Amoeblog

Ultra Rare Bob Dylan 'Blood on the Tracks' Test Pressing For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, June 30, 2015 04:33pm | Post a Comment

bob dylan blood on the tracks test pressing

UPDATE 7/2/15: This record has sold and is no longer available.

We recently purchased a large record collection that had a lot of great, rare and one-of-a-kind items. But one piece in particular that stands out from the rest.

One of only five test pressings known to exist of an early version of Bob Dylan’s classic album Blood on the Tracks now sits on the shelves of Amoeba Hollywood. The pressing includes four previously unreleased takes of songs from the album (“Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts,” “Idiot Wind,” “If You See Her, Say Hello” and “Tangled Up In Blue”), plus an alternate take of “You’re a Big Girl Now” that was released on 1985’s Biograph box set.

bob dylanThe story goes that in the fall of 1974, Bob Dylan went home for the holidays with a copy of his newly recorded album Blood on the Tracks, which was set to release in weeks. The album had been written after touring with The Band and becoming estranged from his wife, Sara, and though the resulting album delves deeply into troubled relationships, Dylan himself has denied that the album is autobiographical.

Upon listening to the record, which was recorded at A & R Recording in New York, Dylan’s brother, David Zimmerman, suggested that Dylan re-record some of the songs because too many sounded the same. Dylan then stopped production of the album to re-record half of it at Sound 80 in Minneapolis with different musicians, ending up with a 10-song album evenly split between the two sessions.

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Album Picks: Vince Staples, The Internet, Miguel, Jaill

Posted by Billy Gil, June 30, 2015 10:55am | Post a Comment

Vince Staples - Summertime 06

vince staples summertime 06 cdOn his gutsy, double-disc debut studio album, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples introduces the world at large to a tough, world-weary persona who at only 22 has seemingly been through enough drama to fill a book. “My pain is never over, pills ‘n’ potions pick me up” he declares on the gnarled beats of “Pick Me Up.” Atonal sound wails in the background of “Norf Norf” as Staples offers slice-of-life tales of growing up in gritty North Long Beach (“I ain’t never run from nothin’ but the police,” he says tellingly). There’s a nihilistic slant to everything Staples puts to tape, which extends even to more decadent party jams like “Loca” and “Dopeman” and love songs like “Lemme Know,” pairing lyrics like “I’ll be fightin’ for you” with “I love to see you cry.” Everything in Summertime ’06 sounds strangely disembodied and cynical, yet it’s not lacking in energy, as with single “Senorita,” on which No I.D.’s creeping production offers the ideal space for Staples’ grim verses and Future’s motoring chorus before morphing into an ’80s horror film-style breakdown. The album’s second disc is mellower, reveling in No I.D. and Clams Casinos immersive production work; “Get Paid” and “Hang N’ Bang” are lively highlights. Though it’s a double-disc, Summertime ’06 doesn’t feel the slightest bit overstuffed, and we never lose sight of the man behind the rhymes.

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Cheers to Our Toast, The Sandwitches' last round

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 29, 2015 10:22pm | Post a Comment
the sandwitches san fracnsico band heidi grace sings sludge cooper roxy photography rachel walther empty cellar records our toast review
lovely photo of The Sandwitches by Rachel Walther

It's been many moons since we've been accorded a fresh platter from San Francisco trio The Sandwitches, and this latest release courtesy of Empty Cellar Records, looks to be their last. Since 2008, bandmates Grace Cooper, Heidi Alexander, and Roxy Brodeur have consistently honed a distinct sound that is, simply put, a little bit old-time country and a little bit roadside oddities rock 'n' roll. Their ability to seamlessly blend twisted yet whimsical girl group harmonies with unfiltered, mood-infused heavy Americana has progressed splendidly with each release, making Our Toast, their third LP, arguably their finest effort to date.
the sandwitches our toast LP vinyl record review empty cellar records fresh & onlys sonny and the sunsets san francisco indie rock folk americana grace sings sludge
Before you even get your ears on it, Our Toast is a thing of beauty. Housed in very fine packaging adorned with gold leaf lettering and a cover tribute to unofficial 4th member James Finch (painted by Deirdre White), the record itself (on oxblood wax if you're lucky) is sheathed by a printed inner sleeve featuring lyrics on one side (lyrics, people!) and a sad clown band photo epitaph on the other–a testament to the posthumous-ish work within. That said, there is a twinging finality vibe to this record that moves beyond the commemorative qualities of the tangible presentation. It's a feeling that lends suspicion to the pulse of each song like an omen or memento mori. And yet, regardless of any time the Sandwitches' sound has been described as "haunting", there is nothing ghostly about this energy at all. It's as if seven or eight of these nine songs are contending for the ultimate setting in sequencing crown: the last cut on side B, the swan song's swan song seat.

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Main Attrakionz Promise "A Real Celebration" At Their Amoeba Berkeley In-Store (June 30) In Support Of "808s & Dark Grapes III" (Vapor)

Posted by Billyjam, June 29, 2015 05:51pm | Post a Comment

For Main Attrakionz' anticipated Amoeba Berkeley in-store this week (on Tuesday, June 30th at 5pm) in support of their brand new 808s & Dark Grapes III (out that same day on Vapor), the prolific Oakland hip-hop crew's Squadda B promises a most memorable show that will be "a real celebration of everything we've been through since Carter Middle School." North Oakland's Carter Middle school is where the rapper/producer born Charles Glover is referring to. It was there that he first met up with his partner in rhyme, Damondre Grice (aka rapper Mondre M.A.N.). From that point on, at the young age of 12-years-old no less, it has been quite a ride for the inseparable, prolific, pioneering pair.
 
From the get go, the two go-getters tirelessly entered every local talent shows they could find. Over the following years they would win a lot of them too. But more importantly they learned and grew from their experiences that would help pave the way for a career that, for the artists who are only now 24-years-old, has already been quite accomplished. They've recorded a shitload of music (approx 15 full-length projects, although only two albums, including the new one, are commercially available), worked with such artists as Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky, been credited with being among the chief architects in creating the alt rap psychedelic hip-hop sub-genre of "cloud rap," and landed a deal with Neil Young's Vapor Records, to name but a sampling of their accolades to date.
 

  Main Attrakionz "Ain't No Other Way" (Vapor, 2015)


One Album Wonders: Opal's Happy Nightmare Baby

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 29, 2015 12:00am | Post a Comment
 OPAL - HAPPY NIGHTMARE BABY (1987) 

Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby

Opal was an American band associated with the Paisley Underground and whose guiding force was David Roback, a guitarist and songwriter from Pacific Palisades. Roback graduated from high school in 1975 and in 1981 formed The Sidewalks who, renamed Rain Parade, were seminal within the Paisley Underground scene. 

Opal band photo


Roback quit Rain Parade in 1983 after the release of their debut and formed Clay Allison with Kendra Smith from The Dream Syndicate on bass and Keith Mitchell (drums). As Clay Allison the band released “Fell from the Sun” b/w “All Souls.” After they changed their name to Opal, they released two EPs, Fell from the Sun (1984) and Northern Line (1985), which were later combined and released as Early Recordings. Opal’s sole full-length, the mostly T.Rex-indebted (albeit almost narcoleptically laid back) Happy Nightmare Baby, followed in 1987. 

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Phono Del Sol: Tanlines, King Tuff & More In SF's Potrero Del Sol Park, July 11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 28, 2015 05:11pm | Post a Comment

Phono Del Sol

King Tuff
King Tuff

Amoeba partners with The Bay Bridged and Tiny Telephone for the 5th annual Phono del Sol festival on Saturday, July 11th. This all-day music and food festival features 12 live bands on two stages in Potrero del Sol Park in San Francisco.

This year's line-up is fantastic! Rock out with Tanlines, King Tuff, Sonny & the Sunsets, Everyone is Dirty, and so many more while perusing local food trucks, and arts and crafts vendors. See the full band line-up below. There's nothing like the great outdoors!

Get your tickets HERE!

 

Contemporary DIY Bay Area Show Flyers Continue Basic Design of Earlier Decade

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2015 07:55pm | Post a Comment



After grabbing the above sampling of flyers for punk and indie rock music shows in the Bay Area this week, it made me think that it's like 1982 all over again, flyer-wise at least. Back then this basic cut and paste collage style of basic, no-frills, black and white Xerox flyers with ransom note lettering was the most prevalent. The only difference (besides the bands and venues changing) is that back then they were mostly 8" by 10" size flyers whereas the ones above are all quarter page scale - that way you get four times the amount for your buck, plus people are less likely to fold them and not read them again.

