japanese music at Amoeba in tandem with my academic duties has been and continues to be a pleasure, though the enjoyment of filing them neatly into their own cozy little vicinity is, sadly, a notion of the past. We do keep a J-Pop section up and running, but I digress.
With this post I seek to celebrate Japanese women in music, specifically the musicians performing on the (alternative/avant-garde/experimental or whatever you want to call it) flip-side of the produced-for-mass-consumption J-Pop norm, and, even more specifically, my favorite artists in the cut. Whenever possible I have included live footage of these artists because, frankly, I find the fact that some of these performances are available at all is incredible. Case in point:



I first came to know multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, sound artist Haco (also known for her 1981-1991 ensemble After Dinner, featured in the above video, and Hoahio, among others) when a friend recommended her 1999 release Happiness Proof. That same year I picked up Ohayo! Hoahio! by Hoahio, not knowing it was a Haco thing, and became so entranced by her view master melding of acoustic with electronic compositions and her clarion clear vocals that I went whole hog into her back catalog and have been an avid follower ever since (an experience I reckon many fans of Björk's music can relate to). I fell in love with Haco, it was just that easy.

For those interested in checking into Haco's world I suggest you start near the beginning and pick up the 2001 reissue of After Dinner's 1987 masterpiece Paradise of the Replica (included with the reish is a bonus remix EP, Paradise of Remixes).  Her best song ever is probably "Less Than Lovers, More Than Friends" from the Ohayo! Hoahio! album released via John Zorn's New Japan imprint on his Tzadik recording label.

Hoahio - "Less Than Lovers, More Than Friends"

p.s. If you're already waaay into Haco, like me, I recommend keeping a vinyl digger's eye out for a record circa 1987 called La Debutante by Sonoko -- it's pretty much the equivalent of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette if David Lynch had made it in the late '80s.

?????  Nikaidoh Kazumi

I learned about singer/songwriter Nika, as she is often called, via my interest in K Records flag-bearer artists like Phil Elverum and Karl Blau, both of whom have not only toured and recorded with her but have also covered some of her work. She has an enchanting, often arresting vocal style that sometimes veers startlingly into lowslung growl-like warbles not dissimilar to those attributed to Louis Armstrong -- a power that embellishes her borderline experimental acoustic folk melodies, when it doesn't override it completely. Her work under the alias Nika Soup, with  Saya "Source" Ueno of Tenniscoats and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, is some of the most stunning improvisational avant garde music she has ever made (check out the trailer for the 2008 Nika Soup and Saya Source documentary Harmonies here).

For Nika's solo works I recommend beginning with her 2003 album Mata Otoshimashitayo. For her more esoteric jams look into Ipiya by Nika Soup and Saya Source, released in 2005.

Watch Miss Nika silence a rowdy crowd of SF hipsters with her power chords in the video below.


When Buffalo Daughter guitarist Sugar Yoshinaga got together with former OOIOO and DMBQ drummer Yuka Yoshimura in the mid-aughts to form supergroup duo Metalchicks it was like a dream I didn't even know I had coming true. Buffalo Daughter has long been a favorite of mine, especially their 2001 to 2003 releases I, the A Long Life Story of Miss Cro-Magnon EP (containing their best effort to date, the nearly ten minute electro space odyssey "Son of Altair"), and Pshychic. As for OOIOO -- see below. In any case, hearing Sugar's applied shred-ability and TB-303 skill set paired with percussive powerhouse "Yoshico" in a quasi-metal mash-up act is, in a word, tits. Their debut album rules.

There's not a lot of footage of Metalchicks out there, but this video here doesn't suck.

What can I say about this band that hasn't been already said? I mean, just the fact they allegedly started out in the mid-'90s as a hastily thrown together fake band for a magazine photo shoot so that Yoshimi P-We (Boredoms drummer and member of indie supergroup Free Kitten, among others) wouldn't have to brave the exposure alone is enough to kiiind of make me love them even if they couldn't really "play anything" at the time. Six albums later and their sound has come to be described as something that is both structured yet improvised, a cyclic and untethered polyrhythmic wizardry that evokes infinite primal wonders and a definite tribal urge. While Yoshimi herself claims that her compositions are inspired by "weather," an atmospheric state of complex simplicity. The group seems to garner a great deal of focus on their being an "all-girl" ensemble, but the recordings are anything but a prohibitive, "females only" space. Begin with Gold & Green.

Late last summer OOIOO played live with (are you kidding me?!) a gamelan orchestra, see below!

?????? / Afrirampo
Oh, Afrirampo -- I feel another case of "what more can be said" coming on. For starters, though only active for eight years, duo Oni (guitar, vocals) and Pikachu (drums, vocals) managed to produce eleven releases and rode their raw and raucous African-influenced call and response rock around the world, including a stay with pygmy tribes in Cameroon (as can be heard on their 2006 record Baka ga kita!!!). They've collaborated with Acid Mothers Temple and toured with Sonic Youth and Lightning Bolt and while they've cast their trademark Afrirampo-red raiments aside, both Oni and Pika continue to make music these days (thank heavens). Oni's more recent acoustic folk efforts, apparent on her solo release Sunwave Heart comes as a somewhat jarring 180 degree departure from her Afrirampo roots, but for all its hippy-dippy love vibes her sound is no less unchained. As for Pika, she 's maintained the A.M.T. connection, touring recently with Kawabata Makoto.

Still, there's nothing that can beat the frenzied, anything goes energy of an Afrirampo live show. Check out their 2CD/DVD final release Never Ending Afrirampo to reminisce or catch a glimpse at what you missed. Otherwise I suggest starting with Kore Ga Mayaku Da as it will probably be the easiest to find. Uchu no Ko is my personal favorite. And if you're jonesing for something similar I urge you to check out Kiiiiiii.
Watch Afrirampo perform "Akan Konomama Kaesanai" circa 2009 below:

Because Takako Minekawa's music is associated with that of Cornelius and Kahimi Karie, not to mention the whole Shibuya Kei scene, this will be by far the most J-Pop inclusion in the cut. Though she is probably most quasi-famous for being the voice of "Playstation" commercials et al, Takako's child-like electropop compositions for and about cats, specific colors, and other cutesy bits seem to be the thing that draws admirers to her music. Judging by the broad scope of synthesized sounds steeped into all nine of her records I'd wager a guess that she's been a nerdy keyboard collector for as long as she can remember. For me, I discovered her music via her 2000 release Maxi On and moved back through her catalog, even scouring the dusty depths of Book Off to find her Christmas CD. Sadly, she hasn't put out any new recordings since then, a fact that I'm prone to bemoan at length at any given moment. Her website hasn't been updated since 2004 so I suggest that anyone interested in her music start at the end, work towards the beginning, just don't expect anything new. [*sniffle*]

Here is a video for "Fantastic Cat" from Roomic Cube (1996)

???? Tujiko Noriko

Around the same time I was getting into experimental folk singer/songwriter Aiko Shimada I picked up From Tokyo To Naiagara by Tujiko Noriko and fell hard for her at first listen. Already primed by Shimada's melancholic compositions that combined classical instruments and toy piano with dabbling electronic elements, Tujiko Noriko's layered vocals singing in both English and Japanese, drowned in heavy blankets of electronica, conjuring cinematic scenes of unrequited love, necessary separation, stylish trappings, and the romance of a repeatedly bruised ego continue to fascinate me. The perfect soundtrack for an haute couture fashion presentation.

It's difficult to choose just one starting point from her many offerings, but I recommend Make Me Hard, From Tokyo To Naiagara (the opening track, "Narita Made," being Ms. Tujiko operating at the top of her game check out the track below), and her collaboration with Aoki Takamasa, 28 -- a recording that is still, in my opinion, too beautiful for this world.

First things first: Syzygys actually have a new album currently in the works, coming out soon! This odd duo featuring violin paired with the discordant 43-tone organ of one Harry Partch and cute, if somewhat atonal, vocals and twisted lyrics that'd make Shonen Knife eat their bonnets for brunch possess a strange magic for making music that sounds so wrong yet so right. Listening to their mystic, Middle Eastern influenced microtonal meanderings makes me feel like a child following the pied piper, somehow I can't help but want more and more and more. Of all the artists I love that seem to have packed it in, Syzygys would be one of the very last I'd expect to still be active after all these years. You can find their complete studio recordings (spanning from mid-'80s to early '90s) on Zorn's New Japan imprint, but I suggest beginning with their live in '85 CD, Eyes On Green -- it's just so weird and so, so wonderful.
Here's a little bit if Syzygys live performing their instrumental "Fauna Grotesque" circa 1987:


Hailing from Okinawa, trio Kanna (guitar/vocals), Suke (bass/vocals) and Sayuri (drums) continue to challenge the way people perceive a band's image versus sound. The first time I saw Bleach03 (then known as just plain ol' Bleach) at a Japan Nite event in New York City in 2001 was also the first time I had ever seen anyone literally bloody themselves playing bass. Suke's berserker approach carries over into her mic-swallowing vocals as well, but it's just another detail in Bleach03's overall anything-but-cute powerful punch.

My favorite album of theirs, Kibaku-Zai ("Triggering Device"), features a rash of their patent incendiary shred-a-thons with such titles as "Santa Claus" and "Town of Good Children." Bleach03 even played live at Amoeba Music in San Francisco, they completely ruled! Check out the video below:

When a band's bio begins with what planet they hail from, in this case the planet Kero Kero, you know you're in for a ride. Making a live show of their homespun extraterrestrial fetish wear and affinity for frogs eX-Girl make music like an electropop, prog-punk trainwreck of three-part operatic acapella acrobatics, psychedelic space rock, jazz fusion, and heavily SciFi influenced lyrics, one song at a time. Having toured with the likes of Fantômas and Siouxsie and The Banshees, eX-Girl have secured many avid fans, including Jello Biafra and Mike Patton, and endured many line-up changes. The sole original member, Kirilola, has also stretched out her compositions in a number of side projects, her spiritual cleansing music under the name Asakau being a favorite. eX-Girl also starred in the film Legend of the Waterbreakers by Japanese comedienne and Ass Baboons of Venus member Naoko Nozawa. A good place to start with eX-Girl is their fourth album Back to the Mono Kero which features a fantastic cover of M's "Pop Muzik," otherwise I suggest checking out Endangered Species (2004) as it is eX-Girl at their furthest out and fully-realized.
See them perform "Hettakorii no Ottokotou" from Endangered Species in a sketchy video below:

Angel'in Heavy Syrup
In conclusion, I offer this bonus helpful hint for all you diggers out there: if you ever happen to come across any Angel'in Heavy Syrup CD while flipping through the rock bins just do yourself a favor and pick it up. Chances are it's overlooked and under-priced and way worth your time. Formed in 1990, these ladies were making far out krautrock-influenced progressive psychedelic rock during the height of the Japanese noise rock scene which kind of seems like a ballsy move, no? But it's this kind of puzzling trajectory that made for such satisfying take-a-chance-on-it discoveries through the Underground Japanese Rock section (R.I.P.)

Aside from the aforementioned "anything you can find" tip, I recommend Angel'in Heavy Syrup's III album and/or IV (you know, titles like Zeppelin). A very lovely, very underrated band.

Someone loved them enough to construct an appropriately trippy video for their song "First Love" --
check it out:

The 2013 SF Underground Short Film Festival, April 13

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 25, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

The 2013 San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival (SFUSFF) hits the Victoria Theatre on san francisco underground short film festivalSaturday, April 13th with two big programs full of shorts AND the World Premiere of the feature film La Bamba 2: Hell Is A Drag written and directed by Rob Fatal.

Hosted by Peaches Christ and Sam Sharkey, the SFUSFF is dedicated to supporting underground cinema from Bay Area filmmakers. ACT 1 (Shorts Circus) begins at 7:00pm and ACT 2 (Shorts After Dark) begins at 9:30pm. La Bamba 2: Hell Is A Drag premieres at Midnight.

The SFUSFF will be a physically immersive event with Christ and Sharkey kicking off the night with a Live Rock Show, followed by special appearances from some of the filmmakers themselves and the stars of the films. Some films will screen with a live interactive component where the film is presented in 4-D!

Please note that the second program of the evening (Shorts After Dark) will feature the more adult content of the festival (basically all the blood and sex), so be sure to bring your mom.

Get your tickets HERE!

Dido's New "Girl Who Got Away" Available from Amoeba on March 26th in Regular and Deluxe Versions

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2013 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Dido "Girl Who Got Away" (acoustic version of the title track of the UK singer/
songwriter's new album Girl Who Got Away available from Amoeba March 26th)

Dido returns to the shelves of Amoeba Music tomorrow (March 26th) with her brand new album Girl Who Got Away on RCA Records. Available in both regular and Deluxe CD versions, Girl Who Got Away is the UK artist's fourth album to date and her first since 2008's Safe Trip Home. With production courtesy of her brother/frequent collaborator Rollo Armstrong - in addition to Brian Eno, Jeff Bhasker, Rick Nowels, and Greg Kurstin - the 11 track (17 on the DeLuxe version) new album of self-penned songs spans folk, ambient, dance, electro infused pop, and hip hop. In addition to such tracks as the lead single "No Freedom" (see video below) critics have been lauding praise upon the new album track "Let Us Move On" that features an engaging guest feature from hip-hopper of the moment Kendrick Lamar.

Trans-Jovian Moons in Fact and Fiction

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 25, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts about extraterrestrial worlds in fact and (mostly) fiction. There've been (or will be) posts about Callisto, Ceres, Europa, Ganymede, Io, Mars, Pluto, Titan, VenusTrans-Neptunian dwarf planets, and Asteroids. The primary reason that there haven't been more is because the more obscure the solar object, the less likely it is to have been a setting for a Science-Fiction work (and thus the less relevance to Amoeba). A secondary reason is that these posts are far less popular than my Los Angeles neighborhood, LA County community, or Orange County community posts -- but aren't moons and planets sort of the neighborhoods of our Solar System? So here I am with a round-up of several moons, the Trans-Jovian ones that appear in computer or video games, movies, TV shows and old time radio.


There are currently 163 known Trans-Jovian moons. If the definition is broadened to include Trans-Neptunian objects, Trojan Moons, and Asteroids, then there are more than 336. Not surprisingly, most of them have not been the subject of any sci-fi fantasies. 


I've long been fascinated by the satellites of the gas giants. Whereas the planets they orbit seem unlikely to be colonized, the moons seem to be much more hospitable and tantalizing. Eight of them are larger than Pluto, which was formerly categorized as a planet. Imagine looking up to a sky dominated by a massive planet. It's almost enough to give me a panic attack. 

