Amoeblog

Noir City Xmas at SF's Castro Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2014 05:13pm | Post a Comment

Our friends at the Film Noir Foundation present Noir City Xmas, their 5th annual holiday double feature, on Wednesday, December 17th at San Francisco's majestic Castro Theatre. Eddie Muller, your host for the evening and founder/president of the Film Noir Foundation, will reveal the schedule and the hot new poster for the eagerly anticipated NOIR CITY 13 festival, which runs January 16-25, 2015!

The holiday-themed features for the evening will be:

O. Henry's Full House (1952, 117 minutes) This anthology of short stories by America's master of the O. Henry's Full House, Marilyn Monroeironic twist is as entertaining as it is star-studded, featuring juicy roles for Richard Widmark, Anne Baxter, Farley Granger, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Laughton, Jean Peters, and many more. 20th Century-Fox employed several of its most renowned directors — Henry Hathaway, Henry King, Howard Hawks, Henry Koster, and Jean Negulesco — to bring to life such famous O. Henry tales as "The Last Leaf," "The Clarion Call," and the Christmas classic "The Gift of the Magi." Each segment is introduced by John Steinbeck!

The Curse of the Cat People (1944, 70 minutes) This sequel to 1942's The Cat People is a stunner Curse of the Cat Peopleon many levels. Far from being a horror story, it's a poignant and deeply felt meditation of the pain and loneliness of childhood, and perhaps the most sublime and personal film in the career of legendary producer Val Lewton. Eight-year-old Ann Carter gives a mesmerizing performance as imaginative little Amy, with Simone Simon (the original Cat Woman) reappearing as her imaginary friend. A spellbinding classic, co-directed by Robert Wise.

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Deutsche Grammophon, the Mercedes of Classical Labels

Posted by Rubin Meisel, November 30, 2014 03:28pm | Post a Comment

Deutsche Grammophon as a label goes back the turn of the 20th Century, but its real rise to international prominence started around 1960 when there catalog was imported directly to the USA with its inimitably silent surfaces sealed in thick plastic. During this time they released a landmark set of the Beethoven Symphonies conducted by the renowned Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. Karajan was to record most of the standard repertoire multiple times for Deutsche Gramophone. After more than 50 years, the Beethoven set is stiil a best seller. DG also developed a sister label callec Arkiv that specialized in early music from Medieval chants up until the Baroque period with painstaking scholarship in their liner notes, presentation, and performances. Over the years they developed iconic artists like conductors Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, instrumentalists like Marizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. They also cemented the reputation of artists like conductors Rafael Kubelik, Eugen Jochum, Karl Bohm, and pianists Wilhelm Kempff and Emil Gilels.

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And Food Did I Have and Plenty: A Cornucopia of Feast Folk for your Thanksgiving Comedown

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 30, 2014 12:52pm | Post a Comment
steeleye span below the salt thanksgiving folk rock dark medieval songs about food feast fellowship
I can't imagine everyone is pumped to jump right into all things Christmas before the Thanksgiving leftovers have cooled or even ceased to provide soup and sandwich solutions aplenty. This is especially true, for me, when it comes to accepting the inevitable aural advent of Holiday Music, a sonic offense that can sometimes begin as early as weeks prior to Black Friday. As a sentimental hoarder enthusiast of Holiday tunes, I relish the reason for the season and all the weird and wonderful music that comes with it, but I feel it's in poor taste to unleash the likes of "Last Christmas" too soon. And given that Thanksgiving music thankfully isn't a thing, the lack of any bankable November music tradition leaves the door wide open for folks like McCartney to simply have their "Wonderful Christmastime" as prematurely as they please. I feel an intervention is in order.

Thus I spent the last four weeks exploring possible playlists that might adequately satisfy the season-specific music void that exists Halloween and Christmas, something like a dignified tribute to noble November. Enter the notion of Feast Folk -- a seasonal buffet of harvest-inspired "folk rock" mainly adapted from or informed by ye olde English Roots music as exhumed by many a new age troubadour in the British Isles of the late 1960s (the likes of which is surveyed at length in Rob Young's exemplary book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music). Here is some food for thought:

Thin Lizzy, Cream, Nirvana: What Do They Have In Common?

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2014 08:13am | Post a Comment

What do Thin Lizzy, Cream, and Nirvana all have in common? Well beside such things as the fact that they each were kick-ass rockin' bands, or that each famously lost key members: Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott, and most recently Jack Bruce of Cream - each of these three legendary groups will be celebrated via tribute bands at the talent-packed Amoebapalooza 2014 tomorrow (Sunday November 30th) at the Dragonfly on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.

At Amoebapalooza 2014 - in post Black Friday, end of Thanksgiving weekend kick back and relax mode - the Amoeba Hollywood staff will take it  back to what matters most - the music -  via a non-stop array of bands (14 acts on evening's schedule) kicking out the jams. The night, that begins at 8pm and only five bucks to get in, will feature both original bands and the aforementioned one-off tributes that include Bad Reputation doing their homage to Lizzy.

As a Amoebapalooza 2014 primer for these three rock tribute bands (and for the Edith Piaf tribute act on the bill) below are music videos from each of these acts. See flyer above for full list of whose on the bill that will be hosted by MC Daniel Tures with a lil help from his friends. The show starts at 8 p.m. It's $5 for admission, and the show is 21+. The Dragonfly is located at 6150 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood.

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He's Got 88 Hits From The Past Year But Only 7 Minutes To Mix Them In A Mega-Mashup

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2014 01:29pm | Post a Comment


Once again #AnDyWuMUSICLAND has produced his audio/video mashup megamix of many of the most notable pop hits of the past year. Billed as best of 2014 it is technically songs released from November 2013 up until recently (this way he gets a head start on those who wait til December 31st to do their best of the year mixes). The 88 song megamix, whose playlist is detailed below in alphabetical order by artist, includes many artists with more than one hit such as Ariana Grande with two ("Break Free" and "Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea)," Iggy Azalea, who also guests on Jennifer Lopez's sole entry "Booty," herself as artist has three hits ("Fancy (feat. Charli XCX)," "Work," and "Black Widow (feat. Rita Ora)"). [This week a deluxe edition LP version of her hit album The New Classic  arrived in Amoeba.] Meanwhile Katy Perry has a total of five hits on the above megamix that include "Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J)," "Unconditionally," "Birthday,"  "This is How We Do," and "Walking On Air" - culled from her late 2013 release Prism. Beyonce's self-titled 2014 album also rendered a string of hits including the duet with her husband - "Drunk In Love (feat Jay-Z)." Some have commented on this year's mix saying that it is not quite as good as last year's but if so, the onus is not on AnDy Wu musicland, who did an excellent job once again, but rather perhaps on the quality of pop music in 2014.

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Bay Area Political Rapper Paris Returns With Powerful Anti-Police Brutality Message

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2014 06:06am | Post a Comment

Paris "Night of the Long Knives" (2014)

It seems like longtime outspoken Bay Area political hip-hop artist Paris always shows up at key moments in America's socio-political timeline. Last time we heard from Paris was right before the presidential election six years ago at the end of two terms of George W Bush whose father he had written/recorded the controversial song about ("Bush Killa") that back in the early 90's had gotten him kicked off the Time Warner controlled Tommy Boy Records. That last time was when he released 2008's Acid Reflex and talked to me at that time (read Paris 2008 Amoeblog interview here) in which he had lots to say about the state of America. This time, right as the country is in upheaval in reaction to police officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown / Ferguson killing not being indicted by a grand jury, Paris returns with a no-holds-barred statement on the current state of the US as "police state" in which he views police brutality against minorities as the "increasing acceptance of black death" with the first single and video "Night of the Long Knives" (above) culled from his forthcoming album, Pistol Politics.

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Join Us for Sips & Sweets in Downtown L.A. Dec. 7

Posted by Amoebite, November 26, 2014 01:58pm | Post a Comment

sips and sweets

On Sunday, Dec. 7, we’ll be at LA Weekly’s Sips & Sweets, a dining, drinking and shopping event happening from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at new nighttime destination The Majestic Downtown and The Reserve. Look for the Amoeba booth—we’ll have holiday gift certificates and our prize wheel.

Tickets are $40 for presale general admission or $45 at the door (children’s tickets are $25, $30 at the door). A ticket gets you unlimited sweets sampling, eight sips from the mixologists and access to the holiday vendor village.

Sips & Sweets features drinks from local mixologists and sweets from bakers and pastry chefs that work at various places around L.A. A portion of proceeds will go to benefit Food Forward, which provides fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste to people in need.

sips & sweetsSweets will come from A.O.C., Auntie Em’s Kitchen, BLD, Buttercelli Bakeshop, Clementine, Cooks County, Craft, Field Trip, Flores, Gjelina, The Gourmandise School, Heirloom, Huckleberry, Little Dom’s, Republique, Rockenwagner, Lucques, McConnell’s, Pizzeria Mozza, Tavern, Nickel Diner, Patina Restaurant Group, Proof Bakery, Semi Sweet Bakery, Sugarbird, Valerie Confections and The Village Bakery and Café.

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Dub Club's Tom Chasteen Discusses New Release: "Natural Numbers In Dub" on Stones Throw

Posted by Billyjam, November 26, 2014 10:10am | Post a Comment
Recently the ever prolific and consistently diverse Peanut Butter Wolf headed Stones Throw Records label unleashed yet another great release: Natural Numbers' dub reggae Natural Numbers In Dub. The excellent album joins the label's reggae dub catalog that also includes such other Dub Club related releases as Gappy Ranks Meets Dub Club that was released earlier this month, This  Generation Dub (the Tom Chasteen remix of The Lions) from June, and the Dub Club presented compilation Meaning of Dub LP, featuring such artists as Tippa Irie, Josey Wales, and Dub Club, that Stones Throw released back in August.

Natural Numbers' Natural Numbers In Dub, which features members from Wilco and Mazzy Star, is the newest solo production from the same hard-working, highly revered Tom Chasteen from the ongoing party Dub Club in LA at The Echoplex - happening tonight (November 26th - see flyer below or click here for details). With the lead single "Dub and Blind" the full-length, ten track dub album follows a series of other Chateen produced dub releases under the Dub Club name. For this latest project by the skilled producer Chasteen pushes the envelope by stretching the musical boundaries beyond the usual reggae dub flavor and incorporating such other elements as Middle Eastern, African, and even some country music into his mix.

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Weekly Wednesday Steal: Coldplay's 'Midnight'

Posted by Amoebite, November 26, 2014 09:26am | Post a Comment

coldplay midnight lpThis week's Weekly Wedensday Steal is Coldplay' Midnight 7", regularly $10.98 and on sale for $5 on vinyl.

