Amoeblog

Essential Records: The Jesus & Mary Chain 'Psychocandy'

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2015 05:00pm | Post a Comment

essential albums jesus and mary chain psychocandy

Like many records whose reputations precede them, Psychocandy, the debut album by Scottish troublemakers The Jesus & Mary Chain, should be approached with caution and when you’re ready, not because someone told you to listen to it.

I picked up Psychocandy sometime in 2002 from Amoeba Hollywood, shortly after the store opened. I was going to school in San Diego at the time, and my friends and I would make trips up to Lou’s Records in Encinitas and Amoeba to binge buy used CDs. No one told me to get Psychocandy like Barry from High Fidelity, but I knew I probably should, judging by my growing obsessions with Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine.

The first time I put it on, on my shitty car stereo, I couldn’t really hear what was going on. A car full of people talking didn’t help. It just sounded like static to me, but I was intrigued. I listened later on and, of course, became full-on obsessed.

“Just Like Honey” is the obvious entry point and still a hauntingly beautiful song that is universal in a Nirvana sorta way. But the album’s next few tracks are its best. “The Living End” isn’t just a song title that Gregg Araki would nick for his great movie of the same name; its overall vibe is so underground and elusive that listening always makes you feel a lot cooler than you really are. It doesn’t matter that I’m way too chicken shit to ever ride a motorcycle. Both “The Living End” and “Taste the Floor” introduce a sonic trick that other great bands would mimic, like the aforementioned Nirvana, their inspirations in The Pixies (who themselves would cover J&MC’s “Head On”) and shoegaze followers like Lush and Swervedriver, piling added distortion on what already felt like too much to begin with, like pouring chocolate syrup all over a chocolate cake. It’s overwhelming and awesome.

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Weekly Roundup: Mikal Cronin, Bouquet, Tennis System, OOFJ, Deerhoof

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2015 08:54am | Post a Comment

Mikal Cronin – “Made Up My Mind”

mikal croninPower-pop master Mikal Cronin has announced his third album, the aptly titled MCIII, which will be out May 5 on Merge. And he’s shared the first song from it. “Made Up My Mind” has one of those great rocketship riffs Cronin does so well, along with some playful piano and Cronin’s weary earnest voice offering bittersweet melodies and lyrics. Cronin played every instrument on the new album, which includes a six-song suite. He’ll be at S.F.’s The Independent April 22 and the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock May 1.

 

Bouquet – “Stacks on Stacks”

bouquetSometimes you hear just a couple of notes of a song and you know you love it. Such is the case with Bouquet’s “Stacks on Stacks,” which touches on early electronic music with breathy, romantic female vocals akin to Stereolab, Beach House or our dearly departed Broadcast. The L.A.-based duo is composed of guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, formerly of folk-poppers The Finches, and keyboardist Max Foreman of the experimental trio Tenebre. If you’re as curious as I am about Bouquet, check out their In a Dream EP, due March 10 via Ulrike/Folktale, and/or check them out with Zola Jesus Feb. 8 at Santa Ana’s Observatory.

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Prolific Poet/Songwriter Rod McKeun Leaves Behind Large Body Of Work

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2015 07:34am | Post a Comment

In honor of Oakland, CA born American poet/spoken word artist/songwriter Rod McKuen, who died yesterday at age 81 following weeks of been treated for pneumonia, I go digging at Amoeba Music for a sampling of the world's best selling poet's body of work.  Ever prolific, especially from the late sixties up until the beginning of the 80's when he took an extended sabbatical, McKuen was once a ubiquitous and seemingly unstoppable part of American popular culture.

As such the distinctively throaty sounding artist released an incredible number of albums (over 200 LPs of which many are still available at Amoeba - mostly in original vinyl format), wrote hundreds upon hundreds of poems, published dozens of books that would sell over sixty million copies (hence why he was the best selling poet ever), and a slew of songs that would be covered/interpreted by such high profile stars as Dolly Parton (they even collaborated in a music and poetry duo on the song "Feelings"), and Frank Sinatra ("Night," "If You Go Away" which was written with the Belgian composer Jacques Brel). In fact Ole Blue Eyes, who was a major fan of his work, even commissioned McKuen to pen content for A Man Alone: The Words and Music of Rod McKuen.

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Black History Month In The Bay Area

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 29, 2015 09:05pm | Post a Comment

 

In honor of Black History Month, the Amoeblog is proud to provide this sampling of Bay Area events that are not to be missed. Watch this space for new additions.

Sunday, 2/1/2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Racism and all that Jazz

Like Traditional Negro Spirituals and the Blues, Jazz evolved in the United States to survive the horrors of racism. Join Renaissance woman Phavia Kujichagulia (Griot, educator, & activist) on this journey into Jazz from Africa to America. She has performed and lectured extensively throughout the continental USA, the Caribbean, and England.
Koret Auditorium
Main Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco

Friday, 2/6/2015, 12:00pm -1:00pm
2015 Black History Month Kickoff : A Century of Black Life, History and Culture in San Francisco

Presented by San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society (celebrating its 60th anniversary).
City Hall Rotunda
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco

Wednesday, 2/112015, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
African American Oakland: An Historical Overview

In this overview, Oakland History Room librarian Dorothy Lazard will share key and little-known stories of the social, cultural, economic and political contributions of African Americans in Oakland.
Main Library
Oakland History Room
125 14th Street
Oakland

Friday, 2/13/2015, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
A Love Supreme

Join KQED, Impact Hub Oakland, and #1World1Family for a special evening celebrating Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album A Love Supreme with a night of film, music, performance, and conversation.
Jazz by the Angela Wellman Quartet
Spoken-word performance by Sonya Renee Taylor
Film Screening: Through a Lens Darkly
Join filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris with Rev. Dereca Blackmon, curator, Ashara Ekundayo and writer, Marvin K. White in conversation on radical love, spiritual practice, and next generation movement building such as the use of technology in the design of #BlackLivesMatter.
Impact Hub Oakland
2323 Broadway
Oakland
RSVP required

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Is It A Vinyl Comeback?

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2015 02:48pm | Post a Comment

Last week, under the heading What the Vinyl “Comeback” Really Looks Like, the Digital Music News website published an official RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) sourced vinyl sales graph tracing record sales over the past four decades. The piece seemed like a direct attempt to put a halt to those recurring news stories of the past several years that have been ceremoniously heralding vinyl's return to grace and sales. The article seems to join the opinion of many insiders who say that these typical "Return of Records" stories, usually published around Record Store Day, over-hype and overemphasize the so-called vinyl renaissance. Yes, vinyl has made a slight resurgence in general interest as well as sales (especially over the past decade), but these reports often make it seem like vinyl might be making bigger strides in the market than it actually is. 

Hence why, it seems, that Digital Music News (DMN) published the above graph showing the actual figures and percentages of increase in vinyl sales dating all the way back to 1973, the heyday of LP sales, back when the there were no CDs or digital downloads to compete with vinly LPs, EPs, and singles (the only competition being cassettes and 8-tracks). Interestingly no article accompanied the graph, but the comments for the article quickly filled up with varying opinions. Many agreed with the article's overall message but argued such points as the fact that the graph only figured in large scale and major label record releases (ones that are registered via SoundScan) and did not factor in all of the small label and self-released vinyl pressings out there (a lot!) that may not register with the RIAA, and that it was based on new records  -- not including the healthy used record business.

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So Many Wizards' Nima Kazerouni Talks Being in Four Bands Before Performance Jan. 29 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2015 03:17pm | Post a Comment

so many wizards amoebaSo Many Wizards frontman Nima Kazerouni is easily one of the hardest working guys in the L.A. music scene. Other than SMW, his long-running indie-pop project, he has another full-time band, Crown Plaza, and two more new ones. I asked Kazerouni about how he keeps it all straight before So Many Wizards’ show at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. They’re handing out a split 7” at the show with Tennis System, as part of Converse Rubber Tracks’ free recording sessions for up-and-coming artists. They’ll also be signing their previous 7”, Night Chills, at the show.

So I heard you started a new band, Nectarine, and now you have GNTLMN, too, bringing the total to four (I think). Is that just to try out different directions, play with different people or something else?

Yeah, totally. Nectarine is a super fun new band that started with homegirl Allie Bumsted. We would just jam together and write songs on the fly in her Long Beach garage while drinking beers and coffee. It turned into a thing pretty naturally. GNTLMN, which is now officially called Others, is a two-piece electronic dream-pop project created with S.F. transplant and homegirl Natalia Rogovin. The two are totally different sounds, and I play different roles in each band. It’s a lot to juggle four bands, yes, but whatever, I love them all.

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This Is Black History

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2015 02:32pm | Post a Comment



In honor of Black History Month, which is celebrated each February in the US, is the above video from the UK where Black History Month is celebrated in October. Enlightening, uplifting, and brimming with black history facts (including a lot of African American history) in its seven and a half minutes, this video and song loudly celebrate black history with mic performances from Jody McIntyre, Logic, Big Ben, Jaja Soze, bigCAKES, Genesis Elijah, MC D, Cerose, Big Frizzle, Wordplay, Haze, USG, Rodney P,  and (my favorite) Akala with production courtesy of Last Resort.

The track, which was released a few years back by Global Faction, showcases the collective talents of a large group of London rappers who each spit informed lyrics, such as the emcee Wordplay who raps, "I went and picked up a book, took an hour to read through. Learn about a party that’s empowering the people. About Huey P and Bobby Seale, the Panthers. Not the media spin, I’m reading Howard [Bingham]. How they try and discredit these guys’ names. FBI, Cointelpro, the CIA. But I never forget my man dem, bredders like Fred Hampton. Died for the rights of my people, I’d like to thank them."

