Amoeblog

Joni Mitchell Found Unconscious At Her LA Home, Rushed To Hospital In "Serious" Condition

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2015 08:56pm | Post a Comment


As reported a little earlier this evening by various news outlets, with TMZ breaking the story, at approx 2:30pm this afternoon legendary Canadian born singer/songwriter and painter Joni Mitchell was found unconscious at her LA home in the Bel-Air district and rushed to the hospital with hospital officials reportedly describing her condition as "quite serious." And although no specifics of exactly what caused Mitchell to be unconscious have been publicly announced so far, the 71 year old artist, who has attributed a life long cigarette smoking habit (she began smoking at age nine) to ending her singing career five years ago, has had a life long history of health problems. The range from surviving both scarlet fever and polio as a child (she was lucky to walk again) to several years ago being diagnosed with the disease known as Morgellons which results in sufferers experiencing under their skin parasite-like biting and crawling sensations.

She addressed this rare disease in her candid memoir Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words in which she described it as being so bad that she couldn't wear clothes, had to crawl across the floor, and couldn't leave her house for years on end. Additionally Mitchell has shared that she has suffered from both acute paranoia and insomnia. I sincerely hope that Joni Mitchell, one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever, survives this hospital emergency. For updates on her status the JoniMitchell.com Twitter page tweeted earlier this evening that they are "awaiting official word on her condition and will post it here as soon as we know." 
Meantime read Joni Mitchell's full Amoeba.com bio by Oliver Hall and check out some of below of a few select live performance tracks by the artist, whose album Blue ranks in my top ten best albums of all time, below - which can be found, along with many more, at Amoeba in the Joni Mitchell section. Also immediately below is an enlightening interview with Mitchell, who doesn't do many interviews, from a couple by her native CBC television conducted by Jian Ghomeshi at her California home.

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Reissue Report: Deluxe Edition of Rolling Stones' 'Sticky Fingers' Coming in May

Posted by Billy Gil, March 31, 2015 05:23pm | Post a Comment

the rolling stones sticky fingers lp reissueTo coincide with its North American tour this Spring, The Rolling Stones will reissue one of its best-loved albums, Sticky Fingers, in a deluxe edition May 26.

Like those recent Led Zeppelin reissues, Sticky Fingers will come in a variety of LP and CD editions, Rolling Stone reports. The deluxe edition will include a version of “Brown Sugar” with Eric Clapton, unreleased versions of “Bitch,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Dead Flowers,” and an acoustic take of “Wild Horses,” plus five live tracks from a performance at London’s Roundhouse in 1971, including “Honky Tonk Women” and “Midnight Rambler.”

The super deluxe edition will include all that and Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out!, a 13-track disc of the band’s March 1971 performance in Leeds, plus a 120-page book with new liner notes, previously unpublished photos, a print and postcard set and a cover that updates the original iconic album image with a real working zipper.

The band’s tour starts with a May 24 show at San Diego’s Petco Park. Watch a trailer for the tour below:

Visit Us at the Amoeba Pop-Up Shop at Ace Hotel's Desert Gold in Palm Springs During Coachella

Posted by Amoebite, March 31, 2015 04:06pm | Post a Comment

ace hotel and swim club

If you’re headed out to the desert for Coachella this April, check out the Amoeba Music Pop-Up Shop at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs.

During 2015's Coachella week April 9-20, Ace hosts its own mini-fest of vendors, 7th Annual Desert Gold. We’ll be on hand at The Co-op retail space near the pool with vinyl from the artists performing at Coachella, plus T-shirts and loads more, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday each weekend. RSVP to Weekend One and Weekend Two here.

They’ll also feature L.A.-based web radio collective dublab radio, broadcasting live from the hotel and swim club every day during Desert Gold; DJs from Sunday party people The Do-Over, elixirs from Venice-based holistic drink shop Moon Juice and food from New York-based Five Leaves, who have recently redone the food at Ace’s King’s Highway diner. New York-based artist MOMO will helm the annual Communal Wall mural.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Bay Area's Dangerous Dame

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2015 02:00pm | Post a Comment

This week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog celebrates veteran Oakland rapper Dangerous Dame. The East Bay hip-hop, born Damon Edwards, ranks up there amidst the select early Bay Area hip-hop era artists to make it in terms of putting out records in the 80's, getting commercial radio airplay, and landing a major label record deal - and all while still a teenager! However, as is often the case in the ever-fickle music biz, that success was relatively short-lived despite affiliations throughout his career with such high profile artists as Too $hort, Master P, and Mac Dre. Nonetheless Dangerous Dame is a very important figure in the history of Bay Area hip-hop whose career was most notable from the late 80's through the late 90's with the first few years being the most significant. He was also an artist that grabbed rap fans attention with his unique flow and penchant for forever shouting out his hometown of Oakland, CA  born and proud rapper.

Dangerous Dame got into rap early in life, kick-starting his career while barely into his teens. At the young age of thirteen he was writing his own rhymes and within two years was onstage performing them at local talent shows.  Not long after that the talented teen was teaching himself how to make beats and produce his own music; thanks to his always supportive father James who purchased him his first drum machine along with some other basic recording equipment, and who would later fund and personally release his son's debut "Jumpin" (featuring DJ Dopecut on the scratches). Hence why the label name incorporated his pops' name; James Edwards Sr. Enterprise.  Released at the beginning of 1989 this underground, cassette-only release was truly a homegrown, low-budget affair. It's cover art,  a low-grade photo of Dame and his DJ posing by an Oakland city sign with their two names scribbled on with a sharpie and the album title oddly appearing in quotes, looked like it was sloppily slapped together as an afterthought.  Regardless the tape inside offered seven powerful tracks that showcased both the young Dame's solid writing skills and his unique delivery; a rough & rugged but shrill vocal style that was distinctly Oakland and somewhat derivative of Too $hort but never duplicating him in either flow or content.

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Win Tickets to a Police Documentary Screening in LA or SF + Signed Andy Summers Memoir

Posted by Amoebite, March 31, 2015 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Win Tickets to a Police Documentary Screening + Signed Andy Summers Memoir

We are giving away three pairs of tickets each to San Francisco and Los Angeles screenings of Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police as well as a signed copy of the Police guitarist Andy Summers’ memoir, One Train Later, and three posters signed by Summers. 

San Francisco contest:

One grand prize winner will win a signed copy of Andy Summers’ memoir, two tickets for any screening of the film at San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 16 after it opens April 10 and a signed movie poster. Two runners up will win a signed poster and two tickets each to the any screening of the film at San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 16. Contest ends 4/7/15. Enter here for the San Francisco contest.

Los Angeles contest:

One grand prize winner will win a signed copy of Andy Summers’ memoir, two tickets to the April 4 screening of Can’t Stand Losing You at the Laemmle Royal (time TBD) with a Q&A with Summers to follow, plus a signed movie poster. Two runners up will win a signed poster and two tickets each to the April 4 screening. Contest ends 4/2/15. Enter here for the Los Angeles contest.
 

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Album Picks: Sufjan Stevens, Lower Dens, Death Grips, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Soft Moon, Male Gaze

Posted by Billy Gil, March 31, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

sufjan stevens carrie lowell lp“Death With Dignity” opens Carrie & Lowell as a touching elegy to Sufjan Stevens’ mother, yet it also could describe his relationship to his own music. “I don’t know where to begin,” he sings, and “I’ve got nothing to prove” over a familiar bed of bluegrass-inspired folk. Stevens was like the A-plus student of indie pop, turning out album after album of perfectly manicured orchestral folk-pop, but I felt like he lost his way a bit with The BQE, an album and project that felt unwieldy, as well the hectic electro-folk of The Age of Adz. Carrie & Lowell, by comparison, is one of his most stripped-down albums to date. That’s not to say it doesn’t have his trademark fixation on detail— songs shift halfway through, like “Should Have Known Better’s” turn into stuttering, laptoppy acoustics and choral touches, or “Drawn to the Blood’s” extended string finale; “you checked your text while I masturbated,” he sings casually, telling a girl she looks like Poseidon in the sexually turbulent “All of Me Wants All of You.” Lyrically and musically, Stevens remains a curious tinkerer, but Carrie & Lowell never feels busy in the slightest. It’s an intensely focused work, one that places Stevens’ voice and songcraft over bells and whistles. Whereas locations and history seemed to hold Stevens’ interest in the past, here he’s death-obsessed (and still spiritual as ever). “Fourth of July” feels romantically morbid and carries the happy refrain “we’re all gonna die,” and on “The Only Thing,” he sounds stricken with grief to the point of barely being able to keep going on. Stevens’ way with language, drawing on mythology and Christian imagery, and ascendant voice keeps the songs from wallowing too deeply, even as they describe an immense sense of loss, allowing those moments when he does break—“No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross’” “Fuck me, I’m falling apart”—to land all the more effectively. Without the filter of a state’s history or the heavy religiosity of Seven Swans, Carrie & Lowell finds Stevens turning his studious eye inward to fully explore his own grief, and the results are never short of breathtaking.