"Midnight" is the second single from Coldplay's recently released Ghost Stories album. The electro-pop track, which calls to mind Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" by way of Bon Iver, has a heat-saturated psychedelic video clip, which you can watch below.

A bit about our Weekly Steal: A new item is featured on Amoeba.com every Wednesday for $10, while supplies last. It's limited to one per customer, and the deal is only available on the website. As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States.

Watch the video for "Midnight":

 

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Novelist Michel Faber

Posted by Amoebite, November 25, 2014 07:40pm | Post a Comment

Michel Faber

Dutch-born author Michel Faber is best known for the novels Under the Skin (2000) and The Crimson Petal and the White (2002). In 2013, a film version of Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Jonathan Glazer was released to critical acclaim. 

Michel Faber recently visited Amoeba San Francisco and picked up an eclectic and esoteric selection ranging from folk to rock to experimental and beyond. He kicks things off with a vinyl copy of Santana's classic, Lotus, and waxes poetic about the beauty of vinyl packaging. Faber also digs up an interesting mixtape called Bill Cosby Talks To Kids About Drugs by DJ Female Convict Scorpion. Turn that on for some psychedelic turntablism madness! From obscure Norwegian black metal to the folk and country of Judy Collins, Michel Faber digs for it all.

Watch the full episode below to check out the rest of his awesome picks. 

Michel Faber - What's In My Bag? 
Watch and comment on YouTube. 

 

Top 20 Songs About Heroin

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2014 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Upon hearing the incredible, engaging new single "Bag A Gear" from the Dublin, Ireland-based rapper Tommy KD (formerly known as Man & The Machine) on the topic of his former heroin habit that he is grateful to have finally kicked, I was reminded of the numerous songs tackling the topic of the highly addictive opiate.

I have put together a Top 20 Songs About Heroin list - some seemingly pro but most definitively con. These songs (with accompanying videos) are culled from different genres and different eras but all share views on the same topic - one that has destroyed way too many great musicians' careers and lives over the decades. Just as there are countless terms and nicknames for heroin (horse, smack, H, skag, junk, dirt, brown sugar, golden girl, hell dust, white nurse, thunder, etc. etc.) there are also seemingly endless songs about the drug. This subjective top twenty list could easily be extended into a Top 100 or Top 200 list, so feel free to post any songs on the subject of heroin that you think should have been included. Since I tried to keep it down to 20, I had to cut out duplicates by artists included and did not include such greats as "Ain't it Fun" by both The Dead Boys and Guns N' Roses.

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Gift Ideas: Music DVDs

Posted by Amoebite, November 25, 2014 02:18pm | Post a Comment

Gift Ideas music DVDs

Music DVDs can be a great gift idea for a music fan, particularly one who already has the newest album or an entire artist's catalog. They're a way to go behind the scenes, gain new insight or watch an artist performing at the height of their career. Check out 10 recent music DVD releases to consider giving this holiday. 

The Beatles a Hard Day's Night

The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night [Criterion]

Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, The Beatles began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A Hard Day’s Night, in which John, Paul, George, and Ringo play slapstick versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything-goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems, including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, which reconceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.

Happy 30th, Criterion -- May your next 30 be even better

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 25, 2014 11:18am | Post a Comment
Criterion is, without a doubt, the most loved video-distribution company in the video distribution game. No one (outside Korea) packages their films so beautifully and today they released a lovely, book (just in time for Christmas) of their "covers, supplemental art, and never-before-seen sketches and concept art" featured on their releases over the years called Criterion Designs. They're also beloved for their supplemental special features, which are similarly rarely paralleled, and the high quality of their restorations. There are podcasts, and subreddits, and completists devoted to the label. My only problem with them is over the films which they release -- or rather, those that they don't. 

Criterion Designs
Criterion Designs (image source: The Criterion Collection)


Criterion was launched back in 1984, when Joe Medjuck, Aleen Stein, and Robert Stein founded the company in New York City. From the get go Criterion chose films from Europe, North America, and Asia for their lovingly attentive treatment. I only became aware of the company around 1999. I recognized a lot of their films from introductory film school classes -- the canonical status of which was usually advertised by the stamp of Janus Films. At the same time, couldn't help but notice the glaring omission of ANY films from South America or Africa. When I pointed this out to Criterion loyalists and asked for their thoughts I got the following replies: "Do they make films?," "You mean like Tarzan?," and "You mean like Superfly?" My answers to all three were, "Are you *censored* kidding me?"

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Album Picks: Andy Stott, Sleaford Mods

Posted by Billy Gil, November 25, 2014 09:41am | Post a Comment

Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers (LP, CD)

andy stott faith in strangers lpThough techno/dub producer Andy Stott’s latest release was most certainly made using computers, he’s channeling something otherwordly here. Noirish opener “Time Away” evokes deeds unseen in the middle of the night with its long, foggy tones. Alison Skidmore, Stott’s former piano teacher, lends airy, disembodied vocals for Stott to manipulate and mangle amid squirting synth noise on “Violence,” though some of her seductive intonations give Stott a welcome personality to work with. “Science and Industry” calls to mind Joy Division in its merciless bleakness and clanging beatwork, while “No Surrender” pushes beautiful synth runs into the red, beats bleeding over into one another. Though Stott has the ability to move and sometimes overwhelm you with sound, it’s the silences and sense of space in songs like the title track that make them stay with you, even as “Faith in Strangers” ends up as one of Stott’s most engaging, optimistic compositions. Faith in Strangers isn’t quite as cohesive as his last album, Luxury Problems, but its tracks also feel a lot more like individual songs, rather than parts of one large piece. The source of the creeping menace present in Stott’s music may elude you after finishing Faith in Strangers, but it’s entirely effective in creating a sense of place before unsettling you. Faith in Strangers feels alluringly just out of reach, keeping you delving into its dark passages. Just remember to come up for breath. 

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Such a Vision: Grace Sings Sludge's Red Light Museum

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 24, 2014 07:14pm | Post a Comment
grace sings sludge cooper singer songwriter sandwitches last years friend red light museum empty cellar bay area artist painter
photo via sludgegrace.tumblr.com

There are plenty of divas and dime-a-dozen darlings moving through the vanity fair on any given day, but there is only one Grace Cooper in existence. An artist, singer, and songwriter known in part for her countless collaborations with local visionaries and troubadours aplenty, as well as for her contributions as one-third of the oft celebrated and much missed Bay Area "girl band" The Sandwitches, Grace has lately released a new collection of songs as Grace Sings Sludge, an alias that serves as a monicker for her mostly-solo show, one that is apparently executed entirely on her own terms.

Following up from her past two Grace Sings Sludge releases with San Francisco’s Secret Seven Records, This Time It’s Personal and Last Year’s Friend, this new self-released album, Red Light Museum (via Empty Cellar), is a heady potion of lust, devotion, and darkened encounters that seems to be a more disturbed affair compared its predecessors, in a good way. One bewitching example of this is the opening track, "Difficult to Luv," what begins as an intimate, barely-there rhythmic apparition that slowly slips it's limbs around you, easing into a slow-handed throbbing inquisition for the "Jesus Christ of love" -- see the cattitudes aplenty video for the song, below:


'Under the Skin' Screening at The Regent Features Live Soundtrack Jan. 6

Posted by Amoebite, November 24, 2014 04:07pm | Post a Comment

If you've seen this year's brilliantly heady sci-fi thriller Under the Skin, you know that a huge part of the film's capitvating power owes to its visceral soundtrack.
 
under the skin soundtrackThe newly repoened Regent Theatre in Downtown L.A. will host a screening of the film Jan. 6 with a live performance of the score by a 25-piece orchestra directed by the film's composer, Mica Levi (also of British noisemakers Micachu & the Shapes).
 
There are two screenings of the film with its live soundtrack, at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tickets start at $25, and they're on sale now. The screenings are co-presented by Wordless Music and Spaceland Productions.
 
The film, directed by Jonathan Glazer, stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien given human form who lures men to their doom yet slowly becomes more human as she exists in our world. Based on a novel by Michel Faber, the film has received generous acclaim, as has its soundtrack. The classically trained Levi's haunting score perfectly vibes with the film's body horror and pyschological undertones. The soundtrack is available now on LP and CD via Milan, while MIcachu & the Shapes have two albums out on Rough Trade, Never and Jewellry, plus the live album Chopped & Screwed. The film is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Also, check out our new "What's In My Bag?" episode with the author, Michel Faber!

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One album wonders: World of Twist's Quality Street

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 24, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment
WORLD OF TWIST - QUALITY STREET (1991)
World of Twist Quality Street

World of Twist
are one of the greatest one album wonders, on par with The La’s and The Sex Pistols — if unfortunately much more obscure than either. Although they’ve been broken up for more than twenty years, their cult still remains small although it seems inevitable that they will some day be granted the adoration which they so deserve. It seems only a matter of time before an excellent documentary on them screens at Don’t Knock the Rock or appears on video. 

World of Twist



As with many one album wonders, though not prolific as recording artists, the World of Twist’s members were involved in music for many years. From 1977-1979, Dave Conner (vocals), Gordon King (bass), James Fry (guitar), Julia Adamson (guitar), and Tony Ogden (drums) played in a punk band called The Blackout when all were art students in Art & Design at Stockport College in Greater Manchester.

Essential Records: The Tony Williams Lifetime, "Emergency!"

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 23, 2014 02:57pm | Post a Comment

They say music can be life-changing. I’ll buy that. Probably the most important and profound post-Beatles record in my Jazz life, or even my musical, personal and business life (you’ll see), was Emergency! by the The Tony Willams Lifetime. That’s a big sentence for an LP fiend like me. ONE record led by a drummer did all that? To me, Jazz is a huge, beautiful expression of the American Classical music, no small accomplishment in the last 100 years with everything out there. And I remember as if was yesterday how this record came to change my life.

In high school and later I was in a bluesy, Procol Harum-meets-Jefferson Airplane-style outfit called Moonfleet, after the film. We had the town and the era by the ear, so naturally we were asked to play our own Senior Picnic close to graduation at Westchester High School (still there), near the beach in L.A. I had played drums at another Senior picnic and I knew the picnics were free-for–all's in those days. We were excited to blow our fellow student’s minds, with coffins and dancers and fiery  entertainment, with myself on guitar then.

As per our gig deal, the school had hired a PA system for our show. The day came and we pulled in for a sound check with our equipment. What the hell? It’s a flat bed truck set up on the Jr. Varsity lawn!! With nice club-PA speakers! Loud!! With audio guys that knew what they were doing!! We had a big stage with good sound. But, hey, that music, coming over the system?

