Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.31.13: The Low End Theory, A$AP Rocky, J-Dilla, Tricky, The Genie, Black Moon, dPress, Kendrick Lamar

Posted by Billyjam, May 31, 2013 09:45am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week End 05:31:13

1) Black Moon Enta Da Stage LP reissue (Nervous)

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

3) A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory CD reissue (Jive)

4) A$AP Rocky Long.Lve.A$AP (RCA)

5) J Dilla Anthem/Trust vinyl (Pay Jay)

The latest hip-hop top five, a mix of vinyl and CDs, from the San Francisco Amoeba Music store includes some new music plus some classic golden era hip-hop as well as a posthumous release (a single vinyl only) from the late great Detroit producer J Dilla who died seven years ago. The new releases represent both coasts: from the Left Coast is Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath) and from
Harlem, New York is A$AP Rocky's Long.Lve.A$AP (RCA) whose features include the hot new artist Schoolboy Q (on the track “PMW”

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Grandmaster Caz Amoeblog Interview

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

Grandmaster Caz Amoeblog interview (2013)

Grandmaster Caz truly loves hip-hop. The Bronx born native lives and breathes the culture of hip-hop in all its elements and has done so for almost every year of its four full decade lifespan. Grandmaster Caz is also a most humble guy. He has to be considering that, despite the fact he is one of the most influential and important pioneering figures in hip-hop, the average music fan doesn't really know much about Caz or the Grandmaster Cazimportance of his place in hip-hop history. Of course the fact that his legendary crew The Cold Crush Brothers, who introduced to the most via their appearances in the landmark 1983 Charlie Ahearn directed hip-hop movie Wild Style, never released an official album or the fact that Caz never got credited for the verses of his that Big Bank Hank borrowed for the Sugarhill Gang's breakout megahit rap single "Rapper's Delight." Maybe this was all for a reason: something to test Caz's commitment to hip-hop. If so he has passed that test with flying colors and, unlike so many figures in the history of hip-hop who fall off or fade away after a few years, decade after decade Grandmaster Caz has been a consistent contributor been to the culture that defines him and that he, in turn, helps define.

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Weekly Roundup: No Age, Best Coast, The Mallard, Lumerians, Sonny and the Sunsets, Roses, Julia Holter

Posted by Billy Gil, May 30, 2013 10:41am | Post a Comment

No Age Announce New Album

Beloved L.A. noise pop duo No Age are releasing a new album Aug. 20 called An Object (Sub Pop), their first since 2010’s Everything in Between. The new album was recorded by the band at Gaucho’s Electronics in L.A. with collaborator Facundo Bermudez. No song has been released from the album yet; we’ll have it up here as soon as they do!

The tracklist is as follows:

1. No Ground

2. I won’t Be Your Generator

3. C’mon Stimmung

4. Defector/ed

5. An Impression

6. Lock Box

7. Running From A-Go-Go

8. My Hands, Birch and Steel

9. Circling With Dizzy

10. A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor

11. Commerce, Comment, Commence


Best Coast Announces Tour

Best Coast have announced a new tour, and true to form, they'll be playing with excellent bands such as Bleached, Lovely Bad Things and Guards. They'll hit the Fillmore Aug. 15, Big Sur's Henry Miller Library Aug. 16 and L.A.'s The El Rey Aug. 17, all with Bleached (the rest of Best Coast's tour dates can be found on their site.). They'll be debuting songs from their upcoming EP, which has no title or release date announced as of yet, but we'll keep you posted. If you were one of the lucky ones to pick up their recent "Fear of My Identity" b/w "Who Have I Become" Record Store Day 7", perhaps you'll hear those excellent songs too, in addition to those off last year's Jon Brion-produced The Only Place. Read my recent interview with Bleached here, last year's interview with Best Coast here, and check out Best Coast's entry into the Webby-winning "What's In My Bag?" below.

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Fred Armisen & Captain Sensible Surprise Amoeba!

Posted by Amoebite, May 29, 2013 05:53pm | Post a Comment
fred armisen

Fred Armisen and Captain Sensible (from The Damned) surprised Amoeba Hollywood and passersby with an impromptu set in front of our store last night! Right around closing time, Armisen and the Captain, both with acoustic guitars in hand, broke out into song as a camera man filmed. This was a complete surprise to the Amoeba staff and we had no time to try and rally up our own film crew to capture the show! Luckily, one of our staff members recorded some cell phone footage of the performance. Thanks to Fred Armisen and Captain Sensible for the special surprise. That was very cool!  

Fred Armisen and Captain Sensible Live Outside Amoeba
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We cannot walk the floor at night in peace -- a look back at Perry Boys

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 29, 2013 04:56pm | Post a Comment

18 May was the 104th birthday of Fred Perry. As someone who'd generally rather poorly play any sport than watch others, no matter how good, this occasion in and of itself didn't mean much to me. Fred Perry was, I've read, a great tennis player but I reckon his name conjures up images of tennis shirts rather than tennis players. And for anyone remotely aware of youth subcultures, Fred Perry shirts have been part of many style tribes' uniforms. In fact, Fred Perry was so popular with a Mancunian tribe that arose in the late 1970s that they came to be known as "Perry Boys."


Lacoste (left) and Perry (right) in their creations (image source: Modern Gentleman Magazine)

The tennis shirt was invented in 1929 by French tennis star Jean René Lacoste but Fred Perry introduced several innovations to the article of clothing. As with Lacoste, Fred Perry shirts only came in white when they were introduced in 1952. The now signature twin-tipping was reportedly introduced to placate the demands of West Ham United football fans. When members of the Mod subculture adopted the shirt, more colors were added to cater to their tastes. (Fred Perry also invented the modern wrist sweatband although there's no excuse for wearing those off the court). 


In the latter half of the 20th century, changing attitudes toward casualwear turned men’s formal codes upside down. Fifty years earlier, the sight of a man in his shirtsleeves had been seen as borderline pornographic (see Partie de campagne) and vests were worn to hide the sight of suspenders -- since they're properly worn as undergarments. Then, after World War II, wearing blue jeans and an undershirt in public became accessible. In the 1950s, Casual Fridays regrettably became a thing where bosses attempted to create a false sense of freedom amongst their wage slaves. The period also saw an explosion of youth subcultures.

Whereas middle class subcultures like Beatniks, and Trads often seemed to dress down, working class subcultures have almost always dressed up. The smart Fred Perry shirt was thus favored by working class subcultures like Skinheads (and Suedeheads) in the 1960s; (Northern) Soul Boys, Punks and Rude Boys in the 1970s; Casuals in the 1980s; Britpoppers in the 1990s; and Chavs in the 2000s. The brand’s importance to various British youth subcultures was highlighted in filmmaker Don Letts’s documentary series, Subculture (2012).


As aforementioned, there was also the Perry Boy subculture. With roots in the Soul Boy subculture, Perry Boys emerged as something distinct around 1977 and '78. This is probably sacrilegious to say for some Mancunians but Perry Boys were seemingly almost certainly influenced by their peers and rival subculture -- the Scallies of Liverpool. For most of the 1970s, Liverpool FC placed at or near the top of the First Division. Scallies followed their team to the continent and would graft and shoplift so that they could wear expensive and exclusive labels. Meanwhile, back in the North, Manchester United, spent most of the decade trying not to get relegated. Though Perry Boys came to be primarily associated with football hooliganism, when they first appeared it was naturally away from the terrace in nightclubs such as Manchester's legendary Pips.

As with all the best youth subcultures, music played a central role for Perries. The Perry soundtrack included Disco, Soul, Roxy Music, David Bowie and neo-psychedelic post-punk bands. Favored American neo-psychedelic bands included Athens's R.E.M., Milwaukee's Plasticland, Rhode Island's Plan 9, St. Paul's Hüsker Dü and Los Angeles's Paisley Underground (The Dream Syndicate, Green on Red, Rain Parade, and The Three O'Clock) as well as Liverpool's Echo & the Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes. Local post-Punk bands with Perry Boy elements in their audience included Joy Division, The Chameleons, Crispy Ambulance, Magazine and Vibrant Thigh. And they liked The Cramps. Tellingly, few if any bands from London made the grade. 


Relatively few Perry Boys seem to have made stabs at making music although nearly all that did so formed around 1980 and in several cases included members who went on to achieve considerable success later on in other bands. One of the few bands to be sometimes actually be described as made up of Perry Boys (and a Perry Girl) was Stockholm Monsters, who formed in Burnage in 1980. 


That same year Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets both formed and their members and fans were drawn from the tribe. Also in 1980 future members of the Stone Roses formed The Patrol --  although Ian Brown has made clear that he and John Squire were, properly speaking, Scooter Boys and not really Perries.

Happy Mondays - 1983

In 1981, The Patrol's Si Wolstencraft joined pre-Smiths Andy Rourke and Johnny Marr in Freak Party, who made one demo, "Crak Therapy." It's generally agreed upon that Oldham-based The Hungry Sox's singer, Dave "Kaiser" Cartey, was a Perry Boy. Further tangling the web -- Hungry Sox's bassist, Gary "Mani" Mounfield (also a Perry Boy) had played with Inspiral Carpets' Clint Boon in The Mill and later went on to join The Stone Roses and Cartey went on to sing in John Squire's short-lived pre-Stone Roses band, The Waterfront


The aforementioned Pips was a multi-story nightclub with different floors catering to different scenes including, at some points, Roxy Music fans, Bowie Boys, Gays, and at one point and on one floor, Perry Boys. They came from neighborhoods like Collyhurst, Failsworth, Moston, Prestwich, and Salford.

"Dress - casual but smart" -- Pips coupon from 1979

There was considerable overlap between post-Mod Perry Boys, Scooter Boys, and Soul Boys. Some Perries viewed themselves as the true inheritors of Modernism rather than the self-proclaimed Mods who -- contrary to the entire ethos of original Mods -- were in the slavish fetishists of the past rather than the modern. And as with the original Mods (but not so much the revivalists) they also shared an interest in modern (and Classic), black American music.

In 1986, another legendary local club, The Haçienda, launched a night called Nude. DJs Mike Pickering (of Quando Quango and M People), Martin "Little Martin" Pendergast (and later Graeme Park) introduced much of Manchester (including Perry Boys) to Chicago House music which in 1987 finally helped the club become profitable.


As with any healthy subculture, Perry style evolved over the years. In addition to Fred Perry, the Town Boys (as they were also sometimes known) also favored (preferably burgundy-colored) Peter Werth shirts, Fila Borgs, raglan sleeve shirts, Harrington jackets, Sergio Tacchini and later replica football kits. Preferred trousers included Levi’s 501s or Sta-Prest, Lee corduroys, and Lois jeans. Popular shoes included Adidas Stan Smith, docksiders, Kios, and Kickers. Other approved labels included Aitch, French Connection, FU, and Second Image. The most popular hair style was the wedge – preferably with one eye covered. 

By 1982, some like-minded Londoners, known as Chaps, began to show similar traits to Perries and Scallies. Eventually the three subcultures blurred into less-locality-specific Casuals.


There was a dark side to Perry Boys too -- hooliganism. In the US, youth style tribes (with the notable exception of street gangs) rarely violently clash except in films like The Warriors and S.E. Hinton novels. In England on the other hand, it sounds like they're all raring to battle and go out of their way to do so.

Perries with hands against the wall

The Fall seemed to bait them with their song, "City Hobgoblins." The Chameleons' Mark Burgess blamed Perries for some of the violence at Joy Division gigs. In a 1986 interview with Melody Maker, Morrissey recounted being terrorized by them, calling them "the most vicious people." (In an earlier interview with Record Mirror, on the other hand, his Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr sang their praises, claiming "...the Perry Boys in Manchester have got so much more class than anybody else in the world. I stole all my fashion ideas from them.”


In the late 1980s, some Perries and Casuals adopted flares as part of the changing wardrobe. One of the first was Stephen "Cressa" Cresser, an associate of The Stone Roses, The High, and Happy Mondays. He, Al Smith and Little Martin began jokingly referring to themselves as The Baldricks and, promoted by the Roses' manager Howard Jones, The Baldricks were taken seriously enough by the London media mentioned in an '87 edition of i-D and then profiled the subsequent year in the same publication. Around the same time Acid House and the drug ecstasy made their way to the UK resulted in the birth of the so-called Madchester scene.

Photo of "The Baldricks'" flares

Happy Mondays in 1987

By 1988, the London media could no longer ignore the buzz emanating from the north and Madchester and Rave became national phenomena -- culminating in the UK's so-called "Summer of Love." London, which had spent most of the '80s focused on itself and its homegrown New Romantic, New Pop, and Sophisti-pop movements was now enthralled with the north and soon London bands like Blur and Flowered Up appeared owning considerable stylistic debts to Manchester. Not sure what to make of the northerners, they wrote of "Acid Casuals," "Psychedelic Scallies," "Cosmic Scallies," "Psychedelic Scoundrels," and "Baggies." Though Liverpool had its share of psychedelic-leaning bands (e.g. The Boo Radleys, The La's, The Farm, The Lightning Seeds, Rain, The Real People, Shack, The Wizards of Twiddly), most of the media attention was shifting to Manchester and soon "Madchester" would be applied to bands regardless of their sometimes non-Mancunian origins.

The Fred Perry-favoring Quangos

Fred Perry the tennis star passed away 2 February, 1995 – not forgotten as a tennis player but definitely better recognized for the iconic clothing label named after him. By then, so-called Lad culture was the latest echo of Perry Boy's most trad elements. More recently ripples of Perry Boy culture can be seen in bands like Manchester’s The Quangos but for the most part, Perry Boys remain fairly obscure. Unlike many UK subcultures, I've never heard of any American Anglophiles adopting (and invariably cartoonizing) this particular culture. 


Even in the UK Perry Boys seem fairly obscure. Whereas Scallies had fanzines like The End and What's the Score? and have been the subjects of books like Kevin Sampson’s Awaydays (1998), Andy Nicholls’s Scally: Confessions of a Category C Football Hooligan (2002), and Dave Hewitson’s The Liverpool Boys are Back in Town (2008); the Perry Boy legend is almost entirely kept aflame by Ian Hough who wrote Perry Boys: The Casual Gangs of Manchester and Salford (2007), Perry Boys Abroad (2009), and maintains

In the US, Fred Perry's exposure has been much more limited although Bill Murray wore it in Broken Flowers, Don Cheadle wore it in Iron Man 3, and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) can be seen wearing it in a video about his and Mannie Fresh's OMFGOD project.