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An Interview with Alissa Walker for Women's History Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 30, 2015 08:06pm | Post a Comment
In the past most of my posts for Women's History Month have focused on historical figures. This year I decided to instead focus on living breathing women who're actively contributing to the vibrant cultural landscape of Los Angeles. This week's subject is Alissa Walker. Walker maintains the website, A Walker in LA; has written about design, architecture, cities, and transportation for the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, Dwell, Slate, Wired, Los Angeles Magazine, Details, GOOD, the LA Weekly (and probably others); and is the urbanism editor at Gizmodo. She also co-created design east of La Brea, an organization that produces events that take place east of La Brea; is an associate produce for the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture; is on the steering committee of Los Angeles Walks; and she just had a baby.

Alissa Walker (image source: Zaki Mustafa)
Alissa Walker (image source: Zaki Mustafa)

I first met Alissa at a tour of Dodger Stadium organized by design east of La Brea (deLaB) to which I walked  -- a decision which produced the unexpected result of my being escorted by security. Walker rode her bike. I didn't realize at the time that I'd heard her interviewed on Notebook on Cities and Culture, which had made me want to talk to her about Los Angeles, which I'm only getting around to now. 

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The Dragonfly Collector Reviewed

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 30, 2015 11:19am | Post a Comment
Clementine Castro recently released his solo debut under the name Dragonfly Collector. Castro also was the leader of the popular bands, Orange and Lemons and The Camerawalls


Dragonfly Collector

Orange and Lemons released three albums in the 2000s (Love in the Land of Rubber Shoes and Dirty Ice Cream (2003), Strike whilst the Iron Is Hot (2005), Moonlane Gardens (2007)) which married 1960s pop psych to 1980s jangle pop. Though hailing from Bulacan, their sound had more in common with bands from the England’s north like Care, The Beautiful SouthLightning Seeds, Pale Fountains, The Smiths, and The Beatles than they apparently did with most of their Filipino peers. After their indie debut, Orange and Lemons signed with Universal but disbanded after their second major label release. 

Unique Veteran French Prog-Rock Ensemble Magma Return to US for Brief Tour

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

One of French rock music's most innovative and eclectic musical ensembles, the eight member group Magma whose style is their own unique brand of progressive-rock, will be making a brief North American tour over the next two weeks with only eight select dates scheduled (including two in California dates: LA's Echoplex on Monday, April 6th and Slim's in SF on Wednesday, April 8th). Their upcoming tour that kicks off at Venue in Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, April 2nd.

The longtime group, who were founded by main member Christian Vander four and a half decades ago upon inspiration from a "vision of humanity’s spiritual and ecological future," stand apart from every other band (not just in France but everywhere) due to their unique musical sound and the fact that they crafted their very own language.

WFMU radio's DJ Trouble, who plays a lot of French musical acts on her weekly show, has been a big fan of Magma's for many years and will be attending their upcoming tour's closing date at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on April 13th. I asked the DJ what exactly it is that she likes so much about Magma? "They're a wild French band that includes a former Yé-yé girl," she said, adding "And they've made up an extra terrestrial language and "origin" story. Oh and they make crazy prog-ish sounds! What's not to love?" Another major fan of the band is Amoeba owner Marc Weinstein whom I asked what it is that has long attracted him to Magma. "They are unlike anything else. They created their own universe and you literally have to enter their universe to appreciate their music," said Weinstein, noting how Magma founder Christian Vander's intense interest in music by Stravinsky and Coltrane helped shape the band's eclectic, adventurous progressive sound.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Earl Sweatshirt, L'Orange & Jeremiah Jae, Rapper Big Pooh, CRAYONE & Dregs, The Jacka + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2015 10:35am | Post a Comment

Among the brand new releases to arrive at Amoeba this past week is Words Paint Pictures by Rapper Big Pooh care of Mello Music Group who continue their flawless streak of releasing hip-hop that matters amidst so much pablum out there. This nine-track release features a bunch of collaborators including Ras Kass, Erik Blakk Soul Keith, Marv One, Apollo Brown (who did production for the lead single "Augmentation") and super producer L'Orange (who does a remix of "Augmentation").

Fellow fans of L'Orange, who I am a major fan of and last interviewed here on the Amoeblog in May of 2014 when he dropped his amazing Orchid Days, will rejoice to know that he is soon to unleash another album. Unlike Orchid Days when he paired up with various emcees, he will collaborate with just one mic wrecker this time, the Chicago wordsmith Jeremiah Jae (who many may know from the Dirty Collections 7" single series he has released via Warp Records) with whom L'Orange recorded the upcoming The Night Took Us In Like Family that will be arriving in Amoeba on April 21st.

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Weekly Roundup: Damaged Bug, tUnE-yArDs, Tennis System

Posted by Billy Gil, March 27, 2015 06:00am | Post a Comment

Damaged Bug – “The Mirror”

damaged bug cold hot plumbs lpJohn Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees has another solo album due as Damaged Bug, his synthy alter ego. “The Mirror” creeps and buzzes around on an analog groove, getting under your skin like a mosquito without you realizing it. Cold Hot Plumbs is due June 1 on his label, Castle Face (following last year’s Hubba Bubba). Hear it over at Pitchfork. And check out that sick album art!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tUnE-yArDs – “Wait for a Minute” video

tune-yards The Bay Area’s Merrill Garbus is back with a new video from last year’s great Nikki Nack album. Directed by SNEAL, there’s a lot going on, as you might expect from hearing Garbus’ dense synth-pop, layering images over one another in a kind of public access video meltdown. Watch below via Stereogum.

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Check out the Indian Film Festival of L.A. April 8-12

Posted by Amoebite, March 26, 2015 05:11pm | Post a Comment

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

We’re proud to be a sponsor of the 13th Annual Indian Film Festival of L.A., taking place April 8-12 at the ArcLight Hollywood. Tickets are on sale now.

IFFLA showcases features, shorts and documentaries created by emerging Indian filmmakers and seasoned auteurs. Amoeba is sponsoring a screening of the smash film TAAL on April 11 at 9:30pm. Buy tickets to that screening here.

taal film



As part of the festival’s “Bollywood By Night” series, TAAL the soundtrack by A.R. Rahman is considered one of the best in Bollywood history. Originally released in 1999, the film, about a star-crossed pair of a wealthy young man and the daughter of a folk singer who fall in love, is directed by Subhash Ghai and stars Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Akshaye Khanna.

Watch the trailer below:

The festival features 25 films, including four world premieres, seven North American premieres, two U.S. premieres and 10 Los Angeles premieres, hailing from six different countries and in 10 different languages. Other highlights include the world premiere screening of comedy One Crazy Thing, directed by IFFLA alum Amit Gupta (Jadoo) and featuring BAFTA “Breakthrough Brit” winner Ray Panthaki, and the Los Angeles premiere of Academy Award-winner Danis Tanovi’s latest film, the political thriller Tigers, starring Bollywood heartthrob Emraan Hashmi.

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Influential Guitarist/British Folk Revivalist John Renbourn Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, March 26, 2015 03:43pm | Post a Comment

The influential British guitarist and songwriter John Renbourn died earlier today, reportedly the result of a heart attack, it was reported the Guardian. The 70 year old artist, known for his solo work as well as with the legendary jazz-tinged, progressive British folk group Pentangle, was described by Amoeba.com biographer J. Poet as "one of the Godfathers of Britain’s folk revival" and "one of the best fingerpickers in the world and if he never did anything else but help found Pentangle, the world’s first folk/jazz band, his place in music history would be secure." You can add to those accolades the huge influence the prolific artist's guitar playing has had on so many folk guitarists of the past several decades. Between his solo releases and those with Pentangle (with whom he formed with the late Bert Jansch) Renbourn recorded and released over 30 albums, getting nominated twice for Grammys. Wrote J. Poet in 2008 "He’s approaching his 50th year of music making with no signs of slowing down" which was absolutely accurate since Renbourn was busy right up to his death - currently on with guitarist / singer Wizz Jones. In fact he was due to perform last night (Wednesday March 25th) at the Ferry in Glasgow but, according to today's Guardian news report when he failed to show up a the Scottish music club "colleagues became concerned" which in turn led to police finding him dead at his home this morning (March 26th). Rest in peace.

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Isle of Wight Festival: From Outlawed Event to Celebrated Leader of "Festival Island"

Posted by Billyjam, March 26, 2015 12:00pm | Post a Comment

In recent years the prestigious UK Festival Awards named the once outlawed Isle Of Wight Festival the 'Best Major Festival' across the festival-rich United Kingdom that hosts such other well known annual festivals as Glastonbury, Reading, and Creamfields. But once upon a time - back five decades ago - so controversial was this short-lived rock music festival off the southern coast of England, that began as a counterculture event during the "summer of love" in 1968, that following its overwhelmingly popular third year it got shut down by the government. In fact so notorious the shutdown of the event dubbed "the Woodstock of Europe" that it even earned a British Parliament Act named after it.

Following the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, which horrified many locals when it attracted an estimated 600,000 long haired hippies to this once quiet small southern English island. For context that was nearly five times the population of the island - hence the uproar by the ill-prepared citizens of the island whose loud vocal complaints were heard by politicians. Hence why before the next year's festival could take place the British Parliament had passed the "Isle of Wight Act."  That act introduced new legislature that made it illegal to present gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special license.