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: M.O.P., Shadow & Cut Chemist, Too $hort, Live Human, Diamond District, REKS X Hazardis Soundz + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2014 12:08pm | Post a Comment

Among the recent releases to arrive at Amoeba is M.O.P.'s Street Certified, which was released earlier this week by Nature Sounds as a digital download. The new nine track EP from the two-decade strong influential Brooklyn rap duo (whose name stands for Mash out Posse) features such tracks as "187," "Broad Daylight (featuring Busta Rhymes),"  and the Street Certified title track with Queens hip-hop duo Mobb Deep. The EP is executive produced by DJ Premier and is just one of two new releases from the duo. The other will be a special box set retrospective entitled 20 Years And Still Gunnin: The Ammo Box.

If you are in the Bay Area and missed DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's recent all vinyl Afrika Bambaataa record collection-themed Renegades of Rhythm tour when it stopped at the Mezzanine two months ago (I checked it out and it was off the hook!), you will have another chance to catch the two noted Cali DJs/producers/vinyl collectors when their openers will be Dam-Funk and Davey D at the Fox Theatre in Oakland on Tuesday, November 25th at 8pm. Tickets here.

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Before Reggae

Posted by Joe Goldmark, November 21, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Before Reggae, Rock Steady, and Ska, Calypso was the folk music of the English speaking Caribbean. Like all good folk music, calypsos told stories in song and were often written to celebrate topical events. The music originated with slaves on the plantations. By the golden era of the late 1920s and '30s, there were many diverse influences including music heard from U.S. radio waves that reached the islands.

Here’s what Wikipedia says: Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 1600s.

Some of the earliest recordings were by Atilla the Hun, and The Roaring Lion, in the early 1930s.

Atilla – “Roosevelt in Trinidad”

Roaring Lion – “Ugly Woman”


 

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Share the Joy with Amoeba Music's Holiday Food & Toy Drives

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 21, 2014 03:25pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is gathering food and gifts for families in need this holiday season. Please join us in donating and make the holidays more joyful for everyone.

At Amoeba San Francisco, we’re joining forces with the SF Marin Food Bank to collect canned goods and nonperishable items for singles and families in need November 25th - December 23rd. The most-needed food items are tuna, canned meat, peanut butter, soup, chili, beans, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, and granola bars. No glass or perishable items, please.

As a thank you for your donations, receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase of $25 or more at Amoeba SF and 10% off Amoeba.com!


At Amoeba Hollywood, we’re collecting holiday gifts for Five Acres, an organization that works to prevent child abuse and neglect. They care for, treat, and educate abused and neglected children and their families in residential and outreach programs throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas. To donate, please bring in a new, unwrapped toy for a child age 4–16 to the information counter. The toy drive runs from November 28th - December 12th. No violent or weapons-based toys, please.

As a thank you for your donations, Amoeba Hollywood will offer a coupon for $3 off your purchase!

Amoeba Hollywood's Toy Drive

Join Us for Amoebapalooza Nov. 30 at the Dragonfly

Posted by Amoebite, November 21, 2014 01:54pm | Post a Comment

Join the Amoeba Hollywood staff Nov. 30 at the Dragonfly for an amazing night of performances at Amoebapalooza 2014!

Featuring original bands, one-off tributes and more, it'll be a night to remember. Attendees will get to witness Amoebite versions of Cream, Nirvana, Edith Piaf, Thin Lizzy and MORE MUSICAL SURPRISES. Bands for the night include Bad Reputation, 3 Sparrows, Hyacinth Girl, Antoine & the Tater Tots, Abracadavr, High How Are You, La Gente Del ol, Race Card, Parents, Wa Wa, Non-Fat Grande Creams Featuring Jack Puce, Keila Cone-Uemura, The World Record and Crystal Visions. It's hosted by our intrepid MC Daniel Tures, with some help from his friends.

The show starts at 8 p.m. It's $5 for admission, and the show is 21+. The Dragonfly is located at 6150 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Finish off your Thanksgiving weekend with us next Sunday! We hope to see you there.

amoebapalooza

 

 

 

The Coup's Boots Riley Keeps The Revolution Alive & Discusses His Ambitious "Shadowbox" Stage Production

Posted by Billyjam, November 21, 2014 10:18am | Post a Comment



About a quarter way into the The Coup's amazing world premiere of Shadowbox - the longtime politicized Oakland hip-hop group's ambitious multifaceted, mixed media, multi-stage production that played as a preview for only two shows at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) - front-man/emcee Boots Riley pointed to the giant floor-to-ceiling artwork by East Bay street artist Jon-Paul Bail. The East Bay muralist's giant cityscape print, that wrapped its way around all walls of the entire performance space at YBCA, was an accurate image of the changing city that awaited outside the museum's walls. Skyscrapers and other towering buildings with bold logos emblazoned on them of American born and bred entities like Twitter, Google, IBM, AT&T, NRA, and the PMRC acted as the perfect backdrop to the revolutionary hip-hop group's message of Shadowbox - to question authority and rebel against exploitative predatory corporations and the politicians that they've paid off to continue their rise to power at the expense of increasingly poorer working class of America.

In addition to Boots Riley and his full live band, the large scale production boasted numerous other artists joining the Coup on three stages (sometimes simultaneously) including Dead Prez, Classical Revolution, W. Kamau Bell, Mortar & Pestle, Snow Angel, Eat The Fish Presents, and Extra Action Marching Band. The choice of all of these artists, like the inclusion of Jon-Paul Bail's art work and the video projections and other stage designs by David Szlasa, was all the brainchild of Boots Riley. The Coup mainman has been a fan and friend of Bail's for many years and the inclusion of his art seemed like a no-brainer, he told the YBCA audience.

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Weekly Roundup: Sonny & the Sunsets, Jessica Pratt, Tobias Jesso Jr., Colleen Green, L.A. Witch, Susan

Posted by Billy Gil, November 21, 2014 10:11am | Post a Comment

Sonny & the Sunsets – “Cheap Extensions” video

sonny & the sunsets Sonny & the Sunsets have a new album on the way, and they already have an awesome, animated new video for the track “Cheap Extensions.” Follow the tail of a girl and her mysterious extensions over the Sunsets’ hypnotic groove. Talent Night at the Ashram was mostly recorded by Smith at home on his tape machine with the help of friends like Shayde Sartin (The Fresh & Onlys), Garret Goddard (King Tuff), Kelley Stoltz, Rusty Miller and Ian McBrayer. It’s due Feb. 17 on Polyvinyl. Read my interview with Sonny Smith back when they released their terrific last album, Antenna to the Afterworld.

 

Jessica Pratt – “Back, Baby”

jessica prattI missed this new Jessica Pratt song while I was out of town—my bad! Everyone should be aware that it exists, and that the former Amoebite is releasing her second album soon—On Your Own Love Again is due on Drag City Jan. 27. On the first track she’s released from it, Pratt’s elfin voice sings a pensive breakup tune amid loping, seaside acoustic guitar. Absolutely stunning.

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Remembering Jimmy Ruffin

Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2014 07:28am | Post a Comment

Since the sad news broke yesterday of the passing of Motown great Jimmy Ruffin - who died earlier this week at the age of 78 - I've been going back and digging up some of the popular recordings by the man. While he may not have been quite as famous as his younger brother David Ruffin (the lead singer of the Temptations), he was an incredibly talented artist. Born in Mississippi, Jimmy Ruffin moved to Detroit in the early sixties to connect with Berry Gordy's Motown Records - or rather Motown's Miracle Records imprint. There he recorded his biggest hit in 1966 with "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted."

Other Ruffin songs that enjoyed success over the years included "Gonna Give Her All the Love I Got," "I've Passed This Way Before," and the 1980 hit "Hold On To My Love." Ruffin, who relocated temporarily to the UK in the 1980s where he recorded with such artists as Paul Weller, continued recording up until two years ago when he released his final album, There Will Never Be Another You. Below are a few select videos featuring the man that Berry Gordy called "truly underrated."

Check for his music at Amoeba including his 1969 album Ruff'n Ready, the 20th Century Masters collection The Best Of Jimmy Ruffin - The Millennium Collection, and the duet full-length I Am My Brothers Keeper  that he recorded with his late great brother David who died 24 years ago. Hopefully, the two Ruffin brothers are reunited in the afterlife and singing sweet soul music together again.

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Fight For Your Right: A Beastie Boys Tribute Night at the SFJFF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 19, 2014 05:38pm | Post a Comment

Exercise your right to party with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival in celebration of the original American Jewish rappers, the Beastie Boys! It all goes down on the second night of Chanukah, Wednesday, December 17th at Public Works at 8:30pm. Come get on up ‘n’ get on down with live music from Bay Area bands Felonious, Jazz Mafia, and DJ Cylcofunk, who will be spinning rare Beasties B-sides, remixes, and other hip-hop surprises all night long.

Landmark music videos featuring early directorial work from Spike Jonze, Tamra Davis, and of course, the dearly departed Adam "MCA" Yauch, will be projected all night, providing a visual aid to your sonic illuminations. Put on your best club wear or dress as your favorite Beastie Boy for a chance to win SFJFF tickets and an original painting of the Beasties by local artist Chris Fabbri.
 

Fight For Your Right: A Beastie Boys Tribute Night at the SFJFF
Wednesday, December 17
Doors at 8:30PM @ Public Works SF, 161 Erie St.
$10 advance tix | $15 door.

 

And check out these fun extras:

Top 8 Beastie Boys Videos compiled by SFJFF Programmer Josh Moore.

Top 8 Rare Beastie Boys Recordings compiled by Jake Gilchrist (DJ Cyclofunk).

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Show Recap: Joel Jerome at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 19, 2014 02:53pm | Post a Comment

joel jeromeJoel Jerome brought his seven-man band to Amoeba Hollywood Nov. 18 for a set of songs from his excellent new solo record, Psychedelic Thrifstore Folk, as well as his catalog of songs from his days fronting dios.

They started with the “Everybody Wants Somebody,” jangling forth on a Kinksy arrangement until it slowed down for an extended sunlit singalong chorus. The band layered jangling acoustics, steel guitar, horse-clopping percussion, chimes, saxophone into a perfectly orchestrated mass, showing Jerome’s ability to dress these songs in whatever he sees fit and still have them come through as well-written songs to the core. Jerome introduced singer/songwriter Miguel Mendez for the next song, the Mendez-written “You Got Me All Wrong,” off the first dios album, which was also included on one of The O.C. mixes back in the day. The band faithfully tore through “You Got Me All Wrong” and went into another Mendez song, Thrifstore’s dreamy “I’m Dumb After All,” with Mendez taking lead and Jerome singing backup and snaking country licks around lines like “I wanna die with the radio blasting.”