 

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With New Order

Posted by Amoebite, January 28, 2015 11:51am | Post a Comment

New Order

New Order is often hailed as one the most influential bands of the '80s. They took their developing post-punk sound and combined it with electronic dance music, making them one of the pioneers of the newly coined "synthpop" era. The English band was formed in 1980 by the remaining members of Joy Division after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis. Gillian Gilbert (Stephen Morris' wife) was recruited to round out the new group, playing keyboards, guitar and synthesisers. New Order's EP, 1981-1982, received a nice all white vinyl reissue for Record Store Day last year. The pressing was limited to 3,500 in the U.S., but will be given an unlimited run in black vinyl this year! New Order signed with Mute Records in September 2014 and are working on their tenth studio album.

Founding members Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris sat down with our cameras at Amoeba Hollywood for another memorable What's In My Bag? episode. Gillian picks up a T-shirt by '70s rock legends Television. To Stephen's surprise the two realize they both love the band's debut album, Marquee Moon (Elektra). Stephen follows up with Fiesta Songs, a covers album by German producer Senor Coconut. It's got a great merengue cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and The Doors' "Riders On The Storm."  Stephen also digs up a copy of Desmond Dekker's classic The King Of Ska on vinyl. Gillian also picks up some pop favorites with Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence and Lady Gaga's The Remix, both on vinyl.

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Amoebapalooza SF: February 15

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 27, 2015 09:33pm | Post a Comment

Prepare for a Mardi Gras-meets-Valentine's Day-meets-the-zaniest-music-festival-you've-ever-seen kind of celebration. Amoebapalooza -- our annual tradition of musical mayhem featuring bands composed of Amoeba SF employees and friends -- returns to Brick & Mortar Music Hall on Sunday, February 15th!

See live sets from The Chocolate Cake Incident, Shenobo, RE: Lover, Bears & My Body, Nicki Jizz, Aaron Araki & Guests, The Ningy Stingees, Pretty Poisonous Predators, and more. The evening will be hosted by the fab Brent St. James and features DJs Ken Kubala, Julian M, and Donnell Hilton.

Doors open at 8:00pm and admission is just $5.

Brick & Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission Street
San Francisco

Special thanks to our friends at SIR SF for donating the backline for the fourth year in a row! We highly recommend SIR for all of your equipment needs.

Amobapalooza San Francisco

New ChopNotSlop Remix of Little Dragon's 2015 Grammy Nominated Album "Nabuma Rubberband"

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2015 04:42pm | Post a Comment


Fans of Gothenburg, Sweden's electronic pop band Little Dragon - especially those who have the unique quartet's current album Nabuma Rubberband on either CD or LP - will dig the new chopped and screwed, free remix version of the album that was unveiled today for free download on Adult Swim. The "ChopNotSlop" remix of the fourth ablum by the ever popular group, who have been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance / Electronic Album category for 2015, carries on the hella slowed-down remix production style pioneered by the late great DJ Screw.

This new remix was produced by Chopstar's OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick, who are major fans of the group and this album in particular. They felt it deserved to be given the ChopNotSlop treatment and transformed the album into a dreamy ethereal cloud, retitling the remix Nabuma Purple Rubberband. Then with the blessing of the group (who reportedly love the remix) and support from Adult Swim, the new version is now available for free streaming and free download. Meantime, if you do not already have the 12-track album (featuring songs such as the lead single "Klapp Klapp"), initially released last May care of Loma Vista Recording, you should get it from Amoeba on either CD or vinyl.

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Album Picks: Jessica Pratt, Twerps, Natalie Prass

Posted by Billy Gil, January 27, 2015 10:56am | Post a Comment

Jessica Pratt On Your Own Love Again

jessica pratt on your own love again lpJessica Pratt’s voice is something special, a breathy, elfin coo that calls to mind Marc Bolan’s spirited yelp as well as Vashti Bunyan’s inward-facing whispers, channeled through Pratt’s own wry, observational tone. “I see you standing wasted alone in my mind,” she sings directly on opener “Wrong Hand,” but such a line doesn’t feel bitter coming from Pratt’s mouth, as if it’s a gentle warning rather than a harsh truth. “People’s faces blend together like a watercolor you can’t remember in time,” she sings with precision at the outset of “Game That I Play.” Her guitar playing feels nimble yet immediate, leaving in missed notes in the one-take-sounding, stark and lo-fi “Strange Melody,” while her intriguing fingerings and tunings seem to draw inspiration from Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, though the way she contorts her voice from a floating, teetering high register to a disconcerting low feels entirely unique. The songs themselves are allowed to meander, though never indulgently; rather, On Your Own Love Again feels exceptionally well edited, its serpentine arrangements remaining relatively coiled. “Game That I Play” manages to sneak in a stunning second movement while keeping the song trim at just over four minutes. And she doesn’t overstay her welcome. At just more than half an hour, Pratt ends her second album leaving you wanting more, turning over her curious phrases and mystical voice to uncover their secrets, especially on one of the album’s final and best songs, “Back, Baby”—its pensive breakup lyrics like “your love is just a myth I devised” sting softly amid loping, seaside acoustic guitar. On Your Own Love Again is gorgeous through and through, and it’s easily one of the best albums of this early new year.

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Noise Pop 2015: 2/20 - 3/1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 26, 2015 03:37pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop 2015

Championing independent music and culture for 23 years now, Noise Pop Music Festival returns to venues all over San Francisco and Oakland from February 20 - March 1.

It's easy to see why Noise Pop is the Bay Area’s favorite indie music, arts, and film festival. Just check out this year's line-up! With musical acts like The New Pornographers (2/28, Fox Theater), Caribou (3/2, The Fillmore), Best Coast (2/24, Bottom of the Hill), and many more, consider the Bay rocked. The film programming also promises to be searing hot with screenings of Hardcore DEVO Live (2/20, Roxie Theater) and Lester Bangs: Immortal Volume (2/21, Swedish American Hall), just to name a few.

Check out the full schedule of events HERE, where you can get individual tickets, General Festival Badges, Super Fan Badges, and Film Badges!

Win a pair of festival passes! Enter HERE by February 16.

Get a taste of what you'll see at the Best Coast show by checking out their rockin performance at Amoeba Hollywood:

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Ariel Pink Unveils New Video For Latest Single off "pom pom"

Posted by Billyjam, January 26, 2015 11:51am | Post a Comment

Ariel Pink "Dayzed Inn Daydreams" from pom pom

Today (January 26th), Ariel Pink's video for the song "Dayzed Inn Daydreams" was published online. The song, culled from the LA artist born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg's acclaimed recent 4AD album pom pom, is the latest single off the album and the newest installment in the ongoing series of videos directed by LA-based filmmaker Grant Singer for Ariel's album.  It follows videos for the pom pom tracks "Put Your Number In My Phone" and "Picture Me Gone," and continues their themes of focusing on the stark and dismal mundane aspects of the everyday life of hard working Americans (lots of cigarette smoking too) with Rick Wilder (Mau Maus) playing the central character in the video (also features a brief cameo of Ariel bumming a ciggie).

"It's the story of a man, played by Rick Wilder, who was once the frontman of a band that existed decades ago. Through a series of scenes depicting his everyday life, we tell his story," explains the director the third installment in the pom pom series.

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10 More Albums to Look for in Early 2015

Posted by Billy Gil, January 26, 2015 10:33am | Post a Comment

bjork 10 albums blog

A little while ago, we called out 10 albums to look for in this nascent new year (some of them are out now, and they’re great!). Here are 10 more that we’re excited about.

A Place to Bury StrangersTransfixation

a place to bury strangers transfixiation lpOut Feb. 17

Available on LP, Colored Vinyl and CD

A Place to Bury Strangers are known for their high-volume shoegaze played with custom-built guitar pedals, but new album Transfixation is said to be more experimental. The first single, “Straight,” sounds a little like Spacemen 3 jamming with Battles, with a frantic beat and strange noises rounded out by Oliver Ackermann’s cool delivery. We’re so down.

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One album wonders: Blue Phantom's Distortions

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 26, 2015 06:56am | Post a Comment

BLUE PHANTOM'S DISTORTIONS (1971)

During the Album Era (mid 1960s-mid 2000s), the LP was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption. Some bands recorded just one album during their time and, whether popular or not, they are the so-called one album wonders



*****


Blue Phantom - Distortions (1971)

 

17 Movie Soundtrack Motivationals to Facilitate your Fitness Resolutions

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 25, 2015 04:28pm | Post a Comment
new year new you workout resolution loose weight exercise perfect 80s soundtrack motivation travolta john jamie lee curtis

It's way past mid-January, do you know where your fitness goals are? Have you found that your get-up-and-go up got up and went? Are you looking for that perfect mix to pump [clap!] you up? Whether or not the holiday pounds have still got you down, chances are you or someone you know is looking to get motivated and stay fit in '15, even if it's just for one more week. To that I say: JUST DO IT! Push those New Year's resolutions to the limit and stay physical with this list of schlocky soundtrack anthems, Scotti Bros. label classics, and movie montage motivationals! 

[note: this post is dedicated entirely to the one and only Danimal, without whom this list would not have been so inspired nor exhaustive (however incomplete) as we have, during the course of our respective overlapping Amoeba journeys, spent countless hours extolling the many wonders, peaks, and pitfalls of these storied stimu-jams!]