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"Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records)" To Premiere At LA Film Festival

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2013 03:32pm | Post a Comment

OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON (This Is Stones Throw Records) Teaser from Gatling Pictures on Vimeo.

A while in the making the anticipated documentary about Peanut Butter Wolf's (PBW) revered Bay Area founded / LA based Stones Throw Records label, previewed above, will get its world premiere screening during next month's 2013 LA Film Festival when Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records) will screen on both June 21st and 22nd. Via concert footage, interviews, never-before-seen archival material, and "inner-circle home video and photographs" the film traces the rich and illustrious history of the label that was founded in 1996 and in the years since has released quality material from such talents as Madlib/Quasimoto, Madvillain, James Pants, Dam-Funk, Karriem Riggins, J-Rocc, Homeboy Sandman, Quakers, Strong Arm Steady, J-Dilla, Aloe Blacc, the late great Charizma (PBW's musical partner who was killed 20 years ago) and Wolf himself - to name but some. Advance tickets and more details on the ten day (June 13 - June 23rd) LA Film Festival.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #33: Red, Yellow, and Blue, NYC Popfest, Grandmaster Caz on NYC, The Boy vs Girl From NYC

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2013 11:52am | Post a Comment

Above is one of the three key components (the red colored portion) of the latest public art exhibits in ever changing public art installation space that is Madison Square Park (MSP) Red, Yellow and Blue is the simple yet descriptive title of this new exhibit that was unveiled earlier this month (following 2½ years of planning, conceiving, reworking, and production, plus an additional eleven days of installation) and will remain through September 8th in the park that is bordered by 23rd and 26th Streets, and Fifth and Madison Avenues in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. The ambitious work of sculptor/artist Orly Genger the Red, Yellow and Blue installation contains 1.4 million feet of layered, painted, and hand-knotted rope that are threaded through steel posts and drilled into the park's lawns to hold in place.

Of the three colors my favorite is the yellow (see pic right) since it is to my eyes the most natural. In fact when I first unexpectedly  encountered it -  stumbling upon the artwork earlier this week while walking through the park - at first glance thought it was a hedge or some large plants I was seeing. A traveling installation Red, Yellow and Blue will next travel to near Boston, MA after it finishes its run in NYC, when it takes up residency at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in October. More info on its current MSP exhibit.

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Pick Up Tickets to the 2nd Annual Sunset & Dine

Posted by Billy Gil, May 28, 2013 01:37pm | Post a Comment

The 2nd Annual Sunset and Dine is upon us, taking place June 13 at Academy Hollywood, the outdoor theater at the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) Pickford Center. The event brings together local businesses for an evening of food, drinks, booths and a movie screening — this time it’s the classic Hollywood film noir Sunset Blvd.

Amoeba Hollywood has tickets available for the event at $30, plus a $2 service fee.
Tickets garner visitors access to beer and wine, plus free food samples from local businesses. Amoeba will be on hand at the event with a booth featuring Amoeba goodies and a DJ. Come say hello!

Sunset and Dine kicks off Academy Hollywood’s Oscars Outdoors series, screening movies most Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.

The celebration is put together by the non-profit board Central Hollywood Coalition, which manages the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District (BID), dedicated to revitalizing a 15-block stretch of Sunset Blvd.

Academy Hollywood is located at 6322 DeLongpre Ave. in Hollywood.

The Bullitts' new "They Die By Dawn" features Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Jay Electronica, and Lucy Liu

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2013 12:06pm | Post a Comment

The Bullitts feat Yasiin Bey, Jay Electronica, & Lucy Liu "They Die By Dawn" (2013)

Just done working with Jay-Z as executive music consultant for The Great Gatsby soundtrack (pictured left) The Bullitts (aka producer Jeymes Samuel) now collaborates with a cast of high profile names for the brand new urban-western video above for "They Die By Dawn." Featuring Erykah Badu, Michael K. Williams, Isaiah Washington, Jesse Williams, and Rosario Dawson, and set to an Ennio Morricone inspired spaghetti western hook the glossy new video, that is both written and produced by The Bullitts, and culled from the producer's film: They Die By Dawn  The Bullitts single features Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Jay Electronica, and Lucy Liu and is taken from the forthcoming album: They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories that is due to drop this summer. Watching this new cowboy themed hip-hop video reminded a previous era western starring some hip-hoppers turned actors: the Mario Van Peebles directed Posse from 20 years ago about  the story of a posse of African-American soldiers and one ostracized white soldier that starred rappers Big Daddy Kane and Tone Loc alongside such others as Peebles (who had directed New Jack City two years earlier), Stephen Baldwin, Blair Underwood, and Billy Zane. With hip-hop and other music the musically diverse accompanying soundtrack (produced by Peebles) for the 1993 film featured such artists as Sounds of Blackness, Tone Loc, Neville Brothers, Melvin Van Peebles, and Top Choice Clique. Below is a trailer for that movie.

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Album Picks: Sean Nicholas Savage, The Pastels, Tijuana Panthers, Dirty Beaches

Posted by Billy Gil, May 28, 2013 10:50am | Post a Comment

Sean Nicholas Savage - Other Life

CD $12.98

LP $19.98

Download $9.98

It may sound like he’s kidding at first — Sean Nicholas Savages’ casio keyboard chords and shivering falsetto sounds like mall music beamed in from another planet on “She Looks Like You.” But beneath the chintzy set up are great songs sung by an aching voice. Other Life sounds like re-created memories of Simply Red, but its modest creation only adds to the songs’ charm. The title track’s lyrics radiate with the same nostalgia as the music, only it’s for life recently lived and chances not taken (“All I do is reminisce laying in my bed with a cigarette/Opportunities fading, crazy feelings staying only feelings/And if I go back now, how many nights till I go wild again?”). Savage perfectly captures the pain of entering adulthood and realizing life is finite, and wild nights can’t go on forever. Savage isn’t quite Prince — his attempts at romanticism on “Lonely Woman” come off as awkward, though endearingly so. But when that acute pain and awkwardness is paired with soft-rock hooks on a song like “More Than I Love Myself,” Sean Nicholas Savage’s brand of instant nostalgia rings truer than 1,000 Instagram posts.

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May 27, 2013: Stories We Tell

Posted by phil blankenship, May 27, 2013 10:26pm | Post a Comment

Come Record Digging With Us at PCC Flea Market & Record Swap on June 2

Posted by Amoebite, May 27, 2013 05:46pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba returns to one of the biggest and best record swap meets in the LA area, the Pasadena City College Flea Market and Record Swap, on Sunday, June 2, 2013. 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 June 2

New Green Room Session with Keaton Henson

Posted by Amoebite, May 27, 2013 05:10pm | Post a Comment
Keaton Henson

You may not know that Keaton Henson, a 24-year old London-based singer/songwriter and illustrator, often suffers from a serious case of stage fright. He rarely plays live as a result of his fear. In fact, his intense yearning for privacy almost prevented his music from being released to the public. We are honored to announce an exclusive live performance by Mr. Henson as part of our Green Room Session series. Watch him perform songs from his latest album, Birthdays, as well as "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" from his debut release, Dear, in the Amoeba Hollywood green room.

Keaton Henson - Gare Du Nord (Amoeba Green Room Session)
Watch and comment on YouTube
Watch the full performance on


Birthdays Henson coverPicking up right where Dear left off, with Henson's signature acoustic melancholy sweetness, Birthdays opens to the sound of ambient clanking and background footsteps that quickly set the tone for what's to come. Over gently plucked guitar chords Henson sings, "by all means give me lessons in my ways, but damn it don't expect me to change."  Expect more of the same from Henson (which is a good thing) and also expect to be surprised! The second half of Birthdays steps up production style to incorporate tightly produced drums with distorted guitars giving Henson's songs a bigger, more fuller sound. It's a nice build to the overall flow of the album and really showcases Henson's capabilities as a songwriter and musician.

Pick Up Tickets to Jubilee Fest at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 27, 2013 12:52pm | Post a Comment
The Black Lips live at Amoeba

Jubilee Music & Arts Festival is almost here! The two-day festival takes place June 7 and 8 in Downtown Los Angeles, in the Arts District at Santa Fe and Willow. The event features music from the likes of The Drums, Bleached and The Black Lips, along with food, drinks, booths, literature, comedy and more.

Amoea Hollywood has tickets available to the event for $50 plus a $3 service fee. Pick up tickets at the info desk, and check out albums by some of the artists who will be playing at the fest. Get more info, including schedule, at the fest's official site.

Pick up a free download of The Black Lips' "O, Katrina," recorded live at Amoeba!


Friday, June 7:
3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday, June 8:
2 p.m. to 2 a.m

Brown and Blue
Theblack & Thewhite
Thee Rain Cats
Moses Campbell
Yellow Red Sparks
Takashi Miyaki
Incan Abraham
Oh Boy Les Mecs
Mikhael Paskalev
Trash Talk
Future Unlimited
The Black Lips
Franki Chan
Free Energy
Thee Mike B
DJ Sam James Velde

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Major Lazer's 'Get Free'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 27, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it’s Major Lazer’s “Get Free,” from the latest Major Lazer album, Free the Universe. The collaboration between Diplo and DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire fuses dancehall and EDM into an irresistible, danceable whole. “Get Free” sees them slowing down for a cool, laid-back reggae pop jam featuring the aerobic vocals of Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman.


A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.



May 26, 2013: Star Trek Into Darkness

Posted by phil blankenship, May 26, 2013 05:28pm | Post a Comment

May 25, 2013: 3 Geezers!

Posted by phil blankenship, May 25, 2013 10:18pm | Post a Comment

The Art Of The LP Cover- Candlelight

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 24, 2013 11:50pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.24.13: French Montana, Jahzel, Has-Lo, Indecent The Slapmaster, Kings Of The Mic Tour + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 24, 2013 08:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending May 24: 2013

1) French Montana Excuse My French (Bad Boy/Interscope)

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

3) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)

4) Tyga Hotel California (Cash Money)

5) Tyler, The Creator Wolf (Columbia)

In the number one position with a bullet on this week's Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five chart is French Montana's Excuse My French. Pretty impressive considering that this is the first release by French Montana- well the first official release following a dizzying string of over two dozen mixtape releases by the rapper - all of which paved the way for this major label (Interscope Records) debut. Excuse My French by the Moroccan-born, American rap artist known as French Montana (not to be confused with UK hip-hop instrumental artist Young Montana?) comes in both the regular 13 track Excuse My French CD edition and the 19 track Deluxe Excuse My French CD version. Of the new album the reviewers write, "French’s flow comes out like melted butter over the popping “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’,” one of the album’s catchiest songs, and the eerie, slow-motion “Marble Floors,” which finds French bragging about how his exquisite flooring lures the ladies alongside a winning roster of collaborators". Indeed one of the advantages, it would seem, of upgrading from DIY mixtape status to major label official release status is that you can afford to pay some high profile artists to make cameos on your album. And on his new release French Montana does that does that, and some, with an impressive long list of collaborators lending their talents. These include such rap and RnB artists as Raekwon, Ne-Yo, Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg,Birdman, Rick Ross, DiddyFabolous, Trey Songz, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Mavado, Ace Hood, Jerimih, Scarface, Machine Gun Kelly, Red Café, Los, Chinx Drugz, Young Cash, and Max B. But what is truly noteworthy about this is that he didn't have to pay any of these guests (with the exception of the latter incarcerated Max B) since, according to an MTV News story published this week, they all gladly did their cameos for the love. So that was what he must have meant when he rapped "money don't mean nothin'" in the aforementioned "Money Don't Mean Nothin.'" However, it is hard not to notice in the popular cameo-heavy video below (including Diddy whose Bad Boy Records with distribution via Interscope he has this major label deal) for this lyrically repetitive single that there is over the top product placement of the vodka brand Ciroc that Diddy has a vested interest in.

French Montana "Ain't Worried About Nothin' (explicit)" (2013)

Cicadageddon 2013: Celebrate with Sublime Frequencies' Insect Electronica LP!

Posted by Kells, May 24, 2013 02:44pm | Post a Comment

You know The Great 2013 U.S. East Coast Cicada Invasion is in full effect when local restaurants begin to tout cicada-centric menu items with hearty "if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em" gusto. For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, the Cicadageddon that emerges from the ground every seventeen years, North Carolina to New England, is a fleeting affair that has everything to do with sound and vision -- the pulsating reverberations of their billions-stong buzzworthy mating calls drowning out the din of daily life, outdoor concerts and all. But you don't have to live inside the E.C.C.S.Z. (East Coast Cicada Sex Zone) to get in on the sonic action as this sort of thing happens in other parts of the world and the well-traveled field recording gurus down at Sublime Frequencies want you to indulge your senses with their oh-so-timely vinyl release of Brokenhearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica from Southeast Asia.

This limited edition LP pressing of the long out-of-print CD from 2004 presents for your listening pleasure the sounds of swarms of male dragonflies gathered together to join in choruses of high-pitched tones for one purpose: they're looking for sex. The ones that don't succeed in wooing and winning their mates eventually scream so loud that their chests explode and they drop dead to the ground, or so the legend goes. These recordings are a tribute to this legend.

Droning cicadas, dragonflies, and other insects display their charm as masters of the high frequency airwaves, recorded live and unprocessed by Tucker Martine in the lush settings of Laos, Thailand, and Burma -- the occasional thunderstorm included. Enter the supernatural world where entomology and electronica converge in a tropical hallucination of alien sound. Anyone who has ever wondered if these strange symphonies could be recorded or preserved as precisely as they sound in the field need look no further. Martine has done it and you will be transported to the exact experience one would encounter in these mysterious lowlands.

The LP includes an insert with photos and liner notes by Hakim Bey and Alan Bishop. Get yours today and celebrate the Great 2013 Cicada Invasion in style!

Trannyshack's Madonna Tribute Night is this Sunday

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 23, 2013 04:46pm | Post a Comment

This Sunday (May 26th) Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest drag club night, celebrates Memorial Daytrannyshack madonna Weekend at the DNA Lounge with the biggest tribute night of all!

Yes, it will all be about the Material Girl with Madonna-inspired performances from Heklina, Exhibit Q., Raya Light, Cookie Dough, Becky Motorlodge, Lindsay Slowhands, Miss Rahni, and more!

Doors open at 9:30pm and the show starts at 11pm. Get advance tickets HERE!


Shop Collectibles at Amoeba!