Thriftstore’s cool, Doors-tinged opener “Stay in Bed” came next, followed by “Tell Me Thing,” off the third dios album, We Are Dios. The song was the set’s show-stopper, its sexy opening riff grabbing you and setting the stage for Jerome’s spine-tingling lead vocal and killer psych-rock solo. They finished the set with a new song he said would be on an upcoming album he hoped would be out next year, a glam-blues stomper that left us excited for whatever the prolific Jerome is up to next.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Posted by Amoebite, November 19, 2014 01:16pm | Post a Comment

Unknown Mortal Orchestra What's in My Bag

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the brainchild of New Zealander Ruban Nielson (formerly of the Mint Chicks). After relocating to Portland, Oregon, Nielson met future bandmates Jacob Portrait (bass) and Riley Geare (drums). In 2010, Nielson released a self-produced home recording of the track "Ffunny Ffriends" on the music site Bandcamp. With virtually no info on the band or music, bloggers and digital music diggers started sharing the song and word of the band started to spread. In the summer of 2011, the band released a self-titled album on Fat Possum Records. Check out what Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh) had to say about UMO's debut album in his "What's In My Bag?" episode here. In 2013, Unknown Mortal Orchestra signed with the Jagjaguwar label and released the album II . 

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Weekly Wednesday Steal: Screaming Trees' 'Last Words'

Posted by Amoebite, November 19, 2014 09:01am | Post a Comment

screeming trees last words lpThis week's Weekly Wedensday Steal is Screaming Trees' final LP Last Words: The Final Recordings, regularly $19.98 and on sale for $10 on vinyl.

Fronted by gruff-vocaled Mark Lanegan, Washington's Screaming Trees were among the forefront of the grunge movement, scoring the alternative rock hit "Nearly Lost You." Last Words consists of recordings the band did in 1998 and 1999 right before the band broke up. The album wasn't offically released until 2011 and now constitutes the last Screaming Trees album. Meanwhile, Lanegan has had a successful post-Trees career as a solo artist, recently releasing the fine Phantom Radio LP, and as a collaborator with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age.

A bit about our Weekly Steal: A new item is featured on Amoeba.com every Wednesday for $10, while supplies last. It's limited to one per customer, and the deal is only available on the website. As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States.

Hear the album's "Last Words"below:

 

John Waters Returns to California With His Popular Annual Christmas Show

Posted by Billyjam, November 19, 2014 03:52am | Post a Comment


Film-maker, screenwriter, author, stand-up comedian, art collector, hitchhiker, and friend of Amoeba John Waters will be doing another one of his popular one-man Christmas show tours this upcoming holiday season. The tour kicks off in San Francisco at the end of this month features back to back California dates including LA on December 5th, all before heading back East to wind up the four-week tour.

Themed loosely around his 2004 release A John Waters Christmas, Waters' live show focuses as you would expect on the offbeat and the kitsch end of the holiday. He covers a lot of territory, discussing gifts to give and how to react to ones you receive. Also, as he states in an interview from last holiday season with his hometown TV interview below ? of Baltimore's WBAL TV, he offers invaluable tips on how to survive the drama of the holidays and "how to react to the trauma of it, if your family's crazy, and how to get through it."

Tickets are on sale now, but some shows are already sold out including the SF date. California dates include San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall on November 29th, San Diego at The Stephen and Mary Birch North Park Theatre on December 1st, Palm Springs at McCallum Theatre on December 2nd, San Juan Capistrano at The Coach House Dec 3rd,  Agoura Hills at The Canyon on December 4th, in Los Angeles at The Comedy Store in Hollywood on December 5th, and back up in NorCal at the City Winery in Napa on December 6th.

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Amoeba Co-Presents Madi Diaz at the Troubadour Dec. 8

Posted by Amoebite, November 18, 2014 01:15pm | Post a Comment

madi diaz troubadourmadi diaz phatom cdAmoeba is proud to present electro-pop singer/songwriter Madi Diaz live at the Troubadour in West Hollywood Dec. 8. The all-ages show is presented alongside Alt 98.7’s Close to Home. Buy tickets here.

Diaz is currently touring in support of her upbeat new album, Phantom, which was released Sept. 30. Featuring the heartfelt singalong “Stay Together,” Phantom is a sheer delight, full of driving, emotional pop songs. Don’t just take our word for it—according to KCRW, “Rarely has an album about being knocked down by life sounded so attractively catchy. ... Glossy production nicely shapes Diaz’ dance-music flecked songs, which throb with subterranean bass lines, ear-tickling refrains and her own genuine, no-frills vocals. ... A statement record that declares [Madi] as an artist of note.”

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Deerhoof Unveil Crazy 'Paradise Girls' Video, Kick Ass at the Troubadour

Posted by Billy Gil, November 18, 2014 11:25am | Post a Comment

deerhoof troubadourDeerhoof played a typically destructive set at the Troubadour in West Hollywood last night, starting off with tracks from their excellent new album, La Isla Bonita. Satomi Matsuzaki irrepressibly chanted to the cute “Paradise Girls” (“Girls…who play the bass guitar!”) and skronky “Last Fad” (“Baseball is cancelled!”) while John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez braided sneaky guitar lines around her. “Exit Only” sounded a lot fiercer live, while drummer/madman Greg Saunier traded instruments with Matsuzaki for La Isla Bonita’s pulsating, chaotic closer, “Oh Bummer.” A well-selected sprinkling of older material meshed well with the newer stuff, from the crashing “Dummy Discards a Heart” (from Apple O’) to the thumping “Twin Killers” (from The Runners Four) and riff-stuffed “Fresh Born” (from Offend Maggie). Saunier’s drumming remains a barely contained tornado to which the rest of the band somehow hangs on; the band stays tight even when he flies off the rails, making everything exciting, unpredictable and yet always masterful. Matsuzaki let loose for insane closer “Come See the Duck” (from the Green Cosmos EP), goading the audience into an off-beat call-and-response of “Come! Come! Come see the duck!” and teasing us when we got it wrong. Who can guess how 12 albums and 20 years in, Deerhoof are as energetic and thrilling to experience as ever. If you’re in S.F., they’re at the American Music Hall tonight with Crystal Skulls and Go Dark. Don’t miss it.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: June 1990 Billboard Hot Rap Singles Top 30 Chart

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2014 10:50am | Post a Comment


In the 24 years since the first publication of the Billboard Hot Rap Singles Top 30 Chart, rap/hip-hop has grown by leaps and bounds in both terms of widespread acceptance and (seemingly) unstoppable global popularity. Upon publication back in mid-June of 1990, while popular enough to deem its own weekly chart, hip-hop was still somewhat marginalized and was far from the mainstream cultural force it is today. However, while examining the contrast between radio/sales charting hip-hop in 1990 and 2014, there are many notable differences. For starters, hip-hop was still largely labeled or referred to as "rap" back then, which is somewhat ironic since popular "hip-hop" today is technically more "rap" than it was back at the beginning of the nineties.

From eyeballing this June 1990 chart that was compiled from a national sample of both retail and one-stop sales, it's evident that commercially popular hip-hop appeared to be a lot more adventurous and much more diverse in style both production-wise and lyrically. Also notable is how major labels did not dominate the bulk of rap sales. It was pretty much evenly split between indies and majors, although many of those same independent labels would in time make deals with the majors. Another notable business factor was that record labels (indie or major) could still be very profitable ventures since 1990 was a time when people still bought records and tapes to hear music. There was no illegal free downloading/file-sharing of music and the only threat to labels was illegally dubbed bootleg cassette copies of their releases. Hence labels had more money to spend on promotions of their artists.



Women hip-hop artists, whom to this day have never gained equality in their genre, were still in the minority back in June 1990 with only five out of this top 30 chart being female acts. These five included three groups - something much rarer today when female rappers tend to be solo acts - and included Hammer proteges Oaktown's 3-5-7, Def Dames (whose "Set It Off" heavily sampled Strafe's 1984 club/radio hit of the same name and who should not be confused with the Euro girl group who came a little later), and early career Jermaine Dupri-discovered rap/r&b trio Silk Tymes Leather. The other female chart entries were Icey Jaye ("It's A Girl Thing"), and Queen Latifah in a duet with David Bowie for "Fame 90."

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Album Picks: Ariel Pink, TV on the Radio, Whirr/Nothing

Posted by Billy Gil, November 18, 2014 10:18am | Post a Comment

Ariel Pink - pom pom (LP, CD, Download)

ariel pink pom pom lpForget everything you’ve read about Ariel Pink. His public persona has nothing to do with his music, which has never been more remarkable than it is on pom pom. “Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade” begins the album by approximating decades of children’s music, family VHS tapes and video game music into a multicolored parade of half-remembered sounds. On tracks like “White Freckles,” Pink taps into similar territory of outdated interstitial music and lyrics and sounds inspired by advertising, pouring his exaggerated lothario presence all over them and ending up with sticky-sweet concoctions that leave you feeling titillated and slightly nauseated. Nothing that could possibly be interesting gets thrown away in Pink’s world—“Lipstick” could be based on an adult contemporary jam you never learned the name of; “Nude Beat A Go-Go” is like a perved-up version of a Frankie & Annette movie theme song. This means there are a few tracks you’ll skip past, but it’s better to have the full Pink treatment, making pom pom feel more crucial than 2012’s somewhat cleaned-up Mature Themes. And the singles are killer. “Put Your Number in My Phone” is a new cheese classic in silk pajamas. “Black Ballerina,” like its precursor, Before Today’s “Round and Round,” is a sick roller rink jam, with a disjointed narrative flowing through. And “Picture Me Gone” takes Pink’s simmering Beach Boys influence into a gossamer synth ballad. So he’s kind of a creep. But pom pom is proof that for all his off-putting proclivities, Ariel Pink still makes some of the most fascinating and entertaining pop music around. 

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One album wonders: Shop Assistants' Shop Assistants

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 18, 2014 07:31am | Post a Comment
SHOP ASSISTANTS - SHOP ASSISTANTS (1986) 

Shop Assistants band photo

In this week's installment of One album wonders we look at the Scottish band, Shop Assistants. On the eve of the Scottish independence referendum they were officially named on of the Top 50 Scottish bands of all time (see Top 50 Scottish bands of all time).

The band formed in Edinburgh in 1984, originally as Buba & The Shop Assistants). The original line-up was Annabel "Aggi" Wright (vocals), David Keegan (guitar), Sarah Kneale (bass), Laura MacPhail (drums), and Ann Donald (more drums). Stephen Pastel produced, provided the artwork, and sang back-up on their debut single, “Something to Do" on the very short-lived Villa21 Records. Soon after Pastel nicked Aggi for his own Glasgow-based band, The Pastels.


Aggi's replacement was Alex Taylor and with the line-up change came a shortening of their moniker to Shop Assistants. Shop Assistants debuted with Shopping Parade EP in 1985, released on on The Subway Organization, run by Martin Whitehead of Bristol-based band The Flatmates. Its lead track, "All Day Long" was described by Morrissey as his favorite single of the year" which is the sort of endorsement that should, but never did, make a band's career.