Sunset on Titan as (panoramic composite created by Christian Waldvogel)

Today is the 357th anniversary of the discovery of the first Trans-Jovian moon (Titan) by Christiaan Huygens (25 March, 1655).Anyway, since Titan has already been the subject of a blog entry, here are the rest of the Trans-Jovian moons!



Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system, with a radius that's approximately nine times that of Earth's. It is believed to have a rocky core underneath layers of liquid and gas which makes it pretty inhospitable. However, it has 62 known moons. Along with Ganymede (a satellite of Jupiter), Saturn's moon of Titan is larger than Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, and is the only known satellite with a dense atmosphere and stable bodies of surface liquid.

Saturn's other moons have less often captured the imagination of sci-fi creators (not counting literature, only because Amoeba's more of a music, movies and games store although there are some books!) but here's what I've got:


Enceladus is the sixth largest moon of Saturn. The world is believed to have liquid water under its icy surface that is ejected into space by cryovolcanoes. Enceladus is one of only three outer Solar System bodies where active eruptions have been observed (the other two are Io, with its sulfur volcanoes, and Triton, with its nitrogen geysers. Some of the expelled water ends up in Saturn's rings whilst some falls back to the moon's surface as snow. Snow world!

Enceladus was a setting in the Buck Rogers radio episode, "Killer Kane and Ardala on Saturn's moon." It was the site of a battle in the Terran-Neosapien War in the cartoon Exosquad. On Life After People: The Seriesthe Cassini spacecraft crashes on Enceladus and the bacteria it carries evolve into new life forms. In the Futurama episode "Cold Warriors," Enceladus is revealed to be Saturn's main "dump moon." And finally, on an episode of 宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199 (Space Battleship Yamato 2199), the crew of the Yamato briefly stops there and has an adventure.


Hyperion is the largest irregularly-shaped moon of Saturn, in fact, it was the first non-round moon to be discovered (in 1848 by by William Cranch BondGeorge Phillips Bond and William Lassell). Its orbit is fairly eccentric and its appearance is often compared to that of a sponge. It is believed to be composed mostly of water ice.

Level 16 of the Parallax Software game Descent takes place on there.


Mimas moon

is the smallest astronomical body that is known to be rounded in shape because of self-gravitation. Its surface area is close to that of the Earth country known as Spain. Mimas's most distinctive feature is a giant impact crater 130 kilometres across (named Herschel after the moon's discoverer, William Hershel) that gives it the appearance of the Death Star.

Mimas was a recurring location in Red Dwarf and produces the local delicacy, "Mimean Bladderfish." In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty," Mimas is where Wesley Crusher and other Starfleet cadets transport after participating in the banned Kolvoord Starburst.


Tethys moon

Tethys is mostly made of water ice -- less than 6% of the planet consists of rocky material! It is heavily cratered but its dominant characteristic is the more than 2000 km long (and 100 km wid) Ithaca Chasma. The huge graben is possibly related to the moon's largest impact crater, the 400 km across Odysseus crater.

Tethys is the setting of the bizarre, Alien cash-in Stanley Donen Saturn 3 (directed by Stanley Donen from a screeplay by Martin Amis). On Exosquad, Tethys was at one point the primary base of the Pirate Clans. Level 17 of Descent takes place there too.



Uranus high resolution planet

The less-preferred, not-very-Latin-sounding but common pronunciation of Uranus (as "yer anus") makes it a favorite planet amongst the elementary school set. It's the third largest planet in the solar system and the largest of the two so-called ice giants. Its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its revolution about the Sun. Its moons orbit in the planet's equatorial plane and are thus subject to extreme seasonal cycles, with the poles of some being plunged into continuous darkness for decades followed by equally long periods of sunlight. Like all of the gas giants, it has a set of planetary rings. Uranus has 27 known natural satellites. Its five major moons are Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon.


Miranda is the smallest and innermost of Uranus's five major moons. Its surface is possibly composed primarily of water ice. Its dramatically-scarred surface is dominated by scarps, craters, coronae (which may've formed via extensional processes at the tops of diapirs) and graben formed by extensional faulting.

Level 18 of Descent takes place on Miranda. 


Oberon is the outermost major moon of the planet Uranus and the second largest and second most massive of the Uranian moons. Oberon is composed of approximately equal amounts of ice and rock --probably differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle which are possibly separated by a layer of liquid water. Its unnamed, highest peak is believed to be taller than Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, Earth's tallest mountains.

In the Russian film, Лунная радуга (Moonlight Rainbow), cosmonauts on Oberon are infected with a disease that gives them supernatural powers. On Doctor Who, the series "Revelation of the Daleks" introduces the Grand Order of Oberon. In the Canadian TV series, Starhunter, the episode "Cell Game" establishes that Oberon is home to a penal colony. Three levels of Descent take place on Oberon. In Reality Pump Studios' game, Earth 2160, some of the action takes place on Oberon.


Titania moon

Titania is the largest of the moons of Uranus and the eighth largest moon in the Solar System. Titania consists of approximately equal amounts of ice and rock, with an icy mantle and rocky core. As on Oberon, a layer of liquid water may be present at the core–mantle boundary. 

In Earth 2160 references are made to a destroyed prison colony on Titania.



Neptune is the eighth and most distant planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Methane in the outermost regions in part account for the planet's striking blue appearance (Uranus has similar levels of methane but it more cyan than azure so there must be other factors behind its brilliant blue). Neptune frequently experiences massive anti-cyclonic storms. Neptune has thirteen known moons.


Triton moon high resolution

Triton is by far the largest (and most interesting) of Neptune's satellites, comprising more than 99.5% of all of the planet's orbiting mass. It's also the only moon massive enough to be spheroidal. In fact, its size, shape and retrograde orbit indicate that's a captured object and was once probably a dwarf planet. In fact, it's the only large moon with retrograde orbit in the Solar System. It's also one of the few geologically active moons, which accounts for its young, smooth complexion. Along with Ganymede, it's the only moon larger than the smallest planet (again, Mercury). 

And finally, Triton is the setting for level 23 of, you guessed it, 


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El Haru Kuroi-Canta Gallo

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 25, 2013 07:30am | Post a Comment

The name, El Haru Kuroi, is a cultural mash-up.It's a mix of grammatically incorrect Japanese and Spanish. They wanted to be called “Black Spring” in Japanese (It should be Kuroi Haru) and the “El” was added when people said they should have a Spanish name to their band because the band's lyrics were mostly in Spanish. Their latest release, Canta Gallo, is nothing short of brilliant. The influences that make El Haru Kuroi are not hard to pinpoint, yet put together they way they do makes for a sound that is all their own. The influence of Brazil’s Tropicalia movement weighs heavy on them, yet much like those artists involved in that movement, El Haru Kuroi adapted the music they grew up on and took the essence. The result is a haunting mixture of Bossa Nova and Boleros mixed with urgency of post-punk groups like Gang Of Four and Fugazi.

Singer/Guitarist Eddika Organista is the daughter of a Mexican musician who played in many Tropical groups. Most of the music Eddika’s father enjoyed was in Spanish, but he was also a fan of Brazilian music, Bossa Nova in particular. The sound of the Brazilian artists singing in Portuguese resonated strongly with a young Eddika, who was already fluent in both Spanish and English and playing guitar by age eleven. She found herself mimicking the sound of Brazilian singers when she sang. This led her to study Portuguese in school. She started to discover other Brazilian artists that went beyond the Bossa Nova singers that her father favored. At the age of seventeen, she is discovered the Tropicalia movement that started in Brazil in the late 60’s and in particular, her world was blown wide open by the discovery of Caetano Veloso. The influence of Veloso’s work on Eddika’s songwriting and musicianship is undeniable, but it goes beyond imitation. She manages to capture the soul of Caetano rather than his sound, the mixture of beauty and darkness that permeates her songs whether she is writing in English, Spanish or Portuguese.Organista's ability to sing in three languages creates options for the group. Language becomes part of the music, with each language chosen for what works best in the song. The rhythm section of Dominic Rodriguez and Michael Ibarra adapt to the whims of Organista’s imagination. Rodriguez imaginative percussive style works with Organista’s gritty yet breezy guitar tone. Ibarra hold them all together with a playing that resembles Charles Mingus when he played support rather than lead. It was an underrated talent of Mingus and one that Ibarra shares with him.  Lyrically, Organista’s metaphoric lyrics recall the beauty and pain of Caetano Veloso and Agustin Lara writing without imitation. Each song is pure heartbreak blues, even when decorated in sweet melodies.

11 Best Films of 2012 as Chosen by Me

Posted by Charles Reece, March 24, 2013 10:16pm | Post a Comment
I'm real late with this list, so I decided to just put it up sans commentary. In no particular order:

Killer Joe - William Friedkin

Something in the Air - Olivier Assayas

Damsels in Distress - Whit Stillman

The Hobbit - Peter Jackson

Sound of My Voice - Zal Batmanglij

Holy Motors - Leos Carax

Killing Them Softly - Andrew Dominik

Project X - Nima Nourizadeh

Lincoln - Steven Spielberg

The Master - Paul Thomas Anderson

The Raid - Gareth Evans


Poster Links:

Lincoln, The Hobbit, Something in the Air, Holy Motors, Killing Them Softly, Damsels in Distress, The Master, The Raid, Sound of My Voice

Secret Society of the Sonic Six April / May West Coast Tour Dates!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 24, 2013 03:00pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 3/22 - Daywalker + CF, Theo Parrish, Robert Hood, Robert Armani, Alex Burkat, Terekke, and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 22, 2013 04:34pm | Post a Comment

Daywalker + CF

You Only Live Once



Quick-hit white label biz from L.I.E.S., who seemed poised to continue their breakneck release schedule into 2013. Here, Entro Senestre and the prolific Willy Burns (Trilogy, WT) trot out their Daywalker + CF alias, as featured on Gerd Janson’s Music for Autobahns compilation. The title track sets the tone for the varied synth journeys contained on this limited white-label. “You Only Live Once” is a gentle jacker with dueling melodic synth lines. A2 “Insectorium” takes an unexpected turn for motorik optimism - this track would fit in well with Ashra’s “Sunrain” or even Orbital’s “Belfast” - gorgeous stuff. Closer “Chamber” bottles that incredible feeling of lingering in the anteroom of a big room techno club. Limited.

Buy You Only Live Once


Secret Circuit - AfterlifeSecret Circuit


Beats in Space


Silverlake’s mad scientist Eddie Ruscha returns to Beats In Space with a heady release that builds upon the plethora of ideas on last year’s “Tropical Psychedelics” LP. Ruscha has honed his restless machines into a side of drippy, tasteful pop for “Afterlife”, a track built around an acid-influenced arpeggiated bass line. Ruscha uses this foundation to show off his songwriting chops, stepping forward with understated vocals before proving, once again, his commitment to psychedelic sound within the dance context. The Ukranian producer Vakula comes with a more floor oriented remix that recalls the live approach of peers Juju and Jordash. The remix ends with a haunting, warped vocal every bit as zonked as something off of a Charalambides record.

Show Recap: Black Lips at the El Rey

Posted by Billy Gil, March 22, 2013 01:35pm | Post a Comment

Black Lips ripped through songs across their catalog March 21 at the El Rey Theatre. The band clearly was having a great time without a recent album to support (the most recent being 2011's excellent Arabia Mountain, which saw the band trading some of their trademark scuzz for Mark Ronson production while retaining their essential sound). They began as loudly and reverby as usual, tearing through Arabia Mountain's "Family Tree" and old favorites "Dirty Hands" and "Not a Problem" from 2005's Let it Bloom. By the time they got to the whirlwinds of "O Katrina," the crowd and pit was worked up into a froth — one girl jumped onstage with Black Lips written on her ass cheeks. They played a new song which was hard to make out — they gave the disclaimer that they were still working out the kinks on it. For the most part, they stuck to playing the jams — "Raw Meat," "Boomerang," "Buried Alive." Toilet paper came a-flyin' during "Modern Art," while another girl jumped onstage around the time they played "Bad Kids" to kiss guitarist Ian Saint Pe, who quickly obliged, after having flung a beer all over himself that had been thrown onstage. Cohorts Jared Swilley, Cole Alexander and Joe Bradley mostly stayed well-behaved during the show, minus Swiley's air-humping while playing bass and Alexander licking the mic stand (sorry, no penis this time). The band was set to play Burgerama the next day with Bleached, Nick Waterhouse and others at the Santa Ana Observatory, but they also have a documentary about their trip to the Middle East in the works. It's seeking funding via Indiegogo. Check out the trailer below. I love seeing them play politely in Erbil while onlookers tap their feet and one man holds up his baby. Looks amazing. See photos from their past three Amoeba performances here, here and here.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up Week End 03.22.13 Dark Time Sunshine, Demigodz, Murs & 9th Wonder, Denver DMC, Kendrick Lamar Rap Lib + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 22, 2013 10:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending March 22: 2013

1) Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath)

2) Swollen Members Beautiful Death Machine (Suburban Noize)

3) The Demigodz KILLMatic (Dirty Version)

4) Murs & 9th Wonder The Final Adventure (It's A Wonderful World Music Group)

5) Souls Of Mischief '93 Til Infinity (Traffic reissue)

Some real good quality releases on the latest hip-hop chart from Amoeba Hollywood above including the brand new The Demigodz KILLMatic featuring such talents as the ever prolific member Apathy (more on him in videos below), the return of Canada's Swollen Members  with the brand new Beautiful Death Machine on Suburban Noize, and the recent (out a minute but still charting) collab from Murs & 9th Wonder The Final Adventure on It's A Wonderful World Music Group which note will be their fifth and final collaborative effort. Too bad as these guys have a great chemistry together.

Who Is Tuxedo?

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 21, 2013 03:41pm | Post a Comment

Tuxedo EPA new 3-song EP of synth-heavy funky goodness is making its way around the interwebs today. The project is called Tuxedo, and other than being from the West Coast, that's about all we know so far.

They haven't revealed their names but it sure sounds like Mayer Hawthorne, especially on the track "Do It." Given his proclivity for dressing FLY, being in a group called Tuxedo makes perfect sense. A few people in the Twittersphere are suggesting the other person involved is Seattle producer Jake One. Guess we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, the Tuxedo EP is available for download on Soundcloud.

Bring on the jams!