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Next First Fridays Show Features Garage Rockers Cherry Glazerr, White Fence April 10

Posted by Amoebite, March 25, 2015 06:06pm | Post a Comment

cherry glazerr white fence first fridays natural history museum

The next First Fridays show at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles features California bands Cherry Glazerr and White Fence April 10. Tickets are $18 without a museum membership. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor. Come out to the show and swing by our booth to pick up some swag!

cherry glazerr haxel princess lpNamed after the KCRW host Chery Glaser, Cherry Glazerr are a young L.A. trio fronted by Clementine Creevy. The singer / guitarist’s tunes are as laden with attitude as they are with catchy melodies on their debut album, Haxel Princess, which features such song titles as “Bloody Bandaid” and “Trick or Treat Dancefloor.” Mixing spacey sensibilities with garage-rock chords and snarling vocals in a similar fashion to The Breeders, Cherry Glazerr have won the hearts and minds of L.A. music lovers and beyond. Their latest release was the 2014 single “Had Ten Dollaz.” Also, check out their "What's In My Bag?" episode below:

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Assata Shakur Celebrated In Womyn's Legacy Program At National Black Theatre

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2015 01:12pm | Post a Comment
In their ever continued dedicated display of hip-hop, as a wide cultural movement, that can be utilized as a tool to uplift, educate, and fight against social injustices The Universal Zulu Nation present another program for Women's History Month (or Womyn's Legacy Month as they present it) with a special program tonight that focuses on the controversial figure Assata Shakur. Aptly entitled "Assata Shakur, Cuba, Black August & the role of Womyn in using Hip Hop Culture as a tool for Liberation & Revolutionary Struggle" today's (Weds March 25th) three hour program takes place at the Universal Zulu Nation's NYC chapter's favorite venue; Harlem's National Black Theater. The program will present Shakur in different mediums including a screening of Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolondo's award winning film Eyes Of The Rainbow - the documentary film with Assata Shakur that is set in Cuba and features music and dance. The program will include guest speaker Sister Monifa S. Perry. There will also be a reading of portions of The Autobiography of Assata Olugbala Shakur, as well as a discussion on Black August and the role of women (womyn) in using the rich cultural movement that is hip-hop as a means to empower and fight for liberation in a revolutionary struggle.

The documentary Eyes of the Rainbow, which appears in full below,  tackles the never dull life of Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who in 1973  was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing a New Jersey State Trooper, and who escaped from prison and was given political asylum in Cuba. This film views Assata in an Afro Cuban context, including the Yoruba Orisha Oya, goddess of the ancestors, of war, of the cemetery and of the rainbow. Eyes of the Rainbow was dedicated by Rolondo to "all women who struggle for a better world." As such Assata, who is considered a terrorist by some but a hero to others and has famously referenced herself as a "20th century escaped slave," is a prime example of an African American woman leading the struggle in the fight of calling for social justice.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Number One Hip-Hop Singles of 1990

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2015 09:31pm | Post a Comment
The following list of number one hip-hop singles from 25 years ago is based on a combination of sales and radio airplay and comes care of Billboard magazine who calculated the initially published charts throughout 1990 in the weekly music magazine. Some were culled from albums released in 1989 but all singles charted in '90 with Salt-N-Pepa's "Expression" (remembered by many by its repeated catchy hook "express yourself") holding down the number one slot for the longest at eight consecutive weeks from mid January through mid March that year. Meanwhile Candyman's pop rap single "Knockin' Boots" spent five weeks at number one. Interestingly Vanilla Ice's ever-popular mega hit "Ice Ice Baby" only spent one week at number one on the hip-hop charts in 1990. However it soon crossed over to the separate pop singles chart where it enjoyed much more success going to number one for 13 weeks. The East Bay based, Tommy Boy act Digital Underground's biggest hit single of their career "The Humpty Dance" was number one for five straight weeks beginning on St. Patrick's Day, 1990. BDP artist D-Nice's "They Call Me D-Nice" spent four weeks at number one as did "We're All In The Same Gang" by the appropriately named West Coast Rap All-Stars, featuring Ice-T, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Young MC, Digital Underground, MC Hammer, King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Michel'le, Tone-Loc, and Above The Law's Cold 187um & KMG, which spent a month at number starting on July 21st. Meanwhile Ice Cube, with his debut solo post N.W.A. single "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" from the album of the same name, spent three straight weeks at number one beginning on June 9th, 1990 - but never had an official video made for it.  Most of the others spent one or two weeks at number one. For exact number of corresponding weeks at number one to individual hip-hop single see number in brackets following title of song, all below in video format in chronological order of release as singles.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Regulo Caro

Posted by Amoebite, March 24, 2015 07:25pm | Post a Comment

Regulo Caro at Amoeba Hollywood

Regulo Caro has quickly become a powerhouse in the Regional Mexican scene. At age 16, Caro began performing with a band locally and developing his craft. After attending college and earning his degree in business administration, Caro began pursuing music. Finding early success as a songwriter, Caro's songs were covered by the likes of Julion Alvarez, Los Bohemios de Sinaloa, Los Nuevos Rebeldes, and Raul Hernandez to name a few. Backed by Del Recrods, who are at the forefront of the modern day regional Mexican scene with young stars like Gerardo Ortiz and Luis Coronel, Caro is poised to have a long, successful career.

Reguloa CaroWith three albums under his belt, Regulo released his fourth offering, Senzu-Rah (Del Records), in October 2014. Caro says this album is a stance against censorship the alternative corrido genre has faced. Described as a fusion sound embracing hints of norteƃ±o, reggae, banda and metal, Senzu-Rah, is Caro's most ambitous effort yet. The 15 track album is packed with catchy hooks, with most songs coming in at under two minutes in length. 

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Album Picks: Bjork, Courtney Barnett, The Go! Team, Surf City

Posted by Billy Gil, March 24, 2015 11:11am | Post a Comment

Bjork - Vulnicura

bjork vulnicura lpVulnicura is the album Bjork fans were longing for. Co-producing with white-hot underground beatmaker Arca, Bjork crafts some of her most singular and affecting music yet, writing complex string arrangements that elevate the drama in songs like “Stonemilker” to that of classics like Homogenic’s “Joga” or “Bachelorette.” Vulnicura measures the effects of the end of a relationship—the end of Bjork’s partnership with artist Matthew Barney serves as the catalyst—and she acts as an emotional scientist on tracks like “Lionsong,” tinkering with what’s left in the aftermath (“Should I throw oil on one of these wounds? But which one?”) amid vocal manipulation that calls to mind her work on the voice-centric Medulla. As that striking album art portrays, the core of Vulnicura is a gaping wound. On “History of Touches,” she sees every touch and sexual ecounter as a singularity, illustrated by electronics that glow like an aurora borealis. But her shield of objectivism crumbles on “Black Lake,” Vulnicura’s absolutely devastating centerpiece. Over 10 minutes, Bjork details how hitting absolute bottom at the end of a relationship that feels like a life’s worth of work coming to and end. Every so often, the music, a dark swirl of strings and beats supplied by Bjork and Arca, cuts out for a strange, long coda that feels like a necessary swallowing of air before she delivers the next stanza, sometimes wearily, sometimes desperately. Each time it hits like a punch to the gut. She’s simply never done anything so affecting before; given her catalog, this alone is remarkable.

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Lila Downs Performs at SF's Nourse Theater, April 22

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 23, 2015 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present singer Lila Downs on Wednesday, Lila DownsApril 22nd at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

Lila Downs has one of the world’s most singular voices and innovative approaches to music. Her music and vocal artistry have many influences, including the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America, and American folk, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. Downs, who grew up in both Minnesota and Oaxaca, has gone on to win a Grammy and a Latin Grammy award. She has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues, and has been invited to sing at the White House.

Tickets available now.

 

A San Fernando Valley Playlist

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 23, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment
So the bad news is that I missed out on CicLAvia — The Valley. Cream Soda (my bicycle) was in the shop (nothing serious) and I was dog-sitting on the Eastside. I thought about bringing and walking the dog there but they’re not allowed on Metro buses or trains and there were further complications too that I won’t get into... so I ended up having breakfast at Din Tai Fung and exploring the trails of Ascot Hills Park

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's water color map of the San Fernando Valley
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's water color and oil paint map of the Valley


I am glad that so many people went and enjoyed it (hopefully getting some use out of my guide to the event) and that so many people seem to have discovered that the Valley, like everywhere else, is much more enjoyable when not seen from behind the wheel of a car. I also decided to capitalize on Valley Fever by making a Valley playlist. 

Postcard of the Valley in the 1970s
Postcard of the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s

The songs on this playlist cover the 1940s to the 1980s, which are good bookends for the Valley's period when it was a largely Anglo collection of suburbs and Cold War industry. The Valley today is much more urban and much more (predominantly even) Latino. It's also diverse, with large populations of residents with ancestral origins in Armenia, China, El Salvador, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Palestine, Persia, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and elsewhere. I welcome any suggestions but it would be especially great to have some that reflect the Valley identity of the last 25 years. Let me have them in the comments!

Two New Exclusive J Dilla Releases Out April 18 for Record Store Day

Posted by Amoebite, March 20, 2015 11:42am | Post a Comment

J  Dilla

Among Record Store Day's usual crop of fancy reissues and rare, previously unreleased tracks, standouts include two new 7" releases from legendary hip hop producer J Dilla

J. Dilla Fuck the Police Record Store Day
 

The love and obsession for Dilla's work is unparalleled in the underground world of hip hop. J Dilla is and was a rare gem of a musical icon whose work influenced artists from all areas of the industry. Producers from Kanye West to Madlib will tell you Dilla was the best at capturing the right drum sound. Any time a collector can get their hands on some rare Dilla, it's always a big deal. Dilla's oeuvre was made for vinyl. 