The above flyers are for what should be some good shows too including Wednesday (July 1st) at El Rio in SF with Party Force, Lucky Boys, and The White Barons ($7, 21+ Info), and tonight (June 27) at the Stork Club in Oakland with Beast Fiend, TV Static, The Connies, The Wastedeads, and Fuzz Attack. ($5, 21+ Info). The other two flyers include one for new downtown Oakland music bar the Golden Bull on 14th (near Broadway) where this upcoming Friday, July 3rd, five acts are booked including CCR Headcleaner, Ubu Roi, Means End, Sselxes, and Rays ($8, 21+ Info). The other show flyer is for the Knockout on Mission in San Francisco on July 8th when Maximum RnR along with Thrill House present a punk show with Quaaludes, Piss Test, Rays, and Sloppy Kisses. ($7-$10, 21+ Info)

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top Five, Wiz Khalifa, Kool Keith & L'Orange and Qbert, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist

Posted by Billyjam, June 26, 2015 07:31pm | Post a Comment

Hip-Hop Top Five Albums Chart: Week End 06:26:15


1) A$AP Rocky At.Long.Last.A$AP  (RCA)

2) Drake If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late   (Republic)

3) Various Artists  Furious 7 Soundtrack (Atlantic)

4) Nicki Minaj  The Pinkprint (Cash Money) 

5) Major Lazer  Peace Is The Mission  (Mad Decent) 

The latest hip-hop albums chart is care of Billboard charts and represents the highest selling hip-hop albums in the country for the past week. The chart includes some that have been out for a minute such as Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint that originally dropped at the end of last year, and Drake's If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late that was released back in April. Out since March but still selling strong is the various artists' Furious 7 Soundtrack  that includes the current megahit single by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth "See You Again"  (video below) that is dedicated to the late Paul Walker from the movie franchise, and a diverse array of album contributors including Sage The Gemini, Mos Def and DJ Shadow, and Kid Ink, Tyga, Wale, YG, and Rich Homie Quan whom all team up together for the opening track "Ride Out."  Chart entry new releases that arrived this month include Major Lazer's  Peace Is The Mission which is the third LP from Diplo and friends. Vinyl collectors make note that Mad Decent will release an LP version in early August.

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Best Friends Animal Society Holds Pet Adoption Event Over July 4 Weekend

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2015 02:24pm | Post a Comment

best friends animal adoption

Best Friends Animal Society is putting on the #Freedom100 Adoption Marathon over the July 4 holiday weekend, with the aim of finding homes for 100-plus cats and dogs.

From July 3-5, Best Friends and NKLA will hold the event in two locations. Pet adoptions will be given for $10 for the first 100 pets adopted at Best Friends’ Mission Hills location, and NKLA’s West L.A. location will have $10 for kittens and cats and $25 for select dogs for 100 pets.

In addition, every pet comes spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Adopters will receive a free bag of food and one month of free pet insurance, and there’s an on-site boutique to pick up the essentials for your new pet.

Best Friends Animal Society is an animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of healthy, adoptable pets. NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is a coalition of such organizations as well as city shelters and individuals, which is led by Best Friends for the same cause. You can see their adoptable cats here and dogs here.

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is located at 15321 Brand Boulevard in Mission Hills; their phone number is 818-643-3989. NKLA Pet Adoption Center is at 1845 Pontius Avenue in Los Angeles; their number is 424-208-8840.

LA Street Food Fest Brings Delicious Bites to the Rose Bowl July 11

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2015 11:47am | Post a Comment

la street food festThe LA Street Food Fest is back at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, July 11 for its sixth annual Summer Tasting Event from 3-8 p.m. We’ll be on hand with our Prize Wheel, so come by and give it a spin!

The festival boasts bites and drinks from world-class, award-winning top chefs and restaurants, gourmet trucks, street stands and carts and more. Tickets are $60 (plus a $4.29 service fee) for general admission entry at 5 p.m.; VIP early admission at 3 p.m. is $90 (plus a $5.94 service fee). Entry gets you unlimited food and drink, while supplies last. Use promo code amoeba15 and save $5 on tickets now!

The fest will feature artisanal treats from the likes of Boba Bear, La Sriracha Macha and Unbaked a Cookie Dough Bar; mixology drinks from such places as 1933 Bars, Cliff’s Edge and The Church Key; and food from spots like Bling Bling Dumpling, Diablo Tacos, Loteria Grill, Mama Masubi, One Veg World, Poke 2 Go, Spitz and The Pho Burger. There’s also an ice cream social, iced coffee lounge & donut zone, tequila tent, craft beers, wine tasting and more. See a list of all the more than 130 vendors that will be at the festival here.

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Weekly Roundup: Kisses, Tijuana Panthers, Flesh World, Vaguess, Pearl Charles, Creeping Pink

Posted by Billy Gil, June 26, 2015 09:30am | Post a Comment

Kisses – “A Groove”

kisses bandKisses are no longer as pregnant as this press photo shows—the real-life couple of Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson have a new baby boy, as Kivel told Hit City USA. But if you think parenthood would mellow the electronic pop project, think again—“A Groove” is as funky as anything the band has done. Kivel’s vocals dance around a relatively spare disco bassline and beat, coming in with some sunbaked guitars and synths for an ear-caressing chorus. It’s from their upcoming third album, Rest in Paradise, due later this year.

 

Tijuana Panthers – “Front Window Down” video

tijuana panthersTijuana Panthers have unveiled a video for their great new-wave surf song “Front Window Down,” along with details about their new album. Poster will come out Aug. 28 via Innovative Leisure. And this week we premiered our latest episode of “What’s In My Bag?” with the band. Watch both videos below.

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How To Clean Your Records

Posted by Joe Goldmark, June 24, 2015 06:47pm | Post a Comment

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




I.  Use 90% proof isopropyl alcohol, which can be bought at any drug store.  Don’t get rubbing alcohol as it contains oil.

A.  Fill a spray bottle with the isopropyl alcohol.

B.  Spray alcohol on a soft washcloth or microfiber cloth.

 
II. View your record under a 100 watt desk lamp in an otherwise dark room to see the vinyl.  
 
You don’t want any ambient light because it masks the true condition.  Hold the record with one hand without touching the grooved surface and use your chest as the anchor.
 
 
III. Wipe the record and don’t be afraid to rub fairly hard to clean off fingerprints and smudges.
 
A. This works for vinyl LPs and 45s.
 
B.  Don’t ever use alcohol on 78s, as they’re made from shellac.  To clean 78s, use a damp soapy wash cloth, then rinse.  Try to keep the water off the labels as much as possible.  Stack in a dish rack to dry.
 
 
IV. What about record cleaning products?
 
A. Amoeba sells them and they’re fine, but not as thorough or as inexpensive as this method.
 
B. Record Washing Machines, such as the VPI, are definitely a step up, but are more for audiophiles.  They are generally expensive, time consuming and cumbersome, but they do a better job of sucking dirt out of the grooves.
 
 
V.  After cleaning, store your records in a plastic outer sleeve.
 
A. Regular sleeves are fine.
 
B. Japanese resealable mylar sleeves not only look great but they seal up.  This protects your vinyl against one of its five natural enemies, which are: 
 
1. Fire
 
2. Water – Resealable sleeves can protect against water
 
3. Parties (scratching)
 
4. Theft
 
5. Sunlight (warping)

With Funding Support, SF Punk Renaissance 2015 Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Punk

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

While it might seem like you can't check your inbox or social media these days without being asked to contribute to yet another crowd funding project - some which may not seem quite worthy of your hard earned cash - there are some really excellent and needy projects out there that could only happen with grassroots-level crowdfunding support. Such is the case with the recently launched GoFundMe drive for SF Punk Renaissance 2015 (Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Punk) that happens in San Francisco in late September.

The event is overseen by the The Punk Rock Sewing Circlea volunteer group comprised of artists, musicians, and activists from the early days of punk rock in the Bay who organize art and music-based events to promote early punk culture and raise funds for social justice causes. Scheduled for a full week, September 20th to 27th, the SF Punk Renaissance 2015 is shaping up to be an eclectic week of "old school punk pop-up events celebrating the catalytic revolution of the first wave" and will incorporate concerts, spoken word shows, panel discussions, punk film screenings, and iconic punk art and photo gallery exhibits. While no bands have been named, "seminal bands of the era" that are promised to play during the week. There are so many incredible bands from that era, even if the lineups have changed, to draw from including The Mutants (whose music is featured in the GoFundMe video below) and The Avengers who, along with Jello Biafra, were among those at last week's the SF City Hall 100 Year anniversary.

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Zeke Thomas' "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X Addresses Key Issue of The Day

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Zeke Thomas "Blackness (feat. Chuck D & Jasiri X)" (2015)

If you ever despair that comedy seems to have eclipsed music's once key role as the lead thought-provoking voice, offering insights into the news making social and political issues of the day, Zeke Thomas's vibrant new track "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X will dispell that feeling. The song and its accompanying Charlie Zwick directed video above prove that popular music can still be political and central to the national dialog.  And right now that national dialog seems to be squarely focused on the topic of race in America. It is the also the one addressed by EDM producer Zeke Thomas — the club DJ / producer / son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas on the track "Blackness" whose release could not have been more perfectly timed with its publication over the past week. On "Blackness" Thomas is joined by the always politically outspoken hip-hop voices of veteran rap revolutionary Public Enemy's Chuck D, along with contemporary political rapper (self-described "Raptivist") with some  in-your-face, social commentary. Reportedly it was longtime political activist Harry Belafonte who introduced the Thomas to both Chuck D and Jasiri X. The introduction came from his organization Sankofa that encourages "artists and performers of color to actively create art that may serve as a catalyst for positive cultural evolution" for the single that was released by Tommy Boy. My hope is that Thomas will release a hip-hop mix too. My other hope is that a new wave of political rap like when PE were at their peak 25 + years ago, with powereful outspoken songs like "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos" off the album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (video below), will make a re-emergence in popularity.