Posted by Billy Gil, May 23, 2013 01:48pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music has an array of collectibles available, from rare LPs lining the walls of all three stores to Amoeba Hollywood's display cases by the stairs, by the registers and at the back of the store, and Amoeba SF's brand new display cases, located by the books section.

Our collectibles range from discontinued toys and hard-to-find promo items to signed books and merchandise. At Amoeba Hollywood you'll find rarities such as an Elvis trivia game ($15); Beach Boys paraphernalia, including a Brian Wilson promo pennant ($25) and Beach Boys Mojo magazine ($20); a book of Led Zeppelin guitar tablature ($60); a Smiths Tapes limited edition box set ($280); Ravi Shankar’s autobiography Raga Mala, signed by Shankar ($200); and Beatles goods galore.

If you can’t make it into the store, there’s always our online Merchandise section, with Amoeba swag, rare posters and books, and more. See our currently featured items here. And if you need extra cash or credit for those rare items, don't forget we're always looking for your used CDs and LPs, and you'll get 30% more value if you trade in for credit.

Show Recap: Laura Marling at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 23, 2013 01:03pm | Post a Comment

Laura Marling visited Amoeba Hollywood May 20, on the eve of releasing her latest album, Once I Was an Eagle. Appearing solo, she demonstrated the range and power of her deep, droning strum and her voice, which she wields magnificently, going from a high, quavering coo to deeply intoned phrases that land like a dull arrow to the heart. "Damn all those people who don't lose control" she sang in passionate monotone on her extended opening track, "You Know," immediately drawing in the sizable crowd gathered to see her. She pulled out bluesy riffs for "Master Hunter," which spurns a would-be lover by turning around a key Dylan phrase — "if you want a woman who can call your name, it ain’t me, babe."

Her next song belied its sweet melody and charming country arrangement with dark lyrics about depression and loneliness ("I couldn't get out of bed, I was all in my head" she sings before warning her paramour, "just don't go bleedin' me dry"). Marling expressed her excitement about playing Amoeba, saying it even surpassed playing L.A. for the first time, at acoustic music haven Hotel Cafe, and said she'd bought a psychobilly comp at the store. Her next song, a languid, prairie ballad saw her calling to mind Emmylou Harris-style heartbreak. On her closing track, Marling took listeners on a more serene journey, chanting "pray for me" over a steady jangle, channeling quiet pain into exquisitely lovely music.

Weekly Roundup: Crocodiles, Sonny & the Sunsets, Heroes & Heroines, Tape Deck Mountain

Posted by Billy Gil, May 23, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Crocodiles Announce New Album, Premiere ‘Cockroach’

Though they just released their last album, the fine Endless Flowers, last year, San Diego-bred rockers Crocodiles are already back with a new album. Fans of loud, creeping, melodic rock rejoice! “Cockroach” is already up for streaming via Stereogum. The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner adds extra noisy strut as producer. It’s from Crimes of Passion, due Aug. 20 on French Kiss.





Sonny & the Sunsets – “Palmreader”

Sonny & the Sunsets have premiered the third single from their upcoming Antenna to the Afterworld (due June 11 on Polyvinyl) and it’s another winner, full of gleaming synthesizers, grimy guitars and a beachside attitude. It’s like a perfect California afternoon captured in a song, with a shivers-inducing chorus. Sounds like Antenna to the Afterworld is gonna be one of the albums of the summer.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz

Posted by Amoebite, May 23, 2013 11:44am | Post a Comment

Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz is a Mexican-American award-winning editorial cartoonist and the creator and author of the first nationally syndicated politically themed Latino comic strip, La Cucaracha. A leading figure in the Chicano community, Alcaraz contributes political cartoons for the LA Weekly publication and hosts the Pocho Hour of Power radio program for KPFK 90.7fm in Los Angeles. 

Lalo Alcaraz's work has appeared in the New York TimesVillage VoiceLos Angeles Times, Variety, Hispanic Magazine, Latina Magazine, Mexico’s La Jornada, Germany’s BUNTE and many other publications. He and his work have been featured on CNN, the CBS Evening News, ABC, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, PBS, Al-Jazeera TV, NPR, and on Spain’s Radio Nacional de Espaƃ±a. Alcaraz has also been featured by Rolling Stone Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Associated Press, Editor & Publisher and profiled extensively in the Comics Journal.

Spring Cleaning! Bring Your Used CDs and LPs in to Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, May 22, 2013 09:07pm | Post a Comment

It's that time of year — spring cleaning! Time to get rid of the old and usher in the new.

Amoeba Music is gonna help you out by taking those dusty CDs and LPs off your hands. Bring in your old stuff and get cash or 30% more value in a credit slip that you can use to shop whenever you like. Right now we're especially looking for those used CDs, so bring them in and trade up to vinyl, MP3 or whatever your preferred format. See our price breakdown here; we pay anywhere from 10 cents to $5 for used CDs, depending on condition and desirability.

Come to the buy counter in the front of the store and see what our expert appraisers have in store for your collection. And if you're looking for something other than media to use that credit on, Amoeba Music has a bevy of books, T-shirts, posters, collectibles and other goodies on hand throughout the store.

Check here for more information about Amoeba's buy counters, including hours per location.


New York State of Mind Amoeblog #32: Bike Share Program, American Human Beatbox Festival, Conspiracy of Beards Take NY

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2013 04:14pm | Post a Comment
  Midtown Bike Rack This Week Before Been Loaded For New NYC Bike-Share Program

The good news from New York City this week is that, following a few false starts of promising good weather following an elongated winter that cut into spring weather, the warm weather has finally arrived and looks set to stay. The bad news of the past week is that, despite all of the advances in human rights especially in this incredibly diverse heavily populated city, that hate crimes are reportedly on the rise - a sad reality that was brought to light over the weekend when a gay man was shot and killed in Greenwich Village in an apparent hate crime. The tragic irony of this unprovoked cold blooded murder was that it occurred just a few short blocks from the Stonewall Inn - the landmark of the beginning of gay rights revolution - when, according to NYPD, 32 year old Harlem born Brooklyn resident Mark Carson was fatally shot in the face with a .38 caliber revolver by homophobic slur throwing 33 year old Manhattan ex-con Elliot Morales who has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime. This hate crime, according to NYPD records, is the 29th (reported) anti-gay bias attack this year in the city - a startling statistic since that is over double the number for the same period in 2012. In reaction to this fact, and following this latest hate crime, on Monday (May 20th) thousands of New Yorkers, including some Pols, took to the streets to march in protest. The rally was organized by openly gay City Council Speaker/mayoral candidate Christine Quinn who promised both a new anti-hate initiative in NYC public schools and increased NYPD presence in both the heavily gay populated Greenwich Village and Chelsea districts.

New 12" Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 5/22 - Stellar Om Source, Kyle Hall, Willie Burns, Koreless and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 22, 2013 02:04pm | Post a Comment

Stellar Om Source - Elite ExcelStellar Om Source

Elite Excel

RVNG Intl.

Teaser 12-inch for Christine Gualdi's upcoming LP on New York institution RVNG Intl (Max D, Blondes, Sun Araw/Congos). Stellar Om Source's recent Image over Image 12" saw her integrating tough beats into her synth vistas -  on Elite Excel, Gualdi combines raw, adroit drum programming with the time-warp qualities of her earlier work. Everything is in its right place - at 2:30 a pristine C2-esque synth vamp emerges over the hazy acid. The momentum picks up as the track spans on, Gualdi continuing to strike the balance between rough acid techno and synthetic mind-music. The remix finds Kassem Mosse  exploring the cubist funk he pulled off so well on 2D. Buy Elite Excel

Kyle Hall - The Boat Party

Kyle Hall

The Boat Party

Wild Oats

Assured full-length debut from the producer whom many expect to carry Detroit's legacy forwards. What's on display here is not a producer buckling under decades of dance music history, rather, a singular talent who began his career taking risks and continues to double-down. KMFH's use of isolators is unparalleled. The first half of this album holds skittering drum tracks, yet remains compelling due to Hall's nuanced filtering and effects work. "Flemmenup" welds the recent footwork fixation onto classic Detroit electro-styles, while "Crushed" shows the producer can cut a sample alongside legends like KDJ and Terrence Parker. "Finnapop" is a Dancemania tribute which ends in a solid 2:30 minutes of spooling noise, emphasizing the experimental nature of Hall's production and listening (Hall enjoys shopping for outre records at Windy and Carl's "Stormy" records). The final track, "Measure 2 Measure" shows Hall effortless skating around a pair of soul samples, juggling insane hi-hats and morphing the soaring female vocal into an endless, abstract delay trail. There is a perfect sloppiness to what Hall does on the record, light years away from marathon Ableton sculpting sessions.

May 21, 2013: Pain & Gain + Black Rock

Posted by phil blankenship, May 22, 2013 12:17am | Post a Comment

Remembering Ray Manzarek: 1939 - 2013

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2013 09:18pm | Post a Comment

Since news first broke yesterday of the passing of legendary rock keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who co-founded The Doors in 1965 with Jim Morrison, people have been playing Doors music and sending out tributes. I never realized just how many people loved the Doors so much but such is the sign of a truly great band. Some people, upon hearing the news at first, didn't believe it and questioned if it was a hoax. Such is the ere we live in. But soon everyone found out that sadly the news was no hoax and that the greatly admired musician/author/film director, who maintained a consistent passion for his art throughout his life, had left this earth. Yesterday, Monday May 20th, the South Chicago born Manzarek died at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany following a battle with bile-duct cancer. Manzarek was 74.

While Jim Morrison - the late great vocalist and front man of The Doors - might be the first one to come to mind when the average person thinks of the Doors it was the blues rooted keyboard playing of Manzarek and his signature hooks, that also doubled as the bass backbone of the group's sound, that helped distinguish the Doors' warm sound. And the fact that the Doors even came about in the first place is thanks to Manzarek's intuition and foresight. As the story goes; following a chance encounter on Venice Beach with Morrison, who he first met at UCLA before the two film students had graduated, Manzarek convinced the future Doors front man, who considered himself a poet and not a musician, that his poems/songs would be best presented with the backing of a blues-based rock band. And the rest as they say is rock n roll history. Manzarek's soulful musicianship was instrumental in defining such Doors classics as “Light My Fire,” “Riders on the Storm,” “Love Her Madly,” and (my personal favorite) “Roadhouse Blues.”

Happy Birthday Wah Ming Chang -- Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 21, 2013 03:13pm | Post a Comment

Wah Chang
was a Chinese-American artist and prop designer. Today he’s most recognized for his iconic designs on the television series Star Trek. He was born on this day in 1917 and with that in mind, it being Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, me planning on going to see the Star Trek Into Darkness tonight, and The Wrath of Khan on in the background, now seems like a good time to reflect on his genius.


Wah Ming Chang (鄭華明) was born 2 August, 1917 in Honolulu, when Hawai’i was still a territory. His father, Dai Song Chang, owned an art store and framing gallery. The Chang family moved to San Francisco in 1919 and the parents opened Ho Ho Tea Room on 315 Sutter Street, which quickly became a popular hangout for artists and bohemians. Wah’s mother, Fai Sue, was an artist and graduate of the California School of Arts and Crafts. As a young child, Wah also displayed a talent for art and at seven, he began a tutelage under artist Blanding Sloan. Wah had his first solo gallery show when he was just nine years old. His mother passed away when he was eleven and his father moved to Europe, leaving the child with Sloan and his wife, Mildred Taylor. Taylor, was a feminist writer, organizer and lecturer who in the 1920s displayed a strikingly non-stereotypical interest in East Asian cultures. Taylor introduced Wah to puppet-making, a skill which he would employ when he eventually began working in film.

After attending the Peninsula School of Creative Education in Menlo Park on a scholarship, the family (including Chang) moved to Los Angeles. At sixteen, Chang worked as a set designer for shows at the Hollywood Bowl. In 1936 the family moved back to Sloan’s home state of Texas. Chang worked with Sloan before starting his own business. After the business closed, Chang returned to Hollywood. Upon news of his father’s remarrying, Chang joined him for a year in Honolulu before moving once again to San Francisco.


At just 21 years old, Chang began working for Walt Disney in 1940, when he worked on character designs for Pinocchio and Fantasia (both 1940). After their release, Chang was contracted polio and was sidelined by extended hospitalization and the temporary loss of the use of both legs. In 1941, after regaining the ability to walk, Chang married Glen Taylor in Texas (at the time marriage between Chinese and whites was against California law). In 1942 he worked on Bambi with another great Chinese-American artist, Tyrus Wong.


He left Disney afterward and began a working relationship with director George Pal, beginning with the film Tulips Shall Grow (1942). In 1945, with Gene Warren, he created his own production company. In 1947 he worked as the cinematographer and producer on the animated The Way of Peace (a collaboration with Sloan) and contributed the Puppetoon section of The Variety Girl (also 1947).


Again working with Warren, Chang next formed Centaur Productions, which made commercials, costumes, props, and toys. They also worked on Hardrock, Coco and Joe: The Three Little Dwarfs (1951) and Suzy Snowflake (1953).


Besides making children’s cartoons and animating Christian parables, Chang worked un-credited on several B-movies. He created the spider puppets for Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) and Tarantula (1955). Keeping with the arachnida theme, he also designed titular Black Scorpion (1958). He also designed the mutated wasps from Monster from Green Hell (1957).


Though its name sounds like an early ‘90s Eurodance group, Project Unlimited, Inc was another company formed by Chang, Warren and Tim Baar in 1956. Together they designed costumes, make-up, puppets, sets, and special effects, notably for George Pal’s Tom Thumb (1958), The Time Machine (1960), Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961), and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). The company won Academy Awards for its work on The Time Machine.


Other key work done by Chang included on films such as The Lady Says No (1951), The King and I (1956), Spartacus (1960), Can-Can (1960), La vendetta di Ercole (1960 – released in the US as Goliath and the Dragon), Master of the World (1961), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), Voyage to the Seventh Planet (1962), Cleopatra (1963), and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964).


Chang’s first work on television was for the sci-fi anthology series, The Outer Limits (1963-1965), where he worked for future Star Trek associate producer Robert H. Justman.

Chang was first hired to work on Star Trek in 1964, handling make-up and props on the (first) pilot episode, “The Cage.” He designed the look of the Talosians and the pre-phaser laser pistols used by the crew of the Enterprise. Star Trek wasn't picked up until after a second pilot was filmed in 1965. Star Trek finally debuted in 1966. Chang was once again hired and put to work. He redesigned the phaser. He designed the Starfleet tricorder and communicator. His flip-top design was remarkably similar to my Motorola flip phones of the 1990s (my current phone, thanks to an app, looks even more like Chang’s communicator. He also designed Balok and his ship, the Gorn, the giant from “The Galileo Seven,” the neural parasites from “Operation: Annihilate!,” the Romulan Bird of Prey (and the Romulan helmets), the M-113 Creature, the Vulcan lute, and Tribbles. After “The Trouble With Tribbles,” Chang was let go.


