July 31, 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted by phil blankenship, July 31, 2014 10:55pm | Post a Comment

Remembering Oakland Rapper Seagram, Exactly 18 Years After His Unsolved Murder (Includes Rare 1991 Interview Excerpt)

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment

Seagram "The Ville" (from The Dark Roads)

Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the death of talented Oakland rapper Seagram who on July 31st, 1996 was shot and killed on the streets of East Oakland. Seagram Miller was only 26 years old with two albums to his name (his third would be released posthumously) and had not yet reached his artistic potential nor had he gotten the full level of appreciation that he deserved. A smart, intelligent, articulate wordsmith whose way ahead of its time debut album (The Dark Roads on Rap-A-Lot) addressed the realities and consequences of the gangsta life that he was unapologetically a part of right up to his tragic death - a violent shooting murder that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle at that time as such: "Oakland police Sgt. Gordon Melera said the two men had just exited a van in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue, an area in East Oakland known for violence and drug trafficking, when they were fired upon Wednesday night." That same article also noted how three years previously Seagram had escaped an assassin's bullet writing that, "Police said Miller's song about a rival gang in 1993 angered an Oakland drug kingpin, which led to an attempt on Miller's life. Miller escaped injury in that shooting, but a San Leandro police officer was wounded" but that OPD would not speculate whether his fatal shooting, in which Seagram's rap associate Gangsta P was seriously shot but not killed, was related to the earlier 1993 attack. Even 18 years after that fatal night in East Oakland the murder is still unsolved. Also of note from a Bay Area hip-hop historical perspective is that in that same year of 1996 two other Bay rap greats were also shot and killed: Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas two months later, and Mr Cee of R.B.L. Posse who was killed in San Francisco on New Year's Day of that year.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band

Posted by Amoebite, July 30, 2014 05:28pm | Post a Comment

TV on the Radio front man Tunde Adebimpe is one busy singer. In addition to TVOTR getting ready to release, Seeds (Harvest Records) this fall, Tunde has been rocking with his side project, HigginsHiggins Waterproof Waterproof Black Magic Band. In 2012,  the singer gathered up a few friends and soon after released a self-titled EP on their own ZNA Records label. Ryan Sawyer (Lone Wolf/Thurston Moore), Josh Werner (Lee "Scratch" Perry, CocoRosie) and Alex Holden (Big Numbers) round out the band.

Tunde and his cohorts stopped in at Amoeba Hollywood for another cool episode of "What's In My Bag?" With a name like Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band, you can guess these cats are influenced by all kinds of music! The vinyl they dig for is proof not only of their varied influences, but also the depth of their tastes. The guys jump right in with some serious stuff for Jazz lovers, Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch LP. They follow that up with two re-issues of rare African records from Mali's Super Djata De Bamako. This is a good listen for funky guitar and awesome drumming. From religious Santeria Afrocuban music to the modern electroclash of the Liars' Mess, HWBMB dig up lots of cool records. Check out the entire episode below to see what else they found!

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Amoeba Sponsors The Drop at The GRAMMY Museum with Billy Joe Shaver

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2014 05:24pm | Post a Comment

The GRAMMY Museum’s Drop program next month features country singer Billy Joe Shaver Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event, in conjunction with The Americana Music Association and 88.5FM KCSN. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Shaver comes to the museum’s Clive Davis Theater just two days after the release of his new album, Long in the Tooth. He’ll be at the theater for an interview, hosted by VP of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Scott Goldman, followed by a performance.

Texas-born Shaver worked as a songwriter in Nashville, writing for the likes of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Presley. His own solo career launched with 1973’s Old Five and Dimers Like Me, a classic of outlaw country. His songs have continued to be performed by others throughout his career, from Patty Loveless to Willie Nelson. Long in the Tooth is his first album of new music in seven years.

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Hot August Bikes at Amoeba SF, August 17th

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 30, 2014 05:05pm | Post a Comment
Creme bike donated by American Cyclery. Color may vary.

Join us at Amoeba Music in San Francisco for Hot August Bikes, a celebration of all things bicycle, on Sunday, August 17th from noon to 5pm!

Come check out our raffle for a Creme Dutch style bike donated by American Cyclery and The Ocean Front Walker bike donated by Sole Bicycles, freebies, and pro-bike vendors including Bern Helmets, Bike & Roll, our co-sponsors SF Weekly & the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Hubert's Lemonade, Salsa de Fina, Potato Potato Buttons, and more! Proceeds from this event will go to benefit the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

hot august bikes amoeba san francisco

Three More New Videos: Real Estate's "Had to Hear," Mac DeMarco's "Chamber of Reflection" and Foxygen's "How Can You Really"

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2014 04:36pm | Post a Comment

This is turning out to be a great day for new music videos!

Real Estate have a new video for the track "Had to Hear," the jangly opener to their excellent Atlas album. There's lots of summery goodness to be had here, like eating Mexican food, chillin' on a boat, playing guitar and generally enjoying life. If you haven't yet picked up Atlas, I highly suggest you do—some, like me, might even call it one of the best albums of the year so far. Real Estate will be playing live at Amoeba SF for FREE Friday Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. If you're here in L.A., they'll be at FYF Fest Aug. 23.

Real Estate will release the song on a limited edition 7" single Aug. 25 via Domino. The B-side will be a cover of The Nerves' "Paper Doll," according to Pitchfork.

Check out the video below:

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #91: Photo Edition + Concert Guide

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2014 01:40pm | Post a Comment

For this week's installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I have included a bunch of photos (above/left/below)  that I took all round town (mostly Manhattan and mostly over the past week or two - but some other times/boroughs too including the one in the Bronx above) and if you drag the mouse icon on top of each image you will see embedded text that accompanies the respective images.  Meanwhile some of the events and happenings in NYC in the week ahead include later today (July 30th) Lisette Melendez, George Lamond, and Coro who are masters of the hip-hop/disco born genre known as freestyle: the synth-based dance music which combines the influence of Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk flavor (note that Bambaataa is presenting this concert today) with Latin rhythms, and European Hi-NRG vocals.  Free. All ages. 7pm to 9pm sharp. At Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. Part of the NYC Summerstage series. Free ferry ride from lower Manhattan to Staten Island takes about half hour including wait for boat, followed by short bus ride. More info

On Saturday afternoon in the same Summerstage series will be a killer free show in Central Park at 3pm with Dr John & The Night Trippers. Opening for the New Orleans legend will be the New Orleans influenced Hurray for the Riff Raff which is the creation of frontwoman Alynda lee Segarra, a 26-year-old Bronx native who traveled to New Orleans to hone her musical chops. This is a free show but arrive an hour or more before the official 3pm opening time to ensure admission. More info.

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Two New Videos Today: Lana Del Rey's "Ultraviolence" and Janelle Monae's "Electric Lady"

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2014 09:43am | Post a Comment

Two of our more exciting pop stars released new videos today.

Lana Del Rey has unveiled a video for the title track to her recently released Ultraviolence. Like the album itself, "Ultraviolence" hushes critics by revealing new layers to her gangster Nancy Sinatra sound, piling layers of Lana over gorgeous orchestration to paint a beautiful tapestry. Perhaps the Crystals-reffing lyrics are a bit silly—"give me all of that ultraviolence" isn't a particularly appealing line—but they sound good coming out of her mouth, and the music itself is immaculate. In this video, Del Rey engages in a soft-focus, Instragrammable wedding. It's typically campy but also sweet—the lone titillation comes from Del Rey licking her soon-to-be hubby's fingers, pretty tame by her standards. Check it out below:


Meanwhile, Janelle Monae also released a video for the title track to her last album, the still-great Electric Lady. In it, Monae is hosting a party with like-minded ladies including Esperanza Spalding (who collaborates with Monae on the album's "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes"), Kimbra, T-Boz, Monica and Estelle. Rapper T.I. also makes a cameo. I don't see her cohort in this song, Solange—maybe she's still trying to lay low after that whole Beyonce/Jay Z/elevator thing. Still, looks like a fun party for a great tune. Anyone else need (not want) that skull record player?

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Weekly Wednesday Steal Debuts at Amoeba With Boards of Canada's 'In a Beautiful Place'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 02:12pm | Post a Comment

This week Amoeba is debuting its Weekly Wednesday Steal, in which we’ll have some awesome product for only $10 on

This first week we’ll have Scottish electronica duo’s Boards of Canada gorgeous In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country for $10 on July 30. The EP is considered one of Boards of Canada’s best releases, if not its best ever.

A new item will be featured on every Wednesday for $10. As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on throughout the United States.

Watch a fan video for In a Beautiful Place’s “Amo Bishop Roden” below:

'Hot August Bikes' Gets Moving Aug. 17 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

On Sunday, Aug. 17 from noon to 5 p.m., Amoeba Music is holding its first ever Hot August Bikes event at the Ivar parking lot, just down a half-block from the store.

The event will feature DJs, food and drinks, bicycle-related workshops, a prize wheel and raffle tickets for prizes from Sole Bicycle, Bern Helmets and more! We’ll be celebrating bike culture in partnership with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), which works to raise awareness about the proposed bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd. LACBC will also provide bike valet service, and you can sign up to become a member on site.

The bike-a-licious prizes we’ll be raffling off include a grand prize of the beautiful Sole Bicycle pictured below, plus cool Bern helmets, limited edition bike gear, $100 Converse gift certificates, gift certificates to local restaurants and Amoeba, concert tickets and more.

Hot August Bikes at Amoeba Hollywood

Look out for free treats from Hubert’s Lemonade, Roots Hummus, Ice Cream Ian, Hollywood Farmer’s Market, Pure Luck Vegan and Bicycle Coffee.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: April 1996 Bay Area Hip-Hop Top 50 Chart and Hip-Hop News

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2014 12:18pm | Post a Comment
                                 BAY AREA HIP-HOP TOP 50  Week ending April 6, 1996

Recommended Bay Area Rap Compilation from mid nineties 1) Various Artists Cell Block Compilation (Cell Block/Priority)
2) Rappin' 4-Tay Aint No Playa (Rag Top/Chrysalis)
3) Conscious Daughters Gamers (Priority)
4) 2Pac All Eyez On Me (Death Row)
5) IMP Ill Mannered Playas (In-A-Minute)
6) Mac Mall Get Right (Relativity)
7) Peanut Butter Wolf Step On Our Egos (South Paw)
8) Too $hort Gettin' It  12"  (Jive)
9) N.O.A. forilla (120)
10) The Delinquents Smooth Getaway (Dank Or Die)

11) Suga T Paper Chasin' (Sick Wid It/Jive)
12) Twisted Mind Kids Twisted Mind State (8-song demo - No Exit)
13) Lateef The Wreckoning/Latyrx (Solesides)
14) MadFace Black Attracts Heat (Corn Field)
15) Lil Gangsta P meet the lil gangsta (Erin)
16)  V/A The Dangerous Crew (Dangerous/Jive)
17) Richie Rich Half Thang (41510/Shot)
18) Milkman feat Da Goonz Reminisce (Major Music)
19) Hobo Junction E.P. (South Paw)
20) Sacred Hoop demo tape (Miasmatic)

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Check Out Karen O's New Video For "Rapt"

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has a new video for the song "Rapt," which will be on her forthcoming first solo album, Crush Songs. You can download the song now on, and you can preorder the album on LP now.

Directed by her husband, Barney Clay, the gorgeous video shows Karen O underwater in slow motion, occasionally illuminated and sometimes obscured. I recommend pausing every now and then; each shot seemingly could be an impressionist painting.

Check out the video below:

karen o crush songs lpThe acoustic, dreamy "Rapt" can be found on Crush Songs, which will be released Sept. 9 via Julian Casablancas' label, Cult. Read Karen O's description of her new album in a note she wrote below, via her website:


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Amoeba Music Curates Red Bull Sound Select Show With Tanlines, SISU and Roses Aug. 20

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 11:41am | Post a Comment

tanlines roses sisu red bull sound select amoebaAmoeba Music is curating the next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles, featuring indie-pop acts Tanlines, SISU and Roses, at The Sayers Club in Los Angeles Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. The show is 21+ and tickets are only $3 with RSVP.

Brooklyn-based electronica duo Tanlines released their excellent debut record, Mixed Emotions, in 2012 to critical acclaim. The band is currently working on its new album, recording it here in L.A.

SISU is the shoegaze-pop project of Sandra Vu, the drummer for Dum Dum Girls. SISU released the dreamy Blood Tears last year. You can read my interview with SISU here.

Roses is the new project featuring Abe Vigoda guitarist Juan Velasquez, who release their first EP, the new wave-flavored Dreamlover, Aug. 5.

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Album Picks: Shabazz Palaces, Wildest Dreams

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty (LP, CD)

Shabazz Palaces 2011 release Black Up is undoubtedly one of the best, most exciting hip-hop releases of the new millennium. So we waited with bated breath for this second release from Ishmael Butler (one of '90s alt hip-hop greats Digable Planets) and Tendai Maraire, and Lese Majesty does not disappoint. The album is a sweltering blur of chilled-out beats, sparkling synthesizer tapestries and spacey rhymes that echo through your head. The 18-track album has a prog-like massivity to it, making it fun to get lost in—you can listen to Lese Majesty three times in a row on repeat and never get sick of it, nor will you fail to discover something new. But if you need a good entry point into their weird, wonderful world, I'd recommend the bizarrely catchy beats that hook you in "They Come in Gold" or the funny and fast-paced "#CAKE," with its layers of vocals and strange diversions. Now all I'm gonna do with the rest of my day is eat cake and listen to Shabazz Palaces. I wish! Back to work ... but honestly, this is one of the best things anyone's put out this year. Shabazz Palaces play Amoeba SF tonight at 6 p.m.!

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New Performance Video from Post-Disco Dance-Punk Band De Lux

Posted by Amoebite, July 28, 2014 06:32pm | Post a Comment

De Lux live at Amoeba Hollywood

File local dance punks De Lux between Liquid Liquid and LCD Soundsystem in your record collection -- if you don't care about proper alphabetization, that is. The duo of Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco make the kind of smart disco that pays tribute to their progenitors, nodding to the glittering, sequin-bedecked past, while keeping the dance floors of today groovin'.

Which is exactly what happened when the lads stopped by Amoeba Hollywood earlier this spring. With a full band backing them, Guerin and Franco unleashed some seriously seductive, summery vibes. De Lux has been ruling the streets of LA this summer, with performances at Echo Park Rising (August 15) and Pacific Fest OC (August 16) in the works. Their debut full-length, Voyage, is out now on Innovative Leisure.

Check out two songs from De Lux's excellent set below or watch the full performance here

De Lux - Live at Amoeba
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UK Inmates Allowed String Guitars Thanks To Campaign Led By Billy Bragg

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2014 04:15pm | Post a Comment

Billy Bragg "A New England (live at Amoeba San Francisco: October 2013)"

As reported today by British media outlets including the NME (New Music Express) UK inmates will finally be allowed use of string guitars thanks to a campaign led by Billy Bragg and including such other musicians as Johnny Marr, Dave Gilmour, and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway. The political campaign which was kick-started by Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, with Bragg leading the musicians in the crusade for prisoners' rights, set about overturning the long-standing ban on steel-string guitars in British prisons. According to UK prison authorities, the guitar ban was based on fear of their parts being used as weapons. "This is a victory for common sense and I'm pleased after months of campaigning the UK Government has listened," said the Cardiff West MP upon hearing news of the lift of the ban.

"The power of music to help prisoners to rehabilitate is well documented. I started the campaign after prisoners wrote to me explaining how they had saved from their small prison wages to buy guitars and how therapeutic learning to play the guitar had been for them before the ban," added the MP. Billy Bragg noted upon news of the lifting of the ban that prisoners being allowed use of steel string guitars, "can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing." A long time champion of the underdog and with a history of fighting against civil injustices, Bragg founded the Jail Guitar Doors rehabilitation initiative to try and overthrow the ban against ban arguing that guitar playing helps greatly in the rehabilitation process of inmates.

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One Album Wonders: Mother Love Bone's Apple

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:26pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



Although Mother Love Bone were credited with attracting major label attention to Seattle, their musical sensibility (and Wood's sartorial) were decidedly at odd with the horde of ripped-jeans-and-ripped-abs tortured bros that would come to characterize grunge after its crossover.

Mother Love Bone were led by Mississippi-born singer Andrew Wood -- or 
Landrew the Love Child -- whose band Malfunkshun had been snubbed by Sup Pop, apparently for not being grunge enough -- but who were included on C/Z Records' seminal Deep Six (1986) compilation. The rest of the band were Bruce Fairweather, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard (both formerly of Green River), and Greg Gilmore (formerly of 10 Minute Warning and Skinyard), who first assembled in 1988. 

Whilst most of Mother Love Bone's Seattle area peers like Gilmore's 10 Minute Warning, The MelvinsSoundgardenNirvanaThe U-Men (and to an extent, Wood's former band) combined the influence of hardcore punk with the sludge of early heavy metal, Mother Love Bone unabashedly owed more to '70s arena rock and glam

Wood was a charismatic, androgynous, and sometimes goofy frontman who seemed to understand and seriously embrace the silliness of good time rock but behind his cherubic appearance there was a dark side. Wood wrested with a heroin addiction that saw him go to rehab at least twice. Sadly,  he overdosed and died in 1990, two days before the planned release of Mother Love Bone's debut. 

After his death, Wood's former roommate and Soundgarden's singer, Chris Cornell, formed Temple of the Dog with Ament, Gossard, and other musicians who would end up forming Pearl Jam. Fairweather joined the band Love Battery. Wood would also be honored Alice in Chains's "Would?" and Faster Pussycat's "Mr. Lovedog."
 In 2005, Scot Barbour released a touching documentary titled Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story.


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One Album Wonders: The Great Unwashed's Clean Out of our Minds

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:24pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."