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One Album Wonders Northside's Chicken Rhythms

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 23, 2015 03:55pm | Post a Comment
NORTHSIDE - CHICKEN RHYTHMS (1991)

Northside

My introduction to the quartet named Northside came in my second year of college, I believe, a few years after the release of their only album, Chicken Rhythms. As a teenage fan of all things Madchester, I'd heard of them, of course, but it wasn't until Liz lent me a cassette that I was able to give it a listen. Although I was at first dismissive of what seemed to me to be by-the-numbers Baggy, over time the album unexpectedly grew on me.

Northside were formed in 1989 by Warren "Dermo" Dermody (vocals and United supporter) and Cliff Ogier (bass and City supporter). They were soon after joined by Michael "Upto" Upton (guitar) and Paul Walsh (drums). Upton was soon after replaced by Timmy WalshAll were residents of either Blackley or Moston, in Manchester's Northside. In August they recorded a demo at The Cutting Rooms, part of Abraham Moss College

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode With Tijuana Panthers

Posted by Amoebite, June 23, 2015 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Despite flying under the mainstream radar for almost a decade, employing the DIY strategy so many do, the Tijuana Panthers are finally poised for a breakthrough. Much like their Innovative Leisure labelmates Hanni El Khatib, Nick Waterhouse, and the Allah-Las, the Tijuana Panthers have been crafting their own brand of alternative surf rock while tucked away in sunny Long Beach, California.

In 2010, the band self-released their debut, Max Baker, following it up with Semi Sweet (Innovative Leisure) in 2013. The latter is a lo-fi rock-pop record at times reminiscent of '50s era doo wop with puppy love themes. For their latest effort, Wayne Interest, the Panthers teamed up with producer and Black Keys touring bassist, Richard Swift. The lo-fi production style is still very intact and guitarist Chad Wachtel's surf licks rock with authenticity. The band shows off their punker minimalism, while still delivering catchy melodies backed by echoey drums.

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Zombies Descend on Amoeba SF In J.Morgan's Latest Video, "Human"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 21, 2015 01:49pm | Post a Comment

The setting for local independent hip-hop recording artist J.Morgan's latest video, "Human," is, you J.Morgan, Humanguessed it, Amoeba San Francisco. Proving that zombies need to shop too, filmmaker Bryce Graven captured Amoeba SF and Haight Street during the zombie apocalypse. You mean 4/20? NO! These are real zombies and they want to eat brains and browse CDs. But J.Morgan keeps it human.

"Human" is the title track for J.Morgan's debut album Human, available online at his website.
 

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top 5 Chart, Killer Mike's Political Career Postponed, New Oakland Party "Wax Poetic"

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2015 08:14pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week End 06:19:15


1) Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2  (LP) (Mass Appeal)

2) Czarface Every Hero Needs A Villain (also in LP) Brick Records)

3) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)

4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)

5) A$AP Rocky  At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)


Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!' and available in both CD and LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels' Run The Jewels 2  that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics. 
 
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career?  Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role.  Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.


Run River North, The Family Crest Play Grand Performances June 26

Posted by Amoebite, June 19, 2015 11:58am | Post a Comment

run river northAmoeba is proud to sponsor the June 26 Grand Performances show at California Plaza featuring folk-rockers Run River North. The show is free and all-ages, and it starts at 8 p.m. We’ll be on hand with the Prize Wheel, so come by and give it a spin!

L.A.’s Run River North combine beautiful folk harmonies with rock dynamics and uplifting, spiritually leaning lyrics. The band rose to notoriety after recording a performance video in a band member’s Honda, prompting the car manufacturer to surprise the band by taking them to “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Read Amoeblogger Billy Gil's interview with the band here. And see a video below of the band performing live at Amoeba Music last year.

the family crestAlso performing will be S.F.’s The Family Crest. The band is an NPR favorite who play energetic tunes infused with soaring vocals, strings, choral harmonies and dramatic arrangements. Watch their video for “Love Don’t Go” below.



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Weekly Roundup: Cold Showers, Double Duchess, JIM, Superhumanoids

Posted by Billy Gil, June 19, 2015 09:33am | Post a Comment

Cold Showers - "Plantlife"
cold showersWe were big fans of Cold Showers' debut record, Love and Regret, a rumbling, heavy run through gothy post-punk environs. The first thing we've heard from their new album, Matter of Choice, boasts bigger synths and cleaner production, pumping up the Highland Park band's sound till it's a hook-laden beast. On "Plantlife," Cold Showers reveal the pop heart that was always beating beneath the black shroud without losing an ounce of their estimable cool. Can't wait to hear the rest of this record, which is due Aug. 28 on Dais. Listen via Stereogum.




Double Duchess - "Bullshit"

double duchessThis terrific cover of a Grace Jones B-side comes courtesy of S.F.'s Double Duchess, a queer production/performance art duo who replace the music of Jones' glam-disco original with hedonistic house beats that seem to emit sweat and smoke from the speakers. But as long as we're talking about Grace Jones, check out this video of her (I think) lip syncing to the original—watch that businessman clap while she dances on his fucking table. Can she just own a room or what? Listen to Double Duchess' version below via Pitchfork. The duo is holding a release party for its debut album, All Eyes on Me, next Thursday, June 25, at SF Oasis.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode With Tweedy (Jeff Tweedy of Wilco)

Posted by Amoebite, June 16, 2015 08:25pm | Post a Comment

Tweedy at Amoeba Hollywood

A family band if there ever was one, Tweedy consists of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer. Originally Tweedyconceived of as a solo project for the senior Tweedy who was demoing and rehearsing songs at home with Spencer on drums, Tweedy soon came to include Spencer as he became more involved. The pair had previously worked together on Mavis Staples' 2013 album, One True Vine. In 2014, Wilco's dBpm label released Tweedy's debut, Sukierae (now available on CD and LP), which is named after Jeff's wife and Spencer's mother, Susie, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. When performing live, the duo are joined by guitarist Jim Elkington, bassist Darin Gray, and keyboardist Liam Cunningham

Jeff and his sons Spencer and Sam joined us at Amoeba Hollywood where the three dug for choice vinyl and found some great titles. Jeff shows off a copy of Chastity Belt's Time To Go Home and points out the band's name, promo photo, and the song title "Why Try" were all factors in his decision to get the album. Already a fan of Captain Beefheart, Sam opts for a vinyl copy of Safe As Milk. Spencer picks up the stellar compilation Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City (Numero Group). The Numero Group label do an amazing job with their compilations. A must have in any soul aficionado's collection!

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Michael Vidal Talks 'Dream Center' Before Amoeba Hollywood Performance June 18

Posted by Billy Gil, June 16, 2015 05:10pm | Post a Comment

michael vidal amoeba hollywoodMichael Vidal is the thoughtful kind of songwriter and human being you don't encounter very often. Compared to his previous band, L.A. noise-rockers Abe Vigoda, his Dream Center EP is full of introspective tunes built on carefully constructed, textural guitars that build on where that band was headed on its last LP, the darkwave-inspired Crush. Vidal has been playing live shows now with a three-piece band as Dream Center has been recently reissued on LP and CD by Couple Skate. He'll be at Amoeba Hollywood for a performance June 18 at 6 p.m. I caught up with Vidal before the show to find out more about his writing process, Instagram art and the new album he's working on.

Are these mostly newer songs or did you originally write them with the intention of using them for Abe Vigoda? Is there a difference to how you wrote your parts of the songs with Abe and solo?

Vidal: The songs on Dream Center were all written for this new project, but many of them were written in this period of limbo and I wasn’t really sure what this new project was. It was kind of unclear what was going on with Abe Vigoda, but I had to keep writing and playing out. I knew these songs were different and were for me. The writing process of Abe Vigoda was extremely collaborative, incidental and kind of chaotic. I can’t write that way on my own. I write slowly and carefully now, which sounds boring but is actually way more fun.

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One Album Wonders: The Paris Sisters Singer Everything Under the Sun!!!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2015 03:48pm | Post a Comment

The Paris Sisters

Real life siblings Priscilla, Albeth, and Sherrell began cutting records as The Paris Sisters in 1954. In the fifteen years that followed, they only released on full-length studio LP and in their final year as a recording unit. The San Francisco trio did appear on more than 25 singles, however, and are best remembered for the perfect pop hit, “I Love How You Love Me."