Weekly Roundup: Jeremih & Shlohmo, Young & Sick, Hanni El Khatib, Kisses, GRMLN, Sonny & the Sunsets

Posted by Billy Gil, March 21, 2013 03:19pm | Post a Comment

Jeremih & Shlohmo – “Bo Peep (Do U Right)”

Shlohmo DJing live at Amoeba Hollywood

Producer Shlohmo and R&B singer Jeremih have collaborated on a song that melds the styles of both artists, with Shlohmo’s dreamy beatscapes becoming harder-edged and Jeremih singing lushly, breathily while still singing those come-ons acrobatically (“I’m gon’ do you” he repeats, just slightly tamer than his track “Fuck U All the Time,” which Shlohmo has also remixed). It was recorded for Adidas’ “Songs from Scratch” series. Amoeba Presents Shlohmo with Jeremih at the Henry Fonda Theatre April 6; tickets are $20 (plus a $2 service fee), purchasable in-store. Read more here.


Young & Sick – “Continuum”

Young & Sick
Example of Young & Sick's artwork

Young & Sick’s “House of Spirits” was a sad little piece of electronic R&B in which the L.A. based music, fashion and art project lived up to its name, with lyrics about drowning in a car with the one you love. “Continuum” is no less obsessed with drowning, but it is less directly influenced by R&B, instead spinning out ethereal soul somewhere between likeminded acts How to Dress Well and Rhye. As much as I like the song, the story of how they released it sort of takes precedence — they released it via the Tor underweb, a sort of black market of the Internet that makes Craigslist seem like the Pennysaver, with killers for hire and all sorts of unspeakable porn. That and apparently they turned down six figures to do it their way and remain anonymous. They sure have their values in check! Read all about it in ForbesForbes, for crying out loud.

Ninja Tune's The Bug + Daddy Freddy and Miss Red Playing Select US Dates Including SF and LA This Week

Posted by Billyjam, March 21, 2013 08:41am | Post a Comment

The Bug "Kill Them / Louder" (2013)

California is the destination of two of the four stops on the current extremely limited North American tour - tagged as Built By Meanred - by The Bug (aka prolific Dubstep and other electronic genres producer Kevin Martin) alongside Daddy Freddy and Miss Red who were up in Montreal performing last night and are playing San Francisco tonight (Thursday March 21st) and Los Angeles tomorrow (Friday March 22nd) before flying cross country to play NYC on Saturday night (March 23rd). The venues are Public Works, San Francisco, Club Los Globos in Los Angeles where Ras-G will join the lineup, and Le Poisson Rouge in New York where Jubilee and Fantasy Thrilla will also perform.

The last minute announced select US dates by the extremely prolific artist, whose discography spans such labels as  Ninja Tune, Virgin, Rephlex, Position Chrome/Mille Plateaux, Word Sound, Hyperdub, City Slang, Tigerbeat 6, and Grand Royal, will likely sell out so don't wait to buy tickets at the door. Buy them in advance for SF here, LA here, and NYC here.  The short tour is a kind of teaser for the forthcoming new EP and new full length from The Bug. The EP, which will be a double 10" release entitled Filthy, will drop on Ninja Tune on May 28 ("Kill Them / Louder" is from that release) while the follow up album - also on Ninja Tune, to be titled  Angels and Devils, will drop later in the year and feature an impressive and diverse guest list including Death Grips, Daddy Freddy, Grouper, Ganja Sufi, Burro Banton, Inga Copeland, and Danny Brown.

Saturday Sidewalk Sales at Amoeba Berkeley!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 20, 2013 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Don't miss our Saturday Sidewalk Sales on Telegraph Ave. in front of our Berkeley store every weekend from 11am - 7pm.

You can pick up some great deals on clearance items at bargain prices, all buy-three-get-the-fourth-free! Plus, we'll have some awesome 7-inches for just 50 cents.

Swing by and enjoy the great outdoors and the great prices!




Italian Pop Icon Jovanotti Rocked Amoeba & Filmed a "What's In My Bag?" Episode

Posted by Amoebite, March 20, 2013 01:53pm | Post a Comment

Jovanotti instoreJovanotti is easily Italy's most notable pop star. He sells out stadiums across Europe and has over 1 million followers on Twitter. With an impressive career spanning 25 years of dominating the charts in Southern Europe, selling millions of records and collaborating with everyone from Sergio Mendes to Pavarotti, including combating worldly issues with the likes of rock royalty Bono, the Italian mega star has set his sights on the ears of the American public. What better way to introduce himself  to American audiences than to perform on the stage of the world's greatest record store?! Jovanotti brought his brand of World/Hip Hop/ Funk  to a very enthusiastic crowd of fanatic Italians at Amoeba Hollywood. He wowed the crowd with selections from the ATO Records U.S. release of Italia 1988-2012, a reworking of songs from his lengthy career, plus four new ones.     

Jovanotti - "Tutto L'amore Che Ho" (Live at Amoeba)
Watch and comment on YouTube


Jovanotti also took time to do a little shopping at Amoeba and shared some stories with us about the music that inspired him to become a rapper and his lifelong connection with dance music. (Hint: even the grandparents do it.)

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #24: A Tale of Two Nick Caves, Sigur Ros @ MSG, Blues for Smoke, Rakim & Raekwon, and more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment



Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog report with an overview of a diverse mix of fun things from music and film to art happening in the Big Apple in the week ahead. Included in this latest Amoeblog report from New York City are such things as the music-inspired Blues for Smoke exhibit at the Whitney, the inspiring documentary You Don't Need Feet To Dance, the photo exhibit celebrating the centennial of the 1913 Armory Exhibition, concerts such as Sigur Rós at MSG, and the slightly confusing tale of two Nick Caves (one horsesuit related and one Bad Seeds related) happening at Grand Central and the Beacon Theater next week.

The fact that two high profile artists in different contemporary art fields with the exact same spelling of the name Nick Cave are performing in the same city on overlapping days is bound to cause confusion to some, so lets clear it up now and distinguish between the two Nicks. Think of it as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds vs. Nick Cave and the Herd of Soundsuit Horses. One is the well-known Australian musician/sometime actor Nick Cave we all know/love from the Birthday Party Bad Seeds, Grindermanetc. (more on him in NYC a little down further) while the other Nick Cave is the visual artist whose installation/performance piece entitled HEARD•NY (see above & left) will take up residency for a week starting Monday, March 25th inside Grand Central Terminal's main space as part of the historic New York transit hub's big 100 year anniversary celebration.

Are You Ready for William Shatner's Birthday?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 19, 2013 08:49pm | Post a Comment

william shatner birthdayThis Friday marks a special milestone for the Universe as we know it, as March 22nd will be William Shatner's 82nd birthday.

Best known as Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk, The Shat has since worked his way into the very fiber of our pop culture and continues to be an active contributor to Earthlings via TV, film, numerous autobiographies, and  -- of course -- the Internet. If you've been following his Twitter feed, then you've certainly seen this gem of a bucket list, posted today:


shatner bucket list


If anyone is going to punch a shark, it's going to be The Shat!

In honor of the great man's birthday, The Vortex Room in San Francisco is hosting a special William Shatner Birthday Tribute Night full of Shatner rarities, burlesque dancers, and a special screening of  1958's Screeming Mimi, a strip-tease murder mystery with Anita Ekberg and Gypsy Rose Lee, in 16mm projection! The burlesque talent for the evening will be provided by Szandora LaVey, Laika Fox, The Indra, Mistress Pon-Farr, and your Mistress of Ceremonies, Odessa Lil. Find out more and RSVP on the Facebook HERE!

william shatner birthday san francisco burlesque szandora lavey indra laika fox odessa lil mistress pon-farr

Albums Out March 19: Justin Timberlake, Palma Violets, Phosphorescent, and More

Posted by Billy Gil, March 19, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

CD $13.98

LP $27.98

The latest in epic pop albums comes from Justin Timberlake, whose first album in seven years is an hour-long tour de force that aims to put Timberlake firmly back on top as one of the top entertainers of his generation. Following grandiose albums from some of his peers — Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE, to name the most noteworthy — Timberlake goes big with The 20/20 Experience. Though nearly each song stretches past six, seven, even eight minutes in an apparent bid for every track to hit like Ocean’s huge “Pyramids,” 20/20 thankfully mostly avoids the excess of, say, Beyonce’s I Am… Sasha Fierce and doesn’t pander to his audience of now-grown-up, former teenyboppers, actual teens and “serious music fans.” Producer Timbaland, with whom Timberlake previously collaborated very successfully, shows up to produce 20/20 with Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon (Jay-Z, Chris Brown). Timberland and Harmon keep things relatively mature and redolent of classic soul and R&B, wisely avoiding the sort of europop faddism that has drowned recent efforts by Madonna and Rihanna. “Pusher Love Girl” is funky and spare, allowing Timberlake to unleash the high-end vocals he first debuted on “Cry Me a River” and showing the strongest bit of the Stevie Wonder influence that crops up all over the album. First single “Suit & Tie” moves from slo-mo, tripped-out hip-hop of the classic Timbaland variety before morphing into a swirling, orchestral soul jam and then back again for an unflashy but welcome spot from Jay-Z. The longer song lengths works for Timberlake when the songs have something to say — despite its confectionary name, “Strawberry Bubblegum” is a glorious pastiche of the sort of psychedelic soul pioneered by Shuggie Otis and ’80s radio R&B, shifting its beat several times and sounding inspired throughout. When they’re less inspired, the songs drag as Timberlake occasionally goes too low-key. But for the majority of 20/20, Timberlake and Timbaland keep things equal parts interesting and entertaining, like on “Let the Groove In,” which can only be described as a futuristic version of Debarge or the Miami Sound Machine. On “Mirrors,” an appealing, sweet radio ballad in the vein of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” or Rihanna’s “What’s My Name,” Timberlake delivers the goods that have thrilled kids since the late ’90s. It’s hard not to let your inner 12-year-old squeal.

March 18, 2013: The Call

Posted by phil blankenship, March 19, 2013 12:43am | Post a Comment

11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, April 9-14

Posted by Amoebite, March 18, 2013 06:31pm | Post a Comment

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles returns to its home at ArcLight Hollywood from April 9th - April 14th. For the 11th year in a row, the fest features the best in critically acclaimed independent cinema, Bollywood kitsch, shorts from exciting new filmmaker voices, and so much more. On Saturday, April 13th, Amoeba Music will be on-site with a booth, so come by and say hi!

Festival highlights include the opening night gala screening and Los Angeles premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur and the closing night gala screening and Los Angeles premiere of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight's Children.

Other films presented at the festival include Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a political thriller based on the New York Times bestseller with a star-studded cast; Miss Lovely by Ashim Ahluwalia, a dark look at the seedy underbelly of Bollywood C-movies and soft-porn during the 1980s; Peddlers, Vasan Bala’s directorial debut, which is a crime thriller following the desperation of young drug runners who are merely looking to survive; Shahid, based on the true story of Shahid Azmi - a human rights activist murdered in India in 2010, directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap; and Sundance and Berlin favorite Salma, directed by Kim Longinotto, a documentary about one South Indian woman's courageous journey in the face of mass oppression.

Rachael Cantu Debuts Digital 'Covers' Release

Posted by Billy Gil, March 18, 2013 10:12am | Post a Comment

Rachael Cantu Covers AmoebaSinger/songwriter and Amoeba favorite Rachael Cantu has a new digital release called Covers, available at March 18. Cantu's career first took flight when she opened for Tegan and Sara on multiple tours, so it's no surprise to see a version of their song "Alligator" appear on this new album. Additionally, Cantu covers songs by artists as varied as Modest Mouse, Queen, Justin Bieber and Ben E. King.

Listen to “Baby Mine,” a cover of a song from the animated classic Dumbo — in Cantu’s own words, “from possibly one of the saddest moments in any movie...” Just thinking about that song gives me the chills. Don’t pretend you don’t want to cry even picturing it! Listen below and shed those baby elephant tears.

March 17, 2013: Spring Breakers

Posted by phil blankenship, March 17, 2013 08:53pm | Post a Comment

Fantasy Ireland: Where John Boorman's Cinematic Whimsies Come Alive

Posted by Kells, March 17, 2013 02:05pm | Post a Comment

"Your God gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good. The Penis is Evil." - Zardoz

Sick of honoring Saint Patrick's Day by celebrating your Irishness or affinity for Irish culture by going out to drown your innards with copious amounts of Irish spirits? Stay indoors, save some green money, tuck into your own whiskey stash while marveling at the natural beauty of the Emerald isle as framed by British filmmaker John Boorman in such films as Excalibur (1981) and Zardoz (1974) -- could two films made in the same location, directed, produced and written by the same person be more different? I think not.
Gabriel Byrne and Nichol Williamson as Uther and Merlin in Excalibur 
And yet one gets the impression that even in within the context of Boorman's adaptation of Arthurian legends the sword Excalibur represents a goodness not unlike that of Zardoz's "God-given gun" while the "evil" penis serves naught but to wreak havoc upon Camelot's carefully constructed peace what with all that adultery and incest going 'round the round table. But Zardoz is one of those films that I find myself thinking about more than I probably should, perhaps that's because no matter how many times I've seen it it completely freaks me out. It is such a strange film that it's almost impossible to believe it actually exists.

Sean Connery in Zardoz
It does exist, of course, and looking past Sean Connery's adult diaper-looking red short-shorts, matching bandoliers and thigh-high leather boots costume -- not to mention the plenitude of naked women that flesh out the cast -- to digest the core of the penis vs. gun debate in this most extravagant of dystopian science fictions is only half the fun. But I digress, and I really shouldn't attempt to mold Excalibur to its freaky, art house contours. Though both of these films were made in Ireland, largely filmed on Boorman's own estate (must be nice!), Zardoz doesn't pack the same atmospheric punch that Excalibur does, but then Excalibur isn't trying to sell viewers on the concept of giant stone God heads that fly around distributing arsenals of firearms to the people down below by ejecting guns by the dozen from it's gaping mouth-hole. Excalibur's magic is a softer, more subtle stuff. Personally, I think it's the best movie of it's kind ever made.
Nicholas Clay and Cherie Lunghi as Lancelot and Guenevere in Excalibur 

There is a seemingly excessive use of green lighting used to fantastic effect throughout Excalibur, highlighting what I've always assumed to be the suggestion of magical elements at work within the story (see the green glint on the sword pictured above), and spotting the use of unnaturally green light throughout the film seems worthy of a drinking game. Unlike Zardoz, Excalibur's more unbelievable moments are enveloped within an oft-told mythological narrative so well known that when when the audience is presented with, say, an awkward, huffy-puffy sex scene between a nude actress (Boorman's own daughter, Katrine as Igrayne of Cornwall) and a fully-armored knight (Corin Redgrave as Cornwall, or is that Gabriel Byrne again?) it's not all that surprising. Shocking? Maybe a little, but plausible. Just about as plausible as the Lady of the Lake (featuring Boorman's other daughter, Telsche), whose scenes not only make an argument for her existence showcase some of the more beautiful of Excalibur's Irish locations.