One Album Wonders: Wolfgang Riechmann's Wunderbar

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:22pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



Wolfgang Riechmann's career as a professional musician began in 1966. The following year he joinedSpirits of Sound, which also included Michael Rother and Wolfgang Flür, both of whom would go on to join Kraftwerk (Rother would later co-found Neu!). In 1972 Riechmann joined another Dusseldorf band,Phön-x. In 1976 he joined veteran band Streetmark on guitar, keyboards, and vocals. 

In 1977 and '78, Riechmann recorded his solo album, Wunderbar, playing all the instruments (guitar, electric piano, bass, vibraphone and Arp synthesizers ) with support on electronic drums from Hans Schweiß. The songs are mostly instrumental (there are occasional wordless vocals), distant yet majestic, and pleasantly icy -- somewhat comparable to the '70s/early '80s output of Kitaro or Jean Michel Jarre.
Sadly, Reichman died in August of 1978 after he was knifed, apparently randomly, by two assailants.

Wunderbar was released shortly after his death and the album cover showed Riechamann sporting a blue and white appearance that Gary Numan seems to have liked enough to revive six years after. Wunderbarhas since been re-released on vinyl and compact disc several times.


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One Album Wonders: The Monks' Black Monk Time

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:21pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



The Monks were comprised of German-based American GIs Dave DayEddie ShawGary BurgerLarry Clark, and Roger Johnston. The five formed the The 5 Torquays before and were discovered by German art students Karl-Heinz Remy and Walther Niemann who transformed them into monastic makers of rawgarage-punk of the highest order.

The Monks recorded just one album, Black Monk Time, in 1966 for Polydor Records. The strangeness, rawness, and repetitiveness -- not dissimilar to their peers in Music Machine and The Red Krayola -- come from a Bermuda Triangle located between frat rockpsychedelia, and krautrock
A line-up of The Monks comprised partly of new members reunited in 1999; now older and with alopecia in some cases giving them natural tonsures. Original guitarist/vocalist Burger died in 2014 from pancreatic cancer.


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One Album Wonders: Young Marble Giants' Colossal Youth

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:19pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



It's not exactly a mystery to me how a nation as small as Wales can produce so much truly awful rock music. Most of the biggest Welsh rock bands of the 1980s and '90s were just awful. Kevin Shields put forth the theory that Tony Blair's government pumped money into promoting Britpop and Cool Britannia -- but can anything adequately explain the popularity of Wales' Manic Street Preachers?

I once made an internet station of Welsh Rock to see if there was any better rock from Cymru. I ultimately deleted it because other than confirming my velvety soft spot for Gene Loves Jezebel, it only turned me onto one band of genius -- Young Marble Giants. It wasn't the first time I'd heard of them but even on '80s college radio stations they were far from staples.

Young Marble Giants formed in Caerdydd from the ashes of the band True Wheel. The band were Alison Statton, and brothers 
Philip and Stuart Moxham. They released Colossal Youth in 1980 which became Rough Trade's second-biggest seller (for a time) and then they split up. After their dissolution Stuart Moxham went on to form The Gist. Statton went on to play with Ian Devine, formerly of Ludus, and form Weekend (later known as Working Week). Philip Moxham went on to play with a host of acts. After a long break, the band have reunited several times and still together perform on occasion.

One Album Wonders: Fat Truckers' The Fat Truckers First Album is For Sale

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:18pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



The Fat Truckers were a band comprised of Ben RymerMark HudsonRoss Orton, and occasionally aided by Jason Buckle (then of Ginger Dave and soon of Relaxed Muscle. The music was crude, abrasive and witty, somewhat in the vein of bands like SupermarketSuicide, and fellow SheffieldersCabaret Voltaire

Rymer had made electronic music as The Gasman in the mid-1990s but the group came together in 2000 and performed the vocals on Add N to (X)'s best song, "Monster Bobby." They released one brilliant album,The Fat Truckers First Album is for Sale on their own Roadtrain Recordings in 2003 which was inevitably linked to the then-popular electroclash scene before splitting up. Afterwards Orton went into production, Rymer DJed with Gucci Soundsystem, and Hudson formed the band, Meat For A Dark Day.


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One Album Wonders: Bradford's Shouting Quietly

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:16pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



It's easy to see what attracted Morrissey to the band, Bradford, comprised of five young suedeheads fromBlackburn, Lancashire (Ian Michael HodgsonEwan ButlerJohn BaulcombeJos Murphy, and Mark Andrew McVitie) who wrote pleasantly jangly and literate pop songs that fall somewhere in between the styles of Moz himself, Aztec Camera, and Elvis Costello (in other words, they sounded a bit like Gene or Echobelly did before either of those bands had formed). 

Bradford formed in 1987, the year that The Smiths split up, and were one of the first saddled with "the Next Smiths" tag by the perpetually premature British music press. Perhaps not helping them escape the comparisons, Morrissey covered their first single, "Skin Storm," which also holds the less interesting distinction of being the first CD single released by an independent label. 

Another single followed, "Tattered, Tangled & Torn" before they signed to Midnight Music, whose planned release of what would've been their eponymous debut mini-album was cancelled. Bradford then signed withStephen Street's label, Foundation, and released Shouting Quietly. Sales were disappointing and despite high profile slots as openers of JamesJoe StrummerMorrisseyPrimal Scream, and The Sugarcubes, they quietly stopped shouting. 

Hodgson went on to form Acoustic Uprising and play in a Clash tribute band, Butler wrote and performed with rapper Ithaka, Murphy plays in a Morrissey tribute act, Baulcombe played with Merchandise and Dave Rowley's Black Country whilst McVittie was arrested on child pornography charges. Despite their relatively high profile, they are one of the many bands whose music cannot be found on Pandora.

One Album Wonders: Trader Horne's Morning Way

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:14pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



Trader Horne were a folk-rock duo formed by Jackie McAuley and Judy Dyble in London in 1969. IrishMcAuley had, in 1965, played organ in Them and later been a member of The Freaks of Nature and The Belfast GypsiesEnglish Dyble had been a member of Fairport Convention before she was replaced by the great, Sandy Denny

Trader Horne cut a promo for Pye and a single, “Here Comes The Rain” for Dawn in 1970 which wasn’t included on their sole release, Morning Way (1970), after the release of which the two members parted ways a. McAuley soon after released a solo record in 1971 and went on to have a long career as a sideman and session musician. In the 1980s he formed Poor Mouth and returned to a solo career in the 1990s. Dyble too still performs regularly and releases solo records less so.

Morning Way has been re-released on compact disc and download


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One Album Wonders: Margo Guryan's Take a Picture

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 01:12pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."

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One Album Wonders: The Free Spirits' Out of Sight and Sound

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 28, 2014 12:11pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. During that period, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album -- Perfect for completists on a budget! This series examines some of my favorite "one album wonders."



With a few exceptions (notably Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Graham Bond Organisation, and The Doors), jazz and rock musicians moved tended to travel in separate circles until the late 1960s when jazz musicians Gary Burton, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and others created fusionLater, rock groups like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, and the bands of the Canterbury Scene would incorporate jazz instrumentation and improvisation in what has sometimes been called jazz rock.

Located somewhere in the middle of fusion and jazz-rock (but definitely closer to the later) were New York City's The Free Spirits, comprised of Bob Moses, Chris Hills, Columbus Baker, Jim Pepper, and Larry Coryell. Drummer Bob Moses had previously played with Roland Kirk and guitarist Larry Coryell had been introduced on Chico Hamilton's soul jazz classic, The Dealer, in 1966.

The Free Spirits released Out of Sight and Sound on ABC Records in 1967. Although it's a fine collection of music, the union proved to be short. With double tracked vocals, and liberal use of sitar, it probably holds more appeal for fans of pop psych or sunshine pop than it does for serious rock or jazz heads -- which is part of its breezy, easy appeal.

After The Free Spirits moved apart, Moses has enjoyed a long career as a musician and instructor. Chris Hills and Columbus Baker formed the free funk band, Everything is Everything who, in 1971 (and in collaboration with vocalist Chico Walters) released Comin' Outta The Ghetto. Jim Pepper had a fairly long career as a solo artist before passing away in 1992. Coryell went on to have a long, respected career as a bandleader and sideman that continues into the present. 


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Digging in the Crates of OMCA's Vinyl: Sound & Culture of Records Pt 4: Sylvie Simmons, David Katznelson, & Rachael Aguirre

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

If you haven't already made your way to the ever-popular, Amoeba Music sponsored, excellent exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) which opened three months ago on April 19th (Record Store Day) at the downtown Oakland museum in its Great Hall exhibition area don't fret as you still have some time - well not much, but some - since it is open through tomorrow Sunday July 27th. To mark the end of this wonderful hands on exhibit, that paid homage the joys of analog and vinyl with lots of local Bay Area folks (including many Amoebites) offering their input on the subject, today Saturday July 26th will be the final weekly Talk & Play program of the three month long exhibit in which experts in specific areas of music/records informally chat to a museum audience while dropping the needle on the records that they are referencing in their talk/lecture.

Today - from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Great Hall - the Talk & Play session will be David Katznelson (record producer, and president of Birdman Recording Group) and friends who will be presenting a Talk & Play they call Every Record Has a Story. David's co-hosts will be Steven Baker (former president of Warner Brothers Records), Britt Govea (Folk Yeah Productions founder), and Josh Rosenthal (founder of Tompkins Square Records)  - all of whom will share  their favorite music/records and tell stories and secrets related to collecting said records. David Katznelson is among the many record collecting musicologists who have curated crates (that museum goers can personally play on provided turntables) at the Vinyl exhibit. For this final fourth installment in the Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Amoeblog series I have included David's crate: The influence and genius of the Velvet Underground, along with those of two other contributors: Sylvie Simmons whose crate is Grrl Power - women in rock from pop to punk, 1960-1980, (she also curated Sylvie Simmons the Americana crate), and the museum's own Rachael Aguirre (Administrative Assistant & OMCA Lab - Curatorial and Experience Development) whose crate is titled Sound track for Dungeons and Dragons: Onyx Discs of Epic Sound: A Dungeons and Dragons Soundtrack. Meanwhile the photos in this blog are either provided by OMCA or James Mak of Joysco Photos who kindly shot this photos on behalf of the Amoeblog (thank-you James!).

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New Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/24 - DVS1, Demdike Stare, Lowtec and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 26, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

Klockworks 13


Klockworks 13


The Minneapolis phenom with his third release on Ben Klock's label. The title track is gorgeous, deep melodicism, based around a soulful set of synth chords which come into greater definition over the course of the track's 6 and a half minutes. Each percussive moment feels huge, no snare, just a well-timed 909 clap. That clap reappears on the more minimal but slightly swung "Creeping". "Spying" is late night techno gear, a bright piano figure creates a perfectly illicit vibe

Buy Klockworks 13


Demdike Stare - Test Pressing 005Demdike Stare

Testpressing 005

Modern Love Demdike Stare are really taking it there with the Test Pressing series. This might be the most punishing issue yet. "Procrastination" starts like a cantankerous engine, slowly. Eventually, a comically heavy beat and bassline are issued in by a lion's roar. No joke. "Past Majesty" is more of a head-down deathrock thing, interrupted by blasts of noise. The track bears the influence of Albini's gnarly units Big Black and Rapeman.

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Weekly Roundup: Roses, Death Valley Girls, White Arrows, Babes, Myron & E

Posted by Billy Gil, July 25, 2014 10:05am | Post a Comment

Roses – “It’s Over” video

L.A. dream-pop trio Roses recently released “It’s Over” as a single from their upcoming Dreamlover EP, out Aug. 5 on Group Tightener (you can preorder it now). Now they’ve got a video for the track, directed by Cassandra Hamilton, that sees the band along with friends in bands like Susan playing in the California countryside with oversized cartoon guitars amid neon butterflies and gorgeous wildflowers. Reminds me of classics like Smashing Pumpkins“Today” and Blind Melon’s “No Rain” in its sunny, carefree optimism and casual absurdity. Roses are playing the next Red Bull Sound Select show with Tanlines Aug. 20, curated by Amoeba Hollywood. More info on that coming soon!


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The 25 Best Hip-Hop Movies

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2014 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Best Hip Hop films

The definition of "hip hop movies" is pretty darn wide as it covers a broad range of types and styles of films - not to mention differing levels of quality since, let's face it, some have been downright low-budget jenky (bad meaning bad). The hip hop movie genre as a whole encompasses such varieties as concerts films (EG 1995's The Show or 2005's Dave Chappelle's Block Party); documentaries about specific parts of the genre or individual artists (e.g. Scratch or Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme or Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest); bio-pics like Notorious or the semi-biographical Eminem acting vehicle 8-Mile; and straight up pure celebratory flicks that show love for some or all of hip hop's four elements (EG Wild Style, Juice, Beat Street, and Breakin').

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Deltron 3030

Posted by Amoebite, July 24, 2014 04:02pm | Post a Comment

Deltron 3030

After over a decade in orbit, interplanetary alternative hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030 have descended from space, rocking concert halls across America and preparing for a fall jaunt to Europe. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala joined forces once more on last year's Event 2, a star-studded followup to their 2000 self-titled debut, featuring the likes of Damon Albarn, Zach De La Rocha, Mike Patton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amber Tamblyn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Cross, and the Lonely Island. (And that's only a partial list.)

Dan the Automator and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien took a break from the constant struggle against our galactic overlords to sit down with the What's In My Bag? crew at Amoeba Hollywood. The Automator explores some of his cinematic inspirations, kicking us off with the 2012 sci-fi flick Looper. Next up Del shares his love for Black Flag's Damaged and My War. The picks keep coming fast and furious with the Automator's next selection, Shaun of the Dead, and with Del repping little known funk group Apple and the Three Oranges.

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Win Tickets to See Jenny Lewis Live at the Wiltern Aug. 9 and a $100 Amoeba Gift Certificate

Posted by Billy Gil, July 24, 2014 03:02pm | Post a Comment

Jenny Lewis The Voyager Mural at Amoeba Hollywood

If you've driven by Amoeba Hollywood recently you may have noticed a mural on the Cahuenga side of the building for Jenny Lewis’ new album, The Voyager. (That's Ms. Lewis in front of the mural during its painting.) 

To celebrate The Voyager, Jenny is giving away tickets to see her in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Aug. 9, plus a $100 Amoeba gift certificate! All you have to do is take a photo of yourself in front of The Voyager mural and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #AmoebaVoyager to be entered to win! You can find Jenny Lewis on Twitter @jennylewis and we're @amoebamusic.

The winner will be contacted August 4, so get to sharing!

Check out the making of The Voyager mural with this new video for Jenny's single “She’s Not Me.” Watch it below:

Last week Jenny Lewis released a video for “Just One of the Guys,” starring Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart and Brie Larson. The Voyager comes out Tuesday, July 29 and is up for pre-order on LP and CD.

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Grand Performances Show Celebrates Civil Rights Movement With Les Nubians and More Aug. 2

Posted by Billy Gil, July 23, 2014 09:34am | Post a Comment

Grand Performances, a series of free shows put on at California Plaza in Downtown L.A., will host People Get Ready: A Soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. Amoeba is a proud sponsor of the event. We’ll be on hand with a booth and our prize wheel, so come by and say hello.

Les Nubians

The show features such artists as Les Nubians, Dwight Trible, Dexter Story, Ejyptian Queen, Godfrey at Large and more performing new renditions of anthems in a celebration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The performance is produced by Jonathan Rudnick and Dexter Story, who previously produced Celebrations of Peace Go With You Gil for Gil Scott-Heron and Young Gifted & Nina for Nina Simone. It’s hosted by KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez.

California Plaza is located at 350 South Grand Avenue. There’s a complimentary bike valet on the upper plaza for those on two wheels.

See what else Grand Performances has in store at their site.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #90: Las Bicicletas, NYC Restaurant Week, 37th Rock Steady Crew Anniversary, Coney Island

Posted by Billyjam, July 23, 2014 06:13am | Post a Comment

After closely dodging a major public transportation strike of the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) earlier this week (which would have trickled down to affect MTA buses and subways, thereby affecting all New Yorkers and not just those who commute into the city from suburban Long Island), folks here are still breathing a sigh of relief in this city where, it seems, nearly everyone takes public transportation. Speaking of which, the Citi Bike program has expanded its service to embrace more tourists by making it more accessible for casual one-off users. Compared to typical bike rental outlets Citi Bike's $10 for a 24-hour period seems like a deal. However the drawback is that is you only get the bike for 30-minute increments before having to re-check it out - or suffer heavy fines. More info here.

Continuing in the bike loving NYC theme, this month 122 metal bicycle sculptures (see below) have been rolled out around Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of a grand scale sculpture exhibit by 83-year-old bicycle-loving Mexico City artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. He first created the cycle themed sculpture exhibit entitled "Las Bicicletas" in his hometown with the stated goal of celebrating both art and bike riding. Supported financially by the Parks Department and the DOT (Dept. of Transportation) the public art installation can be seen all over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, with many strategically installed near the Citi Bike share racks. More detailed info.

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Album Picks: Alvvays, La Roux, Common, White Fence, The Raveonettes

Posted by Billy Gil, July 22, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment

Alvvays - Alvvays (LP, CD)

Somewhere between the sunny melancholia of Best Coast, earnest alt-rock of The Cranberries and the college rock of bands like Talulah Gosh lie Toronto's Alvvays. Their debut record is a delight of heartfelt naivete spun out in catchy indie-pop nuggets. Molly Rankin's lovably untrained voice pleads irresistibly on the charming "Archie, Marry Me" amid a four-chord, minor-key jangle. "Don't leave ... we can find comfort in debauchery" Rankin sings with the requisite mix of winking irony and legitimate feeling; taken with the songs lovely synth strings and gently rambling nature, it comes off like future nostalgia for a time that's currently being experienced. Youth may be wasted on the young, but Alvvays make young sadness sound pure and sweet on their debut.