The Paris Sister Decca years

When The Paris Sisters first performed, they did so in the style of earlier popular sister acts like The Boswell SistersThe Andrews Sisters and The McGuire Sisters, releasing nine singles through Decca (two backing Bings son, Gary) that didn’t perform terribly well commercially. In 1957 they released two singles for Imperial that also went nowhere.

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Album Picks: Jaakko Eino Kalevi, High on Fire, Part Time

Posted by Billy Gil, June 16, 2015 09:31am | Post a Comment

Jaakko Eino KaleviJaakko Eino Kalevi

jaako eino kaleviJaakko Eino Kalevi creates what could be called mystery pop. Like a distant Finish cousin to Ariel Pink, Kalevi’s dreamy tunes pulse with gently syncopated grooves, otherworldly synth bursts and a deeply intoning voice that gives his self-titled album a tinge of 4AD-style goth. Though Kalevi clearly has successfully digested albums by This Mortal Coil and Talk Talk, it’s also clear that he’s taken the time to develop his own sound, drawing from his moody ’80s predecessors, lacquering on some fashionably semi-ironic soft-rock sheen and hints of prog-rock and ’80s movie soundtracks, and coming out as a next-generation pop auteur with tunes as exotic as his vowel-friendly name. You might not know quite what Kalevi’s getting at, but his somewhat intangible nature is part of his appeal. The sultry “Say” and aerobic “Night at the Field” stand out from the crowd, but Jaakko Eino Kalevi is an incredibly warm and inviting listen from the top down. Curl up on Kalevi’s luxury sofa and let the magic happen.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Records From Four Rappers Named "Kid"

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2015 08:00am | Post a Comment

Lately I have been digging in my long neglected hip-hop crates and it has been a lot of fun rediscovering a bygone era. Comprised of mostly 12" singles, but some LPs too, that era is made of mostly late-'80's to early-'90's releases. That time is known as the golden era for good reason since so much of this music is truly golden. Under the letter K I stumbled upon a string of rappers named "Kid" including Kid Named Panic, Kid Rock (back when he was rap), and Kid Sensation  as well as (pictured above) Kid Frost, Kid Capri, Kid Flash, and Kid 'N Play. Had I  been including more recent era hip-hoppers named Kid, included would have been Kid Cudi, Kid Ink, and Kid Sister or perhaps turntablist Kid Koala.

But back to those four golden era "Kid" records that I dug out to pop onto the turntable recently. These included three 12" singles and one album: Kid Flash's forgotten 1988 LP He's In Effect, which was released on Tabu via distribution from CBS and featured some great tracks like "Go Jackson" and "I Hate The Bus," as well as the main single and video off the album "Hot Like." (Note that this LP shows up in the used bins at Amoeba from time to time and usually at a nice price.) Kid Flash's career began and ended with this record (he's rumored to have gone on to become a doctor), which was because, I'm guessing, that while he was very good, his sound was nothing new or original. All the He's In Effect album tracks have a distinct mid-'80's hip-hop sound. Hence, from a hip-hop historic perspective, Kid Flash's whole style and sound contributed little to the overall development and growth of the genre.  Compare say Kid Flash to another hip-hop act also releasing an album in 1988 such as Eric B. & Rakim's Follow The Leader and you have two totally different schools of hip-hop artist. While Eric B. & Rakim's sound signalled the beginning of a new era and decade in hip-hop, Kid Flash had the end of the '80's hip-hop sound. Down with the prestigious Cold Chillin' label, Kid Capri was part of what that new hip-hop sound would be like with his 1991 12" "Apollo" release that came in both "Album" and the then popular "Dub" versions, in addition to the "Shout Outs" track.

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In Support of "Wild Nights," UK Female Quartet PINS To Play Free Show At Amoeba SF On June 16

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2015 08:21pm | Post a Comment

Following just two dates into their US tour (LA and NY), UK female rock group PINS play a free show and album signing at Amoeba Music San Francisco on Tuesday (June 16) at 6pm in support of their critically acclaimed second album Wild Nights, which arrived at Amoeba last week care of Bella Union.

Comprised of founding member Faith Holgate (vocals and guitar), Lois McDonald (guitar), Anna Donigan (bass), and Sophie Galpin (who replaced original member Lara Williams on drums), PINS hail from the musically rich Northern England city of Manchester. Rooted in garage rock, musically the PINS' guitar-driven, decidedly retro sound is reminiscent at times of many UK indie-pop acts as well as US indie bands Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls. When asked who their influences are, they typically cite (American) female artists such as Bikini Kill and Patti Smith, and others  they view as "really strong women."  Furthermore, they recorded their new eleven track album in the US at California's Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree.

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Amoeba's Top 10 Favorite Criterion Picks

Posted by Billy Gil, June 15, 2015 11:03am | Post a Comment

amoeba criterion top 10

Starting next week, we're holding a huge sale on Criterion Collection movies at Amoeba Hollywoodfrom June 18 through July 4, get 25% off all new Criterion DVDs and Blu-rays. You can read more about that sale here. To kick it off, we gathered our collective heads to pick our favorite Criterion movies on disc. Criteria varies, but generally these discs offer something special beyond the movie itself. Check out our picks below.

Band of Outsiders (1964)

band of outsiders criterion blu-rayJean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave classic gets a pristine high-definition digital transfer on both the DVD and Blu-ray, while excerpts from the documentary La nouvelle vague par elle-même offer behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Godard. And a short film by the great French New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda featuring much of the Band of Outsiders cast is just icing.

 

The Battle of Algiers ­(1966)

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Batteries Not Included (But We Sell Those Too): Toys At Amoeba SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 14, 2015 06:46pm | Post a Comment

Walking into the massive cavern of fun that is Amoeba San Francisco, it can be easy to forget what you came in to shop for in the first place. The senses are immediately flooded with stimulus from every direction and, like most of us music fiends, it’s a free-for-all as soon as you’ve entered the big red doors. Maybe you didn’t have a plan of attack and are here to browse? That’s ok too. In fact, that just might be the right way to go. As you peruse the always-expanding Book & Magazine Section and prepare for your journey onto the main floor, take a gander at the Toys & Collectibles Showcase on the mezzanine. There’s something for kids of all ages on display in there!

Besides finding rare, out-of-print action figures and toys in the Showcase, you’ll also be able to choose from current popular lines such as the Funko POP and ReAction figures. Game Of ThronesBreaking Bad, and the Star Wars Black Series are ever popular, and everyone loves a bobble head! Stop in and check it out. 

“There’s always that one customer who absolutely needs something from the Showcase, even if they don’t know it!” says Amoeba SF Collectible Buyer, Brent James. “That’s the beautiful thing about our brick and mortar stores. Twenty years into the game and counting, we’ve become museums. Only in THESE museums you can walk out with things. Amoeba customers are the real deal and they know a good thing when they see it. I think it’s important to offer a little bit of everything, since we deal with such a wide range of clients. It’s also worthy to note that there aren’t many ‘traditional’ toy stores left in San Francisco -- not even a Toys R Us -- so every little bit helps in the toy world. I’m constantly searching for good deals and am thrilled when people bring items into the store to sell.”

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The Doobie Brothers Four Decades Later

Posted by Billyjam, June 14, 2015 12:53pm | Post a Comment
In honor of The Doobie Brothers' anticipated free show today in San Francisco for the kick-off of the new Summer 2015 Stern Grove series with the Big Picnic, where people have been arriving since early this morning to secure a seat for the free concert by the legendary band who formed in the Bay Area four decades ago, assembled below are a handpicked few of some of their greatest songs done live at shows over the years. Reportedly the band's newly kicked off tour (they played at NorCal's Ironside Winery yesterday) will include lots of Doobie classics (many rearranged) interspersed with some new compositions which is in keeping with the late 2014 release Southbound that took it back to the country rock roots with many of contemporary country music's big name stars joining them. Included were Blake SheltonToby Keith, Tyler Farr, Brad Paisley, Casey James, Charlie Worsham, Chris Young, and the Zac Brown Band - all of whom joined the Doobie Brothers along with Michael McDonald on the new album for updated renditions of favorites such as "Black Water" (with Zac Brown Band), "Listen to the Music" (Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes on guitar), "Long Train Runnin'" (Toby Keith), "China Grove" (Chris Young), and "Jesus Is Just Alright" (Casey James). Although included on their current album Michael McDonald - the late joining former member instrumental in altering the group's whole sound/direction - is concurrently doing his own US tour. The official current Doobie Brothers tour lineup is Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, and John McFee along with a five-man band - and they sound good. Below are several of the tracks that will likely be included in today's show starting with another Bay Area concert - the Greek Theatre in Berkeley back in 1982 - when they performed "Long Train Runnin'," a live version of "China Grove" from 1973, "Listen To The Music" done live on TV's The Midnight Special, and a recent era Doobies live rendition of  "Jesus Is Just Alright."  Celebrating the beginning of its 78th season today's Stern Grove The Big Picnic show, with the California Honeydrippers opening for The Doobie Brothers, is free but limited in space. For info on upcoming concert dates by the band visit the DoobieBros website. And find the Doobie Brothers music at Amoeba.