Donald quit shortly afterward and without her the band recorded and released "Safety Net" on Keegan's own 53rd & 3rd Records. In 1986, another of their songs, "It's Up To You,” was included on the NME’s now famous scene-making C-86 cassette. 


Having achieved some independent success Shop Assistants next signed to Chrysalis Records, the Blue Guitar Records imprint of which was credited on their sole full-length album, Shop Assistants. Considering its quality, it performed surprisingly poorly commercially. In 1987, Taylor disbanded the band in and formed The Motorcycle Boy with former members of Shop Assistants and East Kilbride's second-finest, Meat Whiplash. They also proved to be one album wonders, releasing just Scarlet in 1989.

Dip Your Toes into Classical Music with Our Handy Conversion Chart

Posted by Amoebite, November 17, 2014 03:56pm | Post a Comment

Classical Music Conversion Chart

There is a type of customer at Amoeba Music that remains one of my favorites. Those brave souls who sheepishly make their way to the deepest, most remote area of the store: The Classical Section. They look vulnerable but hopeful, curious but intimidated. They come, knowing they want Classical music, but unsure how to find something they’ll like.

I’ve found the most efficient and fun way to lead folks is to learn about the other forms of music they love, and then use that to inspire selections. For every contemporary artist on the scene today, I assure you that there’s a composer in the Classical section with parallels. Beyond that, after working in record stores for over a decade, I’ve learned that people who enjoy certain acts – such as, let’s say, Black Sabbath – typically will also enjoy the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.

It’s these interactions that led me to create the following "conversion chart." While no means infallible, think of it as a fun way to find a starting point in your adventure into the Classical music genre. But remember – no chart can replace a living, breathing, Amoeba Music employee. Don’t be afraid to come in and ask for suggestions. We love that!

The best time to come explore the Classical section will be November 28-30 when we're having a huge Classical blowout at our stores over Black Friday weekend. All red and green tag Classical CDs and vinyl will be 50% off! Sale details here.

Essential Records: The Pharcyde's 'Bizarre Ride II'

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2014 02:23pm | Post a Comment

The Pharcyde

Each person has their own personal way to judge and rate the music they love. For me the criteria for rating an LP an "Essential Record" includes two key qualities: first, it's an all killer, no filler album (no temptation to ever skip over any track); and secondly, it is such a quality release that it doesn't age one bit over time (the timeless factor). Sometimes an Essential Record gets even better over the years. Such is the case with The Pharcyde's remarkable 1992 debut album, Bizarre Ride II (Delicious Vinyl), which sounds even more amazing today than it did when I first heard it 22 years ago. I say this after playing the 57 minute record from start to finish twice in a row today, having not listened to it in a few years. Damn, that J-Swift-produced album is so incredibly good! It's packed with soul, passion, and richly varied but cohesive beats and flows - from jazzy to old school to next generation - with varying BPMs. But, most notably, the album was totally unlike anything else at the time.

In late 1992, the SoCal-based Delicious Vinyl record label released Bizarre Ride II within just a few weeks oThe Pharcyde Ya Mamaf fellow LA based hip-hop artist Dr. Dre's G-Funk classic, The Chronic. While the two landmark hip-hop releases may have been linked by timeline and geography, they could not have been further apart in sound and style. Even Bizarre Ride's wild, fun, cartoonish cover art set it apart as a record that did not take itself too seriously. The album effuses a feeling of nonstop fun all the way through, as proven by the numerous impromptu-sounding hilarious studio bits that were mixed in or left in the final recording, like at the end of "Ya Mama" where they are just riffing off of each other. Unique, too, is how many of the "skits" on Bizarre Ride sound like songs, such as the 2:10 long "Quinton's on the Way (Skit)" which is like a Louis Armstrong inspired jazz song that captures the guys having fun in the studio with their different sounding voices and tones perfectly in contrast with each other.

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10 Record Store Day Releases to Look For on Black Friday

Posted by Billy Gil, November 17, 2014 12:09pm | Post a Comment

record store day black friday amoeba

Black Friday launches the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving with lots of great deals. Instead of yanking someone by the hair off of that $10 barbecue set at Wal-Marts or whatever, you can come to Amoeba for a variety of deals on turntables, Blu-rays, gift certificates and more. Additionally, there will be nearly 140 Record Store Day exclusive Black Friday releases to choose from—see the whole list (.pdf) here. That’s a lot of records, bro/broette! Here are 10 that stood out to me.

David BowieSue (Or in a Season of Crime) 12”

david bowie sue or in a season of crime“Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” is an unsettling new David Bowie track full of jazzy horns and creepy lyrics about a dissolving relationship that may end in murder. It’s backed on this 7” by another new Bowie song, “Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” a fluctuating electro-rocker that shares its name with a play from the 1600s by John Ford. Both songs will also appear on the Bowie retrospective Nothing Has Changed, which came out today, but here’s your chance to get them separately from that. Hear both tracks in all their maddening glory below:

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Next Sidewalk Sale Features Deals on Vinyl, Blu-ray and More Nov. 22

Posted by Amoebite, November 17, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

It’s time once again for a Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood! Our next one takes place Saturday, November 22 from 12 to 5 p.m.

We’ll be featuring the following deals:

  • Clearance LPs priced to move
  • DVDs for $3, or buy three get one free (excluding DVD box sets)
  • DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10
  • Blu-rays at three for $12
  • Books and comics at three for $1
  • Stickers and buttons at two for $1
  • Classical deals

And more!

Come by and pick up some fresh goodies from Amoebal!

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Joel Jerome Chats With the Amoeblog Before His Performance Nov. 18 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2014 03:45pm | Post a Comment

joel jeromeJoel Jerome has been one of the best songwriters in L.A. for years under a number of guises—with his bands, dios, dios (malos) and Babies on Acid. Recently, he’s been going under his own name, under which he’s released the Beck covers album When Beck Was Cool and now a collection of his own songs called Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk. It’s perhaps the most direct and honed release he’s put out yet, consisting of songs new and old that have been whittled down to pop perfection in his home studio in Echo Park. I caught up with him a bit before his Amoeba Hollywood performance Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Instead of teasing you with some “quirky” factoid about our interview, why don’t you just take two minutes and read it??

What made you change the name under which you record, from dios/dios malos to Babies on Acid and finally Joel Jerome?

Joel: I finally decided to have everything I do under one umbrella, one name, since I write, arrange, produce and record all my music. I decided to just have it under my name so I could have the freedom of having different players for different shows. I’m the one busting my ass for this, so I may as well take full responsibility and have it all go under my name.

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New Vinyl and CD Releases At Amoeba Hollywood 11/14 - Jacques Renault, Nicuri, Bookworms and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 14, 2014 02:47pm | Post a Comment

VA - Tokyo Impressions

Various Artists

Tokyo Impressions 12"

Junk Yard Connections

So the story goes like this -- Mr. Tophat was shopping at Tokyo's vaunted vinyl output Diskunion and sees a fellow shopper carrying his record. He strikes up a conversation and eventually receives these excellent tracks, excellent house from an island that's still mysterious to many. The real highlight here is Butagoya an ace Detroit beatdown style roller with an odd jazz break in the middle. The final track, Kauboihatto by Okita Takamori is a cool martial post-punk bit.

Buy Tokyo Impressions 12"

 

Jacques Renault - Out Of Sync EPJacques Renault

Out of Sync 12"

Let's Play House

The New York producer and DJ comes out swinging on this one, with the help of analog guru Andy Meecham (Emperor Machine)I Like It is a warm yet alarmist house track, with a big fat analog bassline and detuned piano break. "Make Up's" got a totally convincing italo-arpeggio, which Renault bones out as the track does on -- equally pretty and functional. "M.A.N.'s" more in a '90s, Nu Groove style way, Burrell style catchy deepness.

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Top 10 Domino Releases

Posted by Amoebite, November 14, 2014 01:31pm | Post a Comment

Domino Records

For over twenty years, Domino Recording Co. has been one of the most celebrated and creative forces in the world of independent music. Founded in 1993, the London-based label started off by licensing works from acts signed to American record companies for release in the UK. Since that time, they've opened an office in Brooklyn and established the divisions Domino Deutschland and Domino France. Their stable of artists includes some of the most inventive, beloved and influential acts in music today, and we're delighted to welcome Domino to our family of digital labels available on Amoeba.com! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of Domino's best releases from the past decade and a half, listed below in no particular order.

Arctic Monkeys AM

Arctic Monkeys - AM (2013) 

One of the biggest recent records here at the store, AM sees the band collaborating with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on what he calls a "really cool, sexy, after-midnight record." This means Queens-style spooky grooving, melodic, laconic, druggy guitar solos, tired-drunk-guy crooning with falsetto doubling, and a shuffling, mid-tempo disco snark turned sneer in a nicer jacket a la someone like Jarvis Cocker's work with Pulp.

Black Friday Deals at Amoeba

Posted by Amoebite, November 14, 2014 11:19am | Post a Comment

Black Friday at Amoeba

Let's talk turkey about Black Friday. Lots of retailers are going to have sales, but Amoeba is throwing a weekend-long celebration of deals, steals, and exclusive releases at each of our stores.

First off, November 28th is Record Store Day Black Friday and that means that you can shop nearly 140 Record Store Day exclusive releases at our stores. Faith No More, Miles Davis, Grateful Dead, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, MORRISSEY CURATES THE RAMONES...so many exciting, limited edition titles. Download the list (.PDF) of this year's Record Store Day Black Friday releases available only at indie record stores. (Also check out Billy Gil's blog Ten Record Store Day Releases to Look For On Black Friday.)

We've also packed Friday full of crazy deals for you and yours because it's the perfect time to start shopping for the holidays (and yourself). Check out these festive offers...

FRIDAY ONLY:

  • 25% off gift certificates (up to $100) 2-4pm only. Redeemable starting 12/1.
  • Buy 3 Green Tag Blu-rays for just $12
  • 25% off headphones, posters, and used books
  • Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable on sale for just $119.98! 
  • Crosley turntable on sale for $119.98 (Amoeba Hollywood only)

Please note: Amoeba Hollywood's trade counter will open late at 2pm on Black Friday.

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Patti And The Pope

Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

Singer/poet and friend of Amoeba Patti Smith, seen in Reuters photo above being greeted by Pope Francis in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, will be among the specially selected artists invited by the pope himself to perform at the Vatican Christmas concert in mid December in front of bishops and cardinals.

Since this news was reported by the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera many, including myself, have had a similar reaction (say wha?) with that one Patti Smith song lyrics instantly popping into our collective heads: the one from the famous Horses album track "Gloria" that goes
"Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." Whether at the Christmas Vatican concert, scheduled for December 13th and to be broadcast live, Patti Smith will perform that song or not remains to be seen. Meanwhile below is a 1979 live performance from Germany of the song.