La Roux - Trouble In Paradise (LP, CD)

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20th Street Block Party in SF, August 23

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 21, 2014 07:21pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop presents the second annual 20th Street Block Party on August 23rd with two music stages, tons of delicious food and drinks, and on-going festivities from noon to 6pm. And it's FREE!

The 20th Street corridor will be transformed into a free party to showcase and celebrate a diverse neighborhood that blends modern ideas with community traditions to create a new San Francisco experience. Featuring music from Rogue Wave, Cayucas, Melted Toys, Tommy Guerrero & The Mattson 2 with Ray Barbee and more.

More info HERE.

20th street block party noise pop


DJ Set For Peace Comes at a Much Needed Time

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2014 03:18pm | Post a Comment
Introduction to Peace One Day 2014

The upcoming DJ SetForPeace, scheduled for September 21st during Peace One Day, could not be better timed considering all of the unrest that is going on in the world right now with, sadly, no signs of slowing down. The informal yet well received global anti-war campaign that encourages "DJs uniting around the world to raise awareness of peace day" is a part of Peace One Day which was begun 15 years ago by Jeremy Gilley (see video above), whose goal was simple - how about peace for just one day out of the year? - with September 21st being that day of the year. Gilley's organization Peace One Day’s objective is to "institutionalize Peace Day" and he contends that its campaigns and activities have proven that the message of the day actually does carry weight and has had a positive impact with powers that be cooling off for that one day.

Akon will headline Peace One Day celebration at Goma International Airport on September 21st. Regarding the DJ SetForPeace role in the overall Peace One Day it is a coalition adding to the overall goal of the day. Not just DJs, but also producers, and MCs are encouraged to play a Set for Peace on Peace One Day, 21st September which this year falls on a Sunday - a good day for music, and for peace.  "In a club, at a festival, in a park or in your own home, you can use the power of music to bring people together in the name of peace," encourage the organizers. "By dedicating your set, you are telling the world about Peace Day and encouraging positive action in homes, schools and communities." To get directly involved click hereinfo on Set For Peace, and for general information click here.

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One Album Wonders: Brett Smiley's Breathlessly Brett

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 01:07pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."

One Album Wonders: The Millennium's Begin

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 01:06pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."

One Album Wonders: The Savage Resurrection's The Savage Resurrection

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 01:04pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



The Savage Resurrection were formed in RichmondCalifornia by Bill HarperJeff MyerJohn Palmer,Randy Hammon (who was just sixteen at the time and the 
cousin of Blue Cheer drummer Paul Whaley), and Steve Lage in 1967. They signed to Mercury, who released their eponymous album, a thick slab of heavy psych, in 1968. Not long after its release, the band's members went their separate ways. Lage passed away in 2010. Their sole record has been re-released over the years a number of times by a number of labels. 



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One Album Wonders: Y Pants' Beat It Down

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 01:02pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."

One Album Wonders: Dolly Mixture's Demonstration Tapes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 01:01pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



Dolly Mixture were formed by Debsey WykesHester Smith, and Rachel Bor in Cambridge in 1978. They were initially known primarily for being the backing band for Captain Sensible rather than as artists in their own right. Their first single was a cover of The Shirelles’ “Baby It's You” which was followed by the original “Been Teen” on Paul Weller's Respond label in 1981. In 1983, they pressed just 1,000 copies of their self-released debut -- a double album titled Demonstration TapesShortly after, they disbanded.

Wykes and Smith later performed in Coming Up Roses and Wykes performed with Saint Etienne, whose member Bob Stanley re-released the Demonstration Tapes album on his short-lived Royal Mint label in 1995. Wykes also formed Birdie with Paul Kelly (director of Lawrence of Belgravia, not the Australiansinger-songwriter).


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One Album Wonders: Montage's Montage

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 12:59pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."

One Album Wonders: The David's Another Day, Another Lifetime

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 12:58pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



In 1965, Chuck SpiethMike Butte, Tim Harrison, and Warren Hansen (on vocals and Plasmatarformed a band called The Reasons. Not long after, new member Mike Bird joined on lead guitar and they were renamed The David by their manager, Steven Vail. They recorded and released their first single on 20th Century Fox, the garage punk "40 Miles" b/w "Bus Token" in 1966 and it was a hit in Southern CaliforniaButte left before The David recorded their sole album, Another Day, Another Lifetime, which was released in 1967 on Vail's own label, Vance Music Corporation and mostly featured baroque pop-tinged and sunshine pop-infused psychedelia. The David disbanded in 1970 and all of the members (the oldest two then just twenty) went on to pursue careers in other fields except for Spieth, who died soon after the end of The David in a house fire at just 21. Another Day, Another Lifetime has been re-released on CD several times by several labels.


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One Album Wonders: Michaelangelo's One Voice Many

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 12:56pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."

One Album Wonders: Silberbart's 4 Times Sound Razing

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



Silberbart were formed in Hamburg in 1971 and by Hajo TeschnerPeter Behrens, and Werner Klug. Teschner had previously played in the beat combo, The Tonics, which did little to indicate the direction of Silerbart, who produced a rumbling bluesyproto-metal prog noise for just one album. After that, in 1972, they disbanded and Behrens later resurfaced in the even more dissimilar 
"Neue Deutsche Fröhlichkeit" band, Trio. Rediscovered by fans of doom and stoner metal, it's been re-released a few times on CD.


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Spoon Bows 'Do You' Video

Posted by Billy Gil, July 21, 2014 11:37am | Post a Comment
Spoon performing live at Amoeba Hollywood in 2005

Spoon’s well-received new single, “Do You,” has a hot new slow-mo video starring singer Britt Daniels that nicely matches his rambling lyrics and eerie rising and falling vocals. Spoon will play Amoeba Hollywood Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!

In the video, which premiered at the Urban Outfitters blog for their UO Music Video Series, Daniels plays cabby to a pensive girl in what at first seems like a quiet, contemplative video. Then WTF at around the three-minute mark. I’ll not spoil it for you. You’re just gonna have to watch, and I recommend that you do. Remember MTV’s “breakthrough” videos? (Or any videos on MTV?) Spoon would be all over that shit with this clip, directd by acclaimed music video and commercial director Hiro Murai (who’s done videos for such artists as Childish Gambino, Queens of the Stone Age and Cults).

The song comes from Spoon’s eighth album, They Want My Soul, which is due Aug. 5 on Universal. You can preorder it now on LP or CD.

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One Album Wonders: The Teddy Bears' The Teddy Bears Sing!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 21, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In that era, for any number of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album. This series looks at some of my favorite "one album wonders."



The Teddy Bears were formed in Los Angeles in 1958 by a young Phil Spector with Annette Kleinbard, Marshall Leib, and Harvey Goldstein. After Goldstein left, the remaining trio had a million-seller with “To Know Him Is to Love Him.” The conventional view seems to be that whilst that single is absolutely immortal the rest of the album is underwhelming -- a view which suggests to me that very few have bothered to track down and listen to the record because it's terrific. 
After the band disbanded, Kleinbard changed her name to Carol Connors and continued to write and record songs. Spector, of course, became a legend first as a producer, and later as the convicted murderer of Lana Clarkson, for which he was sentenced 19 to life. 


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Byrdsol Talks 'pierreponte,' Album Available to Download Exclusively on

Posted by Billy Gil, July 21, 2014 08:25am | Post a Comment
Photo: Aida Daneshvar Photography

The new album by byrdsol (aka Burgess Tomlinson) takes the artist’s electronic sound and infuses with a healthy dose of folk heart, giving pierreponte an intriguing duality. On one hand, the music is put together by digital means, beats are introduced halfway through songs and acoustic strums are cut up and mended, yet Tomlinson’s breathy croon and bedroom composition style keeps the music grounded and connected.

The album is currently available as a download exclusively on, while Tomlinson has started an indiegogo campaign for a physical release. I took a minute to catch up with Tomlinson, who currently works at Amoeba Hollywood, about his latest release.

How long have you been making music? 

Most of my life. I guess I got serious in 9th grade. The music director at my high school put the budget to good use. He built a complete midi studio with an Ensoniq sampling, sequencing, keyboard workstation, and a few now vintage drum machines. You were allowed to sign up for time blocks on your breaks or lunch, as long as you were involved in at least one music class, which I was for four years. I was also taking piano lessons at home and playing a few Casio-type keyboards my dad got me way into the nights. In 10th grade my friends and I started a band called Swirl, in a music-friendly basement. We recorded thtree songs in a local studio and played some extremely high profile arcade gigs at the local mall. 

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Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Pt 3 featuring Dan the Automator

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2014 01:31pm | Post a Comment

With just a little over one week left to the wonderful Amoeba Music sponsored record / vinyl themed exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at OMCA this is part three in the Digging In The Crates Amoeblog series dedicated to some of the curated crates that are currently on exhibit (but only through next weekend, Sunday July 27th) at the Oakland Museum of California as part of its excellent interactive Vinyl exhibit which has been there for three months and is well worth checking out. For this installment we focus on (scroll down to see) San Francisco producer Dan Nakamura - aka Dan the Automator - who coincidentally later today (July 19th) will be doing a free outdoor show at 7pm at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY along with  fellow Deltron 3030 members Kid Koala and Del The Funky Homosapien plus the Deltron 3030 Orchestra.

For his curated crate picks (which overlaps a bit with his above Amoeba WIMB? clip) at the OMCA Vinyl exhibit the prolific producer chose a combination of some of his all time favorite releases such as Eric B and Rakim's Paid In Full and The Beach Boys'  Pet Sounds (his number one top pick), as well as many of the countless releases that the prolific producer has been personally involved in over the years such as Cornershop's  When I was Born for the 7th time on which he is the producer, Handsome Boy Modeling School of which he is one-half along with Prince Paul, The Gorillaz whose first album he produced, Jamie Cullum's Catching Tales on which Nakamura does beats and programming, Kasabian's West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum that he produced, Lovage which is the producer along with Mike Patton and such other collaborators as (again fellow Deltron 3030 member) Kid Koala, and Jennifer Charles, and Anaïs' The Love Album via Polydor France released in 2008 that he also produced and is in the same musical vein as his forthcoming latest project, Got A Girl along with vocalist Mary Elizabeth Winstead, that will be arriving in Amoeba this coming Tuesday (July 22nd, 2014) via his long running San Francisco based label Bulk Recordings. What's crazy is that he didn't even get to include one of his best (and earliest) releases - one that I included in the crate I curated at the OMCA exhibit - his 1989 early breakbeat/battle record Music To Be Murdered By.

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New Vinyl Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/18 - Dj Slugo, Todd Osborne, Budgie and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 18, 2014 03:33pm | Post a Comment

Budgie - The Budgie EP


The Budgie EP 12"


Nice addition to the canon of rare groove/hip-hop inflected music that is equally suited for home listening or warm-up sets. Budgie is formidable/session man and record collector, and it shows in these ornate boogie/funk influenced instrumentals. "Full Moon" and "Clevage" are top notch soul-sample beats, a looser, more psychedelic version of the sound that brought Kanye West to massive fame. For fans of Andres, Floatin Points.

Buy The Budgie EP 12"


Shift Work - Scaled to FitShift Work

Scaled to Fit 12"

Optimo Music

Very cool wavo-inflected release on Optimo Music. "Patience (JD Twitch Edit" moves along with a nice arpeggiated bass line and some unintelligble post punk vocals. The rigid arpeggiation and early 80s feel remains throughout, with tracks like "[Less] Merchandise]" adding to the political vibe and bringing in a bit of melody. 

Buy Scaled to Fit 12"



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Weekly Roundup: Christopher Owens, The Donkeys, The Aislers Set

Posted by Billy Gil, July 18, 2014 12:23pm | Post a Comment

Christopher Owens – “Nothing More Than Everything to Me” video

I randomly this week put on Girls’ first album, Album, expecting it to not age as well as it has in the past few years. But it really is the perfect summer album. Since that band’s demised, Girls singer Christopher Owens released an underrated solo album, Lysandre, and now has a new album on its way called A New Testament. The country and gospel touches that were prevalent on his last album and the second Girls album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, are here but twanged up a bit and honed down to a bite-sized portion, sounding not unlike a cleaner version of something that would’ve been on the breezy Album. See Owens play as house band for a kids’ dance in the video below for “Nothing More Than Everything to Me.”


The Donkeys – “Scissor Me Cigs” video

San Diego’s The Donkeys produce a melancholic surf rock on their recently released Ride the Black Wave album that suits the sleepy “second city” of Southern California well. The video for “Scissor Me Cigs” showcases another record store, M-Theory of San Diego, as well as the band’s hometown with a kind of hazy Sunday afternoon feel.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.18.14: Madlib, Z-Man, Deltron 3030, DJ Woody, Hieroglyphics, Kid Vishis, Sir Michael Rocks + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2014 11:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 07:11:14

1) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

2) Madlib Rock Konducta Pt 2 (LP) (Madlib Invasion)

3)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

4) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)

5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal)

Holding down three of the five positions in the latest hip-hop chart from Amoeba Hollywood is Madlib. In the first two slots are a couple in Madlib's new ongoing Rock Konducta series (Rock Konducta Vol 1 & 2 CD and Rock Konducta Pt 2 LP) which began last year's five-track Rock Konducta 45. Note that they are available in both single volume LPs One and Two and as a double CD set (52 tracks total). An offshoot of the renowned producer's Beat Konducta series these two first full-length volumes, which are rock instrumentals (some instantly recognizable, most not as they are underground ranging from prof to psychedelia to Krautrock and beyond) all given that special Madlib treatment. Clocking in at about 40 minutes per volume with 20 plus tracks they are all totally tweaked out in Madlib's distinctive production style. IE must get material! And knowing the ever prolific producer's track record my bet is that this new Madlib series could well go on for another dozen installments. Read more on these releases on the Stones Throw website. The other Madlib entry is the 7"  picture disc single from Madlib alter-ego Quasimoto (aka Lord Quas) "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" culled in part from the album Yessir Whatever. Other chart entries this week include Riff Raff's Neon Icon care of Diplo's Mad Decent imprint, and Blu's Good To Be Home care of the major label Universal Records.  Bout time the mainstream caught up with Blu!

Farewell Blues Great Johnny Winter

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2014 08:21am | Post a Comment
Johnny Winter Live on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert in NYC 1974

The music world lost another great yesterday with the passing of Texas born blues guitarist/singer legend Johnny Winter who died (Wednesday, July 16) in Switzerland in his Zurich hotel room. He was 70 years of age. While no exact cause of death has so far been announced according to those close to the artist, who was considered among the greatest slide blues guitarist of all time, had not been in good health for a few years - yet still managed to get enough energy to do what he loved - perform the blues to appreciate audiences. The older brother of Edgar Winter with whom he began playing the blues from early in life, Johnny was not just a practitioner of the blues but also long an ambassador and champion of the genre as he supported the careers of such idols of his as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters (see all three together in concert in video down below). In the 1977 Winter brought his hero Muddy Waters into the studio to record Hard Again for Blue Sky Records - the imprint distributed by Columbia specifically set up for the release - followed by two other Waters collaboration albums that would result in three Grammys for Waters.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #89: Free Movies, Concert Guide, George Carlin Way, Afrika Bambaataa's Record Collection + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2014 02:00pm | Post a Comment

1984's Ghostbusters, set in New York City, is among the free films screened in NYC this week

The bevy of free outdoor movies continues with a wide range of choices of movies and locations to view them that include tonight (July 16) at Pier 63 at Hudson River Park (near 23rd Street) where the award winning 2013 film American Hustle will screen for free. This is a great location and does not get as packed as some of the other spots like Bryant Park but note that the front half of the lawn, which is damp most of the time so bring a plastic sheet, is on a backward slant from the screen so try to avoid sitting there or you will keep falling backwards. More info.   Meanwhile at the aforementioned Bryant Park's (42nd Street at Sixth Ave.) weekly HBO sponsored screening this Monday (July 21s) will be National Lampoon's Vacation. More info. Over in Brooklyn at McCarren Park tonight (July 16) SummerScreen presents Ben Stiller's silly but fun Zoolander. What  makes this free outdoor movie series extra special is that they also  have a live concert beforehand. This evening that will be the must-see double bill of two hot new NYC hip-hop acts Ratking and Princess Nokia. 6 pm start time with film screening at sundown (8:30pm approx). McCarren Park is at N. 12th St. at Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg. More info. Then on Friday evening at Pier 46 (again on Hudson River Park) "Ghostbusters (trailer above) will screen at  part of the summer movie series' Family Fridays with free popcorn to accompany the free movie.  Pier 46 is along West St. at Charles St. More info.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Joe Conzo (Born In The Bronx) Amoeblog Interview

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2014 06:47pm | Post a Comment

"It's pretty humbling and amazing to see my photos from when I was a sixteen, seventeen year old kid," Joe Conzo told the Amoeblog - as seen in the above video clip - speaking last week by the wall of photos on display at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery space on Greenwich Street in the Village in New York City. The exhibit is similar in title and theme as well as contributors to the highly recommended 2007 published book Born In The Bronx that he is an integral part of. "Born In The Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Buddy Esquire, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Joe Conzo - A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop" the exhibit that is curated by Johan Kugelberg (editor of the book) runs through July 26th, 2014 at the downtown gallery space and is well worth visiting - and it is free.

In addition to Conzo's photos on exhibit are such artifacts as classic original era hip-hop show flyers by Buddy Esquire (RIP), a grid of original cells from the animated sequences of Charlie Ahearn’s landmark hip-hop film Wild Style, and a wall display of LP and 12" vinyl from the Afrika Bambaataa's influential record collection.  There's also Afrika Bambaataa manuscripts and notebooks and the original lyrics handwritten for “Planet Rock” - all of which adds up to must-see material for any true hip-hop history fanatic.