Nine years after the beloved producer and rapper's untimely passing, the Detroit native's classic, long out-of-print single "Fuck the Police" is being reissued as a badge-shaped 7" picture disc. Remastered from J Dilla's original mixes, the single is being put out by Pay Jay Productions, an imprint revived by the Estate of James Yancey. Originally released as a 12", the forthcoming 7" will be released backed with the instrumental track "Funk the Police." The picture disc comes in a Japanese-style clear plastic sleeve suitable for display.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Berner, Boots Riley, Kanye West, DJ Cutso, Kool Keith + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2015 10:05am | Post a Comment
New releases to Amoeba this past week include the EP 20 Lights (Bern One Entertainment) by the numero uno Bay Area weed ambassador Berner whose prolific output disproves that old belief that weed makes you lazy (his last release - the album Drugstore Cowboy - dropped just three short months ago).  Included on this new joint (pun intended) guest heavy, seven song CD are collaborations with such fellow dank-loving talents as Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Smiggz, The Jacka, and Mac Dre (the latter two Bay Area greats no longer with us - rest in peace).  Also new this week is the vinyl version of Sour Soul by BadBadNotGood backing Ghostface Killah that was released on CD a month ago. This explicit new vinyl version, that is care of Lex Records, comes complete with a digital download card.  is available in regular  the two download-only smoked and chopped 8Ball & MJG albums Comin Out Hard and On The Outside Looking In remix projects by Green Thumb that feature Dirty South rap tracks each given that hella slowed down and extended remix treatment.

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Weekly Roundup: Earl Sweatshirt, Death Grips, Girlpool, So Stressed

Posted by Billy Gil, March 20, 2015 09:22am | Post a Comment

Earl Sweatshirt – “Grief”

earl sweatshirtOdd Future cohort Earl Sweatshirt has announced a new album without much notice (as seems to be the going trend these days) called I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and true to that sunny title, “Grief” is an anxiety-riddled trip through Earl’s psyche, over a digitally degraded, hollowed-out beat and cloudy synth. Thankfully, Earl hasn’t gone the slightest bit soft since releasing the excellent Doris in 2013, promising much for I Don’t Go Outside.

 

Death Grips – “On GP”

death gripsThe second track from Sacramento’s Death Grips’ supposed last album throws us for another loop, as MC Ride barks imperiously over Zach Hill’s unpredictable rolls a huge riff that sounds like a Neil Young record played through a turbine. Then the whole thing shifts for a dreamier second half, during which Ride’s words become more desperately pointed. It’s an utterly gripping seven-and-a-half minutes of music, one of the best things the band has done. Orders for The Powers That B (due March 31) are through the roof, so get on it!

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Essential Records: Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics' "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2015 09:07pm | Post a Comment



For me an essential album is one that never ages, no matter how many times I re-listen to it. It's also one I feel compelled to listen to all the way through every time - no temptation to ever skip ahead. Hence, without a second thought, I file this classic hip-hop album, which is brimming with jazzy funky grooves and irresistible rhymes, under that essential records category. A five-star release from the latter end of the genre's much-heralded golden era, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop by Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics scores on all levels: production-wise and lyrically, in addition to introducing most fans to hip-hop's long since beloved D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) crew. Formerly a member of the rap group Ultimate Force, Diamond (aka Diamond D) proved with this debut album that he not just a gifted producer but also an adept emcee. Released in 1992 on Chemistry/Mercury/PolyGram, Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop is a truly solid, all-killer, no-filler hip-hop full-length release, sporting such timeless head-bobbing tracks as the popular lead single "Best-Kept Secret," "Feel The Vibe," "Check One Two," "Fuck What You Heard,"  "Sally Got a One-Track Mind," and the title track. 

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Amoeba Presents Gurrumul in Los Angeles at the El Rey May 6

Posted by Amoebite, March 19, 2015 03:43pm | Post a Comment

gurrumulAboriginal folk singer Gurrumul brings his angelic voice and stirring, spiritual acoustic music to LA's El Rey Theatre on May 6. Amoeba and Goldenvoice are proud to co-present. You can buy tickets at Amoeba Hollywood with a low service fee or online here.

Gurrumul (real name Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu) has been called “Australia’s most important voice” by Rolling Stone. Gurrumul was born blind and a member of Gumatj clan on Elcho Island. On his self-titled debut album, Gurrumul sings in a mixture of Yolngu and English about such subjects as his love for his country, spiritual connection with the land, the death of his father and difficulty of living as a blind man.

Beyond his homeland, Gurrumul has performed for President Barack Obama and the British Royal Family, and Gurrumul won several ARIA Awards (Australia’s version of the Grammys), including Best World Music Album.

Hear the inspiring “Wiyathul” in the video below:

 

Pluuto Comes to The GRAMMY Museum on March 31

Posted by Amoebite, March 19, 2015 01:15pm | Post a Comment

pluuto grammy museum

Pluuto will appear on March 31 at The GRAMMY Museum’s next edition of “The Drop.” Tickets are $15 for the performance and discussion at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater. The show starts at 8 p.m.

The band Pluuto incorporates many sounds—psychedelia, progressive rock, jazz, electronica and rock ‘n’ roll, namely. But what could sound like a crazy mess sounds revelatory on tracks like “Alice in Wonderland,” a song that will appear on their upcoming first EP, due March 31.

The L.A.-based group consists of Elmo Lovano (drums), Sergio Flores (saxophone/flute), Nick Maybury (guitar) and Kristian Attard (bass). Maybury originally formed the group to work on material he’d written after the group members met at Lovano’s Camerata (a weekly art and music event in Hollywood).

Each member has an impressive resume: Lovano has played with Christina Perri and Skrillex; Flores has played with The Faceless, Redfoo and Zedd, and is none other than the viral video star Sexy Sax Man; Maybury has worked with Michelle Branch, Cherie Currie (The Runaways), Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction), LP and others; and Attard with Heart, Jason Mraz and Meghan Trainor. Together, the band explores unusual arrangements, improvisation, dynamics and programming to create their hybrid sound.

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The Orb Plays The Regency in SF On April 30th

Posted by Billyjam, March 18, 2015 02:35pm | Post a Comment

Ambient house pioneers The Orb will headline at The Regency on April 30th with Austin-based electronic producer Govinda opening. The UK downtempo electronic group, who were formed back in 1988 by Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty of KLF fame, have gone through numerous personal changes over the past 27 years with Paterson being the sole permanent member throughout. From the beginning it was Paterson's knack for producing and weaving trippy ambient sounds and effects (built mostly from obscure or flipped and reshaped samples and found sounds) that was highly instrumental in distinguishing The Orb's sound and would earn them such tags as "the Pink Floyd of the Nineties."

While The Orb, who have stayed consistently busy over the years (most recently with 2013's More Tales from the Orbservatory with Lee Scratch Perry and last month's 2 CD remix set History of The Future Part 2 on Malicious Damage), they have never quite recaptured the critical and commercial peak they enjoyed in the late '80s and '90s. However they continue to attract diehard, longtime fans alongside younger, new curious fans to their music and their concerts, which have always been a full-on sensory overload with trippy, spacey light shows and projected images to accompany the music. In concert, The Orb typically play a mix of newer and older material including such globally big hits as "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld" (aka "Loving You") and "Little Fluffy Clouds," both of which are below along with the more recent track "Golden Clouds." A dub reprise of "Little Fluffy Clouds"  was the lead single taken from The Orb's 2012 collaborative album The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry presents The Orbserver In The Star House, released on Cooking Vinyl.

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Female Experimental Filmmakers: A Noncomprehensive A-Z

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 18, 2015 12:27pm | Post a Comment
FEMALE EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKERS: A NONCOMPREHENSIVE A-Z or...

50 OR SO FILMMAKERS YOU DON'T KNOW, WHO WILL SHOCK YOU, AND WHO HOLLYWOOD IS SCARED TO DEATH OF!

There are almost as many types of experimental films as there are experimental filmmakers. Many of them come to film from different directions than conventional filmmakers -- weaving together psychology, painting, dance, poetry, literature, theater, sculpture, and other fields. This being Women's History Month, I thought I'd have a crack at compiling a list of some of the names with which I'm familiar. If you have additions you'd like me to insert, let me know in the comments. 



AMY GREENFIELD

Amy Greenfield was born 8 July, 1950 in Boston. She is an originator of the cine-dance genre, her namefor her artistic intersection of experimental film and dance. In addition to film she's created holographic moving sculptures, live multimedia pieces, poetry, and video installations.



BADY MINCK

Bady Minck was born in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg. She studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and experimental film at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her debut, 1988's Der Mensch mit den modernen Nerven, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989. Minck today divides her time between Luxembourg and Vienna.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Blood Orange

Posted by Amoebite, March 18, 2015 11:53am | Post a Comment

Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange

Devonte "Dev" Hynes is a British singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and author who is known by the stage names Blood Orange and Lightspeed Champion, the latter taken from a comic strip Hynes drew as a teenager. Hynes got his start as a member of the short-lived England based band, Test Icicles. In high demand as a producer and songwriter, Hynes has written for artists such as Florence and the Machine, The Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Sky Ferreira and Solange Knowles, among others.