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Amoeba Hollywood Holds 17-Day Criterion Sale and Free Movie Screening

Posted by Amoebite, June 12, 2015 09:00pm | Post a Comment

criterion sale amoeba hollywood

This month we’re holding a HUGE sale on all Criterion Collection movies.

From June 18 through July 4, get 25% off all new Criterion movies on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in-store at Amoeba Hollywood. And July 4 only, we’re also having another MEGA sale at all three stores—20% off all used Blu-ray and 10% off all used vinyl! (Used Blu-ray and Criterion discounts cannot be combined.)

To celebrate, we’re holding a FREE screening of Criterion flick Valerie and Her Week of Wonders Thursday, June 25 at 8 p.m. at Umami Burger, just across the street at Space15Twenty. Join us for this ravishingly shot, enchantingly scored film by director Jaromil Jires. This surrealist 1970 film is among the most beautiful oddities of the Czechoslovak New Wave, a fairy tale in which 13-year-old Valerie moves through a mind-bending dreamscape full of vampires, lustful priests and thieves wearing weasel masks.

Drinks may be purchased at Umami and enjoyed in the courtyard along with free popcorn. Space and seating is limited.

Need a suggestion for where to start with Criterion movies? Check out the Amoeba Hollywood mezzanine and marketing crew's 10 favorite Criterion picks.

movie criterion night amoeba

Weekly Roundup: Gardens & Villa, Nightjacket, Cayucas, Tijuana Panthers, Little Wings

Posted by Billy Gil, June 12, 2015 11:55am | Post a Comment

Gardens & Villa – “Fixations”

gardens & villaI caught myself Shazaming this one on the way to work. Santa Barabarans-turned-Angelenos Gardens & Villa gets slinkier and psychier on their new track “Fixations,” from their upcoming new album, Music for Dogs, due Aug. 21 on Secretly Canadian. With some help from producer Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), the band pushes the Brian Eno influence to the forefront, which nicely weirds up their enjoyable indie-pop sound with some eccentricity.

 

Nightjacket – “It’s Alright”

nightjacketFresh of playing Make Music Pasadena last weekend, L.A. dream-pop group Nightjacket has released a new song called “It’s Alright.” The jangly tune nicely features Holland Belle’s dusky vocals while the band keeps things peppy, reimagining what Slowdive or Mazzy Star might have sounded like if they aimed for the radio and throwing in some Beatlesesque breakdowns for good measure. It’s from the band’s upcoming self-released debut EP, Eternal Phase, which was mixed by Jeff Zeigler (The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile) and mastered by Joe Lambert (Wild Nothing, Deerhunter, Sharon Van Etten) and is due June 23. They’ll be at the Echo June 22 and S.F.’s Hemlock Tavern June 27.

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Rhino To Reissue The Sisters Of Mercy's "First And Last And Always" In Bonus-Packed 4 LP Box Set

Posted by Billyjam, June 12, 2015 09:55am | Post a Comment

UK rockers The Sisters of Mercy called it quits in 1993 when they went on strike against their record label, Warner, over accusations of withholding royalties. They vowed never to re-sign and therefore have left a slim discography of only a handful of releases. Fans of The Sisters will be glad to learn that next month Rhino will be releasing a four LP boxed set reissue of 1985's First And Last And Always (available for pre-order on Amoeba.com). The set's special 180 gram vinyl and digital versions will combine their classic album from 30 years ago, First And Last And Always, along with three EPs from that same mid-eighties period: Body And Soul, No Time To Cry, and Walk Away.
 
When The Sisters of Mercy signed with Warner, the band consisted of Andrew Eldritch (vocals), Gary Marx and Wayne Hussey (guitars), Craig Adams (bass), and their drum machine whom they lovingly called Doktor Avalanche. Their first release for the label was the 12" EP Body and Soul, which Eldritch described at the time as "a vision of heaven with everyone on speed." On the new reissue, two of the EP's four-tracks (the 1984 version "Body Electric" and "Afterhours") will be available again after only appearing on the original 12" single.

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R.I.P. Ornette Coleman

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2015 11:50am | Post a Comment

Huge loss for jazz and freeform music fans the world over with news breaking this morning of the passing of 85 year old jazz innovator / freeform icon / musical theoretician Ornette Coleman. The groundbreaking jazz  composer/alto-saxophonist, who was instrumental in changing and expanding the concept and path of jazz music, died earlier this morning, June 11th 2015, in New York City reportedly the result of cardiac arrest. In his oft times contentious music career Coleman, who in 1994 was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, completely unhinged and unsettled the conceptions of what jazz is and in so doing opened the genre up to a whole new style into something more avant-garde and adventurous, adhering less the old rules of musical structure, rhythm, and harmony.

At the start of his career his approach and style fit in with the accepted jazz norms but as time went on he began to explore new avenues and questioned the very foundation of what was considered "jazz" as he began to apply his own ideas and concepts. As noted by his Amoeba biographer Coleman developed “harmolodics,” a word and a concept that combine harmony, melody, and movement just as his music integrates them in a radical assertion of freedom for each player in an ensemble, with Gunther Schuller noting that Coleman’s “musical inspiration operates in a world uncluttered by conventional bar lines, conventional chord changes, and conventional ways of blowing or fingering a saxophone...his playing has a deep inner logic.” Consequently Coleman's influence on several generations of jazz musicians is very great.

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Amoeba Will Be at Three L.A. Concerts Weekend of June 19-21

Posted by Amoebite, June 11, 2015 09:23am | Post a Comment

poncho sanchezAmoeba Music will be on hand at three shows in Los Angeles the weekend of June 19-21 with our booth.

First up is Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez at Levitt Pavilion June 19 as part of their free summer concert series. The Grammy-winning percussionist and singer is one of the most influential conga players in Afro-Cuban jazz. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., with music at 8 p.m. Amoeba will be there with our Prize Wheel, so come check it out and give it a spin to win great prizes like gift certificates, Amoeba-branded items and more. Levitt Pavilion is located in Macarthur Park at 2230 West 6th Street in Los Angeles.

grand performancesThen June 20, we'll be at Grand Performances in Downtown L.A. for Wattstax Revisited. The free show celebrates landmark concert film Wattstax, which documented the Stax Records-sponsored all-day concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival that featured performances by such artists as Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers. Wattstax Revisited revives the funk, soul, dancing and comedy of the film and concert with an array of performers, dancers, visuals and special guests. The event is part of Los Angeles Aftershocks, a program that focuses on the cultural impacts of the upheaval in Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992, and how music, dialogue and community celebration help us address racism in our city and nation. Grand Performances take place at California Plaza, located at 350 South Grand Avenue. We will be at the show with our prize wheel. Watch the original trailer for Wattstax below:

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20 Albums to Look For in Summer

Posted by Billy Gil, June 10, 2015 03:03pm | Post a Comment

summer albums

Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but there are already many albums announced, including a few that are sure to be some of the biggest of the year.

leon bridges coming homeLeon Bridges Coming Home
Out June 23

Young soul singer Leon Bridges’s powerful voice and guitar licks have earned him comparisons to Sam Cooke and a viral hit with the sweetly swaying, vintage-R&B-style “Coming Home.” It’s one of those times when it looks like the hype is on point; Coming Home announces the arrival of a huge new talent.

 

cayucas dancing at the blue lagoon lpCayucas Dancing at the Blue Lagoon
Out June 23

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

Posted by Amoebite, June 10, 2015 11:04am | Post a Comment

Odesza

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight are the duo behind indie electronica project ODESZA. Founded in 2012 prior to graduating Western Washington University, the pair released their debut LP, Summer's Gone, only a short time later to great acclaim. In 2013, ODESZA released their My Friends Never Die EP and opened for Pretty Lights on his Analog Future Tour. A year later, Mills and Knight were back in the studio finishing up their sophomore LP, In Return (Counter Records), before heading out on a U.S. tour that would culminate in a live performance at Coachella. That summer they toured Australia, and returned to the U.S. for a string of dates prior to their second album's release in September 2014. This summer, ODEZSA is set to tour North America and Europe.

ODESZA recently stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to shop around and hang out with our What's In My Bag? crew. Harrison gets things started with a copy of Ain't It Funky by legendary soul man James Brown on vinyl. We at Amoeba are happy to have supplied Harrison with his very first James Brown LP! For Clayton's first pick, he opts for a copy of Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill by psychedelic folk musician Grouper. If you're ever in the mood for some ambient-dream pop jams to remind you of Portland, this is the album for you! Harrison also picks up a sweet re-issue of renowned Brazilian singer-songwriter Marcos Valle's self-titled release. If you dig Brazilian artists like Sergio Mendes and Os Mutantes, Marcos Valle needs to be in your record collection. Clayton manages to dig up a vinyl copy of Sam Cooke's Ain't That Good News, which contains his favorite song to listen to, "A Change Is Gonna Come." The guys of ODESZA dig for an array of great music, including electronica classics Daft Punk and French band AIR.