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OFF! Destroys Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, July 15, 2014 04:45pm | Post a Comment


Hardcore punk supergroup OFF! are known for their raucous, rowdy live shows, and they definitely brought their A-game when they swung by Amoeba Hollywood a couple months ago. Frontman Keith Morris (Circle Jerks/Black Flag), guitar player Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), bass player Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) and drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes) tore through six short-but-sweet tracks which left the packed room wanting more.

This August, OFF! are gearing up for a US tour to promote their most recent release, Wasted Years. But this time the supergroup is getting even more super, with the addition of legendary Melvins drummer Dale Crover, who's filling in for Rubalcaba. Check out the two part video of OFF!'s performance at Amoeba Hollywood and get a glimpse of the mayhem brewing for the summer tour--just mentally Photoshop in Dale Crover.

Infamous punk rockers Dwarves will join the band for a handful of dates.

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One Album Wonders: The Paley Brothers' The Paley Brothers

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 04:14pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.



Paley Brothers

Power pop, with its decidedly adolescent preoccupations, was twee before twee pop was a thing. With catchy ditties like "Come Out and Play," written by Andy Paley (the other brother was Jonathan), their outlook was calculatedly juvenile (if that word can be applied in a sense that's not meant as negative). After releasing their sole LP, The Paley Brothers, The Paley Brothers went on to play in The Notes, who also released a seven inch slice of seventies adolescence, "Rough School Year." Real Gone Music released The Paley Brothers: The Complete Recordings which includes their sole album and a bunch of previously unreleased stuff. 

New Jenny Lewis Video Features Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart Gender Bending and Breakdancing

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 01:35pm | Post a Comment

Jenny Lewis’ video for “Just One of the Guys,” taken from her upcoming new album The Voyager (out on LP and CD July 29, it's up for preorder now), turns its titular idea on its head (literally) with some breakdancing and gender play.

Actresses Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart show up to play as backup in Lewis’ band a la Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” (only a tad less sexist) before donning tracksuits and mustaches and pulling out some B-boy movies.

According to Rollingstone, the new album was written during a tough time for Lewis, following Rilo Kiley’s breakup and the death of her estranged father. She kept busy by writing and touring with the Postal Service, then entered the studio last year with Ryan Adams and his producing partner Mike Viola (Beck also did some production work on the album).

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Show Honors Legendary Jazz Drummer Billy Higgins

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 01:14pm | Post a Comment

Billy Higgins is widely considered one of the most important drummers in rock history. Balancing function and form, Higgins supported such legendary jazz artists as Ornette Coleman, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Witherspoon, serving as the house drummer for Blue Note in the1960s and playing on dozens of albums.

In 1989, Higgins founded cultural center The World Stage in Los Angeles to provide workshops for young musicians in performance and writing. Higgins died in 2001 with an estimable musical legacy behind him.

The World Stage Arts, Education and Performance Gallery will hold its 25th anniversary celebration, Honoring the Legacy of Billy Higgins, at the Ford Theatres Aug. 24, featuring performances by former students and jazz notables including Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws, Patrice Rushen, Carmen Lundy, Dwight Trible, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and more. Tickets start at $30. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event, along with KJAZZ.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with David J.

Posted by Amoebite, July 15, 2014 12:57pm | Post a Comment

David J.

David J. is probably the only member of seminal post-punk/goth band Bauhaus to release a Britney Spears cover. The song shows up as a bonus track on David's latest album, An Eclipse of Ships, and naturally it's a jazzy, film noir-influenced take on the pop singer's "Toxic." Fittingly, the video for the track features adult film star/industrial musician Sasha Grey; after all, this is the man who named his band Love and Rockets after one of the first alternative comics and who wrote a play about doomed Warhol starlet Edie Sedgwick. True to the DIY roots of the UK punk scene in which he made his name, David's most recent album was entirely crowd funded through Kickstarter.

Recently, David J. swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of the music that shaped his career and some of the newer artists who inspire him today. He kicks off this installment of What's in My Bag? with Oil City Confidential, a rockumentary about Dr. Feelgood, a British pub rock band with a huge influence on the early punk scene. He then shows off an LP copy of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg's album together, because, as he says, "you can't beat vinyl." Soon afterwards, David selects the new LP by his buddies and similarly Gainsbourg-influenced bossa nova stylists Thievery Corporation.

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One Album Wonders: Space Waltz's Space Waltz

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them "One Album Wonders."



It seems to have taken a few years for news of Ziggy Stardust's death to reach the shores of Waitakere, New Zealand... or maybe Alastair Riddell didn't care when caked on some make-up and released a Bowie-indebted album as Space Waltz, a band whose membership was rounded out by Brent EcclesEddie Rayner, and Greg Clark. With a voice that veered closer to that of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Riddell sang songs with heteroflexible gender-bending like “Beautiful Boy” and “Love The Way He Smiles.” Space Waltz were actually slated to tour with AC/DC but backed out and Riddell went on to pursue a solo career whilst Eccles and Rayner ended up in better-known Oz and Kiwi bands The Angels and Split Enz, respectively. 

One Album Wonders: Moonkyte's Count Me Out

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.



Moonkyte were a group of young hippies (Dave StansfieldDave FosterMick Humphreys, and Trevor Craven) who in 1970 banded together in Bradford and who managed, it seems, to pull themselves together just long enough to record and release one album, the psychedelic, folk-rock-colored Count Me Out. In addition to the usual rock instruments they added a banjo, sitar, a whistle, and harmonium and making music along the lines of The Incredible String Band. After playing a few festivals and losing and finding a few members they began recording a second album, which they planned on naming No Visitors Allowed, but which was never completed. 


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One Album Wonders: The Aerovons' Resurrection

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
 The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.


THE AEROVONS - RESURRECTION (1969, released in 2003) 

The Aerovons - Resurrection

The Aerovons were a group of teenagers from Missouri (although leader Tom Hartman was a Floridatransplant) who were the first American band signed to a British label, in their case, EMI. Hartman and a changing band line-up recorded their only album at Abbey Road. The results are so blatantly Beatlesque that it seems there must’ve been some muffled music bleeding through the studio walls as both The Aerovons and The Beatles recorded. “World of You” -- which sounds like Paul McCartney fronting The Bee Gees -- was released as a single without promotion in 1969 and sank without a trace. The Aerovons’ album remained unreleased until 2003.

One Album Wonders: The Animated Egg's The Animated Egg

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.



The Animated Egg was a studio-based project of Burbank-based session player named Jerry Cole (bornJerald Edward Kolbrak in Green Bay, Wisconsin). During Cole's career as a musician he released work under his own name and various pseudonyms although often uncredited. He'd previously assembled a group of musicians as The Id who released The Inner Sounds of the Id. Working with another group of musicians as The Animated Egg, the session psychonauts released another solid collection of slightly kitschy instrumental rock. Cole went on to perform, write, and produce with many big names before passing away in 2008.


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One Album Wonders: Arzachel's Arzachel

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.




The members of of the obscure band 
Arzachel originally performed as Uriel, a name which was dropped to avoid legal confrontation. The band's sole, eponymous release -- a stew of meandering, organ-driven psychedelia -- may be obscure but the members -- Steve HillageDave StewartClive Brooks, and Mont Campbell -- are all well-known to fans of the Canterbury Scene (although on the record they were all credited with pseudonyms). After Arzachel ended, Stewart, Brooks, and Campbell played together again in Egg. Hillage and Stewart played together in Khan and Hillage was also later a member of Gong

One Album Wonders: Mushroom's Early One Morning

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.



were formed in Dublin by Alan BrownAonghus McAnallyCam LynchMichael Power, andPat Collins. Their sole album, Early One Morning, is a collection of folk-rock. Although somewhat in the vein of Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, it was often a bit more rock than folk albeit with a Celtictwinge. They disbanded in 1974. 


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One Album Wonders: The Mo-Dettes' The Story So Far

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 15, 2014 12:27pm | Post a Comment
The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary market for the music industry until the dawn of the album era, which began in the mid-1960s. In the album era, for a variety of reasons, many fine musical acts released only one studio album, making them One Album Wonders.



The Mo-dettes were a post-punk band originally comprised of June Miles-KingstonJane Crockford,Kate Korus/Korris (formerly of The Castrators and The Slits), and Ramona Carlier and who formed in 1979 in London. After having a hit with “White Mice,” they recorded their sole album, the optimistically-titledThe Story So Far. In May 1982, Sue Slack replaced Carlier on vocals and later in the year, the band split.

Album Picks: Morrissey and Jungle

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 10:48am | Post a Comment

Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business (LP, CD)

World Peace Is None of Your Business might be Moz’s angriest album yet. Full of bitter political cynicism and social commentary, the album has the feel of a knowing screed by someone who’s seen it all and whose attitude mostly feels justified. Whether he’s detailing the death of a beat poet (“Neal Cassady Drop Dead’s” “everyone has babies, babies full of rabies” line is priceless) or bemoaning the futility of human connection (“you fail as a woman and you lose as a man” he sings in “Earth Is the Loneliest Planet”), Morrissey’s in classic sardonic mode, while musically the band lays on touches of flamenco guitar, a digitized beat here and a harp there, to form a more lush version of the hard-hitting rock sound he’s employed for the latter half of his career. I can't say that I love the title tracks, in which Morrisey's frustration is understood, but its “each time you vote you support the process” seems insensitive to the places and people that have fought long and hard for this right. Still, it’s hard to resist when he’s in his finest form, on tracks like the extended “I’m Not a Man,” in which Morrissey places his militant vegetarianism and pacificism front-and-center as a new form of manhood, reminiscent of his classic line “it takes strength to be gentle and kind,” (from The Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over”) amid glittering synthesizers and glam stomp. For anyone who’s unfairly labeled Morrissey a miserablist in the past, World Peace shows Moz as an elder statesman with his fists clenched and plenty of piss ‘n’ vinegar left in his system. Also, don't forget—Morrissey just had one of his best albums, Vauxhall & I, re-released last month, get that shit.

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Weird Al Spoofs Pharrell's 'Happy,' Will be at Amoeba Hollywood Friday at 5 p.m.

Posted by Billy Gil, July 14, 2014 06:14pm | Post a Comment

If you’re like us, you grew up jamming to Weird Al” Yankovic spoofs such as “Smells Like Nirvana” and “Amish Paradise.” Ever wonder how he’d take on the current crop of Millennial post-pop or whatever it’s called?

Wonder no more. “Weird Al” has a new album coming out tomorrow called Mandatory Fun, and he’ll be at Amoeba Hollywood signing copies of it from 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday July 18. Also we’ll take your picture with him and post it to (no instagramming immediately from your phone though, sorry).

The new album features spoofs of songs by Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Pharrell Williams, whose megahit “Happy” becomes “Tacky” in Al’s weird hands. Check out the video below (which premiered at Nerdist), featuring such cool people as Kristen Schaal, Jack Black and Margaret Cho:

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July 13, 2014: Rage

Posted by phil blankenship, July 13, 2014 10:48pm | Post a Comment

Video Games: The Movie opens at SF's Roxie Theater on 7/18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 13, 2014 07:44pm | Post a Comment

Feeling nostalgic for the faux wood paneling on your old Atari 2600? Or did you come of age playing Video Games The MovieMortal Kombat on your Sega Genesis and losing your Nintendo Gameboy at school? If you're reading this on the ol' interwebs, chances are your life was touched (if not molded) by the history of video games...and it's time to celebrate that history. Video Games: The Movie hits the Bay Area, opening at the Roxie on July 18th with screenings nightly at 8pm & 10pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 2:30pm & 4:30pm.

This epic feature length documentary from executive producer Zach Braff chronicles the meteoric rise of video games from nerd niche to multi-billion dollar industry. Featuring in-depth interviews with the godfathers who started it all, the icons of game design, and the geek gurus who are leading us into the future, Video Games: The Movie is a celebration of gaming from Atari to Xbox, and an eye-opening look at what lies ahead. Featuring interviews with Zach Braff, Sean Astin, Chris Hardwick, Wil Wheaton, Nolan Bushnell, Hideo Kojima, Cliff Bleszinski, and Alison Haislip.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.11.14: Quasimoto, Big Freedia, G-Eazy, Danny Brown, 9th Wonder, Smoke DZA, Little Simz

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2014 01:09pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 07:11:14

1)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

2) Big Freedia Just Be Free (Queen Diva)

3) Danny Brown Hot Soup (Street Corner Music)

4) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (T.e.g.)

5) G-Eazy  These Things Happen (BPG)

Locking down the number chart position this week at Amoeba Hollywood is not an album but a 7" single: the excellent, collector's item, picture disc single, via Stones Throw, from Madlib alter-ego Quasimoto (aka Lord Quas) "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" The side "Planned Attack" is culled from the album Yessir Whatever while the "Talkin Shit" side is a short, previously unreleased track with both featuring and produced by Madlib, artwork by Jeff Jank, and described by the Peanut Butter Wolf headed label as "Quasimoto X-ray record.  Half picture disc, half clear vinyl. Lord Quas with brick on one side, and his "insides" show on the flip.  Delivered in a clear polybag." Also charting are Oakland rapper G-Eazy's major label debut  These Things Happen (BPG), 9th Wonder's The Wonder Years (which has been out for a minute but is a chart re-entry), and the ever-prolific and talented Danny Brown's Hot Soup on Street Corner Music - a reissue of his mixtape from 2008.

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New Vinyl/CD Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 7/11 - Gilb'r & Sotofett, XDB, Sterac and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 11, 2014 12:25pm | Post a Comment


Gilb'r and Sotofett - Cobra


Gilb'r and Sotofett

Cobra EP 12"


Tripping, dub-inflected tracks from Gilb'r and Sex Tags honcho Sotofett.  These tracks are structured like psychedelic rock jams on analog synthesizers rather than loop based dj tools. This is apparent on B-side Plantehaelvate, which spins various melodic yarns over a pulsing bass line.

Buy Cobra EP 12"



Eamon Harkin - Back Down 12"Eamon Harkin

Back Down 12"


Tight two-tracker from Mr. Saturday Night's Eamon Harkin. Title track Back Down begins with the sound of party conversations over a chunky techno beats - perhaps Harkin's many days and nights leading the dance in Brooklyn have allowed him to nail the communal feeling present during a track's lead up. Harkin eventually drops some spacious pads to complete the simple banger. The track will appeal to fans of Runaway's Brooklyn Club Jam. The b-side is a bit bouncier, possessing a cool, Kraftwerk-style mid-range bass line.

Buy Back Down 12"


XDB - Africc

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Weekly Roundup: Roses, Craft Spells, Whirr

Posted by Billy Gil, July 11, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Roses – “It’s Over”

Photo by Olivia Hemaratanatorn

Ex-Abe Vigoda guitarist Juan Velasquez has a new project, the dream-pop trio known as Roses, and they’ve got a four-song EP coming out Aug. 5 on Group Tightener called Dreamlover. The first song we’ve heard from it, “It’s Over,” is a stuttering, stunning new waver with David Byrne-esque vocals, dreamy synth washes and crashing shoegaze guitars. They’ll be at S.F.’s Hemlock Tavern July 15 and L.A.’s Bootleg Theater July 16 with A Sunny Day in Glasgow.

Craft Spells – “Nausea” video

Why are animated music videos the best? The frenetic black-and-white animation and Rorschach-style ink blotches of the nicely fit the woozy feel of the title track to Justin Vallesteros’ latest album as Craft Spells, which is out now on Captured Tracks. They’ll be at S.F.’s The Chapel July 17 and L.A.’s Echo July 20.

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July 10, 2014: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Posted by phil blankenship, July 11, 2014 12:45am | Post a Comment

Trannyshack's Bowie Tribute with Special Guest Raja, July 18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 10, 2014 04:02pm | Post a Comment

Friday, July 18th, Trannyshack, San Francisco's biggest and most fabulous drag performance night club, presents their salute to the original rock and roll chameleon, David Bowie, at the DNA Lounge! Trannyshack welcomes special guest star Raja (RuPaul's Drag Race) and make sure you dress to impress for the Hedwig/Bowie look-a-like contest!

Heklina's legendary nightclub will also feature performances by Fauxnique, Lady Bear, Raya Light, U-Phoria, Sugah Betes, Jordan L'Moore, Kegel Kater, The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual, and more.

Get your tickets HERE!



New James Brown Biopic "Get On Up"

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2014 02:35pm | Post a Comment


"Get On Up" Trailer - movie opens August 1st, 2014

While some diehard James Brown fans are already skeptical of Get On Up (the forthcoming biopic on the Godfather of Soul that opens in theaters everywhere in three weeks) because they say that the star Chadwick Boseman doesn't look much like the singer, I say that's crazy because he's a great actor and he sure sounds and moves just like him - as evidenced in the above trailer. Also based on this trailer, as well as on the other clips I've seen of this movie on the life of one of the greatest artists of all time, my bet is that this film, directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, is going to be off the hook.  Besides incredible music (it sounds like they used all of Brown's original recordings and not reworkings as is often the case in music biopics), Get On Up has a killer cast and drama - lots of drama - from James Brown's real life. It starts with him as a five-year-old boy ("just a street kid from Augusta, Georgia") with a tough childhood and follows him through all of his ups and downs, including incarceration where he organized and led the prison gospel choir, three marriages, and meeting his estranged mother years later after he had found major success.

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Summer on 7th Featuring Peanut Butter Wolf, De Lux & More August 2 in Downtown LA

Posted by Amoebite, July 10, 2014 01:22pm | Post a Comment

Ahhh summer in the city. Nothing quite captures the magic and possibilities of a late summer night in vibrant Downtown LA like a rooftop concert -- especially when said concert features performances from De Lux, YACHT and Peanut Butter Wolf. You'll also get to experience art installations from Friends with You and Animal Charm, music by dublab DJs, experimental video games curated by Messhof, and cocktails provided by the Roosevelt Hotel's Spare Room. And it wouldn't be a party without food trucks from Heirloom LA, Guerilla Tacos, Urban Oven and Salt & Straw.