Blood Orange's follow up to his 2011 debut, Coastal Groovesis the super collaborative production, Cupid Deluxe (Domino Recording Co, 2013). On Cupid Deluxe Hynes digs a little deeper to touch upon stories of change and people forgotten, but he still delivers those catchy pop textures we love from him. The album's 11 tracks take us from smooth backseat make-out music to funky influenced boom bap. There's a good reason why Hynes was hailed as the "20th coolest person in rock." Everyone could use a little Cupid Deluxe in their life. 

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12 Exclusive Releases to Look for on Record Store Day, Plus Highlights From the Rest

Posted by Billy Gil, March 18, 2015 09:40am | Post a Comment

12 Record Store Day Releases to Look For

Record Store Day 2015 is upon us, taking place Saturday, April 18. The list of limited edition releases coming out exclusively on Record Store Day is up now (download the full list here). While there’s tons of great stuff to choose from (while supplies last, of course), here are 12 highlights to look for. 

neko case fox confessor brings the flood lp record store day

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Neko Case released her best album in 2006, a perfect distillation of her country-meets-indie-rock style, featuring the ethereal and confessional “Hold On, Hold On,” ’50s-style ballad “That Teenage Feeling” and Biblically inspired “John Saw That Number.” The long-out-of-print LP comes on red vinyl with a Record Store Day slipmat.
 

 

johnny cash record store day lp

Johnny Cash – Koncert v Praze (In Prague Live)

Album Picks: Kendrick Lamar, Tobias Jesso Jr., Nic Hessler, Wand

Posted by Billy Gil, March 17, 2015 12:42pm | Post a Comment

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly

kendrick lamar to pimp a butterfly lpKendrick Lamar’s breakthrough second album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, left such an impression that hype for a follow-up has been through the roof. So forgive the Compton rapper if he kind of Beyonce’d To Pimp a Butterfly, teasing singles before announcing a release date and suddenly putting it out a week early. Pulling the rug out from hype and inevitable backlash, it gives us a change to all hear To Pimp a Butterfly at once, in all its glory. Butterfly doubles down on the idiosyncracies of good kid, eschewing club-friendly tracks in favor of those that cast a light on Lamar’s pure skills as a rapper and wordsmith—always celebrated, yet perhaps distracted by stellar production and good kid’s concept-album style—as well as his ability to put together a layered and compelling album. Tracks like the “For Free” interlude are showcases for Lamar’s dexterity, while “u’s” desperate, verge-on-tears delivery find him at his most vulnerable —Drake’s never done anything like this. The production across To Pimp a Butterfly, courtesy of such luminaries as Flying Lotus and Thundercat, like those artists’ work (and similarly to D’Angelo’s recently released Black Messiah), effortlessly melds hip-hop, R&B and jazz on excellent tracks like the off-kilter “Institutionalized” and gorgeous “These Walls” to exist in some mystery middle space, without drawing attention away from Lamar’s star power. While headier tracks dominate the album, Lamar unleashes a couple of huge singles at the album’s closing. At first, “i” could come off as Lamar’s “sell out” track, catchy enough to sit alongside Pharrell’s “Happy” as a crowd-friendly that sands off his rough edges, but it serves as a bit of a breather here, dressed up in The Isley Brothers’ unstoppable “Who’s That Lady,” though Lamar’s lyrics remain deeply dark, exposing his own depression, and a spoken word passage that delves into a discussion on racial slurs adds context. Following the reclaiming of racial stereotypes on the absolutely killer “The Blacker the Berry,” To Pimp a Butterfly ends ultimately feeling conflicted yet triumphant. It’s a deep, complicated work, yet not one that feels the slightest bit overstuffed or overwrought. Kendrick Lamar successfully defies all expectations yet again, on what’s sure to be one of the year’s best albums.

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Irish Female Vocalists

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2015 04:04am | Post a Comment

No better time to do an Irish female vocalists Amoeblog post since it is Women's History Month and since I am here in Dublin, Ireland today, where the national St. Patrick's Day Parade will begin at noon. The crowds have already swarmed the city centre while the festivities kicked off here over the weekend with overflowing bars and various events surrounding the four-day I Love My City 2015 Festival that leads up to and includes St. Patrick's Day. Generally, it's a time for both Irish natives and the influx of tourists to get their collective (drunken) Irish on. Naturally there's lots of Irish music everywhere, including a free show at The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle with new Irish music vocalist Pauline Scanlon, backed by Notify  who is part of the current wave of Irish singers keeping the Gaelic (Irish) traditional music alive by infusing slightly new arrangements on traditional airs with some electronic instrumentation backing alongside trad instruments.

Pauline Scanlon is one of the Irish female vocalists showcased in this Amoeblog along with a cross-section of others from over the past few decades up to the present. This list is both subjective (based on my own personal favorites) as well as culling the opinions of a few music fans here who include Paul Deacy (owner of Galway record/book/candle shop Bell Book & Candle), longtime Irish music collector and ambassador Tall Paul Lowe, and RTE 2XM radio DJ/broadcaster Eric "DJ Laz-E" Moore.   

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Weekly Roundup: Best Coast, Mikal Cronin, Antwon, The Black Ryder, Peach Kelli Pop, Male Gaze

Posted by Billy Gil, March 13, 2015 11:49am | Post a Comment

Best Coast – “Heaven Sent”

best coast amoeba hollywoodBest Coast’s upcoming third album, California Nights (due May 5), sounds like a fantasy meeting between The Verve and The Bangles, judging by its first two singles. “Heaven Sent” is more upbeat and melodic than the hazy title track while retaining its full-bodied guitar sound, like some sunkissed lost Lush song. Check out the karaoke-style lyric video below:

 

Mikal Cronin “ii) Gold”

mikal croninWhat’s with the song title of Mikal Cronin’s new song, you might ask? The power-pop songsmith’s upcoming new album, MCIII (due May 5), includes a six-song suite on its B-side, of which this is the second part. It’s furiously loud and melodic, as we’ve come to expect and enjoy immensely from Cronin, but also has a surprise climax with Cronin jammin’ on the Greek tzouras. Color us intrigued. He’s at S.F.’s Independent April 22 and L.A.’s Eagle Rock Center for the Arts May 1.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Diamond District Redux, Lyrics Born, SxSW, Kosha Dillz, Global Local, Krush Groove, + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2015 05:05am | Post a Comment
New hip-hop releases to arrive into Amoeba this week include Diamond District's March On Washington Redux album that is an updated all remix version of their 2014 album March On Washington. The new CD from the power trio self-described as the “D.C. Voltron” and comprised of emcees Oddisee, yU and Uptown XO, again care of from the label that can do no wrong Mello Music, features non-stop remixes of all 13 tracks including such bangers as L'Orange's remix of "The Backup," the Diamond D remix of "Erything," and the Large Pro remix of "Working Weekends." Meanwhile Diamond District member/Prince George’s County, Maryland native Oddisee has just announced that he will be releasing a new solo album entitled The Good Fight. The album, which will arrive in Amoeba on May 5th again care of Mello Music has been described as a record that will remind you that it’s music before it’s hip-hop. For a preview taste of what it will sound like you can stream the first single, "That's Love," via SoundCloud.

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San Francisco's Switchboard Music Festival, April 4

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 12, 2015 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Kitka Switchboard Music Festival

The eighth annual Switchboard Music Festival returns to San Francisco's Brava Theater on April 4th from 2-10pm. The eight-hour showcase of innovative music from the Bay Area and beyond features 13 sets of music, including the Real Vocal String Quartet, Kitka, Brass Magic, and the premiere of In C Re-Do -- a re-imagining of Terry Riley’s In C featuring contributions from over 50 composers.

In C Re-Do celebrates the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley’s In C, which is comprised of 53 individual cells of music that are performed by a malleable group of musicians who move through the score at their own pace, creating a slowly evolving soundscape. The In C Re-Do will start and end with Riley’s original cells, with each of the 51 remaining cells contributed by Switchboard artists past and present plus other members of the Switchboard community, including Glenn Kotche, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Zoe Keating, Carla Kihlstedt, Fred Frith, Pamela Z, Samuel Adams, and all three Switchboard co-directors.

Here's the non-stop line-up for April 4th:

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of Montreal's New Video from Aureate Gloom, Upcoming RSD Release, + Select Tour Dates

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2015 04:53am | Post a Comment

Hot on the heels of the release last week of of Montreal's brand new album Aureate Gloom care of Polyvinyl (also available in vinyl format) the prolific Athens, GA indie band have unleashed a music video for the ten song album's opening track/lead single "Bassem Sabry" (named for the Egyptian journalist who tragically died in the spring of 2014). The stream of consciousness, photo-montage styled video clip (below) that was shot mostly on Super 8 film was directed by Ben Rouse who, in a statement about his approach to its production, said that "I tend to peg myself as a photographer, so in many ways this project was a really beautiful boot camp into an entirely new medium. It's my first music video...so it was a massive learning experience and chance to make something exciting and meaningful with our friends. I felt very inspired by Věra Chytilová's Daisies, Stan Brakhage's Mothlight, and Jean Cocteau's Le Sang d'un Poète."