Frank Stallone - "Far From Over"
frank stallone far from over vinyl soundtrack single b/w waking up staying alive 7" 45 sylvester brother travolta dance movie motivation 80s rock
From the soundtrack to Staying Alive (1983), Sylvester Stallone's second ever directorial effort and follow-up to the successful Saturday Night Fever, comes this undeniable force of motivational rock courtesy of baby brother Frank Stallone. In more ways than one this track is the the leaping-point from which this film takes flight, providing a desperately high-impact canvas for the opening credits/dance-or-die audition montage. Catching up with Tony Manero's dreams of "making it" as a professional dancer in the cutthroat theater scene of the big apple has never been so sweaty, or lean.

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The Ethereal Joe Hinton

Posted by Joe Goldmark, January 25, 2015 04:07pm | Post a Comment

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

Joe Hinton, Funny

Name the only gospel singer to have a million-selling soul hit record with a country song, which also happened to have been written by Willie Nelson

That would be Joe Hinton, who grew up in the church singing in various gospel groups and eventually became the lead singer in the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. He had a number of great singles with them during the period when they recorded for Peacock Records, a subsidiary of Houston's Duke Records.
 

If It Ain’t One Thing (It’s Another) – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet


Lost In Sin – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

Noting Joe’s huge talent, Duke Records owner Don Robey decided to try some secular tunes with him on his Back Beat subsidiary.  After a few misses they had a monster hit with “Funny How Time Slips Away,” AKA “Funny” as they called it on the label. You’ll want to listen all the way through on this one.

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Cocktails Talk SF Music Scene and Power-Pop Before Show at Amoeba SF Jan. 31

Posted by Billy Gil, January 23, 2015 02:17pm | Post a Comment

cocktails bandCocktails play a whimsical, harmonic, fuzz-and-synth-laced brand of power pop with boy/girl harmonies that harkens back to bands like Imperial Teen, The Rentals and that dog. They bring the catchy, garagey goods in healthy doses on their debut album, Adult Life, which is out now. Catch the band live at Amoeba SF Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. and get a FREE Converse Rubber Tracks split 7” with Windham Flat, who recently played Amoeba SF as well.

We took a minute to speak with Patrick Clos, frontman for Cocktails:

Have you guys seen the nature of the SF music scene change along with its changing demographics? Are kids still coming to rock shows?

Patrick Clos: For sure. There definitely used to be a lot more like local, scuzzy guitar rock/garage/psych type bands playing around and such, but you know how it goes—there’s no longer rooms for like $500/month and such. But still, between here and Oakland, there’s no shortage of rock bands.

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Free Tickets To A Private Annie Lennox Performance January 28 In Los Angeles

Posted by Amoebite, January 23, 2015 12:14pm | Post a Comment

Annie Lennox

UPDATE 1/24/15: We are now sold out of tickets to this event.

Annie Lennox is performing a special private concert in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 28th for a taping of NOSTALGIA to be aired on PBS’ Great Performances. Purchase your copy of Nostalgia on CD in-store at Amoeba Hollywood and you and a guest can attend the show! Quantities are limited.

Details:
Come into Amoeba Music in Hollywood to purchase a CD copy of Nostalgia starting now and recieve a free ticket for you and a guest to attend this special show on Jan. 28. 

Quantities are limited to first 100 purchasers of the Nostalgia CD. You will recieve admission for two (you + a guest).

All sales final for Nostalgia CD purchases.

This will be a onetime live performance and taping of Nostalgia by Annie Lennox. This live taping is for an upcoming episode of Great Performances on PBS. 

Show info:

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Weekly Roundup: Jack Name, Tobias Jesso Jr., Vetiver, DVA Damas, Spirit Club, Hundred Waters, Sarah Bethe Nelson

Posted by Billy Gil, January 23, 2015 10:36am | Post a Comment

Jack Name – “Waiting for Another Moon”

jack nameLast week we shared noisy space-rocker “Watcher Talk,” from L.A. lo-fi maestro Jack Name’s new album, Weird Moons, which came out this week via Castle Face. Sample another track via The New York TimesT Magazine, featuring Name’s weary vocals singing existentially about the cycle of life, death and boredom over trumpeting synths. Check it out and the rest of Weird Moons if you’re into the likes of Ariel Pink, John Maus and older White Fence (of which Name was once a member).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobias Jesso Jr. “How Could You Babe”

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Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Joey Bada$$, A$AP Yams, J-Dilla, Lupe Fiasco, Sadat X, Boosie Badass, Drew Dave, Too $hort, Rae Sremmurd

Posted by Billyjam, January 23, 2015 08:30am | Post a Comment

Lots of videos in this week's hip-hop rap up including KALX DJ/Amoeba Music employee at the Berkeley store E-Lit doing a nice overview of the new and recent CD and LP hip-hop (and related) releases to arrive in store lately and make up the two new top five hip-hop charts below - divided into CD and vinyl sections since there is so much more vinyl coming out these days - new and reissues like the 180 Gram reissue of Too $hort's 1980's classic Born To Mack. But first we send out our condolences to the family of A$AP Yams (pictured above and left with the A$AP crew) who died over this past weekend.

One of the founding members of New York City's very successful A$AP Mob collective it was first widely rumored via social media on Sunday that he had passed away as the result of a drug overdose. However associates of his in the collective insisted that those rumors were untrue and totally unfounded. As of now no official cause of death is known but what is known is that Yams' roommate in Brooklyn called 911 after finding laying down unconscious.



Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five CD Albums Week end Jan 23 2015


1) Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic)
   (also avail in vinyl - see other chart below)

Steampunk x Supernatural x Ballroom Blitz = New Collab Project from EDM artist Savant & Video Producer Mike Diva

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2015 12:27am | Post a Comment




Hot on the heels of his just released latest/twelfth album Zion, busy Norwegian electronic dance music producer/instrumentalist Aleksander Vinter aka Savant has now unleashed another stellar project - this one a collaboration with the award-winning music video director Mike Diva (Kill The Noise & The M Machine) who took Savant's 2013 track 'Kali 47' to make it the driving soundtrack for   a music video that takes the genre to the next level an intense short movie that incorporates many cinematic styles. In fact it is really a homage to such styles as Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and the work of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. There's horror, action, fantasy, shoot-outs, steampunks, and zombie type creatures delivered via using intense zooms and rapid camera movements. Just like a movie but only a few minutes in length, yet enough to pack in a lot of action and set changes etc. The video acts as the perfect visual counterpart to Savant's driving music which, he says, is inspired by literature, history, fantasy, and cinema. The piece reportedly took a couple of years to make since so much went into its production. For example the saloon had to be built completely from scratch just for this shoot. You can see the short film/music video in its entirety (all three minutes of it) above.

Robert DeLong Headlines Inaugural First Fridays Show of 2015 on Feb. 6

Posted by Billy Gil, January 21, 2015 02:38pm | Post a Comment

first fridays

Amoeba will be on hand for the opening show of First Fridays at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Feb. 6. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased here.

robert delong
Robert DeLong live at Amoeba SF Feb. 20, 2013

The first show of the season will feature EDM artist Robert DeLong. We know from the livewire show he put on at Amoeba Hollywood that this isn’t a show to be missed, as DeLong trades between setting off various sequencers, playing the drums and getting the crowd riled up for his electrifying anthems. DeLong’s latest album is Just Movement.

Prior to DeLong’s performance, Tom Vek will take the stage. The British singer/songwriter uses post-punk beats and electronic noise for a unique sound on albums like last year’s excellent Luck. Also opening the show will be Southern California’s QUITAPENAS. The band combines Afro-Latin beats with tropical-psych guitars and Spanish-sung vocals for a SoCal-style mashup that feels natural and is a lot of fun to listen and dance to.

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Rest In Peace Big Chief Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indian Band

Posted by Billyjam, January 21, 2015 11:26am | Post a Comment

Yesterday, Jan 20th 2015, the music world lost Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolias who was one of greatest ambassadors of New Orleans style Mardi Gras Indian funk. He was 71 years of age. No exact cause of death has been announced but Dollis had been in poor health for past several years. Born Theodore Emile "Bo" Dollis in 1944, Dollis was the longtime Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians who as a young teen growing up in New Orleans joined the Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, then after joining the Wild Magnolias as flag boy. But by the time he was 20 he had already risen in the ranks to that of Big Chief status. As such he was part of a whole new generation of Mardi Gras Indians to promote the culture in a positive light, focusing on the costumes (see above image of Dollis in full costume) more and and to turn away from violence, something strongly associated with and prevalent in previous decades. As such Dollis was pioneering in bringing the culture and sound of the Mardi Gras Indian culture to national awareness and acclaim. He was a trailblazer of the culture by recording the first commercial album of Mardi Gras Indian music  in 1970 best known by the single "Handa Wanda" that was a traditionally-rooted new Indian song written by Dollis (audio only video below). He was also a pioneer at that same year when along with Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians and and a young Quint Davis he performed at the original New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Fast forward four years and he would recording the acclaimed landmark album The Wild Magnolias that married funk sounds with Indian chants and hence  made it more palatable to more American ears. That album also featured Snooks Eaglin, Willie Tee, Uganda Roberts, Earl Turbinton, and Bo's wife Laurita Dollis. Four years ago he was honored with the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With London's Fat White Family

Posted by Amoebite, January 20, 2015 06:52pm | Post a Comment

Fat White Family

Some might say The Fat White Family is British rock & roll's final hurrah. On or off stage the South London rockers give it to you straight. No sugar coating, no beating around the bush, no gimmicks. Just Fat Whiteone hundred percent pure, unadulturated, in your face rock and roll. Their wild stage antics and blunt anti-elitist views excite fans and leave others confused. Unfazed by the lure of fame and the rock star status most indie bands dream of, The Fat White Family only care about staying true to their own beliefs, no matter how unconventional or far left they may come off. From squatting to couch surfing to befriending and shacking up with Sean Lennon, The Fat White Family have come a long way in a short amount of time.