After his stint on Star Trek ended, Chang returned to film work, working on Planet of the Apes (1968), The Power (1968), Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968), and Big Daddy (1969).

In 1970, the Chang family left Altadena and moved to Caramel-by-the-Sea, where Chang designed and built their new home. Chang returned to production – and began directing – with Dinosaurs, the Terrible Lizards but primarily focused on sculpting. The following year he worked on The Mephisto Waltz. In 1974 he directed and produced Alphabet Roll Call. He returned to TV designing models for Land of the Lost (1974-1975). In 1985 he directed Magic Pony. In 1987, he worked as a creative artist on The Puppetoon Movie.


Life and Sculpture of Wah Ming Chang

Although most of Chang’s work had been done in anonymity, fans and film historians began to reappraise his contributions and he appeared a couple of documentaries, appearing in The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) and Time Machine: The Journey Back (1993). In 1987 he sculpted, on commission, four life-size bronze sculptures of Dennis the Menace. In 1989, Chang published a book, Life and Sculpture of Wah Ming Chang, co-authored with David Barrow. In 1994, Chang was awarded the George Pal Memorial Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror. In 1995 he was the subject of Wah Ming Chang: Artist and Master of Special Effects.

After Glen passed away, Chang began a relationship with Virginia Park. In 2003, the Chinese Historical Society of America exhibited Chang’s and Tyrus Wong’s work. Six days before the end of the exhibit, Chang passed away on 22 December,2003 (age 86) at his home.

For a far more in-depth account of Chang's life and work, click here!


See Disclosure Live at Space 15Twenty May 30 - Get Your Free Ticket at Amoeba Hollywood Starting 5/23

Posted by Amoebite, May 21, 2013 11:27am | Post a Comment

disclosure PosterUPDATE May 24 at 4:25PM: We are sold out of passes to see Disclosure at Space 15Twenty!

The UK pop leaning garage duo Disclosure, made up of multi-instrumentalist brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, are bringing their infectious UK garage and 2-step sound stateside! See them play an intimate show in the courtyard at Space15Twenty (across from Amoeba Hollywood) to celebrate their new album Settle (Cherrytree/Interscope; out June 11th on CD, June 18th on LP). 

Get a free ticket to this intimate, all-ages show by pre-ordering Settle in-store at Amoeba Hollywood beginning Thursday, May 23. Limit 2 purchases / 2 tickets per person. No phone or online orders available for this show - you've gotta come into Amoeba Hollywood to snag a ticket. But don't hesitate because quantities are limited.

What:  Disclosure live at Space 15Twenty

When: Thursday, May 30 at 8pm

Where: Space 15Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd, LA, CA 90028)

How: Pre-order new album Settle on CD ($12.98) or LP ($29.98) in-store at Amoeba Hollywood starting Thursday, May 23. Limit 2 purchases / 2 tickets per person. Quantities are limited. No phone orders or online orders for this event.

CDs and LPs pre-purchased will be available for pick up at Amoeba Hollywood beginning June 11th (CD pre-orders) and June 18th (LP pre-orders). Retain your receipt and numbered ticket to pick up yours. No replacement for lost/stolen tickets.

Iron Deficiency: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 21, 2013 10:06am | Post a Comment

I decided not to see Iron Man 3 because it seems a return to old way of adapting superheroes to the screen: focus on the star, not the costume (e.g., Stallone's Judge Dredd); throw away most everything ever established in the comics about the character and/or his villains (e.g., just about any TV adaptation from the 70s on, such as Spider-Man); and those behind the adaptation are more interested in making the superhero more "believable," which is another way of saying they're not particularly interested in the character but in "telling their own story" (e.g., Ang Lee's exploring what went into Bruce Banner's rage in Hulk, or Superman giving up his powers in Superman II to live a boring bourgeois life with Lois for 30 minutes of screen time). That is, we get a Tony Stark pondering what makes him Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr., is tired of wearing the suit, basically), a funny kid sidekick for him while he's hanging out in Tennessee, and the Mandarin becomes just another white guy in a business suit. It's not that I'm some purist about the comics, which are often quite terrible, but these alterations tend to come from people who are less imaginative than the comics creators, believing they can improve upon the original by throwing out the more outrageous and fantastic qualities that served to make the comics distinct.

Before the influence of movie studios, the comics industry used to practice the Jack Kirby Rule: a ridiculous premise is always better if realized with a cosmic roundhouse from some brute in a colorful costume. There's nothing particularly interesting about Tony Stark questioning his status as a superhero. It would, at least, be weird if he were doing this in a soliloquy while wearing his armor in the middle of a space battle, though. Otherwise, it's just some normal looking dude worrying about a problem that has no relevance to anything in life. So why would anyone want to sit through that?

As for what was done to the Mandarin:

[Director and co-writer Shane] Black and co-writer Drew Pearce proposed this argument in favor of The Mandarin twist: “What if he’s sort of this all-things-to-all-people uber-terrorist? What if he is the myth, and in the end that is what we’re dealing with, a created myth that [a research group] has perpetuated and cobbled together using elements from popular consciousness,” Black says.

Instead of possibly making a terrorist of Chinese origin who has a point to his terrorism and who could've been played by a Chinese man in a non-racist manner, we get a media creation that is about nothing in particular, cobbled together from revolutionary and religious fundamentalist stereotypes to mask a mistake made by a Western for-profit scientific organization (the plot if needed). I guess this is a big metaphor for the type of conspiracy theory where wars are used by the US to mask a hidden agenda. Terrorists aren't really opposed to a liberal ideology -- who could be? -- but are just a state-driven media creation to distract us from the real threat ... whatever that might be, but it's internal. So the battle of wills takes place against the same ideological backdrop: a good scientist businessman versus an evil one. Questioning the backdrop would've been a worthwhile alteration to the simple-minded comic book. But leaving aside ideology in adapting one of the most ideological of all superheroes makes it easier to sympathize with Tony Stark, who is a fantasy of what Slavoj Zizek calls the liberal communist:

According to liberal communist ethics, the ruthless pursuit of profit is counteracted by charity: charity is part of the game, a humanitarian mask hiding the underlying economic exploitation. Developed countries are constantly ‘helping’ undeveloped ones (with aid, credits etc), and so avoiding the key issue: their complicity in and responsibility for the miserable situation of the Third World. As for the opposition between ‘smart’ and ‘non-smart’, outsourcing is the key notion. You export the (necessary) dark side of production – disciplined, hierarchical labour, ecological pollution – to ‘non-smart’ Third World locations (or invisible ones in the First World). The ultimate liberal communist dream is to export the entire working class to invisible Third World sweat shops.

That Tony built his arms dealing empire with a sociopathic disregard for its consequences, which was a feature of the first film, has been replaced by the question of whether he's really a superhero or not -- obviously he's heroic, but just how heroic is he really? The same question surely haunted Andrew Carnegie. A contrast here with a revolutionary, really Chinese Mandarin might've proven interesting. His terrorism could've equally served the opposition against capitalism and the way communism is being used to make tools of his people in the service of cheaper products for the global marketplace. Now, that would be an interesting topic for soul searching in Tony, the liberal communists, and the communists themselves. But it would've been critical of the Chinese regime, not passed their censors, thusly hurting the economic chances of the film there (which is an important market that Hollywood tries desperately to not offend). It's best to change Chinese characters to white occidentals. Like so much much crap culture, it's why this movie sounds so whitewashed that makes it worth thinking about at all.

Album Picks: Daft Punk, The National, Majical Cloudz, Pharmakon

Posted by Billy Gil, May 21, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

Daft PunkRandom Access Memories

CD $12.98

LP $36.98

Daft Punk’s outrageous new album starts with a bang, a fanfare of funk guitars, synths and growing static noise that sounds not unlike the opening of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” From there Random Access Memories takes off into a nearly double-album length set of songs pairing musical heroes both new (Panda Bear) and beloved (Chic’s Nile Rodgers) to deliver something that is inspired by funk and prog-rock albums of the 1970s while retaining the musically adventurous spirit that has thus far defined Daft Punk. On the album’s best songs, Rodgers’ unmistakable riffs breathe excitement into Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s arrangements and give purpose to their robot-rock voices — “let the music in tonight … give life back to music” they intone on “Give Life Back to Music” while Rodgers and co. make dancefloor resistance futile. One of Daft Punk’s heroes, Giorgio Moroder, appears in interview before classic Moroder oscillating synthesizers take us into vintage German discotheques in “Giorgio by Moroder.” Detractors may find Random Access Memories’ pacing questionable, as the set loses a bit of steam until a mid-album set of tracks really send the album into the stratosphere — Pharell brings hip-hop edge to “Lose Yourself to Dance” and the already indelible first single, “Get Lucky,” while “Touch,” featuring Paul Williams of “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainbow Connection” fame, is one of Random Access Memories’ truest joys. Even with numerous party-starters, Random Access Memories is by no means an easy album, taking prog’s excess to heart with its long running time and more soundtrack-ish instrumental passages, but even these have a certain magic, like the beautiful digital washes of “Motherboard.” The album’s lived-in, layered feel is a remarkable achievement in an era of instant-pleasure electronic jams that Daft Punk themselves helped usher in with their dynamite early singles and albums. The wide-open, warm feel of Random Access Memories represents new ground for Daft Punk. Its singles already feel like new classics, while its expanse rewards the patient listener.

Shing02 + DJ $HIN's New Icon Series Dedicated to the Technics SL-1200 Turntable

Posted by Billyjam, May 21, 2013 08:21am | Post a Comment
"I think it's beautiful that we all contributed to this cultural movement of hip-hop, though some unwillingly, from the engineers to the marketing guys to the DJs, that's how instruments change history when they're taken out of the original context.. Just like how the Hammond organ was designed for church music and Leslie speakers came along to jazz things up, or when distortion was introduced to the electric guitar, and so on. The invention of mixing breaks and scratching transformed the idea of music as we know it, and it owed a great deal to Technics SL-1200s, which was only meant to be a high-end record player for audiophiles." - That's DJ/producer/musician and occasional contributor to the Amoeblog Shing02 talking to me recently on his clearly passionate feelings towards the Technics SL-1200 turntable and its importance to DJ and hip-hop culture. His admiration for the Technics turntable is so great that, along with fellow  SL-1200 fanatic DJ $HIN, Shing02 recently unveiled the webpage Wheels of Steel: Technics SL-1200 series folder icons dedicated exclusively to that  beloved DJ instrument that a few years ago, to the shock of many DJs, ceased being manufactured.

As both a fan and practitioner of hip-hop Shing02 says that he cannot but hold deep respect and love for the Technics SL-1200. It was this feeling of awe for the turntable as to why he and DJ $HIN decided to set up the the icon series dedicated to "one of the most impressive runs in modern design achievements." The icons in the image above were each assembled from dozens of pictures found online, and reflect every model upgrade including function, buttons, lights, and finish. The website also outlines the history of the model which began back in 1970 when Japan's Matsushita Electric (later to become Panasonic Corp.) introduced direct-drive turntables (SP-10), updating and upgrading the model throughout that decade. It was in 1972 when they introduced the SL-1200 MK1. The website notes how the 1210 series was the European counterpart to the 1200s as well as how the company continued to manufacture many direct drive models before the MK2 in 1979 which would go on to become "the de facto industry standard." The following three decades of models resulted in only minor alterations in design. The very last model would be the MK6 Technics SL-1200 model in 2008. Two years later, in October 2010, the company ceased all production of the beloved turntable. Below is my conversation with Shing02 about the turntable and the new icon series whose future updates will include interviews with some retired Technics engineers.

Amoeblog: What made you guys decide to do this icon series dedicated to the 1200's?

The Piano Van on the Streets of LA

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 20, 2013 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Bay Area transplant Chris Stroffolino is a former Silver Jews member, a Ph.D.-holding Shakespearean scholar, published chris stroffolino piano vanauthor of eight books of poetry, AND a one-time Amoeba Music Home Grown Artist of the Month. Now in Los Angeles, Stroffolino and his rescued, upright piano reside and perform in his 1980’s Ford Econoline van. The van serves as his part-time stage, rehearsal space, recording studio, and full-time living quarters. A prolific singer/songwriter, a chalkboard paint-covered sliding van door announces his influences: Indie, Punk, Brill Building, Motown, and Velvets.

This guy is the real deal and he's mobile. You can catch him playing wherever the van takes him -- Griffith Park, outside a Trader Joe's, in parking lots of music venues -- but we suggest following him on Twitter at @Piano_Van to get updates on his next coordinates.

Jeff Feuerzeig, the director of the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, is recording a series of videos with Stroffolino. Here's the latest, his infectious interpretation of Toby Keith's "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight."

First City Festival in Monterey with Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, MGMT, Neko Case, Beach House, Toro y Moi + More!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 20, 2013 02:35pm | Post a Comment

Big news! The inaugural weekend of the First City Festival takes place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center on Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25thJoin Goldenvoice and Amoeba Music in welcoming Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, MGMT, Neko Case, Beach House, Toro y Moi, the west coast debut of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks (featuring Dave Portner of Animal Collective), and so many more.

Two-day General Admission tickets on sale now at Amoeba SF & Amoeba Berkeley. No additional fees!

Move Over Cats: It's Time For Mice To Star In Popular Videos

Posted by Billyjam, May 20, 2013 10:52am | Post a Comment

Orchestra Da Camera from Quiet ensemble on Vimeo.

As witnessed by the positive reaction to the YouTube cat videos and the recent Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival clearly felines (as well as canines) have been hogging the popularity polls when it comes to viewer hits of online videos of creatures. But that stronghold by kitties may soon witness some competition if mice videos, like the one above uploaded a couple of months ago by the Rome, Italy based Quiet Ensemble, start to gain in popularity. That video above is the intricate Orchestra Da Camera musical installation that shows the "forty elements of the chamber" - mice running on their wheels with each wheel connected to a carillon.  When the wheel turns (activated by each mouse) it in turn triggers the carillon to begin playing its corresponding musical note. As the Vimeo video description for the video notes, "The great number of carillons and the random actions of the living creatures makes unrecognizable the melodies (lullabies by Brahms, Schubertand Mozart) creating an unexpected musical carpet determined by the mice."