Nigel Terry as King Arthur approaches the Lady of the Lake
All in all, there are plenty of other fantastic fantasy films made in Ireland (Princess Bride is a standout favorite) so if you're stuck inside the house this St. Paddy's Day, or are just plain loath to go out and mingle with the greenery, get a little Irish film fix with either of these Boorman classics. Also, be on the lookout for the Excalibur documentary, Behind the Sword in the Stone, currently in production and featuring interviews with Boorman himself and many cast, such as Nigel Terry, Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Cherie Lunghi and Charley Boorman who played young Mordred in this so-called "Boorman family picture."

Check out the trailers for both Excalibur and Zardoz below:


The Art Of The LP Cover, Pipes Part 2.

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 15, 2013 10:40pm | Post a Comment

I can't believe that it's been more than 3 years since I did my last one, check it out here!

The Doo-Wop Challenge

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 15, 2013 09:24pm | Post a Comment

Some years ago, my then-roommate and friend Seth and I dreamt up the Doo-Wop Challenge. I don't exactly remember what the impetus was although the catalyst was undoubtedly cannabinoid. The challenge in question was primarily a test of almost pointless endurance and stubbornness, like a quiet contest. Who can go the longest only ever listening to Doo-Wop when playing music. But we were both genuine fans too, not masochists. I, for one, always got excited when a Doo-Wop act would appear at the no longer extant Be-Bop Battlin' Ball held at the no longer extant Rudolpho's in Silver Lake.

The Moonglows - I Knew from the Start

Of course music is inescapable and a participant in the challenge would hardly be expected to leave a party, movie theater, restaurant, &c just because something other than Doo-Wop wasn't playing. But what would happen if every time you put a dime in the jukebox, chose an mp3 or sang a tune it was Doo-Wop? Would you start dressing differently, speaking differently, being differently? In Jeannot Szwarc's Somewhere in Time (1980), doesn't focusing thoughts on a penny allow for Christopher Reeve's character to travel through time to stalk his fetish?


The Chords - Sh-Boom

It was about sixty years ago that the first Doo-Wop song, "Sh-Boom," reached the Top Ten on the pop charts. It was written and performed by The Chords, a Doo-Wop group that featured Carl Feaster (lead), Claude Feaster (baritone), Jimmy Keyes (first tenor), Floyd "Buddy" McRae (second tenor) and William "Ricky" Edwards. The formed in The Bronx in 1951 and were discovered performing in a subway station. They recorded their only hit with Atlantic Records' Cat Records label.


The Larks - Shadrack

For the uninitiated, Doo-wop is a vocal-driven but not a cappella style of Rhythm & Blues. The earliest confirmed usage of the term "Doo-Wop" to describe the music (it was a common scat phrase in the music, thus its usage) is from 1961 although the music's heyday was in the 1940s and '50s and its roots trace back considerably further. Doo-Wop groups often took their names from birds and/or sounded like makes of cars and the name "doo-wop" refers to one of the many wordless vocal sounds sung by these performers who are still the highlight of many a PBS fundraising special.

The Titans - So Hard To Laugh, So Easy to Cry

At least as early as the 1860s vocal formed and soulfully harmonized spirituals, folk songs and pop songs like those written by Stephen Foster. The first line-up of The Fisk Jubilee Singers formed in 1871. There were Barbershop hit versions of Tin Pan Alley pop songs like Richard H. Gerard and Harry Armstrong,'s 1903 hit, "(You're the Flower of My Heart,) Sweet Adeline" and Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth's 1908 hit, "Shine On, Harvest Moon" during barbershop's golden age of the 1900s and 1910s. The most obvious direct antecedents of Doo-Wop were the vocal groups The Mills Brothers and The Ink Spots, who formed in 1928 and 1934 respectively. Both groups were usually quite mellow and perhaps Doo-Wop is unfairly characterized as an exclusively mellow music. Not every Doo-Wop song was as mellow (not to mention lovely and atmospheric) as The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You." 

The Clovers - Lovey Dovey

Doo-Wop first emerged in East Coast black communities in the 1940s although it quickly found a foothold in Italian and Puerto Rican neighborhoods as well as far off places like Compton and El Monte, California. Doo-Wop continued to chart into the early 1960s when it largely was absorbed by the more commercial soul acts coming out of Motown, surf-pop harmonizers like The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, and baroque 'n' rollers like The Left Banke, The Merry-Go-Round, and The Zombies.

The Platters - The Great Pretender

Doo-Wop never went away completely, however. Its echoes can be heard in Sha Na Na, ShowaddywaddyDavid Bowie's "Drive-In Saturday," the soundtracks to Rocky Horror Picture Show and Phantom of the Paradise, Elton John's "Crocodile Rock," and Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time." Whether or not you allow yourself to listen to these and others like them during your Doo-Wop Challenge is up to you. When you're done, share how long you lasted and what, if any, effect it had on you. Thanks!

The Cadillacs - Jaywalker


Joanna Newsom covers Sandy Denny's "North Star Grassman and the Ravens" for Wren

Posted by Kells, March 15, 2013 04:42pm | Post a Comment

We've caught neither peep nor lead regarding a follow up to Joanna Newsom's 2010 Have One On Me triple LP the future Mrs. Andy Samberg has been making news recently, case in point. Last year a couple of new songs, "Look and Despair" and "The Diver's Wife", were caught during two live different live performances in San Francisco and subsequently released into the wild, as happens more often that not in this increasingly borderless world of oversharing we live in (no complaints here). After dangling the carrot that was the announcement of a video shoot to showcase the jaunty, up-beat "Good Intentions Paving Company" music video in June of 2011 and later, in March 2012, the shaved vignette of a preview for the clip (as one comment sardonically pointed out, "this? video is practically the indie Chinese Democracy") it feels good to finally see something new from Lady Jo, even if the newness is a "fashion video" for the Fall/Winter 2013 collection of Los Angeles based clothing line Wren, and the song is not new material but rather a Sandy Denny cover (again, no complaints whatsoever).

Watching Joanna perform (i.e. mostly model to) her take on one of Denny's most lovley Nautical Folk compositions set within a honeyed palette embracing the crisp, bruised hues of a California country sunset -- complete with lilting hillside foliage, a swimming pool lanai framed in cacti, and an owl co-star -- is just enough of a tease to potentially light a fire while at the same time slaking a thirst for avid fans awaiting something, anything fresh from Newsom's dulcet font. In the meantime, check out the video below.


New/Upcoming 12" Releases @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/11 - Pepe Bradock, The Sonic Aesthetic, Patrik Sjeren, and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 14, 2013 09:16pm | Post a Comment


Pepe Bradock
Acid Test
It’s been 10 years since French legend Pepe Bradock has released music on any label outside of  his own Atavisme. From the start of “Lifting Weights”, the a-side off Acid Test 07 (the themed offshoot of LA’s Absurd Recordings), it’s clear that Bradock finds the label’s dedication to neo neo acid liberating. Those expecting the Pepe responsible for so many restrained masterpieces can keep looking: “Lifting Weights” starts with banging 909, quickly tempered by hazy guitar. At two minutes, the requisite 303 slices through the carefully constructed atmosphere. After a shrill, circuitous lead synth line does its damage, Bradock enters the more contemplative territory of “Ghosts” and “Deep Burnt”, dwelling on a bittersweet bassline to conclude the track. “Mujeres Nerviosas” starts out sounding like a Pierre track, but the nervous acid is soon countered by a bouncy French Touch piano vamp. Around the four-minute mark on the epic track, Pepe drops into a hypnotic, simple bassline, working an ambient arpeggiated synth against the 303 while using hi-hat filter sweeps to full-effect in what is perhaps the most efficient, utilitarian section of the two-tracker. As the track ends, you can see the master producer conducting the Roland orchestra, using the ingenious internal communication of the classic machines to bring new visions to life. Essential release from one house music’s most respected auteurs. Limited edition with silkscreened cover art painted by Pepe Bradock. Pre-order.
The Sonic Aesthetic - Tales From The NocturnThe Sonic Aesthetic
International Feel
High-class balearia from International Feel founder and recent Ibiza transplant Mark Barrott. “Medicant Adventures” is a slo-mo deep house workout, full of 303 and lush Roland pads repurposed for island living. Things proceed on the funk kosmische tip with “Dark of the Moon”, which weaves a filmic lead melody over mellow arpeggiation. “The Paradol Chamber” ventures further down the Cluster/Harmonia wormhole, a mellow motorik workout ending with gentle waves.
Patrik Sjeren
Tight four-tracker from the FXHE/Omar S affiliate. Sjeren shows he knows his way around a house progression on the a-side, Lowdown. The track works a gorgeous set of chords and incessant bass to set the stage for a brief, soaring synth lead and vocal. "Trashed Funk" retains the melody but heads further into beatdown territory, recalling Terrence Parker or Claude Young’s work as Lowkey. The b-side is much more volatile, containing two tracks of uncompromising acid techno. 
Paul Hill - Need Me Some U
Paul Hill/Nikki O
Nice deep/vocal house split from the KDJ collaborators. Paul Hill’s A-side will appeal to fans of the Andrew Ashong/Theo Parrish collab "Flowers" from last year - beautiful chords and perfect song structure along with Hill’s longing, slightly strained vocal make “Need Me Some You” a winner. Nikki O’s “Music” is a more uptempo cut, built on submerged Rhodes chords and Nikki’s soulful vocals.
Jeanne Vomit Terror and Ed Sunspot
Acoustic Division
Awesome long-form mutant synthpop, as though the stars of the Drive soundtrack attempted to score the cult film Liquid Sky instead. Ms. Vomit Terror’s vocals hold it down over complex disco/prog indebted production recalling Peter Ivers “Terminal Love”. Fellow American weirdo Carl Calm (Caboladies) turns the complex original into a spaced piece of outsider house. The last several minutes of Calm’s remix loop the original’s vocal over an impressionistic, Debussy-influenced set of chords. Italians Do It Better/New Jersey head Mike Simonetti steps up for the second remix - hey, he used to be a weird American guy as well! Simonetti puts Vomit Terror’s odd, addictive vocals over a smooth tech house track, getting weird with a pitched down male spoken word section and a trashcan ride cymbal lifted from the original. 
Nina Kraviz
Fit x Rekids
Very cool collaborative release from the FIT and REKIDS labels pairing the Siberian underground house aesthete with some Detroit luminaries. Marcellus takes a swing at Kraviz’s “Working” first - hollowing out the sparse original even further and lending the track some signature Unirhythm machine-funk. Pittman relies on the slightest 303 burble and a deft polyrhythm for a full 3 minutes before introducing a totally insane, likely-shifted chord progression. A hint of jazzy deepness closes out the alien track, a single chord echoing like a foghorn in the night. Urban Tribe is back with his (their?) electro-influenced techno, turning Kraviz’s “Taxi Talk” into a dystopic, late-night journey. The kick varies between a Detroit pummel and deeper 808 throb - the omnipresent filtered arpeggio is supported by a recurring and futuristic melodic theme. Epic.
Ben Sun - Your FootprintsBen Sun 
Delusions of Grandeur
Cool retro-house ep from the London-based Aussie. “Your Footprints” is reminiscent of prime Nu Groove material, the longing vocal and wandering synth also recalling the legendary Knuckles/Principle team-ups. “Affirmation” keeps up the high standard - the track pairs urgent bass with psychedelic ambience in a way similar to the classic Aphrodisiac track “Song of the Siren”. Tevo Howard presents an awesome Italo take on “Your Footprints” for the B.
Borai - Moonlight on the MalagoBorai
Tasteful Nudes
The Bristolian-producer, dj, mastering engineer and frequent October collaborator releases his solo debut, the first on Argot offshoot Tasteful nudes. A-side Moonlight on the Malaga works a classic square-wave bassline, bright chords and 707-claps for a lush, slightly jacking whole. The positive influence of Borai’s mastering work is apparent; the high bell-like synth lead, the pulsing mid-range chords, every sound sits unencumbered in its frequency, spokes in a perfect wheel. “Does it Bother You” is based on a funky, percussive two-chord vamp, soaring string synths and several spoken-word vocal samples. Borai samples the 1974 classic “The Conversation”, emphasizing different words with repetition, adding a slightly paranoid edge to the otherwise sunny production. Limited to 300. 
Aesthetic Audio
Keith Worthy returns with new material under his Lamar alias, and fans of the longtime Detroit dj/producer won’t be disappointed. Title track “Guilty Pleasures” balances a heavy, midi bassline against ethereal lead synth. Eventually a dirty bassline emerges against to offset the track’s heavy groove. B-side works a similar formula, balancing all manner of atmospheric deepness around a simple set of chords and five-note refrain. 


Weekly Roundup: Wavves, Earl Sweatshirt, Har Mar Superstar, Young & Sick

Posted by Billy Gil, March 14, 2013 12:43pm | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Demon to Lean On” (Plus Preorder Afraid of Heights!)

The second released song from Wavves’ upcoming Afraid of Heights balances its various elements well — a simple riff building to a KROQ-friendly chorus with cool, watery guitars in the verses and soaring vocals. It sounds like the best bits of my high school CD collection condensed neatly to four minutes. Buzz Clips 4eva.

Preorder Afraid of Heights on CD or LP. It’s due March 26 on Mom + Pop. Also check out "Sail to the Sun" from Afraid of Heights.


Earl Sweatshirt – “Whoa”

Earl SweatshirtThe second taste of the new Earl Sweatshirt album, Doris, is full of sinister sounds — a reverbed out “whoaaa” that descends into the sewer, that ominous piano that creeps up halfway through, and a reference to “ol’ 2010 shit.” Could be referencing his backstory, about being plucked from obscurity by Tyler, the Creator (who appears on this track), joining Odd Future, releasing his first album at age 16 in 2010, then being sent away at  to boarding school in Samoa by his mother for getting into trouble. He’s been slowly re-emerging again, with big guest spots on Frank Ocean’s sublime “Super Rich Kids,” among other places. But from first track “Chum” and now this, Earl Sweatshirt’s past quasi-false starts and reintroduction will be a thing of the past once Doris drops. There’s no release date yet, so just keep an ear out. Am I the only one who wants to see this video made into a full film?