After releasing their debut album, Champagne Holocaust (Fat Possum, 2014) and touring relentlessly, the band was recently named one of NME's "50 New Bands to Watch in 2015" and appeared on the cover with the headline "The Most Dangerous Band in Britain." The group is currently working on their second album in New York, with a little help from co-producer Sean Lennon. How many new bands can say they used John Lennon's gear on their record? Pretty freaking awesome.   

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Top Five State of the Union Songs

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2015 02:52pm | Post a Comment
At 9pm Eastern time and 6pm Pacific time today (Jan 20th, 2015) President Barack Obama is scheduled to give his State of the Union (SOTU) speech that can be viewed on various TV stations as well as via the White House website stream. His sixth SOTU address and his first State of the Union address since Republicans took control of Congress,  this evening's address is likely to touch on such topics as the rebounding economy, increased taxing of the wealthy, the latest developments with Cuba, and the recent subject of the push to make community colleges free for students - as well as references to the many specially invited citizen guests in the house.

For more SOTU info visit the White House SOTU website page or check out the video below of the interview Obama on what to expect tonight - "Behind The Scenes: Sit Down with President Obama" that was uploaded yesterday. But ahead of that video are the Top Five "State of the Union" video song list with lyric excerpts from each song to get take on where they're coming from that range from punk to classic rock to folk and dub.



Rise Against "State of the Union (Live)"


#1: Rise Against's "State of the Union" song, which was the opening track off the Chicago hardcore punk outfit's 2004 album Siren Song of the Counter Culture, was - as the intro to the live performance above indicates - a vehemently anti George W Bush and his war song; a fact further proven by such no holds barred song lyrics as: "Reads war torn country still a mess The words, power, death, and distorted truth Are read between the lines of the red, white, and blue Countdown to the very end Equality, an invitation that we wont extend Ready aim, pull the trigger now Its time you firmly secure your place in hell"

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Album Picks: Belle & Sebastian, Sleater-Kinney, Hanni El Khatib, Amen Dunes

Posted by Billy Gil, January 20, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment

Belle & SebastianGirls in Peacetime Want to Dance

belle sebastian girls in peacetime want to dance lp

In the latter half of their career, Belle & Sebastian have consistently tried to balance the desire to appeal to a wider audience with more outward-facing pop songs alongside the bookish indie pop that netted them a cult of worshipping devotees in the first place. They’ve never done it quite as successfully as they have here on Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Opener “Nobody’s Empire,” with its marching beat, glowing synths and gospel choir backup vocals comes off like a statement of purpose: This will be a richly produced pop album (courtesy of Ben H. Allen III, who’s worked both with the indie-pop elite and hip-hop artists), so gear up. The band comes up with one of its most radio-ready singles to date on “The Party Line,” a disco-rock track with typically clever lyrics and a booming synth riff that won’t quit. The best Stevie Jackson-led song in years comes on the bittersweet beatnik funk of “Perfect Couples.” “Play for Today” is synthy and light, with ace guest vocals from Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny. And it’s safe to say Belle & Sebastian have the only ABBA-esque synth-pop track that name-checks Sylvia Plath. But Belle & Sebastian want to do more than make us dance. Several tracks hue closer to their ’90s incarnation while still retaining the fuller production present on the album’s more immediate moments. The European folk-flavored “The Everlasting Muse” is rich with mandolin, horns and clap-along breakdowns. The slow-rolling, string-laden “Ever Had a Little Faith” is reminiscent of early B&S highlight “The Boys of Track and Field.” And Sarah Martin gets to sing lead on both the swoony “The Power of Three” and rollicking “The Book of You,” with some ripping guitarwork to boot. So it’s not the introverted Belle & Sebastian of yore. But this edition of Belle & Sebastian manages to help them evolve without losing what made them special. It’s a win-win for fans new and old, on one of Belle & Sebastian’s best albums in years.

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MLK Jr Day Movie List

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2015 10:30am | Post a Comment

A good thing to do any day, but particularly appropriate MLK Jr. Day, is to view some Martin Luther King, Jr. and cicil rights related films and documentaries. There are many to recommend, beginning with Selma, which is the Ava DuVernay-directed dramatization of the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama voting rights marches of 1965 that were led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Starring in an incredibly accurate performance of King, British actor David Oyelowo (pictured above) was famously snubbed by the Oscars in their recent 2015 nominations. Selma can be viewed in movie theaters today at no cost for students all over the Bay Area as well in other cities such as New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Nashville. The free screenings, which have actually been taking place over the weekend at theaters including 11 in the Bay Area, are thanks to a fundraising drive by a nationwide movement called “Selma for Students.” This fundraising group believes that students (particularly African American) might not otherwise be fully informed about this moment in history captured in Selma and its parallels to the challenges that they face today. Bay Area theaters include Grand Lake Oakland, AMC Bay Street Emeryville, AMC Van Ness San Francisco, Century Hilltop Richmond, and Cinemark Daly City. Students just need to bring some form of ID to the theater in the cities participating in the program.

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One album wonders: The United States of America's The United States of America

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 19, 2015 06:23am | Post a Comment
 THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (recorded 1967, released 1968)

The United States of America


During the Album Era (mid 1960s-mid 2000s), the LP was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption. Some bands recorded just one album during their time and, whether popular or not, they are the so-called one album wonders



*****


The focus of this edition of one album wonders is United States of America, a band formed and led byJoe Byrd Joseph Byrd for a couple of years in the late 1960s. Their sole album, United States of America, only reached 181 on the Billboard charts after its released but has in the years since achieved well-deserved cult status. 


First Sidewalk Sale of 2015 Features Deals on Blu-ray, 45s and More Jan. 24

Posted by Amoebite, January 16, 2015 05:25pm | Post a Comment

amoeba sidewalk sale 1/24/15

It’s time for our first Sidewalk Sale of the year at Amoeba Hollywood! It'll take place Saturday, Jan. 24 from 12 to 5 p.m.

We’ll be featuring the following deals:

  • Clearance LPs priced to move
  • 45s at $1 each
  • 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
  • Classical deals

And more!

Come by and stock up for the year at Amoeba!

All sidewalk sale items are aggressively sale priced. Therefore, we do not accept store credits, gift certificates, coupons or other offered store sales for any sidewalk sale items. Additionally, we cannot offer customer holds or mail order. All sales are final.

Amoeba Curates Red Bull Sound Select Show With Blackbird Blackbird, Puro Instinct Jan. 28

Posted by Amoebite, January 16, 2015 04:25pm | Post a Comment

red bull sound selectAmoeba's next entry into Red Bull Sound Select's ongoing showcase of local talent will feature Blackbird Blackbird’s lush electro-soul on Jan. 28 at Sayer's Club, supported by the glittering dream pop of Puro Instinct and hosted by local electro-pop band James Supercave.

The show is $3 with an RSVP and it starts at 8 p.m., but entry isn't guarnateed; arrive early if you want to get in. It's 21+.

 

 

blackbird blackbird


Blackbird Blackbird aka Mikey Maramag pairs reverbed guitar and sumptuous synths with heartfelt vocals on tracks like "There Is Nowhere" and "Love Unlimited." The Oakland-bred artist has severa releases and remixes out, the most recent full-length being 2014's Tangerine Sky.

27 Awesome Sub Pop Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, January 16, 2015 04:00pm | Post a Comment

SUB POP ALBUM LIST BEST SUB POP ALBUMS

We’re still a few years shy of the 30-year anniversary of legendary indie label Sub Pop, which started in 1988. But why wait? We’re calling out 27 of our favorite Sub Pop albums that you can download now on Amoeba.com. Browse all of Sub Pop’s catalog that we have available here.

Mudhoney Superfuzz Bigmuff [Deluxe Edition] (1988)

mudhoney superfuzz bigmuffTogether with Mudhoney’s early singles, this is one of the earliest and most potent statements of the grunge movement, including the eternal “Touch Me, I’m Sick.”

 

Nirvana Bleach [Deluxe Edition] (1989)

nirvana bleachObvi.

Weekly Roundup: The Soft Moon, Hanni El Khatib & Freddie Gibbs, Jack Name, Nedelle Torisi, Wand, Sonny & The Sunsets

Posted by Billy Gil, January 16, 2015 11:21am | Post a Comment

Hello! Welcome back to Weekly Roundup. If it’s your first time here, I gather songs and videos by artists from the greater L.A. and Bay Area that have been released over the past week or so. Here’s the first one of 2015.

The Soft Moon “Black” (Trentemoller Remix)

soft moon black trentemoller remixWe’ve already heard the strangely enlivening dark pulse of “Black,” the first single from Oakland artist The Soft Moon’s new album, Deeper (out March 31 on Captured Tracks; preorder now). This Trentemoller remix gives the darkwave track an even dimmer shade, taking it from hedonistic dancefloor jam to musky afterparty track. The Soft Moon will be at S.F.’s The Chapel April 28 and L.A.’s Roxy April 30.

 

 

Hanni El Khatib & Freddie Gibbs – “Satin Black”

Rest In Peace "Lord Of Garbage" Kim Fowley

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2015 09:30pm | Post a Comment

Kim Fowley: Garbage Man in A Vinyl Wonderland


Sad news surfaced earlier today that producer, musician, writer, manager, and music impressario extraordinaire Kim Fowley died as a result of bladder cancer. He was 75 years old. While he was a tireless artist and part of the music world for five decades with stacks of records credited to him in varying capacities, Kim Fowley will best be remembered as an integral part of the LA music scene of the sixties and seventies including, most notably, being the producer and promoter/ambassador of The Runaways.