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: The Cyclist's 'Visions'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 20, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it’s The Cyclist’s “Visions,” from the U.K. producer’s latest album, Bones in Motion, on Stones Throw Records. “Visions” combines clanging percussion, analog synth sounds and bits of white noise for a song that tunnels down new corridors in your mind. The track also was included on the album Dual Form, a double-disc compilation to kick off L.A.-based label Leaving Records’ distribution via Stones Throw that also features Sun Araw, Dntel and others. 

A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

May 19, 2013: Mud

Posted by phil blankenship, May 19, 2013 10:18pm | Post a Comment

Wheelchairs Sports Camp Take It To The Wheelchair-Accessible Streets Of San Francisco for Last Minute Free Show

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2013 02:12pm | Post a Comment

As reported here in the latest weekly Amoeblog Hip-Hop Rap Up Colorado's Wheelchair Sports Camp (WSC), who got added at the last minute to a one-month national tour supporting the Flobots, got booked into the non-wheelchair accessible Cafe Du Nord - something that appears to be an honest oversight by the promoter/booker and or the club, given the last minute nature of WSC been added to the tour. Regardless the oversight caused somewhat of an uproar among the many wheelchair using fans of WSC who cannot make it into the show featuring krip hop star Kalyn Hefferernan along the percussionist she is touring with this time out.  Since earlier in the week Kalyn had been scrambling to try and find an alternate space (I was among those trying to locate somewhere) to do a wheelchair accessible free show in San Francisco this afternoon. But when nothing had materialized by this morning the ever resourceful Hefferenan announced plans to do an impromptu, free pre-show on the sidewalk outside the Market Street, San Francisco club at 4pm this afternoon. See just made flyer left about the last minute show that proudly proclaims "The More Wheelchairs The Better."

A little earlier today I caught up with Kalyn. "I'm usually good at posting whether or not venues are wheelchair accessible but because it was so many shows [on the heavily booked one month tour] and getting ready for the road was so nuts I haven't had the chance to find that out for every venue. I didn't realize the San Francisco show was inaccessible until a few crips hit me up disappointed they couldn't come," she said stressing that, "As a disabled rapper I can't shit on my people! I know what it's like to be excluded from a venue and it blows. I tried to find a way to do a show in a more venue type setting but it was so last minute we figured just take it to the streets!" This is good news to disabled Bay Area fans who, said Kaylyn, were initially "understandably pissed that I'm playing an inaccessible venue in the first place." She added that, "Because my band is support and was added on after all shows were booked I didn't have a say in where we played. And I'm lucky to be small so I can be carried up and down more easily than most. Eventually I hope I have enough leverage to play only accessible shows. This is a great way to start the conversation on how to deal with unaccessible venues."

May 19, 2013: Frances Ha

Posted by phil blankenship, May 19, 2013 10:58am | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.17.13: Eve, Trek Life, Jarren Benton, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Don't Stop: Borders Everywhere, 45 Sessions

Posted by Billyjam, May 17, 2013 10:15am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending May 17: 2013

1) Talib Kweli Prisoner Of Conscious (Blacksmith)

2) The Uncluded (Aesop Rock + Kimya Dawson) Hokey Fright (Rhymesayers)

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

4) Eve Lip Lock (FTR Music)

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

After debuting as new releases on the Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop chart last week both the brand new, highly anticipated Talib Kweli album Prisoner Of Conscious on the Brooklyn artist's own Blacksmith label, as well as the new genre bending Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson collaboration Hokey Fright on Rhymesayers Entertainment - recorded under the project name The Uncluded  - are back for a second week in a row in the numbers one and two chart slots respectively.  Also back on this week's chart - and no surprise to see these two unstoppable albums each released back in 2012- are Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist. My bet is the ever popular respective major label and indie label releases will both be still charting over the next few months too. But what is surprising (to me at least) and worthy of a double take is the new chart entry from Eve. My first reaction was - huh, Eve the rapper from back in the day, Eve the female member of the Ruff Ryders crew fame?  The answer is yes, that Eve. Eve the female rapper who last released an album eleven long hip-hop years ago - 2002’s Eve-Olution on Interscope.

Bike To Work Everyday, Not Just "Bike To Work Day"

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2013 04:05pm | Post a Comment
As you know May is National Bike Month and this week (May 13th to May 17th) is Bike To Work Week, with tomorrow (Friday May 17th) being Bike To Work Day - the one day out of the year everyone, not just the avid cyclists, are encouraged to abandon their gas guzzlers but instead take out their bikes and cycle to work. I encourage everyone to do this everyday, especially tomorrow - but if you simply cannot bike to work then I suggest after you get home from work you instead bike over to Amoeba and park you bike outside (as in the Amoeba Hollywood bike rack area pictured above) and go crate digging inside for records and CDs with songs about cycling/biking - including Queen's classic  "Bicycle Race" (with the refrain "I Want To Ride My Bicycle, I want to ride my bike"), "My White Bicycle" by Tomorrow, Kraftwerk's "Tour De France," and TV On The Radio's "Bicycles Are Red Hot." Oh and if you missed it when it was published last month here on the Amoeblog check out the excellent, in-depth psychedelic themed bicycle Amoeblog by Eric Brightwell's excellent, in-depth "Shifter and sugercubes -- Happy Bicycle Day" blog

Weekly Roundup: Shannon and the Clams, Honeymoon, GRMLN, Mikal Cronin, The English Singles, Books of Love

Posted by Billy Gil, May 16, 2013 11:31am | Post a Comment

Shannon and the Clams – “Into a Dream”

Shannon’s sweet snarl leads us through a tunnel-of-love melody and ’50s pop arrangement. The gloriously lo-fi production and Shannon and her Clams’ disorienting harmonies make the whole thing a fun, woozy ride. Dreams in the Rat House is due out May 21 on Hardly Art. Listen or download for free from Amoeba. Check ’em out at Amoeba San Francisco Thursday May 23 at 6 p.m.!




Honeymoon – “Sure Stuck”

honeymoonHoneymoon is an Australian-born, L.A.-based production duo whose upcoming album is said to be an update of ’60s/’70s psychedelic pop. It sure sounds that way from “Sure Stuck,” the second song they’ve released from the upcoming album. Think a more electronic Tame Impala. Honeymoon’s one to keep an eye on.


Check Out Make Music Pasadena on June 1

Posted by Billy Gil, May 15, 2013 04:37pm | Post a Comment

Make Music Pasadena returns June 1, and Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event. We’ll be on hand with music for sale, and we’ll be giving away swag at the Amoeba booth (near the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage, on Colorado Blvd. near Raymond Ave.) as well as at the LA Weekly booth on the other side of the event. Stop by to pick up a free fan — it’s hot in Pasadena.

Robert DeLong performing live at Amoeba Hollywood

Make Music Pasadena is hailed as the West Coast’s largest free music event. There will be more than 150 bands, including electro-pop bands Yacht and Tanlines; indie-EDM star Robert DeLong; L.A. indie pop band Hunter Hunted; indie rock stalwarts We Are Scientists; world-folk band Taken By Trees (which features Victoria Bergsman of Concretes/“Young Folks” fame); local dream-pop acts Superhumanoids and Haunted Summer; afro-Mexican folk band Las Cafeteras; KCRW’s DJ Valida; experimental pop duo High Places; and more.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #31: Rooftop Films, Bootie NYC, Tom Jones, Great Googa Mooga, Manhattan Cocktail Classic +

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2013 12:44pm | Post a Comment

Since the NY State of Mind Amoeblog #29, in which I previewed a bunch of the concerts and events (mostly outdoor and mostly free) over the coming months in New York City, was posted a couple of weeks ago, several more concerts and events have been announced for the fun summer season ahead. These include the lineup for the concerts in Prospect Park and the Rooftop Films series, which just kicked off last weekend and runs through August with a non-stop program of great movies screened on rooftops round the city. The mission statement of the oft-lauded non-profit who present the Rooftop Film series is "to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations" and this they do each weekend to everyone's enjoyment. This weekend, for example, they'll screen the New York premiere of the Reuben Atlas-directed documentary Brothers Hypnotic about the collective lives of the eight members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who will perform a live set following the 9pm screening. This free event happens Friday night (May 17th) at Outdoors at MetroTech Commons, Bridge Street & Johnson Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The following night (also in Brooklyn but only two subway stops from Manhattan) will be New York Mayhem - a series of short underground films by local filmmakers about their city. Unlike the previous night however there is a charge for this one of $13 general admission. Saturday, May 18th between 8pm and 1am at The rooftops of Industry City, 220 36th Street at 3rd Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY 11232. For more information, visit the Rooftop Films website.

Meanwhile, the Prospect Park concerts will include such outdoor shows as Big Boi, Phony Ppl, and D-Nice on June 20th, The Tiger Lillies on July 18th, and The Waterboys on July 19th. Most are 7pm shows and free or charge a minimal (few bucks) entrance fee. More info here. In Prospect Park this weekend, but not part of the aforementioned concert series, is the music, food, and drink weekend festival known as the Great GoogaMooga. The outdoor weekend-long event includes performances from hometown funk/soul heroes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Flaming Lips, De La Soul, The Darkness, Jovanotti, Matt & Kim, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more acts who will provide musical entertainment between all the food and drink (beer and wine primarily, but they have whiskey and some other hard liquor too) being served up from the likes of such participating restaurants as Brooklyn's Pork Slope and Manhattan's Pig and Khao. For full eatery information, concert schedules, and tickets click here.

New 12" Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 5/14 - Svengalisghost, Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson, Urulu, Peter Gordon & Factory Floor & more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 15, 2013 11:33am | Post a Comment

Svengalisghost - Vicious CircleSvengalisghost

Vicious Circle


Twisted new entry from Chicago's Svengalisghost. "Hidden Cities" comes off like a tape-hiss Drexciya, also bearing similarities to the recent uncompromising output on Morphine Records (Container, Metasplice). The final track, "Judged By Machine", is the record's highlight, with what are presumably Svengali's vocals creating a kind of claustrophobic post-punk a la Ike Yard or Liasons Dangereuses

Buy Vicious Circle


Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson - Urban Off roadElizabeth Merrick-Jefferson

Urban Off Road


Amped-up debut from Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson, a new Detroit producer whose only other credited track is "Bubo Blakistoni", used by Alex Israel in his LWE podcast. Fitting then, that Steve Mizek, who helms both Little White Earbuds and Argot is the one to introduce this talented new producer to the world. This is an extremely assured debut, drawing heavily on Detroit's overwhelming legacy, especially Kenny Larkin's propulsive ouput. The nuance applied to these tracks is stunning. "John Krunk" takes a memorable piano-riff that most producers would leave as is and takes in one further, dropping hypnotic, circular synth over the mix.

May 14, 2013: The Iceman

Posted by phil blankenship, May 14, 2013 09:58pm | Post a Comment

Congratulations to the Winners of Our Record Store Day Contest!

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 04:08pm | Post a Comment

To celebrate this year’s Record Store Day, we held a contest to give away Denon Turntables to two first place winners and our grand prize of a turntable, choice vinyl (180 gram, limited-edition titles) and a $100 gift certificate to Amoeba.

We’re pleased to announce the winners. Laura G. won the grand prize after entering at Amoeba Hollywood during the recent performance by Julieta Venegas.

Our two first-place winners came from our San Francisco and Berkeley stores. In SF, Cooper K. was our big winner. In Berkeley, it was Sandy R.

Congratulations to all of the winners! And thanks to everyone who entered. We received more than 10,000 entries, making it one of our top three contests ever.

Our turntables come courtesy of Needle Doctor, in partnership with Filter magazine.

Didn't make it to Record Store Day? We still have RSD releases for sale in-store and online.

Our next contest is for two pairs of tickets to see Icelandic songstress Bjork at either the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, Calif., or the Hollywood Palladium. Enter here now.

New What's in my bag? with Trans Am!

Posted by Amoebite, May 14, 2013 02:44pm | Post a Comment


Trans Am


Heavy electro rock pioneers Trans Am have been bringing the heat since the early 90s. Music fans and critics alike hail the group as the originators of  "post-rock."  Their sound lies comfortably between the synth driven sonics of Kraftwerk and the robotic vocal production of  Daft Punk. With 9 studio albums to date, Trans Am has enjoyed a lengthy career with all their albums being released by  Thrill Jockey Records.

trans am liveTrans Am continue to push the envelope both live and in the studio. Their live show consists of all three members taking on double duty alternating between synth, bass, guitar, vocals and drums. The group does a great job at replicating their electronic tsunami of sound on stage. Be sure and catch them live if you get the chance!

                                                               Trans Am came by Amoeba Hollywood to do a little digging. From the iconic hip hop record illmatic by Nas, to Wooden Shjips' psychedelic offshoot Moon Duo, Trans Am dig up some great pieces. 

10 Songs to Download Now: Mikal Cronin, Hanni El Khatib, Cayucas, Classixx, Small Black and More

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

Starting a new feature to highlight some recent tracks available to download on the Amoeba site. Take a listen and if you like them, add them to your Amoeba shopping cart (you won’t be charged until you check out). All downloads are in the $.98 MP3 format; visit the album page to pick up higher-res M4A or WAV files.


Mikal Cronin – “Weight”

Starting with a stately piano and acoustic jangle, “Weight” opens Mikal Cronin’s excellent MCII on a classy note. Those Rubber Soul-style harmonies and crunching guitars at the chorus don’t hurt, either. This one’s a free download. (From the album MCII)


Download (free)





ancient animalsAncient Animals – “Teen Wolf”

L.A. duo Ancient Animals make lo-fi noise pop in the twisted vein of The Cramps and PJ Harvey. Check out the feral “Teen Wolf” for free, and see them May 17 at The Smell.

Comparing Bowie's and Hadfield's Versions of "Space Oddity"

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2013 11:54am | Post a Comment

Commander Chris Hadfield "Space Oddity" (2013)

Talk about a viral video! When I first viewed the above YouTube video of astronaut Chris Hatfield's outer space version of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity" on Sunday, the day it was first uploaded, it had something like 200,000 views which was pretty impressive. But now, only two days later, it is almost at seven million YouTube views! That is almost the same number that David Bowie's original 1969 video version of his song  has racked up since it was uploaded to YouTube seven years ago. But the reason no doubt for the viral success of the new revised version of "Space Oddity" is understandable.