Aureate Gloom, which is of Montreal's thirteenth full-length album, was recorded at Sonic Ranch studio which is just across the border from Juarez, Mexico in the Texan desert where the album recording was done old school style: recorded directly to tape. There, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg, Aureate Gloom was recorded by Clayton Rychlik (drums), Bob Parins (bass), Bennett Lewis (guitar), JoJo Glidewell (keys), and of course Kevin Barnes (guitar, vocals). Of the album's revelatory lyrics main writer Barnes, who founded the band in 1996 and pictured above c/o Chad Kamenshine, admitted that it indeed might be a case of TMI. "I might be guilty of sharing or exposing too much of my private life, but to me the best albums are those that help people connect with an artist on a deep, human level and that do so without too much artifice or evasiveness," he said in a statement noting that, "I was going through a very stormy period in my life and felt like I was just completely trashed."

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

Posted by Amoebite, March 11, 2015 03:25pm | Post a Comment

Fences

Fences is the brainchild of Brockton, Massachusetts native Christopher Mansfield. In 2009, Mansfield released his debut EP, Ultimate Puke, online via his MySpace page. The songs caught the attention of Sara Quin of popular Canadian band Tegan & Sara. Quin later produced and contributed vocals to the debut full-length, Fences (2010). Mansfield has since collaborated with fellow Seattle artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis both contributing to each other's projects. Mansfield co-wrote the song "10,000 Fences Lesser OceansHours" from Macklemore's break through hit record, The Heist.

Now part of the Elektra roster, Fences just released Lesser Oceans this week. Mansfield and his cohorts - guitarist Benjamin Greenspan, drummer Elliot Chaffee and bassist Lindsey Starr - deliver 10 perfectly written folk-pop songs with help from producers Ryan Lewis, Chris Walla and Jacquire King. Macklemore drops in for a guest rap verse on "Arrows" that works magically with the non-hip hop stylings of Fences. Mansfield has a knack for tapping into simple lyrics while still being entertaining and drawing in the listener. Conviction and emotion is what drives this stellar batch of songs. 

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Robben Ford Comes to The GRAMMY Museum March 30

Posted by Amoebite, March 11, 2015 10:23am | Post a Comment

rubben ford the grammy museum

Amoeba is proud to sponsor The Drop: Robben Ford on March 30 at The GRAMMY Museum.

The blues guitarist will appear for a discussion about his career and new album, Into the Sun, which is out March 31. Tickets are $20 and are on sale now. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at The GRAMMY Museum's Clive Davis Theater.

Robben Ford has had an illustrious career in which he has collaborated with the likes of Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison and KISS. He's been nominated for five GRAMMYs and was named one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine. His most recent solo albumm, 2014's A Day in Nashville, peaked at No. 2 on BIllboard's Top Blues Album chart. The upcoming Into the Sun features guest appearances by blues musician Keb' Mo', pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, singer/songwriter ZZ Ward, Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers Band/Gov't Mule and many more into an album that fuses elements of jazz, pop, blues and rock.

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The Vinyl Frontier #4 - Collecting Black Gospel Music

Posted by Joe Goldmark, March 10, 2015 07:02pm | Post a Comment

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

A friend said that gospel music was soul music for black folk and that mainstream soul music was music made for a white audience. The implication being that if you wanted to hear music with real soul, listen to gospel.
 

Fantastic Violinaires The Fantastic Violinaires with an incredible live version of “Children Are You Ready.”


Generally speaking, gospel reflected whatever musical trend was happening in R&B music. Gospel music was a little rougher and less polished than secular music, and of course the theme was religious, but otherwise it was relatively easy for artists to cross back and forth between the two styles. And besides, most black pop and soul artists grew up singing in the church.
 

Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes, "Thats Enough."


 


The Staple Singers, Mavis Staples The Staple Singers with Mavis Staples on lead vocal, “Sit Down Servant.”

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Essential Records: Broadcast's 'Tender Buttons'

Posted by Billy Gil, March 10, 2015 05:07pm | Post a Comment

Essential Records Broadcast Tender Buttons

Defunct British duo Broadcast has most of their catalog reissued this week, including Tender Buttons. The band’s haunting third album is undoubtedly their high-water mark. Released in 2005, it slowly but surely raised the band’s profile, landing on several year-end best-of lists, drawing more attention to their previous albums and putting them at the upper echelon of independent artists, before their career was tragically cut short by the death of singer Trish Keenan.

I first heard Broadcast while perusing said year-end lists. (Also, wow to a list of albums so good that this is only No. 22; the early-to-mid-2000s are more than due for a resurgence.) But Broadcast’s tasteful oddity of an album somehow outlasts any other record made that year.

The key to Tender Buttons’ (and Broadcast’s) continuing endurance is how unassuming it is. Fourteen trim tracks (save five-minute noise piece “Arc of a Journey”) that actually sound like they were made by two people, using instruments that sound like they were found through a year’s worth of estate sales, Tender Buttons avoids sounding pretentious because it never really claims to be more than it is, Gertrude Stein references and all. It’s a record that remains mysterious even though all of its elements are basically at the forefront. Keenan’s vocals remain clarion despite getting plenty of the reverb treatment, thanks to her erudite British diction. All those moogs that sound like they’re falling apart, stitched together by James Cargill’s web-like guitarwork and pumping basslines, even those roaring in the background, you can pretty much hear it all, yet it feels like facing mirrors stretching to infinity, given the sense of space their layering allows.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 1988, The Year Considered By Many As Hip-Hop's Greatest

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2015 03:00pm | Post a Comment

For this week's Hip-Hop History installment we rewind back to wonderfully vibrant year of 1988. It was a time when hip-hop still constantly growing, with exciting sounding new artists constantly unfurling new lyrical and musical sounds. To me '88 was part of the third wave of hip-hop - with the first wave being the (original) old school artists of the 70's/early 80's, who were eclipsed earlier in the 80's by Run-D.M.C. who ushered in the "new school" - but who themselves in turn were eclipsed by this newer third wave of hip-hop. It often seemed (and more so in retrospect) that every record released in '88 was a good record. Of course, as with any music in any time period, there were hip-hop duds released in '88 too. However overall it is fair to say that 1988 had a larger percentage of quality, diverse-sounding, influential, and timeless hip-hop releases than many other years in the genre's four-decade history. And no wonder; it was part of the time frame known as the "golden era" of hip-hop that is widely considered to be the artistic pinnacle of the art form.   I think part of the reason for this, along with the lyrical aspect of the artform still being relatively young and still being explored by new emcees like Rakim, was the fact that sampling was at its creative peak. Remember this was in the period before the infamous 1991 landmark Gilbert O Sullivan vs Biz Markie copyright case that essentially brought an end to free range sampling, and would end up in hip-hop being a little less adventurous sounding due to all the restrictions placed on it regarding sampling.

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood Saturday, March 21

Posted by Amoebite, March 10, 2015 02:47pm | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, March 21 from 12pm - 5pm! We'll have huge bargains on music, movies, TV box sets, books and much more just outside the store. Heads up, we won't have a sidewalk sale next month because of Record Store Day (April 18).

On March 21, we're featuring deals on the following:

  • DVDs for $3 each, or buy three get one free
  • DVD box sets at $7 each, or two for $10
  • Blu-rays at three for $12
  • 45s at $1 each
  • Books and comics at three for $1
  • Classical deals

Plus, Hubert's will be here giving out free lemonade. Come by and save some cash on fresh goodies from Amoebal!

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.

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Hubert's Lemonade at Amoeba

Album Picks: Young Guv, Matthew E. White, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Soul Jazz

Posted by Billy Gil, March 10, 2015 10:08am | Post a Comment

Young Guv Ripe 4 Luv

young gub ripe 4 luv lpFucked Up fans might be surprised to learn the band’s guitarist, Ben Cook, hides a secret power-pop fetish. Ripe 4 Luv is full of gleaming guitars, tinny drum machines and immediate, Big Star-inspired melodies. Cook still lets the guitars rip on songs like the irresisitable “Crawling Back to You,” but they’re in service of spaced-out love songs rather than post-hardcore epics. So even if the Ariel Pink-ish “Aquarius” is about as far from Fucked Up as you can get, it proves Cook can wear multiple hands and do it quite well. Ripe 4 Luv is a sterling piece of charmingly lo-fi power-pop that burns brightly over its snappy eight songs.

 

Matthew E. White Fresh Blood

matthew e white fresh blood lpThe singer/songwriter/producer and Spacebomb Records founder returns with a second album that re-creates the American songbook D.I.Y.-style, moving from classic R&B (“Take Care My Baby”) to country-soul (“Rock & Roll Is Cold”) to gently orchestrated romantic indie pop (“Fruit Trees”), showing a master’s touch throughout.

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An Interview with Karie Bible for Women's History Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 9, 2015 08:48pm | Post a Comment
In the past most of my posts for Women’s History Month have focused on historical figures. This year I decided to instead focus on living breathing women who’re contributing to the vibrant cultural landscape of Los Angeles. This week’s subject is Karie Bible, an independent contractor who maintains Film Radar, volunteers for the American Cinematheque in conjunction with the Film Noir Foundation for the Noir City Festival, sometimes volunteers for the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats series, and since 2002 has been the house tour guide for Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Check out her website Hollywood Forever Cinema Walking Tour for upcoming tour dates and more details. 