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Sudden Death Of Underground Rapper Pumpkinhead At Age 39 Sends Shockwaves Through Hip-Hop Community

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2015 01:13am | Post a Comment

Since the news broke Tuesday afternoon that longtime Brooklyn indie hip-hop artist Pumpkinhead (aka PH) had died at age 39 - and with no cause of death announced - the hip-hop community has been in shock over the sudden death of this widely beloved underground rapper born Robert Alan Diaz who came up in 90's hip-hop and built a rep on the battle scene and collaborated with a slew of artists. Above is a still from a KOTD rap battle where he handed it -via way superior battle freestyle - to his losing competitor Skelly. Not much is known about his sudden death except that he reportedly had only very been recently admitted into the Somerville, N.J. hospital where he was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning June 9th. As news traveled fans and fellow hip-hop artists reacted. Upon  finding out that he had lost a friend, Brooklyn hip-hop contemporary Talib Kweli took to Instagram to recall how, "Robert and I went to PS 282 together in Brooklyn, 4th grade. We then reconnected when he became an MC during the indie era of the late 90s. He signed to Makin Records, I signed to Rawkus. Then PH went on to reinvent himself again in the new battle rap era. He LOVED MCing and was great at it. To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words. There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed." Meanwhile longtime friend Jean Grae, whose stage name was given to her by PH, Tweeted that "Dynamic and the Dynamic Remix were the first songs I produced that got released. man. Man. MAN. Pumpkinhead. Man." That track she produced is below, as is another Pumpkinhead collaboration with Jean Grae when both joined another frequent musical collaborator Immortal Technique on his dope track "The Illest." Among his numerous collaborations the one with Marco Polo "Orange Moon Over Brooklyn" (insert) was an excellent one. I met Pumpkinhead when he guested on my radio show back in 2008 at the Knitting Factory as part of Brooklyn Academy along with Mr Metaphor and Block McCloud. Meanwhile beyond the hip-hop world's loss, more profoundly impacted is the rapper's surviving family - his wife and two kids with another on the way - who are currently still scrambling to come to terms with the shock of his death, and slowly realizing that they do not have enough money to cover all of the sudden expenses that have landed in their lap. Hence a crowdfunding drive has been just set to help with the funeral services and a memorial that would "make him proud."

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17 Songs To Shake Off That June Gloom

Posted by Amoebite, June 9, 2015 05:55pm | Post a Comment

17 songs to shake off june gloom

Close out the spring with this eclectic mix of dance-pop gems, hot hip-hop tracks and indie-rock favorites.

Crocodiles - Boys


Crocodiles - “Peroxide Hearts” from Boys

On the fifth album from the Boys from San Dog, this great krautgaze dreampop duo gives more of what you love -- tough, taut, fuzzed-out, soaring, unstoppable gems, a little bit Primal Scream, a little bit J&MC, but with plenty of their own energy and oddball vibe.

 

Peaking Lights - Cosmic Logic


Peaking Lights - “Hypnotic Hustle” from Cosmic Logic

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One Album Wonders: The La's

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 9, 2015 03:48pm | Post a Comment

The La's


In 2000, Pearl Jam treated their audience to a cover of The La’s“Timeless Melody.” Eddie Vedder, addressing the Mancunian audience characteristically mumbled, “Hey! There’s a good, uh — fuckin’ good? -- a great band who made one great record and they’re called The La’s and I think they’re from your town… I believe. A great songwriter from your town… his last name ain’t Gallagher.” 


Vedder's geographical mix-up could’ve, under the wrong circumstances, ignited a full scale riot but The La’s were a great band and what sensible person wouldn’t want to be associated with their brilliance. Also, Lee Mavers’s name “ain’t” Gallagher but — along with other Scouse bands like Rain and The Real People — the so-called Cosmic Scally scene arguably had much more influence on Oasis than the Manchester scene which quickly stole its spotlight. Also, both the Gallaghers and Mavers are dyed-in-the-blue-wool football supporters — the Gallaghers of “The Sky Blues” (Man City) and Mavers of “The Blues” (Everton).

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Album Picks: Michael Vidal, Jenny Hval, Damaged Bug, No Joy

Posted by Billy Gil, June 9, 2015 10:48am | Post a Comment

Michael VidalDream Center

michael vidal dream center lpLayers of heavily effected guitar hang loosely as a faded tapestry behind Michael Vidal’s pensive croon on his first release as a solo artist. Formerly the frontman for L.A.’s great tropical-punks-turned-darkwavers Abe Vigoda, Vidal is a modern-day goth romantic with his deep voice and yearning lyrics, the gleaming guitar lines and gently pulsing beat of “Dreams (Come Back to Me)” calling to mind bands like Cocteau Twins and The Durutti Column. “Burn” is the emotional centerpiece, as Vidal’s sensitive lyricism pours over looped arpeggiated guitars on a track that recalls the best of The Cure or Adore-era Smashing Pumpkins. Drizzling instrumental “Mono No Aware” moves into the percolating guitars of “Appraisal,” while “Sky Blue” takes that mechanically layered guitar and gives it a regal flair, evoking its namesake somehow both scientifically and dreamily. The album closes on a wash of guitars so hazily rendered they could to float away. At just seven songs, the album manages to leave its mark, a heavenly set of songs for nostalgic dreamers.

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Recap: Andy Kindler Hosted a Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood to Benefit the LA LGBT Center

Posted by Amoebite, June 8, 2015 01:14pm | Post a Comment

Andy Kindler Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood

On Saturday, June 6 we had ourselves a time at Amoeba Hollywood! With Pride weekend around the corner, this month's charity auction recipient was the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Our neighbors in Hollywood, the LA LGBT Center is the world’s largest provider of programs and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. As with all our charity auctions, we matched all winning bids which doubled the money raised for the center's incredibly important youth programs.

We teamed up with the awesome folks at NerdMelt for this auction and guest host Andy Kindler made us laugh out loud while keeping the bids on fire. Andy Kindler is known in comedy circles as a troublemaker. Originally from New York, and now complaining from California, he annoys people all over the world. Andy has been a frequent guest and correspondent for The Late Show with David Letterman. Each summer at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal he delivers the State of the Industry address to a packed ballroom filled with comics and Hollywood industry types. Andy currently recurs on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, IFC’s Maron and FOX’s hit animation series, Bob’s Burgers. Andy is spot on hilarious and he drove the bids up while keeping the audience and shoppers in stitches. There were outright guffaws and, much to his chagrin, he didn't annoy anybody! Good times. Good fun.

Here are some of the highlights of the items scored by our faithful Amoeba Auction-goers:

  • From the generous donation in honor of Theresia and Dale Cunningham: Box seats for John Fogerty at the Hollywood Bowl + a parking pass - $160.00!! 
  • Tickets to see The Roots at Club Nokia - $40.00
  • Tickets to see Best Coast at Wiltern - $25.00
  • Tickets to see Bill Graham exhibit at Skirball center and other goodies - $15.00 
  • NerdMelt Membership: free admission to all NerdMelt events for one month - $60.00
  • Converse gift pack: one-of-a kind Amoeba high tops - $ 20.00
  • Umami Burger gift card plus Lord of the Rings Goblets - $35.00
  • Urban Outfitters gift card + Lord of the Rings glass goblets- $35.00
  • Trader Joe's gift card PLUS a Lonely Island lunchbox - $50.00
  • Amoeba in-store VIP pass - $60.00
  • Pulp Fiction screenplay book signed by John Travolta + collector’s edition DVD - $35.00
  • An extremeley rare Elvis Presely 10-inch of the 1953 recording "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" from Jack White’s Third Man Records - $40
  • Crazy 45 Record label mirror - $10 

All together the bids totaled $585.00 which means we're sending $1,170.00 directly to LA's LGBT Center for much needed services. A huge thank-you to our "auction regulars" who come in each time and support our auction. You guys are great, and we so appreciate your unending support for our community work.

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"The Art of Rap" Documentary Inspires Festival With Legendary Hip-Hop Lineup

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2015 01:03pm | Post a Comment

Summertime is here with tons of great hip-hop stuff happening from NY to Cali, including the recommended all-day The Art Of Rap Festival happening July 18th at the Irvine Amphitheater in SoCal and the following day (July 19th) at the Bay Area's Shoreline in Mountain View. This talent rich festival promises to deliver "the full festival experience of hip-hop culture with break dancers, graffiti artists" and more. However, to be politically correct and a tad picky, the exact terms to use would be "breaking" in place of "breakdancing" and "aerosol art" in place of "graffiti." Regardless of semantics, this hip-hop festival is going to be great. With its lineup it simply cannot be. 