Weekly Roundup: Deerhoof, Silk Rhodes, Medicine, Meatbodies

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2014 08:51am | Post a Comment

Deerhoof – “Exit Only” video

deerhoofTake Shelter’s Michael Shannon stars in a new video as two guys losing their shit while listening to Deerhoof’s ferocious “Exit Only,” from their great new album La Isla Bonita, which is out now. To be fair, Deerhoof’s music does kind of make you feel like you’re losing it—in the best way.

 

Silk Rhodes – “Realtime”

silk rhodesThe second track (after "Pains") that we’ve heard from Silk Rhodes upcoming self-titled debut, out Dec. 2 on Stones Throw, is a delicious slice of minimalist, pyschedelic neo-soul. The L.A. duo are subtle, yet they immediately get under your skin.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Logic, DJ Quik, Blu, YG, Diabolic

Posted by Billyjam, November 14, 2014 05:04am | Post a Comment
Top Five Hip-Hop Chart for Week Ending 11:14:14


1) DJ Quik The Midnight Life (Mad Science)

2) Logic  Under Pressure (Def Jam) also avail as LP

3) Diabolic Fightin' Words (WarHorse Records) - also avail as LP

4) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal) also avail as LP

The above top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store reflects the top sellers of the past week which are not always necessarily new releases. Case in point are both YG's My Krazy Life from March of this year, and (to a degree) the Blu album Good To Be Home featuring production by Bombay and not by Exile this time - with whom their previously released collaborative Below The Heavens LP continues to sell well. The Blu chart entry originally came out six months ago via the indie Nature Sounds (who along with Fat Beats issued the LP version of the full-length) but has now been re-released by Universal. Have not heard the Universal version but hopefully the major label remastered the original which most agree was "shitty" sounding - and I quote countless fans of the artist himself as stating this. And the super gifted LA emcee has lots of fans - especially in his hometown where he always gets a lot of love.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With VEEP's Timothy Simons

Posted by Amoebite, November 13, 2014 02:04pm | Post a Comment

Tim Simmons

Timothy Simons is an actor best known for his role as Jonah Ryan on HBO's Veep. Ryan is a self-proclaimed "go to guy" as the White House liaison to the Vice President's office. Much to the annoyance VEEPof the Veep staff, character Ryan takes great pride working for the President and not the Vice-President. Ironically, the President cannot stand Ryan, which makes for great comedy. 

Timothy Simons studied theater at the University of Maine and developed his chops with the Chicago-based theatre group, Hypocrites. In 2008, he and his wife relocated to Los Angeles and just two years later, Simons made his television debut on Veep

Simons recently hosted a charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood and saved some time to do a little shopping and film an episode of What’s In My Bag?. He has a bunch of great picks, including several films, as you might expect from an actor who takes his work seriously. Simons starts off with a copy of Puplhead, a collection of essays written by John Jeremiah Sullivan. He makes a point to talk about Blow Out, the 1981 thriller by director Brian De Palma and starring John Travolta as a sound effects technician. Simons also finds the classic Charlie Chaplin film, Modern Times, and picks up a little country music with Doc Watson’s Definitive Collection and John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves.

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Brian Coleman's Bay Area Book Tour In Support of "Check The Technique Volume 2"

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2014 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Respected longtime music journalist/hip-hop fanatic Brian Coleman will be in the Bay Area this week to promote his brand new book Check the Technique Volume 2 (Wax Facts) that picks up where the 2007 published first volume and its 2005 predecessor left off with "more liner notes for hip-hop junkies" as the engaging, information packed 526 page new book accurately promises on its cover.

Spanning 25 chapters with over 80 interviews and tons of accompanying images Coleman has meticulously presented the back story of 25 albums and 325 hip-hop songs (some eighties but mostly nineties) with the artists, producers, plus some label execs associated with them weighing in on these recordings. The end result is a page turner packed with  insights and answers to questions you might have had, or had not thought you wondered about until reading this enlightening book.

The chapters include The Coup Steal This Album, Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop, Dr. Octagon Dr. Octagonecologyst, Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted & Kill At Will, Masta Ace Incorporated SlaughtaHouse, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo Wanted: Dead Or Alive, ED O.G & Da Bulldogs Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto, Jeru The Damaja The Sun Rises In The East, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, and KMD Black Bastards. Meanwhile the accompanying artist interviews include ones with such hip-hop acts as DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ice Cube, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Mantronix, MF Doom, and Company Flow.

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AFI spinoff group XTRMST

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2014 08:23am | Post a Comment


The Blue Man Group gone red, gone bad, and acting like characters from The Warriors is what I first thought upon seeing the brand new music video (above) from traditionally structured, new hardcore punk band XTRMST. The song "Conformist" is a lead single by the self-described "straight edge hardcore" (with some electronic instrumentation thrown in) group formed by veterans Davey Havok and Jade Puget  of NorCal's legendary long running "goth punk" group AFI. The song is a taste of what's to come on the AFI spinoff supergroup's self-titled debut that will be released (oddly enough) by electronic dance producer/artist/label owner Steve Aoki through his Dim Mak record label. Look for the 14 track album at Amoeba Music when it will arrive in stores next week on November 17th.

Celebrate The Byrds' Gene Clark With Nov. 16 Performance Featuring Members of the Byrds, Beachwood Sparks and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 12, 2014 04:23pm | Post a Comment

gene clark show

November 17 would have been the 70th birthday of Gene Clark, founding member of legendary rock band The Byrds. Clark’s son, Kai Clark, has organized an intimate concert at Hotel Cafe this Sunday, Nov. 16, to celebrate the life of his father, featuring Kai Clark, Jangle Brothers (with John York, who played bass for The Byrds), Gospelbeach (featuring members of Beachwood Sparks), Carla Olson with The Psychedelic Cowboys, Bob Woodruff and more.

The show takes place from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and tickets are $20. You can pick up advance tickets here.

gene clark two sides to every story lpThe event also coincides with the re-release of Gene Clark’s long out-of-print 1977 solo album, Two Sides To Every Story. It’s out on CD now and comes with a color, 26-page booklet with photographs by Ed Caraeff from the album cover photo session and liner notes by John Einarson, author of Gene Clark biography, Mr. Tambourine Man. In addition, the CD comes with a download card with more than 90 minutes of exclusive bonus tracks, including a 1975 full-band performance. An earlier LP reissue of the album is also available.

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Queenz of L.A. Event at Downtown Artwalk Benefits Homeless Women

Posted by Amoebite, November 11, 2014 01:06pm | Post a Comment

Looking for something fun to do during the Downtown Artwalk this Thursday? Stop by QUEENZ of LA, a benefit event for homeless women at Evaporate LA.

The 18+ event starts at 7 p.m. and includes art, DJs spinning breakbeat and house music, drinks, a vape lounge and bar, a photobooth and more. Proceeds go to Downtown Women's Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing permanent housing for homeless women. Donators will receive gifts from Amoeba, OG Hip Hop Chocolates, Beat Swap Meet and Acrylick.

Evaporate LA is located at 120 E 5th Street in Downtown L.A.

queenz of la event

 

Album Picks: Cult of Youth, Royksopp, Cool Ghouls, Dream Police, Dirty Beaches

Posted by Billy Gil, November 11, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Cult Of Youth - Final Days (LP, CD, Download)

cult of youth final days lpCult of Youth’s self-described “post-industrial Pet Sounds” begins with the instrumental “Todestrieb,” its eerie synths and tribal drums setting a foreboding tone for the album. “Dragon Rouge’s” acoustic strums and Sean Ragon’s intoning vocals give the track the feel of a classic Church song or stripped-down Sisters of Mercy track, while additional touches like cello and orchestral percussion pump up the grandiosity. Elsewhere, the band plugs in and goes full-tilt, with B-52’s riffs and post-punk rhythms on “Empty Faction” and goth-jangle on “Gods Garden.” Ragon’s voice is used terrifically throughout, judiciously given echo to resonate or often without effect to let his throaty post-industrial growl run free without trampling over the gorgeousness of these tracks. He’s at his best screaming through the nocturnal desert scene set by “Down the Moon” or kicking up dust on the rollicking “No Regression.” Like Iceage’s recent Plowing Into the Field of Love, Cult of Youth’s Final Days successfully marries Americana to post-punk rooted in traditions of hardcore and industrial music. It’s an unholy union, and it’s awesome. Check out "Empty Faction" via Stereogum.

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The Sugarhill Gang's Big Bank Hank Has Left The Building

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2014 08:45am | Post a Comment
Sugarhill Gang "Rapper's Delight" (1979)


Famous for such rap rhymes as "Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn. Say if your girl starts acting up, then you take her friend" and "I'm here and I'm there, I'm Big Bank Hank, I'm everywhere" rapper/member of the pioneering popular rap act The Sugarhill Gang Big Bank Hank - born Henry Jackson of the Sugarhill Gang (along with Wonder Mike and Master Gee) died earlier today according to reports from such industry insiders as Lee"DJ Flash" Johnson. "He had stage four cancer," reported DJ Flash of the 57 year old New York City born pioneering rapper whose hit 1979 single "Rapper's Delight" directly influenced him and and so many others back in the day.  DJ Flash, who began his rap career in the early 80's on the West Coast,  told the Amoeblog this morning that, "Big Bank inspired a generation. Every true hip hop fan can remember where they were they were the first time they heard Rappers Delight. His passing will be felt around the world!" In honor of the rapper, responsible for introducing so many around the world (outside NYC) to rap/hip-hop for the first time, below are the lyrics from his first verse in the late seventies Sugar Hill Records hit single  (corresponding video above - abbreviated version) that was reportedly recorded in one take. [Note that however famous those lyrics were they were in fact ghost written by Grandmaster Caz - as outlined in this 2013 Amoeblog interview with the Cold Crush member who said he never got credit for them.]

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Rest In Rubble, 5Pointz

Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2014 05:50pm | Post a Comment

As we approach the one year anniversary of the controversial whitewashing of 5Pointz -  the once vibrant outdoors aerosol art mecca in Long Island City, Queens - I thought it time for an update on what's going on in the site that was a free public outdoor art gallery for two full decades. It was on November 19, 2013, when most of the colorful aerosol pieces by world famous street artists were whitewashed over after being officially condemned to make way for high rise luxury condos. It was yet another casualty in the expanding gentrification of New York City's five boroughs. 