Pasadena City College's Flea Market & Record Swap: Sunday, April 7th

Posted by Amoebite, March 13, 2013 05:14pm | Post a Comment

On Sunday, April 7th, Amoeba Music 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 April 7

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Lance Henriksen at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, March 13, 2013 11:58am | Post a Comment

Some of the coolest people visit us at Amoeba Hollywood. We had the utmost pleasure of hanging out with Sci Fi/Horror film fan favorite, Lance Henriksen. Many of you know Lance from his character Bishop, the Android he famously played in the Aliens films franchise. Lance hung out and shopped around for a few things. He's got some pretty interesting picks such as the classic French drama 400 Blows, and who would have guessed Lance digs Hip Hop? See for yourself!

Lance Henriksen - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube


Not only is Lance Henriksen a staple when it comes to awesome Science Fiction films, but he is now a bonafide comic book author! Henriksen and co-author Joseph Maddrey held a special signing at Amoeba Hollywood to unveil the 5 issue series, To Hell You Ride (DC Comics). To Hell You Ride starts off by introducing the character Two Dogs, a forgotten Native American plagued by booze and his disregard for society. Two Dogs is reawakened by the spirit of his ancestors and with their guidance he is led to avenge his land and his people. There's a flesh eating curse, mad scientists, and lots of bloddy horror. Tom Mandrake brings it all together with some amazing illustrations. It's a good one! The fans came out to support Lance and his new comic and everyone had a blast! If you missed all the fun you can check out some photos of the signing below.

Amoeba Hollywood Sidewalk Sale 3/23

Posted by Amoebite, March 13, 2013 11:33am | Post a Comment

SidewalkSaleCome down to Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday 3/23 as we host another super Sidewalk Sale. Shop a plethora of sale items including a host of vinyl and 7 inches all priced to move. Shop a fresh stock of 7 inches at just $1! Lots of DVD box set bargains too. Noon to 5pm.

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


California Fool's Gold -- Exploring The Byzantine-Latino Quarter

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 12, 2013 10:57pm | Post a Comment

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of The Byzantine-Latino Quater
Los Angeles's Byzantine-Latino Quarter is neighborhood and commercial corridor that straddles the larger neighborhoods of Harvard Heights and Pico-Union as well as the larger Midtown districts of Wilshire Center to the north and Mid-City to the south. The Quarter is centered along Pico Boulevard between South Hobart Boulevard to the west and South Alvarado Boulevard to the east.


The westernmost border of Los Angeles, as established by the Spanish in 1781, was along what's now Hoover Boulevard. The land to the west, through the Spanish and subsequent Mexican period were public lands. The land remained a mixture of pastures and farmland for decades after California became part of the US in 1848.


Craftsman bungalows

One of the first neighborhoods to develop west of Hoover was the 280 acre Pico Heights Tract. In 1887, at the height of a land boom, the Electric Railway Homestead Association divided the land between Pico and 9th Street, and west of Vermont into 1,210 lots. Most of the lots along Pico were purchased by J.R. Millard and it quickly developed into a fashionable suburb characterized by stately Craftsman homes and a wealthy, white, Protestant population. Many of the new inhabitants were Downtown business owners and the short distance between work and home was a short ride on the newly-established Pico Heights Electric Railway, which also opened in 1887.

The growing community, sometimes referred to as Pico Heights Village with a bit of dreamy embellishment, was annexed by the city of Los Angeles in 1896. Along with Arlington Heights and The University District, it became a Southwest Los Angeles neighborhood (a region that vanished as the city expanded).

As Pico Heights aged, more and more of the wealthy residents moved further west and their void was largely filled by working class whites. By 1919 it was home to about 100 Japanese-American families, who though often wealthier and more educated than their white counterparts, were subject to racist, sometimes violent hostility. The Los Angeles County Anti-Asiatic Society formed the Electric Home Protective Association, a discriminatory group largely comprised of Germans and Austrians (under increased scrutiny and suspicion after World War I) and Catholics who were united by anti-Japanese racism.


Victoria Theatre today (2012)

Around 1914, the 700-seat Victoria Theatre opened on Pico Boulevard. At some point around the 1960s it was gutted and converted into a dance hall. The theater appeared in the 1977 Rudy Ray Moore vehicle Petey Wheatstraw. In 1981, punk band Circle One and others played a concert there.

A mixed-use, multiple unit residency built in 1924

The discriminatory second California Alien Land Law passed in 1920, specifically to target ongoing Japanese immigration. Property in Pico Heights nonetheless (or because of anti-Japanese discrimination) continued to decline in monetary values. Eastern Europeans, Mexicans, and Japanese increasingly inhabited newly-constructed multiple family residences.

Bishop Conaty, Our Lady of Loretto High School

In 1922, a Japanese Methodist congregation attempted to build a new church in the area and crashed against white hostility. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Catholic Girls' High School opened in 1923 (later re-named Bishop Conaty, Our Lady of Loretto High School). One of the pleasing ironies is that Los Angeles was sold to WASPs as "The white spot of America" but is now quite possibly the most diverse city in the galaxy. Though I couldn't find statistics just for the B-LQ, the population of Pico-Union was, as of the 2010 census, roughly 85% Latino (mostly Mexican and Salvadoran), 8% Asian (mostly Korean), 3% black, and only 3% white.

Sunnyside Presbyterian Church

The diversity can not only be seen in the storefronts, signage and restaurants but the neighborhood's churches as well. In 1930, a church opened that is now The Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, a Korean-American church (as are Korean Evangelical Nah Sung, Korean Southern Presbyterian, and The Korean Sae Han Presbyterian Church). Another church in the neighborhood caters to Samoans (the Samoan Community Christian Church). Spanish speakers are served by Rios de Agua Via,  Iglesia Pentecostes El Ultimo, and Ministerios de Restauracion.

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church

The oldest, and one of the prettiest church in the neighborhood is St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, built in 1905, and also known as Iglesia Santo Tomás Apóstol. Most well-known, probably, is Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral


Along with Little Italy and largely Jewish Brooklyn Heights, or Little Mexico (Chavez Ravine); Greek Town is one of the now vanished ethnic enclaves of Los Angeles. In the early 20th century, Los Angeles's Greek population was focused around what's now the Fashion District (in Downtown) and Boyle Heights (in the Eastside). Around the mid-20th century, much of the Greek population was centered around the intersection of Pico and Normandie, an area still home to several Greek institutions.


Papa Cristo's

Sam Chrys opened C & K Importing opened in 1948 with the focus on Greek imports. In 1968 (I believe) the business expanded into a restaurant by Sam's son, Cristo, with Papa Cristo's. I still haven't eaten there although I've picked up falafel mix, baklava, and restina from the market. Papa Cristo's Catering & Greek Taverna was established in 1990.


St Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral

The other major remaining vestige of Greek Town is the aforementioned Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The church was built in 1952 by Charles P. Skouras (designed by Kalionzes, Klingerman & Walker), then head of the National Theaters chain. Charles and his brothers, Spyros Skouras and George Skouras were Greek-American Hollywood hopefuls who'd moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis, Missouri. Spyros eventually became president of 20th Century Fox. George became the head of United Artists. Earlier, in 1932, the Skouras brothers jointly took over the management of over 500 Fox-West Coast theaters. Charles repaid God for his intervention by erecting a cathedral to him in Greek Town.


Playboys Malos   

 Jesús Malverde (patron saint of drug smugglers)  

     West Side 18th Street Hoover St Locos

Likely the oldest gang in the neighborhood is the Westside Playboy Malos. The gang's roots begin in the 1950s, when Southern Califas Latin Playboys Car Club formed at a home near the intersection of Pico and Fedora. Their tags and tattoos often include representations of the Playboy Magazine logo and they're sometimes referred to as conejos. The other main active gang in the neighborhood is the 18th Street Gang, who were established in Pico Heights around 1965. The local click, Hoover Locos, is one of the oldest.


Pilgrim Tower for the Deaf & Elderly

In 1968, the Pilgrim Tower for the Deaf & Elderly opened. I find it worth mentioning because I'm a fan of low-rise architecture and its one of the few buildings in the neighborhood that's more than two stories tall.


Pico Heights was seen as having been in a decades-long decline by some and in 1970, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of the city of Los Angeles decided to give the neighborhood a fresh start by changing its name to "Pico-Union." The Pico-Union Neighborhood Council (PUNC) was formed the same year.


In the 1970s, the US-inflamed Central American Crisis made life for tens of millions of Central Americans. As a result, thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and Salvadorans fled the appalling violence in their homelands and resettled in Pico-Union and nearby Koreatown and Westlake. By 1996, Pico-Union was heavily Salvadoran and the area was often referred to as "Pequeño Centroamérica" or "Nuevo Cuscatlán."


In 1991, singer Shara Nelson walked from the intersection of South New Hampshire Avenue and Pico to the intersection of Pico and Dewey Avenue for the filming of Massive Attack's music video for "Unfinished Sympathy." 


Pico-Union was one of the areas hardest hit by 1992 LA Riots outside of South Los Angeles. Increasingly seen as a Central American barrio, in 1995 a coalition of local churches, schools, residents, and merchants from the western portion of the neighborhood met to address their concerns. The product of their efforts was the 1997 creation and designation of the Byzantine-Latino Quarter, a nod to both its Latino majority and Greek period.

Byzantine-Latino Quarter neon sign

The Byzantine-Latino Quarter Business Improvement District installed a large, "Byzantine-Latino Quarter" neon sign atop one of the neighborhood's only other low-rise building (then a public storage facility) in 2001. There are faded banners along Pico and public art advertising its new name. A former Pacific Bell building is now home to Jane B. Eisner Middle School and a Byzantine-Latino Quarter Community Center.


Since 1999, the Byzantine-Latino Quarter has hosted the annual L.A. Greek Fest in September, an event which attracts some 40,000 people.


Dinos' Chicken and Burgers

Guatemalteca Market

There are several places to eat in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter: Acapulco TortilleriaCafe Las MargaritasCanaan Restaurant, El Colmao, Conchitas Restaurant, Dino's Chicken and Burgers, Graciela's, El Grullense Restaurante, Guapo's Market, Guatemalteca MarketHuicho's Bakery, Mateo's Ice Cream & Fruit Bars, El Nuevo Picasso, Pan Victoria, the aforementioned Papa Cristo's, Paqueteria King Express, Pollos El Brasero, Restaurante El Mirador, Las 7 Regiones, Texis Restaurant And Entertainment, and El Valle Oaxaqueno. There are a couple of bars too; Mike's Hideout Bar and Pulgarcito Sports Bar.

Inside Tiendas de Mariposa mini mall

To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here


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March 12, 2013: Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

Posted by phil blankenship, March 12, 2013 09:29pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Presents Shlohmo Live at the Fonda!

Posted by Billy Gil, March 12, 2013 03:49pm | Post a Comment

The latest Amoeba Presents show comes to us from electronic artist Shlohmo. In conjunction with Goldenvoice and FYF, the show, billed as a “Live A/V set,” will also include R&B artist Jeremih, with whom Shlohmo will be collaborating, as well as sets from underground songstress Nite Jewel and the Wedidit DJ Team.

The show takes place at the Henry Fonda Theatre Saturday, April 6. Tickets are available in-store at Amoeba Hollywood for $20 (plus a $2 service fee). The show is all-ages and starts at 8 p.m.

L.A. artist Shlohmo layers analog-warm samples of synth, funk, reverbed guitar and blissed-out vocal loops over one another on releases such as 2011’s Bad Vibes album and the recently released Vacation EP. His most recent release, the Laid Out EP, sees him collaborating with How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell on the ethereal track “Don’t Say No.”

See photos from Shlohmo’s Locavore DJ set at Amoeba Hollywood here.


Don't Say No ft. How To Dress Well by shlohmo

Albums Out March 12: My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie, Girls Names and More

Posted by Billy Gil, March 12, 2013 11:09am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

My Bloody Valentine - mbv

CD $22.98

LP $34.98

One of the greatest guitar bands ever finally delivers a new album after 22 years of false starts and promises. If you're looking for another Loveless, move on. mbv is its own beast. It's an acquired taste, just like the rest of their records, starting with a familiar, melodic first third; turning to a more ethereal and beat-driven middle third, featuring Belinda Butcher's ever-heavenly vocals; and finishing with a punishing, noise-rock final third that explores the extreme scope of Kevin Shields' mangled-guitar sound. Within this scope, mbv delivers as many moments that will challenge its cult following as well as delight them. Opener “She Found Now” is as classic My Bloody Valentine as the album gets, with a soft focus wash of guitar sound, a gentle pulse of drums relegated to the background and whispered vocals lapping overhead, achieving a similar feel to Loveless’ “Sometimes.” “Only Tomorrow” aims for the gut, with chainsaw guitars not unlike those found on Isn’t Anything, which in retrospect rivals Loveless for innovative sound. The songs aren’t exactly poppy, but they offer new, thrilling hooks — the way the guitars halt like a bullet train at full speed suddenly stopping in “Only Tomorrow” ranks high in the band’s moments of pop mastery. “Who Sees You” rounds out the album’s first third with scenic, shiver-inducing guitars that shame any followers in their wake — plenty of bands have dissected the My Bloody Valentine guitar sound, but few have been able to wield it in the unconventional, multidimensional ways Shields does, turning odd directions, doubling back and somehow coming together in a way that can’t be fully comprehended at first, but is eminently intoxicating. The record gets progressively more difficult from there, but fans will grow to love songs like the watery “If I Am” and especially the bouncing “New You,” a shoegaze pop song in the proud tradition of Loveless’ “Soon” with a heavy fuzz-bass thud that knocks you flat. “In Another Way” grinds its guitars into a blender of sounds that emerges with a sweet, instrumental portion that sends the song sailing. “Nothing Is” loops brutal, chugging guitars with a heavy jungle beats that doesn’t relent for three-and-a-half minutes, leading into closer “Wonder 2,” which sounds like the inside of tornado. With spiraling arrangements that draw you in on multiple listens, mbv is subtly rewarding and offers new revelations with each listen.

Time For A New Favorite T-Shirt

Posted by Amoebite, March 11, 2013 06:55pm | Post a Comment

With the first day of spring nearly a week away, I'm going to take the time to clean out my closet a bit and get rid of all my old T-shirts and socks with rat holes in them. Seriously. I personally know how painful it can be to get rid of an old T-shirt, but I don't want to walk around looking like a scrub come springtime.