Inner-City Arts

It's all taking place on Saturday, August 2, when Inner-City Arts opens its award-winning campus designed by Michael Maltzan for a celebration called Summer on 7th. Inner-City Arts is a learning oasis in the heart of Los Angeles’ Skid Row where professional artists teach students in a real studio environment.

Tickets to Summer on 7th are $65 advance / $75 at the door and all proceeds support free access to arts education. The event kicks off at 7pm at 720 Kohler Street, on the corner of 7th and Kohler.  

Sam Vincent Foundation's Punk Rock Benefit Concert in Oakland, 7/26

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 9, 2014 07:19pm | Post a Comment

The Sam Vincent Foundation -- named in honor of Sam Vincent, a talented chef and musician who sam vincent foundationtragically passed in 2011 -- holds their 3rd Annual Punk Rock Benefit show on July 26th at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. Join Amoeba and the SVF for an evening of live music with from Hank Wood & The Hammerheads (Brooklyn), Blazing Eye (Brooklyn), Lecherous Gaze (Oakland), Reckless (Oakland), Stay Scared (Oakland), Catastrophe (Ventura), and Dirt Flood (Colorado).

In addition to the full line-up of punk's finest, there will also be a raffle for amazing prizes. Admission at the door is just $10 and proceeds benefit the Sam Vincent Foundation, which carries on Sam's passion by working with at-risk youth in the culinary arts.

Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm. 21+
Tickets $10

Eli’s Mile High Club
3629 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #88: Crotona Park Jams, Outdoor Movies, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, 4 Knots Music Festival & More

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2014 02:12pm | Post a Comment

Summer is officially well underway here in New York City with proof being that there are simply too many things going on simultaneously to possibly attend them all -  a good thing because every day there is a myriad of fun events (mostly free, and mostly outdoors) to chose from ranging from music concerts of all genres, to films in fun locations, to dance productions, and art shows, etc. These include the must-attend annual summer tradition of the Tools of War grassroots hip-hop produced Park Jams which take place in parks in the Bronx and Manhattan over the three main summer months on either Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon/early evenings. Since it's now July that means that the Park Jams, with the focus on the DJs, are happening at Crotona Park up in the Boogie Down Bronx - bringing the phenomenon, that gave birth to hip-hop four decades ago, back full circle. 

Last week, up until the summer thunderstorm kicked in the last quarter of the four-hour event, those entertaining included 1980's DMC champ DJ Cheese, "forever" host Grandmaster Caz, and legendary hip-hop DJ Jazzy Jay who is pictured top care of Ignacio Soltero. (Soltero also took photo above from one of last month's Spanish Harlem Tools of War Park Jams at White Park). Tomorrow (Thursday July 10) at the Crotona Park, Bronx location at the same time (4pm-8pm) the lineup will include DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and DJ Looie Loo. For full listings see flyer below or click here.

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Beck's 'Song Reader' Album to Finally Come Out, Featuring Performances by Jack White, Jeff Tweedy and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 9, 2014 09:33am | Post a Comment

Photos via Capitol Records

Ever the iconoclast, Beck’s last “album” was something called Song Reader, which consisted only of sheet music written by the musician. Though it has been performed publicly since its 2012 release, there’s never been a proper physical release until now.

The album, called Warby Parker Presents Beck Song Reader (the glasses maker is producing the album and will release Beck-created, limited-edition “black cherry” Carmichael eyeglass at the same time, according to Rollingstone), will have tracks written by Beck and performed by Jack White, Jack Black, Jeff Tweedy, Jarvis Cocker, Norah Jones and Beck himself. It’s out July 29 on Capitol. You can preorder it now.

Warby Parker also will release a new version of the Song Reader book, with some new prints from artist Marcel Dzama. Warby Parker also put on the Song Reader show in L.A. last year. Lest you think they’re some BS corporate company getting their name on an ostensibly cool album, Warby Parker wil donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of the Beck glasses they sell as part of their "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" program. And they’re donating the proceeds of the album to nonprofit 826 National, which helps kids ages 6 to 18 with creative and expository writing. Co-founded by writer Dave Eggers, they're a great organization with eight locations around the United States, including right here with 826 LA; I highly suggest checking out all the cool things they do.

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Digging in the Crates of OMCA's "Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records" Pt 2 featuring 12 Man Rambo & Lori Katz

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2014 05:33pm | Post a Comment

In the second Amoeblog dedicated to some of the curated crates that are currently on exhibit (through July 27th) at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) as part of the Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records we present selections from both the creates of Lori Katz  (manager at Amoeba Music which is the primary sponsor of this must-attend exhibit) and 12 Man Rambo. The exhibit includes weekly Talk and Play sessions where folks from the local music community stop by and chat informally with museum goers and play samples of records. Joe Colley will speak this week in the Talk and Play session on the topic of "experiments in sound" on Saturday July 12th 1pm-230pm. Photos in this piece are by permission of OMCA and James Mak for Joysco Photos.

Meanwhile for her crate’s selection Lori Katz explained that, "I dug through the $1.00 bins at Amoeba Music. The records that I chose are examples of what I was listening to when I was beginning to become aware of music. My first memories of listening to music are when I went away to summer camp. This was in 1975-1977. My camp counselors introduced me to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and so much great music of that time. Looking at these record covers brings back so many great memories."

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Richard Marx

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2014 03:25pm | Post a Comment

Richard Marx

Remember "Endless Summer Nights," "Right Here Waiting" and "Should've Known Better"? Whether cruising to the beach or hanging out at the mall, multi-platinum artist Richard Marx's ubiquitous hit singles were the unofficial soundtrack to the 1980s. Now imagine that smooth, silky voice through the filter of the EDM, trance, and Brazilian music currently on the singer/songwriter's playlist. Marx is back with a new album, Beautiful Goodbye, inspired not only by the dance of seduction, but by some seriously chilled-out dance grooves. But, in the famous words of LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback; Marx has been here for years, writing songs for everyone from Barbra Streisand to Keith Urban to Luther Vandross.

One of the few artists who has the distinction of having written a #1 single in four separate decades, the hardworking Marx took some time to sit down with our "What's In My Bag?" crew and share some of his biggest musical influences. This episode kicks off with Marx choosing a collection by beloved soul singer Donny Hathaway. Next up is his favorite album of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire's I Am. After sharing stories about the artists and albums that shaped his musical career, Marx introduces us to a newer artist, progressive house DJ Morgan Page, whose influence shows up on Beautiful Goodbye.

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Tickets for Chalice California Featuring STS9 & Les Claypool Available at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2014 03:08pm | Post a Comment

Chalice CaliforniaSTS9, Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, Hieroglyphics, E-40, Mac Lethal and more are set to perform at the uniquely SoCal Chalice Festival July 12-13 in San Bernadino, CA. Sure, there's a killer musical lineup, but this is also a celebration of all things cannabis, so live glassblowing, plentiful food trucks and yes--edibles--will also be spotlighted.

This is the first year for the festival, which takes place at the National Orange Show (NOS) Event Center and is sponsored by Hitman Glass. Chalice California is a two-day event dedicated to the culture and people surrounding cannabis concentrate, complete with educational seminars, competitions, and a glassblower village--not to mention some of the biggest names in hip-hop and dance music. Doors open Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 11am.

You can pick up tickets at Amoeba Hollywood, where we've got individual day tickets ($40 for Saturday, $50 for Sunday), as well as a weekend pass ($70). Please note there is a $2 service fee per ticket. Or you can buy tickets online here

Chalice California

Album Picks: The Proper Ornaments, The Skygreen Leopards, Matthewdavid

Posted by Billy Gil, July 8, 2014 10:43am | Post a Comment

The Proper OrnamentsWooden Head (CD, Download)

The latest by London’s Proper Ornaments mines melodic gold out of tautly constructed little indie rock songs. Think of the dark corners of Velvet Underground songs or early Pavement given a little shoegaze shine, and you’re close. And if you think it's unfair to compare them to ’90s bands, they have a great krautrocker called “Stereolab.” But really, the band’s sly hooks stand on their own, especially on songs like the twangy “Now I Understand” and slinky British Invasion-inspired “Don’t You Want to Know (What You’re Going to Be).”


The Skygreen Leopards Family Crimes (CD)

The Skygreen Leopards’ latest record is so soothing and brisk, you almost don’t hear them singing about extraordinary heartache. “You leave the family, hear them scream and cry” they sing on “Leave the Family,” but it brushes off like a careless whisper of hushed vocals and Laurel Canyon-style psych folk. They even answer their own question on the Byrds-tickling “Is It Love, Love, Love?” with the darker, Dylan-inspired “It’s Not Love.” Family Crimes is stuffed with picturesque little tales of Reno weddings and suburban bibles all told through the duo’s perfectly aligned sagebrush vocals, making it a great album to dive into and get lost in.

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Gorillasploitation - Giant Gorilla Movies

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 8, 2014 09:48am | Post a Comment


I have liked gorillas from an early age. I think I was eleven when I read Dian Fossey's Gorilla's in the Mist, shortly after finishing Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man; both works made me want to pursue ethology or primatology for many years afterward. My fascination with gorillas went further back -- past the Donkey Kong game which I was pretty good at (if hardly King of Kong material) at least back to toddlerdom, when I carried around a wallet which contained, if memory serves, a picture of a glow-in-the-dark Aurora model of King Kong

Gorillas are the largest primates on earth. Their strength is estimated to be between six and fifteen times that of a human and they have rather large and intimidating canines. A silverback could, rest assured, easily best any human in hand-to-hand combat. Gorillas, however, are not at all blood thirsty. The occasional snack of ants is all that keeps them from being classifiable as vegans and they generally (and understandably) avoid encounters with humans. Reality, in this case, has traditionally had little bearing on the European imagination, though, and Western artists have frequently endowed the peaceful creatures with their own human feelings  composed -- as Charles Baudelaire said -- partly of terror and partly of priapic curiosity.


Homicidal hominidae as portrayed (left to right) by Aubrey Beardsley, Berni Wrightson, and Harry Clarke
Although menageries were known in ancient Egypt, the modern zoo was a 19th Century invention and larger primates were rarely found within them. Evolutionary biology and paleontology were emerging sciences and some science fiction and fantasy writers of the day were quick to trade dragons, ogresand giants of the Middle Ages for dinosaurs, cavemen, and "exotic" animals from across the globe.

Jules Verne wrote several works, most famously Voyage au centre de la Terre (1864) and L'lle mysterieuse (1874), about forgotten corners of the planet where dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal still roamed.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave the subgenre a name with his 1912 book, The Lost WorldEdgar Allen Poe and Rudyard Kipling (and later Edgar Rice Burroughs) wrote of great apes doing not very great apish things but which nonetheless fueled the febrile imaginations of many illustrators and other artists.


Fremiet's great ape on great ape violence
One of the earliest European depictions of a gorilla was Emmanuel Fremiet's Femme Gorille enlevant une negresse, completed in 1859 and depicting a female gorilla abducting an African woman. He returned to the subject and tweaked it with Gorille enlevant une Femme, completed in 1887 and this time meant to depict a male gorilla making off with a naked human female. He returned yet again to inter-ape-species violence with, L'Orang-outang eranglant un sauvage de Borneo in 1895, this time depicting an orangutan strangling a naked human. 


In 1915's terrific Der Golem, a monster took center stage. Before that, such as with Georges Melies's Deux Cents Milles sous les mers ou le Cauchemar du pecheur (1907), monsters were usually relegated to a scene or two. That split continued with films like F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) starring man-like monsters and Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen (1924) depicting scenes with giant monster battles. A year after Die Nibelungen, a special effects animator from Oakland, Willis H. O'Brien, began working on director Harroy O. Hoyt's film, The Lost World. The film includes O'Brien's pioneering use of stop-motion animation for dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and other megafauna but the menacing ape-man monster (who cavorts with chimpanzees) is clearly a human actor in a somewhat wolfman-like costume. 

Much has been written about King Kong (1933), a film co-directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack but which owes its success primarily to the animation of Willis O'Brien -- a pioneer who would later be followed by the likes of David Allen, Edward Nassour, Gene Warren, Jim Danforth, Pete Peterson, Randy Cook, Steve Archer, Tim Baar, Way Ming Ching, and most famously, Ray Harryhausen.

In 1931 O'Brien had begun work on Creation, which would've been about explorers encountering prehistoric animals on an island. After twenty minutes of film were completed, it was scuppered on the recommendation of Cooper, who considered it to be boring but nonetheless used O'Brien and his miniatures for King Kong.  The year before, in 1930, a cheapie exploitation film masquerading as ethnographic documentary, Ingagi, purported to depict a tradition of women being offered to gorillas as sex slaves, which was probably another influence on King Kong

The story of King Kong follows a film crew who travel to an uncharted island and encounter, in addition to real prehistoric animals, a giant gorilla who falls in love with a human female. The ape, whose name is Kong, is taken to Manhattan where he's billed as "The Eighth Wonder of the World!" Kong breaks loose and chaos ensues that climaxes at the Empire State Building, which was the tallest building in the world until 1970.

Two years after King Kong's release, the largest known ape, Gigantopithecus, was "discovered" and described by an anthropologist. Like the modern gorilla, it was an almost exclusivley vegetarian beast, primarily ingesting seeds, fruit, and bamboo. Even though humans are, without a doubt, the deadliest of all apes -- past and present -- giant gorillas retained their ability to scare and thrill.

King Kong opened in New York City at Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy on 2 March, 1933. King Kong returned to cinemas in 1938, 1942, 1946,1952, and 1956. It's somewhat ironic that over the years Hollywood actually grew more conservative and each time King Kong was re-screened it was censored further. By 1956 it had been so-neutered that it could be shown on broadcast television but it still had power enough to inspire a band of imitators. 


With the success of King KongRKO almost immediately attempted to capitalize on it with a sequel, again directed by Ernest Schoedsack and featuring special effects Willis O'Brien and Buzz Gibson. It was released nine months after King Kong, and stars Kong's albino son, whom the characters name Little Kong. It was a modest commercial success but unlike it's predecessor, much less popular with critics. 


The first King Kong knock-off was released in 1933, the same year as the original (which was shot in eight months). Comic director Saito Torajiro shot his silent short in just five days for the Shochiku Kamata Film Studio. Rather than employing stop-motion animation, it was more cheaply and quickly produced by an actor named Isamu Yamaguchi in a gorilla suit. 

KING KONG APPEARS IN EDO (江戸に現れたキングコング) 

King Kong Appears in Edo was released in 1938. The gorilla costume was created by Fuminori Ohashi, who sixteen years later would create the costume for Gojira. Unlike the previous Japanese King Kong film, with King Kong Appears in Edo Zenshō Cinema didn't bother with licensing the character from RKO. It is currently considered to be a lost film. 


With Mighty Joe Young there was a new giant gorilla in town. Production of Mighty Joe Young began shortly after King Kong's third, successful theatrical re-release. Like King Kong, it also was written and produced by Merian C. Cooper, was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, and featured actor Robert Armstrong. Unlike King Kong, Mighty Joe Young is less oversized (3.5 meters) but billed as "Mightier than King Kong" (whose size appears to fluctuate). Also, Joe trashes West Hollywood instead of Manhattan.

Konga was a 1961 British/American co-production directed by Canadian filmmaker John Lemont and shot at Merton Park Studios and in Croydon. In the film we learn that Konga is a chimpanzee rather than a gorilla (albeit one apparently played by a human in a gorilla suit). Given her serum-transforming size  and rather Kong-like name (she's even billed, despite her gender, as the "King of Terror"), Konga is clearly more closely related to giant gorillas than she is to, say, Cheeta. Besides, there were many far less overtly King Kong-inspired films which nevertheless tried to exploit the simian's superstardrom, films like Eva, la Venere selvaggia (1968) which though Italian for "Eve, wild Venus" was released in the US as King of Kong Island despite no characters being named Kong nor any of the action taking place on an island.

King Kong vs. Godzilla was produced by Toho Studios in 1962 and directed by Gojira's Ishirō Honda with visual effects by that franchise's Eiji Tsuburaya. As with Gojira, an American crew produced an altered version with inserted scenes and dubbing. It was the first time that King Kong and Godzilla appeared together and the first appearance by both in color films. It was released theatrically in the US in 1963.


The King Kong Show was an American/Japanese co-produced kid's cartoon made by Videocraft and Toei Animation for Rankin/Bass Productions. In the US it aired on ABC between 1966 and 1969. Although I haven't seen it, I wouldn't be surprised its spirit is closer to Hanna-Barbera's The Magilla Gorilla Show, which preceded it by a couple of years, than to that of the original King Kong


King Kong Escapes was another Japanese/American co-production, albeit this time the product of a union between from Toho and Rankin/Bass. As with too was King Kong vs. Godzilla it was directed by Ishirō Honda and featured special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, who'd by then worked on Ultraman (ウルトラマン) too. It was loosely based upon the King Kong Show and was released in the US in 1968.


The first new giant ape to enter the fray since Mighty Joe Young was Mighty Gorga. The Mighty Gorga was a no budget movie, the effects of which make shows like Doctor Who, Land of the Lost, and Starlost look like the work of ILM. It was mostly filmed in and around Bronson Canyon and Simi Valley but generously padded with stock footage and "borrowed" scenes. 


King Kong was the subject of an out-and-out remake for the first time in 1976, produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by British filmmaker John Guillermin (Tarzan Goes to India and The Towering Inferno). It starred Jessica Lange in her first feature film role and the special effects of the great Italian Carlo Rambaldi (Alien and E.T. - The Extraterrestrial). Updated for the 1970s, it relocated Kong's final moments from the Empire State Building to the World Trade Center, which deposed the older skyscraper as the world's tallest building in 1970 and retained that title until 1973. It first aired on NBC in 1978, after which it became something of a television staple.