The animated and passionate Fowley remained active right up until very recently, even working with Little Steven on his 

weekend Sirius XM satellite radio show Underground Garage until just last week. Two years ago his book Lord Of Garbage was published by Kicks Books. The engaging video above (Kim Fowley: Garbage Man in a Vinyl Wonderland) is the book's corresponding video in which the aging but never relenting rocker shares his inspiring insights, memories, and love of the grooves and music, citing his "favorite record of all time" as Jerry Lee Lewis' "High School Confidential," which "tied with" several others. The 43 minute low budget video includes Fowley going through his record collection (his own and others) and sharing insights on his life and his love of rock & roll (even his sales pitch to sell said records). It's really really good and worth watching for a sense of who Kim Fowley was.

SF Sketchfest 1/22 - 2/8: Weird Al Yankovic, Garfunkel and Oates, Chris Hardwick & More

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 15, 2015 02:19pm | Post a Comment

The 14th annual SF Sketchfest takes over San Francisco January 22th through February 8th with shows featuring major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming comedians from around the world.

Amoeba is delighted to sponsor the following amazing nights full of comedy and music:

SF Sketchfest Tribute to "Weird Al" Yankovic in conversation with Chris Hardwick, with guests Garfunkel and Oates, Hard 'n Phirm, and Jonah Ray
February 6, 7PM, Castro Theatre
This tribute to the king of comedy rock "Weird Al" Yankovic includes clips; musical tributes by Garfunkel & Oates, Hard 'n' Phirm, and more; and audience Q&A! Special bonus awesome: it's all moderated by Chris Hardwick!



Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt and the Reigning Monarchs with guests Garfunkel and Oates, Chris Hardwick, Natasha Leggero, Joe Sib, and Brendon Small
February 7, 10:30PM, Cobb’s Comedy Club
Greg Behrendt brings his wildly popular Bring The Rock show back to SF Sketchfest. A staple of LA’s Largo theater, comedians tell a story about a song from their past - sometimes embarrassing, sometimes sentimental, always funny - and then Greg’s fantastic band The Reigning Monarchs covers the song, often led by the comedian in question. It’s what karaoke should be.

Tennis System Chat With the Amoeblog Before Their Jan. 15 Performance at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 15, 2015 12:59pm | Post a Comment

tennis system amoebaL.A.’s Tennis System play a brand of psychedelic, dreamy rock ‘n’ roll that should please any fan of the shoegaze movement, yet they’ve got their own thing going, as new album Technicolor Blind trades between rocketing guitar noise and shimmering ambience.

Led by Matty Taylor, along with drummer Hector Gomez and bassist Zach Bilson, the trio has shared the stage with such like-minded acts as Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Taylor started the band in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and released the 2011 noise-rock album Teenagers before heading to L.A. and changing up the band’s lineup and sound a bit.

Now they’ve found their niche within the Part Time Punks crowd and have been wowing audiences with their volume-heavy shows and excellent second album, released last year. They’re one of the latest bands to record a track as part of Converse Rubber Tracks, which gives up-and-coming bands studio time and exposure. Tennis System performs live at Amoeba Hollywood today at 6 p.m.

my top 10 films of 2014...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 15, 2015 12:04pm | Post a Comment
One of my absolutely favorite things to do is to watch films in theaters. I have been obsessed with movies since I can remember anything. I still remember seeing E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark and  Empire Strikes Back for the first time in the theater. I also remember seeing films like Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Safe, The Ice Storm, Se7en, Edward Scissorhands, Heathers & Dazed and Confused for the first time in the theater. These are the kind of movies that stay with me over the years. But I also remember that first experience of seeing them for the first time in the theater. I remember seeing Ice Storm on a second date. I remember seeing Trainspotting with some of my best friends the summer after I graduated from college. I love that feeling of getting out of a movie theater and getting excited at just the thought of watching the movie all over again. This list below is the movies that I enjoyed the most from 2014. These are the movies that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The movies I will go back to and rewatch again over the coming years.
I have been disappointed by so many films this year. I had high expectations for Birdman and Foxcatcher. But I was so disappointed by these films. I really didn't like much about either of them and have no plans to revisit them. I have also learned how different our reactions can be to certain movies. Some of my friends have loved Birdman and Foxcatcher. And they have hated Gone Girl and Interstellar. But this is just how films work. It is obvious that some films are just not meant for everyone and it is OK for us to have different reactions to these great movies of the year. It does not mean these movies are any less great. I have been trying to watch as many films as I could these last couple of months. But I still have not had time to watch everything I wanted. I still need to see The Imitation Game. But I really can't wait any longer to finish my top ten. So here it is. And remember this is just my top ten. It is not your top ten. I don't claim for these to be the ten best films of the year. They are simply my 10 favorite films of they year. Go see some movies and see what happens.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Marshall Crenshaw

Posted by Amoebite, January 13, 2015 07:02pm | Post a Comment

Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw is an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter. He's co-written a ton of songs and has composed music for film and television, including the title track for the film Walk Hard, starring John C. Riley. Not to mention he's got a knack for acting too! Prior to becoming a recording artist, Crenshaw played the role of John Lennon in the Broadway musical Beatlemania. Crenshaw also played Buddy Holly in the Ritchie Valens biopic, La Bamba

Marshall's break came after he and his brother Robert started a New York based trio. They recorded the single "Something's Gonna Happen," which led to a deal with Warner Brothers. Crenshaw's eponymous debut album was released in 1982 and included the song "Someday, Someway," which reached #36 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. The '90s Pop rock band, Gin Blossoms' song, "Til I Hear It from You," was co-written by Crenshaw and it reached #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1996. The dude knows a thing or two about writing hit songs. 

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Dave Paul's 1990 KCSF Hip-Hop Top 40

Posted by Billyjam, January 13, 2015 05:44pm | Post a Comment


Following my uncovering a 25 year old KCSF San Francisco hip-hop playlist (above) from David Paul I invited the longtime Bay Area DJ/promoter/label CEO/publisher to be a guest Amoeblogger this week for the Hip-Hop History Tuesdays segment and to bring us back, via his memories, to that time period (March 1990) in the genre that historically sat smack in the middle of the so-called Golden Era of hip-hop. Here is what Dave Paul had to share about his playlist from a quarter century ago - some songs with accompanying videos.

Wow, seeing this playlist brings back memories. This was when I did a Friday radio show at KCSF (City College of San Francisco) from 8am to 2am every week. It wasn’t on radio waves but rather broadcast on cable TV, Viacom 25. March 15th, 1990 was way before I launched The Bomb Hip-Hop Magazine (that wouldn't be until October 1991). First, I’ll start with the songs that I am now embarassed that I played and charted at that time: "Shake The House" by Misa: she was a white girl rapper, way before Iggy Azelea. I probably played it cause Big Ed (Sleeping Bag/Fresh Records Bay Area rep) and DJ EFX (Mind Motion’s brother) mixed it. Then there's "Somebody Farted" by Bobby Jimmy.  I probably just found it funny. I guess when you’re in your early 20’s this is hilarious. Then we have "U Can’t Touch This" by MC Hammer. I have no excuse other than he was local (same with Oaktown 357 except "Juicy Gotcha Crazy" was catchy). Now onto the tracks that I am proud I was playing back then. Here they are with accompanying videos:

"Buddy" by De La Soul - this needs no line up. Native Tongues in da house!

Would You Like A Cheese Puff?: The Art Of The RCA SelectaVision Videodisc CED

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 13, 2015 04:20pm | Post a Comment
 For a brief moment in time (1981-1986, to be exact) there existed a film delivery system based on needle/groove technology, just like a record player.



Launched by RCA and dubbed the CAPACITANCE ELECTRONIC DISC (CED), it was quickly supplanted by both commercially available VHS tapes and Laserdiscs, the precursor to the DVD, which read the information with light beams.

Ultimately, it was a clunky, inelegant technology prone to problems and RCA lost about $600 million on it, but there was a curious upside to its brief arc through the collective consciousness...the cover art.

For many of the CED packages, promotional artwork was commissioned for the face of the cartridge that was singular for the release of the RCA SelectaVision format. 

Below I have displayed a gallery of some of the cover art from that time, in most cases, different images than were ever seen on the more popular VHS, Laserdisc or DVD releases of the same films. 

Enjoy the beauty!


CED amityville horror josh brolin selectavisionboxcar bertha barbara hershey





    

















Album Picks: Panda Bear, California X

Posted by Billy Gil, January 13, 2015 09:33am | Post a Comment

Panda Bear Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

panda bear meets the grim reaper lpPanda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper has us in heaven. It’s Noah Lennox’s most accessible album thus far, yet it’s as strange and unique as anything he’s done. I first heard “Boys Latin” on edibles in Joshua Tree at his excellent show at Pappy & Harriet’s with Peaking Lights, and that rainbow vocal pastiche has been swimming through my brain ever since. The other single, “Mr Noah,” is more of a grower, but I love the way its groans into life and pulsates like a live animal. You’ve got songs like “Principe Real,” which is like this Wonderland funk track, bouncing on handclaps and cartoonish organs. A lot of the in-between songs are as beautiful as you might guess. “Crossword” is heartfelt and gorgeous, along the lines of a certain song he wrote for Animal Collective, “My Girls.” “Come to Your Senses” swirls with slithering, shaking sounds, but percolating guitars and synths carry strong melodies to take you through it. And “Tropic of Cancer” is a Beach Boys-inspired oceanic ode that crests on beautiful harp and digital whispers. Panda Bear’s work has always been inspiring, but Grim Reaper sees Lennox shedding any kind of shyness present in his previous releases. It’s a beautifully made, all-embracing piece of experimental pop music, and one of the best releases of early 2015.