Film Radar


*****

Film wasn’t invented in Los Angeles but no city in the world is more closely associated with the movies and yet film is rarely afforded the respect which it deserves. When I moved to Los Angeles, I discovered the largest collection of picture palaces in the world, the Broadway Theater District, but that all of their huge screens had long ago gone dark. There was no plaque at the site of Edison’s old Kinetoscope parlour in front of which oldest known footage of Los Angeles was filmed. There is no plaque at the former location of Chun Fon's Sing Kee Laundry, where the first dramatic film shot entirely in California was made in 1908. The storage facility behind my local Jack in the Box had been Mack Sennet's Edendale film studio only to spend its second act enabling hoarders as a public storage warehouse. Grand historic theaters, when not churches, were subdivided into closet sized rooms with screens smaller than some peoples televisions. 

The Queen Of Soul Returns To The Bay Area For First Time In 30 Years

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Quiz fans of soul/RnB or check any top 100 Best Soul Female Vocalists lists and odds are that Aretha Franklin will be either number one or at least ranking in the top two or three picks. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #1 on their "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list - and that is not just female singers or soul/rnb but all. Hence it is a very big deal that the 18 time Grammy Award winning "Queen of Soul" will be returning to the Bay Area this summer for her first concert in the San Francisco Bay Area in 30 years! Just announced today, in time for Women's History Month, the concert tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 13th at all Ticketmaster outlets for the scheduled Monday August 10th concert at the Oracle Arena on a bill that she will be joined by special guest Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Franklin, who will celebrate her 73rd birthday in two weeks, released her latest album last year - a tribute collection to a selection of her personal fellow female vocalists spanning several decades. Descriptively titled Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, it includes her interpreation of Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia," Barbra Streisand's "People," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Destiny's Child's "I'm A Survivor." The album's five producers include André 3000, Harvey Mason, Jr., Terry Hunter, Eric Kupper, and the aforementioned Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds (hence why he is her special guest on this tour). Along with doing many of the songs from this new album of hers Franklin is expected to (she has to!) include in her set such classics of hers as the Otis Redding penned "Respect," "Rock Steady," "Chain Of Fools," "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and "Think" - three of which appear below in video format, including Aretha in the Bay Area in 1971 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (one of the earlier times she performed in the Bay) doing an inspired and energetic version of "Respect." Peep these videos as a reminder to why Aretha earned the title of the "Queen of Soul." 

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Sin You Sinners: Joe Sarno's Civilized Sexploitation

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 9, 2015 05:18pm | Post a Comment

Sin In The Suburbsby Rebecca Burgan

In the wake of the new wave art house boom of the 1960s, sexploitation films and art films mimicked each other’s aesthetics to market to a wider audience. American auteur Joseph W. Sarno (1921-2010) produced a prolific catalog of softcore films in the '60s and '70s. Hoping that the hardcore genre was short-lived, Sarno found his niche in the arty sexploitation world, where dramatic lighting, complex sensitive characters, and female sexuality dominated. His technical skills and quick production time set him apart from other directors in the genre, whereas those with a comparable technique would have gone on to mainstream films. He directed his actors to express their anxieties and passions through realism, capturing gritty sexual emotion in its immediacy. He was a master of sexual cinematic verisimilitude.

Sarno’s films emphasize women’s relationships and women’s pleasure, whereas the men are more objectified as instruments to help achieve the female orgasm—a fairly fresh feminist notion at the time. Visual focus during orgasm was often directed at facial expressions rather than a tight zoom on some tight penetration. The sincerity of the sexual experience is revealed more intimately by the face. Gustav Machaty's 1933 Czechoslovakian art film, Ecstasy, starring Hedy Lamarr, was still pre-Code but was banned in America and in Germany by Hitler. Audiences watched Lamarr’s titillating nude body traipse through the woods and skinny dip in the lake, leading up to a moment of sexual ecstasy revealed only through a close-up on her pained face. The director employed an inspired technique of realism to achieve the right expressions from her—poking her rump off screen with a safety pin. The film was banned because of her scandalously debauched motivation for pleasure: cheating on her gross old husband. The censors decreed, you had to be married to revel in such pleasure and make faces like that. More intimate and revealing than a nude bathing scene, the close-up disturbed the Production Code censors in America, who considered even a safer, morally balanced edit of the film to be too indecent for audiences. The film was basically buried, and Lamarr was only allowed to work again if she cleaned up her act.

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25 Albums We're Excited For in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 9, 2015 09:42am | Post a Comment

25 albums to look for in spring

Here’s a list of records to check out that are currently scheduled for release in 2015 (dates/releases subject to change).

Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

courtney barnett sometimes i sit lpOut March 24

This touted Australian singer/songwriter writes anxiety-ridden screeds over catchy garage-rock on her breakthrough record.

 

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Asunder, Sweet & Other Distress

godspeed you black emperor Asunder, Sweet & Other Distress lpOut March 31

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Robert Kenner vs. the Merchants of Doubt

Posted by Charles Reece, March 9, 2015 08:06am | Post a Comment

Q&A with Robert Kenner about his film Merchants of Doubt, a documentary about
professional climate warming denial. Recorded with my phone on March 7th, 2015 at
Arclight Hollywood (so, it ain't beautiful).

Reverend Billy Vows To "Not Be Silent" In Fight For #BlackLivesMatter As He Heads To Court in NYC

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:01am | Post a Comment

Earlier this year tireless longtime fighter for justice and equality for all the Reverend Billy Talen (of the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir), who had adopted the Black Lives Matter cause after being outraged over the treatment by police of African Americans in incidents such as Mike Brown in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, organized a peaceful protest in Grand Central Station. There the longtime NYC based Talen, who spent earlier years of his life in Northern California, was midway into his #BlackLivesMatter speech/sermon he got arrested by the NYC MTA police. The arrest came in hour 18 of the planned 24 hour vigil / peaceful protest in the iconic train station in central Manhattan. You can see this January 5th 2015 arrest take place in a play by play recording in the revelatory video clip shown below (left is a screen shot still from the same video). In the clip you can clearly hear the police say 'stop resisting arrest' while simultaneously clearly see Talen not resisting one iota. Then you see him get hauled off to jail where he spent that night. The next morning, upon release from jail, he found out that the charges against him by the MTA police division were that he "physically attacked" a police officer. "I did not touch anybody. I am trained in non-violence. I was simply arrested while I was speaking and taken away," he said later adding that, "They think that they can just say anything about anybody and get away with it."

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Weekly Roundup: Kelela, Thee Oh Sees, Crocodiles, Bouquet

Posted by Billy Gil, March 6, 2015 11:36am | Post a Comment

Kelela – “A Message” video

kelelaL.A. electro-soul singer Kelela put out a mesmerizing mixtape in 2013 called Cut 4 Me that ended up on many year-end lists. Now not only is Cut 4 Me getting a physical release (due April 7 on Fade to Mind), she’s announced a new EP called HALLUCINOGEN, out May 5, as well as an official debut album in the fall. HALLUCINOGEN is produced by Arca, who you may recall also co-produced Bjork’s Vulnicura and FKA Twigs' LP1, and whose otherworldly stamp can be heard on “A Message,” on which Kelela sounds like a bizzaro world Janet Jackson, navigating romantic complications amid a jagged landscape of icy electronics and sudden space. “A Message’s” Japanese animation-style video is directed by Daniel Sannwald. HALLUCINOGEN also includes “The High,” a track she unveiled last year.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With The Budos Band

Posted by Amoebite, March 5, 2015 07:18pm | Post a Comment

The Budos Band at Amoeba Hollywood

The Budos Band is a New York-based instrumental ensemble rooted in Afro-beat, soul jazz and funk music. After forming at a jam session hosted by Antibalas, the group released their self-titled debut on Daptone Records in 2005. Two years later, they followed this release up with The Budos Band II, a lengthy promotional tour, and a hiatus during which the many members contributed to other projects. In 2010, the band reunited once more for their third effort, aptly titled The Budos Band III.

2014 marked a slight shift in direction for the band, when their new album, Burnt Offering, saw the group dabbling in psychedelia and vintage soundtrack music while still staying true to their Afro-beat and funk foundations. The Budos Band will be appearing at several North America summer festivals this year, such as Sasquatch and Desert Daze.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: #1 DJ Lazyboy, Fashawn & Nas, Cannibal Ox, Fundrboogie/Mr. Complex, Tuxedo's Jake One & Mayer Hawthorne + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2015 12:51pm | Post a Comment

New releases to arrive at Amoeba this week include the technically soul - but with a hip-hop flavor - brand new album from prolific and diverse Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One along with blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne entitled Tuxedo via Stones Throw Records. Tuxedo is also the band name of these two collaborating talents' alter egos who, as Aquarius (Mayer Hawthorne) and Taurus (Jake One) are dressed up in tuxedos - looking somewhat reminiscent of Dan the Automator and Prince Paul as the Handsome Boy Modeling School – and presented by the label headed by Peanut Butter Wolf (a man known to dress up himself) as descendants of the one- word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush, and Zapp. For a better idea of Tuxedo's infectious retro dance grooves peep their video for the album track "Do It" (scroll down) and pick up their album available in CD, vinyl, and digital download formats.

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All-Female Bands of the 1970s -- Happy Women's History Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 4, 2015 09:31pm | Post a Comment
All Female Bands of the 1970s

I wrote a post on all-female bands from the 1910s-1950s, and a post covering all-female bands of the 1960s -- here's my attempt at a conclusive A-Z (and other alphabets) of all-female bands of the 1970s. Details are often sketchy or non-existent and as always corrections and contributions are appreciated!
 

DIE ATZTUSSIS


Die Atztussis were an anarcho-punk band from the Kreuzberg section of West Berlin, active at least as early as 1979 when they played the Antifaschistischen Festival. The members were Cordula (vocals), Kiki (bass), Menusch (guitar), and Petra (drums).