Hot on the heels of the King Kong remakes success, a German/British co-production titled Queen Kong was made starring several veterans of British Sex Comedies and directed by Egyptian-born Farouk Agrama (as Frank Agrama). Due to legal action from De Laurentiis, it wasn't released in British theaters although it got limited release in Italy and West Germany developed a small but fervent cult following in Japan.

A*P*E (킹콩의 대역습)  
Perhaps to avoid legal action from De Laurentiis, 킹콩의 대역습 ("King-Kong's counterattack") was released in the US as A*P*E. The American/South Korean co-production produced by Kukje Movies and the Lee Ming Film Company and was directed by Paul Leder (The Farmer's Other Daughter and I Dismember Mama) and featured special effects by Park Kwang Nam

The Shaw Brothers got in on the action with 猩猩王, literally "gorilla," but first released in the US as Goliathon (and later The Mighty Peking Man). The film was directed by Ho Meng Hua (as Homer Gaugh), produced by Runme Shaw. Special effects were directed by Sadamasa Arikawa. It was released in Hong Kong in 1977.


Dino De Laurentiis, John Guillermin, and Carlo Rambaldi returned with a sequel to their remake in 1986 with King Kong Lives. Kong, it is revealed, has merely been in a coma for ten years after being shot repeatedly and falling from the World Trade Center. Whilst the original had been a hit with audiences, if not necessarily most critics, the sequel pleased neither. Nonetheless, it did spawn to official video games in Japan, King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch and King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu

The Mighty Kong was an animated musical and the last film in which Dudley Moore acted. The songs were written by the Sherman Brothers (The Aristocats, Charlotte's Web, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, and Mary Poppins). It was directed by Art Scott, a producer for many cartoons of the 1970s and '80s, for Warner Home Video

Disney and director Ron Underwood (City Slickers, Tremors, The Adventures of Pluto Nash) re-made Mighty Joe Young in 1998 (and released it as an RKO Picture). The re-made Joe was much larger than his cinematic predecessor which co-starred normal sized humans Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and came out not long after some regular-size Gorillasploitation films, Congo and Born to Be Wild.



Bucking the usual trend, Fox's Kong: The Animated Series was rushed to production to capitalize on the success of Godzilla: The Series, which itself existed only because of Roland Emmerich's poorly received 1998 film, Godzilla. It aired for one season in 2000 and 2001 and spawned two feature-length films Kong: King of Atlantis (2005) and Kong: Return to the Jungle (2007) as well as two video games for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.

KING KONG (2005)

Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong seems to have been a genuine labor of love. It was the original King Kong that reportedly made Jackson want to be a filmmaker and we co-wrote, produced and directed the film. However, I found the end result to be an almost clinically joyless slog and less fun than watching someone else play the video game Peter Jackson's King Kong. Having been made after the amazing-looking Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's blurry, shoddy effects were also something of a surprise.


In 2010, King Kong returned to the screen with a lot less money and a lot more heart... and singing, in a Bangladeshi film, Banglar King Kong. In fact, although I haven't watched the entire thing (yet), it looks more like young Peter Jackson's Ray Harryhausen-indebted experiments than the increasingly soulless CGI cartoons he specializes in now.

Given Big Hollywood's increasing dependence on franchises, sequels, requels, remakes, reboots, and other rehashes, I have no doubt that we'll see a "King Kong for Millennials" or Mighty Joe Young 3.0 in the near future. Thankfully, we'll always have Skull Island.
Should you want to read more about Giant Gorilla Movies, check the shelves for David Annan's 1974 work, King Kong: les singes au cinema. A lot of credit is also due to the online site, Les origines de King Kong. If you want to track these movies down, go to Amoeba's Gorillasploitation section or order them online by clicking on the titles in this piece (when applicable). 



The current natural range of Gorillas is, thanks to their human cousins limited to small patches of Africa. Classifications have been adopted and revised over the years and today there they're generally accepted as being comprised of two species, Gorilla gorilla (the Western Gorilla) and Gorilla beringei (Eastern gorilla). Both are endangered, the Western species critically so. The Western Gorilla lives in Cameroon,CentrafriqueEquatorial Guinea, and Gabon. The Eastern gorilla lives in DR CongoRwanda, andUganda

Please remember that giant, killer gorillas are completely a product of human imagination whereas real gorillas are in danger of extinction because of people. If you'd like to donate to a gorilla charity consider The Gorilla OrganizationDian Fossey Gorilla Fund InternationalMountain Gorilla Conservation FundThe African Wildlife Foundation, or others. 

Don't Knock The Rock Fest Continues With 'Beautiful Noise'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 7, 2014 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Cinefamily’s Don’t Knock the Rock fest continues this week with the shoegaze documentary Beautiful Noise. Although this Thursday’s screening is sold out, the festival has added another screening Thursday July 17 at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $12 and you can get them here.

Beautiful Noise documents the devolopment of the shoegaze music scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s, featuring interviews with such luminaries of the genre as de facto shoegaze godfather Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), members of shoegaze progenitors Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and shoegazers like Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Catherine Wheel and The Boo Radleys (aka all of our favorite bands). Director Eric Green and producer Sarah Ogletree got the film funded through Kickstarter, raising $84,740 from 1,511 backers to pay for the licensing and distribution costs, according to Rollingstone. Watch the trailer below:

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Rick Springfield Booksigning at Book Passage in Corte Madera, July 26

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 7, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Join Amoeba Music and Book Passage in welcoming Grammy Award-winning rock legend, actor, and writer rick springfieldRick Springfield to the Corte Madera Book Passage on Saturday, July 26th at 4pm. Mr. Springfield will be signing copies of Magnificent Vibration -- his smart, savvy, and rambunctious fiction debut -- and giving a live performance!

"Why are we here? What is love? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Does God send text messages?" These are the kinds of questions Horatio Cotton, aka Bobby Cotton, asks in Magnificent Vibration as he sets off on an uproarious adventure to find his purpose in life. After serendipitously stealing a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore, Bobby calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God—and that God likes to mess with him. Soon enough, Bobby finds an ideal companion for his journey—the breathtakingly sexy and exceedingly sharp Alice—and they set out to find some combination of spiritual and carnal salvation...and possibly save the planet.

Rick Springfield is also the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Late, Late Night, which Rolling Stone named one of the twenty-five greatest rock memoirs off all time.

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Recap: July Charity Auction for LA Love & Leashes at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, July 7, 2014 11:03am | Post a Comment

Shelagh RatnerOn Saturday, July 5, Comedian Shelagh Ratner rocked the 4th of July holiday edition of our Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood! The LA-based writer, performer, and voice actor who has been featured on Prank My Mom, Stand Up In Stilettos, and Stand Up And Deliver, brought the energy and the bids to an all-time high as she quipped her way through a hilarious hour to raise money for  L.A. Love & Leashes! Shelagh was mixing and matching crazy items and collectibles, telling stories along the way, keeping the jokes flowing and the people laughing ---all while she moderated a heated bidding war on Arcade Fire tickets! 

It was a good time on a busy holiday afternoon and she helped raise almost $2,000 dollars for rescue pups and cats! Located in the Westside Pavilion shopping center, L.A. Love & Leashes is the first “shelter shop” that is 100% dedicated to animals from Los Angeles’ six city animal shelters. Not only did the auction raise a lot of money, but one customer, Colleen, adopted a dog on the spot!

Highlights of this month's auction:

  • Trader Joe's Gift Card + cool hello kitty lunchbox - $55.00
  • Vintage Eagles Mobile - $30.00
  • Coffee Bean gift cards + Amoeba mugs - $20.00
  • Blinged out Bedazzled Tupac T-shirt - $25.00
  • Lady Gaga singing toothbrush - $35.00 !!!
  • Tickets to see Fucked Up at the El Rey - $25.00
  • Ringo photograph tote and Ringo drumsticks (2 pair) - $25.00
  • Tickets to see New Order at the Greek - $100.00
  • Tickets to see Arcade Fire at The Forum - $130.00
  • 24 – Season 1 DVD signed by Kiefer Sutherland!!! + Season 6 - $40.00
  • Stevie Nicks poster - $25.00
  • Love & Leashes goodie pack - $30.00
  • Hip-hop Cartman + Mean Girls DVD + Madonna Mug - $15.00
  • Amoeba Fan Pack with extra goodies - $15.00
  • Tickets to see Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) at The Wiltern - $25.00
  • Beatles collectibles - $65.00
  • Led Zeppelin promo package - $35.00
  • Tickets to Haim at the Wiltern - $40.00
  • Wendy O. Williams doll + Wonder Woman poster - $30.00

All together the bids totaled $830.00. With the Amoeba match, it means $1,660.00 goes directly to LA Love & Leashes! Thank you so much to all the customers who came out to bid, and most especially to Shelagh Ratner for making it one of the best auctions we've had!

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Pink Floyd Will Release New Album 'The Endless River' in October

Posted by Billy Gil, July 7, 2014 10:12am | Post a Comment

Pink Floyd will release a new album called The Endless River in October.

It’s their first in 20 years, since 1994’s recently reissued The Division Bell. Roger Waters won’t be a part of this one.

David Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson, spilled the beans on Twitter this holiday weekend, as Spin picked up, adding that Pink Floyd backup singer Durga McBroom-Hudson revealed via Facebook that the album will have all new tracks. Still no word yet on what those tracks will be (or tour dates), but still, NEW PINK FLOYD.

At Noon Today in Hollywood Ringo Starr Celebrates "Peace And Love" and his 74th Birthday

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2014 07:07am | Post a Comment
For Ringo Starr's annual "Peace and Love" themed birthday celebration (something he's been doing each for the past seven years when every July 7th at noon he invites everybody everywhere to put their fingers up in a peace sign and go, ‘Peace and love’) the surviving Beatle, born July 7th 1940, has chosen LA as the place to celebrate his 74th birthday today. Today at noon, within walking distance from Amoeba Hollywood where he celebrated the publication of his Photograph book back in October, in front of the Capitol Records building where inside the  main entrance of the landmark Hollywood building the walls are lined with Beatles gold and platinum records, Ringo invites everyone everywhere round the world (locally and globally) to join him at noon, their local time in the annual Peace & Love celebration and throw up the peace sign. According to his website those in LA should be over at the Capital Records building (1750 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028) by noon today. It doesn't say when the event ends but am guessing will be approx half an hour. If you attend, a fun thing to do afterwards might be to go check out the 50 year celebration screening of The Beatles 1964 movie classic A Hard Day's Night - playing at such theaters as the Laemmie Playhouse.

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Spill A Lil On The Curb For The Memory of Mac Dre Who Would Have Turned 44 Today

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2014 12:58pm | Post a Comment
Were he still alive Bay Area rap legend Mac Dre would be celebrating his 44th birthday today. Born Andre Louis Hicks on July 5, 1970 in Oakland, CA - but raised in the North Bay town of Vallejo in the infamous Crest Side so often referenced in his music, the endlessly talented rapper was tragically killed ten years ago in Kansas City. But even now,  a full decade later, the much loved the world over Bay Area rap artist's legacy - along with the Thizz Entertainment empire that he kick-started - continues to grow and fans (both new and old) continue to track the countless releases from Mac Dre's ever prolific career. That career can be clearly divided into two distinct eras - before and after his five year 1990's incarceration for a crime he never committed (check video below of a 1992 interview I did with him for more on that). Personally I divide Mac Dre's two-part career into the Thizz half and the earlier Khayree (producer) half.  For releases from both parts of Mac Dre's rich back-catalog check out the bins at the three Amoeba Music retail outlets, or the Mac Dre section of the Amoeba Music online store where you will find such Mac Dre releases as Stupid Doo Doo Dumb, The Game Is Thick Vol 2, and Musical Life of Mac Dre Vol. 1. Meanwhile below are a few videos from the rapper's illustrious career. Rest in Thizz, Mac Dre!

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood July 12 Will Feature Blu-ray, Music and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 4, 2014 02:43pm | Post a Comment

Happy July, everyone! It's a good time for a good ol' fashioned Sidewalk Sale.

Amoeba Hollywood's next Sidewalk Sale happens Saturday, July 12 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Just outside the store on Sunset Blvd., we’ll have deals including:

  • DVDs for $3, or buy three get one free (excluding DVD box sets)
  • DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10
  • Blu-ray Discs at three for $12
  • Comic Books at three for $1
  • Classical Bargains
  • Mugs
  • T-Shirts
  • And more!

Come on over July 12 to stock up on cheap movies, music, comic books and other goodies to take you through the summer. Plus, our friends from Hubert's will be here passing out free lemonade to thirsty customers!

sidewalk sale july 14 amoeba hollywood

Hubert's Lemonade at Amoeba

Weekly Roundup: Wunder Wunder, Pyramid Vritra, Allah-Las

Posted by Billy Gil, July 4, 2014 07:52am | Post a Comment

Wunder Wunder – “Midnight Hours”

Aussie transplants in L.A. Wunder Wunder have unveiled a new song that further chills out their already easygoing sound. But, far from boring, it actually makes the band stand out more amongst the throngs of psych-pop bands in L.A., giving them a kind of airy, 10cc vibe yet picking up the beat when things are in danger of floating away. Perfect music for dangling your pinky in the pool while sipping on margarita. (Wishful thinking? Maybe, it’s hot and it’s the Fourth of July.) Their LP Everything Infinite is due July 15 on Dovecote. Check out my interview with Wunder Wunder here.


Pyramid Vritra – “Eleven12” video

Ladies of a certain age need love, too. That’s the premise behind the new video by Pyramid Vritra, which showcases the young L.A. rapper servicing older ladies in a seedy motel room. The psych-rap song comes from the Stones Throw LP Indra, which is in my opinion one of the great overlooked albums of the year so far, check it out!

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.04.14: G-Eazy, Riff Raff, Open Mike Eagle, Sapient, Sadistik, Apollo Brown, Nu-Mark & Slimkid 3, + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 4, 2014 07:30am | Post a Comment

G-Eazy "These Things Happen" (2014)

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 06:20:14

1) G-Eazy  These Things Happen (BPG)

2) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)

3) Sapient Eaters vol. 2: Light Tiger (Sapient Kills)

4) Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy (Mello Music Group)

5) Sadistik "Ultraviolet" (Fake Four Inc)

This week's number one album at the East Bay Amoeba Music store is from Oakland raised rapper G-Eazy, who relentlessly paved the way to success via relentless uploading of tracks online plus tireless concerts and touring (including Warped Tour and opening for Lil Wayne, and Drake), with his third album/first major label release
These Things Happen via SONY. Although he's been making music for many years G-Eazy's real break came 3 years ago with the release of his mixtape The Endless Summer that included a reworking of Dion's "Runaround Sue" that featured collaborations with Greg Banks, Erika Flowers, and Devon Baldwin and became a viral video sensation - paving the way for his current success or impending success. Devon Baldwin returns on this new album on the popular pre-album single/video released track "Let's Get Lost" (see video below). Elsewhere throughout his new major label debut, which is selling extremely well across the country, G-Eazy addresses his impeding major success on songs such as the title track, “Almost Famous,” and “Opportunity Cost.”

11 Albums to Look For This Summer

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2014 03:10pm | Post a Comment

Here are some of our most anticipated albums of the summer. Preorder to get your hands on them as soon as they come out.

La Roux - Trouble In Paradise (LP, CD)

Out July 22

English synthpop artist La Roux (aka Elly Jackson) broke through in a huge way with her 2009 self-titled album and its accompanying club hits like “Bulletproof.” Trouble in Paradise comes five years later, after Jackson says she was unprepared for fame and lost her voice due to anxiety and producer/collaborator Ben Langmaid left due to artistic differences. Jackson says the new album will be warmer and sexier, inspired by the likes of Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club.

Hear the smooth, downtempo “Let Me Down Gently” below:


Joyce Manor - Never Hung Over Again (LP, CD)

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Death Grips Done as a Band But Live On Through Great Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

Death Grips have been one of the most important yet, to some, most frustrating bands to emerge during the 2010s.

The Sacramento band, made up of Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride), drummer Zach Hill and producer Andy Morin (aka Flatlander), made aggressive industrial noise-fueled hip-hop with often little regard for fan expectation, acquiring a wider audience, their record label, physical media, basically anything and everything that wasn’t a Death Grip. And this made them one of the most exciting bands around from a non-musical perspective because you never really could chart where they were going to go next. One minute, they’re releasing their most widely appealing (and perhaps best) album to date, The Money Store, playing at Coachella and getting signed to Epic in 2012.

The next minute, they release their major label debut early, for free, over the Internet, with a dick pic as the cover and publish emails from Epic telling them to remove the downloads immediately. Apparently Epic wouldn’t release the album until a year later, pissing the band off and prompting the early release of the music. It was a weird thing where the record label didn’t look bad—not wanting to release an album in the same year as the band had already released another hardly seems like major label bullying, given the resources they’d put into promotion—but the band’s utter disregard for “the way things are supposed to be” (not to mention their own monetary stake in their art) seemed punk at a time when the concept had lost most of its meaning. And fans won by getting the music as soon as it was finished (harkening back to a time when bands releasing multiple albums per year wasn’t such a big deal), and those wanting a physical release got it when Universal eventually released the album. 

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Where Fools Fear to Tread -- A Philadelphia Snapshot

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 2, 2014 09:11pm | Post a Comment


The author in Philadelphia (image courtesy Una Zipagan)

I recently visited Philadelphia for the first time as a stop on a sort of Grand Tour of the Northeast and Quebec, which I undertook following my sister's graduation from Princeton. To date, the only states that I haven't visited in the lower 48 are located along the East Coast... except for North Dakota. Even those East Coast states that I had previously visited are not states in which I've spent much time. I'd been to New Jersey just once, New York just once, and Miami a few times. I've also been informed by several Northeasterners that Miami does "not count." I respond with a quote from Posdnuous, “Characters have the tendency to con themselves/ To think the East Coast is only New York and Philadelph.”