Not only is it a genuine spaceman the perfect person to cover this Bowie song but wow, what an amazing spectacle that Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station can share from his unique vantage point in outer space. Just as important is that Hadfield is a pretty darn good singer and truly does the song justice, regardless of who and/or where he is. For proof compare his version above with Bowie's version below. Meanwhile you can buy Bowie's rendition of his own song (both live and studio versions) directly from Amoeba available on various releses including the 2009 release Space Oddity (40th Anniversary) LP version.

Album Picks: Vampire Weekend, Small Black, Eluvium, Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Classixx, Wild Nothing

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 10:28am | Post a Comment

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

CD $12.98

LP $18.98

Limited Edition LP $19.98

Download $9.98

Every time the world turns against Vampire Weekend, they have a way of turning around and shattering expectations. From the get-go, the band was dogged with Strokes comparisons and scoffs of Ivy League grads pilfering African music while singing about rich people. But none of those things could stop people from enjoying their immensely enjoyable first album, their underrated second one and now their third pop opus, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s low-key like Contra, but Modern Vampires’ hooks are silkier and more ingratiating. “Step” waltzes with a gorgeous collegiate melody, featuring some of the finest singing to date by Ezra Koenig, who’s finally mastered that Paul Simon trill. He also extends his voice beyond its comfort zone, taking on Buddy Holly-style hiccupping and extending his range up and down (aided by digital skewing) while the band rocks a solid shuffle on the cleverly titled “Diane Young.” It’s one of their best singles yet. Koenig’s lyrics, too, retain their wittiness and specificity, though they are open enough to make your own implications — “though we live on the U.S. dollar, you and me we got our own sense of time,” he sings memorably in “Hannah Hunt,” which ends with a beautiful, well-earned climax in which Koenig tears his lungs out belting. The band mostly stays supportive, only going full-tilt on a few songs, like the galloping “Worship You,” which allows Koenig to spit verse at lightning speed, or pulling out grand pop moments in “Unbelievers” and the uber-strange “Ya Hey,” which pairs its intricate melodies with hyper-warped vocal tricks. Modern Vampires doesn’t go for obvious, occasionally obscuring itself in too much oddity and not ripping loose often enough. But few bands at this level are still taking these many chances, and pulling it off more often than not. Vampire Weekend’s freewheeling Modern Vampires of the City firmly perches the band back in the top echelon of bands making music today.

May 13, 2013: No One Lives

Posted by phil blankenship, May 13, 2013 09:40pm | Post a Comment

California Fool's Gold -- A Far Eastside Primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 13, 2013 05:47pm | Post a Comment

Last vestiges of Old Chinatown (image: Los Angeles Times)

All around the world large, multicultural cities often contain recognized, small, distinct ethnic enclaves. Los Angeles, by some measures the most diverse city in the universe, is no exception. These neighborhoods are often more ephemeral than others -- coming and going in a reflection of changing patterns of immigration, marginalization, assimilation and development. In the past, for example, Los Angeles had areas widely known as French TownGreek Town, Little Italy, Little Mexico, Old ChinatownFurusato, and Sonoratown -- to name a few. All are now gone with few physical reminders of their ever having existed.

Runners in front of the Italian Hall in Los Angeles's old Little Italy

In the Southland, where Asian-Americans are currently both the largest and fastest growing racial minority, most of the existing enclaves are predictably Asian. There’s Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown, Little Bangladesh, Little India, Little Osaka, Little Saigon, Little Seoul, Little Tokyo, and Thai TownOfficially-recognized non-Asian enclaves include only Little ArabiaLittle Armenia and Little Ethiopia. Unofficial but widely-recognized non-Asian enclaves include Little Central America and Tehrangeles. Are there others? 

                                Chinatown                                                                         Little Tokyo

                                Little India                                                                          Thai Town

                           Cambodia Town                                                              Historic Filipinotown

Interestingly, in most of these commercial districts, the titular Asian-American population doesn’t constitute the majority of the population (which is non-Asian Latino in most communities and overall). In all cases, however, they make up a sizable minority with a long-established presence and numerous corresponding services and businesses. The proposed “Peru Village” of South Vine in Hollywood boasts a whole two Peruvian restaurants – separated by a mile – which seems completely absurd to me. Imagine the head scratching that will understandably occur if one business fails or moves away at a restaurant getting its own neighborhood designation. Maybe one of our KFCs can get a Little Lexington or Hillbilly Village neighborhood designation.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of The Far Eastside

Anyway, far from these commercial districts is a collection of communities where Asian-Americans make up the plurality of the population and many cases, the majority. They’re all located in the San Gabriel Valley which overall has a non-Asian Latino plurality and followed by an Asian-American population of about 30%. The SGV communities with Asian pluralities and/or majorities include Alhambra, Arcadia, Diamond Bar, East San Gabriel, Hacienda Heights, Monterey Park, Rosemead, Rowland Heights (nicknamed by some “Little Taipei”), San Gabriel, San Marino, South San Gabriel, Temple City, and Walnut. I've explored and blogged about a few -- to vote for any others, click here. Tongue firmly in cheek (and in reference to The Eastside) I refer to this region as The Far Eastside*.

A crowded night market in Pasadena
Monterey Park was the first city in the world with an ethnically Chinese-American majority. Though all the communities of The Far East Side are dominated by ethnically-Chinese populations, this population includes Cantonese, mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, overseas Chinese and others. There are also large numbers of Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Koreans, Vietnamese as well as non-Asian Mexican-Americans, blacks, English-Americans, and people of other ethnicities and countries of ancestral origin.

*I’m aware that the term “Far East” is a concept loaded with cultural and geographical relativism and worse, exotification. To people living in these communities they’re not “far” anything. It should also be noted that – to an extent – the concept has been adopted by those countries to which it refers. 遠東 literally translates to “Far East” and is used by numerous Chinese and Taiwanese institutions. On a similar note, the wonton typeface (also known as the ching-chong font, chopstick font or chop-suey font), whilst understandably sometimes seen as offensive, is used by countless Asian-American as well as non-Asian-American business owners to convey “Asian-ness.” My aim is to acknowledge and respect that and to cheekily play with the stereotype rather than unthinkingly and cluelessly uphold it. By no means is my intention to offend.


Follow Eric's Blog and check out more episodes of California Fool's Gold

Amoeba San Francisco Has a New Look for Spring: Expanded and Extraordinary

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 13, 2013 02:57pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Bowling Alley Rock & Bowl

Wonderful things are happening at Amoeba San Francisco, especially if you love books, collectables, amoeba San francisco bowling alleysoundtracks, vinyl, bargains of all kinds, or just like to chill out in a groovy environment. You must fall into one of those categories, right? I thought so! Then come on down and experience our newly doubled Books & Magazines section. We have more than doubled the space dedicated for music, film, and pop culture publications and are filling it with new stock daily! We now feature back issues of your favorite music and film zines, and are breaking out our backlog of used books.

You’ll also enjoy our new reading lounge, made possible by Amoeba SF’s heritage as a bowling alley! Yes, we have repurposed a few of the benches from back in the day when this building housed a bowling alley. Sit, relax, and flip through some of our fascinating used books in style.

Additionally, we’ve added a collectables case for rare and out-of-print books, toys, and other memorabilia such as lunch boxes, cookie jars, and other surprises.

In other news, all Music DVDs (except classical) have been moved from the Main Floor to the DVD Room for easy browsing. You’ll also find a greatly expanded Bargain DVD section full of amazingly priced finds. By popular demand, the Soundtrack section has been moved to the Main Floor by Spoken Word and features an expanded Soundtrack Vinyl selection. Additionally, a brand new Audiophile CD section has been added to the main floor too!

Let's celebrate Minnesota!

Posted by Job O Brother, May 13, 2013 02:33pm | Post a Comment
Congratulations, ol' 32. You done good.

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Atoms for Peace's 'Ingenue'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 13, 2013 06:30am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it’s Atoms For Peace’s “Ingenue,” from the band’s debut album, AMOK. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker and bassist Mauro Refosco create a dark, throbbing jam built on looping minor-key synthesizers, a programmed polyrhytmic beat and eerie, scratching sounds in the background. Yorke’s inimitable voice makes the proceedings feel more human, singing cryptically romantic lyrics over the band’s robotic head trip.

A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

May 12, 2013: The Great Gatsby

Posted by phil blankenship, May 12, 2013 08:19pm | Post a Comment

The Iceman Loveth! (2013)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 12, 2013 10:33am | Post a Comment

I didn't know much about Richard Kuklinski before seeing Ariel Vromen's The Iceman (named after the former's sobriquet as a contract killer for the mob). It's a solid enough movie: an interesting story competently executed though solid performances and an unintrusive camera. It's watchable, probably more so than most of what's currently out there, but what bugged came up after the film during a Q&A with the director. Someone asked him why he left out the spousal abuse. As an example, I found this interview with Kuklinski's family from a 2006 episode of Larry King Live where guest host John Roberts asks Kuklinski's wife of 25 years, Barbara, about that very topic:

JR: Barbara, you have said of Richard "There were two Richards. I never knew who would be walking in the door. He could be generous to a fault or the meanest man on earth." Tell us more about that.

BK: That's true. He was kind, considerate. You know he would have done anything for all of us, very generous gifts and flowers and the best dinners and nice wine. But when whatever twisted him, whatever happened, it didn't matter how good those times were because the bad was so bad then.

JR: And he abused you physically?

BK: He certainly did.

JR: What did he do?

BK: Stabbed me, broke my nose, lost consciousness many times, strangled me, would wake up, you know, at two o'clock in the morning with a pillow over my face and he would tell me that he decided that was the day I die.

Some pretty intense shit, right?, which says a lot about who this guy was and what it was like to live under his domination. Vromen's answer to why he left all of this out was that it would make half the audience walk out -- that is, inhibit our ability to identify with Kuklinksi. But the man was a casebook example of the sociopath, a person who can't identify, or can't empathize, with the feelings of another. So understanding through identification is a pretty stupid reason for making this film. How Vromen creates identification is by manufacturing a pressure-cooker setup for Kuklinski's behavior. When his mob boss (Ray Liotta) suspends him, Kuklinksi becomes increasingly agitated at home, blowing up at his wife, though never striking her. He soon apologizes, saying that she and their daughters (their son was left out of the film) are all that's important to him. It's okay in this fantasy land to slaughter a hundred men, but punching your wife in the nose or traumatizing your children is just going too far, despite his family's being around to tell the tale. Furthermore, by using the pressure cooking theory and mostly just showing the "generous side" of Kuklinski at home, the slaughter of all those men becomes perversely justified in the film as a quid pro quo for his distaff half. He kills for his love and the protection of his wife and daughters. You'd have to go back to the classic days of Hollywood crime flicks to see this level of mythologizing towards murderous psychopathic gangsters (or at least to Penn's Bonnie & Clyde). Ironically, it makes Kuklinksi's family accomplices to his crimes, rather than victims. His wife didn't care what he did as long as he brought home the bacon and made her feel like a princess. But as a fantasy, it's entertaining enough, I guess.

Get a $20 Gift Certificate for Just $10 at Amoeba Happy Hour, Sunday 5/12!

Posted by Amoebite, May 11, 2013 11:05am | Post a Comment

A gift for Mother's Day? A gift for YOU DAY? Whatever the occasion, it's the return of Amoeba Happy Hour! Swing by any of our three Amoeba locations on Sunday, May 12th between 5pm and 6pm and buy a $20 gift certificate for just $10!

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

The Cat Man of West Oakland Talks About Today's Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival

Posted by Billyjam, May 11, 2013 08:00am | Post a Comment
       Since been uploaded a few weeks ago this YouTube video has gotten almost 6 million views

Inspired by and based on a similar event in the MidWest today's  Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival is a fun and worthy event that is bound to delight the masses of cat fanatics out there who can't get enough of that internet preoccupation of viewing cat videos (like the one above) on YouTube and other websites. A co-production of The Great Wall of Oakland and the Walker Art Center and with involvement from (and benefiting) the local SPCA the Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival happens this afternoon and evening (Saturday May 11th) on West Grand between Telegraph and Broadway where the highlight will be an hour-plus collage of dozens of some of the best of aforementioned popular YouTube cat videos all tightly edited together - to be screened onto the "great wall" in downtown Oakland.

Today's event runs from 3pm to 10pm and folks are invited to bring along their own cats to the event where the East Bay SPCA will also have cats up for adoption for anyone who wants to take one home with them.  Supplying cat themed music for the event will be The Cat Man of West Oakland. Yesterday I caught up with said Cat Man - born Adam Myatt - who may not own a cat himself but sure has a compassion for (not to mention a good eye) for dozens of strays in his neighborhood as is evident from the wonderful feline photos in this Amoeblog - all taken by Adam in the area near his East Bay home. When we talked I asked the Cat Man about the event and what music he will be spinning to keep the cat party moving today.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.10.13: Talib Kweli, Sunspot Jonz & BOAC, The Uncluded, Qwel & Maker, Too $hort, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2013 11:15am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Chart Week Ending May 10th 2013

1) Talib Kweli Prisoner Of Conscious (Blacksmith)

2) The Uncluded (Aesop Rock + Kimya Dawson) Hokey Fright (Rhymesayers)

3) Qwel & Maker Beautiful Raw (Galapagos4 Records)

4) Sunspot Jonz and BOAC Skywalkers (Outhouse Records)

5) Sole No Wising Up, No Settling Down (Black Canyon)

Thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for his run down (video and chart above) on all the latest in hip-hop releases at Amoeba Music this week that include such new joints as Sunspot Jonz (Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends) who teamed up with Bay Area producer BOAC (founding member of The Earthlings along with DJ Bootleg who used to book the hip-hop shows at the defunct SF venue Maritime Hall) for his latest release Skywalkers - released on the long running Living Legends label Outhouse Records. As E-Lit notes it is a fun, all killer, no filler hip-hop release.  Other new releases include the straight up hip-hop album from Qwel & Maker Beautiful Raw on Galapagos4 Records, and the much more alternative/adventurous hip-hop outing from The Uncluded: Hokey Fright on Rhymesayers Entertainment. The Uncluded is the pairing of Aesop Rock with Kimya Dawson who have worked together before this new collaborative full-length album. You may recall that Kimya Dawson made a cameo on Skelethon - the stellar solo album (following a five year gap) from Aesop Rock last summer (when he did a memorable in-store at Amoeba San Francisco), and that Aesop Rock in turn had made guest appearances on Dawson's album from the previous year Thunder Thighs. Released by Rhymesayers Entertainment it features the single "Earthquake." See the accompanying video below and you will immediately see why E-Lit describes it as like children's music in its production presentation of the 16 track album that, according to the publicity release from the label, "helps to tell the story of two people who are finding therapy through making art together."