Drawing its inspiration and theme from the Ice-T-curated 2012 documentary movie Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, this traveling fest features, not surprisingly, Ice-T along with a stellar line-up of performers including the pioneering Cold Crush Brothers (Grandmaster Caz was the star of the movie), Big Daddy Kane, Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force (see video for their landmark, game changing track "Planet Rock" below) , Grandmaster Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, EPMD, Slick Rick, Too $hort, as well as Amoeba friend DJ Quik, plus many more. Info/advance tix.

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Weekly Roundup: DRINKS, Creeping Pink, Heathers, Camera Shy, Part Time

Posted by Billy Gil, June 5, 2015 12:00pm | Post a Comment

DRINKS – “Hermits on Holiday” video

drinks band cate le bon white fenceThis clip from the new minimalist guitar pop project from White Fence and Cate le Bon has an appropriately ’80s home-video feel. In the song, Le Bon’s voice reaches into its highest register as Tim Presley’s guitar keeps things moving in lockstep, while the video the two artists directed reminds us that camcorders win over iPhone video any day of the week. The album Hermits on Holiday will be released Aug. 21 on Birth/Heavenly. They’re at L.A.’s Echo Nov. 5 and S.F.’s Rickshaw Stop Nov. 7.

 

Creeping Pink – “Come Into My World”

creeping pinkSelf-described tape glam artist and new Castle Face signee Creeping Pink debuts a new track of warped pop that oozes analog goo from a simmering stew of vintage drum machines and malfunctioning moogs. The mesmerizing track can be found on Mirror Woods, his upcoming debut LP due July 13. Hear it at Purevolume.

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The San Francisco Black Film Festival (June 11-14) Features Films Like Mtume Gant's "Spit"

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2015 05:26pm | Post a Comment
 

San Francisco has been enjoying some great film festivals of late including the excellent 20th San Francisco Silent Film Festival that closed earlier this week, the SF DocFest that opens today and runs over the next two weeks at the Roxie, Brava, and Vogue theaters. The documentary film festival comes under the umbrella of the equally excellent SF Indie Fest whose richly diverse film festival took place in the City by the Bay back in February. Add to these SF film festivals next week's four-day San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF) that will showcase a diverse array of features and shorts from both new and established filmmakers. Now in its seventeenth year the festival was founded so as to present a platform for Black filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors. While much of its focus is on the homegrown talents of Bay Area artists, it also showcases the work of national and international filmmakers and screenwriters who are of African descent, as well as those simply representing the African Diaspora. SFBFF's stated mission is to present Black films that reinforce positive images and dispel negative stereotypes. The four day fest happens Thursday June 11th through Sunday June 14th at various venues across the city including the Sundance Kabuki Theater, The African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) on Fulton St, and the Second Act on Haight (near Amoeba SF). Additionally the festival will hold forums addressing such topics as funding, navigating the new digital age as an independent filmmaker, and music's role in film.

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

Posted by Amoebite, June 4, 2015 03:58pm | Post a Comment

Soko at Amoeba Hollywood

SoKo is the stage name of French-born singer-songwriter and actress Stephanie Sokolinski. She has appeared in over a dozen French films and TV shows, including the 2009 movie A l'origine, for which she was nominated for a Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress. She has toured with MIA, collaborated with Cornershop and The Go! Team and been sampled by Cee-Lo Green. In 2007, SoKo self-released her EP Not Sokute. Five years later, her debut full-length, I Thought I Was an Alien, was released through her own Babycat Records in the US and via Because Music in France. Now based out of LA, SoLo's 2015 follow-up, My Dreams Dictate My Reality, features contributions from pals Ariel Pink and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa.

In this "What's In My Bag?" episode, SoKo explores the roots of her inspiration to play bass, shares the song that helps her overcome cowardice, and is ultimately just thankful for her fingers. She starts things off with her "number one favorite record of all time," The Cure's Three Imaginary Boys on vinyl. Following that is her "second favorite record of all time," The Smiths' Louder Than BombsFrom Broadcast to Television to Paul Simon, SoKo takes us on a journey through the soundtrack to her life as a musician.

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One Album Wonders: The Music Machine's (Turn On) The Music Machine

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 3, 2015 09:16pm | Post a Comment
THE MUSIC MACHINE -- (TURN ON) THE MUSIC MACHINE (1966)


The Music Machine

Los Angeles
's  The Music Machine are one of those bands which was not only a one album wonder but a one hit wonder as well (there are a few of them). The Music Machine’s big hit was “Talk Talk,” a stomping, grunted neolithic garage stomper from 1966 that quickly rose to #15 on the charts and remained in the Top 40 for twelve weeks. 


The Music Machine’s San Jose-born singer-songwriter Sean Bonniwell, Doug Rhodes (organ), Ron Edgar (drums), Keith Olsen (bass), and Mark Landon (guitar) first assembled in 1965 as The Ragamuffins. Rhodes and Edgar had previously played with Curt Boettcher in folk-pop act, The Goldebriars. The changed their name to The Music Machine in 1966 and seem to me to have been musically inspired by The Troggs — a British band capable of peppy pop (“With a girl like you”), sparkling psychedelia (“Purple Shades”), and caveman rock (“Wild thing”). Sartorially, they were inspired by bands who adopted a gimmicky uniform like The Count Five, The Monks, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. The Music Machine’s look consisted of head (including dyed hair) to toe black — topped off with a single, black glove. It’s a gimmick, to be sure, but one that nonetheless allowed for more individuality, creativity, and fun than a nation of indistinguishable crate-service-clothed beardos.

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Bilal Headlines Next Red Bull Sound Select Show in L.A. June 24

Posted by Amoebite, June 3, 2015 05:50pm | Post a Comment

Red Bull Sound Select Presents Bilal in Los Angeles

The next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles features neo-soul singer Bilal June 24 at The Echo. Curated by our friends at KCRW, the show is $3 with an RSVP, and $12 without, though an RSVP doesn’t guarantee you entrance, so plan to arrive early. It’s a 21-and-over show.

Bilal has released three acclaimed solo albums, most recently 2013’s A Love Surreal, and has worked with the likes of The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Jay-Z, Beyonce and others. As Bilal most recently appeared on the critical and commercial smash To Pimp a Butterfly by rapper Kendrick Lamar, Bilal has enlisted Lamar to return the favor on his upcoming solo album, In Another Life, which is due June 30. Hear the single “Satellites” below:

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Show Recap: Girlpool at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 3, 2015 03:45pm | Post a Comment

girlpool amoeba Philly-by-way-of-L.A. duo Girlpool came to Amoeba Hollywood on June 2, the release day of their debut LP, Before the World Was Big, for an intimate, special performance. But the cool thing about Girlpool is that all of their performances feel this way; with just two members, Cleo Tucker (guitar) and Harmony Tividad (bass) and no drummer, Girlpool place the focus on their songs, which feel small enough to fit in your hands but are deceptively intricate and lyrically oblique, forcing you to turn them over and try to figure them out.

girlpool before the world was big lpThe band began with album opener “Ideal World,” which puts their feminist message at the forefront, declaring “Put me on a food stamp and a Hallmark card/Tranquilize me with your ideal world.” Single “Chinatown” followed, the song moving from a serene folk feel and walking bassline to cutting noise. The duo sounded most confident when they sang in unison on lines like “If I told you I loved you, would you take it the wrong way?” The band stayed away from their self-titled EP’s initially grabbing songs, “Jane” and “Blah Blah Blah,” and instead played “Paint Me Colors,” a more morose tune with lyrics like “I’ll never understand what it means to be a man who is white ‘cause he never has to fight” and a noisey ending reminiscent of Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything.”  

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Huge East Coast LP Haul Brings 4,000 Vinyl Pieces to Amoeba Hollywood June 13

Posted by Amoebite, June 3, 2015 03:07pm | Post a Comment

East Coast LP Event at Amoeba Hollywood

We’ve just acquired a choice collection of records from the New Jersey area to resell in our Hollywood store. On Saturday, June 13, we’ll be offering the first of these records for sale to the public, on sale at the Amoeba Hollywood stage.

There are some great classic records from all genres in this collection, and some obscure pieces as well. Coming to us from an iconic industry family, the collection includes well-kept original pressings, a substantial number of reggae and hip hop records, astounding test pressings, rare and import soundtracks, and one-of-a-kind items from major acts.

Check out a sneak preview of some of the pieces we’ll have for sale below:

east coast lp collection sale

amoeba east coast collection sale

So come down to Amoeba on Saturday, when we’ll be having our next Sidewalk Sale as well. Don’t miss out, as this collection will only be separately sold through Sunday.

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood on Same Day as East Coast Collection Sale June 13

Posted by Amoebite, June 3, 2015 03:01pm | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, June 13 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. We'll have huge bargains on music, movies, books and much more just outside the store.

On June 13, 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 three for $1
  • Books and comics at three for $1
  • Classical deals
  • $1 clearance vinyl

Plus, it's the same as our East Coast Collection Sale, where we'll have rare LPs on sale in-store from a recently purchased collection from the New Jersey area. And we'll have Hubert's Lemonade on hand to quench your thirst. Come by early for the East Coast sale and stay for the Sidewalk Sale!