Following frequent visits to 5Pointz over the past three months since the demolition of the square block area at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street began, I can confirm that the December 31st projected completion date of the demolition process should be right on schedule. Once that's done, then the construction of two 47 to 50-story luxury apartment buildings will begin. After these two high rise buildings (which will house 1,000 apartments) are completed, the owner of the property promises to allocate a good deal of wall space for aerosol artists to return to the site and continue doing their work. However, most artists have vowed to never return to contribute their art. Of course, what actually happens when these new buildings are fully completed - likely sometime in 2016 - remains to be seen. Even though the fight to save 5Pointz in its original status is long lost, artists and activists have been closely monitoring the new developments. Hence when news surfaced that the owner of the property was going to name the new luxury apartment towers "5Pointz" and have the name trademarked, these artist/activists loudly protested saying that the developers were merely trying to capitalize off the work and reputation the artists who had voluntarily shared their art at their own expense over the past 20 years by using the name that Meres One had given the space after taking it over from when it was Phun Factory.
 

As a longtime fan of 5Pointz, it was a place I would frequently visit to enjoy the new art, take pictures, and run into folks I know like longtime NY/NJ aerosol artist DEMEROCK (originally of the Wallnuts crew). At 5Pointz, especially on the weekends, there always seemed to be something going on from hip-hop video shoots to photo shoots taking place (one time I saw a bride and groom in formal wear get their wedding pics taken with graf as backdrop). Even if I didn't walk by, I'd make a point of taking the 7 train as its elevated tracks offered the perfect view of 5Pointz and its multitude of colorful pieces. Naturally then when I stopped by earlier today to witness the increasing piles of rubble and the few remaining buildings with nary a few pieces of art left, it was a sad thing to witness. The one part with some art that still remains (pictured at top above) includes the aerosol-sprayed lettering in large-scale font "END OF AN ERA" that adorns the top part of building and pretty much sums it up. While longtime supporters of the old 5Pointz vow that they'll have nothing to do with the new apartment towers, it is the end of that era and a new (albeit more sanitized) era will take its place where artists will again be welcome to share their art on designated wall space. It is my guess that most artists will be happy to share their work there. Meantime though, I spill a lil on the curb for the old 5Pointz, which now rests in rubble. Below are a few "BEFORE" photos from 2013 and 2012 that correspond with the "AFTER" as in now shots above.
 
 
5 POINTZ BEFORE shot from 2012

Celebrate Our Birthday With an Amoeba T-shirt and Get 10% Off This Weekend

Posted by Amoebite, November 10, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment

Wear your Amoeba Shirt and get 10 percent off

Amoeba is turning 24 this year. And to celebrate, we’ve got a great deal for you!

Wear your Amoeba T-shirt to the store during our birthday weekend (Saturday, Nov.15 through Monday, Nov. 17) and get 10% off your purchase. (It’s limited to one discount per day and can’t be combined with other coupons or offers.)

If you don’t have an Amoeba T-shirt yet, pick one up in our stores in a myriad of colors, or order on Amoeba.com.

amoeba berkeley

This weekend doesn’t just celebrate the birth of the original Amoeba store in Berkeley, which was opened Nov. 17, 1990, on Telegraph Avenue. In 1997, on Nov. 15, the Amoeba mitosis happened—the cell split and we were TWO, as Amoeba opened an even bigger store where the old Rock & Bowl was on Haight Street in San Francisco. Then, on Nov. 17, 2001, the Amoebas gave birth to a WHOPPING GRANDBABY with Amoeba Music Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. With hundreds of thousands of titles in a two-story building over an entire city block, it’s not only our biggest store but the biggest independent music store in the world! Find out even more about our stores and take video tours of each store here.

So come help us celebrate the birth of all three of our stores this weekend. It’s our party and we’ll give you 10% off if we want to.

One album wonders: The Open Mind's The Open Mind

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 10, 2014 01:00am | Post a Comment
THE OPEN MIND - THE OPEN MIND (1969)

Around 1963, Putney-based musicians Mike "Mike Bran" Brancaccio (guitar), Phil Fox (drums), Timothy du Feu (vocals), and Ray Nye (bass) formed The Apaches, who recorded a demo with none other than Joe Meek. Nye left the band and du Feu moved to bass after they acquired a new singer, Terry Martin (real name Terry Schindler). They changed their name to The Drag Set in 1965.

The Drag Set

Two years later the band were writing their own material and released their first and only single as The Drag Set, “Day and Night” b/w “Get Out of My Way” in early 1967 on Go. Go was a short-lived label which released mostly mod and soul music by the likes of The Barney Sisters, Carl Douglas And The Big Stampede, Neil Spence, Our Plastic Dream, Phil Brady And The Ranch Set, The Roll Movement, Samantha Juste, Scots Of St. James, and Sugar Simone.


The Drag Set realized that there might be some unintended connotations to their name and in 1968 changed it to the suitably psychedelic The Open Mind, on the suggestion of De Feu

The Open Mind

The following May they released their first single with their new name, “Horses And Chariots” b/w “Before My Time.” In July the band released a collection of mod-tinged, leather pants heavy psych which proved to be their only LP, titled The Open Mind and released by Philips

The Open Mind

In August of 1969, The Open Mind released a non-album single, “Magic Potion” b/w “Cast a Spell," produced by Fritz Fryer, guitarist of The Four Pennies. "Magic Potion" proved to be The Open Mind's final release, although they soldiered on until 1973, at which point Phil Fox quit. 


After that, De Feu and Schindler were joined by Stephen Florence and a new drummer and became Armada (not to be confused with Rod Torfulson's Armada Featuring Herman Menderchuck), who broke up after releasing no music.

Pick Up David Bowie's New Album at Amoeba and Get 2 Tickets to 'David Bowie Is'

Posted by Amoebite, November 7, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment

David Bowie Is Screening

The new David Bowie retrospective Nothing Has Changed, comes out Monday, November 17, and when you buy it in-store at Amoeba Hollywood on 11/17, you’ll get two free tickets to a special screening of the documentary David Bowie Is later that night at the LA Film School at 8pm.

David Bowie Is documents the traveling exhibition on Bowie organized by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Described by The Times as “stylish & outrageous” and The Guardian as “a triumph,” the exhibition features a remarkable collection of photographs, stage costumes, and other rare possessions from the David Bowie Archive. The documentary was filmed on the closing night of the V&A exhibition and features legendary Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker, and other Bowie collaborators.

The exhibition is currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, so if you can’t make it out to see it, the film’s the next best thing.

David Bowie Is exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Serengeti, Hail Mary Mallon, Domo Genesis, Kounterclockwise, Wara from the NBHD, Jon Dubb, Mac Jeff

Posted by Billyjam, November 7, 2014 08:29am | Post a Comment
This week's report will be a run-down of the new and soon to drop new hip-hop starting with Chicago emcee Serengeti's latest album Kenny Dennis III - to arrive in Amoeba next week (November 11th) in both CD and double vinyl formats care of Joyful Noise Recordings - one of about ten different labels that the ever prolific artist has unleashed his 20-plus releases (LPs and some EPs) spanning a busy dozen years dating back to his 2002 debut Dirty Flamingo on F5 Records. Although no longer with Anticon (this time - he'll likely be back again) he's wisely enlisted the production help again of Jel and Odd Nosdam for the album that was produced in Berkeley, CA. I will go into full detail in the coming week with a dedicated Amoeblog on this absolutely incredible, must-get, latest Serengeti release. But in summation briefly for now: it is a brilliant creation that continues the trials and travails of his hilarious "Kenny Dennis" alter ego character with narration help from Anders Holm (known as one third of the hilarious Workaholics collective from Comedy Central) who contributes to about half the album tracks. Below you will find the animated video for the album track "Win Big" that features both Holms and Serengeti in full-on skit/narration mode. Note that to fully enjoy this album you really have to listen to it in its entirety and in its presented sequence. Pick up the new Kenny Dennis III at Amoeba next week.

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2014 in Photos

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 6, 2014 05:37pm | Post a Comment

Words and photos by Lauren Clark.

In its eighth year running, Treasure Island Music Festival proved once again to be a massive success. The festival brought together a great line-up in a gorgeous location while maintaining a laid-back atmosphere. Saturday featured an electronic-leaning schedule, with performances by Jungle, St. Lucia, Janelle Monae, Classixx, and Outkast to name a few. Sunday featured sets by The Growlers, Chet Faker, Washed Out, TV On The Radio, Polica, Massive Attack, and more. Festival-goers were also provided with a multitude of activities including interactive art installations, arts and crafts, field day contests, local vendors, and, of course, food.

Festival highlight: Polica’s ethereal performance as the sun set over the beautiful San Francisco skyline on Sunday.
 

Bleached, Treasure Island
Bleached
Jungle, Treasure Island
Jungle
Classixx, Treasure Island
Classixx
St. Lucia, Treasure Island
St. Lucia
Washed Out, Treasure Island
Washed Out
 
 
 
 
Poliça, Treasure Island
Polica
Chet Faker, treasure island
Chet Faker
 
 

 

New Dengue Fever Album 'The Deepest Lake' (January release) Further Expands Band's Sound

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2014 08:55am | Post a Comment
Diehard Dengue Fever fans fiending for new music from the eclectic Cambodian and American sextet will be pleased with today's news that the popular LA based band, who have not released an all new album since June 2011's Cannibal Courtship, have announced the release of an all new album four weeks into the new year. Scheduled to arrive in Amoeba in (colored) vinyl and CD formats on January 27th, 2015 the new full-length entitled The Deepest Lake will be the band's fifth album and will not only continue their unique melding of psych/surf/Cambodian pop but also expand into new musical territory with the additions of African percussion and vocals that have drawn comparisons to legendary LA punk pioneers X.

Described by the band's Senon Williams as their "most challenging record to date" the bassist explained the new musical terrain covered by the band, now in their second decade together as a group, as them wishing "to explore some ideas we’d experimented with in the past to try and capture a more expressive sound. Musically we went with a more raw approach while vocally Chhom Nimol came through with her signature power, intimacy and passion." The ten track LP will include such songs as "Deepest Lake on the Planet,"  "Still Waters Run Deep," and "Taxi Dancer." Dates for a corresponding tour for The Deepest Lake will be announced later this month. Meanwhile below is a video of Dengue Fever performing live at Amoeba Berkeley back in June of 2008.
 

Dengue Fever live at Amoeba Berkeley (2008)

Go Dirty For the Drought and Other Tips To Help Conserve Water

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2014 06:40pm | Post a Comment

Dirty Car Pledge

California is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Help fight the drought by taking LA Waterkeeper's "Dirty Car Pledge" to not wash your car for 60 days. It saves water, money, and the static-cling car sticker they send you will save your image, too! Take the pledge now at DirtyCarPledge.com

Here are some additional tips to help conserve water:

INDOORS

  • Replace all non-water saving showerheads with water-saving showerheads.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 3 gallons each time.
  • Turn off the water while you're shaving. Just fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor. You can save up to 3 gallons.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Instead rinse them in a sink full of clean water.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing.
  • Replace your toilets if you can to high efficiency toilets.
  • Consider native and other drought-tolerant plants that need 2/3 less water.