Weekly Roundup: Alexander Spit, The Mantles, Sic Alps, Alela Diane, Cool Ghouls, Burnt Ones

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2013 03:29pm | Post a Comment

Alexander Spit Preps Instrumentals Mixtape, Releases ‘Valet Park, CA’

Alexander Spit released a tantalizing debut LP earlier this year called A Breathtaking Trip to That Otherside. Now the West Coast rapper/prouducer has a mixtape coming out that could make even more waves than his debut, judging by the first taste, “Valet Park, CA,” a blissed-out track with warped vocals. I doubt Valet Park is less a real place and more of a pun, but the displaced, quietly melancholic vibe he summons here calls to mind so many nowheresvilles of California.


The Mantles Release Second Song From Upcoming Sophomore Album

The Mantles sound a bit like they’re from New Zealand (home of The Clean, The Bats etc.), but they’re from San Francisco, so hurray for us! This band hits all the right jangly notes, evoking The Byrds with their harmonic singing but in a perfectly disinterested way, while their guitars have swagger in addition to the jangle. “Hello,” indeed. Long Enough to Leave is due June 18 on Slumberland.

DJ Quest: May 2013 Amoeblog Interview

Posted by Billyjam, May 9, 2013 02:38pm | Post a Comment
Usually DJ Quest goes to Amoeba but last week it was the other way around when the Amoeblog visited the Mission District home studios of the legendary San Francisco turntablist (video below) who has done several performances at Amoeba Music over the years including a record release set for his 2008 album Questulous and another with the DJ youth group the The DJ Project, that featured youth DJs from Horizons Unlimited and the Quest School of DJ Arts, where he mentors at-risk youth to gain arts education as well as the employment and entrepreneurial skills to help get them music-related careers. Throughout his two-decade plus career DJ Quest has always been as much of an inspiration and educator to aspiring DJs as he has been an artist/performer - using the turntable as a tool and sort of text book to educate and inspire. Last summer accompanied by talented young DJs he went down to Monterey County, CA where, as part of the Monterey County Free Libraries' (MCFL) Summer Reading 2012 program at several branches across the county he hosted several well-received scratch/hip-hop DJ turntable performances and Q+A seminars.

New "What's In My Bag?" with Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino

Posted by Amoebite, May 8, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment
Childish Gambino

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino found some time in his busy schedule to do a little shopping at Amoeba Hollywood. Many of you know Glover for his acting role on the comedy sitcom, Community. Or maybe you've seen his hilarious Comedy Central special Weirdo. Perhaps you are one of the 9 million people who viewed Glover in the viral video Bro Rape. It's obvious, the dude is funny, super talented and he's everywhere! Did you know he was a writer for the NBC show 30 Rock?

Childish Gambino CAMPNot only is he quickly on his way to blockbuster status a la Will Smith, but he's proved to be a bonafide emcee and has the lyrical punchlines to rival Kanye West. ("The shit I'm doing this year? Insanity. Made the beat then murdered it: Casey Anthony"). Already an underground favorite, Childish Gambino (Glover's moniker) has released 3 mixtapes followed by his well recieved debut album CAMP (Glassnote). To further solidify his Hip Hop cred, Gambino has recorded tracks with the likes of Ghostface Killah and Kendrick Lamar.

Wings Documentary ROCKSHOW, One Night Only at Balboa Theatre in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 8, 2013 05:21pm | Post a Comment

paul mccartney wings rockshow san francisco Rockshow, the concert film featuring Paul McCartney and Wings taken from the 1975 - 1976 tour “Wings Over America,” screens one night only at San Francisco’s Balboa Theatre on Thursday, May 16th at 7:30pm.

Filmed at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, Rockshow was not premiered until November of 1980 in New York, April of 1981 in London and, until now, never in San Francisco!

Don't miss your chance to see this special film! Get your tickets HERE!


Pick Up Tickets to The 27th Annual UCLA JazzReggae Festival

Posted by Billy Gil, May 8, 2013 05:04pm | Post a Comment

On May 26 and 27 (Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend), UCLA hosts the JazzReggae Festival, featuring a diverse array of artists covering the pop, hip-hop, reggae and jazz arenas. Amoeba Music has tickets for sale to the event. Pick them up at the Info Counter before they’re all gone!

Taking place at UCLA’s Intramural Field, JazzReggae Festival is the largest, entirely student-produced-and-run event of its kind on the West Coast. The festival is divided into two days: the Jam Day May 26 and the Reggae Day May 27. Performers on the Jam Day will include indie dancehall-pop star Santigold, rap hero Common, underground hip-hop crew The Grouch & Eligh, R&B singer Jhene Aiko, and G.O.O.D. music affiliate and artist/producer Ryan McDermott. Reggae Day features reggae star Ziggy Marley, reggae and dancehall artists Barrington Levy and Mr. Vegas, and "Queen of Reggae" Marcia Griffiths. In addition, art exhibits and craft projects by local artists and collectives will be featured at the festival.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #30: The Met Celebrates Punk Rock, 5 Pointz Celebrates Hip-Hop, WTC's Observatory Deck, + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

Compared to Bay Area, the weather in NYC of late has been overall pretty crappy with some nasty rainy days like today: overcast, wet, showery with highs only hovering around the 60 degree mark. Yep, for spring coming into summer this is not the most desirable weather, but it is another needed reminder for anyone living in or visiting that it is always good to carry an umbrella with you anytime in NYC (summer or spring) because it can switch up from sunny to stormy in an instant. Last Saturday, when the weather was mostly nice, warm, and sunny, outdoor events included a big free hip-hop jam at the season re-opening (after the winter) of NYC graffiti mecca 5 Pointz (pictured above), which was simultaneously the kick-off of the all summer long, four-month hip-hop event accurately titled Celebrating 40 Years of Hip-Hop. Yes, believe it or not is now four full decades since that fateful day back in 1973 in the Boogie Down Bronx when DJ Kool Herc's block parties would kick-start the global music and cultural movement of today known as hip-hop. The always impressive, decade old 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center, which has been rumored to be facing eviction for some time now but reportedly is not in any danger for the next year, will continue its celebration of hip-hop between now and September 14th with most entertainment taking place on Saturdays (but note the area is open to public 24/7. Entertainers will include influential, legendary NY hip-hop DJ/producer Marley Marl spinning music and local emcees and beat-boxers holding informal battles - and, of course, lot and lots of graffiti art being done live. 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center is located near the E and 7 train stops at 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens; 317-219-2685,

Molly Ringwald to Perform at the GRAMMY Museum

Posted by Billy Gil, May 7, 2013 05:33pm | Post a Comment

Remember Sixteen Candles? What if instead of being so passive about her thing for hunky Jake Ryan, Molly Ringwald’s Samantha Baker serenaded him with “Don’t You Forget About Me” until he succumbed to her wiles?

You can hear that song and more when Ringwald performs at the GRAMMY Museum for The Drop, sponsored by Amoeba Music, on May 20 at 8:00 p.m. The singer and actress recently released her debut record, Except…Sometimes, a collection of standards and well as covers done in a jazz style, with song selection ranging from standards like "The Very Thought of You" to Madonna's "Sooner or Later" (written by Stephen Sondheim) to Simple Minds’ classic song.

Though she’s primarily known for her run of ’80s flicks directed by John Hughes and as a member of the Brat Pack, Ringwald has been singing since childhood, releasing her first album at the age of 6 called I Wanna Be Loved By You, Molly Sings. Her father also was a Dixieland musician in The Fulton Street Jazz Band, inviting Ringwald to sing onstage at the age of 3. She also has continued acting, starring over the past few years in the TV show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”

Los Angeles's Secret, Foreign Language Movie Theater Scene

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 7, 2013 01:18pm | Post a Comment

Los Angeles is a film town -- maybe the film town. Like the Hollywood district contained within it, the name "Los Angeles" a metonym for American film industry in the minds of many. "La La Land," "The Entertainment Capital of the World" and all that. I love movies; however, in my mind, the Hollywood film thing actually ranks pretty low in the long list of what makes Los Angeles the greatest city in the world. This is possibly (probably) shocking to hear/read if you're a cog in the blockbuster factory or a celebrity worshipper but better you find that out now than never. Luckily, Los Angeles doesn't just make movies, it also shows them. There are few cities in the world with as robust a film culture as Los Angeles.

For those who love celebrity-driven, gazillion dollar CGI superhero franchises you're in luck; there are multiplexes in every mall and Redboxes at every 7-11. Thankfully for other varieties of cinéastes, there's a lot more to Los Angeles’s mise en scène than that. There are architecturally beautiful picture palaces, romantic drive-ins, dingy dollar theaters, high profile revival houses, low profile smut houses, and actual art house chains. Additionally there are all sorts of special screenings and festivals that take place every week of the year.

Interview: Hanni El Khatib

Posted by Billy Gil, May 7, 2013 11:02am | Post a Comment

There’s a fuck-all attitude to Hanni El Khatib’s music that makes his relatively straightforward garage rock so enjoyable. Maybe it’s that his songs are really catchy, pairing rock ‘n’ roll swagger with actual hooks. Or that he actually seems like a really cool guy, which I learned he is after interviewing him. Check out his second album, Head in the Dirt, produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, which is out now on Innovative Leisure. He’s at S.F.’s Fillmore May 17 and L.A.’s Mayan Theater May 21, both with The Black Angels and Wall of Death.

PST: There’s a hint of desperation to the lyrics to some of these songs. I’m thinking of how “Family” starts with the lyric “I wanna be somebody else today” or the lyrics of songs like “Nobody Move” and “Pay No Mind.” Where do you get your lyrical inspiration?

hanni el khatib head in the dirtEl Khatib: Most of my lyrics are written in a very spontaneous way. Total stream of consciousness that I try to loosely connect to an underlying mood or theme. They usually reflect the mood I’m in at the moment, and since the record was written and recorded in such a short time-frame, I guess that’s just the place I was at.

Album Picks: Savages, Deerhunter, Mikal Cronin

Posted by Billy Gil, May 7, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment

SavagesSilence Yourself

CD $12.98

LP $18.98

Savages’ primal, post-punk-inspired sound demands your full attention. From the get-go, Silence Yourself is no warm-hearted embrace of a record — its first song is called “Shut Up,” and then there’s that title. But theirs isn’t an empty confrontation; the British band delivers in spades with songs that dive into your bloodstream and live in you before you know it. “I Am Here” declares itself as a bearing for what’s to come, as if frontwoman Jehnny Beth is grabbing your hand and coaxing you toward your own future. “I am here, no more fear, no more dark shadows, let it come,” she sings chillingly in a mid-range trill somewhere between Siouxsie, Jeff Buckley and Rush’s Geddy Lee. Her band works into a froth that leads to an inevitable conclusion of Ayse Hassan’s pulverizing bass and Fay Milton’s bashing drums while Beth and guitarist Gemma Thompson trade ghostly exchanges above. Silence Yourself isn’t entirely full-throttle though; as any good post-punk devotee knows, the trick is pairing those moments with eerie, atmospheric tunes, and that’s exactly what Savages do, allowing for songs like “Waiting for a Sign,” which summons a combination of apocalyptic sound from Thompson’s guitar and Beth’s banshee wail, while Hassan and Milton keep things anchored in a glacial groove. “Dead Nature” follows, full of empty, echoing dread; these two songs allow the record to reach a midpoint of hollowed-out intensity before ratcheting back up the energy, on songs like “She Will,” which starts as the friendliest and danciest song on the record, until they make that chorus into an uncompromising sexual tirade. “Hit Me” and “Husbands” round out the album by allowing the band to play with full abandon. In the latter, Beth takes the confines of marriage and makes them into a virtual prison, crying “husbands” in frightening, alien repetition. The album’s piano-led, cabaret-esque closer, “Marshall Dear,” speaks great promise of Savages, as Beth goes lower in register and more operatic and the band tempers its great noise-making capabilities. It’s a riveting debut record from start to finish. We knew it was gonna be good judging by the advance press and last year’s I Am Here live EP, but Silence Yourself still smashes expectations and leaves you sitting in smoke, begging for more.

Recap: May Charity Auction to Benefit YOLA

Posted by Amoebite, May 6, 2013 02:15pm | Post a Comment

It was almost Cinco de Mayo and everyone at Amoeba was drunk! Well...OK, not really. But people were bidding as if they were drunk (on Tequila and agua de melon spiked with Cuervo).

Taco USAOn Saturday, May 4 we had a lighting-speed auctioneer, bestselling author Gustavo Arellano, hosting our Cuatro de Mayo charity auction to raise money for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). He was also available after the auction to sign copies of his book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

In case you're not familiar, Gustavo is also a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America’s spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column. In addition, Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants (one of whom was illegal).

YOLAThe recipient of Saturday's auction was Gustavo Dudamel's Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) program – inspired by Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema. The LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling every child to contribute using their full potential. YOLA changes lives – one child, one family, one community at a time.

Gun Fever: Songs About Guns

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2013 11:54am | Post a Comment

"Gun Fever," the brand new Hieroglyphics song/video that was unveiled last week at the same time that the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits was happening in Houston, Texas, tackles the current controversial topic of guns in America. From watching the new video, that the longtime Oakland hip-hop collective recorded to offer their input  on the gun debate as folks who grew up in a city known for gun violence and to reflect on the prevalent fascination with guns in American society, it got me thinking about songs about guns.

And there are a lot of songs about guns. Not all but many, not too surprisingly, are rap songs from the gangsta side of the genre that glorify gun use. Of course, like the new Hieros joint (which features some of the crew's best talents including Del, Casual, Tajai, and A-Plus), there are many other hip-hop songs that look at guns in a more analytical manner such as Paris' "One Gun" (off Acid Reflex) or Aesop Rock's "Babies With Guns" (off Bazooka Tooth) which suggests that nowadays guns are so prevalent in our society that even babies are packing.

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: The xx's 'Sunset'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 6, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it’s The XX’s “Sunset.” The sultry song from the English band’s second album, Coexist, is a prime example of the trio’s nighttime bliss. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trade hushed, romantic verses and dole out icy guitarwork while Jamie Smith lays down a minimalist beat. Sample or download the song here.

A bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.