MLK Jr Day 2015 Events in the Bay and LA

Posted by Billyjam, January 12, 2015 05:14pm | Post a Comment

With this year being the 50th anniversary of the historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery freedom marches this year's MLK Jr Day 2015 events all over the country will take on extra importance. There are countless events happening all over the US and California. Here a handful of those taking place in LA and the Bay Area including a comic book event in San Francisco.

MLK Jr Day 2015 is day two of the Black Comix Arts Festival whose goal is to celebrate the creativity and subjectivity of African Americans in the comic arts and popular visual culture. Open to all ages, it will include a grand exposition, special guest artist presentations, film screening, and activities for kids. The event kicks off the day before (Sunday, January 18) and happens both days at the San Francisco Public Library's main library and at the Metreon. More information and times click here.

Day of service in Oakland. Something that's become increasingly popular over the years is inviting folks (with the day off work or school) to participate in a day of service - typically doing clean up work on public beaches or parks. Tapping into that theme is the MLK Day of Service 2015 at Shepherds Canyon, Oakland where the goal of the day is to transforming "a former dump into a place of natural beauty." Takes place on MLK Jr Day from 9am to 12:30pm. Volunteers should meet at the Escher Gate, 5881 Escher Drive, Oakland. More info.

2015 CE -- Fictions Set in 2015

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 12, 2015 10:56am | Post a Comment

When it comes to predicting the future, science-fiction has an pretty uneven track record. For every iPad or flip phone there's a dozen flying cars, anthropomorphic robot maids, or a BrainJail (where people are imprisoned for rubbish laws like downloading their feelings onto computer discs). It's now 2015 and we've made contact with no extraterrestrials, established zero extrasolar colonies, and built not one moon base. In the US we're still working on building a respectable rail network! 
 


Of course most of the best science-fiction isn't about guessing what they future is going to be like but sometimes, as with Brave New World, it comes frighteningly close. However, not even Aldous Huxley could have predicted listicles or Doritos Loaded and similarly, George Orwell could never dream up portmanteaus as odious as "amazeballs" or "honeydick"  for his lexicon of nightmarish doublespeak.
 

Alphaville

On the other hand, some predictions have come true. Just as Back the the Future II predicted, we do live in a world of never-ending film franchises, hoverboards, and Nike is working on a self-tying shoe for the benefit of those for whom velcro is too much work and slip-ons are just too sensical. If other works set in 2015 are as accurate, what else can we expect from the year 2015?
 

Ava DuVernay's "Selma" & New Mike Brown/Ferguson Documentary Share MLK's Message of A Need For Change

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2015 11:49pm | Post a Comment

David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Ava DuVarney directed Selma


There's a memorable scene in the new film Selma where "A Change Is Gonna Come" comes on the car radio in the background - kind of faintly but still enough to hear it and to feel the soul of the song thanks to both the late great Sam Cooke's hauntingly beautiful voice and the powerful message of a promise of hope that the 1963 recorded song delivers. That desired need for change for African Americans is something that is as relevant today as it was five decades ago! Indeed the release of the new Ava DuVarney directed film Selma could not be more timely; and not just that it was scheduled to open coming up on Martin Luther King Jr. Day but considering how the issues of civil rights for African Americans in the sixties, that are the subject of this wonderful film, have become so ever-relevant again in 2015.

Opened to wide release on Friday (Jan 9, 2015) the emotionally charged film is a dramatization of the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama voting rights marches of 1965 that were led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (played to perfection by British actor David Oyelowo in an Oscar worthy performance) and by members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Furthermore for me personally the timing of catching a screening of Selma this past week was even more perfect since earlier on that very same evening, at The National Black Theatre in Harlem, I had attended a screening of a similarly themed but totally different film; the incendiary new documentary The Mike Brown Rebellion: Resistance in Ferguson. That low-budget - yet nonetheless powerful - DIY documentary, produced by the NYC based Rebel Diaz Arts Collective who had traveled down to Ferguson, Missiouri in the days following the August 2014 police shooting death of the unarmed Mike Brown, succeeded in its goal of presenting an alternate, front-lines perspective view of that put forward by the mainstream news outlets, as well as a making a lasting "tool for education and starting discussions around policing…" In fact immediately following the screening of the film in Harlem, that was presented by the Zulu Nation, those in attendance including one of the filmmakers Rod Starz and hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa joined a discussion on the topics raised in the documentary. 

2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions by Brad & Jackie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 11, 2015 10:43pm | Post a Comment
boyhoodWe are right in the middle of Oscar season right now. Here are some dates to be ready for. The Golden Globes just took place on Sunday 1/11. Boyhood & Birdman won the big awards at the globes as expected. Oscar Nominations come out this Thursday 1/15. The Oscar ceremony takes place this year on Sunday 2/22. The SAG Awards are on Sunday 1/25. So you still have some time to catch up and watch some movies. So see these movies in the theater if you can! But some of these movies are already out on Blu-ray and DVD. Guardians of The Galaxy is out now. It will for sure get some technical nominations and maybe some how sneak into the best picture race if miracles happen. The Grand Budapest Hotel is also out now and this movie will most likely be nominated for Best Picture. Boyhood is also out now and will for sure be nominated for everything and maybe win Picture, Director, Best Supporting Actress & Screenplay. I will be so very happy if Boyhood wins everything. The movie was awesome and my favorite of the year. I have loved Linklater for a long time now and I think about this movie almost every day since I saw it. Gone Girl is another of my favorites this year and I will not be totally shocked if it is left out of the best picture race but I am hoping it gets in there. I also am really hoping that Nightcrawler sneaks into the best picture category in the place of Whiplash or Foxcatcher. But I don't think it will. Gone Girl comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on 1/13. Whiplash comes out 2/3. Force Majeure Nightcrawler come out 2/10. Birdman, Foxcatcher, Life ItselfTheory Of Everything all come out on 2/17 the week of the Oscars! Interstellar comes out 3/10. Selma and Imitation Game do not have release dates yet.

The Poet Azeem's "Postera" Delivers A Message of Encouragement To Artists

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2015 09:15pm | Post a Comment

Throughout The Poet Azeem's performance of Postera today at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting on West 27th Street in Manhattan, one recurring message was to be true to yourself. And if you're an artist, be 100% true to your art - no matter what - and don't sell out. That message came from an artist who truly practices what he preaches. Azeem has always being about his art first and foremost - dating all the way back two plus decades ago when the NJ born artist began his career in the Bay Area.  Today's Postera performance - the final of a few to play in Manhattan this week - was presented as a "uniquely triumphant story of a modern misfit on an alternative path" in life with Chapter III of the film portion titled "The Misfit King" which is also the name of a song by Azeem with the German based Ancient Astronauts under the collective name Band Of Broken Puppets. Today's performance blended Azeem's semi-autobiographical tale with him both on stage and projected onto the stage's film screen via the "visual narrative" collaborative aid of NYC based filmmaker Zak Cedarholm. As well as tracing his own personal journey, coming of age in the 80's and kickstarting his music career in the 90's, Azeem offered his own firsthand political and social observations as well such as how the American crack academic coincided with the rise of the prison complex.

One the many inspiring moments of today's mixed-media show was when the New Jersey born, longtime hip-hop emcee / spoken word artist encouraged his fellow artists to go all out in their creativity. "If you see an envelope, push it!" stressed The Poet Azeem to all his fellow artists. And following the 45 minute performance piece today at the midtown theater the house lights came up and Azeem and his visuals collaborator Zak Cedarholm opened the floor up to questions and discussion. Cedarholm talked about how he initially met up with Azeem a year and half ago and how the two clicked creatively and hence set about making a special type of film together (see trailer below) that even includes some old Bay Area era footage of Azeem. He noted that their ultimate goal is of making full-length movie of Postera. He and Azeem then noted how they hope to tour with the mixed media piece and have accompanying workshops for others to build from it. Azeem said that he would hope that aspiring artists would see this work and that it might inspire them to follow their creative dreams and goals. Now that's what I call giving back and spreading the love and the art.

DJ Shadow Protege Bleep Bloop To Play Low End Theory

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2015 09:49am | Post a Comment
Electronic music fans in LA who picked up Bleep Bloop's excellent 10 Watt Lazers EP that arrived at Amoeba a month ago via DJ Shadow's recently launched Liquid Amber imprint , will be pleased to know that the "outerspace" music artist will be performing at the upcoming edition of the revered Low End Theory (LET) weekly club this coming Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 at Airliner. Joining a bill that will include Mike Gao, BLKNZ and resident DJs Daddy Kev, Nobody, The Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles, and Nocando, this installment of the LET promises to be off the hook. And if by chance you've never attended a LET party this is the one to make your first. Speaking of firsts, this is the first artist, other than himself, that DJ Shadow has released on his already successful new Liquid Amber label.

Of the new label and this premiere artist on it the NorCal DJ/producer born Josh Davis said, "It's an exciting and challenging phase of the process. I'm learning something new daily, and that's rewarding. With [Bleep Bloop] Aaron's music, it's not hard for me to be motivated to work on his behalf.  He's one of the artists pushing boundaries, and that's a cause I'll always get behind." As for the futuristic spacey music of the Santa Rosa based Aaron "Bleep Bloop" Triggs and what it exactly sounds like - you be the judge by listening to the free download of his spanking new remix of the Clipse track 'Keys Open Doors.' (avail via SoundCloud here) that he says he will be playing at Wednesday's LET gig. As for what else to expect during Bloop Bleep's set on Wednesday in LA? "For my show I'm gonna be playing all originals and collaborations and remixes. Gonna pack em in there and get a bunch tunes played," he told the Amoeblog today adding of his experience of working with his DJ Shadow,"It's incredible and surreal. I'm so stoked to be a part of it [and] feel really fortunate!"