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

Chaka Khan and Other Reasons To Endure New York City's Long Cold Winters

Posted by Billyjam, June 3, 2015 01:53pm | Post a Comment

Chaka Khan "I Feel For You"


There's a reason why New Yorkers endure those long winters with snow and frigid temps like this past one that never seemed like it was going to end, and that brought an onslaught of snowstorms and temperatures so low  that just make you want to stay inside. And that reason is the reward at the end of it all when summer finally arrives with all the great (mostly outdoor, much of it free) stuff that takes place across New York City for the summer months such as this evening's Prospect Park free concert by Chaka Khan.  The free concert by the Queen of Funk, whose rich back catalog of solo and Rufus hits include "I Feel For You" and "Tell Me Something Good" respectively, kicks off the always excellent Celebrate Brooklyn summer long concert series that will include such other acts as Willie Nelson and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (pictured left). It happens through September at the Prospect Park Bandshell at Union St Brooklyn, NY. More info. It is just one of countless 2015 summer series kicking off around New York City where there are so many free park shows going on - many simultaneously and across all five boroughs - that you have to really pick and choose which one you really have to see since so many overlap.

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Funko's 'Pop!' Toys Invade Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, June 3, 2015 09:12am | Post a Comment

funko pop toysToy maker Funko’s massively popular “Pop!” vinyl figurines have come to Amoeba Hollywood in a big way.

We first started carrying the 3.75-inch tall toys, which resemble pop culture icons with enlarged heads and eyes, when the company made music figurines for the likes of Michael Jackson, Tupac and The Beatles. Now as they’ve grown in popularity, we’ve begun carrying Funko’s Pop! collectibles from all realms of the pop culture landscape.

“It keeps growing and growing,” says Amy Pennington, a buyer for Amoeba. “I think it was this past Christmas when we realized how popular they were and that we should devote an entire section to them.”

The Funko figurines now mostly reside in their own section between books and soul music, along with more pop culture goodies like vintage-style lunchboxes and Beatles collectibles.

Figurines in-store come from TV shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Adventure Time” and “Breaking Bad”; films such as Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy; and franchises such as “The Avengers” and “X-Men.” We’re also carrying some of Funko’s cultier offerings, like Howard the Duck and the Bride of Frankenstein.

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Why Silent Hill is Feminist Dark Comedy Disguised as Horror, By Guest Blogger Klingon Vanna White

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 2, 2015 07:37pm | Post a Comment

The Amoeblog welcomes guest blogger Klingon Vanna White, a self-proclaimed "Blingon" and outcast from the planet Kronos. To find out more about Klingon Vanna White, visit her website klingonvannawhite.com.

What do Walking Dead’s Andrea, the Borg Queen, the antihero female navigator from Pitch Black, and the beloved beheaded dad from Game of Thrones, Ned Stark, all have in common? Did the title give it away like perchance, a spoiler? Well Silent Hill is from 2006; if you’re into horror, you’re adult-esque so don’t cry over spilled plot lines from a nine-year-old movie. Maybe you should watch it now. Maybe you’re the kind of person who would enjoy pointing out all my mistakes to justify your existence. I wrote this whole essay from memory. You’re welcome. Let’s get started.

In Silent Hill, pretty much every line is spoken by a female character. Never once do you feel like you’re being patronized in some Fried Green Tomatoes-Traveling Pants-50 Shades of Grey FOR THE LADIES movie kind of way (I haven’t seen any of these movies but I know I hate them). In fact, you don’t even notice it until weeks later and you’re all, OMFG that movie passed the Bechdel test like 500 times and I didn’t even know I was watching a lady movie the entire time!!!!

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Concert Tickets For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in June 2015

Posted by Amoebite, June 2, 2015 01:33pm | 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 and Shrine Expo Hall 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. If you wish to purchase reserved seating at Shrine Expo Hall (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:

Festival Supreme at the Shrine Expo Hall

Festival Supreme
Shrine Expo Hall
October 10

DJ Battles and Skratch Music Enjoying Peak in Popularity And Creativity As Proven By 2015 DMC NYC Regional At Webster Hall

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2015 12:20pm | Post a Comment
2015 DMC NYC Regional winner DJ Dwells photo above and all photos used in this Amoeblog
are by kind permission of
Ignacio Soltero (more pics/info here and here)

 

DJ battles and skratch music are enjoying a peak in both popularity and creativity right now. Age matters less than passion and commitment when it comes to skills and style displayed in turntablism. And Lord Finesse is a hella funny guy! Those are just a few of the things made quite apparent in Manhattan recently at the highly competitive but ever-entertaining 2015 DMC New York City Regional DJ battle where 15-year-old DJ Dwells took the title for the second year in a row, with the Bay Area's DJ Dstrukt coming in second, and As-One in third place. 

Overseen by Christie Z-Pabon (pictured right), the smoothly run, perfectly on schedule four-hour event took place on May 23rd at Webster Hall where the widely diverse and appreciative audience proved the point that the turntable-based art form, which has gone through some highs and lows in popularity over the past couple of decades, is indeed in a most healthy state currently.

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Album Picks: Jamie xx, Girlpool, Sun Kil Moon, ASAP Rocky, Froth

Posted by Billy Gil, June 2, 2015 09:39am | Post a Comment

Jamie xxIn Colour

jamie xx in colourProducer and member of The xx Jamie Smith has finallly released his debut LP, and it feels like a game-changer. Favoring melody and atmosphere over showy beatwork, In Colour is able to wrangle a wide variety of sounds into a living, breathing whole. Tracks like “Gosh” layer found sounds and field recordings underneath appealing synth lines. Mellower tracks like “Sleep Sound” and “SeeSaw” are terrific after-hours jams, like passing out outside a rave and letting the beats pulse through your dreams. The xx member Oliver Sim shows up to lend his narcotic vocals to the noirish “Stranger in a Room,” while fellow xx singer Romy Madley Croft smears black mascara all over the heartbreak beat of “Loud Places,” which makes wonderful use of a sample of Idris Muhammad’s “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This” on the song’s rousing chorus. Though it’s a bit jarring to hear rapper Young Thug and dancehall artist Popcaan on the following track, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times),” the song itself is a worthy hip-hop crossover that enlivens the album as a whole. It may sound cheesy, but In Colour really does prove that trip-hop, post-punk, house and hip-hop can call reside under the same roof, as Smith expertly strings these sounds together into new nocturnal anthems. It’s not too soon to call this a new electronic masterwork.

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Did You See Mastodon on "Game of Thrones" Last Night?

Posted by Billy Gil, June 1, 2015 10:27am | Post a Comment

mastodon bandMetal titans Mastodon can add HBO stars to their resumes after appearing in last night's episode of Game of Thrones.

Spoiler alert: The band appeared as wildling warriors in last night's episode "Hardhome," in which Lord Commander of the Night's Watch Jon Snow tried to rally some wildlings to prepare for the oncoming battle with the White Walkers, only to have the undead come knock down their walls and decimate nearly everyone in sight, turning them into even more undead warriors. As far as TV sequences go, it doesn't get more metal.

Here's what the band's Brann Dailor (which is a pretty "Thrones"-ish name) had to say about it, as reported by Stereogum:

"It was such an incredible experience to be on set as extras for our collective favorite show Game Of Thrones and to be wildlings murdered and then brought back to life by White Walkers was beyond amazing. I watched my best friends Brent and Bill, murdered right in front of me as I myself was stabbed in the stomach and had my throat slit multiple times, and I didn’t mind at all. It made me love being in Mastodon even more. We are more than privileged and honored to have been a part of one of the greatest stories ever told on film, and the catering wasn’t bad either."

Mastodon previously submitted the song "White Walker" for the Catch the Throne Vol. 2 mixtape earlier this year.

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Girlpool Chat With the Amoeblog Before Their L.A. Performance June 2

Posted by Billy Gil, June 1, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

girlpool amoebaL.A. duo Girlpool find something new and intriguing among familiar elements on their debut LP, Before the World Was Big. Twin vocals wrap around lonely bass and guitar lines that wander the empty space left by a lack of accompanying instruments, placing the focus on the Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad's vocals, wide-eyed and untamed like two feral children searching for clarity in a supposedly civilized world. Their debut calls to mind indie-rock heroes of yore from The Breeders to Modest Mouse without really sounding like any band before them—a feat in and of itself—singing of the trappings of a typical life ("Ideal World"), endless tour boredom ("Dear Nora") and the sudden nostalgia that hits at the end of your teenage years, where Tucker and Tividad currently find themselves, evoking the image walking to and from school in matching dresses and feeling like you grew up too fast on the title track. Unlike that of most bands, the hype surrounding Girlpool is entirely understandable—it's rare to find music this special.

Girlpool play Amoeba Hollywood June 2 at 6 p.m. I briefly caught up with Tucker and Tividad before the day of their show, which is also the release date for Before the World Was Big.

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