Map of Pennsylvania (image source: Trail Maps)

I would also elaborate that fact that whereas Miami is in geographically located on the coast of the Atlantic, the only coastlines in Pennsylvania are those along the Delaware Estuary and Lake Eerie -- which is part of the Midwest CoastI'll stop short of suggesting that Pennsylvania is more truly Midwestern than East Coast even though there are some apparently pronounced cultural similarities between Pennsylvania and the states of the Midwest and Upper South. (*cough* Pennsatucky *cough*). 

Map of the Rust Belt (image source: United States History LSA)

Most of my childhood was spent at the other end of the coal and rust belts, in Kentucky and Missouri (aka “The Pennsylvania of the West”) but I had few strong associations with Philadelphia beyond those formed by Colonial history lessons in school and the cartoon, Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids, at home. I also vividly remember the MOVE bombing (the subject of a recent documentary, Let the Fire Burn), which, along with the intro to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, painted a darker image of at least West Philadelphia but did little to influence my presumptions in very concrete, immutable ways. 

Inside 30th Street Station

When I arrived in Philadelphia with Una, friends offered a variety of recommendations. "Look for graffiti by Cornbread" (I didn't see any) and "Get a SEPTA day pass" were joined by suggestions of places to explore (Fairmount Park, Olde City, and the abandoned Reading Viaduct), movies and television programs to watch (American Bandstand, Birdy, Gia, Rocky, and Trading Places), places and items to eat and drink (BarcadeFrankford HallMonk's CaféRita's Gelati, Yards Brewery, and soft pretzels), museums to visit (Betsy Ross House Museum, Mütter Museum, Philadelphia Art Museum, and Rodin Museum ), and more (the Liberty Bell and Reading Terminal Market). All are undoubtedly great suggestions and but for me most will have to wait until I'm able to return, which I hope to do sooner rather than later because during my short time in Philadelphia, I enjoyed it immensely and really got the sense that there was something special there.


One of Philadelphia's slogans is “The Birthplace of America,” which while it highlights its historical importance, it could also have the unintended consequence of suggesting that its best days are located in a mythic, long gone, 17th Century Golden Age. Historical information reminds visitors that among its many firsts: the first American flag, first brick house (in the US), first printed almanac (in the US), first hospital (in the US), and charming Elfreth's Alley is the oldest continually-inhabited street in the country, it's home of the first brick building in the US. That's all well and good but what of the 21st Century Philadelphia?

Most of Philadelphia today has the sort of decidedly urban aura that I sort of assumed all cities possessed when I was growing up: crumbling brick factories with broken windows, vertical building-scaling fire escapes, steam coming from stuff underground, &c. Despite its name (or perhaps because of it), I was surprised to find out that it's the birthplace of the seemingly inauthentically urban clothing chain, Urban Outfitters, founded in 1970 as the Free People Store. There were parts of it that seemed so forsaken that my girlfriend noted it seemed a bit 28 Days Later. Later research into Philadelphia's zombie film connections proved that it was a filming location for World War Z. But make no mistake, Philadelphia is a vibrant city and one that seems to be showing signs of recovery rather than further decline. 

Long abandoned Ninth National Bank (image source: Hidden City Philadelphia)

In some ways Philadelphia is an the archetypical Rust Belt city. As with most of the aging industrial cities that were part of the so-called “Foundry of the Nation,” the population and importance of Philadelphia declined for many decades as people moved away from city centers and manufacturing jobs were moved overseas. Back in 1790, Philadelphia was the second largest city in the US (after New York). In the early 1800s it was eclipsed in population numbers first by Baltimore, then New Orleans, and finally Boston.

As a result of the 1854 Act of Consolidation, Philadelphia's borders expanded and only in doing so restored it to the number two spot. The 1930s saw the first population decline, not just in Philadelphia, but also in St. Louis, Cleveland, and Boston. In the latter half of the 20th century, roughly 55,000 Philadelphians moved out of the city – a decline which finally began to reverse by the 2010 census, which gave evidence to the city's first growth in sixty years.

In other ways, Philadelphia is rather unlike other Rust Belt cities, most of which were eclipsed by newer metropolises in the Sun Belt -- even with decades of decline (and recent growth), Philadelphia remains one of the US's largest cities – the nation's fifth largest, in fact (coming in behind the Sun Belt's Houston), and the tenth largest on the continent (coming in behind Ecatepec de Morelos).

Bladen's Courtyard

Despite my love of visiting neighborhoods, I was only in Philadelphia for about 24 hours (staying around Callowhill) and thus only able to see a few corners of it around Center City including the Avenue of the Arts, Chinatown, Elfreth's Alley, Franklintown, Hahnemann, Independence Mall, Jeweler's Row, Logan Square, Market East, Olde City, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, and University City.

Society Hill

Philadelphia is a diverse city, the population of which is 44% black, 37% white Anglo, 13% Latino of any race, 7% Asian, and 3% of mixed race. Ethnic enclaves include (in addition to Chinatown) the French Quarter, Germantown, Italian Market, Koreatown, and Little Saigon. Port Richmond has a large Polish population, Fairhill and Hunting Park are largely Puerto Rican, Devil's Pocket and Pennsport/Two Street are very Irish, and Washington Square West is known, affectionately, as a “gayborhood.”

Other neighborhoods in “The City of Neighborhoods” include Academy Gardens, Allegheny West, Andorra, Angora, Ashton-Woodenbridge, the Avenue of Technology, Bartram Village, Bella Vista, Belmont Village, Brewerytown, Bridesburg, Burholme, Bustleton, Byberry, Carroll Park, Castor Garden, Cathedral Park, Cedar Park, Cedarbrook, Centennial District, Chestnut Hill, Clearview, Cobbs Creek, Crescentville, Crestmont Farms, Dickinson Narrows, Dunlap, East Falls, East Oak Lane, East Passyunk Crossing, Eastwick, Elmwood Park, Fairmount, Feltonville, Fern Rock, Fishtown, Fitler Square, Fox Chase, Frankford, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Garden Court, Girard Estate, Glenwood, Graduate Hospital, Grays Ferry, Greenwich, Haddington, Harrowgate, Hartranft, Haverford North, Hawthorne, Hedgerow, Hog Island, Holme Circle, Holmesburg, Juniata, Kensington, Kingsessing, Krewstown, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Lexington Park, Logan, Lower Moyamensing, Ludlow, Manayunk, Mantua, Marconi Plaza, Mayfair, Melrose Park, Mill Creek, Millbrook, Modena Park, Morrell Park, Morton, Mount Airy, Mount Moriah, Moyamensing, Museum District, Naval Square, Newbold, Nicetown-Tioga, Normandy, Northern Liberties, Northwood, Ogontz, Olney, Overbrook, Overbrook Farms, Overbrook Park, Oxford Circle, Packer Park, Parkside, Parkwood, Paschall, Passyunk Square, Penn Center, Penn's Landing, Pennypack, Penrose, Philadelphia International Airport, Point Breeze, Poplar, Powelton Village, Queen Village, Rhawnhurst, Roxborough, Ryers, Saunders Park, Schuylkill, Sharswood, Somerton, South Street, Southwark, Southwest Schuylkill, Sports Complex, Spring Garden, Spruce Hill, Squirrel Hill, Stanton, Strawberry Mansion, Tacony, Tasker, Templetown, Torresdale, Upper Holmesburg, Walnut Hill, West Oak Lane, West Passyunk, Wharton, Whitman, Wilson Park, Winchester Park, Wissahickon, Wissinoming, Wister, Woodland Terrace, Wynnefield, Wynnefield Heights and Yorktown.


Food is high on the list of almost any visitor's priorities and I like to explore local cuisine as much as I can whilst remaining vegetarian. Probably the most iconic Philadelphian culinary creation is the Philly Cheesesteak; a steak, onion, and cheese sandwich which I do remember enjoying when I still ate meat – although I suspect that the sandwich's fans might bristle at the fact that it was from the hoagie chain Blimpie, where I worked as a teenager in Tampa.

Pat's Cheesesteak (image source: Dori Zinn)

Other mostly unhealthy icons of Philadelphia's food scene include the soft pretzel (which, despite roots in the Francia during the Early Middle Ages, is dear to Philadelphians), the hoagie (aka submarine sandwich), German butter cake, scrapple, Peanut Chews, stromboli, Tastycake products (Krimpets, Kandy Kakes, Tasty Pies &c), spiced wafers, cheese sauce, the Texas tommy (a cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped hot dog), tomato pie, water ice, and soda (Philadelphia is home to Hires Root Beer, Frank's Beverages' Black Cherry Wishniak and Vanilla Cream, and Levi's Champ Cherry) -- none of which I enjoyed during my short visit.

After lugging our stuff across the bridge from 30th Street Station to City Center, I was craving light and healthy, which we found at Pure Fare. For supper -- and although it specializes in the Hu cuisine of Shanghai rather than that of Philadelphia -- the "Chinesey" aromas of Chinatown took hold of our appetites and Dim Sum Garden hit the spot. 

 Philadelphia skyline (image source: Visit Philly)

Having so little time to explore, I aimlessly wandered around the streets of Philadelphia as much as I could. At night I found them to be surprisingly empty, rarely crossing paths with any other souls. There were a couple of sports bars with people gathered in their patios and near their entrances. On a darkened sidewalk I saw a woman walking alone pant-hooted at by a troop of crotch rocket-straddling broboons. Most of Center City felt surprisingly deserted, though, compared at least to Downtown Los Angeles or Brooklyn

Philadelphia has a long, rich, frothy tradition of boozing – in 1752 the city enjoyed access to 120 legally-licensed taverns. Out of respect for history, I popped into Park Side Beef & Ale, where I grabbed some Yard's Philadelphia Pale Ale for take-out. Philadelphia also has a reputation as the city of brotherly love but I was still warmed by the fact that two separate strangers told me to make sure that my beer was cold as the cooler had just been re-stocked. 


Another way to get a sense of a city, albeit usually filtered through a distorted lens, is by watching movies. Probably the most Philadelphia film of all time is Rocky, which is also the first film I recall seeing in the theater – a Kentucky drive-in. Rocky was, of course, followed by five sequels. One of my former roommates, Nibbles, could recite every line of the first four (even the Russian parts of the fourth).

Other Philadelphia-set (in some cases partially) films that I've seen include Best in Show, The Last Detail, Mannequin (1987), Mannequin Two: On the Move, Marnie, The Master, Philadelphia, Trading Places, 12 Monkeys, and Witness – none of which I realized were set in Philadelphia except, of course, Philadelphia

I tried to find The Young Philadelphians or The Philadelphia Story online to no avail. I did, however, find The Philadelphia Experiment, which I utterly failed to get into. I then found the blaxploitation film, Trick Baby, which was more immediately appealing but after having by then walked quite a bit and consumed the better part of my six-pack, I quickly nodded off.

Other Philadelphia-set films include A History of Violence, A Kiss Before Dying, Alpha Girls, America: A Call to Greatness, The Amati Girls, The Answer Man, Baby Mama, Big Fan, Birdy, Blow Out, Clark: A Gonzomentary, Clean and Sober, Dare, David and Lisa, Devi, Downtown, Fallen, Fat Albert, Fighting Back, Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story, 42, From the Terrace, Gia, The Greening of Whitney Brown, The Happening, The Happiest Millionaire, Her Only Child, The Husband She Met Online, In Her Shoes, Inventing the Abbotts, Invincible, Just Wright, Kitty Foyle, Lady in the Water, Law Abiding Citizen, The In Crowd, Love Hurts, Maximum Risk, Money for Nothing, My Architect, National Treasure, Neighbor, Next Day Air, The Old Maid, Pride, Renegades, 1776, Shadowboxer, Shooter, Silver Linings Playbook, The Sixth Sense, State Property, State Property 2, Stealing Home, 10th & Wolf, That Midnight Kiss, Train Ride, The 24th Day, Two Bits, Up Close & Personal, The Watermelon Woman, and Worth Winning.


I already mentioned that I used to watch Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids – I also have several Bill Cosby stand-up records on which Cosby shares stories of his old gang – but I haven't knowingly watched any other Philadelphia-set television shows other than It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which though popular amongst some of my friends struck me as so gratingly shrill and dudebro that I would say that I was subjected to it rather than that I watched it.  I also, in researching the city, watched part of an episode of Family Ties in which Alex P. Keaton has a crazy dream.

Other Philadelphia-set television shows which I've yet to form an opinion of include Amen, American Dreams, Angie, The Big House, Body of Proof, Boy Meets World, Brotherly Love, Brothers, Bustin' Loose, The Class, Cold Case, Dads, Do No Harm, Family Album, Hack, How to Get Away with Murder, Instant Mom, Little Bill, Maybe This Time, Minor Adjustments, Parking Wars, Philly, Pursuit of Happiness, The Real World: Philadelphia, Ryan Caulfield: Year One, Shannon's Deal, Strong Medicine, Teach: Tony Danza, Thirtysomething, 'Til Death, The Tony Randall Show, and Wreck Chasers.


Finally, both because Amoeba is primarily a music store and because there is so much of it, there's the music of Philadelphia to consider. It's my view, too, that the music that emanates from a place generally reveals a lot more about its soul than almost any Hollywood film could ever hope to.

Philadelphia's music goes back several centuries. Founding father and Philadelphia resident Benjamin Franklin was also an accomplished viola da gamba player, composer, and inventor of the glass armonica, an instrument which went on to be composed for by George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van BeethovenRichard Strauss, and Damon Albarn

One of the oldest songs pertaining lyrically to Philadelphia is Francis Johnson's 1818 song, "Philadelphia Fireman's Cotillion.” Johnson was a composer and virtuoso of both the keyed bugle and violin. He was also the first black American composer to have his music published as sheet music. Though born in the West Indieshe later resided and died in Philadelphia. 

Another great, black composer of the era with ties to Philadelphia was James A. Bland, His song, “O, Dem Golden Slippers,” was popularized by the Fisk Jubilee Singers and later unofficially adopted as the theme song for the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Johnson too was born elsewhere (in Flushing) but also moved to Philadelphia, where he died.

Philadelphia has played an important role in Doo-Wop, Rock 'n' Roll (Philadelphia was the birthplace of American Bandstand), Gangsta Rap (Philadelphia's Schoolly D is usually credited with the genre's creation), and a smooth strain of R&B known as Philly Souldeveloped and popularized by Archie Bell & the Drells, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, MazeThe StylisticsTeddy PendergrassThe Trammps, and others -- a couple of whom originally hailed from other cities but recorded songs by Philadelphian songwriters like Bobby Martin, Thom Bell, Linda Creed, Norman Harris, and Dexter Wansel for Philadelphia International Records and were instrumental in establishing the Philly sound.


Philadelphia also either produced or is closely-associated with the following:

A Life Once Lost, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, The A-Sides, A. J. Croce, Aaron Dugan, Aja Kim, Al Alberts, Al Martino, Albert Hay Malotte, Albert Rosewig, Alec Ounsworth, Alexander McCurdy, Alexander Reinagle, Alexandra Pierce, Alfred Genovese, Alphonso Johnson, Amanda Blank, The Ambassador, Amber Rose, American Opera Company, Amos Lee, Amy Malkoff, Angelic Gospel Singers, Ann Maria Thorne, Annie Gosfield, Archie Shepp, The Armchairs, Army of the Pharaohs,

Arthur Cosenza, Asher Roth, Aspera, The Assembled Multitude, Audrey Landers, Az Yet, Bahamadia, Barbara Mason, Bardo Pond, Barleyjuice, Beanie Sigel, Bell and James, Benny Golson, Bernard Wilson, Beru Revue, Beryl Booker, Bianca Ryan, Bilal, Bill Doggett, Bill Haley, Billie Holiday, Billy Bean, Billy Butler, Billy Kyle, Black Thought, Bleeding Rainbow, Blood Feathers, Bloodhound Gang, Blue Magic, The Blue Method, Bobby Durham, Bobby Eli, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Timmons, Bonehead,

Bootsie Barnes, Boyz II Men, Bree Sharp, Brenda & the Tabulations, Brett Kull, Britny Fox, Broadside Electric, Brothers Past, Bruce Montgomery, Bruce Saylor, Buddy Deppenschmidt, Buddy Greco, Bunny Sigler, Burn Witch Burn, Burning Brides, Calvin Jackson, Camille Zeckwer, Carfax Abbey, Carol Lynn Maillard, Cashmere, Cassidy, Catalyst, Celestine Tate Harrington, Center City Opera Theater, Chalmers Alford, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Charles Albert Tindley,

Charles Earland, Charles Fambrough, Charli Baltimore, Charlie Biddle, Charlie Gracie, Charlie Johnson, Chiddy Bang, CHOPS, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Christian Martucci, Christian McBride, Christina Perri, Chubby Checker, Chuck Treece, Cinderella, Cindy Birdsong, Circa Survive, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clara Ward, Claudine Clark, Clifford Thornton, Clockcleaner, Cold Cave, Coles Whalen, Colin Marston, Cool C, Cosmo Baker, Count To Four, Courtney Cox, Crypt the Warchild,

Cynthia Cozette Lee, Da Youngsta's, Da' T.R.U.T.H., Dandelion, Danny & the Juniors, Danny Rapp, David Amram, David Bispham, David Bromberg, David Jack, David Newman, David Raksin, David Ricketts, David Ruffin, David Tudor, David Uosikkinen, The Dead Milkmen, Dee Dee Sharp, The Defog, The Delfonics, Demoz, Demrick, Denny Dias, Derrick Hodge, Derrick Murdock, Des Devious, Devo Springsteen, Dexter Wansel, Dice Raw, Disco Biscuits, The Dixie Hummingbirds, DJ Cash Money,

DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Doap Nixon, Doc Cheatham, Don Cannon, Don Gardner, Donald Bailey, Donald Washington, Double Exposure, The Dovells, Dr. Dog, The Dreamlovers, Drew Parsons, DrivetimeUOJ, Dusolina Giannini, Earl Young, Echo Orbiter, Echolyn, Eddie Fisher, Eddie Lang, Eddie Layton, Edison Electric Band, Edwin Pearce Christy, Eliot Fisk, Elisa Fiorillo, Elizabeth Greenfield, Elliot Lawrence, Emmaline Henry, Empty Stares, Enon, Enrico Di Giuseppe, Eric Bazilian,

Eric Gravatt, Eric Owens, Ernie Andrews, Espers, Essra Mohawk, Ethel Waters, Eugene Ormandy, Eve, Ex Reverie, The Extraordinaires, Fabian Forte, Familiar 48, Fat City Reprise, Fat Larry's Band, Fayette Pinkney, Ferko String Band, The Fireflies, First Choice, Florence Quivar, Flowchart, The Four Aces, Fran Smith, Francis Hopkinson, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Beverly, Franklin Bridge, 

Franny Beecher, Fred Mascherino, Free Energy, Freeway, Fritz Scheel, G. Love & Special Sauce, Gail Ann Dorsey, Gamble and Huff, Gene McFadden, George Brunner, George Frederick Boyle, George Howard, George Stanford, George Tunnell, Gerald Veasley, Gil Saunders, Gilbere Forte, Gilbert Raynolds Combs, Gladys Bentley, Gloria Mann, The Goats, God Lives Underwater, Gogi Grant, Gordon Bok, Goreaphobia, Green Fields of America, Gregg Foreman, Grey Eye Glances,

Grover Washington, Jr., Hail Social, Hall & Oates, Hannah Sylvester, Harry Link, Hash Jar Tempo, Heath Brothers, Heaven's Edge, Heavy Metal Kings, Henry Grimes, Herman Foster, Hershy Kay, Hezekiah, The High & Mighty, The Hooters, Hoots & Hellmouth, Hop Along, Hot Cross, Howard Lanin, Howard Tate, Hub, Huffamoose, Hugh McDonald, Illegal, Ink & Dagger, Instant Funk, The Interpreters, The Intrigues, The Intruders, J. R. Mitchell, Jack Ashford, Jaco Pastorius, Jamaaladeen Tacuma,

Jamal, James Darren, James DePreist, James Lee Stanley, James Mtume, James Poyser, Jan Savitt, Jared Hasselhoff, Jay Bezel, Jay Krush, Jay Mehler, Jazmine Sullivan, Jazzyfatnastees, Jeanette MacDonald, Jeanne Behrend, Jedi Mind Tricks, Jeff Lorber, Jena Kraus, Jenn Bostic, Jerry Ragovoy, Jerry Ricks, Jill Scott, Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops, Jim Beanz, Jim Beard, Jim Boggia, Jim Croce, Jim McGorman, Jimmy Amadie, Jimmy Bruno, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Pop, Jimmy Preston,

Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Woode, Jneiro Jarel, Joan Jett, Joan La Barbara, Jobriath, Joe Beck, Joe Chambers, Joe Venuti, Joe Wilder, Joey Corpus, Johannes Kelpius, Johannes von Trapp, John Adriano Acea, John Blake, John Coltrane, John Corabi, John Gilmore, John LaPorta, John Whitehead, Jon Fishman, Jon Gutwillig, Joseph Tarsia, Josh Wink, Journalist, JuJu Mob, Jukebox the Ghost, Julia Wolfe, Jus Allah, Justin Guarini, Jymie Merritt, Karl Pohlig, Katherine Hoover, Katie Crippen, Keith,

Keith Andes, Kenny Barron, Kevin Eubanks, Kevin Michael, Khia, Kid Dynamite, Kill Verona, Kindred the Family Soul, King Britt, King Syze, The Kinleys, Kitty Kallen, Kurt Vile, Kurupt, Labelle, Lady B, Larry Ferrari, Larsiny Family, The Last Emperor, Laura Shay, Lee Andrews & the Hearts, Lee Morgan, Lee Ving, Len Barry, Leo Smit, Leon Bates, Leonard MacClain, Lester Lanin, Lew Tabackin, Lewis Redner, Liam and Me, Lilys, Linda Creed, Linda Sharrock, Lindsay Pagano, Lionel Barrymore,

Lisa Lopes, Lisa Roma, Little Joe Cook, Lloyd Parks, Lobo Nocho, Lon Satton, Lou Bennett, Lou Stein, Louis Karchin, The Loved Ones, The Low Budgets, Lydia Artymiw, Major Figgas, Malik B., Man Man, Marah, Marc Blitzstein, Marc Nelson, Marian Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, Mario Lanza, Mark Andes, Mark Kramer, Mark Tulin, Marsha Hunt, Martín Perna, Matisyahu, Matt Pond PA, McCoy Tyner, McFadden & Whitehead, Meek Mill, Melinda Wagner, Melody Gardot, Mendelssohn Club, MewithoutYou,

MFSB, Michael Bacon, Michael Brecker, Michael Caruso, Michael McCary, Michael Philip Mossman, Michael Schelle, Michael Sembello, Mick Moloney, Mike Brenner, Mike City, Mike Merritt, Mike Pedicin, Mirah, Mocean Worker, Modern Baseball, Mondo Topless, Mose Giganticus, Mountain Brothers, The Movement, Ms. Jade, Musiq Soulchild, Mutlu Onaral, Nathan Morris, Nazz, Neef Buck, Nelson Eddy, Neo da Matrix, New Born, Nick Falcon, Nick Perri, Nick Travis, Nickelz, Nona Hendryx,

Norman Connors, Norman Harris, The Notekillers, Nouveau Riche, Ohene, Omillio Sparks, One Star Hotel, Opera Philadelphia, Orchestra 2001, The Orlons, Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, OuterSpace, Paint It Black, Pamela Williams, Pat Martino, Pattern Is Movement, Patti LaBelle, Paul Green, Paul Motian, Peedi Peedi, The People's Choice, Pepper's Ghost, Percy Heath, Phanatik, Phil Roy, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera Company,

Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, Philadelphia La Scala Opera Company, Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, Philadelphia Opera Company, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Slick, Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Philly Joe Jones, Philly Pops, Philly's Most Wanted, Photon Band, Phyllis Hyman, Pieces of a Dream, Piffaro, Pink, Planetary, Plastic Little, Preston Ware Orem, Princess Superstar, Pure Hell, Questlove,

Random, Randy Brecker, Ray Benson, Ray Bryant, Ray Ellis, Raymond Louis Kennedy, Raynor Taylor, Ready Rock C, Red Rodney, Reef the Lost Cauze, Reggie Workman, Reilly, Relâche, The Renaissance Band, Res, Reverie, Rex Stewart, Richard Zeckwer, Richie Kamuca, RJD2, Robbie Tronco, Robert Conti, Robert Crumb, Robert Hazard, Robert Lowry, Robert Moran, Robin Eubanks, Ron Kersey, The Roots, Roscoe, Rosetta, Rosetta Hightower, Rudy Lewis, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder,

Ruse of Fools, Russ Castella, Russell Thompkins, Sacrament, Sam Dockery, Sam Fogarino, Santigold, The Sapphires, Sarah Dash, Saxon Shore, Scott Sorry, Scott Storch, Scratch, Sean Costello, The Sensations, Septimus Winner, Serpent Throne, Shai Linne, Sharon Little, Shawn Stockman, Sheila Ferguson, Shep Shepherd, The Sherrys, The Showstoppers, The Silhouettes, Simon Apple, Sister Sledge, Sol Kaplan, Solomon Burke, Sonny Dae and His Knights, Sonny Fortune,

Sorry and the Sinatras, The Soul Survivors, Spank Rock, Spanky DeBrest, Spanky Wilson, Specs Wright, The Spooks, Spruce Street Singers, Sr., Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke, State Property, Steady B, Stephen Costello, Steve Berlin, Steve Guyger, Steve Tirpak, Stick Men, Stinking Lizaveta, The Strychnine Babies, Sun Ra, Sundray Tucker, Sunny Murray, Susanne Mentzer, Swearin', The Swimmers, T'Melle, Tammi Terrell, Tav Falco, Taylor Bright, Ted Curson, Teddy & The Twilights,

Teddy McRae, The Teeth, Terell Stafford, This Day Forward, Thom Bell, The Three 4 Tens, The Three Degrees, Three Times Dope, Tim Williams, Tin Bird Choir, Todd Rundgren, Tom Glazer, Tommy Bryant, Tone Trump, Toni Basil, Toy Soldiers, The Tridels, Trip Lee, The Trouble with Sweeney, Trudy Pitts, Tuff Crew, The Tyrones, Uri Caine, The Urxed, Vacationer, Valencia, The Valerie Project, The Vels, Victor Bailey, Vikter Duplaix, Vincent Montana, Vincent Persichetti, Vinnie Paz, The Virtues, The Virus,

Vittorio Giannini, Vivian Green, Vivienne Segal, Voices of Theory, Walt Dickerson, Wanderlust, Wanya Morris, The War on Drugs, Warren Covington, Ween, Whitehead Bros., Whitney Peyton, Wilbur Evans, Wilbur Ware, William Gilchrist, William Henry Fry, Willie Alexander, Willie Dennis, Wolfpac, The Wonder Years, Work Drugs, World Blanket, Wykked Wytch, Wyldfyer, Yameen, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Young Chris, Young Gunz, The Young Werewolves
, and Ziggy Elman


Waiting for the train to New York City

I hope that I can come back soon and explore more of Philadelphia's neighborhoods, food, and attractions so let me know if you can help that happen. If you'd like to read my adventures in Southern California, check out California Fool's Gold -- and follow Eric's Blog.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #87: July 4th in New York City, Motown Exhibit, Old New York + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2014 11:12am | Post a Comment
Following five consecutive July Fourth holidays with the big NYC fireworks display over the Hudson River on the West Side of Manhattan, this year's New York City Fourth of July fireworks display is returning to the other, East River, side of Manhattan where three large barges will be docked near the Brooklyn Bridge and scheduled Friday evening/night (approx 9:20pm) to fire off an estimated 40,000 firework shells to celebrate Independence Day - Big Apple style. That may be bad news for folks over in New Jersey and along the West Side of Manhattan who got used to having a great vantage point of the annual fireworks display but good news for those on the East Side including all along the FDR Drive as well as in as well as in parts of Queens and Brooklyn (including Brooklyn Bridge Park) who will have a great view. For those not in NY or unable to attend the entire event - officially known as the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular - can be watched nationally on NBC-TV as a live two-hour 8pm-10pm special that will feature performances by Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, and Lionel Richieand hosted by Nick Cannon.

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Concert Tickets Available at Amoeba Hollywood in July 2014

Posted by Amoebite, July 1, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment

Concert Tix for sale at AmoebaAmoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you are 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. Store credit and coupons cannot be applied to ticket sales. Limit 4 tickets per person. 

Please note that on the day of the show, we will stop selling tickets for that show at 5pm.

Tickets are limited, so please call first to make sure they are available: 323-245-6400.


Lights at the Fonda

Fonda Theatre
November 11

Wildcat at El Rey

Wildcat! Wildcat!
El Rey Theatre
October 21


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)
The Afghan Whigs Fonda Theatre 10/25/2014 $35.00
American Football (4 Ticket Limit) Fonda Theatre 12/13/2014 $25.00
Asgeir  El Rey 10/17/2014 $15.00
Blonde Redhead Fonda Theatre 11/12/2014 $25.00
Blue October  Fonda Theatre 12/06/2014 $32.50
Boy & Bear  Fonda Theatre 10/06/2014 $20.00
Broods (CANCELED) El Rey 10/02/2014 $18.00
Buzzcocks  Fonda Theatre 09/17/2014 $25.00
Aaron Carter El Rey 12/13/2014 $20.00
Clean Bandit El Rey 09/30/2014 $20.00
Com Truise El Rey 10/04/2014 $22.00
Dark Star Orchestra Fonda Theatre 09/26/2014 $30.00
De La Tierra  Fonda Theatre 08/31/2014 $35.00
Delta Spirit  El Rey 10/30/2014 $20.00
Justin Townes Earle  El Rey 10/06/2014 $22.00
Fink El Rey 10/11/2014 $22.00
FKA Twigs El Rey 08/12/2014 $20.00
Foxygen  Fonda Theatre 08/14/2014 $20.00
Foxy Shazam El Rey 07/31/2014 $20.00
Nils Frahm El Rey 11/13/2014 $27.50
Fucked Up  El Rey 08/21/2014 $20.00

Future Islands 
8/20 SHOW ON SALE 8/1


New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Posted by Amoebite, July 1, 2014 02:07pm | Post a Comment

Sharon Jones at Amoeba

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings make the kind of ebullient, impassioned soul music that often gets labeled as "retro"--when, in reality, "timeless" is a much more appropriate description. These days, Jones and co. are one of the most fruitful branches on the soul/funk family tree, churning out album after album of soon-to-be-classic grooves that branch out pleasantly from the genre's Aretha/Etta/Mavis roots. After a delayed release due to Jones' triumphant battle with pancreatic cancer, the group's latest album, Give the People What They Want, came out earlier this year and the irrepressible Ms. Jones and her Dap-Kings have been on the road ever since.

The band took some time from their busy schedule to sit down with the "What's In My Bag?" crew and talk music. Jones kicks the segment off with disco icon Sylvester's live album, Living Proof. Next, drummer Homer Steinweiss talks about Norman Greenbaum's psych/gospel hybrid album, Spirit in the Sky. "Everyone should have this record," says Neal Sugarman about his pick, Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic Two Steps from the Blues. As they pull out LP after LP, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' passion for music reveals itself in the depth and breadth of their picks. Check out the full episode below and get a crash course in the history of soul, funk, and disco.

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Free Grand Performances Shows in Downtown L.A. Will Feature Tribute to Fela Kuti

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2014 12:25pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba is proud to sponsor a free, upcoming Grand Performances show at California Plaza in Downtown L.A. We’ll be on hand with our Prize Wheel at both shows, so come down to spin ‘n’ win. The show starts at 8pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy free live music under the stars!

On July 18, we’ll be at Chop and Quench, featuring The Fela! Band Broadway cast, including Tony-nominee Sahr Ngaujah. The show is a live performance of legendary African musician Fela Kuti’s ’69 Los Angeles Sessions album in its entirety. The album was recorded in 1969 while Kuti was living in Hollywood, performing six nights a week at Citidel de Haiti on Sunset Boulevard. The performers have worked on the Fela! musical, a show based on the life of Kuti that features his music and lyrics.

Grand Performances Chop and Quench

See a performance from the Fela! musical below:

Check out more shows happening at Grand Performances on their site all summer long.


Sea Wolf Headlines Next Red Bull Sound Select Show at Sayers Club July 23

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2014 10:47am | Post a Comment

Local folk-rockers Sea Wolf will headline the next Red Bull Sound Select show at The Sayers Club in Hollywood July 23. It’s $3 with an RSVP and it's 21+ only. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Sea Wolf is led by Alex Brown Church, first coming to prominence with 2007’s Leaves in the River album and its single, “You’re a Wolf.” Since then, Sea Wolf have released three more albums—White Water, White Bloom; Old World Romance; and this year’s Kickstarter-funded Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke, which is due for wide release this month.

As Red Bull’s shows aim to showcase underheard local talent, Sea Wolf will be joined by local electronic pop acts Rare Times and White Rainbow. L.A. duo Rare Times fuse loungey synthesizers and R&B and New Age touches on songs like “No One’s Looking Out.” White Rainbow is the project by L.A.-based Adam Forkner, who makes hard-hitting electro jams like “Be the Dancer, Be the Dreamer.”

Amoeba has curated two Red Bull shows so far, with FIDLAR and Cherry Glazerr back in February and with Holy Fuck last month. This one's curated by our friends at KCRW. Stay tuned for the next show we curate, which will happen in August.

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Dolly Parton, Black Keys, Metallica, Lily Allen, Yoko Ono, Yo La Tengo at the Glastonbury Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2014 10:03am | Post a Comment

Dolly Parton "Benny Hill Show Theme"

England's annual outdoor Glastonbury Festival ended on Sunday and was reportedly a lot of fun this year. Thanks to YouTube and BBC TV, we here in the US who couldn't make it to Somerset (140 miles south east of London) can enjoy via video replay. Above and below is a video sampling of some of the 2014 highlights including Metallica, The Black Keys, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band featuring Yo La Tengo, Lily Allen, and the crowd favorite Dolly Parton who closed the festival playing to an estimated 100,000 delighted fans in the Pyramid Arena area of the fest. Parton's set included such hits as "9 To 5," "Blue Smoke," a slightly updated version of "Jolene," plus - when she broke out a small saxophone -  an extremely well-received version (two versions actually - one backwards) of "Yakety Sax" - aka The Benny Hill Show theme song.

Album Picks: Beverly, Brian Eno & Karl Hyde

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2014 08:34am | Post a Comment

Beverly - Careers (LP, CD)

Fizzy, alt-rock distortion, cooing, girlish vocals and surf-pop melodies make up this duo’s incredibly likable debut record. With Frankie Rose (of solo, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts fame) on board, Drew Citron’s delicate songs get just the right amount of rhythmic punch and fuzzy bite. The songs range from sweet and easy (“Honey Do”) to kind of creepy and menacing (“Planet Birthday”) in a quiet girl in the back of the class kind of way. It’s not the most original thing you’ve ever heard—you can easily pick out the Pixies/Breeders references on songs like “Madora”—but that shouldn’t curb your enjoyment, as these two are far from the first to pull from that well. They’re even better on songs like “All the Things,” which build from that mold but stretch into strange ways, blending melodies and chords into the grays in between the bright color bands. And the production is pure ’80s college rock heaven, sounding like remastered C86 tracks or early Rough Trade songs that hadn’t seen the light of day before. So, you may know what you’re getting with Beverly, but in the capable hands of these two, that proves to be a very good thing.


Brian Eno & Karl HydeHigh Life (CD)

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