A Guide to Animal Collective, Panda Bear and Avey Tare

Posted by Billy Gil, January 9, 2015 05:00pm | Post a Comment

animal collective guide

In celebration of the release of the new album by Animal Collective, we’ve put together this handy guide to see you through the myriad releases by the band and its individual members.

For the uninitiated, Baltimore-born Animal Collective have been one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bands of the 2000s. Made up of Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox), Avey Tare (David Portner) and Geologist (Brian Weitz) (longtime member Josh Dibb aka Deakin is not on their newest release), Animal Collective have released 10 studio albums and many EPs, collaborations and one-offs. Meanwhile, Lennox and Portner have several releases each (both solo and, in Portner’s case, as a collaborator). Though their music has varied quite a bit from release to release, the band has drawn upon elements of folk, Afropop, avant-garde music, noise, hip hop and psychedelia for a sample and synth-heavy concoction that defies typical genre trappings.

Here’s a list of the band’s releases, in chronological order:

animal collective spirit they're gone spirit they've vanished lp
 

Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished (2000)

Golden Era Hip-Hop Star Cool C Granted Stay of Execution

Posted by Billyjam, January 8, 2015 11:10pm | Post a Comment
For much of yesterday social media was abuzz with the news that hip-hop golden era star Cool C, the Philly rapper born Christopher Roney, would be executed for the two-decades old charge of first-degree murder of a Philadelphia police officer in a 1996 failed PNC Bank robbery in the Pennsylvania city.  It was a tragic tale of a once famous artist, one who back in the late 80's was signed to Atlantic Records and rapped about "The Glamorous Life" (see video below), but who today (January 8th 2015) following nineteen years in prison after been sentenced to death was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. Note that back in 2006 he was originally scheduled to be executed but due to litigation issues had that fate postponed. Fast forward to last month and the rapper, who committed the attempted 1996 bank robbery with fellow 80's Philly rap star Steady B and another rap colleague of theirs born Ernest Mark Canty (they both got life without parole for their parts in the failed heist), was set to be executed but due to a last minute stay of execution once again had it postponed  - but not for long.  Then late yesterday word surfaced in the evening that Cool C had been granted a second stay of execution. In the meantime in the comments of news sites and on social media there were endless emotional posts and comments - many mostly by those who were not familiar with the music of Cool C - with the majority taking a vocal stand against the "cop killer," "s "thug" etc. for killing a police officer. That prevalent outrage and distaste toward the 45 year old Cool C, who during the 1996 botched bank robbery shot and killed single mother of two Philadelphia police officer Lauretha Vaird, comes at a time when emotions are high in regards to attacks on police with political stances more polarized than ever.

My Promiscuous Cochlea: Everyone My Ear Took Home in 2014

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 8, 2015 05:33pm | Post a Comment


Vinyl isn't cheap, nor is is tawdry, so the collecting of it has become much more a matter of discernment than it used to be.

The following is a list, alphabetical, perchance by merit, of the vinyl (new titles and re-issues) that made the cut in 2014. It doesn't presume to be a "Best Of," as I am very aware of the peculiarities of my particular set of listening apparatuses. It is a list of the vinyl that my scattershot attention locked on to, brought home and allowed to bed down in the limited space that I allot for records in my home.


amen dunes love sacred bones





































AMEN DUNES
Love (Sacred Bones)

Folky, trippy, with that under-water production we've heard from the likes of KURT VILE, except where VILE is stoned and hanging with his buddies, AMEN DUNES' Damon McMahon is lost in a vast open space, deep in the mushroom and calling "Marco Polo" to the night sky. Stark and brittle while somehow managing to remain lush. I don't think I listened to any album of 2014 as often as I've listened to this.

                                                                              *

Kevvy Kev's Wu-Tang Wednesdays @ 2800 In San Francisco

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2015 06:25pm | Post a Comment
Kevvy Kev's Wu-Tang Wednesdays ain't nuthin to mess with! The pioneering Bay Area hip-hop DJ, who began his career a full decade even before the famous Staten Island hip-hop collective first took the music world by storm, began his popular new WU weekly (Wednesdays at 2800 24th Street in San Francisco) back in late November out of a passion for the group and 90's classic hip-hop - specifically the Wu-Tang Clan who helped shape the decade's hip-hop sound. "It needed to be done. That’s always been the mission: Give the streets what they need," he told the Amoeblog earlier this afternoon taking a brief break from digging in his deep crates for records that include the ones in his top five below.

As for what Kev thinks makes the Wu-Tang such an important and essential music group? "At no time before, and arguably since, has that much talent been assembled in one package with that sort of game-changing production, concept, and execution. It was literally the perfect storm, and that’s why it hit the entire culture like a thermonuclear bomb,". he replied quickly adding for further emphasis, "And you know what a bomb sounds like, right? Bong bong!"

As a club and radio DJ (his long-running KZSU show "The Drum" is both highly influential and legendary  - read the Amoeblog profile on it and Kevvy Kev here) he has personally known the Wu members from their inception - even before in fact. "I met RZA first, as a solo artist when he was on Tommy Boy," he recalled, continuing. "After that record, he went solo and released "Protect Ya Neck" independently, and the streets went crazy! So when Loud picked up the group, they flew ‘em out to Cali and did a run from LA to the Bay. The [Bay Area Hip-Hop] Coalition handled the Bay Area part of the run, so we had a chance to build with the clan," he recalled pausing for a moment. "Too many stories to go into here, but you can imagine!" And as for Kevvy Kev's top five favorite Wu-Tang Clan joints of the moment - whether group, solo, or side projects? "With the caveat that this list changes frequently and for often arbitrary reasons,," he replied. "For the purposes of this list, I’m only picking songs from the Wu albums - not solo joints or collabos."

Cancelled after one episode -- a look back at very short-lived television shows

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 7, 2015 05:02pm | Post a Comment
CRT Graveyard
CRT Graveyard

While there have been at least six or seven quality television programs, the telecommunication device has for seventy years or so more often been derided for the lack of quality programming. Whereas US forces regularly play awful music to tortured captives, no one with even the tiniest remaining shred of humanity would force even the worst villain to watch Access Hollywood or Extra so how bad, then, must a show be to be cancelled after a single episode?

Watching Television in the 1950s


Of course, television is valued by network executives less for its artistic quality than its ability to sell advertising space, which is why we have Big Brother. What then would result in the plug being pulled after just once episode? Let's have a look.

*****

FUN AND FORTUNE (6 June, 1949)

Fun and Fortune was a game show hosted for its only episode by Jack Lescoulie. The object of the show was for contestants to identify a mystery item concealed by a curtain after being given four clues. It certainly sounds no better or worse than most game shows that came before. Perhaps ABC execs, then in their second year of television broadcasting, were merely hoping that something better would come along in its wake. 

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With the Black Keys' Patrick Carney

Posted by Amoebite, January 6, 2015 06:27pm | Post a Comment

Patrick Carney at Amoeba Hollywood

Blues-rock rivivalists The Black Keys have been on a steady climb to the top. In 2010, the band Turn Blue The Black Keyssaw mainstream success with their sixth studio album Brothers (Nonesuch). From Billboard Top 20 singles and commercial placement to constant radio play and GRAMMY wins, The Black Keys have been everywhere! On their eighth full-length release, Turn Blue (Nonesuch, 2014), the duo once again teamed up with longtime producer Danger Mouse. The album boasts 11 solid tracks of catchy blues infused rock that remind us how great Danger Mouse and the Keys work together. The band was just recently nominated for Best Rock Song ("Fever") and Best Rock Album (Turn Blue) at the upcoming 2015 GRAMMY Awards.

Patrick Carney recently spent time with two very lucky fans (pictured above) at Amoeba Hollywood, picking out some of his favorite records for them as part of a radio contest for Alt 98.7FMHe tells a hilarious story about hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time after buying a Vanilla Ice record, how trying to rip off a Can beat led to the band's first hit record, and so much more. Watch the full episode below for all of Patrick's picks. 

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: April 1992 KUSF Top 30 Hip-Hop Chart

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2015 06:00pm | Post a Comment
Just dug up the Top 30 airplay chart (left) from 23 years ago from the weekly KUSF FM  hip-hop radio show I did at that time on the beloved, now sadly defunct San Francisco radio station that used to reign supreme at 90.3FM. The radio show I did was on Sunday evenings after the Spotlight guest DJ feature program and before The Germ's demo tape show. It was a good time in the history of hip-hop when the genre was still in its so-called "golden era" epitomized by artists like 3rd Bass, Black Sheep, and Gang Starr and by such releases as Showbiz & AG's Soul Clap EP, Ultramagnetic MCs' Funk Your Head Up album (with the single "Poppa Large"), and A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory which even though it was released seven months earlier was still getting airplay due to the sheer quality of its content - every track on point - examples including "Buggin' Out," "Butter," "Check The Rhime," "Show Buiness," and "Jazz (We Got)." 

Other golden era classic tracks included on this chart are House of Pain's breakout crossover hit "Jump Around," the Beastie Boys' "Pass The Mic," and Main Source's "Fakin' The Funk." The accompanying video for that song, in which the lyrics even reference "the year of 92," can be seen below. As is evident from the video the song was used on the soundtrack to the film White Men Can't Jump that was released at that same time. Another rap heavy soundtrack included on this chart is the excellent Juice OST that got released  a few months earlier and included tracks from such acts as Eric B. & RakimEPMD, Cypress Hill, and Naugthy By Nature - but oddly not Tupac Shakur who starred in the movie and had just released his solo debut 2Pacalaypse Now. As well as the Bay Area based 2Pac there were some other Bay Area artists associated with the movie - well with the excellent soundtrack specifically. These included producer Ant Banks as well as Too $hort, and MC Pooh. The latter artist who also went by the name Pooh-Man is separately featured on this chart with the single "Funky."