Rats! - You Ruined My Shirt!
Hey Rat! You destroyed my favorite Spin Doctors tee!

Lucky for me, this opens up a lot of space in my closet for new shirts. All three Amoeba stores have gotten in all sorts of new shirts lately that are soft to the touch on my delicate winter skin. Not just rock shirts either, but there are some hip-hop, folk, jazz, and even film-related shirts.

R. Crumb's Robert Johnson Shirt, Sonic Youth Goo Shirt, Beastie Boys License To Ill Tour, The Smiths  - T-Shirts
Robert Johnson  -  Sonic Youth  -  The Beastie Boys  -  The Smiths

Abba, Bad Brains, Battle Royale, Municipal Waste - T-Shirts
ABBA  -  Bad Brains  -  Battle Royale  -  Municpal Waste

Miley Likes 'em!
Photoshopped Miley lovveeees Amoeba.

Amoeba San Francisco's Home Grown Pick for March: Eitch

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 11, 2013 05:02pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music’s Home Grown Independent Artist Program supports the indie spirit and the local music community by spotlighting the music of unsigned artists.

The San Francisco, Berkeley, and Hollywood store locations each pick their own favorites based on this criteria:

-- Home Grown artists must be unsigned

-- Home Grown artists must have a self-released project available

-- Home Grown artists must be totally amazing

eitchAmoeba San Francisco is proud to announce their latest Home Grown artist, Eitch (pronounced "H")! She has formed a sound that is both vocally driven and atmospheric (floating somewhere between alternative, electronic, and pop), which she playfully describes as: “Altronipop.” 

You can get her debut album Everything, Nothing right here on It's a collection of work she began writing and recording in 2006. Unpredictable and full of wonder, these songs reveal the scope of her imagination.

Nominate your favorite, unsigned, local band here!

(In which it's all about Eve.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 11, 2013 04:04pm | Post a Comment

All the cool kids are doing it.

Proving once and for all that I have my finger on the pulse of what youth today really want, I’m continuing my list of favorites from the so-called Golden Age of Radio. You older, out-of-touch squares can stop reading now and go listen to punk rock or trip-hop or whatever it is seniors are into these days.

Now that the fogeys are out of the (metaphorical) room, read and listen on...

Let’s consider a comedy, namely, Our Miss Brooks.

Premiering in 1948, Our Miss Brooks was an immediate success, garnering awards and a loyal fan base for its lead actress, Eve Arden.

People don’t speak of Eve Arden as much as her talent warrants. She had fantastic comic timing, capable of evoking laugh-out-loud moments with a single, monosyllabic word.

Our Miss Brooks has flimsy, unimaginative plot-lines, and you’ll never listen to it because you “can’t wait to find out what happens next.” The show is great because the cast is great, and Eve Arden delivers punch-lines with such wry deftness, it’s as if Touchstone from As You Like It has been reincarnated as a public high school teacher.


Our Miss Brooks was such a success that it was turned into a TV show, starring most of the original cast. I myself have never seen it, not because I don’t want to, but because I promised my grandfather on his deathbed that I would never watch any televised sitcoms that featured a character with the first name “Osgood.”

The Art Of The LP Cover- Guitar Power!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 11, 2013 11:20am | Post a Comment

Desert Daze Festival Featuring Tinariwen & Warpaint April 20

Posted by Amoebite, March 8, 2013 06:27pm | Post a Comment

Moon Block Party has just announced the lineup for this year's Desert Daze Music & Arts Festival in Sunset Ranch (near Mecca, CA) on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Acclaimed “Touareg” band Tinariwen and former Amoeba Home Grown artists Warpaint headline the festival, with Chelsea Wolfe, Fool's Gold, Mini Mansions, Night Beats, The Entrance Band and many more performing.

Tickets are on sale now via Brown Paper Tickets and “the fair-trade ticketing company” will donate a portion of the proceeds from the festival to the charity of the ticket purchaser’s choice. You can buy general admission passes ($35 + $2.22 service fee) or there are three additional ticket options that include camping (tent, lakeside or RV) for a bit more. Buy tickets here.

Keep an eye on Moon Block Party's Facebook page for more updates and ticket giveaways in the coming weeks.

Desert Daze Lineup Poster


Downton Rapey?

Posted by Charles Reece, March 8, 2013 10:08am | Post a Comment

Lady Mary Crawley

The porn debate is underscored by two fundamentally antagonistic views of the purpose of law in society. 

The first view, to which pro-sex feminists subscribe, is that law should protect choice. "A woman's body, a woman's right" applies to every peaceful activity a woman chooses to engage in. The law should come into play only when a woman initiates force or has force initiated against her. The second view, to which both conservatives and anti-porn feminists subscribe, is that law should protect virtue. It should come into play whenever there has been a breach of public morality, or a breach of "women's class interests.

I recently watched the French documentary Mutantes: Punk Porn Feminism, which contains interviews with women who participate in and/or support what you'd think based on the title. One of the main points Virginie Despentes makes with her film is that much of the antagonism the sex trade continues to face is rooted in an old fashioned patriarchal control of women's bodies. It's as if the entire familial tradition would crumble if women were allowed to do with their bodies what they want, giving sex away for free or for cash. This same notion can be seen in pop culture in the way rape tends to be seen as the worst thing that one can do to a fictional female victim, not murder. The contamination of a woman's body, the violation of her "virtue" is too evil to face, rather just kill her and get it over with. And, despite how much I love the subgenre, the same might be said of rape-revenge films, even those with an ostensible feminist message (e.g., I Spit on Your Grave), as if the moral equation balances out with the quid pro quo of rape and murderous vengeance. But the feminist view here (at least the right one) is that a woman shouldn't have virtue forced on her, solely defined by others to have her live as they see fit. This is McElroy's quoted distinction in the two views of law, which accurately places certain feminists on the side of traditional conservatives.

Concern for social constraints is, of course, the central dramatic structure of Downton Abbey. The appeal of the "period piece" mostly comes down to modern audiences feeling secure in no longer subscribing to such otiose moralisms while feeling bad for the poor wretches having to live in those unenlightened times. I became fascinated by the show's minimalist, opiated approach to soap opera. The issues that come up are barely issues at all ("we're going to lose Downton and have to move into a smaller estate!"). Something happens to a character; out of decorum that character fears telling anyone; the secret is revealed anyway, but the resolution is that no one particularly cares. That's pretty much the show, methadone for people trying to ween themselves off of melodrama (and period pieces, for that matter). So I was surprised to discover that I'd dozed through the show's depiction of a vicious rape scene. ... Or that's what passed for obvious on some blogs that I read after disputing the issue with Sean Michael Robinson.

Kemal Pamuk

Rather than go quote-for-quote with these other blogs (search for 'Downton Abbey' and 'rape', e.g., here and here), I'm just going to offer my  own reading of the scene in question: Series 1, Episode 3, beginning at 27:00. Kemal Pamuk, a Turkish diplomat is brought to Downton for a visit with the Crawleys by mutual friend Evelyn Napier, during which he aggressively pursues the Lady Mary, visits her bedroom and doesn't take 'no' for a final answer, only to die of a heart attack during the throes of passion. I suspect most people read the show the way it was intended, as a young woman giving in to her desire when given a secretive opportunity, and not as a radical justification of rape, or an example of socalled "rape culture" (which is a tawdry rhetorical term meant to shut up any possible objections, i.e., you don't see this as rape, because you've been rape enculturated). The rape thesis is dependent on reading fear into Mary's face, not granting any subtext to her use of 'no' and her supposed inability to cry out for help. As this blog should indicate, I don't have a general problem with ideological and/or counterintuitive readings (I love them, in fact), but I do when they're demonstrably wrong. So this will be a defense of commonsense (what the show explicitly provides), because sometimes that's exactly what's called for. Covering each of the three points in turn:

Instead of fear, I, like many others, registered her face as one of shock at Pamuk's advances and worry at being publicly shamed should she act on her desires and be discovered. With only a frame, it's ambiguous:

She protests: "You and my parents have something in common. You believe I'm much more of a rebel than I am." But the scene doesn't stop here, there's a continuity of images with movements, actions and reactions, such as this:

I don't think there's much ambiguity there. That is not fear, nor the learned helplessness of some traumatized bunny. However, for the literally minded, she does say among her pants, "now, please go." But Japanese pink cinema this ain't: she wants what Pamuk is offering (which may or may not be coitus -- the show leaves it to our imagination), so the two fall to the bed, even though Mary continues: "I'm not what you think I am. If it's my mistake … if I've led you on, then I'm sorry, but … I'm not …."

They begin to kiss more and Mary asks, "won't it hurt? Is it safe?" Pamuk answers, "trust me," and the scene ends with a passionate embrace:

The intent, however one might wish to read the look of her face in a few frames, is quite clearly that she's not afraid and is actually desirous of Pamuk's advances. So why say, "no"? This gets back to the quote that I began with. This is the law, or the collection of social constraints, speaking through Mary, because that's what's expected of her. She's not the rebel of the family -- that would be her youngest sister, Sybil, who runs off with a Marxist chauffeur and publishes radical suffragette pamphlets. The scene wouldn't work the same way with her, since she wouldn't be attracted to this asshole and would've told him to go fuck himself. No, Mary is the oldest sister, concerned with upholding the traditions of Downton and the aristocracy (which makes her an asshole, too). But the girl still has desires, society or no society, and is, in fact, envious of Sybil's freedom, which she makes explicit in the Christmas special for series 2: "Sybil's the strong one. She really doesn't care what people think, but I'm afraid I do." Mary is supposed to say certain things and is supposed to like certain types of guys. Her dramatic conflicts are rooted in the character trait 'dutiful', of which 'concern for virtue' is a distinctive feature. So no matter how much she might want to have sex, she's not supposed to explicitly express that.

And what of Pamuk, the cad? In a world where his potential love interests -- the class of women he's allowed to be interested in -- aren't allowed to be literal and explicit in their desires, he has to apply some subtextual criticism. This situation, where a lady is surrounded by acceptable suitors competing for her attention is seen earlier in the episode when Mary is surrounded like a fox in a hunt by Pamuk, Evelyn and Matthew. It's a genteel version of a wolf pack, so there's a reason why Pamuk attracts Mary's attention instead of his politely docile competitors, you know? He's better at reading the women in his environment than others. He knows that Mary is expected to say no to his advances, or as he says to her: "You are just what I think you are." The audience is supposed to prefer Matthew because he's the liberalized bourgeois substitute -- not the capitalist thuggery of Sir Richard Carlisle (whom Mary almost marries for reasons of duty), but enough of a modern democrat to bridge the gap between aristocratic ways and contemporary beliefs.

As the show increasingly liberalizes the Crawleys over the three series (acceptance of Sybil's Marxist husband, acceptance of homosexuality, being amazingly tolerant of any questionable choices the staff makes, etc.), it becomes more of a white washed apologetic for what was in reality an odious social arrangement. At least, in series 1, when the butt of all the jokes is Matthew and his mother, there's a hint as to what kind of family we're supposed to find sympathetic and likable in this representation. This class of people was raised to be assholes, was attracted to other assholes and generally behaved like assholes. Pretending otherwise is where the show really becomes immoral (if one insists on treating the show as if it's making a serious commentary about reality). If anything, it's Mary's eventual attraction to Matthew that's forced on her. That's what should be protested.

So why would Mary not cry out if she were truly fearful? The other view suggests that she's concerned with her virtue and how it might be socially tarnished if it were discovered that a man was in her room (even if uninvited). But it's pretty clear from the show that Mary's parents always support their daughter (e.g., upon learning of the whole Pamuk affair in the Christmas special, Papa Crawley says he'd rather have his daughter endure a scandal than be unhappily married to that capitalist scoundrel, Sir Richard), so what evidence is there that Mary wouldn't have cried out if she were truly in fear of Pamuk? I submit: none. But the real clincher comes when Cara (her mother) asks, "did he force himself on you?" Mary pauses for a second, looks off to the side at her housemaid Anna as if she wants to lie, but reluctantly shakes her head no. If protecting the semblance of virtue from her parents was so important that she wouldn't yell for help when being raped, why would she then go on to lie about the rape to her mother, which would only make it seem as if Mary willingly threw away said semblance? The only rationale that makes sense here is that she didn't originally cry out before the sexual encounter because she didn't want to. Her only fear was that of being discovered, which is exactly her focus when talking to Cara about moving Pamuk's corpse back to his room.

Finally, there are Mary's reactions after Pamuk's body is back in his room:

Where Anna consoles a distraught Mary who says while weeping, "he was so beautiful." That doesn't exactly sound like PTSD, does it? Or what about her reaction to Eveyln's summation of Pamuk: "Actually, he was a terribly nice fellow." (See, all assholes.) Reminded of those supposed qualities (and no accounting for taste), Mary begins to uncontrollably sob:

Evelyn asks, "perhaps you saw his qualities for yourself?" Mary can't talk and runs up the stairs to her room. Eveyln pretty much spoonfeeds the audience what the show has set up: "Which obviously … you did." But, if there's some lingering ambiguity to all of this, Mary clears it up when talking to Matthew about the Pamuk affair in series 2's Christmas special: "It was lust, Matthew! Or a need for excitement … or for something in him that I … oh God, what difference does it make?"

To ignore all of that and treat Mary's 'no' as a true indication of her desire is tantamount to subscribing to the conservatives and anti-porn feminists' conflation of social prohibitions with a woman's inner-life. It's also a really thickheaded approach to a TV show.


Three Nights of Psychobilly Madness at the Klubfoot USA Festival, 3/15 - 3/17

Posted by Amoebite, March 7, 2013 10:33pm | Post a Comment

klubfoot usaWhat are you doing St. Patrick's Day weekend? Cancel it! You can't miss the Klubfoot USA Festival at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, March 15th - 17th.

Six bands a night for three nights of pure Psychobilly madness from around the world!  With Mad Sin, The Klingonz, King Kurt, Frantic Flintstones, The Coffin Nails, Rezurex, Los Difuntos, the new Neo-Rockabilly band The Whammy (Tim Polecat with Slim Jim Phantom and Jonny Bowler), and so many more. 

This is an all-ages show!

Tickets are available at Amoeba Hollywood.