The Lucky Winner of the Guitar Autographed by Steve Earle!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 5, 2013 06:05pm | Post a Comment

In celebration of the in-store performance with Steve Earle on April 17th, we held an enter-to-win contest steve earlefor an LX1 Little Martin and a limited edition test-pressing, both autographed by Mr. Earle himself, at the Amoeba SF store! The LX1 Little Martin is Martin's smallest guitar, but it's big on tone, quality, and versatility. As their website says, it's just perfect for "playing around the house or campfire."

Chosen completly at random from hundreds of entries, we couldn't have picked a more enthusiastic winner. A devoted Steve Earle fan and Amoeba regular, Shauna was overjoyed to win and asked if Mr. Earle would be willing to throw in a guitar lesson as well! 

Thanks to New West Records for setting up this fun contest for us. Buy Steve Earle's latest album The Low Highway on CD, vinyl, or deluxe CD edition.

May 5, 2013: Iron Man Three

Posted by phil blankenship, May 5, 2013 05:26pm | Post a Comment

New 12" Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 5/5 - Motor City Drum Ensemble, Recloose, Container, Legowelt, Tiago and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 5, 2013 04:16pm | Post a Comment

Container - TreatmentContainer



Nashville producer Ren Schofield continues his strange odyssey with his strongest tracks yet via Italy's Morphine records (Morphosis, Hieroglpyhic Being). Previous releases forSpectrum Spools have shown the producer (and admitted techno outsider) plying the tough sounds issued by labels like Stroboscopic Artefacts,though his formatives are the legendary early-00s Providence, RI noise scene. Here, Schofield has found the perfect drum sounds for his uncompromising tracks. The rhythm tracks in "Saturated" have as much to doThis Heat or even Arab On Radar as they doJamal Moss- the end result feels like a more incisive version ofAphex Twin'"Didgeridoo". The title track starts with martial post-punk drums before taking a brutal trip into delay and dynamics that would give any industrial-techno producer a run for their money. Closer "Obstruction" sounds a bit likeKassem Mosse mixed by Wolf Eyes.

Buy Treatment

Commanchee's Revenge

Commanchee's Revenge/Tetrahedron


Danny Wolfers continues his tear with yet another high-concept alias. The press material for Commanche's Revenge suggest Danny was inspired by the trance sounds of Jam & Spoon, yet these cosmic, arpeggiated tracks also seem heavily influenced by John Carpenter, or perhaps the De Palma/Moroder team-ups, as borne out by this Carrie-quoting promo clip.

May 4, 2013: Return Of The Jedi

Posted by phil blankenship, May 5, 2013 10:04am | Post a Comment

Show Recap: Alice Russell at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 3, 2013 06:19pm | Post a Comment

Alice Russell wasn't messing around on a hot May 1 at Amoeba Hollywood, waltzing out as her band launched into To Dust's "Heartbreaker Pt. 2." She commanded the performance with a booming voice that soared over the music's elegant compositions, with a terrific mix that highlighted her voice without washing out her band's subtle backing arrangements.

Her band's all-in-black, buttoned-to-the-top motif may have been funny on such a hot day, but the Brits looked and sounded so cool that it made us feel less sweaty just to be around them. Russell grooved hard to the next song, ending with a roaring vocal breakdown as her band came in on crescendoed hits like they were playing for James Brown. They slowed things down for "Citizens," a sparer soul ballad in which Russell was accompanied by sampled, spectral harmonies. On the strutting electro-funk of "For a While," Russell and her band showcased their ability to organically include electronic elements into what are at their core traditional soul-funk songs. The band's breaks were breathtaking on this one, generating applause when they bore back into the song.

They slowed back down again for a song that began as a piano ballad and ended up a heavier power-ballad, with Russell pushing her voice to its deepest and then back up for spirited cries of "goodbye," before shifting once more into a kind of sudden new wave track that suggested a soul version of The Cure. In fact, their next song had quite a bit of that same creeping dread pouring into it. Despite Russell's effervescent nature, big voice and her band's pop-oriented tack, they're quite British at heart. Gothic soul is the most sense I can make of it. Russell might just be our next Alison Moyet of Yaz.

Bleached to Play Amoeba SF May 6

Posted by Billy Gil, May 3, 2013 02:18pm | Post a Comment

L.A.’s own Bleached will bring their grimy guitars and candy-coated melodies to Amoeba San Francisco next week for a performance May 6 at 6 p.m. Led by sisters Jessie and Jennifer Clavin (formerly of L.A. punk greats Mika Miko), their recently released debut album, Ride Your Heart, has been spinning circles around us for the past couple of weeks on the strength of punk party jams like “Next Stop” and radio-ready gold like “Dead in Your Head.” Pick it up, and check them out at Amoeba SF or back in L.A. May 8 at the Troubador with Ex Cops and Tijuana Panthers. I saw down with Jessie for a quick and dirty interview before their performance.

PST: It’s hard to believe your first album is finally out! We’ve been awaiting it for some time. Did you want to make sure you got it just right, found the right producer or had the songs developed to the point that you wanted?

Jessie: We knew we really wanted to work with Rob Barbato again, who produced our last two 7-inches. We started with some rough demos, and the songs really started to come to life as we started adding over dubs and Jens vocals.

PST: Some of the newer tunes are really pop-oriented, like “Dead in Your Head,” while others like “Next Stop” retain the punkiness of your earlier work. Has the approach to songwriting changed at all?

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.03.13: E-Lit, Illogic & Blockhead, K-Def, Ridic, Hieroglyphics, Malkovich, R-Mean + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2013 07:07am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending May 3rd: 2013

1) Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple)

2) Illogic & Blockhead Capture The Sun (Man Bites Dog)

3) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)

4) R.A. The Rugged Man Legends Never Die (Universal)

5) K-Def The Exhibit (Solid Smoke)

Thanks to my man E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for again this week taking time to share information on all the new hip-hop that's been dropping lately while simultaneously proving that, despite what the naysayers might try to have us believe (that the current state of hip-hop is not good), that there is actually a ton  of incredible new hip-hop coming out these days! You just have to look for it - and Amoeba is the perfect place to your looking. As E-Lit noted in the video interview above and in the corresponding top five chart also above - among the new recent arrivals in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music are (following a nine year gap) R.A. The Rugged Man's Legends Never Die (Universal), K-Def's The Exhibit (an EP in both CD and vinyl formats that arrives in addition to his recently released Signature Sevens 7" series ), and Illogic & Blockhead's five-star new album Capture The Sun on Man Bites Dog. Peep the recent Amoeblog interview with Illogic & Blockhead interview in which they talk about this album, and check out below the latest video from the new album: the Erik Anello directed and edited and  Laura Green shot music video for the charged Capture The Sun track "Atlantis Depth."

The Late, Great Jeff Hanneman

Posted by Charles Reece, May 3, 2013 05:16am | Post a Comment

Here's Slayer back in 1989 playing one of my favorite compositions from Jeff Hanneman and
Tom Araya, "South of Heaven." Hanneman died yesterday because of a spider bite.

Weekly Roundup: God? Releases, Alela Diane, United Ghosts, Kim Free, Soft Metals, Deafheaven

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2013 04:35pm | Post a Comment

Drag City Imprint God? Releases White Fence, Scraper Reissues

The new Drag City imprint God? is new but already pretty awesome. Their second and third releases will be a reissue of Cali’s White Fence’s self-titled debut LP and S.F.’s Scraper’s debut 7”. White Fence aka Tim Presley is rad. His latest release Cyclops Reap is out now and is a nice and trim entry point for the psych-pop singer/songwriter, even if it’s a leftovers comp of sorts. For even more out-there bliss, check out all the rest of his albums, which ramble and sway in the wind in the best way possible. His first album is full of lo-fi delicious bon bons, 16 short songs that hide their hooks in reverb, and now you can have it July 16 from God? The same day, the label releases skate punks Scraper’s first release, a six-song EP with lo-fi, talky, grimy psych-punk with song titles like “Liquid Lips.” Yummy! Look for them both July 16.


Alela Diane Readies New LP ‘About Farewell’

Sometimes you need a good folk record, like eating really healthy food. Alela Diane’s About Farewell, out June 25 on her own label, Rusted Blue Records. I’m a sucker for the first song she’s released from it, called “The Way We Fall.” It’s really two great songs in one, starting with a looping, soulful ballad, painted with intriguing swaths of flute, acoustic guitar and sumptuous harmonies. Then it shifts for a less-orchestrated portion that could have come off as precious if the previous part hadn’t happened; in succession, it serves to peel back the layers and reveal Diane’s lovely lilt, which is soon accompanied by those flutes again. Try not to get the shivers. Diane lives in Portland, but she hails from Nevada City, Calif., so we’ll count her as one of us. Check out an interview Diane did with the Amoeblog a while back.

Tickets on Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in May

Posted by Amoebite, May 2, 2013 12:22pm | 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.



El Rey
June 26

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples
Fonda Theatre
June 26


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)
Amadou & Miriam Fonda Theatre 07/10/2013 $30.00
Baths El Rey 06/28/2013 $17.00
Booker T El Rey 06/25/2013 $35.00
Capital Cities El Rey 06/06/2013 $18.00
Caravan Palace Fonda Theatre 7/17/2013 $25.00
CSS Fonda Theatre 6/15/2013 $25.00
Depeche Mode Convention Avalon Hollywood 08/11/2013 $50.00
(weekend pass)
Desaparecidos Fonda Theatre 11/14/2013 $30.00
The Eric Andre Show
(Free poncho & poster w/purchase
- while they last)
Fonda Theatre 07/16/2013 $20.00
Field El Rey 06/08/2013 $17.00
FYF Fest LA State Historic Park 08/24 - 08/25 $102.00
(+ $3 service fee)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Fonda Theatre 09/12/2013 $25.00
Gold Panda Fonda Theatre 9/20/2013 $20.00
The Heavy Fonda Theatre 08/08/2013 $20.00
Peter Hook Fonda Theatre 09/21/2013 $24.00
Icona Pop Fonda Theatre 08/29/2013 $25.00
JJ Grey & Mofro El Rey 08/02/2013 $22.50
Jubilee Music & Arts Festival LA Arts District 06/07 & 06/08 $50.00
(two day pass,
+ $3 service fee)
Robert Earl Keen El Rey 06/15/2013 $40.00
Peter Murphy (SOLD OUT) Fonda Theatre 7/26 & 7/27 $27.50
Passenger El Rey 07/19/2013 $22.00
Marky Ramone Fonda Theatre 10/15/2013 $25.00
Rogue Wave El Rey 07/20/2013 $20.00
RX Bandits Fonda Theatre 7/6/2013 $20.00
Sea Wolf El Rey 06/21/2013 $17.00
Smith Westerns El Rey 8/10/2013 $20.00
Souls of Mischief El Rey 08/16/2013 $20.00
Mavis Staples Fonda Theatre 06/26/2013 $27.50
Sunset & Dine
(Screening Sunset Boulevard)
Academy Hollywood
6322 DeLongpre Ave
06/13/2013 $30.00
Superchunk El Rey 09/04/2013 $24.00
Tricky El Rey 06/26/2013 $25.00


The Rocky Horror Show 40th Anniversary Concert Tribute, May 10 & 11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 2, 2013 11:38am | Post a Comment

Peaches Christ presents a 40th Anniversary Concert Tribute to The Rocky Horror Show with special rocky horror show san franciscoguest star Patricia Quinn (Magenta!) appearing (and performing!) live and in-person. You don't need to be a Rocky Horror fanatic to know that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of this legendary musical with one of its original superstars. Enjoy a night of hits from the original stage-show production, as well as an onstage interview with Peaches and Ms. Quinn, audience Q&A, and a post-show meet and greet with Magenta herself.

But that's not all! Peaches Christ would like, if she may, to take you on a strange journey where the X-Factor's Jason Brock is "Frankenfurter" and the Whoa Nellies' Leigh Crow is "Eddie." Joined by a cavalcade of San Francisco musical theatre superstars including Jef Valentine, Trixxie Carr, L Ron Hubby, Dulce De Leche, Manuel Caneri, Cousin Wonderlette, Michael Phillis, and many more - this is a fully realized concert experience and show that will have you all doing the Time Warp again. Peaches and company are not screening the classic cult film tonight, but are instead homaging and celebrating the original stage-show musical that the film was based on and paying tribute to our favorite songs and characters in a gigantic concert theatrical spectacular.

Get your tickets HERE!

Show Recap: La Santa Cecilia at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2013 10:40am | Post a Comment

La Santa Cecilia isn't a person — or she isn't a live person, rather. It’s a band fusing all sorts of worldly influences — cumbia, bossa nova and blues, to name a few — named after the patron saint of musicians. But you could’ve been fooled into thinking frontwoman Marisol Hernandez was a saint herself, given the way she commanded the stage at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.

Her booming voice soared over a bluesy opener, generating rapturous applause from the show’s sizable audience. The band then went into an upbeat song driven by Jose “Pepe” Carlos’ riveting accordion playing, with Carlos and bassist Alex Bendana backing up Hernandez with trade-off vocals. Hernandez seemed to get choked up as she thanked people for coming, later saying it was an honor to play in the store. As though driven to please those she had just thanked, she danced, jumped and sang her heart out through the band's next bilingual jam. The band paused for a break while medical personnel attended to a concert-goer in medical need (who was shortly doing fine, it was announced).

They came back and introduced legendary drummer Pete Thompson, who carried them through a spirited romp as the band worked to restore stability to the show, while Hernandez rapped and roared through another song complete with blazing guitar solo. She gushed about receiving an email from Elvis Costello saying he wanted not only to perform but write on the album as well, sending lyrics for the song “Losing Game,” from their just-released Treinta Dias. Though Costello wasn’t present, Hernandez made up for it by doubling her already formidable stage presence and voice through the song’s swinging New Orleans feel.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #29: NYC 2013 Summer Music Events Preview

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2013 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Ben Howard - one of the artists doing free shows in NYC this summer (July 28th Central Park)

Pete Rock with DJ Premier, Flatbush Zombies, Ty Segall's new band Fuzz, Femi Kuti, and Ben Howard (video above) are among the many artists performing for free in the parks around New York City this summer. Yes, it's the beginning of May and that means that all the upcoming summer music concerts and other fun outdoor events for Summer 2013 in New York City are being announced around this time. So for this New York State of Mind Amoeblog I will preview and list many of these great NYC summer (mostly all outdoor) events, which are usually free and typically with artists that you'd happily fork over good money to see. That all follows below. But first a note on something happening this weekend that prequels an event in August.