Amoeba Hollywood's Top 100 Sellers of 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, January 6, 2015 02:42pm | Post a Comment

amoeba top 100 sellers

We've tallied up our top sellers for the year at Amoeba Hollywood and Amoeba.com, including CDs, vinyl and downloads. Take a look below at what Amoeba shoppers picked up in 2014.

1. Arctic Monkeys - AM

arctic monkeys am lpArctic Monkeys megahit fifth LP from 2013 continued selling right into 2014 on the strength of hits like "Snap Out of It."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2. Jack White - Lazaretto

jack white lazaretto lpJack White's experimentally bluesy second album helped his legion of fans grow larger by the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


3. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Coachella 2015 Lineup Announced; AC/DC, Jack White, Drake Headline

Posted by Billy Gil, January 6, 2015 11:45am | Post a Comment

The lineup for Coachella 2015 has been announced, and there are some surprises in there.

First up, we've got AC/DC headlining day one (Friday April 10 and 17). (Day one gets even more "dad rock" when you notice that Steely Dan is also playing.) Jack White headlines day two (April 11 and 18) and Drake is on top day three (April 12 and 19). 

Other highlights include a recently reunited Ride and Drive Like Jehu. See the whole lineup below, and check out some Amoeba videos from the artists playing the show.

coachella 2015 lineup ac/dc drake jack white

 

Lykke Li - Live at Amoeba Hollywood, Aug. 25, 2008

New Life for Oakland's Continental Club

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 5, 2015 06:03pm | Post a Comment

Continental Club, OaklandBy Brent James

Nestled inconspicuously on 12th Street in West Oakland in a neighborhood known as Prescott (or the “Lower Bottoms” to the longtime residents of the area) is a quaint little building that you will probably miss if you blink. A structure of brick and hardwood and matted red carpets that haven’t been touched since the 1960s, the building standing at 1658 12th Street is the Continental Club – a once a mighty Jazz and Blues supper joint that helped Oakland and the East Bay Area garner the reputation of being the “Motown of the West.” Along with Slim Jenkins’ Supper Club, Esther’s Orbit Room, and dozens of other nightclubs that sprawled along 7th Street, the stages in these rooms once hosted the likes of Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Etta James, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, and even Jimi Hendrix. The list goes on and the stories are endless if you’re lucky enough to get some face time with the “old timers” of the area. In this neighborhood, people still say “good morning” and spend many a Summer night on their porches, so that’s pretty easy to do.

Ghostface Killah's "36 Seasons"

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2015 04:15pm | Post a Comment


A popular album at Amoeba Music since its release four weeks ago is Ghostface Killah's latest release, 36 Seasons (Salvation/Tommy Boy), which is the Wu-Tang Clan artist's eleventh solo studio album release since he unleashed his debut solo (the RZA-produced Ironman) back in 1996. It is the artist's latest since last year's Adrian Younge-produced Twelve Reasons To Die. For 36 Seasons, Ghostface collaborated in the studio with Brooklyn-based production outfit The Revelations.


The result is an album that has met positive feedback from fans who love it, with many even considering it the artist's best solo work to date. Alternately, those who have dissed it call it unoriginal and claim that the artist is merely going through the motions and regurgitating past formulas. I see where they are coming from but I disagree. I love how Ghostface continues to demonstrate what a gifted storyteller he is. With the help of album collaborators such as Kool G Rap and AZ, he weaves intriguing tales all tied into the album's theme of a returning hip-hop superhero to his rough and rugged streets of Staten Island following beeing away for 36 seasons (nine years). 

Longtime Grand Ole Opry Member "Little" Jimmy Dickens Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, January 3, 2015 03:45pm | Post a Comment

According to several published reports today, country singing legend and longtime regular at the Grand Ole Opry "Little" Jimmy Dickens has died. With the cause listed as cardiac arrest (following being hospitalized from suffering a stroke a week ago), Dickens died yesterday in a Nashville-area hospital at age 94. According to a press release issued by the Grand Ole Opry, he was the last living member of the Grand Ole Opry who was actually older than the radio show itself. In his long lifetime, "Little" Jimmy Dickens became famous for his novelty hit records beginning with 1949's "Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)," "I'm Little but I'm Loud," "Sleeping At The Foot of the Bed," and "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" - the latter of which (a 1965 number one hit single) was reportedly inspired by Johnny Carson's Tonight Show sketch "Carnac the Magnificent." See the video interview below in which he talks about the mixed blessing of becoming known primarily for his novelty songs, as well as other topics such as what he wanted to be remembered for in life.

"Little" Jimmy Dickens, who earned his name for his diminutive stature (he stood 4' 11"), was a man with a self-deprecating sense of humor and would routinely get laughs by drawing attention to his own height with such witty catchphrases as calling himself "Willie Nelson after taxes."  Dickens first joined the Opry cast in 1948 and would stay with them right up the end making his final appearance on the Opry stage just two weeks ago on December 20th, 2014 - the day after his 94th birthday. Dickens, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983, leaves behind a back catalog of music spanning several decades as many record labels and including a few dozen singles and twelve albums in addition to a string of various artist compilations he appeared on. Look for Dickens' material at Amoeba online as well as in the Amoeba stores.

Top 25 Hip-Hop & RnB Song for Week ending January 2nd, 2015 with #1 = Big Sean feat. E-40

Posted by Billyjam, January 2, 2015 01:45pm | Post a Comment
  


If you lack the time or patience to tune in and listen to hours of commercial pop/urban radio to know what's the most popular music in hip-hop and RnB these days - as in this week - the above 8 minute, 20 second video is a nice concise summary of the top 25 contemporary pop rap/RnB tracks - based on Billboard, select Top 40, and other current pop chart lists. Included are Nicki Minaj ("Feeling Myself (feat. Beyonce)"), Dej Loaf ("Try Me"), Rich Gang ("Life Style (feat Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan)"), Ne-Yo ("She Knows (feat Juicy J)," Flo Rida ("G.D.F.R. (feat Sage the Gemini & Lookas)"), and Big Sean's "I Don't Fuck With You (feat. E-40)" which is this week's number one song and appears in full below.



Big Sean - I Don't Fuck With You (Explicit) ft. E-40

Concert Tickets for Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in January 2015

Posted by Amoebite, January 2, 2015 11:28am | 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:

Kimbra at the El Rey

Kimbra
El Rey
April 9

Jazmine Sullivan at Club Nokia

Jazmine Sullivan
Club Nokia
March 27

Amoeba Presents Rubber Tracks In-store Series With Tennis System, So Many Wizards, Windham Flat, Cocktails

Posted by Billy Gil, January 2, 2015 10:12am | Post a Comment

rubber tracksAmoeba is teaming up with Converse Rubber Tracks to host in-store live show series with cool local bands and giving away limited split 7” to celebrate the shows.

tennis systemFirst up on Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. is Tennis System at Amoeba Hollywood. The first 500 people will get a free limited edition 7” including a track each by Tennis System and So Many Wizards.

Composed of frontman Matty Taylor, drummer Hector Gomez and bassist Zach Bilson, L.A.-based shoegazers Tennis System put out their excellent second album, Technicolor Blind, in 2014. They’ve played with the likes of Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Mark Gardner (Ride) and Beach Fossils, to name a few. And they’re favorites at local post-punk night Part Time Punks.

"Mother Earth But Rock 'N Roll," Barb Retires From Amoeba To Begin New Year and New Chapter In Her Life

Posted by Billyjam, January 1, 2015 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Barb (left) with Joan Baez, Roxanne, and Karen at Leopold's in Berkeley, pre-Amoeba.

"Mother Earth but rock 'n roll…and we're all gonna miss her a lot," said Amoeba's Karen about Barb, who is set to retire this week. Following decades of being a recognizable friendly face behind the counter of Bay Area record stores (including the better part of the past two decades at Amoeba Music in Berkeley), passionate music fan and much beloved maternal figure Barbara (or Barb as most know her) is readying to begin a new chapter in her life in the new year.

When Barb began working at Amoeba Music in Berkeley in 1997, she was already an integral part of the Bay Area's rich record store scene following decades of being at Leopold's in Berkeley. She also worked at the Leopold's Oakland store on Telegraph, as well as at her husband Eddy's record store in San Francisco's Mission District. But it was at Leopold's on Durant in Berkeley where most folks at Amoeba first go to know Barb either as record store shoppers or as fellow employees.

Once a vital component of the music world, the long-gone but still missed Leopold's (profiled in two parts on the Amoeblog here and here) was where many Amoeba employees started out their record store careers before the founding of Amoeba Music. Folks such such as Roxanne and Karen (pictured above with Barb when Joan Baez stopped by Leopold's in Berkeley) as well as others including Gail, Jim Henderson, and Mark Beaver all worked at Leopold's before Amoeba. Mark Beaver along with Amoeba Marc and Karen all address the Leopold's/Amoeba connection in the short video below. 

20 Songs to Ring in the New Year

Posted by Billy Gil, January 1, 2015 09:40am | Post a Comment

20 songs to ring in the new year

HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL! Here is a list of songs to ring in the new year. Some of it is happy and some of it is sad—just like your life will be next year! J/K IT WILL BE AWESOME.

 

Death Cab for Cutie – “The New Year” (from the album Transatlanticism)

 

U2 – “New Year’s Day” (from the album War)

 

Beach House – “New Year” (from the album Bloom)

 

Bing Crosby – “Let’s Start the New Year Right” (can be found on Bing Crosby: Christmas Album)