Here's some Coffin Nails to get you in the mood:

Weekly Roundup: FIDLAR, The Soft Moon, Classixx, Cillie Barnes, Thee Oh Sees, Shannon and the Clams, Sonny and the Sunsets, Audacity

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2013 03:52pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR – “Max Can’t Surf” video

Loveable L.A. garage punks FIDLAR have a new video for “Max Can’t Surf,” one of the best tracks from their self-titled debut record, built on classic-rock riffs with lyrics about Del Taco and a dude with no balance. The video follows band members on an acid trip via interstellar skateboards that look like the hoverboards from Back to the Future II. Too fun! See more pics from their Amoeba performance here, and read my interview with the band here. They’re also going on tour with Wavves, whose upcoming Afraid of Heights is due March 26 and it up for preorder; check ’em out together at the Echo March 20 and The Smell April 21.


The Soft Moon – “Insides” video

Oakland-based The Soft Moon aka Luis Vasquez has a video for “Insides,” a standout from last year’s darkwave release Zeros. Really nice effects on this, sort of looks like a graphic novel streamed through a projector and fits the gloomy nature of the song. It also puts the shy-seeming Vasquez in the center of the video, as does the song for an artist who primarily lets the music do the talking but who steps out of the shadows on this track.

Switchboard Music Festival, Sunday 3/24 in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 6, 2013 07:11pm | Post a Comment

The sixth annual Switchboard Music Festival brings its eclectic blend of performers and music to San Francisco’s Brava Theater on March 24th from 2-10pm. It's going to be a non-stop, eight-hour musical spectacle presenting composers and musicians who push the boundaries of their respective genres—be it rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop, world, or something less defined. It is a showcase for innovative local music that easily traverses disparate genres—a physical analog for a borderless, digital world. This year’s festival features groups both established and new, from the Bay Area and beyond.

The 2013 Festival features the piano duo ZOFO, whose most recent album, Mind Meld, was nominated for two 2013 Grammy awards; Subharmonic, led by Jazz Mafia’s Adam Theis; Ava Mendoza’s UNNATURAL WAYS; accordionist Rob Reich (of Tin Hat) and his quintet; and clarinetist Michael Lowenstern. The all-day festival will also feature performances by Addleds, Areon Flutes, Billygoat, Build, FutureCities, Ignition Duo, Oakland Active Orchestra, and bass clarinet duo Sqwonk

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring the North Industrial District, Los Angeles's Dogtown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 6, 2013 12:42pm | Post a Comment


The North Industrial District, or Dogtown, is both one of Los Angeles’s oldest and most obscure neighborhoods. It’s also occasionally referred to as either Naud Junction or Mission Junction, after two area junctions of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the entity perhaps most instrumental in the neighborhood’s development (it’s also sometimes referred to as the River Station Area). By the way, this is not the Dogtown neighborhood in Santa Monica, of Dogtown & Z-Boys fame.

Mission Tower near downtown LA. Photo by Ted Soqui (2008)


March 5, 2013: Phantom

Posted by phil blankenship, March 5, 2013 10:06pm | Post a Comment

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Paul Weller

Posted by Amoebite, March 5, 2013 05:15pm | Post a Comment

The legendary British rocker Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council) dropped by Amoeba Hollywood for some record diggin'. Weller has been crafting classic songs since he was a teen back in the '70s and he's still at it. His most recent album, Sonik Kicks (2012), debuted at #1 in the UK.  At age 54, The Modfather is still bringing it!

In this episode, Weller digs deep for some late '60s Brazilian tropicalia, classic jazz, and experimental avante-garde music from Germany.

Paul Weller - What's In My Bag?
Watch and comment on YouTube

Yep Roc Records Announces Paul Weller Box Set
This year for Record Store Day (April 20, 2013) Yep Roc will release a limited edition Sonik Kicks Singles Box Set. This awesome piece of art is packed with 5 singles on colored vinyl,
an autographed Sonik Kicks poster and 2 unreleased songs.

Sonik Kicks The Singles Collection

Here's a video of the 4th in a series of 45RPM Paul Weller singles being released:

Paul Weller - "Dragonfly"

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in March

Posted by Amoebite, March 5, 2013 03:14pm | 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.



Jeff Bridges El Rey

Jeff Bridges
El Rey Theatre
April 25

eric andre fonda

The Eric Andre Show
The Fonda Theatre
June 12


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)
Bat for Lashes The Fonda Theatre 04/23/2013 $30.00
Bonobo El Rey Theatre 05/05/2013 $25.00
Billy Bragg El Rey Theatre 03/28/2013 $32.00
Jeff Bridges El Rey Theatre 04/25/2013 $45.00
Capital Cities El Rey Theatre 06/06/2013 $18.00
Cloud Cult El Rey Theatre 05/11/2013 $17.00
Daedelus The Fonda Theatre 03/29/2013 $17.50
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. El Rey Theatre 05/16/2013 $20.00
The Eric Andre Show The Fonda Theatre 06/12/2013 $20.00
Ghostface Killah (18+ show)
(SOLD OUT at Amoeba, tix may
be available at Mayan Box Office)
The Mayan 03/28/2013 $20.00
Andy Grammar The Fonda Theatre 05/17/2013 $25.00
IAMX The Fonda Theatre 05/15/2013 $25.00
Killing Joke The Fonda Theatre 05/05/2013 $27.50
Kip Moore El Rey Theatre 04/09/2013 $25.00
Lights El Rey Theatre 050/2/2013 $30.00
Living Colour El Rey Theatre 03/30/2013 $30.00
Los Amigos Invisibles The Fonda Theatre 04/26/2013 $22.50
Mavericks El Rey Theatre 03/26/2013 $30.00
Peter Murphy The Fonda Theatre 07/27/2013 $27.50
Netsky The Fonda Theatre 04/05/2013 $28.50
OMD The Fonda Theatre 04/15/2013 $35.00
Shuggie Otis El Rey Theatre 04/27/2013 $32.00
Amoeba Presents Shlohmo The Fonda Theatre 04/06/2013 $20.00
Soul Slam IX with DJ Spinna (21+ show) Arena Nightclub 05/03/2013 $14.00
Lindsey Sterling The Fonda Theatre 04/04/2013 $22.50
Texas Is the Reason The Fonda Theatre 03/30/2013 $19.99
Turbonegro El Rey Theatre 05/25/2013 $25.00
Watsky/Cardboard Castles Tour El Rey Theatre 05/04/2013 $17.00
Youth Lagoon El Rey Theatre 04/17/2013 $20.00


Albums Out March 5: Youth Lagoon, Rhye, How to Destroy Angels and More

Posted by Billy Gil, March 5, 2013 10:16am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse

CD $12.98

LP $19.98

Youth Lagoon aka Trevor Powers at only 22 was the precocious new kid on the indie block with 2011’s The Year of Hibernation. Though a strong debut, the album could get a bit precious as one would expect when listening to a 22-year-old’s debut indie pop album. But if The Year of Hibernation was sugary, Bughouse is coated with codeine syrup. It’s a woozy collection of psychedelic pop, as eccentric as it is rousing. “Mute” sprawls with epic grandeur in its first minute before breaking down into spiraling sounds of broken-down toys and keyboards. Powers’ vocals climb to the top of his manic creation, which gradually becomes a psych rocker with a gorgeous guitar solo. “Attic Door” is prime Syd Barrett in Wonderland weirdo psychedelia, while “Pelican Man” takes a similar notion to Sgt. Pepper’s-style pop heights. As Wondrous Bughouse progresses, it seems to grow more assured, as mid-album cut “Dropla” makes for the album’s catchiest moment — an eyes-wide-open pop song in the vein of Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips’ finest, built on the naïve, repeated couplet “you’ll never die.” True to its Strawberry Alarm Clock title, “Raspberry Cane” is a beautiful slice of acidic sunshine pop that moves from esoteric to a crowd-pleasing refrain that marks Powers’ most classic pop moment to date. It’s a wondrous thing to hear, indeed.

"A Dive Bar You Could Bring A Date Or Your Mother To" - The Night Light in Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2013 08:23am | Post a Comment

This weekend The Night Light in Oakland will celebrate its first anniversary with a big party at the Jack London Square district bar/club that is situated on Broadway between 3rd and 4th Streets in the vicinity of such other watering holes as Beer Revolution and Merchant's.  At The Night Light's all day long bash on Saturday (March 9th) there'll be DJs spinning in the downstairs bar area and live bands playing in the upstairs concert space.. Artists celebrating the one-year birthday will include Warm Soda, Mahgeetah, and L3SSONS. In the twelve months since Johnny Nackley and his business partner Doug Kinsey (two vets of the local bar & restaurant and music worlds) opened The Night Light, it has built a an ever-growing, dedicated following and won many accolades.

Within a mere few months of opening it won an East Bay Express readers choice award as "Best New Bar."  Even with such a wide variety of other clubs and bars to choose from in downtown Oakland's vibrant nightlife scene, people are drawn to The Night Light's cozy bar atmosphere and its diversity of live entertainment events. There include stand up comedy nights, live bands of all genres such as punk rock and hip-hop, and themed DJ nights including yacht rock parties when folks get decked out in captains hats, Hawaiian shirts, and beards and moustaches.  On the last Friday of every month they throw hip-hop/reggae/dancehall themed DJ parties.

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/5 - Barnt, Indoor Life, Peel MD, Eddie C, Leech, Jesse Saunders, and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 5, 2013 04:18am | Post a Comment

Barnt - AriolaBarnt

The deluge of indistinguishable deep house, replete with “soulful” vocal samples, swung drums, and jazzy pads sometimes makes an avid listener long for a producer who hasn’t arrived fully-formed with only the most tasteful/retro influences. Barnt is that producer. Here, he follows last year’s bizarre anthem “Geffen” with four even odder tracks. “Tunsten” starts rather polite, then a maddening synth tone climbs slowly skyward and remains for a bit before coming back down and hitting on one-note as the beat picks up, a house track as carnival-ride. “Ariola” is more staid and baroque - with counterpuntal synths evoking Vangelis. "Stac" is a skewed percussion workout, with Barnt programming drums as though he’s never heard of the grid. Any cut off the record is perfect for waking up a crowd used to knowing what to expect.

Indoor Life
A bizarre and heretofore lost document of post-punk freedom, Indoor Life is in many ways an amazing missing link connecting Patrick Cowley and Chrome, Warhol and Sylvester, freewheeling SF-punk psychedelia with the NYC 80s downtown scene. Indoor Life formed in 1980 in San Francisco - Cowley produced their first ep (Indoor Life member Jorge Socarras also performed with Cowley as Catholic). The music is similar to Pere Ubu in a way, but with the rhythm section calibrated to funk/disco rather than utilitarian rock. Songs like Madison Ave. slow things down with gorgeous delayed trombone. Essential document.
Peel MD - Grip

Peel MD
Bruising mini-LP of uncompromising acid from the Swedish duo. As the first-track “Henry, Second Bass” jolts to life with its Phuture meets Knight Rider groove, it becomes apparent that PEEL MD is carrying on the tradition of mutant dance music borne out of analog experimentation. Closer “Fusefudge” introduces the raw drum palette and atmosphere of early industrial music. Great debut from PEEL MD and more uncompromising weirdness from the Borft label (Frak). Limited Second Pressing of 350.
Eddie C
Endless Flight
A nostalgic collection of cosmic sample and synth work from the Canadian aesthete. Tracks like “Stoney Pharmacy” and “Fools on the Hill” present a more widescreen vision of Dilla’s bag. Fans of Andres will find much to love with the laidback cut-up groove of “Drinking and Thinking”.
Eddie C slowly works his way from odd, pleasing hip-hop instrumentals to the balearic/nu-disco/deep house jams that conclude the album. A lot to love.

100% Silk 
Leech’s Brian Foote kicks off his debut for 100% Silk with a wistful piano house vamp not far from the label’s signature hypnagogic house sound. Over the course of the record, Foote’s sound reveals itself to be more micro and muscular than the label’s typical offerings. On the title track, a rude 303 and odd percussion slowly emerge as the counterpoint to the crystalline piano/female vocal that drive the track. “Ninao” works a similar formula, the producer’s love of piano house as a deceptive front for outré experimentation cemented. “Sense Enjoyer” is similarly epic. A busy 303 line begins the track, and is soon buoyed by a wistful four-chord synth progression - when the synth emerges later in the track, it’s taken on an almost-Fennesz like quality. “Winehouse” is the ep's most austere track - a rough hewn, live techno jam replete with  time-lapse synth and 303-microfunk skittering around the the track’s odd beat. All in all, a worthy introduction to one of LA’s finest purveyors of live electronic sound - recommended.
Jesse Saunders - On & OnJesse Saunders
Rush Hour
Rush Hour continues its series of flawlessly curated archival house releases (Dream2Science, Sha-lor, Elbee Bad) with this track, the godfather of them all. Widely regarded as the first house track, “On & On” was  influenced by Frankie Knuckles deejaying style and leans heavy on the jacking style that looms heavy over the modern house landscape. More importantly, this mutant bit of funk sounds every bit as relevant today as it did in 1984.
Lace Curtain - Nothing I Wanna DoLace Curtain
Incisive disco not disco from the new group made up of members of Total Control, Rank Xerox and others. Wry, world-weary vocals combine with smart synth programming and spare live percussion to create an electronic post-punk sound so obvious you’d think someone would have hit on it by now. At times, the band’s sound is reminiscent of a subtractive version of labelmates Factory Floor. Things brighten slightly on “In The House”, a track with a loping groove worthy of Factory Beneleux.

Henrik Bergqvist
Intriguing new sounds from the Swedish newcomer. The title track wastes little time getting deep in the oddest way possible, starting with wobbly guitar before coming with a steamroller of a two-note bassline and a snare that could pass for the clackety-clack of boxcars. Eventually two samples, one made up of gorgeous strings, the other perhaps of feline origin create a deliciously stoned whole.  A bit of Detroit in here, but Henrik’s house sound is all his. B-side “Spin” twists a couple samples and manic, jazz-influenced percussion into head-down, dark room business, eventually emerging with a blurred melodic organ progression and cute vocal before beating the simple groove again. TIP!
Rainer Veil - StruckRainer Veil
Modern Love
Rainy, corroded sounds from the English duo. The title track combines the tape-delay degradation expected from the Modern Love camp with the big pads of Burial’s more hopeful moments. “Slow Beaming” comes off like a refracted take on the Tri Angle sound, while “Bala” represents the ep’s emotional peak, the longing vocal subsumed by string synth atmospherics worthy of Talk Talk’s “Laughing Stock”. The record represents an infusion of downcast pop into a plethora of ‘ardcore continuum formatives - the end result, at times, veering closer to ambient music than even the foggiest post-dubstep.