‘B’ GIRLS

'B' Girls in 1977 (image source: Rodney Bowes)

Desert Daze Tickets Available at Amoeba Hollywood; See Videos From the Artists

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2015 01:12pm | Post a Comment

desert daze lineupMoon Block Party’s Desert Daze fest is happening May 2 at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca, California. Tickets are $55 for general admission, $75 with camping and $85 with village camping, and you can pick them up with only a $2 service fee from Amoeba Hollywood.

The show features such bands as Warpaint, RJD2, Minus the Bear (performing They Make Beer Commercials Like This), The Budos Band, Dan Deacon, Chelsea Wolfe, Diiv, Psychic Ills, Deap Vally, Bass Drum of Death, White Lung, Vetiver, Teebs, Carlos Nino and more.

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Annie Lennox Discusses Making the Classic American Songbook Her Own at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, March 4, 2015 11:13am | Post a Comment

Annie Lennox

With a career spanning over three decades, Annie Lennox has amassed numerous awards, including earning the destinction of "most successful female British artist in UK music history." Known as the "Brit Champion of Champions" Annie Lennox is a living legend. First gaining fame in the '80s as one half of the Eurythmics with bandmate Dave Stewart, the duo led the "Second British Invasion" by way of MTV and their mega hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)." That song propelled the band to global stardom and is still a staple in any '80s themed club, DJ set or playlist today. In 1992, Lennox embarked on a solo career and has gone on to release six studio albums.  

Annie LennoxIn support of her latest release, Nostalgia, Lennox visited Amoeba Hollywood to meet fans and sign copies of the new record. Nostalgia finds Lennox reinterpreting classic American Jazz standards and although these songs have been around for decades, it's uncharted waters for the veteran crooner. During this year's GRAMMY Awards broadcast, Lennox joined singer Hozier on stage for a mashup of "Take Me To Church/I Put A Spell On You." The latter is a song by legendary Rhythm & Blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins and is featured on Nostalgia. Lennox stole the show with an astounding, powerful performance which earned her a standing ovation from the GRAMMY audience. At 60 years old, Lennox is still a fine tuned singer and an incredibly talented artist.  

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"It's Hard Out Here For A Gimp" - Kalyn Heffernan of WheelGrabbers

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2015 11:00am | Post a Comment

On the powerful new track "It's Hard Out Here For A Gimp" - found on the just released WheelGrabbers self-titled album - Denver emcee and front-person of Wheelchair Sports Camp, Kalyn Heffernan holds no punches. Over the song's head-nodding beats she unleashes a litany of  witty reactionary rhymes to a lifetime of being treated like some freak. This she ably does via enlightening engaging lyrics that, while consistently hard-hitting, are all good humored and never mean-spirited. "No matter where I go, all eyes on me. Everyone stop what you're doing; the human's movin'" - raps the wheelchair using, three and a half foot tall woman, who has the brittle-bone disability Osteogenesis Imperfecta - three factors of her life that total strangers will unabashedly  bring up upon crossing paths with her. "They're God blessin' me and I didn't even sneeze. On their knees questioning me excessively. Wanna know my life expectancy. Like it doesn't get to me?" she rhymes while exposing the less than tactful questions posed by the parade of patronizing people that she encounters on a daily basis out in public.

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KCRW Curates Next L.A. Red Bull Sound Select Show With Niia and Phantoms March 25

Posted by Amoebite, March 4, 2015 10:32am | Post a Comment

niia red bull sound selectThe next L.A. edition of Red Bull Sound Select’s ongoing band showcases is curated by our friends at KCRW and will feature the sultry pop stylings of Niia. The show takes place at Hollywood venue The Sayers Club on March 25 at 7 p.m. and is only $3 with an RSVP ($12 at the door). The show is 21+, and it’s first come, first serve, so even if you RSVP, plan to arrive on time.

Niia Bertino is a classically trained pianist and singer who folds elements of jazz and soul into a modern indie-R&B sound. She appeared on Wyclef Jean’s 2007 single “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” and has released covers by the likes of Tears for Fears, Jai Paul and Nancy Sinatra. In 2013, she self-released her first single, “Made for You,” and in late 2014 released her debut EP, Generation Blue, featuring production work by Rhye’s Robin Hannibal. Stream the track "Body" below:

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Bjork's 'Vulnicura' Has Insane New Cover Art

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Bjork can always manage to surprise us. After Beyonce-ing her new album, Vulnicura, online earlier this year, she's just revealed the cover art for Vulnicura's upcoming physical release on March 24, and it's a doozy.

Designed by Bjork and Andrew Thomas Huang, the image still has the open heart featured on the album's digital release, but instead of looking like the Rubber Man from "American Horror Story," now the figure on the cover (I'm guessing it's Bjork) looks more like a victim from Pompeii, frozen in ash while doing yoga.

Bjork's albums have a history of looking pretty badass, especially the Alexander McQueen-designed cover for her masterpiece Homogenic. Speaking of that album (and all of her others), they're also due on LP reissue this month.

Check out that back bend below! You can also preorder Vulnicura now on LP and CD.

bjork vulnicura lp new cover art


 

Hear "Black Lake," the harrowing centerpiece to Vulnicura, below:


Reissue Report: Metallica Reissues Early Demo Tape 'No Life 'Til Leather'

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 01:38pm | Post a Comment

metallica no life til leather tapeAs Record Store Day looms on April 18, reports of what to expect should start trickling in, along with the official announce of RSD titles next Tuesday March 10 at Rough Trade in New York.

Metallica has announced they’ll reissue their debut demo tape from 1982, No Life ‘Til Leather, as a limited edition cassette April 18. Expanded CD and LP editions will come in the summer, the band told Rolling Stone.

No Life ‘Til Leather saw Metallica in their early incarnation of singer/guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who would go on to play in Megadeth), bassist Ron McGovney and drummer Lars Ulrich. Just one song from the tape, “The Mechanix,” didn’t make it to their debut LP, Kill 'Em All, and the tape maintained its cache as an underground tape traded amongst metal fans. The expanded versions will contain more demos from the era, but there’s no word yet on which tracks those will be.

Metallica also has more reissues planned, as the band owns its own remasters and runs its own label now, Blackened Recordings.

Hear the original version of “The Mechanix” below:

Album Picks: Ata Kak, Purity Ring, Moon Duo, Swervedriver, Parquet Courts

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 09:08am | Post a Comment

Ata KakObaa Sima

ata kak obaa sima lpGhanaian highlife artist Ata Kak was brought to light through ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes From Africa blog when he posted the unstoppable “Daa Nyinaa.” Shimkovitz bought the Ata Kak tape more than a decade ago and finally found him living in Ghana. Only 50 copies of the original Obaa Sima tape were made, and though the original master DAT had disintegrated, Shimkovitz’s tape was used to reissue Obaa Sima. Details of Shimkovitz’s search for Ata Kak could likely fill a book (in fact, a documentary is being made), but it only serves to give the truly awesome Obaa Sima even more allure, as does the tape hiss from the transfer. Its seven tracks offer nothing but good times, a non-stop party that sounds removed from time, full of delightfully rinky-dink synths, instant-play beats and Ata Kak’s motormouth rap. The slightly off-time nature of the backups on “Agdaya,” the louder than necessary mix of the vocals—all things that could be construed as negative instead feel like happy accidents that make Obaa Sima sound so singular. One track flows into another across Obaa Sima, coming into centerpiece “Daa Nyinaa,” an Afro-house masterpiece of warehouse-party cool. But stick around for the slightly sinister “Yemmpa Aba” and head-bobbing vocal-less closer “Bome Nnwon,” which will have you replaying the entire album once its final handclap echoes into silence. When Ata Kak is on, you won’t want to listen to anything else. If you need me, I’ll be watching this video on repeat:

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Hip-Hop History Tuesday: 1986, The Year Run-D.M.C. Raised Hell And Helped Rap Crossover

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2015 03:03am | Post a Comment

When they arrived on the hip-hop scene in the early 1980's Run-D.M.C. distinguished themselves as the leaders of the new school of rap music. This claim by the Hollis, Queens, NY trio comprised of Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell was truly justified by the unique group who would be perhaps the most influential group of the genre with their hardcore rap sound. With 1984's self-titled debut on Profile Records and its follow-up; 1985's King of Rock, Run DMC were already hugely popular with fans of the then still burgeoning hip-hop music genre but it was 1986's Raising Hell  their third album that proved to be their breakthrough, crossover release. Raising Hell won them a whole wave of new fans - many of whom up until this point had dismissed rap as mere novelty and  passing fad in pop music. Run DMC's updated rock/rap version of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" deserves  much of the credit for breaking Run DMC (and rap/hip-hop along with it) into the mainstream. The conversion of the average mid eighties hard rock fan, who up to this stage was still resistant to rap because they saw it as a derivative of the then stigmatized genre of disco, went to Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith who joined on them on both the record and in the influential music video of "Walk This Way." The result was an inspired updated rap rendition of an already great rock song.

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Concert Tickets For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in March 2015

Posted by Amoebite, March 2, 2015 11:09am | 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:

Bad Religion at the Fonda

Bad Religion
Fonda Theatre
April 17

San Cisco at the El Rey

San Cisco
El Rey
June 12