OUTDOORS

  • Water your lawn deeply and less frequently. Avoid over watering and runoff.
  • Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn, not the pavement. 
  • Water early in the morning or late in the evening - avoid the hottest part of the day when evaporation is highest.
  • Change watering schedule seasonally.
  • Do not allow the hose to run as you wash your car. Use a self-closing hose nozzle, or turn off the water, between rinses.
  • Use a broom instead of the hose to sweep away dirt and leaves.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes or dishes.
TOP 10 POTENTIAL WATER SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR HOME:

1. New Sprinklers

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Macy Gray

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2014 06:11pm | Post a Comment

Macy Gray

Easily recognized by her natural afro, reminiscent of a young funky Betty Davis, Macy Gray is unmistakable. In the spring of 2000, Gray went from single mother of three, studying film at USC to international mega star. The world was introduced to Gray's trademark raspy vocals by her smash hit Macy Graysingle, "I Try." The song topped charts around the globe helping her debut album, On How Life Is (Epic Records), go triple platinum in the United States and sell seven million copies worldwide. Gray went on to launch a successful acting career co-starring alongside A-listers like Denzel Washington and Tobey Maguire. Six Grammy nominations later (winning 1), with multi-platium record sales and a bonafide acting career, Macy Gray continues to be as productive today as she was a decade ago.     

Aftr releasing The Sellout in 2010, Gray is back with her 6th studio album, The WayFor her latest production Gray partners with a revolving cast of collaborators, including the legendary Booker T Jones. The new album is out now on Gray's own label, Happy Mel Boopy Touring Co., and  is available on CD and download at Amoeba.  

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Concert Tickets for Sale at Amoeba Hollywood November 2014

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2014 01:43pm | Post a Comment

Concert TicketsAmoeba 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. 

For Club Nokia shows, we only carry general admission tickets. If you wish to purchase reserved seating at Club Nokia (where available), you can buy those tickets online here.

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 the store first to make sure they are available: 323-245-6400.
 

JUST ADDED SHOWS:

Punch Brothers at the Fonda Theatre

Punch Brothers
Fonda Theatre
April 2

Lagwagon at the Fonda Theatre

Lagwagon
Fonda Theatre
January 17

Ariel Pink Unveils Brand New Single & Video for "Picture Me Gone" From Forthcoming 4AD Album 'pom pom'

Posted by Billyjam, November 4, 2014 02:00pm | Post a Comment


Ariel Pink "Picture Me Gone" (Nov 4th, 2014 - 4AD)

"I backed up all my pictures on my iCloud
So you can't see me when I die,
I left my body somewhere down in Mexico,
Give Find My iPhone app a try
."
                                                            
Today, November 4th, friend of Amoeba Ariel Pink  unveiled his latest music video for "Picture Me Gone" which is the latest advance single from the Los Angeles artist's anticipated new album pom pom to be released via 4AD in two weeks on November 17th. You can purchase the track as of today as a download here from Amoeba.  The artist will follow the full-length release with a concert for hometown fans on Thanksgiving weekend at LA's Regent Theater on Friday November 28th (his official US tour in support of the album kicks off in San Francisco in early February, 2015 - following a series of sold out Australian dates in January). The second video collaboration with director Grant Singer, who worked with Aerial a couple of months back on the music video for the forthcoming album track "Put Your Number In My Phone" (see below along with Pink's WIMB? video from two years ago), this latest video was shot across fifteen LA locations and features the characters Pam, Candace and Heather "squeezing into their second lives within a latex skin, in pursuit of sexual encounters and inner content" according to the artist. Director Singer describes the story line of the video as one that "follows a day in the life of three men in Los Angeles in their search of meaning and happiness." To be released in various formats by 4AD on November 17th you can now pre-order the new 69 minute, 17 track Ariel Pink album pom pom in CD format and/or on record/ vinyl format. 


Ariel Pink "What's In My Bag?" (2012)

Album Picks: Bob Dylan, Dean Blunt, Deerhoof, Arca

Posted by Billy Gil, November 4, 2014 09:48am | Post a Comment

Bob Dylan - Basement Tapes Vol. 11 (LP out 11/24, two-CD set, CD box set)

bob dylan basement tapes vol. 11In between the albums Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding, Bob Dylan holed up in Garth Hudson’s Woodstock home with his band (that would be The Band), where the group tore through multiple recordings a day for the summer of 1967. Those recordings would not only provide the seeds of hit songs for other artists, they would go on to spawn The Band’s Music From Big Pink. Though a collection of these recordings was released in 1975, the entirety of this legendary fertile period had never been released until now. Vol. 11 of The Bootleg Series gives Dylan fans what they’ve dreamed of having. Running in chronological order, we start with the sweet “Edge of the Ocean,” a simple, rough-and-tumble recording that of a never-before-released song that represents the seedlings of Dylan and The Band’s momentous summer. We get early versions of “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere” with cool, scattershot lyrics about feeding cats. There’s an early take of The Band’s “I Shall Be Released” that is stunning in its shambolic simplicity. You can almost feel the room around which “Quinn the Eskimo” was recorded as the band casually rolls through the future Manfred Mann song. Some of the recordings can be a bit rough, sure. But listening through these recordings and finding your favorites is the next best thing to having been there yourself during these epic recording sessions. And the prime cuts from Vol. 11 taken together still represent the great lost Dylan album. For fans of Dylan and The Band—really, for all fans of music history—Basement Tapes Vol. 11 is an essential listen. Hear "Odds and Ends" via Rollingstone.

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Glen Velez & Shira Kammen Perform in SF, December 5

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 3, 2014 07:50pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present Global Mysteries: Strings and Skins, a Concert with Glen Velez & Shira Kammen on Friday, December 5th at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

World music innovators Velez and Kammen collaborate on old and new music for medieval strings and frame drums, exploring masterpieces and traditional music from Bulgaria, Spain, and the Arab world. Both musicians create organic groove-oriented music, which proclaims its uniqueness while infused with awe at the rhythms and melodies of our planet. They will perform selections from their recent recordings, along with improvisations culled from the ancestral sound-breath memory we all share.

Glen Velez, a four-time Grammy Award recipient, has played a seminal role over the last 26 years by introducing the frame drum to modern audiences. He has taught extensively worldwide, investigating the healing properties of drumming and sound. As a master teacher, he has developed his own approach called The Handance Method, incorporating voice and body movement into learning to play the frame drum.

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, Anonymous IV, the King's Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips.

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Recap: November Charity Auction to Benefit Smile Train at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, November 3, 2014 12:08pm | Post a Comment

Jimmy Pardo at Amoeba Hollywood

On Saturday, November 1 we had an amazing charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood featuring a repeat appearance by comedian Jimmy Pardo as our illustrious guest auctioneer! We were raising funds for Smile Train, an organization that provides free cleft repair surgeries to those in need while helping to train local doctors. This makes it possible for a child born with cleft to eat, breathe, speak properly, and smile.

Smile Train logo

Jimmy Pardo is host of the top-rated podcast "Never Not Funny," and a recurring guest on Conan and Comedy Bang Bang. He has his own half-hour "Comedy Central Presents" special and has recorded three comedy albums: Uno, Pompous Clown and 2013’s Sprezzatura, which Entertainment Weekly named one of the 5 Best Stand-Up Albums of the year.

Jimmy did a bang-up job as usual, making people giggle and guffaw while driving the bids to new levels. His timing is impeccable and his one-liners irresistible. The crowd was way into it, and the folks showed up with their wallets and pocketbooks open. And when they weren't quite open enough, he helped pry them open with quippity quips. It was a really great time.

Highlights of some of the items on the auction block:

  • Tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba! at Shrine Auditorium Nov. 22 + kids fun pack - $35.00
  • Beatles pack with lithos, t-shirt, mugs & more - $30.00
  • 2 pairs of VIP tickets to a Conan O'Brien taping - $60 each
  • Led Zeppelin pack - $65.00!!
  • Primus & the Chocolate Factory pack  ("just in time for HALLOWEEN") $40
  • Tickets to Mike Birbiglia at the Wilshire Ebell Theater Dec. 6 - $90.00!!
  • Tickets to Mac DeMarco at the Fonda Nov. 10th - $40.00
  • VIP in-store front of the line pass - $40.00
  • $50 Trader Joe’s gift card + vintage lunchbox - $70.00
  • $50 Urban Outfitters gift card + a limited edition One Direction picture disc - $50.00
  • Jimmy Pardo's own Mystery Box of handpicked CDs - $60.00
  • Dog lover’s gift basket featuring a $25 gift card to Tailwaggers pet store, toys & treats - $15.00
  • Amoeba coffee mug with coffee cards - $35.00
  • Random bag of promo t-shirts - $45.00
  • Michael Jackson transfers - $6.00
  • Bob Marley poster with button pack and postcard - $10.00

Amoeba Hollywood Charity Auction prizes

One album wonders: John's Children's Orgasm

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 3, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment
 JOHN'S CHILDREN - ORGASM (recorded 1967, released 1971) 

John's Children - Orgasm

Today the band John's Children, when remembered at all, are best remembered for two things: one, for having briefly included within their ranks a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan and two, for their calculatedly outrageousness and provocative live performances. Both overshadow the fact that they also made some quite enjoyable music, including a sole LP recorded before Bolan joined but released long after he'd left.


*****


The story of John's Children begins in 1965 in Great Bookham, where drummer Chris Townson, guitarist Geoff McClelland, harmonica-player Andy Ellison, and singer Louis Grooner played in a band called The Clockwork Onions. With changing times and line-ups came changing names and The Clockwork Onions became The Few. After the departure of keyboardist Chris Dawsett The Few became The Silence, who were Andy Ellison, Chris Townson, Geoff McClelland, and John Hewlett. The Silence were described by Yardbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell as “positively the worst group I'd ever seen” and not surprisingly he insisted on becoming their manager. 


Napier-Bell changed The Silence's name to John's Children. The band -- actually a group of session musicians -- recorded John's Children's first single, “The Love I Thought I'd Found” b/w “Strange Affair," which was released in 1966. The original title of the A-side was "Smashed Blocked" but a name change was necessitated at home because it was deemed offensive. Far from Surrey the single found a receptive audience (where it was released with its original name) in Florida and California -- two American states both known for their production and appreciation of weird, unpolished garage rock

Roses Play Amoeba Night at the Bootleg HiFi Nov. 23

Posted by Billy Gil, November 3, 2014 10:08am | Post a Comment

roses bandL.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.

Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Diiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.

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