March 4, 2013: Stoker

Posted by phil blankenship, March 4, 2013 09:13pm | Post a Comment

Show Recap: DJ Nu-Mark at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2013 05:15pm | Post a Comment

DJ Nu-Mark spun a set frontloaded with hits and gradually growing weirder Feb. 28 at Amoeba Hollywood. Through promoting his fine Broken Sunlight album, released last year, the DJ stuck with a more traditional set of blending well-known records into one another. He got the audience percolating with an “L.A., California” refrain, building a beat with booming bass and classic funk horns as a crowd of beatheads nodded on. He worked in The Jackson 5's “ABC,” The O’Jays “For the Love of Money,” Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance,” Phil Collins’ “You Can’t Hurry Love,” the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic,” Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.,” Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Ni**as in Paris,” a remix of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and many other songs. The set started with big hits everyone knew and moved into more obscure sounds — an extended didgeridoo part, instrumental passages, “Kung Fu Fighting” with an underwater effect, a muzak version of “Satisfaction.” Nu-Mark worked with a minimal set-up of a laptop and two turntables, moving quickly between songs and grooving hard, keeping the energy alive even as the set grew more challenging. See more photos of the performance here.

Son of Rogue's Gallery: Strange but Seaworthy Reworkings of Traditional Maritime Folk

Posted by Kells, March 4, 2013 01:17pm | Post a Comment

Okay, we get it. There is no need for further evidence that Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski have developed an immortalizing affinity for all things piratical. Not that there's anything wrong with pirate fever, mind you, (I might be the only one on staff here at Amoeba Music SF that'll openly admit to being stoked about the prospect of future chapters in Pirates of the Caribbean film series) it's just that their enthusiasm for more legendary exploits of swashbuckling buccaneers, pillaging priveteers, salty sea dogs, and scurvy scallywags of yore sure has manifested itself in stranger ways than Walt Disney's theme park attraction turned multi-billion dollar motion picture franchise success story (sorry, Haunted Mansion). Of course I'm talking about their published tributes to the sea chantey arts.

Back in 2006 Depp and Verbinski had a hand in producing Hal Willner's Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys -- an unruly and somewhat drunken compilation featuring an intriguing, genre-spanning line-up of mostly high profile pop/rock artists revisiting a bounty of maritime folk and seafaring work songs, songs that were once passed down quite literally over vast oceans of time thus contributing to modern music styles in more way than one might immediately suspect. These reinvigorated renditions of antiquated rhymes that comprise Rogues Gallery serve as pleasant testaments to the durability of oral tradition, though oddball tracks buoy here and there throughout the cut, rendering some beloved chantey-man reels near unrecognizable, freakish even, challenging imbibers to sink or swim along with each tune and demanding listeners to temper their grog with a certain amount of equanimity.

Now, Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys, the latest second two-disc installment in the Depp/Verbinski/Willner pirate hymns and devotionals, released February 19th on Anti Records, is as boozy and weathered as its predecessor, exploring new crests and troughs of the diverse spectrum of second-wave maritime melodies that advance and perpetuate the popularity of salt-sea songs and drunken sing-a-longs. It should come as no surprise that the likes of Tom Waits lashed up with Keith Richards and the slow-rolling runnels of layered vocal-rumblings over a watery melange of acoustic strums and pluckings in their rendition of the early 19th century folk song "Shenandoah" is a highlight of the record that almost making up for neither of them appearing in the original Rogues Gallery crew. In fact, curious pairings are more of a theme this go 'round what with even Michael Stipe and Courtney Love getting together (!) for "Rio Grande" -- one of the more traditional-sounding contributions that outweigh, say, more "raw" cuts like Iggy Pop and Hawk and a Hacksaw's grisly take on "Asshole Rules the Navy".

Todd Rundgren, however, should be marooned for his take on one of the most wildly popular whaling chanteys, "Rolling Down to Old Maui" (made famous by the late great master of modern Canadian Maritime Folk, singer-songwriter Stan Rogers). His high-impact club-thumper of a pop dance pump-a-thon is the most heinous and unnecessary so-called interpretation of an enduring classic on the whole record. In fact, it's so abominable that I almost want it to work despite the sum of it's being jacked-up beyond all recognition because his is precisely the kind of yarn that makes this funky weave worth unraveling. Instead it seems that Todd is having a laugh, baiting the hook for nautical nerds everywhere only to violently yank our jowls out of our faces before we can fully gag on his electronic mutiny. [Dearest Todd, I love you and I know you've sort of "gone bamboo" of late what with your new tiki bar opening soon, but come on! Rather than pillage a classic when you should've pumped your bilge with a something a little more kitschy like the Sex Pistols did with "Friggin' in the Riggin'"] I'm just not into it.

Of all the artists that appear here there are some very lovely surprises like actress Anjelica Houston singing "Missus McGraw," Marianne Faithfull together with the McGarrigle Sisters on “Flandyke Shore,” some long lost Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Inventiondoing an instrumental version of one my favorite old sea songs "The Handsome Cabin Boy" (check out Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd's traditional recording on their albums The Black Ball Line (1957) and A Hundred Years Ago (1963) as well as the excellent Topic Sampler No 7 collection Sea Songs and Shanties) and even the rock n' roll pirate himself, the Depp, lends a loving hand on "The Mermaid" with Patti Smith and "Leaving of Liverpool" with Shane McGowan and first mate Gore Verbinski.

All in all, the savvy outweighs the sloppy with tracks like Dr John's rum-soaked "In Lure of the Tropics" drinking Macy Gray's reggae-toned "Off to Sea Once More" way, way under the ship's table in this NSFS (Not Safe For Starbucks) compilation. Other seaworthy notables include songs from Beth Orton, Robyn Hitchcock, Nick Cave (who previously stacked two tracks on the first Rogue's Gallery voyage), Sean Lennon paired with Jack Shit (also appearing again) as well as Akron/Family who this time around teamed up with New Orleans' gender-bending rap duo Sissy Bounce (Katey Red and Big Freedia) -- a triple threat balancing tamer teams of three like actor Tim Robbins with Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs singing "Marianne." In short, if you fancy lengthy compilations loaded with the promise of adventurous curiosities, maladjusted charm, sloppy oddities, and deviant beauty then avast ye matey -- this here's the swill for you.

Recap: March Charity Auction to Benefit Doctors Without Borders

Posted by Amoebite, March 4, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Doctors Without Borders logoOn Saturday, March 2 we had the hilarious Kurt Braunohler all the way from New York host our charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood and he did a fabulous job with a very tough crowd. He drove home our reason for being there ("Hey guys, it's for Doctors Without Borders...C'MON! Doctors who have no sense of their own boundaries! "). The crowd was enjoying the show, but it was tough to get them to bid. Sometimes it's like that. You never know what the temperature of the crowd will be! But Kurt did a great job and we ended up having a very successful auction.

The concert tickets went well, as always, and thanks so much to our neighbors at Trader Joe's and Brew Coffee, as well as Goldenvoice, for getting us such cool prizes.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Brew Coffee gift card with Amoeba mug $25.00
  • Tickets to Jim James at the Fonda $30.00
  • Tickets to The Black Lips at the El Rey $25.00
  • Tickets to Django Django at the Fonda $20.00
  • Trader Joe's Gift Card and California Raisins lunchbox $50.00
  • Passes to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles $40.00
  • Special VIP Amoeba in-store pass $66.00
  • Sundance Theater passes 30.00
  • Classic rock package featuring Doors documentary, Led Zeppelin and Doors t-shirts & more $70.00
  • Limited edition Record Store Day package $60.00
  • Tiny Furniture DVD signed by Lena Dunham $35.00
  • Super DVD signed by the cast $15.00
  • Ozzy and Sharon talking Beanie Babies with lunchbox and Black Sabbath pen $10.00
  • Beatles package featuring totes, poster, mug and more $30.00

There was a grand total of bids of $485.00, and then with our matching that meant we raised $970.00 for Doctors Without Borders, an organization which has helped tremendously with Hurricane Sandy (in addition to their work in all corners of the world). This one was great. Thanks all for the help!

Eclectica Moves To Wednesdays, New Latin Releases for March

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 4, 2013 07:26am | Post a Comment
Every first Sunday over the last three years and change, DJ's Reyes & Glenn Red have provided a great party called Eclectica. I have spent many Monday mornings groggy after a night at Eclectica, but it's a great way to kick of the work week.The name of the night says it all. If you like to dance to soul music from all over the world, this night is a great place to start. I've heard Reggae, Samba, Afro-Beat, Cumbia, R&B, Hip-Hop, Modern and classic Cuban music, Reggaeton, Balkan Brass bands, Bollywood classics. Its a chance for their guest DJs to stretch out and get away from the norm of weekend hits and the resident DJs always up to the challenge to match their diversity.
Starting on Wednesday, March 6th, Eclectica moves to every first Wednesday. For that reason, Eclectica is bringing out the big guns. Guests include DJ Sloepoke and Fresko, two deep crate diggers just waiting to be unleashed to any unsuspecting crowd. Be prepared for anything. I'm hoping the Sloepoke and Fresko are going to bust out their expansive Cumbia record collection.

Speaking of Cumbia, I'm not in the habit of recommending Rough Guide compilations. Although the people at World Music Network are no slouches to the World Music game, I often don't think about them when it comes to Latin Music. However, their latest foray into Latin Music is an absolute barn burner! The Rough Guide to Cumbia (Out now) and The Rough Guide To Latin Psychedelia (Out in April) were both compiled by Pablo Yglesias, a writer/graphic designer and DJ better known as DJ Bongohead. Yglescias has compiled collections for Vampisoul and Masstropicas and is the author of the book, Cocinando: Fifty Years Of Latin Album Cover Art. Each disc is full of classics and modern takes on the genres that work together seamlessly. Each release has a bonus disc of rare tracks by the likes of the Cumbia supergroup, Los Corraleros De Majagual (RG To Cumbia) and Peruvian Chicha masters Los Destellos (RG To Latin Psychedelia) My only complaint is that these two releases aren't slated to be released on vinyl as of yet.

Speaking of vinyl, the new Bomba Estereo, which has slowly become my favorite new release in the first part of this year, is now available on LP. Also on LP is the latest release from Cafe Tacuba, imported from Mexico. We only have a few so I wouldn't wait to long to get them.

March 3, 2013: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Posted by phil blankenship, March 3, 2013 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Dax Pierson is an Inspiration Eight Years After his Life-Changing Accident

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2013 10:15am | Post a Comment

Last Sunday marked a profound anniversary for former Amoeba staffer/talented Bay Area musician Dax Pierson since on that very same date eight years earlier (February 24th, 2005) Pierson's life would forever change following a serious auto accident. The well-liked Dax, who used to work at the Berkeley Amoeba store along with fellow members of his band Subtle, was out on the road on the band's first US tour traveling Interstate 80 in Iowa in a van along with six others. Without warning, the Subtle tour van (plus trailer in tow)  hit a nasty patch of black ice causing the van to skid out of control and completely roll over. Inside the upside down  vehicle, the seat-belted Dax's seat broke free from its hinges (Ford Motors were later held responsible), causing him to come crashing down on his head. The devastating accident severely paralyzed Dax, leaving him quadriplegic.

On the accident's anniversary, Dax took to his Facebook page to reflect on that fateful day in a moving status update that struck a chord with his extended circle of friends, bringing some to tears.

In the honest, heartfelt update Dax expressed how the accident had forever altered his life everyday - including the continual myriad of health issues he encounters. "My physical and emotional challenges have been many," he shared noting, despite the love and support of his mom and a core group of good friends, how he often is overwhelmed with feelings of being, "isolated and alien socially and creatively." As for what Dax sees for his future, he wrote, "Dialysis. Kidney transplant? A new home/neighborhood. Better music technology. Making music with people in the same room after 8 years of not."

March 2, 2013: 21 and Over

Posted by phil blankenship, March 2, 2013 09:51pm | Post a Comment

Happy birthday, John Gray - the real life Dorian Gray

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 2, 2013 01:01pm | Post a Comment
Today is the birthday of English poet and Dandy, John Gray. As a writer, Gray is best-known for Silverpoints,The Long Road, and Park: A Fantastic Story. Though celebrated in his day, today he is perhaps best known for being the rumored inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s fictional character and literature's most famous Decadent and Dandy, Dorian Gray.

John Gray was born on 2 March, 1866 in Bethnal Green, London, the first of nine children. Like most people with great taste, he came from a working class background. At thirteen he quit school and began working as an apprentice metal-worker (continuing his education with evening classes). In 1882 he passed the Civil Service exams and five years later passed the University of London matriculation exams. He subsequently joined the Foreign Office and became a librarian. Gray’s evening classes had included (among other foreign languages) the study of French and he translated the work of Symbolists Arthur Rimbaud, Jules Laforgue, Paul Verlaine, and Stéphane Mallarmé into English -- some for the first time.

New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/1 - Conforce, RVDS, Perseus Traxx, Benjamin Damage, Freeform Five and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 1, 2013 05:26pm | Post a Comment

Conforce - Time DilationConforce
Time Dilation 

Boris Bunnik switches over from the dystopic electro of his Versalife project to the Conforce alias by which he's better known. Classic Delsin material here. "Nomad" sets the tone with ominous techno drones, an odd kick meter, elastic bass and big-room creepiness. "Receiver" veers closer to classic Detroit techno tropes, with insistent bells providing the atmosphere over a telltale tom. The patient and precise production of the ep’s opener is still intact, but here it's bolstered by subtle hi-hat drops that feel momentous in context. B-side "Last Anthem’s" rugged kick drum signals this 12”s diversity, ringing in the most floor-friendly track on the record. Closer "Embrace" is a deep, dub techno track with just a sliver of melody, achieving Chain Reaction-worthy hypnosis.

Buy Time Dilation


Arabian Moon

Laid back, eastern-tinged acid from the German producer, whose huge “Moon Oddity” (sensing a theme?) on Dial deep-house imprint Laid placed the producer alongside Tin Man in his ability to coax new, emotional sound out of classic equipment. The title track uses a busy 303 bassline against a deep Juno progression, the overall effect not unlike a more narcotic version of Max D’s Cassette Arabic (L.I.E.S.)

Congratulations to the Gibosn Melody Maker Contest Winner!

Posted by Amoebite, March 1, 2013 11:02am | Post a Comment

Thanks to our friends at TrueTone Music, contest winner Adele S. took home a brand new Gibson Melody Maker guitar. The American made Melody Maker is one of Gibson's most popular guitars. It is an exact re-creation of the 1950s Melody Makers. Have fun rocking out Adele! 

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